Tag: cats

The Bird Feeder

But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.”

  • L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

November can be a bit of a drag.  The days become shorter and the temperature drops making it colder.  At least with December, we have Christmas to look forward to.  But November?  The only good thing about this months is that it leads to December and then it becomes a blur.  The countdown to Christmas always becomes a blur, especially if you’re a parent and before you know it, you’ll be taking all the Christmas decors down.  Which reminds me, I really want to put ours up.  But I promised the husband that I’d only start decorating in the first day of December.

I’ve digressed, I wanted to write about the bird feeder my husband bought (as mentioned on the previous post).  We hang it outside our bathroom window so our cat and the squirrels won’t reach it.  Birds make the husband happy.  He likes feeding them left over bread and crackers.  I call him Cinderella.  I keep waiting for him to break into song, so far he hasn’t … yet.

Armed with my camera, I was determined to catch some birds in action.  But wasn’t so sure I’d be lucky since Doc followed me out and soon, Boots was there too.  To my surprise I didn’t have long to wait.  I spied one blue tit on the roof.

I knew it was watching me, Doc and even Boots.  And then when it realised that it was safe it decided to go for it… slowly.  I watched its every move through my lense.

When it felt bolder, it finally made a move.

After a few pecks it flew away.  But before I could even put my camera down, two of them came by.

It was just lovely to watch them feed.  From below, Doc was busy chasing his tail and Boots?  She was on the hedge… watching.

I’m so glad the bird feeder is way up there.  And in the winter, our cat likes to spend it mostly asleep on top of the boiler where it is nice and warm.  She’s like her humans who gain a lot of weight on the colder months, even if she could reach the bird feeder, somehow I doubt very much if she’d be quick enough.

During these short cold days, it’s the small joys that really matter, like watching the birds feed, enjoying the lovely autumn light through the window, and blue skies against beautiful winter trees that are slowly losing its leaves.

What are your small joys?

You know You’re a Pet Owner When …

I’ve been seeing a lot of “you know you’re a mum” posts lately whether on a blog, a photo on  Instagram or Facebook that I’ve decided to make one for pet owners/parents.

You know You’re a Pet Owner when …

…  your front-door is dirty, especially when it’s been raining outside.  Our door is filthy almost all the time.  I hope our postie doesn’t think we’re slobs.  Our regular one will know, because he’s met Doc.  But not the others, especially couriers.  For the record, we are not slobs, we just have a Doc who likes to clamber all over our front door and kitchen window when he wants to come in and no one is there to let him right away.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You find patches of black fur on your white throw.  I know what you’re thinking, why have a white throw when you have a young kid and pets right?  And I say right back at you, why on earth not?  And yes, I’ll whinge all I want.  If you’ve been reading my little blog for some time now, you might have read somewhere that I like white furniture/furnishings and I refuse to give them up just because I have a small child and pets.  Not to mention finding fur on your clothes!

You know you’re a pet owner when…

Your car is disgustingly dirty and we’re not just talking about the food T and her friends sometimes leave behind especially when we’ve just done a road trip.  I’m talking again of muddy paws all over, especially since the beach is less than a ten-minute drive away, yes, the inside of the car is always covered in sand, mud, muck and all that.  I really ought to give up trying to clean our car.  But at least, I try right?

You know you’re a pet owner when …

The kitchen floor slate floor is always dirty, no matter how you clean it everyday.  Don’t even let me mention the carpet in the rooms or else I’ll never stop.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You find doggie pooh bags or stale treats in your coat pockets along with your daughter’s small toys.  How long has it been there?  How long have we had Doc or T?

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You talk to your pets.  I know people do talk to their pets, but I’m talking about actual conversations.  You say something, pet answers, and yes, it doesn’t matter that you don’t really understand what they’re saying.  Actually you do, with Doc and my husband, they actually have actual conversations with their eyes and eyebrows only.  No words used.  As for Boots and I, you’ll actually hear lots of words, especially from me.  She answers either with her meows or her purring.

But I just fed you!

That was five minutes ago, feed me again now!

You know you’re a pet owner when ….

You have lots of photos of your dog and cat almost as much as your daughter’s.  And your pets and daughter gives you the same exasperated look every time they see you pick up your phone or camera.  Well except Doc.  He gets all excited especially when he sees me pick up my big camera, he knows we’re headed outside to take photos.  He loves that.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You can’t bring yourself to move even though you’ve just decided to get up from the couch, only because your fat cat has decided that she needs your belly for a nap.  That’s it human, stop moving!  I need my beauty sleep.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You have a love-hate relationship with them.  One moment you can’t imagine life without them, the next you’re screaming your head off and threatening to leave them in the middle of nowhere, strangle them, or swap them for a new puppy/kitten.

Life with pets eh?

Anyone looking for a cat or dog?

Email me.

Just kidding.

Am I?

What’s the one thing your pet does that makes you want to throttle them?

A Little Accident

The weather has been really bad lately.  It’s been cold, grey and wet which means our little shit  I mean bundle of fur – Boots, has been refusing to go out to do her business.  I don’t really blame her really, the not-wanting-to-go out part, every time I open the door to let her out she gives me this “You’ve got to be kidding me” look that never fails to make me laugh.

I’m not laughing now.

A few days ago, we’ve just discovered that she’s been using the back of our TV as her very own en-suite.  At first, we though the culprit was Doc, since we’ve caught him several times snuggled behind the TV, but the poo was too small (sorry folks).  As of writing, she’s banned from the living room when no one is there.  At night, I let her sleep in a Bolga basket in the landing upstairs.  In the morning, I throw her out and she spends most of her time in the boot room with the fan-light open so she can come as she pleases.  When everyone is downstairs, only then is she allowed in with us.  Yes, I know, I’m cruel.

I need some advice.  While I’ve obviously cleaned behind the TV, sprayed a combination of white vinegar and water solution, dabbed some baking powder on it, the stench is still there.  Yesterday, I did the same.  Sprayed it again with my home-made solution, but this time after doing that, I also used carpet cleaner.  It’s better now, but the smell of cat pee still lingers.  I hate that smell!

I’ve read that as long as the stench is there, chances are they’ll do it again.  Hence, the ban from the living room when no one is there.

Thoughts anyone?

The Killer in Our Midst is Back

I first wrote about the murderer a couple of years ago and now the killer is back.

A month or so ago, my husband found the first victim lying lifeless on the ground.  I was hoping it was just an isolated case, but then it happened, again and again and again.  In the morning, we would find all the victims lying dead in our garden.

The first was a mouse.  I wondered.  Could it have been a deaf mouse?  The killer has a bell around her neck to warn victims away.  Surely the mouse would’ve heard the tinkle of her bell as she approached?

Then the next victim was a poor mole.  I keep thinking of that lovely mole who adopted Thumbelina, I’m hoping he isn’t family.

Yes, Boots’ killer’s instincts have re-awakened.  She is the murderer.  Or maybe it never really left her, and she murdered her victims far from home and was just being lazy now and couldn’t be bothered to get rid of the body anymore.

I wonder, are all her victims deaf?  Or perhaps she is as stealthy as an experienced thief in the night?  I do wish though that she’d at least get rid of the bodies than leave them on the ground.  Thankfully little T has never seen them.

Poor innocent victims.  I shall light a candle for them and pray for their souls.

One Special Cat

I’ve never been a cat person.  I’ve always preferred dogs, having grown-up with them all through out my childhood.  As a child, I didn’t have any experience with cats.  They meant nothing to me.

But Boots?  Boots is a special cat.

At the beginning, I wasn’t fond of her at all.  We got her for T when she was about two years old.  The plan was to get a cat first, then a dog.  I wasn’t really keen on the idea of having a cat.  But gave in.  We got Boots from a local cat rescue centre down here in Cornwall.  She moved in with us and that was it.

She didn’t pull at my heartstrings, not like some pets did.  But I was very impressed on how patient she always was with little T who liked to pull her tail and whose idea of fun was strangling the poor cat.  She never hissed or scratched her.  Even though she herself was only young at that time (around six months), she never hurt T and for that I was very grateful.  But she was still just a cat to me.

When we first got her, she didn’t like to be petted by other people except T.  If I did it or my husband, she’d allow it only for a while and then leave as if to say “That’s enough”.  She was never an affectionate cat.

Then we lost her.

And I found myself missing our Boots and even pining for her.  After a year, my husband “found her”, we kept her inside till we moved house and now, she’s a changed cat.  As I keep saying, she prefers the indoors to the outdoors.  And since our house move was delayed time and again, Boots was forced to stay indoors and because of that, we all grew closer to her.  And now, I can say and really mean it, I am very fond of our Boots.  And I have a suspicion the feeling is mutual.

When I’m sitting on the sofa, she’ll sit on my lap and allow me to pet her.  She’d fall asleep and just lay there, only waking up to hiss at the dog if Doc dares go near us.

And when I’m lying on the bed reading, she’d come to me and sit on my chest, purring and fall asleep.  I don’t dare move even though I really want to, or even need to.

In the mornings, when she’s on our bed, I’d wait for her to wake-up before I even bother to make the bed.

T of course loves her too.  They’ve always had a special bond.

But Boots and I?  Ours has just begun.

Do you have a special bond with your pet or even as a child?

Tab Cat, Safe & Found: A Review

If you’ve been following my little blog for some time now, you will know how our cat Boots used to go astray, at one point, she was gone for over a year.  We thought we’ve lost her.  We went from worry, to actually accepting that maybe it was meant to be, and wished her well.  Of course all the while she was living with that crazy cat woman, but then my husband found her, we moved away and as they say, the rest is history.

Does your cat like to stray just like Boots?  If you’re a cat owner like us, worry no more – Tab Cat might just be the answer for you.

What is Tab Cat?

It is a pet locator.  The pack comes with two Homing Tags and a locator handset.  It’s very easy to use.  All you need to do is activate the handset battery, register the tags you’re going to use on your pets, stick it in splash proof case and attach it to your pet’s collar.  Then it’s ready to use.

The pack comes with the locater, two homing tags, with two splash proof cases.  If you have more than two cats, you can order additional homing tags for them.

How far can you track your pet?

The range is impressive too and can reach up to 122m/400 feet (if the cat is on a tree).  But of course it will be less if you’re trying to locate them through doors or walls.  Just keep walking and searching till it picks up its signal again.

The Test

We tried it on Boots.  But the thing with our cat, ever since we moved, we’ve never had a problem with her.  She comes and goes as she pleases, and always comes back.  As mentioned on some previous posts, she seems to prefer to be indoors too, than the outdoors.  Ever since we moved, she’s a changed cat.

But T and I were still curious, so we put the Tab Cat homing tag on her, even though she was just taking a nap on the chair by the window.  We went out and pretended we were looking for her in the garden.  And of course, T was in her Belle costume, after all, that’s what you do on weekends right?  Wear ballgowns and go traipsing in your garden, pretending to be in search of your cat.

It made a few beeps, especially when T pointed it to a direction.

I told T to walk back towards the house.

The beeps became more frequent as we walked towards the house…

And as T stood outside the window, pointing to where Boots was lazily napping on the armchair, the beeps and the green light were out, signalling we were indeed very close.

 And then it went crazy, the beeps were louder and the green light was in full blast.  Little T said, “There you are Boots!  We found you!”.

Boots gave us a “You humans are weird.  You knew I was here all the while” look.  Yawned, and went back to sleep.

I drafted this post in the afternoon, by evening, when Boots went out for the night, before going to bed, my husband and I decided to try it out.  I pressed her assigned tag on the locator, it beeped, and then the green light came on, I called out to Boots, since I knew she was nearby and true enough, I heard her little bell and she came back in the house with us.  I’m really pleased it works.

We’ve put the other tag on Doc, since he’s the one who likes to go out and go galavanting through the fields and annoy the cows.  Let’s see what happens …

Would you be interested in using a cat-tracker or have you tried this before?

Do share.

*PR sample.   All photos and words by Little Steps.

Coming face-to-face with the “Crazy Cat Woman” of our little Village.

I imagined her to be in her 60s or 70s, with her hair up in a bun, a boxy cardigan on and sensible shoes.  It’s funny how we think of stereotypes, I blame the movies and literature.  The reality was, she was nothing like the woman I painted her to be.

Boots has had about four escapes since my husband cat-napped her back and we’ve managed to carry her back in until her last attempt.

I like to have a lie-in during the weekends.  Most times my husband just lets me be, this particular day though, I heard a door bang and his voice say “I think you should know the cat escaped again while you were sleeping”.

I got up, complete with dishevelled hair, still in my pjs, grabbed my coat, zipped it up and headed outside.  I went to the alley behind our house and saw her on our neighbour’s fence, but a dog heard me and started barking which of course frightened Boots away.

I sighed and went back home ready to accept defeat.  I announced “Well, if she doesn’t want to be with us, I’m fine with that!”  And crawled back under the duvet.

After awhile the doorbell rang.  I was hoping he’d get that, but he was obviously somewhere else.  I opened the door still in my pjs.  It was her.

Yes, I might have been right about her age.  But she wasn’t in a cardigan and wasn’t wearing sensible shoes.  She had a sporty parka on and trainers.  The kind of woman of a certain age who walks a lot, or maybe even runs  She didn’t look familiar though, that means she did her walking elsewhere and not on the headland.

As soon as she said, “I think I have your cat” I knew it was her.  I thanked her and said that I’ll ask the husband to fetch her since I was still in my pjs.

We have a feeling that the only reason why this time, she took it upon herself to look for us was because Boots was wearing a collar with our number on it now. If she kept her in again, she wouldn’t be able to claim that she doesn’t belong to anyone.  When my husband told her that Boots was chipped, she was actually surprised.  I really think that’s the last time we’ll ever hear her from her again.  The mystery is over.  Darn it, it was so much more exciting in my head!

As of writing, Boots hasn’t made any successful escapes out again.

Have you ever tried to keep an outdoor cat in?

Do share.

Do you walk your cat?

Before you laugh at the idea, like I did, it turns out that some people do walk their cats.  I was thinking about this a week or so ago, as some of you may know, Boots our cat isn’t allowed outside, just until we move and are settled, only then will we allow her out again.

I see her by the window, like Juliet pining for her Romeo, or like a jilted lover waiting for the love of her life to come back to her.  It’s sad really.  She’d nag me day in and day out, sometimes her meowing would turn into soft ones as if pleading quietly to be let out and I, her wicked captor remains deaf to her little pleas.

It’s obvious that she misses the outdoors.  But I wouldn’t risk it, especially since we’re still hoping to move soon.  I wouldn’t want to lose her again.  Being more of a dog person, and since I never really liked cats, I’m amazed on how much I’ve grown to be really fond of Boots.

But like I said she misses her freedom so one day I said to the husband  “What if we walk her?” He laughed at the idea of course.  And said, “Well I’m not walking her.  You can if you want”.  And he turned his back to me and went on with his marking, that was the end of our conversation and I never mentioned it again.

I wondered is it really absurd then, the idea of walking a cat?  So I did what anyone in the 21st century would, when faced with a question like this, I googled.

And found out the following:

Yes, some cat owners do walk their cats.  But I read that most of these cats are indoor cats, not outdoor cats like Boots.  And since cats like dogs, need their exercise too, apparently it is even advised that indoor cats should be walked too.

But before you can walk them, you have to train them first, or else they’ll end up playing dead every time you decide to go off on a walk with them, like this poor kitty in the video. Trust me, it’s really funny to watch.  Just fast-forward it, no need to watch it whole.  When the owner puts the leash on, the cat pretends to be either dead or asleep, but as soon as the owner takes  it off, the cat bolts away.

You won’t just need a leash, but you’ll also need a harness.  Which brings me to add, when we were at a pet shop the other day, I noticed that they do sell these cat harnesses locally, so I’m wondering now, does that mean that people over here, do walk their cats, although I have yet to see a cat walker in our little village, let alone the whole of Cornwall or England.

I guess whether you decide to walk your cat or not, we all have to remember that cats are not dogs.  We can’t just leave them tied outside a shop while we run some errands before going back home after a walk. What if a dog comes by?  The poor cat will be so frightened and won’t be able to get away, or worse, get tangled with the leash.

I also read that if you walk your cat, it’s important to pick them up before going out the door and also picking them up again before coming in.  That way they’ll understand that you are the boss and is in charge of the walk, not them.

As for Boots, I can imagine she’d give me a “Have you lost your mind, woman?” look and turn her back on me if I ever suggest a walk to her.  I guess Boots will have to wait then till we finally move.

Do you find the idea of walking a cat ridiculous?

Have you ever seen anyone walk a cat?

Do share.

Cats who love Dogs

I’m sure a lot of you have seen cute videos of cats hugging dogs on social media right?  They are everywhere! Little T can spend ages watching cat videos on you tube, you’ll hear her laughing her little head off.  I don’t blame here, some are really, really hilarious.

As for those videos of cats who seem to really love their doggie friends, are they really real?

Exhibit A:  This dog was apparently missing for ten days.  The cat missed him so much that it actually couldn’t stop hugging him.  The first time I saw this video, I kept expecting the cat to suddenly pounce her little claws on the dog’s neck, but no, it just kept hugging the dog, as if it really missed its furry friend.  Real or not?

Exhibit B:  Sweet moments between cats and dogs.  Really?  No, hissing, clawing or death stares?

While I don’t expect Boots and Doc to have this kind of relationship, though it would be nice if they did.  At the moment, Boots hates Doc with a passion, especially since he likes to steal her food.

On the other hand, Doc I think likes her.  He likes to please you see and if he had his way, he would like everyone to love him, like really love him.  After all, who would say no to this face?

Actually, I know who would.  This one:

There aren’t any cuddles happening between Boots and Doc in our house, more like hissing, barking and “You move you die” looks from Boots.

I don’t doubt the authenticity of those videos.  I’m sure they’re real and not staged.  I just wish Boots and Doc would learn how to tolerate each other without the cat going wild when he’s around.

Do you have a cat and a dog too?

What’s their relationship like?

Are they like the animals in the videos, or more like Boots and Doc?

Do share.

Life with Boots

It’s been about two weeks now since Boots has re-joined our family.  Just a quick recap for those who don’t know our history with Boots our cat.  She left us over a year ago (we think she was cat-napped by a weird woman who likes to lure other cats in her home.  I’m not making this up, she does exist in our little village by the sea).  But hopefully that’s all in the past now, especially since my husband cat-napped her back

Now she’s back home with us, as if she never left, although I’m not really sure she’s pleased, because we’ve kept her in.  Most of the time, she looks really annoyed and nags to be out again. She’s not allowed outside till we move house and I’m afraid at the moment, it isn’t clear when that is exactly happening.

Boots sleeps with little T and I on our bed and likes to wake me up really early, demanding to be fed.

She also spends her time having staring contests with Doc.  To be fair though, it’s always Boots who leaves the room as if in a huff.  Doc just wants to play, Boots wants him dead.

There’s T trying to distract Doc so Boots could escape. 

Day in and day out, she sleeps on our bed.  Demands to be fed.  I clean up her litter tray and when the sun is out, she likes to sun herself on the windowsill.  She also likes to interrupt me when I’m on my laptop.  She sometimes likes to use it as a step to get to the window sill. Once there, she gives an incessant “meowing” and nags to be let out.  I ignore her of course.  Till she gives up and goes back up stairs with her little bell “jiggling” behind her.

Yes, she is now wearing a cat collar with a bell (so we know where she is) and a tag with our contact details on it.  I sent the husband out to buy one and the man at the pet shop assured us that this is a safe collar.  It is elastic and can break if caught in an emergency.  Of course this won’t stop the crazy woman from taking it off her.  But Boots is chipped and we’re not letting her out till we move.

“Please let me out”  Says Boots.

“Nope, sorry.  Not letting you out”  I reply.

“You are a wicked woman!”  Her eyes tell me.

Evil laughter.

Boots meows “Help” 

Do you have a cat?

Do you keep them in or out?

Do share.