1.10.17 – Wintering with Kittens

By J.T. Ellison

I love my cats. This will come as no surprise. But since the weather has turned cold, they are driving me crazy.

The littlest one in particular, as she possesses more energy than her big sister (or any other cat in the nation, I assume). They are both hunters, without a doubt. Give me a red dot laser pen, and I can keep them entertained for at least ten minutes. The house is strewn with fake mice — they prefer the real rabbit fur ones we get online, but in a pinch, anything that can be thrown will do. I already have 1500 steps on my Fitbit simply through this morning’s play.

They love to be engaged, love to chase things up and down the stairs. Jameson in particular is a kamikaze pilot. She slides across the wood floor, smashing into cabinets and doors, losing nails as she pivots and twists on the throw rugs. Jordan is only slightly more sedate—when you get her going, she is like a snow fox, jumping high and pouncing with all four feet. She can jump six feet straight up to my shoulder from a seated position, gliding through the air like a flying squirrel, in a second flat. We call her Air Jordan for a reason.

When we built the porch last year, they found a safe haven. It’s fully screened with heavy duty pet screening, and they chatter with the birds, watch the squirrels, spy on our neighbors, their minds completely engaged. In the summer, spring, and fall, they spend 90% of their time out there, completely entranced with the wild.

Days like today, cold, dreary, highs in the 20s, the possibility of snow, I have to keep the porch door shut, and I begin to understand parental lamentations about school snow days. I am having a hard time focusing on my fiction, and so have been handling the non-fiction and easy chores, because Jameson will not leave me alone. She wants to chase mice, roll in plastic bags, be brushed, jump over my head, run up the stairs, hang off her perch like a monkey in the trees. Jordan was diverted by the laser, chasing it in circles until she got dizzy, then sauntered off for a nap. But not James. The cat is actually bored.

I didn’t know cats could get bored. I’ve never had kittens with so much energy, so much joie de vivre. They delight in our attentions, whether being carried around like babies or leaping waist-high to catch a furry mouse. Anything, anything, to keep the laptop off my lap. Long, mournful meows are the trademark — they cry and cry (or squeak, in Jordan’s case, the one who never mastered her words) like they’re hurt until they see me coming to check on them, then they dart away, with grins on their fanged mouths, thrilled that the chase is on.

I think they were taught this by the cardinals, who tease and scold outside the porch windows. I read once that cats don’t normally vocalize to other cats unless in the grips of a berserker fury fighting each other. They’ve learned their calls and trills to talk to their humans. Mine seem to have taken this to an extreme, because they are mouthy as all get out.

This in comparison to my parents beautiful Siamese, Jamocha. At 15, she is going into renal failure. She is quiet and reserved anyway, a shy cat all her life, but especially so now. We spent the Christmas holiday coaxing and petting, doing anything we could to get food into her mouth. My brother’s cat, Miraj, is also elderly and ill, and somewhat quiet, but we managed to get both of them eating and enjoying their lives again. Quality of life in little old lady cats is a joy to behold, trust me.

What a blessing, these beasts. Whether young or old, we will do anything for them, anything to make them happy, content, satisfied. Who is really the pet, do you think?

And I just realized… there is silence. My beasties are asleep. Collapsed, really. Charging their batteries for the next go round. The wee demons have granted me an hour’s writing time. I better be off to it.

Tell me about your fur babies!

Via: JT Ellison


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