Your Pets Are Not Kids

I know, you love your dogs and cats. I do too. I stress and worry and get paranoid over the littlest things. I buy expensive dog food. The dog eats cat poop and sticks from the yard. Which I guess is alright because I also buy expensive cat food so I suppose she at least gets gourmet cat poop.

I get it, really. They are lumps of love that pull at your heartstrings and ask for so very little in return. They give you their whole lives. I even refer to myself as “Mama” in reference to my critters. My mother refers to herself as Heidi’s “gramma”.

And that’s fine. Cute even.

But understand that having pets is not the same as having kids.

The expectations are completely different. I expect my cat to want to cuddle up in my lap for his entire life. He will spend the rest of his days completely dependent on me. He will never become more than he is today. He doesn’t have to learn the hard lessons so he can make it on his own. The repercussions of his bad decisions consist of getting yelled at. I don’t need to instill a work ethic or worry about a college education for the cat.

Also, if I locked my kid in a box while I was away at work, I’d get arrested. Rightfully so.

It’s been a long time since my son wanted to cuddle with his mom. And that’s good thing. You see, as a parent, my goal is to work myself out of a job. One day, my son will be an autonomous adult. That is, if I’m doing my job correctly.

As parents, sometimes we have to make gut-wrenching decisions. We have to take away the one big thing that is our child’s whole world. It really does hurt us more than it hurts them even though they won’t realize it until years later. It would hurt our children far more in the long run if we didn’t teach them those lessons now.

The dog? She’ll keep chasing toads no matter how often I scold her. She’ll roll in the nastiest thing in the yard and continue to be so very proud of it.

Be a pet parent. Be proud of it. Just don’t try to tell me it’s just like having kids.

 

Resolution Status: Kept and Broken!

Success! And failure! All squished up into a meaningless ball.

I broke and thus kept my 2013 New Year’s Resolution all year long. How’d you do?

Maybe for 2014 I should resolve to share more cat pictures. Then I can totally win the internet, right? I can even talk about their new cat house and attract a new type of visitors!

It is a rather impressive cat house.

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Or maybe I should just resolve to dust the ceiling.

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Emerson has resolved to kill the mouse

Siamese Mouser

Behold The Power of the Kilt!

To say my cat has spent the last seven years frightened of Michael is really an understatement. It just doesn’t tell the whole story. We’re talking sheer terror. Like, losing bowel control terror. No, I don’t know why.

You see, I rescued this bat-eared feline from the construction site at my office.

ferrule close up

 

No, he never did grow into those ears. I raised this little critter into the 18 pounds of pathetic mama’s boy that he is today. He has repaid me with lots of head-butts and snuggles and unwavering loyalty.

Until this happened

Click the picture to see Michael’s post

 

Yes, not only can the kilt raise money for a great cause, but it can tame the wild beast.

So go ahead. Donate. Do it for the kitty. Besides, you might just win a prize.

Oh the Felines!

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Mom! Look at me. I’m so cute. Pet me.

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Fine. Pay attention to the glowy thing.

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We’ll just get in a pile over here

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Help!

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My precious.

Yes, they really are that ‘helpful.’ And apparently, I am not alone.

Cat paws in a fifteenth-century manuscript (photo taken at the Dubrovnik archives by @EmirOFilipovic)

Cat paws in a fifteenth-century manuscript (photo taken at the Dubrovnik archives by @EmirOFilipovic)

Cats have been ‘helping’ with content creation for centuries. And mice have never eaten my blog. Coincidence?

It was inevitable that they would take over the internet. It is their destiny.

 

Magical Force-Fields

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Ferrule and his magical force-field

This is Ferrule and his magical force-field   I know it looks remarkably like an animal print throw, but to Ferrule, it’s magical.  You see, Ferrule was a feral kitten once.  I rescued him from the construction at my office when he was about 5 weeks old.  His mother was no where to be found, and it was clear he was on his own. So I brought the giant eared, nearly hairless, flea-ridden tiny bundle home, much to Evyl’s dismay.

I took care of the fleas, fed him KMR, and nursed him back to health.  Today, nearly 7 years later, that little bundle has grown into 17 pounds of feline. Like most rescued feral cats, he’s high strung. But he loves and trusts me completely. When he’s with me, all is right with the world.

Unless the TV is on.  He was once frightened by a character spraying fire suppressing foam back at the viewer.  He’s been terrified of the moving pictures on the wall ever since. So this is Ferrule’s dilemma.  He wants desperately to be in my lap, but his irrational fear is overwhelming.

Enter the magical force-field. It protects him from the scary moving pictures and allows him to feel safe and secure in my lap. As long as he can’t see the screen, he’s safe.

It’s kind of like this force-field

GUN-FREE-ZONE1

It makes him feel safe from those that wouldn’t harm him while offering no real protection from those that might.  It’s a false sense of security against imagined threats. In the unlikely event that someone busted into my house to terrorize my cat, it wouldn’t be the zebra print blanket that would protect him.

But he believes he is safe under the blanket.  He’s a cat.  He also believes if he sings to the birds in the yard, they will be charmed into becoming his next meal.  Never mind that he is also terrified of the outdoors. I don’t expect him to be rational.

People should be capable of more and yet too many allow themselves to be fooled.  Don’t put your faith in magical force-fields.  There is no sign and no law that will guarantee your safety.  Nothing can do that.  What you can do is prepare and give yourself a fighting chance.

 

Lions and Kittens and Delivery! Oh My!

As previously mentioned, I’ve been having odd dreams lately.  Last night was no exception.

EvylRobot and I had seen a commercial for a new food delivery place that had opened up in town.  (Which is a neat trick since we don’t actually watch television.) The commercial was catchy and corny and most of all, memorable.  Particularly the tag line, “A mountain lion with every order!” Said cheerfully by the grinning spokesperson.

It was just so ridiculous that we had to check this place out. Hey, it pays to be creative. So I made the phone call and placed our order. Predictably, in the same tone as you would expect the ‘would you like fries with that’ line, the operator said, “And would you like the mountain lion with that?”

“Hell yes I want my mountain lion!” *giggle* And then I hung up the phone.

“That’s got to be one of the weirder promotions out there,” commented Evyl.

“I know, right?”

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. I excitedly opened the door.

There, on my front porch, was the pimply faced delivery boy with the expected white bags and a large crate. They are really taking this gag to the limits! I handed over the money instructing the kid to keep the change.  He grinned and thanked me as he handed over the food. He then popped the latch on the crate and into my entry hall walked…

A rather perturbed looking mountain lion. You’d be perturbed too if you were the promotional item for a combo meal.

“Nice kitty”

He gave me that look that only cats and teenagers can give and sauntered over to the couch where he promptly curled up in my spot. (Yes, I have a spot. No, I am not Sheldon-esque attached.) So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of, I sat down beside him and scratched him behind the ears.  My giant house-cats like that, after all. He lifted his head, grunted, and laid his head in my lap. It was actually kind of cute.

Evyl came around the corner, apparently, having missed the delivery boy. “Um, honey? There’s a mountain lion on the couch.”

“Yep.”

“Well. That’s unexpected.”

“We did order him.”

“You ordered him, but I didn’t expect they would actually bring one.”

“And yet, here he is.”

After discussing what to do with our new house guest, we decided that cougars probably do not make great house cats and ushered him out the back door.

Where he promptly ate the neighbor’s kitten that had been using my flower bed as its own personal litter box.  I have mixed feelings about this. No one really wants to see/hear a kitten being devoured, but it was pooping in my strawberries.

Dreams like this lead to odd morning conversations with pre-caffeinated Jen as well.

Jen: So I dreamed we had a mountain lion

ER: Huh.  That’s interesting

Jen: It came with my combo meal

ER: That’s a helluva Happy Meal prize

Jen: It was delivery

ER: Did they bring it on a leash?

Jen: Crate. Which they opened on the front porch.

ER: Of course.

I think he’s getting used to the meanderings of my unconscious mind.