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Dogs And Cats And Pens... Oh My!



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inkstainedruth

When we lived in Massachusetts we had two cats (then later a third). Obilot, who was mine, was a brindle tortoiseshell. And the "brave and mighty huntress" (she was the mouser). Then we had Peri (also a sortie but with a lot more white on her, who was um, one of those cats who get by in this world on their good looks... i.e., she was not the sharpest knife in the drawer). Then later we got Byron, the purebred Maine Coon who, um made Peri look like a rocket scientist in comparison.

There were SEVERAL mouse incidents. One time, when we just had the two cats, Obilot brought a mouse in before I realized. She ran down to the basement and dropped it behind a box along the wall under the pingpong table. And kept jumping over the box, back and forth, keeping it corralled in. Then Peri came downstairs to see what was happening, and joined in the fun.... Then they BOTH got bored and left ME to try and catch the darned thing.

Another time, when we were running late to something that was an hour away (and which I was supposed to be TEACHING a class at) there was a mouse in the hallway. Peri chased it into the linen closet, then (AMAZINGLY for her) ran around to the living room to catch the mouse coming out of the somewhat connected living room closet. She eventually trapped it by my coat which was hanging over a chair in the dining room and my husband was able to snag it.

Then... we got Byron. Who had been a show cat, and had probably spent a lot of his first couple of years of existence living in a cage (and had been a rescue cat, along with about 15 OTHER abused Maine Coons). When we first brought him home, he did not know how to deal with social situations. And, well, he also made Peri look smart.... Oblilot was mortally offended by the new "little brother" (especially since he was a lot BIGGER -- he was seriously underweight when we first got him, but still had the bone structure of 2 year old Maine Coon). So for a WEEK she stayed out all night and in the morning when she came back in we'd discover a dead mouse with his head bitten off left on the front porch.... We weren't sure whether it was a protest: "Hey! Whaddya need that big stupid fluff ball who doesn't even know that when we're hissing at him it doesn't mean to come closer and sniff us! You got ME!"; or it was "You brought that dumb galoot into the house and he doesn't even know how to FEED himself!" (or even "Hey stupid, go learn to catch your OWN breakfast, okay?")

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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~ inkstainedruth:

 

Thank you for explaining the mouse incidents.

Such vivid writing brings your cats alive in my mind.

The Pekingese in my home is gentle, low-key and easy-going, which is not to say that he's remiss on guard duty.

Whenever a housefly appears (not a very common event) he's entranced, following it with greatest interest, tail wagging.

BTW: He's noticeably cat-friendly, wanting to make friends with any reluctant feline he encounters.

Tom K.

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inkstainedtruth: Thank you for rescuing that poor Maine Coon. Not all breeders are so thoughtless, but many are and it is criminal when that happens.

 

At one time in my life, I used to raise, breed and show Himalayan cats. One year I had the 5th best Himmie kitten in the nation and the next year the 2nd best Himmie altered cat in the nation. But after doing this for a number of years, I realized two things:

 

First, people don't take care of their pets like I do. For me they are part of the family, meaning we want them to live healthy, happy lives with us, with the best food we can find, the best veterinary care and as much love as we can give them. Even when I had 20 cats, none of them "lived" in a cage. The only cats that were confined were mothers and their babies. But, unfortunately, other breeders did not treat their cats the same way. And I knew of many breeders who were censured or thrown out of the association for poor care of their cats, and some were "turned in" to local animal control. But I am sure that there were many who did not get caught. I found that I would only deal with other breeders who loved their cats as much as I did and treated them with as much care.

 

Second, people don't take care of their pets like I expect. Yes, it sounds the same, but isn't. When I would place a pet kitten with someone, I expected them to make that kitten a treasured part of their family. The family would have to sign an agreement. I would retain ownership until the kitten was 1 year old and visit to make sure it was taken care of. Unfortunately, even my extreme measures could not prevent abuse. On two occasions I had to engage the services of law enforcement to get an abused kitty back.

 

It was these two reasons - and one other - that finally made me get out of it all. I loved my kitties and they returned their love, but I just couldn't do it anymore. The final straw was when I started getting really sick with an upper respiratory infection. It wasn't a normal infection and kept recurring. Finally, I had to be hospitalized. During that time, we found out I was allergic to cat fur - actually not the fur, but the enzyme which comes from the cat's saliva when they clean their fur. Needless to say, in two days time, my husband placed all my babies into good homes, had the house, the furnace, etc. thoroughly cleaned, all before I was released. I was broken hearted, but it was what had to be done.

 

Thankfully, I am not allergic to dogs!

 

So thank you for caring so much and rescuing your Maine Coon. They are such lovely cats. I would love to see a photo sometime. While I can't have cats anymore, I enjoy seeing photos of them.

Edited by 5Cavaliers

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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inkstainedruth

inkstainedtruth: Thank you for rescuing that poor Maine Coon. Not all breeders are so thoughtless, but many are and it is criminal when that happens.

 

The problem was that apparently the breeder got sick and was in the hospital and the person who was supposed to be taking care of the cats wasn't. We were living in Massachusetts and a friend of ours from Pittsburgh emailed me out of the blue one day saying "You want a purebred Maine Coon for the cost of shipping?" Turned out her housemate knew someone who was a breeder and went with her to see another breeder and it turned into cat rescue -- as in "Give us the cats NOW and you won't be ARRESTED...." The breeder took all the breedable ones and Teri and Linda were trying to find homes for the ones that had been fixed. Turned out they thought there were 15 cats in all -- but then found one that was hiding in the basement ceiling (Teri and Linda took him and his littermate).

We decided to go down to Pittsburgh to get ours, because we figured that the cat was already pretty traumatized -- putting him on the plane in a crate would be too much. We stayed with some other friends, and had dinner the first night with some of my husband's friends from college, including the guy who had been Steve's best man. They were telling us about all the great computer jobs which had opened up since we had moved away. Then when we got back to where we were staying, another friend came over to the house and said "Oh, you should come in and talk to people where I'm working...." My husband said that he hadn't planned to go job hunting -- he didn't bring his suit and he hadn't updated his resume. But he went in the next day and it turned out he knew a fair number of people there; and by the end of the day people were saying "Well, we can't offer you a job -- but if we WERE to offer you a job...." Well we drove home with Byron (we wanted to give him a dignified name because he was in such rough shape; his registered name was "McKittycreek [something] Big Boy" and I thought "Big Boy" was sort of stupid. But his nickname was Mr. Spooky because he was afraid of everything: when we bought our current house, he was chasing a moth around the small den off the living room one night, and then got spooked when the moth flew AT him.... :headsmack: At any rate, Steve WAS offered a job -- so a month after driving Byron home to the Boston area, we were packing him, Peri, and Obilot in carriers and driving them all back to Pittsburgh....

Sadly, I don't know if we have any photos of him, and we lost him when he was around 10 -- the McKittycreek bloodline Maine Coons don't have the hip dysplasia problems that a lot of them do (as do lots of large breeds of dogs), but unfortunately they DO have heart problems. He was a brown and white tabby and really sweet, but pretty dumb. And he was definitely my husband's cat -- we'd had him for nearly 8 years and he would flinch every time I'd get off my chair and walk past him in my husband's lap and he'd flinch. If you put out your hand to pet him he'd flinch -- but if you held your hand out to him palm up, he'd come right up to you....

And he liked small enclosed spaces -- the smaller the better. When we lived in Massachusetts he found a shoebox on top of a table in the living room (we had packed chess pieces in it, and I walked in too see him squished in to the box (about the bottom third of him fit, and the rest was spilling out the top of the box....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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The problem was that apparently the breeder got sick and was in the hospital and the person who was supposed to be taking care of the cats wasn't. We were living in Massachusetts and a friend of ours from Pittsburgh emailed me out of the blue one day saying "You want a purebred Maine Coon for the cost of shipping?" Turned out her housemate knew someone who was a breeder and went with her to see another breeder and it turned into cat rescue -- as in "Give us the cats NOW and you won't be ARRESTED...." The breeder took all the breedable ones and Teri and Linda were trying to find homes for the ones that had been fixed. Turned out they thought there were 15 cats in all -- but then found one that was hiding in the basement ceiling (Teri and Linda took him and his littermate).

We decided to go down to Pittsburgh to get ours, because we figured that the cat was already pretty traumatized -- putting him on the plane in a crate would be too much. We stayed with some other friends, and had dinner the first night with some of my husband's friends from college, including the guy who had been Steve's best man. They were telling us about all the great computer jobs which had opened up since we had moved away. Then when we got back to where we were staying, another friend came over to the house and said "Oh, you should come in and talk to people where I'm working...." My husband said that he hadn't planned to go job hunting -- he didn't bring his suit and he hadn't updated his resume. But he went in the next day and it turned out he knew a fair number of people there; and by the end of the day people were saying "Well, we can't offer you a job -- but if we WERE to offer you a job...." Well we drove home with Byron (we wanted to give him a dignified name because he was in such rough shape; his registered name was "McKittycreek [something] Big Boy" and I thought "Big Boy" was sort of stupid. But his nickname was Mr. Spooky because he was afraid of everything: when we bought our current house, he was chasing a moth around the small den off the living room one night, and then got spooked when the moth flew AT him.... :headsmack: At any rate, Steve WAS offered a job -- so a month after driving Byron home to the Boston area, we were packing him, Peri, and Obilot in carriers and driving them all back to Pittsburgh....

Sadly, I don't know if we have any photos of him, and we lost him when he was around 10 -- the McKittycreek bloodline Maine Coons don't have the hip dysplasia problems that a lot of them do (as do lots of large breeds of dogs), but unfortunately they DO have heart problems. He was a brown and white tabby and really sweet, but pretty dumb. And he was definitely my husband's cat -- we'd had him for nearly 8 years and he would flinch every time I'd get off my chair and walk past him in my husband's lap and he'd flinch. If you put out your hand to pet him he'd flinch -- but if you held your hand out to him palm up, he'd come right up to you....

And he liked small enclosed spaces -- the smaller the better. When we lived in Massachusetts he found a shoebox on top of a table in the living room (we had packed chess pieces in it, and I walked in too see him squished in to the box (about the bottom third of him fit, and the rest was spilling out the top of the box....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

Thank you for sharing this story. It brought tears to my eyes to think of so many beautiful Maine Coons just left fending for themselves.

 

It isn't always an emotional issue with the cats. To be a quality breeder takes a good amount of money and a lot of time. What happens sometimes is that a breeder gets started for the right reasons, but doesn't realize how much it is going to cost or how much time it is going to take to bathe, groom, clean, etc. They begin to cut corners and pretty soon those cats that are not currently being shown are neglected. I've seen it happen so many times. And - as happened with the McKittycreek breeder - something happens and the one person that they counted on to take care of their "cattery" doesn't have a vested interest, so they do a poor job or give up entirely.

 

One time when we were going to go on vacation, we decided to hire my daughter's boyfriend to house- and kitty-sit for us. He loved the cats and they liked him. He had been around us for so long that we thought he understood what needed to be done. Nevertheless, I wrote out specific instructions. We were gone for about 2 weeks, when we got a phone call from him. He said "I am getting a bit concerned about four of the bigger cats. I let them outside last week , and they haven't come back yet." I about yelled, "YOU DID WHAT????? THE CATS HAVE NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE! They are all inside cats!" He said "Oh, I was wondering why the other cats never asked to go out." I am just about panicking because we lived in a rural area with lots of coyotes and mountain lions around. Thankfully, we were only a day's drive from home. And we did find all four cats - scared to death, hungry and very thirsty. They had all found holes - one under our hot tub, another under the deck, one across the street under a rock. The funny thing is the boyfriend was probably more scared than the cats. We were gentle with him, and he helped my bath them. When I got really sick from the cats, we gave him the cat that liked him best - as long as he promised to keep him in the house!

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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One time when we were going to go on vacation, we decided to hire my daughter's boyfriend to house- and kitty-sit for us. He loved the cats and they liked him. He had been around us for so long that we thought he understood what needed to be done. Nevertheless, I wrote out specific instructions. We were gone for about 2 weeks, when we got a phone call from him. He said "I am getting a bit concerned about four of the bigger cats. I let them outside last week , and they haven't come back yet." I about yelled, "YOU DID WHAT????? THE CATS HAVE NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE! They are all inside cats!" He said "Oh, I was wondering why the other cats never asked to go out." I am just about panicking because we lived in a rural area with lots of coyotes and mountain lions around. Thankfully, we were only a day's drive from home. And we did find all four cats - scared to death, hungry and very thirsty. They had all found holes - one under our hot tub, another under the deck, one across the street under a rock. The funny thing is the boyfriend was probably more scared than the cats. We were gentle with him, and he helped my bath them. When I got really sick from the cats, we gave him the cat that liked him best - as long as he promised to keep him in the house!

 

~ 5Cavaliers:

 

What a story...or...“cat tale”!

Having been in the position of your daughter's boyfriend, it's easy to imagine his chagrin on learning his misjudgment.

It was very kind of you to rehome a cat with him when your life shifted from cats to Cavaliers.

Tom K.

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So cute! You both inspire me!

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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inkstainedruth

 

Thank you for sharing this story. It brought tears to my eyes to think of so many beautiful Maine Coons just left fending for themselves.

 

It isn't always an emotional issue with the cats. To be a quality breeder takes a good amount of money and a lot of time. What happens sometimes is that a breeder gets started for the right reasons, but doesn't realize how much it is going to cost or how much time it is going to take to bathe, groom, clean, etc. They begin to cut corners and pretty soon those cats that are not currently being shown are neglected. I've seen it happen so many times. And - as happened with the McKittycreek breeder - something happens and the one person that they counted on to take care of their "cattery" doesn't have a vested interest, so they do a poor job or give up entirely.

 

One time when we were going to go on vacation, we decided to hire my daughter's boyfriend to house- and kitty-sit for us. He loved the cats and they liked him. He had been around us for so long that we thought he understood what needed to be done. Nevertheless, I wrote out specific instructions. We were gone for about 2 weeks, when we got a phone call from him. He said "I am getting a bit concerned about four of the bigger cats. I let them outside last week , and they haven't come back yet." I about yelled, "YOU DID WHAT????? THE CATS HAVE NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE! They are all inside cats!" He said "Oh, I was wondering why the other cats never asked to go out." I am just about panicking because we lived in a rural area with lots of coyotes and mountain lions around. Thankfully, we were only a day's drive from home. And we did find all four cats - scared to death, hungry and very thirsty. They had all found holes - one under our hot tub, another under the deck, one across the street under a rock. The funny thing is the boyfriend was probably more scared than the cats. We were gentle with him, and he helped my bath them. When I got really sick from the cats, we gave him the cat that liked him best - as long as he promised to keep him in the house!

 

Yeah, we had something similar happen. A friend of ours was cat sitting for us when we had to go out of town (he was living at the time in an apartment building which didn't allow pets). We gave him the number for some other friends in case of an emergency. On the way home, we actually bypassed our house to go visit the other friends. And the conversation when we got to their house went something like this....

Us: "We decided to swing by and visit you guys on the way home."

Teri: "You haven't been home yet? Oh.... That means... you haven't talked to Dave...."

Turns out that Dave, the cat sitter, didn't realize that the new kitchen windows had pull down roller screens. So he opened the window, and didn't put the screen down. And just assumed that the cats wouldn't jump onto the counter....

Well, Byron, the Maine Coon, WAS a jumper. He could (when we first got him) jump about 6' into the air.... And apparently jumped up onto the counter and then out the window....

Basically landed about 2 stories down, because our yard had some slope to it, and the kitchen is above the laundry room in the basement. So comes dinner time, and only 3 cats. Calls Teri and Linda. And Teri spent four DAYS coming over and trying to coax Byron to come close enough to her that she could nab him and get him back inside the house.... Because (a) ex-show cat; and (B) remember his nickname was "Mr. Spooky"? And he would have (hopefully) recognized Teri as the person who rescued him in the first place (and spent hours trying to get a comb through his mane before we went to get him). Apparently he could actually catch mice -- just didn't know what to do next.

Sigh.... No wonder Obilot -- the mouser --was so disgusted by him....

Byron was definitely my husband's cat. He'd sprawl across my husband's lap AND one armrest of the chair. And flinch every time I walked past.... He was also a cat who got by in this world on his good looks, because he was pretty dumb.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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  • 3 weeks later...

That look doesn't seem really happy right now.

 

Wally and Yofi are looking forward to playing the snow later today. I will see if I can get some photos.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Tom Kellie

1091898437_DijiwithMontblanc149M.thumb.JPG.5fca5c66127c1e2bc3aee18cb0c70387.JPG

 

Diji with Montblanc Meisterstück 149 M

 

 

1331979128_DijiAfterOneWeek.thumb.JPG.ab632381f7de18b349aafaadff0b98aa.JPG

 

Diji after One Week

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