What is it about cats and boxes? Ask Maru.

I know they like cozy spaces. It tickles me to see our cats scuffle snuggle down in their choice of the innumerable boxes in our house. Here is Snoopy enjoying a respite in one of many Amazon boxes:

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Maru, the box-obsessed Asian Kitty on YouTube, would concur.

Too small box and Maru:

He takes box love to a whole new level. I just loves me some Maru kitty.


UPDATE: Oh, my gosh. I was just browsing Amazon and found out there is a Maru book coming out in August: I Am Maru. No way…How fun!

Man, I love the Internet.

Forget girls on trampolines; how about dogs, cats & foxes?

Yesterday, Life with Dogs featured a video of two American bulldogs playing on a trampoline. Here’s that video:

That tickled my funnybone and motivated me to search out more videos of dogs jumping or playing on trampolines. These are some of my favorites from my browsing today.

And lest you think only dogs enjoy trampolines, here’s a video of a cat playing on one.

I have to say, though, that cats don’t seem to find them as entertaining as dogs. The preponderance of bouncy critter videos were of dogs. Most of the few cat videos depicted a kitty annoyed by some 2-legger bouncing around while the kitty tried to sun itself. Then there’s the idiots who do mean things to cats on trampolines; I don’t bother commenting on those videos, but I report ’em for abusive content. But that’s another blog entry for another day!

And it’s not just domestic pets who enjoy playing bouncy. Check out these two wild foxes someone witnessed bounding and pouncing on his trampoline:

By the way, here’s a video showing a fox showing that same high leap and dive behavior, only going into the snow for prey:

My favorite, though, is Chago; this fella has it down to a science I wish the owner of that video allowed his video to be embedded outside of YouTube, but you’ll have to go there to view it.

This summer, we’re going to have to introduce Stella to someone’s trampoline. As much as she enjoys bounding up onto the couch and ricocheting off its back, we think she’d love it.

Our funniest cat story

Living with cats our whole married life, we have our share of funny stories concerning them. This one, however, takes the cake. I took time to write it out when prompted by a contest by Johnny Cat. The winner gets coupons for ten free bags of cat litter. Here’s my entry:

We were sound asleep in the basement bedroom of our apartment when loud thumps jolted us awake. Our hearts thudding, we crept out of bed to see who the invader was. My husband grabbed some random object to use in self defense.

At the bottom of the steps lay a bag; scattered on the steps we saw various objects in the shadows. Bravely, we proceeded upstairs. The house was eerily silent.

We turned on the light. Upon further investigation, we saw the objects dotting the steps were were small gourds. We examined the plastic bag at the base of the steps and noted telltale bitemarks and small tears  in the plastic.

The most damning evidence? Our normally friendly cat was mysteriously absent.

We reconstructed the crime. Promise had pulled a bag of newly-purchased smiling-pumpkin-gourdsdecorative gourds off the dining room table, where it thumped to the floor. She then dragged it across the room to the basement landing. Starting down the steps with it, she lost control of the bag and fled when it began its tumble down the steps, scattering those gourds the whole way down.

My husband and I still laugh about that night, more than twelve years later! Promise has been gone for several years, but her legacy lives on.

The lure of The Waltons

Not too long ago, Howie and I were watching an episode of The Waltons on DVD. This one was  season 4’s “The Loss”.  Family friend Olivia Hill, recently widowed, comes to stay with the Walton family for a while.

Olivia was a newlywed, her wedding the subject of season 3’s “The Chivaree”. She is understandably devastated by the loss of her husband and the Waltons don’t know what to do to help other than comfort her and give her space. Olivia processes her grief and the family just tries to accommodate. The children have the most trouble understanding, not having experienced losses like hers.

At the same time, the Walton’s cat, Calico, is pregnant and due to deliver her kittens. When Calico does finally give birth, she dies during delivery. It turns out, Olivia has experience in caring for newborn animals, and she steps in to care for the orphaned kittens. Little Elizabeth is crushed by the death of Calico, but helps Olivia care for the babies. Olivia finds healing in helping, and Elizabeth learns about grief firsthand. It’s a touching episode.

Well, when those newborn kittens started mewing, the ears of every furry animal in our house perked up. Sarah sat facing the TV, her head cocked, and watched. Funniest of all, though, was Snoopy’s reaction. She started out just looking toward the TV, but soon couldn’t abide her curiosity from a distance and crept up toward the TV.

Next, she stood with her front paws up on the TV’s stand, staring at the screen.

What IS that? What's that sound?

What IS that? What's that sound?

Then, she jumped up on the stand and eyeballed the kitten from close-up…

Is THAT what's making all this ruckus?

Is THAT what's making all this ruckus?

And, finally, she looked behind the TV…

Maybe it's behind this thing...

Maybe it's behind this thing...

Of course, Howie had to rewind the DVD player and play the segment over a few times. We were giggling like fools at these animals. Pets are wonderful for bringing laughter to a household!

Hattie cat

Our little Hattie Cat is such a sweet kitty. Right now, she’s sitting on the arm of the recliner, purring away.

We got her as a wee kitten in the winter of 1999 or 2000, adopting her the same weekend our beloved Siamese cat Promise died. At the vet’s office where she was fostered, the staff had nicknamed her Bocelli, after opera singer Andrea Bocelli; thank goodness that tiny kitten didn’t bring that lungpower into adulthood!

When we brought her home we learned she had an oral fixation. The vet said she was probably weaned too soon, the lone kitten inadvertently left behind when a stray mama kitty and her litter were taken away from an apartment complex.

She’d thrived at the vet’s and was very attached to people. Literally. At any chance, Hattie would knead and suckle on an arm, hand or any other exposed skin. And it was LOUD! One night Howie woke me up, saying, “get her off your arm. She’s making so much noise, it’s driving me crazy!” I’d been sound asleep and didn’t notice the steady skweee-skweee-skweee. She got him back, though, attaching herself to his nipple another night.

Thank goodness she outgrew that, too! Now, if she wants attention and scritches, she’ll come up beside me, stare in my eyes, and poise one front paw up before her, kneading the air. She will also give a couple of quick licks to the arm, as if to say, “it could be worse…remember what I used to do.”

If ignored when she comes into the bathroom while the toilet is occupied, she’ll stand on her hind legs, balancing against the sitter’s knee with her left paw, and reach her right paw up in entreaty. All our four-footed pets dearly love Toilet Time, but Hattie is so endearing with it all. LOL

– Taken at 10:50 PM on September 28, 2008 – cameraphone upload by ShoZu