5 Reasons Cats Rule (My House)

Last week, my blogging friend, Debbie wrote of some abhorrent cat behavior that led her to write a post entitled “5 Reasons I Hate Cats.” While I don’t think I can change anyone’s mind about felines, I thought it would be fun to share some reasons why I adore cats.

Their “purrs” relax me. 

Some people listen to CDs that play sounds of nature- waves crashing onto the shore, birds chirping, rainfall- you get the idea.  Me?  Nothing is more soothing that a cat snuggled up to me purring.  Some nights, Cybil chooses to sleep on my face head which isn’t the most comfortable.  After some push and pull on positioning, she often ends up curled against my neck and shoulder purring.  This is how I like to fall asleep.

They can grow on non-cat-people (like a fungus)

I first saw this with my mom.  I’ve always been drawn to cats and she was never a fan, but after I adopted every stray cat in the neighborhood, she relented and I got my first kitty.  How disappointed I was to find that cat liked her better than me.  Misty was an indoor/outdoor cat and disappeared.  I was heartbroken.  We got another kitty and that one loved me- she was my cat.  Abby also wormed her way into my mom’s heart.

My husband is a self-proclaimed dog person.  He makes this known regularly.  I smile when he grabs a cat when he goes to bed, but I don’t say anything.  One morning last week, I walked into the bedroom and found Lizzy wrapped around his foot.

No one told Lizzy he's a dog person!
No one told Lizzy he’s a dog person!

Of course, I had to snap this blackmail adorable photo as evidence that he may be just a little bit of a cat person 🙂

They like company, but they don’t need constant attention

Some say cats are aloof.  Maybe they are; but I think they just need less assurance of my love for them than a dog.  Our dogs need constant ear scratches and head rubs- if we’re sitting on the couch, we must be petting them.  The cats curl up next to me and snooze- they are content just being near me.  I “get” them… I like to have my space, too.

While my son is at school, Sammy is my "desk cat"
While my son is at school, Sammy is my “desk cat”

Oh, and they keep me company while I work, curled up on the other side of my desk.  So cute!

Even when they don’t feel good, cats can strike a pose

Kitties hide their illnesses well, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.  Often, by the time we pick up on something being off, they are really sick.  When Bulwinquel (our Yorkie-Poo dog) was around two years old, we took her to the vet because she wouldn’t walk on one of her legs- she kept lifting it up like it was hurt.  After the second visit for the problem, the vet did an x-ray and confirmed there was no injury.  He told us that if we babied her, she may never walk on it again!

Cybil is sick, but always ready to be admired.
Cybil is sick, but always ready to be admired.

And finally:  they know how to relax!

I don’t think I really need to explain this one – I have so many snoozing cat pics because they sleep… a lot!

Relaxing 101... take notes, and practice!
Relaxing 101… take notes, and practice!

I can sure take come cues from them 🙂

Here it is – your chance to share your thoughts (nicely.)  Let me know why you like or dislike cats!

Say “Yes” To The Mess

Kitty birthday greetings, courtesy of younger son
Kitty birthday greetings, courtesy of younger son

My knee-jerk reaction when the kids tell me about something they’re planning is, “Oh, no. It’s going to be messy. NO!”

You see, their messy nature conflicts with my craving for some order. My older son’s gym shorts have been in the middle of our living room floor since Monday. I refuse to pick them up; he’s managed to “forget” to toss them in the dirty clothes hamper all four times I’ve asked. My younger son’s shoes are often just shy of making it into the shoe cubbies I bought to keep shoes out of the middle of the floor. As an added bonus, there’s usually a pile of sand from the school playground wherever his shoes landed when he took them off. (I’m half-expecting a bill from the school so they can order another truckload of sand before the next school year begins.)

The last thing I want is to invite more messes, but what I’m starting to figure out (after eleven years) is that, while certainly messy, their grand ideas often come with a lesson.

For instance, they insisted on selling citrus fruit from my parents’ yard, lemonade, and beaded jewelry that they made. I told them people wouldn’t buy the stuff, but they couldn’t be deterred. They made $24 and couldn’t wait to plan their next sale.  A couple weeks ago, a neighbor offered them a partnership of sorts: they sell extra veggies from her garden for a portion of the proceeds. (I’ll let you know in a few years if I’m raising little entrepreneurs or slick con artists 🙂 )

The lesson: I learned that I was wrong (again) and they learned that with the right attitude, you can sell just about anything.

Sammy and Lizzy (sons' cats)
Sammy and Lizzy (sons’ cats)

Their latest mess idea: have a birthday party for their cats’ fifth birthday. I didn’t say yes or no for several days, hoping it would pass (fat chance.) The day before the kitties’ big day, I drove my sons to the store. With their money, they bought the cake/brownie mixes they wanted. They put out a snack buffet while I made the goodies. They sat the cats in chairs and held them against their will while we sang happy birthday (and yes, they called me out when my lips were moving but they couldn’t hear my voice.)

The lesson: They experienced the joy of doing something nice for others (even if they’re “just cats,” as my husband would say) and I learned that I need to focus more on these little moments. I have a vague awareness of our pets’ birthdays, and the fact they are a little grayer and little older.

I need to embrace the mess; I need to celebrate more.

(And I’ll start by enjoying my day off work on Friday while the kids are at school 😛 )

This weekend, I’m celebrating Easter… what are YOU celebrating? 

Swayed

SWAYED

It is easier to lean

With

     The

     Crowd,

Than it is for one to stand

Tall,

Strong-

Alone.

05-08 Trees

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These trees caught my attention because I usually only see one or two trees at an angle.  It looks like the smaller trees are leaning to get a good look at the tall tree’s branches 🙂

I’ve been on a procrastination binge lately, so I’m quite pleased with myself at the moment, because I managed to finally update my ‘About Me’ page.  It was last updated in 2011 and I meant to look at it around my third blog anniversary in March… that obviously didn’t happen!  I’m good for another two years, so I think I’ll just relax and be cat now:

Computers are hard work...
Computers are hard work…

On second thought, maybe being a cat isn’t all that great…

Do I look merry?
Do I look merry?

Disclaimer:  no cats were forced to work or permanently traumatized as a result of any of the photos.  Sammy (the elf cat) has since retired as Santa’s elf.  She much prefers climbing the Christmas tree and breaking ornaments instead.

Since you are smiling (I hope) and in a good mood, I hope you can be swayed to respond to my solicitation for input:  Can anyone share any lesser-known things (or favorite things) to do around Washington DC (or within a 2-hour drive) that may not be on the radar for tourists?

I’m looking for a scenic 3 to 5 mile hike, inexpensive local restaurants, or other kid-friendly things we should consider checking out while we’re in the area next month (our kids are 10 years and 7 years).  Of course, if the suggestions provide blog photo opportunities, that’s even better 😀

I appreciate any ideas!

Cat Perspective

Since I am skipping the weekend Trifecta writing prompt, I decided to have some with some photos I took a few months ago.  Don’t worry, I didn’t take in any more cats – these are two of my friend’s cats:  Mia and Zoe.  They were very cooperative, well, as cooperative as cats can be…which basically means I didn’t get bitten or scratched; but I was hissed at once 🙂

Ample Attitude

At my age

I should be

Admired.

Feared.

Revered.

I see you

huddled in conspiracy.

Mocking.

Jeering.

Sneering.

My ample girth

doesn’t make me

Slow.

Lazy.

Defenseless.

You. Me.  Behind the litter box!

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

Written from the point of view of my cat, Cybil (a.k.a. “Cybil the Psycho Cat”) about our now three-year-old ‘kittens’, Sammy and Lizzy.  Cybil is twelve and doesn’t move as fast as she used to, but she’s tough as ever 🙂

This is my response to the Trifecta weekly writing challenge, where we were asked to write a 33 to 333 word response (mine is 33 words; 42 with the picture balloons) using the following word:

AMPLE (adj.):  buxom, portly <an ample figure>

This week, I decided to go with what I hope will be a unique take on the prompt.  It’s all intended to be in good fun and no kitties were harmed in the writing of this poem (but one was slightly irritated with the photography.)