pets, can’t live with them…

What do you do with pets who want you to morph into their playmates, 24/7? Read a funny post where the writer felt her cat was a terrorist, stalking her all the time. Meanwhile I kept thinking of Sitka, and Juneau his brother, part-Maine Coones, who want at me all the time.

Whether seated, standing, or walking around, Sitka wants up. He’s like my daughter who when she was 2 or 3 used to come to me with outstretched arms, saying “uppy, uppy, uppy.” Sitka doesn’t say anything, he just stares at me with soulful eyes. But I can tell he wants “uppy, uppy, uppy.” Sometimes I think I should get one of those things new moms use to carry around their newborns. Then I might at least have 2 hands free to do something, other than hold Sitka. It’s impossible to multi-task with him in my arms.

At least when I sit to eat a meal, Sitka’s learned that’s my sacred time. But as soon as the plate is put away, he’s back at my side, demanding to be “uppied.” I have to look him straight in the eye, and say “Not now,” and mean it. He’ll try to outstare me, until I give up and walk away, feeling guilty. That cat can do that to me. 

Even when I sit-a-spell with Sitka in my lap, he’s always inching his way up into my face, trying to wrap himself around my head. Barely able to breathe, I have to remove his grip from around my throat, gently, or roughly, pushing him back down onto my lap. Only if I continue petting him, does he remain in place. If not, the struggle to regain higher ground starts up again. I’ve never had a cat like Sitka before, and I’ve had a lot of cats as pets in my lifetime. Ask my husband.

Juneau, Sitka’s litter mate, is another force with which to be reckoned. That cat could be a footstool, he’s so big and solid. In fact, he often wiggles his way under my feet as I’m blogging. As I rub them back and forth over his body, Juneau seems content to let me. Unlike Sitka who wants me to wear him like a crown or a bike helmet, Juneau prefers I use him to warm my feet. When I do pick him up, it’s like lifting a large bag of groceries. I have to remember to bend at the waist, or I’ll injure myself. With a grunt I hoist Juneau up onto my chest where he pulls back, squinting at me as if to say “Don’t hurt me.” I hold him tight, stroking his back assuring him that it’s okay to be on Sitka territory. Once Juneau settles in, he starts with the body-slamming.

Just as Sitka has his own unique mannerisms, so too does Juneau. He’s the only cat I’ve ever owned who literally throws himself against me, my legs if I’m standing, my chest if I’m sitting. He body slams, as my daughter has often remarked. It’s as if he wants inside my body, as if he can’t get close enough, and just wants to find a way in and stay there. Creepy, right? 

Juneau will even go so far as to nip me to get my attention. While I’m blogging, he’ll stretch up towards me, mewing pitifully. If I don’t stroke him immediately, he nips my elbow. It’s like a bee sting, which gets my attention quick! I reprimand him, after which I coo and pet him. Like his brother, Juneau can easily send me on a guilt trip. He’ll even nip me when I’m holding and stroking him. It’s either to reassure himself that I’m his, or that I’m not giving him my undivided attention. He doesn’t even want my eyes wandering toward the TV. Nope! My hands AND eyes have to be on him. Of course, I’ve had to scold him about his manners, otherwise I’d have nicks all over my body.

While Sitka and Juneau were rescued from an animal shelter, Sunkist is my purebred grand-dame. At $100, she was actually cheaper to purchase from a private owner than my 2 boys who cost $125 apiece to adopt. A 16-year-old Persian, Sunkist sits like a sphinx before me, as if willing me to get down and pay homage. (Here comes Juneau, mewing alongside me. Gotta give him a few strokes.) While Sunkist does allow me to pick her up once-in-awhile, to hold and pet her, and coo sweet nothings in her little ears, she much prefers I crouch on all fours and massage her endlessly. And I mean…endlessly.

Unlike the others, Sunkist has the patience of a sphinx. She will sit for what feels like hours to me, awaiting her turn for my undivided attention. Whether it’s right at my feet, or at a small distance, her head dropping from time to time as if in a doze, Sunkist never wavers in her efforts to get one-on-one time. When I do get down beside her, inevitably one or 2 of the others will try to steal me away. I have to nudge them out-of-the-way, saying it’s their sister’s turn to have at me. Either they get the message, or Sunkist walks off in a huff. It’s her way, or no way.

Where does my dog Mocha, a mixed terrier-beagle, fit into all this? She just takes over the whole show if that’s what she decides. But most of the time, she’s more than happy, or not, I can’t tell sometimes, to let me pay attention to the felines in the family. Being the biggest, and most companionable of all our pets, it’s hard not to give Mocha more than her fair share of my time. Besides walks during the day, we romp around the house in the evenings. Me chasing her around the coffee table, or the other way around. She looks at me in confusion when we play this game as if to ask “Are you Alpha, or are you my pack mate?” Why the confusion? Because I often get down on all fours when we’re carousing. She never bites me, but sometimes she has this gleam in her eyes as if she wants to grab me by the scruff of my neck, as she does her toy, and shake me violently from side to side. Or as with Juneau who allows Mocha to nibble at his neck, seemingly in an effort to clean him.

One thing I can’t bring myself to allow, is letting Mocha lap my face with her tongue. I know others allow this all the time, her vet, Dr. Rice for one. Having seen where Mocha’s tongue has been, i.e. licking her poop hole, I just cannot stomach her licking my face afterwards. Sorry, just can’t. Funny, I’ve no problem when Gretchen, Sylvia’s dachsund gives my face a few quick licks with her tongue. The difference, however, is that Gretchen surprises me before I can turn away, Mocha looks me directly in the eye as if asking “Are we doing this, or not?” I mean when I’ve got the option, I’m always going to say “Duh… I don’t think so.” She settles for my mashing instead. I’m all over her, like Sitka and Juneau are all over me. Mocha just lies there and takes it. I can only imagine what she’s thinking. I hope it’s not “God, she drives me nuts with her mashing!” But as long as she says nothing, I guess I’ll keep mashing and smooshing her.

gotta love those animals…i do!…hugmamma.  

8 thoughts on “pets, can’t live with them…

    • Would you like to have Sitka and Juneau visit for a while? They’d love the attention, I’m sure. They’ll take it wherever they can get it. And I’m willing to share the time they demand with anyone willing and able. ha, ha. And thanks for letting me know that you’d like more of my four-legged stories. I’ve got a ton!

      hugs…hugmamma. 😉

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  1. This post made me laugh! Thanks for sharing. I have a cat Tom who acts like a three-year-old. He is continually putting everything in his mouth. He even grabs your hand when you are eating to pull the spoon to his mouth! When you have toddlers you learn to put things on high shelfs but what do you do with a cat? They jump. My other cat is anti-social and hides anytime we have company. Are there such things as “normal” cats?

    ~Haley

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    • That’s an interesting observation. And Tom sounds like a fun cat. But aren’t they all, in their own way? Pets never cease to amaze me with their personalities and mannerisms. I don’t think there’s a standard for cats. We have to accept them just as as they present themselves. I wonder if we humans can ever learn that lesson from our furry friends?

      thanks so much for sharing tom…hugmamma. 😉

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  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and suggesting that I look at this post. I really had to laugh at the antics of your pets. The intranet at work asked the other day what you would talk about if you got stuck on the elevator at work (it had actually happened the other day). I replied – the dogs! They’re great conversation starters.

    Of course, mine are the reason I did not get another cat after the last of my three Siamese died. It’s hard to share my lap with a miniature pinscher and a cat at the same time, especially when the min pin chases everyone else away.

    Nancy
    http://dogear6.wordpress.com/

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    • When my daughter was a toddler, I was pushing her in her stroller one day, along a country road in the small town where she was born in Connecticut. Running out to the edge of its property line, was a doberman pinscher who caught me totally by surprise. I froze in my tracks, unable to decide what to do. Fortunately the owner appeared at the door calling her dog to stop snarling, and baring his teeth. I’m not sure if there was invisible fencing. But I was petrified. I was just wondering if their miniature counterparts are similarly protective of their territory?

      Siamese cats are also special, very intelligent. I’ve never owned one, but have seen them at friends’ homes. They are so human-like. I was told they’re just like babies. Sounds like my Sitka.

      pets have such amazing personalities…each is so unique…they’re worth getting to know…and love…hugs for the great comment…hugmamma. 🙂

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  3. I know. My husband, the eldest of 12, had no pets until he married me. With 11 siblings, did he need them? I don’t think so. More mouths to feed. But now that he’s lived in a pet-infested house for 40, going on 41 years this June, he can’t imagine life without them.

    As for me? It’s a no-brainer. Even though pets require love and attention, 24/7, they give me so much love in return. I couldn’t live without their romance. ha, ha.

    so we’re with you…can’t imagine…hugmamma. 😉

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  4. We have two cats of our own, Athena and Aphrodite. Both can be as demanding as children in their own way. Aphrodite is a bit on the neurotic side, and also has a penchant for molesting our feet while shying away from any other affection, LOL. It’s amazing how pet owners can identify human attributes in their “children,” and it’s very easy to become so emotionally invested as to even grieve when a pet is lost. We love our babies, and I can’t begin to imagine life without them. 🙂

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hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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