Guest Star: The Other Cat

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest post comes from Claremary Claremary P. Sweeney:


Having written A Berkshire Tale with a kitten, ZuZu,  as the main character (ZuZu is my own little tabby I rescued from under a barn.), I’ve found whenever I write a post with a feline tag, cat lovers tune in. They are a loyal audience.  So, today I’m writing just for them.

Often, people who know me and who read A Berkshire Tale solemnly advise that I should write about “the other cat”. They seem to feel I’m favoring one furry child, ZuZu, over the other, Roxie. They apparently are concerned about her self-esteem. They worry she might IMG_0115develop an inferiority complex once the book hits the best-seller list.

Now,Roxie is a bit quirky in a perverted sort of way. She spent the first few weeks with us atop the refrigerator, swatting wildly at me when I climbed the step-stool to pet her head and  coming down to eat at night only when the coast was clear. We’ve always  had a love/hate relationship. She loves me when I’m sharing my meals with her; when I give her treats; and when I brush her silky, gray coat. She hates me the rest of the time, expressing her disdain in a barrage of disapproving caterwauling, especially when I cough or sneeze in her presence or kiss Charley. She’s a very jealous feline where he is concerned.

IMG_6797At bedtime, she can’t wait until I’m comfortably situated with my iPad propped  against my knees. She  jumps up, sniffs at the current book or golf magazine  Charley is reading, lets him pet her head and then plops down beside me waiting impatiently for the show to begin. Roxie adores YouTube videos of other cats. Her very favorite is Maru.


She purrs anxiously when Maru gets into predicaments that no respectable cat would ever get into. She quiets down as soon as Maru eventually manages to escape. She gently touches the screen stroking Maru’s pudgy, serious, little face. When I try to turn off the iPad to go to sleep, she usually bites me. Sometimes she bites me just because the spirit moves her and I am near at hand. Roxie could watch cat videos well into the early morning hours.

Lately she’s taken to lying in wait until I’m heading outside with my hands full. As soon as she sees me re-filling the hummingbird feeder, she disappears until I open the door. Then she comes from out of nowhere and escapes. We invariably engage in a lively game of tag (I’m always It) for an hour or so until I’m on the verge of a stroke and she’s exhausted, panting and prostrate in one of the gardens.We  live across from a wildlife sanctuary. There are fox, red-tailed hawks, owls, and a fisher cat in the woods around our vernal pool. They would just love to make her their entree  of the week. I’ve mentioned to my concerned friends that this could possibly make a gripping tale, ending tragically with Roxie being carried off in the talons of some wild bird. They are appalled. But, I explain, if she keeps escaping, this very well could  become the concluding chapter to her biography. She was declawed by her previous owner and doesn’t realize how vulnerable she is as she flits around the yard, looking over her shoulder to make sure I’m still in the game. I’ll admit there are times when I think I should just give up and go inside for a nap. I rationalize that ZuZu would love to be an only child.  I never do. Charley would be heartbroken if Roxie  wasn’t there to meet him with a favorite toy every time he comes through the door. They are a mutual admiration society.IMG_6779

She enjoys coming into the glassed-in shower stall to observe me washing my hair although she’s not very appreciative when I try to lather behind her ears with the loofah. If I close her out, she perches on the cabinet and peers angrily in at me ala Norman Bates.  I never turn my back on her and usually clear off a bit of the steam on the glass so I can be sure of where she is at all times. Last night I closed the door of the stall and left her in there mesmerized by the drips fromIMG_6775the shower head. Charley was not amused when he found her looking out at him brushing his teeth before bedtime. “What were you thinking?” he asked as he carried her to bed in his arms. “She likes it in there,” I murmured, shrugging as I edited my blog page. She rubbed her jaw against my lap top, nudged it around, then proceeded to chew on the corner,  apparently disgruntled to find  I was writing yet another blog post even though I explained that this one was about her. She flopped down next to me with a heavy sigh and tried to type in “Maru” on the screen. I lifted her paw from the keys and then she bit me.

I’ve come to the conclusion she loves Charley and merely tolerates me for my entertainment value. I can live with that.IMG_6791

Thank you for reading their story which was originally posted here and don’t forget to email us if you’d like to have your own story featured.

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52 thoughts on “Guest Star: The Other Cat

    • Claremary P. Sweeney says:

      Irene, Yes, I totally agree, but we adopted her when she was three years old. She arrived that way. We would never do that to a pet, but some people value their furniture more than their cats, it would seem. Very sad! Thank you for visiting and bringing up this important issue. Clare

        • Claremary P. Sweeney says:

          Irene, Our pets are so dependent upon us to give them the care they deserve for all the love and happiness they offer. You have beautiful pets of your own and they are very fortunate to live in a caring home. Ignorance is a terrible malady and when we recognize it, we must try to rectify it. I think your comments are truly warranted and glad that my post motivated you to speak out about this type of cruelty to animals. Clare

  1. franhunne4u says:

    Thank goodness declawing is not allowed here! I am grateful for obligatory no kill shelters, a “no declaw, no crop/clip”-laws (even if Dobermanns and boxer dogs look rather funny with unclipped ears) and cannot understand societies that allow this. I am waiting for breeds like the Sphynx-cat, the Persian with next to no nose, the munchkin cat to be forbidden – because for the Sphynx it means sun exposure is dangerous, Persians with next to no nose suffer from breathing problems and munchkin cats with their small legs could not defend themselves in a cat fight, could not defend themselves against dogs effectively, have problems jumping (as is natural behaviour in cats) ..
    All that said – Roxie seems to be a cat with cattitude! No wonder she results to biting when she cannot give you a warning with her claws ever so slightly put out!

    • Claremary P. Sweeney says:

      Yes, the Vet told us that is probably why she bites. We adopted her from a previous owner who had had her declawed. It is very sad and I try to explain to her why it is so important for her to stay safely inside with us. But she is an extremely curious kitty! I’m glad she came to live with us, though, because she is the source of much gaiety around our home. I think your comments about other cruelties toward animals for the sake of creating a “Look” are truly important, too. Thank you.

  2. Claremary P. Sweeney says:

    Hello, Marc. Thanks, so much for reblogging one of my “Roxie -The Other Cat” posts. She is strutting around the house as we speak – very proud of her notoriety today and letting ZuZu know about it. I’m afraid some of your readers did not catch the fact that Roxie arrived at our home, declawed by a previous owner, not by Charley and me. I totally concur with them that this is cruel and should be outlawed along with many other methods of altering an animal’s looks. I’m working on another Roxie post as we speak. But now I need to read some more of your posts. Again, Thanks, Clare

      • Claremary P. Sweeney says:

        Me, too. I really hope she has no bad memories of this experience, but the Vet seems to think that is why she’s so afraid during her visits. Our Vet is very kind and also practices homeopathic medicine. She seems to be able to keep Roxie calm even if that means doing the exam in the sink where she is hiding out. Again, Marc, Thank you for opening my blog up to some of your fantastic, caring followers. Clare

  3. loisajay says:

    Roxie is a riot! I love her ‘subtle’ hints to let you know what she likes and doesn’t like. And what is it with cats and water?! My little Parker would always keep me company in the shower if only it was a little bit bigger so she had more room to stretch out. Totally makes me laugh! This was adorable.

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