Not All Cats Are The Same

We took Elvis to the vet’s yesterday for a check-up and some blood tests. The blood test required him to not eat for 12 hours beforehand, and it got me thinking about how different our cats are.

When Lola went to have her teeth cleaned back in January she wasn’t allowed to eat beforehand either. And she spent almost all of the 12 hours loudly voicing her displeasure at the lack of food. The result of that was a very restless night, as she kept us awake with all her yelling.

Elvis on the other hand didn’t yell. He was very quiet. But each time that it was close to a meal time he would do his best Puss In Boots impression, with the widest eyes he could muster, and give the sweetest questioning meow. And then when I fed the others but not him he looked at me with such a bewildered and betrayed expression..!

As far as I can remember we haven’t had to withhold food from Sampson at any time, so I don’t have any evidence of how he’d react. But given that he’s so very food oriented I can’t imagine it would be fun for anyone involved. I expect he would get very hangry, and almost definitely take out his frustrations on the two cats that would be getting fed.

Hopefully we won’t have to find out!

Love,

Lady Joyful

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The Wolf, The Sheep and The Cabbage

Elvis on the CabinetYou might be looking at that title and thinking “that’s a weird title to have on a blog about cats!”

You’d be right to be confused. And you can blame husband for that.

I should start by explaining a bit about our cats. If you’re a regular reader of my posts you probably already know something about them!

A lot of the time our three cats get on fairly well. They’re by no means the best of friends, and you’re unlikely to see them snuggling up together.

That's a pretty vicious looking "sheep"!
That’s a pretty vicious looking “sheep”!

But from time to time they’ll permit nose kisses or a friendly licking session. Sometimes they’ll even play together.

Sometimes though those play sessions get a bit rough. A bit hissy. And that’s where the title of this post comes in.

If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s a logic puzzle. You have a wolf, sheep and cabbage and you have to get them across the river, but you can only have one in the boat at the time. You can’t leave the wolf and sheep together, because the wolf will eat the sheep. If you leave the sheep and the cabbage together, the cabbage will get eaten. The puzzle is to work out how to get them all across without anyone getting eaten.

Hopefully I haven’t lost you!

So, how husband came up with this analogy…

Sampson in the Scratch HouseAt bedtime we have to have Sampson not behind a door because he scratches awfully (even with sticky back plastic up! Although I think this new brand is less sticky which may be the problem…) But then Elvis kept bothering Lola at night, keeping us awake with the sound of bickering. We figured we’d have Elvis through with us as well which solved that problem.

That reminded husband of the logic puzzle. Lola is obviously (according to husband!) the sheep. The problem was between Elvis and her, which means Elvis is the wolf. Therefore Sampson is the cabbage. It’s fitting, because sometimes he seems to have the brains of a cabbage..!

But sometimes… the cabbage attacks the wolf. And that seems to be where the analogy falls apart!

Love,

Lady Joyful

Elvis Has Entered The Building

Elvis Has Entered The BuildingWhen I first moved to Finland husband (boyfriend at the time) and I were living with his parents for a while. Once we were able to move into our own flat, our girls Lola and Maisi came with us.

Very soon after moving we happened to visit the local cat rescue centre for one of their open days. We didn’t go with the plan of adopting another cat, but we were open to the idea.

The rescue centre had 5 or 6 rooms, each with several cats in them. I think it was the very first room we went into that we spotted a tabby and white cat curled up on one of the beds. He gave us a curious look, and I approached to see if he’d let me stroke him.

Elvis Has Entered The Building 2I didn’t go to look in any of the other rooms. That cat had accosted me, and took up all my time demanding love. He purred and pushed against me, and even rolled to show me his tummy. I was smitten!

Husband had a look at the information on the door to try and work out which cat he was. One on the list seemed to have a matching description – an older tabby boy by the name of Tesla. I liked the name, and the cat.

As it turned out the list was not up to date. In fact this was a different older (by rescue centre standards) tabby boy. His name was Elvis.

Elvis Has Entered The Building 3I’ll be honest, it’s not a name I would have picked. But I was hardly going to let that stop me.

We told them we wanted to adopt him. The problem was, we needed to let the girls settle in to the new flat first. We decided to wait a week.

It was a nervewracking week. I was constantly worrying that someone else would adopt him. Why wouldn’t they? He was a lovely, cuddly fluffball!

Thankfully nobody did, which meant we were eventually able to bring him home. Lola and Maisi weren’t too impressed with him, despite his best efforts to befriend them once we let them see each other.

Elvis Has Entered The Building 4When we sadly lost Maisi to a sudden illness nearly a year after getting Elvis, we were all the more glad to have him. Though he and Lola still weren’t best of friends I felt (and still feel) that it is good for her to have another feline friend. And I’ve no doubt he’d be friends with her if she let him – after all, he loved it when we had foster kittens for him to snuggle!

Even now Elvis (or as we tend to call him, Leli) is a friendly, cuddly boy. I can’t believe nobody tried to adopt him during that week, given what a wonderful cat he is. But their loss is our gain!

Love,

Lady Joyful

Little Princess

Lola came to us with her sister Maisi when they were kittens. Twelve weeks old and very exuberant!

Sleepy LolaA few weeks earlier we’d started our search for a cat. We knew we wanted a kitten, and the local rescue centre had some kittens available. They sent us some pictures. Looking at the picture below husband said “those white ones look a bit… ratty… let’s get one of the black ones.”

pennutwm

We arranged to go and visit the kittens at their foster home. When we arrived we were told that the boys had all already been reserved. That left the two girls – the left and right most kittens in the picture. Yes, the “ratty” white kittens.

In life they weren’t so ratty. In fact they were quite lovely! We very quickly fell in love with the kitten that would later become Maisi – the kitten on the right of the picture. She came to greet us and was very happy to cuddle up on my lap. We asked to reserve her.

The other girl kitten was a bit wilder than her siblings. She was running around a lot, playing with everything. Not scared of people, but not interested in being with them. A bit of a hellion. I was happy with our choice of her staid sister.

But…

Little HellionWouldn’t it be good for the kitten to have a companion? A playmate? And that poor little mischief-maker was the last kitten in need of a home…

The next thing I knew we had agreed to adopt both the girls. We filled out the required paperwork and said goodbye to go back home and eagerly await the day that the kittens would be old enough for coming to live with us.

When the day finally came we were of course ecstatic to get our little sweeties home with us. It became clear that our first impressions of the pair were pretty accurate. They both had their playful sides, and both wanted cuddles too. But Maisi was generally soft, sweet and cuddly, whilst Lola was a bit crazy, hyperactive and independent.

I figured Lola would calm down with age. Kittens have a lot of energy, after all. Well… at six years old she’s still very energetic. She runs around like a crazy thing, and yells at the top of her voice for no good reason. And it can be frustrating, annoying, and downright irritating.

But that’s Lola. And we love her. Even if she sometimes drives us up the wall!

Love,

Lady Joyful

Too Much?

Too Much?We’re in the middle of another cross-country move. (And yes, the last one was only a year ago!) The move itself took place a couple of days ago so now we just have all the unpacking, organising, and settling in to do! Actually I moved a while ago as my new job started at the beginning of August, which is why I haven’t been around here much since then. But now husband and the cats have joined me (at last!)

As I said, this is the second time we’ve done a cross-country move in about a year, and it got me thinking about how much Sampson has moved from home to home in the last couple of years.

This move, from the North of Finland to the South – that’s one. Two was last year’s move from the South to the North. Move number three was about four months before that when he came all the way from England to join us.

When he was in England he was staying temporarily with a friend of ours. He moved there (move number four) from staying briefly at my mum’s new house, to which he’d arrived (move five) from my older brother’s. And he had gone there (move six!) from my mum’s old house!

Too Much? 2Six moves (assuming I’m not forgetting any) in less than two years. That’s a lot of moving for one cat! Especially considering three of them were long distance.

Living in six different homes in two years could get very stressful for a cat. (Probably for a human too!) I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. Sampson has coped very well with it all, most likely because all of those homes (aside from the one when he was with our friend) were with people he had known all his life.

He was fine living at my mum’s old house because he’d always lived there. He was fine being at my brother’s when my mum moved, because he’d known my brother since he was a kitten. He was fine being at my mum’s new house because, again, the people were familiar.

He settled in quickly after his move from England because he’s known me his whole life. In fact we’ve often got the impression he thinks I’m his mummy – he was only 6 weeks old when he came to us (a story for another day, perhaps) and was very attached to me to start with. Which certainly made it easier for him to get used to living with us in Finland.

Too Much? 3And of course the other moves since then have still been with us, so the people and things in the flat have been consistent even if the location hasn’t been.

But for all three of the cats’ sake (and ours!) I do hope we don’t have to move again for a while! (And certainly not cross-country!)

Love,

Lady Joyful

Have you moved homes with your cats? Did they settle in easily to the new home, or did it take a while? How did you help ease the transition?

A Bag of Cat

Why do cats love bags so much? Is it the noise the make? Something about the way they feel? The easy shelter they provide when you’re snuggled up inside?

A Bag of CatLola is very fond of bags. Plastic or paper, back pack or handbag, she’ll sit on (or in!) them all.

We tend to try and keep large paper bags if we get them, so that she can play with them for a few days. One of her favourite things to do, when hyper, is run and jump at the paper bag. The result is rather noisy!

A Bag of Cat 2She’ll also slide into them at times. Again, this is quite noisy. The main difference between the sliding and the run-and-jump is that the sliding usually results in a rest in the bag, whilst run-and-jump will probably be repeated a few times.

A Bag of Cat 3Whilst paper bags are, for the most part, far more animal friendly than plastic ones, we cat owners must be careful of handles! On one of her slides Lola managed to get part way through the handle, and stopped there for her rest phase. Whilst she probably would have been able to get herself back out, we decided it would be best to cut through the handles so that she couldn’t trap herself.

Bags can be fun but make sure they’re safe fun!

Love,

Lady Joyful

Companionship

Lola has many places that she likes to sleep. The Princess Pod, in the cat tree, on the computer chairs, and on top of the computers. When we’re using the computers though she will also come and sleep between the keyboard and the computer screen.

CompanionshipKeyboards are of course a popular sleeping place for many cats. Laptop keyboards especially can be nice as they get lovely and warm, and we all know cats enjoy being warm!

Companionship 2I wonder though if there’s another reason for cats’ love of the computer area. Perhaps it has something to do with our love of the computer area! We humans do tend to spend a lot of time at the computers, after all.

Companionship 3Perhaps cats’ interest in computers is, at least in part, a result of us being there. It lets them be close to us whilst they sleep. A bit of companionship. And of course it makes it very easy to reach out and request a stroke. Or food!

Love,

Lady Joyful