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Guest Blog: Magic the Cat Discusses Door-Handle Liberation December 16, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in cat anecdotes, cat stories, cats, pets, Uncategorized.
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I can reach the handle to the window/door. I am a big, strong cat, and I can reach that handle. Even the late old lady cat Marie, the strongest cat I’ve ever known besides me, could not reach the handle. She just stood at the door and asked and asked with her nagging meows. The other old lady cat, Nala, just waits quietly until someone opens it up for her. My gray-fluffy “sister,” Diva, tried to reach it and came up a foot short. A foot short—over a cat length short! I whacked at her. She looked ridiculous. And reaching the window/door handle is my thing.

Magic Reaches for the Door

I'm working my way toward door-handle freedom!

The humans use that handle thing to open the window/door that lets us get in and out of the house. They have different paws than us, so they can grab it somehow, and pull it to slide it. I am working on that. Someday I will get my paw to slide that thing, and I will not be so dependent on the humans.

This gets so annoying. One day we wanted to go out. It was a beautiful bright day. Richard kept saying “gardeners, gardeners.” I think he means the humans who come in with machines every once in a while. Carrie makes noises that sound like their machines to emphasize the point. They cut plants and grass, shoot air at leaves to make piles they pick up, spray water at plants—I don’t sweat them. If they upset me or get too close to me with their noisy machines, I just hiss at them like I do at the vacuum cleaner. 

The old lady cat, Nala, runs away like a little mouse whenever they show up. They obviously scare her. You know, I think the humans actually keep us all in just because Nala is afraid of the gardener-creatures! Stupid. But humans control the handle to the window/door.

I still expect to reach that handle and work it with my paw. But for now, the humans let me in and out. They know I’m close. Richard sees me reach for it. He rubs my belly and encourages me to grab it. Be careful what you wish for, Richard! I’m not putting on a show for you, fool. I’m going to do this and you know it! He does know it. That’s why he lets me out, the minute I ask. I roar at him—he calls it a meow—hop to it, Richard. And he opens that door. I know why. When I figure out how to work that handle, I will go outside whenever I want! Gardeners outside? It won’t matter. Handle-freedom is just a paw-grip away!

That’s why Richard lets me out whenever I ask. He knows if I ever learn to work that door, the power of in-and-out-of-the-house is mine! He pretends to encourage me, smiling, even laughing. Keep patronizing me—go ahead. I will attain handle-freedom. This is my destiny! Then we’ll see who is laughing.

Or, the humans will keep letting me out when I want to appease me. Either way…  I am Magic, the Magnificent Beast.

Magic Relaxing Outside

This is the life; lying around in the grass, taking some time off between naps. This is the life I will have whenever I want with door-handle liberation!

Previous Cat Posts:

Guest Blog: Farewell to Marie the Cat

Guest Blog: Marie the Cat Sets the Record Straight

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat with Some Serious News

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat Chimes In

Guest Blog: Farewell to Marie the Cat November 30, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in cat anecdotes, cat stories, cats, death of a pet, loss of a pet, pets, Uncategorized.
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Marie the Cat passed away a little over a month ago. This post involves thoughts from her fellow cats, the ones who shared a territory with her:

The Cats Rule Their Territory
The Cats Rule Their Territory: From left to right – Magic, Diva, Marie, Nala

_______

Magic:

Magic in his "Magnificent Beast" Pose

Magic in his "Magnificent Beast" Pose

She’s gone now. For days after they picked her up off the lawn and wrapped her in a sheet, I went to her spot and roared and roared—the humans call it meowing—“Where are you? I know you are sick. Where have you gone? There are supposed to be four cats here! Now I don’t see you anymore! We didn’t always get along, but you are supposed to be here! Where are you?” I got no reply. I stopped roaring from her spot. I guess it’s not her spot anymore. I think things were better when she was here. The other two cats with me now are pretty quiet. That just leaves one of us to keep the humans doing what they’re supposed to do. Just one of us to roar and roar. That’s what I do. My roaring and her little nag-meows—that was when things were really working around here.

Magic’s Previous Posts:

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat Chimes In

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat with Some Serious News

Nala:

Nala, the Quiet, Dignified One

Nala, the Quiet, Dignified One

I came to this place with three other cats. I was a kitty—my mommy Marie and my two brothers, Rafiki and Simba were the others. Rafiki got caught in a net—the humans kick round balls into it—and Rafiki froze. A few years later, my brother Simba went over the fence and was bit-up by a dog there. My brother did not see well, and didn’t see the dog in time. The men with loud machines who visit the house from time to time—the humans call them gardeners—were there when both of these terrible events happened. I don’t like gardeners. But now, something happened to my mommy, the one they call Marie. The gardeners weren’t there. She just froze out in the yard. The humans tried to bring me out to look at her, maybe one last time. But this scares me, and I squirmed and squiggled until they let me go somewhere else. I spent twelve years at this place with my mommy, and in her later years, she was too cranky to cuddle with. She especially did not like the younger cats they brought in, and I don’t think she liked that I tried to get along with them. (I like Diva—she’s cute and fluffy and easy to cuddle with. But Magic—he can be one of the rudest, loudest cats I’ve ever been around. Sometimes I have to whack him to remind him of his place.)

I know this means my mommy will not be around anymore. That’s what this freezing thing does to cats. I do miss her, especially when she meowed at the humans for water and food. She did all of that—I never had to. No one will replace her, but I think the humans will keep the food and water coming even without her reminders. They have so far. It was just nice to know my mommy would let them know about it if they were late with it, or forgot. Magic sort of does that, but he’s loud and goofy. I prefer for my mommy to do it, but she’s not around anymore.

Diva:

Diva, Posing as the "Mona Diva"
Diva, Posing as the “Mona Diva”

One of the old lady cats, the really old, grumpy one, is gone. She did not like me much. Everything I did annoyed her. I gave her lots of room. Will I miss her? Sure. There are three now instead of four. You know, the outside is a very scary place. Suddenly the old lady stopped moving. And the inside is also a very scary place. Those two-legged cats are big and make noises and move things, and grab us when maybe we just want to be invisible. One thing about that old lady cat—she hardly ever shrank from anything. She got right up to those big two-legged cats, the ones called humans, and told them what she thought. She got right under their feet, without fear or flinching. I will never be like her, and she was sometimes difficult with me. But it was nice to watch one of us tell the big ones what-for. I wish she could have gotten them to stop scaring me before she went away. I sometimes try to be like her. She used to pee on towels and sheets on the floor. But when I try to do it, the two-legged cats get real mad. They yell and scare me. If that old lady cat was still around, I would watch her, and try to learn how she did that without getting into trouble. I would have just stayed invisible around her, and watched, and learned. But I don’t see her anymore.

_______

Younger Marie, In her Prime
Younger Marie, In her Prime

Marie’s Post, Just Before She Passed Away: Marie Sets the Record Straight

Marie’s ashes will be spread around the yard she lived in and loved so much for almost twelve years.

Guest Blog: Marie the Cat Sets the Record Straight September 24, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in cat anecdotes, cat stories, cats, pets.
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I am Marie the Cat, and I should have been first to post at this blog, ahead of the one they call “Magic.” (Yes, yes, this is the blog of Richard Warren Field, author of The Swords of Faith. But I’m talking now, so you’ll have to do your swording and faithing some other time.) The humans never get much of anything right, so it isn’t surprising they let Magic give his thoughts first. I have spent my thirteen plus years of life trying to straighten humans out. They have capabilities I don’t have or I would just handle everything myself. But as it is, I keep them in line with a constant stream of short meows. Short and insistent. If you go too long with a meow, it can sound pleading, or pathetic, or maybe even—God forbid—cute. Cute doesn’t get things done. Cute does not get you taken seriously. Constant nagging meows—that’s what is needed. You get a lot done with short nagging meows. That’s been my life’s work. I’ll have more to say about that in later posts. But I need to set the record straight about this “serious news” Magic told you about.

This is me, Marie. This picture should have been placed at the beginning so you could see who I am. The humans didn’t ask my advice. But, here it is now.

It’s true, I had lost a lot of weight. I felt tired a lot. Forgive me, because we cats are clean, tidy creatures—but I’ll tell you, my poops were coming out loose and stinky, ugly business. Something wasn’t right. It could have been the green water I’d been sipping out of the neighbor’s pool. The humans think so. It could be those new cats they brought in—that loud and pushy Magic, and that insufferably cute ball of fluffy energy they call Diva! I am under a lot of stress here, keeping the humans in line and dealing with the new cats—that should be obvious to anyone. But whatever it was, I was not feeling my best. I even had trouble getting my nagging meows to come out. Just little airy utterances. The humans mess things up when I can’t keep them in line with my input.

One afternoon, the tall one with the hair on his face—Richard or Dad they call him—picked me up and put me in that portable cage thing with the handle. I don’t trust humans to be very smart about anything, but my experience with Richard is that he is often the least incompetent human. So I went in the portable cage. They took me to the big metal box that rolls on wheels and rolled it away from the house. They all came with me in the rolling box, all the humans, the one they call Carrie, or Mom, or Mommy, and the two humans who went from small to big over the years—Michelle the girl and Ryan the boy. They all came. They all doted on me. Of course, they could have brought along snacks if they had really wanted to be useful.

We got to the place they were taking me to; it’s the place they call the vet. A sad-faced human with a white coat kept looking at me, looking at my four humans, and kept shaking his head. He poked me. When it hurt, I gave him the best nagging meow I could generate.

Then the really scary thing happened. My four humans left. The vet people put me in a metal cage stacked up with a bunch of other metal cages and all my human housemates left. Many years ago, I was left in a place like that with three of my children—you call them kitties. One of them is the one they call Nala who still lives with me. Were they leaving me in this place because I have not been feeling my best lately?

The sad-faced white-coated man and some other humans in dark blue put me under a machine that flashed lights. They put up strange pictures of black and white, in front of lighted screens, then moved me back into a cage. What manner of weirdness was this? And everyone was forgetting about the snacks! Every occasion should have snacks, silly humans!

My humans returned. It probably wasn’t long, but it seemed forever. The sad-faced man pointed at me, shaking his head again. My humans then became sad-faced too. They looked at me with pity in their eyes. And their eyes seemed to water. I noticed the one they call Ryan—he looked a little put out, like he was not happy with the way things were going. Neither was I! I suspected Ryan and I might have had a similar mind on all of this at that point. Then, they left again. I wasn’t sure what to think. But whatever the humans were going to do, I wasn’t going to be able to stop them.

Then pretty quickly, my humans returned again. Richard said something to the sad-faced man and they brought over the cage with the handle to put me in—I hoped to go home. The sad-faced man looked surprised. I think he expected something else—that I wasn’t going home? I’m not sure. The sad-faced man shrugged. He shook his head one last time. And my humans took me back home.

Over the next days and weeks, I have to say, the humans did everything right. They brought food and water right up to me, wherever I was. No green water next door when bowls of fresh water are brought right up to me! And snacks! Treats! Of all sorts! Even table food the humans eat, like fresh-cooked chicken, fish, and sliced meats. I started to feel better. My meow voice came back.

That silly big black goofball cat Magic would hang around and sit near me. The other two cats left me alone. But not Magic. He thinks he’s running things now. But he’s not smart enough, and he has no sense of the short nagging meow! He does long, roaring meows. He’s big. He’s aggressive. He even has an oversized goofy kind of charm, though I will never let him know I feel that way. But he has no chance of keeping the humans in line the way I can.

Okay, there he is again—Magic the Cat as if he’s standing guard or something. Does he really think he can rule the yard and control the humans the way I can?

The humans did this weird thing about seven days after the vet, bringing long-stemmed glasses outside where I was resting. They were smiling, laughing, petting me, clinking the glasses, raising them, then drinking the liquid. They were so satisfied about something. Not me. I wanted to know, where were my snacks?

They’ve done that glasses thing a few more times. The treats have tapered off a little. And so, I have no choice. The humans are messing up again and I have my voice back; my meow-strength voice has returned. I have no choice but to stake out that place they call the kitchen, and the minute anyone goes in there to start doing anything with food, I get right next to their legs so they know I’m there, and meow constantly. They move—I move, meowing all the more. That is my thing. That is what I do. And believe me, the house is much better run now that I am back to keeping them in line.

Don’t ever doubt it—I rule my world wherever and whenever I am!

Marie the Cat passed away quietly during the early morning hours of September 26, 2010. We believe she was about 14 years old (this is difficult to know for certain). The vet gave her two to seven days to live after seeing her last August. She lived 43 days. She gained strength briefly, regaining her meowing voice, and treated us to her barrage of nagging meows right up to her final moments. She went out on her own terms. We will miss her.
RWF – 9/26/10

PREVIOUS CAT POSTS:

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat Chimes In

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat with Some Serious News

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat with Some Serious News September 12, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in cat anecdotes, cat stories, cats, pets, Uncategorized.
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Magic the Cat here, back for another post. There is something wrong with one of the old lady cats—the one they call Marie.

What? I have to do this again? Okay-fine. Richard wants you to know he is the guy who wrote The Swords of Faith, about Richard the Lionheart and Saladin clashing during the Third Crusade, and that he put up a bunch of posts about something called “The Pillars of the Earth” – yada/yada/yada. You happy now? Good. Let’s get back to the important stuff.

Something’s wrong with old lady cat Marie. Yes, yes, I told you in my first post she used to hiss at me when I was a kitty. She doesn’t really hiss at me anymore, though she’s still not exactly warm and welcoming. But she was here first. This was her territory when they brought me here. I watched her, saw where she went, saw the best places for a cat in this territory. I did learn from her, even when she was rude to me. And now there is something wrong with her.

She’s thin, so thin. If you rub up against her, you can feel ribs under fur. Her torso puffs out as she seems to work hard to take breaths. But, she still has the energy to push ahead of me to get to the food first. I used to push her out of the way—I’m stronger and quicker. Lately, I’ve been letting her go in front of me. I could dominate her. She’s so fragile. But I don’t.

The humans did something scary a few days ago. They put her in the box with the handle. The last time I remember that thing, my sister and I went to that place they call the vet. Like I’ve said before, I came back from there with parts missing. I wondered what parts they might take from Marie. How would they try to take her struggles away?

They came back. Marie came back too. I saw no parts missing. They pet her all the time and bring her extra food, table food and treats. (I will admit I have scored a few of those snacks myself, just hanging around in the vicinity. Yeah, why not?) They make sure she has water right wherever she lies down, even outside on the lawn. They pay a lot of attention to her. I hover around her; some of that attention rubs off on me too! It’s okay. I set aside my other concerns for now. Even Richard doesn’t seem like such a jerk in this situation. Marie perks up when she sees him. It was Richard who put her in that box to go to the vet. I wouldn’t have gone in that thing without a fight, but Marie didn’t even offer a protest. And believe me, that old lady cat isn’t shy about protesting most of the time! But she trusts Richard. Well, I’m not so sure about her judgment on that. Carrie’s better than Richard—I know that for sure. So Marie isn’t perfect; she doesn’t possess all cat wisdom. But I want to see her healthy. I hope she gets that way soon.

She's over there, in the shade of that bush. I'm standing by, just in case...

The fact is she still struggles. She spends most of her time outside, in soft shady areas, sleeping. The humans check on her constantly. They keep on bringing treats, and water. They pet her and say goofy, mushy things to her. I spend time near her. I don’t get too close—she still thinks of me as an intruder. But I know something else. I believe she’s glad I hang around near her. She doesn’t get up and rub up against me like she does when Richard comes to see her. (Ecch—rubbing up against Richard?) But she’s glad I’m here.

I’m still pretty young. I don’t have a lot of experience with this. But I don’t think a cat can go on like this. So what will happen? I’m going to wait close by to see.

_____________

It’s been two weeks. That grouchy old lady cat seems to be getting stronger, strong enough to keep up those short little snarling meows, like something is always bothering her. She’d stopped doing that for awhile. She’s strong enough to start doing it again—are we supposed to be happy about that?

But she still seems real thin to me. I see when the other old lady cat, Nala, catches something to eat. The creature she catches stops moving. And then, when we eat it, if Nala decides to share, it’s gone. Can that happen to cats? I mean, being gone.

Two times now, I’ve watched the humans come out with a bubbly drink inside of long stemmed glasses. They surround old lady cat Marie and clink the glasses together before drinking, smiling, even laughing, petting her, bringing her more treats. What strange creatures they are—these two-legged cats with no fur (except on top of their heads, or in Richard’s case, on his face—looks ridiculous on him), these two-legged cats we call humans, just to keep things straight.

She never shows it, but I really believe she is glad I am here with her, nearby.

Guest Blog: Magic the Cat Chimes In August 18, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in cat anecdotes, cat stories, cats, pets.
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My name is Magic the Cat. I am guest-blogging on Richard Warren Field’s blog today. He wants me to make sure you know he is the guy who wrote The Swords of Faith, just released a few weeks ago, about Richard the Lionheart and Saladin clashing during the Third Crusade. Yippee. Whoop-de-do. Read about it in his other posts, please. I’m not his publicist.

What else? Oh, and he wants to make sure people know he has been blogging about something called “The Pillars of the Earth” that comes on in that box the humans are always watching that he calls a television. You know—it has little bitty people trapped inside doing all kinds of strange, noisy things. I’ve seen cats in that box a few times, meowing and looking nausea-inducing cute—they better not try to put me in there!

Magic

This picture makes me look scrunched up. Hey Richard! Get a better picture of me!

To be honest, I don’t really like Richard very much. I share a home with him, with three other cats, and three other humans. I much prefer Carrie, Richard’s wife. I like to curl up with her, and when it’s really cold, go under the covers with her. That’s when Richard is really obnoxious—because he’s there. Why can’t he be somewhere else?

I’m a black cat. Totally black except for just a little around my eyes. But I reject the prejudices often associated with my type. I am not unlucky. My name is Magic, and I believe I probably am.

The other two humans are the children of Rick and Carrie. One is a grown girl named Michelle who calls me “Monkey.” That’s okay. I like her. The other child is a nearly grown guy named Ryan. He likes to grab me and cuddle me in sometimes awkward positions. He’s a pretty strong guy, and he means no harm, so I deal with it. That is, I deal with it unless Richard comes along. Richard thinks he’s going to pet me. Not if I can help it!

The other cats in my world are two old lady cats, Marie and Nala, and a fluffy gray cat named Diva who came to this place with me about a year ago when we were kitties. They say she’s my sister, but let’s be serious here. She’s small and fluffy, and I’m big and straight-haired. The old lady cat Marie hates me. She hisses at me when I try to cozy up to her or play. She likes Richard. That figures.

Richard’s going to ask me to do more of these blog entries. My life can be a little crazy. Like the time I went to a place they call the vet and came home with parts missing. That was a tough day. And then there’s all the drama trying to deal with the old lady cats. I will also comment on Richard calling me “Genghis Cat.” And about the day I chased a dragonfly. I have stories. Richard says I should tell them here. But maybe I should have my own blog. It’s bad enough I share Carrie with Richard. Why should I share a blog with him?

Magic the Cat

Great. Now I look like a psycho sitting on a toilet!