Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cat Pictures

More Cat Pictures


Just had to put up these cat pictures. These two adorable cats belong to my next-door neighbor CJ, who were once unwanted kittens. (I swear they make some of the best pets.) Aren’t they gorgeous? Actually, the photos don’t do them justice. They look even more beautiful in person (even if they’re not actually people).

My Heart Nearly Stopped

My heart nearly stopped, the first time I saw him: he was so beautiful. CJ snapped these pictures when Phooey was in one of his goofy moods. He’s a cat with a good sense of humor and a dramatic sense of timing. He has a long, bushy absolutely gorgeous tail. Oh, have I already used the word “gorgeous” many times? I think it’s time for me to whip out the thesaurus!

Phooey and his adopted brother simply adore CJ, who is a doting mom to them.


Long Cat!

It’s hard to tell from the photos just how robust – and long – Phooey is. I was totally floored the first time I saw Phooey—don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat that was so very long, a virtual locomotive (and a very furry one), I’d say! When he stretches out, I swear he becomes almost as long as CJ is tall—and CJ is a tall woman, tall and blond.


Boy Toy

He’s a boy toy, a toy cat, a feline gumby who lets you twist and turn him however you want. Drape him around your neck like a shawl if you want….well, maybe.

Spotted Nose

Maynard, who is 2 to 3 months younger than Phooey, is just as handsome as his brother. As you can see from the photo, he has spots on his nose. Unlike Phooey, who is sociable and just loves attention, Maynard tends to shy away from strangers. So it was a rare treat when he didn’t run away form me one day but let me sit and contemplate his nose. I most definitely can’t pick him up like Phooey. Even CJ has to be a little careful when she skritches him cause he can suddenly turn on you and claw you.

Big Boys

Phooey and Maynard are big cats. The last time CJ weighed them, which was about a week ago, they both weighed about 14 pounds. They’re not slim and trim like CJ. But then CJ is a fitness instructor, so of course she has to look fit. Maynard, being a much shorter cat than Phooey, feels heftier. They are both big boys—sometimes big, bad boys.

Calling for Cat Pictures

If anyone would like to share their cat pictures with me, I’d like to post them here. They can be pictures of your cats looking cute or funny or simply magnificent or anything else. (And of course, no animal should be harmed in shooting the photos.)


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Star Rating for Your Cat

What star rating would you give your cat?

This is the age of ratings. Since we rate books, movies, restaurants, hotels, and so on and forth, why not rate our cats as well? (Of course, we have to be prepared to have our cats rate us as their owners – or guardians, for those of you who live in Boulder, Colorado.)

Actually, I got the idea when I came across the writing of William Burroughs, who apparently was a cat lover. This is what he had to say about his cat:

“I award Fletch a four-star cuteness rating. Like most qualities, cuteness is delineated by what it isn’t. Most people aren’t cute at all, or if so they quickly outgrow their cuteness…”

Now, to help you rate your cat, I’ve listed a few of the attributes you might consider. These are just suggestions. You can add to this list or make up an entirely new one.

Good looks
Good manners
Sense of Humor
Energy level

The lowest rating is 1 star; the highest is 5 stars. You can rate your cat on each of the above qualities, or you can come up with an overall rating—or you can do both!

Here’s how I rated Mittens, a half-Siamese cat with an intriguing midline on her face that I’ve been taking care of:

Cuteness 5 stars
No comments necessary!

Good looks 4 ½ stars
I’d say 5, but I don’t want her to get too stuck up

Intelligence 4 stars
She can open doors and she’s got me trained to feed her on command when she vibrates her tail. So I’d give her 5 stars except that she couldn’t help me fix the audio on my Skype.

Sociability 1 star
She’s getting better though she’s still rather skittish. She’s sort of okay when the neighbors knock on my door but when Pixie – that’s her real owner – comes over, she runs and dives under my bed.

Good manners 1 star
She really needs to devote a few afternoons to reading Miss Manners. It looks horrible when she – ahem, presents herself to be butt-whacked. Let’s just say that the view never improves. Not only that, she seems to prefer orienting her rear end towards me instead of her face. Never known a cat to do this.

Sense of Humor 5 stars
See above.

Energy level ½ star
She ran around pell-mell the other day—I’m sure it’s only because that was one of the few times that I had to do some catch-up sleep during the day. Otherwise, she has the energy of a slug on a winter day. It’s hard to interest her in any cat toys. Well, she is a somewhat older cat. At least she patrols the back patio on a daily basis.

Literacy 5 stars
I know that she surreptitiously reads all my books. (Shhh, don’t tell her that her secret is out.) Every time I mention books to my friends, she butts in with commentaries. It’s uncanny how she knows what I’m talking about.

I hereby give Mittens an overall rating of 5 stars! I know that doesn’t compute, but I’m never been good at math.

So, what star rating did you give your cat? I hope you gave 5 stars at least!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Overweight Cats

First, my apologies for this long absence. I was caught up in deadline mania and failed to realize how long it had been since my last posting.

Today, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Mittens, the Siamese with fungal infection of the sinuses who at one point was so emaciated that she was in danger of fatty liver disease, is most definitely out of the danger zone. The vet is elated with the cat's progress. She has to continue taking her medication for at least several more months, but she's definitely improving. She is so energetic now that she was galloping around the apartment the other day, keeping me from sleeping.

Now for the bad news. Mittens is officially overweight. She weighs 10 1/2 pounds, which is at least a pound and a half more than she should. The healthy weight range for adult cats is 7 to 9 pounds. If your cat is a bigger sized cat -- like a Maine Coon -- then you have more leeway. My neighbor CJ has a cat who's exceptionally long. He weighs 14 pounds but does not look fat.

But Mittens. Alas. She is a small-boned cat so every ounce she gains shows. I was so eager to fatten her up that I'm afraid I went overboard.

Some people think that overweight cats are cute but in fact it's not healthy. Just like with people, overweight is not healthy.

I'm now feeding her cat food for less active cats. Trying to resist feeding her every time she begs for food -- which she does with alarming frequency.

I am also trying to get her to play more, but she is not particularly interested in cat toys. I am going to have to implement strategies to help her lose her excess weight -- and above all, to keep her from gaining more weight.

Do you have cats that are overweight? How are you facing the challenges of slimming down an overweight cat?