<$cats, rats, pets, advice$>

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Five Seasons

As everyone knows, there are four official seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Then there's those unofficial semi-seasons such as Indian Summer and Blackberry Winter that occur every couple of years. What I'm proposing is a fifth season, a season that can be counted on like flowers in the spring and leaves turning in the fall. This fifth season is Puke Season.

Every cat owner knows about Puke Season. It usually begins around late spring and runs through mid-summer, ending sometime after Independence Day. This is the time of year when cats shed and ingest an extraordinarily large amount of fur, which then gets regurgitated on your favorite rug or carpet...or shoes or jacket or pillow or quilt. Cats puke anyway, sometimes I swear it's because they think its fun to listen to us curse, but during Puke Season, it's a 24/7 activity.

Puke Season came late this year at my house. We sailed through spring and summer with only an odd hairball here and there, but for the last two weeks, I've been on my knees with the papertowels and cleaner several times a day. Fall is my favorite season, but not when it coincides with Puke Season.

Monday, October 23, 2006


This is Poncho. He belongs to Cathy, one of my co-workers. He just came back from the vet (got neutered...ouch!) and is spending the afternoon under my desk in his carrier because my office is in a quiet, out-of-the-way spot where he won't be discovered. He's being a VERY good boy...no meowing, no fussing about. He's a great office mate! I'm going to shut my door in a little while and let him roam around, though I imagine he's a bit sore and is probably enjoying the peace and quiet.

My office is decorated for Halloween and includes several big, black, stuffed cats. If Poncho holds real still, he'll blend in.

I Want My Lawyer!

Hey, jailer! Let me out of here! I'm innocent, I tell you! Hey! What about my phone call, huh? What about my phone call! I want to call my lawyer, you hear! I'm innocent! I don't belong behind bars! GET ME MY LAWYER!!!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Paper Towels = Good Time

The ratkins love to play with clean paper towels. Every now and then, I put one in the bottom of their cage and then watch as they haul it up to their nest on the top floor. It's then shredded and incorporated into their CareFresh bedding or arranged in their hammock. One of the nice
things about ratties is they're
easy (and cheap) to please.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Things You Wish Someone Had Told You Were Bad Ideas

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Marcy Marcella Ratty Rat was restless, leaping back and forth on the lower level of her cage. I was in the middle of doing laundry and making muffins and couldn't stop to play with her. So I stopped up the bathtub and put her in it, closing the sliding doors. Twenty minutes went by.

I checked on her, and what do I find but a tub full of smelly rat poo. She had lots of vegetables for dinner, which, well, make rat poo rather soft and stinky and plentiful. Then putting ratty in an unfamiliar place just inspired her bodily functions.

Moral of this story: an unwatched rat always soils.