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Jan. 23rd, 2011

Marley in his bandana

Cats - an observation about insanity

What is it about a cat toy that makes it so irresistible to one kitty, yet abhorred -- or even worse -- ignored, by another in the same household?


Case and point:  Butternut, one of our two female tabbies, loves crazies.  Crazies – those plastic, wavy circular rings (much like the plastic rings off of a plastic milk jug) that one can pick up at just about any grocery store or pet store.  She will bat those things around for hours and in fact, in our old apartment, used to take particular delight in using our oven and refrigerator as her “goal posts”.  It was always quite the sight to see hubby on hands and knees with a crooked wire coathanger “fishing” out the endless crazies from under the aforementioned appliances, as all the while Butternut would diligently stand guard beside him, excitedly waiting as he retrieved each one (from memory, I think he’s rescued more than ten in one expedition before).


 Boo, our younger female tabby has a particular penchant for mice.  Specifically the little faux fur covered mice that again, the supermarket or pet store sell – quite often in a six pack as well as individually.  Unlike our other cats, she’s never peeled them, thank god (nothing worse than standing on a one-eyed, peeled toy mouse at two in the morning), but she does wash them occasionally.  However, her favorite pastime with her mice is to bat them maniacally down the hallway at lightning fast speeds, with absolute disregard for not only objects that might have been potential obstacles prior to meeting Boo’s fur of fury, but also people and their personal space and/or safety. 


We realize that Boo’s unwillingness to recognize that the residents and their guests of the house have a right to travail the halls in peace is a simple result of her unwavering one-mindedness whilst in hot pursuit of her rabid toy mouse, rather than disdain for others in her path, yet still it does not make it any easier to make it to the bathroom in time, or to the front door without spilling one’s mocha, when a ten pound ball of fluff is terrorizing the hallways at frightening speeds as she closes in on her "escaping" victims.


All this aside, it’s highly amusing to watch them play of course.  It’s one of the pleasures of sharing one’s home with a pet, undoubtedly.Sure the companionship is a lovely bonus but watching my pets play brings me a sense of relief from a stressful day, and sometimes it’s just nice to see silly, crazy, death-defying stunts, all in pursuit of something as fruitless as chasing a little red dot that bounces along the carpet and walls.  Perhaps it has more to do with superiority; after all, we humans of such superior intellect wouldn’t blindly pursue something in order to catch it and play with it, right?  Exactly.


Which is why sports such as Frisbee, basketball, football, etc., are so unpopular. :o) *ahem*


So, to finish up with the biggest dork in our household (next to yours truly), I must of course mention the man of the hour, our humongous, puppy-cat, our tuxedo, Marley.  Perpetually emo, Marley is definitely more attached to my husband than I, despite my attempts for us to bond.  For whatever reason, it’s my husband whom he insists on snuggling with and it’s my husband who can do no wrong in Marley’s ever-adoring eyes.  Perhaps it’s because I hold the little fucker whilst hubby is clipping his claws, that keeps the barrier up between us.  I don’t know.  I love him to death however, and just chalk his tantrums and moodiness up to him as an individual.  We can’t all be mellow and chill.


Anyway, moods aside, when it comes to toys, our Marley has an embarrassing obsession.  One might even venture to say he has a fetish, a foot fetish to be precise. 


I inadvertently discovered this whilst giving myself a pedicure about six years or so ago; right after we’d rescued Marley from homelessness.  He was a very sweet boy, a playful young cat, but I had never predicted this. 


I had used those foam toe separators one places when painting one’s toes and as I was attempting not to mangle the polish, Marley trotted over and grabbed one RIGHT OFF MY FOOT and ran away with it.


 Now I’ve lived with several cats throughout my youth and adolescence but had absolutely NO point of reference for this experience, so I sat there stupefied, trying to makes sense of what happened, when the little fucker CAME BACK and proceeded to ambush my other foot and run off with his foam prize.  Again, no words could come to mind except: WTF?


At first I thought it was a one-off thing, he was bored or what-have-you, but no, Marley would absolutely not allow me to use the foam separators (much to the amusement of my hubby).  He just went crazy at the sight of them and the sound of them (if we rubbed the foam together) would make him positively giddy with excitement.  If you wanted to get his attention or if you couldn’t locate him in the house, all you had to do was rub one of those suckers and Mar would appear in a heartbeat.


He rather embarrassed us at the last apartment we lived in prior to purchasing our house.  The apartment doors in this building ran down an interior hallway and as we got off the elevator and approached our door (on more than one occasion) we saw, to our embarrassment, a couple of foam toe separators wedged under the door and waiting on the door step.  God knows what the neighbors thought we were doing with them.


 Not only does Marley like to carry them around with him (he’ll sometimes meow in a Tom Cat voice around 2pm as he carries his foam “victim” in his maw) but he also likes to use them as hockey pucks and bat them or wedge them under closet/cupboard/external/internal doors, with no end in sight.  Even better is when we find one in his food dish or water bowl.  I think the weirdest one was the one we found perfectly perched on his water bowl (see the below photo we took of it).  It absolutely was not placed there by us but you’d swear it was posed.  I have no idea what he was doing at the time with it but we had to take a photo of it as it was the weirdest (and funniest) placement of his toe separators that we had ever seen.



And yes, that was toe separators plural.  As the pathetically manipulated pet owners that we are, we indulge our four-legged fur balls’ odd behaviors and obsessions.  Thus, we started buying him toe separators when we’d go on trips, etc.  He’s been indulged with toe separators from distant, exotic locales such as Hawaii and Australia.  In fact the one in the photo is from our 10th year anniversary trip to Hawaii.  Aye, the boy is spoiled.


He’s also rediscovered his “fishy”.  A worn out, salmon-colored, cloth fish toy that was initially, stuffed with some pristine catnip but as time rolled by was regularly washed, chewed and batted around by our various felines.  But inevitably, the fish would always end up back with Marley.


Much to Marley's chagrin, we finally retired fishy a year or so ago because frankly, it was gross.  By this stage it had a gaping hole in the fabric (due to over-abuse courtesy of rough kitty tongues) and felt nasty, but kept it so we’d remember what it looked like should we stumble upon another.  Well, we haven’t discovered a replacement for it yet but I did find it the other day and threw it on the floor for a second to see if it still held the same appeal.


That poor fish didn’t stand a chance.


Marley accosted it within seconds of making visual contact. I swear, we should have cued the violins and butterflies as they pranced about together; old lovers reacquainted.


Within seconds he was literally dry-humping it; alternating between rolling around on the floor with it (in the kind of moment that made me really want to leave the room to offer them some privacy) and licking the poor, holey fish to death.  That thing was plastered with Marley slobber and of course then dried flat, stiff as a board after he was done with it.  Totally nasty.


And then Boo discovered it.  One would think that a cat, an animal allegedly in possession of highly-keen senses, would be slightly deterred from playing with an object that has been molested in every way possible by another cat but for Boo, Marley may as well have marinated and dressed a nice roast for her.  Boo pounced and slobbered over that poor, abused fish in a way that made me almost feel more than a little bad for the toy.


But for all the toys out there; the crazies, the mice, the toe separators, holey-fish, you name it, there’s still one thing that beats them all: companionship.  It may sound cheesy but it’s true.  Cats typically are not solitary creatures (of course there’s always an exception to the rule), and I know my cats, although they love to play, they always have much more fun if they are playing with one another, or with us.  The great goofballs.


And as far as cat toy arsenal, I think the most basic cat toys are often the ones that are ever popular.  Give a cat a scrunched up piece of foil, a plastic ring from a milk jug, an empty paper bag, or a ball of string any day and see what happens.


Just make sure to watch from a spot where your toes are safely tucked in and out of the way.  And if you have a hallway as we do, make sure you aren’t in their pathway, lest you get mowed down by an insane ball of fur terrorizing the house. 


You don’t want to be in the path of your little tornado. 


I think ultimately, our cats are a great reminder to us that just when we think we as people can't get any more fucked up or crazy, there's a mental feline waiting to fly down from their secret corner and accost an innocent ball of string or toy and to hell with appearances.  And that helps make us feel a little more normal.



~ D ~


Nov. 26th, 2010

Marley in his bandana

Bret, Bret, go away... puhlease

Is it just me or are these billboards around town promoting Bret Michaels' tour just downright creepy? I realize a significant amount of airbrushing/photoshop/contact lenses went into the final result but the posters plastered everywhere are unnerving.

And dude....please lose the bandanna.

May. 22nd, 2009

Marley in his bandana

CubeSpacepdx is in big trouble. :o(

Read their blog. Maybe you, or someone you know, can help:


Apr. 25th, 2009

My plumeria star

F!ck - speeding is bad y'all

So R decided after a long straight stetch of highway on I84 near Yakima that he wld see if he cld get the car up to 90 (without discussing w me first). As soon as he starts to inform me he also sees a sherriff patrol car...you know where this is going.


$240 base fine for doing 81 in a 65 mph zone. He has been apologizing non-stop and told the sheriff he was sorry and stupid too but argh I can't believe he did that. It's very windy, which the cop noted on the ticket and let us have until June 1 to pay or appear in court to contest it which was nice of him.

Man. Our first ticket in 10 yrs.
My plumeria star

Road trip - woohoo

Actually we're on our way as I type this (on hubby's Blackberry) to Fairfield, a little town just outside of Spokane, Washington for Robert's family reunion tomorrow where descendents from several states converge once a year.

Apparently his family were one of the main founders of Fairfield. It's pretty cool looking at all the photos from the 1800s and 1900s and the accompanying stories.

Also, the Fairfield Museum are being very kind and opening their doors to us all on Sunday afternoon so we can walk over from the big old church where the reunion is held and browse thru their old records and pics and other memorabillia which we're quite excited about actually.

Of course right now we still have another five or so driving hrs ahead of us first. Urgh


Apr. 15th, 2009

Marley in his bandana

Writer's Block: Life Changes

What change have you made in your life that you're most proud of?

The person I've become since I've been with Robert.

Mar. 18th, 2009

Marley in his bandana

Natasha Richardson

I was very sad to hear about Natasha Richardson's accident. Natasha Richardson is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, wife of Liam Neeson.

From what TMZ are reporting, it does sound like she is in fact, brain dead. I feel so awful for her poor family too.


Mar. 9th, 2009

Marley in his bandana

Writer's Block: Almost Famous

What celebrity do you think looks like you? What celebrity do other people say you look like?
Gumby, the later years.

Mar. 5th, 2009

Marley in his bandana

Happy B'day R!

Happy birthday to my beautiful boy - my hubby Robert (aka Klingonporn) who turned 38 today. :o)

Love you matey.

Feb. 17th, 2009

Marley in his bandana

(no subject)

One day late but...

Bon Voyage starfish82 !!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful time in NZ and can't wait to hear about your travels when you return. :o)

We'll look after Bridget Jones until your safe return.


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