subscribe
categories
past ponderings
admin

cat tales

Roger

My cats are funny. Sure, I may be a little biased, but for the most part, Trey and I live with a small collection of the world’s most distinctly individual feline personalities…and they’re all pretty hilarious.

Roger

I was still living with my parents after college, but having independence issues, when I got my first cat, Tempe.  I bought her at the little pet store that used to be in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.  When my parents realized I had gotten a kitten without their permission, they were pretty peaved.  So, what was my logical next move?  Obviously, it was to get another cat.  I went back to that pet store honestly only looking to get some fun cat supplies for Tempe, and that’s when I fell in love with Roger.  He was a tiny poof of furry tiger stripes with bright white lines around each of his eyes.  He was terrifed and stared up at me with a look that I was certain meant “are you my mommy?” OF COURSE I AM!  The pet store owner told me that he had been brought in earlier that day with his sister:  a woman was driving to Greenville from Charlotte and heard a strange squealing noise coming from the hood of her car.  When she finally pulled over to check it out, she found 2 little long hair black tabbys curled up next to her window washing fluid.  It’s a miracle they were safe!  Roger’s sister had gotten adopted immediately, which meant that poor Roger was all alone in his kitty cage just waiting for me to come by and rescue him.  Yes, I am a complete and total sucker for baby animals. 

I named him Roger after Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (formerly The Refreshments).  For that matter, I’d named Tempe after Tempe, Arizona: the Peacemakers’ hometown.  I was a little obsessed in the early 2000s. 

As Roger grew up, it became glaringly obvious that he loved me with all his heart, and was utterly terrifed of every other human being who ever lived.  He’s my sweet man, my love, my cuddler and my bathroom buddy.  Let me explain:  Roger has an allergy to regular cat food (in short, one of the main ingredients gives him kidney stones), which meant that, while the other cats could eat their dinner in the kitchen, Roger had to take his meals alone in the bathroom.  Once he started howling, I’d go in there and wash my face, or use the potty, or anything, and he’d purr and happily chow down on his horribly expensive cat food. 

 A few notable Rogerisms:

  • Roger loves feet.  A lot.  Fetish isn’t a strong enough word.
  • Roger is scared of you.  Unless you’re me.  Or Trey.
  • Roger is gay.  He fell in love with a sweet yellow tabby boy cat named Milo years ago and hasn’t looked at a woman since. 
  • Roger is prettier than you, and he knows it. 
  • Roger is a mama’s boy.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Roger hates reading…well, he hates it when I read.  Any time I pick up a book, he’ll curl up right on top of the pages so that I can’t see any of the words.
  • Roger likes to be held like a toddler, and will literally hug me around the neck.

much ado about frank

For those of you who have met her, you have to admit, Frank is a beautiful cat.  She has the most expressive eyes.  And she’s a flirt…tell her you love here and she gives you the slow blink.  Watch her from across a room and she’ll wink at you.  She loves people and likes (okay, tolerates) most dogs.  She’s incredibly graceful (probably more so when you compare her to Rufus who runs into walls and lights his tail on fire).  She makes new friends with just about everyone who enters our home.  And she always, ALWAYS knows when you need a hug. 

The other night, Trey and I were sitting on the couch watching TV and Frank curled up in my lap and promptly fell asleep.  And I had an epiphany:  Sleep helps you fall in love. 

When Trey and I were first dating, we spent hundreds of lunch breaks eating sandwiches and taking 20 minute cat naps before going back to work.  We had countless movie nights that ended in us falling asleep together on the couch. When we spent Christmas with Trey’s family, Makayla fell asleep in my lap numerous times while I sang Silent Night softly in her ear.  And the other night, when Frank was dozing in my lap, I was overcome with love for her.  There something so peaceful and innocent about a sleeper.  There’s something so serene and vulnerable that you wrap them in your arms.  There’s a magic there that makes you power through your arm falling asleep and tingling and your fingers going numb just so you don’t have to wake them.  It’s true!  When our tv show was over and it was time to go to bed, I sat there for a long time because I just couldn’t bear to move and wake Frank.  But I moved.  And she woke.  And I kissed her goodnight on the top of her furry head and she lazily rolled over and fell back asleep.

Frank is also the most photogenic of our three cats.  Even her “bad” shots are adorable.  She’s the girl who you think you’re sneaking a candid shot of but who has crazy camera radar and immediately cheezes just as soon as you click.  She’s Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother,” who’s never taken a bad photo…ever.  And there’s a very good reason for that:  she’s just that darn cute. 

Even now….

A few weeks ago, Frank did what I didn’t know was possible.  She lost a tooth.  I didn’t know cats did that.  Not like people do anyway.  But sure enough, one night, Trey and I noticed she was shaking her head a lot, and upon closer inspection we noticed that her top left front fang was loose.  On a person it’d be the canine tooth…but somehow that seems strange when describing a cat.  We called the emergency vet who assured us that it was perfectly normal and there was no danger to her if her tooth fell out, “she’s got plenty others,” he said.  And the next day, sure enough, out the tooth came.  And Frank didn’t seem to notice other than the fact that she looked funny when she ate. 

Now, weeks later, you don’t even notice her tooth is gone.  Except for one thing: without the top left fang there for her upper lip to lay against, her lip keeps getting caught on the bottome left fang…which causes her to make this face.  “Something stinks” face.  “Huh?” face.  And, I say this out of love, it’s pretty freakin hilarious.

shave and a haircut

It’s coming on summer now… Wait.  Who am I kidding?  It’s 97 degrees here at 10am, it’s SUMMER.

Anyway, my point is that, in this heat, the cats shed like crazy.  So, to make them less miserable in the heat, and to keep me from having to vacuum 3 times a day, we like to give the boys a haircut.  Since Roger is a true gentleman and keeps his coat clean and shiny, we just buzz his belly to make him feel cooler without making him look ridiculous. Rufus, on the other hand, needs a bit more…attention.

With the help of our trusty travel drugs from the vet, I set out to re-buzz Rufus…from head to toe.  Let me tell you, Rufus is a mean drunk. Somehow, even when he can’t walk in a straight line (not that he can do that anyway), Rufus can bite you on the ELBOW before you even see him lunge. 

Shaving Rufus for the summer is like shearing a sheep: a mean, rabid, nazi sheep who’s pissed that he has to get a haircut in the first place.

Oh, and did I mention that while I was shaving Rufus, Roger (fresh out of the bath and soaking wet) decided to take a nap in the litterbox.  Guess who got TWO baths today.

popcorn, anyone?

So, after the grand finale of Project Powder Room, we decided to take on a smaller DIY project…popcorn ceilings. 

The kitchen was our next target.  We’d had some significant water damage a couple years ago, and while we got a new roof out of the deal, we never quite got around to fixing the water-stained crumbling spot in the kitchen ceiling.  Also, when we changed out the light fixtures when Trey first bought the house, we chose a smaller fixture, leaving a dark ring around the base of it where the previous fixture once was. 

It seemed simple enough.  I’d already scraped the popcorn ceiling in the bathroom, and that project (well, that part of it anyway) only took a couple hours.  So I cleared everything off the counters and taped up plastic to protect the walls and appliances and went to town.  I was careful not to scrape as deep  as I had in the bathroom in order to keep the surface as smooth as possible.  After two days the ceiling was flat and had two coats of paint on it, and I was perfectly ready to put the project to bed. 

Trey had other plans.

Because I put two coats of paint up in about three hours, (for the record, the can of paint specifically said that a second coat could be applied after only ONE hour), the ceiling started to ripple and bubble. I was perfectly content to pretend it wasn’t there…cause come on, who’s gonna pay that close attention to the ceiling anyway? But my precious husband wanted to make sure the job was done right. 

So…after some ridiculous mood-swingy hormone-filled sobbing and crying on my part, Trey convinced me to let him repair the lumpy spot in the center of the ceiling. 

And, while it didn’t seem necessary to me at the time, the ceiling really is better for it.

Now, the thing I most regret is that while the plastic was up in the middle of the room, I didn’t get a picture of Rufus getting stuck in it.  We’d retaped the plastic to the ceiling just around the middle section that Trey fixed up.  We made a complete cone of plastic – you had to walk though about 4 feet of a plastic “hallway” to get in.  I don’t know how Rufus made his way in to the plastic cone…that was covered in debris from the ceiling, but I do know that he knew he wasn’t supposed to be there, and he didn’t know how the heck to get out.  Trey and I pointed and laughed at him for a good five minutes before he finally broke through the force field, covered in plaster from the ceiling.  We’re pretty sure he was traumatized.

We’re gonna make great parents one of these days…

dog gone

If you’ve met my mother, then you’ve probably met Ben.  If you haven’t met Ben, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about him to know that you want to meet him.

A handful of years ago, Mom and Dad adopted Ben from a pekingnese shelter.  He had been in a horrible accident, leaving his previous owners feeling like they were no longer capable of caring for him. For Mom, it was love at first sight.  This little blonde  ball of furry love instantly took over either mine or Amy’s place as favorite child (we’re not jealous – this way Mom never dresses us up in bandanas with doggie bones on them).  Ben has ridden in Mom’s car more than I have.  He is a trained therapy dog (he can dance, roll over – only to the left, pray, sit, stay and beg). He goes everywhere Mom does (don’t worry, she’s never carried him in her purse) and most people she encounters on a regular basis greet him by name. 

Since my parents have moved back to Spartanburg, Trey and I have been lucky enough to spend more quality time with Ben.  This past week, while Mom and Dad were out of town, Ben stayed with us from Tuesday through Sunday…much to Rufus and Roger’s dismay.  Frank, on the other hand, just seemed to think he was a very strange cat. 

Being a cat person for so long made dog-sitting seem like a bit of a challenge.  For example, the cats never have to “go out,” so I had to remember not to keep Ben indoors for too long.  Also, cats are infinitely more independent than dogs.  If I don’t pet them or speak to them for a few hours, they could care less…Ben, on the other hand, seemed almost heartbroken when I’d leave him to go work on the bathroom for the afternoon.  And cats don’t run to the door to greet you as soon as you get home…this only proved to be a problem once: I had my arms full of groceries, so I kicked open the front door, knocking Ben square in the teeth.  He was so happy I was home that he didn’t even notice that he’d gotten nailed in the kisser…or that his little gums had started bleeding.  This, of course, sent me into fits of hysteria, sobbing and moaning “I’m such a bad aunt!”  Trey assured me that if Ben didn’t seem to notice, then I was obviously over reacting. 

A few Ben-isms I learned over the past week: 

  • When “marking his territory,” Ben prefers to only lift his right hind leg.  So if you’re walking on his right side, he’ll do a complete 180 and face the oposite direction to do his business.
  • Ben knows I love to see him dance, so much so that he’s stopped waiting for me to give him the signal, and just starts doing it every time he sees me reach for a doggy treat.
  • Ben wants to be loved…even by cats.  He wants it so badly that he will follow Frank around wimpering until she swats at him to leave her alone.
  • Above all, Ben loves Mom.  When she came to pick him up Sunday afternoon, he never looked back.  He didn’t want to say goodbye to me, Frank or the boys…he just wanted Mom. 

He never barks, he sleeps through the night, and he wants you to love on him 24/7.  He’s the best baby ever.  But I must admit, the cats seem to be much relieved that they’re furry visitor has left the building.

run away with me

On Monday, after running too many errands and waiting for cable guy to come fix our broken internet (gotta love all those thunder storms we’ve been having) and all but hog-tying Roger to get him in the car, Trey and I (and Roger) finally hit the road for a much needed vacation.  Poor Roger got to come along because we couldn’t separate him from Frank and Rufus for the week due to our unfinished bathroom floor.  Let me tell you, if there’s one thing cats love, it’s a good road trip…

“Meow.” Where are you taking me?

“Meeeeeeow!” Not the vet, anything but the vet!

“MEEEEOOOOOOWWW!!!” THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!

“MEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!”” HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM! THE WORLD IS OBVIOUSLY COMING TO AN END!!

By the time we got to mom & dad’s mountain house, Roger had calmed down a little…but he wasn’t happy about his new surroundings.  At first he stayed curled up behind the toilet with his ears pressed back and his hair standing on end, but then he discovered the couch and spent the next two days under it. 

While he was in hiding, Trey and I commenced relaxing like lazy bums: sleeping late, lounging around in our pajamas, watching cable (real CABLE TELEVISION!), and creating this website.  It’s strange how being removed from your house allows you to relax so much more completely than you ever could at home.  I can’t remember the last time I felt so rested. 

We spent Tuesday doing mostly nothing – and it was indeed as glorious as it sounds.  Wednesday we decided to get out a little by visiting the local driving range to remind ourselves how much we both truly suck at golf and by lounging by the pool.  As we laid there, roasting in the sun (I can’t remember the last time I had a sunburn, and strangely, I’ve missed it), Trey pseudo-napping and me reading Eat Pray Love (I sincerely hope my enjoyment of the book doesn’t ruin the movie for me), we were interrupted suddenly: from amid the laughter of the children splashing around in the shallow end, came a blood-curdling scream:  “DIE EVIL DEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Kids say the darndest things.

That night, Trey and I got gussied up for  a night on the town.  We planned on dining at a little pizza joint we’d enjoyed before, but since the town of Waynesville shuts down at 9pm, they were locking the doors as we were walking up.  In the spirit of going with the flow, we walked across the street to Ceviche’s.  With a name like that, I had no idea what kind of cuisine they featured – and I’m kind of a picky eater.  But they were open, and the waitress was friendly.

When I say it’s the best meal I’ve had in forever, I mean it (excluding, of course, birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory).  Meatloaf, smothered in homemade mashed potatoes, corn, three cheeses and made from scratch gravy.  Heaven.  And to top it all off, one of the sweetest, richest carrot cakes I’ve ever tasted, and yes, they did drizzel caramel over it.  Divine. Even the reheated leftovers were amazing.

Roger seems to be finally comfortable with his new surroundings…just in time for us to scoop him up and take him back home tomorrow.  I’m sure he’ll never understand why we kidnapped him for these few days, but secretly, I think he liked it. 

Oh, how I wish we could stay here forever, in our private little mountain cottage without a care in the world, doing my favorite thing ever…being complete and total lazy bums :)

lifeguard

This morning I overslept…like I do every morning. I stumbled to the kitchen to feed Frank & Rufus, then dragged a protesting Roger to the bathroom to feed him (he’s allergic to normal cat food so we have to feed him separately). Roger was finishing up his expensive breakfast of prescription cat food as I hopped in the shower…leaving him meowing in protest on the other side of the green and brown wall of the shower curtain. I had barely finished verse one of Beyond the Sea (who loves Bobby Darin? that’d be me) when Roger leaped onto the ledge of the tub, between the curtain and the clear shower liner. He stared at me, confused, wanting to save me from drowning. He paced the length of the bathtub, meowing words of comfort and aid: MEOOOOOOW (“It’s okay, I’ll get you out of there”), MEEEEEEOWW (“Hang in there, I’ll save you!”). Eventually he gave up, realizing he was no match for the clear plastic force field that had me pinned under water. My hero collapsed in defeat – his front legs straddling the sides of the tub, his chin resting on the surface with his eyes looking up at me apologetically and his long black tail swishing back and forth down the inside of the tub, barely poking through beneath the shower liner to leave a trail of fuzzy black cat hair on the bottom of my tub.

I love my handsome man :)

sick boy

When I went home from work today for lunch, I found a puddle of blood on the kitchen floor…three of my cats were running around like nothing was happening…Roger was lying under the coffee table. When I picked him up he started bleeding again…this would be when my panic attack kicked in. So I called work and told them I didn’t know when I’d be back, and I called the vet to let them know I was on my way. Apparently he has some sort of chemical build up in his bladder which is causing blockage. I don’t know why there was so much blood…at the vet’s office they filled a 9×13 pan full.

Roger is my baby, my handsome man. Roger is terrified of everyone else in the world but loves me to peices. I am so, so very worried about him. He’s staying at the vet over night. He looked so scared when I left him. The other day (some of you have heard this story), he peed on a pile of dirty laundry and I was so mean to him when I repremanded him…now I know that was his way of telling me something was wrong. I feel horrible!

Please pray for my baby, I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to him.