I tend to think of our pets in 3 distinct groupings – the dogs, the elder cats and the other cats. Why? Probably because the dogs roll as a group in spite of age differences whereas cat configurations are often determined by age.
There are thousands if not millions of webpages and social media sites dedicated to telling you what the cat and dog are thinking, texting and how they party when we aren’t at home. If I had to select the top five things our pets “say” in their minds (or to each other in pet speak):
- Please turn off the damn flash. I take a million photos of the pets. At least a dozen a day. I don’t have many photos of my older and our older pets so I’m determined to remember everything. I follow them around and leap to my feet to capture the perfect moment. When I pick up my phone (for any reason), the dogs turn their heads away from me. If I wait a few seconds, they can’t help but take a sneak glance back at me and I’ve got my shot. I don’t intentionally use the flash, it is usually just an accident.
- Food. Now! The dogs have eaten twice a day for years. They know this, but still act like a pack of wolves when they come anywhere near the kitchen ESPECIALLY when I prepare the elderly kitties extra meals – they eat every 3/4 hours depending. The dogs also get a “snack” Kong most days, but that doesn’t cut it. We have one dog and one cat that are borderline overweight so it requires vigilance – the elders can eat whatever they want. But OMG …
- Wait? You Want Me To Move? Oh, yes. Please move off the sofa so we can sit on it. Please move away from the toilet so we can use it. Please move up (or down) the stairs so we can also pick a direction. Please move off the bed so we can sleep. Please move off the pile of coats so we can wear one. Please move out of the hamper so I can put away the laundry. Look … we have no fewer than 10 pet beds. Also, you are free to occupy all of the spaces when they are not in use by those who paid for them.
- Loud = Scary. It is bad enough to contend with the Fourth of July, but we live less than a mile from PNC Park and Heinz Field so we get the added joy (and no view) of fireworks all summer long. I’m surprised the Chihuahua (Ana) doesn’t shake herself into a puddle of butter. Same holds true of thunderstorms – Ledcat calls the kitties the “Early Warning Doplar System” because the bizarre reactions start long before the humans hear the rumbles. We use a little medication, a little herbal remedy and usually just give in and let everyone on the bed. Obviously, we can’t explain it to them. If they could crawl into my uterus, I suspect they all would.
- This Is Really Urgent. I Need Your Attention. I have no idea what this means. At 2 AM, one of the cats likes to cry and walk around the house with her little pink fuzzy ball. Like she’s lost. Ana dances around – do you want outside? do you need water? do you want on the sofa? Are you in pain? Who knows? When he hears her key in the door, Xander immediately wakes up, howls, runs to eat a mouthful of dry cat food and greet her at the door with insistence. Why? Who knows? I wake up with cats on my chest and no visible reason – they have food, water, litter, etc. I get poked in the face by a wet nose even though Laura just let them out ten minutes ago. Deus howls at the bottom of the steps if don’t come down with him. He walks up just fine as long as we are behind him. At the bottom. Even if we are in our stocking feet. Sigh.
They are a delightful mystery.
Oh, wait -I’m supposed to write about my least favorite chore. Well, because my hands hurt, I hate everything because it is hard and painful and I drop things. But I think laundry because transporting it from basement to second floor requires the dodging of multiple pets and I’m terrified I’ll either hurt someone or hurt me. I don’t mind the task itself, in fact there’s something satisfying about it.
My other least favorite chore is cleaning Kongs – oh that’s awful. Because dishwashers don’t get the bits of food out, we have to scrub them and that’s daunting. Any ideas on a good Kong brush?