Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Enjoying it while it lasts

Friday, May 14th, 2010

This morning I noticed that one of the cats had thrown up in the hall. Boo! But I saw it before stepping in it. Yay! Recognizing an opportunity to please Reid, I said, “One of the cats threw up in the hallway. Do you want to clean it up or should I?” Reid came running, and claiming the “privilege” for herself. I got the carpet spray down for Reid while she got a kleenex out. She examined the little pile and declared, “Kibble. It was Pooka. She’s just lying in the hall.” Then, she cleaned up the mess, sprayed the spot and returned the bottle to me. I don’t know how long this job will be a desirable one, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Not that I’m planning to let her out of it when its no longer cool. Worm feeding and replenishing the water and kibble in the basement are jobs that used to always be cool but are occasionally boring now. They remain Reid’s work, though. It’s nice to have her helping. I can ignore the grumbling.

Cats as clocks

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I’m often impressed by Clio and Leo’s ability to know what time it is. When I telework, I’ll see Clio at lunch, as she hopes for peanut toast to drop or whatever, and then she’ll appear just ahead of the time that Ken and Reid are due home. She doesn’t have to hurry when the garage door opens like I do because she is already in the foyer.

But I’m writing this because Leo woke me up at 12:28 am today so that I would go with him to the bathroom, where his food is. I was thinking that it is quite amazing that he wakes me for company at his middle of the night snack within a 15-minute window most nights of the week. I wonder sometimes if it’s my body’s clock that is programmed to wake up and the Leo nuzzles me often and I only wake up when my body is ready. I’ve never asked Ken to stand guard all night to observe but, somehow, I don’t think he’d like the idea. I’m lucky enough to fall back asleep quickly or I might have to actually figure out how to train a cat to do something it didn’t want to do.

Middle names

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Reid was giving Leo trouble for jumping up where he didn’t belong or otherwise misbehaving at one point this weekend. She called out, in a very stern voice, “Leo Roy!” Ken and I have explained a number of times that Leo has no middle name and that, even if he had a middle name, it wouldn’t necessarily be “Roy”. Reid has been implacable in her commitment to “Roy” as the standard middle name for boys. Since Uncle Roger was in the room, I used his middle name as an example but also added that Zachary’s middle name was also not Roy. Reid knows that Ken’s middle name is William but sometimes she slips and calls him “Kenneth Elizabeth”. Worse, sometimes she appends my last name so that he has the same double-barrelled middle name as she does. Ken *really* loves it when Reid does that ;+)

I told Reid that Dylan doesn’t like it when she calls him “Dylan Roy” in any case. Grandma Joyce explained to Reid that Dylan held this point of view because his mom calls him “Dylan Roy” when he is in trouble. I muttered that Reid calls him that in the same instances and that one day I think he’ll clock her for it (and I won’t blame him but I’ll have to correct him anyway). Grandma Joyce snickered. The “little mother” thing is cute when Reid is bringing Dylan a treat or trying to comfort him when he’s upset but less so when she is telling him how to behave.

Better than a kiss

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I had a bit of trouble staying asleep last night possibly due to the child’s size 10 feet that found their way to my kidney, ear and other soft place (not at the same time) or maybe because of the purring cats who were absolutely desperate for petting. When Reid woke up at 5:00 needing to go to the bathroom, I took her and then suggested that we might trade sides of the bed because my arm was sore. She thought a bit and then reassured me that once we hugged each other, as we do when she goes to sleep, my arm would feel better. If a kiss is good for an ouchie, a hug will solve a sore arm. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I think my arm trouble was directly attributable to the hugging that had been happening throughout the night. She was right, though, the hugging did help or maybe it was her peaceful confidence than it would. And the fact that she decided she wanted to change places because her back was sore couldn’t have hurt. ;+)

Labelling life

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Reid and I were sitting together on the couch the other night. Reid was snuggled right next to me and Clio was lounging on the adjacent cushion. Noticing that there were 4 hands that would be much better employed in petting her, Clio walked over and squirmed her way between me and Reid. Notice that I didn’t say that Reid and I were sitting with our hands in our laps. That would have been a lie. I had just finished writing Uncle Roger’s birthday message and was writing words on sticky notes according to Reid’s directions. We started with “tights”. I had Reid tell me the names of the letters that made the necesary sounds, with a quick explanation of the silent “gh”. Reid took the completed page and stuck it to her tights before asking for “dress”. We repeated the process. Dress, of course, has the second “s”. Is it “silent”, do you think? Once her outfit was appropriately labelled, Reid asked me to write “Pooka” (Clio’s nickname). With that sticky note in hand, Reid asked if she could stick it to the cat. I said that I didn’t think it would be a good idea. Clio puts up with a lot from Reid – it’s always well-intentioned affection but often slides into more physically rough than Clio appreciates – but being labelled might have pushed her limits. When I told Melissa about it this morning, she suggested that would like to be present when Reid tried to put a label on Leo. I’m not sure whether he’d hiss or run but he would surely take any label as an insult to his catness. Maybe we’ll try this weekend if we’re snowbound, as the weather experts say we will be.

Here, kitty, kitty

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Reid found the cat’s comb in the bathroom this morning and wanted to comb Clio’s fur. The only problem was that Clio was on the main floor or maybe that was the first problem, since Pooka (as Reid calls Clio) doesn’t particularly enjoy being combed. Reid was undaunted and just called for her at the top of the stairs. Ken and I were in our bedroom and could hear, “Poooo-kaa, Poooo-kaaa! C’mere Pookie.” No cat appeared. And then in an enticing tone, “Meow-ee. Meow-ee!” Ken and I giggled but weren’t surprised that Clio resisted the tempting call.

Finally Reid came back to our bedroom and spoke to Leo who was laying at the foot of the bed. “This comb is not for you, Leo. It is for you sister.” (Reid uses “you” in place of “your” most of the time.) Leo gave her a sarcastic, break-my-heart look and squished his eyes closed again. It’s for the best that Reid doesn’t want to comb Leo; he is a bit of a grumpy cat sometimes.

The great thing about long hair

Monday, January 14th, 2008

When we were first considering getting a second cat, I read a book that said that even if the first cat doesn’t like the newcomer, it will enjoy staring in disdain at the new one. Watching Reid at gymnastics, twisting her head from side-to-side over and over, I realized that if she gets nothing from having her hair long she’ll always have a “toy”. Ponytails tickle your cheeks, don’t ya know?

Incidentally, for a long time Clio stared at Mars and Leo in disdain but she eventually grew to like them as they ceased being insane kittens.

Explaining death to a preschooler

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

At supper last night, I told Ken and Reid that my Aunt Dorothy had died. Reid had asked who that was, and I explained that Aunt Dorothy was Grandma Joyce’s sister-in-law. Reid asked what had happened and I said that Aunt Dorothy had been very, very, sick. “Like Mars?” Reid asked and I agreed that it was like what had happened to Mars. She asked why Mars had died. Ken told her that sometimes things just happened and I said that since we loved Mars, we could keep him in our memories and in our hearts. Reid’s eyes filled with tears and she said, “I want to keep him in our *house*!” We all do, he was a good cat.

Birth order just isn’t fair

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

After supper last night, Reid was asking Ken where the mamas of our kitties were. He explained that Clio had come from the farm that Mama lived on when she was a girl and that we got Leo and Mars from a pet store. I’m not sure how he explained us taking Clio but I did hear him explaining that the pet store helped people who wanted pets find pets that needed homes. The pet store that we went to acts as an outlet for the Ottawa Humane Society. Reid was interested in this aspect of our family history and had a few questions.

Then, she asked something about her being a baby when we got the cats. Ken explained that we’d got Clio, four years later got the Mars and Leo and four years later got her. Reid started to cry and say, “I want to be first.” She was so heartbroken. Ken was taken aback. What an odd thing to cry over! How does a daddy fix birth order? With a hug, of course. It was a wailing and thrashing sort of tragedy, though. I offered to join in a family hug to no great effect. Eventually I just carried Reid to my seat and started talking about something random and distracted her.

Note to self and others, Reid is sensitive to birth order discussions.

Slowly, ever so slowly

Friday, August 10th, 2007

On Tuesdays, we try and get Reid to eat her supper – or most of it – in the car before gymnastics. When we get home it’s such a rush for us to eat and then to get Reid to bed. Sometimes she just prefers to play or fuss a bit. This week I asked Ken to bathe Reid while I prepared supper. Yes, I know this is just the sort of night I should use my crockpot or something from the freezer but I don’t seem to be that organized.

In any case, on this particular Tuesday Reid ate veggies and a sandwich before class and was eager to join us at the table after her bath. She seemed amused to be wearing her pajamas at the supper table although – or because – she also wears them at breakfast. Reid served herself potatoes (which she usually refuses), corn and chicken-meat and began eating. She tried some chili sauce on her potatoes and chicken, just like Daddy. She chatted and ate and then decided to use the bathrooom. She came back to the table and ate some more before declaring herself full. Ken practically ripped her plate away, or he would have if she hadn’t decided to eat a bit more.

Poor Ken needed to get the dining room and kitchen tidied up, the garbage out and laundry started. He also likes to be around to get Reid into bed and, when the planets align, have a little downtime before bed. Reid ate pretty much every kernel of corn, every speck of potatoes but oh, so, slowly. She wasn’t deliberately torturing Ken but the effect was the same. Goes to show you how you can’t rush a kid any more than you can herd cats. And with our kid, who has learned so much from our cats, it truly is an impossible task.