Thursday, 28 October 2010

Dogman is Here!

It's true! He arrived last night just after the human got home from her work hunting. I know I've told you about him before, but I don't know if I've told you that the human is hoping that he will have stupid dogface when she stops working. She still loves him. He couldn't even get himself through the door yesterday before she was bouncing at him and hitting everything with her tail, including me!

If you've ever been hit by the tail of a stupid dogface, you'll know it's no fun at all. I was minding my own business, sitting on the arm of the chair and pretending to ignore him (as any good cat should when a new person arrives), when she walked past and whacked me so hard that, if it hadn't been for my super quick claw reflexes, I'd have been knocked clean off! I wasn't going to stand for that, so the next time she went past, I smacked her bum good and hard. I'm not going to say whether I had the claws out or not I don't want my human reading this cuz then I'll get into trouble. Dogman told on me when I did it, but because stupid dogface didn't yelp, and because the human mentioned that I'd just been hit with a huge, smelly big tail, I didn't get told off at all. Ha ha! If I work up to a full on thwap slowly, maybe they'll not notice and I still won't get told off!

Dogman stayed over again, which meant that he took mine and the human's bed. She says it's cuz he has arthritis and the sofa bed would kill his joints. I know this is a lie though. Stupid dogface has arthritis and she doesn't get to slepe on the bed. The human says that's because she has a special bed of her own that protects her joints, but then I asked why Dogman couldn't just sleep there instead if it's so good. She didn't listen though, so we got to spend the night on the sofa bed. I wasn't sure if I wanted to sleep with the human or on the arm of the sofa where I sit when we're in this room. The human wouldn't let me lie on her head, you see, so the bed bit wasn't much fun. I split myself between the two, and made sure to wake the human up about every hour or so by playing with the noisiest toys I have, and crying at her every time I wanted a new ping-pong ball. Sleeping in the living room is great. I can't play in the bedroom because she doesn't have toys there.

Dogman is apparently staying with us until Saturday. I'm kind of pleased cuz it means that stupid dogface will keep out of my way as she's always with him, and kind of annoyed cuz that means another two nights not in my own bed!

I've decided to lay claim to Dogman too, but only when it suits me. This morning when he sat on the arm of the sofa, I jumped up beside him and did him the favour of allowing him to hear my purr and rub my head for a few seconds. This is just to show him that I can have him whenever I want, even if stupid dogface is around. It doesn't mean I like him. I'm just making a point, as I'm sure you can appreciate. Once I was satisfied that his attention was all mine, I leapt off him and went to snuggle with the human instead.

The human says that she has just remembered and wants to thank Amy for her tips on drying out the iPod man by putting him in rice. Amy, I will pretend that I didn't hear you tell the human that. I don't want to have to be cross with you for helping her keep the iPod man alive. My human wants to ask a general question too. She thinks I might have something she calls ear mites and wants to know if Stronghold gets rid of them. She knows it says it does on the package, but isn't sure how effective it is. She told me ear mites are what is giving me the itchies in my ears, and she thinks that maybe the scratching at the collar and the scabbing on my neck might be something to do with this. There was a rumour that mites were going round the show circuit, so I guess it's not impossible. Now, I wonder what a mite is?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Great Unknown

I'm not even talking about outside, oh no! I'm talking about peoples. I was just looking back through my old posts, when I found this comment.

Tia, I don't suppose your human has told you about me, but she's my kitten, which I guess makes me your human grandma. She had three sibling cats when she was young, but in those days she thought humans were better than cats and refused to relate to them as sisters and brother. Now she's all grown up and knows better. I'm sorry if this hurts, but I'm not ready to be a great grandma yet, so I guess I was a bit relieved about the ghost kittens. But I'll have got my head around the idea by the time you have your flesh and blood babies, which will hopefully be very soon. I might even adopt one of them... Love and kisses from HG

What? Um, wait a minute! Nobody told me about this lady people! And now she thinks she's my grandma?

I didn't have a clue who the lady people was, but she'd given me a clue to solving the mystery. She said that the human was her kitten. That must mean that HG, as she calls herself, is my human's mummypeople. I needed to talk to her about this, so I waited until she was in the middle of doing something then went and shouted at her until she sat down with me for a few minutes. Why, you might ask, didn't I just pick a quiet time so that I wouldn't have to shout? Well, I reason that when she's quiet she wants to snuggle. When she's busy, she obviously doesn't mind conversation. She did moan about being interrupted, but I know it's only a save face gesture really.

I sat on her, then I lay down, then I rolled to my back and made her rub my yummy tummy. This was just to make sure she couldn't move, you understand (they do have a bad habit of getting up and walking away right as you're in the middle of telling them something). "Human," I said sternly, "You have a mummypeople. Why didn't you tell me!" She didn't answer my question. She only said, "what else do you want? I'm tickling you already!" I tried again and again, but it wasn't until later when she'd fed her stomach monster that she really got listening to me. I won't go through the whole conversation. It's full of too many boring people words. Let me summarise for you.

The human does indeed have a mummypeople. It seems strange to think of her being a kitten. She says she's not any more, and tried to explain it as being similar to my relationship with Mummycat. Even though Mummycat still looks at me as a kitten, it doesn't mean I am. So this Mummypeople of hers is very far away at the moment. The human says she's travelling the world for a year. A year? What in the world takes her so long? I mean, it's not as if it's miles or anything. I travel my world in about ten seconds flat at an all out run. Peoples are so slow compared to us, aren't they?

But there was one even more important area to clear up. The three cat siblings. The human got a funny look on her face when I asked her about this and just laughed. She says her mummypeople really used to tease her about the cats. They got two kittens when the human was only a half-grown kitten herself. She didn't like cats back then. I stopped her here. Didn't like cats? I'm sorry, but I can't believe that. I called her out on her lie, but she maintains that it was true. Dishonest human!

Anyway, back to these kittens. they were named Nelson and Peaches, boy and girl, except that Nelson turned out to be Peaches and Peaches Nelson. See? They can't even get smart enough to sex us propperly! Imagine the indignity of being a mancat with a name like Peaches! He sorted this out though. The human says he was a terror. He knew she didn't like him and would deliberately go out of his way to get in her face. Nelson was timid and mostly just hid. Peaches unfortunately had a fight with a car which he didn't win, and Nel got to be very old before she just didn't wake up from a sleep.

The human says that after Peaches left, her mummypeople got Flossy-Jane who was even worse than Peaches! She bit and scratched everyone, attacked from under chairs and everything. The mummypeople just loved her all the more because of it. Strangely, the only one she was nice to was the human even though she didn't like her. Knowing that the human didn't, her mummypeople used to tease her about the cats being her brother and sisters. Boy did she hate that!

I have to admit, I hated the thought of her having other cats. I'm her one and only! Do you hear me, world? Her one and only!

Now, this last message is for the mummypeople. Mummypeople, in the nicest, politest way possible, I need to tell you that you are not my grandma, well, kind of not. The human isn't my mummycat, you see, and if she isn't my mummycat, you can't be my grandma. However, this empty bowl does have a fishy lining. I like the fact that you hinted you might adopt one of my babycats. The human says you love the cats who own you very, very much, so we know the baby would have a great home with you. Because of that, I like you, and because of that I will agree to call you HG (human grandma). This is only on the condition though that it doesn't make the human start thinking that she can boss me around like a kitten and actually expect me to start obeying her as though she was a mummycat. Isn't it enough that I don't bite her good when she brushes my yummy tummy? I don't know what else she wants, but I don't want her getting a false sense of her own importance either. If you are happy with that arrangement, then HG, I welcome you to my world. Now, stop being so slow, travel the rest of your world at a run, then come to mine with treats and food and mousies and belly rubs and, oh, did I mention treats? I'd even let you cuddle me and everything!

Disclaimer: I am not in the least bit shallow, and my affections are not transparent. They cannot be bought with treats alone... Chicken and fish are also a requirement of contract.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tortureshell Tuesday: Drowning the Noise

Oh, oh, oh, it's that time again, oh yes it is! My favourite day of the week! I have a confession to make though. I haven't actually managed to do anything worthy of a naughty tortie this week. Before you all expire with shock, let me tell you that I had a reason! I wasn't here for most of the week, seeing as I was off pretending to seduce mancats. I have a busy life, you know. I suppose you could say that my not letting my man friend get up close and personal was a tortureshell, or the fact that I am now insisting on sleeping by the human's face, but I dunno. They're not up to the usual standards. Allow me, therefore, to tell you about a spectacular one I've been saving for just the right moment.

It was warm. It was dark. It was cosy. It was also noisy, and I was trying to sleep! We were in bed, the human and I, and it was at what my good friend Herman
calls O Dark Thirty . I'd woken her up for a tummy tickle, and because she couldn't get back to sleep, she put her book on. Well, she says it's a book, but I never see any paper or anything that looks remotely like one. Given that her eyes are too broke to read, she listens to a person making talk noise from funny things she calls speakers. The talk noise is generated by her iPod, a little square, hard, shiny black box. I don't know how it makes the talk noise because when I put my ear to it, I can't hear any little peoples inside reading, and yet, voices come from the speakers. The human says it travels up the connection cable, but again, she's just showing her lack of a brain. Even I know that's too small for a people to crawl along as they're reading.

Anyway, I digress. As I said, I was trying to sleep. I was done with my tummy tickles, and wanted some shut-eye. But the stupid iPod man wouldn't shut up! I thwapped him where she had him hidden under the covers, but he pretended he didn't even notice! I shouted at the human, but she just grunted, "You've had enough of my sleep time. Lie down and be quiet, for goodness sake. I have work in the morning!" Her sleep time? What about mine!

I got crosser and crosser and wondered what I could do. How could you shut a thing up that you couldn't even see? But then, I did see it, the long, tantalising connection cable sticking out from the covers. And it got even better. Right below it was my bowl of water.

Now, you all know that when you're hunting, one of the best ways to kill your catch is to drown it. It has the added bonus of cleaning it before you eat, I suppose, but it is very effective at stopping it making noise. Here was the perfect set-up. I knew the human wouldn't be pleased at all, but she had it coming to her. It was her that made the iPod man make noise after all, and it was her that wouldn't shut him up. I had to take matters into my own paws.

Slowly, stealthily, I stalked closer to the cable. The stupid thing didn't even try and run away. It didn't know what was coming. With a wiggle of the bum and a flick of the tail I sprang, pounced and dragged that offending cable, iPod man and all, off the bed. It came slithering out from under the covers, and with a bit of guidance from me, created a super splash-down landing right where I wanted it to, in the bowl of water. There were a few bubbles, and then the talk noise stopped. I stood guard over the bowl, watching for any sign of movement or a recommencing of the talk, but there was nothing. It was dead. I had won.

The human didn't seem to think so though. I've never seen her move so quick! With a shriek, she bounded out of bed and launched herself for the iPod. Dragging my kill away from me, she shook it vigorously. Perhaps, I thought as I watched her with a certain glint of maternal pride in my eye, I've taught her something after all. Shaking a kill is a good way to make sure it's really finished off. But alas, she was only doing it to get as much water out as possible. Then she ran away and left me! No joke! She went to the living room and got out the horrible blow dryer that she uses on my fur after a bath. She put it on the iPod man, and I began to wonder. When I've had a bath, I get really cold because I'm wet. The human puts the blow dryer on my fur and it makes me feel warm and dry again. It leaves me feeling much better, actually. She couldn't be trying to revive the iPod man, surely! She wouldn't do that to me!

But, friends, I am terribly saddened and disappointed to say that she would, and did. She dried him for a long time, then left him beside a heater to finish the job. That night, mr iPod man rejoined us in bed. I considered a repeat performance, but to my further disgust, the human had moved the water bowl to what she calls a "safer location".

So there you have it. I'm getting so good at this that I even broke a rule the human hadn't thought to make yet! She's done it now though, but I don't care. If I've already broken it, it, like every other rule around here, doesn't exist. I'm watching for that iPod man though. He must be really small to be able to fit in the box, which means that when he comes out for a rest, I'm gonna catch him and put an end to his silly talk noise making forever! Are they hard to catch, friends? Do any of you have experience with them? What's the best method of hunting? Is it the stalk, pounce combo, the quick chase and grab, or the good old-fashioned toy with prey and then eat? I just can't make up my mind.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Home Sweet Home

Yes, friends, I am back! And boy am I glad to be home. Things have gotten slack around here in my absence. Stupid Dogface thinks she can get attention whenever she wants it, there's no fur on the sofas and the bed, and there isn't even any food down! Or at least, there wasn't till I got here. I suppose it's good in a way though. All of these signs show me that she hasn't been fratternising with another cat while I've been away. It's a nice thing to see.

I must tell you all about my adventure though. Last week I decided to be a real growed up cat and go and visit my man friend again. He's quite nice really, and I was starting to miss him. I told my human I wanted to go. I did this by sticking my bum in the air, holding my tail to the side and shouting. Crude, I know, but sometimes I have to make the message very, very simple before she understands it. I'd been telling her for a while, but she doesn't listen until I start pretending my front legs are much shorter than my back ones. I suspect that she thinks this is what I have to do now before I can go see him.

Rambling aside though, I got my wish. I got to go in my super cool girlie pink PTU (Ok, so the PTU part isn't cool). The human and I have come to an agreement though. When we're sitting still, she takes me out of the PTU for a cuddle, but when we're moving, like when we have to change from one noisy thing to another (she calls them trains), I go back inside. No, this is not because the noise scares me! I shout at her all the while that I'm in the PTU just to make sure she remembers I'm there, alone, foodless!

We went on two noisy things, then walked a little, at least, the human did. Then we got to the house where I'd been before. The people lady that looks after my man friend took me out of the PTU and carried me to go see him. Ah, I remembered this place well! In fact, I lost no time in running around and checking it all out. He owns his own house as I've said before, and if we are to have baby kittens together, the way I see it, his house is mine. I made this abundently clear by jumping on his favourite spot. It's a chair that's in the outside bit of his house, and it makes a really good place to sit and watch the squirrels, birdies, and even the other girl cats.

Speaking of girlcats, they hissed and spat at me something shocking when I first got there. I think they were jealous. One of them told me that he was her man, and how dare I be in there with him. I just spat back at her. Silly girl. He is mine. "Who's in the house and who has to share with all those other girlcats, eh?" said I, and this made her real, real mad. I didn't mind though. I knew she couldn't get at me.

My man isn't very well trained yet. He kept trying to sneak up on me and get my chair back for himself. I decided that, before we could make a family, the training needed to start. He needed to be put in his place. So every time he came near, I hissed really good, just like the human does when I do something really, really against the rules, and thwapped him until he ran away. Eventually, it started to work.

Over the next few days I watched him, but the training never stuck for long. I kept having to reinforce it. In the end, I decided that he simply wasn't ready for the responsibility of parenthood. The others laughed at me when I mentioned it to them. They say he's already a daddy, but I know it isn't true. One of the older ladies was quite nice though, and she gave me some good advice. "Smack him down, girlie," she said to me late one night when the others were all asleep, "but don't do it all of the time. There comes a point where your needs for, ah, a good time, outweigh the necessity of moulding him into the perfect gentleman. He's a male. They are driven by instinct and primal urges. You can't hope to make them into something new overnight."

I thought long and hard about this. I was forced to admit in the end that she did have a point. I mean, I wasn't planning to stay with him once the babies were put in my tummy. He was only going to be a short-term lover, so was I expending too much effort? This was days after I'd arrived though, and what with the upheaval of moving and travelling and fending him off, I'd quite lost the urge for what the nice older ladycat called a "good time". Maybe next time things will be different. I just don't know. It's not next time yet, after all, so why worry about it?

The human came to get me a short while later, and I must say, I was glad to see her, but not as stressed out and worried as last time. This meant I didn't have to cling to her like crazy when we got home. I knew she was coming back for me this time, you see. I'd been there before, and I know when I go to that place, it's only for a short time. I did give her some good face rubs when I got home, but I was more interested in making sure I had enough food in my bowl for the next week or so. Oh, and the water! Gosh, I can't tell you how good it was to get water that tasted like it should again! The human said she thought I'd explode with the amount I drank, but it just tasted sooooo good!

Last night was good too. The human was extra specially cuddly with me, but the pillow beside her doesn't seem to want me on it. Every time I try, it tips me off. Funnily, the human's hand is always nearby when this happens. I can't really understand it. When I sleep on the human's pillow nothing happens, but when I go on the one next to her, I just get thrown off. The human says this is because she has something called Asthma. Having me sleep round the top of her head is fine, or even behind it, or even with my face cuddled against hers, but when she has my whole body beside her face, she coughs and wheezes a lot. She says my head doesn't have as much fur on it, but when my body cuddles her face, she breathes in more of it and it makes her chest hard to breathe with. I don't get this. She can cuddle with her face and it doesn't make a difference. She says that when she is sleeping, I am close for a longer time, so she gets more of my fur. Also, her breathing is deeper, so it travels further that way. Peoples are very strange. I mean, whoever heard of anyone getting aggravated by fur! It is coming into the colder weather here too though, and the human says that doesn't help either. I just wish the pillow wouldn't be so mean. Stupid pillow.

Oh, in breaking news,The Babycat
has posted on his blog. He has just been nutered. He doesn't know what this is though, and it's not a subject a well brought up ladycat can possibly discuss without a little embarrassment, even if he is just a babycat. Hopefully some of you mancats can give him some worldly advice. By the way, the beginning of this post does not imply that I think all mancats run on instinct and are untrainable. Many of you grow up very nice, but I wonder how much that has to do with having what my human terms as "the snip"? I think you've all had it, and you are all nice. Even my man friend is nice. He's just, well, persistent. Do you mancats think that having the operation makes it easier to treat ladycats with the respect we deserve? I'm very curious. The first mancat I went to see for having a family with was nice too. He wasn't as persistent as the new one who owns his own house, but then he was much younger too, so I'm not sure how much has to do with age and how much to do with not having the operation. Please, enlighten me!

For now, I shall enlighten my food dish... Quite considerably!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Further Update

I'm hoping like crazy this is the last one of these I have to write before Tia comes home. I miss her like mad today, this being made all the more poignant by my finding out about the soon to be loss of Molly yesterday. I haven't been able to settle totally since they told me. I feel like a bit of a lost soul, and am just drifting around the house desperate for something to do or somewhere to go. Tia helps when I feel like this. She's always up to something, and failing that, never minds a cuddling session, something I could do with right about now. If my stud people weren't unavailable today, I think I'd have already gone and got her.

In typical tortie fashion, Tia did exactly what she did last time. She wouldn't let the boy get anywhere near her. Every time he approaches, she apparently tucks her tail right between her legs and squats, so the poor lad doesn't have a hope of doing what he needs to. I'm hoping against hope that she lets him closer today, but to be honest, the realistic part of me scoughs at this.

In brighter news though, the stud owner, a very experienced breeder of many years, says that this is very normal behaviour for maiden queens. I was starting to think I'd never manage to get her mated. One of hers had to go to stud three times before she would even consider mating. As Tia's not a strong caller though, it does add other complications. Ah well, I guess we just wait and see what happens. And if she is never able to relax enough to allow herself to eventually have kittens, it won't change a thing. I'll love her just as I always have, tortitude and all.

Thank you so much to the three of you who visited yesterday and left supportive thoughts. It does help, I promise you. You're right though, it is a bit of a rough Christmas present, one I could quite thankfully do without, Mr Santa Clause. I have started the application process for a new dog, but there is a long waiting list. I'm probably looking at years before I have the chance at another one. To be brutally honest, it feels almost mean to think of another one replacing Molly right now. It's strange how many people ask if I'll be getting another dog as their first question. It hurts to know she's leaving and another might be coming. In a way, it's like the death of a pet, retiring your dog. As all of you who have lost one know, the last thing you want to do while grieving is think of its replacement in your family.

For now, I make the most of my time with her. She's happy, and snoring her head off at the moment. Tomorrow I'll have my Tia home, and my little family will be complete once more, if only for a short time. I'll cherish it while I can.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Molly Moves

I'm afraid it's only the human again. I have no news on Tia yet. I'm due to call the lady who has her tonight and ask what's been happening.

I wish I could say I have no news on Molly either. I know this blog is for cats, but I also know that many of you are interested in her progress.

The people from Guide Dogs came out this morning. I was only expecting them to give her her injection and to have the usual general chat about how we were getting on, but they asked to see her working. I took her out while they walked behind and watched. As always, we worked well together. But when we got back, they were to drop a bombshell.

They explained to me that she was struggling when she was walking. Her hips are so bad that she's apparently crossing her back legs when she steps, and when it comes to hills, the walking gets even worse. She's obviously uncomfortable when she is maneuvering me around obstacles, and they felt that it would be in her best interests to retire her.

I was stunned. To be honest, I felt more than a little guilty too. Since she started hydro and her nutritional supplements, she's been improving, so what must she have been like before? Poor thing.

Although I don't want her to go, I can't in good conscience keep working a dog who is obviously in pain. The decision has been made. By Christmas, Molly will be retired and living in a new home. My friend has agreed to have her despite the medical costs, but this is going to be a struggle. I have told him I'll input into her bills, but we're looking at about £500 per year, minimum, to keep her comfortable. I'm hoping that help comes from somewhere so that we can do this between us, but I think it's time to penny pinch. If I have to pay it all myself, I will to make sure she has a guarantee of a good home.

I'm heart-broken at this, both because she's going and because I know she must be very sore. Through it all, she's been extremely cheerful, still eager to see people and always wagging. I'm going to miss her like crazy when she's gone. Seven weeks isn't really long enough to say propper goodbyes, especially when they are overshadowed with the knowledge that time together is coming to an end.

Ah, I'm upsetting myself all over again, and crying at work is not the way to instill confidents in your patients! I will keep you posted of both her and Tia's progress.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

To be or not to be, that is the question

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I'm massively tired. I have put in a 14 hour day already and I haven't even had dinner yet!

Tia came back into call last night, which is what she needs really to take her mind off the phantom kittens. That meant a trip to stud. I promised her I'd try and have her mated when she next called because the longer I leave it, the more she is at risk of cysts on the ovaries and all sorts of things. If she hasn't had kittens by the end of next summer, I'm going to have her spayed for her own good, but I suspect that this will be her last good call for this season, so thought it best to send her to stud and hope that this time, she lets him get within twenty feet of her!

I called the owner of the scrummy daddy to be last night and told her. She was only too happy to have Tia in, so today I got up early, gave her abath, ran to work for a long, rather boring meeting, scooted home, grabbed miss Tia and her super duper new pink carrier, and jumped on a train to Manchester. I've only just got back. When I left, Tia had been put in with the boy. She was put in his indoor bit first of all, but lost no time in running into the outdoor run, sitting on his favourite chair and claiming it as her very own by spitting at him every time he came near her. Tortitude is not dead, folks, not by a long shot.

I'm due to pick her up either on Sunday or Monday. I'm hoping it's Sunday. I miss her like crazy already. This has been the first time I've had a house with no cats in it for well over a year, and it just feels so, well, wrong is the only word for it. Fingers crossed pleased that she lets mr daddy do the necessary this time. That means she won't have to go out again for months and months! I want my girlie back. I'm missing her snuggles already. I suspect by the time she comes back, I'll even miss being woken twice or three times during the night too. When I hear updates, I'll let you know. Blog posts are likely to be limited until she gets back, but I might review another cat carrier in the interim. Tia has left me her thoughts and told me exactly what to say, so she can still help with that.

One thing remains to be seen though. Kittens: to be, or not to be. That is the question!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tortureshell Tuesday

Happy days are here again! This is my favourite day of the week, you know that? I try my hardest to be bad, bad, bad, and if the human's reactions are anything to go by, I succeed!

First thing's first though. I know you're all desperate to know whether I survived through yesterday. I'm going to keep you all in suspense a bit longer... I'm not telling yu until at least the end of the next paragraph, so there!

It was very touch and go. That light at the end of the tunnel I was talking about made me feel all warm and sleepy. I fought hard to keep my eyes open, to move away from the light, but when sun is shining on your fur and you're tucked in a comfy sprawl on a very soft sofa that smells of the nice human that makes you feel good, what are you supposed to do? I did try, but the next thing I knew, I was waking up.

Oh, my belly! It was growling and grumbling and girgling like you wouldn't believe. It frightened me. Was there a monster in there trying to get out? Was it hungry enough that it would eat me? Terrified by this notion, I got up and started to hunt for food. If I could only feed it, it might leave me alone.

I walked to the place where the food usually is, but nothing. I tried to jump on the desk which is where she puts it at night, but I couldn't get there because her typing thing was in the way. When I jump on that, the little squares give under my feet and I don't like it. I went to the food mountain bag in the hall, but she had it all wrapped up tight. I went into the kitchen to see if there was even any of that horrible chicken on the floor. Do you see how desperate I was at this point? Little kibbles were swimming in my vision and everything! Even the chicken was better than nothing!

It is here that Tortureshell Tuesday starts. The human has this rule, yes, I know, another one. She's really, really, really big on this one though, so much so that she really busts me if I break it. The rule is that no cat or dog is allowed on the worktops in the kitchen. I think this is hipocritical. She makes food up there. she sometimes even picks stuff up to eat from there once it's made and on a plate. I'm usually religious about not testing her on this rule because I don't like it when she chases me out of the kitchen, but I was starving. I could see my own bones and that monster was growling even more than before. I couldn't risk being eaten. I had to try.

I lined myself up, took a deep breath and jumped. Several things happened at once then. First of all, my paws landed on something shiny. Then the shiny thing jumped up, hit me on the nose and dumped me back on the floor. As if that wasn't bad enough, it then chased me down and landed with an enormous bang on the floor. I'm usually quite brave, but this was just too much for me. I turned tail and fled, hoping that the baby gate designed to keep the kitchen safe from stupid Dogface would also keep the shiny monster behind. Luckily, it did.

I went back a little later for a sneaky look and saw a big plate lying innocently on the floor. It wasn't moving, but I wasn't taking any chances. I'd seen what it did to me, and I knew that it was just waiting for me to get close enough so that it could jump up and whap me again. I didn't know plates could do that, but I guess the human has employed them as guardians of the worktop when she's not around. I'm not sure I'll break that rule again.

There was torture in store for me too though. On that plate there had been a bread crust, and oh how I wanted it. It was on the floor right by the plate and it was staring at me and calling me, but the plate was in the way! i can't describe the agony this caused me, but I knew I daren't get it. I left and went back to the light in the tunnel.

When my human came home, I told her all about what had happened to me and how hungry I was, but she only said, "wow, you're talking a lot today, aren't you?" She did give me food though. I tried hard to keep her out of the kitchen, to keep her safe from the plate, but as usual, she didn't listen. She almost stood on it, but kicked it instead. Then, to my astonishment, she reached down and picked it up without showing even the tiniest sign of fear! I am in awe of her for that. That takes real guts! "How did this get down here?" she wondered aloud. I told her again what had happened, and then she got that look on her face, the one that means uh-oh, I'd better run cuz I'm in biiiig trouble. "You've been on the worktop, haven't you?" she said ominously. I put on my most innocent face and gave her a pick me up now miaow. She didn't pick me up, but she didn't scold me either. "I guess the plate scared you enough."

She washed the plate straight away, but she left it on the draining board. It fell down this morning and attacked her hand, but again she showed no fear and just put it back where she wanted it. Today, the kitchen door is closed and my chicken is right outside it. She'll have to remember to pick it up when she comes home so that Dogface won't eat it, but I'm kind of glad she closed the door. I feel a bit of relief knowing that there aren't any plates around to get me.

So, I broke a biiiig rule today, but there was also a big payback. Was it worth it? Well of course. I am a tortie, after all.

To answer some of the comments left yesterday, I can't walk across the human's face. I don't like stepping on things that might move. Sticking a claw up her nose sounds like a wonderful idea though! I'm gonna try that the next time she doesn't wake up to give me tummy rubs when I want them. I didn't give her a head massage last night. I don't think she deserved one after setting the plates on me. I did sleep by her tummy though, all cuddled in close. What! It was cold, all right? As for eating Dogface, I promise you I shall never, ever, ever, ever, (have I mentioned ever yet?) be that desperate! She stinks worse than the chicken! If I ate her, I'd surely die of dog germs or dog breath or, well, dog! Ew, no!

Now, to kill the suspense... I DID survive! Yes, I know it's unbelievable, but I managed to pull through! Thank you all so much for caring about my fate. It means a lot to me to know that not all are as heartless as that human! Now, to find another rule to break...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Famine Strikes!

The human says she hates this time of the week, and I can't blame her really. This is the morning where, after all of her rest over the weekend, she has to go back to the work hunt. Whilst I understand that it must be a hard life to get up and have to go out early before the sun is all the way up, this doesn't mean that I am sympathetic. After all, if she didn't hunt, she'd not be able to feed me. I reminded her of this by waking her a full hour before she was supposed to get up, even though she hadn't gone to bed until late the night before. "Get off my face, Tia!" she spluttered when I crawled on the pillow and flopped on top of her. This is my way of saying good morning, and I don't see what all her fussing is about. I mean, there's not a problem with my yummy tummy on her head, if you ask me. I eventually gave in though and role doff to lie beside her instead.

I discovered a new thing this morning. It's great for two reasons. Firstly, it's a comfort, and secondly, it's guaranteed to keep the human awake, which means I get a prolonged snuggling session. the secret? Knead on your people's head. Honestly, it works! My human has long, silky fur on her head, and it feels wonderful pulling through my paws. There's good skin underneath too, which gives you something to pad against and get a grip on. I couldn't understand why she kept flinching and putting her hand between my paws and her head. Doesn't she understand the giving of love? Do you have such stupid peoples that you own? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

I gave in yesterday, but only a little bit. The human gave me more of the food she'd made, and this time, she put some of my dry food in with it. I ate that, but in the process, a little bit of the mush got on my tongue! It wasn't that bad, so I ate a little more, but only a little. I don't want her thinking she's won, after all.

But you know what she's done this morning? She's forgotten to put my food down! She puts it away at night time so that stupid dogface can't sneakily get it when she's not there to defend the kill. Whenever dogface is eating, I stick my tail in the air and walk away with utter disdain. This would no doubt shame another cat into stopping eating, for it's not polite to steal another's food, but stupid Dogface is too stupid to understand even the most plain of communications, so she keeps on eating. The human takes me to bed with her and puts food down in the bedroom so that I have something to eat, and then in the morning when she closes the bedroom door, she puts my bowl back in the living room. Today she forgot though. I tried to tell her before she left. I miaowed in a terribly sad voice, but she just tickled my chin and said "hush, now. You know I can't stay here all day and cuddle you. I need to go to work." Then she left!

Friends, I don't know what I'm going to do. It's only been an hour and a half, and already I feel weak. My tummy is girgling because it's so empty. My vision is blurring. I'm so dizzy and unable to stand that I have to lie on the really comfy spot on the sofa and sleep. Will I die? I think I will, and it will serve that human right. she remembered about the bowl when she got to the work hunt, and all she said was "I'm worried, but I know she'll be all right. It's not as though I'm gone for ages, and she isn't skin and bone." She's a heartless, cruel human! I can hardly miaow I'm so close to the end, and what does she say? Typical!

I don't know if I shall blog again, friends. This may be goodbye. To expect me to survive for seven and a half hours without food is too much of an ask. I must go and sleep now. And no, I am not kneading the sofa and lying in a sun puddle to get comfy. The kneading is the nervous spasms and the sun puddle is, well, erm, it just happens to be there! It's the light at the end of the tunnel! Yes, that's it. Goodbye, cruel world, goodbye!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Dogfaces and Food

There isn't really much to report today. The human didn't go to the work hunt, and I always like the days where she stays home. We got to sleep in bed late in the monring, which meant extra snuggle time for me. Something bad happened though. It's about the human's iPod and me attacking the wires, but that, I think, will have to remain a secret until Tortureshell Tuesday.

When we did get up, we didn't really do much. The human cleaned and I slept. She made something that she calls home-made cat food tonight. She boiled up a lot of chicken and turkey in a pan, then put it in a really, really noisy machine that growled louder than even a big mancat! It was so fierce that it managed to reduce the meat to pulp, and that was done without it even showing its teeth! I never thought I'd say this, but I think I've met my match. I'm staying away from the growler.

The human left one half of the food as just meat, but blended some egg and cheese in with the other stuff. She put a little of each down in my bowl so that she could work out which one I liked best. Now I've told you about new food before, haven't I? I went through the same drill as usual. It wasn't tuna. It wasn't my usual chicken. "Human," I thought as I turned my nose up and walked away with my tail at the precise angle which says I am justifiably offended at this lack of consideration for my wants, "that is not what I asked you for. I said tuna very plainly. If you're not going to listen, then I'm not going to be nice and eat the food." "But Tia," she almost whined, "I went to a lot of effort to make that. It took a long time!" I had to stop myself from telling her that I didn't care. I do care, and I'm touched that she went to all that trouble, but right then I was too cheesed off that I wasn't getting what I'd asked for. I've left it alone, and I won't go back to it at all, or at least not while she's watching.

I forgot to tell you yesterday in the excitement of finding my babies that stupid dogface went to see two vets in one day. That's what you get for being a stupid dogface, I guess. She went to see the skin man vet that Guide Dogs uses. She really, really likes him, and so does the human. I considered going with them just to see what all the fuss was about, but then thought better of it. It was a long drive, and there was another stupid dogface puppy in the car too. The human says she's called Gloria, is going in to be trained as a guide dog, and is very cute! Just goes to show that dogs aren't the only stupid things. She jumped all over the human and even tried to climb in her lap when they got to the guide dog place. That lap is for me and me alone to sit on! How dare a dogface, even a puppy dogface, think she can go there just because I'm not around!

The skin man vet said that Molly's ears and skin are so good on her injections that she doesn't need to see him again until next year. The human was pleased about that. She says she's been in vets too often lately. In the evening she went again though, so that they could put stupid dogface in a tank full of water where the floor moves under your feet and disappears. Molly says that if you didn't start to walk, you might disappear with it! The human calls this hydrotherapy and says that the hydro lady vet took a picture of Molly in the tank. She asked her for a copy for the blog, so we'll put it here when it arrives. See how nice I am? I even share my blog with a stupid dogface!

That's all for today. I have some cat food to eat. Um, I mean, I have a human to snuggle! Yes, that's it, snuggles.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Prodigal Kittens

Friends, I have found my babies! I really have! I'm sorry I haven't posted in forever. The human kept telling me I should, but I was too busy searching. I looked everywhere. I even was brave enough to go look in the bath tub, but they weren't there. Things were getting desperate, so I wrote a letter to my friend Sweet Praline
who came through for me! If you have a look at her blog, you can see how hard she searched, just in case my babies had somehow gotten into her house by mistake. Although she didn't find them, she did begin to put feelers out, and thanks to her wonderful connections, I have located my children! Allow me to explain.

Over the last two weeks, my human kept muttering "phantom pregnancy". I hadn't mentioned this to Praline until a little while ago, but as soon as I did, she got thinking. "Tia," said she, "You have to slow down a little. You young cats are so eager for life that you don't take the time to consider things propperly. Really think about the words. Break them down a bit." Given that she is an older and wiser cat, and a tortie Persian to boot, I thought I'd better listen. "Phantom Pregnancy," I thought, "phantom pregnancy. Fan Tom, Preg Nancy."

It was like being hit by a sun puddle. I understood! Fan, Tom, Nancy! I now had a lead. Quick as a wink, I ran to the computer and had my human send off an email. She knows a lady called Nancy, you see. Could it be true? I waited with paws crossed, and this morning, a return email came our way. It was true! I was right! Allow me to share with you.

First the fan. This was how the babies escaped from my tummy. On Thursday night while I was asleep, Tom and Nancy sneaked into my house and blew a big fan really hard against my tummy. I didn't wake up because it was only air on my skin, and I'm used to that. Tom and Nancy are two peoples who take care of little ghost kittens. They explained to me in the email that ghost kittens have a hard time getting food from their mummycat, but that they have the means to care for them. They'd heard I was having kittens, and had come to check. They do this with all mummycats just in case they are having ghost kittens instead of babycat kittens. They don't want any kittens to die, so if there are ghost ones, they take them away so that they can feed for them and love them and make sure they grow big and strong. Every night, they sneak into the houses of mummycats really quietly so as not to wake anyone and worry them. Then they check on the babycats. If they are ghosts, they blow the fan. If they are not, they leave as silently as they have come. My human says they're rather like santa clause in that respect, but I don't know who he is. I think they are guardians of cats everywhere.

Ghost kittens are light, say Tom and Nancy, so the fan blows them straight out of your tummy. "We put them in a basket with lots of snuggly warm blankets, and we bring them home with us." I asked why they couldn't have stayed with me. "Ghost kittens are all air and shadow," they reply."If you kept them, you'd not be able to see them, and how can you feed a babycat you can't see?" I couldn't argue with them here. If I couldn't see them, I couldn't go to where they are to snuggle and feed them. They'd be cold and hungry and lonely, and I wouldn't even know! The thought of that makes me quite upset, but now I know they are happy and healthy, it is tempered.

Tom and Nancy say my babies are happy. They promise to give updates on their progress over the coming months, and say they will love them very much.

So there you have it. I'm not quite sure about the Preg part of Fan Tom Preg Nancy, but my human does know a people called Gregg, and he is related to Nancy. Maybe they just made a mistake with Preg Nancy. I think it's Gregg, and that he will help take care of the ghost kittens too.

Tom and Nancy offer their services to all cats in need. If you think you might be having kittens, just get in contact with them. It's worth it in case they are ghosts.

To Tom, Gregg and Nancy, thank you for caring for my babies. I will always miss them, but my grief is made a little easier by knowing that they are in loving arms. To Praline, thank you so much for your wisdom and care. I will never forget the comfort you gave me. To all of you others, your purrs worked, and I thank you for helping my babies on their way to a loving home. I will sleep well tonight knowing that they all have milk and warmth.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Mummycat Monday

Except that I'm not, am I? I still don't understand where my babies have gone to. I've searched everywhere. I've looked under the bed, behind the sofa, even in the bag of dog food. It's pretty stinky in there and I think even a kitten would have the sense not to hide in a smelly place like that, but you never know, right? I got so upset last night that the human thought I might be sick and almost rushed me down to the vet. Yet again! (human note: I really had to convince myself that this lethargy is normal for a grieving mother, that it would go away and that the pitiful crying would stop soon.) I managed to reason with her though. In the end I had to remind her that they'd stolen my kittens and ask her how she'd feel if they stole me too. She gave in then. She doesn't want to lose me too. She says she has to take stupid dogface to the vet tonight for another injection. I wonder if they'll steal her too? One can hope, I suppose.

If there can be a good side to this terrible situation, it's that I have much more food now. The human was worried because I wasn't eating. Well, I ask you, would you eat if you were worried to death about your missing babies? She put food down in the living room and the bedroom, and the biggest bowl I've ever seen in the kitchen right beside where she always feeds me my chicken. I'm not usually allowed in there when the human isn't at home because I sometimes jump on the high places where she makes food so that I can see out of the window, but today she left the door open. She told me she hopes I'll wander in there and eat due to the association of yummy chicken coming from there. I'm not that stupid. If I eat, it'll be through my own choice, not through any human trickery.

I'm still hoping for help from some of you. Somebody must have seen something. Surely a criminal kittennapper can't have come and gone with nobody noticing anything? If I only knew my babies were cared for, it would take the edge off this worry. I'd still not be happy, but at least I'd know they weren't starving somewhere.

I'm so upset that I don't even know if I'm up for Tortureshell Tuesday tomorrow. I'll try, but my heart just isn't in it. The human left one of her sweaters down for me today while she went on the work hunt. I'm cuddling it, but it just isn't the same. I wonder if cats can get runny eyes like peoples do when they are upset?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sad, Searching Sunday

I am back, friends. I have decided that I need to reclaim my blog from the clutches of the human who was growing to enjoy posting a little too much for my liking. She did a good job with most of it, although I'm sorry that it was all written from the peoples perspective. I keep telling her about that, but she just can't change her perspective enough to write from the point of view of us cats. Ah well, never mind.

To summarise for those of you who went glossy-eyed at the people description of what has happened over the last few days, I had kittens in my tummy, and then somebody stole them! I don't know how it happened or when they took them, but I know they did. Was it the vet? I don't know. I have been down there twice in two days, and each time they were very, very interested in my yummy tummy. I know, I know. It's understandable, but they were interested beyond the usual interest level peoples show. Last night they even stole some of my fur, right under my nose too! So I wouldn't be surprised if they slipped the kittens out when I was preoccupied with seeing where they put my fur. They put cold gel stuff on my tummy and then pushed a hard thing against it. The human says this is to get pictures to see if I have any kittens, but I was a bit confused, as I didn't see a bright light flash, and it wasn't a flashbox. They didn't find any kittens, but no wonder! They had already stolen them!

If it wasn't the vet peoples, maybe another mummycat crept in here at night when me and the human were asleep and stole the babycats out of my tummy without waking me. I know it's possible. We cats sneak really good, so maybe she could have succeeded at this.

Either way though, I have searched and searched for my babies all day long. Even though I didn't have a chance to see them outside of my tummy, I know that I should be caring for them. I get so upset when I can't find them. I'm so worried. What if they're hungry? What if they don't have a mummycat to keep them warm? And even if they do, it's not me! Nobody could take care of my babies as well as me.

My human says I'm "entering the grieving stage of the phantom". I don't know what a phantom is, but I know I'm not in it. I am grieving though, and terribly. I hadn't been eating much anyway, what with getting ready to have my babies, but now I just don't have any apetite. I'm too busy searching to think about food. The human even had to coax me to eat chicken. She's given me a lot of it so that at least I'm eating something, but all I can think about are my missing babies.

I have adopted the human too. I've already lost my family. I don't want to lose her too. I've stayed very close to her all day and have made her come into whatever room I'm searching in so that I can keep an eye on her. I can't let her out of my sight. I get so worried when she goes somewhere that I can't see that I cry and cry until she comes back. She knows I'm feeling miserable, so has been holding me a lot. She also gives me her hand to cuddle. It's warm like a kitten, and she moves it occasionally too, just like a babycat would. I feel a little more contented when I pull it close and snuggle it against my tummy, but when I try to feed it and it won't suckle, it all comes crashing down on me again, and I go back to looking.

Please, friends, help me find them. Please search with me and keep a look-out. Somebody stole them, and whoever it is needs to be found. I can't find them on my own. I need help.

Human note: If any of you have experience with a cat grieving for a phantom pregnancy and what to do about it, please, please get in touch. I don't like seeing her this upset, and although it'll pass, I'd like to help it go sooner if there's a way.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Quick Update

Human: I'm tired again, so this isn't going to be a long one. Off and on all day, Tia's been going to her box and calling and calling until I come in there with her. She's either crouched or stretched right on her side and fidgets a lot as though she can't get comfortable. I really, really wasn't happy, so I took her back to the vets and asked them to do an ultrasound on her. unfortunately, it wasn't my usual vet, and this surgery offers a less than great service, but my normal one wouldn't do the test till Monday, and I didn't want to wait that long.

I won't tell you about our interminable wait there. Maybe Tia will when she's feeling up to blogging again. In the end though, we were seen and she was scanned. The vet said she was 99% sure that there were no kittens in there. So it's a phantom after all. I feel as drained as though it were real, and my pregnancy instead of hers!

I'm not long back from there, but the first thing I did was take up her nesting box. That won't go back down unless she gets really, really desperate again. Her milk is still in, but it hasn't increased any since yesterday. She's still crouching, but it's for short periods at a time. I guess I just need to keep watching. They gave her an exam and said they could find nothing else wrong, so apparently she's having phantom labour as well as pregnancy. I can't wait to see the ghost kitten. Please let it come soon!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tia Update

Hi there, folks. It's the human here. I'm posting today, as Tia is still a bit, ah, preoccupied.

I was half expecting to find a kitten or two when I got home after a very long shift at work yesterday. I'd had Hoover lady check in on Tia in the middle of the day just in case she had started labour and was having difficulties, but she was fine. When I got home, it was to find that Hoover lady was still there. She's great. She stayed with her on the off-chance that Tia would start and there'd be nobody there for her. I tried to have a listen with my stethoscope yesterday (I'm a physio, and have a paediatric very sensitive one) but it wasn't sensitive enough to hear through the fur of her tummy, so I was none the wiser. I decided to watch for another night to see what happened.

She didn't nest nearly as insistently last night, but then I don't know whether this is indicative or not because I'd put a box down for her in the living room. She'd been in there all day and knew that it was safe, warm and private, so maybe her urgency slacked off a little because she knew it was there. Whatever the reason, she slept for a little, and so did I. I was up with her frequently though. She was very restless and terribly vocal about it.

This morning she didn't seem to want me to go to work, but again, that's not abnormal. I got her settled in her box and she seemed fine, so off I went. Still no kittens when I came home, but Tia now started calling me to the box. She wasn't happy unless she was there and I was in there with her. I had to take Molly to the vet for her first session of hydrotherapy, so I decided, against my better judgement really, to take Tia along and have one of them look at her. I'd spoken to them on the phone beforehand and they thought she might very well have a real pregnancy. That worried me enough that I wanted her checked.

I took her in a closed carrier to give her a bit more privacy, and she really seemed to like it. It's quite big, so she could get comfy and fidget when she needed to, and she talked all the way there to me.

I saw the vet that had spoken to me on the phone, and she concluded that she thought she could feel something in her tummy. She also said though that she could be convincing herself because of what I'd told her about Tia already, and took her off to let a colleague have a look. He said that he might be able to feel something but didn't think it was likely. So I'm still in the I don't know camp. Her milk is coming down though. All of her nipples are hard and there's one at the back that's filling nicely with milk.

When I brought her home, she headed straight for the box and was very, very insistent that I come with her. When I got there, it was to find her half lying, half crouched and panting quite a bit. "This is it," I thought, and stayed with her. Half an hour later though, she came back out, jumped on my lap on the sofa and went to sleep. She's currently on the back of the sofa behind my head and is still sleeping.

So I still don't know what to think. Because her milk is coming in, we should see something happen pretty soon. It usually happens within two days, four at the most, so the waiting game will be over reasonably quickly, I'm guessing. It's interminable though, and I don't like it. I'm going to take her into bed with me again tonight, and hope that I sleep lightly so that she will have no trouble waking me if she needs me. I'm a light sleeper anyway, but since Tia's been with me, I've learned to snore on through her constant chattering, so I'm worried that if she cries, I'll not notice it.

As soon as there's any change, I'll post it here. I'd really appreciate advice from any of you who have either had a pregnant mum give birth with you or who know about phantom pregnancy though. I feel a bit out on my own here, and don't know if it's normal for labour to stop and start, for example. I thought once it started, it just kept on going, but judging by her current position, she didn't start earlier on after all. Help! If you know of anyone else who knows, I'd love the input. For now, I'm going to grab sleep when I can. Fingers crossed for a safe delivery, whether it be ghost or kitten!

Thursday, 7 October 2010


Friends, let me begin by apologising for not posting yesterday. The human had a long day and was tired, and I had to have another stinky bath. When she was ready to post, things started happening. Normally I would tell you about those things, but to be honest, I have my mind on other matters right now. I am getting these urges. I need to find a safe, dark, warm, soft place. I have to prepare it, mark it with my scent, flatten it. I've been grooming a lot too. I don't know why, but I have this strong conviction that I need to keep myself very, very clean. The human is muttering something about pregnancy, but I don't really care. For once, it is all about me, and I have little time for anyone else, even this blog. For that reason, I'm going to hand the rest of this post over to the human and let her tell you everything. I have a bed to make.

Human: I never thought I'd be posting something like this, but here goes. I am mightily confused. A few months ago, I sent Tia out to stud, but it was unsuccessful, or so we were told. Neither of the boys managed to get anywhere near her thanks to her tortie temper, and yet, I find myself in my current position.

Last night in the early evening, Tia became very restless. In my house, my sofa sits a little away from the wall, and it is behind this that she goes if she wants to hide and observe strangers or new goings on in relative safety. Yesterday she was in and out of here quite a lot. I heard her scratching and thought she was going to the toilet outside the box again, but as soon as I got close, she'd cry at me, then run away as though I was invading her space. I thought nothing of it. After all, if she was going where she knew she shouldn't, it's to be expected that she wouldn't want to be caught in the act. Yet, when I showed her where the box was, she didn't seem interested. I gave her her bath as normal.

Usually Tia tells me off when I get her wet, but last night, she really let loose. At one point her cries were on the edge of cracking, you know that point just before it turns into a scream and a slash? But she never followed up. I also noticed that she's lost some hair around her lady bits, or I think she has. I'm not in the habit of touching here, so am not sure whether there should be less fur there than everywhere else, but it was noticeable last night. Still, I didn't worry.

She was strangely pliant during being dried off, but cried even then, something she doesn't usually do. I cuddled her afterwards, then gave her her chicken which she ate all of. Usually she leaves some for the following morning, but not last night. We went to bed then, but it was here that things really kicked into over-drive. Instead of cuddling as she usually does, she headed straight for under the bed and cosied up in between boxes that I keep there and the wall. However, her meowing continued. I ignored it because she'll often talk to me when she's exploring, just to let me know she's found something. In a few minutes though, she jumped back up, meowed right in my face, then got back down and under the bed. This carried on for another two repetitions before I gave in and came down with her. But all she wanted was company in her little nest. Well, I couldn't stay with her all night, but nor could I get her to settle. It occurred to me that this behaviour was typical of a mother close to birthing kittens, but how could she be?

She has showed no signs of pregnancy. Her nipples didn't pink up in the three weeks after she'd been with the boys. She hasn't put on weight. I could feel nothing in her belly (I checked). Hoover lady did say she ate shed loads of food while I'd been away though. Was it a phantom pregnancy? This isn't uncommon when an older girl goes out to stud for the first time, and I'd been warned of the possibility, but I was told it would only last a few weeks if it was there. Still, if she had been caught by one of the boys, the timing would be about right for the birth.

I slept uneasily, aided by the fact that Tia was very much a fidget, and a vocal one. At six this morning, I decided that I couldn't take any more. I'm blushing as I write this, but I made tiny kitten noises at her. I couldn't think of anything else to do. That got her attention right away. Quick as a wink, she was up with me, talking like I've never heard her talk before, nuzzling, then cuddling around my hand which had to act as surrogate to settle her, and assuming the "I'm ready for you to nurse" position. She seemed content enough as long as she cuddled my hand, so I left her like that and just watched for the next few hours. The nesting resumed as I was getting up, but as yet, there is no discharge which indicates labour, and I still can't feel a thing in her stomach. Her milk hasn't come down either, but then my reading says that a girl will try and nest for up to a week before giving birth, and the milk only comes down in the last few days.

I know that Persians often carry only one or two in their first litter. If it is one, and a small one, I suppose it's possible that we could have missed it, as first time mums don't always pink up. But I'm still torn. I called Hoover lady to tell her this morning and she says she noticed last time she checked that Tia's lady bits were a bit puffy. These could all indicate termination of a phantom pregnancy, but it could also indicate birth. I'm just not sure, and the last thing I want to do is send her to the vet again if she's ready to birth. I know of cases where the stress of that has caused a mum to kill the kittens when they are born because she's not settled.

I guess we just play a waiting game now. I'm half expecting to see a kitten when I get home from work today, but the reality check side of me says it's very, very unlikely. Have any of you had experience with similar situations or phantom pregnancies? I could do with some advice.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tortureshell Tuesday: Bath-time Romp

Yep, it's that time again, and hasn't it come around fast! I've been working my hardest to do something stupendously bad for Tortureshell, but I'll let you be the judge of whether I succeeded or not. By the way, huge points to Sweet Praline.  She's the only one brave enough to actively involve herself in this most splendid of events!

I told you yesterday that the human gave me a bath on Sunday. She has to do this twice a week for the next little while because I was more naughty and kept scratching my collar. The next time I do this, remind me about horrible, stinky shampoo, will you? Maybe then I'll remember that it's really not worth the trouble it gets me into. Even I have limits of naughtiness!

But look, I'm getting side-tracked again. The human has a special carrier (PTU) that she keeps for bathing. She says it's because it's old, so it doesn't matter if it gets caked in stinky shampoo. She can't use it to carry me in because the door comes off if I jump hard on the bottom, and she doesn't agree with just throwing things away if they can be useful for something else, so it stays in the bathroom.

Into the bath I went, complaining bitterly. What had I done to deserve this treatment! I'd been nothing but a good nurse, and here she was getting me all wet for no reason other than to put stinky horrible on me! Life isn't fair sometimes, and boy did I tell her.

Once she'd covered me in the horrible stuff, she bundled, yes bundled! me into this PTU. I didn't want to go. I braced my front paws with claws out against the plastic, but she just pushed harder. I went star-shaped, but she folded my legs in and shoved me in face first. I stuck my bum out the door but she gave it a pat and it brought back all the memories of those mancats trying to do the unladylike things with me. Quick as a flash, I whipped my tail away from her, and in that instant, the heartless jailor slammed the door and turned the catches.

Well, I was furious! I was so mad I was even jumping up and down inside that PTU, but it was on the floor, so it couldn't bend at the bottom and release me from stinky, wet, PTU hell! She put a towel over me the same as before to keep the heat in, and then she left me alone. She shouldn't have done that, friends, because here's where I went into action.

I have strong front paws. It comes from all the kneading I've had to do on the human to make her feel better over the last few days. I didn't know I needed this extra strength, but boy was I glad I had it. Slowly, quietly so that the jailor wouldn't hear me, I reached out and grabbed the bars of the door. I pulled, but nothing happened. I shook, but they stayed solid. Getting desperate now (I wanted rid of the stinky, and there was no food in there with me!) I lowered my shoulder, dropped my head, backed up, then charged. And you know what? It worked! I was free! And what's more, I had a whole bathroom to play with.

Now I know I'm supposed to keep the shampoo on me for ten minutes to let it do whatever it's supposed to do, but there were a lot of surfaces in that room which were free of it, and in my opinion, I had an awful lot too much on my fur. I started rubbing. I rubbed my whole body. I even climbed so that I could cover all available areas in the stinky yuck. When the jailor came back, I was in the middle of having a great wrestling match with that pesky towel that had covered me. It was still warm and I was a bit cold, so although I was fighting with it, I was all wrapped inside it too. This one was the best. It took off the mostest shampoo.

For some reason, the human wasn't pleased. "Another towel wash, then," she groaned as she pulled me from the tangle I'd made, then dumped me right back in the tub! I complained, but it was more of a token gesture this time. I knew she was going to get rid of the stink, so what was the point in fighting it when it was what I wanted?

Human picture: On hearing an almighty rumpus coming from the bathroom, I scooted back in there really quick thinking she might have managed to overturn the carrier. Picture the scene. A hot, steamy bathroom, the stink of shampoo thick in the air, the gentle drip, drip, drip of bubbles cascading off the sides of the tub, the toilet, sink, litter tray, walls, the soothing splish-splosh of the veritable lake of suds on the floor as Tia's small paws hit it as she scampered from one place to the next. And the towel? It doesn't even bear mentioning. It was a sodden, soapy mess, complete with fur-puddle in the middle of it. Oh, she had fun all right.

The human says I succeeded in torturing her. It took her quite a time to get all of the shampoo off the bathroom. Hah. Maybe she'll think twice about putting me in the bath next time!

Now, it's over to you. Whether you're a naughty tortie or not, torture those peoples!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Nurse Tia

That's what I've been doing this weekend. Although I miss Mummycat, I don't think I miss her as much as the human does. Saturday night was really hard for her. She came in, and because she'd been gone for so long, I came straight to her for a cuddle. I don't mind admitting that I miss her when she's gone for long periods. She's usually happy to see me, but as soon as I let her pick me up, she got all leaky and runny in the eyes. She kept muttering Mummycat's name as she hugged me tight. Where I'd usually have struggled, I just sat quietly. I don't mind a bit of runny eye juice in my fur. I can clean it off, and it doesn't taste awful.

She didn't open the door of Mummycat's room, even though the radio was still on in there and the carrier really should have gone back in because it was in the way in the hall. She says she just couldn't bring herself to do it. If she didn't look, she could pretend Mummycat was still there, because every time she thought about her being gone, she got so upset that she says she felt like being sick. This is an unfortunate problem of the human's. Whenever she's really sad, her tummy, which isn't as yummy as mine, goes all funny. She can't eat and it's like she has a tummy bug. She started taking Rescue Remedy on Saturday. It's good stuff, and I reminded her that it helped last time she was really miserable. For once she listened to me and has been guzzling the stuff ever since.

She stayed in bed really, really late on Sunday. The sun was on its way down before we got up! I loved it as it meant extra cuddle and sleepy time. She said she was avoiding reality by staying in bed and hoping time would pass quicker. For once, she was actually looking forward to going back to the work hunt. After her recent day off, this relieved me somewhat. If she doesn't want to hunt, she's more likely to stay at home and the more she stays at home, the less food there'll be for me because she doesn't have the moneys to swap.

She gave me a bath when she got up. She says it was the day for it. I'm getting one twice a week for the next four weeks to help clear up my scabs with that horrible special stinky shampoo. I did a naughty thing when she left me in the carrier though. If I remember, I'll tell you about it on Tortureshell Tuesday.

Throughout the weekend, I've been on nurse duty. It's really hard. I know that you others say to get as much healing spit in the water they drink as you can, but my human takes all of hers from bottles. I've contented myself with licking her instead. Not only does it clean her, but it exposes her skin to all the good healing I can give!

I've also been cuddling her loads and loads. I feel that it's my duty to be on her whenever she stays still long enough, and I even laid on her chest last night although she was sitting up. (human note: If I hadn't caught her just as she flopped over, she'd have slid off and onto the floor. She was lying vertically!) I follow her from place to place. I even sleep with her all the time. I let her give me real chicken every night too. I'm sure that makes her feel better because even though her eyes are still runny, she smiles when I miaow to her to tell her it's time to prepare my dinner.

This nursing duty is exhausting. I'm kind of glad she's gone hunting today. It'll take her mind off Mummycat for a while, and give me a chance to rest.

Speaking of Mummycat, she settled straight away in the old place we used to live, and spent all her time trying to get at a new kitten that one of the other cats has had. She loves babycats so much that the human asked for her to always have one with her, and the breeder agreed. she says there's a really old lady people who might fall in love with mummycat and give her the propper home she deserves where it's quiet all the time and there's always just the one people there to cuddle her so she won't get afraid by Hoover lady and the vacuum and stupid Dogface Molly and all the peoples who come to see my human. The lady people we used to live with says she'll only let the other lady people have her if she's really special though, and is going to push and push to see if she'll let Mummycat take a kitten with her to her new home, if it comes to that. Me and the human are torn about this. We'd like to see Mummycat in a home, not a cattery, but on the other hand, it's another move to another house and Mummycat's sure to be frightened to start off with. I guess we just have to pray very hard that the right thing for Mummycat will be done. We don't want her to be miserable any more, and she sure isn't in the old place we used to live. She was playing with toys and everything, something she only did once in the whole time she lived with me and the human.

Now it's time for the healing to start. I think I need to get some healing spit on the human's heart, because she says that's the bit that's sore. I don't know how to get there though. My tongue isn't that long and there's all the skin in the way. I'd appreciate any ideas and advice you others can suggest. It makes me sad when the human is sad, and I don't like either of us being this way.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Livestrong Day

Peoples, cats, even stupid dog faces should read this. Today is Livestrong Day
to honour all of those who left us through, battled with and survived the dreaded cancer. I've never seen this myself, but the human is very familiar with it. She says:

Many in my family have had cancer, and many have left us because of it, but the one who stands in my mind was my great auntie Irene. She wasn't very old when she passed. Nor was I, actually, but throughout her fight she was cheerful and content. She loved life, and continued to live despite the difficulties chemo through at her. In her last hours she was singing cheerful hymns with the pastor of her church, and instructed us all not to be sad once she'd gone. Tears weren't allowed, she said. Instead we were all to be happy that she'd left her pain and gone to meet her maker.

Irene touched the lives of so many, for she was a well known woman. The only way to measure this is in numbers, and after her death, the family counted. Through her, her sunny outlook on life and her reluctance to give up, 112 people became a Christian, and two of those travelled the world continuing her legacy by journeying to small African villages to help those so desperately in need. Auntie Irene, today, I honour you.

She speaks well sometimes, doesn't she? For me, Livestrong has a slightly different meaning. I extend massive support, as does my human, to those lost through cancer, Snippy, Fat Eric, and all the rest we never met. Mine and the human's lives are all the poorer for not knowing you. I also want to give a huge thumbs up to Zoolatry Girls and their man people
As he fights the good fight.

For me, my Livestrong day is going to be about living without Mummycat. I know I can do it. My human tells me I'm a big, strong girl, and for once, I believe her. I'll be sad for her as well as the cancer victims today though.

To clear up some of the questions in comments, let me explain. Mummycat was born to a breeder who was only interested in money. She was kept in a cattery all of her life, in a small, never-changing, always quiet environment. Peoples were fun to her because pretty much the only times she saw them was when they were bringing food or water, cleaning or snuggling her. Cats were good too. They were her constant companions. When she was bought by the lady people who we owned before the human took us, she also ran a cattery, so Mummycat went into the same conditions again. She's five now, almost six, and has spent her whole life up until a few months ago in the same type of living space. When the human came for us, she took us to a house. It was busy. There were stupid dog faces. There were vacuums. Worst of all for Mummycat, there was a lot of open space and new people and things happening all the time. She couldn't cope. As soon as she got here she headed for the litter tray even though it was dirty and stinky. And there she stayed.

The human tried all sorts to get her to come out, to even hide in a different spot. I've been into that in other posts though, so I'm not going to do it here. The upshot though was that Mummycat just couldn't cope. She stopped eating. She started getting stress infections, until the human had the idea of clearing what she calls her spare junk room, and putting Mummycat in there. Soon she was out of the litter tray, but it took her weeks to be really confident enough to stay out of it all of the time. If she's in an enclosed, contained, cattery-like space, she's happy, but she's not content alone. She cries for company sometimes, and the human just doesn't have the space to get a third cat, not with the size of the house she has at the minute. She doesn't like the thought of two cats in such a small space all the time anyway.

She did her research and it said that cattery cats, if they're gotten when they're older, sometimes never can adjust to normal family life. After about four months or so of trying, and she's tried everything, the human is forced to admit that Mummycat might be one of those poor babies who's just grown to expect, and even crave, the small sppaces, the lack of change, the other cats for company. It's just what she's always been used to.

If she could have found an older person who lived in a really small house that was very quiet she'd have sent Mummycat there, but Mummycat has health problems, and most older peoples can't afford to pay for them. She's tried for months, and has found nothing. The only solution is to give her back to the lady people we used to live with. While the human doesn't agree with the conditions the cats are kept in, their health needs are met, their food is good, and they are snuggled regularly. She just wants Mummycat to be a family pet, not one of many in a cattery.

There's a good side, though. Mummycat is old enough that she'll probably never breed again. The human had her during the time when we want mancats most, and given her age, the breeder lady people won't have more babycats from her, we don't think.

Anyway, that's all for now. The human's upset all over again thinking about what Mummycat is going back to, but she knows that even if we were to find her a home, the same thing would happen in the end. She says I am to say that she hates breeders who don't keep their cats as pets, and hates conditioning seeded so deeply that a good life is nothing but upsetting to a soul who deserves nothing but love.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Farewell, Mummycat

The day has finally arrived. It's Mummycat's last day in the house. i'm not going to write much today, as I'm sad and the human has very runny eyes which she says makes it hard to type. I don't know how runny eyes mean your hands don't work, but I do know that peoples are strange things, so I take her at her word.

The human spoke to the people that we used to live with today on the phone, and it's all been arranged. Tomorrow Mummycat will go in a horrible new PTU (this is a Prisoner Transport Unit and is apparently the propper cat name for the silly peoples carriers that they put us in). This one is closed and doesn't have the wire on the doors. The human is hoping it will make Mummycat feel more secure when she has to go on the train because there's not as much visibility and she can hide better. Last time, Mummycat was so upset by the journey and the new place that she wouldn't eat, but she's hoping it will be different this time.

The human has spent a lot of time with her this evening. She says she's saying goodbye, but I'm starting to wonder if Mummycat is making her sick. Last time she came out of there, her eyes were running so bad that her whole face was wet, and she couldn't even breathe propperly. It was all short and uneven and when she spoke, it sounded like she had a cold. I haven't shouted at her for going either like I usually do. She thinks I know something's happening, and she knows Mummycat does, as she's been extra cuddly. I think that's a stupid thing to think. I don't think something's happening. I know it.

I am hoping that Whicky puts the picture of Mummycat up that we sent him so that you can all see the reason for my beauty. She is a yummy mummy, and, in spite of me needing to be a worldly wise, growed up cat out from under her paw, I really am going to miss her a lot. She is my mummy, after all.

Human: Pardon for the sad tone of the blog tonight, but I just don't have the heart to be cheerful. Cindy is one of those very few cats who is able, in some inexplicable way, to touch the heart more than the average one. Perhaps it is because I've seen her go from a cat who always hides in a litter tray to one who, with a bit of coaxing, will come for a cuddle. When she cuddles, she gives her whole self to it and turns into a big floppy, soppy puddle of mush. I am going to miss her more than I can say. I'm so, so angry at breeders right now. How dare they keep cats in cattery conditions all of their lives. They have denied both of us the chance at a long, happy relationship because this little person never was given the chance as a youngster to snuggle and cuddle with humans outside of a cattery. She's destined to live out the rest of her life in those kinds of environments all because someone put money above the happiness of a cat. I hope those people don't sleep easy in their beds tonight. I hope they realise what they've done. The worst part is that I know they won't. They'll carry on churning out kittens and making cats like Cindy miserable and sad when they're offered the chance of a good, fulfilling life that every cat should have, and all because it brings in a bit of extra cash. Is anything worth that price?

Now before I really start ranting, I'm going to end the post. I have a cat to cuddle and a heart to mend. I'm sure tia will help with that. Cindy, extra cuddly, smooshy Cindy who's giving me headbutts where she never did before and purring fit to burst as soon as I go into the room, deserves all the snuggling I can get in tonight before she goes back to the life she certainly doesn't deserve. I'm only sorry that there couldn't be another way out. Unethical, money-driven breeders, I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!