Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Need My Therapy!

There are days when you wish you could divide your body or have as many arms as an octopus, there's just so much to do. Today was such a day. I found it hard to unwind even when I reached home. I just felt high strung and couldn't relax. That was until I sat on the couch to watch Animal Planet and one by one my cats Chester, Kahlua, Munchkin, Milkshake, Taffy, Chili and Honey sat beside me to watch television as well and rub their faces to be petted. They took turns on my lap and cuddled. I started to feel like my normal self again. When I went to my room after dinner, my kitten Uni raced me to the door and Bitty welcomed me inside. We rested for awhile with Uni rubbing her face on mine and made noises like a bird. 

In animal language, rubbing of faces is a sign of affection and I just wallowed in theirs. I read in an article that petting a cat is like taking valium. They sense how their humans feel and could detect if anything's different or wrong. So with 18 cats, that would mean that I don't need to go to the drugstore for a long time to come :-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Sign of Trust

I have read that an animal's most vulnerable area is its belly. If an animal would get on its back and show you his tummy, he shows you that he trusts you.

I find them especially cute in this position, they look like little children. I also find it very flattering that they would show an enormous amount of trust in their humans.

I encountered one of my kitties, Raffles, in the middle of a busy intersection, when she was a tiny kitten. She was causing so much traffic because the cars were trying to miss running over her. When I got her, we were both shaking, she was panting and all I could see were the whites of her eyes. She was able to relax when we got home, and started showing signs of hostility. Whenever we would greet her, she would hiss and try to escape. This went on for awhile, and slowly she was able to lower her guard and let us touch her. She's now a fat kitty who runs to us when the other cats would pick a fight with her.

A little patience and a lot of TLC really works wonders.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Dog Who Thinks She's A Cat

Our dog Honey, like the rest of our brood was also taken from the streets. At first, we thought we saw a rat, then we thought it was a cat. Much to our surprise, it turned out to be a dog.

Honey grew up among cats. She lives up to her name. I have never seen her growl nor has she bitten or attacked any of the cats even when they pester her. She doesn't even bark that much. She has seen several of the kitties grow up. When Mallows had her kittens, Honey would at times watch after the babies when the Mommy cat would be sleeping. She would call the attention of any human near the vicinity when any of the kittens would be too near the edge of the sofa. We found this to be quite amazing.

She's of mixed breed so we didn't know how big she would grow. She now weighs 48 lbs. She would see the cats jumping from one chair to another and one human lap to the next and she would try to imitate them. Just imagine how it feels to have a 30 lb dog coming out of nowhere and jumping up your lap.

I remember the first time I took her for a walk after she came from the hospital. I was so excited to use her new leash and collar (which took hours deciding what color would suite her and her toy bone which had to be the perfect shape and color). I saw the people on the streets whispering and then look at us. They were the same people who would kick her when she was scavenging for food. I immediately carried her and took her back inside as they might insist she was theirs because now she was looking so much better. I was not giving her up without a fight. We even looked for witnesses who saw that she was maltreated.

That was 4 years ago. Honey is now the official biggest, if not oldest, big sister to my cat family. Good thing she didn't take to using the litter box :-)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Are blind cats really more sensitive?

It's quite amazing that cats seem to know what day it is and expect you to do your usual routine together. My cat Bitty knows when it's time for me to go home and if I'm not there on time, he makes a loud fuss. By the time I get home, he would usually treat me like I'm not there. Sundays are our favorite time together. We wake up together, usually late in the morning. If I don't have breakfast, he won't have breakfast. But on regular days, he would wake up early and wait for his meal. And he expects me to be there with him the whole day. He follows me from room to room and when it's time for our nap, he would lead the way upstairs. But on Sundays when I have to do errands, he really gets upset. He knows when it's a workday and when it's a weekend.

Bitty is a blind kitty, maybe that's why he's a little more sensitive than our other cats. When I have to pack for a business trip, he's the first one to get in the luggage. I have to be quick because he's going to pee, naughty kitty that he is :-). Packing is a tiring business, I have to put all the clothes in and get all the cats out. When I get back, he gives me the silent treatment. But he's back to his sweet self when we retire for the night. It's hard to get up in the mornings because he would be wrapped around my arm, sleeping soundly.