Friday, April 30, 2010

Dogs and Cats

I've sent my dog Tula for a weekend getaway with her grandmother at the family cottage.  She will be delighted to play in the woods, run along the rocky shore, and certainly to take in the spoiling that will happen thanks to good ol' Grammy.  Grandmothers are like that.  I miss mine, but not because of the spoiling....honest.

This turn of events which didn't come into being until this morning is a welcome opportunity for me to spend time "home alone" with my princess cat.  Lovingly referred to as "Princess P" with a drawn out emphasis on the "P" initial accompanied by a high to low sliding of it.  She knows one is talking about her when she hears this siren like sound.

I've always, always been a dog person.  I even have a favored breed; Labrador Retriever-especially the black ones.  But after my dear black lab passed last spring leaving me with the above pictured yellow mix, I decided to add a cat to my family.  My family doesn't "do" cats so they're still a smidge shocked.  "What do you want a cat for?" were my father's exact words.

"You!? You have a cat?!!" my friend exclaimed and laughed.  Why is this such a surprise?  Why am I considered a "dog person", not a "cat person" based on my looks and habits? I never said anything nasty about cats.  How come I don't fit the cat person profile?

Here's what I knew about cats when I arrived at the local animal shelter in January.  Nothing, nada, zilch.  Breed, eyes, habits, litter boxes, clues.  I finally sat in one of the "cat rooms" with a dozen or more cats roaming 'round and thought let a cat choose me.  I wanted a cat who would sit with me while I watched TV.  Huge request needs.  I figured if a cat came and sat on my lap, they'd pass the test. Princess P did just that.  Stretching out of her basket she strolled over and lept into my lap and started purring.  I waited 15 minutes and knew this is the cat for me.

Princess P has become such a great companion.  Best $59 I've spent in a long time. After hibernating for the first 4 or 5 days under the couch, she emerged, told off the dog with a hiss, and joined the family.  I have become a cat person.  Princess P is an affectionate companion who does watch TV with me.  She is eager for lap sitting most anytime.  If I ask her questions, she vocalizes as if answering, though I've found it best to stick to "yes" or "no" questions.  She wishes to sleep on my bed at night and follows me from room to room, unless she's sleeping in the sun.

I still have some things to learn though. What is it about closets and cupboards that is so interesting?  Clothes closets, broom closets, linen closets, and any of the kitchen cabinets.....any door that opens attracts her feline attention.  She has spent several hours alone in closets when I didn't know she'd wandered inside.  She has taught herself to open the lower cabinets, and then gets trapped inside amongst the stack of sauce and saute pans.  What is this about?

Food:  She eats a little here, a little there.  Sometimes the whole dish, sometimes very little; this is not dog "wolf it down in less than 1 minute" behavior.  And whiskers....they are incredibly ticklish along one's cheek at 2:45 a.m.  Sandpaper tongue bonus with that too.

Overall I'm looking forward to spoiling my little girl for a couple days without the hound around.  Plenty of attention for her royalness without having to leave her while the dog and I take our walks.  Planning to make my lap available as much as possible and be rewarded with the delicate rumble of her purr.  Should be great....though it's hard to post with 5 1/2 pounds of fur and purr on your lap. 

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