If you have pets, you know this day will come

There is no way to prepare for “this day,” the day that arrives after weeks of declining health, when other than love there”s nothing you can do except keep your pet comforable until the end.

Marlo liked sleeping in a pile of shoes.

We’ve been down this road before with four earlier cats, Needles, BK, OK, and Duncan. Now Marlo is ill and fading fast. Along with Katy and Duncan, she came into our lives (was adopted from a vet) in 2002. She’s had incurable cancer for the last six months or so and goes hour to hour now on what can be described, I guess, as home hospice care.

We still call Marlo and Katy “the kitties.” They know us well, which means they know what they can get away with and that we still care for them when they get away with it. This is the third house they’ve lived in with us. They know where all the hidey holes are–and so do we. They hate moving and then dislike getting uused to new places. But then within weeks, it’s as though they’ve always lived wherever we’re living at the moment.

I always dread the sadness and helplessness of “this day.” I know I will never be the same again. And yet, it’s worth all the companionship and love that precedes it. The kitties seem more accepting of it than we are. Right now, Marlo is asleep behind the wastebacket here in my office. We have water here for her and she drinks a lot of it. She hasn’t eaten for a few days: not interested in that.

We will miss her.


As a cat person, I’ve had plenty of help writing the series of novels that began with “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”

So, y’all like cat posts, do you?


I didn’t expect so many people to stop by and read about Katy’s view of my reading books in bed. I’m glad you did.

Katy with one of my novels. This picture got a million responses on Facebook (naturally).

I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, I’m on Facebook where I notice that for every story about the end of the world that gets one or two reactions, there are a hundred cat pictures and posts that have hundreds of responses and shares. Why should WordPress be any different?

Sometimes I think all that cat action is due to the fact that people are still trying to figure out cats, some wondering why they can’t be more like dogs, some wondering why they don’t seem grateful for anything we do for them, and how it is that they understand the word “no” but don’t pay much attention to it.

The cats in the bed routine got started when we moved into this house. The cats (we had three at the time) didn’t like it any more than they liked the three-hour car ride over here from the old house. They started out in the master bedroom. When my wife and I went to bed, the cats all got in the bed. They stayed in the bed for a couple of days or so before they finally ventured out and discovered there was more to their new digs than a single room.

Our two remaining cats don’t have run of the bedroom 24/7, but they expect to be allowed in there every night at bedtime. Prior to bedtime, they’re usually asleep on the living room furniture while my wife and I are watching highly cultural shows on TV (NCIS, FBI, Grey’s Anatomy). So, basically, we have to wake the cats up when it’s time to go to bed. They’re asleep again before we are.

When people ask me where I live, I tell them I live in a cat house. My wife is used to my saying that, but I suspect she thinks it would be better if I stopped saying that. We’ve had cats since before we were married: Needles, OK, BK, Duncan, Marlo, and Katy. The cat house comment is really quite true <g>.

We’ve talked about getting a kitten, but I’m worried about what Kary and Marlo will think about that. When they arrived in our old house, they took a dim view of our elderly orange kitty (OK), so unless we get a huge, Maine Coon Cat, I worry that things won’t go smoothly. Of course, daily life in a cat house doesn’t go smoothly, so how much worse could it be?








I gotta ask, ‘whose chair is this?’

Every morning it’s the same.

chairwithkatyAfter the kitties are fed and the dishwasher is emptied, I find something figuratively described as breakfast and pour a cup of Maxwell House coffee which will be good to the last drop. Katy, a big-boned or a fat calico (depending on who’s describing her) follows me around while I do this.

Then I take the “breakfast” and coffee to my den. Katy follows. If I forget something, like my glasses, she follows me back to the kitchen while I retrieve them and returns with me to the den like a dog who’s just passed an AKC utility obedience trial and merits as CDX designation.

However, were the trial judge to follow us into the den, s/he would discard the CDX one nanosecond after Katy occupies 55% or more of my desk chair. Katy stays there until dinner, ebbing and flowing–one might say–to occupy smaller or larger portions of the chair. Sometimes, I feel like I’m about to be evicted and say, “Katy, I gotta ask, whose chair is this?”

She thinks it’s her chair. Well, that figures.



Our cats think we’re stupid

Our four cats are convinced that the cruel claw of fate has stuck them with the two stupidest servants on the face of the earth.

For one thing, we don’t realize there’s a schedule. If we did, what the hell’s the deal when it’s obviously supper time and we’re not even here. The day’s winding down, and nobody’s in the kitchen. Look at the clock, for goodness sakes.

When our cats express their disdain in the strongest possible terms, they become what we lovingly call Halloween Kitties. That is to say, fur fluffed out, eyes wild and heavily dilated, hisses and growls, you’ve probably seen this in cartoons where it was supposed to be funny.

Our cats, though, assume we’ve lost all our marbles when we calmly watch them having tantrums and don’t flee in fear. We usually say, “stop being screwed up” or “awww, what cute little Halloween kitties, bless your hearts.”

Food is another thing. Quite obviously, we’ve got cheese or pot roast or tuna on the counter, and while it sounds like we’re chopping it up into feline-sized pieces, we’re just playing with our food and/or are slower than Christmas. How long can it possible take to cut up a piece of cheese, open the door to the bedroom so something orange and furry can camp out on the bed, or throw a toy across the living room?

If cats could sigh, roll their eyes, and shake their heads in order to show their high level of being flabbergasted and put upon, ours would.

They have further questions about our sanity when they hear phrases like “the cat’s pajamas,” it’s raining cats and dogs” or “when the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Mice, you clowns have mice?

It’s all enough to make sweet kitties caterwaul with despair. But they don’t–for one simple reason. No thumbs. They can’t quite figure out how to work the can opener.


Clip Art from Jupiter Images