Caturday: Feline family

Happy Caturday! It has been a couple of months since I last blabbed about cats. I figured I’d mix things up today and feature some new feline faces: my parents’ cats, Ignatius, Stanislaus, and Aloysius. If you think those names seem a little rich for cats, it’s because all of their pets have saints’ names. I actually named Rosie after Saint Rose of Viterbo, the patron saint of Viterbo, Italy–the city I studied abroad in four summers ago! We aren’t strict Catholics (if you could even call me a Catholic anymore, ha!), but it’s a fun family tradition that my step mom started.


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Ignatius (nicknames: Iggy, Iggs, Piggy, Ignoish, Ignaysh)

My step mom has a thing for brown tabby cats. It all started with her first cat, a brown tabby she named Augie. Iggy is the third brown tabby we’ve had in our family. He’s a feisty boy that loves to hunt, go on car rides, and be close to my dad in any way possible. My dad is his favorite person, probably because he isn’t much of a cat person–they’re always drawn to those people, aren’t they?! You can often find him napping on top of my dad’s convertible. (I’m pretty sure Iggy is why he got a cover for it!) Iggy is the heaviest of the three cats and is currently working on getting down to a healthier weight. Surprisingly, he’s the one most likely to walk away from his food and have it snatched up by one of his brothers! He was best friends with our dog Lucy and even guided her around the house when she went blind. How sweet is that?! Even though he can be temperamental sometimes, he is a gem of a cat. The whole neighborhood knows him and adores him, and we are lucky to have him in our family!

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Stanislaus (nicknames: Stanley, Stan, Stinky Stanley, Stink)

Stanley was adopted from the humane society shortly before I adopted Rosie. He had come into the shelter as a stray with a severely broken front leg; it was apparently dangling, and instead of amputating it, they decided to stick in a metal rod to straighten it out. The $50 adoption fee turned out to be a steal considering his care cost upwards of $6,000! Stan had a limp for quite some time, but now you can’t even tell his leg was ever broken. Stan is the only lap cat out of the three, and when he gets really into cuddle time, sometimes the claws come out as he lays his paw on you. His favorite toys are jingle bells, so Christmas is likely his favorite time of year! He’s a very smart cat and is on a mission to get to any and all cat food. He’ll bite through bags (then knock them over so food spills everywhere) and chew on the plastic containers my parents had to buy to keep him out of the food. Regardless of his antics, he is a very sweet family member!

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Aloysius (nicknames: Al, Big Al, Biggie, Big Stan, Bignatius)

The most recent addition to the family, Biggie is known as Stan’s twin since they have the same coloring as well as the little spot by their nose. My family saw him at Petco and thought for a moment that my dad had surrendered Stan to the humane society! (We know he secretly loves the cats.) My step mom received him for her birthday last year, and as you can probably imagine, they have a full house now! He immediately got along with Iggy and Stan. Biggie is such a sweet cat; he doesn’t sit on your lap, but he will curl up nearby…and his purrs could probably register on the Richter scale. They’re pretty intense, haha. He got the nickname Biggie because he’s a large/tall cat like Rosie (and he’s bigger than Stan). His happy place is sprawling out in the middle of the floor on his back. He loves going outside, but he also enjoys not staying outside for long if it’s cold; he’ll go out the front door and be ready to come in the back door only a couple of minutes later!

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The credit for the last photo of each cat goes to my step mom. (Thank you!)

Caturday: Sybil’s 3rd birthday!

It just so happens that all three of my cats’ birthdays fell on a Saturday this year! Might as well do a Caturday post on each of their birthdays, right?! 🙂 Sybil is the last of the three to celebrate her birthday every year, and this is only the second birthday we’ve had with her because we adopted her September 2013.

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Sybil lived in the shelter/rescue system for a little over the year before I saw her one afternoon in Petco (I pretty much never go into Petco anymore because I would adopt all the cats). I broke down when I got home because I felt terrible for her; how awful that she’s had to live a year of her life in a cage! After talking about it and sleeping on it, Chris and I drove back to Petco the next day to adopt her…only, she wasn’t there–one of the store employees had just taken her home for a couple of days so she could get out of the cage. Luckily, he brought her back as soon as we called so we got to take her home that night. I felt bad that he had just taken her home and also bought toys and treat for her! (He gave us the toys and treats he had purchased–so nice!)

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Sybil spent almost a couple of weeks after we adopted her in the spare/office room so the cats could get used to each other. I’m not sure how well it worked because they still only tolerate each other and sometimes get into little tiffs every once in a while. It made me feel better to do a “proper” introduction, though, since there were now three female cats in the house–all of which had big, dominant personalities. Sybil is quite feisty, probably because she is a calico!

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We named her after the late Lady Sybil Branson (Crawley) of Downton Abbey. (The name ended up fitting her because she often lays withs her paws crossed like a lady!) I have many nicknames for her, though, of course… We call her “Derp” or “Derpy” a lot because she likes to run sideways, do Parkour on the furniture, and flip her head around. We’ve lately started calling her “Syblur” because of the photo I took of her running towards a mouse toy where she’s just a giant blur (below). She also sometimes lays on the floor or on her scratcher (her favorite lounging spot) and looks like a loaf of bread, so I like to call her “Sybil Loaf” or just “Loaf”.

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Even though we’ve only had her for a little over a year, Sybil is our most famous kitty. She was recently featured on ModCloth’s Instagram. I also entered a photo of her (the second one from the top of this post) in a calendar contest hosted by a humane society, and although she wasn’t a monthly model winner, they shared it as a cover photo! Everyone thought she was so pretty. We have to agree, of course! Here’s to many more years with our baby girl, Sybil! ❤

Caturday: Melody’s 7th birthday!

Our smallest cat, Melody (full name Melody Pond), is also the oldest; today is her seventh birthday! Chris adopted her a couple of years ago, and the humane society he got her from didn’t have an exact birth date set for her, so he made it his birthday. Such is the life of cats in the shelter system. It works, right? Haha.

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I first met Melody when I visited Chris/New England for the first time two Octobers ago. She was so sweet! I love lap cats; they’re my favorite. She is eager to sit on anyone and everyone’s lap or chest. You sit on the couch and she is right there waiting to lay on you. It’s very cute. The only downside is when she wants to sit on someone allergic to cats. It becomes quite an ordeal keeping her from them!

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Melody will leave the apartment if the door is ever ajar. There have been times where I forget something so I run back inside to grab it and keep the door cracked, only to find her outside looking around. She’s so naughty! There were people painting our door one afternoon, and she kept trying to open it/peek out. The girls aren’t allowed outside without their harness and leash on. She really enjoys going on walks once she realizes she’s free to move around wherever (it always takes a couple minutes of her laying on the ground confused), but she doesn’t wander around as much as the other two.

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Melody’s favorite things include cat nip (I just got them a new cat nip cigar and she can’t get enough of it; the Yeowww! stuff is the best), soft blankets, open windows/sitting by the window, and people. She loves people! She also enjoys being a terror by running around the house with Sybil like crazies, by knocking things off of the counter, and by scratching on things she’s not supposed to (the couch, the stairs…). She only likes using carpet/twine to scratch on. She does not scratch on the cardboard scratchers! It was so irritating trying to get her to scratch on a cardboard one Chris had picked up, but the moment we put down one of the standing twine ones, she was at it. The only problem is sometimes she’ll pick the stairs over the scratcher even though they are next to each other. Gahhhh! She is so bad sometimes but it is so hard to stay mad at her.

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Isn’t she just the cutest? It was so hard to pick photos for this post because she is quite photogenic and I have lots of photos of her. (I post a lot on my Instagram if you want to see more of my Mels Bells!)

Caturday: A list of goals

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A little over a week ago, Chris and I took Melody and Sybil to the vet together for their annual exam and vaccinations. As expected, we were told that Melody’s teeth were in need of a dental. The vet also suggested a dental for Rosie when we took her in late June for her appointment. If you have a cat, then you know how much dentals are…and it’s quite a lot for us right now, especially with two cats needing them soon. (I don’t think that the prices are too high, because I’m fully aware of what dentals entail and how much things cost. I have a friend in vet school right now and they earn every penny they make–and it’s not as much as you think!)

Anyway, with that in mind, I made a short list of cat-related goals. I don’t have a set timeline for them, but it would be great to get going on them sooner rather than later!

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1. Brush their teeth

We want to put off dentals for as long as possible, so we were told to brush their teeth! A couple of years ago, I got a small cat toothbrush and toothpaste from my former vet for Rosie, but she hated getting her teeth brushed, so I’ve since put it off. We were told to try first with a finger. We start by dipping a finger in tuna juice or other food juice, then touching their mouth, and once they’re good with that, we can start trying to go inside their mouth. Once they’re good with that, we’ll get some sort of gauze or something abrasive to wrap around our finger and use that as the “brush” (or try and find an actual cat toothbrush!). I’ve been trying to get Rosie comfortable with it but it’s taking some time. It probably doesn’t help that I try it right before I feed her, and she’s antsy from being hungry!

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2. Calm the nail trims

Our cats are kind of like Goldilocks when it comes to nail trims in the sense that one cat is pretty good with them (Melody), one cat doesn’t like them and voices her thoughts about it the whole time (Rosie), and the third cat howls and bites and scratches when she gets her nails done (Sybil). We’ve been trimming their nails at home without too much hassle, but it would be amazing to get Rosie and Sybil to realize that nail trims are not as bad as they think they are. We’ll have to take our time pressing their paws and giving lots of praise when they are good.

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3. Toilet train

Yep, you read that right! I would love to toilet train our cats. I’ve seen a few systems on Amazon and I’m hoping to give one a shot, though we have to be sure to be in town for at least a couple of months to keep the training consistent, so we might not get to it until after the new year. Wouldn’t that be amazing to not have litter boxes around (or at least only have one in case of emergency)?! I think I could get used to sharing the toilet with my cats, haha. I feel as though Rosie would pick up on it quicker than the other two. I’m really interested to try and see! (Chris thinks I’m super weird for wanting to toilet train them…)

Caturday: Life lately

Life with my three cats has been crazy as usual. They still only tolerate each other, though I have seen Melody and Sybil bump noses a few times. (Next step, cuddling?? Maybe? Please?!) Other than that, they still have their own personal bubbles and have no problems throwing paws when the others get too close. All three of them have gotten scratched right across the nose!

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Melody is usually the naughtiest one; she is SO sweet, but she’s the one that scratches on pretty much anything and jumps on the counter and knocks things off. I have double-sided tape on all of the fabric furniture and the stairs to keep her from scratching on them. (She is such a brat; there’s a scratcher right below the stairs that I know she uses so I don’t know why the stairs entice her!)

Lately, though, all of the cats have been pretty naughty. I’ve caught Rosie and Sybil on the counter multiple times (I kicked Rosie off the counter three times last night!). I made the mistake of turning on the bathroom faucet for Rosie once and now she’s always on the counter when I get ready, waiting for me to turn on the faucet. I think that might be part of the reason why she gets on the kitchen counter, but Sybil? I have no idea what’s getting into them! It was a full moon last week so maybe that’s where all the crazy stems from, haha.

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Living with three cats means there’s cat hair everywhere. And I mean everywhere. It’s on every single thing and floating in the air at all times. I don’t even want to say how much cat hair I think I’ve swallowed. We are always dehairing our clothes and the couch and chairs. We try to keep up with brushing them, but they aren’t a huge fan of the Furminator. (I won’t use any other brush on them because it does such a good job. I highly recommend them, but don’t pay retail; I got mine on ebay for less than half of what they retail for!)

Chris and I got a new vacuum today, and let me tell you: That thing sucks! It sucks up SO. MUCH. HAIR. I knew our other vacuum didn’t do that great of a job, but oh my gosh… What showed up in the canister disgusted me. It feels nice knowing that our house is so much cleaner now, though. If only the cats would let me vacuum them! 😉

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(I laughed so hard when I saw Melody and Rosie sitting on the window seat; they looked like owls!)

All of these photos are from Instagram! Feel free to follow me if you want to see more cat photos! 🙂

Caturday: Rosie’s 6th birthday!

Today, according to the humane society, my sweet girl is six years old! I adopted her nearly three years ago (four days after her third birthday), so she’s been with me for half of her life. She’s still just as feisty and loving (when she wants to be, of course)!

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I got professional photos of her done a couple of years ago at my veterinarian’s office. It’s not as weird as you may think; for a donation to a local cat rescue, you could get photos done of your kitty at an event my vet was hosting! The photographer was super generous and it was entertaining trying to keep Rosie calm and still. I’ve purchased three prints but I plan to also buy some digital copies. She looked so adorable in her floral collar with the big purple bow!

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Rosie’s favorite things include: open windows, fuzzy blankets, rubber wristbands, faucets that she can drink from, wet food, sleeping in sunshine, cardboard scratchers, and cuddling with me in bed. Her least favorite things include: her sisters when they chase/swat at her, plastic bags, when people pet her stomach/lower back, getting her nails clipped, and car rides.

When she drinks out of faucets, she gets most of the water on her head than in her mouth. The water hits the side or top of her head and runs down to her mouth. Sometimes she’ll stick her whole head under the faucet and let the water run off of her neck. It’s amusing until she shakes and gets water EVERYwhere. She is my special girl.

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Rosie’s always been a big fan of laying on my homework. I guess I don’t give her enough attention! It’s fun doing homework with her until she thinks my pencil or eraser is a plaything.

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Look at that sweet face! I feel very lucky to be able to call her my kitty! 🙂

Caturday: Melody’s second walk

Admittedly, her second walk happened last month, but I was debating between a few different topics for today’s Caturday post and realized I don’t have any photos for my other ideas. I remembered to bring my phone for her walk this time!

Melody and Sybil are the most eager to leave the apartment when the door is constantly being opened and closed like it is when we’re doing laundry. (Sybil even took her chances and bolted one day when Chris was leaving. Naughty kitty!) Thus, most of the walks occur on these afternoons in between laundry loads.

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Melody seemed really interested in going outside, so Chris hooked her up to her harness, and at that moment she froze and did not want to go outside any longer. I know that you’re not supposed to pick your cat up while you’re trying to get him/her to walk on a leash, but I didn’t want to keep the door open and I knew that she would be interested once she was beyond the door, so I plopped her outside and she sat uncomfortably on the ground for a minute until she realized that she was free to wander around.

Chris purchased Mel’s harness before her cross-country move last summer. I suggested the Kitty Holster cat harness, as I got one for Rosie (and it’s Jackson Galaxy-approved), but he ended up going with a PetSafe Come With Me Kitty harness with a bungee leash. I wasn’t sure how secure it would be, but it has been working well for her. The only problem is that it’s a little bit tight on her (he got the small size). I can fit a finger between her harness and body, but she’d probably be more comfortable in a medium, and we’ll have to size up if she gains any weight.

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We didn’t go very far on the walk. We didn’t even go beyond our floor. She enjoyed looking down the stairwell, but she was startled when the elevator opened and ran for the apartment. It’s always fun running after an already scared cat! I was hoping to get her to go down the stairs, but that didn’t happen; we’ll try again next time she wants to go out.

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While she sat in front of the neighbor’s door, contemplating whether she was done with her walk or not, I could hear the neighbor that startled her coming out of the elevator getting ready to take his dog for a walk. Melody perked up when she heard them and wandered closer to their door. She ended up meeting the dog, and she was so good! She puffed up and tried to look as tall as possible, of course, but she didn’t back down and didn’t growl or hiss. The dog was excited to see her and wanted to get close. He ended up calming down enough that they got pretty close to each other with their noses. After that excitement, she decided she was done with her walk. I guess, for Melody, it was enough for one afternoon!

Caturday: Road trip!

I’m starting a new series! I’ll try to reserve my future feline-related posts for Saturdays, as my series is appropriately titled “Caturday”. I won’t post every Saturday, and I will likely post other, non-feline-related things on Saturdays on occasion, but I liked the idea of starting a series of fun and perhaps somewhat informational cat posts!

For those of you who don’t know, my boyfriend and I have three cats: Rose, Melody, and Sybil. You can get a glimpse of each girl’s personality from the Happy Caturday! post.

For the holidays, I went home to visit my family, and Chris did the same (though his family lives across the country). I drove home with all three girls (Chris came along due to flight problems). Each girl has her own carrier, and they were lined up and buckled in the back of the car for the long drive. While I buckled them in, I couldn’t help but think that I was preparing for my future when I have real kids that I have to buckle in. It’s a process for cats so I can’t even imagine a squirming human!

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L-R: Rosie, Melody, and Sybil not at all looking excited.

Melody gets car sick, and we didn’t know how Sybil would do, so we started by holding their food the night before. (I let Rosie and Sybil have a tiny bit of food the night before just so we didn’t have super hangry (hungry and angry) animals running around.) Poor Melody got nothing. She stood by her food bowl and looked at us so longingly.

In the morning, a couple hours before leaving, I took away their water. I didn’t want them to have any sort of accident–pee, poo, or puke. By that point, they were pretty hangry, and Rosie realized what was happening as soon as I brought suitcases downstairs. She is a hider. Luckily, we got her into the pantry before she could wedge herself in some tiny corner. Melody and Sybil were locked in the bathroom. Chris managed to get Melody and Sybil into their carriers without much hassle, but Rosie hates going into her carrier, so he tipped it over as I grabbed Rosie’s legs and lowered her inside.

The road trip was relatively uneventful. Rosie spent most of the time crying (as usual), which I’m pretty good at tuning out now. Sybil chimed in a bit but not too much, and Melody made no noise (as usual). They ended up having NO accidents! 😀

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Rosie’s favorite part about being at grandma and grandpa’s house is their vegetable sink. She easily spent over ten minutes a few times a day “bathing” herself in the sink (she has a unique method of drinking out of it). The top two photos are stills from a video I took of her drinking. She is such a dork!

My dad was less-than-pleased at the fact that I brought all three cats with me, mostly because they have two cats and one dog themselves. Not to mention, someone abandoned their cat so they’re caring for him, too! Yes, there were six cats in the house. It felt overwhelming at times!

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Melody and Sybil made themselves right at home. Rosie spent most of her time pouting in the guest room and hiding from Iggy and Stanley, my parents’ cats. Stanley chases her, but only because she lets him! Melody got along wonderfully with all of the cats and only swiped her paw when she was swiped at. She spent a lot of time begging for food in the kitchen. Sybil was very vocal around the other cats but didn’t really swipe at anyone. Oddly enough, the only major fights were between Iggy and the abandoned cat (I called him Orange because he’s an orange tabby). Melody tried getting involved in their brawl in the living room (or tried breaking it up; it was hard to tell). We don’t really know why they fought because they seemed to get along at other times.

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Sybil wanted the brand new dynamite stick that Melody had.

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L-R: Ignatius (Iggy), Melody, Orange, Stanley, Rosie, Sybil.

I took the girls to the vet for pedicures while we were there. They were all the naughtiest they have ever been for nail trims. Rosie howled and hissed more than usual. Sybil was the absolute worst. She screeched SO loud and broke out of the E-collar. The vet and tech wore gloves up to their elbows and wrapped her in a towel. The receptionist even had to come in and distract her by tapping on her head with a pen. She was terrible and ended up being a “level 2” nail trim!

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When it was time to go, I held their food and water like I did before. I didn’t have Chris to drive back with me, but luckily nothing went wrong. Rosie was really good about getting into her carrier, oddly enough. I think she knew it meant she was going home. Rosie cried and cried on the drive, though (as usual). Sybil cried more than she did on the first drive. No one had an accident! All in all, we had a good time with my family and I’m sure they were very happy to be back down to three cats!

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