Hiss and tell

The top photo shows Spot getting ready to prank her brother Slim.

Apparently Spot’s hiding place is effective, as Slim seems unsure as to his sister’s whereabouts.

Uh-oh. Slim didn’t think the joke was funny when Spot suddenly appeared. So he hissed like a cobra at Spot, who promptly replied in kind.

Typical behavior of human siblings; different for these two only in that they’re wearing fur coats. At least they don’t holler, “Mmmommmm!”


Knowledgeable napping

Cats, of course are famous for their napping skills and Abishag was a very good napper.

She was quite pleased when she discovered many famous humans, including scientists, inventors, writers and other uniquely-skilled persons slept in quick, refreshing segments throughout their work day.

“So do you people copy us because you’re smart, or because naps give you energy to keep working?” she asked in the office one day.

“You’re asking whether people are copy-cats for cat naps?”

Oh, the look I got. She wasn’t angry, just – indignant. But she left my desk and marched across the room to the little sofa in the corner, turning her back on me as she lay down. Only a cat can manage utter disdain with a glance.


Grownup jobs

Now that the Kibble Kids are definitely grown up, they’ve been wanting jobs like their Uncle Fred. (You’ll recall he ‘writes’ his Freditorials with his own opinions and words. Misspelled, many of them, but his own words. I think he’s still working on their “Kibble Kids Dishunary” as well.)

So Hoss Cartwright applied for and got the job of Office Manager. Every evening, when 9 o’clock shows on the digital clock, he comes up to my desk and either squeezes himself under my arm for pats or taps me with a paw to remind me it’s time to close the office for the night.

I can state with certainty he’s the best Office Manager I’ve ever had. (He’s also the cutest, with his little white half-socks spotlessly clean.) But no time stamps or in/out board. We like to keep things simple.


Dr. Steven Crews

Regular readers know about the great veterinary services our cats have had for years at Reelfoot Animal Hospital in a small corner of NW Tennessee.

But now all the pets and all of their owners are grieving the loss of one of the best cat veterinarians ever – Dr. Steven Crews. Dr. Crews had a remarkable way with cats – he knew where they were hurting, even though they couldn’t talk, and he kept searching for at least relief if not a cure for each one brought to him for treatment.

We’ve taken many, many cats to all the vets at Reelfoot, and this memorial isn’t meant to ignore any of them. But let me mention the special skills Dr. Crews had.

Our farm cat Callie May kept brushing at her face and eye, so we took her into town. He figured out our champion mouser had run into a bunch of weeds with hollow stems (doubtless while after a mouse), and a piece of one had broken off and lodged in her eye. Dr. Crews not only removed the bit of stem, but saved her eyesight in that eye.

He sewed Uno’s nose back in place when the cat had apparently fallen out of a tree and face-planted himself. After examination, Dr. Crews said there weren’t any bones broken and when the swelling went down, Uno should be as good as new. He was – almost. Once the swelling was gone, Uno had a nose which was off-kilter. The good doctor carefully put in three very tiny stitches and anchored Uno’s nose back where it belonged.

Our rescued strays and farm cats received the same empathetic and very skilled care our handpicked cats did. Dr. Crews diagnosed and successfully treated a very bad case of flea bite dermatitis for Seis, a black and white ‘cow cat.’ (Readers have seen Seis’ photos in these blogs too.)

When our tiny five-pound gray kitten got body-slammed on the sidewalk by her much bigger brother, she got up with a crick in her neck – and a tic. We rushed her to Dr. Crews, who did his usual careful examination and surmised neither condition was permanent. He was right, and now Gabby (Gabriella) is full-grown at eight pounds and terrorizes her bigger siblings – pay back.

He sewed Grayson’s toes back on his hind foot after a stray cat passing through the neighborhood had nearly bitten them off. Seventeen years later, he still walks without a limp.

Dr. Crews was also very sympathetic and helped several of our favorite cats across the Rainbow Bridge, using the latest and most humane two-injection procedure so it was nearly painless. What we appreciated most was that he allowed us to stay with our dearly-loved felines as the drugs worked, so we could say goodbye.

Now we have to say goodbye to a veterinarian who was so kind, so caring and down-to-earth, with the best bedside manner towards his patients and their owners. It’s a very hard parting, and way too soon.

Readers, if you have dedicated, gifted veterinarians who’ve gone ‘above and beyond’ for your fur kids, please – tell that doctor how much you appreciate the skill, the caring and the patience. Tell your vet frequently and often. They need to hear just how special they are.


More Abishag’s Adages

If your hooman gets out a camera, you may as well strike a pose. Then maybe they’ll let you go back to sleep.

On the other paw, if they won’t let you go back to sleep after you were posing nicely … make the most horrible face you can think of and then they’ll stop. I guarantee it.

There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to a bribe of catnip.

A cat is the very best edition of a dog that you could ever find.

There are no other animals which are as good as, as smart as, or as perfect as a cat.

Yes, there’s a Dog Star. There’s also a Cat Star, only it’s not out in the lonely spaces between planets. It’s in every hooman’s heart who shares life with a cat.

Color coded cats

Years ago, the cats were each assigned a particular color of bowl. This was with the thought if they got accustomed to thinking of that color bowl as theirs, maybe they wouldn’t snitch bits of food from whichever bowl was sitting there.

Alas, that was a futile thought. Grayson’s bowl color is turquoise, Spot’s red, Slim’s blue. Pete has either a yellow, recycled whipped topping bowl or a yellow bowl. (He’s been told that’s because it matches his fur.) Ocho has a pretty orange-sherbet-colored dish for broth and otherwise, she has kibble.

But if Spot’s red bowl is just sitting there, her brother Slim will eat from it and ignore his own blue bowl beside it. Same thing with Grayson.

And sometimes one cat gets annoyed with anyone else nibbling from their food but ‘usually’ doesn’t make a really big deal out of it.

They’re either the most tolerant cats in captivity, or the most inclined to share, or they really are reincarnated people in little fur suits.

I’m beginning to think maybe it’s the last option. However, proving it is quite a challenge. Any theories, folks?


Kitten Season

And if you’re planning on adding a kitten or an older cat from the shelter (hint, hint) to your household, please do get it neutered or spayed as quickly as possible. A female cat can start having litters at only four months of age.

As Ernest Hemingway said, “One cat just leads to another.”

Shown is a house for some of Hemingway’s cats at his former home in Key West, Florida. – Wikipedia