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Strong bonds with our pets...

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valerie Inshan wrote:

Waaahhh Darrius! I love your story and your pics, omg! Those kittens are ADORABLE!!! (hehe, I'm crushing on Taz! :smileywink:)

 

*smiles* Taz has lately developed this fascination with the rotating spray arm under the middle rack on the dishwasher. Every time the rack is out, she comes and GLARES at the spray arm .. and periodically works up enough courage to BAT at it. But she's so on guard and so focused on it that any other movement or even the slightest touch sends her into outer space. We laughingly refer to it as "Kat vs. Kenmore". (Kenmore is the brand name of the dishwasher.)

A few days ago, my wife and I were chatting in the kitchen while I was loading the dishwasher .. and Taz was right there focused on that spray arm. We stopped talking and just watched her going through the posturing, bobbing and weaving of the stealthy attack .. and then my wife just barely touched her hind leg with her toe.

BOOOOOM!!! Taz leapt straight into the air about 3 feet, spun sideways and was running full speed when she hit the floor. The skittering of claws on linoleum, the "shwa-BANG" as she rounded the corner and slid into the closet doors .. and the clomping sound as she barreled behind the couch had us both laughing so hard, neither of us could breathe for a good 10 minutes.

Taz is totally convinced that the spray arm is possessed by the Devil himself .. and she's just as sure it's out to get her. But in the meantime, we humans .. are having a hilarious time watching her antics.

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Brilliant Darrius! I was reading your posts and realised I had this ridiculously stupid big grin on my face!  Thanks for sharing! Oh and it goes without saying that all your kittens are gorgeous and I'm glad you managed to keep them all together :smileyhappy:

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*big smiles* Thank you. They are a delight, and we are blessed that they came into our lives. Just a few months before their arrival, our 20 year old tom .. Timmy was his name .. did the "Old Cat Thing" and asked to be let out one day. He never came back. It was a noble and dignified way for him to rejoin the cycle of life, but I never stopped checking outside the door for him .. even months later.

Now that the kittens are much older (just shy of a year now), Runt is the spitting image of Timmy. What's so amazing about it is .. he's very definitely "different" than Taz, Snowball and Smudge. It's almost like Timmy came home again, but in a kitten's body. Runt even displays some of Timmy's old habits .. with one tiny exception.

Timmy found the PERFECT echo spot in the house where he could YOWL and it would reverberate everywhere. When he wanted attention, to be fed .. or just felt like his minions needed to be reminded who ruled the roost .. he would park his backside in that spot and set up a serenade that I think even the neighbors could hear.

But Runt? He's still finding his voice. He still has that kitten squeak sorta meow. It's getting better .. deeper and more confident. But he's still my little boy and he never fails to come running as soon as I open my bedroom door or walk downstairs. Oh, and one more thing about Runt. I'm the only one that can "cuddle" him. He nestles into my arms like a newborn. But if any of the other family members try .. including my wife (who has a magic way with animals) .. he will tolerate it about 10 seconds then demand to be put down.

They are indeed members of full rank in the house .. and today none of us could fathom having to part with any one of them. (Although there are days ... LOL)

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Oh Darrius you have such a great way to talk about your cats! It is a pleasure reading your posts. And Timmy's story is so touching, very moving indeed. I lost a beloved cat too 11 years ago and it took me months to stop looking for her in the appartment when I was coming back from work.

Beautiful love stories here... :smileyhappy:

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*big smiles* Thank you Valerie. I think it's easy for me to write about them because they are so much a part of my "family". One detail I didn't share about Timmy was that we raised him from infancy by hand. His mother, our first cat, was killed just a few days after giving birth to Timmy and three other kittens. (It was her first day "out" after giving birth and a neighbor ran her over. Grrrr!)

Shortly after we weaned all four and got them onto regular food, we gave away two and kept two .. Timmy and an all black sibling named Midnight. Not more than a couple weeks afterwards, the same neighbor ran over and killed Midnight .. only this time our next door neighbor saw him drive across the road and purposely target her in the gutter by the sidewalk.

I promise you, I had some VERY choice words to share with him .. but when the police got involved, they had to remind me that since the town we lived in had a "Cat Leash" law (meaning cats were not allowed outside unless on a leash *rolls eyes*) that I was technically in the wrong and there was nothing they could do. They did however promise me personally that they would "keep an eye" on the cat killing neighbor.

Fate .. she works in wonderful ways sometimes .. as not too long after that confrontation, both my wife and I were witness to the police hauling him off to jail, handcuffed and treated not very nicely as they loaded him into a police car. Turns out he was not only a cat-killer, but a wife beater and .. what finally caused his wife to call the police .. a child beater. We never saw him again, and not long thereafter the wife took their kids, moved out and vanished too. I was not sorry to see them leave.

I guess you could say I've had personal experience as to how people that are mean to animals often exhibit the same behaviors toward people. It certainly was true in that case, and I've yet to encounter a person that was mean to animals yet showed respect for people. I think it's an impossibility actually .. IMO anyone that can hurt or abuse any living being certainly won't exclude any being from their abuses.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

I guess you could say I've had personal experience as to how people that are mean to animals often exhibit the same behaviors toward people. It certainly was true in that case, and I've yet to encounter a person that was mean to animals yet showed respect for people. I think it's an impossibility actually .. IMO anyone that can hurt or abuse any living being certainly won't exclude any being from their abuses.

 

I entirely agree with you Darrius, and you are a fantastic story teller! Thank you!

AnimatedSmileyWithDaisy.gif

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Mila Edelman wrote:

Totally agree!

The OP probably didn't intend for the direction the thread took, but honestly, this organic conversational growth is just fantastic.
:)

 

Ah, but he did intend this direction.  I made this same post two days before and it was whacked by the moderators.  This is my second attempt with a change of a few words.  Like most threads, we have to wade through the nonsense before the thread takes shape. 

 

@Darrius thank you for your contribution - good stories.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

I guess you could say I've had personal experience as to how people that are mean to animals often exhibit the same behaviors toward people. It certainly was true in that case, and I've yet to encounter a person that was mean to animals yet showed respect for people. I think it's an impossibility actually .. IMO anyone that can hurt or abuse any living being certainly won't exclude any being from their abuses.

I'm not entirely sure about that last sentence. Humans are pretty good at mental compartmentalization. I remember that my grandmother used to tell stories about the time before the war, when she and my grandfather had a little farmland to support them in addition to my grandfather's job as a shoemaker. They kept chicken, ducks and rabbits, and frequently slaughtered them for food (mainly the ducks and rabbits. The chicken were only promoted to soup hens when they stopped laying eggs). My grandfather also helped out on a nearby farm estate whenever they had a pig to slaughter, in exchange for some pork.

My mother, who was a child back then, also remembered a few things about that time and told me that she cried for days about every bunny that had to undergo the transition from cuddly widdle pet to Sunday's dinner. She also used to have nightmares about watching my grandmother force-feed the ducks with a broomstick in order to fatten them up in record time, which is a horribly cruel procedure by modern standards.

While force-feeding and slaughtering livestock does certainly qualify as animal cruelty, my grandmother (my grandfather fell in the war, so I never got to know him) was certainly not a cruel or violent person. Her ability to behead a chicken, break the neck of a cute little bunny and do unspeakable things to a terrified duck that condemned the poor animal to a short and painful life of gross obesity and fatty liver disease didn't affect her behaviour towards humans, as far as I could tell.

People had a very different attitude towards animals back then. They were just livestock that was only treated with respect if it had a long-time value, such as a milk cow or a laying hen. If animals had outlived their usefulness or were only raised for slaughter, there was no point in being particularly nice to them. But at the same time, people cared more for their fellow human being (within the limits of perceived kinship, that is) and were generally more altruistic.

I think there was simply a much larger mental differentiation between people and (other) animals. The life of an animal only had monetary value, whereas a human life was sacred. Nowadays, people are much nicer to their animals and try to tell themselves that steaks grow on trees, but at the same time many people adopt a "mankind is an evil virus that does nothing but harm to mother nature" mindset, and don't really care that their fellow man sleeps under a bridge.

That being said, cats had a special status even back then :) You either kept cats around the house or you had unwanted house guests in form of rats and mice. While cats were only fed with a daily bowl of milk to keep them sufficiently motivated to hunt rodents, they were often the only animals that were allowed into the house, and certainly the only ones that were free to come and go as they pleased. People didn't even feel the need to have organs of perfectly healthy cats surgically removed in order to render them more compliant and manageable.

 

PS: Your kittens are cute as a button! Those photos make me want to adopt yet another kitten :3

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I know you are a cat expert Ishtara, but I have a good cat tip: don't give them milk, just water. It makes their poo completely undisgusting and when you think about it water not milk is their natural way of hydrating.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

I'm not entirely sure about that last sentence. Humans are pretty good at mental compartmentalization. <snip>

 

Very true indeed. Both of my parents grew up in the era where the only animals that weren't purring were food as well. But I think that's what helps differentiate between subsistence farming and plain ole abuse. Like the neighbor that ran over both our cats, there was no purpose other than to be cruel. Now, if he'd needed the meat to survive .. well I still wouldn't have been happy, but I would have been more willing to invite them over for dinner (AFTER locking up the dogs and cats that were left LOL).

I can personally justify slaughtering animals for food, but not everyone can. It is a bone of great contention these days, and I hope someday we find ourselves in a world where such divisive issues are completely worked out. However, I also hope I'll win the lottery someday, and I think I have better chances at the latter than the former.

 


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

PS: Your kittens are cute as a button! Those photos make me want to adopt yet another kitten :3

MINE!! ALL MINE!! Get back .. keep your paws off!! Get yer OWN durn kittens! (grin)

 

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Sandra Frascati wrote:

I know you are a cat expert Ishtara, but I have a good cat tip: don't give them milk, just water. It makes their poo completely undisgusting and when you think about it water not milk is their natural way of hydrating.

That's due to lactose intolerance in adult cats. Cats who get normal cow milk on a daily basis as they mature adapt to the lactose-rich diet and their bodies continue to produce the enzyme lactase, which is otherwise no longer produced after their mother weans them off. But you're right that cow milk is not really healthy for cats in any case, no matter if they're lactose intolerant or lactose "trained", since it contains too much fat.

I only gave my first kitten lactose-free milk every once in a while when she was little. I'm lactose-intolerant myself, so none of my dairy products contains lactose. Except for butter, which I keep around for the case that one of them suffers from indigestion. In that case, the stool softening effect of lactose on lactose intolerant adult cats comes in handy.

ETA: I only mentioned this because it used to be common practice back in my grandparent's day. Farmers put out a bowl of milk in the evening, often watered down. That was enough to keep a bunch of semi-stray cats around who kept the barn and the house rodent free. Of course the cats multiplied like rodents themselves, but people simply left it to natural selection to regulate the population numbers. That also ensured that only the best mousers survived, which was in everyone's best interest.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

 

MINE!! ALL MINE!! Get back .. keep your paws off!! Get yer OWN durn kittens! (grin)

 

Don't worry, I won't steal any of them :) My two carpet tigers are more than enough for me. I couldn't possibly handle yet another one.

(I agree with the rest of your post btw. People who harm animals for no good reason, i.e. not out of the need to get food on the table or rid themselves of vermin, fall into a completely different category and are most likely psychopaths).

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


(I agree with the rest of your post btw. People who harm animals for no good reason, i.e. not out of the need to get food on the table or rid themselves of vermin, fall into a completely different category and are most likely psychopaths).


This was the also the point of the OP.  And clearly defined as such. 

 

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DQ Darwin wrote:

Was glad to see the RL pet lovers step in. My boys wouldn't forgive me without their 15mins of fame,
:)

Mikey the Lhasa and Kyle the Shih Tzu the sweets guys in the house. True, lovable and fantastic dogs. Mike was born with deep blue eyes that have paled since.

And totally gorgous they are too :smileyhappy:

 

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