Naomi & Karina Paape
Dear Fellow Felines:
It has come to my razor-sharp attention that we are coming up on yet another human ritual of celebratory partying – the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day. So what, you ask, does this have to do with us regal felines? Are we planning a kitty rebellion aimed at freeing us from our humans? No way. We have it made; we are loved; we are spoiled. We are great companions and do many things our humans think are cute, like monopolizing the pillow at 3 AM, or playing ping pong across our human’s sleeping bodies at 4:30 AM. So special are we, in fact, that they even have our pictures on their smart phones, and will happily and proudly share these with anyone who shares their love of cats.
The problem with the Fourth of July is the loved-by-humans, dreaded-by-cats pyrotechnics with their attendant concussive explosions, blinding flashes and flames, and sufficating smoke; we loath this day almost as much as New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Humans get loud and crazy with joy and libation. But lucky for us, our staff (remember, dogs have owners, cats have staff) doesn’t feel compelled to drag us off to the beach to share the moment with them; only dogs go along with such a ridiculous venture.
If your staff ia on-the-ball, however, they will put you in adark and quiet room – door closed – where you can hide your eyes and ears in the box spring or, even better, on the top shelf of their California closet, snuggled – upside down – in a discrete corner to hunker down for a couple of hours, leaving tons of fur on our humans’ summer-weight cashmere sweaters. However, I don’t think they’ll mind.
If they let us roam freely through the house and around the lanai, we could add another condiment – fur – to their barbecued chicken and ribs, corn-on-the cob, hot dogs and hamburgers. There are, however, several very toxic-to-cats party ingredients: alcohol, lighter fluid and insect repellants like DEET and citronella candles. Furthermore, when said partyers leave your happy home in order to return to theirs, they often linger too long at the front door, telling their hosts what a fabulous time they had. It is during this interval that we can make a dash for freedom and become hopelessly lost. So make sure you are wearing a breakaway collar with identification attached should you choose to leave home and all the nerve wracking racket. If only they would outfit us with a pair of those over-the-head, safety earmuffs worn by airport tarmac personnel.
We get many calls here at For the Love of Cats, reporting cats “accidentally” lost on these major holidays. But, and this is between you and me, it is alwaysour human’s fault that we “escaped.” How could they not comprehend that we, in an attempt to mitigate the stark terror that blankets us on this day, will run for the hills and get lost for days, weeks, or even months.
And speaking of lost, I found the most wonderful book at the library the other week, Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology (by Caroline Hall with illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton). The book told an incredible tale of kitty alienation while also exploring the psyche of us felines; a sort of care and feeding guide for dummies if you will. The owners in this San Francisco-based tale had two indoor/outdoor cats, one of whom – the shy and anxious one – disappeared and, against all odds, reappeared – nonchalantly I might add, as if it was just another day at the office. All “Tibby’s” (short for Tibia) staff knew for sure, after consulting an animal psychic of course, was that their tabby boy was safe and would eventually return home. When he made his predicted and grand re-appearance, five weeks later, his staff was ecstatic, but perplexed. Since Tibby was half a pound heavier and sporting a more luxurious coat, they reasoned that he had voluntarily chosen to become a lost cat for those 35 days on the prowl. But why? What was so great about this other household? Did they havebetter food, cozier quarters, fresher catnip? For Tibby’s staff, the point of their determined efforts to unravel the puzzle that is cat, was the burning question, “Did he love someone else more?”
In an effort to answer this painful question, Tibby’s staff outfitted him with a collar-mounted GPS and cat cam. Nothing useful was discovered so they interviewed pet detectives and took a course in animal communication – more wasted efforts. And no, I am not going to tell you how this incredible journey ends; it is best that you have your staff read this book to you aloud; this will ensure said staffs learn how to make you so happy that you will never want to leave.
Speaking of leaving home, we have quite a contingent of new moms and kittens here in the shelter. I have had my paws full with trying to educate and train this crowd to be so adorable that they will quickly find that perfect forever home. The really good news for me is that, when the shelter is this full, I have many more opportunities to steal food. To check out my students, please hurry to my website: www.floridacatrescue.com.
Love, purrs, meows and nips!
Naomi is a 4 year old Tortie and a permanent resident at FLC. She is the shelter supervisor and takes her salary in food. She would love for you to learn more about For the Love of Cats at its website, www.floridacatrescue.com