I emailed the woman who I first corresponded with from Anjellicle Cats (the organization that I rescued Playbill from) on Sunday. Playbill has been doing this annoying thing where she meows for attention (not for food, she always has food in her bowl) between 5-5:30am most days (weekends are her favorite). I get up at 6am during the week so I don’t mind it so much, and she doesn’t do it every. single. day. so it’s okay. But on the weekends it can be a little annoying.
Hence why I emailed the rep from Anjellicle and asked why she was surrendered. I hadn’t asked when I was adopting her and I was a little afraid to because I might find out something horrible. I asked if her previous owners died because sometimes she meows just until she gets a response – so it’s like she’s checking to make sure I’m still breathing. I included a photo in the email to show her how Playbill is doing.
She emailed me back today and said she has cats that meow at 5 or 6 in the morning for food or attention and it’s completely normal. She said it showed in Playbill’s records that her previous owner’s surrendered her so she didn’t think death was a factor in why she was surrendered.
I’m going to assume her previous owner’s were moving and couldn’t take her with them. While this reasoning makes absolutely no sense to me, I’m glad they did or else I wouldn’t been able to rescue her.
Apparently cats can be trained not to meow so early in about 2 weeks, but you have to ignore them. I could withstand the meowing but I’m not sure J could. We’ll see!
The Unexpected Side Effect of New Furniture
When I started gathering boxes and piling books into them last week, I had no idea my cat would notice. Cats are said to sleep most of the time, and eat the rest of the time. But on Wednesday night, as shelves kept being cleared, I noticed Playbill becoming more and more anxious. Then I noticed her dandruff.
Cats produce dandruff when they’re nervous (hence why cats at pet adoption events often don’t look as nice and clean as they could – they’re stressed out and nervous!) and Playbill definitely had some dandruff going on.
Although she couldn’t understand me, I told her that we were just getting a new couch and no one was going anywhere. But obviously, she didn’t understand and she was on guard through Thursday. All I could imagine was that the last time she probably saw packing boxes was the time she was scooped up and taken to Anjellicle Cats to be put up for adoption (seriously, who moves and can’t take their pets with them? I don’t understand people). Maybe not. Maybe she just really, really, really wanted to know what was going on because she didn’t understand.
It’s safe to say that I didn’t expect this small anxiety to be included in the process of getting a new couch. Playbill had a tiny bit of dandruff for the rest of the weekend but it’s mostly gone now. Thankfully.
Remember your furry sidekicks next time you’re re-arranging your apartment have no idea what the fuck is going on. And give them extra treats and love.
Playbill has taken up residence in the corner next to the window and she’s feeling back to herself now, as evidenced by this photo:
Here she is keeping the package that my jeans came in warm. She’s so thoughtful.
When I had toyed with the idea of adopting a cat, I thought I’d get one that loved to be picked up, would sit on my lap all the time (even though this would, after sometime, get annoying), and love to have her belly rubbed. Basically a cat that was really affectionate.
I’m pretty sure I could tell that Playbill was none of those things when I went to have a one-on-one play session with her at Petco before she came home to my apartment. I mean, maybe it was the fact that I was a stranger and she wasn’t doing well living in a box at Petco, or it was just her personality not to run up to you and jump into your arms. But she’d stuck her paw out of the cage at J and I the previous Sunday and she really needed a good home. And she was so fucking cute.
So, I couldn’t say no. And home with me she came.
I kept thinking that was she still depressed when she wouldn’t sit on my lap and always liked to sit on the chair across from where I usually sit in my living room. She usually slept a lot. She basically acted like a skeptical, stand-offish cat. I remember telling my therapist these things and he said, “It sounds like she acts like her owner.” How rude! But true. Touche.
Cat with sass on her favorite bag.
Almost four months in and she still won’t sit on my lap – aside from the couple of times that I dared to sit in her chair. She came up to me and pawed at my stomach until I got up – shaming me, I guess, to get out of her chair.
Sleeping in said chair.
And she doesn’t love to be picked up. She’s gotten a little better, but she really doesn’t love it. She’ll let me pick her up for a few seconds, to appease me, I suppose, and then she’ll start squirming and jump if I don’t put her down first.
She still won’t sleep on my bed with me. She’ll lay in the corner of my bed with me while I read and then once I turn the lights out, she’s gone. Her job is done so she can leave, I suppose? There are hedgehogs and fish to be hunted in the living room. Very important.
And her belly? Usually off limits, but she’s sometimes willing to compromise on that. If she’s rolling around on my bed playing with a toy and I start rubbing her belly. About 60% of the time she’ll swat at me, but sometimes she’ll let me give her a belly rub with a look on her face that says, “Okay, fine, just this once. But make it quick. OK, that’s enough. God, the things I do to make you happy.”
So, she’s not the cat that I envisioned myself adopting, but she’s the one who won me over and she’s 8 (48 in human years) so I can’t change her. I could torture her and try to get her to act a certain way that I think she should act towards me, but that’ll make her miserable and in return, I’ll be miserable, too.
So, the only thing to do is accept her for the kind of cat she is. She’s not super affectionate and doesn’t like being picked up, but she’s adorable and I love her, so who she is is just fine.
This mindset also applies to people. If someone isn’t acting the way you’d like them to, they don’t have to change, but you do. Otherwise your attempts to manipulate and shame them into acting how you want will be met with anger and brick walls. I think this is something that a lot of people won’t accept or acknowledge. We’d all be a lot happier if we did though. That’s for damn sure.
To end this on a positive note, here’s another picture of my adorable stand-offish cat:
For better or for worse, I usually do my morning and evening meditations sitting on my meditation pillow on my bed. Different meditation experts say different things about whether or not it’s good to meditate where you sleep, but screw it. It works for me and if it works for you too, have at it.
It’s been an interesting time for the last almost two weeks adjusting to coexisting with another living creature. Cats are weird because they need you sometimes and want nothing to do with you other times. Don’t get me wrong: that’s a good thing.
I digress. The one time Playbill (my cat) seems to always want me is whenever I’m meditating. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s wondering where the voice of my meditation MP3 is coming from and she absolutely-must-investigate-it-now or if that’s just what she likes to do. I haven’t gotten through a single session without opening at least one eye once because she jumps on the bed or mews (I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that cats just meow, for anything or nothing, and it doesn’t always mean something’s wrong).
I’m sure I’ll figure out how to circumvent this issue eventually, right? Right.
My New Roommate
I’d like to introduce the cat I rescued a week ago. I’ve named her Playbill. She’s a small 8-year-old tuxedo cat that I met at a pet adoption event at Petco with an organization called Anjellicle Cats two weeks ago. When J and I met her, she stuck her paw out of the cage at us and we melted. She’d been living in Petco for the last month and was becoming depressed and on a hunger strike. I went back to play with her a few days later at Petco in a stress-free environment (i.e. there weren’t 200 people walking in and out) and I said FINE, I’ll adopt her. This was such a big decision because I’m 100% indecisive, always. After attending the required “new pet adopters” seminar the following Sunday, I paid the adoption fee and asked if they could drop her off the next night.
A woman from the organization came by last Monday with her in a carrier and let her out and she instantly started running around and sniffing. She hopped on the couch and tried burrowing into the pillows. She ran under the couch and the bed (she cleaned under my bed by pushing out all of the dust bunnies, so thank you, kitty) for a bit.
J met her (again) on Thursday night when he came over and she is not afraid of strangers at all. Various friends met her on Saturday afternoon and she sat said her hellos and then just watched us from afar.
On Saturday J and I went to Petco and bought a scratching post, a bed, a brush, and a couple of toys to go with the ones that my mom sent a few days earlier. (Her favorite toy is still the catnip-filled hedgehog that I bought for her on Thursday!) She figured out what her bed was for in less than a day and claimed a pillow on my couch. She knows how to use her litter box perfectly and I applause whenever I see her using it (positive reinforcement, right?). She eats a ton and runs around the apartment and hasn’t scratched anything yet (knock on wood).
On her first night, she woke me up once; on the second night she won’t me up twice and I got up to make sure everything was okay. I emailed Anjellicle to make sure her behavior was normal (it was) and they said, “This is her way of checking to make sure her new human is still there. When she meows at night, she’s saying, ‘New human, are you still there, new human?’” Awe. So, now if she meows in the middle of the night, I tell her I’m still here and that’s the end of it. She hasn’t woken me up in the last three nights though, so that’s nice (again, knock on wood).
So overall, I’d say this was a great decision. It’s nice having an animal around and, as you can, she’s super adorable.
My friend Ben put it best on Saturday why he, and myself as well, likes cats: “I realize that most of my friends are like cats. They want your attention sometimes, but not all the time like dogs do. If you had a friend that needed your attention 24/7, you’d stop being friends with that person.”
As I mentioned in a previous post, my dude and I went to Meow Parlour, the new cafe full of fully adoptable cats on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I really want to adopt a cat soon but I haven’t met the right one yet and I thought that maybe this was the right low-stress environment to find my future pet.
We arrived and were immediately put on a list and told it’d be a 45-60 minute wait and we were welcome to wait in their actual cafe around the corner. We walked in and when the only other people in there had already been to the Parlour, I knew that the 60 minute wait would be much shorter.
It was. As soon as we sat down and started sipping our lattes, the manager of the cafe let us know that we could go over after we signed the waiver. We walked in, took off our shoes, purelle-ed our hands, and went to chill with the cats. They have a generously sized play area full of wooden boxes that they can run in to if they feel like they need to hide (not pictured in any of the photos below). There are a handful of clear-topped boxes that cats can sleep or relax in, too.
The assistant manager started telling us about some of the cats, what shelters they came from, their backstory of where they were found, etc. We were told that we could pet the cats, take their photos (sans flashes), but not to pick them up. They see a lot of people every day and they’re still getting used to routine.
The front of the store. The cats hang out where ever they damn well please. One even spent a fair amount of time sitting on the managers’ laptop.
This cat on the floor walked over to these humans and literally rolled over to get scratched. It made an audible thump as it hit the ground.
This is Matt. He wasn’t super friendly but he let me pet him for a few minutes when he was sitting in a basket in the front window.
There was one cat, Stovetop, that did not like the other cats at all. It would regularly walk up to other cats and start swatting at them. Stovetop claimed a human, sat on her lap, and when another cat sauntered over to join in the fun, Stovetop saw this other cat approaching and hissed until the cat retreated. It was also an obese cat at about 25 pounds. It liked humans enough, it just hated other cats.
It was totally worth the price of two lattes and $5/person/30 minutes. I’d suggest making a reservation before going, but even if you don’t, the wait probably won’t be very long.
What did I learn while kitten sitting this weekend? Kittens are a lot of work. Not a lot of work like a puppy-amount-of-work (because you don’t have to walk them and they’re smarter than dogs and a bit more independent), but they’re kind of crazy. They run and jump on everything, and when you’re not looking they show up behind your feet and you could step on them (but you don’t because they’ll yell at you first). Or they could run under a mat on the floor (see above – I think that’s her best bitch, please face) and it just kind of looks like it’s a bump in the mat, until you realize: oh, it’s a kitten.
I wondered if Miko the Kitten wasn’t eating because she would never eat when I’d put her food out, but then a friend said, “No! It’s not food time when you’re there, it’s play time!” Oh, yeah. Duh. I also realized that her food was always gone when I got back again so it’s not like she wasn’t eat at all.
Kittens are also very talkative. Miko talked… a lot. I’m not sure I could handle a pet who mewed so much. It’s adorable, but I’m not a heavy sleeper, so I’d probably get woken up by the slightest mew. I also spent moments here and there trying to remember whether or not I had re-closed the bathroom door (I always did) or if she had fallen into the toilet. I don’t think she’s small enough to drown in the toilet, but still…. That wouldn’t be fun to come home to.
But… BUT… despite the mewing and the crazy energy, they are so, so cute. She was 4lbs of furry adorableness that I had a great time playing with her. I’m going to check out some kittens at the ASPCA when I get back from Scandinavia, but I think I’ll look at ones that are 6 months to a year old, and not four months old. Because the older they are, the less likely they will be to drown in the toilet.
Last week a neighbor sent an email to my building’s list serve looking for a cat sitter for the weekend. Since I’m debating adopting a cat, I thought it’d be fun. I met my neighbors and their 4-month old kitten Miko.
I had a lot of fun playing with her over the weekend! Kittens are super spunky though – super high energy. But adorable! I snapped the above photo on Sunday morning and thought later: It’s the Mozilla Firefox logo!
So, so cute.
A friend of one of my colleague’s works at the ASPCA and asked her if we’d like them to bring around a handful of kittens as part of their “Summer Furidays” initiative. We jumped, duh. They brought by 3 tuxedo kittens and one completely black kitten. The summer is apparently kitten season and their facilities are inundated with kittens. They’ve dropped the adoption fee to $50 (down from $150) to try to encourage people to adopt.
It was quite possibly the best way to end your work week.
I fell in love with this little black one named Emmett. He was calmest of all of them until he realized he was missing out on the fun of chasing a laser pointer around and then he scrambled. I emailed the ASPCA rep today and unfortunately he was just adopted today. Sad face. But I’m going to go by their facility on the UES soon and adopt one (after my kitchen renovation is done, obviously).
Check out the ASPCA’s website if you’d like them to bring in kittens to your office! Trust me, it’s the best hour you’ll ever have in your office.