I Fired Our Indoor Cats Today…


The reason? They were not doing their job.

Their job?  To eliminate quickly any rodents that make it into the house past the outside cats.

The past week or so I have come home from work and noticed each day that  things had been pushed around or knocked off of a book shelf in our dining room.  I thought it was because that is where the catnip stuffed scratching pad is located, and that the cats had sniffed a little too much and knocked stuff over. Then last night I came home and saw Pete Cat, Josey Kitty and Lucy Kitty all standing to attention with their heads and twitching whiskers aimed toward the bookcase and I thought oh no, not a mouse!

Now you have to understand we live on a farm and mice are a part of living in the country,  I have dealt with mice all of my life and still do not like them… at all.    I am fully convinced that dead mice will come back to life when I pick them up to dispose of them,  I check my shoes everyday before putting them on and if I see a live mouse I tend to climb onto the nearest piece of furniture, quickly much to the entertainment of my family.  Before Greg and I  left last evening to go out,  I pulled Lucy Kitty aside and told her in no uncertain terms that she could not leave the mouse hunting to Pete and Josey,  (Pete just plain doesn’t get the job done and Josey is too inexperienced) I told her I expected that mouse to be dealt with and soon.  She looked at me and meowed her agreement to get the job done.

Fast forward to this afternoon, I come home from running errands, and am on the phone making an appointment for a medical test when I see Pete Cat coming briskly (that was my first clue, because Pete doesn’t do anything briskly anymore)  across the floor straight to me with something hanging out of  his mouth. When he gets to me, he of course opens his mouth and the mouse who of course is still alive, scampers drunkenly off in one direction while  I politely screech and explain to the lady on the other end of the phone what is happening, all of this while I head for the kitchen and my perch on the kitchen sink.  She starts to tell me about the ant problem she is having at her house and we debate the differences between mice and ants.   I eventually get my appointment made and hang up the phone, after wishing her good luck with her ant problem.

I cautiously climb off of my sink perch and head to the dining room to see what is happening.  There I find, Pete and Josey playing soccer with the mouse, who is still alive but probably not feeling too good at this point. They bat it back and forth until they reach the living room where they promptly lose it.  Where is Lucy the Queen Bee and Mouse Catcher Extradinaire  during all of this, sitting on her perch just watching with a very bored expression on her face.   I remind her of our agreement and gently toss her in the general direction of where the mouse was last seen and where Pete and Josey are frantically searching,  Lucy being a cat who only does what she wants, when she wants turns right around and jumps back up where she was when I rudely disturbed her.  It was at that point that I decided to fire the cats for not doing their primary job and that upstairs would be a very good place for me to be.  When I left the dining room Lucy was on her perch,  Pete and Josey were coming up with another mouse catching game plan and the mouse was laying still alive in the middle of the dining room floor.  Once the thumps stop I will talk my self into going back downstairs, grab a broom and finish what the cats have left undone unless of course Greg comes home first….


The Pets in Our Life.

We share our home or they share theirs with us depending on who you ask with four pets. They each have their own personality and unique behaviors which adds much to our life.  

Abby dog is 12 years old, she is a mix breed about 40 lbs, she is light tan and white in color and has the cute face of a beagle.  She is afraid of storms,  is a blanket hog and likes to pretend that she is a cat.   Recently it became apparent that Abby lost most of her hearing, but she hasn’t let it slow her down. It’s been interesting watching her compensate for the loss.  When we are home she constantly watches us to see what we are doing as she doesn’t want to miss out on anything.  

Pete cat is 10 years old and is a tan peachy color, he started out as Peaches due to his color but turned into a Pete when we discovered she was a he.   Pete isn’t vocal but he says volumes with his eyes.  He has the most insistent stare I have ever seen.   The older he has gotten the more mellow he has become, he is definitly Greg’s cat although sometimes when desperate he will spend some time with me.    Pete was a late season kitten and Greg chose to bring him into the house to live because he was concerned that Pete wouldn’t make it through the winter. 

Lucy kitty is 9 years old and chose us.  As a little kitten she would repeatedly climb the outside scaffolding to the upstairs landing window , peer in the screen and meow.  After repeatedly taking her off of the scaffolding and putting her back on the ground, I lobbied to bring her into our indoor pet family where she clearly wanted to be.   I won and the rest is history.   We named her Lucy for the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”  and because she was always getting into scrapes like Lucy in “I Love Lucy”.   We brought her into a household with two dogs, and one cat.  When we came home that first night we couldn’t find her and it soon became apparent that the dogs and cat had cornered her behind the living room couch.  That was the last time anyone or animal cornered Lucy.   She quickly became the queen bee of the house.  She is a very vocal kitty and when we ask her how she is doing she always answers.   She has chosen me to be her person but sometimes likes to be around Greg as well.   Her favorite spot is in front of the computer monitor, we have a deal she can be there as long as she lays down!  When it’s cold she will lay on top of the monitor to get warm.  Not sure what she will do once we finally switch over to a flat screen!

Josey kitty is 7 months old and is coal black.  Greg named her for the “Outlaw Josey Wales” at the time we didn’t know if Josey was a he or a she so Greg thought the name would fit either way plus she was all black and Josey Wales wore black.   Her most unique feature is that she only has 3 toes on one of her back paws.  Believe me it hasn’t slowed her down.  She too was a late season kitten and I lobbied to bring her in the house,  It didn’t take much and while I was busy congratulating myself Greg mentioned ” Yeah, I have been thinking about bringing her in for the past two weeks!” When we brought Josey into the house she fit in the palm of my hand, and the other pets had no idea what to make of her.  Her favorite place to sit was IN the plant by the window, She  looked like a live statue curled up there.   Her favorite activity was chasing everything from the mouse cursor on the computer monitor to her jingle balls and everything in between.    Pete became her first friend and he took her under his paw so to speak, much to Lucy’s disgust.  In the months since Josey joined our indoor family Pete has lost several pounds playing tag and rough housing with her.

While these silly creatures can and do cause havoc in our home they earn their keep. 

Abby dog is a very hospitable dog, always making sure visitors are welcome and helping them feel at home by “letting ” them scratch her back.  When they stop, she turns and looks at them as if to say “Oh no that’s ok, you can keep scratching”  and they usually do.    In case you are shaking your head thinking “oh these people they force their pets on others.”  Rest assure Greg and I are in the background saying “Abby leave them alone!” or “really you don’t have to scratch her just stop or tell her no”   Of course there are folks that come over that are just not pet people and that’s fine we just put the pets in another part of the house.

When not sitting in front of the computer monitor Lucy’s  favorite spots to sit are either directly on whatever I am working on there by making it easier for her to supervise the task or if I happen to be sitting down she sits and curls around the  top of my right arm. I am not sure the purpose of this one, maybe my arm is her hot water bottle?   Lucy herself is the perfect weight and has substituted as a hot  water bottle for me many a time.

Pete continues to give us lessons in non verbal communication.  “guess what this stare means” being the favorite game of his.  It helps to keep our minds sharp and that’s always a good thing!  Pete has also taught us that one can change.  When he was a kitten our son in law gave him the nickname Cocaine Pete, due to his (Pete’s not our son in law’s) erratic and wild behavior.   Pete as he aged  slowed down to the point of us prodding him with a gentle finger to make sure he was alive. Pete is also helpful in catching any stray mouse that might make it past the outside cats, he plays with them and chases them until they tire out thereby making it easier for Lucy to catch them.  Actually she let’s him do this just to make him feel a part of the process.

It’s pretty early yet to see what impact Josey will have although she has brought a spark of new and exciting life to all of us.  I already mentioned that she is a weight loss program for Pete but she also likes to masquerade as a dog, (which is only fair since Abby likes to pretend she is a cat. ) and will put her front paws on my leg and beg to be petted of course only for a couple of minutes/seconds depending on her mood.  We have gotten used to hearing the thundering sound of paws racing from one end of the house to another, for a little kitty she  has very loud pawsteps.  She has a large dose of Cat in her,  I was gone a great deal in May and it took her a long time to forgive me for leaving her,  in fact we are still working on getting our relationship back to where it was in April! 

All kidding aside, I am truly grateful for the pets God has brought into our lives. They are great stress relievers, are always glad to see us, although we now have to wake up Abby so she knows we are home then she bounds up with her tail wagging as if to say “Oh there you are, hi!” and are trusted companions.