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Pine Cone's Retreat

AKA The D*mn Cat's at it again

by Pam Shirk, North Carolina, USA


We're finally moved (more or less) out of the other house and into this one, and the cats have made lots of new discoveries.

Tanada has discovered that we have friends who have great shoulders to ride on, almost as great as Rob's are. She won't leave poor Martin (one of our gaming friends) alone. Martin is allergic to cats and takes medication in order to walk through our front door. I'm thinking of multiple hepa filters. She has also discovered that Meowmie is still upset when she sharpens her claws on the carpet. The food dish has moved and the potty boxes are better hidden. This is a good thing. There are more and better places to climb and hide. Also a good thing.

Berfert has tried, but cannot talk any of our friends into sharing their beer with him. He's tried looking depressed, hopeful, patting the can, trying to tip the cans over, sticking his nose into the can, pleading, purring, yowling, and everything else he can think of. The friends have been warned and none of them will share their beer with them. BTW, Berfert prefers Icehouse beer, as he wouldn't try to drink Bud Light, but the Icehouse brought all out all his latent alcoholism. In other words, the alky is back.

QC is as serene as ever, but has discovered that Penelope is as cuddly as she is, smaller, and a diluted calico. Penny is getting lots of attention and reveling in it. QC still gets lots of attention, but Penny is trying to get right into the snuggle mode. QC has changed her sleeping arrangements and is sleeping by Mike; she used to sleep with Mandy.

Merlin now sleeps with Mandy. He and Pine Cone have staked her room out as their domain. Mandy said that he woke her up repeatedly last night trying to get into the laundry closet. I'm not surprised. Merlin spent his first 18 hours here hiding under Rob's and my bed. Then he discovered something that he never realized at the other house. He's lost weight and can climb. He's climbed all the dressers, the cat tree, mantle piece, tables, chairs, microwave stand, desks, book cases, laundry shelves, and bathroom counters. His innate sense of good manners (he's a gentlecat, ya know) has kept him off the kitchen counters. He helped me in the bathroom this morning. I was brushing my teeth and he was watching me in the mirror. Merlin is certainly more active than he was at the other house and having more fun than before.

Penelope has developed a fan club among our gamer friends. They come over sit in the dining room and she climbs from one lap to the next to get scritches and cuddles. One of our friends, Adam, is particularly charmed with Penny. In fact each gamer has a favorite cat they like to visit with. Penny is sort of the whole group's mascot. She loves visiting every one and doesn't even beg for food like the other cats are prone to do.

Last, but not least, is my freaky boy, Pine Cone. Pine Cone made himself at home from the moment we opened the cat carrier and turned him loose in our bedroom. He has discovered that my plants have not been hung out of his reach yet, and has made several aborted attacks on them. He probably thinks his name is "Pine Cone, You Freak!" Like Merlin PC has climbed on every possible surface, but not being a gentle cat, I've had to chase PC off of the kitchen counters a couple of times.

PC has also discovered ceramic tile. We bought a round table and chairs for our breakfast nook. The table has ceramic tile inlay, and is not only pretty but easy to take care of. I love it, but then I picked this one out, and it wasn't a necessity second hand purchase. Shortly after we moved him in, PC leaped onto the table and skidded across it on his butt. He fell off on the far side of the table and landed on the waxed linoleum floor. He skidded across it for a couple of feet before coming to a halt in the center of the kitchen. He stood up, looked at me watching him, and (I swear) winked at me before sitting down and cleaning himself. Since then, he has slid across the table at least three times that I know of, and the kids tell me that there's been more. I think he gives himself style points, distance scores, and extra points for astonishing people, as he seems to do this when the most people he can find are around.

The cats have also discovered that finches are attracted to my fuchsias that I moved from the other house. They were intently watching six or seven of them perched on one of them. What was funny is that the fuchsia on the other side of the porch had no birds on it. Rob thinks that they wanted to check us out as much as the cats were interested in them.

This house has more/better placed windows or something as it is lighter inside than the rental was. There are blinds at every window, so I haven't been in a hurry to get curtains up. The cats have figured out, quickly, that they can stick their heads between the slats of the blinds and watch what's happening outside. They've been really interested in the computer/library/den (AKA Maude, because it drives Mandy nuts that we call a room a person's name) window because they not only can look outside and see the front porch and the street but because they never know when the finches might be back. The windows in the breakfast nook (bow windows? they come out on three sides like part of an octagon) are also very popular, and I often find two to four cats watching out of them. We put the cats' climbing pole and their scratching platform at the window in the living room, its also popular, especially since Merlin has realized that he can climb on it and not bring the whole shebang down on himself.

Basically this house is very popular with the cats. It's as popular with the humans. If my clothes washer were fixed, I'd be in heaven. Mandy loves the dishwasher, and has complained about emptying it only once in over a week. The gamers love the dining room, but it's not made for the 10-12 people we have been cramming in it so we're talking about setting up a table and sawhorses in the garage after we get the garage emptied out. Right now, the garage is full of belongings, the pantry shelves, freezer, and the hot water heater. We have a lot of work to do. We've grilled on the patio, watered the grass, mowed the lawn, put lawn ornaments and the glider chair in place, stacked wood in our back yard and are settling in. It will take a while, but we're slowly turning the house into our home.


Editor's note:

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