March 21, 2010

Cats are amazing creatures.

The earliest history story that I know, of cats being domesticated, was about Cleopatra.  I’m sure there are other references long before her, but that is the one that sticks in my mind.

All civilizations have domesticated animals of all sorts.  From cats to dogs, rabbits to cows, monkeys to falcons.  But, for some reason, I still have this obsession with cats.

It’s no secret, and if you’ve read ANY of my blogs, you will certainly begin to understand that I absolutely adore cats.

From my earliest recollections, my family always had at least one cat roaming around the house.  The first one that I can remember, was a cat named SAM.  He was an outdoor cat.  For some reason, everyone that I’ve ever known, who has named a cat, SAM, it’s always been an outdoor cat.  Sure, he always came into the house for brief visits, but basically his home was the neighbourhood.

My cats over the years, due mainly to location, have always been indoor cats.  Living in an apartment, it is sometimes difficult to ‘let the cat out for the night’, for fear that it would fall 14 floors from my apartment balcony!  And yes, unfortunately and sadly, one cat met his demise this way, from 7 floors, trying to catch birds.  A very sad day indeed.  I’ve never enjoyed the fact that we have a limited amount of time on this planet, whether human or other living creature.  It saddens me more when life is cut short.  That’s why I want to live to be the oldest man alive.  I doubt that I’ll gain that title, because it seems that only women outlive men!

Nevertheless, back to cats.  As much as we are different creatures, we are similar to cats, or they to us.  I don’t care which way you want to put it, cats and humans have more similarities than most people know.

As I said, my life is full of cats.  Whether they be mine, friends, strays, there has always been AT LEAST one cat in my life at any given time that I can remember.  Now, I have six that live with me.

I’ve watched documentaries on the Discovery Channel.  I’ve read books.  I’ve witnessed first-hand some of the antics of these creatures.  The more I live with them, the more I feel we have a kinship of sorts.  Sometimes, I think they (my cats) have that kinship with me.  Have a look at my video on Facebook of Ignatius giving me kisses.  He’s becoming a cat now, so the kisses aren’t as often, but usually as I’m falling asleep, he likes to play and ‘nub noses’ as I call it.  He likes to rub his cheek against me, and when he really gets going, will lightly bite my chin!  Crazy cat, but I love him dearly.

I was watching my little sweethearts today.  If you read a couple of days ago, I introduced ‘kitty jail’.  I’ve actually had a lot of comments from people, not on the blog, but in PERSON!  A little amazed at just how many people read my blogs…

Every morning like clockwork, the mother cat (living outside, who just had the four little babies), comes by for her breakfast.  My neighbours are a bit pissed about it, but hey, I rather that they have a fighting chance at survival, rather than letting them starve to death because my stupid-ass neighbour likes yappy mutts, rather than cats.  Mom lives outdoors, so she has a rough enough life as it is.  She is now raising four little kittens, which by the way, she has moved to an unknown destination!  Damn…  maybe she was a bit miffed at me taking pictures of her litter.  Eventually, I expect the little ones will follow her to my window once they’re able to.

So, my kids, since the wild cat gets fed at 6:00am, want to be fed as well.  Fair enough.  I give them a little in the morning, so that they will eat in the evening.  Man, these cats eat more than I do, honestly!

Today, I decided to give them a treat – KITTY POT as I call it.  Catnip.  I have no idea what the actual brand name is, because it is Chinese.  However, like some humans, my cats seem to love to get a buzz on once in a while.  Catnip, after all, is a cousin to, well, something that humans like to puff on once in a while.  Why not!?

I also, every so often, purchase something here that HUMAN kids (and adults) like to eat – dried, slivered fish.  Yuck!  I call it cat food, they (Taiwan people) call it a snack.  Whatever.  To me, it stinks.  Dried fish that is sliced into strips.  Almost as revolting to me, as ‘cho-dofu’ (stinky tofu).

The cats love this stuff.  I buy it in a little town about 1/2 hour away, Sing-da Port.  It’s a fishing community.  Every weekend they have a fish market, and there’s only a couple of things that I will buy there, and this is one.  It is cheaper than buying it in the city (Tainan).  Sure, it’s a half hour away, but it also makes for a mid-Sunday afternoon drive out of Tainan, along the Taiwan Strait.

This morning, I decided to give them a little KITTY POT and gave them the rest of the shredded fish.  Kind of funny watching the cats go crazy.  Arabela, just like I expected, doesn’t have the big tummy that Cornelia has.  Her eyes are DEFINITELY bigger than her gut!  She went crazy for the POT, then started eating the fish like it was the first time she’s eaten in months.  You can well imagine what happened.  Yes folks, I had to clean up something that makes me a little nauseous.  I won’t go into details… use your imagination.

Gabriel, Ignatius, and Eloise love to roll around in the POT.  It gets stuck in their fur.  I think they only reason they do this, is so they will have a ‘snack’ later on in the day!  Not like they can go to the ‘wrong’ part of town to pick up their own!  They must rely on me to provide them with this twice-monthly fix!  Might as well hoard as much as possible… never know when the next batch will be around.

So, now they’re all buzzed, and relaxing, enjoying the colours and sounds, and whatever other images their minds are projecting.  Life is calm and peaceful for Teacher Bill right now, and I don’t mind.  Gives me a chance to get some work done without being bothered.

Enjoy the buzz guys, it won’t last forever!


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