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December 06, 2006



Well, I certainly have no pets to lament or comment on. They're long in the past. Not that I don't sometimes think of getting one but in an apartment it is a little difficult to have a big dog, the kind I like. I just don't like the little yappy ones that my brother-in-law's parents bred, Chihuahuas or any others that size. I also agree with what my mother once said that it's not fair to keep a big dog in a small space. It has to be able to run around. Being very noise-sensitive, I really don't want any chirping or whatever around either. Yeah, yeah, I know: I'm hard to please and set in my ways.

Right now, though, I'm in the throes of thinking of how to move again. It's just upstairs but it involves moving everything from inside, around the building to the door that leads to the upstairs. Cumbrous and labor-intensive to say the least and therefore not suited to me. And the stairs are not my cup of tea either though I don't mind stairs as long as I can hold onto a railing and my legs, specifically the knees and hips don't hurt too much. All this has to be done by Jan. 31. That's not too bad a time-frame but it's *winter*. I can't, or at least don't want to move during a snowfall when everything will get wet or when it's icy and I may get sued for getting someone to help me under such conditions. And who wants to do it at this time of day when it's already been dark for over an hour.

Logistics, logistics. I also have to get *all* my boxes and furniture out of the basement. My present landlord had negotiated my being able to keep things downstairs and I'm paying rent accordingly. Putting all these things elsewhere is bound to cost me money which I don't have. So it seems that I just can't win. I'll have to pray that someone will offer to harbor some of my stuff. I still have a storage unit which I'd hoped to empty. That would give me a little over CDN$80 extra. Now it could definitely go the other way. Help!

Oh, I know you can't help. It's just a general cry of being distraught. I know my sister will try to help me. However, she needs at least two days in a row off to make it at all feasible for her to come (roughly 7 hours round-trip drive) and she has two children with birthdays this month on the 21st and 31st. Which reminds me that I must at least get some sort of e-card to my other nephew for his birthday on the 11th. Yep, a birthday every 10 days this month. At least I won't ever forget the date the Pan Am flight exploded over Scotland. That was Dec. 21, 1988 the day my youngest nephew was born.

Julie Anne Long

You know what's kind of ironic, Ranurgis? I know quite a few people in the city (meaning SF) who live quite successfully with fairly big dogs in fairly small apartments, and in some ways the dogs have better lives than suburban dogs, because their owners *must* take them out regularly for walks or runs. And dogs *love* to be with people, so they're happy being wherever you are. (A lot of these people work at home.) When I was growing up, our big dog Shadow lived mostly in the backyard, but she probably didn't get walked or played with as much as she should have because she had a big backyard to roam in. Not to mention a *lot* of cats to compete with. :) Maybe a medium-sized dog would be good company for you. I love big furry dogs, but I've learned that I actually love chihuahuas, too. they have very, very sweet dispositions, and most of the ones I know are pretty quiet.

And you know, when I moved a little more than a year ago, I only moved about five blocks from my old flat to my new one...and it's just about as much work as if I'd moved 100 miles away. No matter how you slice it, moving is *always* a bigger ordeal than you think it's going to be. LOL. But just think of the end-result. :) It'll all work out. And maybe you can sell or give away some stuff before you move. That's one thing I've learned: travel light!! I purged a lot before my last move. :) Good luck with it!! It's always a little overwhelming, but it's exciting to have new place.

Haven Rich

So good to hear from you Julie, I was starting to wonder if the book you're working on ate you or something.

My cat has the same thing about sleeping ON me. They can't sleep beside you or just on the bed with you, Oh NO, it has to be ON you. Amie (my tortie) loves to sleep on my sway (my tummy area) or on my head. Truly, on the head, I wake up and have a cat sleeping on my ear. But she will also snuggle up beside me, under the covers with her head on my pillow. Other times she sleeps on the pillow above mine (I sleep on 4, two are hers).

But as I have 7 cats, there is hardly any room for my husband and I. And you know what, cats are pretty good birth control, even when you don't need it. When Amie was a baby, she'd insist on sleeping between my husband and I..and would make sure we couldn't touch. If any attention was to be given, she made sure it was to her hehe.

My husband found a site that lists the Cat's Rules and trust me, it lists several of the things mentioned as apart of their rules.

Just for information's sake, did you know that a cat has a 100 different vocal tones, where a dog only has 10. So is it any wonder cats talk so much (umm my Shadow). He will talk back!

I hope your ISP problems clear up soon, I hate it when those things give you fits!

Kathy K

Growing up we had dogs for YEARS...until my allergies got too bad. Although once I left home, that ended the dog moratorium at the Jette house and my parents got a dog.

Even though I am, very mildly, allergic to him as well, we have a toy poodle. Mitka is 11+ years old now and we've had him for over 10 1/2 years. Mitka sleeps, for the most part, with me and Joe [DH]. He has his own bed and stays there until either Joe and I settle down {and that's ALL I'm going to say} to sleep, or Joe comes to bed [I'm a morning person, Joe's a night owl]. At that point he makes himself comfortable in between us...and it's amazing how such a small dog can take over the bed! But he's been sleeping with us for years and years and it's not going to change.

We don't have cats solely because I and my daughter Meagan are very allergic; but that's not to say we haven't had a couple of kittens over the years. A few years ago, one followed my two youngest daughters home ~ oh, man what a sweetie. We had Skittles long enough to make sure that no-one around was missing him and long enough to know that the allergies were just too bad to live with.
But Skittles and Mitka got along really well ~ they had a game where Skittles, sitting in my Jade tree, would crouch down until Mitka went by at which point Skittles jumped out at him and they proceeded to chase each other around the living room; it was a lot of fun to watch them. Unfortunately, once the allergies got too much, we had to take Skittles to the pound, but were assured that as he was a healthy kitten he'd be adopted in no time. Mitka did miss Skittles for awhile too; he kept looking around for him ~ especially in my plants. It was heartbreaking for all of us, though. And it's been 7 years or so?? You can tell how quickly he made a place in our hearts.
Our second kitten was a foundling my brother came across. He and his wife lived on an acreage just outside of the city where people, curse them, dump their unwanted pets. Thence the arrival of Kia.
He was another really sweet kitten and fit in just perfectly ~ of course! Much loved, but again Meagan and I were just too allergic.... But we did find a home for him and all was well.

I'm a sucker for animals ~ over the years we've had 7 foundling rabbits & one store bought, 5 or 6 hamsters and one guinea pig (bad allergy experience there...I still sneeze just thinking about Austin), plus our two kittens and Mitka...oh and the two birds that lasted a week.... *grin*.. nuts? Yep!

Now, I've figured out that the limit of my allergy-tolerance are toy poodles. Any other non-allergic type dog out there, I've reacted quite strongly to. Once Mitka's gone we'll probably get another toy ~ or even before. We're thinking of either a cream / apricot [we'd call him Triscuit] or a black / silver [I'm angling for Shadow...but no firm decisions yet.]

Pets are absolutely the best. And with studies proving how beneficial they are health-wise, it's not surprising how many people have pets. It's just too bad that so many have pets for the wrong reasons.

But that's a rant for another time! *grin*

And now that I've gone on [and on] it's time to go feed the little guy I've got today his morning snack...he's cleaning up the toys, so I guess he's serious about being 'hungee'.. And he's 'done'...



Haven Rich

Kathy, not to sound like a know it all, cause frankly I don't, but most people are allergic to the dander on pets, not the actual pet. So often times if an animal is given baths on a regular basis and in an oatmeal type shampoo, the owner can live allergy free.

Now I will admit, that some folks are most likely so allergic that they can't handle even that, but based on everything I've read, animal dander is normally the cause.

Julie Anne Long

It's cute thinking of you guys piled up with seven cats, Haven. LOL. I love how we all sleep with our pets—they're family members, after all. Though people do look pretty funny with cats perched on them while they're sleeping. And cats are opportunists, I think, and the whole "sleeping on us" thing is part affection, part best-way-to-keep warm. They have a gift for seeking heat. And how is it they avoid getting squished when they bunk down with big people?? And yet they seem to, somehow. And my cat Domenic is one of the most verbal cats I've ever met (and I've known a lot.) He *always* has something to say. I wonder, sometimes, if it's how we socialize them that makes them verbal—if cats who are talked to a lot simply get used to talking back, or if some cats are simply chattier than others. LOL.

Toy poodles are adorable, Kathy!! I've known a few poodles in my day—very sweet, smart dogs, despite their Dr. Seuss-looking haircuts (just kidding!) I know a number of people who suffer instantly when they walk into a house that has a cat, like you do—instant itching, swelling and wheezing. It's awful for them!! I have a few other friends who are a little bit allergic, and suffer a little all the time just so they can keep a cat. It's hard to do without one, once you get used to having that furry little presence around. And it's so cute when dogs and cats play together!! In my experience, if they're raised together, they don't know they're not supposed to get along, so they simply do. And kittens are just plain nuts. They'll play with ANYTHING. How does something so tiny think it can leap out and climb a human pant leg, for instance, when humans are about 20 times its size?? Or leap out at a dog?? Crazy little things.

Growing up, all our kitties either just sort of found us (wild kittens, or abandoned kittens—we lived near two open fields), or were pound kitties. Domenic and his twin brother Cecil (who used to live with me, too, but he passed away two years ago)had been abandoned at a vet's office. My parents found my first cat, Sophie, in a bush outside their house when she was a kitten. LOL. Isn't it funny that you can find a little lifetime of love and devotion for free in a bush, or at a vet's office?? Yeah, animals are the greatest.

And Haven, my book hasn't eaten me, but I have to admit it's getting the best of my brain cells. LOL. Or rather, I'm *devoting* the best of my brain cells to it. A few blogs back I mentioned I'd probably only be blogging about once a week, maybe twice, but I'll be around, and I'm happy to keep the conversation meandering it whatever direction it wants to go. LOL.

Julie Anne Long

Hey Haven—re dander—I had one wildly allergic friend who tried that (the shampooing), but it was just too hard to keep the rest of the house free of hair, too, and she still suffered, so she gave it up. But she was unhappy about it. It's so hard to live without our fuzzy buddies!! Maybe that's how hairless cats came about. :) Anyone know the story behind those??

Haven Rich

As a matter fact I do!

The Sphinx cats are considered the best breed for people with allergies because they do not have hair..or at the very least much of it. If they do have hair, it's sorta like peach fuzz. The breed showed up in Canada around 1966 (or there abouts) when a domestic gave birth to a hairless cat. It was a natural mutation. And their skin has been likened to suede. They do get cold easier, and have to wear sweaters or something to keep them warm during the winter months.

They are attention grabbers and love to be at the center of it all. They will actually preform to gain your attention. They also prefer humans vs. other cats or dogs. But can get along just as well with cats and dogs. They are full of energy.

The really cool thing about them, is their skin is the color of what their fur would be, if they had it. So you can still have a calico or various other colors.

And you are right Julie, some people's allergies can't even handle bathing the kitty all the time. Which is sad. Because even if it is a cat or dog, they are wonderful "buddies" and can be so entertaining.

I love answering kitty questions. I've read so much on them that it comes natural to answer questions.

And as to the freebie kitties, my dad once found a cat at the crown (the very top) of an oil rig. He was unsure how the kitty got up there (it's like 75ft off the ground) but she was solid black from the oil and goo from the rig. Well, he brought her home and my mom gave her 4 baths in dishsoap (cuts grease hehe). And we found that she was a very white calico. We named her Crown, which we figured was very fitting.

I suppose you can tell I love cats haha.

Haven Rich


Julie, as a fellow cat lover, I thought you might get a kick out of this. I've been refreshing here and there hoping to see how it unfolds!

Julie Anne Long

Haven, thanks for that Sphinx cat link!! That's pretty interesting. I keep thinking of that episode of Friends where Rachel bought a Sphinx cat because she loved the one her grandmother had when she was growing up, and Ross was freaked out. He said it looked like "a hand." ROFL! And those kittens looks like little bats in sweaters!! They're adorable!! LOL.

Yeah, I can probably talk endlessly about cats, too. I've loved Stuff on my Cat from the beginning. It cracks me up what people dream up...it's the the most random thing in the world, but it unites us in pure...whimsy, maybe? Because we all like to tweak our cats—I love the expressions on those cats faces—and the cats in turn tweak us. Part of the cat-as-a-roommate bargain. LOL.

Haven Rich

I'm still shocked that the guy had the nerve to propose there! And wow, that ring is beautiful!


Haha. I could probably talk about cats endlessly as well. My tuxedo-cat, Lola, has a bottle cap fixation. Not sure how I originally found this out, but all I have to do is take the bottle cap off an empty bottle and show it to her and that's usually enough. She's not very vocal, but she'll start crying, or doing that weird cat-crying thing. Mewing maybe. It's so hilarious. She'll bat them around the kitchen floor or the bathtub like she's playing hockey.

Casey, my orange tabby, has a cabinet fixation. He opens them and climbs in them, then climbs out of them. He amazes me. He's more curious and such, I think it's because he came from a feral cat colony. I got him from a local rescue group. What happened was some contractors were tearing down woods where a feral cat colony lived, and the rescue group believed they were shooting the feral cats they found. So Casey's mom got shot, most likely. But he and his two sisters were rescued, as well as some other cats later. I walked into the used bookstore where they keep foster cats sometimes, and wasn't really looking for a kitty, since the one I got at the same time as Lola had died suddenly after three months from an unexplained kidney failure. He just got sick and was gone two weeks later. So after that shock, I wasn't looking for a new one just yet. But then I saw Casey, and heard about his story, and then I picked him up and he purred. That was it. Now he and Lola are best friends. They always play and wrestle. But I think sometimes Casey will get a little restless, because he cries and is more vocal than Lola (she came from the city shelter. I only intended to get one cat, the one who ended up dying quickly, but then I saw her sad face, saw she'd been there awhile, and that was it. I got two).

Anyway, Casey will cry sometimes, and I think his feral roots are also why he goes cabinet-climbing. He can reach the highest ones, and he enjoys sleeping on top of them sometimes. He almost blends in, haha. The other night I brought home cat food and was about to feed them, and there was an open cabinet below the sink. Well Casey walks in and just bumps it closed. It was so funny and so oddly purposeful.

So yeah. Those are my kitties. I've had Casey since January and Lola since last summer. As far as sleeping goes, Lola will sometimes sleep at the end of my bed. Casey likes to nudge me until I raise up the comforter and he can crawl under and snuggle up with me. And then occasionally Lola will climb on my stomach, turn around so her butt is facing me, then lay down and start moving her tail back and forth across my face. It's a very peculiar sort of alarm clock.

Haven Rich

Ya know I've been thinking about what this kitty fellow of yours looks like and so I came up with a wonderful idea...Post photos!!! I want to see your best friend! (goes for the best, most pitiful look, please!!)

Julie Anne Long

Haven, I'm just seeing your comment now, and what's funny is I just invited people to send pet photos!! LOL. I love that idea. And "Heather" at "Stuff on Your Cat" said yes, I noticed. :) Gotta love a man who isn't afraid to propose via his cat. A shameless guy, indeed.

And isn't it funny, Lareign, the fixation cats have for small spaces?? So funny your kitty gets in the cupboard and actually *closes the door behind him.* That cracked me up! Domenic and Cecil, my cat brothers (it was Cecil who passed away), had very different personalities, and Cecil was more "cat-like." His favorite toy was a fur mouse (Domenic likes little spongie "soccer balls"), and he used to "bury" his food with books from the bookcase (their dish was near the bookcase, and Cecil would pull books down to cover his food when he was done eating.) All very instinctive cat-like behavior, like your climber Casey. :)

Send photos of your kitties or doggies if you have photos, you guys!

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