Berlioz and The Wasp.

Today, I walked into the spare room and found Berlioz seated on the chair at my desk, staring at the air conditioner in the wall above.

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The chair and the air conditioner.

I asked him what he was doing, but as usual, he wouldn’t tell me. So I stood there for a second, walked a bit closer to the air conditioner, didn’t see anything unusual, so I left the room.

Not even 5 minutes later, I heard a ruckus coming from the spare room (I was just across the hall in the master bedroom). I peeked out the door and into the room, and I saw Berlioz in the center of the room, playing with something that appeared to be moving itself. I again walked a bit closer, and then jumped like three feet back when I realized it was a giant bug. I yelled “kill it, Berlioz!” but he didn’t. Instead, he grabbed it with his teeth, and sprinted out of the room and down the stairs. I followed with a book in hand, hoping that I could crush the bug myself when he let it go. He did finally let it go and at this point I was able to see exactly what it was – a wasp.

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the bad guy.

Upon this realization, I lost it. I grabbed a water bottle and tried to spray the wasp, but also sprayed Berlioz in the face. He snatched up the wasp (who I don’t think was able to fly or move very well anymore) and darted back upstairs with it, still buzzing in his clenched teeth.

I ran back upstairs, and frantically texted my husband, while the events unfolded before my eyes.

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True story – Berlioz ate the wasp. I saw the whole thing. He saw me, he looked me dead in the eyes, and he began chewing. I heard a “crunch.” Then another “crunch.” He chewed a few more times, then began licking his chops. 

The wasp never had a chance.

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savoring his victory.

I panicked again, because I never saw a cat eat a wasp before, and I had no idea what could possibly happen. I assumed after the two “crunches” that it was sufficiently lifeless and unable to sting him, but would he get sick? Would he have trouble digesting a stinger? Who knows??

Google knows. Google always knows. Unless it stung him inside his throat (which I’m pretty sure it could not possibly have) it’s just a bit of extra protein and he should be fine.

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post-hunt nap.

Looks fine to me.

What Breed Are They, Anyway??

My cats are mutts. They came from shelters, they have no certifications other then they are certifiably crazy. But of course, that’s why we love them. But sometimes I wonder what their kitty heritage is. So I started doing some internet investigating, and I think I found the breed that is  most prominent in both of them. We’ll start with Wednesday.

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What breed is she??

Wendesday is pure white (aside from a black spot on top of her head), is small, friendly (ish) and has bright, striking eyes that are two different colors. After reading up on a few breeds that match these traits, I concluded that she is definitely part Khao Manee. 

The Khao Manee is known for it’s white coat, and bright eyes which are either blue or two different colors (Wednesday is a match so far). They are friendly and outgoing, and get along with people (Wednesday is mostly a match…if biting people is considered getting along with them). They are intelligent (she is) and playful (she can be when she wants to be). They are considered royalty (she is also known as “the Princess”). So minus her sometimes grumpiness and black spot on the head (which is probably the source of her grumpiness), Wednesday is most likely an ancestor of the rare and royal Khao Manee.

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You should see me in a crown.

So then, Berlioz. What is he?? I did the same thing with him as I did with Wednesday – I looked up different breeds and narrowed it down to the one that most matched his looks and personality traits: the Bombay.

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How Bombay is he??

Berlioz is playful, affectionate, and glued to my side at all times. He fetches (and we never taught him – he was born knowing how to do it), he snuggles under the covers, and he likes everyone and everything he meets. Oh, and did I mention that he loves to eat? Like he would eat all day if there was food available. He even eats Wednesday’s barf (which makes me want to barf). He also has a shiny black coat (except for one small white patch on his chest) and bright yellow eyes. All of these are traits of the Bombay.  Bombay’s are typically social, playful, and very attached to their owners, earning them the title of “velcro kitty.” Bombays love to eat and food intake needs to be controlled to avoid overfeeding.

You don’t say.

food dream
I often dream of food…

Anyway, by no means am I claiming either of these shelter mutts are purebred kitties, but honestly, I would’t want either one of them any other way. They’re purrrfect, just the way they are.

The Luck of the Cat.

Earlier this year, I started volunteering with a local animal organization (The Burlington County Animal Alliance – Cat Division, also known as BCAA Cats). I help out at the adoption center in PetSmart, once a week. This is wonderful and rewarding for me, but also heartbreaking at times, when I see the same cats there week after week, just waiting patiently for their future adopter to happen to walk in and find them, whisking them away to their magical mystical furrever home.

Just a few of the cats that are waiting, as we speak:

They are all wonderful, loving cats who deserve an equally wonderful, loving home. It causes me to contemplate the luck of the cat – both of our cats are from shelters, and both were chosen after we arrived at the shelter, mainly because they both seemed to also choose us. How does that work? How did our cats get so lucky, that they spend each day spoiled and pampered and petted and well-fed (probably too well-fed).

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Can I have some more?

I wish I could take all the cats from the adoption center home, too, and spoil them, but unfortunately, that’s just not possible. Our house is small, and it barely meets the size requirements for the two that already live here.

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This place isn’t big enough for the both of us.

Our guys got lucky – they were in the right place at the right time, and we found each other. Now they get to spend the rest of their lives doing whatever the heck they want, in complete comfort.

I am concerned sometimes, that maybe this isn’t enough, and they are missing out on life outside of these four walls…

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And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

But I see the cats who don’t have a home yet, and I see my guys, with their bright eyes, shiny coats and full bellies, and I know at the end of the day, these are two very lucky felines, and I’m pretty sure they know it, too.

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We love you, mama.

I am a strong believer that all cats (and all animals for that matter) deserve a home as loving as ours, and that those homes are out there. So if you have a loving home that you can share with a fine four-legged furball of fun, please visit your local shelter. Your purrfect pet is waiting for you to come and find them.

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How could you say no to this face??

A Tail of Two Kitties.

Sometimes, I just watch Wednesday and Berlioz interact. I suppose they like each other – I mean, they often sit in the same room peacefully, and although they chase each other around sometimes, it never gets violent. They are like polar opposites though in some ways – Wednesday is very neat, quiet, and graceful. Berlioz is a hot mess who flies into a room like a tornado, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. But they both love snuggling (on their own terms of course) and often they just hang out together, doing whatever it is cats do, like staring at things that are apparently invisible to the human eye:

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something only they can see.

And then one day, I think they may have been trying to murder me, or teach me some kind of lesson. At least they were working together:

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this will teach her to give us more dinner.

If the attempted murder actually was a success, what would they do at night, when they’re cold?

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we are definitely NOT snuggled up next to you.

At the end of the day, these two felines from opposite sides of the river, with personalities that couldn’t be any more different, love each other (and by love, I mean tolerate) and bring us joy everyday (and by joy I mean mischief, mutiny, and mayhem).

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joy.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

No, Kitty, That’s My Popcorn.

Last night, when I came home from work, I put my bags down, including my closed and zippered shut lunchbag, and started putting things away and getting settled in. I brought my two bags of groceries into the kitchen to put them away, leaving the closed and zippered shut lunchbag on the coffee table. Inside of the closed and zippered shut lunchbag was:

1 half empty jar of almond butter

1 used knife that needed to be cleaned

1 small sealed plastic bag of popcorn

I assumed that these contents were all safe, being that they were inside of the closed and zippered shut lunchbag.

During my time away from the closed and zippered shut lunchbag, I also fed the #catsquad who were begging for dinner as usual.

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(disclaimer: this photo was actually taken the night before, but it could be any night as it’s always the exact same scene when dinner is about to be served)

After feeding them, I went upstairs to put the rest of my stuff away and to change. This took approximately 20 minutes. At this point, I came back down into the living room to claim the closed and zippered shut lunchbag and empty it of it’s three items and put them away, accordingly.

Someone had beat me to it.

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closed and zippered shut no more.

I assumed it was Berlioz, however if there had been any doubt, it was cast away when he retuned to the scene of the crime, and began eating the popcorn faster than I could clean it up.

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sinner.

In all of this, I haven’t been able to figure out how he gained entry into the closed and zippered shut lunchbag. The world may never know.

We Can Work it Out.

The other day, I went upstairs to run on the treadmill. Berlioz followed me, as he often does. I set up the treadmill, and stepped out of the room momentarily. Upon my return, I was greeted by this sight:

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You shall not run.

I tried to get him to budge, but no dice. I thought standing on the treadmill myself might give him the hint that it’s time to move.

It didn’t.

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I can run too, mama.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, he moved out of the way, and I went for my 7 mile treadmill run, but not without him coming back into the room more than once, and getting dangerously close to the moving treadmill belt. I had to yell and throw tissues at him until he finally left the room.

As soon as I finished, I went into bathroom to grab a glass of water. When I returned, he was right back where he started.

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Happiness is a warm treadmill.

I was finished running, and sort of tired myself, so I figured if you cant beat ’em….

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…join ’em.

It was actually quite warm and relaxing. Plus the sun was shining in right on us, so I put on some chill music, and before we knew it, one of us had drifted off to sleep.

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cat napping.

These cats are living their best (nine) lives. We can all take a few tips from them on how to relax, how to snuggle, and how to love.

Food, Glorious Food.

I think it’s safe to say that most cats are really into food. They all act like they haven’t eaten in weeks when it’s getting close to meal time, like little furry drama queens.

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You only feed me twice every day. Oh the Horror!

Some cats are certainly more food-focused than others. Wednesday is pretty chill, compared to other cats I’ve known. She still begs for meals, but on a cat-starvation-drama scale of 1 to 10, she’s probably around a 4. But she is not afraid to let me know when it’s getting close to dinner time.

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I want my dinner. NOW.

She kinda scares me a little.

Berlioz on the other hand…his starvation-ometer clearly goes up to 11. The other night, he somehow managed to sneak by me while I was eating and snatch a french fry off of my plate. And then he growled and clawed me after I chased him around the house and tried to retrieve it, unsuccessfully.  If there is anything even remotely food-like brought out into the atmosphere, he’s right there, ready to chow down, with his hypothetical bib and fork.

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I smell food…
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FOOD!!!!

Anyway, I don’t think they will ever stop being hungry. I had my last cat Gandalf for 13 years, and he begged for every meal like it was going to be his last until it actually was.

Cats will be cats. And food will be food. And they will spend every waking moment (which is less than half of their lazy days) begging for it.