What comes up, must go down…again.

I debated on whether or not to share this story, because it’s kind of gross. But cats can be kind of gross at times. This was one of those times.

Berlioz is obsessed with food, as I may have mentioned once or twice. Wednesday, on the other hand, eats slow and enjoys every bite. Of course she begs for food, like every other cat, but once the food is placed in front of her, she takes her time, savoring the meal, and used to even walk away and come back. She can’t do that anymore, as Berlioz will make a bee-line to her dish the second the she steps away. He often tries to actually even eat her meal while she is still eating it, shoving his face in front of hers. We do our best to play “food police” and stand guard in between them during meal times, grabbing Berlioz mid-run and thwarting any attempt at food thievery.

So, one morning, as usual, the #mewcrew was begging for breakfast.

I fed them as usual, giving them each their equal share of wet food and dry food. And as usual, Berlioz finished first, and before I had a chance, sprinted to Wednesday’s dish, shoved her out of the way and started eating her breakfast. I ran over and pulled him away, and put him back in front of his own dish. I stood guard until Wednesday (unusually quickly) finished her meal, and then they both left the kitchen. I continued to get ready for work, packed up, and went upstairs to kiss my husband goodbye. I came back down, and heard that sound – the sound that every cat owner dreads – the sounds of a cat about to puke. The problem was there were no cats in sight. I put down my purse and keys and began frantically searching for the source, in a vain attempt to move the almost-puker to the kitchen where the results could be more easily cleaned up. Well I followed the sounds as best as I could, but it sounded like they were coming from the TV which was weird, because it was off. I walked over, and happened to peer behind it, and there she was, but it was too late – Wednesday had puked all over the back of the entertainment center.

There was no way I was going to be able to get back there and clean this all up AND still make it to work on time, so I ran back upstairs and yelled to my husband that Wednesday just barfed behind the TV and he would have to clean it up. He groggily said, “ok” and I went back downstairs to leave.

But it gets worse.

I picked  up my bags, and went to bid the cats farewell, when I found Berlioz in the very same spot behind the entertainment center where Wednesday just was, but the pile of puke had vanished. Yes, exactly what you think happened is what happened – he ate it.

But it gets worse.

He ran out the other side of the entertainment center, and I went over to say goodbye and there was puke ON HIS FACE, and it wasn’t his own puke. And he looked at me expecting me to pet him.

I left before I puked myself, and texted my husband from the car that there was nothing he would need to clean up, as Berlioz had it all under control.

Fortune(less) Cookie.

We often eat Chinese food, and whenever we do, they throw in like 6 fortune cookies. I love them, not only for the anticipation of discovering what lies written on the paper within, but for the tasty cookie itself. I often break them up and sprinkle them over ice cream. It’s delicious. We save all the fortunes in a large bowl, but somehow they often wind up outside of the bowl, in random locations.

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Found on the coffee table this morning.

Anyway, Wednesday has been exposed to our Chinese food meals for a couple of years now, and never has expressed any interest in any part of it. Berlioz, on the other hand, seems to think we have ordered it all for him. Last time we ordered some, he put his head in the bag, tried to eat a veggie out of my shrimp with cashew nuts, and kept jumping up on the table while we were eating. Finally, he stopped. We were happy that he had for some reason given up on trying to eat our food right out of our hands, so much so that it didn’t occur to us to wonder what he could be doing instead that would have captured his full attention while we ate in peace.

So, I was done my meal, I got up to bring my plate into the kitchen, turned the corner, and there he was, caught in the act:

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Caught in the act.

He had discovered the fortune cookies, pulled one down to the floor, ripped through the packaging, pulled the cookie out, and broke it into pieces. Upon further inspection, all of the cookie pieces remained intact and uneaten. However the fortune inside was nowhere to be found.

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Fortune thief.

Berlioz had eaten the fortune. He went through all that trouble to get through the plastic and the (delicious) cookie to get to a small piece of paper, not because he was anxious to see what the future might hold for him, but so he could eat it.

I don’t know what’s wrong with him sometimes.

 

The Great Gumdrop Caper.

I had just fed the #catsquad and was preparing my own dinner. They were both milling around, like they often do after they’re finished eating (hoping for more food I guess?).

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hangin’ around.

Anyway, I was at the counter with my back to the rest of the kitchen, when I heard a small “thump” behind me. It didn’t sound like anything major, and when I turned around to investigate, there was nothing on the ground anywhere near the table, and nothing had fallen over. Berlioz was under the table and Wednesday was all the way across the room, so I brushed it off and went back to getting my own meal ready. I finished up, and turned around with my plate, ready to go in the other room and enjoy my leftover pizza, when I noticed Berlioz apparently eating something under the table. I put my plate down, and walked toward him. As I approached, he looked up, surprised, and inadvertently dropped what was in his mouth onto the ground.

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A pumpkin-shaped gumdrop. THIS was what the mysterious thump was that I heard earlier – the gumdrop being dug out of the CLOSED container, and dropped to the floor. Once Berlioz realized I was going to take it from him, he quickly scooped it back into his mouth and started running. I’m still bigger and faster then him, so I was able to grab him, and wrangled it out of his mouth, much to his chagrin.

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post-gumdrop-snatching shame.

He did manage to lick off a bunch of the sugar before I caught him though. I’m still trying to figure out how he opened the container without me hearing that part. I guess I’m so used to the noises of bad behavior, that I’m starting to become immune to them.

Cats in Wine Boxes.

I love wooden wine boxes. Whenever I find a cool one, I bring it home. I don’t always have an immediate use for them, so sometimes there are small stacks of them around the house. The cats love them equally as much as I do. Whenever I put one down, they jump in, so when I got my hands on a really cool one that formerly housed Opus One, I decided to convert into a high class bed for my fancy felines.

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I also scored a really dainty Jadot box, that is the perfect size for a kitten. I brought it home, put it down, but the kitten was no where to be found. Instead, this happened.

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Again.

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And again.

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Finally, she allowed him entry into the box.

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But not for long….

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Big sister is watching you. And that box, just like all the other boxes, is hers, and hers alone.

 

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. ― George Orwell, 1984

Berlioz vs. the Watering Can.

I have many house plants. Wedensday never once gave them a second thought. She climbed through them every now and then, but never knocked any over, or ate a single leaf. Berlioz has knocked at least 5 of them over, ate almost all the leaves off of one, and killed another one. He finally seems to be settling down, but I still find teeth marks on the leaves of one of the bigger plants.

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Definitely a cat-sized bite.

So I was watering the plants, and Berlioz was very intrigued. He followed me around, and every time I poured water into one of the pots, he tried to put his face in, or attacked the leaves. It was quite frustrating, and I was beginning to get annoyed. I shooed him away for the 100th time, and he finally left the room. At this point, I made it to the plant he had eaten most of the leaves off of. I decided that I would trim it, with the hopes that it would not only look better, but grow some leaves again (it did). I put the watering can down (still about a third full) and began trimming away.

After a few minutes of highly focused trimming, I heard a foreign sound behind me, like nothing I’ve heard before. I turned around, still in a somewhat zen-like state, and I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on at first. Suddenly, I realized what was happening and started screaming. Berlioz (I assume) had wondered what was inside the watering can I put down on the floor. As he peered inside, his head got stuck and he lifted it up, watering can included. It was at this point he made a sound, and I turned around to find him with the can upside down on his head, and him freaking out, crashing into everything and pouring water all over himself and everywhere else. I tried to get it off his head, and at first I couldn’t. He jumped up onto the coffee table, and proceeded to dump water onto my iPad, my books and my papers, then knocked over my half full cup of coffee onto the rest of the papers and the floor. I grabbed him, and finally set him free of his temporary waterfall prison. He bolted out of the room, and left me standing there, sobbing hysterically, surrounded by the carnage he left in his wake.

Thankfully, my husband came in the room, and cleaned up most of the mess. I was in a state of shock from the entire thing, paralyzed and sobbing. Finally, I calmed down, and helped finish the clean up. As soon as order was somewhat restored, guess who came strolling back into the room, like nothing happened?

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It wasn’t me.

Soaked, but not scarred, and definitely not sorry.  Although he hasn’t gone near the watering can since.

Wednesday, meet Berlioz.

Wednesday was here first.

And she won’t let anyone ever forget this. Especially Berlioz.

Wednesday was about 5 when Berlioz arrived on the scene, a mere 3 month old kitten.

Wednesday had been an only child for 2 years. She ran this place – the beds were all hers (including ours). The laps were all hers. The food was all hers. She was fine with this. Except that she often attacked her own tail and seemed to have some anxiety. And she bit us. All the time. But she stayed away from the plants, didn’t try to eat any people food, and only destroyed one particular spot on the couch. Not too shabby, for an odd-eyed cat from the streets of Philadelphia.

But that all changed in July of 2018. I was anxious to introduce Berlioz to her. He was upbeat, had no fear, and loved to be near people and other cats. This was not Wednesday. It’s not that she’s unfriendly – she enjoys being in a room where people are and she is not afraid. She’s just kind of aloof. She likes her space, and is going to let you know when she’s had enough of you being in it. Berlioz had no concept of this, and I knew this would be trouble. But I hoped his extroverted-ness and naiveté would rub off on her, and that her laid back persona and chill attitude would rub off on him, to form one perfect Uber-Cat.

Nope.

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Haters gonna hate.

It was certainly not love at first site. Well, that’s not entirely true. For Berlioz, it was love at first site. For Wednesday, it was more like hate. For about a week, it was absolute torture. She hissed. She growled. She hid. But he kept coming back like nothing happened. He tried to love her. He tried to play with her. He thought they were best friends. I don’t know if she got tired of fighting, or actually found his persistence charming – but one day, without warning, she had a change of heart.

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Acceptance.

And best friends they became.

A cat has absolute emotional honesty. Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.

— Ernest Hemmingway