Cats and Wine (Or Wine and Cats).

So two of my favorite things on this planet are (it’s not a trick question):

Cats and Wine. Or Wine and Cats. The order flip-flops any given hour, depending on my mood at that moment.

And sometimes, on that wonderful rare occasion, the two cross over. Like in this amazing magnet a friend gave me for Christmas this year:

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Yes. That would be my answer.

Or this Riesling, that I originally got because it had a picture of a cat on it, but wound up loving it, regardless of said cat label:

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Delicious, with or without cat.

I really do love this wine, and I recently purchased it again, because it has become one of my favorite go-to bottles. So, I was sitting at the table, enjoying my glass, when Captain Curious (aka “Berlioz”), jumped up to investigate. And by “investigate,” I mean eat whatever possible food he came across. There was no food this time, but I guess he, like his mama, is fond of Riesling. In fact, after sniffing the bottle and my glass, he decided that this wine was from this point on, his and his alone.

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Note the tail wrapped around the glass. 

Either that, or he’s just a little ham who wanted his picture taken….again.

 

Halloween Cats.

I’ve been dying for Halloween to arrive, so I could put the cats in their respective Halloween costumes (Wednesday – unicorn, Berlioz – bat). I’ve had the costumes planned out for months, and I knew this was going to be the best thing ever and they were going to love it, right?

RIGHT??

Because what cat doesn’t love getting shoved into a costume while it’s owners huddle around it, giggling and snapping photos?

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my pretty unicorn

 

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my adorable bat

They look thrilled and not at all like we snuck up on them while they were sleeping and forced the costumes on while they remained in a half-daze. Once they caught on, their reactions varied. Berlioz thought it was no big deal, and laid back down to go to sleep like nothing happened.

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this ain’t so bad.

Wednesday, on the other hand….

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i will destroy you for this.

At the end of the day, I got my cats into the costumes and got a couple of photos to preserve the memories, which was really all I ever wanted.

I’m pretty sure they’ve already forgotten about the entire thing.

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forgiven and forgotten.

Or….maybe not….

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plotting revenge.

I’m Only Sleeping.

Today I was off, and I was thinking about my day and what I was going to do. I had a list of things to get done (I actually did most of them!), and I was working my way through the list, when I sat down on the couch for a few minutes. Berlioz jumped up behind me and promptly went to sleep.

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He looks so well behaved when he’s sleeping.

I paused for a few extra minutes to sit with him, but then I had to get up and do other things, like run 8 miles. When I returned from running, I walked into the bedroom, and stumbled upon this:

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Sleeping ball of fur.

I showered and changed in preparation for my next errand, and walked downstairs, only to be greeted by this strangely familiar sight:

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wait…again??

I realized that I’m doing it totally wrong. These guys have the life right here. They’ve got it all figured out. Or so I thought.

I went back upstairs to put away some laundry, and Wednesday was still laying there in the same spot, doing the same thing (that would be sleeping). This time, Berlioz followed me up. He jumped on the bed, and for a split second, I thought he was going to lay down next to her and go to sleep for the third time, but alas, it went a little more like this:

I guess all that sleeping has its benefits – one can unleash those bad-ass wrestling moves at any time and without warning. 13+ hours of sleeping a day sure hones those cat-like reflexes.

Things That Go Bump in the Night.

Yesterday morning, I woke around 5:30 as usual to get ready for work. It’s still dark at that time, so I have to turn on the lights in each room as I go through them. Once I’m finished getting ready, I shut off the lights upstairs, and head downstairs into the darkness to feed the #mewcrew. And yesterday was no exception.

I reached the kitchen, hit the switch, and everything appeared normal. I made coffee, then fed them their breakfast, as they begged as if they hadn’t eaten in two weeks. Berlioz finished first as he always does, so I stood guard by Wednesday’s dish, so she could finish eating in peace, like I always do. Once we finished this song and dance, I packed my lunch, and headed upstairs to say goodbye to my husband. I came back down, put on my jacket, and stopped in the sunroom to read my quote of the day, which I read every morning from “365 Days of Wonder.”

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My favorite quote from the book.

I walked unassumingly into the dark sunroom, and turned the light on, so I could get my daily dose of motivation, but as I turned around to grab the book, I saw it. The utter destruction and devastation that was previously hidden by the early morning darkness.

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What he did in the shadows.

Berlioz (I’m sure it was him and not Wednesday) had knocked over my big, beautiful plant in the night. There was dirt, leaves and death everywhere. Plus a tennis ball, which I really still can’t figure out what, if any part it played in this whole debacle. I stood there, staring at it, while the tears began streaming down my face (I’ve been extra emotional these days). I did my best to scoop the dirt back into the pot, but part of the plant was broken off, and dirt was embedded into the carpet and I had to get to work at some point. So I went back upstairs (this sounds familiar) and woke up my husband like before, and told him (well, more like sobbed at him while trying to form words) what had happened, and that I tried cleaning it, but couldn’t finish because I had to leave. He groggily said he’d clean up the rest, and I exited the room went back downstairs and grabbed my bag. But before I left, I put the broken plant piece into an empty pot that I had been on a search to find a new plant  for (plants, like books always find their way to me at the exact right time), so I guess that was something, and it seems to be doing pretty well so far.

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Silver lining?

But you know what he worst part of the whole thing was? Not the dirt, or the destruction or the death; the absolute lack of shame that Berlioz exhibited through this entire ordeal.

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It wasn’t me, mama.

Why’d he have to be so cute?

Cats in Odd Places.

Sometimes, I find the cats in the most bizarre spots. I don’t know why suddenly they decide to go into this spot which they’ve never been in before, but I guess something about it is suddenly appealing. For example:

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Cat in a nightstand.

Why on earth Wednesday decided the nightstand was suddenly exactly where she needed to sit is one of life’s unsolved mysteries.

Here’s another:

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Cat in a drawer.

I guess I can see the appeal of sitting on a pile of soft clothes in a drawer. But there are plenty of other soft surfaces for her to sit on.

Here’s another odd one:

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Cat hiding (sort of).

It’s  not so much that he’s in a odd spot, it’s that he seems to think he’s hiding there.

This was a first:

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Cat in the tub.

Cat life can be so  hard, but it’s nothing a bath can’t fix.

But just when you think you’re safe:

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Cat behind the curtain.

Surprise! There’s Berlioz, totally creepin’.

And sometimes, they even fall asleep there:

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Cat on a bookshelf.

That can’t be comfortable. But cats will be cats. And they always keep you on your toes. And sometimes they even bite those toes. But we love them anyway.

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We didn’t do it. Whatever it was.

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.

 

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