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Friday, March 22, 2019

Part 2 – The making of a catpurrson

Chapter 1 - Being a cat parent for the first time

When you finally decide that you want to have a cat or a kitten as a new family member then the real problems and headaches would usually start. 
Adopting a new cat/kitten or dog/puppy for the first is often similar to having a new baby, you're never well prepared for this new family member. 
Usually most new cat parents would go for a kitten as kittens along with being extra cute, they deceivingly also look and appear easy to look after and easy to train(how hard would it really be to look after this fluffy ball of cuteness?). But of course all of us, cat parents, everywhere, new or old, know all too well that adopting a new cat, kitten is actually a long life commitment which involves a lot of work, responsibilities and often a lot of patience and understanding of cat behaviour. 
Cats or kittens are not Christmas or birthday presents who would stay small and cute for ever but four legged fury family members who, they need a lot of looking after, they are a lot of responsibility which at times means, spending not only lots of money but also a lot of time looking after that cute ball of fur with the big eyes. Cat parents need to be ready to adjust their lives to accommodate the needs of a growing kitten and some times in cases of boisterous, very explorative and energetic kittens to even adapt their home environment to a more cat friendly one to protect the cat from serious accidents which they could take place at home. 
This is why it is often better if the cat/kitten is being adopted from a local cat shelter or reputable breeder and even better if some prior research on the type of cat/kitten that would fit well with the new cat carer's life style and even personality is done first, before the actual adoption takes place. In some cases even talking to a cat expert like a cat behaviour adviser or a vet might be also appropriate before any major decisions are made. 
Cat parents would need to think seriously why they want to adopt a new cat/kitten and whether they can actually look after him/her for life. Cats, dogs and other animal companions are a big responsibility, since you are committing yourself to looking after another living being for as long as that animal would live, which means through good times and bad times such as illnesses, accidents and of course old age as senior cats demand a bit more care than younger ones. At the same time they can also be rather expensive at times, as you'll need not only to buy  the best there is food for your cat but also to buy litter for life to accommodate her toilet needs, along of course with furniture, toys, etc and very importantly to pay for very and unfortunately rather expensive needed vet visits and medication, along with constantly increasing yearly insurances...

So every new cat parent would need to think long and hard whether not only he/she can afford to look after a cat or kitten for life but  also why he/she wants to adopt a cat/kitten, what part in their  life that new animal would play and whether can they can give to that new animal the love, attention and care he/she would need! They can be hard work but of course any cat parent would tell you, they are most definitely worth it!

(....to be continued)

Purrs and meows till next time...as Ozzy would say of course!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Part 1 - The origins of a catpurrson....continues....

The accident....Part 3

When my mom finally came out of the house and saw me covered in blood she panicked as it was expected of course as her first impression was that I had been attacked by a wild beast and that I was a lot more seriously injured than I really was. Her first thoughts were that I was attacked by a rabid cat that had gone wild and attacked me not knowing yet that it was only an unfortunate accident and my serious looking bloody scratches on my legs were only the attempts of that poor cat to save himself from a sudden and unexpected fall by any means possible…holding for dear life on my leg…

Myself on the other hand being still in shock, couldn't think that straight as my only thought was at the time and despite the fact that I was in quite a lot of pain, that I was running really late for school and I should be get going, bloody and scratched or not...Well missing school was quite serious those days without having a really good excuse and a few scratches and bites wasn't in my opinion then that good of an excuse...Yes I was one of those kids that liked school, so what? (Edit 27/12/18)

Naturally that day the only place I ended up going to was the emergency room of course, where I've ended up spending the rest of my day waiting to get stitched and to have not just one but three tetanus boosters because of my previous history. 
You see a few years back, when I was about 9 years old, I had an accident, I fell outside and cut rather badly my jaw (you can see the scar even today) when I've tripped on a rough, uneven part of a pavement and because my mom didn't take me to the hospital straight away (not really her fault I was very strongly minded, being the only child, so I've kinda convinced her that there was no need to go to the hospital, it was just a little cut really...yeah right!). Instead we went to the local doctor the following day who sent us to the hospital straight away of course because the cut was really bad as the bone was clearly shown and therefore had my tetanus booster rather late. The result was that I've ended up with blood poisoning and nearly died because it took the doctors a while to connect the ugly pus covered spots under my nose with my still healing jaw injury till my face turned very red and got swollen, that is. Well those misdiagnoses were quite common  those days and the doctors would rarely be blamed for being sometimes so wrong in their diagnosis...or used to get sued for thousands...The late diagnosis of course meant that I nearly died, after running a very high fever for days and then having to suffer three summer months of heavily prescribed antibiotics (three injections on a daily basis) when finally the doctors figured out what was wrong with me and hurriedly filled me up with as much antibiotics as my body could then take in. But of course I finally managed to get through (even the doctors marvelled at my strong immune system who kept me alive, then). So you see after this little 'incident' the doctors were a bit more careful and cautious as they didn't want to have similar mistakes happening again so when I've ended up to the emergency room once again after my recent accident the doctor decided to give me not one but three tetanus boosters as they knew I could easily take it (which I did actually, they didn't seem to cause me any side effects, which again the doctors found fascinating...). But of course along with preventing of any future infection and also because the cat was a feral one, there was also always the possibility of rabies, although even those days it was  still kind rare occurrence so the doctor and to avoid causing me any further unnecessary discomfort and pain decided not to administer any rabies shots at that time but instead he told my mother that we should try and keep an eye on that cat for at least 40 days and if in that time the cat showed any signs of illness or he suddenly disappeared to let him know straight away....Which of course meant actually looking after that cat…

So for the next 40 days I had to deal with two very painful legs to easily move around (at least I got excused at school from PE for a few weeks, yippee..finally something to be grateful for it seemed), having to wear only short skirts (I was the type of girl who very rarely wore dresses and skirts  even those days) on a daily basis and also having the new responsible of feeding and trying to be friendly to that cat who  attempted  viciously to kill me...at that time I was sooo convinced that tom cat had some kind of grudge against me and that he really hated me....perhaps because I was never friendly to cats in general or like them!

But I guess everything happens for a reason and this incident was my reason to change my mind about cats, to become really fond of them and to see them under a  different  light....
It was also a bit strange I guess that this strange at times evil looking and even menacing appearing ginger cat, stayed all that time around and kinda accept me or at least allowed me to get a bit closer, to feed him and to generally observe him...but then again when you show kindness to any animal you'll be rewarded with acceptance and trust. 
So and before the end of those 40 days I had complete changed my mind about cats and I was ready to have my first cat as an animal companion...as I suddenly found myself really liking cats. So just before the end of  the 'trial period' I said to my mom that I wanted  a kitten and despite some kind of disagreement in the very beginning (not really very strong arguments against the idea of having a cute kitten) she agreed and warmed to the idea especially and after she also saw the new kittens that my aunt's cat had just  given birth to...And funny enough my first cat was a male ginger cat with whom I fell in love with the moment I saw him among his brother and sisters trying to escape from the box they were in at the time.
As for the ferocious and menacing ginger cat who his failed attempt to murder me changed my opinion and perception about cats and made me a cat fan for life, well as it is expected after the 40 days during which he stayed around and even seemed to show signs of remorse as he appeared to like me, he then disappeared as suddenly as he appeared into my life, without anybody ever seen him again. Perhaps he was sent by the Cat goddess herself to teach me a lesson and to transform me from a cat hater to a future cat lady...who knows, really! One thing I know for certain though, if it wasn't for him and his murderous attempt I wouldn't have being the cat lady I'm today and I would have living with me my now four beautiful and sometimes very spoiled 'fur babies', Ripley, Choo Choo, and my two latest additions, Faith and Ozzy who came later to our lives, after the sudden and very painful loss of my beautiful fur baby Sheng Chi. 

(.....to be continued....)

Purrs and meows till next time!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Part 1 - The origins of a catpurrson (....continues...)

Chapter 2 -The accident (...continues)

Anyway and going back to my story once again, so and despite the fact, that deep down I was sort of scared of that new menacing looking ginger tom cat I'd never (not even once) thought or wished for that cat to get in any way harmed, I'd just hoped that he'd soon go away like many others had gone before him.
But of course he didn't go away, not at least for another month or so and he just stayed there most of the times, sitting or appearing to be sleeping on the same fence, and always watching me in silence every time I'd get out of the house....

That day when the incident happen as I said earlier I was running late for school (which it was only five minutes away, that's why I was always rushing to get there, leaving it till the very last minute possible as I knew I would only had to run to get there on time). I was actually a lot more late than normal and therefore I didn't have time to check on the cat or worry whether he was there watching me. But of course he was and for the first time in weeks he decided to make his move.
At this point I would also like to mention that in our garden along with flowers and other plants like tomatoes and lettuces which my mom will grow in the spring we also had a few trees, a couple of fig trees, orange trees and a few others which were indigenous to the country producing small yellow, juicy fruits early in spring, very tasty and of course and very importantly also the Easter tree which although didn't seem to produce any fruits any time of the year, it will flower with these lovely purple flowers around Easter time, thus the name of course. The Easter tree was close to the garden's irongate and which tree, cats would often use to jump to the opposite fence so to get on the road outside.
It was on that tree that the ginger cat decided to jump on while I was trying to open to iron garden gate to get out and it was at that moment that the cat seemed to lost his grip on the branch he was balancing and then to fell suddenly and unexpectedly ...on me!
Everything seemed to happen far too quickly, in the blink of an eye. One minute I was opening the gate and the next I was covered in cat scratches and bites, as the same as I was surprised cat, had tried to hold on to something (me) on his way down after his unexpected fall.
So and on the positive side of things of course I did manage to stop the cat's fall to the ground as he managed to land on the ground unharmed while on the other hand and not so positive side of things and as a result of being used as an alternative tree or scratching surface so he could get down himself, I've ended up being covered (in both of my legs) with deep and very painful scratches and probably bites too....

After the few first seconds of total surprise and astonishment on what had just actually happened, in which time the cat had enough time to disappear, probably to somewhere a bit more safe and quiet (as at that point I had already started screaming) to also recover from the shock, I've somehow came back to the reality.... of a world of a lot of pain. As I've just said it was this point when I've started, as it was expected. to scream and shout which made of course my mom to run out from the house in a state of panic as I'm pretty sure I must have sounded  pretty hysterical and also looked rather awful too!
I've probably shouted something like: 'Help, I have being attacked by that demon cat!' or something in those lines, anyway who really knows?  I most definitely can't remember being so long time ago for certain. But one thing is certain  though that I was in a state of shock and in a lot of pain as both my legs were bleeding as I seemed to havea rather big scratches, starting from the knee  going all the way down to my foot, in both legs and  with a few less serious others on the top of my legs, which legs were mercifully kinda protected from what I was wearing at the time, probably some type of skirt (as school uniforms were abandoned years ago to relive kids and mostly parents from the financial burden of having to buy expensive uniforms every year that is). Well I guess that experience was also the start of my general dislike of skirts and dresses since....I had a good reason I think!

.........to be continued!

and as Ozzy would have said....purrs & meows to all cat people out there till next time!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Part 1 - The origins of a catpurrson (...continues)

 Chapter 2 - The accident

It was an early summer day, a nice pleasantly warm day and I was late for school in the afternoon (although the school it was only five minutes away from my home). You see in my country of origin in those days we used to go to school at different times in different days! We had, what someone might call shifts, three days (Monday to Wednesday) we'd go to school in the mornings from 8 to 13.30 and two days in the afternoon (Thursday and Friday) from 2.30 to 7 pm. Occasionally we would change and we'll be in the unlucky shift,  from Monday to Wednesday going to school in the afternoons and then on Thursdays and Fridays we'd go to school in the mornings, which of course it meant that we had only a few hours on Wednesday evening to do any homework and hopefully no extra after school  sessions in the private school everybody used to go,  either for learning English (as you didn't learn much at the normal school) or for some assistance and hopefully some understanding with the science subjects  (maths, physics and chemistry) or later for preparation for the University exams which also included Latin, History, Ancient Greek and Essay writing. Yes, in my days we didn't have much time after school for anything else than more study...forget playing games or watching TV...such luxuries were only permitted some weekends, ha!

Anyway back to that summer day and to myself rushing to go to school. My home where I was born and lived all my childhood was a ground floor only building which it was build when my mum was pregnant with me and got finished just before I was born, and which was a typical suburban house with a decent size garden and not that very high fences, just high enough to give some privacy from the neighbours and the purrfect walking, sleeping, resting and watching platform for the many at that time feral cats. Along with the accommodating fences, we also had a very inviting (to cats and mice) shed in the garden where many cats would then use for hiding, catching a few snacks, snoozing and occasionally as a nursery...Our dog, Betty, of course wasn't very happy with the whole situation, being surrounded with so many cats she couldn't get to, especially since she was 'moved' on the roof, where she didn't have to kept tied up as on the roof there were no plants to destroy and garden soil to dig....So she would normally go into barking fits for a while, till it was dinner and snoozing time of course. Naturally the cats were aware of Betty and also of the fact that she couldn't get to them so at times they would not only ignore her but also tease her...you know, sometimes it looked like they're saying something in which human terms could have translated to:...'you can bark as much as you like but you can get to us, really you stupid dog'!
Although either of my parents were crazy about cats, they would just tolerate them because of the many mice we used to get because of the bird feed we always had around and the many available hiding places in the old garden shed and bird cages and  chicken coop, which we had to have because of my little obsession with chicks (although when they were too young and vulnerable I would keep them in the house...till they were ready to move to the outside coop that is). So we'd frequently feed them (the cats that is of course) to make sure that they'd stay around to keep the rodent population in control. But as the life expectancy of all the feral cats was usually only a few months to a couple of years if they were really lucky, different cats will occasionally appear and quickly disappear with only a female long hair tubby being a semi-permanent resident on our garden for quite a while...as for the male cats, well, they were really hard to keep around for very long as everybody knows that unneutered males tend to roam far and to have big territorial areas, along for being rather musical at certain times of the year when the mating season was on, usually or when other males would appear and try to claim their territory...Yes they were loud indeed, singing for hours at most inconvenient times when the rest of the neighbourhood was trying to sleep!
But at that time of my 'accident', a few weeks before, this ginger tom cat, who was quite big for a feral and not well cared cat appeared out of the blue and who seemed to be in charge and control of all the other cats that were around at the time and who seemed, at least at the time, to always be there, observing me every time I would venture outside in the garden. I must admit and because of my general at the time fear and general ignorance of cats I was really intimidated by him and didn't like that cat at all. I thought that there was something menacing and evil about him and that he looked like waiting to find the right moment to attack me.
 All feral cats were always wary and scared of people and for a good reason of course for being so as many people those days would mistreat them and generally be very cruel to cats with some even going to the extremes and actually drowning and even poisoning cats just for fun...
Actually, there is nothing worse than witnessing a poisoned cat having a fit and dying in front of you in total agony and not being able to do anything for that poor animal. Even those days when I didn't really like cats, even then the sight of a suffering and dying cat was a horrible experience, one which made me frequently wonder what was wrong with humans, why on earth they appear to enjoy torturing and killing in such cruel manners other animals...and quite frequently those days it wasn't only cats but dogs too, especially puppies which they would sometimes drown again for 'fun'...
Now and when at times I think about those times when I was growing up and when I frequently came up across acts of  unprovoked cruelty and torture towards innocent animals which their only crime seemed to be that they were born at the wrong time and in the wrong place and being also fully aware that  some people even today, they can be really cruel, l  know that one of the many reasons that I'm a firmly supporter of keeping your cats permanently indoors is because I want to protect them from human cruelty and sometimes unprovoked sheer hate. There is no such place as a cat friendly environment out there where humans live and that is the honest and perhaps unpleasant truth!

(to be continued.....)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Part 1 - The origins of a catpurrson (....continues)

Chapter 1- The conversion of a non- believer to a cat worshipper or how to change to a catpurrson in one quick step…


At this point I think is about time that I confess something...that as a young child I didn't really like cats...I was kinda afraid of them and that I used to prefer baby chicks and birds instead...To my defence I come from a country where till recently (or even now for at least some really cruel people who seem to enjoy killing cats for their own mean reasons) cats weren't very popular, they had a bad reputation, and they were  many stray, serving only one purpose  to catch rats and mice and not to be kept as companion animals indoors!!!
It is true that where and when I was growing up cats weren't the popular animals they are today and most people seemed to prefer dogs to cats who they could serve their ‘human masters’ by guarding and protecting them or in the case of my dad and too many other hunters those days, when they were going hunting, so they can find and retrieve fallen, killed or lost birds...
Those days dogs and cats would stay outside in a sheltered place (if they were lucky that is) and they would only eat human leftovers. Yes now and when I'm reminiscing those days I do feel really ashamed especially when remembering how badly dogs and cats were really treated, with cats often being poisoned to reduce the numbers down while dogs were kept tied up, day and night, almost all year around...But I guess, and unfortunately, I didn't know any better those days as we were living in a world  where only humans deserved  to have a 'good' life and anything else living organism was expendable, it lived only to serve or sustain humans and they couldn't feel or know anything as they were  mere 'dumb and stupid animals!!' So bad and sad really...

But at least we can all be thankful that now things have indeed changed and cats and dogs are treated in most cases like equal family members...although and even now there are still some exceptions to these rules and some people are still mistreating their animal companions....Unfortunately some humans can never change or they would openly admit that all animals have their place in this world and that they have the right like humans to live their own lives as nature intend it...live and let live!

But the past can't be changed, no matter how much we might want to and sometimes there is no much point in thinking too much how different things might have been. Instead it is better if one can focus on the present and on the things that he/she can change now and subsequently influence the future so instead I'll just carry on telling you that part of the past that is relevant to this part of the story so I could explain my own origins of my cathood!

As I said before and yes, and once again, shame, shame of me, when I was younger I didn't really like cats or even dogs for that matter (despite the fact that we always had a dog around as I was afraid of them because of a couple incidents I had, when I was attacked by some stay dogs without really getting injured, just very scared!). Instead t I seemed to rather prefer small chicks which I found easy to care for (till at least they'd have grown to adult hens who we would then either keep them for a while for the eggs  they'd produce or who we'd only keep if they were cockerels till they were big and fat enough for the dinner roast). Yes I know, shame of me once again but I couldn't help it. I'd love and care for these small chicks (and I was a very good foster hen mother) till they'd have grown and become adult chickens and I would look like a young female Konrad Lorenz, having them following me around the house or garden but when they'd had grown up all of the sudden I'd just stop caring for them (and looked to care for other young ones all over again) and didn't really care whether my mother would keep them or decide to cook them instead...I didn't even mind eating them, to be honest, as I would have completely detached myself from them...To my defence they didn't look anything like the fluffy and soft balls I’ve used to care for...and those days vegetarians didn't  really exist!

I think it must have been the size and the total transformation that kinda made me so uncaring when they were grown up chickens (a few rabbits too. occasionally) as when I've started looking after dwarf, which we were calling, chinese, chickens I kept them for life and I got really distraught when my first dwarf cockerel, Rico died from old age... and who I've even buried in the back garden. And despite all my then faults I was one of the first and perhaps a pioneer in some way as I would always keep my animals indoors, in the house and often treated them like they were part of the family particular at times when all animals that they were kept as pets were kept mainly outdoors in a special, sheltered area and were even only fed occasionally. In some way I guess they were paying back for that shelter and free food by either protecting their humans or assisting their humans in their activities and hobbits, like hunting, or and in case of cats keeping the rodents population under control. And even after I'd finally had my epiphany moment and became a cat worshipper. I was, at least where I've lived, one of the first that insisted on keeping their cats indoors because it was safer, despite common beliefs and often severe criticism that they should be allowed to roam freely because it was in their nature, pure nonsense really!

So and despite the fact that I would sometimes eat my pets in the end, I've always liked and cared for animals in general including  wounded wild birds which my dad would bring after his hunting trip (which funny enough we would then keep and not eat if they’d managed to survive and recover from their injury and stress of being captured of course) , rabbits, other small birds like canaries, budgies, puppies, etc. but never kittens or cats...I simply didn't like cats that is....till of course that day when I had my accident and a close encounter with a ginger, stray tom cat when I was about 12 years old! 
(to be continued.....)

Meows and Purrs till next time....as Ozzy would say!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Part 1 - The origins of a catpurrson

Chapter 1 - The conversion of a non- believer to a cat worshipper or how to change to a catpurrson  in one quick step


Sometimes I do wonder, you know whether things would have been different under different circumstances. Whether I would have taken another path in life that it wouldn't involve cats... so much. 
But in this reality I'm one of those persons who loves cats, I'm a self-confessed and obsessed catwoman  catpurrson and I can't really imagine ever living a life where there are no cats in my home to care for. I also know that some might think that I'm perhaps 'a bit obsessed', you know, loving and caring for my cats more than I really care about other people...
You know, all of you cat crazies out there what I'm talking about if you're one of the many cat people, those people who always put his/her cats first,  so you can accommodate all their needs, whether it is feeding demands or trying to minimize  all stress levels in your home (never play any loud music and generally any loud sounds that could upset them, and of course allowing no visitors under any circumstances in your home or considering going on holidays or even be away for more than a day with your partner as at least one of  you has to be at home at all times to keep an eye on them, especially  when you are looking after very demanding kitties or cats that are seem to be getting a bit old and therefore more needy...more than usual that is, phew!).
Of course I also believe strongly that cats are coming first, in any cat's worshipper home that is, like my own at least and as long as my cats are happy I'm happy too and therefore warnings such as: 'don't touch a hair of my cats' fur or you'll die...' to other people, that is, should not be taken lightly, like I'm just joking...because I'm not, seriously now!

People who have an  do care for cats probably get me, others especially those who don't like cats they have made already their judgement about me, they think that I'm a crazy cat lady that needs help…well I don’t, I’m quite happy the way I am, really. 

But I'm not crazy,really, I just love and admire cats, I'm a normal catpurrson who loves cats and who seems to have some special connection with them, sharing some unique relationship with them, which I don't think I would ever have with any other species, and in particular with any other human being, although I do love all animals and respect all life on this planet (including human life...although at times I do have my own doubts, especially when it comes to some human thinking and behaviours!). 

But of course all of us, humans, have our own reasons for living with and caring for our cats. Although they do seem to some extent to fulfil our anthropomorphic way of thinking as they do, at some level at least appear to have similar human physical characteristics and personality traits from the way they look, feel when they're touched and behave or even in some cases 'talk' to us with their many different meows and squeaks or even purrs at the same time they also seem to play an important and different for each of us, role. They can be our companions, close and trusted friends, the children who we wish we had or even we let them be in some cases the part of ourselves who we wish we were and allowed to be, free to do what he/she wants when outside, as there are for us, humans, so many rules and norms which they seem to prevent us to be the individuals who somewhere in the unconscious part of our brain we really want to be...wild and free, confused yet? Yes our cats in some respect can be our mini us, a still wild and free us...out there!

Nevertheless, and despite for our purrsonal reasons for having cats, our cats today are an important part of our lives and those of us who live with them could never consider a life without them (although in same occasions we might have secretly considered at times a life without our partners and even without our children or other family members....come on, admit it at least to yourself). 
And of course there are always those, well at least some people, who for some unexplained reason they seem not to like cats or even (the savages!!) to hate them and even want to harm them...Cats have even now, in these modern and open minded times at least for some, a bad reputation of being mean, independent, unpredictable, wild and even dangerous...Of course these people seem to forget that today domesticated cats, and especially the Homo catus species (indoor cats only in my own feline family tree, which they have evolved to a new subspecies) have lived with humans in cities, towns, villages, farms, etc for over thousands of years now and therefore they can't  be considered to be wild anymore (as some cats can't even catch a toy prey let alone a living fast moving one...) and like dogs they can be trained, they are loyal and faithful and even better talking and listening companions...
But I don't want to dwell for too long on why some people seem to unreasonably dislike cats (maybe there is something in their unconscious mind, which they try to forget or ignore as this something might remind them that cats after all are not so different from humans, despite their small size and fluffy tail.. cats with thumbs!)

So and to return to the people that they do like cats, each one of us has his/her own reasons for liking cats and also perhaps their different origins in their reasons for liking our feline companions. Early experiences perhaps, growing and living in homes where cats were always around or even having a sort of epiphany at some point in their lives or even like with my own case had a rather strange experience at some point in their lives, which kick-started  this great relationship with those magnificent animals.

(That’s it for now....till next time then when the story will continue)

Part 2 – The making of a catpurrson

Chapter 1 - Being a cat parent for the first time When you finally decide that you want to have a cat or a kitten as a new family m...