So, it would seem that I’m a cat whisperer. For some reason, they find me. Or I find them. Historically, I have cat allergies. How in the hell I have nine indoor cats is beyond me. But I digress.

Today is the story of Otis.

He began his life with another name, and another owner. The story I’ve been told is that his first owner decided that she couldn’t afford three cats, so she chose two and let them outside. I have no idea if this is true, but I used to watch them run to the house when they heard the tires crunch on the gravel, only to have doors closed in their faces. This broke my heart.

They were “adopted” by neighbours who fed them, but no attempt was made to bring them inside and give them love. I give them total kudos for feeding them and keeping them alive.

One day, one of the cats appeared on my deck, with a full chest covered in blood. I could not catch him, and I cried myself to sleep that night, because I couldn’t help this beautiful boy. A week passed, and it turned out some good Samaritan managed to catch him and have him fixed up. I would still love to know who that was. I would like to hug them.

I could go on, and ramble for hours, but the short story is that the neighbours who “adopted” them moved. They were able to catch one cat to bring to their new home as a barn cat, but they were unable to catch he-who-would-become-Otis. In fact, he clawed one of them so badly that he had to go to hospital. He ran into other people’s houses, freaked out, and threw himself off second floor balconies. This was not a lovey cat. They still tried to catch him, and I was accused of stealing him.

In the meantime, this cat had decided that I might be a nice person/victim/sucker and I ended up befriending the beast. I did so for another person, but he imprinted himself on me so much that it wasn’t right for him to leave. Outside the house, he followed me everywhere, allowed belly rubs, and didn’t want to leave my side.

Fast forward to 2021, and this wee boy (he’s huge, I call him my pitbull kitty) follows me around the house, sleeps on my chest, snores louder than a human, and washes my forehead for fun. He is my shadow, my confidant, my best friend, and my melty love-bucket.

Did I steal him? Maybe. But in my honest opinion… barn cat versus sleeping in fluffy beds, cuddling, and snoring like there’s no care in the world… you be the judge.


I’m exhausted before I even start.

What day is today? Friday. Hopefully I’ll hear something today. Please don’t let it be another rejection. What time is it? Oh, I’ve got time, the cats are still cuddly and they are warm. It’s not like I have to *be* anywhere today anyway. I hate winter. Shit, I should get my bloodwork done. And I need wine. And kitty litter. Oh hell, I have to go to the bank. I didn’t deposit that money and the mortgage payment went through, so I’m in overdraft. That’s okay. I’ll deposit it today and I’ll be back in black. But there won’t be enough for my insurance next week. I need to sell some stuff. What can I sell? Oh, I just heard a ping. Maybe it’s an email about the job. Nope, just a rejection for a job I applied to months ago. I wasn’t expecting that one to go in my favour anyway. They never hire externally. Oh no. I still haven’t written to my aunt. What should I say? It’s been so long. “Dear Aunt Joanne, I’m so sorry I haven’t written to you in so long. I’ve been pretty down about unemployment lately and haven’t been doing much of anything but sleeping. I often lie in bed and compose letters to you, but by the time I’ve finally hauled myself out of bed, I’ve gotten distracted and then forget to actually do it….” What was that noise? Oh, just one of the cats. I haven’t fed the birds in two days. I need to fix that. I think the crows will like the freezer burnt chicken fingers. What time is it now? Is that all? I’m hungry, but I’m warm and comfy so I’m not moving. I wish Geoff was here. I could sell that four piece tea set. I haven’t written a blog post since before Christmas. I wonder why no one wanted that really warm coat I tried to sell last year. I guess I can try that one again. I sure am glad I don’t have to lick myself clean every day. I want spring to come. I miss sitting on the deck with my book, watching the birds. Why does my brain do all this? Maybe I can borrow money from my business to pay the insurance. Shit, I need to pick up a prescription too, who knows how much that will cost. Is it snowing? Crap. I hate winter. Ohhh, Pinot is being so cute. He really is my cuddle-bunny. Shit, I hope I don’t miss garbage day. I missed recycling. Again. But there was no way in hell I was going out in -35 celcius to put it out. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday. And it’s supposed to be freakishly cold. I may not leave the house. I don’t really have to. Hamlet is snoring. I wonder what I’m going to have for dinner tonight. What’s that noise? Just the neighbours, listening to music again… it’s amazing I can hear it with all the windows closed. I haven’t practiced my bagpipes this week. I sure hope I’ll be good enough for the wedding in September. I don’t want to let them down. I wonder if I’ll have my wedding this year? Probably not. I can’t believe the behaviour of some people. I never took those bags to the charity shop. Then again, I’ve not driven past it. Yes, I did, but I was tired. Right. Shocking. If I were to go into Winchester today, maybe I’ll get a fancy coffee from Timmies. Oh, I need to fill the car too. I need to sell stuff. I need a job. Why won’t anyone hire me? Oh, wait. I thought I was done my Valentine’s Day gift, but I’m not. I’m only half done. That’s okay, I can do that tonight. I’m hungry. I can wait. Another ping! Just crap, still no news. The longer I go without hearing, the more negative I know I’m going to be. This is going to be a stressful weekend. I’ll be obsessing the whole time. I hope I don’t pass out at band practice. I wonder why that drummer didn’t show up again. I’m so glad that YinYang is peeing normally again. That is worth the cost of the expensive cat food. I have an urge for steak. That was a weird dream. I don’t think the river will ever flood like that in real life, but I really don’t understand why there was a reindeer in my backyard. I wish I could get on the trampoline. That might be a nice stress relief. Bloody thing would crack in this cold. Is there anything interesting on tv tonight? No, it’s Friday. I’ve got my book. I should clean the living room. I will when I get up. I don’t want to go all the way into Winchester today. But I should. There’s that music again. I wish Geoff was here. I’ve got to bring my computer into the shop soon. It’s a pain the ass not having a proper shift key. That’ll cost money, so it can wait. I love the sound of Ophelia’s purr. I hope my mum’s ankle starts healing soon. Why are people honking and yelling out front? I don’t want to know. What time is it now? Oh. I wish I were a cat. I wonder if anyone noticed that I left a skeleton on a stick, and a skel-amingo on the front porch over Christmas. I didn’t want to leave the skel-amingo out, but he’ll have to stay now. How many cats with me now? Aw. I love them. “Dear Aunt Donna, I’m so sorry I haven’t written in so long…” Another ping! Why do these people keep sending me emails wanting me to donate my carvings. For the love of everything sacred, I want to sell the bloody things, not give them away. Why can’t I turn my brain off? I wish I could, even for five minutes. I could sell that picture. No, wait. The glass broke… Oh, I could sell the wolf one. The other one was popular. I’m not selling any of my coffins or skeletons. This is their home. Skates! I’m never going to use them again, not after 4 sprained ankles. Funny that my doctor was creeped out by how bendy my ankles are. She’s not the first one to be freaked out by that. Crap, I’m supposed to buy an ankle brace too. That can wait. Kijiji or Facebook? I’ll sell stuff on both. Sooo furry, hello my YinYing. What am I going to make for dinner for Geoff on Saturday? I have no idea… It will be too cold to BBQ. I want this job so much. I’m afraid of hoping too much. I’m so tired. I guess I’d better get up and start my day…

Crisis averted!

I was very lucky today… I heard the crinkling of a plastic bag, which doesn’t usually cause alarm because all my cats have done that stuck-in-the-bag crazed run around the house and they are smart now, aren’t they? That would be a no. Today I caught my beloved Ophelia, the colourful one in the middle of the picture at the top of the page, with her head and chest through the handle of a bag. I was in the middle of emptying the bag but there was still some crinkly paper (I’m guessing that was the attraction) and two coffee mugs in bubble wrap inside. I shudder to think what would have happened if I’d not gotten there in time and eased the handle off her head. She wandered away, completely nonplussed about her potential fate, and plopped herself down on the sofa for a nap.

For those who have never had a cat stuck in a bag, let me elaborate. It starts innocently enough. You hear crinkling coming from another room and you think “oh how cute, kitty-face is playing in the bag” and go back to whatever you are doing. That is the last moment of calm you will have for at least the next five minutes, which feels like an eternity. The next think you know there is a howling beast that is crinkling, crashing and stampeding at the same time. Through every room, around every obstacle, you will be chasing your suddenly demonic kitty and attempting to rescue it from its plastic hell. If you’re lucky, the cat will brush against enough objects to scrape the bag to pieces and will shed the implement of torture on its own. That is not always the case. The majority of the time, as you chase the wee beastie around the house, you will discover bits of plastic but the bag itself will be as elusive as the cat it is attached to. The cat will usually be found hiding in the centre of a king-sized bed and just beyond reach. Sadly, the only way to entice the terrified creature out from it’s protective cave is to send something under, terrorize it even more and then cat-wrangle it as it runs by and release the beast from the evil plastic grip.

At the end of the ordeal, one is usually trying to calm down a cat who is on the verge of a heart attack but at the same time trying not to laugh like someone possessed. Good luck with the latter… Continue reading Crisis averted!