0

A New Way to Workout: Yoga with Chuck

Do you feel like your fitness goals have stagnated, that you’ve fallen into a rut? Is your current workout routine just not doing it for you? Are you getting sick of the same old yoga poses (such as the – yuck – downward dog) that you’ve been doing over and over again?

Thankfully, my fitness-addict kitty cat, Chuck, has been working out a new yoga routine that you can try in the comfort of your own home! With this routine, Chuck has lost three pounds and is as fit as all of the meowdels you see on Fancy Feast commercials.

So lay out your yoga mat in a relaxing part of the house where you can’t get distracted by any pesky birds. And make sure your water is bowl is close by – you don’t want to get dehydrated!

Warm-up

So even though yoga is consists of stretching out your muscles, Chuckie still chooses to do a few minutes of warm-up stretching before he really busts out the more difficult moves. He prefers to get on the very tip of his paws and stretch his body out to it’s fullest potential while also arching his back and extending his neck.

IMG_2254

Pose 1: The Arm Reach

Chuckie swears that this move is the reason he has triceps of steel. Simply lay on your side and stretch out one arm as far as it can go – and then do the other. Hold each arm for one minute and repeat three times.

IMG_2761

Pose 2: The Half Cat Twist 

Sit on your butt and twist your body slightly to one side and raise your other arm in the air. Hold the pose for a minute and a half and then switch sides. This pose is great to prep your abs for the next pose.

IMG_4358

Pose 3: The Full Cat Twist

The Full Cat Twist is one of the most demanding yoga poses ever created to date. You must balance on your tail bone and twist your torso to one side – and hold it for two minutes before switching! Chuck swears that The Full Cat Twist is the reason he has that six pack hidden under his fur, so even though this one is difficult, you don’t want to skip it!

IMG_3352

Pose 4: The Leg Lift

Lay on one side, with your arms balanced over your chest, wrists curled towards you, with one leg in the air and the other outstretched. You might look like a cat playing dead, but what you really are is a calorie-burning, muscle-building MACHINE. Chuck even theorizes that you lose up to thirty calories per minute that you hold this pose.

IMG_3639

Pose 5: Upside-Down Cat on the Wall 

This is Chuckie’s all-time favorite yoga pose because he says it really gets the blood pumping to the head. Position yourself next to a wall and rest both legs against the wall while extending your arms to the maximum. Hold for one minute and then switch sides.

IMG_4167

Pose 6: The Lick

The ultimate goal of this pose is to stick a leg behind your head. This pose will work your abs, your glutes, your hamstrings, your quads, and even your calves.

IMG_3371

For those who don’t have the flexibility and muscle strength to perform The Lick, then you can perform The Lazy Lick, of which the goal is to stick the leg straight up in the air slightly in front of you instead of behind your head. Here is Chuckie demonstrating The Lazy Lick:

IMG_4405

After The Lick, do a few minutes of your favorite cool-down pose (except the downward dog, which doesn’t mix well with a cat’s routine).

And there you have it – Chuckie’s ultimate yoga routine! Not all routines are easy for beginners, but with enough time and practice, you should be able to purrfect most of his poses. And after sticking it to it for a few months, you’ll be as fit as a meowdel.

(Psst – keep an eye out for the next blog post: The Top 10 Barry Bleps!)

Advertisements
0

A Day in the Life of a Cat Mom

Being a cat mom isn’t easy. Cats are weird little creatures, and Chuck and Barry are definitely no exception.

However, even though it’s hard work, being Chuck and Barry’s mom has made me happier than anything else – it’s what gets me through the day. Here is a day in the life of a cat mom. For simplicity’s sake, let’s look at this past Tuesday as an example:

7:00 am

It’s not yet time for me to wake up for my internship yet, but Chuckie has apparently decided it is. He leaps into my room (he literally leaps over the threshold of my doorway) and goes, “Meow. Meow. Meow meow meow,” which means, “Mom, wake up. Pet me. Wet food.”IMG_4216

My eyes are rolling behind my eyelids, but I open them and make eye contact with one of my little princes. I pat the side of my bed and he meanders his way over for some pats. I scratch his back and his chin with as little effort as possible before I roll over to go back to sleep.

Chuckie circles my head and meows a few more times, but then Barry enters the room and he gets distracted. Barry hops on the bed and walks over me to perch on the windowsill and look at birds. Then he goes and finds a plastic bag that I didn’t even know existed and starts eating it.

Chuckie walks over and instigates a fight. Chuck and Barry wrestle before sprinting out of the room and down the stairs. I fall back asleep.

9:00 am

I’ve finally gotten out of bed, and I head downstairs into the kitchen to get a yogurt for breakfast. Chuck and Barry sense my approach and they both run into the kitchen and start meowing for wet food. Chuck stands in front of the refrigerator, literally VIBRATING in anticipation of wet food. Barry rubs himself against my legs.

But it’s not time for wet food. They don’t get wet food at breakfast time, they get it for dinner. They are about 7 hours early, so I ignore their desperate pleas and tell them that they have dry food sitting right there if they are that hungry.

Before I leave the kitchen, I refill their water bowl because there’s an unidentifiable brown object in it, along with some hairs.

12:15 pm

I eat lunch at my internship and scroll through Chuck and Barry’s Instagram, missing them way too much and excited to go home and pet them.

IMG_4288

3:30 pm

I return home from my internship and as I open my front door, I yell out, “Kitties!!!!!!!!!”

Barry bounds into the room and hops onto the back of the couch, where it is easiest to receive pets. I give him some scratches and ask where his brother is, but I get no response.

I find Chuck in my bedroom, laying in the middle of my floor (they love sleeping on the floor). He meows his “hello” and I pet him.

4:00 pm

Wet food time!!!!!!! I go into the kitchen and start getting it prepared. Barry shows up, and I tell him to go get his brother. Chuckie appears, and they meow and circle me until I lower the plate with the crack wet food on it and they devour it like heathens.

IMG_4287

 5:00 pm

I’m doing some stuff on my laptop, and all I want is some kitty snuggles but they are nowhere to be found.

5:15 pm

I head downstairs for some water, and that’s when I find Chuck and Barry in the second floor hallway, just laying there (they really love sleeping on hallway floors). I pet them and go on my way.

6:00 pm

It’s laundry day, and I walk into the basement to find Barry standing on the ladder, replacing a burnt out lightbulb. No, I’m kidding, he was just trying to catch a bug and I believe that he got stuck. He scrambles off and scampers up the stairs.

IMG_4276

8:06 pm

On Tuesdays during the summer, my favorite television show, The Fosters, comes on. The hour that The Fosters is on is one of the most important hours of my life and it is my Me Time. It is when I get to take a break from everything, including being a Cat Mom. I tell Chuck and Barry this every week – I tell them it’s Mommy’s Alone Time, and to go do something somewhere else.

But do they listen to me? Of course not.

As The Fosters begins, Barry decides that it’s time to be overly affectionate and show me how much he really loves me. He plops down on my lap, gives me The Eyes, and starts making some bread. All I want to do is watch my show, but Barry’s so cute that I end up practically forgetting the show is on and petting him instead.

IMG_4260

9:30 pm 

I’ve just emerged from my shower and I enter my bedroom. Chuckie had previously been sleeping on the floor, but when I enter he wakes up and IMMEDIATELY he starts yelling at me. “Meow! Meow meow! Meow meow meow meow meow! Meow! Meow!! Meow!!! Meow meow meow meow meow meow!” He meows so fast that I don’t know what he’s even trying to tell me.

But I do know that he wants pats, so I sit on my bed, still soaking wet in a towel, and I pet him for a good ten minutes. I finally get up to get into some pajamas. “Meow meow meow!!!” Chuckie says. I sit back down and pet him some more.

11:00 pm

I’m reading right before bed, and Chuck and Barry are both sleeping on the floor in my room. I’m a happy cat mom and I go to sleep.

0

An Open Letter to the Roommates Watching my Cats this Weekend

My dear three roommates,

As I prepare for my weekend trip to visit friends in New York City (more than 48 hours that I will be away from our home), I feel one emotion plaguing me: anxiety. And this anxiety exists because I will be leaving you, my dear roommates, with the most important responsibility: making sure that my cats do not die.

For the nine months that I have had Chuck and Barry, I have been the sole caretaker for them. I’m not complaining about this, but just laying it out as fact: I have been the one to feed them wet and dry food every day, give them water, clean their litter box daily, take them to the vet, bring Barry to the emergency room when he was injured, buy them toys and food and scratching posts and collars and litter, brush them, pet them. That is a responsibility that I have taken on for myself, because the cats are mine and will continue to be mine when we move out.

HOWEVER, since I have been the one to do 99.9% of the caretaking (besides for the pets that you all administer and the one or two times you fed the cats when I asked you to), it leaves me a little anxious at your ability to care for the cats. Look, I know you guys are busy with jobs, schoolwork, relationships and friends, so maybe it’ll be easy to walk by an empty water bowl and not let it register that it needs to be filled by you; it will be easy to forget to give the cats their daily wet food, because “that’s Sarah’s job, not mine”; maybe it will be easy to forget that the litter boxes are overflowing, that they need to be done every day.

What I’m saying is: taking care of the cats has always been my job and my responsibility, not yours. You don’t have to think about it every day and remember to do it. So here I am, a little bit worried that you will inevitably forget. Because I love Chuckie and Barry so much, their happiness and health is my number one priority, and I’m afraid to leave it to people who have never taken care of them before.

I know I’m overreacting and that, between the three of you at least, someone will remember to feed and water the cats. However, please excuse me as I incessantly text our group chat to make sure that somebody has, indeed, remembered to do the litter boxes; please excuse me as I ask for pictures and to FaceTime; please excuse me as I ask if they miss me or are getting enough attention.

And please, whatever you do, just feed my cats. They’re too cute to let wither away.

IMG_3389

Love,

Sarah

1

Chuck and Barry Get New Collars…With Bows!

Some moms look forward to bonding with their children, some look forward to bringing bright and forthright additions to this planet, others just have a natural maternal instinct…but I, and maybe other moms, have always looked forward to having cats that I could dress up, photograph, and post on the Internet for Instagram likes and followers.

Okay, I’m kidding. It’s no secret that Chuck and Barry are the lights of my life for more than just the couture they can wear (although, to be fair, when I was a little girl, I did have a passion for dressing up kitties in costumes, such as when I, around the age of seven, traumatized our new kitten, May, by dressing her up babydoll clothes).

However, after seeing so many cute kitties with bowties on catstagram and the rest of the Internet, the part of me that loves dressing up got excited at the idea of giving Chuck and Barry a little pizzazz. Their old collars had gotten raggedy and dirty, so I figured it was time to try something new out.

Because I have an Amazon Prime membership and Amazon Prime has almost anything you need to buy, I decided to check there first for collars with bows or bowties. I found a set of two breakaway collars with bows and bells on them. The sets came in blue and black or red and pink. The part of me raised in the American society that likes to neatly divide up gender into two boxes, boy and girl, man and woman, blue and pink, masculine and feminine, told me that I should get the blue and black set because Chuck and Barry are boys, so they can’t wear pink, but then I thought, do I really have to raise my children in these rigid gender roles (I’d say NO)? And also, they’re cats, so why am I even hesitating on this anyway? I already knew Barry would look dashing in red and Chuckie woulimg_2973.jpgd be adorable in pink, so I went with the pink and red set.

The first thing I did when the new collars came in the mail was take off the bells because the last thing I need to hear is every movement that Chuck and Barry make at every moment of every day.

Then I snapped them on.

And dang, did they look absolutely adorable!

But Chuck and Barry were not happy with the new collars at first, specifically because of thimg_2880.jpge bows. After a day or so, they managed to adjust to them and didn’t seem to give them any mind, but I continued to feel a little nervous about them. Were the bows too uncomfortable? Were they too heavy for their fragile little kitty necks and backs? Did they annoy them, restrict their movements, cause muscle pain? Would they develop arthritis, become deformed, fall and hurt themselves, get cancer, all because of these collars?

After a friend criticized me for having the collars on the kitties a few days ago, I felt too guilty and took them off. I really want to keep a collar on Chuck and Barry in case they get outside, but I’ve been stalling as I figure out what to do with the collars with bows, so recently, Chuck and Barry have been naked.

img_3050-e1493093039738.jpgOn one hand, I can’t find any literature online that states that collars with bows are particularly bothersome or a problem to cats. I even asked my vet tech stepsister and she said she didn’t see why they’d be a problem. The collars also didn’t seem to bother them or greatly affect their day-to-day activities of napping, eating, and roughhousing, either.

IMG_2962

But part of me – the ever-nervous, ever-worried, overly anxious, helicopter cat mom part of me – can’t help but think that it’s better to keep the collars with bows off the cats just in case. I have to get collars back on the cats so they have their name tags and my phone number in case they go missing, but can I sacrifice some cuteness for their current health and happiness? Should I head back to PetSmart and get some new regular collars?

Does anybody have any insights into putting collars with bows/heavier collars on kitties? Good/bad/personal/medical knowledge they could share? Please comment below! In the mean time, check out Chuck and Barry’s catstagram to see more pictures with the bow collars!

5

36 Times Chuck and Barry Made Me Smile

The short answer is literally all of the time, but Chuck and Barry both have such unique, adorable quirks that leave me happier than a clam. Here’s some of the things Chuck and Barry have done to make me smile:

1. The first time they snuggled with me

img_0110

It took awhile for Chuck and Barry to come around to me, and I didn’t want to pressure them. A day after I brought them home, they finally came over for cuddles, and I couldn’t have been happier!

2. Their first vet visit 

img_0789

Look how good they’re being in their cage! Not picture is the incessant crying on the drive over, but that was more adorable than annoying if anything.

3. The first time Chuck laid on my chest

img_0405

I had no idea the amount of love I was in store for, but I couldn’t have been happier than when he insisted on laying on my chest.

4. When Chuckie stood up

img_0651

Look at him!! That belly! Those awkward hands! And a sleeping Barry! Too cute, I couldn’t help but smile.

5. When Barry got stuck in the couch because he was playing too hard

img_0689

He’s so silly!

6. Snuggling with Chuck and Barry

Chuck and Barry love to snuggle up in bed with me, and it makes me disgustingly happy every single time.

7. Spooning with Barry

img_2247

Even better, whenever I’m laying on my side, Barry comes and nuzzles himself right against my stomach, so that we are essentially spooning. What cat does this?! I’m not smiling in this picture, but I am very, very happy.

8. Halloween

My little bumble bee and hot dog couldn’t have looked any cuter on Halloween! I debated about whether or not to buy them Halloween costumes, and I’m so happy I did! Although I only left the costumes on for a few minutes because they both hated them.

9. When Chuckie grabs my hand 

img_0869

Sometimes I am administering belly rubs, Chuckie likes to take a hold of my hand and hold on to it. Why? I don’t know. But it makes me smile every time.

10. Whenever they sit in bizarre ways 

I get that they’re trying to show off their fluffy tummies, but what in the world is Chuck’s pose?! And can Barry possibly be comfortable sitting like that?

11. When Chuck chewed the pen

img_0954

This picture of Chuck is literally my Facebook cover photo.

12. Box play time!!!

Chuck and Barry, like all cats, LOVE boxes, and they look so darn cute when they’re sitting in them!

13. The time they disappeared, and I found them snuggling like this on a chair

img_1123

They’re too close as brothers, but it’s adorable.

14. When I found Chuck gently resting his paw on Barry’s shoulder

img_1219

Again, very close brothers, but so cute. I smile and smile.

15. When they groom each other 

img_1364

Thankfully, they are so close that they keep each other from being dirty or smelly. So cute.

16. Whenever Chuck and Barry look for birds out the window

img_1443

I can’t help but smile every time I find Chuck or Barry looking out the window. The smile grows wider when they start chirping because they spotted some!

17. When Chuck sat in the dog’s cage

img_1467

All the dog wants is to get out of that cage, but Chuck just wants to lay in it! When I first saw this, I laughed and asked him if he wanted to be locked up in there. Unlike other cats, Chuck and Barry are totally cool with cages, including their own cat carrier. If I leave it out, they even play with it!

18. Every time they sleep and look so cute!

How do those two cute little faces not make you break out into a smile?!

19. When Chuckie got in the bag!!!

img_1717

One of my FAVORITE Chuck moments and one of the cutest things I ever saw, I was smiling for hours on the night that Chuck climbed into this green Toys R Us bag.

20. Barry’s tongue 

img_1844

Barry always has his tongue hanging out when he’s sleeping, and it always makes me smile

21. Barry during his injury

img_1918

Don’t get me wrong, when Barry had the build-up of fluid in his knee, I was an emotional wreck. However, I managed to smile as he continued to shower me with affection even through the pain, and the smile on my face got wider every day as I realized he was getting better!

22. When Barry stared at the wall 

img_1978

Shortly after recovering from his injury, Barry spent three nights in a row sitting on my pillow and staring at the wall in the dark. Was there a ghostie? A mousie in the wall? Was it the buprenorphine wearing off? Not sure. But it was hilarious and I couldn’t sleep because I was so amused.

23. Tucked-in kitties!

img_2004

Enough said!

24. Whenever Chuck plops down and strikes a pose

Chuck is a natural-born model. He knows just how cute he is, and he wants to make sure that everybody knows it, so he’s always striking a pose somewhere!

25. The time their bodies formed the shape of a heart

img_2128

Isn’t this just such a beautiful sight?!

26. Loaf cat!!

img_2154

Barry is such a good little loaf cat.

27. When they get super excited because I’m about to feed them!

img_2254

Not pictures: the bowl of wet food that Chuck is desperately trying to get his greedy little paws on!

28. When Barry climbed into the laundry basket

img_2272.jpg

What are you doing, you silly kitty?!

29. The one time I walked into my room and found them both waiting for me like this:

img_2242

Really, just sitting there, heads cocked, looking at me…waiting to get petted and photographed!

30. When Barry was playing under the doormat

I think he thinks he’s hiding. He really thinks nobody can see him. Sure, Barry.

31. Chuckie waking me up every morning

img_2329

A squeaky meow, Chuck’s face in my face, that’s how I’m often woken up early in the morning. It doesn’t even bother me. I smile.

32. When Chuck and Barry wait for me when I’m outside

img_2349

I love when they sit at the door and wait for me to come back in (except for when I have to shoo them away so they don’t run outside).

33. Everytime Barry lays on me

Barry is the ultimate snuggler. Whether I’m sitting on the couch or laying in bed, he has to make sure he’s as close to me as possible (and I’m not complaining). Sometimes he even lays on my back when I’m sleeping at night. And it makes me super happy to have my companion around.

34. When Chuck watches over us

img_2528

Since he’s a little shyer, Chuck doesn’t like to join big groups of people in the living room and dining room, so he’ll keep watch over us from the staircase. I always break out in a smile when I look over and see his little face peeking at us!

35. Our Valentine’s Day dinner together!

IMG_2434.jpg

They’re eating a little bit of sashimi, and a lot of wet food!

36. All day, every day

IMG_2312.jpg

My two little babies have me smiling all day every day!

Comment and let me know what your kitty cats do that keeps you smiling!!

2

Barry’s First Injury: A Battle with Fluid in his Knee

An injured or sick cat is the biggest nightmare of any cat parent. Recently, I had to live through this nightmare when Barry got a fluid build-up in his knee.

The Symptoms

I knew that something was up with Barry when he spent all day hiding under my roommate’s bed. “Maybe he’s just tired,” I tried to rationalize away. “Maybe he got into human food and got a stomach ache. Maybe this will pass quickly. I’ll keep watch over him, but cats are weird, it might be nothing.”

It wasn’t nothing. My fears were confirmed when Barry finally came out from under my roommate’s bed. He was walking slowly, appearing groggy. When I gave him wet food, he didn’t even finish it, and he LOVES his wet food. I started to become even more worried, but he was eating, drinking, and using the bathroom, so I clung to the hope that it was a temporary stomachache and would soon pass.

Another day went by where Barry was not getting any better. I decided I would take him to vet the next morning if he was still sick. “It’s probably a stomach bug,” I thought. “Some antibiotics and he’d be just fine.” I was worried, so worried, checking on him every few moments, but I figured it was just a normal kitty flu or something.

But everything changed when he came out from underneath my roommate’s bed on the second night of him being sick.

Barry walked out of the bedroom and attempted to go down the stairs. He made it one step, stopped, and tried to get back up the step. He could barely make it.

IMG_1893 3.jpg

Notice swelling in his left knee (Picture NSFW)

He stumbled into my bedroom, and that’s when I noticed he was limping. Badly. He wasn’t putting any weight on his left hind leg. At all. And it was swollen. Something was seriously wrong with his leg.

So I did what any loving cat parent would do when realizing their baby was badly injured: I sat down on my bed and bawled my eyes out for twenty minutes (and continued to cry on and off throughout the rest of the night). My poor little baby, injured and in so much pain. What was wrong with him? Was his leg broken? Or was it something more serious – did he break his spine, or his tail? Was it just a sprain, or something worse? Was he dying? Was he going to be okay?

I knew for sure a vet visit was in Barry’s immediate future. In the meantime, I locked him in the bedroom with me to sleep. He cuddled up in bed with me all night. I was absolutely distraught over his injury, but I felt better knowing he was trying to show me that he was alright so that I wouldn’t worry (actually, though, cats will generally mask their pain and hide injuries as an instinct so they do not look like easy prey, but I liked to think Barry was doing it for me, anyway). I checked up on him a few times during the night, and then the next day I called the vet.

The Diagnosis

Chuckie and Barry’s vet had no available appointments and didn’t have a working x-ray machine, so the next option was Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, which is close to where I live. I loaded Barry up in his cat carrier and drove him over. I had two classes that day and an orientation for an upcoming internship, but I decided they might have to be skipped or postponed. Barry’s health was more important.

Penn Vet is a great animal hospital with lovely veterinarians, nurses, and staff. Barry got a triage nurse called right out for him and went right back in to the emergency room. I waited around, nervously scrolling through Facebook on my phone. A grown man sat in the waiting room and cried, presumably over his pet, and I could feel my heart breaking over and over. Would that be me soon?

After waiting hours to be seen by the orthopedic team (who were in surgery), Barry finally got his diagnosis: a build-up of fluid in his knee that was causing the pain and mobility issues.

The doctor didn’t know what caused the fluid build up. She said it could have been from a sprain or something more serious, like septic arthritis or an infection. She gave me two options: take Barry home, keep his mobility limited, see if it gets better, and bring him back if not; or get tests done right away to check for any kind of underlying issues besides a sprain, then take him home. I chose to pay for the extra tests to be done right away – I didn’t want to wait if there was something seriously wrong.

Barry was at the hospital for nearly ten hours, and finally got released around seven at night. I don’t want to get into the price of his treatment – it was quite a pretty penny – but I’d spend all the money in the world for Barry’s happiness and health.

The Treatment

Since no underlying condition was confirmed, Barry’s initial treatment was pain meds and rest. The doctor prescribed buprenorphine, an opiate, to be dispensed to Barry every 8-12 hours by squirting it onto his gums. The side effects listed on the bottle were “sedation” (which was good to keep him from running around and injuring himself further) and “increased affection” (probably the jackpot of side effects, coming from a cat mom’s perspective at least).

IMG_1879.jpg

Barry sleeping after the hospital visit

If you’ve read my other blog post about my cats’ primal desire to eat all things, you’ll have read that the one thing they WON’T eat is their medication. Giving any kind of oral medication to Barry is borderline impossible. However, Barry’s injury worked in my favor since he was not as able to squirm from my grasp, so I was able to administer his pain meds effectively.

I kept Barry locked in my bedroom for as long as I could manage to keep him in there. Over the next few days, the swelling in his legs decreased and he started walking easier and quicker. After about a week, he was good as new. The doctors called and said they found no underlying cause for the fluid build up, so the most likely bet is he managed to injure himself which lead to the fluid build-up (how an indoor cat fails so hard at being a cat that he hurts himself is my question) and he just needed to take time to heal.

And where was little Chuckie during all of this, you might ask? I had to keep Chuck separated from Barry so that he wouldn’t coax him into playing on the bum leg, and also so I could monitor that Barry was eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping (probably a little bit of excessive paranoia on my part, but with two cats in the room I couldn’t be sure who was eating or who was using the litter box, and I wanted to be sure that Barry was, just in case).

So, Chuckie was banned from my room until Barry was all better.

And he was a MESS. I honestly think he had a harder time dealing with Barry’s injury than Barry did! Chuckie is so dependent on Barry, so he would run around the house crying and crying because he wanted to see him. I’ve never seen a cat look so anxious. Thankfully, he was a good supportive brother whenever he got his supervised visits with an injured Barry, and as Barry got better, they were able to be together again.

Dealing with Barry’s injuries was a terrible few days of worry and panic. Thankfully, he turned out okay and he is back to jumping on every available surface and eating everybody’s food. I’m glad that I paid attention to my gut when I thought something was wrong and kept an eye on him. And I’m glad my little ball of joy is now happy and healthy.

img_1967

Chuckie and Barry reunited

0

Christmas Break at Grandma’s

The best part about college is the month-long winter breaks where students can travel back home and spend the holidays in peace and relaxation with their family.

Or, in my case, I loaded Chuck and Barry up into their carrier and listened to them cry and meow nonstop for two hours on the drive from the City of Brotherly Love to my mom’s house up in the mountains. Once there, I reacquainted them with their grandmother (my mother), and introduced them to their great-grandmother (my grandmother, also known as Baba) and to their long-lost furry siblings!

The Siblings

IMG_1040.jpgNaruto and May May are the king and queen of my mom’s house. Naruto is about ten years old and we adopted him from the shelter when he was a kitten. He was a small little thing at the time: snow white, bright blue eyes, and a pleading meow to come home with us that just wouldn’t stop! Many years later, Naruto is a huge, fat cat. My mom always claims that she’s putting him on a diet, but he honestly looks bigger every time I come home for a break. It doesn’t help that Baba sneaks him treats anyway.

IMG_1145.jpg

May is probably around fifteen. I got her when I was just a little girl, unsure what I was doing with cats. I used to lock her in the bathroom with me and dress her up in my dolls’ clothes. It’s safe to say that for a few years afterwards, she did not like people, especially me. Now she has warmed up a little bit, and she’s a cuddly little love bug when she wants to be.

I was nervous to introduce Chuck and Barry to Naruto and May. Chuck and Barry, at only six months, are rambunctious and playful. Naruto and May (not to be rude, of course) are well past their prime, and they prefer laying on the back of the chair over full contact wrestling.

IMG_1139.jpgThe Introduction

When Chuck, Barry, and I finally made it to my mom’s house, I brought the cat carrier into the living room and opened the door. Immediately, every cat in the house was on alert. Ears back, crouched low to the ground. Naruto watched from a distance and May ran from the room. Chuck and Barry sat in the carrier for a while, terrified. Finally, Chuckie started venturing out and exploring the house while an irritated Naruto watched on. Barry didn’t leave the cage for over an hour.

The cats all casted a lot of wary glances at each other. Occasionally, there was some hissing or running, but nobody attempted to kill each other!

Chuck and Barry Fall in Love

I don’t think that Chuck and Barry have ever been around another female cat, besides their mother and any female cats in the litter they were born with.

I’ve heard of female cats in heat announcing that they are ready to mate, but I had no idea that male cats make the same noises! So when Chuck and Barry started howling, my mom and I were confused — what are these strange noises coming from these two male cats? Why are they doing that?

Well, apparently, when a male cat is around a female cat, usually one in heat, they start howling to announce their presence to the frisky females. May is spayed, but Chuck and Barry aren’t (yet!), so that set off their little kitty hormones and they were going crazy! Therefore, they made noises that sound like a mix between speaking, howling, and meowing (just like the cat in this video).

Fortunately for May, Chuck and Barry were still too shy and scared of her to try and do anything besides gaze across the room. Thankfully, they never made those sounds before, and as soon as we got home to Philadelphia, they stopped.

Brotherly Love

My mom was really hoping that Naruto would warm up to Barry and Chuck and play with them. She said that Naruto needed somebody to play with, and also, that he could stand to burn a few calories.

Unfortunately, it was not to be a vacation full of bonding.

The good news is that Naruto finally stopped hissing and swatting at them whenever they came around! It was progress. Maybe by Easter break they’ll start playing together.

Grandma’s Love

My mom adored Chuck and Barry. Of course, she is the cat lady that raised me!

img_1727IMG_1710.jpgAnd of course, Grandma has to spoil her grandchildren. They got wet food for breakfast every day, a lot of treats, lots of playing time, and more cuddle than they could deal with! For Christmas, they got a lot of toys and a big IMG_1719.jpgfun tent to play in. Of course, they found their own toys to play with (or should I say in), too!

IMG_1863.jpgMy mom also gave Barry and Chuck some nicknames. She nicknamed Barry “Einstein” because of how quickly he learned how to play fetch with a tin foil ball (he really loved fetch). He even helped Grandma do laundry!

My mom nicknamed Chuck “Marilyn” after Marilyn Monroe. Although beautiful and dainty, Chuckie does not possess the same quick wit as Barry and did not pick-up any new tricks.

Christmas break at Grandma’s was a great time for Chuck and Barry! They got lots of love, affection, and treats — I know they’re already missing their grandma and kitty siblings!