Saturday, May 28, 2016

In Other News #2, or All the Things I've Learned From George

I don't know how many of you may have heard (bit of sarcasm there), but last year, on May 28th, I adopted a cat named George. I had expectations that he would be very much like my former cats (aloof but friendly while steering clear of the dogs), but he shattered those ideas quite succinctly. George had his own style of being a cat that wasn't really like my expectations at all.

For example:

Here, George demonstrates that he can vanish at will (and/or he may be a ghost). I remain unsure if Scotty was trying to beam him back up during this photoshoot, or he can simply turn into a cloud of cat hair. More than likely, the cloud of cat hair- I don't recall my other cats shedding as much as George does.

George making use of my porch railing pots

Those "if it fits, I sits" internet cat memes? Entirely accurate.

Sometimes, even a Siamese cross cat can meow too much. During those times, it's best to air out your tongue/make a Miley Cyrus face.

Goldilox was much easier to please than George is with regards to beds. I bought George a nice new faux fur bed during Christmas time, which he used once, then started using the pile of blankets behind him. I then put a blanket on it- it still wasn't good enough. Finally, I realized if I combined George's favorite thing, cardboard boxes and the bed and the blanket, that might work. It did. That smug looking cat is relishing my weeks of experimentation. I may someday put a pea under it and find out if he's royal.

Cats can plank- even keeping their ridiculously long tails straight. Window hunting is a George approved activity.

George has a fascination with food wrapped in plastic bags. Here, you can see he shared some pilfered snacks with his dog friends (Keisha is not pictured). Apparently the yellow bag wasn't good enough, as it was salt and vinegar flavored. The most surprising thing he's pilfered is a brand new loaf of whole wheat bread, which, I'm just going to assume he shared with his dog friends again. George takes inspiration from Robin Hood, since he believes he's vastly underfed, and the dogs must be starving as well. Who needs humans when you have a cat to feed you from the countertop?

At some point, George won over both of the dogs with his antics. Keisha initially liked him, but she shied from him when he took to chasing her. Torrie initially followed him around, but then he began following her around like an annoying little brother, and she stopped caring about what he did while away from her side (which is seldom, any more). My mom and I have taught the dogs to be our enforcers- chasing him whenever he gets onto the counter, or tries knocking over the garbage (food is George's best friend). Half the time we have no idea he's on the counter or into something until the dogs take off after him, giving him a sound scolding. You would think George would dislike the dogs for their policing of his favorite pastimes, but George has a sort of Yogi Bear/Ranger Smith relationship with them. Sometimes he will just run through the house, goading the dogs to chase him. He gets upset with them when they don't. Some of their relationship can be seen in the boxing match video between Torrie and George.

Other than being a countertop thief, George has proved himself useful in other areas of the house. For instance, he loves to clean out things from under the couch. I'm still perplexed as to why he bothers, but as far as I can tell he thinks it's like a treasure hunt- he finds my shoes, Torrie's old toys (which he likes), and random bits of plastic. More importantly, I've trained him to remind me to take my nighttime pills- I have two rounds of pills a day on my regimen now, and while I always remember to take them the first thing in the morning, I can't remember to most nights. I give him a few kibbles of food if he reminds me by meowing incessantly at 7PM (which he's really great at). One night, I gave him his kibbles, and then forgot to take my pills. He kept badgering me about something, and it was only then I remembered- I gave him his stipend, as I call it, but I hadn't taken my pills. Luckily, he is so insistent, I now rarely or never forget to take my pills when I have him around. When I travel, the pill forgetting is more of a problem. Someday, they'll invent a pet friendly cellphone and I won't have that problem... but I will have trouble with him calling to "talk" to me all the time.

To round up this widely rambling post- last year I adopted a cat, and I didn't really expect much of him. His adoption fee was $35.00 in honor of June being Adopt a Cat Month, but to be honest, I would've paid much more than that had I known how great (and naughty) of a cat he'd be. He's changed our house by bringing chaos, clouds of cat hair, and at times, the yowling cat version of karaoke, but he's also kept me healthier (by keeping me on my pill schedule), livened up the two "old" dogs (by making them chase him), and generally injecting a bit of excitement (and/or mayhem) into our mundane lives. We likely would've passed him by if he hadn't had the note "Good with dogs" next to his cage at the shelter, because despite his george-ous eyes, we weren't really looking for a cat (despite our mouse problem, which he also solved). I can't say that everyone should go out and adopt a cat, but it would've been a huge mistake on our part if we'd said, "Nah, we don't need a cat," and left him there at the shelter.

If you happen to be looking for a cat, June is an awesome time to adopt one- many shelters are flooded with kittens and cats as the heat rises. Since June is Adopt a Cat Month, many shelters also offer extra discounts on cat adoptions, which helps when you have to buy all the essentials (again) like we did. If you have another animal in the house, you may want to ask the shelter volunteers their opinion of which cats would be the most cat and/or dog friendly, because generally they know some of the history of the cat. Not all cats are like George, but generally if you want a calmer, more placid cat, you won't want a kitten/young adult- go for an older animal. Since cats can live 20 years (or longer), keep in mind that it isn't a temporary commitment, and be determined to stay in it for the long haul (even if it means paying pricy pet deposits for rent, veterinary bills, and replacing scratched furniture... or new loaves of whole wheat bread).

Happy George Adoption Day!


  1. Replies
    1. Yay for George, but not for me? I guess he has cost me a little more than your average cat... ;)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Heather!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. George is so adorable! I have two cats and they both love chewing through loaves of wheat bread a well. If there are two loaves sitting on the counter (that I totally forgot to put out of their reach), one white, one wheater, both of them will go up a chew through only the wheat one! It's so cute but also very annoying when you have to clean up crumbs everywhere and get a new loaf of bread.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I didn't realize that was a cat thing- my other cats had enjoyed fruit and Cheetos, but never wheat bread, and we always left ours out. I guess George is teaching us to be better at putting things away. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura!
      ~Litha Nelle

  3. Yay, George! He has a cotimundi tail. Our cat is to fat to jump up on the counters. Ha ha. :)

    1. I didn't know what a coatimundi tail was 'til I googled it- I agree, George is definitely related ;). I wish George wouldn't bother with the counters, but based on his physique now, I doubt he'll ever be too big for counter surfing. He's a true (modern) hunter-gatherer- he likes to sit in front of me and peruse the fridge whenever I open it.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La!
      ~Litha Nelle

  4. My cats have always managed to get along with dogs--at least the two they were around the most). I loved how playful they could be with each other. We don't have a dog in the house anymore, but my mom's dog sometimes visits. My youngest cat is always trying to get the senior dog to play with her.

    I love this post! George is a special cat, and definitely well loved. :-)

    1. My previous cats and dog ignored each other- I guess they did their own thing more. George, Keisha, and Torrie learned to play with each other, though George's idea of play is "Chase me through the house- or else I'll annoy you until you do". I can relate to the younger cat trying to make the old dog play- Keisha and Torrie are 5+ years older than George. Our house was very quiet and peaceful until we got him.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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