Bitu's Catster.com Diary

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How Can Real-Live Be Fake?

October 23rd 2007 11:12 pm
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I was hoping that I could find a picture that looked almost like Minnie to use on her page, but the higher-ups said it would be fake, even if it were of a real-live cat that almost looks like Minnie. How can the picture of another cat be fake if you know you didn't have pictures taken in life that people can go by to know what she looked like? They don't object to other people making pictures of their cats wearing clothes and stuff even if they don't really have clothes on, so how can that not be fake in a way? The best I can do to give people an idea what Minnie looked like in life is to compare her to Bitu and point out the differences in their eye color (Minnie's eyes were green and Bitu's eyes show yellow in her Humane Society picture) and the differences in the pattern of their fur, even though they both have orange, black and white fur. There's also a two-year age difference because of Minnie being born in 2000 and Bitu being born in 2002. But if I revised Minnie's age to reflect real life, she died at about four and a half, even though she would be seven now if she were still alive. Why are people trying to make like Minnie never existed even though we know she did? Why can't something be done to accommodate those pets unfortunate enough to not have pictures of them taken in life who their people don't want to forget? It's not fair, no matter what anybody says.

 

Bitu's Canine Secretary

October 24th 2007 9:03 pm
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There have been a couple canine additions to the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall. It's just as well, because our first canine enrollee (Corky [in loving memory]) will be better able to go to the Dogster pages when welcome letters to canine additions will need to be written. Bitu likes to be able to write welcome letters to new arrivals, but in the case of the departed dogs, there's no way to get to the Dogster pages because of our not having a dog to register, even though we had dogs years ago when my brother and I both still lived at home. There's supposed to be a third canine addition to the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall pretty soon, owing to a special group enrollment request from the higher-ups at Catster.com. Though I helped Bitu send the official invitations, the prospective arrivals haven't shown up at the Memorial Wall yet, so I wonder if they knew what they were signing up for. But if it's true and we do get a third dog, I know I can count on Corky to get the message through for Bitu, though I suppose he has some difficulty from not being able to come down whenever he wants so he can communicate with his living family and friends. But as the first canine addition to the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall, he thoroughly relishes being the top dog among so many cats. Is it any wonder why Bitu nominated him as her "doggy angel" secretary? I'll bet the living members of his family will be proud when they find out about his appointment.

 

The Ghost Cat of the Highway (A Story Inspired By a Friend)- By Bitu McClintock

October 25th 2007 2:49 pm
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There once was a cat with the sleekest black fur that anybody had ever seen. The fur was rather long, though it was rumored that he was only partly Persian. Though he lived in a city apartment, he found that living a life of leisure didn't seem to be enough. He craved excitement and found it by defending his territory against all the neighborhood cats. He'd venture outside, scanning the street up and down from his favorite vantage point. Then when he thought that a strange cat was coming too near his apartment building, he'd confront the intruder by blocking his way with a silent challenge. Those not wise enough to back down right away were in for quite a fight, and they'd always come out on the losing end. When he wasn't busy adding to his victories against the neighborhood cats, he liked to climb his favorite beech tree. He thought his idyllic life would never end. But one day he chanced to fall asleep under a car whose driver didn't know he was there. After the car accidentally ran over him, he was so badly hurt that he had to be put to sleep. His heartbroken people buried him near his favorite beech tree, hoping that he could now climb and play on it without the pain that so tragically cut his life short. He did climb the beech tree and play on it, though nobody saw him. But sometimes, if an unsuspecting passer-by came too close, they would sense that something was blocking the way with an invisible, silent challenge. If they tried to dismiss the invisible presence as nothing, they were soon reminded by a scratch such as the neighborhood cats always got in their fights with him. People learned to give wide berth to that beech tree without knowing who was protecting it so fiercely. But in time there were plans to build a highway where the beech tree was. People who were familiar with the legend of the scratching ghost cat begged the developers to let the tree stand, though some of the developers didn't believe it. When a surveyor was sent out to the proposed route of the highway, he was stopped near the beech tree by the same silent, invisible challenge that had stopped so many others. Though the surveyor tried to dismiss the invisible presence as nothing, he was given the same kind of scratch as all the others who had thoughtlessly tried to invade the ghost cat's territory. When the developers saw the scratch on the surveyor, they went to the beech tree to see for themselves. When they came in sight of the beech tree, nothing could be seen, though they were confronted by the same silent, invisible challenge as all the others. But not even the expensive suits of the developers were enough to protect them from the same fiercely-delivered scratches that all the other intruders had received from the ghost cat. The highway eventually went through, though the route was changed to allow the beech tree to stand. There were even signs put up saying "Ghost Cat Crossing - Proceed With Caution". One day, the ghost cat's people happened to drive past the beech tree, thinking of the cat they so loved. They slowed down a bit as they came near the tree, sensing the same silent, invisible presence as all the others. Strangely enough, however, that presence wasn't as frightening to them as it had been to everybody else. Suddenly, it appeared as though a black cat with rather long fur streaked across the highway, first one way and then the other. As he started to climb the beech tree again, he disappeared. As his people went on their way, they were sure that their beloved cat's favorite beech tree was in good paws. They hoped to be able to see him again someday, even if only for a moment.

 

The Next "Interview of the Week"

October 26th 2007 5:20 pm
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Bitu has finally been picked for the "Interview of the Week" by the "I'm No Longer Alone" Club. I tried to help her finish it all in one night, but my brother couldn't wait that long and I had to start over again this morning. It's supposed to come out on the page next week. I might copy into the diary after it goes up, though I hope they don't leave anything out. I hate being cut short, and I think Bitu does, too. We know that Minnie's been given the short end of the stick, and that's not fair to somebody who didn't know about this page in life and had no pictures to put up because none were ever taken until just after she died. But the Humane Society won't let us have that picture, so that's just as unfair to Minnie as anything else. But I wonder what she'd think if she knew that Bitu's going to be the next "Interview of the Week".

 

Bitu's Busy Day At the Spa Meow

October 27th 2007 7:38 pm
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Bitu offered her services to the Brusselball Club's Spa Meow, citing her experience with giving kitty massages at home to her people (meaning my brother and I). But since she'd never given kitty massages from a distance before - especially since the Spa Meow runs on East Coast time and we're on West Coast time - Bitu was nervous and wondering if she were cut out for the job. Fortunately, there were a few familiar faces there to help break the ice. Bitu gave ten kitty massages over the day and evening - nine to cats and one to a gerbil who belongs to a group known as the Creatures. She was invited to the outdoor garden for awhile to visit their outdoor haunted house, since it was a Halloween party. At one point, there was a monster in a witch's cauldron which reminded Bitu of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Sometime after that, somebody got caught in a spider web and Bitu tried to get him loose. Then a monster tried to scare everybody away, but he was repelled with a basket of brusselballs before everybody headed back to the safety of Spa Meow. Some of the patrons insisted that Bitu should relax and not work so hard, but she wanted to do a good job. Everybody who had a kitty massage seemed to enjoy it (even the gerbil). Bitu was tempted by some of the snacks, though she wanted to be available for anybody wanting a kitty massage. When she was offered some tuna gravy, she wished she could send it to Minnie up in Heaven, since Minnie had more of a taste for fish in life. Given that Bitu's kitty massages got such rave reviews, she might offer her services to the Spa Meow on the next special occasion. Hopefully, though, there won't be anything scary involved like at the Halloween party.

 

Our First Loss

October 28th 2007 10:20 pm
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Our KittyWhiskas For Catsters group has more than 100 members after only about a month. But now we've had a loss of one of our members. Mortimer died on October 27, 2007 of throat and mouth cancer and failing kidneys. One of our other members who was eager to post members' birthdays tried to list them three years in advance, but Bitu tried to explain that you can't always predict whether somebody will make it to their next birthday or not, prompting her to resign her appointment as Vice President. But Mortimer was lucky to make it to his 2007 birthday this year. We're hoping that the system will allow Mortimer to be nominated to the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall, because somebody else we've been trying to invite hasn't made it through. I don't think the higher-ups realize the havoc the changes in the system have wrought in their efforts to show themselves "economical". They should go back to what they had before so that group invitations can go through. Mortimer's people really need it now, especially since his people have lost three cats in his family within one year. The only good thing about this is that those of his family who've been waiting for him are being happily reunited with him now at the legendary Rainbow Bridge, and none of them are suffering from the things that took them. Mortimer was just as valuable to our group as anybody who might have the good fortune to stay with us longer, and he will be greatly missed.

 

A Special Halloween Treat - The "I'm No Longer Alone" Interview of the Week (October 31,- 2007)

October 31st 2007 12:47 pm
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INTERVIEW WITH BITU FROM PORTLAND, OREGON
(By Athena, on behalf of the "I'm No Longer Alone" Club)

Today's interview is with Bitu, who is active in the field of cat welfare and will be telling us about her projects. There are other interesting things for us to learn about her as well...

1. Tell us about your unusual name.

I don't know if I've had any other name. That was the name my people saw on my Humane Society page. My older human thinks it means "Baby Two", since I was the second cat after my adopted sister Minnie died of a bad case of fleas on February 3, 2005 at the Rose City Veterinary Hospital. My people almost didn't get another cat, but because of the void Minnie left after being with them for over a year and a half, they went onto the Humane Society page and started looking. I was their first choice because of my resemblance to Minnie except for the eye color, though they also considered another girl cat named Pebbles and a boy cat named Zephyr. My older human also calls me his "valentine baby" because I was adopted on February 14, 2005. But my name is so rare that you won't find it on most lists of cat names.

2. According to your page, you hate fish! What do you have against them?

My tastes seem to have changed since I've been in my third home. My older human can't understand it, especially since my Humane Society papers said that I liked a certain fish flavor of Fancy Feast as one of my favorites. But I think I put up with it in my second home because I had to compete with a houseful of boy cats for food and everything else. I still like Fancy Feast, but my people know not to get anymore fish flavors. Sometimes I get to taste-test cat food cans as part of some on-line survey groups my younger human belongs to, but when they're fish, I protest with louder meows than I usually make. But dry food taste tests aren't so bad.

3. Your motto is, "I want to be a rich cat." What are you doing or what have you done to make this dream become reality?

I haven't been able to do much of anything about becoming a rich cat except dream about it because of living in a low-income building with elderly and disabled tenants. But when my older human has money sometimes, I get mad because he won't give it to me. He thinks I want to spend it on my favorite Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys cans which my people are only able bring home when they're on sale. But my people also think that I'll spend some of my time in Heaven lounging on my riches when I'm not busy trying to outdo Minnie in being the top cat.

4. You started your own group, KittyWhiskas For Catsters, for rescued and/or shelter cats. (I was a
shelter cat myself, before I became a princess.) What special needs do you think that cats with this background have?

The most important special need these cats have, whether they come from shelters or are rescued or who are adopted or are in foster care situations or even who are stray or feral is that somebody cares enough about them not to give up on them. That's the goal for the KittyWhiskas group from Yahoo.com which was the inspiration for my group. I welcome all cats in my group because they've all been adopted in some way, even if they don't all come from desperate situations like most of the members of our group. And the main leader of the KittyWhiskas group from Yahoo.com was nice enough to put my article about the Puerto Rican Animal Control Massacre up on their message board, even though she could have just kept it in her own e-mail box.

5. In that group, you've been setting up a Memorial Wall for departed kitties. How is it going to work? Can any kitty come and post a departed family member? What about your departed sister Minnie - will she be included on the Wall in some way?

Anybody who belongs to KittyWhiskas For Catsters can nominate a departed family member or friend to the Memorial Wall. I came up with the idea after one member had to join our group all by herself because of all the rest of her family already being gone. We have a couple dogs there, too - one is because of a request by one of our members who'd been in a mixed dog and cat household and the other I did as a favor to Big Leo's Stray Cat Alley because they were mourning the loss of one of their founding canine members. It was decided to set up a whole page so we could be assured of having room for everybody who enrolls there. As for my adopted sister Minnie, I've been able to put a lit candle up for her in the Group Photos space because she had no picture from life to go by, and we don't even have a copy of the picture the Humane Society took after she died. But we know that Minnie did exist between July 2, 2000 and February 3, 2005, no matter what anybody says.

6. According to your diary, you've been nursing your human through a leg infection. How is that going?

Actually, I took over from Minnie after she was unable to get well and come home. My younger human has been battling with this for several years already, but mostly because she didn't get the stuff out from her skin when it was on the surface when the whole thing started and she didn't go to the hospital for it until it got too painful to live with anymore. But she was afraid to go also because sometimes when people leave from our building for medical reasons, they don't always get to come back. My adopted sister Minnie was able to make her way around the sore spots when she was on the bed with my younger human because she'd say, "Easy, easy, easy!" when she'd move around before settling down. I don't get on the bed with my younger human so much, though sometimes I sniff around the suitcase the visiting nurse brings when she comes to put medicine on my younger human's sore left leg and wrap it up again. We don't know when she'll be completely over this, and she'll still have the cerebral palsy she was born with before this ever started.

7. You wrote a lovely story in your diary about a ghost cat. Will you be writing more stories for us to read?

The ghost cat story was inspired by another Catster Friend whose people had a cat who was like the one in the story. His name was Sabby, though my story didn't have any names. But when she read it from my diary, she wrote to me through the Catster Mail to say that she was clapping her paws because it was so good. I don't know when I might write another story - it depends on if other Catster Friends of mine tell me about something they might like to see in a story someday. Chadwick is especially eager to have me contribute something to his "Tall Cat Tales" storytelling club because of my expertise with limericks on various group pages, but I've found that using my diary gives me the space I need to tell a story the way I think a good story should be told. I'll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, if you have anymore questions, just let me know, okay?

 

Milo, We Hardly Knew Ye

November 1st 2007 2:59 pm
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Bitu's KittyWhiskas For Catsters group has had another unexpected loss. Milo, a member of one of the largest multiple-cat households to join the group, was suddenly taken on November 1, 2007 by complications from a form of arthritis he was suffering from. Arthritis is usually considered a human disease, but not as fatal as some. And it's certainly not something you expect cats to die from, no matter what age they are. But it was especially shocking in Milo's case because he was only about four. When he first joined KittyWhiskas For Catsters, Milo sported a cowboy hat with a cow print that Bitu greatly admired. When another member joined, Bitu asked Milo where he got his cowboy hat so that the new member could get one like it. He was able to give her a lead with help from his people. Not too long after that, he was wearing a robe and crown like a king for his Halloween costume, then he told about the arthritis he was suffering from. When we heard that he suddenly died, I cried and asked, "Why?" Was Milo trying to say something by putting on that robe and crown while he was still alive? There's no doubt that he's getting a heavenly crown now, though Bitu and I hope that someday we can see him in his cow print cowboy hat again.

 

More Expansions

November 4th 2007 11:55 pm
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It seems that KittyWhiskas For Catsters is expanding despite our recent losses. We're also getting more occupants for the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall, though Milo's still missing. I've had to help Bitu write more welcome letters than she's had to write for awhile. I just hope we can keep up with everybody if our group expands further. But unlike Big Leo's Stray Cat Alley, I'd rather go for quality rather than quantity. We may not expand to ten times our size in two and a half months, but at least we're trying to be understated about it. Bitu never asked Ulysses or the rest of his family to leave the group anyway. They're welcome to come back, but so far they haven't. Maybe if there hadn't been such a ruckus over the article about the Puerto Rican Animal Control Massacre, maybe they would have stayed. I'm not sure if the number at the top of the group page accurately reflects those who are actually there. I wish it could. I think Bitu does, too.

 

Honoring Diesel Blue (As Expressed By Bitu McClintock)

November 6th 2007 11:32 am
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Big Leo's Stray Cat Alley is holding a fight in honor of Diesel Blue's memory, although it's supposed to be a surprise for him. But I wonder what he'd think of the trash talk that's going on before it even gets started. I thought we were supposed to keep things clean even as we're trying to get pumped up for a special event. If you want to _____ , then save it for the litter box. Don't say that somebody shouldn't talk _____ if they can't back it up with their performance. We're not in an R-rated movie here, you know. If this had been said on TV, it would have been bleeped out. If I were about to be in a fight such as the Stray Cat Alley might put on, I'd probably say, "When I get through with you, you'll be as shredded as my scratching box after I've given it a good workout!" That's the way to pump yourself up without resorting to R-rated language. As long as they're going to honor the memory of Diesel Blue, they should run a good, clean fight without the R-rated language. Hisses from the cats and growls from the dogs should be enough to get the point across if they can't think of the right words to get into the mood. Even trash talk can be G-rated if you know how to express yourself right.

 
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