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The Art of Being Clueless

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If I were for sale...

February 4th 2011 7:56 am
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Well, I'm priceless! And I'm not for sale. And Catster rightly doesn't allow you to advertise your cats for sale, although they do seem to like it when you offer to adopt out your beloved pet (don't quite understand why they want cats with furrever homes to be adopted out, but whatever). Anyway, Chibi was doing some calculations, and she figured out that, even if you ignore the usual vet fees and food and litter costs, I have probably cost Mommy about $6000 in cat show fees. I was not terribly expensive, even by U.S. standards--about $800--but cat shows are expensive, and it's important for a breeder to stay in the loop by going to cat shows. So, for all of you who think that all breeders are in it for the money--a big har har har to that. Not that we're asking for charity, just that people understand why we laugh hysterically when people ask us if we can make a living by breeding.


The cat show that almost never occurred...

February 22nd 2010 3:12 am
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I'm retired from show biz, but as much as I hated the year and a half of being shown, I sort of miss it, ya know? Mommy is putting Elise in shows, and kittens who look good, but no one has gotten a ribbon yet. Mommy makes a point of wearing her "lucky" red panties--nothing to get excited about, they are just red cotton briefs-- and also her red bra.. Har har har, these have no effect whatsoever on the judges' rulings. She didn't wear any of her numerous "power stone" bracelets at yesterday's show, in which only Elise participated. Whether due to the lack of power stones or not, Elise didn't win anything. Gee, I think I must have been a better cat in my show biz days than Mommy gave me credit for...


The rest of the story...

December 27th 2009 5:36 am
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I suddenly realized that I haven't written in my diary since September! Just in case you think that's because Mommy is now deep in a relationship with Breeder Daddy, har har har to that. As a mentor and cat friend, he was great, but once the relationship became "romantic" (I'm not sure it ever was), he started showing his ugly side--a quick temper and too much curiosity about Mommy's finances. (You may wonder how I know this. I know it because Chibi, who has now mastered all the living languages and is next going to try to learn all the dead ones, overheard Mommy talking to her aunt on the telephone.) Bye bye, BD! He was always nice to me, but then he wasn't considering marrying ME.

So, we're back to our household of 17 cats and one human. (Ten of the cats are those nasty, nasty kitten creatures.) We would love to live in a house, but it's too expensive in this part of town, where Mommy has lived for over 20 years. Actually, I suspect that she prefers living alone.

Recently, I've been a pretty mellow fellow. Umesaburo's presence doesn't bother me, although Spike seems terribly jealous and will go up to Ume's cage (can't have an intact male roaming freely amongst a bunch of intact females) and howl at him. I don't bop the kittens anymore, or even hiss much. It's Chibi who's changed--she growls at her own kittens (now four months old) and at the other queens. She remains affectionate to Mommy, though. Chibi doesn't seem to want to talk about it much, but I get this feeling that motherhood wasn't all that she thought it would be. When she came back from BD's after her tryst with Umesaburo, she climbed to the top of the cat tower and stayed there for three days, glowering at everyone. Well, she had a difficult pregnancy, and it turns out that little Quincy, one of the Gang of Four, has a seriously enlarged heart. Of course, that means that he can't be sold, so after the holidays Mommy's going to take him to a vet cardiologist to find out what's wrong with him, and commence treatment. Dr. Vet thinks Quincy doesn't have too long to live--his heart is just too big. And I always thought a big heart was a good thing...Meanwhile, his mother Chibi, the budding doctor, not only growls at him and her other kittens, but punches him in the face. Not a very good bedside manner, I'd say. She's going to go to the vet, too, to see if there's some physical reason for her growling all the time.

Quincy's heart condition could be HCM, which is associated with the Maine Coon breed (although moggies can get it, too). If so, it means that one of his parents (Chibi or Umesaburo) carries the HCM gene. You test for this by sending a cheek swab to Washington State University. If one of them tests positive, then he or she will be desexed and removed from the breeding program. However, Dr. Vet thinks it could be some other kind of heart defect, since the heart is much larger than any he's seen in HCM cats. Poor Quincy.

On a more cheerful note, there's a cat show mood in the air. The big Regional Show is coming up, and FIVE of us are going. Not me, thank the Great Cat Goddess. Harvard and Lowell, two of Chibi's kittens, are going, as well as Chibi herself, Currier (Leila's daughter), and Elise (who is now mostly called "Motorboat" for her big purr). The kittens are going just so Mommy can see how Chibi's children are rated by professionals; it's usually the older kittens who win ribbons, so they probably won't get anything, but showing kittens is fun--says Mommy. I have a dim memory of being shown when I was a kitten; I didn't hate it and try to kill judges in those days. Chibi is going because there are lots of foreign judges, and only foreign judges like torties. Currier and Motorboat are going because Chanan is going to be there, and Mommy wants him to take their pictures. Motorboat is at her prime (she has a tail to die for), and Currier is devilishly hard to photograph--her features get lost in the tortie markings. They will be entered as "Opens"; get six ribbons for being the best in your color class, and you become a Champion. Currier will probably become a Champion in this show because she probably won't have any competition. It's iffier with Motorboat--she's a better cat than Currier, but brown tabbies with white are a dime a dozen, and usually a male beats out a female. Oh, well, that gives Mommy an excuse to go to another show. Motorboat is by far the best cat in the cattery, and definitely show quality, but when Mommy was looking at another breeder's web site, she realized that some catteries have cats that are ALL show quality. It usually takes ten years for a cattery to really get going. More new cats, more of those odious kitten creatures...ugh. But Mommy's buddy cats are Currier, Spike, and me--we're usually in the same room with her, and get most of her affection.

Now for another sad topic. I'm lying next to Mommy's computer, and saw her watch a video about Japan's all-kill shelters. Dogs and cats are gassed to death after three days. Mommy felt sad and sick to her stomach. It made her think about why she is a breeder. There is no guarantee that cats she produces will not end up in a shelter someday. But, so far, her clients have all been people who Mommy felt were reliable and loved the kittens she sold them. If they didn't buy from Mommy, the clients might have gone to a pet store--bad news. Mommy loves cats, but her interest in us has extended to showing and breeding. She feels that breed cats should not be allowed to go extinct (which almost happened to us Maine Coons!), and that the cat fancy benefits all cats, both purebred and moggie. For example, the Winn Feline Foundation was founded by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) (the association I'm registered with) to promote feline medical research. People in the cat fancy (we're not talking about backyard breeders here) love all cats, and are understandably concerned about cat health, which for years was a relatively neglected area of veterinary medicine. For example, they've sponsored research on HCM, which may help poor little Quincy.

Oh, my, too many thoughts for my chickpea-sized brain. Think I'll take a nap in a plastic basket with some of Mommy's paperwork in it. Zzzzz...


Well, I guess she isn't TOO bad...

September 5th 2009 7:20 am
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The new little monster has been named...Elise. Actually, that's her pseudonym, but what Mommy calls her rather than her pedigree name. Elise was finally let out of her cage today, after Mommy took her to the vet for a wellness check, and after we had a few days sniffing at her through the bars of her cage. I hiss at her as a matter of course, but the only cat I've bopped on the head so far today is Currier, who just gave me a puzzled look. Nobody takes me seriously.

Elise isn't so bad. The only thing that bothers me is that she gets to eat high protein wet food while we're stuck with kibble. Chibi is eating it too, since she's nursing four kittens. I guess I'm never going to nurse any kittens...

Elise may be the friendliest of all of us. I can hear her purring when Mommy picks her up. I myself purr too, but it's almost inaudible. Chibi's purr when nursing is so loud you can hear it in the next room. Elise hasn't shone any fraidy-cat traits since coming here--a good sign. I was never a fraidy-cat myself, just didn't realize that I was supposed to love Mommy. Now I do. So do Spike and Currier, although sometimes I wonder what's going through Leila's mind. She keeps to herself most of the time. She's at Breeder Daddy's right now to make some more of those (nasty, nasty) kittens, but no one seems to notice her absence. On the other hand, Leila is a perfect lady with perfect manners--no toilet misdeeds or scratching in inappropriate places for HER.

It looks like the cat show agenda has changed. Elise will go to the show at the end of this month, because it's easier for females to win ribbons when they are still kittens. Currier will go to a big show in January, when Chanan is again supposed to appear. Currier will probably be able to make Champion in that show, although it's going to be a big one. She doesn't need to be a Champion until she has kittens (looks better on the pedigree), and that won't be until next spring. Why am I the only one here who finds them irritating? Otherwise, we all get along pretty well for a multi-cat household. At least Spike and I don't have any issues. Sometimes he even grooms me.

Yesterday, Mommy saw the house that she's considering buying. It is enormous compared to our present apartment, and thus ideal for a cattery. It's also only 15 minutes away by car from her university. But it's set in the middle of nowhere, and Mommy likes to jump on her bicycle and go to the convenience store or a family restaurant at any hour she pleases. It's also set on a steep slope, and Mommy's hips don't like slopes. Mommy says that she'll feel isolated and may go crazy there--she likes being able to move around freely, and cycling is her one form of exercise and her way of getting rid of stress. But, so far, this is the only house she can (barely) afford the down payment on. With the house comes Breeder Daddy (not that he has much to contribute, money-wise); in other words, it looks like Mommy is sort of being pushed into this marriage according to HIS schedule (he has to get out of his present apartment in January, and if he doesn't go to live with Mommy, will have to return to his hometown). Mommy is on medical leave for depression, and stress worsens depression. Worrying about this fact is making Mommy even more nervous than she usually is. I suspect that she's more enthused about having a house and a cattery than about BD. She'll never tire of living in a house (not necessarily that one, though--it's more than 3 kilos from the station), but she has a tendency to lose interest in things she was once passionate about--Japanese dance, her research, and the men in her past (heh heh, they were all a sorry group). She'll never give up having cats, but she may tire of the cat world and keeping a cattery. They say it takes 10 years for a cattery to get going, and that many people who set up catteries give up after a certain number of years. It's a big responsibility, towards the cats and also towards their future owners. Of course, I'LL always be with her, but who can predict the future? Mommy also suspects that one reason BD wants to marry her is so he can continue breeding. I think both of them are more interested in us cats than in each other. Which may not be such a bad thing after all.


It's raining kittens here...

August 31st 2009 8:22 am
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Today was supposed to be a typhoon, but it basically only dribbled. No cats and dogs.

But, oh ho! Inside the cattery, it's raining kittens. First we have Chibi's four, and then suddenly without warning Leila disappeared to have another tryst with Umesaburo, and when Mommy came home, she had another cat with her, a four month old kitten. Breeder Daddy is closing up shop and trying to get rid of his kittens, and this kitten was of especially good quality, so he wanted Mommy to make it her fourth queen (he thinks she has too many torties). We only got a glimpse of the new kitten, who is to be named either Nora Joyce (Nora Barnacle had too many letters) or Sylvia P (Sylvia Plath also had too many letters). (I know this because I was listening in on their phone conversation.) Of course, BD had something to say about that, as he is always criticizing Mommy. The kitten and Umesaburo are sort of engagement gifts, but Mommy is still on the fence about this one. BD really does seem to be very fond of her, but when he gets in a critical mood (which is often) he is intolerable. For example, Mommy still can't figure out her new cell phone (the instruction manual is 300 pages long, and she was told that even Japanese find it hard to figure out). Mommy told us (or maybe we read her mind) that BD gave her a hard time for buying a cell phone that she can't figure out how to use, but to be honest, while he's much better at some things than Mommy is, he's a bit slow in some areas. It took Mommy around 10 minutes to convince him that she didn't buy a confusing cell phone on purpose, and that on Tuesday she's going to go back to the shop and have the basics explained to her. Anyway, that's the kind of relationship they have. She's hoping she can train him out of this habit. It's not abusive, just annoying, but when it goes on for too long--and it's usually about trivial things--it makes Mommy irritable. I'd bop him on the head if I were her, but she's not a cat.

Anyway, back to Nora Joyce (or Sylvia P). Now Mommy has four queens, all of whom have good and bad points. The new kitten (who is in a cage in the bedroom, which means that Spike, Currier, and I have only the study, the kitchen, and the hallway to hang around in) is a brown and white tabby with gorgeous classic tabby patterning. She has pretty eyes, a firm muzzle, and the best noseline of all the females. She also seems to have a sweet disposition. Since BD gave her to Mommy for free, she took her, as brown tabby kittens sell out fast, and Mommy would prefer not to be in the red all the time with this breeding thing.

Unless we move to a house, or bump one of the other queens, this is our limit for females. What we DO need is another stud. Two studs and four queens is a reasonably sized cattery. Anything bigger, and you end up being unable to give each cat some quality time every day. I'm lying next to Mommy's laptop right now, and she pets me every few minutes. Spike and Currier, who seem to like each other, are sleeping on top of a box a few feet away. We love Mommy, but would like more of her time.

Oh, and Chibi moved her kittens behind the enormous cat tower last night (she told us through the door when Mommy was out). BD came and inspected the kittens yesterday, Mommy weighs them every day (which breeding manuals say you should do--BD says that Mommy is being too nervous about the whole thing, and that they don't need to be weighed), and Chibi's supersensitive feline sense of smell told her that there was a NEW CAT in the next room. After returning the kittens and Chibi to their nest, Mommy zipped up the SturdiShelter (BD didn't think that was an appropriate birthing hut, and also said the air conditioning was too strong--blah blah blah), and pulled the fleece blanket down over the front to make the inside darker and more private. Of course, there's food, water, and a toilet in there, but Mommy will have to let Chibi out occasionally to let her get some exercise. The last time Mommy looked, Chibi was nursing her kittens, but she didn't look happy about the whole thing.

What makes the rest of us mad is that Mommy is giving Chibi the good stuff--Hill's a/d (about the best and most nutritious food you can find in Japan, if you like spending $4.00 per can), spiked with stinky, mercury tainted tuna fish. BD said that Chibi ate cheese (which he recommends for putting weight on cats) when she was at his place, but she won't eat it here. We're not so fond of it, either. We usually just give it a few licks and walk away. It's not that cats can't eat cheese--we can eat cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese, just not liquid cow's milk. Spike and Leila are particularly fond of yogurt, although they only take a few licks. I can take it or leave it.

So that's the mews from here. Mommy is becoming a cat lady, may marry BD, may buy a house (not that she can even afford the down payment), and we suddenly have a new sister (whose father is Umesaburo, same as Leila and Chibi's kittens), but she had a different mother, so she's really our half-sister. She seems awfully sweet; I'm not sure whether I'll hiss at her or bop her or not. Nah, gotta show her who's boss here. I may not bop her on the head, but I'm sure I'll his. I hissed at Currier today for the first time in a long while. Maybe it was the pre-typhoon atmospheric pressure doing weird things to my chickpea-sized brain.

Oh, I almost forgot. There's that cat show feeling in the air. This time I'm not the one going (I'm retired), but Currier, who seems to have become part of our furmily by default (read: no one wants to buy her, and Mommy likes her). Mommy wanted Currier to go to a show with a foreign judge, since Japanese don't like torties, but she couldn't get Currier a CFA number fast enough to make the entry deadline. Instead, Currier will either go to a show sponsored by Mommy's new cat club, or to a show in Kobe (a waste of money for someone who's trying to scratch together enough money for the down payment on a house, if you ask me) because Chanan is there, and darkish torties like Currier are very hard to photograph. I'm sure Currier will be more cooperative than I was; she doesn't seem to have a nervous bone in her body, although cat shows can be rather nerve-wracking, so you never know. Kittens can be shown without a CFA number, but our new sister is only four months old, and kittens are more likely to get ribbons if they are a bit older and bigger. Not that she is going to have a show career; Grand Champion female Maine Coons are as scarce as hen's teeth (whoever thought of that metaphor, anyway?); better that Mommy should save her money for a very, very good stud, and make him a Grand Champion. But that's far in the future. Meanwhile, I only have to suffer the presence of Umesaburo.

Time to zone out again...


#16 Internationally!

August 25th 2009 2:28 pm
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Har! Mommy couldn't open the zipped file on the CFA Almanac page that shows a cat's rank by breed internationally. (Chibi would have been able to do it, but she's indisposed right now.) When she called the CFA (and even they had problems accessing the information), it turned out that I was the #16 Maine Coon Premier internationally (#17 Premier in Japan in the Allbreed Division). That sounds really cool, but overall, internationally, I was #150 out of 200 Premiers. That's like being in lower 25% percentile on your Stanford-Binet. The only thing I can say in my defense is that American cat shows seem to be bigger than those in Japan, which makes it easier to get lots of points. I had over 1000 points, which made me the #4 MC in Japan, but the #1 MC (American) had something like 4000 points. On the other hand, if you want to be a winner in America, you have to drive long distances or fly in order to get to all the shows. Here, almost everything is right in Tokyo. Wouldn't mind flying sometime though. But my show biz career is over and done with. Hmm, maybe Mommy will put me in the big National Show in America sometime. Then I can experience the pleasures of Northwest Airlines. I think I'll just have a cocktail or two (gin tonic or Bloody Mary, two of my faves), skip the movie, eat the chicken or beef, skip the salad and icky dessert, and sleep most of the way. I hope I get a window seat. I've never seen clouds from above. I like watching clouds.

By the way, IF we move, I hope we move to a place that has a bit more bird and car action outside the window than our present apartment. BD is folding up shop--the litter he's selling now is his last. Ergo, from now on, IF Mommy and BD get together, it will be HER cattery (the cats will have their names changed to the name of her cattery, not BD's--he's turning in his breeding license), and she's informed him that she refuses to have HER cats exposed to second-hand smoke. There's nothing more tacky than selling a pedigreed cat that smells like cigarette smoke.

He's going to give her Umesaburo AND a brown tabby and white female who is far superior to Leila, if not Chibi, and may be able to produce patched tabbies (torbies) which are very pretty and very popular. Great! A four-month old kitten that I can bop around! If BD and Mommy DON'T get together, though, she'll have to pay for Umesaburo's services and the kitten. BD is generally a good-natured guy, but sometimes he criticizes Mommy and gets angry at her. But when she says, "DON'T!" he usually calms down fast. And he doesn't hold grudges. She's still busy training him, though. At least he doesn't try to escape through screened windows or scratch the sofa or walls. At least not yet.

P.S. Argh! Mommy just told me that if we ever do go to an international show, I won't be able to ride in the cabin and watch the clouds while sipping a gin and tonic. I'll have to be put into the cargo area. Discrimination, anyone?


Something's not quite right...

August 25th 2009 1:01 am
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As I wrote in my last entry, we cats have no abstract concept of death (then why am I writing this?), but we know it when we see it or smell it. Mommy was in the cat room for a long time this morning, and when she came out, she was carrying something small wrapped in a wee-wee pad. Bad news is what my nose and other senses told me. Death. It looks like another one of Chibi's babies didn't make it. Now I feel sorta sorry for always being mean to her. I'm usually a laid-back guy--no alpha male issues with Spike, love Mommy to bits, have no problem with visitors or other strangers, but I hate cat show judges (and I suspect they weren't too fond of me last year, either--in fact, they were afraid of me, heh heh), and kittens irk me--I don't know why. Mommy gets mad at me when I bop one of the little monsters, but I guess I feel sorry for the ones who died. Fewer kittens to bop, perhaps?

When Chibi was pregnant, she and Currier had a thing going on--if Currier came within a few feet of Chibi, Chibi would growl at Currier and Currier would slink away. That's one reason that the nursery door is closed--Currier, who is an extremely curious cat, would probably get into the birthing hut to check out the kittens. Thanks to Currier, none of us can use the cat tower. Bummer. I don't mind Currier, though. Spike really likes her--sometimes he grooms her, and sometimes they sleep together. It's lonely at night these days, with Mommy sleeping in the nursery and the rest of us in the bedroom.

I've heard bits of phone conversations between Mommy and Breeder Daddy. He wants Mommy to buy a condominium (= his old age home), and she suspects that he just wants her money (not that there's that much). They've apparently had a few blow-ups, because sometimes she sounds very cold on the phone. But now they seem to be talking seriously about buying a condominium that would be twice the size of where we live now. Space is nice, but Mommy's main goal is to increase the number of cats in her cattery. Whatever happens between the two of them, she's going to get Umesaburo, who isn't such a stellar cat (although he's a Champion; I've seen his picture--manly muzzle, indeed). Umesaburo is one of the few intact males who don't spray, so I won't have to be reminded of his presence all the time (he'll be in a separate room anyway--can't have him around the ladies 24/7, for obvious reasons). Mommy appears to be in a quandary--she's not sure if she likes BD enough to live with him or marry him, and she's lived in this section of Tokyo for over 20 years, and the place they would move to would be somewhere in the burbs. She likes being able to bike to one of Tokyo's busiest shopping areas. On the other hand, all of us could use more space. We DON'T need or want BD's cigarette smoke, but Mommy says that he's promised to smoke on the verandah or to quit altogether. He's going to give up his own cattery, and the cattery in the new place (IF Mommy goes through with it--she hates change, and isn't sure how she really feels about BD) is going to be hers. She refuses to raise cats in a smoke-filled environment. We'd appreciate that. And we like BD--he's really into wand toys.

Time for me to do some zazen. Too bad they don't have Zen temples with zazen sessions for cats. Maybe it's because we can't do the lotus position, although we can get into almost any other position you can imagine. I need a roshi.


Oh no, more of those little monsters!

August 24th 2009 12:10 am
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Just when I thought that I could spend the rest of my retirement watching for birds from my perch on the cat tower, Chibi finally came back from Breeder Daddy's, and looked decidedly fatter than before . And, yup, over the weekend, she had some of those hateful KITTEN creatures. I do get some pleasure from batting them around, but generally speaking, I prefer adults. Leila just went and had her litter of seven under the bed, and Mommy let us all roam around freely, but this time the "living room" (har, it has a sofa, a bookcase, two enormous cat cages, and the biggest cat tower you've ever seen. Not much of a "living room.") I wasn't there to witness the process, but it seemed that at one point Chibi was in pain, and later Mommy left the apartment with a bag containing something that smelled like kittens, but sort of funny (note: we cats don't understand the abstract concept of death). I know the routine now--in around 3-4 weeks, they'll be put in their playpen, and once they've mastered the fine art of using the litter box (stupid creatures), then they get free run of the house. That means I get to bop anyone who invades my space. I'm looking forward to that. And I'm looking forward to the day when the living room door is open again and I can use the cat tower. All of us try to get into the living room when Mommy opens the door to go in or out, and Chibi apparently wants free run of the house, but it appears that Mommy has her reasons for isolating Chibi and the kittens. I hear that two of them are red tabbies. Hmph. NO ONE has a coat that is as deeply red as mine. It was largely my coat color that made me a Regional Winner (it sure wasn't my playful personality on the judging stand). I hope she sells them all off quickly, although I've heard through the grapevine that it's Leila's turn next (it's been a year since she had her last litter). I've also heard through the grapevine that Mommy and Breeder Daddy are having a stormy relationship. Although Mommy hates the idea of moving he wants to buy a condominium for both of them near Mommy's place of work, a bigger place where there will be MORE cats, including intact males, and more and more of those (nasty nasty) kittens. Just when I thought that life was going smoothly...


Well, there are good days and bad days...

June 29th 2009 6:21 pm
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Today is not a good day fore Meowmy. She had to take the day off from work because she is simply tired. Partly because of our show life. It was traumatic, probably more for Meowmy than me. If you don't know anything about cat shows, while you're waiting for your number to come up, you're in your benching cage. Then, your number comes up and you go to the judging ring. In CFA, at least, you have a one-day show with six rings, or a two-day show with eight rings. I just zoned off in my benching cage. I only became a problem when I was being judged. TICA appears to have a different system (you can get your cat numerous Grand Championships), but everyone I know in the CFA agrees that one year is about all a cat can take. It depends on the cat. Harvey's distant cousin--look at the CFA site on Maine Coons and he's number three--was totally laid-back about the whole thing. Actually, most show cats are. Having said that, one year is about as long as a cat can be put into a show almost every weekend. We have been criticized on Catster for being unkind for putting cats into cat shows. We know that that is one way of looking at it.

But...when I first got Harvey, he was semi-feral. If I tried to stroke his head, he would back away. And he couldn't stand having his paws handled. Every week for a whole year, I would bathe and groom him, and spend two days with him at cat shows. He doesn't need to go to them anymore, but...this sounds funny...that brought us together. He loves being combed, he loves having his paws held, and currently he is worried about my mental state. He was never a bed cat, but recently he sleeps next to me with his big Maine Coon paw on my hand.

Yes, these diary entries should be in the cat's voice, and halfway through, I stopped doing that. And to be perfectly honest, I am tired of writing "Meowmy."


Finally got us some ELK!!!

June 9th 2009 12:22 pm
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Meowmy doesn't let us outside, but yesterday night I slipped out while the door was open, and, wouldn't you know it, I actually met up with an ELK who was walking around in an apparently confused manner in Itabashi Ward, where we live--said ELK was probably confused because there are no ELK in Japan anyway, and Itabashi is an old part of the city with lots of one-way streets. Poor Mr. Elkie. He was confused, couldn't speak Japanese, and probably had gone without food for days (what do ELK eat, anyway?). It was not much of a challenge for me to sever his jugular--I've been practicing this skill with cat show judges for months, although no Human fatalities so far--and dispatched him quickly and, I'm pretty sure, painlessly. Then I had to drag him back to our apartment. Wouldn't you know it, Meowmy lives in a second-story walk-up. Well, I did it, leaving Mr. Elkie on the kitchen floor, and all of the kitties here munched and chomped away as if there was no tomorrow--and now all we have is Mr. Elkie's skeleton, which Meowmy is going to use as a base for soup.

How this ELK managed to arrive in Japan and cruise the streets is beyond me, but we kitties here sure had a good meal out of him. Nummy nummy.

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