CFFC: Legs and Feet

My cat Hazel loves to sleep on or between people’s legs! In the winter, she prefers a cozy, warm blanket to be covering the human’s legs.

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If she’s very content, she’ll take a cat nap with one leg stretched out.

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Sometimes she needs to have her claws clipped! Two people (at least) are required: one to hold her down and one to use the clippers.

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Legs & paws are also used for stretching

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and for playing.

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Cats are natural contortionists!

CFFC: Legs & Feet

Cee’s FFC: Pets

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pets this week, here is our cat Hazel with us doing her favorite things.

 

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Bliss!

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Cat nap

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Licking Dale’s hand

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On our bed with her mouse toy

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Chasing a laser light

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Bubbles

WPC: Dinnertime

Meow! I’m Hazel and I love dinnertime – that is, HUMAN dinnertime!

I’m kind of bored with my own food, but there is always something that smells much better that my humans eat. So when I am hoping for a tidbit from their table, I sit in a very nice, polite pose, looking up at them. I sit up with my front paws together, very straight, and my tail curled behind me, like this:

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My begging expression is meant to entice my humans to give me something:

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Hurray! The male human is reaching down toward me with his finger – and something delectable is on it! I get nearer:

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He wants me to eat the piece of meat right off his finger, but I don’t like to do that. Please put it down on the floor, I say by looking down. He insists. I might bite you, I think. But he doesn’t give in (the female human always does) so I approach, sniff, take a tentative lick….then another, and finally the morsel is in my mouth! I chew, swallow, then I’m satisfied, so I walk away…maybe to see what’s in my own food bowl.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Meow! I’m Hazel, and I love party treats in fish and chicken flavors! All I need to do is sit next to my empty bowl and look up at my humans with eyes that say, “Please give me treats!”

20151031_143958Soon one of them is shaking the treats container and pouring them into my bowl.

20151030_223748Having my treats every day keeps me from going hungry between breakfast and dinner!

20151030_223639For human responses to this challenge, click here.

Bedroom habits

Each of my cats had a different attitude toward sleeping with people.  Kirry, my childhood cat, didn’t get to spend all night in someone’s bed, because my parents put both of our pets (a cat and a dog) in the garage,where they each had their own bed. I don’t know what Kirry thought of this arrangement, as he would try to swipe Corky (the dog) with his claws every time he came near.

But even though he had to spend the night in the garage, he would still be sleeping either with me or my brother until my parents came to get him.

Kirry was the only cat I’ve had that liked to sleep UNDER the covers! He would burrow under the blankets and sheet and crawl alongside me, usually settling down somewhere around my legs. Sometimes, he’d sleep on my chest or even put his head on the pillow!  He would also purr in contentment and knead whichever body part he was next to with his paws.

When Fernando (my first husband) visited me at my parents’ house, he was sleeping very comfortably one night and Kirry jumped on the bed. As usual he burrowed under the covers, and started to knead Fernando’s back. Fernando moved forward a little bit to accommodate him,but Kirry pushed up against his back again and started kneading with his paws! Fernando moved again. This happened several times until finally Fernando was at the edge of the bed! He got up and looked with exasperation down at Kirry lying in his place!

Kirry was contently lying now in the center of the bed, with his head on the pillow and purring loudly.

Kirry loved sleeping on beds so much that it was difficult to change the sheets! I would pick him up and put him on the floor, then begin putting on the bottom sheet. He jumped back on the bed. I took him off again and started to lay the top sheet. I was lucky if I was able to get it smooth and even before he jumped on the bed again! No matter how many times I picked him up and took him off the bed – putting on the blankets, putting on the bedspread – he insisted on being on the bed and jumped right up on it again each and every time!

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Joia, Fernando’s and my cat, came to us as a kitten. She was always very skittish, very afraid of people. She did sleep with us, but usually on the corner of the bed – she NEVER got under the covers! If I tried to put her there, she’d try to bite me and jump off the bed. She did love to sleep on our laps.

JoiaShe had a particular fondness for corduroy – if one of us was wearing corduroy pants, she would jump on the corduroy lap and settle down! She’d still get on one of our laps if we were wearing other clothes, but the corduroy was her favorite. She never slept on bare skin, for which I am glad!

Joia, like my other cats, did like to play with feet and toes that moved under the blankets. This was fine except in the summer, when the covers are so thin they don’t protect our skin from claws and teeth!

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Hazel also has her own special sleeping habits. At night, my husband and I usually read in bed for awhile before turning off the lap. Hazel lurks in the hallway, on the stairs, or in another room until she’s pretty confident we’re asleep – we’re lying still and we’re not talking. Then and only then she jumps up on the bed. It’s when she is searching for a nesting place on the bed that she begins purring. Her preferred place to settle down is between my legs. If I’m lying with my legs together, she’ll stand on them and meow at me, until I open them wide enough for her to nest. She then fits herself into the space I’ve made for her – either curled up in a ball, or stretched down the length of my legs, and continues to purr until she falls asleep.

I always have to change positions or get up to go to the bathroom during the night. Her nesting place disturbed, Hazel gets up and jumps off the bed. Sometimes she comes back, sometimes not.

If we are both lying on our side when she comes in, she will climb up my husband’s hips and torso and settle herself next to his chest. But since Dale moves around a lot in his sleep, while I don’t, she generally prefers sleeping between my legs. And yes, sometimes she kneads me with her paws – right on the crotch!

She also enjoys sleeping on the recliner when one of us is sitting there, especially if we have a blanket over our legs. She likes to sleep on the actual chair rather than our legs, so she jumps up and pushes our legs aside so she can squeeze in between them, then starts to purr!

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Hazel: our first month

I started this story in Jan. 2014, a month after we got Hazel. I didn’t realize I never published it! So, here it is:

I was a bit worried when Hazel continued to be skittish when we approached her. Sometimes she was playing “hard to get” but other times it was clear that she was just scared. A friend of mine got a new dog about 6 months ago, and she said it took him 2 months to get used to her household of 3 people and 3 other dogs. He wouldn’t bark – just make a barking gesture. But then one day, they heard him bark for the first time.

Although she purrs a lot when we pet her, Hazel doesn’t vocalize the way my other cats did. Maybe she doesn’t feel confident about meowing yet.I  read that Manx cats are known for vocalizing, so maybe that’s not what other cats do.

But Hazel isn’t like any other cat: that’s what makes her delightful and a source of surprise for us!

For example, she likes belly rubs. Most cats I know will turn over to expose their underside when I pet them, so I think they want to have their belly rubbed. But – it happens every time – within a second or two they are trying to bite me! Not Hazel – she really does like it when we pet her belly and will enjoy it for half a minute or so.

Another thing she does is sit by the dining room table when we’re eating and look up at us like a beggar, just like a dog! The difference is that when we offer her a tiny scrap, she sniffs it but doesn’t eat it. After examining it, she resumes the beggar look!

Hazel in her beggar position!

Hazel in her beggar position!

Hazel likes to be near us, just not necessarily with us. She wants to know what we’re doing but doesn’t want us to call the shots. She’s got “cat-titude” as those who know “torties” claim. At night she sleeps near the foot of the bed, but jumps off the bed and leaves after awhile. Eventually she comes back and finds a bent leg to lie next to.

She also runs back and forth a lot more than I remember my other cats doing. They all did some of this – they needed the exercise. But she seemed to be set off by one of us approaching her. In fact, when we read her papers that the shelter gave to us, it was recorded that she HAD been adopted before – last April, but she was returned because she was “too active.” Is this what they meant?

Then a couple of weeks ago I was at a family wedding, and talked to a cousin I rarely see. She’s had many cats in her lifetime, as well as dogs. She currently has two or more cats. I told her about how Hazel runs away from us, then seeks us out, then runs away again.

“Cats, just like dogs, like to play chase,” she said. I had never known that! Most likely, she’s trying to get us to chase her. So I play along with her – sometimes. I tire of this game far sooner than she does. But if she’s still feeling frisky, she’ll play with one of her catnip toys.

She’s starting to vocalize more and more! At the beginning, we never heard her meow. When she wanted something from us, she’d just sit there and stare at us. She still does that but she is now meowing – a very small one – when she wants food or wants us to play chase.

This morning was the first time she meowed to get us to play chase. After breakfast, we were upstairs again and she appeared at the top of the stairs and meowed that small meow of hers. As I made a gesture to approach her, she took off down the stairs and when I got down the stairway, she was hiding under a table! When she saw me, she took off again, this time into the sun room. I couldn’t find her because she had hidden behind a stack of bins, or at least I think that’s where she was.

This, and the fact that she crawled up and slept next to my chest early this morning, make me believe she is really acclimated to the house and trusts us now. She has been spending more time sleeping with us, but that is probably also because the weather is extremely cold here now.

Last night she even let me take a video of her while she was on my lap and Dale was petting her.

Bliss!

Bliss!

She is a source of entertainment and comfort for us and it’s great to have a cat in the house again! It’s been too long!

All my cats!

Recently I was looking through some old photo albums and found pictures of two of my cats that I didn’t post before!

Here are pictures of all my cats:

Kirry (my childhood cat, died in early 1970s), breed: ManxKirryKirry was the most affectionate, “people” cat I have ever known. I sometimes told people, “He thinks he’s a dog!” He did not like dogs, however! He was the only male cat I ever had, also, but we had him neutered. Kirry was a comfort to me during my “sturm und drang” years of junior high adolescence – no matter how my day went, he was always there for affection, non-judgmental.

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Joia (born 1976-died 1992 – she was my first cat as an adult, and loved only two people: me and my first husband, Fernando), breed: Manx (half – father unknown)

There are 2 pics that I scanned together. L: Joia is outside and wants to come in; R: Joia sleeping with Fernando and baby Jayme

There are 2 pics that I scanned together. L: Joia is outside and wants to come in; R: Joia sleeping with Fernando and baby Jayme

For longevity, Joia was the cat I had the longest – all of her life from 3 months on she lived with me, except for 9 months when I had to leave her with my parents while I was in Brazil. She was very scared of other people and my parents rarely saw her – she was always hiding! However, my mother said she knew Joia was there because she did eat the food she left out for her!

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Blackfoot (1993-early 1994 – I had this cat for only a short while before my son developed asthma, and found out he was allergic to cats, so we had to give her away. I admit, I also had her front paws declawed, which I would never do again!), breed: Tabby

BlackfootBlackfoot was a very gregarious and affectionate cat. She had a very loud purr! She was also larger than my other cats.

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Hazel (adopted 2013), breed: Tortoiseshell “Tortie”20150520_172317When we got Hazel, I was prepared for a lot of shedding – Manx cats are big shedders in the spring – but we have relatively little cat hair deposited on furniture or wherever she sleeps. Her fur is very sleek.