We are so excited to have the Eastside Cats with us today!
It all started years ago, when my neighbor gifted us with her cement cat statue. I wasn’t home, so she just set the statue on the back deck. That night, I’m outside hanging out with The ‘O’ Cats in the dark, and I spy a cat out of the corner of my eye! It scared me at first, then I tried to coax this new cat toward me…a new feral, maybe? After a couple of minutes, I realized this whitish cat was strange, and when I moved closer, I discovered it was a statue! I had no idea why it was there, or who had left it, and my heart was hammering in my chest because it was spooky! The next day, I emailed my family and friends with my ‘Ghost Cat’ story, (after my neighbor had explained herself!) and sent out other emails with cat stories from then on. It wasn’t until I discovered “William of Mass Destructions” blog, that made me realize I needed to blog instead of email.
How many little ones do you have in your household right now, and what are their names?
Angel, our black-and-white kitty, is 13 years old. Her twin brother, Chuck, just passed in November. He had heart and kidney problems, but she is as right as rain, thank goodness! We adopted Manny and Chili Bruce Lee on 12/1/17; they are about 18 months old, per the veterinarian’s learned opinion. Da Boyz are both black housepanthers; Manny has a patch of white on his belly, and Chili has one white whisker. The ‘O’ Cats are two friendly ferals that I’ve TNR’d; Sweetie appeared in 2009, (she’s all black) and Patrick O’Malley, a brown tabby in 2014.
Do all your little ones get along?
Well…we are working on Angel and Da Boyz tolerating each other. The young one’s have SO MUCH ENERGY compared to a middle-aged ladycat, so she hisses, then they hiss, and some whappy paws commence. Da Boyz still go into their ‘safe’ room each night, and anytime there isn’t one human available to monitor and play with them. The inside cats and The ‘O’ Cats don’t interact, although they can smell each other on my clothes.
How did you introduce your little ones?
When Angel and Chuck arrived, they had the whole house to themselves, and they were wee kittens of six weeks. We kitten-proofed as best we could, and still live with the window blind cords that Chuck chewed through all of those years ago! Now with Da Boyz, we are playing with all cats, in the presence of each other, and we insert ourselves when a conflict arises. We’ve had to put a screen door on the kitchen, because Da Boyz just wanted to jump up on the counters or get under foot. I am also a believer that the cats understand us, so I talk to them. I tell them that we are all in this together, that they are not alone and that although we all make mistakes, we will always love them and do the very best we can for them.
Having a multi-pet household can be stressful, what is the best advice you can give to someone thinking of adopting multiple furballs?
Research cat personality types, and then match them with what you want, or what matches your current pet’s needs. We adopted two Alpha-personality types, hoping that they’d engage each other and pretty much leave Angel, who is a Gamma-personality, alone. In general, that is what is happening, except Da Boyz are so curious! Cat personality types can be researched at http://www.wayofcats.com/
What is the most challenging thing for you as a pet parent?
My challenge is keeping myself balanced, and to take a step back when things do not go as planned. Cats are living, loving creatures; they don’t think like a human!
The pet parents that I know create a community of like-minded persons who want the best for the four-pawed people in their families. We discuss, exchange ideas, and are support when there are health problems.
There are a number of folks who don’t like pets, how would you convince them that having pets is actually a huge positive in households?
I won’t try to convince a person to get a pet; they know themselves the best, and if they want to live pet-free, then that’s probably what’s right for both them and any animal who comes into a household where they aren’t really wanted. Folks need to educate themselves, then perhaps hang out with a friend who has a cat or dog, or even volunteer to get a feel for it. Maybe a cat isn’t the best choice for a person, but a nice tortoise is, or a rabbit!
When not with you, where can we find your little ones?
Angel: either in her chair bed on 2nd floor, or in the double-wide couch scratcher
Manny: watching squirrels in the front yard, or trying to climb the bookcase
Chili: on pedestal overlooking the side yard, or helping me with my bath
Would you adopt another pet, and if so what kind?
I will always have cats, and often wonder why another feral hasn’t strolled into the yard; for years, we’d gain (or lose) a new feral every other year, but it’s been stable now. When I retire, I plan to foster kittens and cats.
Eastside Cats is my voice, exhibiting my concerns and my loves. I am goofy, serious, distraught, and full of wonder at having cats in my life. I’ve met a terrific community of like-minded folks, and there are a few of my friends who I travel with and visit interesting places. I hope to add more interviews with artists and other passionate cat people, especially those who want to put an end to declawing, and support TNR.
What is some advice you wish you got before adopting little ones?
The best advice I can give, is to relax! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no person understands cats 100% of the time. Take a look at your home before you bring home your new furbaby, and try to see if from their point of view. Humans are giants, the furnace kicking on and off can be a scary noise, and the toilet paper roll is NOT a toy. Be prepared to laugh at yourself as much as at your cat, because you’ll catch yourself being crazy, when we just need to toss a catnip mouse instead!