The Routines in My Animal House


Queen Bella on her throne.
Queen Bella on her throne.

I’ve discovered that my dog Ashok is sleeping in my guest room bed. The other day I wondered why the covers were messed up so badly. I know the cats sleep on that bed because there’s enough cat hair on the pillows to build another cat, but they can jump higher than my 45 pound dog. I have no clue how she gets up on that bed. Anybody that has stayed at my house knows that it’s the tallest mattress on the planet. When it was my bed, I could barely crawl up in there on my own. Actually, I don’t want to know how she gets up there. I’d like it to remain a secret as I’m sure I will not be happy with her process. She doesn’t get to sleep inΒ  my bed because that’s reserved for the cats. I made a deal early on that she could accompany me on my adventures if the cats got to sleep with me. We all seem pretty happy with that deal. But, I guess the guest bed is up for grabs.

Ashok’s Latest Adventure – Biloxi

On top of that, yesterday I realized that my cat Buster was not feeling well. Every morning he wakes me up with incessant crying. I know this to mean that he wants his ‘milk’. I pour him a small amount of milk in a cup every morning. He eagerly drinks it except on those mornings when he finds something wrong with it. He sniffs and looks at it. Then he tips his paw into it. For some reason, on some days, it is not to his liking. He sits beside it and cries. I sniff it, and I can’t find anything different about it from the day before when he lapped it up. I noticed that he was not doing that yesterday. In fact, he didn’t even come to bed last night when I tucked myself in. Buster cannot wait until I lay down so he can fling his body over my upper abdomen. He’s reminds me of one of those ragdoll cats. He’s cuddly and has the softest fur I’ve ever felt. But, he loves to fling himself over me as if I’m some kind of lounging sofa. He didn’t even come when I called last night. So, I got up and found him sleeping on the blanket I use for a pillow after my yoga practice.

Attacking the pink teddy.
Attacking the pink teddy.

I walked over and petted him. He didn’t feel hot or thin, but he wasn’t purring either. I gingerly picked him up and held him close to me. He moved and I lost my hold on him. He lurched, and I lost control of where he was going. He crashed into the TV, knocking it over and all of the candles and crap I have staged beside it. So much for pampering my poor sick baby. It scared him to death. I found him and put him in the bed with me. After he flung himself over me, Bella came over wanting to get under the covers. She was only 4 weeks old when I got her and not weaned. So, she likes to get under the covers and ‘knead’ on my nightgown all night long. Eventually she falls asleep with her paws and her face on my stomach. Sometimes I wake up and my gown is totally soaked with her saliva. It never fails that she wants to slide under the covers right under where Buster is laying. There is a huge bed with plenty of space, but they want to be in the same space on top of me. Bella paws furiously at the blanket as if it’s going to move on its own from the ferocity of her pawing. I lift it up as much as I can without dislodging Buster. She looks under, confused. “Hmmmm … maybe I don’t want to go under there,” she seems to say. “Let me think about it.” She passes … for now. She will wake me up at midnight with her pawing again as she considers where she wants to be.

She also likes to sit on the top of my armoire. I have a pink teddy bear that sits patiently waiting until I feel lonely. When she climbs up there on top of the world, she pushes the teddy bear down onto the floor… looking at it as it falls. When it crashes lifeless onto the rug, Ashok grabs it and shakes it in his mouth. Bella stares. I wonder how much of this goes on while I’m gone. I know that Ashok has torn up things that I know were on the table when I left the house. I can imagine Bella deciding that she’s going to get Ashok in trouble by giving her something off the table. Ashok naively takes the bait. Buster looks on at the ensuing scene, crying. Cats are so much more cunning than dogs.

Daily Rituals


I dreamed last night that I was pregnant. It was a nightmare. I remember in the dream being horrified at what was about to happen. First of all, I have no idea how I would have gotten pregnant, but the whole idea that I was now going to give birth was throwing me into a numbed stupor. The guy who was trying to set up my diaper service was in the room. While I was wondering why he was doing this NOW – before I was even showing – I was awakened by a hacking sound. Bella was coughing up a hairball in my bed. “Oh, yuk,” I thought as I rolled over in the bed. “I can’t deal with this now.” After she hacked up her hairball on my quilt, she came over and started ferociously pawing to get under the blanket. This time she stayed. I slept through the night. When I stirred at 5:30 AM as usual, Ashok bounced over to get her pat on the head. The daily routine started over again. She followed me around with a grin to the bathroom and while I put on my walking clothes. “Do you want to go for a walk?” I asked. She leaped into the air, and I had to settle her down to secure her leash.

The animal routine starts all over again with a walk … a roll in the St. Augustine grass … some ‘milk’ for Buster … while Bella sits on her throne while I shower. Every day.. it makes me smile … and no one sees but me.


10 Comments on “The Routines in My Animal House

  1. Our fur babies are … well just that … our babies. They are dependent on us to meet their physical needs. And their social needs. And with cats, any other needs they deem necessary at the time. I feel they give so much more than we give them. Thank you for this blog.
    Oh .. And you are right. You probably don’t won’t to know how they do things when we aren’t around. πŸ™‚

  2. I so miss my lap kitty. Declan, my indoor/outdoor cat is sparing with his affection and seems to mostly favor my husband or at least the chair he always sits in. I also hate watching an animal age. It’s so incredibly hard. I had to put one of my cats down back in October, and I’m still wary of when I’m going to watch the other two pass away, even though the oldest isn’t even yet 6.

    • I so understand. I “do the math” all the time about how long it will be before I have to complete that painful task. I try to think of it as part of my responsibility to their little lives to decide when enough is enough. And I have to believe that Our guides and God are right there with us when we have to do it.

  3. They are so entertaining…..said the “mother” of 5 dog babies and 2 cat babies….:-)

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