Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Are you tired of cat stories yet?

I intended for the new kittens to make their home in the barn.  That's always been home base for our cats, and it's where I keep food and water handy for them.  I even locked Grady and Buttons in a cage in there the first two nights, so they wouldn't run off.

These cats love people, so if they hear voices, they go running toward them.  Grady has strayed twice to different neighbors' yards lured by the sound of their conversation, but was soon found.  But ever since they first arrived, the place that draws them most frequently is Cliff's shop; there's always a human stirring around out there, and a bowl of water sitting out for Titan where they can quench their thirst.  Cliff has never had a lot of use for cats:  He likes them if they're in the barn catching mice, but he doesn't want to touch them, and the less he sees of them, the happier he is.  

Within the kittens' first week here, when Cliff unlocked the shop in the morning they were beating him to the door, running in before he could set foot inside.  I apologized profusely; he didn't have much to say about the situation except, "I just hope they don't poop in here."  (He didn't say "poop" exactly, but you get the idea.)  

I glanced toward his big Oliver 1855 tractor and saw the tins of oil-dry beneath it, put there to catch the drips that are inevitable with any older machine... even one that's been restored.  "If they start pooping in the shop, I have a feeling those Oil-Dri pans is where they'll do it."

Did you know that Oil-Dri is the same material as cat litter?    

Since they were spending the better part of each day out there, I took a small dish of cat food out for them, which furthered their opinion that Cliff's shop is their castle.  Grady is the more playful of the two, and you'll often see him batting dry leaves around the floor.  Visitors are fascinated by his antics, and hunt around for things he will play with.  He's become quite a star, almost a main attraction.  

There are several cast-off office chairs like this one sitting around the shop, but guess which one the kittens chose as their own?  Cliff's favorite... the one at his desk.  

They spend leisurely hours in Cliff's chair, taking naps and grooming themselves.  "I'm so sorry, Cliff," I said.  "Ah well," he answered, "I guess it doesn't matter."

And yes, the oil-dry was soon full of kitty-tracks and dark lumps.  I couldn't believe it!  Cliff's shop, his "man-cave", had been taken over by his least-favorite domesticated animal.  He said as long as they were using the oil dry, he had no problem with it.  I didn't believe him, because he's always hated the smell of a litter-box... not that we ever had one in use.  Neither of us want a cat in our house.  I assured my husband that I would try to empty those big trays regularly, but when I attempted it, I found they're so big and flexible and hard to handle, it isn't a job I can do alone.  The grandson helped me that time.  

What if we got some cat litter and a regular litter box and put it next to those trays?  I really doubted that would work, since they were already used to using the trays, but they must have tried it and liked the deeper litter in box, because somebody is using it.  I hope they both learn to prefer it, because that's a container I can handle.  Besides, real cat litter has deodorizer in it; believe me, these boys need deodorizer in their box! 

I'd like to tell you that Cliff has been won over by the cuteness of the kittens, but he's silent on the subject.  He doesn't grumble, and remarks sometimes that he enjoys watching them play.  Of course, the oldest grandson is the true owner of the shop these days, and he has little to say about the cats either.  His wife thinks they're cute, but she's allergic.  Boy, did these cats come to the wrong place!

Nevertheless, Cora loves them and plays with them all the time.  Yesterday Cliff saw her run over Grady with her Barbie jeep, not deliberately, but because he's always underfoot and in the way.  There went one of his nine lives, but he was playing with his buddy ten minutes later as though nothing had happened.  I notice he doesn't get underfoot so much now.  

Last night I tried to explain to Cliff why the kittens prefer his chair:  "It's what cats do," I told him.  "They think they own everything.  I'm sorry they've taken over your man-cave."

Meanwhile, I've set the DVR to record "The Story of Cats" on PBS.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Having had cats in the past I know it's true...they make your home theirs and you get used to it.

Celeste Sanders Holloway said...

Cats tend to turn indifference to love. Pat did not like cats, declared himself a dog person BUT...

Jon said...

I never get tired of cat stories, but I think you already knew that. It seems to be a substantiated fact that most men hate cats - - I think it's a "control" issue, which is valid. My father always hated cats, but - strangely enough - in his old age he really liked my cat Scratch (who was actually only a kitten at that time).

I've always loved cats and so did my Mom. Many of our relatives on her side of the family were cat lovers, so it must be hereditary.
Your two kittens are adorable, and I laughed when I saw the photo of them in Cliff's chair. Cats are NOTORIOUS for taking your favorite chair...

I keep all three of my cats indoors (I must be crazy!!) but I let them outside frequently to get fresh air and sunshine. What I hate most is having two litter boxes in the house. I keep one in the bathroom and the other right by the back door. It seems like I have to clean them a dozen times a day.

This comment is getting too long...

krueth said...

Cats are great. They are so funny with all their antics. yes, they seem to gravitate to the ones who dislike them don't they? I too, had to laugh at them in Cliff's chair and in the taking over at the shop! Wendy