Life with Cat

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Early morning: you’ve been awake for under two minutes. You were awoken by a four-legged alarm clock going through a ritualistic bedroom dance that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stomping on your stomach, chest, face, and anything else exposed and squishable.
  • Systematically knocking everything you own off the dresser.
  • Clawing at the bed like a mental patient seeking sunlight.
  • Tearing through the house singing the song of his people in the most hellish tone imaginable.
  • Breaking things. All the things. Basically anything not nailed down is toast.

Said creature then decides that in order for you to have the MOST effective wake up experience he should create a slalom course by weaving through your legs. If you pass this test of dexterity he judges your reflexes by hiding under furniture and then tearing wildly through your path, screaming if you should dare to step on his tail. Once through the gauntlet-like journey from your room you reach level two: The Bathroom Challenge. Firstly, doors may never be closed. If he is in he will want out. If he is out he will want in. Basically he just wants options. Once in you must fight him for sink rights. Hint: he’ll win. Every time. He would also like the water on (not too much mind you). If you fail to turn the water on he will return to morning ritual number two, only this time it will be everything on the counter that is relocating to the floor. He does this subtly, so your sleepy self will see it as an accident and simply pick up the falling items, then turn the water on because “he’s probably thirsty”. It’s all part of his master plan to condition you into unknowing obedience. I would like to note that at this point you’ve still not done anything productive for your day.

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Back when Spider was just a small fry…  

Once you have been tested on bathroom etiquette a la cat he turns his attention to food. He needs it now. Five minutes ago would have been better. It’s like he hasn’t seen food for a week. If you don’t immediately exit the bathroom and reach for the kibble you are dead to him. More correctly, he will be dead from malnutrition and come back and haunt you until you wish you were dead if you don’t put food in the bowl RIGHT MEOW. At least that’s how he sees it. At this point I deviate from the dictated schedule and do the unspeakable, I LET THE DOG OUT OF HIS CRATE. And then, unfeeling beast that I am, I take said animal outside to relieve himself. How dare I. Upon returning I can usually find the betrayed being perched on his table giving me a look that could melt titanium. Fearing for my safety while I sleep, I quietly fill the bowl and back away slowly. Now that his impending starvation has been staved off the feline resident has no more use for his human companions…until dinnertime.

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Cat selfie!

What?! Chesney was not featured in this post?! Well, everything is not always about him. But don’t tell him that or you’ll give him a complex. We love bother our fur babies equally, and while Spider prefers to be out of the limelight most of the time, occasionally he needs a moment (or blog post) as well. Plus I told him if he didn’t stop trying to trip me I would reveal his morning tirade to the world. He thought I was bluffing. Ha!

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Fur Babies

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What’s harder, dogs or kids? Now don’t get all torch and pitchfork on me, I’m not comparing child rearing and puppy parenting as equals, obviously birthing a child and rearing it from infancy until, well, forever is not in the same ballpark as adopting a little fur ball and naming her Fluffy. But society is changing as more couples opt for career over family and dual incomes are needed to support a desirable modern lifestyle. Thus the family dog has risen in stature to pseudo child for many the modern individual.

Doggy daycare, puppy spas, and pet hotels are popping up all over the place and let me tell you, they aren’t some overpriced gimmick designed to drawn in the rich and famous. Chesney now attends a doggy daycare (which he LOVES) twice a week where he gets to play all day, work on his manners, and have some oh-so-important socialization time with his peers. Sound familiar? There’s a screening process to be accepted, trial period, and dogs to daycare attendant ratio to abide by. Our pup has an emergency contact and “approved pickup person” list. This is not uncommon. In fact, the days of Fido sitting patiently by the door awaiting his owner’s return are waning.

There are classes available for all types of dogs and their many quirks including puppy preschool, courageous canines, manic manners, life skills, and, for the more athletic hound, agility, dance (I’m so not making this up), and a myriad of other outdoor sports. Your dog can carry or be carried in his very own backpack, ride in a car seat (Chesney totally has one, don’t judge me he loves it), go boating safely in a doggy-approved life vest, enjoy a windy car ride while wearing his sunglasses (I swear I’m not making this up…I saw it. I promise), and climb his own little staircase to your bed to sleep. The amount of gear one tiny 7 lbs. dog accumulates would shock and amaze (or maybe appall) you, and I’m not even as bad as I could be.

Ever looked at your Facebook feed and be inundated with images of your friend’s new puppy? Fluffy’s first car ride, her first day at the vet, her first puppy class, her first play-date…there seems to be an endless stream of puppy parenthood pride that comes from rearing a little biting barking ball of fury into a respectable doggy citizen and valued family member. Do you have that super annoying friend who incessantly refers to herself as “mommy” and her precious hound as her “baby”? What?! That annoying friend is me?! I can’t even argue. But I’m not alone! Our pets have become an extension of ourselves in a way, as we include them in our daily lives and ooo and ahhh over their triumphs. We as a group have begun to go beyond the simplistic owner/pet relationship and are driving a deeper meaning into what it truly means to be “man’s best friend”.

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Helping Dad at work!

That’s it for my philosophical musings today puppy peeps! Check back soon for more pup-dates. Coming soon, Chesney reviews some canine products!!

We’re Back!

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Did you miss us? It’s been an eventful month and a bit, but I promise I have valid excuses for my absenteeism. Chesney and I had an unfortunate first half of December, but do not despair! His year and mine both ended on a delightful note. Are you just squirming with anticipation yet? No? Well then…

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You mean this Christmas tree isn’t for me?!

The early December days brought restructuring for mom and removal of a certain troublesome twosome for Chesney. While I was ousted from employment by a corporate entity hell bent on increasing profitability through employee elimination and subsequent dream crushing, Chesney was having the vet appointment dreaded by six-month-old-pets-with-responsible-owners everywhere. There will be no heirs to Chesney’s throne. He will not go forth and multiply. There will be no chips off his block. No apples will land from his tree. You get the picture. If you don’t get the picture I would recommend Google and the removal of the rock from which you are currently under. I kid, I kid. Honestly I don’t think he even knows anything is missing, and he got to wear an adorable road cone of shame for seven days. He didn’t care so much about the cone’s presence but found himself spatially challenged for the duration of his shaming. This gave rise to him requiring constant supervision, as he got stuck EVERYWHERE. In his crate, in the cat’s crate, under the coffee table, beside the couch, under kitchen chairs… He also lost numerous toys in the depths of his crown, resulting in endless entertainment as he endeavored to retrieve his long lost treasure. Happily he recovered splendidly, but that whole “your puppy with mellow out after being fixed” thing is totally a lie…

Remember the When Puppies Explode episode? That sums up the better part of Chesney’s month. Our spoiled prince of princes now eats only grain-free, naturally preserved, limited ingredient kibble with a side of homemade chicken and rice. Top it all off with a dollop of pure pumpkin and a probiotic chaser for his most sensitive of tummies. He is also watched like a hawk by yours truly to ensure no foreign objects likely to wreak intestinal havoc pass the threshold of his tiny shark jaws. You would be AMAZED what a pup deems acceptable for consumption these days. Frozen turd of unknown origin? You mean winter fudgesicle! Bounty fresh dryer sheet? More like exotic cotton candy! Cat’s scratch pole? Must be a giant fiber lollipop!! Sometimes I wonder about this little guy…

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New sweater and dinosaur from Grandma! 🙂

Despite our rocky start the year ended in the most fabulous of ways. Chesney had his first Christmas, received a myriad of gifts and made it his personal mission to systematically destroy them all. He then performed the very important role of ring bearer in the Canadian Rockies as his dad’s adorable accomplice to a cabin proposal. Can you guess what mom said? Well yes of course!! Our little house could not be more full of love right now. ❤

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Is there something on my face…?

That’s all for now, my loyal digital following! I pinky swear to return soon and provide a pupdate for your reading pleasure. As always thanks for reading! 🙂

And The Award For Most Dramatic Dog Goes To….

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In case you’re thinking “It’s right after Halloween, time for adorable puppy costume pictures!”… think again. We’re sorry to disappoint, but my dog is a drama queen. I’m not being unkind; he was professionally diagnosed. Four days before Halloween Chesney had a toe related incident. We’re not entirely sure what happened… but a trip to vet emergency revealed he cracked his toenail. It also revealed that vet emergency is quite the racket for shaking down panicked pet parents for all their money. Well, a toenail’s not so bad you say? Tell that to Chesney. He decided this minor mishap was akin to his foot being shattered into a million pieces by a cinder block. To be fair, I was also convinced he was going to become a paraplegic pup requiring a tiny prosthetic foot for the rest of his days. While I would have loved him just the same, it turns out he was really quite fine. The vet decided the nail could be removed if it was loose, or bandaged and left to heal if still firmly attached. She took him to the back to assess the damage, and from the sounds that emerged from that room one would have thought his foot was being amputated with a rusty saw. After enough narcotics to send a Great Dane to rehab they tried again. Chesney was very determined to keep up his “dying dog” routine. He was successful, as the vet brought him back with a drama-queen sized band-aide and sent us away. For the next couple of days Chesney carried the dog version of Thor’s hammer with him everywhere until we felt bad for the poor little superhero and removed it. What do you know, his foot didn’t fall off and he’s back to his academy award winning self. Sadly, due to this series of unfortunate events, no Halloween costume was donned this year. However I do have a secret plan to make him festive for Christmas…shhhhh…

Chesney was a superhero for Halloween...meet Thor and his mighty hammer!

Chesney was a superhero for Halloween…meet Thor and his mighty hammer!

In case you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a bit of a Christmas fanatic. The first step is admitting it. However! I have a bone to pick with North America. Why does it look like Santa threw up all over every department store BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER?!?! I quietly plan for the holidays all year long, but I have the common decency to do it (mostly) to myself until after Remembrance Day before I go ahead and Christmas all over the place. I went to my local grocery store and couldn’t find Halloween candy because an invasion of plastic reindeer and overpriced holiday themed linens had overtaken the seasonal aisle. News flash, the season that Halloween falls in is Fall. You know; pumpkins to be disemboweled, creepy motion activated skeletons designed to increase cardiac episodes in elderly people, and wildly inappropriate versions of any and every occupation? I’m not even particularly fond of Halloween. But I’m even less fond of the corporate Christmas annexation making everyone hate the holidays before they even start. So kindly wait until after Remembrance Day to hang your holiday lights, stock the elves on your shelves, and blast festive cheer over your sound systems dear retail-land. Everyone would be much more jolly, and I could get some Reese’s Pieces without having to wade through premature tinsel.

Playdate with Gandalf, his much larger half sister.

Playdate with Gandalf, his much larger half sister.

A skill we have recently acquired is the ability to recognize a potential puppy nugget from a mile away. You quickly learn to do an item analysis before diving in for retrieval after the first time you mistake a turd for a piece of bark. Especially if you pick it up with your bare hands. My waste management partner and I have never discussed excrement so much. Our morning conversations used to revolve around who’s running late (me), who can’t find their glasses (me, ’cause they’re already on my face), and who needs caffeine more (it’s a tie). Now it’s all about who pooped (Chesney), was it outside (99% accuracy, 1% hallway), and did he try and devour any humans on his morning promenade (probably). I actually feel like it’s brought us closer together.

Guess who graduated puppy school?

Guess who graduated puppy school? 🙂

That’s all for now, dear digital readers! Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week for the latest pupdate! 🙂

Tricks and Treats

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For the past couple of weeks we have been tirelessly trying to teach Chesney some tricks. Starting with the basics, he will now “Shake a Paw” if you dangle a treat in front of his nose and tap on his right foot. We’re very proud. He will also throw himself into full reverse when you ask him to sit while holding a toy…until making contact with carpet, at which point he will instantly sit beautifully for no apparent reason. His classmate Ellie, a very fuzzy and good-natured corgi, has learned to drop dramatically to the ground when you point a finger at her and make a bang sound. She’s a bit of a show off. My puppy can fall on his head repeatedly and still function at an above average level. Now that’s talent.

Ellie, the wonder-dog. Doesn't she just look irresistibly soft?

Ellie, the wonder-dog. Doesn’t she just look irresistibly soft?

WARNING: what follows is one hundred percent unequivocally a massive rant.

Consider yourself warned.

duly noted, read on!