Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cat Antics

Would you look at this? [First few paragraphs are all cat-related. Feel free to skip ahead.]

I thought I'd broken Pokey of the habit of drinking water out of glasses, but she started again recently. She and Habibi are the worst offenders. He laps at it when a glass is full and very rarely I have caught him dunking a paw in (eeeu, why does my water taste like kitty litter? And yes, I know what kitty litter tastes like - it's impossible to keep the dust out of my mouth/nose when I'm pouring the fresh stuff into the litter box). I've never seen Pokey's little head this far down in the glass before.

Uh oh, here comes Lily to investigate. As you can see, this is all taking place on the computer desk. Better get that glass of water before it gets knocked over.

I managed to avert the flood.

My friend Susie has a cat named Sparky, who loves her dearly and vice-versa. He loves to be cradled in her arms and is incredibly sweet. To Susie. As he gets older he's getting more territorial and aggressive to non-family (and even to them when a stranger is in the house). I just figured it was people who don't know how to deal with cats b/c Sparky has always been sweet to me.

Yesterday I was petting him and he was very friendly. Then Susie went into another room and Sparky flipped out when I tried to walk into the kitchen. Ran at me, grabbed my leg with his front paws and laid his teeth on me (not a bite, but I knew his teeth were there). And then he did it again. Doesn't seem like playing and his tail was doing the whippy thing.

Any cat psychologists out there? Susie's been trying to find info but has gotten the sage advice to consult an expert. We're in Egypt, there's no such thing here. He's a sweet cat, but someone is going to get hurt if she can't figure out how to turn him around.

Off the cat topic, it hit me yesterday that we are packing out in two weeks and flying out in a month. Aaaaghhh. It always seems like I have more time than I actually do. I've been puttering around doing fun things I want to do and ignoring the have-tos like insurance inventory.

One thing on my checklist is getting backings sewn up for two charity quilts I'm mailing off to Bonnie, plus I'd love to get a backing pieced for my wordy queen-sized bed quilt top that she's going to do fabulous longarm machine quilting on. I'm using the batiks I don't care for as much for the backing on the latter.

I was telling Cher that I'm challenged by cutting straight lines. I really am. Trying to get these large pieces of fabric sewn together for backings is just nightmarish. That's why I've gone the wonky path. So while some of you are feeling challenged loosening up your style, I'm nearly in tears trying to be precise. Oh, the irony.

Yesterday was the first meeting of the Quilters in DeNile after our summer break. Not everyone is back in town yet, but it was good to catch up with each other and share new books. Everyone seems to be tempting me with Halloween fabric. First Finn with the witches and skulls and then someone at quilting had discovered some great vultures on purple. I'm trying to hold off until I'm actually back in the states.

Some fun links for ya'all: Pat Sloan has an interesting series of posts in her blog about putting words on quilts and how to choose them. (Well, and how to applique them - but ya'all don't need that part, right?) Check out the gallery of quilts with words. I see Brigitte's work in there. She's a German quilter who has worked with the freepieced letters. I've been trying to convince her to start a blog. Brigitte's a bit nervous about her English, but I told her that she speaks quilts, and that's all that's necessary.

Cat lover Nancy made a great quilt with a bright cat fabric and one word ala the penguin quilt I made the other day. Mismatched Katie has done some wonderful Xs and Os. The Os are rounder than mine and wonkier and truly fabulous.


Tazzie said...

OMG, those kitty photos are way too much fun! I never saw a kitty with her head in a glass before!
I love that cluster map thingy you've got going there! I'm going to have to get one. Do you see me there in Aust ... I'm the little dot at the bottom, sort of looks like someone took a bite out of the coast right by me!

Lily Mulholland said...

I've never seen a cat with her head in a glass before either! They must really like that Egyptian water. Just kidding. They must just really love YOUR water :)

You know that once the quilt is quilted no one will be able to tell whether your backing seams were perfectly straight! Just go for it TOnya. That's what you're always telling us anyway :)

quiltpixie said...

I've never had any success training my cats behaviour... They've learned to jump down off the counter in the kitchen if I enter the room and to stay off if I'm there -- but out of sight, rule doesn't apply....

Bonnie K. Hunter said...

*LOLOLOL* Its amazing she didn't get her face STUCK in that glass!


Unknown said...

Our Boris does this sort of thing too. Usually right after hitting the litterbox or drinking out of the toilet. EEEEEuuuuwwwww!

søren said...

yesterday at barnes and noble i found a magazine with an article about quilt blogs that featured you! did you ever mention that that was happening? congrats!

Saska said...

You can post all of the kitty pictures you want..I love them! I've come to the conclusion that cats are like men...they can turn on ya in a second!

Finn said...

Morning Ton, love the pictures of Pokey and Lily...what a hoot! I have never been able to figure out why cats do some of incredible things they do..would love to see a brain scan of one(while in the act)!

Speaking of which(brain scans) and probably this is far reaching, but in thinking about Sparky's aggression, I wonder if something is putting pressure on some part of his brain? I suppose it might be like humans, and be connected to aging..dementia, etc). I know the hostile behavior is not uncommon in older dogs. They have more aches and pains and an unexpected bump is often enough to get you nipped.
Maybe an x-ray of Sparky? If she wants to pursue it that far.
The tail whipping, and I'm assuming his ears were flat back against his head, is pretty much tic-ed behavior. I seen that look mostly in cats that were fighting for their lives. Theres not much reasoning with them at that point.
I hope she can find out what is going on.

So glad to hear you saw the Skulls...LOL. Those are very tempting..*G*

Sue said...

Consider yourself lucky that Pokey just wants a drink, our cat Petey could not leave a glass of water anywhere, he HAD to tip it over. Don't know what the fascination was, but with kids in the house it was a problem, he ruined a lot of books and papers that way.
As far as the biting cat, it sounds like aggressive play to me, and maybe a little jealously, my cats whip their tails when they're aggitated. I would think a light tap on the nose and a strong "NO", would get the message across that the behavior is wrong. If it gets bad, keeping a small spray bottle of water handy is a good idea to stop bad behavior in cats. It doesn't hurt them, but most cats hate it.

Laurie Ann said...

Your cats are just so beautiful. Their coats are so plush and shiney. Good luck with the packing!

Helen in the UK said...

Love your cat piccies. Could the behaviour be because he's picking up the vibes and stress associated with your upcoming move?

Lois R. said...

Packing out in two weeks? Yikes!!! Wish I could help you out. I sure could use a break from unpacking!!!

I know what you mean about the kitty litter in the glass -- my Sasha loves to do the dip-and-lick thing with his paw in a glass of milk. Ick!

Hmmm... Don't know about the aggressive kitty thing. Could it be that he is over-stimulated from petting and then can't control his playfulness -- launching a play attack when you dared to walk away from him? I've seen lots of cats do the whippy tail thing when they're over-stimulated and feeling way too frisky. Just a thought.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh man - that look on that vulture is to die for. Don't you think he needs something clever to say in a quilt!

Pokey is adorable in the glass, although I wouldn't suggest that he should keep up the behavior! :)

sewprimitive karen said...

My black cat who has a Siamese body shape and characteristics likes nothing better than to splash all of the water out of the big water bowl. He looks like a raccoon and is so cute doing it that I don't try to stop him. He probably couldn't be stopped anyway. My 10-yr-old cat Ginger deveoped some very odd behavior several years ago and I try to theorize: brain cancer? tumor? dementia? senility? Something's going on. She actually fights with herself sometimes, you know all rolled up in a ball when cats are really really fighting? But it's just (sigh) her.

Jenni said...

They are beautiful cats, and the head in the glass shot is a classic. It's a wonder there is breathing air in there. I love the name of your quilt group.

Judy said...

My cats always drink out of daddy's water glass at night and he just lets them! EWW!! But the both drink from the running bathroom sink so to them it's all water!

I had a cat when we first got married that got her collar stuck in her mouth with her mouth open. Stuck with it around her neck still but she has tried to get it off and got it stuck with just her chin slipped under the collar. We didn't notice until she came into the den and was screeching and freaking out and knocking her head against the wall in some scary anxiety attack. Hubby grabbed her and forced the collar over her head and out of her mouth, then I grabbed her and sat with her in my lap calming her down. But hubby didn't touch her after that, leaving her with me. From that point on she thought he had been part of the attacking collar and was trying to hurt him. She got very hostile with him and started waiting for him to enter a room and then she would jump on his back and seriously attack him. I'm sorry to say that we eventually had to put her down because the vet said he thought she had suffered so badly mentally that she wouldn't ever get well, and I couldn't bare the thought that if we gave her to someone else, she would do this and they would hit her or beat her, so it was the most humane thing to do. Ever since then if anything happens, we BOTH make sure to love them alot to make sure they see that they are loved. I don't know what to tell your friend, but it's possible that the cat could be suffering mentally. Maybe the vet could check her out. It's a sad thing.

ForestJane said...

I love Pokey's face when she's staring daggers at Lily... lol

What's in that water anyway? :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Tonya,
I'm new to posting (I think) but I've been following your blog for a couple of months now. I am not a quilter but I hope to be soon. Right now I'm a volunteer in Peace Corps Macedonia but I can't wait to return stateside and try my hand at quilting. I LOVE your cat posts. My husband and I love cats. We adopted one off the street here (a little hastily) and he seems to have brought his street life into our apartment! I always feel like I can relate to your kitties. We finally have gotten to the point where he doesn't knock glasses over and he pretty much stays off tables but we can't keep him out of the trash. We have to put it in a cupboard and then lean something heavy against the cupboard door. He also runs and bites/hugs our calves. He usually does it when he is hungry (we feed him at certain times in the day) and if we walk towards the kitchen and then leave without feeding him we know it's coming. I've been known to run and leap to the couch if I thought a bite was coming on (he's not very good at disguising himself, he does the butt wiggle). We found him as a kitten and we have hoped it was his kitten stage and now we hope it's just his rebellious teen stage!

Sorry this post is so LONG.
Thanks for such an enjoyable blog!


Granny said...

Tonya, I'm surely not a cat expert but I had one once .. yes, I think it was in a previous life that I liked cats. Anyway, this cat got to where she didn't like strangers. We had to put her in the bedroom and close the door when company came. One day, company came and as I was picking her up to put her in the bedroom, she attacked ME! I had to have stitches in my arm. That was the last cat I ever had. I'd just recommend your friend be careful because my cat went from a sweet, cuddly cat to a vampire for no reason that we could figure out.

Judy L.

Clare said...

Hi Tonya,

You think you've got problems with Pokey! Magic insists on drinking out of the loo. Bathroom door and w.c lid have to be kept closed, but someone always forgets.

Catching up on blogs