For those of you who are owned by cats (they really prefer to be called "fur persons") Fr. Frog would like to introduce the feline denizens of his swamp. Each one has a distinctive personality, and each brings a special love and joy to our life. Our cats have all been computer literate (they really know what a mouse is for) and will respond to email messages directed to Fr. Frog by clicking here. (They don't have their own computer--yet.)
A Short Rant
Nothing upsets me more than people who have pets and then are to busy or too lazy to care for them properly. (Actually the same rant applies to having children too.) If you cannot make the commitment of time and love, don't have pets (or children). They deserve better.
A Quick "Commercial" Message
If any of your cats (or other pets) are on long term medications I strongly suggest that you check out Vet RX Direct (www.vetrxdeirect.com). They have excellent prices (usually far below what a vet charges), and reasonable shipping rates (free over $39). You can send them a prescription or they will contact your vet. Fast friendly service and they include a treat for your pet.
As we all get older a time comes when we begin to lose old friends. These are those old friends whom we miss greatly. Rest in peace.
Smuggler (Smuggy) c. 1995(?) - 10/2010
Smuggy was a 15-year-old "energetic" orange 11 pound fixed male who was adopted by our son in 1996 back in nj while we were away vacationing in Arizona (in spite of a non-acquisition policy). He was a very long thin cat with a long white tipped tail and he was spotted on his body like a Mau instead of striped like our other orange cats have been. He was very curious and would taste any food he could get his mouth on and liked an occasional stuffed green olive. He had a some-what finicky stomach and developed an extreme craving for shrimp (people type, not cat food). He and Pepper were buddies of sort and spent endless hours chasing each other around the house trying to set a new closed course land speed record for domestic cats. However, he and Schmitty never did sort out their pecking order vying for C-in-C (Cat in Charge) status. He was deathly afraid of Beth for some reason and she took advantage of that fact. He became very protective of Fr. Frog and followed me everywhere like a shadow, and made a kind of "chirping" meow when he felt he was not being paid attention to. One of his traits was to give "nose kisses" to those he favored. He had many of the mannerisms of our old cat Snickerdooddle which was some times very spooky and since Butter died he liked to have his tummy gently rubbed, something that would previously have resulted in the loss of your fingers. Because he was long and thin he liked things warm and he would frequently crawl up under the bed spread of a made up bed to stay toasty. He had a strong urge to get out of the house and would try and sneak out every chance he got (not a good idea in coyote country). To calm him down we started taking him for walks around our property on a leash! Surprisingly, he took to the leash very well and would walk alongside you like a dog and sit when you stopped. When he wanted to go for a walk he'd either pull his leash down off of the bench or hop up on the bench and yowl. He missed his buddy Pepper very much and constantly looked for her in all her old spots even two years after she died, and would cry when he couldn't find her. He died in my arms of a fast acting cancer.
Beth (Beepers, a.k.a. The Queen Mum) c. 1990 - 9/2009
Beth was a 18+-year-old dark gray and white, 9 pound gray and white fixed female with a very thick coat. She lived for many years with our daughter in NJ, but "retired" to Fr. Frog's Kitty Casa retirement home for furpeople, here in AZ where she became very close to Fr. Frog. She was a shy and very gentle cat and suffered from dysplasia and arthritis in her hips and was quite deaf. When she was little she had a very a squeaky kind of meow--hence her nickname "Beepers." In her mature years she became VERY vocal and loud when she talked. She took over our living room as her place and had a special perch on our couch. She tolerated Schmitty (who I think she remembered) but was not too happy about Pepper, nor about Smuggy. Having come from an apartment she enjoyed sitting in our windows watching all the birds and other critters, or laying on the floor in a sun puddle as she liked things warm. She LOVED French fries, popcorn, and a little dish of half & half or whipped cream in the evening, as well as rotisserie chicken (the people kind). About a year ago she suffered from what our vet said was a mini-stroke and her back end wobbled when she walked, and she sometimes tracked a bit sideways with her rear end. It didn't seem to slow her down much, and she would still occasionally chase Smuggy down the hall. Because it is dry here in Arizona we have water bowls around the house and Beth has took a liking to "ice fishys" (ice cubes) in her water bowl which she batted around before she drinks. She finally succumbed to old age and we will greatly miss her.
Pepper (Pepsicat) c. 1990 - 5/2008
Pepper was an almost 18 year-old, 12 pound fixed "Black Tortie" female. She wandered in to our life and house when we lived in New Jersey and never left. She had obviously been mistreated and did not like to be held for any period of time. She was very afraid of plastic bags and would hide whenever she heard a bag rustled. She was otherwise a very happy and playful cat whose claim to fame was that she not only purred very loudly--you could hear her plainly across the room or down the hall--but she also purred backwards (on the exhale) with her mouth open, and she purred almost constantly when around us. She had a gorgeous shiny and silky, mink like, multicolored coat and enjoyed being brushed, especially the sides of her face) for as long as you could do it. (I sometimes wondered if she was going to brush her face right off as she pressed very hard against the brush.) She loved to eat shreds of Cheddar or Jack cheese. She also liked to collect "sparklies" (small shiny objects such as screws, thumb tacks, earrings, and such) which she hid in piles around the house. She and Smuggy liked to chase each other around the house. Pepper loved the "laser pointer" and went absolutely crazy chasing its red light spot around the floor. She was also very fond of both Spice and Butter She'd curl up with Butter and would wash him every chance she got. After being with us for 17 years she leaves a big empty quiet spot in our lives.
Butterscotch (Budbuds) c. 1994 - 9/2001
Butter was a 6+ year-old muted orange, 13 pound tabby who wandered into our yard and perched himself on our window sill in nj one cold and rainy day until we brought him into our home and our lives. He was an extremely affectionate cat who wanted to be right next to you whenever he was around and he became Frogette's constant companion. His constant following her around earned him the nickname of "puppycat." He had an odd habit of rocking back and forth while sitting, in a manner similar to those praying before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Like Pepper, he had a defective purr motor. He didn't actually purr, but made squeaking sounds. He was the gentlest of all the cats we have been privileged to share our lives with and he never bit, scratched, or hissed at anyone. He taught us a lot about love and the presence of angels in our lives, and brought us much joy and comfort in both happy and sad times. He died too young of cancer and his passing has left a very large hole in our lives and we still think about him and miss him greatly twelve years after his death. You have done us honor by being part of our lives--rest in peace thou good and faithful companion. In his memory I wrote a short homily which I gave at my parish's St. Francis Day observance in 2002, and which may bring you some comfort if you have recently lost a pet. Click here to read it.
Dog The Magnificent (Doggers) c. 1980 - 1999
Dog? What a name for a cat! Dog was the 19-year-old(!) cat who lived in the Free State of Florida along with his loyal subjects Ghost and Rizza who doted on him. He was an extremely friendly and gregarious orange and white male tabby who was an very active talker. He liked to carry on conversations with humans! If a human did not respond to his attempts to engage in conversation Dog would get their attention by vigorously pawing at them. He also had a habit checking to see if you know he was there when he slept with you at night. Several times a night he would come up and gently pat you on your nose with his paw until you acknowledge his royal presence. Dog's secret goal in life was to invite Ricky the parrot to be the guest of honor at lunch since Ricky tormented him by calling, "Here, kitty kitty." (Surprisingly they ignored each other when Ricky walked around on the floor.) He is greatly missed by all his friends.
Spice (Spibee or Thunder Tums) c. 1987 - 5/1999
Spice was a 12-year-old orange long-hair male Tabby (probably a lot of Maine Coon in his lineage) with half a tail. When we found him his tail had been injured and it had to be bobbed to about half its normal length. He apparently thought that he could regrow his tail by consuming vast quantities of food and at almost 23 pounds he was arguably the king of the hill. He was a great talker and he liked to lie on his back with his feet in the air, no doubt to ease the back strain of carrying all that weight. He also enjoyed being vacuumed and would throw himself in front of the vacuum cleaner to get his fur fluffed up. He also enjoyed sitting in his cage in the back yard on nice days while we worked outside. He loved to sit on Fr. Frog's lap purring contently and watch TV or listen to classical music with him at nights. (He liked Handel the best.) He was a good, gentle, and faithful companion and he is greatly missed by all who knew him.
Snickerdoodle (Snicker) c. 1986 - 1996
Snickerdoodle was Fr. Frog and Frogette's first cat. He was an feisty, but affectionate male English tabby with a deep orange coat who loved to lie in the sun or on the chest of anyone lying on their backs. He also loved to have his nose rubbed, and also the occasional hit on the catnip bag. Unusually for a cat he would retrieve object you threw for him and he would do this until you got tired of throwing. As with all of our cats he was an indoor-only cat whose goal in life, unfortunately, was to escape to the outside world and run about, eating all the grass he could. To further this end, he developed incredible skill in sneaking out and was capable of outsmarting the most careful and attentive person. Unfortunately, Snicker snuck out once too often and was killed by a car at the age of 10. Snicker, we miss ya! Rest in peace, good buddy.
Zeke (Zeeker) c. 1980 -1995
Zeke was our friend Paul's cat. He was a 15 year old gray tabby with white boots who was Paul's constant companion and who use to supervise Paul's woodworking activities in his shop. He was very friendly and one of his favorite activities was to play "hide the kitty" where he would delight in hiding under a throw rug while we tried to "find" him. He is greatly missed.
The Current Fur People
Schmitty (Schmitmeister, a.k.a. His Royal Furiness)
Schmitty is an 19 -year-old, 8 pound gray and white male. He was found as a newborn kitten by our son, who found a box containing three kittens abandoned in the woods near our home. He found homes for two of them and brought Schmitty to live with us. Schmitty is an overly affectionate but skitterish cat who loves to sleep RIGHT NEXT to you (especially when there is a sun puddle around) or on your lap if you sit in his favorite chair. He enjoys sitting in the window watching the birds. He is absolutely crazy about McDonald's French fries and will rip open a bag to get to them. He also likes ice cream of any flavor and yougurt. His favorite games are to jump on the sheets when you make the bed and attack the evil "mattress monster," and to attack the bubbles in his water fountain. He enjoys having a little bowl of half-and-half in the morning while Fr. Frog enjoys his coffee. He also has a fondness for Ready-Whip aerosol whipped cream, flank steak, and especially pork. Schmitty got two Christmas gifts two years ago. First was an "entertainment center" (a.k.a fish tank). He loves to sit in front of it and watch the fish and will even sleep in front of it. He also got one of those powered water fountains that constantly circulates water through a filter.. He loves to drink from it and surprisingly likes to let the water run over his head as he drink.
Ages referenced to 2013
The following is posted very low on our refrigerator door. (Not that they care.)
Dear Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however.. Cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - feline attendance is not required.
The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.
Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door
TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR CATS
(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my cats a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.
Remember, cats are better than kids because they
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't smoke or drink,
(7) don't want to wear your clothes,
(8) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(9) don't need a gazillion dollars for college,
(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ...
We recently found this page from one our cat's daily planners. How do they manage such a hectic schedule?
|5:45 Wake slave for breakfast
6:00 Reject "Seafood Supper" as not proper for breakfast. Find old pork chop behind couch. Eat for breakfast.
7:00 Rearrange self in grocery bag.
7:15 Watch birds at bird feeder; Develop plan to get them.
7:45 Snooze on pillow on slaves bed.
9:00 Chase tail
9:03 Nap on clean laundry in laundry basket.
10:00 Demolish arm of recliner.
10:05 Find plastic strip from milk bottle. Chase around kitchen until kitchen rug is piled in front of stove.
10:10 Find another pile of clean laundry; take another nap.
Noon Inspect and reject lunch
12:01 Find tasty house plant for lunch
12:05 Start bath
12:10 Interrupt bath for nap on stairs. Ignore anyone trying to go up stairs. Dream about ripping up paper bags and collecting sparklies
12:15 Resume nap
4:10 Wake up and remove all thumb tacks from bulletin board.
|4:25 Make daily hair deposit on slaves
4:30 Insure birds are still at feeder. Attempt to get through window.
4:50 Scratch any remaining unfrayed rugs until suitably fluffy
5:00 Begin "cute" routine to insure favorite food is served; Stop at nothing to achieve goal
5:10 Inspect stove and counter tops to insure that all food is acceptable; Sample where necessary
5:25 Reject offer of roasted chicken
5:30 Stare at diners during their meal; Look as neglected, underfed, and cute as possible
5:35 Jump on table and steal biggest piece of chicken possible; retire to couch in den to enjoy
7:00 Assume position on top of TV with tail dangling in front of screen; Move tail as necessary to block important parts of picture
8:00 Demand evening snack; After being served ignore it and return to top of TV
9:00 Keep urgent appointment with invisible object in hall; Practice high speed racing turns until paw prints are visible on walls; Run over anything you can including humans
10:00 Report for nightly blanket weight and foot warming duties.
I think we're in big trouble. A friend found his cat's diary and sent me the following excerpts. I'd keep an eye on them if I were him.
|DAY 750 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling
objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry
cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and
the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of
furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.
DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my
captors by weaving around their
DAY 762 - Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep
DAY 765-Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in
Lest anyone think that cats are not literate I submit the following. This verse been seen titled, Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy from HAMLET'S CAT...by William Shakespeare's Cat.
To go outside, and there perchance to stay
The End of the Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe's Cat
from POETRY FOR CATS by Henry Beard
On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,
I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,
Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.
"Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor, "There is nothing I like more."
Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headedBric-a-brac and junk galore. Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,
Toward his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.
While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;
For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor--
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth-- Nevermore."While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,
Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore-- Only this and not much more.
"Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it's time I dried out!Jumped--and smashed it on the floor.
Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;
How I've wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty
Put an end to that damned ditty"--then I heard him start to snore,
Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,
A Cat's Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray this cushy life to keep.
I pray for toys that look like mice, and sofa cushions soft and nice.
I pray for gourmet kitty snacks, and someone nice to scratch my back.
For windowsills all warm and bright, for shadows to explore at night.
I pray I'll always stay real cool, and keep the secret feline rule.
To never tell a human that, the world is really run by cats.
THE CATS' BILL OF RIGHTS
1. Humans shall make no law respecting an establishment of boundaries or prohibiting the free exercise therein, or abridging the freedom of access, or the right to peaceful assembly. In other words the cat is entitled to go outside anytime he wants.
2. A well-carried provisional chamber, being necessary to the fulfillment of a feline's whims, shall not be infringed. In other words, the cat is entitled to EAT anytime he wants.
3. The right of the feline to be secure in their domain and effects against unreasonable discomposure, shall not be violated. In other words, the cat is entitled to SLEEP anytime he wants.
4. Humans shall issue no warrants or decrees or edicts as prescribed to the demarcation of possessions or property which are in direct conflict with right of life, liberty and the pursuit of feline affirmation. In other words the cat is entitled to sleep ANYWHERE he wants.
5. The feline shall be immune to all criminal accusations, indictments and complaints. The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and impartial dismissal of any and all charges provided said feline's compulsory right to obtain any or all witnesses, including character witnesses, are obtained in his favor. In other words cats can do anything they want as long as it's cute.
6. Neither serfdom, vassalage, or involuntary servitude will be tolerated, except by said cats in proprietorship of their humans. In other words, what I say goes. (And I say feed me ... Again.)
7. No Canis familiaris shall, in time of peace or at any other time, be quartered in any dwelling without the consent of the potentate, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by sovereign. In other words no dogs in the house without my permission.
8. The right of the feline to be protected against unreasonable search and seizures shall not be breached or infringed upon at anytime or any place. In other words don't disturb me when I am sleeping.
"Cats are very perceptive. Don't trust anyone who doesn't like cats."
"Dogs have masters. Cats have staff." -- A cat
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer." -- Bruce Graham
"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast." -- Unknown
"A home without a cat - and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat -may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?" -- Mark Twain
"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." -- Anonymous
"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through the snow." -- Jeff Valdez
"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." -- English proverb
"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat." -- Ellen Perry Berkeley
"One cat just leads to another." -- Ernest Hemmingway
"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later." -- Mary Bly
"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia." -- Joseph Wood Krutch
"People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life." -- Faith Resnick
"There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats." -- Anonymous
"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." -- Hippolyte Taine
"No heaven will not ever Heaven be; Unless my cats are there to welcome me." -- Unknown
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life music and cats." -- Albert Schweitzer
"The cat has too much spirit to have no heart." -- Ernest Menaul
"Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God."
"Time spent with cats is never wasted." -- Colette
"Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well." -- Missy Dizick
"Cat said, 'I am not a friend, and I am not a Servant. I am the Cat who walks by himself, and I wish to come into your cave." - Rudyard Kipling
"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats." -- Colonial American proverb
"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want." -- Joseph Wood Krutch
"When I play with my cat, who knows whether she isn't amusing herself with me more than I am with her?" -- Michael de Montaigue
Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them. - Jim Davis
The fat cat on the mat
The giant lion with iron
Grendel's Dog A Fragment from /Beocat/
(Modern English verse translation by the Editor's Cat) from Henry Beard's /Poetry for Cats/
Brave Beocat, brood kit of Ecgthmeow,
|Relative Cat Ages|
|Cat Age||Human Age||Cat Age||Human Age|
|1 mo||5-6 mo||4 yr||32 yr|
|2 mo||9-10 mo||6 yr||40 yr|
|3 mo||2-3 yr||8 yr||48 yr|
|4 mo||5-6 yr||10 yr||56 yr|
|5 mo||8-9 yr||12 yr||64 yr|
|6 mo||10 yr||14 yr||72 yr|
|8 mo||13 yr||16 yr||80 yr|
|1 yr||15 yr||18 yr||88 yr|
|2 yr||24 yr||20 yr||96 yr|
So what are you waiting for? Make our dinner!
(Snicker and Spice)
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