My Kitten Roots are Revealed

January 27, 2016

By Roc

Karen must have cat DNA for curiosity. With each passing day, my reputation for having the greatest charm, energy, personality, and wit grows almost as fast as Donald Trump’s (I’m ignoring hisses from Adele and Max right now), so Karen tried to find out more about my background.

But first let me set the record straight on one important matter, in case I ever run for president: I was born in this country. In fact, I was born in the country. The western corner of Virginia to be exact.

Here’s the rest of my timeline as we knew it…

September 1, 2015 – (approx.) I was born.

November 19 – I was brought with 3 sisters (and possibly my mom) from Happy Tails Animal Rescue in Abingdon, Virginia, to the Richmond Animal League in the big city.

November 20 – I got a butt-shave and was neutered on a day that will live in infamy.

November 21 – Karen adopted me.

So, other than those 3 relatively traumatic, life-changing days in November, the rest was a blank, until…

Karen wrote to Happy Tails to ask if anyone remembered my litter. They did!

My mother must have been a pregnant stray last summer, because a “Good Samaritan” took her in until she had her kittens.

Unfortunately, the good lady couldn’t afford to keep my family, so when we were old enough she took us to Happy Tails, where we stayed a few weeks. We are remembered as being affectionate, playful, and happy for attention.

Karen concluded that I owe my great personality to the Good Samaritan, who must have done everything right during my first crucial weeks (such as, never screamed, vacuumed, or slammed doors on my tail).

Of course, I could have simply told Karen all this, if only she spoke cat.

My birth mom was great as well. She taught me everything I needed to become a successful pet, such as always squat to pee in the litterbox, always use the litterbox, and always use your “inside paws” on your human (no claws!). I hope my mom and sisters found forever homes as nice as mine.

And now for a quick update on my progress. Here I was 2 months ago…

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And this is me today, filling out the cat bed a bit more fully, thanks to my boundless appetite for Fancy Feast , Sheba, and Friskies. I’ve never met a can of cat food I didn’t like. I’m a whisker shy of 5 months old…

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How We Got Roc

November 24, 2015

By Adele and Karen

Cole died one day before Karen left us for 3 weeks to travel, leaving her sister to housesit with me and Max. We didn’t need “babysitting,” but Karen had hoped Cole would be alive and he needed intensive care, and it was too late for Plan B.

So we mourned Cole and the disruption of our normal routine without Karen. I’ve lost brothers before, so I was pretty, “C’est la vie, now I get the bed to myself,” while Max brooded like a Goth kid in his man cave.

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Upon returning, it took Karen exactly a week to reject our new upstairs-downstairs cat arrangement. Max needed a friend — and it was never going to be me.

Now I’ll let Karen pick up the story…

Cole was the buffer between Adele and Max, but it took years. I needed a different approach, and pleasing Adele was Job One.

After Fred died, I adopted 3-year-old Cole. It took Adele 5 years to tolerate him.

After Yul died, I adopt 4-month-old Max. Four years later, Adele and he live on separate floors.

So I had to go even younger — staying male — because Adele’s only had brothers, even in her birth litter.

Last week, I found a 3-month-old orange/white kitten named Champagne on the Richmond Animal League website, off-site being fostered.

Here’s some background on no-kill RAL. In 1996, Yul was my first adoption, then Adele in 2000, Cole in 2009, and Max in 2011.

The process has become increasingly convoluted. The application is 4 pages, requires 2 personal references minimum, and vet verification that current pets get care.

RAL is open only 4 hours a day (closed Mondays) and most animals are being fostered off-site, so meeting them can be tricky.

Except for the limited accessibility, this is all OK if it keeps irresponsible dipshits from taking animals. But all these hoops are pretty annoying when you’re a regular.

Now, back to the story…

Champagne was great, but I spotted 4 black kittens even smaller — 3 females and a male named Ham. I’m a sucker for black cats, so I asked for Ham.

RAL identifies cats by their microchips. The kitten they handed me had a white triangle on its chest and had been reaching for everyone passing the cage with a purposeful gleam in its eyes. It was as if my Yul had sent me his replacement. Ham was the cat for me.

They said, “OK, make an appointment to come back and go through your application.”

WTF!!?? I’d given them my app the previous day, along with vet documents on Adele’s and Max’s shots, which they’d refused because they prefer to phone (yeah, weekends when vets are closed).

I put the kitten back and could see its hurt and confusion, as if it were asking, “Why? How did I screw this up?”

Fortunately, they had an opening an hour later, so I had to go kill time and think of a name. To honor Yul, I picked Roc, after human Yul Brynner’s son Rock. I dropped the K for style and social media brevity, and because my cats aren’t named after inanimate objects.

Then back to RAL with my cat carrier. (Did I mention I’d redone Max’s man cave into a nursery?)

After more paperwork, I got a kitten. Eager to escape the bureaucrats and all the pleading little faces I couldn’t take home, I put the kitten in the carrier and left.

At home, the first thing the kitten did was throw itself against my leg, kneading and purring. After it took a long drink, had a nosh, and began exploring, I picked it up for a cuddle. To my horror, he had NO WHITE TRIANGLE. They’d given me the WRONG KITTEN!

Thinking it was female, I put it back in the carrier and dashed back to RAL. It kneaded a blankie while staring fixedly at me the whole ride.

But RAL had misread the chip the FIRST time and had me meet the wrong kitten. Ham the male was all-black. So I did have the right cat, but essentially adopted him sight-unseen.

I was so crushed not to get a cat with Yul’s looks, yet so relieved not to reject the sweet all-black kitten, yet worried that I knew squat about him, on top of still choking up over Cole, I almost had a melt-down. The people who witnessed this climactic scene must have thought I was bonkers.

The one thing I do know about Ham is that he comes from a litter with a strong streak of Yul-ness, so he’s taking the name Roc.

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Max will fill you in on how Roc’s adjusting to his new life and siblings and how his personality is unfolding.


Cats Working Gains a Roc

November 23, 2015

By Karen

On Saturday, Nov. 21, Adele and Max welcomed their new brother Roc (the kitten formerly known as Ham) into the family, courtesy of the same joint that once saved them, the Richmond Animal League.

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Adoption was a 2-day ordeal involving some highly frustrating bureaucracy and a bizarre case of mistaken identity that almost sent me over the edge. Stay tuned. Details to follow…

 


Innocent Housecats Under Attack

February 1, 2013

By Max

A new survey claims domestic cats are homicidal maniacs who kill BILLIONS of mice and birds.

Here’s a news flash: Karen has killed more mice than me and Adele COMBINED. (I can’t speak for Cole. He’s mum about his feral kitten days.)

In this study, LiveScience researchers surmised there are about 84 million cats owned in the U.S. They pulled numbers out of their ass and claim we each kill 4-18 birds per year and 8-21 small mammals annually.

They failed to acknowledge that, of those 84 million housecats, MANY are indoor-only.

And who’s weeping over fewer mice and voles? There’s a reason they’re called “vermin.”

OK, chipmunk deaths are regrettable because they’re cute, and some are even great singers.

But this anti-cat wack job in New Zealand named Gareth Morgan has a blog called Cats to Go and says he’d pay the SPCA $5 for every cat it kills.

Who says birds are more important than cats? Has Gareth never heard of avian flu? Did BIRDS save Europe from the Black Plague?

Gareth should visit India. There aren’t many cats there, and rats devour the grain so people starve.

And what about our contribution to technology? The Internet full of BIRD videos is unthinkable.

I Can Has Cheezburger with lolBIRDS? Are you kidding?

Here’s just one example of Gareth’s cat-hate:

Before you say it, even well-fed cats kill. The fact is that cats kill on instinct, not because they need to eat, it is one of their most pleasurable activities. In one study, six cats were presented with a live small rat while eating their preferred food. All six cats stopped eating the food, killed the rat, and then resumed eating the food.

It was a RAT! Those cats did humans a favor, even though they had to finish their meal with rat hair in their teeth.

Yet this Gareth clown makes it sound like a bad thing.

Cats Working appeals to every cat-lover with a social media presence to denounce Gareth Morgan.

Instead of calling for our deaths, he should adopt some cats, keep them indoors, and learn what delightful companions we are — as opposed to dogs who just want to cover every ‘hood with poop.

Humane neutering programs will take time to eliminate feral cats, but people could speed things up a lot by offering more kitties good homes — indoors.

More killing is NEVER the answer.


Cat Predicts Super Bowl Winner

February 5, 2012

By Max

Three years in a row since 2009, the cats in a shelter run by the Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, Oregon, have correctly picked the winning Super Bowl team. This year, can a calico named Sue Bee extend their streak to 4 years? Watch how she does it. (The gabby human in the helmet is pretty annoying. The prediction comes at the end, so feel free to skip ahead.)

OK, if you didn’t watch the video, Sue Bee picked the Patriots. Cats Working concurs because Karen is from New England, although we’ll have to read about the winner in the paper tomorrow because we’re not watching the game.

Karen tells us football is the only sport that makes men’s figure skating look macho. Why are so many Americans willing to spend hours watching grown men throw themselves to the ground on top of each other and dry hump? When the guys finally get up, they grab each other’s butts. The real sports action (running, throwing, kicking a ball) is sporadic and too brief.

You can understand why Jerry Sandusky was drawn to football. It’s like a puritanical form of gay porn that “regular” men don’t have to feel guilty watching. If the players didn’t wear helmets, they’d probably exchange chaste kisses (with a penalty for tongue — just to keep it “clean”) after every “play.”

Instead, we’ll be watching Puppy Bowl VIII on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. (ET). Yes, it’s dogs, but if any of them start humping, you’ll know it’s just innocent fun — they’re PUPPIES!

The Super Bowl can keep its stupid commercials and Madonna. Cats will be cheering for the Piggy Pep Quad and the Kitty Half-Time Show.


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