Sunday spectacular: Coco kitty

So, we adopted this cat from the Milo Foundation, and after a couple of months, things have really smoothed out at the house – and we are all in love with the Coco kitty. The thing is, the minute you wave a camera in front of her, she runs and hides. When she got all cozy in front of the camera today, I couldn’t help snapping some pics to share with everyone.

p.s. Coco kitty is half Siamese and we are finding she has some interesting characteristics (verbal, herding), so if you’ve got tips on living with a Siamese, send them my way!

Ode to Coco-kitty

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

Well, these last few nights have been bliss. There hasn’t been any yeowling, scratching, hissing, crying, or lying awake (those last two were about me). It took just about a week, but Coco, our new kitty, has been fully accepted to the household.

Not only is she a cute cat, she’s got a fun personality, too. She was relentless at proving her chasing, batting, and playing skills to impress our other somewhat-reluctant-to-her-presence cat, Shasta. Can you blame Shasta? No. She was still missing her old pal Delilah, but it was time for a new friend.

I followed everyone’s directions and kept the two separated for two days, letting them smell each other through the door, and then the last day, swapped Coco with Shasta, so Coco got to roam the house for a couple of hours while Shasta hung in the guest room.

And, it worked. There’s been some hissing here and there, and lots and lots of bits-o-fur from some small scuttles. But, all in all, Coco-kitty is now a full-fledged part of the family.

All I care about is that the night is silent again, the doors aren’t being scratched to be let outdoors in the middle of the night, and that horrid yeoooowling is over.

Thank you, Coco. Thank. You.

The lonely cat

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

Well, as some of you know, one of our cats recently moved to the Los Gatos hills (really, her ashes are scattered there), leaving our wonderous wee cat, Shasta, behind. Shasta only knew Delilah. She came to us as a kitten from a calico mama and a ferril cat dad. She really took to my husband when we picked her out, which made me mad because she was supposed to be MY cat. But, we still showed up the next day to take her home, helping out a work-mate of mine who didn’t want another litter of strays in her backyard.

Shasta REALLY loved Delilah. Delilah didn’t want anything to do with Shasta. I ended up locking them in the bathroom and walking away one afternoon hoping they’d figure it out.

And, they did.

It’s not like they were inseparable, but they tolerated each other. And, on good days, they enjoyed sleeping on the bed together, bringing way too many mice into the various places we lived, and chasing things about – mainly each other.

When Delilah’s time came, it was hard enough on the hubs and I. But, seriously, the minute we walked in the house after putting Delilah down, the noise that came out of Shasta was the worst thing I think I’ve ever heard.

The worst

I cried so hard that night listening to her yeowling and yeowling while walking about the house.

Well, it’s been a couple of months now, and the husband (surprise!) is the one ready for another cat. I’m still a bit reluctant. You see, even though Shasta isn’t really a big people person, or a lap-cat, or a well-behaved-not-peeing-in-the-corner-when-pissed cat, she’s kinda my cat and I’m worried she’s going to tear another cat to pieces or feel we are trying to replace her.

Yesterday the husband made us stop and look at rescue kittens. I was totally against it. Then, I started understanding. Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea (yeah, mom, I know you aren’t excited about this…).

I am not sure how many more days I can take coming home to a cat that hasn’t left the bed, a cat that isn’t eating, a cat that only visits us at night for a short amount of time to then lurks back to the bed to sleep. A cat that happily spent her days playing in the yard, bringing us snakes and defending our yard, which now stares at the walls.

Over the last few weeks, I have shut Shasta out of the house enduring her horrid meowing to be let back in, tossed about countless amounts of string, bottle caps, catnip toys and treats only to watch the child pick the neglected things up and play with them. I’ve offered new food, tasty cooked vitals, and even (gasp) milk.


Well, what would you do?!

The damn cat needs a new friend.

Anyone have advice for me?


© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Well, it’s official. Our cat is deaf. It’s a little sad – and a bit entertaining at the same time. I really didn’t figure it out until a couple of days ago when I noticed she wasn’t awaiting our arrival at the door to yowl for food, which is her normal behavior. In fact, she was sleeping so soundly I actually nudged her to make sure she was okay.

The cat was still breathing – but what I didn’t realize was that she couldn’t hear us coming up the stairs to alert her of our arrival to then stand at the top of the stairs and begin her ritual yowling.

After a few days, I asked the hubs about it. He clapped around her, stomped his feet, said her name… She eventually (with total disdain) turned her head to him. He declared her perfectly fit.

I did some research with my trusty computer and was told to do the vacuum test. Basically, turn your vacuum on when your cat’s back is turned and see if they bolt – unless you have a cat that loves the vacuum, but I’m not really sure if I’ve ever heard of a cat that LIKES the vacuum.

The other day, Delilah was happily lick-licking away at her long black fur so I picked up the handy-vac and turned it on. Nothing. I even went so far as to vacuum her. Nothing. She didn’t even turn her head. If fact, she meowed.

Either we have a cat that totally doesn’t care anymore or a cat that is totally deaf.

I’m leaning toward the deaf thing.

I still think she’s an awesome cat and love the fact that she lets our daughter sit on her, pull her tail, and squeeze her around the neck. I realize now that part of the deal is Delilah can’t hear her coming, so is potentially more tolerant to the babe because of it. But, she also gets loads of affection out of the deal – along with lots of leftovers from the daughter’s dinners.

Healthful Mondays: Pets

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I have two cats. One that my husband had before I met him over 10 years ago, and the other I picked up seven years ago because I thought having a kitten would be fun. Well, that kitten grew up, the other cat has gotten old, and now our cat pets are the topic of many discussions in our home.

When I got pregnant, I was so worried about the cats. That was “before.” Those of you that have kids and had pets “before” know what I’m talking about. You USED to slather your pets with attention (even if they acted like you didn’t exist) and go out of your way to do nice things for them – like buy fancy shmancy food and stuff. Were the cats going to be okay with the new addition to the family? Should I get a cat cover for the crib so they don’t want to snuggle with the baby? Are they going to scratch the babe – or bite her?


Our cats didn’t care a fig about us other than to make sure we fed them and opened the door to let them out. Neither one ever slept in the bed with us or snuggled with us on the couch – so they totally weren’t going to do that with a new wiggling screaming thing.

AND. If they didn’t like the addition of a new baby – tough. They’re cats. They’ll get over it.

Thankfully I didn’t invest in any cat screen covers or anything, and when we brought the baby home (the hubs even took the baby blanket home for them to smell the night before as suggested) they sure didn’t behave any differently. In the almost two years of our child’s life, only one cat has let her touch it, and we’ve figured it’s due to the fact that she can’t hear, or probably really see, anymore.

Our cats want to go outdoors all hours of the night, which keeps me awake the entire night, making me feel a bit crazy in the morning – like I’m breastfeeding an infant again. The old-deaf one walks about making this horrid yowling noise mainly because she can’t hear herself and because she feels she should be fed every five minutes. And, they scratch scratch scratch at everything.

Okay. Pets DO have wonderful benefits. They are adorable. They are soft and petting pets helps lower your stress level and increase your ability to bond and create healthy relationships. Interacting with pets also encourages activity – even if it’s dangling string in front of your kitty.

So, on the days that I’m ready to lock the cats out for good, I think about how cute they are, how the big old one lets our daughter pull her tail and even sit on her, and that the other wee one brings us snakes because she loves us.

Ah, pets.

Our cat loves snakes (me, not so much).

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Some of you may be aware of our cat and snake issue. It seems our cat is REALLY happy in our new house because she is bringing squiggly snake presents to us on a regular basis. I’m so glad she’s showering us with her cat-love, but I’ve had enough. Between picking up, re-depositing, and walking around the house twitching, I’m also pretty sleep deprived and having countless serpentine dreams.

I finally snapped a picture of the one of two (YES, two) snakes that made a visit to our home yesterday and was able to determine they are a harmless itty-bitty type of snake native to Northern California. SO, luckily they are no threat to us humans (other than being just icky). But the real question is, where are they ALL COMING FROM?!

The first night, I thought the cat had a piece of string or something, until I turned the light on and saw the string give a good slither. I totally freaked, started screaming, the cat went running, the baby started crying, the husband kept snoring, AND the snake made its way under the floorboards. I figured that would be the end of it.


The next afternoon, my husband made some interesting noises as he went down the stairs and then let out a good whooooop. The cat had deposited another wriggler in the hallway. I headed over (because I am the designated snake-wrangler), picked the little guy up with the help of a towel, and re-positioned him across the driveway in an area the cats DON’T GO.

And, then it was quiet for a couple of days.

Yesterday there was a double-header with a visit from a snake around the babe’s bedtime (also re-deposited far far away from the house in a non-cat visiting location) and then another late night. That one got thrown out the bedroom window with some pretty good force (sorry wee snake). I can’t fathom that these snakes are really the SAME snake, which then kept me up for the rest of the night as I imagined a den of snakes slithering about under the house.

There’s some old wood hanging out  under the deck off our bedroom, which also happens to be our snake-cat’s favorite hangout of the moment.

My plans for the day include donning long pants, socks that come up to my knees, boots, and going at the woodpile with a shovel to try to locate the darn snakes. Hopefully there wont be anymore. I don’t think I can take it.

Anyone interested in some brown snakes? They are free for the taking…