Jake and Bathsheba

A blog by two cats who used to live in the same house in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, they are both no longer with us.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

"The Truth" by Bathsheba

Jake never lets everyone know the entire truth. Yes, he’s very handsome and cute, and that’s why the little charmer gets away with so much with Mom and Dad. Most of you know that Jake gets fed outside. Well, it’s technically outside, but it’s a lovely deck that’s partially covered. It even has a tree growing through the middle of it. And in the warm months it has a jungle of plants. So don’t feel sorry for him that he dines outside because it’s really very nice out there.

Years ago, we used to be fed together in the kitchen. An even LONGER time ago, there were three of us kitties. Once it was just the two of us, Jake got meaner and meaner to me. At EVERY meal, he had to chase me around and slamdunk me on the kitchen floor as Mom prepared our breakfast or dinner. It was very annoying! Mom and Dad would yell at him, but I think they thought it was kind of cute or something. It wasn’t like that fake wrestling on TV; this would hurt! Once our food was served, Jake would inhale his, then push me out of my dish and try to eat my food. Eventually Mom and Dad decided that we should be separated when we eat. (Well, duh!) At first Jake was fed in the laundry room next to the kitchen, but I think that Mom thought that was too close to the litter box. So they decided to put his food outside. And I don’t think that should change just because a couple of raccoons like to sniff around and put their paws on Jake’s empty food dish. I like eating in peace, and I need to take my time eating.

While I’m giving you the dirt on Jake, I might as well tell you that there’s another reason that he stays out a lot. He doesn’t seem to understand the value of a litter box. He sometimes seems to think that the WHOLE house, especially the fireplace room, is his litter box. He liked to spray on the end of the old sofa, so Mom and Dad had to get rid of that. He messed up the carpet and made it reek ,so they had to replace that. He even had the audacity to pee on Dad’s old music stand. (He was "fixed," so that wasn’t the issue.)

To digress a little, let me tell you that Dad came to live with us when Jake was just a baby. He was NOT a cat lover and even had mild cat allergies, but Jake the charmer got him to love us. Jake was his "little man," and they had somewhat of a symbiotic relationship (and still do). Dad works from home so he’s with us all the time.

Jake’s little "problem," however, caused havoc in our home, and Mom and Dad were beside themselves as to how to deal with it. The vet said there was no medical problem. Dad said we couldn’t put up with it despite his obvious love for Jake. Mom and Dad decided that they’d just have to make Jake more of an outdoor cat. He could only be in the house under supervision (just the opposite from most of our internet friends). He had a lovely warm cat bed, cushiony deck chairs, and even a cat scratching post perch to sleep on or in. Well, this sort of worked, but Jake would then do things like spray on the barbeque grill. Eventually the little charmer managed to weasel his way back into the house again.

(Full disclosure: I must admit that I’ve occasionally had a wetting problem myself, but mine were all medically related.)

So now Mom and Dad are door service for Jake. If Jake scratches on the sliding glass door, they are right there to let him out so that he won’t go to the bathroom in the house. And then if he scratches to come back in, if they hear or see him, they’re right on it. Prince Jake, at your service.



Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's Futile

We've begun to think it's futile with those coons. If I stay outside all night and guard my deck, they stay away, but if I decide to sleep in the house, this is what might happen:

That's mud. Skeezix said that the coons in the big forest used to get Rocky's bowl, so his food lady started bringing it inside at night. That's a good suggestion and I'm going to ask Mom to bring my empty food dish in. (I lick it clean so I don't understand why they're interested in it anyway.) I'll leave the water dish out since when I'm outside all night, I sometimes get thirsty. And, yes, I do get hungry at night, too, but Mom and Dad won't leave food for me. That's why I have to catch mice or bugs.


Well, if Jake ate like a civilized cat and had his dishes inside,

he wouldn't have to worry about raccoons making a mess of them. But I'm not going to suggest that because then he'd try and hog all my food too. I like eating without competition from piggy Jake.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cans or Bags?

Is this every cat's dream?

A whole bagful of FF! Yum! But is it any FUN?

We can't open those cans to get at that tasty food. We're completely dependent upon our human parents for any scrumptuous morsels. Until I came down with hyperthyroidism, I never ate FF. I loved my dry crunchy food. But Mom can't hide pills in dry food so I happily switched to FF.

Still, there's something to be said about a bag of dry food, especially when it has just arrived from the store and your mom is busy unloading other items. Why, you can put the "bitey" on it before she comes back from the car with another load. (Our friend Cocoa really sets the standard on the bitey since he does it to so many things.)

Here was my last bag of dry cat food. You can see in the lower right corner how I put my bitey on it and helped myself to some of those crunchy yummies. Mom spoiled it by neatly cutting across the bag. Though I didn't allow the indignity of a photo of myself in the act here, I also find those big bags to be a lot of fun when they are empty except for a few crunchies caught in the folds. I will stick my head in the bag and clean out every last crumb.

While I love FF, those cans remind me that I cannot be self-sufficient, that my mom is trying to keep me under some sort of control. And succeeding!

~ Jake

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Stay Out of My Water Dish!

Bathsheba accused me of sleeping on the job, of not being tough enough to defend my deck. Well, after seeing those raccoons making a horrible mess of my water dish once again,

I decided that I would have to stop sleeping in the house and conduct a stake-out. I was out all night last night and you can see here that my water dish is just the way it's supposed to be, clean and not pulled far away from my food mat.

See, Bathsheba, I AM tough. Those coons don't want to mess with me!


Update: Some of you asked about the dirty water dish. It's not quite as disgusting as you might think. It's just dirt and mud. The coons must have very dirty hands and they like to wash them in MY dish.

So long to Summer

Summer is over. We'll miss the lazy days of lying in the sun

or seeking the shade under a cool bush.

All the insects will stop fluttering around. We won't miss the mosquitos that bother Mom and Dad so bad, but even we kitties appreciate the beautiful butterflies that visit the flowers. Mom says that this monarch butterfly might be bulking up on nectar to make a long flight to Mexico. That's hard to believe, but Mom says it's true that they fly all that way from Virginia.

Summers can be hot and humid here in Virginia, but the air conditioning inside can be too cold despite our furs. We've heard that there's still plenty of warm weather to come in October, so we plan to enjoy the fall.

Happy Autumnal Equinox to All.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Scritch, Scratch

How many of you have furniture that is shredded? Is it because that's the only good stuff for you to put your claws on? Though Mom and Dad tell me that I've done many bad things, one thing I generally don't do is scratch on the furniture. Now, I admit that I AM a lucky cat because I get to go outside. There are SO MANY great things to scratch out there. I especially like and highly recommend tree trunks. But there are times when I want to just stay inside. For those times, I highly recommend my scratching post:

It's made of a nice scratchy rope and I love it.

You can see I've really made my mark on it. (Okay, okay, Mom says that I have to give credit to Bathsheba too.)

Mom thinks that I might need a replacement since the wood is showing through, but that just means it's broken in.

When I really get into it, I even have some back paw action.

The only flaw in my scratcher is that the base is not heavy enough and when I get very excited, it can tip. Dad sometimes helps me out by putting his foot on the top. He likes to wear flip flops which can be dangerous when my claws are flying!

A little catnip on the base can add an extra dimension (if you know what I mean) and I highly recommend it.

I have another official scratching post out on my deck, but it's handmade and has a story of its own. Another time for that . . . .

Keep on scratching!

Monday, September 18, 2006

When the Cat's Not Around . . . .

Jake wasn't on his job - again. While he was in the house in bed sleeping off his hangover from Skeezix's party, we had some returning visitors on our deck. Dad was up very late at night and he saw them - two raccoons! Mom took photos of the evidence this time.

They were interested in the drip pan for the grill, but they also seemed to like something else.

I guess they thought that it was a finger bowl! Serves Jake right for not defending his territory!


Saturday, September 16, 2006

That Was Some Party!

Skeezix threw the greatest birthday party over at Catster. We had a wonderful time and the party pack was fabulous. Too bad Jake had to hog it!

Here he is breaking into the pack.

Now he really got into it. But I did get some of that Cosmic Catnip!

As you can see, Jake was totally wasted, and he's sleeping it off now.

He's going to have one heck of a hangover from all those Vishus Deer cocktails he downed too.

Again, thank you Skeezix. We hope you had a great 2nd birthday.


Friday, September 15, 2006

We're Ready to Party!

How much longer do we have to wait? We want to break into our party pack now!

Is it time yet?


She Didn't Like Cats!

Can you believe it? Our Mom said that when she was a girl she didn't like cats. She told us this story about how she grew to love cats.

When she was four or five years old, she DID like cats. A stray cat came around to her house and she wanted to keep him. But her daddy said, "NO, we don't like cats. We have a dog." Well, our Mom, being the goodie two-shoes that she was, decided to listen to her daddy and she decided she didn't like cats either. She told us that was her way of coping with her disappointment at not being allowed to adopt that stray kitty. (We can think of better ways!)

She liked DOGS and decided she would be a DOG PERSON. She grew up with those funny weiner dogs. She had one named Fritzi who used to sleep with her. He would take up most of her little bed because he liked to sleep across it. Poor Mom was squished in the bed by that dog, and to this day she can still sleep in a tiny space. She did love that dog very much. Sigh.

Years go by and Mom's little sister learns of someone at school who has a cat with kittens. She comes home from school and asks her Dad if she can have one of them. "NO! We don't need a cat." Little sister cries, but her Dad seems firm. It turns out that a man where Mom's Dad works, has a cat with kittens. Mom's Dad (we called him "Grandpa") didn't like his baby daughter to be sad, so one day he brings home one of the little black kittens. Mom's sister names him Tony.

Mom's family didn't know much about caring for a cat. At the time, Grandpa seemed to believe that the way you prevented litters was by having a male cat. He didn't think that getting a cat neutered was important. Tony was a wonderful cat, very loving and nice, but he was a Tom Cat and he prowled the neighborhood. He got in so many cat fights and sustained many cat bites. Mom remembers having to clean his awful abscesses with hot epsom salt water.

At least Mom's family made sure that Tony had his vaccinations. One day they drove him to the vet for annual shots and, when the family was getting out of the car, Tony pulled the leash out of the hands of the little girl. He totally escaped and could not be found.

By this time, Mom had fallen in love with Tony. When he stayed in the house overnight, he slept with her (maybe because he knew that she didn't move much in her sleep and gave him plenty of room). He was a tough boy, but very affectionate. Mom said that he loved to stalk bugs and it sounded like he was eating potato chips when he would crunch on grasshoppers and crickets in the summertime. Of course, he was a good mouser too. He even got along with the dogs.

But he was lost. The family was despondent. Even Grandpa loved him very much. No one around the vet's office found him. Cars went fast around there , so a car accident was a real possibility.

Two l-o-n-g weeks went by, when who appeared at the door, but Tony the cat! He was all scrawny and his collar had rubbed a lot of the fur off around his neck. But he was home and Mom and the rest of the family were so happy! How did Tony know where home was? It was only a few miles away, but he went there by car. It wasn't exactly the incredible journey, but I don't know if we could make that trek.

Unfortunately, Tony did not live a long life. He died at the young age of seven when Mom was taking her final exams at the end of her first year of college. Grandpa and Grandma didn't tell her until she returned home for the summer after exams. They knew that she would be very distraught, but there was nothing she could do about it. The whole family was very sad because they all had really loved Tony the Tomcat. Because of Tony, they decided to become better cat guardians later and always spayed or neutered their cats.

If it weren't for Tony (or Mom's insistent little sister), Mom might never have learned about the wonderful world of cats.

~Jake and Bathsheba

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Our very own party pack arrived in the mail yesterday! But Dad kept it from us and Mom didn't get home from work until very late, around midnight! She was excited for us when she saw it, but she declared that we could not open it until Saturday since that's the big day for Skeezix's birthday party. Bummer! But she did let us each examine it:

That must be some powerful stuff inside! I'm already in ecstasy!

My turn to sniff it!

It's going to be one wild party on Saturday when we tear into this!

Skeezix is so generous to send his friends presents for HIS birthday. THANK YOU, Skeezix! We both agree that you're one cool cat.


~Jake & Bathsheba

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"It Was Torture, I Say"

The day didn't start well. Mom said that I could not have breakfast until AFTER the 9 a.m. vet appointment. Well, that certainly put me in a good mood for my visit to the doctor today. Dad got what Mom calls the cat "carrier" out from the shed and it took the two of them to put me in what my friends have more correctly termed the "prison box." I tried very hard to kick and spread out all four legs to keep from getting shoved into it, but they overpowered me.

Once at the doctor's, there were too many DOGS. Ugh! They're so loud and yappy. I just cowered in my prison box; at least it afforded me some protection from those dogs. Finally Mom took me into the examination room and I decided that I like my prison box after all. Mom had to turn it upside down and pry me out. A nice lady took my temperature (oh, the indignity!) and checked me over. She left and I snuggled against Mom for a few minutes. When she returned she had another lady technician with her and a BIG NEEDLE. They held me down and drew blood out of my back leg. She had trouble finding my little vein and had to stick me twice! I was a good boy and very brave, but I must admit that I did cry a little. (I NEVER cry when I get shots.) They told Mom that they had to run a test that would take 10-15 minutes. When they left I started to tremble. I just didn't know what to expect. Mom tried to calm me by telling me that that was all they were going to do, but I wasn't so sure. I trusted Mom, but I wasn't positive that SHE knew what they were up to. Anyway, the dogs were making a ruckus out in the lobby so I snuggled against Mom as she sat in a chair with me cradled in her arms.

After an interminable wait, the doctor came in and talked with Mom. He said that I'm doing better and Mom can cut my pill dosage to 1/2 pill twice a day. The bad news is that he also said that I have to return in 4-6 weeks for another blood test! We'll see about that.

When we got home, Mom decided that she should take a picture of me before letting me out of my prison box. It's a hand-me-down carrier from my late sister Precious. She was a Maine Coon cat who died at the age of 19.

After all I'd been through, Mom knew that she had to get busy and serve my brunch. I was starved!

(Mom has now tried THREE TIMES to post additional pictures, but it's not working, so we will probably give up for the night.)

The rest of the day for me was much better. The weather was great and I hung out on the deck. Also, the store had my canned cat food on sale and Mom bought me about a month's supply. I'm in good shape.


Friday, September 08, 2006

What's This About the Vet?

I was all relaxed and sleeping when I first got wind of it . . .

Bathsheba read about Skeezix's trip to the vet and then told me that I was next! She had heard Mom make an appointment for me on Saturday morning! And they are going to draw blood. It's all because of my dumb hyperthyroidism and the pills I have to take. The doctors say they have to check my blood to make sure I'm getting just the right amount of medicine.

I've tried to convince Mom that I'm all better. Really. The furry spots on my tummy are all growing back:

Yes, I know that I licked all my fur off my tummy before anyone knew I had an illness, but I was just trying to make myself super clean. I've mellowed out again--and I don't need the anxiety this impending vet visit is causing me. I might just start licking myself out of sheer worry.

Nevertheless, wish me well tomorrow because Mom says that I have no say in the matter; I'm going to the doctor. Sigh.



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm Always Thirsty

Water bowls are boring. The water doesn't move. The water just sits there. I like lots of water to drink, and I want it moving. Mom says that I'm the "drinkinest" cat, but I'm just thirsty. I have a little routine with her. I greet her at the front door when she comes home from work, then she feeds me (and my brother). After dinner, I lead her upstairs to my favorite drinking fountain. I have her trained to turn it on. Here are some pictures Mom took of me last week:

Mmm, very refreshing.

Mom says that she could buy me a water fountain at the store, but I'd rather that she pay attention to me and give me a drink whenever I ask. I also wish she'd stay by the fountain the whole time I'm drinking (yes, I do drink a lot) because it's not my job to turn off the faucet. Sometimes she gets very upset with herself when she finds that she's left the faucet on for an hour or more because she forgot to attend to me when I was finished. It's not my fault that she wasted the water.

Jake doesn't like to drink from my fountain, and he doesn't drink much at all compared to me. And no, I'm not a lush!

Do my friends like plain water dishes or fountains?

~ Bathsheba

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Our Secretary Has Returned - Finally!

Finally! Our secretary, Mom, is back and now we can post again and get caught up. We missed everyone. We had a laid back weekend with Dad. Today it was cold and rainy so we stayed in the house most all day.

Here I am lying on the sofa, just lifting my head to say hi to Mom. ~ Jake

Mom showed us some pictures of our North Carolina "cousins." Mom says that we're related to these two, but that's what's funny about being adopted.

We maintain that we are no kin to these two DOGS, Pudge and Roxy. Mom says they're six-year-old sister "sniffer dogs." They got to go to the beach with the family for the weekend, BUT
poor Freckles had to stay home. She's a fancy Bengal cat. Mom says that she's quite wild. She lives totally indoors, but is not very tame. Her teenage guardian couldn't even catch her for Mom to take a good picture.

Mom caught her on film under the bed! Mom says that she has beautiful spots on her sides, but you can't see that here. We're glad that she wasn't too nice to Mom because we don't like to share Mom's love and attention.

Here's a sunset over the lake from the back of the beach house:

Now it's time for us to start getting caught up on what's been happening to everyone else while we were locked off the computer. See you tomorrow!

~ Jake and Bathsheba