You thought I forgot all about them didn’t you?
Cats are fantastic little beasts, prowling your home, dominating large packs of dogs, stealing large pieces of meat from the counter, breaking into any food morsel, stealing dog treats – oh wait yours doesn’t do that?
Wilykit – yes after the Thunder Cats character – was adopted from the MSPCA in 2007 as just a wee little kitty.
We had a warehouse for our online pet supply company and I wanted a cat friend and natural rodent control. I went into the shelter and was overwhelmed by the amount of cats in the one room. Some pining to get out and get attention, others hiding in the back of their cage; then over in the corner I saw two little kittens. One all black cat and another tuxedo little girl name Pebbles. Pebbles’ information card said that she was a little girl’s kitty but the girl had to move into foster care and her kitten could not come with her.
I picked up Luna, the black cat first. She was feisty, grabbing at my face and tried to bite in a sort-of playful manner but bordering on not-so-friendly. I set her back down after I untangled her from my hair. Then I went for little Pebbles who was face deep in the food bowl. She seemed a little perturbed that I had pulled her away from her meal but quickly warmed up. She was gentle, had these giant green eyes and started to purr in a matter of seconds. She sounded like a cement mixer, my heart was hers.
I filled out the paperwork and in a little while we were on our way.
At the time I had two dogs so while we read all the books on how to slowly introduce the new kitten to the dogs, it took way longer than we thought BUT she was eventually accepted and loved dearly by both my then Boxers, and later by more dogs; including client dogs that would stay over from time to time.
Our online pet supply store allowed our current pet care clients to buy food, treats and toys from us and we would deliver when we came by their house. Pebbles, renamed Wilykit, to later be called Kit Cat, would come to work with us each day. She LOVED her travel crate – I know that is not normal. Every day I would throw a treat inside and would ask her, “do you want to go for a ride”. She loved to fly inside, eat her treat and wait for me to shut the door. Her big eyes dilated watching the outside world pass by.
For a couple weeks things were great, Kit roamed her knew 5,000 sq feet of hunting grounds while I answered phones, coordinated pet care and prepped product for delivery.
One day a food order came in, a big bag of Solid Gold dog food, they used to come in these foil type shiny bags that were admittedly kind of cool. I grabbed the bag off the middle shelf and threw it over my shoulder. Suddenly I heard the sounds of kibble pieces dropping out of the back! I set the bag down and started to look for evidence of mice nibbling holes into the bag. I didn’t find any, instead I found canine puncture holes and tears indicative of a cat!
I check all the other bags, each and everyone was riddled with holes, cat mangled chew marks – thanks Kit Cat, we’re down several hundreds now and I don’t have sell-able product for my clients!
She made it about 3 weeks before that fateful day where she was instantly fired. The very job she was intended to do – protect the food – she ended up being the cause instead of the preventative.
So while the travels stopped and she had stay at home with the pups, her antics did not. At almost 10 years old, Kit Cat STILL gives us a run for our money. Any guest dog food must be stored in sealed containers, closets don’t count; she can open those. All human foods, and I mean ANYTHING edible must be stowed away. I will include a examples of Kit Cat wreckage but this cat is brazen and despite getting a clean bill of health from the vet, she is according to her – starving!
I have had dogs get into less, in fact one day I returned home to find a chewed-through baggy of homemade butterscotch cookies lying on the kitchen floor, some cookies remained. The natural thought was to blame the dog so I called him over and smelled his mouth, he was innocent. But there, napping on the couch with evidence still sprinkled on her face – Kit Cat.
We’ve purchased cat doors, she figures them out.
We’ve put things up so ridiculously high it takes the top step on the 3-step ladder to get them up there, she still finds them. Nothing is safe around her so now our microwave, oven, and fridge seem to be our safe storage containers for food. She is the Houdini. Oh and dog treats, she’ll find them and drag them down into the basement through her kitty door. We call that area her lair.
Now she will eat normal things that you would expect a cat to eat, she loves smoked salmon if you have lox in the morning and go to freshen your coffee – say goodbye to your lox.
If you’re watching TV with a turkey sandwich, you can take a bite but she’ll be on the backside stealing out the turkey as you now sink into a lettuce, tomato and bread sandwich. Just the other day as our chicken breast dinner was settling from the oven, she decided to drag a chunk off behind the couch, the dogs told on her.
Meats make sense given cats are obligate carnivores but its the other items this cat has devoured that help make her unique. We affectionately call her our little carboholic.
Breads, cookies, pastries, bagels, and most recently, – like I woke up this morning and am writing this blog because of it – peas!!!! Now who leaves peas out? I know that sounds crazy but my husband made shrimp Pad Woon Sen last night and when he was dumping the peas from the bag into the pan, more than the desired amount came out. We decided to eat what we could and give the rest along with the shrimp tails and carrot shavings to our 10 chickens as we usually do. Since the chickens are happily napping in the coup after dark, my husband set the bowl aside to give it to them in the morning. When he went down to let the dogs out he saw Kit Cat scatter, the dogs rush for some left over shrimp tails and a once large bowl filled with peas and carrots, DECIMATED! She ate all the shrimp tails except the one the dogs got and almost all of the peas!
This cat keeps us on our toes; she has cost us more in lost property than I think our dogs ever will but we adore her, orneriness and all. She’s confident, brazen but very sweet. Never has she raised a claw to the dogs and next to eating all of the food ever brought into this house – she just wants attention. Her favorite thing is to “make muffins” or knead your belly until she softens it enough to lie down and purr on you the rest of the evening. Working from home would be a bit more efficient if I didn’t have to move her out of the way so much. She loves to sit on my pull-out mouse tray so I have to reach over her to get to the mouse. She just sits and watches as the letters move on the screen and occasionally gently paws at the moving cursor.
So no, I haven’t forgotten to entertain you with stories about cats, the Internet is chock full of amazing cat videos which I will share over time. Cats are crazy creatures that crawl into our hearts and in my house, the food pantry.
Kit Cat did get a new job though, besides eating us out of house and home. She is a well-trained demo cat for pet first aid and CPR. We can demonstrate compressions, place her in restraint, wrap up her head or limbs and place her in a bag for emergency transport. Her food motivation was a big factor in her success as an actor.
In all seriousness though, her behavior is risky and while we have a name for her that is not appropriate to be typed when we find her wreckage, the first thing we do is make certain she is OK. Because we are trained in cat first aid and CPR, we know what signs to lookout for and we know how to react should she choke on plastic or eat something toxic to her little 9lb feline frame.