Birthdays, Old Age and Pink Salmon

IMG_4897

Gordon reaches the grand age of 15 years old
(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Today is Sunday 9th April – just an ordinary day for Brutus and Rocky, nothing special about it except for plans to take Rocky for a drive to chat to the sheep.

The boys were up at 7.30am ready to go into the garden for the first pee of the day which as any dog will vouch is the best one. Rocky always checks the garden for intruders – invisible or otherwise while Brutus goes to what is now known as ‘The Brutus Tree’ to check to see if any more rats have appeared.

‘Good morning Gordy, how’s it going?’ Brutus grinned at Gordon as he lay curled up on the sofa.

Brutus adores Gordon you see, cleans his ears and his bum and despite Gordon having hardly any teeth, allows the ginger cat to get him in a ‘death-grip’ when he pretends he is an African lion hunting springbok in Namibia.

 

G and B

Brutus and Gordon – brothers from another mother

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Gordon, did you hear me?’ Brutus shouted to his brother. Gordon ignored him and stared boot-faced towards the window and then began to pointedly wash his anus with his hind leg held high in the air.

Looking somewhat hurt and confused, Brutus trotted up to Rocky who was now crossing his legs and muttering something about ‘being desperate for a piss’.

‘Gordon won’t talk to me’ Brutus whispered to the black kelpie.

Rocky shrugged and said something about him getting moody in his old age.

Both boys were let out into the garden and nothing more was said.

‘He looks smaller these days don’t you think, like really skinny?’ Rocky said to Brutus.

Brutus was busy gazing into his tree checking for rats, ‘He is still my big brother and can hunt things in Africa he told me so, I don’t think he is smaller because then he wouldn’t be able to hunt’ Brutus growled without taking his eyes off the tree, ‘Bloody rats – they are hiding from me on purpose’ he added fretfully.

Rocky shrugged his shoulders and trotted back to the patio door to be let back in as it was breakfast time.

As he pressed his snout against the window he spotted the frail cat sitting on the kitchen work surface talking to himself. ‘Everyone is a wanker, I hate everyone, nobody loves me, nobody cares and I am going to puke on the floor’.

Slowly and somewhat unsteadily on his feet, Gordon went to the floor and started making the unmistakable and dramatic sounds of vomiting and trust me, nothing and I mean nothing will make a cat owner sit up and take notice quicker than the violent sounds of a cat throwing up.

He barely puked anything but it was enough to get my attention. Clearing up the tiny bit of sick that I swear he had forced out to be noticed, I petted him and told him how marvellous he was and good on him for sicking up that furball.

IMG_4891

Gordon demands attention by puking

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Yeah right, I don’t believe you love me and I am going to bite you later with my gums and shit in your clean laundry’ Gordon snapped at me and then wobbled off looking like a doddery old man that has lost confidence in his walking stick.

Rocky continued to stare through the window racking his brains to see what could have possible upset Gordon. It didn’t take long to find out either because just ten minutes later my husband came into the kitchen clutching a tin of pink salmon.

‘Happy 15th birthday Gordon’ My husband walked into the kitchen and kissed Gordon on the head and gently lifted him on to the kitchen workbench to have his salmon, which yes I know is unhygienic and all that stuff but I don’t really care.

‘I thought you had forgotten’ Gordon stuttered in his old man voice – a bit like Winston Churchill if you know what I mean.

‘As if we would forget’ I cuddled him – feeling his bones creak.

‘I love you Mum’ Gordon grinned and then promptly bit my hand with his remaining two canine teeth and called me a ‘bitch’.

It was a King that tucked into his salmon this morning, despite having very few teeth he made light work of it and even tolerated me putting on a tie for his birthday photo shoot.

IMG_4920

Gordon – hunting his salmon (in Africa of course!)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Can I tell my friends that I hunted that salmon in Africa?’ Gordon asked me.

I didn’t dare tell him that he didn’t really have any friends except for Tess and Pippin, but I agreed anyway and it was enough to make him happy. After all, a good imagination and an ability to dream never hurt anyone.

Meanwhile Rocky was outside looking mortified. How on earth did he forget his brothers birthday. Turning round he quickly ran over to where Brutus was to let him know they had some serious making up to do and plenty of arse licking (literally in Brutus’s case).

Rocky car

Rocky is such a thoughtful little dog

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

After breakfast the boys sat hovering by Gordon watching him eat the rest of his salmon.

‘Gordon we are SO sorry we forgot your 15th birthday, we didn’t mean to honestly we didn’t’ Brutus sobbed. He was totally distressed that he had forgotten and couldn’t stop crying as festoons of snot dripped from his nose and his eyes all red and puffy from being so upset.

Rocky was a bit more dignified but not too proud to admit that he was sorry and tried to bring Gordon his fluffy penguin.

R and B

Gordon is well loved by both of his brothers as you can see

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Gordon carried on eating and after a few seconds stared down at the boys. His eyes showing every year of his 15 years, the once 7kg cat did actually look quite frail and tiny.

His grumpy old face softened and he replied to his brothers ‘That’s OK, you have remembered now and that is what matters’.

‘I love you Gordon’ Brutus sighed, wiping his eyes and nose as he had been crying that much – guilt does that to Brutus you see. Brutus feels guilty even when he has done nothing wrong. Rocky dug a 3 foot hole in the garden and Brutus cried for days and apologized for it and even went to the police station to insist he be arrested for a crime that he didn’t commit.

‘I love you right back Brutus’ Gordon replied.

Licking his lips Brutus said hopefully ‘I can help you eat some of that salmon if you like, just as a favour of course’.

‘Bollocks’ Gordon replied, ‘Don’t push your luck’ and with a flick of his tail, Gordon turned round and flashed Brutus his bum.

‘He still loves us then!’ Rocky said sounding ever so relieved.

‘Yeah, I reckon’ Brutus barked happily, ‘And Rocky?’

‘Yes Brutus?’ growled Rocky.

‘He is still our big brother’ Brutus nodded firmly, ‘No matter how small he is’ – and there was no arguing with that.

 

Happy 15th birthday Gordon.

 

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright April 2017

Brutus learns the real meaning of Christmas

img_4810

Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus and Rocky were in the living room discussing Christmas and their shopping list. Gordon had just done an Exorcist style vomit over the dining room and had gone back to his food bowl to ‘replenish what had been lost’ much to Rocky’s disgust and Brutus’s admiration.

‘So what do you want for Christmas Brutus?’ Rocky asked him.

Brutus looked thoughtful ‘I don’t want much really, I would like a honking pig as Mum killed mine in the garden, I would like some more flappy toys, a spare gingerbread man, maybe a squeaky Santa and another snake, I would like a new collar and ID tag – not one of those crappy collars, perhaps a doggy stocking, a new camp bed for my bedroom and a new stuffed rabbit’ he finished looking absurdly proud of himself for being what he thought was ‘restrained’.

IMG_3151

Brutus with last years gift that ‘exploded’ all by itself in the garden

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocky gasped ‘Not much? That is a huge amount Brutus and most dogs don’t get that much and some dogs don’t get anything at all’.

Gordon said nothing but stopped eating to listen to the boys talking. Inwardly he was shocked though as Brutus had lots of toys, admittedly some had ‘exploded’ all by themselves in the garden but he never went without that’s for sure.

‘What about you Rocky?’ Brutus asked him. Stretching out on the sofa, Brutus snuggled his head down on the red pillow and waited for Rocky to tell him his Christmas list for Santa Paws. Brutus loves Christmas and every year in the three Christmas’s we have had him, he makes me tell him bedtime stories about how Santa Paws visits all the dogs and leaves them food and bones that their owners have bought them and given to Santa for storage.

Rocky shrugged his shoulders ‘Well last year I wished for my hips to be not so painful and a bit better, but I have already got that present now because Mum bought me special powder to go in my food and they are so much better although I still can’t walk as far as normal kelpies’.

img_4760

Rocky is a simple kelpie dog with simple needs

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘But I would like some new tennis balls to replenish my collection, I would like a generous slice of turkey if Dad can spare it, I would love to be able to get on the sofa with Mum and Dad and maybe even play with my fluffy penguin after lunch.

‘Of course we usually get a collar each year and I love the Rogz collars and always have a red or a blue one and an ID tag is nice as we usually get one every year as well.

But my best gift is when Mum does her Skype call to the UK and gets to talk to her family and I get to talk to her Daddy – AKA John Stocken because I have met him, I think he could be referred to the doggy version of our Grandad if such a thing exists’, Rocky said knowingly. A wise kelpie beyond his years, Rocky just knows ‘stuff’ and is an oracle of information.

‘You know John Stocken? How?’ Brutus demanded, feeling more than a little jealous of this as he only ever hears my Dad over the phone when he calls me.

‘I have met him’ Rocky said smugly, ‘He came to Perth once and threw my tennis ball and rubber chicken for ages, we had fun, we had cuddles and everything and I slept outside his room for 3 days after he flew back because I missed him so much’.

img_0477

Rocky, Dad (AKA – John Stocken/Daddy Stocken, and the rubber chicken – Rocky on the left looking camouflaged!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The two dogs fell silent for a bit and all you could hear was the sound of Gordon occasionally crunching his cat biscuit.

‘But Rocky, I don’t understand – most of your presents are not sold in the shops so where would you buy them? How would you get them?’ Brutus asked looking puzzled.

‘That’s just it Brutus, Christmas isn’t about how much money is spent on things or how many toys and bones your owners buy for you, it is about the stuff that money can’t buy.

‘Time with those that love you, video calls to friends and family, nice food, cuddles, turkey dinner, the stuff you can only do or speak about with people you love. You can’t buy any of that in the shops.’

20160306_122014

Rocky creating his own memories on one of our road trips

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Sure having toys and stuff is great but those memories last a whole heap longer than any toy that explodes in the garden’. Rocky finished.

‘But what about my toys, I love opening my toys?’ Brutus frowned.

‘You know out of all the stuff on your list Brutus, the one that is the most important above everything else?’ Rocky asked him.

Brutus shrugged because he didn’t know.

‘The collar and ID tag that Mum gets us and pays to have engraved to say we have a home and family of our own. The rest doesn’t matter’ Rocky said.

Brutus quietly walked off to his bedroom and stared at his bed which contained one of his fluffy blankets, his beloved Tony Abbott doll, his stuffed rabbit, his penguin, his honking hedgehog, his bear, baby teething ring and his deer antler.

It wasn’t a too shabby collection of toys, next to it was a bowl of fresh water and a food bowl, his camp bed and behind that a cupboard containing some more freshly washed blankets in case he shit the bed (don’t ask!) and needed his bum washed and fresh bedding.

He walked back into the kitchen and stared at Rockys bed which had been hand made by Cuzz Bro’s Creations, covered in a red blanket, a Julie Gillard doll, another Tony Abbott doll and a gingerbread man which Brutus thinks is his but it really belongs to Rocky, plus a deer antler, bowl of water and food bowl.

Walking into the dining room Brutus noticed a selection of leashes, head collars, a collar, Rocky’s muzzle and Brutus’s camo harness. Brutus also took in the toy box in the garden packed to the top with toys and his recent birthday present of Fat Cat (flappy cat) and his snake he got from Dee Cole at the Funky Dog Company, as well as shit loads of tennis balls scattered around the garden.

Nothing more was said that afternoon about presents from either of the dogs. Gordon never asks for anything anyway and still has toys from when he was a kitten, even his plastic bed belonged to our cat before him – Bruno and is about 20 years old and Gordon loves it. Gordon likes simple things like bird feathers or being allowed to chew my bras (bastard).

img_4868

Gordon  – almost 15 years old and an all round naughty boy and member of the ginger club

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

So today I had to go and do my Christmas shopping and I hate shopping, like really hate it unless I am in a pet shop and then I love it.

‘What would you like for Christmas boys?’ I smiled at them as I was about to leave.

‘Tennis balls would be good and a new ID tag’ Rocky smiled at me.

img_4733

I shall have a tennis ball please Mum and lots of cuddles and turkey

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘But if we can go to the farm area on Christmas Day so I can catch up with the sheep that would be good as well’ Rocky added.

‘How about you Brutus?’ I asked him.

Brutus stared at me, his red/brown eyes bore into mine, expecting a long list I got ready for his demands of toys/bones etc.

‘If you can see fit to buying me a new honking pig to replace the one you squished in your car that would be nice, and a new ID tag because I have scraped the writing off mine on the wall when I rub myself against the bricks every morning’ Brutus growled.

‘Is that all? Are you sure?’ I asked him, this was news to me – Brutus is the King of Christmas lists and has even resorted to writing his lists on an entire roll of toilet paper to fit in what he wants which involves half of City Farmers.

‘Some turkey dinner would be nice and if I can be with Rocky when you Skype Daddy John Stocken and everyone else that would be brilliant’ Brutus barked at me.

Shrugging my shoulders I smiled at them and went off to do my shopping while secretly wondered if someone had swapped my dog with a newer angelic version.

img_4843

Brutus the Good Boy

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

After I had gone shopping

‘Did you mean that?’ Rocky asked Brutus, he could barely believe what he had just heard.

‘I’ve got loads of toys, I’ve got pretty much everything really and as you say, the rest of the stuff can’t be bought’ Brutus said firmly.

Rocky looked at his brother in admiration, nudging Brutus affectionately with his snout, Rocky grinned ‘Except for the honking pig – they are $11.00 in the supermarket because I have checked on Mum’s computer’.

Brutus laughed and wagged his tail ‘Yes, let’s not forget the honking pig’.

Driving

Going in the car to look at the sheep – cost? Priceless

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Gordon sat washing his anus from the other chair, at almost 15 years old he had seen many Christmases as you can imagine and he had realised long ago that the best Christmas is one that creates memories and not shopping lists, like the time he ate tinsel off the tree and had to shat it out with my help pulling it from his bum (now THAT is a memory!).

img_4859

You thought I was joking about the anus!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Three hours later I returned with very little in my bag as shopping had been a total nightmare, we don’t have children so not much to buy anyway really. But what there was in my bag; was a packet of tennis balls and a honking pig.

And in the post winging its way to me is an envelope with two bone shaped ID tags for the boys all engraved with the best present a dog could want – their owners details and enough phone numbers on there to show the world we love them.

549216_489448227786320_1397826679_n

The most important things – the famous honking pig, collar, ID tag and a bone. These were Brutus’s first things bought for him when he came out of hospital after being critically ill.

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Merry Christmas everyone, thank you for the lovely comments and support so many of you have given this page over the years.

Samantha, Gordon, Rocky and Brutus

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright December 2016

An Open Letter to Gordon – my cat

1231240_10151656089443317_470405924_n

Gordon – a face meant for smooching

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Old age, our pets and our attitude

Our pets age, they get old, they slow down and get more demanding – a bit like us really.  One minute they are young and before you know it, time has flown by and at a glance they have become old; leaving us wondering just when it all happened.

I have read so many stories about owners surrendering their pets once they become senior and there are too many photos of grey faced animals with opaque aging eyes staring back at us from pound rescue photographs.

I find it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth when a pet is given up purely and only for being old and then quickly replaced by a younger pet.  What kind of message does this send out and are we really so arrogant to think that old age does not apply to us and we as humans will never get old or demanding?

This blog is dedicated to my senior cat Gordon who is stepping in to his senior years which is also bringing with it a change of personality – he has no boundaries, he is demanding, he is naughty and even chews my hair when I sleep.  Could I surrender him for these reasons and swap him for a younger cat?  Absolutely not, I love him and I love every ginger hair on his head and I love the old cat he has become.

This story details how I see Gordon, his behaviour, his appearance and how it is all too easy to assume that he will always be around.  I have written this to him as an open letter – yes I know he is a cat and can’t read, but if he could then this is what I would tell him.

So treasure your senior pets, treasure every single grey hair on their face – they have earned it and if you have loved them properly then you have earned the right to have them in your lives and for that reason; you should count yourselves very lucky.

Gordon

At 9 weeks you came in to our lives.  I remember we had to choose between you and your twin brother Anthony and we picked you because you were not scared of our dog – a whippet bitch called ‘Rema’.

You marched right up to her and smacked her on the snout and I will never forget the look of horror on her face as you did that.  A tiny little ginger kitten taking on a 12kg whippet that quickly developed respect for you.

You were young, energetic, naughty and ‘full of beans’ as I would describe you. You would shred the carpet, eat our towels, fight with the dog and hang round her neck and swing from the curtains in a small ginger bundle of fury.

Gordon and my whippet ‘Rema’ – best friends

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

At a year old you had the look of a ‘teenage’ cat about you.  You had developed retrieving skills and would play ‘fetch’ with your beanie baby toy panther that you loved to carry around with you and bring to us if we asked you to.

Gradually you grew into a fat cat that seemed to go more orange the more mischief you got in to.  You had developed a habit of stealing things which included boxes of matches, inhalers, jewellery, cotton buds – anything that you could fit in your ginger mouth.  Your ‘spoils’ were hidden in your favourite spots that I soon found and then you would move them somewhere else and it would take me ages to find out where.

At six years old we took you to Australia where you flew by plane and landed in Perth a day before we did where you spent the next 30 days in quarantine.  On release from quarantine you quickly settled in as an Aussie cat and adapted to the heat, the noisy birds and life in general, your life in London was now a million miles away.

194_10392723316_467_n

Gordon at Byford Quarantine, WA

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

You spent the next seven years looking fabulous with a glossy coat and having an energetic zest for life.  Being an indoor cat you had no predators and none of the usual risks associated with being an outdoor cat and we marvelled at your health and vitality for a cat of your age.

The parrots taunted you and you argued back in your cat-like ‘chatter’ as you made ‘clicking’ noises with your mouth at the window, no doubt threatening what you would do to them if you ever got out.

10348534_746988105389238_2041452088819391840_n

Gordon looking very ‘orange’ – note his eyes starting to look old

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Six months after arriving in Australia, we acquired our first ‘Aussie dog’ – a 4 month old kelpie called ‘Rocky’.  Within the first five minutes of meeting him, you had smacked him smartly on the snout and ‘boxed’ him with your huge padded ginger paws, making him pee himself because he was so scared of you.

The line was once again drawn with you and Rocky knew from that day on to never cross you and became and still is, your biggest protector to this very day.

532207_609324885822228_1860514197_n

Then three years ago we fostered a 12 week old ridgeback/kelpie puppy called Brutus – which was meant to be a three day thing really, except that Brutus ended up staying.

You took to Brutus immediately and let him get away with a remarkable amount of rough-housing until a point was reached where you would get him into one of your ‘death-grips’ and pin him down by his throat (all 30kgs of him).

Brutus has adored you from the very first day he met you and enjoys washing you, cleaning your ears and following you around until he annoys you enough to get a biff on the snout (claws in of course).

A baby Brutus and Gordon and then a grown up Brutus and Gordon

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

At what point did I notice you got old

It kind of crept up on me really (probably like it did to you) but one day I was walking around the house getting various bits and pieces ready for work the next morning.  I happened to glance down to see your frail ginger body trotting after me as you struggled to keep up.

I laughed and thought it cute but on closer inspection you were like an old man trying to keep up with life as your joints hurt you and you stiffly tried to trot after me as I went from room to room to get things.

Your agility and balance has slowly declined over the years and last week you jumped up on to the sofa while I was sitting on it and as I looked round, all I saw was your ginger face appear full of panic as you lost your grip and fell backwards to the floor.

As if you were embarrassed, you sneezed, shook yourself and limped off as if to say ‘That didn’t hurt, I meant that to happen’.

Your stomach has become more sensitive as you have aged and whilst you have always been prone to vomiting – probably due to you grooming the dogs and ingesting their fur, your vomiting has become more frequent and now you can do it without warning whilst managing a somewhat splendid Exorcist style projectile vomit as you hit the blinds and the walls with the contents of your stomach.

Your bones have started to ‘crack’ when you are picked up and despite our attempts to treat you like a piece of fine bone china, the extent of your fragility is apparent.

It doesn’t stop you being naughty though and you still like to bite up and down our arms like you are chewing a corn on the cob, except that now your jaw kind of ‘clacks’ as you bite down, your bite is weak and your stiff legs somewhat feebly bicycle against my arm as you try and kick me.

Knock, Knock – who’s there? Gordon, that’s who!

A habit that you have had since you were a baby was to stand on your hind legs and use your front legs to scratch at the door.  You had the ability to do this for hours on end until we relented and would let you in the bedroom.

These days you still do it but I can barely hear you but I know you are there.  I can hear you meowing and crying and the oh-so-faint sounds of your paws weakly scratching at the door.  I let you in straight away, I always let you in because I don’t like the idea of you wanting to come in so bad that you will still use what energy you have to scratch at that door and I know how much it must hurt your arthritic paws.

306687_10151126041108317_409243203_n

Still in charge – no matter how old you are

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Sometimes you have those mad half hours where you take a shit in your litter tray and then run around the house with a joyous expression on your face as you skid along the floor and bump into doors/windows while the dogs look at you as though you have gone mad.

Talking of dogs, you still have the power over Rocky and Brutus.  You can get Brutus on his back in submission in a matter of seconds as you try and get him in a ‘death grip’ by biting his throat and kicking him with your hind legs.  He could kill you with one bite but no, he has a healthy respect for you and is so protective of you.

IMG_6320

Brutus has your back Gordon

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Everyone needs a hug sometimes…

Every evening when I get home from work I sit on the sofa and relax with a cup of tea, just unwinding as people do.  Like clockwork you always jump on my knee and demand my attention.

In your younger years, you started off subtle and would never sit on my laptop or push drinks out of my hand but as you have aged, your boundaries have long gone and you are more than happy to shove my cup of tea right out of my hand or sit square on top of my laptop and ‘make puddings’ on my chest as you knead my boobs and go off into a trance of delight because you quite simply love your cuddles.

I have learned that resistance is futile and as soon as I see you march across the coffee table, I know that my cup of tea must be quickly finished, my laptop shut down, phone on the table and the blanket gets put on my lap so that you can get comfy.

1185300_10151629729423317_837643979_n

Gordon – simply cannot be ignored

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Then as quickly as you demanded to get on there, you decide that you have had enough and walk off with your tail held high in an act of defiance that says ‘I can do what I want’.

‘He won’t be around forever you know and one day you will miss all of this’ My husband warned me one day when I complained that you wouldn’t leave me alone.

I stared at you when he said that and tried to imagine life without you, life without Gordon – the cat that flew from the Motherland to Perth, the cat that had been with us through thick and thin and has seen us through our life stages.

I realised that he was right, that you wouldn’t be around forever and there would come a day that I would be regretting the day I chose my privacy, laptop and cup of Yorkshire tea over the cat that I loved so dearly.

Now when you want a cuddle; you get it and as for me going to the toilet on my own, well that is so overrated and I no longer complain when you want to sit on my knee while I am trying to pee.

You still love your life, you still enjoy your life, you are just slower and older but you still know how to demand what you want, get what you want and you still know how to be naughty.

So when did you get so old my darling Gordon and why did it take me so long to realise that you are not replaceable by a mobile phone, laptop computer or ‘time alone’.

Now I make the most of each time you want a cuddle, I am privileged that you are so desperate to sleep on my lap and I love the fact that you follow me around.  But most of all I am proud, proud that you are my cat and that we bought you with us from London to Perth and I am privileged to be seeing you into your senior years.

You are getting older Gordon and you won’t always be around but while we have you, we promise to look after you, never to let any harm come to you and love you for the rest of the time that you have with us and when the heartbreaking time comes to send you over to Rainbow Bridge, we will walk right beside you to that entrance.

Thank you for being our cat

IMG_2686.JPG

The gift of owning a senior pet cannot be underestimated

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright January 2016

Naughty Cats (and the naughty corner)

IMG_9771Gordon just needs some understanding

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Have you ever studied your cats behaviour and thought ‘What the hell is he/she doing that for?’  Well I have done this with all my cats and I am still doing it with Gordon to this very day.

It is as though someone, somewhere – perhaps Mother Nature who knows, has written a rule book for cats that instructs them to do the following activities that will leave their owners scratching their heads in confusion.

The after shitter-flitter

Many years ago I had a cat called Bruno who was a large black cat with an even bigger attitude to match.

Each and every time he went for a crap in his litter tray he would zoom around the living room like a mad cat.  Dilated pupils, full of energy and ready to pounce, he would run from one end of the room to the other whilst looking at us accusingly about nothing in particular.

My other cat at the time – Juniper would do something a little bit different and find a hard lump of her own turd and play ‘ball’ with it around the house and we would momentarily wonder what the noise was before finding her literally batting the crap out of her crap.

Now Gordon, well he just does the standard obligatory run around the house and make chirruping noises as he does so.

That is how we know he has taken a shit in his litter tray, when he starts to run across the living room, dining room before coming to a halt as he smacks into the dining room window and then looks embarrassed and blushes pretending that he totally meant that to happen.  It is at that point that we have to rush to the litter tray to pick up a man-sized shit and flush it away before the whole house starts to smell.

IMG_5388

Gordon said toilet time equates to play time Photograph by Samantha Rose

I – Will – Not – Be – Ignored

You can bet your life that if I have my laptop, iPad, phone, newspaper – anything at all on my lap, that Gordon will wake up from wherever he is sleeping, jump on my lap and use his big ginger boof-head to shove whatever is on my knee – off my knee.

It is like he has this special radar where he can just tell what I am doing and hey, it’s a perfect time to force me to give up my own time so that I can fuss him.

Gordon used to be very gentle in his approach and it started off as a gentle nudge and loud purring.  He has graduated to shoving his head under my laptop and with as much force as possible, trying to push it on the floor and has nearly succeeded as well.

‘Get that stuff off your lap, you don’t need that’ he growls and if I try and resist and keep the laptop firmly on my lap, he simply sits on it and that is that, having a large ginger cat on your computer kind of makes it hard to work if you know what I mean.

It is the same if I am reading or playing games on my mobile and the other day my husband and I decided to test the theory to see if it was me that Gordon wanted attention from or if he just hated us using appliances or simply taking away potential attention from him.

‘Give me the iPad’ my husband said the other day, ‘Let’s see what happens’.

Gordon was fast asleep on my lap as he had pushed the iPad from me earlier so there was no real reason for him to move.

Handing the iPad to my husband, he opened it up and started to play with it.

‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’ Gordon demanded as he woke up so quickly that it was like he had been pretending to be asleep all along.

Spotting my husband clutching the iPad, Gordon jumped up and went straight over to Abdel’s knee and using his head, he shoved the iPad with a surprising amount of strength for an elderly cat and knocked it on to the sofa.

‘That will teach you’ Gordon said furiously and then quite suddenly fell asleep again.

Of course that theory had to be tested again and I took my phone and pretended to play a game on it.

‘You are determined to test my patience aren’t you’ the angry ginger cat growled and then slowly got up and went back to my lap to shove my phone out of my hand.

I was going to try reading a book to see if that would work but it was too much like hard work and went to take a sip of my orange and cinnamon herbal tea.  Did I say drink my tea?  Wear my tea more like because as quickly as he fell asleep on Abdel’s lap, he jumped up again and shoved his big fat ginger head under my cup, thus spilling half a mug of hot cinnamon/orange tea all over my pyjamas and made me smell like a ‘pudding’.

‘You naughty boy!’ I squeaked as hot liquid dripped down my chest, arms and legs.

Suddenly realising that he too had hot cinnamon and orange tea spilled over him, Gordon looked up at me as though I had personally poured it on him.

‘You my friend, are going to pay for that’ Gordon shouted and then jumped off the sofa shaking himself and flicking droplets of tea everywhere whilst muttering something about cats not liking citrus.

It’s very rock n’ roll to smash things

That is what Gordon tells me anyway and I believe him too.  He frequently sits on top of the counter or TV cabinet looking at us with his dilated pupils or ‘naughty eyes’ as we like to call them and stares at an ornament, or wine glass, mug, pen, phone charger and each time we say the words ‘Gordon no!’ he smirks at us and replies ‘I am not doing anything for gods sake!’ in a sulky ginger voice.

Then as we get back to the TV we will hear a ‘crash’ as whatever it is he was nudging, is now on the floor and Gordon is looking at us saying ‘I lied – deal with it’.

Let’s make a pudding (on you)

Gordon likes nothing better than to curl up for a cuddle (after he has shoved whatever appliance/book/beverage off your lap).

What is wrong with that?  Well nothing really except Gordon likes to ‘make puddings’ on you and kneads, digs and grips with his nails and looks so happy about it that he actually dribbles copious amounts of saliva and purrs super loud.

We tolerate it for a while but let’s face it, it hurts so there comes a point where you have to say ‘Come on Gordon, off you get’ and then place him on blanket more suited to this type of activity.

‘Bastards, you will pay for that’ Gordon growls again and yes once again I believe him because once we have evicted him from our lap, the cup, the bowl, the pen or the ornament will get it for sure.

11813352_10153040243498317_6029110762201524921_n

It comes with a price if you tell Gordon off (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Open door in case of emergency!

Every night is an emergency for Gordon and he is a regular outside our bedroom door while frantically digging it and shouting ‘Help, save me, save yourselves and your families, it’s an emergency, let me in!’

He is old and frail now and not as strong as he used to be but you can still hear him scrabbling at the door to be let in and his frail elderly voice shouting.  You have to admire him though because frail though he is, he can dig that door like a champion until we give in.

And we do you know – give in; and that is always a mistake because Gordon decides that now he is in the bedroom that he doesn’t want to sleep, he wants to chew my hair, bite my hands (yes really), knock my eye drops off the bedside cabinet, scratch the bed and chew the blinds.

Eventually he gets evicted into the dining room where we can hear him knocking things off the table and shouting that everyone hates him and it is because he is ginger.

An empty food bowl (or not)

Unless Gordon’s food bowl is full to the brim, then it is empty and if it is empty then the ornaments get it, the dogs get it and we get it.  Moral of the story is never have an empty food bowl – like ever and trust me when I say that a modest amount of cat biscuit does not constitute a meal, it’s not because it is basically empty – end of discussion.

The Exorcist in the form of a cat

Cat vomiting is the kind of noise that will wake you up in an instant, that will put the fear of God himself into you, that will make you move from one end of the room to the other in a matter of seconds – faster than the speed of light even.

I am talking about cats vomiting and it is a sound that every single cat owner knows and recognizes and is enough to make us all cry and cover our heads with paper bags and shout to the heavens.

Gordon is an expert in puking, it used to be just fur ball but now he is prone to acid stomach, he has taken to Exorcist style vomiting without any warning and one time even did it over my laptop, myself and Brutus (the bastard).

‘Bloody hell, what on earth is that?’ Rocky said as he looked in horror at Gordon who had done his projectile vomit over the sofa, myself, the coffee table and the wall. I was only surprised that his head didn’t spin round 360 degrees when he did it.

It took some cleaning and lots of retching on my part as I totally do not ‘do’ vomit, I hate it although human vomit is worse than animal vomit.

This Exorcist style vomiting always seems to happen when I am with Gordon and never my husband whom I suspect does not believe me when I tell him how far a belly full of cat vomit can reach, not to mention comparing it to the Exorcist.

Husband stopped disbelieving me the other week when he told me that while he was watching a late night movie in the living room (I was in bed early that night) and Gordon did a champion Exorcist vomit that hit the sofa, covered the (unread) newspaper, the coffee table, the patio doors and the cupboards.

‘It was awful, you were not joking when you said it was projectile’ Abdel said to me looking very pale as he described it.  ‘You were in bed and asleep, how come you didn’t hear it?’ He asked me as he looked positively traumatized by the memory and why did I not wake up to hear it? (or clean it).

Thyroid, liver, kidney and full health profiles/blood tests have been carried out on Gordon and it has been decided that he as he chews my bras, socks, my hair, towels, both dogs and whatever bits of crap get caught on our shoes – that he is in fact a cat with a liking and tendency to vomit.

I actually don’t know where Gordon finds half of the stuff that he vomits up, he sicked up some grass yesterday and he is an indoor cat and he shat out a cotton bud on one occasion but I still can’t talk about that without wincing.

The Christmas tree incident

One particular Christmas in London; Gordon ate some tinsel off the Christmas tree, I remember hearing him crunching on something and finding several decorations on the floor and seeing that about six inches of fine tinsel had disappeared and Gordon was licking his lips.

‘I think Gordon has eaten some tinsel’ I said to my husband.

‘Really? He wouldn’t do that surely?’ Abdel laughed and totally disregarded me for which he was made to eat his words much later on.

I went with my gut feeling and as an ex veterinary nurse, knew that we would have to wait for it to pass naturally through the bowels and hopefully not cause an obstruction.

I can’t remember how long we waited, I think it may have been the day after but I do know that we checked Gordon’s litter tray constantly waiting for this bloody tinsel to make an appearance.  We had to sit patiently by his litter tray and each time he would get in his tray, it was like waiting for a baby to be born and that poor cat looked ever so embarrassed as I got down on all fours watching his arse as he tried to go to the toilet.

‘Some things are private don’t you know’ Gordon growled at me.

‘Are you sure he has eaten tinsel?’ Abdel demanded as I made him watch it with me.

‘Quite sure, I am tempted to put money on it’ I said firmly and then took my position near Gordon’s ginger bum awaiting the birth of the tinsel.

‘Oh my god, I think it’s coming!’ Gordon yelled dramatically and then demanded some gas and air like some pregnant ladies do when they give birth.

‘Hold my paw’ Gordon said to our whippet Rema’ (Rema was my whippet that I owned at the time and was Gordon’s partner in crime.

563215_609329669155083_1571547699_n

Rema the whippet and Gordon (taken in London) (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Piss off’ Rema snapped, ‘It’s your own fault!’

‘I think it is coming judging by what I can see here’ I nodded to Abdel as Gordon’s anus started to wink at me.

‘This is silly, a complete waste of time, he has not eaten the tinsel’ Abdel said impatiently.

‘Wanna bet?’ I grinned, ‘Look at that!’

Sure enough, the silver tinsel was poking out of Gordon’s bum but not quite enough to get a grip and pull on it.  I was there armed with my rubber gloves at the ready and as soon as I could get a good piece of it, I grabbed it and gently started to pull.

Jesus Christ it was horrendous, with each tug of tinsel came a hard lump of cat turd stuck to it, it was like tinsel-turd Christmas baubles and had it not been so disgusting, it would have been funny.

‘I am having a baby!’ Gordon yelled loudly to my whippet that I had at the time.

‘Ouch!’ Rema winced and then carried on looking at Gordon’s anus giving birth to his own tinsel turd.

‘Oh my god’ Abdel said in awe/disgust/shock/horror – you can choose the emotion.

‘I told you so!’ I said smugly in response.

‘Oh my god’ Abdel repeated as I pulled the last of the tinsel out of Gordon’s arse.

‘Phew, thanks for that Mum, feel so much better now, won’t be doing that again’ Gordon grinned with relief as I placed the tinsel-turd into a plastic bag and sealed it for the rubbish bin.

‘I think we should take the Christmas decorations down as we can’t risk this happening again, what do you think?’ I asked Abdel who was still sitting there with his mouth open.

‘Oh my god’ he replied.

And to this very day when I mention that shimmering glittery turd coming out of Gordon’s arse, that is still his response ‘Oh my god’.

I will say though, that I felt quite proud getting that tinsel out of him in one piece and almost felt like calling the news or something that my cat did shiny shit but I didn’t though, just in case they didn’t believe me.

The End..

The Naughty Corner…

What kind of naughty things has your cat been up to? I would love to read your stories so please feel free to post them below, just so Gordon doesn’t feel alone in the naughty corner.

11822449_10153054357888317_1732278576487273471_n

Gordon’s Naughty Corner (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright October 2015