Adventures with a creamsicle cat

I’m sharing more stories about Gizmo (for those that don’t know, we helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge last week — read more about him here).

As I was sorting through photos and trying to choose them for the post above, there were so many that told stories.

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Giz enjoying some spring weather too from the safety of his kennel . . . 

Gizmo enjoying some time outside safely
This photo above doesn’t really tell a story, but it was in my last TOLT post. OTOH, it’s Gizmo in his outdoor kennel. Back when the boys were tiny little kittens, we decided we would build them a kennel outside that they could access via a cat flap in the house. It started out somewhat small, and it grew . . . and it grew . . . and it grew . . . and furntirure moved in . . . and it moved with us from TX to NY.

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The kennel in TX

The boys just loved this kennel. So did my elderly cat, Puss. Simba was in it on his last day on earth — Gizmo hadn’t gone into it in the last several weeks, though. In the photo at the top I am sitting on the bench next to Giz.

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Fresh air. Sunshine. Little critters. What more could a cat want?

My first two cats were strictly indoors. I wanted the boys to be able to enjoy fresh air . . . safely. There was a price, though — the critters they caught & brought in! They were mighty hunters.

Which leads me to one our most told stories about the boys: the time when I came home to find them staring intently at my treadmill. The space between it and the wall. I took a look, and I thought I saw one of their little furry balls. And then it moved.

Too big to be a mouse, I thought ewww! It’s a rat. Eventually they lost interest and wandered away. A few hours later, though, when Mr. Judy got home, they were back at it. And then we heard squeaking.

We managed to get the 3 cats (Puss was still alive) into separate rooms, and then we lifted  the treadmill. And it went from ewww, a rat, to awww! a baby bunny!

We eventually managed to get it, and Mr. Judy was concerned that it couldn’t fend for itself — so he put it out in my garden! The next morning there was no bunny, so I’ve always assumed somehow it’s mama found it. I just believe that it survived — poor thing had quite the adventure to tell!

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Cats’ agility is amazing thing to watch

How’d he do that?
I never tired of marveling at the acrobatic capabilities of the boys. I mean, I knew he jumped onto that little corner shelf, then jumped from there into the window — but how? They used to jump from the floor onto the top of our 6 foot entertainment center, too. Gizmo used to give me heart attacks jumping from our top floor here straight down to the bottom floor!

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Gizmo supervising my painting

Eventually Mr. Judy built this shelf for that back window and a ramp up to it. We don’t have windows like that here in NY, but we do have a big bay window in our living room and the boys spent many hours snoozing in beds there.

I remember the one time a tornado actually got quite close to us in TX . . . I was able to easily get Gizmo in the bathroom, but Simba was just sitting on that shelf staring out at the storm; eventually I got him, too, and we rode it out in our bathroom. It wasn’t a big one, but it did get somewhat close.

Puss was still alive and I wasn’t able to find her. After we got out, I found her behind the dresser in our bedroom — against an inside wall. I had no idea she could squeeze back there, but she was a smart cat — that was a good place to ride out the storm!

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Literally bouncing off walls

Speaking of acrobatics . . . 
We used to throw balls up against the quilt for the boys to catch.

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Training is fun

Who says you can’t train cats?
Before we ever had dogs, we trained the boys to sit up, lay down, high five, jump over a hurdle and jump through hoops. They loved it. They got so excited when the clicker came out — the dogs did, too — except Bandit. He’s afraid of the clicker. Not the vacuum cleaner, but the clicker. Weird dog.

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Jumping hurdles. Lola used to love this, too (we did agility with her when she was younger, just for fun)
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C’mon Simba, it’s fun in here!

Double Trouble
I remember the time that one of them got into the wastebasket . . . I fished him out, only to turn around and see the other one get in. This went on for quite some time. I’m sure they were laughing at us. I’d had two cats before, but this was the first time I’d had littermates — they were so much fun.

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We want to choose our own toys!

And so much trouble! Into everything! We actually had to put child locks on the drawers in our kitchen in TX because they figured out how to open them. In better days, every time I opened that pantry door (where the treats were), Gizmo would come running.

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Looking for trouble

This photo reminds me of the time the boys got out. Our windows were low to the floor in TX. They had solar screens on the outside, and we had some bars we’d prop up in the open window so we could get some air and keep the boys safe . . . or so we thought.

One day, when I was sick, I heard that yowling you only hear from cats when they see another cat. I got up to investigate, and they’d gotten the bars down, popped open the screen, and both of them were outside — as was some stray cat.

Gizmo always listened. I told him to get back inside and he just hopped right back in. Simba, OTOH, took off after the cat, who made a beeline for our neighbor’s yard. The one with the Chow Chow behind the fence, with Simba in hot pursuit.

Thankfully Simba had the good sense not to jump the fence, but he sure didn’t want to come back inside, either. I had to go in, get a crate, and eventually I was able to lure him into it and get him back inside. That training really comes in handy at the darndest times!

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Have you ever tried to train a cat?

Every had littermates?

What would you tell me about your furkid?

 

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12 thoughts on “Adventures with a creamsicle cat

  1. I love looking at these photos of your felines. So beautiful.
    We’ve had two cats a couple of times (We do now). We got a second one for the first’s companion. They don’t fight but largely ignore each other. If we again down the road have two cats I want them to be litter mates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, lemme tell you, it just all depends on the cats.

      My first two cats (on my own) were both strays, taken in about a year apart, so similar in age (both tiny kittens when I took them in).

      Cleo was a lot like Lola — she just wanted a playmate. Puss was not interested. They generally got along/ignored each other.

      Puss was somewhat like Gizmo, in that she was mostly a one woman cat. She was definitely not impressed with the boys — although in fairness to her she was 17 when we adopted them and already in kidney failure.

      I used to say she hated them til the day she died, but in looking back at photos I have several where they are laying together on couches. I didn’t remember that.

      The boys had each other, so they respected her and really didn’t try to interact with her much.

      Now, the boys. There was a love/hate relationship. Gizmo loved Simba to the point that he suckled on poor Simba when we first got them.

      Yes, I have photo after photo of them cuddling, usually initiated by Giz, but what I didn’t say is that Simba was also a big bully (literally) and the fur would often fly, too. Never any bites, but it wasn’t just playing, either.

      I really thought that Gizmo would be devastated when Simba “disappeared”, but quite frankly, he seemed extremely happy to have me to himself (except for those pesky dogs). It’s why I didn’t adopt another cat at the time, and right now, because of life circumstances, it’s just not the right time to be adopting a new cat. I’m sure when the time is right, the cat will appear.

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  2. Wow, they were smart kitties! I’m impressed that you were able to train them to do so much. And that outdoor enclosure is so cool! You guys made that yourself? I think my cats would love something like that…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The outdoor enclosure was made up of dog kennel panels my husband got at Lowes or Home Depot. He did fashion a chicken wire cover for it (he is an engineer, after all) and when we moved here, he figured out a safe way to attach it to our deck.

      They also make a product (at least I assume they still make it) called Cat Fence-in, which I can’t really explain well but you attach it to a fence it it makes it extremely difficult for them to be able to jump the fence — I have a couple of friends that used it and/or engineered their own version of it.

      Cat are definitely trainable. It helps if they’re very food motivated & the boys definitely were.

      Just like dogs, it also helps them exercise mentally too & they love it. You do have a be a bit more patient with cats and meet them on their own terms; they’re not usually quite as willing to work as long as dogs, but they loved it! And it saved our bacon a time or two.

      Just don’t blame me if your cats start coming in with critters. 🙂

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  3. These are great pictures, Judy! And I love the memories that go along with them. 🙂 I love that you built that outside enclosure for the kitties! We have a screened in porch with a cat tree and some boxes out there and my girls love sunning and hanging out back there.

    I’ve worked on some training but not really much so it probably doesn’t count. I can make Molly sit before I give her a treat, though, so there’s that. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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