It’s Zaturday – Cats on Leashes!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. Zorro and I have harnesses and leashes. Don’t we look sharp?

Our leashes aren’t for being taken on walks, though. Mommy makes us wear them when we travel. She buckles the loop on the leash into the seat belt so we can’t escape when she gets in and out of the car. Zorro wouldn’t even try, because he doesn’t like it outside. He even gets nervous when Mommy carries him to the car. In fact, when Mommy gets the leashes and harnesses out of the closet, he usually hides. But once he’s in the car, he’s fine. He curls up on Mommy’s lap and goes to sleep.

Mommy has to really watch me, though. I’ve jumped out of the car a couple of times. (Zorro says I’m a rebel.) I wasn’t going to run away. I just wanted to check things out. But the leash was too short for me to go far, and Mommy picked me up and put me back inside right away. Not too long ago, I figured out how to get out of my harness. Mommy looked in the back of the car, and guess what she saw. Yep, the harness was lying on top of Mommy and Daddy’s stuff, and there was no cat in it!

Now I have a new harness. It’s the same kind as Zorro’s, just a different color. I haven’t figured out how to get out of it yet.

Mommy read a story this week in a book about cats that said the Army tried to use cats on leashes to lead them into the jungle at night during the Vietnam War. We can see really good in the dark, much better than people, so it would make sense. But according to the book, it didn’t work, because the cats played with the soldiers’ pack straps and clawed at their boots. Mommy’s not sure if the story is true, though, because she checked with Mr. Google and couldn’t find anything about it. (I think if it really happened, Mr. Google would know about it, because Mr. Google knows everything.)

Mommy and Daddy used to have a cat that liked to walk on a leash. His name was Smudge, and he used to start purring when Mommy would get his leash and harness out, because he knew Mommy was going to take him for a walk. Zorro and I never met Smudge, because Mommy and Daddy had him a long time ago.

Mommy has just finished writing a book called Flee the Darkness, and Smudge is in that book. She hasn’t put Zorro and me in a book yet. I’m not sure what to think about that.

It’s Zaturday – The Cat’s Whiskers!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. Daddy has whiskers but Ziggy and I have him beat! Check out mine:

Ziggy has pretty good whiskers, too.

Mommy had a hard time getting pictures of our whiskers, though, because black whiskers on black cats don’t show up as much. A lot of cats have white whiskers. Like this one:

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Kitty whiskers make us look cute, but that’s not all they’re for. Our whiskers help us navigate the world. They’re as sensitive as a human’s fingertips. Each whisker is filled with little, supersensitive nerves that help us judge distance and space. Humans touch the world with their fingers, but we use our faces!

Our whiskers can pick up subtle changes in air currents and tell us the shape and speed of nearby objects. They also send messages to our brains about the position of our legs and body so we always know what every part is doing. Did you ever hear that cats always land on their feet? That’s why.

Another thing our whiskers do is help is “see” things that are close. We see better at a distance, but it’s hard to focus on objects up close. When we approach something in our path, our whiskers act like radar detectors, picking up the air currents that bounce back. That way, we can go around it. Unless it’s our food bowl.

Whiskers protect us, too. If a tiny speck of dust falls on a whisker above my eye, I blink or shake it off. Whiskers also keep us from getting into jams. The ones on the sides of our nose are the same width as our bodies. If we come up on a narrow spot, they let us know if we can fit through it without getting stuck.

People should never cut cats’ whiskers. It doesn’t hurt us, but it can make us feel disoriented and scared. Cutting our whiskers is like blindfolding someone, because you’re taking away one of our ways of telling what’s around us.

A while back, Mommy said that someone thought they were the cat’s whiskers. Ziggy and I didn’t think that made any sense at all. But she said it’s an expression that means someone or something is very appealing, even considers himself to be the center of the universe.

Hmmm, Ziggy and I are really cute. When we meow, Mommy and Daddy always listen and try to give us what we want. I don’t know if we’re the center of their universe, but we’re a really important part of their lives. Does that mean we’re the cat’s whiskers?

It’s Zaturday – The Cats Save the Day!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. Did you know that cats were worshiped in ancient Egypt? At least that’s what Mommy says. I’m not sure where Egypt is. I don’t think it’s in North Carolina or Florida, because we’ve never been there. Wherever it is, wealthy families there used to dress their cats in jewels and feed them treats fit for royalty. Ziggy and I don’t care anything about jewels…

…but we always go for treats.

People don’t worship cats anymore and that’s okay. But we’re still pretty special and have done some really cool things. Like how a long time ago (Mommy says 1961), rats were overrunning rice fields in Borneo. So people captured the stray cats of Singapore and parachuted them from planes into the rice fields. The cats got rid of the rats and saved the crops. I hope the people gave them a good reward, like all the tuna they could eat for the rest of their lives.

Ziggy and I haven’t done anything so grand as saving crops, but Mommy and Daddy still love us a lot. Daddy teases us about how much money they spend on kitty food, but Mommy says we’re worth it and that owning cats has lots of health benefits.

People have done studies that show having a cat around releases calming chemicals that lower stress and anxiety. Other studies have shown that a lot of people sleep better with their pets. I know that’s true, because in the wintertime, I crawl under the covers with Mommy and help keep her warm. When we’re in North Carolina, I snuggle with Grandma when she takes naps on the couch.

Mommy said even watching cat videos boosts energy and positive emotions. Ziggy and I could run with that. Mommy says we do really cute things, like when I get in the bathtub and chase my tail. Or when Ziggy and I were running down the stairs yesterday and I tripped at the bottom and landed on top of him. That made Mommy laugh. I bet we could make some really cute videos.

Hmm, maybe we should start our own YouTube channel.

It’s Zaturday – Mighty Hunters!

cat huntingIt’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. Ziggy and I love to hunt. It’s what kitties do. But being indoor kitties, we don’t get to do it very often. We have to content ourselves with watching the lizards on the other side of the windows and sliding glass doors.

We have a toy one that we like to bat around. It slides across the floor really nice, so it’s a lot of fun. But it doesn’t move unless we slap at it, so it’s not nearly as much fun as the ones we see outside.

Sometimes we have some excitement, though, when we’re in North Carolina. Every so often, a little field mouse will get into the house. When that happens, Ziggy and I go nuts! Although we’re pretty fast, the mice are usually faster, and they can get into little tiny spaces that we can’t. Once in a while, though, we’ll catch one. A lot of cats kill mice and eat them, but Ziggy and I aren’t interested in that. Mommy feeds us too good. But mice make really great toys, because they move on their own! The only way they would be better is if someone rolled them in catnip.

One time a snake got in. I was the one who found it. He was a pretty good opponent. He kept striking at me, but I didn’t let him get away. I had him trapped in the corner. When Mommy checked to see what I was doing, she got all freaked out. She was afraid the snake bit me. But I’m too fast for that.

Mommy grabbed me and locked me in another room until she and Aunt Kim caught the snake. Aunt Kim got out her snake book and found that it was an Eastern rat snake, which isn’t poisonous, so they took it outside and let it go in the woods.

When Mommy came in, she scolded me and said I should never play with snakes. I always try hard to obey, but I can’t make any promises if one gets inside again. If it moves, it’s way too tempting.

It’s Zaturday – Oh, Boy, a Box!

Oh boy, a box

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. Every so often, boxes show up on our doorstep. It happens in both North Carolina and Florida. Zorro and I always get excited, because sometimes there’s stuff in there for us. Like cat food. Lots of cat food. Bunches and bunches of cans. Litter too, which is almost as exciting as food, because nothing is better than a clean, fresh litter box.

But empty boxes are pretty exciting, too. As soon as Mommy or Daddy take all the stuff out of one, Zorro and I get in. This one had toys in the bottom of it, but that didn’t matter to me. It was still a box. It didn’t matter to Zorro, either, because as soon as I got out, he got in.

Cardboard boxes are the best, but we’ll take plastic ones, too. In fact, laundry baskets are like boxes. This one has soft, clean clothes in it, so it was much more comfortable than the box with the trucks.

I think all kitties love boxes. Zorro told me that Midnight used to love boxes, too. I never knew Midnight. He was an older kitty who was Zorro’s buddy before Mommy and Daddy adopted me. Here’s a picture of him in one of his favorite places—a box! Mommy named this picture, “How to fit 17 pounds of feline blubber into a 7×10 box.”

Zorro and I don’t fill out boxes the way Midnight used to. But I think we look just as cute!

It’s Zaturday – A Black Cat’s Take on Friday the 13th!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s Facebook page!

Zorro here. Mommy says yesterday was Friday the 13th. I don’t know exactly what that means, because for us, there are just two kinds of days—days in Florida and days in North Carolina. Well, three. There are also the days that we spend in the car getting to Florida or North Carolina.

But apparently Friday the 13th is supposed to be an unlucky day. Mommy says that’s not true, because she and Daddy got married on Friday the 13th and it didn’t bring them any bad luck. Some people believe black cats are bad luck, too. But Ziggy and I think that’s crazy.

Black cat
Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay

Like how they say it’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. The only time that’s true in our house is when Ziggy runs in front of Mommy and trips her. Then it’s bad luck for both of them—Mommy almost falls and Ziggy gets accidentally kicked across the room. That happened not too long ago. Now Mommy is wearing a big black boot and walking funny. But I’m smarter than Ziggy. I’ve figured out how to stay out of the way of the humans’ feet.

But people say nice things about black cats, too. Like that dreaming about one is lucky. (I help Mommy dream about me by sleeping on her pillow.) And that a black cat on your porch brings prosperity. (We can’t help Mommy and Daddy there. They don’t let us outside.) And how about this one: In olde England, it was believed that a sty in the eye would be cured if rubbed with a black cat’s tail. (Ziggy wouldn’t like that. He doesn’t want people messing with his tail.)

 

Image by lemondedis2 from Pixabay

But Ziggy and I think all those superstitions are silly, whether good or bad. Black cats are just like any other cats. We like to play, eat, get scratched under the chin, curl up in a sunny spot and spend lots of time sleeping.

So what should you do if a black cat crosses your path at night?

Pick him up and love him!

It’s Zaturday – Kitty Melodies!

Photo by T. Duff from FreeImages

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog!

Ziggy here. Zorro and I have this cool thing at our home in Florida.  Mommy calls it a piano, and it makes really neat sounds. Mommy and Daddy both know how to play it. Zorro and I do, too, but it doesn’t sound the same as when Mommy and Daddy play. We still think it sounds good, though.

Sometimes Mommy closes the lid on our piano. When that happens, Zorro and I can’t get it to make any sounds. But it’s a comfy place to stretch out. It’s also a perfect spot to watch things outside, because there are two sliding glass doors on the other side of the room.

Photo by Eric W. from FreeImages

We have fun watching the birds. Cats usually like to chase birds, but not these kind. These are huge! There are squirrels out there, too. They run around and climb the trees. If Mommy would let us out, Zorro and I would chase them, but we’d stay away from those birds.

Okay, I got sidetracked. (Zorro says I’m easily distracted.) I was talking about playing the piano thing. Mommy told us about a famous cat who has a song named after him. Domenico Scarlotti claimed that his cat Pulcinella helped him compose his Fugue in G Minor. So it’s known as The Cat Fugue. Scarlotti didn’t call it that, but other people have. Zorro and I think it’s a great name.

We’re hoping that Mommy and Daddy write a song and name it after us. Actually, Mommy just plays, but Daddy makes up music. (He calls it composing.) When he writes a song about his favorite cats, he can’t call it The Cat Fugue, because that’s already taken. But how about Ziggy’s Song? Hmmm, has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

musical notes
Photo by Robert Proksa from FreeImages

 

It’s Zaturday – Lizard Patrol!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

green lizard
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

 

cat huntingZiggy here. Zorro and I are on lizard patrol. (I know, I’m standing in the litter box. But at least it’s clean litter. And it gets me closer to the lizard.)

The lizards around here are evil. They torment us. They sit on the windows and sliding glass doors, inches away, knowing we can see them but can’t get to them. And they watch us. They sometimes do push-ups and puff out those things on their throats. And they stick out their tongues and go, “Ha, ha, ha.” Well, they don’t say it, but I know that’s what they’re thinking.

The first time I saw a lizard on the window, I went right into attack mode. I totally forgot about the glass. Almost knocked myself out. Zorro says I’m not too bright. But it wasn’t my fault. I see a lizard and…boom! Instinct takes over. I’m a natural-born hunter. It’s what my cat ancestors have done all through the ages.

Cats at sliding glass doorOh, no! Here’s another one! Zorro and I are keeping an eye on him, making sure he doesn’t get inside. We’re determined. And we’re focused. We’re not leaving our post until the lizard does.

It’s Zaturday – a New Place to Chill!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Cat toys

Zorro here. I have to admit. We have a pretty good Mommy and Daddy. They give us lots of attention, feed us really good food, and give us fun toys to play with.

A while back, they got us something we’d never had before—a kitty condo. Daddy put it all together and set it up in the living room, but Mommy moved it in front of the window. We liked Mommy’s spot better, but we did our best to ignore the new addition to the house for the appropriate amount of time. (We have to show a certain level of indifference. If we act too interested in what the humans are doing, it’s too much like dog behavior.)

After about a week, though, we couldn’t hold out any longer.

Black cats

This thing just has too many temptations—scratching posts. Soft, carpeted perches. Hidey-holes.

Cats looking out window

And when the sun shines in the window, those hidey-holes get cozy warm. That was really nice a couple of weeks ago. It was cold for a few days (cold for Florida, anyway.) I took lots of naps in my “heated” room.

Cat hiding

Unfortunately, we’re in North Carolina now, and we don’t have a kitty condo up here. So we usually just snuggle up on the couch.

Black cats

But it would be really nice if Mommy would buy us a kitty condo for up here. Maybe you can drop her a hint.

We’re keeping our paws crossed.

It’s Zaturday – Kitty Hidey-Holes!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. We’re back in Florida after that two-day car ride. Or maybe it was just one. Whatever it was, it felt like FOREVER!

After breakfast this morning, I settled in for the first of my naps. When Mommy went looking for me, she couldn’t find me. I stayed where I was and listened to her call, because…well, that’s what cats do. It’s one of the things that makes us different from dogs. (Unless there’s food involved. I always make an exception at mealtime.) In this case, my tummy was full and I was quite comfy. I still don’t know what all the excitement was about. I knew where I was the entire time. I was in one of my favorite hidey spots. (I’m not telling where in case Mommy reads this.)

Cat in closetWhen it comes to cool places to hide out, humans have no creativity at all. Mommy and Daddy are always so easy to find. They could take some lessons from me. My buddy Zorro is good at disappearing, too. Sometimes even I can’t find him. Like when he got in the closet and went to sleep on the towels.

Laundry baskets are pretty cool, too. Especially when they’re full of fresh laundry. Zorro beat me to this one, so I was stuck with having to lie in front of it.

We both love boxes and bags. Here, Zorro thinks he’s camouflaged—black cat in a black bag. But I can see him.

Cat in bag

Now I’m off to find a new hidey-hole.