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 – Author Helpers!

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

Zorro here. People say that dogs are man’s best friend, but lots of people love cats, too. Mommy says that almost half of people who own cats have more than one. I’m glad Mommy and Daddy decided to have more than one cat, because it would be really lonely without Ziggy.

Mommy said that one man who loved cats was Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote books, like Mommy’ does (except he’s a lot more famous than Mommy). One of his cats, Catterina, used to sit on his shoulder to watch him write.

I like to watch Mommy write, but if I tried to sit on her shoulder, I’m afraid I would fall off; Mommy’s shoulders aren’t that big. Instead, I like to sit on her lap, because she regularly stops typing to scratch my neck.

Ziggy likes to watch Mommy write, too, but he usually lies on the table. Mommy used to scold him for getting up there and make him get down, but she finally gave up. Ziggy is pretty hard-headed.

When we went to North Carolina last month, Daddy went with us. So Mommy got to write while Daddy was driving. Ziggy and I were both in her lap then.

Mommy says that having kitties close by makes her feel more relaxed and creative. Ziggy and I are happy to help her out this way, because she gives us lots of love and feeds us really good kitty food.

It’s Zaturday – The Great Cat Race!

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

Ziggy here. Zorro and I have a lot of fun chasing each other around the house. Sometimes I chase Zorro and sometimes he chases me. We sort of take turns. I think Zorro gets tired faster than me, though, because sometimes he wants to stop, and I’m still raring to go. Then if I bug him too much, he hisses at me and Mommy tells me to leave him alone. Eventually we both wear out. Then we find a comfy place to curl up and recharge.

Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be on the table. But it’s my favorite spot in the whole house. Not Zorro. He’s too much of a goody-two-paws. Here’s one of his favorite spots:

When Zorro surprises me by pouncing on me, I have a hard time getting going. Our house in Florida has tile on the floor, and my claws can’t grab hold, so I spin out. It’s a lot easier when there’s carpet.

Sometimes when Zorro and I are chasing each other, we get carried away and knock things over. Mommy scolds us then and tells us to take it easy. Zorro always tries to look innocent so Mommy thinks I did it. Just because I’m the one with my paw on the chocolate…

But we don’t let that slow us down any. We still run really fast. In fact, we run so fast that Mommy can’t even get pictures of us, because they turn out all blurry.  Mommy was curious just how fast we can run, so she asked Mr. Google. She found out that we can run up to 30 miles an hour, faster than elephants, pigs and squirrels. If we raced those animals, we would win. We could beat Mommy and Daddy, too.

Zorro and I have heard of people races and dog races and horse races, so we were wondering if there were ever any cat races. So Mommy asked Mr. Google that question too. (Mr. Google knows everything.) Mommy couldn’t find any cat races. Not official ones, anyway.

But she did find a video of a cat race that was held to raise money for Stamp Out Hunger. They made the walls of the drag strip out of cans of catfood and called it the Catnip Raceway. I watched the video with Mommy and thought it was pretty funny. If you want to watch it too and see Simba and Gizmo fly…I mean saunter down the track, you can click here.

Zorro and I are thinking about starting our own race. We could raise money for Toys for Cats or Smitten with Kittens. What do you think? I think it would fun, especially if they coax us with treats. Tuna would work too.

It’s Zaturday – Space Cat!

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

Zorro here. Ziggy and I love hanging out on our catio in North Carolina. There are lots of fun things to see. Birds fly back and forth to the bird feeder all day long.

There are lots of squirrels on the ground, too. They like to eat the corn that Aunt Kim puts out for the deer. It’s fun to watch them.

Yesterday a squirrel ran up the wire right in front of us! Ziggy and I both jumped, because it startled us.

We like being out here in our catio at night, too. In the dark, there are different things to see. That’s when the racoons come out. They’re close to our size, but we’re not sure if they’re friendly. I’d rather not find out.

Image by edbo23 from Pixabay

Moths fly into our catio, too, especially if Mommy has the porch light on. They’re fun to chase. Whenever I can catch them, I eat them. Mommy feeds me too good for me to be hungry, and the moths don’t have much taste, but I guess it’s just instinct. Mommy doesn’t like it when I do that, though.

Sometimes Ziggy and I just sit on the bar and look up into the sky. There are lots of little lights. (Mommy calls them stars.) I sometimes wonder what it’s like up there. Although Ziggy and I travel a lot, we’ve never been off the ground.

Recently, Mommy learned about a cat that went into space back in 1963. She was a French tuxedo kitty named Felicette and was the only cat to ever travel to space. Before the mission, she and thirteen other cats went through the same preflight training that human astronauts do. I’m not sure what that involves, but I probably wouldn’t do very well. I get sick and throw up on Mommy when she drives around too many curves.

When the cats finished their training, Felicette was chosen because of her calm disposition and because all the other cats had put on too much weight. She blasted off, and her rocket flew almost 100 miles above the earth at up to six times the speed of sound. Then thirteen minutes later, she parachuted back down to earth in her little space capsule, alive and well. Felicette’s mission helped bring France into the space race.

Mommy says that Felicette has her own statue, on display at the International Space University near Strasbourg. I don’t want to go into space, but I think it would be really cool if Mommy and Daddy made a Zorro statue. I guess it would be okay if Ziggy got one, too.

It’s Zaturday – Ziggy for President!

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

Ziggy here. Zorro and I stay pretty busy. We spend a lot of time keeping ourselves clean.

We have to keep the critters in line, too. In Florida, we stand guard to make sure the lizards don’t come inside.

In North Carolina, we don’t see any lizards, but the squirrels are constantly misbehaving. Mommy and Aunt Kim hung bird feeders outside our catio so Zorro and I and our two cousins can watch the birds. But the squirrels hang on the wire and get into them. Yesterday, Zorro and I weren’t out there to stand guard, and this is what Mommy and Daddy saw while sitting at the dining room table:

The squirrels here will do anything to get to the bird seed. Sometimes they stretch between the screen and feeder and eat it right out of the tray. Other times they pull the feeders close to the screen and dump the seed onto our bar.

 

Zorro and I don’t like them messing up our catio like this, and we chase them away if they try to get too close. We take our job as guard-cats very seriously. But we can’t stand guard 24/7. All that hard work makes us tired, so we have to get in our naps.

 

Zorro and I work hard to protect our area, but Mommy told us about a cat that was in charge of a whole town. It was time to elect a mayor for the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska. The manager at the general store picked a ginger kitten from a box of unwanted cats and named him Stubbs, because he had no tail. Stubbs ended up winning the election as a write-in candidate, because the people didn’t like the humans on the ballot. Stubbs kept the position for twenty years, his entire life. Since he was honest and never raised taxes, he was pretty popular, even though he insisted on drinking catnip-flavored water out of wineglasses and was often guilty of sleeping on the job.

Zorro and I have been hearing a bunch of stuff lately about an election for president coming up soon. If Stubbs can be mayor, I wonder if I could be President. I bet Mommy and Daddy would vote for me. Zorro would, too. If I was President, I would make sure that all kitties had a good home, a nice soft bed and all the kitty food they could possibly want.

Ziggy for President! Hmm, that belongs on a bumper sticker!

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 – Lefties!

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

Ziggy here. Mommy is right-handed and Aunt Kim is left-handed. (That rock in the picture belongs to Aunt Kim.) The other day, Mommy was curious about whether cats have a dominant side, so she asked Mr. Google. (Mr. Google knows everything!)

She learned about a study they did on 44 cats. They watched them play, walk down stairs, climb out of the litter box and reach for food, and they looked to see which paw they led with. They found that most of the female cats favored their right paw and most of the males favored their left.

Zorro and I are both boys, so that means we’re left-handed, like Aunt Kim. (I guess in our case, it would be “left-pawed.”) Mommy wanted to test the theory, so she put us each in the litter box. I jumped out with both front paws together, but Zorro stepped out with his left foot.

Then she put us on top of our cat condo. Zorro stepped down with his left paw again, so I think he’s definitely left-handed like Aunt Kim.

When Mommy put me on the perch, I kind of liked it there, so I sat…

And sat…

And sat…

Mommy finally gave up. But then came the fun part—toys!!! One of our favorite things to play with is a piece of paper wadded up into a ball. Mommy throws it down the hall, and we go crazy chasing it then batting it around. Mommy tied it onto a string and dangled it in front of us. Guess which paw Zorro batted it with–his left. Again.

I thought he was making things way too easy for Mommy, so I swung at it with my right paw some and my left paw some, then grabbed it and held onto it.

When it was all over, Mommy decided that Zorro is left-pawed, and I’m just difficult.

It’s Zaturday – Hangin’ Out!

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

Ziggy here. Zorro and I have lots of places we like to hang out. One of our favorites is the “catio” Mommy and Aunt Kim made for us in North Carolina. We have lots of fun sitting on the bar and watching the birds come to the feeder. They’re almost close enough to reach out and grab (but not quite).

We like our kitty condo in Florida a lot, too. It has nice perches on top where we curl up and go to sleep. It’s especially nice when the sun is shining in the window or at night when the lizards come to visit. The other day, Zorro decided to take a bath up there and almost fell off. I bet he won’t try that again.

Mommy says some of our hangouts are a little strange, like when Mommy took some work to bed with her, and instead of lying on the soft bed, Zorro went to sleep on her clipboard.

Or when I was at Grandma’s house, and with all the nice roomy couches and chairs to lie on, I crowded onto the stuffed bunny’s lap in the tiny chair.

We have lots of fun places to hang out. But what makes all of them special is having Mommy close by.

 

It’s Zaturday – Strange Diets!

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

Zorro here. Ziggy and I love to eat. Mommy and Daddy buy us lots of good kitty food, but we have some flavors that are our favorites. Splash Dance is really yummy. So is Fowl Ball, Chicken Frick ‘A Zee, Lamb Burgini and Funk in the Trunk.

Ziggy is weird, though, because he likes to eat Mommy’s vitamins. Mommy has to be careful to swallow them right away and not leave them beside her computer, or Ziggy will get into them. Mommy says he doesn’t need them, because he already has too much energy. The few times he’s eaten Mommy’s vitamins, they didn’t hurt him. But when we were in North Carolina last month, he got into Grandma’s vitamins and threw them up all over her carpet. Mommy wasn’t happy.

Mommy and Daddy used to have a cat that was even stranger than Ziggy. He loved tomatoes. When Mommy would open the refrigerator door to get something, he would jump inside, grab a tomato and run away with it.

But Mommy read something a few days ago that is the weirdest of all. She says that in a place called the Galapagos, grasshoppers make up half of the cats’ diets. Ziggy thinks I eat grasshoppers, because I can jump really high. My favorite spot is on top of the curio cabinet.

But I don’t eat grasshoppers. At least not normally. If a grasshopper got into the house, I would chase it and catch it. But even though I sometimes eat bugs I catch, I don’t think I would eat a grasshopper. They look too crunchy. I mean, check him out. Does he look appetizing?

Image by Claudia Peters from Pixabay

 

I don’t think so. Not to turn my nose up at what my distant cousins eat, but I think I’ll stick with my yummy kitty food…and tuna.

It’s Zaturday – Happy Independence Day!

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

Zorro here. Today is Independence Day. At least, that’s what Mommy says. Ziggy and I aren’t sure what Independence Day is, but we think it has something to do with cats.

Everyone knows that cats are independent. Mommy and Daddy make jokes about it. Daddy says dogs have owners but cats have staff, and Mommy says that cats used to be worshiped as gods and we’ve never forgotten it.

We don’t know about all that, but we’re waaay more independent than dogs. Scientists say that we don’t see Mommy and Daddy as a focus of safety the same way dogs do. Even though we can take care of ourselves pretty well, we do still rely on Mommy and Daddy to give us affection and mental stimulation and to keep us healthy. And we show them that we love them by purring and rubbing up against them. Another way I show Mommy and Daddy that I love them is by blinking slowly at them. I like it when Mommy does it back.

I think Ziggy is more independent than I am, though, because when Mommy goes away, I really miss her. And when she finally comes back, I can hardly wait for her to put her stuff down so she can pick me up and love me. I always greet her with kisses on the nose.

 

Now, back to Independence Day. Since it’s our special day, Ziggy and I are waiting for our silk pillows…and tuna…and snuggles. Think we’ll get them?