Underdog

via Daily Prompt: Underdog

We call my dog ,Lily, Underdog because she’s always going under things. If you’re looking for her and can’t find her, there’s a good chance she’s under the table. At our old house she was always going under beds but at our new house she’s discovered much to her chagrin, that the beds are constructed in a way that make it impossible for her to get under them. She’s just too big

She’s usually driven under furniture by sounds she doesn’t like- that sound could be thunder, fireworks, music, beeping, glasses clinking together or some sound that is perceptible only to her. She has very big ears and is very sensitive to noises. One time we were walking her through the neighborhood when fireworks started going off.  As there was no furniture around, she darted under a parked car.

Aside from noises, the other thing that tends to drive her under furniture is seeing an object she wants there, usually one of her toys. I said that she can’t fit under beds in our new house but she hasn’t quite accepted that fact. She still tries to get under the beds.  She thrusts her head under the bed and whines and barks, hoping that if she just tries hard enough the bed will magically shift to accommodate her or she’ll magically shrink.

While Lily is too big to fit under the beds, the cat, Dr. Zeus, is not. He goes under them quite a bit, especially when he’s mad at his humans and as you can imagine this drives Lily crazy.  The two of them like to play-fight and while Lily has the advantage of being bigger, Dr. Zeus has the advantage of being able to retreat under furniture. He’s taken an especial liking to the footstools in front of the sofa. I’ve taken to calling him Undercat.

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Daily Prompt: Fluff

via Daily Prompt: Fluff

When I was a kid I had a pet chicken named Madame Fluff. She was a black hen with a fluffy hairdo. She was actually named after my mother in a roundabout way. My mom had told me that a man she shared the train with on her daily commute to work had nicknamed her Madame Fluff. She didn’t know why he called her that and he didn’t either. I’m guessing it had to with the fluffy hats and ear muffs she wore. They were black just like Madame Fluff the chicken.

The hen we got along with Madame Fluff was white and named Kathie Lee. She was named after Kathie Lee Gifford and also after my mother in a way. She shared a first name spelled differently with Kathie Lee Gifford and she’d talk about how she couldn’t stand Regis’s co-host. She didn’t care much for the chickens either. When my brother and I asked for pet chickens she refused so we asked our father. He agreed to keep them under our trampoline and surrounded it with chicken wire. Since my mother did not live with him her objections to chickens did not matter. I guess that’s one of the benefits of having parents who are separated.

I was proud of my creativity when it came to naming pets but one day when I was sharing the names of my chickens with my peers a girl said “Madame Fluff? What kind of a stupid name is that?'” After that I became self conscious and the next time someone asked me the names of my chickens I just referred to Madame Fluff as Fluff.

A family friend has a cat named Fluffhead. He’s orange and white and very mean. Sometimes he’ll act like he’s nice and wants you to pet him but he’s just luring you in to a false sense of security so he can bite or scratch you.  “Wow, that cat is really an asshole!” my uncle exclaimed one night after he had become a victim of Fluffhead’s evil tactics. He never saw Fluffhead again after that and he also never forgave him. To this day he talks about how much he hates ‘Mr. Fluffhead’. Even though he hates him the addition of ‘Mr.’ suggests he has a certain amount of respect for him.

I’m afraid I haven’t said anything meaningful or profound in this blog. It might even be considered fluff.

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Dr. Zeus

I’ve wanted a cat for a long time. My longing intensified when my soon to be former stepfather got half custody of my dog Lily  (I’m not sure why he has a claim to a dog that he did not adopt just because she was adopted by my mom while she was married to him and yet my mom has no claim to a house he bought while he was married to her but that’s another issue.)

I found Lily and the dog I had before her on Petfinder so I decided to look for a cat on Petfinder. I was especially interested in black cats because I find them beautiful and they’re harder to adopt out due to superstitions surrounding them.  I saw a picture of a beautiful and cute black cat named Dr. Zeus.  His adoption profile read:

Dr Zeus is a sweet 1-2 year old neutered male. He is very loving and always has to be by your side, even when it’s bed time and he tries to take up the whole bed! Dr Zeus is great with other cats and dogs once he gets to know them. He gives love bites but does not break the skin. He loves to play with toys and his favorite is the laser pointer. He came to us with a bite wound on his head and chin but we got him cleaned up and fully vetted. Now Dr Zeus is ready to find his furever family!

I was charmed by the description of his personality. He seemed like quite a character and like Lily in feline form. We filled out an application for him and the rescue group really liked us. Last Friday Dr. Zeus became ours.

True to his description, he is very affectionate.  He loves to cuddle with me, nuzzle up against me and hog my bed. He’s a very vocal kitty. Although his meows sound rather mournful, I think he’s just being dramatic. His purring is one of my favorite sounds in the world.

He’s also very curious, adventurous and playful. He leaves no corner unexplored and jumps or considers jumping on every surface he can find. He’s jumped on the counters, the dressers, the washing machine, the refrigerator, the tables, the desks, the sink, the bath tub, the toilet and the towel rack. He’s crawled in to closets, pantries, drawers, cabinets, boxes and sheets.

He loves to play with his laser pointer, his feather toy, his catnip toy and balls. He gets bursts of energy in which he dashes up and down the hallway like a black streak of lightning.  He’s a very slick, sly cat with an amazing ability to appear and disappear without you noticing.

When he first met  Lily he was hissing and swatting at her but  now that he’s gotten used to her he’s good with her. They’ll now lay in bed together and last night they even started playing together.

There are no longer any traces of the bite wounds he had on his head and chin but a small part of his ear is missing from a fight he got in with another cat. I think it’s the cutest injury ever.

A not so charming aspect of his personality that was not mentioned in his adoption profile is his tendency to scratch furniture. He wouldn’t touch his scratching posts and he was undeterred by the cat repellant we sprayed on the furniture. Luckily we seem to have found the solution with SoftPaws, caps that were put on his nails by a groomer at PetSmart.  They have to be replaced every month or so but they’re worth it (declawing is considered inhumane and we signed an agreement not to do it.) Next month we plan on getting him orange claw caps for Halloween.

The other day a message popped up on my computer screen that said “Stop! This is a browser feature intended for developers. If someone told you to copy-paste something here to enable a Facebook a feature or hack someone’s account, it is a scam and will give them access to your account.” They neglected to consider the possibility that a cat had walked across my keyboard.

Although Dr. Zeus looks very handsome in a collar, he refuses to wear one. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

When I told people his name was Dr. Zeus, they asked me what we were going to call him- Zeus? Doc? Z? No, we call him Dr. Zeus. I think it’s a cute, clever name that suits him well.

Black cats are considered to be unlucky but I consider myself lucky to have Dr. Zeus.

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