Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING....So you all remember the faux sheepskin pod that we bought for Domino earlier this year, don't you? Well, in typical feline fashion Domino was inseparable from her pod for about three months and then abandoned it completely. That's actually fairly normal, but what was odd was that she didn't just get bored with it, she got actively hostile to it. She'd practically waddle run away from it if we put it anywhere near her.

She also stopped snoozing on the couch at the same time. But then, last week, she jumped up on the couch for the first time in months. Hmmm, I thought, maybe it's pod season too. Sure enough, I put the pod up on the couch and she made a beeline for it. Ever since, she's been back in love with it.

It's up on the bed at the moment, but that's just because the light is better there, and it was easier to take the pod to her than to drag her downstairs to the pod. But as soon as I tossed it on the bed, she headed right over and curled up to continue her morning snooze. The pod is back! Must be the ferocious Southern California winters.

Kevin Drum 2:54 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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My cats also rotate their preferred sleeping spots. My personal hypothesis is that it is an evolved trait that helps reduce parasite loads. Don't stay in one bed area too long or the fleas and other critters build up in your bedding. But if you wait a few weeks or months then it is safe to go back because the fleas and their offspring will have died or moved on. Not that they logically think about it.

Posted by: Bill Hicks on December 7, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

The pod looks a little small.

Posted by: Surferdewd on December 7, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Or as the Trophyette in fur said before plunging out into the sub 65 breeze on Rodeo Drive -- "It's bitter cold out there!"

Posted by: MaryCh on December 7, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

My cats alter their preferred sleep spots every couple of months as well. I always assumed it was to keep potential predators confused (at our house that constitutes the vacuum cleaner, the mailman and the garbage trucks on Monday.)

Posted by: arteclectic on December 7, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Your description is priceless. We've had kitty pods for years. Our female practically lives in hers, although we keep two identical pods on our bed so that she can make a thoughtful choice each day as to which pod she wants to spend day in.

Posted by: Randy on December 7, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Dispite the chaotic world outside, here at least is contentment.

Perhaps that is what the human race needs, a pod of their own.

Wish I could stay on longer but neighbors on ladders are risking life and limb to put up a roof-top Santa Claus. I have already dialed -9 and -1 in on my cell, and am hoping to get a reprive from having to dial that last -1.........

Posted by: Zit on December 7, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblotipuss's nose looks a little bit bent out of shape.

What no pod for the next president, Kevin?

Posted by: optical weenie on December 7, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing says contentment like cats resting on beds (either humans' or their own).

Posted by: Vincent on December 7, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks again for your Friday cat blog. We unexpectedly lost our much smaller Inkblot look alike on Saturday. Seeing your cats helps. Please give them an extra pet for me.

Posted by: Paula on December 7, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I am due to have a baby any minute now, and a friend gave me this little cosleeper thing - not the big kind that sits next to your bed, but a little pod like thing you put in your bed with you. We were't sure if we would use it, but we left it in a corner when we got in several months ago. Our kitty Marigold was sort of interested in it at first, but then abandoned it. But a few weeks ago she became absolutely inseparable from it. She is the kind of cat who likes to observe from a vantage point, so when we are all in bed she jumps in her "bed" and watches from there. Occasionally her brother, a big tom cat, steals her spot, which looks really ridiculous because he is huge and just sort of sprawls out of the sides of it. Anyway, I think at this point we can't reclaim it for the baby, it would create too much sibling rivalry. So it is the cat bed now.

Posted by: J.B. on December 7, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

We have a piece of fake fur that we put on our bed for the kitty in the Fall. She loves it, she sleeps on it and kneads it. But come Spring, she's not interested in being around it. We put it back in th e closet until Fall when she happily hops on it again.

Posted by: TTop on December 7, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I've often seen seasonal changes in cat nesting behavior. My lap suddenly becomes far more attractive from November to March.

Back when I was a bachelor, I spent many a winter evening watching TV with a furry ball of calico cat draped over my legs.

Posted by: jimBOB on December 7, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think is definitely part of the season change. My four having nothing to do with me at night during the summer, but come that first cold night I find myself completely covered in cats and unable to move in bed. This will continue until April. Saves me buying an electric blanket.

Posted by: greynoldsct00 on December 7, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like a cat-shaped Oreo cookie.


Posted by: ferd on December 7, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I had an exercise bike with a wide seat (to accomodate *my* wide seat), which was kept out of the way by the window. A favorite perch during the day, of course, for the view, but during the winter it was also a favored sleeping spot: it was right over the baseboard heater, as well. Trixie would curl up in a tight ball, with a few claws dug in for security, and snooze away the night.

Posted by: steverino on December 7, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone out there have any input on kitty feed? I changed them from Science Diet to Felidae a couple of weeks ago(they were having skin issues on Science Diet). Skin and fur looks better, but this morning Huckle (male, 3year old) yakked copiously all over my coffee table. Charming way to start the morning. I'm used to cat yak, but this was a lot! Just as his fur is growing back on his balls he starts having tummy issues! Crap. Any ideas?

Posted by: ExBrit on December 7, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Good God Kevin! Each room is worse than the next!

Posted by: craigie on December 7, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

My cat does the same thing with my plush bear. She adores him in the winter, but in the summer, she won't really give him the time of the day. Well, that's not true, but no snuggles or naps, at any rate.

Of course, this bear is like thirty years old, three times the age of the cat, but who's going to tell her?

Posted by: Crissa on December 7, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Science Diet takes the fur off your balls?

We just kept changing our cats food until the vomitting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool stopped. No idea what the problem was . . . allergy?

Posted by: B on December 7, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's also the Perversity and Vanity of Cats. Notice that the black cat is in the white pod, and the white cat is on the dark red surface, the better to shed hairs of a contrasting hue.

Posted by: Scorpio on December 7, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

ExBrit, it sounds gross, but it's always a good idea to see what's in the kitty upchuck in order to know what the likely problem is. If it's almost completely undigested cat food, and a lot of it, it's almost always because the cat got too excited and gulped down too much at once. Then it comes back up. Not to worry, they do that sometimes.

But sometimes you'll find stuff like, oh, a beetle carapace or two or a semi-digested moth, or this time of year, a few Christmas tree needles or a bit of ribbon. One of my cats is obsessive about chewing and eating any kind of sticky plastic tape, Scotch Tape or packing tape, whatever, and it comes back up. Now that he's an outdoorsman, I not infrequently find pieces of mouse or wads of mouse fur in his occasional spit-up.

Those things are also not to worry, it's just the cat's system getting rid of something that shouldn't have been hoovered up from the floor. (Can somebody explain to me why a cat's instinct, on encountering something small and unidentifiable, is to eat the damn thing? I can't figure out the survival value there.)

Same goes for hairballs, btw, which cats will spit up with varying frequency, depending on the quality of the nutrition they're getting. Cats with proper nutrition, like the Felidae you're feeding, shed very little and seldom have hairballs if they're otherwise in good health.

You only need to be concerned if the cat is throwing up much more often than usual (that also varies, my mother had a very healthy Abyssinian who threw up at least daily and sometimes more often, lived an astounding 22 years in great health until the very end) or if there's frequent vomiting of clear liquid stomach acid with no obvious trigger in it, like large bugs and etc.

Especially in the case of frequent clear vomit, you need to see a vet right away because some irritant may be in the stomach the cat's trying and failing to get rid of. Like the dread rubber band, which can actually kill a cat.

Posted by: gyfalcon on December 7, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Hicks, I think you've solved the mystery of revolving sleeping places. I've always been mystified by that, but your theory of reducing parasite load sounds exactly right. Thanks!!

Posted by: gyrfalcon on December 7, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Beautiful pictures of your two and great comments, as usual. My two sleep with me nine months a year, but all around during the hot summer nights. As with most things about cats, nothing is consistent. But, that makes them much more interesting than dogs. (Dogs are great, too).

Posted by: phoebes on December 7, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

ExBrit: I've been changing my kitties food ever since the pet food recalls and have had good luck with California Natural and Eagle Pack multicat (no barfing). Now I've read that dry cat food isn't so great for cats so I've been trying to transition them to wet food. Here's more about dry vs canned cat food: http://cats.about.com/cs/catfood/a/canned_food.htm

Good luck with your kitty!

Posted by: joycebell on December 7, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

That's great pic of Inkblot, too.

Posted by: Mazurka on December 7, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Back when I was a bachelor, I spent many a winter evening watching TV with a furry ball of calico cat draped over my legs."

jimBob - Your comment brings many questions to mind, but I'll stick to the safest, were you kept slim by kitty making it less easy to make trips to the kitchen for snacks during commercials? My former cat used to make a bed on my lap at the most inopportune times, usually just as I was thinking about getting up to do something else. But once kitty was all comfy and settled I would become an inanimate object, fulfilling my new role as 'bed' selflessly.

Posted by: nepeta on December 7, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Cats do indeed have a knack for finding the time when you want to get up to climb on top of you. Still, my recollection (it's been a few years) is that Maggie my calico didn't get disturbed too often when she curled up into a little purring ball as I did the couch potato thing.

Maggie's most endearing cat trick was to gently lay just her tail over my arm when we both went to sleep. Pure kitty love.

Posted by: jimBOB on December 8, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

"Lust on Whispering Hill Lane"
Everyday suburban lust?

Posted by: Tsumbra on December 8, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I've found that my cats, being small, do their lap, sofa or cat-bed snuggling when it is cold. With our much greater body mass, we humans hold heat better than our diminutive feline pals. My cats are lap munchkins when it's cold, but when it's warm they spend their evenings outside stalking and doing whatever passes for cavorting among cats.

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