Thursday, March 19, 2009


Dear Person,

Thank you for cat-sitting me while my owners are away. I don't like change in my life, but am
a good trooper when I have no other choice. I have been raised to be a family member, with equal rights as befits a pet, so if I am treated as "mere animal" we might have communication issues.

I understand human speech, words as much as tone of voice. I love to
speak back, and if you are having a conversation, I will join in. Mommy calls this being exceptional vocal, especially at 4:30am. Speaking of which...

... a typical day with me will likely start at 4:30am. If you are not a morning person, I will give it my best shot, then leave you alone. If I do not get my early morning outies, we will both suffer, because I need my early morning constitutional, the dawn air, the gentle breezes just as you need your morning coffee. The dawn air does for me, what caffeine does for you. The end result is the same, with all due respect to both our alimentary canals, we are all in search of the end to world constipational crankiness.

you should try it, and I'll help you there. Trust me, you will end up thanking me for reminding you of what a precious time it is to spend the wee dawn moments awake, while I reinforce protection around the perimeter of our shared space. If you pay close attention, I'll show you who's been visiting during the night. My parents say they don't need an alarm system, all they have to do is watch me and they'll get a pretty good idea of what's going on outside. So, you can count on me to keep you safe.

Regarding "morning business", you can generally set your clock by me, unless there's some turmoil in the house. If the folks are away I'm wired to consider that turmoil. Don't crank if I don't. Give me another spoon of milk, wait another day. My Mom cleans my box right after I use it, and she expects me to tell her when I have done #1 and #2. I have four specific vocalizations: (1) I will be using the john, don't scare me, (2) I have just used the john and it's #1, (3) I've just used the john and it's #2. I expect my litter box to go no more than two uses or I will deploy my fourth vocalization. You'll know.

I use a special kitty-litter called SweatStuff. I was raised on clay and I had a few health issues which cleared up after we switched. The bag is kept outside.

Regarding alimentary canals, we should proceed to the most important topic on my agenda: food! Here's my feeding drill. I'll eat a bit and then need an open door to the patio to smell the fresh air, then I'll be back. I always leave one bite more than you dish up, and won't touch anything left out after an hour.

What do I eat? What should I eat? And how much? Geez, you humans have had your say in all this without consulting us
very much... and have come up with some bizarre notions, even calling those notions "science". Let me straighten you out. I am a small domesticated mammal. I was bred over a period of thousands of years to live with you and be your companion. So, guess what, if I am the right choice for your lifestyle, I'll probably eat what you eat and live forever. Please make no hard and fast rules about my diet and learn to look at me as a fur person in my own right and respect my ability to determine what I need. If I have a few extra pounds, just cut back on the treats OK, I'll take care of rest.

What this means is please don't try some vegetarian diet with me; although it works for many felines, it doesn't work for me or my Mommy or Daddy. Likewise, don't make me eat COW on a regular basis. Tonkinese have never been known to bring down a steer or elk for dinner, please think about the ramifications of that when considering my personal diet choices. And even though your kind has a 99% DNA match with chimps, well, you would not get far with a chimp diet. So a little common sense goes a long way in explaining my diet.

As a rule I do not like red meat, however, like Mommy, from time to time, I'll eat a well-done steak. The same with chicken, it is not my favorite unless it has just been cooked. I am more of a seafood cat, and fresh only please. That being said, I am intensely curious about what you are eating, and wish to be included in taste tests. Don't go to the extremes of putting it in a plate, I will sample only off your finger, a little dab please, or a bit in the palm of your hand. If I like it, you will know, and if I don't you will know. I just need to satisfy my curiosity. Don't plan on throwing down a plate of spaghetti if I show interest in half a strand, I'll just walk away!

That being said, I have to share this with you: I love eating out of your hand rather than my plate. I like the warmth and bonding, and if I like you, having your smells on my food is wonderful for me. Okay, there is another reason: I don't want to put in my stomach anything you wouldn't put in the palm of your hand. Would you?

Foods I like

  • Shrimp fresh/frozen tail on - no more than 4 at a time, diced really small
  • Tuna StarKist Chunk Lite Tuna in water, no more than 1 Tablespoon at a time
  • Turkey cooked preferably with a light curry sauce
  • Turkey Hillshire Farm Deli Select Honey Roasted, finely dice one slice.
  • Corn fresh corn on the cob cooked no butter
  • Corn frozen organic (cooked with shrimps) , about 10 kernels
  • Sweet peas fresh, sometimes cooked
  • Oatmeal old fashioned, cooked with Carnation milk, about 1 Tablespoon
  • Carnation milk one tablespoon room temperature fresh - occasionally
  • Tomato soup – organic please, 1/4 cup gently warmed
  • Rice and rice pasta, cooked with olive oil and soy sauce, about 1 Tablespoon
  • Potatoes – any kind of preparation, with flavors, same sized servings as the others
  • Multi grain Bread – ‘Best’ Bread by Orowheat - 1/8 to 1/4 slice.
  • Garbanzo beans with curry flavoring - 2-3 beans at most
  • Chile – Amy’s chile - one teaspoon only
  • Ice cream – vanilla only, melted, one tablespoon
  • Bench and Field Natural Feline Formula Kibble
  • Gerber Turkey Rice Stage 2 only - about 2 teaspoons per serving.
Note, this list describes my range and diversity. It doesn't mean I eat all of this at one sitting, or that I eat a plate of rice and beans like that insulting vet thought (who practices vet medicine without a current license anyway?)

Please set a place mat for me at the base of the table, and feed me when you eat breakfast and dinner usually around 7am and 7pm. Please feed me cooked food at these times. As I eat my meal, I might come to your chair and ask you to (a) put my food back into a pile, (b) hand feed me when I cannot pick up the last bites (c) hand feed to warm it up, because it has gone cold (d) hand-feed because I likes the contact and closeness (d) I might want to sample a taste of what you are having.

Fresh water - morning and night.

Kibble - Leave a fresh bowl of kibble overnight. I will likely remove 6 pieces and carry them squirrel or chipmunk style to a small rug and eat them there. Let me have my prey-dragging fantasies please!

Treats - I get treats during the day once, again at the 10pm bedtime. At that time, leave a third set out for for my 4:30am wake up call near where you sleep. I will leave these alone until 4:30am. I sometimes have one tablespoon of Carnation milk room temperature only.

Favorite Toys - The best ones are your hands, covered with a sock. I like playing games with you inside my Cat Condo and my Banker's Box. I love a really good game of Hide n Seek, especially at two in the morning when you are groggy and it is dark, and you will likely fall over a chair (hey, a little handicap is only fair!). But I do play this during the day, and when I'm ready I will hide under a chair, and vocalize until you get the idea.