Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: pets

The Story Behind the Picture

Today I’m linking up with the lovely Elle for her Story Behind the Picture linkup. And since my family doesn’t make visual appearances on my blog and I’m anti-selfie (except in certain circumstances and also when someone forces me to. cough-Steph-cough), we’re going to examine a picture of my cat. 

Specifically, these pictures (which you might have seen on Instagram)

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So, yeah. That’s my cat climbing up our screen door, desperately trying to get back into the backyard. And you can tell by the look on her face in the bottom picture that she is none too pleased with me. That’s her “fuck off, Mom” face. 

She uses it a lot. 

Here’s the story–when we rescued Boots five years ago, she was feral. Took 3 months of feeding her and providing her with a place to sleep before she would even come near us (and by “us”, I mean “me” because I’m the crazy one that needs her love). We didn’t try to force her inside because the one time we did, before she was ready, didn’t end well. I was adamant about not scaring her off as I needed to make sure she remained fed and safe. And for the next three years, she slept and ate in our little backyard, using the common area kids’ playground as a litter box (which actually really funny)

When we moved in 2013, there was no way I was leaving her behind. She’s not the type of cat that will let you pet her, never mind pick her up and put her in a carrier for transport. So we had to trap her. Fortunately, we still had the trap the TNR (trap, neuter, release) left behind when the brought her back (after they catnapped her for three weeks. That’s another story) and we left the trap on our neighbor’s back deck until she was ready to move to her new home. 

At this point, she’s very content as an outdoor cat and our (much larger) backyard is her queendom. She roams freely about the new neighborhood and the neighbors are happy because Boots is a serial killer and no one has a mouse problem anymore. 

Things are good for everyone. 

Enter winter 2014. Polar vortex. Motherfucking cold. I couldn’t bear the thought of her remaining outside in that weather (even though she has a very well insulated, well protected house, it was just too cold) so I did what any sane person would do. I tricked an outdoor cat who, incidentally, hates any sort of affection including but not limited to touching, petting, playing, and trying to feed by hand, into coming inside. Then I kept her there, letting her out only to go to the bathroom (after an unfortunate incident involving my daughter’s backpack) and roam for a few minutes (so she doesn’t murder me in my sleep) until the polar vortex broke. After awhile, she realized it’s better inside anyway and we didn’t have any problems for the rest of the winter, maintaining a delicate balance of letting her have her outside time and me not feeling like she’ll freeze to death. 

2015. Present day. My conditioning worked!! She now sleeps inside just about every night, and spends a couple of hours most days inside as well (since that’s where the food is. We had to move it inside due to a squatter issue). But she likes to play games. She acts like she wants to come inside so I let her in and then she meows to go back out. It goes on for awhile. 

It’s not a fun game. 

On the day in question (and by that, I mean, the day I took the pictures), she wanted to come inside, probably to eat (smart girl, right?). So I let her in and left her to her food and went back to whatever activity it was I was doing on the couch (probably reading or playing a game. Maybe working) and I hear the blinds clattering against each other. I ignore it, figuring she’s just playing a game. But then it gets louder and more fierce. And after a few minutes, I finally get up to see what the problem is and found what you saw above. SpiderKitty. 

It was not the first time she’d done it, either. It was just the first time I was able to get a picture. 

I’m sure it’ll happen again, too. 

How about you guys? Any fun cat stories?

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Dog Days: Meet Barkley and Dobie

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I’ve been meaning to write about my dogs for awhile now  because, if you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should because I am not at all boring), you know that I take my fair share of dog pictures. Usually of my dogs. Maybe a random other one now and then. But usually my guys. 

Why? 

Because I’m that lady. 

Sure, I have a kid and all but my dogs were my first children and they deserve love and attention, too (plus, I’m 98.3% positive no one will steal my dogs’ pictures and use them for any sort of nefarious reason. Also, I wrote that sentence just to use the word “nefarious”). And they’re adorable!

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Okay, so maybe you can’t see their faces but look at the way they’re posed together! How sweet is that? And I assure you, there was no fighting less than 10 minutes after that picture was taken. 

Because my dogs? Never fight. At all. Ever. Not even when one invades the other’s space. They’re perfectly fine with it, especially in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping, and they never wake me up to referee. 

Nope. It’s always the picture of domestic bliss when it comes to my dogs. There’s no food aggression, no jealousy for attention, no 

In all seriousness, though, my guys do get along as well as brothers can get along. Which, incidentally, they are not. Well, they’re brothers because we are their parents but they are not from the same litter. Or parents. Hell, they’re not even the same breed. Barkley is a pure Bichon Frise while Dobie is a Bichon/Poodle mix, which means that Barkley is smaller and Dobie has apricot coloring in his fur instead of all white. Barkley is also older, closing in on 11, while Dobie had his 9th birthday this past January. Which we of course celebrated with special dog treats and new toys.

I told you. I’m that lady.

Now that you know the basics, let’s get to know them a bit more. We’ll start with Dobie since he’s the second child and always goes second. IMG_0559

Dobie is our resident cuddler. He loves nothing more than shoving his body next to you and squishing you into a corner so he can stretch out while still being on you at the same time. He loves to give kisses and if you come to our house with flip flops, you’ve been warned because he has a foot fetish. And while he’s not the brightest dog around, he’s the more obedient one, is a great listener (especially when there’s food in it for him), and is our resident fetch expert. No joke, now that he’s mastered fetch, he will play until he can’t run anymore. He’s also an expert nap taker, extremely friendly towards other dogs, and loves car rides. For Dobie, the longer the car trip, the better. And besides getting joy from car rides, cuddles, and treats, he loves, loves to be outside. Especially in bad weather. We should all experience the pleasure that Dobie derives from playing in the snow. 

Unfortunately, for as sweet and awesome as he is, Dobie is not without his problems. The poor guy has a heart murmur and a mild case of arthritis, as well as an addiction to eating child’s toys. His has eaten everything from crayons to Barbie shoes to Little People figurines to Legos. That’s not all. He will eat anything that falls on the floor (except olives. Go figure), socks, garbage, poop, dead animals that the cat leaves in the backyard…you name it, he has probably tried to eat it. He also incessantly licks the car door. 

But, psychological issues aside, we can’t imagine our lives without him and he’s basically the best dog ever. 

Now let’s talk about Barkley. Who’s just as awesome as Dobie. Only different. IMG_0558

We got Barkley 3 months after we got married. He was my first pet ever (except for two guinea pigs whom he hated and hunted on numerous occasions) and, as a result, will always be special to me. He’s the smarter of our two, loves to run, is an expert jumper (which is how he wound up rupturing his ACL, after trying to chase after his nemesis–the mail truck), does not care about food except for Milkbone Minis, chicken, cheese, and peanut butter, will sit on any pile of laundry in his path (especially if it’s clean because what’s better than sitting on warm, clean laundry?), and goes almost everywhere with his toy football. He’s not much of a kisser or cuddler so when he does kiss or cuddle, it’s a huge deal. He’s also not as friendly as Dobie, preferring to keep to himself and supervise. My favorite thing he does, though, is the Bichon head tilt, which he does mostly when I speak to him and it makes me feel like the most interesting person to ever talk. 

Barkley’s problems are less edible and more mental. He’s completely high strung and has horrible separation anxiety and pees constantly as a result. Sometimes he doesn’t make it outside, which is buckets of fun. He’s a bit of a sizeist, preferring to stick to other small dogs and staying away from bigger ones. And there has never been a dog with a more apropos name because he barks. At. Everything.

Oh, and for those wondering, he’s named for the dog on Sesame Street. This guy:

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Sure, I may yell and complain about my dogs at times. But I love them and will do anything possible to care for and protect them. They make my life better, they keep me company when no one else does, are the best nap buddies, and always know the exact right thing to do when I’m sad or angry. 

I can’t imagine my life without them.

 

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Linking up with Erin for Meet the Canines 

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