Jump. Don’t Climb

Scout loves to jump. Climbing is good but jumping is better. And like most cats, he always wants to be at the highest point in any room.

He recently found his way to the bookcases in my bedroom.

The route? Jump from the night stand to the top suitcase. Hold on tight, balancing carefully as the suitcase shakes and threatens to fall. Then nonchalantly step over to the top shelf where he can balance atop books and radios galore.

Super, right? I can’t wait till he starts knocking things down from here. . .

Camping In The Kitchen

Scout has a darn good life but he’s been experiencing some anxiety whenever I leave home. An act as simple as running out to the compost bin is worrisome to him. Leaving for work is a traumatic event every single day.

This is a relatively new development, along with a handful of other behaviors that I hope are just part of a phase – like the terrible twos.

I’m trying to help him through this phase as much as possible. Part of that simply means keeping him entertained with active playtime, lots of toys and plenty of windows to sit in and watch birds.

My home currently looks like a bunch of cats had a frat party – there are toys everywhere.

A pal from work gave him a new favorite toy for Christmas – a tent that’s just his size. Technically, it was from Ben’s cat Casper but someone had to deliver the package!

Scout loves his tent and always keeps it stocked with mousies and jingley bells. It’s great for play, for naps and for hanging out while I cook.

And while he drags his shark tunnel all over the house, the tent isn’t allowed to leave the kitchen. Don’t ask. That’s just where it lives and it’s non negotiable.

While it’s a little annoying walking around all his stuff, who could say no to this little face?

Then and Now

When Scout found me alone in the street, with no kitty cat to brighten my home, this is what he looked like.

He was under two pounds with a cruddy eye and some fleas. He was also a persistent, irresistible little soul who was determined to have a good home.

Here he is now!

Isn’t he a beautiful boy? He’s all grown up, sleek and shiny. He’s my little panther boy and ready to help with laundry!

In fact, laundry day is the best because that means we put clean sheets on the bed. And when I say “we,” I mean I put clean sheets on the bed and he wallows around until it looks like this.

I hope you are as happy today as a spoiled rescued cat with a pile of clean sheets! And if you’ve never rescued an animal, it’s the best feeling in the world. Go find a little lost soul who needs a home. You may just save a life!

It Survived

In case you’ve been wondering, the tree survived the holidays. Scout made no effort to climb or get inside the tree at all. He did try to eat the darn thing, a quirky little habit that I still can’t explain.

Perhaps next year the tree can return to the living room rather than be banished to my home gym where a closed door could protect it while he’s home alone.

Note the absence of bows on all the packages. He’s a good boy but not good enough to resist a shiny bow!

Merry Christmas!

Scout and I wish you a Merry (or Meowy, depending on how you say it) Christmas! We hope that you are safe, happy, fed and loved wherever you may be.

The above image is the Christmas card I made to mark our first Christmas together. I know it looks silly but it made me happy!

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Scout and the Christmas Tree

Having a rambunctious little cat has changed my life in ways I cannot begin to describe. But one thing I can describe is how it has changed Christmas. Years past saw a tree in nearly every room but that won’t be happening with an eight month old kitten.

He’s a good little cat and doesn’t get into a lot. Yet he’s still a kitten and all those fun things hanging off it would be tempting.

I plotted for weeks to design a tree situation he couldn’t knock down while climbing and swinging. Just when I thought I was ready for anything, he threw a curveball.

Turns out, he’s not interested in climbing so much as chewing on the pine.

He loves to chew on artificial pine. While it seems that he’s just chewing and not eating it, I don’t trust that he won’t try. And this is a chance I’m not prepared to take.

So there’s just one tree in my house this year (behind a closed door) and it’s devoted to my adventures. It’s my travel tree. I wrote all about it last year but, in a nut shell, I collect ornaments from my adventures. Each ornament is hung with a postcard that relates a trip memory.

Most of my ornaments aren’t real Christmas ornaments and I like it that way. There’s a stuffed jackalope bank from Douglas, Wyoming and a small metal airplane to mark my first biplane ride this year.

There’s a vintage snowman found at an Indiana antique store during last year’s antiquing adventures across the National Road. I even have a pennant from the Ernest Tubb Record Store in Nashville and a small handmade quilted piece from Ocracoke Island.

The list goes on and on and each ornament evokes countless memories – both happy and bittersweet. One new ornament represents the daily adventure of having Scout in my life.

The tree is now up and Scout gets supervised playtime in that room. So far he has only tried to chew and has batted at a couple of low hanging ornaments. I’m hoping he will outgrow that chewing thing and that next Christmas will be back to normal.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested, Click here to read last year’s description of the travel tree. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to start a new tradition of your own!

Scout Caught the Skink!

A little skink somehow made its way into the house a couple of weeks ago. It was quite the crisis because they’re hard to find and too fast to catch.

The word elusive comes to mind.

Every time I slipped on a shoe or walked through a dark room, I wondered where the darn thing was. The internet says to spray them with water, not to hurt them, but to daze and slow them to allow capture.

But you have to find it first.

Two weeks after the first sighting, Scout caught the skink. He cornered it in his litter box and whenever it tried to escape, he knocked it back down.

This is how I found him, sitting outside his box and pawing at the litter like it was a sandbox. He started chattering when he saw me.

I dumped some water on it and ran the skink, litter box and all outside, depositing it on a hillside where skinks often sun on downed trees. Hopefully it’s safely back with it’s little skink family.

Life has returned to normal and now the spray bottle only sees action when Scout is clawing furniture!

Crisis averted.