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Life in a Cat house

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Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

The quirky life of Skittles, a real wild kitten

Skittles is a pretty laid back, calm kitty most of the time. She is afraid of everything and sometimes has trouble making up her mind if she wants to do something or not. She is also a real fraidy cat; afraid of all kinds of things from loud noises to sudden movements.

She feels safe out on the deck, where she spends much of her time in the summer. In the house she is safe, but wary of odd household noises or anything that is changed. More than anything, she fears strange people. My wife, Vivian, and I are the only people she doesn’t run and hide from.

If she has one big fault, it’s eating too much. She used to throw up every day until we discovered she was allergic to the cat food we were giving her. When we switched to food especially made for cats with sensitive stomachs, the throwing up problems ended.

Because she couldn’t keep her food down, the poor kitty was probably always hungry. Once we got the problem solved, she apparently feels like she has to make up for the lost years when she seldom, if ever, had a full feeling tummy. Now that she does get full, she never wants to take chances she won’t be again, so she over-eats. She hasn’t gotten sick in a long time, though.

I sometimes think she demands food so often just as a way to seek attention. She has the technique of attracting our attention to her food desire down to a science. She pretends she wants to go outside and once she sees we are headed to open the door, she suddenly darts off to place where she eats. We can’t leave her food down all the time because it’s the special kind and our other cat, Ozrow, will eat it all if he can. So there are many trips for people every day to put the food dish down and take it up.

Skittles will sometimes sneak a few bites of Ozrow’s food. If we are home and nearby, the sound of her crunching as she chews is enough to alert us. We wouldn’t mind her getting some of his food, except we don’t want her getting sick again. Not only is upchucking bad for her, someone has to clean it up afterward. That is not a pleasant job.

Another quirk she has is spending most of her time outdoors in the summer, but coming in the house to use the litter box. Ozrow is just the opposite. He will all but tear the door down to get outside in the morning because he does not like the litter box. Skittles will all but tear the door down to get in during the day because she isn’t happy with any place other than the litter box. Skittles was a wild kitten, into everything and filled with boundless energy. She was a hearty tree climber and fearless up on the waving branches. When she was small her favorite pastime was latching her claws into toilet paper and dragging streamers of it all through the house. She seldom tore it up, she just dragged it around.

About the time she became an adult she shed most of her wild ways and turned sedate. This days she is just a fine kitty and, except for her eating binges, is pretty much trouble free.