The Comfort of Paws

Castiel Paws

This morning, Boots awoke me at 4am meowing with crazies.  I got up and gave him some water drips from the bathroom tub faucet.  When I got back into bed, Icarus decided he wanted to bunny kick my hand.  And attack me every time I moved under my quilt.  I had difficulty falling back to sleep.

Icarus decided he wanted to wrap his front paws around my arm and give me more bunny kicks to my hand.  I started to pet his belly and head.  Seemed to work, because he settled down into a kitten slumber.  When Icarus fell asleep, his paws were still wrapped around my arm.

CastielPawsThe multi-colored fleshy pads were cool against my skin.  We slept with the windows open last night, so the bedroom was cool around 4:30-5:00am.  A chilly breeze reminiscent of early October wafted through the screens.  It was the perfect sleeping weather.  And Icarus’ paws helped me fall back to sleep.

Maybe it’s just me.  There’s something about paws that relaxes me.  I love kitty paws (claws intact, thank you).  Sometimes cats get sensitive about people touching their paws, but I try to get in the habit of touching my cats paws daily.  The more familiar they are with me handling their “fingers” and “toes,” the easier it is for me to trim their claws!

Sometimes Castiel, Prometheus, or Ishtar put their paws in my hand and fall asleep that way (and sometimes I do, too).  I don’t know.  Something about holding a cat’s paw just relaxes me.

Boots Paw

Boots Paw


New Friends

The past few weeks have been quite busy, and, regretfully, I have been unable to post.

My niece and nephew visited this week from Hawaii.  I hadn’t seen them in 4 years, so I was shocked to see how much they’ve grown.  Gorgeous children!  Three out of five of the cats they knew from their last visit have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Josie was quite sad.  However, she was delighted to make some new feline friends this week.



Tuesday evening Josie visited our kitties.  My sis is allergic to cats, so Josie can’t have a cat of her own.  So, she was able to get out some love for kitties she bottled up over the years.  Boots was the first to greet her.  I knew he would be.  He mewed at her and rubbed his head against her hand.  She was little nervous at first, but I gave her a quick lesson on feline body language and she relaxed.  At one point Boots rolled over and showed his belly.  Josie was so excited.  She said, “Aunt Colleen!  Look!  Boots loves me now!”



Castiel ran back and forth a few times through the apartment.  When he saw there wasn’t anything to be nervous about, he relaxed around Josie.  Castiel kept giving her headbutts and rubbing against her leg, purring.  Once Josie and Castiel were friends, she moved on to the next cat.

Pandora loved Josie.  She rolled around on the bathroom rug begging Josie for bellyrubs.  Pandora is very affectionate with people, but not so much with other cats.  Josie gave her lots of pets and some water drips from the bathtub.  Pandora was in heaven!

Prometheus hid.  Yes, he hid.  Of all the cats, I thought he would be one of the outgoing ones.  Propro proved me wrong.  He saw her enter the living room and wobble-ran to the bedroom.  He stayed under there with Ishtar for most of the evening.

Orlox couldn’t really have been bothered.  He let her pet him, gave her a couple of headbutts, then walked away for a nap.

Josie - in kitty gear

Josie – in kitty gear

Icarus was frightened at first.  However, once Josie got the laser pointer out, he was her best friend.  Prometheus came out a couple of times when he heard Icarus playing with Josie, but once he saw Josie, he went back under the bed.  Icarus let Josie hold him and sat on her lap for a while!

Ishtar stayed under the bed while Josie was around.  She seemed content there when I checked on her.  I knew she would be nervous.

The next couple of days, Josie came downstairs to our apartment to play with our cats.  They were used to her by yesterday (her last day in this area of NJ) and all of them except Ishtar came out to say hello to her.

Wednesday morning my mom, Josie, and Marquis came to the START II shelter to see the animals.  Jodi and I made sure that they were only interacting with very friendly cats and dogs.  Houdini absolutely loved Josie.  He put his paws on her shoulders and gave her kisses on her face!  He then tried to make himself cozy in her lap, but she wasn’t sitting correctly for optimal lap time.

I introduced Josie to Wobbles (April).  She said that Wobbles’ story was so sad.  Wobbles loved the attention from Josie.  She was flopping around in her cage, purring like a motorboat, and giving lots of kisses!  Josie said, “All she wants is to be loved.  You should adopt her, Aunt Colleen, because you would take good care of her.  You take really good care of your cats and you love your cats.  And she needs a good home and lots of love.”

During lunch yesterday, Josie told Ron what she said to me.  We’ll see if we have a new addition to the family in the coming weeks.

New Alliances Made

With each passing or addition of a cat in our household, alliances are made and wars are waged.  When Morpheus passed away, Pandora was affected the most.  They were best buds.  After Pandora went through a period of mourning, she hung out with Juno and Apollo.  After  Juno’s passing, Apollo was inseparable from Ishtar.  Now that Apollo has gone, and we have three new cats since Juno, Ishtar found a new friend.  Icarus.

As I may have mentioned in a previous post or one of the cat pages, ideally, Icarus was supposed to be a playmate for Prometheus.  However, Prometheus was put in quarantine for 2 months after Icarus’ arrival.  Instead, Icarus bonded with Boots.  He taught Boots how to play!  When Prometheus was released from quarantine, Icarus took some time getting used to him.  After a week of the initial hissing and growling, everyone settled into their own little groups.



During the day, Pandora, Apollo, and Ishtar slept on the couch or bed together.  They formed the old maid’s club (although Ishtar’s only 3).  Castiel, Prometheus, Boots, and Icarus played together most of the day… and well into the evening.  Castiel, being the happiest cat in the world, wants to love everyone and has always been content playing or napping with anyone who reciprocates his love.  Prometheus and Boots actively seek Icarus.  Prometheus even cries for him.  Orlox is a loner.  He can’t be bothered with other cats.  However, in the evening, he allows Ishtar to hang out with him when he gets “mommy time.”  Ishtar is the only cat Orlox doesn’t mind receiving kisses.



This morning a new alliance emerged.  Ishtar and Icarus were playing!  At first, Icarus didn’t quite know what to make of the situation.  He ran to hide at first.  Once he understood that she was acting playful, he jumped down from his high perch and chased after her.  Both of them had their tails high in the air playing with each other.  I was so proud of them.

Now… if we could only get Pandora out of the Cranky Cat Club (party of one)…

It’s All In The Details

I admit, I’ve got some silly looking cats.  Of course, they’re all beautiful to me, but I wasn’t attracted to their looks during adoption.  My cats won me over with their personality.  Over the years, I’ve found little details about their physical appearance that I absolutely love.  Next to their personality, theses are my favorite features.


Our monkey-faced cat, Castiel, is the happiest cat in the world.  On his front paws, he has tiny black spots, where the toes are.  I love this little detail in his coat.  He’s got some pretty big paws, so Castiel shows off the black spots quite nicely.



Ishtar has a gorgeous brown and black marble pattern that has a serpentine appearance when she moves.  However, that’s not my favorite detail.  Ishtar has a splotch of white around her mouth and nose.  This is my favorite part of her coat.  She doesn’t have white anywhere else.  Only on her face.  It looks like she ate a powdered donut.



Orlox is a lean, mean, purring machine.  His coat is becoming flecked with gray hairs as he gets older.  I have never seen a cat’s nose shaped like Orlox’s, and that his my favorite feature about him.  His face reminds me of a bat, especially his muzzle.   I like to think that it is his own unique quality.



Pandora has the most extraordinary eyes.  Yes, they’re blue, and they work wonderfully with her coat.  If you get really close to her and have a staring contest, then you can observe the real beauty in her eyes.  The pattern of the iris is like marble at the bottom of a reflecting pool – light bouncing webs of light.  Stare too long and you can easily find yourself shipwrecked.



In general, Boots is a beautiful cat.  His fiery coat and pattern remind me of solar flares.  His best feature is his huge head.  I’ve met a few big-headed cats in my time, but Boots’ head, well, it’s pretty large.  It is one of the first things you notice.  And comment on.  I remember seeing him come into the shelter for the first time.  I turned to the shelter manager and said, “My, oh my!  That cat’s got a big head!”  Ron and I tell him he has a head shaped like a boot… although I don’t quite understand what that means.



Everything about Prometheus is “special.”  He’s got special eyes, walks with a special swagger, and has a special tail.  My favorite detail about Prometheus is the mark of white that runs from his lower lip into his neck.  It looks like he dribbled milk.  I think it’s the cutest thing.



Icarus’ face is especially silly looking to me.  So much so, that he doesn’t really look like a normal cat.  His face is skinny (he have fabulous cheek bones!) and his muzzle is long and boxy.   However, I love that he looks like he is wearing black eyeliner on his left eye.  But it’s a mish-mash job at best.  The black along the lower lid of Icarus’ eye only marks half the lid, while the other half is pink.



Kitty Crazies Post Tricky Tray

Last night START II held its 8th Annual Tricky Tray.  It was a lot of hard work, but the end result was successful and gorgeous!  Since I was helping set up and selling tickets in the evening, I was out of the apartment by 7:30am.  Ron drove me to the venue before 9am.  He then went home quick then went to work.  After work, he drove back to the venue and schmoozed with family, friends, and volunteers.  We didn’t get home until after midnight.

This was the first time Prometheus, Boots, and Icarus had been home alone all day.  I worried about them periodically throughout the day and well into the evening.  When we came home, all of the cats were happy to see us.  Prometheus greeted us at the door with his funny, high-pitched meow and flopped against our legs.  Even Boots let out a vocal greeting and followed me around.  Everyone else pretty much waited at the food bowl.

After everyone finished eating, a massive outbreak of kitty crazies ensued.  I’m used to kitty crazies in small doses – usually at most 3 cats at a time (and right when I’m trying to get to sleep).  But this episode of crazies was the mother of all crazy episodes.  Prometheus ran from room to room meowing.  Icarus chased him, sometimes distracted by a toy.  Castiel unleashed a series of bunny kicks and attacks on the bathroom carpet.  Ishtar chased a piece of carpet from the cat perch.  She then proceeded to meow at it then run away with her back arched and tail curled (that’s my pudgy little princess!).  Orlox desperately wanted “mommy time,” but Boots kept chasing him.  Pandora was determined to catch water drops from the faucet.  Even Apollo had old lady crazies, chasing a fuzzy toy.

When Ron and I went to sleep, they all still had crazies.  I was too exhausted to care and fell asleep.  I awoke this morning to all of them still with crazies.  Today I wasn’t greeted by sunshine peeking through the blinds in the bedroom window.  Nope.  I was awoken by Prometheus running across the bed, backside flopping, ear back, meowing his funny meow.  He ran over me full speed, then jumped off the bed, ran underneath, then came back to do it again.  I blocked him from running across my stomach this time and, instead, he ran across my legs.

Boots was still trying to catch Orlox at 10am.  Pandora, Ishtar and Apollo finally settled down on the couch, but boys were wild until early this afternoon.

Finally, they’re all napping!  We’ll see how long that lasts.