The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

December 27, 2007

Kitty Love, by Soots & Arya

Okay, here’s the thing. We are Soots and Arya, and we don’t like to be awoken suddenly from our nice nap by some big flashing, bright light. So we give you face like this. Not our fault. We are infinitely cute, as you will see.

Beth woke us up to help with her blog because, as she said, it was our fault that she was having too much fun with us to blog for the last few days. Wait, did she say fun? Maybe she said she was too tired from chasing us off her desk all day. When she gets cranky, she tosses us across the floor, but we know she doesn’t mean it so we keep coming back again to cheer her up.

Our new friend David came over tonight and taught us how to do an immensely fun thing. We have expert skills of climbing and this proves that we will soon make it to the top of the drapes, which is the goal of our lives. David says that this activity doesn’t hurt humans long as they’re wearing heavy jeans. Beth doesn’t wear heavy jeans. Oh well.

I am Soots and this is one of my new favorite toys. It is just a long piece of twine with one end attached to a human (not in the picture.) No plastic. No paint. No feathers or bells or sparkly things. You would think that it would be boring, and you would be very wrong. As long as the human doesn’t get tired and forget to keep jiggling the string, we will jump and twist and make kitty pretzels all night until we pass out from the sheer euphoria of life. This is a true fact. However, most humans give up too soon and never discover this for themselves. We still have much training of them to do.

I am Arya, and this is one of the homemade catnip mice that a nice lady named Cat (isn’t that funny, a human named Cat?) made for us. We are very sorry, but there were two, and we don’t know what happened to the other one because we like to hide things but our memories aren’t so good. Anyway, Cat has a blog too, called It’s A Green, Green, Green, Green World. That means she’s an environmentalist. We know this because she mailed the catnip mice to us without any packaging inside the envelope and even had to convince the mail room guy that it was okay to let her send them that way. This made Beth happy. She doesn’t like extra packaging. We, on the other hand, pretty much like extra everything except for loud noises.

And this is our Cosmic Cat scratcher box. It’s okay, and Beth says it’s made from recycled cardboard, but we really would just rather scratch the carpet. It’s much more satisfying. Oh, this is another reason that Beth hasn’t been blogging. Every time she hears us scratch the carpet, she grabs us and puts us on the Cosmic Cat scratcher box, and then she starts scratching it herself to show us how. That’s pretty funny. We like watching her fingers scratch the cardboard. Sometimes we try to bite them. When she stops, we have to scratch the carpet to get her to do it again.

This is our dining room. No plastic here, either. Just a metal tray, some ceramic and glass bowls, and a very nice painting, possibly from the Impressionist Period, of humans with umbrellas that Michael put here for us to enjoy while we eat. We don’t know what umbrellas are because we don’t go outside. And we’re pretty sure it would be fun to scratch, except so far we have been too busy eating while in our dining room to remember to try out the Impressionist scratching post that Michael so considerately provided to us.

So you’re probably wondering what we were eating. Salmon. Ocean fish. Chicken. Yummy stuff. It’s all Pet Promise Brand cat food.  (2011 Update: Sadly, the Pet Promise brand was discontinued due to the economic downturn.) We can have dry food all day long and wet food from cans twice a day. When that happens, Soots tries very hard to eat his wet food and Arya’s too. Sometimes Beth pushes him back to his own bowl and sometimes she puts me, Arya, on the counter where Soots can’t bug me. I really do think she likes me best.

Okay, so yes, Beth admits that there is plastic packaging of this delicious food. The cans are lined with plastic, of course. And the bag of dry food has a plastic coating inside and out. But still, she thinks that it is better for us and the planet because it has no animal byproducts, no added growth hormones, no antibiotic-fed protein, no rendered meats, no factory-farm meat or poultry, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And Dr. Andrew Weil thinks it is the best in town, so that’s good enough for her.

Later, when we are adult cats, she might switch us to Castor & Pollux Organix cat food because she can buy it from a bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery with no packaging at all. But the humans at Castor & Pollux told her that we are not yet ready for that food, so because of us she has to buy a little bit of plastic. We’re sorry.

This is what we do after we eat. We have a plastic litter box that Beth says was okay for her to get for us because it came from a nice person on Freecycle, so she didn’t have to buy new plastic. Right now, we are using SwheatScoop natural cat litter. [2016 Update: We are now using Integrity Brand litter instead since Swheatscoop switched to a plastic bag.] It works fine for us, but Beth has been reading many differing opinions and has not decided if this is what we will always use. Also, after we do our business, Beth scoops out the lumps with a spoon and flushes them down the toilet once a day. Now, we know that you are thinking that she is killing sea otters. But she thinks that our poop is sea otter safe because we have never been outside to pick up the dreaded Toxoplasma gondii parasite and we will always be indoor kitties. After she takes us to the vet, she will know for positively sure.

She is just waiting to get a carrier box for us from another human on Craigslist or Freecycle. See, this is another plastic item that she refuses to buy new. But right now she is having difficulties hooking up with the Craigslist/Freecycle people because it’s the holidays and they are busy giving presents to their own pets. At least, we feel that is the only legitimate excuse for them.

This is our playground, a.k.a. Beth and Michael’s living room. We have lots of cardboard on the floor and blankets and pillows. We like living here because it is soft and we don’t get yelled at for running on the sofa even though we do get yelled at for scratching the carpet. Something about a landlord. We don’t know what that is, but it sounds scary.

Sometimes, Beth comes into our playroom and sighs deeply. We think it’s because she’s so in love with our wonderfulness. She says things like, “Holy crap. Just look at this place.” And then she just shakes her head and sits down to watch at us.

Yes, I Arya Terry-Stoler am one beautiful kitteh. Gaze upon my magnificence and prepare to offer tokens of appreciation.

We are finished with this blog post. We have important investigations to attend to, as well as some serious wrastling, pouncing, and purring. Good night.

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10 years ago

I wonder how much time you spend behind all this amazing things….

Condo Blues
11 years ago

My dog has started scratching the carpet. I wonder if a cardboard catscratcher box would would for him?

15 years ago

My favorite description is “kitty pretzels”. I have seen that :)

Another archive meme comment!

15 years ago

Here are a couple of suggestions:
Vets and Pet stores sell cardboard carriers that really do last a good time.
Go to carpet stores and ask for their old carpet samples and spread them in their favorite scratching places. Put them on 4×4 or4x6 boards for great scratchers.
If you see a nice hunk of natural wood/log with or without bark drag it in and it makes a great scratching post.

- jesse
15 years ago

Just a few comments on both this post and other comments –

If you’re trying to train them not to scratch on carpet, a carpeted scratcher might just confuse them so you are right to stick with cardboard! Also, there has been some postulation recently with kitties, carpeted scratch toys and hyperthyroidism:

Also, I definitely disagree with the idea that cats and dogs can exist without ill effects on dry alone. Usually it’s linked to UTIs (even my female got one when I had them on kibble only) and – worse – diabetes and its only “benefit” is possibly less tartar long-term, however, a lot of vets say that since dry food breaks, any risk of broken food getting lodged in gums and creating dental problems negates the supposed benefit of tartar control. Not to mention that you can give them sisal rope or straws to chew on with a similar effect. I personally follow a more natural model both to avoid factory farms and because it’s closer to what they would eat if they were not domesticated (ex. Hare Today ground rabbit with occasional Petguard wet, some dry only to help with binding that occasionally happens when transitioning to raw-only). I try to focus on animals that are killed either by the HT farmer or local to her so it cuts down on the often cruel transport methods, downers, etc. There is info on that here:

You can see some other examples of that in the footnotes of this wiki, either by DVMs or VIN:

Good luck with your toxo testing!

Oh, and I would strongly caution against cardboard carriers long-term, as someone else suggested. (And especially not plain ol’ boxes.) While that might be okay for some low-key cats, when I’ve had to use them b/c our nonprofit was out of regular carriers I’ve had a few very serious potential and total jailbreaks in livery cabs. NOT FUN. NOT SAFE! Never underestimate a cat under stress!

The Green Cat
15 years ago

Adorable kitties! I love them. Don’t worry, that mouse will turn up in a couple of months–probably right around the time the other one disappears. The fun thing will be that the kitties will have forgotten about it by then so it will seem like a new toy!

15 years ago

Cutest. Post. EVER. After three days of the stomach flu, I totally needed this!

15 years ago

You can lose some more plastic by skipping the wet food. Cats (and dogs for that matter) have no need for wet food (which is also far more expensive than dry). My pets have only had wet food when they were sick and needed it for medical reasons. (One had a prescription diet and the other had gum surgery and couldn’t eat hard food for a few days.)

Good luck! You have been inspiring me….

15 years ago

Why aren’t you checking Craig’s List free postings for kitteh towers which are covered with CARPET?? I will loan you a fabulous kitteh scratcher which will take the kittehs’ minds off your carpet for awhile and here’s another thing: Give them their very own doormat made of sisal and they will be very happy to scratch the hell out of it. I can’t wait to see them!

heather t
15 years ago

Spike here – HI and welcome. My vet sells cardboard carriers for only about $5. They are pretty durable.

My mom has also taken me to the vet in a plain old cardboard box, and in a laundry basket (although Mom, having 3 human childs, has forgotten how she kept me to stay in it that time.)

Mom drives, tho. So I’m not sure how the box or basket will work if your mom and dad have to walk you to the vet or take the bus or something. But you might want your mom to call about the cardboard carriers.

And, no kidding, the code word to post has the word “mew” in it. So mew to you!

15 years ago

Robb says:

Speaking as the most spoiled kitteh in the world, I … wait, what was that flying through the air … oh, yeah, ahem

Speaking as the most spoiled kitt…

Sorry, got to pounce on something now.

Oops, fell asleep.

15 years ago

Great post! This had me chuckling along and remembering my own (sadly departed) kitten.

You do realise that you’re going to have to pay them a fortune in syndication rights when they become famous, don’t you beth?

har mar
15 years ago

OMIGOD HOW CUTE!! when can i come have a playdate?