I Can Deny Ellie Nothing

I don’t say this entirely because I am a pathetic pet-owner who is owned by her cat. A large part is because I am pandemically housebound, haven’t started my blog tour yet for Casting Call, nor started writing my new Percy Cole book. And God forbid I should do some housework. Well, that’s not quite true. I did a load of laundry the other day. It sits in a basket in the living room waiting to be put away. But back to I can deny Ellie nothing. The other day I ordered her a pet stepladder to get on and off our California King bed. The bed has one of those Princess and the Pea mattresses. You know the kind, cloud-soft foam, several yards thick. The kind of bed where once you lay down not only don’t you want to get up, sometimes you can’t. You have to roll over to the side and drop off. Word to the wise: do this feet first. Headfirst, not so good. Adding to the bed’s height are the six-inch lifts. This is so hubby can store his musical equipment underneath. In short, this is not just a bed. It’s a way of life. And Ellie has taken to this life like the queen she is. It is her majesty’s kingdom. However, when she dienes to leave for food, drink, treats or… ahem… potty time, she has to return to her kingdom in the sky. Lately, this has involved a certain amount of posturing. Being a smart cat, despite what others might say, she lets me know when she wants a handheld elevator ride back to the stratosphere. She marches to the side of the bed, lifts herself up on her back legs, stretches front paws to the very top of the mattress, and…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 67

I have a lot of time on my hands these days. I was struck by the idea of potty training my cat, Ellie, to use the facilities instead of the litter pan.  I trip over her litter pan every time I go into the laundry room, so this seemed like a good idea. It can’t be so hard, I reasoned. After all, Ellie is the cat and I am the mastress. And Ellie is a very intelligent, obedient cat. Okay, she’s very intelligent. That’s a start. After reading a particularly entrancing ad on the internet, I acted. Several days later, I received a pair of steel, reinforced gloves in the mail, and a set of instructions that went like this: Remember, it’s essential to take the upper hand when laying down the law to your cat. You can achieve your goal if your commands are clear and concise. You will be rewarded by an animal who loves you even more for your discipline. Below are three foolproof steps to employ: 1 – Discuss the overall goal with self. You must be in total agreement with self on objective and how to achieve it. Keep cat out of room during this discussion. There is no sense in alerting cat ahead of time. They have their ways. 2 – Now relay overall goal to cat before you begin the training process. You will find that sitting cat down in a quiet place, void of distractions, and outlining the situation is the way to go. They will usually pay rapt attention to you, especially if you are waving catnip about. They may not remember all you’ve said, but it is a bonding experience.   3 –When you see cat doing business in litter pan, carefully lift animal out of pan while wearing aforementioned,…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 51

I am a mere shell of my former self. Seriously. I don’t mean weight-wise. I still remain the block-buster gal we all know. I mean as a person. Among other things, I can’t sleep. I seem to be wide awake until 2 am and get up around 7. Then I zonk out between 5 and 7 pm only to repeat this ghastly routine the next day. I miss phone calls, online meetings, and playing with the cat. My cat, Ellie, has a narrow window of awakeness. It’s usually between 5 and 7 pm. These days, other than putting down her cereal bowl and cleaning out her litter pan, I have little interaction with her. Not that she’s complaining. She even sent a letter of inquiry to the governor of California asking when she will get some alone time in this house. She awaits a personal reply or phone call. Naturally, Newsom would have to call her sometime between 5 and 7 pm. Ellie calls Governor Gavin Newsom “Gav,” as she claims he is a personal friend.  I don’t believe it for a minute. She’s not his type. Back to my lack of sleep. Hubby is fine with my vampire insomnia-like state. After all, we are together 24/7, so any time he gets to himself without me popping into his office for a quick hug or to remind him the pots go on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher, thank you very much, he’s happy. On the subject of loading the dishwasher, I fail to understand why a college graduate and an all-around smart guy cannot grasp that putting metal pots next to glasses is not a good thing. Okay, it’s possible I’m becoming squirrely. Talking to the cat. Waiting for Gavin Newsom to phone. Focusing on how one loads the…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 43

Today was Ellie, my cat’s,10th  birthday. I looked on the internet to see what else happened 10 years ago on April 28th. Absolutely nothing else of significance. Apparently, the highlight of April 28, 2010, was Ellie’s birth. I’ve always suspected this. No wonder she thinks of herself as a queen (note the crown). I know her date of birth because her mother, a seal-point Siamese, was in the animal shelter where she gave birth to a litter of kittens. Ellie was one. Yes, for all her regalness, Ellie is a rescue cat. But she has requested we keep it on the down-low. She doesn’t want word of this to get around the neighborhood. She has her reputation, doncha know. I thought it would be nice to show a typical day in the life of the monarch, she who graces us with her presence: First, there is breakfast. I think it should be noted that after a long night of sleeping, a hungry cat can be the most insistent alarm clock in the world. And breakfast seems to be sacrosanct to most cats. Breakfast is from 9 to 9:15 am. There is no deviation. After breakfast, we have nap time. True, she just woke up, but there is a certain amount of stress in moving from the bed to her cereal bowl. Besides, her philosophy is nap time should take up the bulk of the day. This is different than sleeping, which she does at night. In the daytime, she naps. All-day long. It’s written in her contract. She has many separate nap times and they are delineated by food and snacks.  After breaking her fast, the rest of the morning is devoted to her mid-morning nap. Then a light snack from 12 noon to 12:15. For the record, there are…

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