Other people have normal pets.

Other people have dogs that wag tails, dig up yards and bark when strangers come to the door.

Or they have cats that are aloof, hide from strangers, or leave clawmarks on the sofa.

I’ve yet to have a normal pet.

I had a dog that greeted you by bouncing – as if on springs – straight up in the air so she could look you in the eye.

I concluded that it was because she was a cattle dog and we were keeping her inside. It was all a function of the environment.

That dog ultimately had to be sent to Alabama.

This was not some sort of consequence. We were moving to Europe, the friend who adopted her lived in Alabama.

Quit thinking bad things about people in Alabama. This was not punishment for the dog chewing our slippers or anything. (Although she once ate a Barney doll. For which we gave her fresh bacon.)

Now I own cats.

I’d never owned a cat before.

I had no schemata for cats.

Independent. Furry. They like milk.

This is what I knew of cats.

Enter Topaz.

Topaz followed me around the house.  She stole the sponge from the kitchen sink and dragged it around the apartment with her. She played hockey with ripe avocados. She knocked paintings, lamps and glasses of water from great heights to ensure that gravity was still working….today. She redecorated our Christmas tree be randomly relocating it one small piece at a time.

We concluded that she was lonely.

Which as far as Topaz is concerned, demonstrated that we were clinically eligible for psychiatric services up to  and including electric shock therapy.

If only she’d had opposable thumbs and a credit card.

So we got….Nimbus.

Let us be clear.

Getting Nimbus ruined Topaz’ life.

Ruined, like moving-to-the-sticks-your-senior-year-of-high-school, getting-caught-in-an-affair-with-your-boss’-husband, joking-about-the-quarterback’s-bad-hairpiece-in-a-national-interview sort of ruined.

She forgave me in a few months. She forgave Himself last Tuesday.

If Topaz was cat-squared, Nimbus is cat-to-the-power-of-ten.

Here are a few things Nimbus has put clawmarks in: every piece of leather furniture we own, our mahogany headboard, our dresser, the hallway wall, the hardwood floor and the finish of my car.

In addition to stabbing the vet with her own hypodermic needle, Nimbus has ripped a utility sink off a wall, and managed one day to make off with a ten pound bag of marinating chicken breasts.

There is zero hyperbole in the last two paragraphs. ZERO.

Our cats also have conversations with us. Here is an example.

Topaz: Meow!

Us: No.

Topaz: MEOW!

Us: No.

Topaz: RROWRR!

Us: No.

Topaz: CRASH!

Translated, this conversation reads as follows:

Topaz: I would like to go kill that bird, please.

Us: No.

Topaz: You don’t understand, it’s a biological imperative and it won’t take but a minute!

Us: No.


Us: No.

Topaz: Well, I think this vase would look better on the floor then, don’t you?

Conversations with Nimbus go like this:

Nimbus: Mrowwwrr! Mroowrr! Mrrroooowrrr! Mrowr! Mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooowr!

Translation: I’m hungry! I’mmmmm hungry! I’m HUUUUUUUNgry! Hungry! Reeeeeeeeaaaaaallllllly hungry!

Which I suppose technically is really a monologue since we typically ignore him.


  1. Our cat, Harryboy, is very vocal and it makes me crazy.

    Our conversations go something like this:

    HB: MeowMeowMeowMeow

    Me: Shut up, Harryboy.

    HB: MEOWmeowmeowmeow

    Me: Shut it, Buttmunch.


    Me: That’s it buddy, you’re going OUTside *opens door and flings cat outside*

  2. When my family moved to Alabama my mom thought she was being punished for something and actually told my dad to go without her and she would stay in Pennsylvania with me and her grandparents. He could visit.
    Now? She would never move back. So I hope your dog feels the same way as my mom. That doesn’t sound weird at all.

    1. We were not able to get our dog back.

      She fell in love with a goat ranch.

      Blue heeler on goat ranch vs. blue heeler in tiny suburban yard.

      We loved her too much to make her come home.

      And…she’d be 15 now. I think she has probably gone on to that great goat ranch in the sky.

  3. I’ve owned or been adopted by 8 cats since I moved out on my own. We currently still have 4 of them, 2 have passed away & 2 randomly still appear from time to time. (One of those 2 is the mama of 3 of the cats we currently have)

    The youngest, Ashes, is very vocal. Like all youngest children he knows he has to shout to be noticed. So we get “MEEEOOOOWWWW!” from him instead of the quieter ‘meow’ the other cats say. He is so loud you can hear him on the other side of the front door, “MMEEEEOOOOWWWW” or “I want in!!!”. Then three minutes later after checking that no new much more fun or delicious things have magically appeared inside he goes back to the door and shouts “MMEEEOOOWWWW” or “I want out”. Then he surveys the yard, notices nothing fun or delicious has miraculously appeared there and comes back to the door and shouts”MMMEEEEOOOOWWW”

    All. day. long.

    1. Ours are indoor cats, or they would also do that all…day…long.

      Of this I have absolutely no doubt.

      And cats really do believe that magic must happen.

      It’s the only explanation.

  4. Gotta love the furry beasts. Ours meows repeatedly, louder and louder. I still haven’t figured out what he wants most of the time. The food one, I’ve got down pat! If he doesn’t have food in his dish before we go to bed, he will wake me up at 1:30 and keep me up until I feed him. However, as long as he’s not hungry, when he’s annoying me at night I tell him “Go sleepy” and he’ll go lay down and go to sleep. Ha. And! I’m the only one who can do it and he’ll listen. Ha. Score one for mama!!

    1. Yes, way score one for you!

      Nimbus is a feline alarm clock.

      If someone is not up and putting food in his dish at 5:16, he is yowling.

      Himself typically gets up at 5:15. Which is why he’s programmed so well.

      And I figure that since Himself programmed him, Himself gets to deal with the awake, hungry cat at 5:16 regardless of whether or not Himself wanted to sleep in.

    1. No, I wouldn’t say “cat person.”

      I wanted a pet, and lived in an apartment.

      Cat was sort of the only way to go.

      Well, birds or fish, I suppose, but what’s the fun of that?

      We talk about getting a dog, but Nimbus + Dog = cancelled homeowners insurance policy.

  5. My old cat was cool. His name was Zeus and he weighed about 22 lbs. He was not fat, he was big. He was a big Zeus-like, Tom Cat (neutered at like 3 weeks old) and he was awesome. He didn’t greet me at the door, but he did saunter in to view the guests after he’d finished his nap. Zeus was aloof and definitely better than people. I called him Paris (as in Hilton) because all I did was hold the door for him.

    The new cat is schizo. He can’t go outside because he’s topped the scales at 9 lbs. We have a feral cat colony that lives in the woods behind our house (and in the dumpsters at the nursing home next door). My vet said “The feral cat colony is the cat equivalent of a crack house.” Nice visual. So now how can I send this itty bitty baby cat outside to face a crack house?

    So he destroys the house. He knocks things off tables so the dogs can finish them off when he’s done batting them around. Items destroyed in the last 2 weeks by the cat/dog tag team:

    2 pairs of Ray Ban Sunglasses.
    1 leather phone holster
    countless pairs of underwear (okay that may be the dogs alone)
    14 gajillion Barbie Dolls
    3 baby dolls
    20 Star Wars Action figures
    umpteen million Happy Meal toys

    1. The pets clearly have it in for the plastics industry.

      I’m sure all the Barbies had it coming, but….the Star Wars Action figures???

      OHHH!! The agony!!!

      And crack baby cat rescue! Go you!

  6. Our dog jumps up and down next to people, too! It’s because she knows she’s not allowed to jump up on people and she needs to do something with all of that energy.

  7. omg your cats are the spawn of Satan…but they’re gorgeous, and such pretty green eyes. My neighbour downstairs owns “retard-cat” that’s my non-politically correct name for it. It is forever sitting outside with its tongue sticking out and is also very confused, On Monday, it came up to me purring, the next day, it freaked out when it saw me. Then, back to liking me on Wed and freak out on Thursday…very confused cat…

    1. Hmmm…maybe the cat has multiple personality disorder.

      Although I’m not sure how you tell with a cat.

      And yes. They are beautiful. And Evil.

      Just like Elizabeth Hurley in “Bedazzled.”

  8. This is soooo funny! I’ve never had cats. I wonder what my labs would do? Somehow, I don’t think it would end well. I’m just not sure who the victor would be.

  9. The fact that you understand ‘cat-speak’ puts you light years ahead of the rest of us imbeciles who think all cats will be happy to eat tuna. Turns out, in some cat-circles, this is insulting.
    Your kitties are beautiful though.
    As for the jumping dog, betcha could have made money off of him on America’s Got Talent! I’m just sayin’…

  10. Dear Nimbus and Topaz,
    In your quest to glory,
    you’ve outsmarted Lori,
    ‘Tis hard to do
    So smart you two!
    A whole post she’s written
    dedicated to a kitten…
    (sorry damn Suess has warped my brain, it may never be the same)

  11. I am a big time cat person, so I can say with certainty… your cats are gorgeous. And while I would prefer our cat was more like Nimbus, unfortunately, she’s more like Topaz. Feisty little thing, that one.

  12. I have to think that this post too will wind up linked in Internetland for cat lovers everywhere to find. You will no longer be known for your centerpieces and knick-knacks, but for your love of all things cat.

    You’re screwed.

  13. See, I totally get this “making your cat miserable by getting another cat” thing. Poor fatty LOVED life (I thought his excessive laziness was just loneliness) before the baby came along.

    Now she won’t stop being on his head. All the time, on his head. Sleeping, playing, grooming, playing pinochle. All on his head.

    I’m thinking “birth order” behavior isn’t just for humans.

  14. Yep, here I am, posting on another months-old blog post. I really need to find a life, and I probably shouldn’t be looking for it in your blog, should I? If it’s any consolation whatsoever, you’re on a pretty short list of blogs I stalk. I wish I could say I’m not hooked on every single word you write, but I am. Cause I *GET* you.

    Anyway, the point of this comment. I swear there’s a point!! I’ve never had a normal pet either. Our dog, Zoe (a golden retriever) thinks she’s a ferret. Because we had ferrets when we got her. THEY thought they were cats. Our cats think they’re human. And are insulted that we haven’t installed a toilet that they can flush, thereby making them poop in a box filled with dusty, dirty, smelly stuff. And ours talk too. More accurately, ours COMPLAIN. They’d have the most hate-filled blogs ever written if they could type. They love us, but they love to gripe at us too. And we, sick people we are, think it’s SO cute. We have issues. But it’s fun that way I think. ;)

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