DOUBLE FLUFF

 

March 9, 2022



In newspaper parlance, the type of article I write usually is called a “ fluff “ piece. It’s not news or information nor does it provide instruction or commendation of others.It’s just for fun or conveys a feeling about something. I personally have always been a fan of fluff pieces. When you are depressed with the news and financial statements or reading about others who seem to be doing so much better than you, you go to a fluff piece. The following is a double fluff piece.

I’m all for second chances for people and animals. I always advocate adopting pets rather than insisting on a purebred. I understand there are times you might need a purebred, but usually a mixed breed will do you proud. I speak from experience. We have an “ adopted” cat, Sweetheart, in our house. Hers has been a complicated story. She’s a fluffy cat--therefore ,this is a double fluff story! She first appeared at our barn as a kitten with her mother and sister. We enjoyed her and Angel, her sister. Mother was more aloof but the kittens loved to play and when we rode into the pasture they would frolic around us. We have lots of pictures of them and had many a laugh and cuddle.The sad day came when Angel and mother were nowhere to be found. Little Sweetheart was sitting alone in the barn when we came to feed. After a few days, we had to admit something had happened to Angel and the mother. I insisted we take Sweetheart home, as alone, she didn’t stand a chance. There were definitely obstacles. Ken said he had an allergy and of course I had five dogs who weren’t used to cats. We can figure something I argued. We are taking her home!


We set her up in our main floor bathroom which has many windows around it. I encouraged Ken to build her a wide shelf in the one biggest window where she could sit in the sun. I lined it with sheepskin. I got her dishes and a bed for the floor and of course a litter box. At all times I searched for a forever home for her. No one was interested. I posted in the Mountaineer and the Bear Paw Vet’s bulletin board. I called Fort Benton shelter but they were full up. I talked to people. No one seemed to want a well meaning cat such as Sweetheart. As time went on, I told Ken he must build a catio so she could get outside. Ken constructed a cat flap in the one bathroom window she could come and go through. This opening hooked up to a length of “ tunnel” that runs along the side of the house. He put a couple of shelves in so there are two levels in one spot .Carpet was put on the floor and the sides were covered in 1/4 inch hardware cloth so she could see everything going on but nothing could get in at her and vice versa. She loved her catio. Sweetheart had her second chance. She was ours. Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but it was better than being in the barn alone, prey to whatever. Life went on and I make a point to go in and out and visit with her, treats given , of course. She allowed me to carry her like a baby and dance around with her paw over my shoulder. Life for her was pretty good but not perfect.


This winter with the cold winds blowing, I started leaving her door open into the kitchen to allow more warm air to get in to her. I would see her peeking out into the kitchen. By now her biggest enemy, my dog, Koda, had very sadly passed. The other dogs mostly ignored her, at this point.She must have thought,” Now I might stand a chance.” Out soft footing it she came.At the sight of a dog she’d run back into her room. Eventually she soft pawed it into the living room. Santan, the biggest dog, spotted her, and there was a race back into the bathroom with Santan woofing her displeasure. Sweetheart was not about to give up. She had spotted her third chance.Her forays continued. I always knew when she had snuck into the living or dining room as George the parrot would meow. Once when she got under his cage without me knowing, I heard him say” What the hell are you doing?” I spun around to see her hot footing it back to her room. I was once told by a vet that when a parrot and dog or cat get into a fight the parrot wins out. He said he had been called to homes where a parrot had wreaked havoc. He said fellow vets had nicknamed parrots such as George,” The Surgeon” So, do not fear for George!. Santan, who is 15, and Flossie,14, (who never cared anyway,) have given up bothering with Sweetheart.My Chihuahua, Honey, who is 18, has not given up. Honey mostly chooses to ignore the interloper but once in awhile her Mexican temper flares and off they go. Sweetheart seems to know this tiny dog is deterred by nothing and she skedaddles. Just ask Erica Chauvet or Paul Mc Cann at Bear Paw. Honey may have one tooth but she is feisty and fearless!

Sweetheart has decided “ four on the floor” is for the dogs, She usually cruises the upper regions, that is, tops of chairs, couch,window sills and tables.Now, when I’m at the computer she strolls past me, tail held high and then stands there, blocking the screen. Ken will be sitting at the dining room table, on the phone, making notes for building materials for a job, and she trots over and stands on his paper, tail waving in his face.She began to savage my spider plant, so that is moved into my bedroom where its now thriving. Thankfully, the other plants don’t interest her. I bought her some of her own cat grass. It grew remarkably well. Sadly, she cares not. It sits there and keeps on growing. It obviously does not hold the charms of a spider plant.Some scratching on furniture has started but we have a plan.She is not left alone in the house for starters and if either Ken or I hear a scratch, she is immediately scooped up and deposited in her room and the door shut. A couple of hours later, she gets out of her time out. We are hopeful she will realize why she is being excluded from time to time. Sweetheart is savoring her third chance! As the popular saying now goes, she is living her best life.

Now you can tell people you have read a double fluff piece! So much more fun than news, don’t you think?

 
 

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