PET
TIPS 'n' TALES
Celebrates People and Pets

Crazy Christmas Mystery

Courtesy Photo
Jeanne, Steve, and Kishou recall a crazy Christmas mystery memory.  Kishou has had to adjust to Jeanne's deafness and Jeanne to communicating with Kishou.

TALES
 
"In the '80's, my roommate and I moved into our first apartment," recalls Jeanne.

"We were excited to have our first Christmas together with our two cats, Misty and Morla.  To help celebrate the season, my roommate's mother gave us her very old, fake 3-foot-tall, Christmas tree.

Excitedly we went to the store, bought beautiful tree ornaments, and were thrilled with our decorating results!

That is when the oddest mystery began. Every time we left the living room, where our tree was proudly displayed, we returned to discover that something wasn't right.

To our horror every single ornament was scattered in every direction ALL over the floor.  "How can it be?" we asked. If it had been our cats, we could expect one or two ornaments, but not them all!

We'd place everything back on the tree, leave the room, and return to once again discover a bare tree and ornaments distributed from end to end on the floor. Was our apartment haunted?

After a few days, I walked into the living room, and gasped in awe. There was our tree, mysteriously spinning. Like a scene out of the TV series Twilight Zone-- ornaments were flying off of it into the air.

Thankfully, I spotted the source of the mystery.  Morla was running in circles around and around under the tree with wild abandonment creating a Christmas cyclone catastrophe! Just like the Tigers did in the 1899 children's storybook by Helen Bannermanhe, Morla was running in tight circles around the tree.  Instead of making butter like the Tigers, Morla was making a decorating disaster!

The tree's lowest branches touched his back and as he ran the tree spun in the direction he moved.

It was obvious that Morla thought the game was fun and that he had his very own cat toy full of pretty balls. He enjoyed watching as the 'balls' and decorations flew off and then rolled across the floor.

He did not stop until the tree was completely bare!

I laughed so hard at the funny sight of the running cat and the spinning tree!  Fortunately, there was a carpet on the floor and the ornaments did not break. I wish I would have had a video camera at the time."

The cat-ology of this is that 'if it is shiny, jingles, and moves, it is fair game for a cat!'

Currently, my boyfriend, Steve, and I have Kishou.  She was named Kishou, which means beauty mark in Japanese, because of the two white marks below her nose. 

I am 95% deaf, and Kishou does not realize that once I remove my hearing aids for bed, nothing in the world will wake me. 

She used to stand on my chest, and YELL her lungs off, non-stop, in my face.

Steve, who is not deaf, did not appreciate the bedtime caterwauling.  In frustration, he would finally yell, "SHUT UP! SHE'S DEAF!"

We finally figured out why she was yelling.  Steve and I both work all day, so Kishou was bored during our absence.  Then we were exhausted after work and there was no play time or interaction with her.

So I began playing with her, a half an hour in the morning and in the evening. Kishou blossomed; her personality emerged; she stopped being introverted; and, became a funny character.

She loves her play time and we have to admit so do we.  She makes us laugh with her entertaining antics and we love being loved by her.  She is happier, content, and thankfully for Steve, she has stopped yelling at bedtime!

Kishou finally figured out that I am deaf and not just ignoring her.   Now, she wakes me up by swaying her head back and forth, close to my face so that her whiskers tickle me. I must admit, it is a nice way to wake up--rather than being bitten on the nose, toes, or worse!" laughs Jeanne.


TIPS

Jeanne had to learn to communicate with her cats in more observant ways.  "Be mindful of how cats communicate with their eyes and heads," suggests Jeanne.  "They can't point with their paws like humans can use their fingers.  Watch their faces and the movements of their eyes. When pets want something, they purposely make eye contact with you, then they look at an object as if they are pointing to it.

Watch how they move their heads.  This is another way they point to the food dish when it is empty or to a toy on the floor that they want to play with. Kishou also sits on the toy, looks up at us, then down at the toy.

Steve discovered that their meows have different tones to let you know if they are hungry, bored, playful, or hurt.  Because Kishou talks to us all the time we now have a strong bond of communication."  

Jeanne's photographic tip for the above photograph is to take a photograph of you and your family, and if the pet won't coorperate, photoshop in a great photo of him/her!
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