Friday, March 7, 2008

Tisha the Cat

Pine Mountain

Well it is the second week of March. It has been sunny this week and most of the winter snow has melted. This week we are modernizing the old homestead to comply with new laws. This state is getting ready to ban all wood burning fireplaces to cut back on air pollution. Parts of the state already have a ban in effect. Wood burning fireplaces have not been permitted in new construction for several years now. We have enjoyed many wood fires in our stone fireplace over the last 20 years but times are changing. We are lucky that we are able to convert to gas with only the insert cost. We have free oil and gas from our oil well that was put in 15 years ago. We went to Econo Air in Bakersfield and bought a Lennox elite rustic brick liner insert. It puts out almost as much heat as a real wood fire and it almost looks like a real wood fire. The best part is we do not have to dispose of ashes with the gas insert. Well enough about fireplaces.

This Week's Feature Presentation

This week we have a memorial about Leanne's cat for our feature. So without any further introduction here is the story of

Tisha the Cat

I had to say good bye to my sweet cat, Tisha a couple of weeks ago. She was 17 years old and kidney failure got the best of her.

I rescued her from the shelter 14 years ago so I’m still trying to get used to her not being here every day.

It’s a story of strange fate that brought us together.

One day I just got this very strong urge to get a cat. I had a couple of friends over at the time and I dragged them with me to the shelter since I felt so strongly that I had to go now! They thought I was a little nuts to be so adamant about getting a cat all of a sudden and to need to run out the door immediately to do it. None of the cats at the shelter really stood out to me. I asked them about a new Cattery I had heard about on the news recently. They informed me that it was at the other shelter but they were closed for the day now.

The following day I went to that other shelter with a friend. There was a long line up for adoptions so I had my friend hold a place in line while I went to look at the cats in the kennels. That’s where I saw Tisha who looked almost identical to my one true kitty love Meishka, the kitten my sister gave me for my birthday when I was about 11 years old. I wrote down her tag # and joined my friend in line. It turned out that she had been abandoned at the shelter the night before at the exact same time the strong urge to go to the shelter to get a cat had come over me. To add to the strange coincidences, the person next in line behind us also wanted this same cat so if I hadn’t told my friend to hold the place in line, Tisha would have gone to someone else.

It was meant to be.

She turned out to be not like Meishka in any way and was a pain in the butt in many ways. Perhaps she was packaged like Meishka so that I would know that she was the cat I was sent to rescue. That’s probably why she was destined to be with me because other people less tolerant and dedicated probably would have returned her to the shelter or beat her. It amazed me how many years she hung on to her short temper and would just bite you out of the blue if you pet her for 20 seconds and she only wanted petting for 15 seconds that particular time. That attitude did eventually change 180° though to where it was impossible to sit on the couch with my laptop without her walking back and forth across it, trying to get my hands focused on her instead of the computer.

She did learn not to step on the keys though. J

I think the coolest thing about her is how she would come when called and would stay close to me during walks. When both she and I were younger I would take her camping. She would go for long walks with me and the dogs in the woods around the campground, tethered to a 50’ string. I could even let her loose at the campsite and she would stay close by but enjoyed exploring.

I guess that sounds reckless on my part but I was keeping a close eye on her without her knowing. I just wanted her to feel the wonderful sense of freedom and from that I learned that I could trust her to stay close by in case some day she slipped out the door by accident in a tempting environment. More recently, when I would take the dogs out in the neighborhood late at night to chase the ball when there’s no traffic, she would often come out for a walk on her own, exploring all the yards in the neighborhood but would stay close enough to feel protected by us.

The thing I found the most amazing about her was her hunting skills. I was forced to declaw her after she totally destroyed a sofa sleeper & loveseat and there seemed to be nothing I could do to get her to stop. But somehow she still managed to catch birds and mice. I have no idea how a cat can catch a bird without claws but to my dismay she caught a few in her younger years.

She caught a mouse less than 6 months ago. It seemed easier to pic her up and put her outside than to try and get the mouse out of her mouth. It’s strange how cats insist on bringing their kill indoors. Her primary goal was to bring that mouse into the house.

I definitely didn’t want the poor little critter springing back to life inside my house as they often do. Then it dawned on me that I couldn’t let her keep it to chomp on anyway since I do have mouse poison out for the mice that immigrate from next door thru the garage, so that mouse might be tainted. (For the record, I only put poison where the cat has no access & YES it creeped me out for her to be chomping on a mouse because I’ve had a domestic mouse as a pet in the past. But Tisha hadn’t caught a mouse in years and she was clear about her pride & ownership of her accomplishment and had no intensions of setting it down with me hovering over her.)

Tisha was clearly very upset with me when I tricked her out of giving it up by offering an alternative tasty treat. A lick or two of the cat food and she came to her senses and said “Hey, wait a minute, where the hell is that juicy mouse I just caught”. I actually did feel guilty for betraying her because she didn’t quickly forget about it like I had hoped. She wandered around looking for it only stopping to give me the evil eye with the big question mark attached to it.

Here are some pictures in memory of my tiny but tough Tisha.

This is a picture from a camping trip where there was this huge 10’ high pile of tree stumps & concrete scraps.

She played on this pile for hours and probably had the best time of her life because there were so many nooks & crannies to explore.

I didn’t have the heart to pull her away from it and I could see it from my campsite so I let her play and just kept checking on her to make sure she was OK. She was a very cool cat because she proved I could trust her not to run off even though we had just been together about a year Her ears were upright then. She’s such a young chick in this picture.

Later on she developed a problem with one ear and required surgery. After that both ears dropped down as you’ll see in all the other pictures.

That’s when she perfected her Nasty Cat with Attitude Look. Yep, this is her Happy Face…..Really!

When she wasn’t laying on top of my papers to add that extra challenge to bill paying, she was stealing a drink of water from my cup.

If my cup wasn’t handy she waited in the bathroom sink for me to turn on the tap for her.

She had a preferred speed of flow from the tap and would stop and look at me if I had missed the mark even slightly.

For some reason drinking filtered water from the automatic fresh flowing water bowl was her last option of choice.

Didn’t care for Doggy germs I guess. She also had her own private, “doggy free” water bowl but she didn’t care for that either. I never could get her to understand that I didn’t care for her germs in my glass of water by my bed.

She held her ground on my bedside glass as being our “shared” territory no matter how upset I got with her about it.

It’s usually a big glass, similar to the one in this picture but she would jam her head down in it as far as necessary.

I would get a Tisha Hair surprise when I woke up thirsty at 4 a.m.. YUM !

The cool but odd thing about Tisha is that she loved dogs no matter what their size or obnoxious attitude and yet she would hiss at new born kittens or any other cat. Very strange.

above is a picture of my newly adopted dog, Hannah’s first day at home. Tisha’s a little surprised by the unexpected movement behind the plant .

But who’s the Scaredy Cat Here?

At Christmas I think she felt Santa’s Sleigh could use some wings.

So she tried to help out with her unique ears.

I know she’s sleeping very peacefully now

and that was her favorite thing to do.

But I miss her. Tisha was a unique spirit.

Here are some links for other cat lovers

Cat Training - Book

Kingdom of Pets - CD/Cat food menus/newsletter


Ultimate Cat Secrets - 12 Part Audio CD Course

Well that is the story of Tisha the cat she is gone but not forgotten.

Pine Mountain Evening

It has been a long day and I am relaxing in my easy chair by my new gas fired fireplace. Squeekers the parrot is sitting on his perch chomping on peanuts. My coffee for tonight is Vanilla Macadamia Nut available from It is a very interesting coffee.The two flavors intertwine and compliment each making it a great coffee for reflecting and contemplating the future.
I am tired now so I put Squeekers in his cage and turn off my gas fireplace and head off to bed. Good night everyone see you next week.