Category Archives: Julia Williams

The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Diary of a Mad Housecat

By Julia Williams

I am addicted to cat books. No, not books about cats; books written by cats. I can’t get enough of them. Luckily, it’s easy to get a fix. There are so many cat authors now, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they outnumbered human writers one day. Amazon often has kindle versions of cat books for .99 to $1.99 (sometimes even free!), and like a good pusher they email me to let me know.

My latest cat author discovery is Max Thompson, who describes himself as “14 pounds of sleek black and white glory, with an attitude…and opinions… on everything.” That’s accurate, I think. Max the cat is quite a character. He’s got “catitude,” as they say.

Max first dipped his paws into the writing water in 2003, with a blog called The PsychoKitty Speaks Out. Spurred on by the appreciation of the masses for his witty quips, enlightened feline wisdom and snarky attitude, Max put his musings into book form. Diary of a Mad Housecat contains short daily entries about Max’s life as a “put-upon and under-appreciated feline.”

The book puts a humorous spin on common feline behaviors that every cat lover will identify with. Such as: “If you don’t want me to lick the chicken, don’t leave it on the counter. Simple as that.” The diary format makes it easy to read in snippets, as time permits. It’s a funny look at the day-to-day life of a sarcastic, smart-aleck cat.

Max is cool, but he does have a potty mouth. Yes, he swears. A LOT. If Max were human, I imagine him as a beer swilling, chest thumping macho man who cusses like a drunken sailor, but still has a soft spot for Mom even though he claims not to like or need anyone. The idea of a swearing feline is admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea. I didn’t hate that aspect of Max’s character, exactly, but also feel the bad language could have been toned down because it started to detract from the humor.

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Designing Homes for Feline Enrichment

By Julia Williams

I have been told that my cats are spoiled. I suppose they are, but I don’t really consider that to be a bad thing. Spoiled human children often grow up to become snooty adults that no one wants to be around. Spoiled cats just live their cushy life and enjoy every minute of it. If a cat is able to convince a human that her purpose in life is to satisfy their every desire (no, of course I’m not talking about me), then rah rah for them! However, recently I’ve discovered that in regards to living that aforementioned cushy life, there are other cats who have it far, far better than mine.

Take, for example, the cats of Bob Walker and Frances Mooney. These nine felines definitely hit the cat lottery when they adopted this couple. The lucky kitties have the purrfect home (more on that in a minute). In fact, Bob and Frances call their home “The Cats’ House” because that’s exactly what they believe it to be.

Bob said “One day it finally came to us that we go off to work every day leaving the house to the animals. We realized that possession was nine-tenths of the law, that it was really their house so the least we could do was cater to their whims and desires and make it their house.”

They started with a simple catwalk and “one thing led to the next.” Ha ha! Before they knew it, they had 140 feet of elevated cat paths (the “Cat Highway”) throughout their home, with three different ways for the kitties to get up to the catwalk. One of their early inspirations for the catwalk came from a relative, who had a train track that went around the top of the room. Only instead of a train, Bob and Frances have cats zooming around overhead and through the walls to the next room.

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8 Reasons Why Cats Make Purrfect Valentine’s Day Dates

By Julia Williams

Love is definitely in the air today. (Or maybe it’s in the water?). In any event, a lot of women get all goo-goo eyed on Valentine’s Day, with thoughts of love, a romantic dinner, a box of chocolates, maybe some beautiful red roses. Me? I’m usually thinking “Ugh. It’s Valentine’s Day…again? When will the madness end?”  Now, I’m all in favor of romance and fine dining, but the commercialization of this Hallmark Holiday has really gotten extreme. And talk about pressure!

Who needs the stress – and the expense – of trying to pull off the mother of all dates? I have a much better solution. A date with your cat! According to Yahoo News, one in five people would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their pet over their human partner. Now, some might not have the courage to actually make that preference known, but I say just go for it. Feel free to use this list of 8 reasons why a cat makes a better Valentine’s Day date if you need backup. Just please don’t mention my name.

Low Expectations

Actually, make that no expectations. No need to worry about planning the most over-the-top date ever, because a cat won’t stare at you mournfully when you don’t whisk them off to Paris, or procure an entire fancy restaurant for the two of you, or hire a famous band for a private serenade (you know… all that fake stuff the Bachelor does on TV). Cats have no concept of romance, hence, no Valentine’s Day expectations.

Inexpensive Gifts

Your moolah goes a whole lot farther when you’re buying a Valentine’s Day gift for a cat instead of a human. Forget the bling and the overpriced red roses. Just buy a couple of catnip mice, and call it a day!
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How Do Cats Show Their Love?

By Julia Williams

I feel sorry for people who perpetuate the myth that cats are aloof, unloving and incapable of (or disinterested in) bonding with their human(s). That’s far from the truth. I’ve had wonderful relationships with many different cats, and each has shown unequivocally that I am not merely tolerated because I dole out their CANIDAE food twice a day. Oh sure, they appreciate having good food and a warm place to sleep. We all do. But the depth of our relationship goes far beyond me being the provider of their creature comforts.

My cats cannot say “I Love You” in human words. They can’t express love by buying me presents or doing nice things for me. They may not be able to define what love is in the same way we do, but they can and do show love in their own unique ways. Here are 8 things cats do to express love.

They Want to Be Near You

When cats climb onto your lap, drape themselves over your shoulder or curl up next to you in bed, it’s not because they’re looking for body heat. They want to be with you because they love you, and they enjoy being in your company. Every night before I go to bed, I say goodnight to my cats. Annabelle is either in “her” box in the closet or one of the cat beds. Minutes later, she tucks herself in next to me, her head on my pillow and her paws over my arm.

They Comfort You

Felines make great “nurses” for two reasons. They seem to always know when you are hurting whether it’s a physical or emotional ailment. They also stay by your side to give you lots of healing purrs until you are feeling better. How can that not be a sign of love?

They Protect You

You only have to do a brief Google search to find dozens of stories of “hero cats” who saved their owners from injury or death by alerting them to carbon monoxide, fire, gas leaks and other dangerous situations. My angel-cat Binky even alerted me to the presence of a peeping Tom – she jumped on the dresser and growled until I looked out and saw the perv staring in my window!

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How to Help a Senior Cat Find His Inner Kitten

By Julia Williams

The age a cat is considered “senior” varies depending upon who you ask. Even the so-called “cat experts” disagree. Some think an 8-10 year old cat is a senior, others put the age between 10-12 or 12-14, and some say as young as 7 years old. In their Senior Care Guidelines, the American Association of Feline Practitioners puts it this way:  “There is no specific age at which a cat ‘becomes senior.’ Individual animals and body systems age at different rates.”

My cat Mickey is almost 15; Rocky and Annabelle will be 11 in July. So they’re all seniors, but still alert, active, playful and at times (overly) rambunctious. They may not always act like youngsters, but they do have moments where their inner kitten comes out to play. That’s a good thing, even though at 5 a.m. it might seem otherwise.

Play is very important to all cats, perhaps even more so to senior cats because it can keep them “young in spirit” which helps combat the effects of aging. We see this in older people all the time – those who are active not only live longer but have more vitality. I let my inner child come out to play as often as possible, and try to help my senior cats find their inner kitten, too.

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First Lines of Famous Novels, Rewritten by Cats

By Julia Williams

Ever since I could hold a book, I’ve been a voracious reader. That adoration for the almighty book evolved into a career of working with words, and although I’ve never written a novel, my love affair with words continues to shape every day of my life. I have even succumbed to digital books, and my kindle is now so full I could read a new novel every week for the rest of 2014.

Trolling the vast book offerings on Amazon, one trend simply can’t be ignored: cats are fast becoming some of the most popular authors of our time. Yes…cats. Those furry creatures previously content to sleep the day away, have now become prolific word chasers.

Cats have dipped their paws into many genres including self-help, humor and fiction. One day as I was reflecting on this, I asked myself “What if cats had been writing novels all along? What literary classics written by cats would sit on my shelf next to the timeless tomes of famous novelists?”

This led to pondering some famous first lines of novels, imagining what cats would have written instead. Then I thought, why not make a little quiz for you all, just for fun? See if you can guess which novels these 10 “catified” opening lines are  from. To make it easier, the names of the novels are below (scrambled). Answers are at the end – no peeking!

1. He was an old cat who trawled alone in the murky waters off the California Coast. He had gone an excruciatingly long half hour without catching a single fish, and starvation was imminent.

2. All kittens, except one, grow up to be cats who would rather spend their day napping on the couch instead of flying around with fairies in a fantasy world.

3. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a middle aged single woman in possession of a house full of felines, must be a crazy cat lady. Or maybe, she’s just crazy for cats.

4. In a hole in the ground there lived a gopher. This particular gopher had been taunting Fluffy for nigh on thirty days or so with his oozy rodent aroma, which wafted across the grassy meadow on the wind. Fluffy dreamt of nothing but getting that juicy gopher between her teeth, once and for all.

5. Boots McMillen was high on catnip. He was eloquently wasted, lovingly and pugnaciously blitzed on the nip.

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