New Addition

So we brought home a beautiful light yellow lab and named him Crush.  As expected, the other two furry family members are none to pleased.  Ajax, the gray tabby, quickly asserted his dominance by swatting at the puppy.  His displeasure grew whenever I was tending to the puppy.  (I belong to Ajax and have since I brought him home 11 yrs ago.)

Leo, the black tuxedo tabby, puffs up like black tumbleweed and tiptoes around him.  He’s tiptoeing closer and closer and hissed once.  He is otherwise disinterested in the dog.

By day two, Crush was having none of Ajax’s swatting and decided to use his voice.  Two puppy-barks and Ajax backed down.  Foolishly I thought this would be the end of it, but Ajax was just giving Crush a false sense of superiority.  Crush decided he would leap toward Ajax and entice him to play.  Ajax delivered four swats before Crush could even blink.  Ajax was back on top.  Today…day four…is Saturday. We are all home and Crush is having the full family experience.  He follows me around like … well, like a puppy.  So does Ajax.  Ajax was becoming tired of my new companion and Crush must have sensed it because he turned and barked at Ajax.  Crush was back on top.

As of this moment, after a full day of new noises, sounds and routines, both cats and the dog are asleep on the floor among the scattered chew toys, bones and empty water bottles.

Although I am not a dog person, and prefer cats, I must say Crush is very cute.  He will be 100% cuter when he is fully housebroken.  I’m calling him Mr. Piddlepuss.  And why…WHY when they drink water do they splash it all over the place.  

Welcome home baby.


Cat Personality

Ajax…my constant companion for about 12 years.  He’s not feeling well.  Hopefully it is an annual cold/allergies.  When he is sick, he likes to curl up on me and wants lots of snuggles.

But…when Ajax wants snuggles, jealousy rears its ugly head in the other otherwise loner cat, Leo.

He suddenly must be near me, on me, kneading me.

People who don’t see pets as family members make no sense to me.  The personalities in pets, while sometimes harder to learn than that of a child, are just as real as a human’s personality.

Love my babies….

Ajax is feeling better today, but still not 100%.   

My Morning:  Routine, cats and cooking

It is funny that this blog was originally supposed to be about my adventures in cooking.  I love to cook.  I’m particularly fond of baking.  I like to try unique and ethnic dishes and pastries.  I rarely make the same dish twice, although I do have a cookbook I am writing that keeps the successful recipes in chapters created for the family member that loved the dish.  The plan is to eventually give the kids that book of dishes they liked.  But it seems that nothing exciting (or humorous) has happened in my world of cooking lately.  Oh there is the introduction of homemade ice cream to the husband and stepson, but their reaction was not too unusual…other than the backhanded compliment that it was “as good as store bought”; to which I replied “at least you can pronounce the ingredients in homemade ice cream”.

But today’s blog is about another cat story.  I suffer from anxiety to which my “mild” OCD behavior acts as a protection against.   Much of everything I do is routine because impulsiveness lends to anxiety.  Today, my normal routine was disrupted.   My early morning grocery shopping trip had to be delayed until the pharmacy opened.   So what to do.   I pace.   I cleaned a bit.  I stared at Facebook willing new and exciting statuses to appear.  I waited for my sister to play her scrabble turn.  I took a shower.

Ajax has issues with closed doors.   The fact that he has had to face closed doors in his 14(ish) years of life on a daily basis has not altered his hatred for them.   He whines…louder and louder…he lunges his body against the door…scratches at the door…and worst of all, he knows about a doorknob and will try over and over to open the door.   He has, on occasion, been successful.   Today, while I was in the shower he succeeded in coming into the forbidden zone (my bedroom).  I heard a very large slamming sound and assumed that Ajax had been loudly protesting outside my stepson’s bedroom door (also always closed) and he chased him away before slamming back into his room.  (He is 16 and it was 7 a.m….need I say more.).  Anyway, I finish the shower and walk out of the bathroom and who should greet me, but Ajax.   The look on his face was priceless.  He knew he was in the forbidden zone.   Big eyes, tail down.   Leo, the other cat, was sitting just outside the open door where I am sure he was telepathically telling his brother to GET OUT OF THERE.  In the few minutes between my shower and Ajax’s entry into the forbidden zone, he managed to make his way through the bedroom, through the bathroom and into the room over the garage where he promptly knocked over a very large mirror (the slamming sound).  It didn’t break fortunately and was stopped by the heavy winter comforter I had bagged up for the season and placed against the wall.

It’s all because my routine changed….I’m sure of it.

My Furry Family

I thought I would take a moment to introduce the world to my furry family.   As previously blogged, I am quite fond of cats.   I have had five in my home at one time and am now down to my two boys.  


This cat.   What can I say?  I have been Ajax’s guardian for 12 years.   Ajax and his brother, Alex (RIP), were adopted as pets for my then 12 and 8 year old daughters.  Cat lovers can tell you that you simply don’t tell a cat who he or she belongs to and it was not long before everyone became aware that Ajax was the boss of me.   He is my constant companion.  His likes are anything food…although he is not particularly fond of broccoli having carefully picked through a bowl of cooling steamed veggies to find the cauliflower and knocking the broccoli to the floor.   He likes spankings and butt scritches.  He sleeps at my head or on my chest.   He loves cat nip, cat treats, lying outside on the patio in the sun.  He loves staring at you with that look that makes your hair stand on end.

Ajax is not the most graceful of kitties and has, more than once, found himself hanging off a door between the counter and the window sill as he tried to leap from one to another.  His brother was the nimble one…gracefully leaping to the highest ledges…Ajax, well…Ajax was just not the athletic sort.

His dislikes…closed doors, exuberant kittens, sharing me with my husband.  He speaks to me and has a lot to say…especially when I am cooking.  He is loving to the other cats up to a point.  Then he lets them know who is alpha-cat.  He is afraid of no one and will march up to anyone who comes here and demand to test their petting skill.

Since moving in with my husband, Ajax has made it his lifetime goal to prove to my husband that he is the boss of this house.   He talks over my husband and despite a very active water bottle, meows loudly at the closed bedroom door…daily.  Ajax has plenty of opportunities to get to his perch on the back of the couch but without fail he leaps in the face of my husband and over his shoulder.  That being said, there also is rarely a night that goes by that Ajax is not curled up on my husband’s lap at some point and my husband dozing off scratching Ajax’s ears.   


Leo beeo Bo-beeo.  My Leo.  Leo is a long hair tuxedo tabby.  He is terribly shy but extremely persistent when he wants something.  Leo runs from everyone (even me) and despite living with us for about 4 or 5 years, still acts like we are demons.

However, Leo has moments (that can expand into hours) of playfulness.   There is a special brush I used for him.   When I get it out, you would think I lit up a crack pipe for the reaction he has.  I don’t have to brush him…he rubs against the brush and purrs with delight.  When he wants to be loved you had better stop what you are doing to love him.   

So Leo’s likes…he likes that brush.   He likes to knead – mostly on my bladder…when it is full.  Leo loves the backyard and loves…loves…loves bringing in snakes.   He is particularly fond of letting the snakes free in the laundry room.  He once brought me a lizard.   I did not care for that.  Leo likes liking stuff by rubbing his face all over it until it is covered in fur.   If it is you he is rubbing, and you do not immediately stop to pet him, he will nip.  I always thought that was cute until he nipped my eyebrow.  That was unpleasant.  And he is fond of curling up in odd places.

Leo’s dislikes outnumber his likes it seems.   Leo does not like closed doors either only instead for throwing his body against the door and huffing like Ajax, Leo simply digs at the corner and whines. Leo is not fond of cat treats, cat nip or any special “people” food except for turkey lunch meat.   For whatever reason he senses that from far away and will prance around the kitchen until you give him a bit.  Leo doesn’t like people.   He likes me.  As a matter of fact, Leo is making writing this blog difficult because he is insisting on loving me.  Kneading my side, head butting and bumping my hand to be petted and nipping.   He purrs louder than any cat I know.

In Memory

As my husband was moving me home, his son’s cat, Buddy, passed away.   I was looking forward to being part of Buddy’s family and, as with the passing of any family member, was quite sad that he would not be with us.

Family Time

At one point I lived alone with five cats.  Before you think me a totally crazy cat lady, only two of the cats were mine.  Two belonged to my daughter and one I was babysitting for the summer.  Each morning after fajr prayer, I would spend a few moments reading Quran. Since I don’t read Arabic (well), I listen to Mishary al-Efasi and follow along and then re-read the English translation of the meaning.  My cats almost always come to listen as well.  Although only two are seen here, Leo (mine) and Spencer (the visitor) were lying off to the side.   Ajax (tabby to the right – also mine) and Knee (resting on my leg) are the ones in the photo and Tank (a half Bengal bundle of non-stop energy) was likely running in and out of the room.  Now, I’m down to only my two cats, Leo and Ajax, and just this morning, as usual, Ajax laid to my right, Leo to my left, as we listened to/read several ayat of Surah Hud.  I just adore cats and their unique personalities.