Cat looking out the window

Cat in a window

Contemplating the outdoors

One of our cats is looking out the window, watching the world go by.

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Errands, starring cat neurological checkup

The plan was to be out the door by 2:15 p.m. since the cat’s appointment was at 3:30 and the trip can easily take an hour. I got out at 2:16, to the veterinary hospital by 3:00. I spent time reading my book and admiring the transfusion cats in their glassed-in enclosure & looking at the book about the first cats to live in it. Two cats had served their three years and were up for adoption. They are the tabby on the left and the intriguing fellow in the toy-basket.


I didn’t see Veterinary Neurologist until about 3:45 because of an emergency patient, then had to wait for the cat’s meds to be made up, pay, and set the next appointment.

It was rush hour, so even going on to a smaller city, the drive took until about 6 p.m.. No one was home, so I put the things I was delivering on the back porch. I had felt far too spaced-out by the end of the drive, as though highway hypnosis were setting in, so I moved van to a nearby parking lot. I let the cat out of his box and offered him water and a litter-box (sans litter). Then I curled up under a blanket and rested with eyes closed for about an hour. I may have slept.

When I felt alert, I got underway with puss settled on the back seat. I bought gasoline and got a cheeseburger to share with the cat, then drove back to Toronto. I left the highway one stop early and bought coffee beans at our local Starbucks. The cat uttered one meow as we got near our street. Do you think they smell it? Home! I encouraged the cat back into the box and unloaded everything. At first, I couldn’t find my phone but it turned out that the cat had been lying on it since my rest. Finally, we were back in house at 9 p.m.. That was quite a long errand! The cat got a celebratory meal of canned food and I got onto the computer.

Marlowe is back!

a long-haired tabby cat lying down and looking at the camera

Home at last

After two weeks we were still calling and listening. This morning we heard a cat meowing outside, and a while later Marlowe came up the cherry tree and in the porch window, meowing, growling, and very cautious about the other cats. But she needn’t have worried: they still defer to her.

She seems fine, in good health and well groomed but skinnier. Her fur smells of hay and several of her claws are shredded. We don’t know where she got to or how she stayed alive, but we’re very glad she’s back.

My next task is to take down forty or so ‘Missing Cat’ posters.

Marlowe is missing!

Lost cat!

 cat holding down some papers.  cat curled up on a book

  • Tortoiseshell-tabby: cloudy grey & brown
  • Long haired with plumy tail
  • Spayed female
cat in a wicker basket
  • No collar but microchipped
  • Very friendly and vocal
  • Likes to roam & visit
  • Lst seen July 13 at Pape & Fulton.
cat dozing on a fence

She may be injured or frightened—please check your garage, shed, or under porch.

She may be dehydrated—please put out water near hiding places.

cat sprawled on a porch

If you have found her or seen her (alive or dead) please let us know.

Status update

LotStreetWiz has arrived safely in Vancouver and made it to the hotel. There’s sloppy snow on the streets. In Toronto, it’s raining steadily. I’m about to go downstairs and see if my patches to the cellar walls are waterproof.

As autumn gets colder and wetter, I’ve taken to waving cat toys when the cats come into the room, so they’ve taken to perching on the furniture and watching me intently, obviously expecting some entertainment.

Currently reading: Animals Make Us Human

Temple Grandin’s 2009 book, “Animals Make Us Human,” is fascinating. Animals experience major emotional systems such as RAGE, PANIC, and SEEKING.To keep them happy, we want to trigger SEEKING but not RAGE or PANIC.

Grandin explains that dogs are not pack animals but tend to form small family groups. The much-discussed dominance hierarchy of docs appears when humans throw them into larger packs of unrelated animals. Dogs are selected to pay attention to humans and read human emotions. In fact, they are the only animals that can learn to look where you point instead of at your finger. The “doggy smile” shows their happiness in our company. Dogs do not do well if left alone all day; and if we don’t let them roam we must find other ways of engaging their attention.

Cats are less “readable” and less adapted to us. They are commensals, who “eat at the same table,” but their function for most of our shared history is as a semi-wild hunter. Cats have only three neotenous behaviors: purring, meowing, and kneading as kittens do. People who wish to read cats’ feelings must attend to their ears, whiskers, tail, and posture, not their relatively immobile faces.

Herd or flock animals have different needs based on the same system.

Just don’t read the section on chicken ‘farming’ late at night; it will keep you up with anger or horror.


It’s time, actually past time, for our cats to get their spring flea-proofing. The entire treatment is a couple of drops of flea poison between the shoulder blades, the one place where cats can’t reach.  But for some reason, our senior cat hates it. The others barely notice. She flinches and flees.

Now she’s trying to find a place to sulk where she doesn’t have to look at me. Luckily, the treatment lasts for more than a month; usually I get away with two treatments over the summer.

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