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Mewsings

By info 27 Jan, 2017
Arlo is into everything, intensely persistent, loud, smart (he tries to open doorknobs), and powerful. Yet of all three cats, he is the most mindful of his claws and his strength, and he rarely scratches me - never on purpose. He is good natured and also, of the three, the most effusive and loving. He greets people he knows by grabbing and rubbing their hands against his cheek or even grabbing their face and bringing them in for a kiss.

I see Arlo as Boris's big brother even though they are from the same litter because he is heavy and long, but I also see his vulnerability, having not had someone to protect him through his earliest experiences. I give him constant praise and reassurance so that he knows someone is there to protect and take care of him now.

I also give him as much praise as possible, because he requires a lot of management sometimes, and I don't want him to associate his name with being in trouble!
By info 20 Jan, 2017
I have to assume that Boris is the runt, but he seems oblivious to it. Following and often leading his brother into adventures, pouncing as often as being pounced, Boris is gifted with an even-tempered manner that suits Annabelle and myself and balances Arlo's intense energy very well.

I go out of my way to treat him as though he is big and powerful to instill a sense of confidence, purpose, and substantiveness. So I don't knock him down or lift him as often as I would like to, and I move out of his way when I see him coming or he wants to get up.

Boris announces himself and his ideas as he walks around with little tribble-like noises, rarely if ever actually meowing. He leaves that to his brother's insistence and Annabelle's occasional call to play.

It used to be that Boris's tail puffed up when he was alarmed by something. Then one day, I noticed that it's just always like that now. Like a skunk's tail or something. He simply doesn't make a lot of sense, physically, and indeed he seems to have trouble getting comfortable at times.

I cherish the few minutes he spends each night burrowing under the blankets and cuddling with me awkwardly before making his way to a more sustainable spot. It's always different with all of them.

I'm still trying to figure out how to relate with Boris, but I am enjoying the mystery while loving him easily and equally, and doing everything I can think of.
By info 13 Jan, 2017
Annie had me all to herself for over a year. I was warned that she might not like sharing me and that cats, perhaps especially female cats, don't like other cats or sharing their space. I didn't even want another cat, much less two. However, I was out a lot and she wanted to play more than I could keep up with. So I took the risk of bringing her siblings. I figured if she didn't take to them, they'd have each other and I could stay focused on her.

I had gone to the shelter to meet a different pair of kittens, but it was Boris and Arlo who captured my heart. Arlo reached beyond the cage to pet my nose and Boris gave me eye contact like a long lost soul. They also seemed super-well bonded, never leaving each others side and each exploring whatever the other one had discovered or tried.

Trouble was, someone had claimed them already! I gave her my number, saying that if they didn't work out for her for any reason, to please call me. An agonizing 48 hours later, I was taking them home from her house, thanks to her boyfriend being allergic!

Boris and Arlo are fearless. I gave them the living room. Annabelle was furious and I spent about ten days convinced I ruined all lives concerned.

Six months later, though Boris and Arlo remain deeply bonded, and Arlo eats first without fail, the three cats play and often sleep together, they share spaces, toys, litterboxes, and me without any feeling of competition or anxiety.
By info 06 Jan, 2017
Everyone told me I would know when I found "my cat." I had been to several shelters over the course of some months and was giving up when Annie caught my eye. Moving among many other cats, she seemed completely at ease and in her own world at just six months. I was captivated by her rabbit-soft fur and her tendency to fall down and roll over for no apparent reason.

In an effort to be measured in my decision-making, I told the person at the shelter that I needed 24-hours to decide and would be back. But just as the shelter was about to close, a young couple came in. I panicked. Unlike the other cats I'd taken some interest in, I was unconsoled by the thought of her finding a good home, even if it was not mine. I took that as my cue: this is my cat.

Once I got her home, she hid under the bed only to come out now and then as if to say when are you taking me home? When I woke up the next morning, she was still under the bed but she had badly soiled the expensive chair she had seen me sitting in all evening.

Only my guilt out-weighed my excitement that she was so communicative. Eventually she realized that I provide an unlimited supply of food, toys, and love.

Annabelle will sometimes wrap her tail around my forearm as if holding my hand when she wants me to be there. She is cautious and keeps her distance and is easily over-stimulated when pet. Not much into being kissed. But she is exceptionally gentle, loving, and playful when she feels safe, and she is a fabulous older sibling (truly motherly) to her baby brothers.

I love all three cats, but Annabelle has seniority and priority. I show this just enough that she and maybe the boys know it, but not enough to alienate her from her feline companions.
By info 30 Dec, 2016
For those who allow their cats to go outside, a catscape will enhance your cat's life, but it might be something of a luxury. For those who keep their cats indoors or whose cats spend most of their time indoors, a catscape is practically essential. 

Most cat adoptions agencies and veterinarians these days encourage people to keep their cats indoors. They cite favorable life-expectancy statistics for cats that stay indoors. Contagious diseases, cars, larger animals, and more recently lethal tic bites are among the dangers that await our cats beyond the screen door.

I have also encountered "holistic" adoption agencies that refuse to adopt cats to people unless they promise to let them outside. They point out that humans are safer staying indoors too, but never going out is oppressive, and that cats are designed to be out in nature. 

Not that there's anything natural about cars, and one might wonder how long domestic cats would survive as a species without humans to take them in.

At the same time, many people who want and love cats in their lives don't even have the option of letting them outside.

This post seeks not to judge or decide. I encourage people to make their own decisions from an informed place, with eyes open to the liabilities on either side. Because indeed, keeping cats indoors inhibits the utilization of their full capacities and potential for stimulation and movement.

Because my cat before Annabelle fell prey to something outside, I made the call to keep Annie and now her brothers indoors. Annie loves to play and run, and Arlo grew to his size and agility very quickly. It's not a big place either. Watching them slide on the wood floors (unable to use gripping and digging-in muscles), not having opportunities to pull their weight up into trees, even watching them try to stretch and sharpen their claws on sisal poles that are almost always too short to fully extend on was stifling!

It's my feeling that people who don't see the need for something more elaborate than a scratching post and a solitary cat tree and maybe a window sill perch are seeing their cats already defeated and atrophied. It is the unfulfilled potential in action and mental creativity that compromises the life-span of indoor cats.

Catscapes seeks to resolve this indoor-outdoor dilemma by bringing inside everything we can to engage, challenge, celebrate, and satisfy what cats want and love and arguably even need to do that human living environments and token cat furniture do not provide.

I would never have thought Arlo would crawl around the outside of the tunnels like Superman or that Annie could or would climb the ramps upside down as she does. Now I weep at the thought of them not having had those opportunities.

At the same time, we design catscapes that are aesthetically pleasing and that do not interfere with how people live in the spaces. In fact, a catscape adds space to your home by getting the bulky cat-furniture (and the cats themselves!) off of the floors. I no longer feel guilty moving Annabelle off my chair knowing she has a half dozen places in the same room where she will be even happier.

Whether they have nine to spend or one, ask us how we can make this the longest as well as most fun and fulfilling life your cat can possibly have.

Mewsings

By info 27 Jan, 2017
Arlo is into everything, intensely persistent, loud, smart (he tries to open doorknobs), and powerful. Yet of all three cats, he is the most mindful of his claws and his strength, and he rarely scratches me - never on purpose. He is good natured and also, of the three, the most effusive and loving. He greets people he knows by grabbing and rubbing their hands against his cheek or even grabbing their face and bringing them in for a kiss.

I see Arlo as Boris's big brother even though they are from the same litter because he is heavy and long, but I also see his vulnerability, having not had someone to protect him through his earliest experiences. I give him constant praise and reassurance so that he knows someone is there to protect and take care of him now.

I also give him as much praise as possible, because he requires a lot of management sometimes, and I don't want him to associate his name with being in trouble!
By info 20 Jan, 2017
I have to assume that Boris is the runt, but he seems oblivious to it. Following and often leading his brother into adventures, pouncing as often as being pounced, Boris is gifted with an even-tempered manner that suits Annabelle and myself and balances Arlo's intense energy very well.

I go out of my way to treat him as though he is big and powerful to instill a sense of confidence, purpose, and substantiveness. So I don't knock him down or lift him as often as I would like to, and I move out of his way when I see him coming or he wants to get up.

Boris announces himself and his ideas as he walks around with little tribble-like noises, rarely if ever actually meowing. He leaves that to his brother's insistence and Annabelle's occasional call to play.

It used to be that Boris's tail puffed up when he was alarmed by something. Then one day, I noticed that it's just always like that now. Like a skunk's tail or something. He simply doesn't make a lot of sense, physically, and indeed he seems to have trouble getting comfortable at times.

I cherish the few minutes he spends each night burrowing under the blankets and cuddling with me awkwardly before making his way to a more sustainable spot. It's always different with all of them.

I'm still trying to figure out how to relate with Boris, but I am enjoying the mystery while loving him easily and equally, and doing everything I can think of.
By info 13 Jan, 2017
Annie had me all to herself for over a year. I was warned that she might not like sharing me and that cats, perhaps especially female cats, don't like other cats or sharing their space. I didn't even want another cat, much less two. However, I was out a lot and she wanted to play more than I could keep up with. So I took the risk of bringing her siblings. I figured if she didn't take to them, they'd have each other and I could stay focused on her.

I had gone to the shelter to meet a different pair of kittens, but it was Boris and Arlo who captured my heart. Arlo reached beyond the cage to pet my nose and Boris gave me eye contact like a long lost soul. They also seemed super-well bonded, never leaving each others side and each exploring whatever the other one had discovered or tried.

Trouble was, someone had claimed them already! I gave her my number, saying that if they didn't work out for her for any reason, to please call me. An agonizing 48 hours later, I was taking them home from her house, thanks to her boyfriend being allergic!

Boris and Arlo are fearless. I gave them the living room. Annabelle was furious and I spent about ten days convinced I ruined all lives concerned.

Six months later, though Boris and Arlo remain deeply bonded, and Arlo eats first without fail, the three cats play and often sleep together, they share spaces, toys, litterboxes, and me without any feeling of competition or anxiety.
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