Friday, December 5, 2014

The Eternal Mystery Of The Feline Mind

I've been an animal whisperer all my life. Ask my parents.

I've never had trouble communicating with creatures, furry or feathered or creepy or crawly.

Until Splotchy.

And, to clarify - I can communicate with him (her) just fine. And much of the time s(he) communicates effectively with me.

But then, there is the song of his people. At 4 AM. Or randomly during the day.

Sometimes he tries so hard it sounds like English. Seriously.

We did try with moderate success, the Jackson Galaxy method of not reacting at all to the 4 AM sounds and that worked at about an 81% rate, I'd say. But this cat is like Oprah. There are a certain number of cat words that have to come out of that thing every day and not God, not man, not Jackson Galaxy, not a voodoo doll, potion or spell are going to stop that from happening.

I realized today - during a particularly talkative session that happens every time either we humans are in two different rooms, or one human is in the bathroom, or GOD FORBID, there are humans in two separate rooms and Maddie is also in a non co-located space with Splotchy -what sort of little beast (s)he actually is.

Splotchy is a herding cat.

Like a border collie, except a cat.

This cat is COMPLETELY wigged out if the herd is not all within about a 10 square foot space. His little kitty mind breaks. He stands at the PRECISE midpoint between the two humans - one watching golf and one stamping - and attempts to speak English. For hours at a time. When one human moves within the acceptable range - squeaking and talking halts.

Maddie? Maddie bases the happiness quotient on this question: "Is there a human or cat in this room I can sit on? Yes > happy. No > howling."

So if any of you have Wikipedia links to share on the lineage of my rare sheep herding cat, I'd appreciate you sharing them. Thanks.

Today I'm hosting the MIx-Ability challenge and I decided on a blast from the past - INCHIES! My challenge is to have 1, 2, 3 or 4 inchies with at least two mediums each - all different - on your card.

I used a gelli print for mine - and surprised myself because I'm not a fan of purple, but I really liked this one.

After I cut up the prints into 1 3/4", 3/4" and 2" squares, I dipped the non-brush end of my paintbrush into some Viva Precious Metal and made dots - I love the sparkle. Be warned though - this stuff does have a solvent odor. I'm not a fan of stinky art supplies, but I'm sort of sensitive to that, so if you are, you might want to substitute a sparkly acrylic. But this stuff is gorgeous and very metallic. It has enough body to it that it makes those pretty perfect circles, but it's much thinner than paint.

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I made the diamonds on the gelli print with that plastic mesh they give you at Costco or the grocery store for your oil or wine bottles. It makes a great mask!

All of the gelli prints are from one single piece of cardstock. The greeting is from Happy Day (retired).

Sort of has a Mardi Gras look, I think.

I love the inchies because they let you preserve a CAS look with little vignettes of mixed media.

No but seriously - please research herding cats. It's important.



  1. Is Splotchy transgender? Not judging, just curious. You be you, Splotchy!

    1. haha! I have a blog post about this somewhere - search "showgirl". They were so little when they were tossed out that both we AND the vet mis-labeled him as a boy - by the time we discovered he was a girl we had already started calling him "he" and couldn't break the habit! :)

  2. LOL! All I can say is we must be related by our cat-blood because Ricky cannot stand for one of us to be in bed if the other is up. He relentlessly pursues the sleeping one until there is no sleep and then he herds the sleepy one in to the same room as awake one and then he lays down and goes to sleep, his work done for the moment! This is also the case if one is outside and one is in. He howls like he's talking to the moon! Since he is strictly an indoor cat we figure he totally does not understand this outside thing. He also cannot stand closed doors. There must not be ANY in the house. Our door handles are levers instead of knobs so he takes his job seriously to be sure al doors are open at all times. His 16 1/2 lbs can open every door so we have to keep the door to the attic tied with rope that to this point he has not figured out how to untie! So.... rest assured... herding cats untie us!!! :)

    Love your inchies and the pop of metallic. How do those fumes effect him/her?

    1. Grace, your reply has made me smile!!! They all have such unique ......cattitudes and characters!

  3. Love the card! Commented and faved on SCS! I guess we have a fairly quiet home. Lil Bit only uses all of her vocabulary when Donny and/or Marie sit outside and taunt her. Storm reserves her talk for meal times or if I sleep in. For some reason if someone feeds her other than me, she doesn't think she has been fed and does her prancing howl. I think you must be very tired or do you go to bed early so you can get your beauty sleep before he/she starts singing?

  4. Love your view on Splotchy's vocalisms! I'm envisioning the poor dear saying a little bit, they looking in each direction to see which, if either, human has begun to come into the required compliance distance. ;)
    And can I just say that I never ever once have liked the idea of "inchies"? Ever. They're just too small. Period.
    But .... I do like that these have fabulous texture & color ... and are some eency weency stamp that should never have been shrunken to less than one inch. These are actually causing the big smile that I'm wearing right now ... so Thanks!

  5. You have inline comments, not a pop-up box. I wonder fi that makes a difference. It's been reported to google - it's all over their help forum.

  6. I'm so far behind on your blog posts that it's ridiculous, but this post totally made my day! For one thing, it's the last of my backlog of Understand Blue posts. Yay! And for two, this phenomenon with Splotchy is not exclusive to cats. I used to have two birds, Oscar and Faith, and for a while I chose not to clip their wings. They could fly freely through the house (though they rarely chose to leave their cage). The exception to that was whenever I was cooking dinner. Oscar would come out to the kitchen and sit on top of my wall mounted cabinets and watch me cook. If Oscar was in the kitchen with me, Faith would screech at as loud as she could and Oscar would screech back at her. This would continue endlessly until I shooed Oscar out of the kitchen in order to keep my sanity. Apparently, Faith didn't want to be in the kitchen with us, but had separation anxiety when left alone (or something). Then there is my little doxie dog, Roxie. She is thankfully silent while herding her humans, but she is like Splotchy when the humans are in two separate rooms. She feels the need to pace back and forth between our two locations, checking on each of us to make sure we're okay. If we latch the bathroom door, she paws at it and if we don't latch the door, she pops her little head in to check on whomever is there and then goes back to other human to make sure things are good in their room. This continues until the two humans reconvene in one location, then she'll curl up on a cushion or lap for a nap. Since I do my stamping in the basement and my hubby is usually upstairs, I have to keep a baby gate at the top of the steps or she would run up and down the stairs continuously in her efforts to guard us each against whatever dangers she perceives might be out to get us. (doxies aren't supposed to use stairs because it adds to their risk of back trouble, and all her running up and down the stairs has probably contributed to her Intervertebral Disk Disease which has lead us to install wheelchair ramps for her and buy her a special doggie back brace and anti-inflammatory medication) All because the little fur-beast thinks she must continually herd and protect us like her personally flock of sheep. Silly puppy!


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