Allegra’s World

Allegra’s World: When Mom Goes Away

I’m back already!  Remember that big black box I was telling you about that showed up in our bedroom, and Mom was putting her clothes in it?  Well, it turned out that the big black box is not a good thing.   The morning after the big black box showed up, Mom left the house and took it with her.  At first, I didn’t think anything of it – after all, she’s left the house before and took things with her.  She always takes a purple bag with her when she goes, even though I sometimes try to lay right in front of it so she can’t get to it!  Anyway, I thought maybe she’d just gotten bored with her purple bag and took the big black box instead.

But when Mom’s friend Renee came to visit around lunchtime, I knew something wasn’t right.  Any other time Renee comes over, Mom is here, too.   But Renee is really fun, she loves kitties, and she played with me and gave me treats and hung out with me, so that was cool.  After Renee left,  I took a nice long nap and didn’t wake up again until it got dark.  Mom still hadn’t come home.  I was just starting to get a little worried when Ronnie came to visit.  Ronnie is Mom’s friend and Mom said she’s also a petsitter.  I don’t know what that means, and it sounded a little scary.  Does she sit on pets?  Mom said she comes to take care of people’s cats when the people can’t be there to do it themselves.  I don’t really understand that – why can’t the people just stay home?  But Ronnie is a nice person and she, too, loves kitties, so I was glad to see her.  And best of all, she served me dinner as soon as she got there, and I was pretty hungry, so that got the visit off to a good start.  Ronnie played with me after I ate, she brushed me, and she gave me treats.  Okay, this was good.

But then, after Ronnie left, I got a little scared.  Mom still wasn’t home, and even though I can’t tell time, I knew it was way past when we usually go to bed together.  I finally went to bed by myself and eventually went to sleep, but it wasn’t the same without Mom there.  When I woke up, it was light out again, and Mom still wasn’t home!  Where was she?

Thankfully, just as I was starting to get really worried, Ronnie came by again and served me breakfast.  Whew!  At least I wasn’t going to starve!  She played with me again, and that was nice, but where was my Mom?  Anyway – I don’t want to bore you, but this went on for three more days.  I had a good time with Ronnie and Renee, who came by to visit a few more times, too, but I was getting pretty lonely.  I’m used to having my Mom around a lot!

When I heard a key in the door again on Sunday night, I figured it was going to be Ronnie again, but it was Mom!  She was back!!!  I was so happy!!! I rolled around on the floor for her and I even let her pick me up and hug me and kiss me, I was so relieved!  My Mom was home!!!  I followed her everywhere while she took stuff out of the big black box and put it away where it belongs.  I hissed at the big black box a couple of times for good measure.  By the time Mom sat down to have dinner, I had exhausted myself and I knew I needed a nap, but I was so worried that Mom would leave me again, I laid down on her feet and went to sleep there.  That way, I could be sure she couldn’t even get up without me knowing about it.

Turns out she went to something called a cat writers conference.  I don’t understand why I couldn’t go with her.  After all, I’m a cat writer, too!  She did bring back some fun new toys.  My favorite is this pole thing with a dragonfly attached to it – I love playing with it, it’s so fun. Wee!!!  It’s my favorite toy yet!  You can see me playing with it in the video below.

She also brought a bunch of other toys, she thinks I didn’t see her sneak them into the extra bedroom I’m not allowed in.  I heard her say something to someone on the phone about “rationing the toys and breaking them out gradually” – no doubt this is some fancy human speak for spoiling my fun!

Now things are back to normal again, and I hope the big black box stays hidden in the closet for a long, long time.  I don’t like it when Mom goes away.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t2f0Bxl6lM

Allegra’s World: Scaring Mom

It’s about time I get to write something again!  Life has been very good here.  Remember that lap thing I told you about last time?  I did it again one more time, and I really liked it again that time.  I know it made Mom happy.  I like making Mom happy.  I know it also makes her happy that I started sleeping snuggled up very close against her at night.  I’m guessing she thinks it’s because I just want to be close to her, and I do, but honestly, it’s also because it’s been kind of cold at night, and Mom makes a really nice heater!

I’m getting smarter every day, if I do say so myself.  That’s because I’m not a a kitten anymore, I’m all grown up now!  A couple of weeks ago, I learned something really cool:  I figured out how to open the kitchen cabinet under the sink.  I managed to stick my paw in, and make it open a little ways before it banged shut again.  It made a very interesting noise.  I especially like doing this when I get bored with sleeping with Mom in the middle of the night, or really really early in the morning.  It’s so fun!

And then, the other day, I figured out something even cooler!  Mom was off on what she calls errands – I have no idea what that means, all I know is that when she does it, she leaves the house.  I managed to get one of the cabinets all the way open, and I climbed inside.  There wasn’t much that looked interesting in there, though, but I liked the feeling of being in a cave, so I decided to take a nap in there.  I really liked it in there!

I heard Mom come home, and I heard her call my name, but I was so comfy in my little cave, I decided to stay in there a bit longer.  Mom kept calling my name, and her voice got louder and louder, and started to sound a little bit funny, kind of shaky and not like anything I’ve ever heard from her.  I figured the best thing to do was keep a low profile and just stay in my cave.  Eventually, Mom stopped hollering, and finally she opened the cabinet door.  I smiled at her – she found me!  My Mom is smart, too!  I got up and walked out of the cabinet, only to be swooped up by Mom and nearly being squished to death!  She was crying and saying things like “oh my goodness, kitten, I thought I had lost you!”  What???  Lost?  I knew I wasn’t lost.  I knew exactly where I was!  Humans are so silly.

Mom says I took twenty years off her life that morning.  And ever since then, I haven’t been able to get into the cabinets.  Drats.  I liked my little cave.  And I’ll tell you something Mom doesn’t know, so don’t tell her:  I had been inside that cabinet before…

Today, some strange things are happening here.  Mom brought a big black box into the bedroom, and she’s putting some of her clothes in it.  I don’t understand why, usually, she just wears the clothes, or else, they hang in the closet, which, by the way, is another place I like to explore that Mom doesn’t like me to be in.  Anyway, this putting clothes in the box thing is a bit puzzling.  But the big box looks like it might make a good napping spot, especially with all the clothes in there.  I think I’ll give it a try.

Allegra’s World: Falling Leaves

It’s been too long since I last wrote on here!  I’ve been a busy girl, lots of fun things going on here.  I”m continuing to be a big help to Mom, assisting her with getting the Reiki room ready and greeting her clients, doing my part in helping with chores, and just generally being my cute self.

I love looking out the windows, and there are some very cool things happening outside our house these days.  It’s been pretty breezy lately, and things are falling from the trees and blowing around in the yard!  Wee!!!  Mom says it’s called fall (finally humans call something  by a name that actually makes sense!), and she says that the leaves change color and then fall off the trees.  I can’t really see the color part all that well.  My vision is much sharper than humans’ and I can see in very dim light, which you humans can’t, but I don’t have much use for color.  But I love watching the leaves fall and swirl – it makes for great entertainment.

All that leave peeping makes me tired, though, so the other day, when Mom was sitting on her sofa reading, I tried something new.  I climbed on her lap, and curled up for a nice long nap.  It was nice – Mom’s lap was soft, and I loved being so close to her.  I could tell that Mom was really happy I did that.  I’ve never done it before.  I’m an independent girl, and while I love being with my mom, and sleep with her in bed at night, I don’t need to be on top of her all the time.  But this was really nice, and I think I may have to do it again sometime.  I know Mom misses my sister Amber, who, she says, was a lap cat.  Well, I don’t know about being a lap cat, but if it makes Mom happy, I can snooze in her lap every now and then.  I also love that Mom loves me for who I am, and isn’t trying to make me into something I’m not, even though she might like me to be a little more cuddly.  I’ve got to be me!  But I love Mom, so I’m going to try.  Really, I am!

Gotta go – more leaves blowing by the window.  Wee!!!

Allegra’s World: Helping Mom

Hi everyone – it’s Allegra!  So, last time I wrote, I told you about my two jobs:  sheet changer assistant, and Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee.  Since then, I’ve gotten so much more mature that I’m now helping Mom with her chores, too!

I’m particularly good at helping her clean the house, if I do say so myself.  I help her clean the bathroom by jumping on the vanity and supervising as she wipes the mirror clean.  Then, when she’s finished, I get really close and press my nose against it to make sure she really got every little streak wiped away.  I don’t understand why she doesn’t think it’s helpful to have my noseprint on the newly cleaned mirrow as a kitten seal of approval – I think it looks rather cute!  When she’s done with the bathroom, it’s time to dust.  This is my favorite part of cleaning the house!   Mom uses this fierce-looking thing on a stick that she says is called a lambswool duster.  I jump and try to catch it as she moves it around, and when I do, boy, do I beat that beast into submission!   Wee!!!

When that’s all done, we get to the part about cleaning the house that I’m not all that crazy about.  Mom gets out “The Monster.”  There’s just no other word for it.  It’s a huge, scary looking contraption and I don’t like anything about it.  It has a long grey snake attached to it that moves around, and when I try to attack it, it doesn’t back down at all.  And it’s really loud!  Mom moves “The Monster” all over the house, and I try to be brave and stare it down, but I won’t let it get too close.  It might eat me!  It seems to eat everything else in its path.  I don’t understand why Mom needs to bring “The Monster” out once a week, I think our house looks just fine as it is.  However, it is kind of interesting how smooth the carpet looks after Mom puts “The Monster” away.  I can pounce around on it and my paws leave really fun patterns!  Wee!!!

By the way, Mom says to tell you that because of me, she uses cleaning products that are safe for me even if I do rub my nose in them like I do when I check the mirror.  I love her for always making sure things are good for me.

That’s all for today.  I hear my favorite mousie calling.

Allegra’s World: Changing the Sheets

I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes – I didn’t know I had so many friends out there!

Things are changing around here now that I’m a big girl!  I have a lot of responsibilities now.  It’s not all play for me anymore!

One of my newest jobs is to help Mom with changing the sheets.  I’m really good at it!  I help Mom take the old sheets off the bed by jumping from one corner to the other.  Then, when she throws them on the floor, I take a flying leap into the pile and rearrange it so it will be easier for Mom to pick up to take to the laundry room.  Before Mom puts the new sheets on, I jump back up on the bed and sit in the center of the mattress.  I try my best to get under the fitted sheet, but for some reason, Mom won’t let me.  So instead, I help make sure that it’s put on properly by pouncing on any wrinkles.  Trust me, it really helps to smooth them out.  I’m also a big help when Mom gets ready to put the pillowcases on.  I attack the case and beat it into submission so that it’s good and ready to be put on the pillow.  I know Mom really appreciates that.  I always look forward to when Mom gets ready to put on what she calls the duvet cover.  Looks like just a giant pillow cover to me, but I’ve come to understand that humans like to call things by fancy names even when a simple one would work just as well.  I try to get in between the comforter and the cover.  I don’t understand why Mom doesn’t think this is helpful – I’m just trying to make sure she does it right!  I love it when Mom gives the comforter a big shake, it sends me flying off the bed with some extra velocity – wee!!!  The very bestest part is when we’re done, and I just sort of sit on top of the comforter surveying the results of our hard work.  Mom pretends the bed monster has come to visit, and makes the comforter wiggle from underneath, and I pounce on the wiggly parts.  I let her think I really believe that it’s a monster, and not just her hand under the covers.  Sometimes it’s best to just humor humans.

My other, more important job is Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee!  Mom sees (human) clients in her Reiki room in our house.  (Oh, I love calling it “our house!”) She says  Buckley, who lived here long before I came, helped her with her Reiki sessions, and I want to help, too, but Mom says I’m not mature enough yet.  What’s this mature?  I’m one year old!  I’m a big girl!  Anyway, she says we have to start slowly.  She says I’m too rambunctious to be in the room during a Reiki session (there’s those big words again!), but I’m allowed to greet clients when they arrive, and they all love it!  Because I’m so cute, they all pet me and sometimes even pick me up and hug me when they first arrive.  I’m giving them kitty therapy!  After being exposed to my cuteness, they feel better right then and there, and they probably don’t even need the Reiki Mom does, but Mom takes them to the Reiki room anyway.  I don’t like that Mom then closes the door on me.  I would just sit quietly and watch if she let me in the room.  Okay, maybe I would start playing with the client’s purses.  Or pounce on their feet.  But what would the problem with that be?  So, I wait patiently right outside the door until the session is over.  Then Mom finally lets me in the room!  I love that!  The energy in the room always feels really good, and I get to rub up against the client and get more pets.  I love being Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee!

That’s all for today.  Between blogging, making beds, learning to be Assistant Reiki Practitioner, playing, and keeping an eye on things in our yard, I’m a busy busy girl, and it’s time for a nap!

Allegra’s World: First Birthday

Hey everyone – I’m a big girl now!  I turned one this past Friday!  I’m not a kitten anymore!  Mom says I still act like one, but that’s okay, just because I’m a big girl now doesn’t mean I have to stop having fun!

I loved my birthday!  It was a really cool day.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing until last Friday!  Mom gave me extra cuddles in the morning (and yes, I do occasionally let her pick me up and hold me for short periods of time now), and a yummy breakfast of raw chicken.  I love my chicken.  The turkey – not so much.  I think I’ve pretty much convinced Mom to not buy that anymore.  I’m pretty smart about how I do it.  I always clean my plate when she gives me things I really love, but when it’s something I’m not so crazy about, I leave a little something for her to throw out.  I know some cats will refuse to eat something they don’t like, but I’m no dummy.  I’m not going to pass up a meal!  Anyway, back to my birthday.  After my birthday breakfast, Mom gave me a really cool present.  It’s a big, round, long tunnel thing.  It’s so much fun!  At first, I just checked it out carefully.  Then I slowly went inside.  It made crinkly noises – how fun!  Once I was comfortable that nothing was lurking inside, I ran through it at full speed.  Wee!!!  Then I thought if running through it at full speed is this much fun, what about if I took a flying leap, and then launched myself into it.  Let me tell you – it was quite a rush!  The whole thing rolled and tumbled, with me in it.  Wee!!!  I played with my new toy for most of the day.  Well, at least when I wasn’t napping, I played with it.  And Mom played with me and my tunnel, she tossed toys inside and I went in after them, that was even more fun than playing with it by myself.  And then Mom gave me a yummy rabbit birthday dinner.  It was a purrfect birthday!

I asked Mom whether I could have a birthday every day, but she said I only get to have one once a year.  Hmmm.  But then she said that there are other things we’ll celebrate, and the next thing will be something called Christmas, which she says is even more fun than birthdays.  Apparently some dude named Santa brings cats and kittens toys if they’re nice and not naughty.  Huh.  Who is this dude, and how does he know whether I’m naughty or nice?  Does Mom tell him?  I guess I better watch myself, because I love getting new toys.

That’s it for today.  I’m going to play in my new tunnel.  Wee!!!

Allegra’s World: Busy Kitten

I’ve been a busy little kitten!  There’s always so much to do, a kitten’s work is never done.  I’ve got to keep an eye on the birds and squirrels in our yard – that’s almost a full time job right there!  And lately, we’ve had these very strange looking creatures attach themselves to the screen on the sliding glass door.  Mom says they’re called cicadas.  They’re really ugly, and when I try to bat at them, they make a scary noise and fly off!  Oh, and speaking of critters – this is the coolest thing yet since I came to live here.  These big black things are coming into the house sometimes, mostly in the basement.  Mom says they’re called crickets.  I say they’re really fun toys!  I chase them and they jump all over the place.  Wee!!!   The only thing is that they don’t seem to last very long, because I’m too fast for them!  But, unlike my other toys, I can eat them!  Yummy!  I do leave the legs behind, though – a little too crunchy for my taste.  Mom says it’s gross when I eat the crickets, and that she’d rather not know that I do that.  Ha!  I’m a fierce huntress!  This is what I do!  I bet she wouldn’t like it, either, if I left their dead bodies all over the basement.  Humans – sometimes they just don’t get it.

Speaking of toys – I got another cool new one.  Mom bought me a new cat tree.  You can see me posing on it in the photo above.  I really like it, especially the sisal scratching post, I use that a lot.  And I love it when Mom gets one of those fishing pole type toys and teases me with it around the cat tree.  I jump up and down and roll around at the base of it, it’s great fun.  Wee!!!  My birthday is only a couple of weeks away, and I’ve seen Mom take a box inside the one room downstairs that I’m not allowed in.  I wonder whether my birthday present is in that box?  It was a pretty big box!  Wee!!!  It sure is fun living here, so many toys, and so many presents.  Every day is so special!

I like that Mom works from home, and that she’s around a lot, so it was a little weird the other day when she was gone for a really long time.  She left right after our morning playtime, and she told me she would be gone all day, and that she would be back in time for me to feed me my dinner, but it still felt like a very long day without her there.  I slept for most of it, but then, I got a little bored.  Mom says I always look for trouble when I’m bored, and apparently, going by how she reacted, I found it.  I didn’t think it was that bad – all I did was chew on the edges of a book that stuck out from a lower shelf.  Oh, and I did knock her glasses off the nightstand.  But I do that all the time, and she just picks them up and puts them back.  Okay, so I did chew on the ends this time, and I guess they feel a little funny now when she puts them on.  Big deal!  That’ll teach her to leave me alone for that long!  Even though she said “oh, Allegra” in that tone of voice that I’ve come to know means she’s a little upset with me, I could tell that she tried really hard not to laugh, too.  I know I’m too cute for her to stay upset with me for long!

Oh, and I almost forgot – Mom has been feeding me some different food lately.  She says it’s called “raw” – I say it tastes really yummy!  I’m not a big eater, food kind of bores me,  most of the time I’m just too busy to eat, but this stuff, I usually inhale in one sitting.  It comes in different flavors, so far, I’ve had rabbit, chicken and turkey.   I like them all, but I think I like rabbit best of all.  Yummylicious!!!

That’s all for today – time to make the rounds and check on the birds and squirrels!

Allegra’s World: Big Girl

It’s been a while since I last wrote here, and I need to catch you up on what’s been happening in my world.  Yesterday was my almost birthday – I’m eleven months old now!  I’m almost a big girl!  I don’t really know what birthday means, but Mom says next month, when it’s my real birthday, we’ll have a little celebration and there will be presents.  I think I know what presents are – I think it’s the new toys that have been appearing here occasionally.  I can’t believe there might be more!  Wee!!!

Since I am a big girl now, I’ve been trying to act more grown up, too.  Well, maybe not quite grown up, but I am trying to be a good girl.  Mom says I’ve been doing really well with some of the things we’ve been working on together . I didn’t realize we were working on them together, but whatever – let her think that!  I may just be a kitten, but I’m still the one who decides what I do, make no mistake about that!  Anyway, I let her pet me for longer and longer periods of time now, and I don’t nip at her near as much.  I really don’t know why I even still do it, but it’s like I have all this extra energy that needs to be discharged somehow, and nipping is a way for me to do that.  It’s like I don’t really want to do it, it just happens.  I think Mom understands that, and she knows I’m not nipping at her to hurt her.  I love that she gets that.  I love her a lot, and I’d hate for her to think that I’m doing it on purpose.  I also don’t like that she simply walks away from me when I do nip at her, so I’m starting to put two and two together.  I’m a smart kitten!

I’m learning to be brave, too.  When I first came to live here, loud noises, especially the big trash trucks that go by our house every day, would send me running for safety under the sofa.  Now, I just watch them go by from the window – I know they can’t hurt me.  I still don’t like the noise of the lawn mowers that come every other week.  Why do humans need to have their lawns mowed anyway?  Don’t they know it scares little kittens like me?  Last week, I discovered a cool new spot to hide when scary noises happen (I still haven’t been able to make Mom stop what she calls thunderstorms – she keeps explaining to me that she has no control over the weather, but she seems to control so much else in our house, I’m not sure I believe her – after all, she can open cans!).  Anyway, I went behind the shower curtain in the downstairs bathroom.  It was nice and dark and I couldn’t hear the loud noise from the thunder as much down there.  When Mom found me there, she started to cry.  Turns out that this was Amber‘s safe place, too, and I guess seeing me there made her miss Amber a lot right then.

I can tell that Mom still gets sad a lot.  I don’t really know what to do when that happens, I’m just a kitten, but I want to help her!  So sometimes when she’s sad, I curl up next to her and just sit with her, even though that much closeness is still a little bit overwhelming for me, but I do it for my Mom, because I know it makes her feel better.  I know she’d like me to do more of it, and I will, but on my own time.  I love that Mom understands that.

Anyway, that’s all.   It’s time for a nap now, and maybe I’ll dream about this birthday that’s going to happen next month!  More toys!  Wee!!!

Allegra and The Play-n-Squeak Wand

As you know from Allegra’s last post, she is most definitely not lacking for toys.  Nevertheless, I was delighted when the folks at Play-n-Squeak products offered to send us a couple of their new Play Wand toys for Allegra to test.  And Allegra was over the moon with excitement when the toys arrived.

These folks know cats.  The press release announcing these toys was titled “The Tiger Inside:  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hunter” – a clever header for explaining that these toys are designed to encourage indoor cats to exercise their natural hunting instincts.   For our indoor cats, who don’t have to worry about hunting down their dinner, toys take the place of prey, and the best toys are those that mimic prey behavior.  The toys that do this best are interactive, fishing-pole type toys.   They not only make it easy to encourage cats to play, but because they require a human on one end of the toy, they also strengthen the bond between cat and human. 

The Play-n-Squeak wands incorporate everything kitties love in a toy.  We tested the Tiger Teaser©.  It consists of a nice, sturdy handle with an equally sturdy, thick rope attached to it. It has a feathery tuft at the top of the pole and a fuzzy mouse at the dangly end.  Not only is the mouse stuffed with catnip, but it’s got some kind of electronic gadge inside that is motion-activated and meant to mimic the squeak of a real mouse.  Even though it sounded more like a bird to me, it certainly got Allegra’s attention.  The mouse squeaks each time it’s batted, and even when it’s just swung through the air or dragged along the floor and furniture.  Allegra couldn’t decide what she liked better:  the sqeaking mouse, or the feathery tuft at the top of the rod.  I actually managed to exhaust her with this toy – not an easy feat.

When you play with your cat using an interactive toy, whether it’s the Play-n-Squeak or any number of other fishing pole toys on the market, try to imitate the hunt.  Make it interesting for you cat.  Drag the toy across the floor, up and down furniture, around corners, up and down stairs.  Let your cat catch the toy occasionally to keep it fun for her.  When you’re ready to end the play session, don’t stop abruptly, instead, slow the toy down, pretending it’s a wounded animal that is getting tired.  Let your cat catch the toy one last time before you put it away.  Never leave interactive toys out for your cat to play with on her own, they should only be used when you can supervise.  Cats can easily get tangled up in the strings and ropes of these toys if they play on their own.

Allegra’s review:  Weeee!!!!!!  Super fun toy!!!!!  Four paws up!!!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu9HfdBhcYg

The Play-n-Squeak wands toys are available online or at pet retailers near you.

Allegra’s World: Chewing

Things have been really interesting around here!  My mom and I are still getting to know each other, and I love how she wants to make sure I’m happy.  I want her to be happy, too!   But sometimes, I think the things I do to try and make her happy actually aren’t such bright ideas.  I don’t really understand why she doesn’t think it’s totally cool when I stalk her when she walks down the hall and attack her ankles.  I also don’t understand why she doesn’t think it’s fun when I nip at her hands to let her know that I’ve had enough petting.  Doing those things is soooo fun!  But I’m starting to get a clue that maybe it’s not okay to do these things, because when I do, Mom stops talking to me, won’t even look at me, and just walks away from me.  I don’t like that at all!

The other day, I did something so amazingly cool, I couldn’t wait for Mom to see!  I chewed off the edge of the big dresser in the bedroom!  It was so much fun to nibble on it, and it felt really good on my teeth!  Wee!  I worked at it really really hard, and managed to make it look like a work of art, if I do say so myself.  But when Mom saw it, she wasn’t impressed at all.  In fact, she got pretty mad.  I could tell when she said “Oh no, Allegra!” in a voice that didn’t sound loving to me at all – and believe me, I can tell the difference, because Mom sounds loving almost all the time, so when her voice changes like that, I kind of know I’m in trouble.   She told me I shouldn’t be doing that, and then she sprayed some stuff on it that she says is called Bitter Yuck.  She said I might not want to chew on that spot again, or I’d be sorry.  Okay fine, whatever!  Well, I waited a little while before going back to chew on the dresser some more – I’m not stupid, I’m not going to do it right in front of her!  It tasted a bit odd – but the chewing was so much fun, it was worth the weird taste in my mouth.  Mom got really exasperated with me and taped some stuff called Sticky Paws around the corner I’d worked so hard to chew off.  Again, she told me I might not want to chew on it again, as the stuff would stick to my mouth and feel really awful.  Hmmm.  Okay.  Whatever!  Of course I tried again.  Did you really think I wouldn’t?  It was really interesting, I managed to pull the sticky stuff off, spit it out, and then proceded to chew on the wood some more.  I was pretty pleased with the result – but Mom wasn’t ready to give up on making me stop.  You have to give her this – she is persistent.  I watched her rub a lemon on the area I’d chewed so nicely.  Some of the juice dribbled on the floor, so I investigated.  YUCK!!!  Major yuck!!!  I’m sad to say my work of art will not be completed – that stuff just tastes too nasty even for me to persevere.

Then, the other night, Mom was on the phone for a long time.  I heard my name mentioned a lot during that time.  After she got off the phone, she told me that we’d be making some changes to cure me of some of my “undesirable behavior.”  I have no idea what that means. It sounded very grown up and something humans would say when they’re trying to sound important.  I wasn’t too worried about it.  That night, Mom spent a longer than usual time playing with me, and then, she fed me an extra meal just before she went to bed.  How cool was that!  If that’s the kind of change she was talking about, I’m on board with that!  The next day, I got new toys!  Wee!!!  Now mind you, when I first got here, I thought for sure that I had landed in kitty paradise.  There were so many toys!  But now, there are even more!  How lucky can one kitten get!  I got a new play house, and a Kong Kickeroo.  I also saw her stash a bag of stuff in the closet, so I’m thinking there may be more new toys!  And I was right.  Last night, she brought out a really fun toy that has me somewhat puzzled – I just can’t get the little mouse out of it, but I’m going to keep trying!  I know there’s more in that closet, I just know it.  One of these days, I’ll figure out how to open those big closet doors….  but you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go play in my new playhouse now!  Wee!!!

A note from Allegra’s Mom:  I was becoming increasingly frustrated with watching Allegra be a sweet little kitten 80% of the time and then turn into devil kitten the remaining 20%.  She’s a little play aggressive, and she tends to bite when she gets overstimulated.  I knew the basics of how to respond to this type of behavior, but I wasn’t making much headway, so I decided to consult The Cat Coach.  Marilyn Krieger is a nationally recognized and Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and has been successfully solving cat behavior problems since 1990. Offering both on-site and phone consultation sessions, Marilyn’s expert advice solves diverse cat behavior problems.  Marilyn is the resident cat behaviorist for Cat Fancy Magazine and their web site, catchannel.com.  I’m sure Allegra will keep you posted on future developments as a result of Marilyn’s recommendations!

Allegra’s World: Loud Noises

Wee!  Mom is letting me write a blog again!  Mom keeps telling me that I’m a good little kitten, and I guess this is my reward.  I have been very good, if I do say so myself.

I’m continuing to learn stuff about my new home, and I still discover new things every day.  Some are fun – like when I discovered that I can climb on top of the dining room cabinet.  Wee!  That was so cool!  It’s the highest spot in the house (short of the curtain rods – I haven’t figured out how to get up there yet, but I’m not giving up….psst, don’t tell Mom!), and I can see everything from up there.  And the most fun part is that if I lie down and make myself really flat, Mom can’t see me!  One time when I was up there, I heard her calling my name all throughout the  house, but I wasn’t going to move or let her know where I was.  But then her voice got kind of panicky, and I realized that she was worried because she couldn’t find me, and that’s when the game stopped being fun, so I popped my head up to show her where I was.

Some things about my new home are not so fun.  I really don’t like loud noises, and every morning, these big, noisy things go by the house.  Mom says they’re called “trash trucks” and “school buses” – all I know is that they scare me and I run and hide under the sofa when they come.  Sometimes, I’m really brave and just watch them from the top of the stairs through the window – but I’m always ready to run, just in case.  Every other week, there’s an even scarier loud noise.  It sneaks up on me, because at first, all I hear is some rattling in front of our house, and some men talking, and then, all of a sudden, this deafening noise starts!  Mom says it’s called “lawn service” and that it will come every other week all through the summer and fall, and that she hopes I’ll get used to it.  Maybe I will in time, but for now, I’m under the sofa when they come!  Thankfully, they don’t stay very long, but I still won’t come out unless Mom tells me it’s safe.

And then the other night, there was the scariest loud noise of all.  It woke me from a deep sleep on Mom’s bed (I know she loves it when I sleep on the bed with her, and most nights, I try to spend at least part of the night with her.  I know she wished I stayed all night, but there are things a kitten must do in the middle of the night that she couldn’t possibly understand!).  Anyway, that night, these horrible loud noises kept coming, one after the other.  There were also really weird flashing lights along with the noise, and sometimes it felt like the whole house shook.  I was so scared!  Mom tried to calm me down, but even though she talked to me in a quiet, soothing voice, it didn’t help.  I hid under the bed, but it wasn’t any less scary down there, so I decided to run from the noise.  I dashed all over the house trying to find a place where the awful noise wouldn’t follow me, but it was everywhere!  Finally, I ran back under the bed, and that’s where I stayed until after what seemed like forever, it finally stopped.  It took me a while to trust that it was safe to come out from under the bed, though, despite Mom reassuring me that it was over.  Mom said the loud noise was what’s called a “thunderstorm,” and that we’ll have them all summer long.  She said she’ll give me Rescue Remedy from now on whenever they’re in the forecast, and she said it would help calm me down.   She also said to tell you to read her article Thunderstorm Anxiety in Your Pets for more on how you can help your pets during those scary loud things.

Other than that, I’m just loving life.  I know Mom wishes I’d mellow out a little bit more and sit in her lap or let her hold me, but I can’t help being who I am – I’ve got to be me!  I’m not just a kitten, I’m a tortie kitten!  It’s a good thing that Mom understands about “tortitude,” because she says I have it in spades!