The Zee & Zoey Cats and Family

Summer is Here! Company is Coming! Coping With Visitors in a Multi-Cat Home!

It’s summer – that fun and busy time of year when lots of people are traveling and vacationing. In my case, many of those traveling people are family members of mine and their vacation destination is with Dan and me at our tropical, South Florida home. I love having them around – July and August will be a revolving door of blessedly wonderful activity but for our cats, some will be less than thrilled when they’re unexpectedly woken from a peaceful nap to the jarring, whirrrrr noise of luggage wheels on the pavement heading to our front door.

Before said visitor hands can even knock on the door, announcing their already evident arrival, the cats will scatter to assume whatever personality role they have. Seven cats. Seven distinctly different reactions – all of which are predictably predictable.

The more things on the dining room table, the happier Zee is to plop himself right in the center of it all.

Zee, our eldest, will be instantly social. Though he’s slowed down in age, he still likes to be in the thick of things like when he was an inquisitive young kitten and is not shy around visitors. Since much of our family gatherings center around food, eating, and the dining room table, that means he’ll spend most of his time on the dining room table. What’s a little cat hair in your coffee, or a cat tail on your plate for that matter when you’re among family? I can pretend we don’t let him on the table, but it’s rather a moot point if you’ve known me for as long as my family has.

Even when she’s in a good mood, Zoey has looks to kill, but deep down she’s actually a sweetheart. Just don’t try picking her up if you care for your life.

Despite her glaring looks to kill and withering scowl, Zoey has actually mellowed in her age and might even snuggle up on a surprised guest’s outstretched legs if they’re sitting on the couch. That said, unless you’re a foolish thrill-seeker, you still should never attempt to pick her up because she will become a wild, lethal weapon of razor-sharp claws at that point. 

It’s not that Mia doesn’t like company, she just prefers to keep herself low-key and will stay in the bedroom until she decides she wants to come out and say hello.

Mia has come a long way over the years. Once never allowing any touching from Dan and me, she is now glued to our laps at night when we sit on the couch to watch TV and you can sneak some pets in then. When it comes to company, I think she’d prefer we didn’t have any, but that said, I also don’t think company bothers her. I would say she’s non-committal one way or another. And she’ll still come out at night to hang out on the couch when we have visitors, so it can’t be that bad.

Another lap to sit on? More hands to pet me? When it comes to Peanut, the more loving the better!

Peanut has always been a love bug and will always be one. She doesn’t shy away from anyone, rather embracing the opportunity for more laps to nap on, more hands to pet her, and more people to listen to her incessant meow chatter.

Sergeant Rolz, reporting for duty. All-day, every day.

Rolz lives on the counter next to the food pantry nearly 24/7/365, rain or shine, company or no company, because “there might be something” and he never, ever wants to lose that possible chance of gaining access to that all-important food pantry door, because that’s where all the cat food and cat treats reside. But to his credit, his plan is actually quite brilliant as I don’t think a day goes by that someone doesn’t fall for his charming and patient ways which do result in morsels of divine food for him.

I love having you around, I really do, just stay away from MY counter!

Kizmet is a sweet, lovable cat. You can pick him up, you can hug and kiss him, and he’s happy to go with the flow. Company is not an issue, even the company who sometimes bring a dog with them. The only caveat with him is the kitchen counter. His kitchen counter. It’s where he eats his meals every day and he’s quite possessive about it, giving a swat to those who dare decide to be near it, whether human or another cat.

On her own, Jazmine is a bold, confident, and often bossy cat. When company comes, her M.O. is a big ole scaredy-cat.

Jazmine is a bold, confident, sassy, and very friendly cat. With Dan and me. When company comes she runs and hides for several hours, slowly inching her way to the end of the hallway where she watches the goings-on, not willing to cross whatever invisible line she’s set in her mind. But, Jazmine is also addicted to food so, despite her reservations to mingle with guests, if the treat bag is shaken, or if the aroma of tasty food is wafting through the house, she will allow herself to be picked up and brought into the kitchen to be plunked front and center with everyone else, having a priceless look on her face of “look at me, see I’m not a scaredy-cat at all!”

Jazmine’s not the only one tempted by treats. It’s typically the magic wand for them all, even when we have company visiting, but much of that is because our cats have become somewhat used to having company around throughout the year and don’t feel truly threatened. Really, the best rule of thumb for any cat when people are visiting is to respect the boundaries he sets and interacting with visitors should never be forced.

Cats are very sensitive to change, causing them stress, so don’t let your guests take it personally if kitty reacts by hiding or acting scared. If the company is going to be around for a couple of days, chances are you can ease into the relationship by working with positive reinforcement. 

Treats and interactive play toys typically entice most any cat, so if you have your guest be the bearer of good things, it can go a long way toward building trust. If it’s not meant to be, at the very least, make sure your cat has a room with litter, fresh water, food, toys, and bedding to feel safe while the company is around.

How about your cat(s) – how do they act around company?  

 

Happy 7th Birthday, Kizmet, and Happy 4th of July!

Happy 7th birthday to Kizmet!

Not every cat can share the same birthday as America without getting lost in the hoopla, but our Kizmet can because he’s truly one cool cat! Kizmet came into our lives in November of 2012 after I saw him in an adoption cage at Pet Supermarket and it was love at first sight. He always beat to his own drum, and as he celebrates his 7th birthday, he remains a very unique cat.   Read more

Happy Father’s Day from Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles

Papa Zee surrounded by his offspring – Mia, Peanut, and Rolz.

From all of us at Zee & Zoey’s, Happy Father’s Day to all the cat daddies out there! We wish you a wonderful, happy, and relaxing day! Our Zee, he will probably spend the day napping, one of his favorite things to do!

Getting Ready for the CWA Conference, it’s National Pet Month, and There’s a Stray Cat in My Yard!

My goodness… I can’t believe I haven’t posted something since Easter! What this tells me is a reality that I’ve been having a hard time coming to grips with, but the glaring truth nonetheless: I’m not Super-Woman and I’m literally incapable of managing an extremely demanding full-time day job, my more than full-time position of president of the Cat Writers’ Association, which includes coordinating a 25th anniversary conference and awards banquet, my home and personal life, and a blogging/writing career in the 24 hours a day I’m given. Something must give, and for the time being it’s my personal writing. Read more

Happy Easter Wishes From the Zee and Zoey Gang!

Little miss Mia all coy and sweet for her Easter picture!

Oh, my catness! It’s already Easter! I’ve been so busy pulling together the last-minute details for the Cat Writers’ Association 25th anniversary conference and awards banquet that I’ve barely come up for air. It will be held on May 16 – 18 at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch, St. Louis and the clock is ticking to get everything done! And not to pressure anyone, but if you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time – we have an amazing lineup of speakers, an incredible book signing and fundraising event for the Humane Society of Missouri, prizes, gifts, celebrity cats, entertainment, and our annual awards banquet which promises to be a spectacular night! You don’t have to be a member of the CWA to attend – please click here for full details.

Keep Easter safe for your cats by avoiding dangerous temptations such as curling ribbon, cellophane grass, chocolate, and Easter lilies.

Anyhow, whatever you’re doing -whether it’s a peaceful day with family and friends or a catch-up day like mine, I hope it’s a day filled with blessings. And don’t forget how curious our feline friends can be  – Easter is a wonderful time but there can be many things dangerous to cats. Curling ribbons and cellophane grasses if ingested could become entangled in their intestines, causing them to twist and close off requiring dangerous surgery. Chocolate is highly toxic to cats and so are those beautiful Easter lilies we are all familiar with. And if a cat eats a small toy or decoration, they could possibly choke on it, so really the best thing to do is keep these types of temptations away from your cat. To be safe, keep both the phone number of your veterinarian and the pet poison helpline programmed on your phone in case of emergencies (poison helpline is 855-764-7661).

Happy Easter – love, and purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang!

Love from Rolz, angel Jazz, Peanut, angel Harley, Zee, Zoey, Kizmet, Jazmine, and Mia.

hearts

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