My Cats and Our Shared Water-Cooler Moments

by Deb at 12:10 AM • Inspiration & Happiness21 Comments
the week begins

The window in the guest bedroom seems to beckon to me to grab the camera each time I walk past it – the cats love to congregate to either soak up the sun, bird watch, or just have a delightful catnap. This is Jazmine, Mia, and Rolz.

I shared some photos of my cats last week for Selfie Sunday in which I elaborated about the downfalls of both my photographic abilities and the capabilities of my camera. Despite the shortcomings, I continue to be drawn to taking pictures of them – quite frankly I’m obsessed with it – but this week I have come to not only accept my limitations, but embrace them, because they are a loving scrapbook come to life of the treasured moments I have shared with them.

Much of the melancholy is because while I remain unemployed, the truth of the matter is that one day I will find work again. This leaves me struggling with a bittersweet sweep of emotion, because honestly, I know it will be unbearably difficult for me to go back to a world where I will have to leave my furry companions behind. The camera has become my extension of that emotion – each picture I take is not just a photo, but a snapshot of a window in time that will forever be a personal memory to me. That the image might be blurry or imperfect is not the point – the point is that each picture I took was a result of something that completely compelled me.


I saw Rolz basking in the sunlight and the whole image just melted my heart – he is such a regal cat to begin with, so capturing him next to that beautiful column seemed so appropriate.

I don’t mean to seem overly dramatic, but something significant has changed in my relationship with them. I have always loved them, but being with them uninterrupted, every single day for over a month has deepened our bond in ways I never dreamed possible. My relationship used to center on quality time I could find with them on weekends and evenings, but now I am afforded the luxury of sharing a home with them without any time constraints and it has changed how we interact with one another.

sundays helper-new

This is Jazmine – is she not the cutest co-worker ever?

Jazmine has changed the most – once somewhat aloof – she now reports for duty first thing in the morning (duty being the shelf over my computer in my office that I have padded with a towel for her) and she will work, i.e., nap, the entire day with the exception of a brief window break or what I call a “water-cooler” moment – a snippet of time when the cats  are drawn to the guest bedroom window for bird watching, cat chatter, tail wagging, sunshine, and other whatnot (I am sharing some of my favorite “water-cooler” pictures to follow).


This is one of my favorite “water-cooler” pictures. I had briefly opened the window for the first time this year and Kizmet, Rolz, Jazmine, and Mia all congregated to take in the intoxicating sights and smells!


Such a simple picture but it just captured my heart – Rolz and Mia sharing a sibling catnap.

mia copy

I wish I could have gotten the focus on this image sharper, but regardless, I LOVE this picture of Mia! What the camera doesn’t show is that she was diligently trying to catch a lizard that was on the other side of the window! Look at her on her little tippy-toes!! Isn’t she precious?!


Zoey turned briefly to gaze at me as if to say, “Yes, I know I am stunning – please take my picture and be done with it.”


I caught Jazmine looking out the window, almost like she was day-dreaming. When I called her name, you could see that look in her face when she turned to me, “Yes, what is it that you want?”

Mia has also changed significantly – a very shy cat by nature, not only does she sleep in my chair all day long so that she can be next to me (I am now reduced to using a secondary chair as I don’t have the heart to move her) she also sleeps on my legs the instant I come and settle on the couch for the night.

The others have more of their own routine – Zee tends to sleep in the bathroom all day on the hamper – Zoey usually joins him – Kizmet sleeps in the cat tree in the hallway (his way of keeping guard of the entire household), Rolz will go anywhere there is a warm ray of sunshine, and Peanut goes one of two ways – either she sleeps in the dark cave of my bedroom or in the Sunny Seat in the dining room window.


I came home from my walk one morning to this – Zoey in my chair. I did a quick spoof to share on Facebook and had a fun day swapping stories with people who could relate!

spare chair

After my “Zoey in the chair” spoof, I went to get a cup of coffee – this is what I came back to – Zoey in my chair, Mia in my other chair! Now that Mia has caught on to this, she spends every day in my office… on MY chair!

All of these vignettes – regardless of where they are – represent the cornerstone of my shared life with them and, as I said, I am drawn to photographing them as if under some sort of hypnotic spell. I call this my Day Shift, but at 5:00 p.m., aka dinnertime, the Night Shift begins and the camera is put away.

Life changes – the clock is suddenly ticking – and my bonding time with them becomes a collective entity (there is no such thing as quietly and singularly feeding seven hungry cats in my house). It is also where the biggest change in their lives has occurred. After thinking about it for ages, I have finally taken the first step toward gradually changing their diet. For years, they’ve been eating a canned/dry combination and I knew in my heart of hearts it’s just not the best health option for them. My goal is for them to be eating an exclusive raw/ canned food combination diet (with the canned food being the kind with protein listed as the first ingredient on the label and with the meat/poultry that is used, being fit for human consumption, and grain-free).

It will be a long process, as it needs to be done slowly, especially with my little Mia who is a challenge, being that she is addicted to dry food, but honestly, it’s only been a little over a week and I can already see a positive difference. The way they are interested in their food now is visibly evident – meaning they are REALLY INTERESTED and their coats already feel silkier and healthier.

I end the evening with more collective bonding – first I brush and comb each one of them – then after that it’s playtime! We have a DaBird wand toy that I keep behind closed doors until it is time to play and when DaBird comes out of the closest the cats go insane! I make certain each cat gets several chances to pounce and catch and by the time I am done and we settle on the couch for the night, all of us are very happy, content, and worn out!

Whatever the future will bring, only time will tell, but for now, I am just enjoying each and every second I am being given with my sweet babies.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thank you for letting me share a bit of my life with you!

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  1. Ingrid King says:

    I’m so happy to hear you will be changing your kids’ diet! You know where to find me if you have any questions.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Ingrid – I can already tell you that you’ve answered far more questions than you realize! You have written some invaluable articles and when I went food shopping, I took your advice to heart.

  2. Robin Olson says:

    I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!! You won’t be sorry about changing your cat’s diet and your cats will truly thrive and change with the better nutrition. With you being home now you’ll see that in leaps and bounds. I hope you’ll be able to find work where you can stay home. I’ve worked from home since 1987 and I have never looked back. You can do it, too.

    Great post. Lots of love to you honey! 🙂

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Robin – much of my decision has to do with you. After hanging out with you in NYC, your substantial knowledge of the subject really seeped into the deep crevices of my brain. When I came home and really started to process what I got from my experience, I realized what you had said to those girls when we left the summit really made sense.

  3. Good luck with the diet change – I’m sure it will be a long process, but hopefully one that is worth it in the end. I’m sure the kitties love having you around as much as you love being around them, too.

  4. I’m rooting for you to find work at home. It’s the ultimate way to bond with cats and for years photography is how I learned to observe the nuances of cat behavior. I’m also glad to hear about the diet switch. The combo wet/raw was welcome with my cats.

    • Deb says:

      Thanks Layla – I can use all the rooting I can get! I’ve always loved your photos – you really capture the feline essence and absolutely catch their little quirks and nuances.

  5. Good luck with the diet change, it’s going to be long but it’s so worth of it ! Purrs

  6. Flynn says:

    They are all lovely photos, but the third one with Jasmine is so absolutely gorgeous! A few years ago I tried to gradually change Eric and Flynn to a raw diet. Eric was disgusted when the kibble got less and less but gave it a try. Flynn though is so finicky and if he doesn’t want something he would rather starve himself than eat it.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Flynn – I love that picture of Jazmine too! I was amazed I was even able to take it!! Oh… poor Flynn… it’s such an ironic thing about cats – they are born carnivores, but they get so addicted to dry food that they prefer it…

  7. I have been trying forever to get mine off of dry food. They also get a canned/dry combo…mostly high quality grain free canned, but Wally still insists on having his dry food. Even if I give him extra canned…he still looks at me after he’s finished it with a look that says…”okay, now where’s my crunchies?” And I’m such a softie…I give in to that look. I hope you have better luck. 😉 ~Island Cat Mom

    • Deb says:

      Yeah… I know what you mean, Island Cats. Mia will probably take years to fully wean and Zoey, well, I can trick her to some extent, but she is not altogether on board with this shift in diet. She likes her old brand of canned food and dry kibble…

  8. MR. Puddy says:

    MOL… for da chairs !
    Your diet menu sound good to me…Good luck guys =^x^=

  9. Sorry for being MIA…it’s been a challenging week but am finding some time tonight to catch up on my blog reading. And oh how much I enjoyed this post.

    I understand how difficult, yet how wonderful the change is to go from working a day job, to “working” at home. The times Mark asked if I walk around all day…with a camera. (And honestly, I do…A LOT). And the bond that you form with the babies, is something that you’ll treasure forever. I am the luckiest person in the world to have spent the last 2 years of Roxanne’s life…at home with her.

    I do hope you find a job that allows you to either work from home….or take a cat or two with you. Whatever and wherever…BE HAPPY…and please keep writing. You have a true gift and it should be shared. ♥

  10. Awesome Post! These are the kind of posts where you reveal your inner self that people love so much. It truly is a blessing in disguise to be able to work from home and see how our wonderful creature’s lives play out during the day. Blogging can be a full time job for sure. And posts like this one are the sort that bring out the best in everyone. I am also soooooo happy that you are working on changing their diet. And that you can see the difference already shows you the immense benefit. Follow your passion, your cats and your love for them with stories like this and you have found your job and what’s the most important to you. You’ll also look back at some point and see how your photography has grown as well. You must be in a creative cycle now so embrace it and enjoy! 🙂 You’ve just given me some inspiration as well. Thank you!

  11. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guys….next time sum water kneads ta go in two de waterz kewler……put sum gold fish
    in de jug…….then put de waterz in de kewler…..instant aquarium !!! ♥♥♥

  12. meowmeowmans says:

    What a wonderful and deeply personal post, Deb. We’re hoping you are lucky to find work that allows you to do the home office thing. 🙂 And we have our paws crossed that the diet change goes over well with your kitties. 🙂

  13. Marg says:

    Looks like lots of great pictures to me. Love the one with the three of them looking outside. They are all good. Thanks for coming by the blog and the nice comment about Girl Kitty. You have a great Thanksgiving.