Archive for the ‘cats’ Tag
I have long suspected that Marble is the reincarnation of Marcos. Allow me to sway you to my belief.
I adopted them both as a result of an obsession based on a falsehood. Believing the plea of my favorite 104.6 DJ Maria Milito that a 16-year old dog had been surrendered to Animal Control in Manhattan, I wasted no time in running to his rescue. What I brought home was a robust, rambunctious 7-year old. Somehow the neighbor who brought Marcos to the shelter, since his owner could no longer care for him, had said he was 16. Perhaps it was a language problem. The shelter is in Spanish Harlem and I used to call Marcos my Puerto Rican dog when I once witnessed his ears perk up and his head swivel around when we passed landscapers calling to each other in Spanish.
As for Marble, it was my view of him in a cage in the Petsmart adoption room. All I had to do was see the back of his head.
For some reason, he didn’t turn around and I didn’t disturb him. Maybe I had blinders on, but I do not recall taking note of his back, so I was laboring under the impression that he was an exotic cat with one lone stripe tracing the length of his back, like a skunk in reverse. He wasn’t.
Marcos entered the House of Mars with his ribs not only palpable but poignantly visual. This was most likely proof of what the Good Samaritan’s explanation that “his owner could no longer care for him”.
When the “rescue lady” delivered Marble, I commented “oh, how thin.” Her interpretation? “He’s slim.
Compare the posture and tell me that’s not the same old soul!
I managed to fatten him up when he was Marcos…….
….but have had no luck with him as Marble due to a chronic case of inflammatory bowel disease. Although truth be told, Marcos may have had it too. I often Joke that he came back as Marble, just so he could throw up on spots he missed when he was Marcos.
If you don’t believe me ask Marceau the Moocher. He’s already ready to share.
But if you need irrefutable proof, here it is.
OK, be like that!
It’s been seven years since Marceau got busted. It started when I recognized the symptoms of his having a urinary construction – repeated straining in the litter box with no results. Since this is potentially fatal, I rushed him to the vet. It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I remember this because the vet said they couldn’t treat him since it would entail a three- day stay at the hospital and they’d be closed over Thanksgiving. He referred me to the Bedford- Katonah Emergency Veterinary Hospital since it is fully staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Bedford? Bedford as in Martha Stewart? Richard Gere? Ralph Lauren? I was a few breaths short of hyperventilating as the dollar signs flashed in front of my eyes. I packed him back in his carrier and off we went to the moneyed town. Emergency hospitals are always expensive, but I could only imagine how much this one would cost. As it turned out the bill lived up to my expectations……. and then some! But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was Marceau got busted.
He was released on Thanksgiving evening, and I thought all was well until I received a call Monday – at work, no less. It was the Westchester Department of Health. The hospital had reported Marceau’s scratching a technician, and records showed he was not up to date on his rabies shot. Visions of a truck pulling up to The House of Mars and white suited men with respirators and masks taking him off to be beheaded so they could test his brain and see if he was rabid. Then he realized I didn’t live in Westchester County. “Putnam County will be calling you.” he said
Five minutes later – different voice – same story. But this guy was cool. “Mail us his rabies certificate.” In other words. Go get the shot.
In case any one is wondering why I let his shots lapse. It’s because since all my cats are indoor cats, I saw no reason to vaccinate them. Up until that phone call, I didn’t realize New York State requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies. You better bet I’ve learned my lesson!
Since the rabies shot is good for three years and three Mars live at The House of Mars, I’ve staggered the visits so I only have to capture one cat per year.
Last year was Marble’s turn.
Next year is Marcel’s.
This year was Marceau’s year. Lucky Marceau.
Poor me. Vet visit day is my most dreaded day of the year. It seems I send out a psychic signal and the intended flees just as i close in. I kept track of Marceau’s sleeping mid-morning sleeping schedule for weeks so I could make a strategic appointment. Since he likes dosing in the sun on the cat condo from 10:30 AM on, I made an 11 AM appointment. The conversation went this was – as it always does.
“Which cat will that be.
“Marceau, Mar-ceau. e-a-u
The day arrived and of course, he bolted as I closed in. It cost me a can of cat food, and a ton of guilt. The only way to get him back was to open a can which brought him on the run – along with Marcel and Marble. They got to eat, he didn’t!
When we arrived, we were ushered into an examination room. The door shut, then it opened again and in popped the head of the receptionist. “This is Marcel right?
“Nope, Marceau. e-a-u
Next the vet and a technician came in. Marceau actually enjoyed the experience since, after the examination and shot the technician rewarded him with a through combing and removed at least a pound of winter hair.
All went well, The vet said he looked great, and was in great shape. At last the dreaded appointment was over. I paid my bill, packed up Marceau, and off we went.
When I arrived home, I took out his rabies certificate so I could put it in a safe place.
I took one look and grabbed my phone. The contrite receptionist promised to send me a new certificate right away. One that said Marceau. – e-a-u
Sure enough the very next morning the mailman brought this.
I can hardly wait to see what 2018 will bring our way! Not!
I can’t let May get away without celebrating the birthday of the two brothers without whom The House of Mars could never have been the House of Mars. The original Marshuns, Marcel and Marceau. In their nine years, they’ve been asked to serve several roles and they’ve excelled at all.
September 11, 2005 – December 22, 2011
I got the idea to attend a pet adoption fair to look for a cat, one cat, for Niles who had cancer and was lonely after his beloved Fremont succumbed to his own cancer.
I appealed to the spirit of the Huge Biggie Fremont to direct me to a suitable companion for the cat he’d protected for the the last five years of his life.
The first cats I came upon were none other than the Brothers Mar. How could I not adopt them both. Fremont had sent me a sign. These Fremont/Niles dopplegangers were the cats for his little Niles.
They not only proved up to the job of hospice cats, they excelled, never leaving Niles who spent his last weeks on the recliner.
2007 – 2013
Two years passed and I brought Marcos, Mars#3 , home
It took a while but they all became buddies. Well, Marceau and Marcos did.
Marcel was more the trainer. He believed in keeping his distance
Cat Correctional Guards
September 5, 2013 – present
Enter the 4th Mar, Marble
Need I say more? I can always say more, but what can be said about Marble that hasn’t already been said. He’s a criminal genius.
They accepted him immediately and now one or the other is always tagging along, keeping an eye on him.
Many jobs, all well done, Twin Princes. May you stick around another nine years
Do you remember how Marcos took over my former guest room?
Although I miss him dearly, I had every intention of restoring it to visitor status. But I guess I didn’t work fast enough. Marcos room has a new tenant. Meet Marbles, the House of Mars’ newest Mar.
How did this come about? I wish I knew. On Thursday, August 22, I stopped at Petsmart to get cat food. This, in itself was out of the ordinary since I always run this errand on Saturdays. But I had something else planned for Saturday, so there I was.
Little Orphan Animals, a local rescue group, had set up cages of kittens outside the entrance. I took a quick peek, again, not my usual habit; I usually put blinders on when passing rescued cats. No problem, though, They were all very young, and at my age, I didn’t want a kitten. I continued on into the store where I detoured to venture into the adoption room; again, something I avoid like the plague. I guess I got over-confident, because there I saw the most exquisitely colored white and black kitten.
Kitten, I pointed out to myself. But isn’t rationalization a wondrous thing? I managed to convince myself that he wasn’t a young kitten since the sign said he was five months old.
The problem is, his mom and brother were there too. How could I break up a family? I’d have to take all three. Luckily sanity interrupted my thought process
“Ahem, do you realize that would mean you’d have five cats? And how big is your house.”
“Um, 700 square feet, give or take,”
I decided to think it over, and entrust them to fate. After all, I wouldn’t need cat food until the Saturday of the following week. Anything could happen in that time. Maybe they’d all be adopted.
And so I returned on Saturday, August 31. Only one cat remained – the beauty! I quickly jotted down the phone of Susan, who was sponsoring him, and …….the rest is history.
Thursday, September 5
After checking with my veterinarian that I would be a trustworthy cat guardian, Susan delivered BW, whom I promptly renamed. I consigned him to Marcos’s room where he’d be gradually introduced to the Brothers Mar, via sniffs and paws groping under the door. He vanished under the bed, not to be seen again for twenty-four hours. I left food, water, and clean litter and checked periodically. Nada, zilch, zero
No Marble sighting in the morning. But when i returned in the evening he’d decided maybe he’d like a look around.
See why I named him Marble? from every angle, he’s just a swirl of black and white.
Saturday Morning ,
He still hadn’t eaten, but he seemed comfortable with his new digs
Uh oh, time for an introduction to the brothers, but Marble wasn’t so sure.
And the brothers, for their part, huddled in the dining room, trying to make some sense of this little newcomer, probably saying “Thank goodness she didn’t bring home a dog like last time.”
Marble was raring to go,
but the Brothers split up and fled to higher ground
Marble’s appetite returned to life.
Notice who finished first!
The Brothers are trying a new tactic: Good Cop Bad Cop, Marcel hissed at him in the morning. Marble paid him no mind. Marceau took over the role in the evening. Again – no reaction.
Oh, those two, they’re such a pair of old fuddy -duddy bachelors, stuck in their ways. Tell me, could you hiss at this face?
I mentioned last post how the Brother’s Mar came very close to finding themselves outdoors. My fear was not that they were trying to escape but that they’d panic if they found themselves outside. Truth be told, many is the time I’ve had the door open wide as I bring groceries in, and they do not even venture anywhere near the threshold. They started life as feral kittens in the city who had the good fortune to be trapped along with their mother and litter-mates by a rescue group.
Early into their lives in the House of Mars, each has found himself outside. I came home from work the first time to find a bedroom screen on the ground and a missing Marceau. Frantic searching and calling his name turned up nothing. Twenty four hours later I arrived home to hear him crying under the deck. Was he there all the time? Only he knows.
A few months later I returned home to find the dining room screen on the deck; Marcel’s turn. Fortunately, or unfortunately he had timed his venture with the first thunderstorm of the summer. Down came the torrential rain, and in came Marcel, preceded by his pitiful yowling. No, outdoors is not their cup of tea. You might say they suffer from Logan’s Run Syndrome.
For those who don’t recall Logan’s Run, and that’s probably the majority of the population, let me fill you in. The movie was out in the summer of 1976.
The plot imagined a future where we lived underground in a hybrid shopping mall / airport concourse / type structure.
Due to space restrictions, residents were only allowed thirty years of life. At birth, everyone had a clear crystal implanted in the palm of their hands, and as they approached thirty, it began to acquire a red glow, which come their thirtieth birthday, glowed like a stop signal which made it easy to be hunted down and exterminated.
I became obsessed with seeing it for two reasons. I would be turning thirty in December of that year and experience it while I was still in the glow of my twenties. Reason number two. Farah Fawcett ( I believe she was till the hyphenated Fawcett-Majors) was in it . This was the height of the feathered hair craze she started, and I wanted to check mine against hers. As it turned out she had a cameo as a hair dresser. But I’m glad I saw it because it had the line of the century.
With his palm dangerously near to light up time, Logan and a young woman, (not Farah Fawcett-etc ) decide to make a run for it.
Of course, they have no idea where they’re going but they do find a tunnel after an adventure worthy of Mad Max or Indiana Jones.
They crawl through a crypt-like Capitol Building in Washington DC, whose tables and chairs are strewn with cobwebs and populated by lounging cats in all states of repose.
Finally they find a cave-like opening to the Great outdoors where they experience fresh air and sunlight for the first time.
At this point the young lady turns to Logan and whines ( and it was worth sitting through the whole dreadful movie, just to hear)
“Logan, I hate outside.”
Well, I finally won. Marcel is immunized against rabies for the next three years. He’s also minus eleven teeth! He beat his brother Marceau. Marceau only had eight pulled when it was his turn two years ago. Over all, Marcel is actually minus a few more since the vet said he’d already lost a few on his own. The poor boy is down to one fang – the upper right one. If you have any kittens, I advise you to have their teeth cleaned regularly – or brush them, whichever works for you. Unlike the residents of the House of Mars, they’ll keep their teeth and you will keep your paycheck.
I used the brushing Marceau ploy that I mentioned in my last post. Of course that brought Marcel charging over over, and his signature head-butting which always gets on my nerves absolved me of any guilt I might have felt at nabbing him.
If you recall the reason they are named Marcel and Marceau is that the day I adopted them, they rode in complete silence for the forty-five minute drive home. Fellow cat owners will back me up when I say this goes against one of the cardinal rules in the guide of feline etiquette. Well, he followed the prescribed rule last Tuesday. First of all he was thrashing about so much that I had to hold on to the carrier with two hands as I took it out to the car. And as for the sounds coming out of that carrier, let’s just say if he had been a child, I’d have been pulled over on suspicion of child abuse.
Surprisingly enough, he held no grudges when I brought him home that evening. He did dash off to safety under the bed upon being sprung from the carrier but a few minutes later I looked up to see he’d ventured back.
As for Marceau, who’d been at home alone for the first time in his life, he was curious about the carrier…..
…..and he displayed none of the hissing that his brother showered on him when he was the one coming home from the vet with hospital smells clinging to his fur. (But then we all know who’s the nice brother.)
Well, Marcel was just biding his time, conspiring with his brother. Saturday was payback time. They tried to give me a heart attack. Act One was the warm up and if we were playing the game of Clue, I’d say “Marceau in the dining room with the screen door”. Screen doors, being screen doors, one tends to let them close on their own. However this one is in a heavy frame so I always have to check it to make sure it’s securely closed since the brothers are indoor cats. Saturday morning I didn’t.
And of course, this was Marceau’s cue to stand up against it and stretch. The door opened and closed quickly. I don’t know who was more startled – he or I? He dashed back inside and, luckily I was just outside the door on the patio, having my morning coffee. I jumped up from the table to close it. What was actually happening was that Marceau was assuming the role of a picador, those cruel clown-like characters who poke a bull to get him all riled up prior to a bullfight. And guess who was the bull?
I (El Toro) soon left to meet a friend for more coffee at my favorite “coffee-ing hole”– The Peekskill Coffee House. When I returned three hours later, Marcel had managed to squeeze under the window to sun himself between said window and the screen. Although he doesn’t have the girth of his brother, who would think he could squeeze under an opening like this?
Well, he had and my coming home startled him, and now he was having trouble squeezing back under the window. In Clue language (“Marcel in the dining room with the window screen.”) Recognizing his mounting panic, and doubting the stability of the screen. I rushed past ,and into the living room to assess the situation. Could he get back in on his own? I peeked back into the dining room. It didn’t look like it. He didn’t have enough room to maneuver. Could I go back and raise the window without him rearing back against the screen? There was only one way to find out.
Bottom line – yes, I could. But the whole episode left my heart pounding. (NO attack, but a workout.) The first thing I did –
lower the window,
And check the door.
I finally saw Marcos’ headstone and I must say my reaction surprised me. He is the fifth pet I’ve buried at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, sixth if I count my brother’s dog, Duke. I found his grave immediately thanks to the pinwheel I’d left at the unmarked grave at Easter. Shiny and new, I could read the engraved words before I climbed the hill.
And I broke down and cried – real tears crying. I never cried at the cemetery with any of my other pets. Not even Fremont. Seeing Fremont carved in stone did stop me in my tracks, and have me uttering his name, but not like this. I couldn’t even smile at the Handsome Hunk of Dog bit. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I’ve loved all my cats dearly but I guess this just goes to show that dogs leave a different kind of hole in your life.
Meanwhile back at the House of Mars, life goes on. Summer has come.
So it was down with the storm door
And up with the screen door.
Which has made Marcel and Marceau happy campers
Speaking of the Brothers Mar, they gradually relinquished their claim on Marcos’ beds
so I donated them (the beds, not The Brothers) to the Putnam County Humane Society. Every once in a while Marceau does hang out on the futon, but his days are limited. Come Bulk Garbage Pick-up day in October it will be out in the street. That will be sad, but necessary since I’m in the process of restoring the room to its original status – guest room. But like the rooms at the Bed and Breakfast I stayed in recently, it will have a permanent title – The Marcos Room
As for The Marcos Room, I’ve discovered that taking down wallpaper is a journey.
As for me, yes life goes on. Followers will recall I took at nasty case of poison ivy with me to Key West last year. Well last week I took a case to St Thomas Virgin Islands,
a milder dose, but still annoying.
Oh well, some things just don’t change, do they?