Sleeping Under a Tree

It’s been years since I napped in public. It was much more common in my youth.  I could fall asleep anywhere: curled up in a chair at the college student union, at the beach with friends or on a wide swath of lawn with a boring textbook close at hand.

The idea of sleeping under a tree seems idyllic, but in reality you get twigs in your hair and bugs in the wrong places. Unless of course you’re a cat.

slinky under the maple tree

An afternoon snooze on a warm spring day

Though her senses remain muddled, Slinky Malinki, my shiny black kitty is still with us. She found her way out the back door into the garden this weekend, and settled herself in a cool spot of green under the maple tree.  She spends most of her time sleeping, but her appetite remains good. She grooms her coat to a lovely shine.

slinky under the tree eyes closed

Slinky’s cozy little nest

She’s the grand dame of the house, keeping Lindy and Mouse in their place, even with her limited vision. If either one of them gets too close, she  takes a random swing in their direction. They’ve learned to give her a wide berth, even though they are more than twice her size.

mouse near the sweet peas

Mighty Mouse in the garden

lindy near garden bench

Lindy keeping a respectful distance

Living with Slinky reminds me a lot of the toddler years. She wants in until she’s out; then she immediately wants back in. I close the door, leave the room and she starts howling to go out again. She walks out the back door, takes a few steps, and then she wants to come in. I can hear her howling at me now to open the door once again. I’m outwardly patient, but weary as well. She’ll be ready for another nap soon.

slinky under the tree sun on her back

Nature’s pillow

We have a cat fountain indoors along with a small water bowl near Slinky’s favorite sleeping spot. No matter.  She wants to go outside and drink from the cold water in the bowl on the steps. She relieves herself in the garden, even though she has a litter box. She uses that too…or the floor when the mood strikes. She’s officially crossed over into high-maintenance territory, leaving me feeling weary when the day is through.

Whoever said “dogs have owners, cats have staff” knew what they were talking about.

slinky under the tree

Yes, Slinky…I’ll be right there.

33 thoughts on “Sleeping Under a Tree

  1. Slinky is a fortunate kitty to have your care and attention! If we live long enough, I suppose at least some of us are likely to be “high maintenance” ourselves one day. Time to get some care-taking karma going…thanks for sharing your pretty felines with us.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Julia, for some reason your comment doesn’t appear in my notifications. I found it after Pauline left her comment. That’s weird.

      In any event, I’m glad I found it.

      You are so right. Not only are we likely to become “high maintenance” but we started life that way as well. I think the hardest part is not really knowing what she wants, or thinking I know, but then delivering and failing to satisfy her. In my mom’s declining years, she often ended up at the hospital and I was always the go-to person. Her dementia would kick in to over drive and she would ask me to turn on the radio. There of course was no radio at the hospital, but she would insist, becoming more and more agitated when I couldn’t accommodate her request. Under normal circumstances, my mother was a balanced, reasonable woman, but the dementia stripped that away. Turning on the radio was a simple enough request under most circumstances, but there wasn’t one in the hospital ER.

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    • Thanks, Lisa. She’s always been a nervous cat, but the added “dulling of her senses” as the vet calls it is more recent. She eats, sleeps, mostly makes it to her box and seeks out my company, so those are all quality of life signs. Some days seem better than others. I’ll have her re-checked at the vet in another few weeks.

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  2. Poor Slinky – she’s winding down while winding you up. Perhaps she has decided to help you attain your goal weight before skipping off to kitty heaven? I like that she is maintaining her place in the hierarchy even while in decline………. it’s important to go out with some dignity if you can! I’m making light of the situation – but I know how hard it can be………. as Julia mentions, we can all become high maintenance and it’s good to know there is someone there who cares enough to open the door, open the door, open the door………… xoxo

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    • I love the idea of Slinky exercising me throughout the day. You might be on to something.

      And yes, I suspect most of us will enter a high-maintenance level in our lives. I’m practicing my breathing techniques and opening the door. Unfortunately Mouse has taught himself how to open the screen door, while holding a live rat between his teeth, carrying it through our bedroom and depositing on the living room rug. We’re trying to figure out an alternative as the warm weather approaches to letting the nice air in while keeping the unfortunate prey out.

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      • 🙂 That Mouse – he sure is Mighty!! I don’t think I ever told you about Orlando and the kitchen screen door …… his preferred entrance/exit mode. He taught himself to ‘knock’ on the door. This consists of him standing on his hind legs and stretching up, placing claws through the netting fabric and swinging so that the door rattles. I twice found him with his claws stuck in the screening. Can you imagine – I open the kitchen door and there is a cat – measuring a full metre long, hanging legs akimbo, flat up against the screen door with big eyes that say “Oooops, caught!”. It proved effective for him in that the door is opened asap to prevent further hanging episodes – but in the year or so he has been gaining entrance in this way the screening has ripped and torn and the door really requires replacing. It’s on the list of things to do. Bless them! 🙂

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        • No kidding! When his namer gave him the moniker of Mighty Mouse, who knew how well it would fit.

          I do remember the Orlando story. I’m glad you reminded me. These cats are such characters. Sometimes just smart enough to get what they want, but, like a toddler, not without risks. I may have told you this story, but when I was pregnant with Mac and exhausted in that first trimester, I put C. down for a nap, then fell asleep myself.

          I suddenly bolted awake (that mom-sense we all have) and found him in the garden ready to climb the kitty perch. I shrieked “stop” out of fear, knowing I couldn’t get to him fast enough and he did indeed stop. He would have fallen backward onto a brick planting bed. I didn’t take a nap for a long time after that.

          Have you seen the YouTube video of a cat asking to be let in with the most demanding of voices? Let me see if I can find it.

          Here you go. I laugh every time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yie9Bgo69m8

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear. I have a not good feeling about this sweet fellow. He’s wearing himself out in his confusion. Not to mention his madam butler. I think they do that so it makes it easier to say goodbye. It’s like an obnoxious teenager. We are so grateful when they finally leave the nest. Otherwise they would be home forever and we would be happy. He appears content for the moment.

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  4. I figure that, as long as cats can find a warm spot to nap in the garden and are eating well, their quality of life is good. Slinky has it all, including the devoted maid-of-all-work! You’ll never regret doing so much for her . . .

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  5. I’m relishing all your beautiful photo’s this mid-morning while gobbling down my toast and supping my latte. Even though your message is heavy, it’s lifting my heart. You’re the best kitty mommy ever. It’s the only way you CAN be. I’m really sorry it’s been so trying to re-act to these daily whims, I can’t imagine. Yet I see how peaceful you’re making her world, if just for these calm moments and I get a teary. I guess teary because so many have no one to love them, and they’re alone when they get sick. It would be scary to be confused but not be able to communicate it. Their lives are too short, but you’ve given her so much comfort even though it’s been hard. It must be like heaven for her, laying in the soft earth with a sun puddle warming that teeny little body. Hang in there hon, she will tell you when it’s time to say goodbye, they usually do. Sending gentle hugs all around. xo K

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    • Your comment left me teary as well. Slinky had a rough life before we adopted her. I’m glad we got her off the street when we did (almost five years now) and that she hasn’t had to worry about her next meal, shelter or getting hit by a car.

      Their lives do seem short. I’ve seen so many kitties out of this world over the years, but at the same time I celebrate the lives we’ve cared for, cat’s from shelters or the “street.”

      Thank you for your encouraging words. I think she will let me know when it’s time. I’ll set that aside for now and will focus on the day to day. xo

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  6. Look at that sweet little napper. Too precious. I’m hoping that when my kitties are in their older years, I can trust them to be outside without wandering off. If they would just stay put and enjoy a nice nap. Good Slinky. 🙂

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    • Leilani, we are lucky to have cat fencing around our back garden so she can rest outside without fear of wandering off. The product is simple, but requires a fenced yard. It’s a type of netting that you attach to the fence. It prevents them from jumping or climbing out of the garden. Our kitties have the benefit of the garden, fresh air and sunshine, but none of the draw backs (cat fights, cars, disease).

      The peace of mind over these last 18 years has been tremendous.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds to me as if that is one spoilt kitty… she knows you’ll come running when she yowls, but keeps testing anyway! She is extremely lucky to have such an understanding Mum! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Adorable! ‘Tis true…. “dogs have owners, cats have staff”…. although our Catahoula dog can be quite the diva, and sometimes treats us like a cat would! LOL! …… I must admit: I also love my sleep. I was very adept at sleeping through social studies class in high school – I didn’t get any a’s, but got the best z’s! 😉

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  9. I’ve read through all the comments. Isn’t it wonderful to have so many who understand, and can make you laugh (or become teary) with shared stories. I agree that you are the best Kitty Mommy!! Having watched several pets decline, I also agree with whoever said that Slinky will let you know when it’s time. Thinking of you, Alys, and Slinky, too!

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  10. Hi Palsy,

    Here’s the text for the first of two guest blogs if you’re interested. One or more photos to accompany each. All I want is a link-back to my blog.

    The Jenkins Garden is in the ground, this morning, finished, kaput, one hundred percent. Up here in the Foothills I am taking a bit of a chance (we occasionally get those late spring cold snaps) but the weather is too beautiful, and I just couldn’t help myself, but I compensated for impatience with better preparation than usual. Before the first seed or seedling went into the dirt:

    · Preliminary plan drawn on paper.

    · Weeds pulled by hand.

    · Fences and trellis’s (trellises?) repaired.

    · Irrigation systems redesigned, repaired, and tested (drip when I can; sprinkle when I must)

    · Many (many) wheel barrows of compost trundled over from the bin and dug in.

    · (Okay, kids, this is the scary part. You may want to look away. Slug and snail bait sprinkled around the perimeter. Yeah, yeah, I know.)

    · Bird screens repaired and standing at the ready.

    · Every square inch raked and smoothed.

    · Time to go shopping!

    Next: Seeds and seedlings.

    Liked by 1 person

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