Brett Stuff

Cats!

Smile when you say that.

His name is Brett, her name is Stilleto, and many a pleasant afternoon was spent sleeping together, he a pillow over his face, she head first under the covers

This is what friendship looks like.

His name is Brett and, er, his name is Mr Z, he liked sleeping on feet or legs or chests or whatever

It comes in all shapes and sizes.

But usually includes some form of Rest & Relaxation.

Cat Love

Cat Love Sequence, Stilleto rubbing up
	against Bretts face, wanting love, food, attention, or you know, just because, maybe a scratchies behind the ear, one of ten, or zero of nine, depending on how you want to count it Her name is Stilletto, and I still do not know how that is spelled, Stilleto, Stiletto, the one spell check says is correct, just is not my prefered spelling Hey, she also has other names, including the Hazmat Kitty, Cat, Kitty Kat, Trouble Maker, Meowster, and so on, it has been a while since I have gone down the gamut, I am sure if I ever fall in love with another cat, many of the names will overlap, many of the names are rememberances of other cats These pictures were taken a few weeks before we parted company, lying in bed, she came in, likely wanted food, but as much as it was all about food, it was not just food After all, after feeding her, she would often come lie down, you know, to thank me for the food
What was her favorite food, you know, I do not know, I fed her imitation crab towards the end, and she liked that, but I do not think she liked tuna, and most standbys like lamb or chicken, she did not care for, did not even like spiders, choosy cat She was living off of lizards when we found her, so those she liked, and caused me no end of grief when I would take her out on a walk, on a leash, no less, and she would dart and grab a lizard before I noticed The two cats, Mr Z and Stiletto, he was harder to leash train, but we had her confined to the house for a month before letting her out, and seeing the routine, what Mr Z went through, it was no problem putting the leash on her, just what a cat had to do to get outside... and maybe catch a lizard Poor lizards Um, all of the these images are taken in sequence, a few weeks before we parted company, she is still alive, just not living with me, Mr Z too, as of this writing, though he is a bit older, and she is rubbing against my face, I very much enjoyed this moment with her and others like it

Does somebody need a little loving?

Stiletto was a stray...

Um, folks tell me stories all the time; and as much as I try to pay attention, come a month, a week, or a even a single day later and all the relevant details have disappeared and flitted away: out of sight and out of my mind.

Which is to say, someone might know the facts of the matter, but that someone is not me.

Stiletto was a stray.

I think her mother was a stray, a house cat that ran away to give birth and who died shortly thereafter. Her children, Stiletto among them, were all adopted by the same family, who lost control on moving day, when the cats ran out some open door amongst all the commotion.

Stiletto was the best at running away as she stayed gone the longest, which is odd, as I think she was the least suited, the most momma's cat of the lot, having been virtually hand raised in someone's lap.

But like, I said, the details blur.

Anyway, she was loose in the wild for maybe six months before things got grim.

Finding a Cat

Mr Z resting in the sun under a piece of furniture, probably a cabinet, of some sort closer view Right up in there, and as he would say, I am still not moving, Brett

Lazing in the sun on a cool summer day.

Some cats are easy to find... others not so much.

Stiletto would have never gone back into a house (any house) if she had had the choice. Clearly, I know not the details, but the other cat, Mr Z, pictured sleeping above, had gotten into the habit of taking walks (on a leash, no less) on a regular basis (at least twice a day). So, the yard smelled of cat. And it was a messy yard, with tarps to hide under during the rain, so, like, the place was highly inviting to a cat on the run, if you catch my drift.

On one walk, Mr Z very much wanted to go under a tarp (laid over scrap wood and who knows what else, probably a wheelbarrow or two), but thinking it might be a rat that he sensed, the Big Guy (as he is sometimes called) was not allowed to investigate the situation any further.

Days later, Stiletto was spotted in the yard.

'Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.'

And she came a'running.

The Stray

First meeting, maybe, Mr Z on the inside, looking through a glass door at Stilleto, she was more than a bit hungry, and although he had plenty of food to share, he was starved for cat like companionship

Here! Kitty! Kitty!

It's easier to catch a cat when one has a little help.

She had lost numerous fights by this time in her life, have I mentioned that, this is one of those web pages that takes a long time to do, a week plus of time, maybe going on two, stretched out over several months, going on half a year, maybe more, anyway, she had lost a bunch of fights, her tail was chewed up, and she was less than trusting On the other hand, she had been hand fed as a kitten, or so I recall the story going, her mother having run off to birth or being a stray, but then dying, so Stilleto was rescued at birth, hand fed, grew up with two other of her litter mates, and then, found herself out in the wild again, with no hunting skills, of course

Or food.

She always was a messy eater.  I would say the first few meals, she drained the plate clean, licking it good and proper, but as she became better fed, she became pickier Still, if it was not fun to watch a kitten eat, would they have ever survived domesticity

Yeah, food's good.

As I recall, Stilleto proped herself up on her hind feet to eat, maybe by that second or third meal, which would be the first meal back in the sunroom I do not think I would have ever come up with asking a cat to stand on its hind legs, but she was more than willing I mean, how do you know if a dish is any good, if it is worth begging, waiting, or asking for if you do not smell it.  Often in the feeding, as the years went by, after a good sniff, she would know if she wanted it or not, there was not much chance of getting her to stand on her hind legs again if she did not want it

Real good!

Food would become a constant theme.

Who would have thought?

And training her to stand on her hind legs... er, that is to say, her indicating that it was time to be fed by standing was so easy, it was almost like she did all the work herself.

Anyhow, I was telling you about that first meeting. Food was placed outside; and then, on the sill, at which point, she ran around inside for a bit, freaking out I think, having lost her way to the door, before finally escaping. But the next day, she had to come inside (a mere six inches) to get that free food, which was all it took to slide the door shut behind her: Freedom Denied.

I suppose that's one way of looking at it.

Another way would be to talk about a scraggly cat with an infected tail, no doubt the result of losing a fight with another cat, you know, the type of infection that could kill a critter... especially one on the brink of starvation or have I already mentioned her dire situation?

For the first week, she growled and purred while eating.

'Purr! Purr!'

Thank you for the food.

'Growl! Growl!'

If you try to take it away, I will shred you.

Though, it really was both sounds at the exact same time.

'Purr! Growl! Growl! Purr!'

I am the toughest cat you will ever meet, my claws are sharp, while my temper is short. So, don't mess with me. Oh, and my current situation of ill health does not reflect my historical conditions. I am used to living well.

Overall, the blend was surreal, something I had not encountered before or since.

This was the first week, another rescued, I got all the credit, I stayed in her room, reading, being with her, and so, she remembers me as feeding her and saving her life Anyway, these are images of a cat, Stiletto, lying on a sofa or bed, next to books, or on top of books, as cats are want to do, I remember these books, Modum or something, some character from Three Layers of Transpency is named after the Ruby mine that is mentioned in this book on gemstones that I got from the free section of the Kamaloo or is that Waimea library on the Big Island, which was an easy walk from the house

I remember when she came into my life by the books I was reading at the time and (by extrapolation) the stories I was writing.

The truth is, I had very little to do with rescuing Stilleto. I did not notice her. I did not feed her. I did not trick her into coming inside. Nor did I give her a house or a home.

But I was all alone with her... for the next several weeks: she isolated in a room by herself, lest she have some kitty disease, which would infect the other cat (Mr Z); and me, going into the room to read, spending hour after hour with her, for most of the day, probably for half my waking hours.

So, in her mind (and rightly so), I had saved her.

Thus, almost from the start (and as the saying goes), She thought I hung the moon.

Next four are all basically the same, I was going to say me in pajamas, but they look more like jeans, Stiletto in her fur, same room as before, the library, the sun room, reading Her stretching, cats are great when they stretch And now, it is time for her to go back to sleep, her head on my leg

Here we are, reading together those first few days (one can tell by the tan flipper stripes on my feet in the image below).

By the time she left that room, she was completely mine, hook line and sinker

Don't stop now!
What comes next?

Eh, there is something about a cat, doing that paw thing, that I find delightful, even more so, if they do it to me, lick my ears, paw to face, whatever Um, she was loud, real loud, super loud, and if I left, she called out after me, Brett, take me with you, come back, Brett, Brett, Brett, Brett, long after I was gone She would get the string, an obi belt or something like that, here, but I never felt like we had a good game going, she would hunt, once, twice, maybe three times, and that was that, or maybe, that was all she wanted

Maybe a nap?
Go outside?
Or time to play?

And soon, she was right at home: settling in, standing by the door waiting to go out, and doing all those behaviors one usually observes in feline type companions.

However, I never did learn how to play with that cat.

So, um, is that the full story?

I actually did not know how to play with her, probably never did learn, playing wasn't her thing, not my thing... or so, I shall say.

Looking back, she probably tried to teach me, but she had thunderously sharp claws, a quick temper, and she'd just got done loosing fight after fight out on the street.

Seriously, I don't know how many times I went to pet her and she'd wrap herself around my hand, all four paws, claws out, mouth open, teeth pressed against skin, ready to kill, teach me a lesson, or whatever.

I just froze. Those who did not lost blood. So, I just froze.

Such behavior is not conducive to playtime.

In the end, she liked attacking strings (along with small stuff animals or mice) and would chase a balled up plastic bag (call it a 'bird' that was thrown around), but most likely, the best toy (the one she enjoyed the most) was a macadamia nut (much like an old walnut or acorn), all dried up in the shell, that would rattle when rolled down the hall and she'd scramble after it, touch it once, but absolutely never bring it back.

Silly Boy, fetch is for dogs.

Actually, she would bring toys over on occasion when she wanted to play, but since she was mostly interested in playing at three in the morning, let's just say, I was not consistent in my reinforcement of this behavior.

I was basically scared of her for months And then, I was not, here are four pictures, more or less the same, showing me holding her, her likely squirming and trying to get away, but even though I am shirtless, not overly concerned about her claws It was only in the last year that I learned how to clip her claws, mainly because she ripped into the couch, and I knew she would not be long for my world, if that was not gotten under control, arm scratches may be ok, but ripping up the couch, no way Mr Z was a very good cat and never scratched me or any furniture, so I do not know where his sister got it from, oh, yeah, those rough months in the wild

In loving arms and/or an exposed belly.

And that's basically the story of how we met.

In time, I did figure out how to hold her. And after a few missteps (and despite her squirms), I knew she would never claw me... of course, I was often wrong in this last.

After all, accidents will happen. And it is awfully hard to communicate to a cat the difference between jeans (claw proof) and pajamas (not so much); but for the most, she respected bare skin (so counter-intuitively, less protection could be safer with her).

Cat Buddies

Mr Z is a wonderful cat, very sweet, loads of fun to dance with, here he is sleeping on a pillow... or couch... or who knows, anyhow, he looks happy, you know, asleep

In the beginning there was The Big Guy and The Big Guy was all.

At one time, Mr Z was working on his own children's book. Though, he never got very far on it.

Mr Z Says

© Brett Paufler +/- January, 2014

The Hairy Foot Hobbits

Mom, I know it's an hour early, but if you feed me now, you could always feed me again later. That way I could eat twice.

I think I read somewhere that Hobbits have been known to eat up to three breakfasts on any given day, along with brunch, lunch, second lunch, high tea, and at least two or three dinners, all topped off with a light snack before an early bedtime.

I think I may be Hobbit, mom.

I've got hairy feet like a Hobbit... though I don't think I would like to go on an adventure, not if it's going to get in the way of my morning nap.

Oh, but I know. Maybe we could go on a little adventure of our own today and have a second breakfast!

What do you think about that, mom?

It's Time to Feed the Cats

I'm singing for my breakfast.
I'm singing for my food.
Soon it will be breakfast.
So I'm singing for my food.

There's going to be food.
I waiting for the food.
Somebody promised.
Where is the food?.

Stiletto sleeping on my pillow, that is my pillow cat, I do not care if I am not there, that is my pillow, eh, she never did care, just waiting for you, Brett, keeping it nice and warm

Anyhow, the intent was that they would be best friends. It's actually why the one was rescued.

This is Stiletto again on the dinning room table, all snug as a bug in a newly laundered blanket, who knows, maybe the blanket was put up there at one point specifically for her, either way, it made no never mind to her, Mr Z on a step stool by the front door, I worked at that desk for a while, it is where Dragon Bound and Minataur Tails got written and or edited

But you know how cats are.

Mr Z prefered sleeping at my feet, well, on my feet actually, even though this is Hawaii, up in the hills, it got cold at night, down to 55 farenheit or so, with ten, twenty mile per hours winds the norm, add a bit of mist, and it was cold, cold, cold, so, two cats to keep me warm

The best laid plans Of Mice and Men.

I guess the point is that not knowing thing one about cats, I thought Stiletto and Mr Z would become the best of friends right from the start, sleeping in each others arms, and all the rest.

But that sort of relationship took years to develop. And that sleeping together part was highly dependent upon the weather: the colder, the more likely they were to snuggle up next to each other.

This is a montage image, at one time, I would crunch a bunch of like images together, to save space and organize them, I no longer like this technique, but there is too much info here, two cats sleeping together, to throw out, and I cannot be bothered to split the six images apart

Still, time goes by...

Two cats posing on one another, a nice group shot Two cats eating next to each other, they always got fed together, well, mostly And now it is time to sleep again, this time eyes closed

And the next thing you know, they're the best of friends.




Food Tails

I am not of the opinion that cats can tell time. I have heard folks theorize that they can, with the idea being supported by cats locating themselves by the food bowl, patiently waiting, just like clockwork, prior to feeding time. However, what I have found is that cats are there, waiting by the food bowl, most any time day or night, in the off chance it might be time to be fed. Say, at three in the morning, a cat would be more than happy to walk across my face, by way of inquiring whether it was time to eat. No, it was not. Nor, as coincidence would have it, would it be time to eat five minutes later, when they repeated the performance.

Anyhow, so as to discourage 3AM feeding requests, I set an alarm on my phone (see recording above). And when it went off, I would feed the cats, because (as the recording indicates), it was then time to feed the cats. Oddly, I do not think they understood this recording either. Oh, their behavior changed, but I think that behavioral change had more to do with my behavioral change than anything else.

'Want to eat?'
'Is a cat hungry?'

And their ears would perk up.

Of course, I could, also, sound excited or distressed and call their name (or at least, Stiletto's name) from another room and she would come running. That cat had my back.

Anyway, Circling Sharks, that's what this section is about. Round about time to eat and the cats would start circling at my feet, rubbing against me, purring, standing on their hind legs, and doing whatever it was they could do to speed up the process. And then, since the alarm hadn't rung, I hadn't actually called them for breakfast, and it wasn't time to eat, I'd take my hot chocolate back to my desk and work on some silly webpage (like, say, this one) or an even sillier computer program, leaving the cats to wonder what went wrong, in the end, deciding it was best to sit in my lap and wait, you know, close to ground zero, until the appointed hour arrived.

She, Stiletto, would stand on her hind legs prior to feeding. I trained her to do this. Of course, what is far more accurate is to say, back in those first days, when she was all alone in that room, secluded, and I was carrying a plate of food towards her, she would get on her hind legs in order to get a better whiff of what was being served for dinner. And being a smart (and/or opportunistic) human, I know a Stupid Animal Trick when I see one.

As to food, the two cats shared and shared alike, which isn't anywhere near close to the truth. I'd put down two plates, bowls, saucers, whatever, little dishes like you'd (or at least, I'd) put wasabi and/or soy sauce into for sushi (Yes, please, Mr Brett), and they would both eat as fast as they could: Gulp! Gulp! Gulp! And then, when the easy pickings were gone from their own plates, they would (one or the other, as they both did this) push the other cat out of the way and lick up whatever remained on the other's plate.

They both liked the runny broth part of their meals best. And if I ever market a cat food, it's going to be Cat Broth Soup™ or something of the like, creamy smooth, maybe the consistency of milk (which I am told tends to cause diarrhea in felines, so word to the wise).

Idiosyncrasies

What makes a cat a cat?

Stilleto liked fresh water, something coming from a faucet, a nice little drip or something, I likely would have let her have all the water she wanted this way, but there was the idea floating about that she might not make such a good pet for whoever might be next in line, and there is always the possibility of a next in line, if she developed certain habits, water in bowls was not too her liking unless it was freshly changed, stagnant water outside in a puddle or barrel, on the other hand, she had no problem with On occassion, she has been known to sharpen her claws on upholstry, though, perhaps, she has been cured of this, I know I was happy to yell at her when she did this, once again, Cat, Do You Want To Be Kicked to the Curb, well if not, no scratching, and though she did not like the mode of communication, no is seldom a welcome message, her behavior was curbed, one never knows to what extent, and in this, I will put forth the observation, that we are willing to put up with a lot from the ones that we love, going so far as to except bad habits, because they do not bother us, cognizant of the fact we would not accept such behavior in others, nor that others should be expected to condone the same, still, drinking out of a faucet, toilet, or whatever, still seems harmless enough to me, some folks let their cat up on the kitchen counter, which is a far cry from where I will draw the line, and yes, my sofa would have been shredded, still, walking in on a shredded couch does not sell a cat to a prospective sitter or owner

As we all know, toilet water is the best. But when in Rome...

Cats make great bed mates, I mean, they do not sleep straight through, but it is a delight to curl up next to a cat Cats likely feel the same way about humans, and you know how it goes, so often, humans do not seem to want to nap when you as a cat, could use a little shut eye

Actually, the most cat like behavior is sleeping.
This place looks good.

These last pictures are all of Stilleto. And she is the one I loved the most, played with the most, slept with the most. I never really bonded with a cat (or maybe any other animal) until she came along. And maybe would not have, even at that, if she had not bonded with me first, decided I was her saviour, and wherever I was, well, that was where she wanted to be.

But I new Mr Z first. I used to dance with him on my shoulder for long hours (OK, maybe only ten minutes), twist around in a circle, do a light waltz, sing to him, whisper in his ear, and he would be as happy as a cat could be (you know, judging by the drool). He was bad with his claws, though (scratched me pretty consistently when jumping down); so, I took to doing the dance routine while wearing a heavy shirt, so as to protect myself, which I mention as part of the set up for the next.

As Mr Z got older, he started relieving himself in new and unusual places, including my bed, which I found annoying, to say the least. This strained our relationship. And then, I had to give him pills, a process neither one of us enjoyed. I suppose if I really hated him, it would have been easy to enjoy cramming a bit of bitterness down his throat, but I didn't.

Anyway, there we were, wrestling with each other, me trying to give him a pill, and he trying to resist.

He'd about had it. So, he pulled back with his paw and swatted my hand.

Stop it, Brett!

But he didn't draw blood. I believe it is important to allow cats their claws, so they can communicate displeasure, fight back, and the negotiated settlement (that comes from living with another) has some (albeit limited) degree of parity.

Anyway, if that 'Medicine Time' crap was half as annoying to Mr Z as it was to me, he demonstrated remarkable restraint in not slicing my hand open... likely more than Stiletto ever would have. And it reset our relationship closer to what it had been years before.

He even gave me a few final Napping Lessons before we parted company. Still, all in all, I would have liked it better if he'd never pissed on my pillow.

But then, perhaps that was a commentary on my dedication to the Somatic Craft.

Dammit, man!
Lie still!


Yeah, most of my alt texts, such, the next four make a sequence of a cat buried under a blanket, head and paws barely exposed, doing that milk tread thing Basically, a cat can do whatever a cat wants.  Got a problem with that?  Well, maybe a cat is not for you. I tend to be fastidious to say the least, which is to say, a germaphobe, plant hater, one of those people who wash their hands, and know, just know, if their hands are dirty or not, usually, they are not, in that inbetween state, having never actually touched anything really dirty, but this keyboard is dirty, so if I touch it, my hands are dirty, as is a steering wheel, most any doorknob, but a cat, not so much, she was basically clean, she would have to be to sleep next to me I even considered her clean after taking her for a walk, I just sort of accepted that dirt, kids are visiting at the moment, one must accept their dirt, it is a fools quest to fight that level of disarray, lack of handwashing, and touching the world about, folks love their kids, I loved my cats

But sleeping isn't likely very much of an idiosyncrasy for a cat.

A cat peeking out from under a blanket, this is truly a wonderful picture, I would love so much to cuddle her at these times, but for the most, she just wanted to be left alone, or would come out from her hiding spot, the better to walk across me, stand on my belly, and be petted

Nor is being cute... or sneaky... or manipulative.

Cat sleeping on dining room table, looking back at picture taker, this was likely a staging ground for laundry, but the cats found it, and accepting that they were going to sleep in whatever warm pile of clothes, sheets, or in this case blankets that they could find was easier than fighting it, yeah, no matter the structure of the pile, a cat could find a way to rearrange it or toss half on the floor to make it more comfortable, do not want a cat to sleep on the clothes, put them away, or put something uncomfortable, like the hamper basket on top

Though, calling it sneaky when they do it right out in the open is a bit of a misnomer.

Cat Business

The business of being a cat.

Although all four of these images take place in the same room, on the same bed, the clothes stacked in the chair in the corner belies the fact that they were not taken at the same time, given that I may be using belies, incorrectly, cat walking towards me Cat sitting on a woobly, a comfy blanket, purple in color A different day and the woobly is plaid checkered sort of thing, just as comfortable, maybe even better, but any pretense that this is a sequence set in time dissolves at this point purple shirt, the same black shorts I am wearing today, my clothes chair, where I organized my clothes, inside, outside, dirty, well, not dirty, drying, sometimes, mostly for clothes that were OK to be reworn, either inside or out, Stilleto figures in all of these

What are we doing here?
Lazing about?
Count me in!

Um, yeah, so I am pretty sure these four images of Stilleto are in order, from the same time, she is just lying there in this image, with that far away look that cats get in their eyes sometimes Lying there, camera closer, still not looking, go away, human, for I am napping Reaching out suddenly with my hand, I scratch the cat on the head, you know the spot, right where she likes it And she is rendered helpless, a purring, contented ball of claws and fangs and soft fur, purr, purr, you are going to do this for a while, right

After all, who knows when scratchies will commence.

These websites just do not write themselves, you know, here we have a cat editing my work, making sure that I get it right, or maybe it was close to time to eat, a cat gets more friendly about then, or if that is not clear, a cat sits in my lap as I play on a computer

It's OK.
Take your time.

After all, in their own way, cats can be very patient.

And then,
They are gone.

A statement, which to me, sounds more somber than it need be: gone does not always mean a corpereal disembarkation, just no longer nearby.

Three images, three animals, two couches, one boy, this is of a dog lazing in the sun, waiting for it to be time to go for a walk, visit the kitchen, or basically do anything, we could just run around inside for awhile, maybe play tug, or whatever Cat resting by my feet, Mr Z was more of a feet person, he loved sleeping on legs, I am sure his intent was to make sure they stayed warm Here be Stilleto having her stomache scratched, she liked this, never mind that often enough she would wrap her legs around my hand, maybe put teeth to flesh, just sort of warn me that enough is enough, and sometimes a cat just wants to sleep

Hey, I'm more than Happy to House Sit. But don't be surprised when your 'Best Friend' wants to come home with me.

Not that I expect anyone to ever take me up on this, but if by chance you are interested in that house sitting thing, drop me a line: Brett@Paufler.net

The final image of the page, a close up of Stilleto, just her face, there are other images of her face elsewhere about the site, she has got nice eyes, a cold nose, sharp teeth, and claws that only recently have I learned how to clip, boy, did she put up a fight against that little injustice

But whatever the case, eventually all things (even this webpage) must come to an end.

Home Sweet Home

more stuff

June 2017
images from well before
© Brett Paufler ©

This is a memorial to a relationship. As of this writing, all critters mentioned live happily on.