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I have two boys — a six-year-old and a five-year-old. They are social, confident, good-looking and hugely affectionate, qualities that endear them instantly to almost everyone they meet.

These charming fellows are my cats.

Cardboard Bunk Beds — Fozzie on top; Simba on bottom.

Simba and Fozzie are, in turn, mischievous toddlers, defiant teenagers and cantankerous grandpas.  And I am, in turn, their willing playmate, doting mother and, as the years go by, their compassionate caregiver.

I’m proud of my cats and the healthy, happy lives they enjoy under my care.  My friends sometimes ask me for advice in raising their own four-legged furballs.  Along the way it seems I’ve adopted a set of high standards for feline care that, in my book, have passed from mere rules into full-fledged laws.

Simba and Fozzie wait patiently in the kitchen for some cat treats.

Of course these laws don’t exist in even the finest and most respected legal journals.  But they should. You may gasp at the leniency of some and recoil at the harshness of others, but such is the personal nature of the Seven Feline Longevity Laws according to Casa Carrera.

Law #1: All cats must remain indoors at all times.

In compliance with this law, felines are forbidden to roam the yard, the street or any part of the neighbourhood hereto. They are not permitted to go outside — ever! What originated as a policy became a bona fide law after the occurrence of a tragic incident many years ago.

This particular precedent-setting case involved a lost cat (tears of insurmountable sadness) a found cat, (tears of irrepressible joy) followed quickly by the discovery of serious injury to said cat (too many tears to mention).

The situation culminated in an emergency trip to the vet, followed by a week-long convalescence by cat — and human alike. Forgive me as I bypass the details of the three-month quarantine which ensued therein.

My two “watch cats” are safe and dry, watching the world go by.

In my book, Law #1 is basic risk management.  Adherence to this law virtually eliminates the possibility of all kinds of horrifying catastrophes up to and including bodily harm, viral infection and accidental death or dismemberment by motor vehicles.

Law #2: All cats must retain their claws.

This law is not to be misconstrued as a judgement against those who choose declawing as a means to eliminate damage to flesh, furniture, drapery and carpet. It is simply a rejection of what I deem as unnecessary pain and suffering for all.

Simba plays Peek-A-Boo

Cats residing at Casa Carrera do, however, receive regular talon trimmng with proper feline nail clippers in the interest of providing comfort to cats and to minimize, but not eliminate, defiling of flesh, furniture, drapery, and carpet.

Law #3: All cats must be banned from human sleeping quarters.

This law originally came into effect after Monsieur and I came down with a severe case of catatonia: the inability to move because of cats.

Two 18-pounders in a queen size bed makes for crowded bedfellows.

I adopted Fozzie from a shelter when he was 18 months old. He’s five this year.

At Casa Carrera, however, we remain in direct defiance of this law since we live in an open concept loft with the complete absence of doors on said bedroom.

Good luck enforcing Law #3.

I tried. I even purchased a prime piece of real estate for cats:  a two-storey, carpet-covered kitty condo! I figured the boys would appreciate their own comfy quarters at bedtime and leave us alone.

It’s not working. They have yet to move in.

In waking hours, cats are permitted access to virtually all other areas of the home: on furniture, under chairs, on tables, on countertops, in front of the fireplace, on top of the fridge, on stairs, around feet, in face, on laps….the list continues.

Fozzie lounges like a cheshire cat on the kitchen counter.

Law #4: All cats must be accounted for before humans retire for the night.

Compliance with this “cat count” ensures that felines are not inadvertently left without access to the cat throne after sneaking unnoticed into a closet or cupboard. It also removes all reasonable doubt that Law #1 has not been accidentally violated.

Fozzie has blossomed into a real beauty at Casa Carrera.

Truth be told, the law is moot since said cats are always in face at bedtime.

Law #5: All cats must be kissed, cuddled and fussed over on a daily basis.

This includes providing an appropriate amount of regulation cat toys which they will promptly ignore and opt instead to play with REAL toys like shoelaces, pens, paper bags and empty Kleenex boxes.

I adopted Simba from cat rescue when he was five months old. He’s six this year.

Law #6: All cats must be financially protected with a sufficient portfolio.

The funds must be enough to see them through all rites of passage from kittenhood to the twilight years.

This law ensures money for expenses like quality cat food and litter, professional grooming and all regular or unexpected veterinary care up to and including that dreadful day when the vet determines that the cat in question is perilously close to the end of his nine lives.

Simba the athlete often walks the 13-foot-high railing overlooking the main level.

Acceptable financial resources can include, but are not limited to, a hefty savings account, a bank loan, line of credit, a second mortgage, a sister’s second mortgage, etc.

Law #7: All cats must be spayed or neutered.

Particularly valid in a multi-cat household, this law also serves as a precautionary measure in the event that Law #1 is violated. It should not be a problem provided that Law #6 is upheld.

Simba is my Lion King.

For health, for longevity, for happiness, this unofficial law list has ensured that Simba and Fozzie are able to relentlessly pursue a life of luxury and leisure that is, beyond a reasonable doubt, the feline birthright.

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What are your feline longevity laws?

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