When Anarette asked if her dog, Ms. Zulu, could interview my cats, Andy and Dougy, I immediately thought, “What a wonderful idea!” Then it struck me: Ms. Zulu may have an ax to grind. She is a dog. Oh well! Andy and Dougy need to know how to deal with dogs in life, just in case they come across one.
I (Ms. Zulu) have met cats in my life but I was still very young and can’t really remember much of the experience. So I have lots of questions for you both. First of all thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I have heard so much about you two and I am glad we finally can meet via the internet.
“There they are! Skype is wonderful for meeting new pals!”
Q. How is your heart these days? What are you doing to stay in shape? A. My heart is in good shape, though I really, really, really hate taking my medicine! On the other hand, once I take it, Doug (the human one) massages my shoulders and tells me what a good boy I am. I like that! Then I get a kitty treat, which takes the icky taste out of my mouth. My blood pressure is in the normal range now. As far as keeping in shape, Dougy and I chase each other. We take turns being the antelope or lion, and we can run pretty fast, especially on carpet!
Q. Very nice to hear your blood pressure is in the normal range now. Can the medicine be wrapped in a treat? Anarette sometimes does that for me. Do you have to take this medication for the rest of your life? A. The medicine’s dissolved in a tuna-flavored liquid, though that doesn’t fool me! It comes in a pill form but Doug (the human) didn’t think he could get me to take a pill as easily as a liquid. (I think he remembered I have sharp teeth!) Yes, I’m afraid I have to take the medicine forever.
Q. Your hair always looks so shiny and well-kept. What do you do to keep it pretty? Is there a special secret you can share with us? A. Yeah, cat spit! That keeps it in place and shiny! That and good nutrition.
Q. What’s your favorite food? A. Tuna, of course! And I love, love, love salmon-flavored kitty treats!
Q. What’s your favorite toy? A. I’m not a playful as Dougy, but when I am in a playful mood, I like to make my own fun with a piece of string or an empty box. Yeah! Dougy is a toy hog anyway, and always takes over play with toys.
Q. What is the best way to get Doug’s (the human one) attention to do something for you. Can you give an example? A. I come up behind him and pat him on the arm, pat-pat-pat. When he looks at me, I meow softly. He can’t figure out what I want, so I make him follow me out to the kitchen or someplace else, just to see if I can do it. Hee! Hee! It makes me purr when I hear him say, “What? WHAT!? What do you want, Andy? Tell ME! What!?” It is so funny! I try to do this several times a day. I think it helps my human because he has to get up and move for a little instead of just sitting in front of that silly machine all day
Q. What is it with those machines anyway? Humans seem to stare at them often. A. Exactly. That’s why I pat on Doug’s (the human one) arm all those times a day. I don’t think it’s healthy to stare at that machine that way.
Q. Where do you and your brother sleep? A. We sleep wherever we want, when we want. We used to have regular cat beds but never used them. Now, I like to sleep on the top shelf of the computer desk, in the clothes dryer, on top of the washing machine, or on top of the dresser in the human’s bedroom. Dougy sleeps on his ottoman, on the computer desk with his paw on Doug’s (the human one) arm, the cat tree, or in a carrier that has a nice pillow in it, by the recliner.
Q. I have never seen or been in snow. What does it look and taste like? A. Well, it’s over-rated, I think! It tastes like water only is very cold. I don’t like stepping on it because it feels wet, but I know other cats (and lots of dogs!) that love playing in the snow. Andy won’t touch it, but he’s a scaredy cat when it comes to stepping outside the door.
Q. What kind of activity do you like most? BTW I am a pacifist and am not looking for answers like “killing a bird”. What kind of activity do you enjoy the most? I once brought a possum home, he was quite heavy, and I dropped it in front of Anarette when she asked me. At first she thought it was dead but when we pretended not to look it walked away. But let’s get back to you: what kind of activity do you enjoy the most? A. I never kill things because I am an inside cat! Unless you include spiders and crickets, which Andy and I do like to play with. If it moves, it interests us! We don’t always agree on what toys we like, for example, but we both are endlessly fascinated by things that crawl. Of course, after we play with them, we eat them. Yummy!
Q. I don’t care for spiders and crickets. It needs to be bigger before I start to show interest. Are you scared of the outdoors? A. I’m not afraid of the outdoors — much! Andy, however, is scared snotless by the idea of being outside. We are both indoor cats, though, and “outside” for me means barely out the door, with heavy supervision. I like to sniff everything because cats and dogs sometimes walk past our place and leave “messages”!
Q. A more personal question: I heard that you and your brother Andy sometimes have a dispute. What do you do to keep a healthy and workable relationship with your brother? A. We mostly get along because he hangs out in one part of the house, and I hang out in the other. When we get together, we usually sniff each other’s hind ends, wrap our tails, then go our separate ways. As long as Andy doesn’t try to get on my ottoman or I on his carrier, though, we pretty much are best buddies! In fact, the reason we both are together is the lady who has our mother noticed we played well together when we were kittens. She figured it made sense to keep us together as a pair if the human agreed to it, which, obviously, he did!
Q. What is the best experience you ever had? A. When we got our first Neko wand toy! They are so much fun I tell everyone they should have at least one around for their kitties! Or maybe it’s all the boxes that have ever come into the house. I love boxes. Or maybe it’s the plastic tub that’s just my shape and size and how that feels when I get in it.
Q. You should come over to our house we have lots of boxes to play with. I just don’t have much use for it. I do like to smell them and figure out where they came from. That’s still a puzzle to me. Have your boxes traveled much? I always wonder where they come from do you know? A. We got a box from England last year, and it had lots of wonderful cat things inside it, but better than that were all the interesting smells! We drove the human crazy while he tried to show us what the nice English lady sent us! We love it when someone delivers a box to the house, and we always insist that the human let us check it out. He knows better than to toss out a good box while we’re around!
Q. Why do you sit on a pole all the time? I have never seen such a thing. Do they have them for dogs? A. Are you referring to that blue thing in lots of our photos? That’s the top of a carrier the human uses to take us to the veterinarian or the groomer. Yes, they have them for dogs! In fact, the blue one is for small animals up to 24 pounds, which must mean dogs mostly because the two of us together don’t weight that much!
Q. Now that we have meowed and woofed so pleasantly, I would like to ask one last question: What is in your opinion the most important message in the world that you would like to tell people? Don’t have a cat or dog unless you are able to meet its physical and emotional needs! Too many people get a kitty or a puppy when it’s still cute and little. It grows up, and the human forgets it’s around! A dog or a cat is a member of the family in all senses. Provide your cat or dog good food, shelter, water, lots of play and love, medical care when needed, and you’ll be paid back in love and joy for years! If you can’t provide these things, don’t get one. It’s just that simple. One more very important thing: Get your cat or dog from a shelter and save a life! Our human’s sister even got herself an eight year old cat from a shelter and is very happy with her. You don’t have to have a kitten or a puppy. Older cats and dogs need homes, too, and you are doing them an especially big favor by picking them. Oh, and one more thing: We highly recommend handsome and beautiful black cats and dogs! We know they make great pets!
“That wraps it up for now. Woof!”
Ms. Zulu thought of another question that she addressed to both Andy and Dougy:
Q. When something is extremely difficult people say that it is like “herding cats”. What’s up with that, is your species difficult to deal with? Cheers! A. Oh, we are soft, gentle, sweet creatures, and it isn’t that we are difficult to herd, it’s that people don’t know where we want to go! The sooner humans give up on the idea of making us go what they want us to go, the sooner we stop scratching on their leather recliners! We are quite capable of figuring out what we want to do, and we do it.
Thanks to Anarette for the wonderful photos of Ms. Zulu and the one of the boys on Skype. They are such good photos, I wish I could take credit for them!
Also, Anarette and I want you to consider how you can help your local animal shelter. We’ve both found wonderful animal companions at out local shelters, and are strongly committed to doing what it takes to turn all shelters into no kill refuges for animals in need of a loving permanent home.
For more information on what you can do, check out this link: