To me, no home is complete without a cat or two or five. Molly and Toby currently live with us. Both came to our home as kittens. Molly is 13, a gray and white Maine Coon type and Toby, a mackerel tabby, is 12. We have had as many as nine cats in our house at one time. But that was craziness. Three is probably a good number. Two feels a little quiet sometimes, especially since they are getting older and aren’t as active as they once were. Both cats do still play like kittens when they want to, especially Molly, who has kept her girlish figure. Toby, otherwise known as Rico, has bulked up considerably over the years.
Because we live in country populated by coyotes and other predators and close to a high speed road, our cats stay in the house and go out in a special cage set up for them three seasons of the year. They have a cat flap for constant access, a four by eight foot area, four feet tall, with grass, a log for scratching and a shelf for basking when the sun shines.
The cats love this area, even in inclement weather, and seem perfectly content to limit their outside activities to the cat cage. Molly is a fearsome hunter who nabs unsuspecting mice, voles, frogs, toads, bugs, earthworms and small snakes which she loves to practice catch and release on in the house. This makes for much inside excitement both for the cats and us. They also enjoy eating grass and bringing it up on the rugs.
Phoenix Farm cats have the luxury of fresh catnip which they eat and get drunk on. The fresh leaves are their favorite but they get pretty thrilled over dried catnip as well.
The cats have a big basket of toys. Occasionally, a kitty will go to the basket and choose a toy to play with. Molly loves small balls with bells inside, or catnip mice. Toby has a special relationship with an orange plush fish tied by black string to a plastic stick handle. He will carry the fish in his mouth, dragging the stick behind him and caterwauling for the rest of the group to come partake of the great feast he has obtained. This is especially fun to listen to at 2 am as he hauls the fish on a stick up the entire flight of stairs, handle banging on each wood riser, to our bedroom, howling the whole way.
Yes, our lives would certainly be quieter and less messy without cats, but think of all that we would miss. Molly and Toby are filled with love. When they snuggle up beside you on the couch or the bed, the warmth of their little purring bodies reaches right to a human’s heart.