Cat Naps

Recently, my beloved treasured adored cherished fabulous Gilda departed after sixteen years together.

Even more recently, the extraordinary Emerald departed.

And the inside of my house became…silent. And felt dead.

For my whole life I lived with animals, and suddenly at fifty-nine my house was devoid of furry creatures.

However….just outside…I have a lot of furry creatures in my fenced yard. The cats are protected by an eight-foot-high solid metal fence. The yard is very large, has two ponds (the big one filled with goldfish), trees to climb, and a heated cat house during the winter.

All the yard cats were for born outside to strays, and have lived their lives outside. Some were born in the yard to stray cats who climbed in my yard (animals can get IN but it is much harder to get OUT). And some were born nearby but were orphaned as tiny kittens. Five I rescued during a flash flood and they were moments away from drowning (I heard them crying, and bolted out into the raging storm).

So the gates of Ross Land were opened, and all the orphans welcomed in.

One cat, Flash, is very smart, and is the only one who regularly leaves the yard. I have no idea how he does this. But he always jumps back in. I should rename him InOut.

I enjoy going out and playing with the many beasts. During good weather I sit by the large pond which has a waterfall, and three or four beasts will jump on my lap to be petted. A few will later hop off only to be replaced by another, and so on.

There is a large worktable outside, and I walk over to it and call out: “Kitties! Kitties!” And the furry flock comes running, then leaps onto the table, to be petted and nuzzled and hugged, all in a seeming large mass of fur and meows and animated tails.

I fear letting any of them inside however. Gilda was already quite mature when I started the lighting business, and she never bothered any of the highly fragile glass shades and crystal parts lying everywhere. She never jumped on the kitchen counters or shelves. So the fragile valuable things were safe.

But…but…the house has been so silent. So dead.

Could I let one in for a few hours? Would he/she know what a litter box was? Or would they pee on the Hungarian goose down quilt?

Could I be very bold and let…two in?

Perhaps, eek, three?

This experiment has been ongoing for weeks now, after having relocated all breakables. And as these words are typed I am slightly bent over the keyboard because Stevie is sprawled across my shoulders, with one paw draped down my chest. He is purring. This cannot be good for my back but is assuredly good for my soul.

The other day I captured this scene:



Stevie (bottom) and Spot. In repose.


I have also been letting Fine in. She is a nervous puddycat to the extreme, but seems happy to be granted special status.

And all three figured out what a litter box was for.





  1. Betsy on November 18, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Cats are smart and they fully and completely understand comfort.

    Time for a cat door ?

    • Ross on November 18, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      No, no cat door. A number of the yard cats are pissers. They piss against the house and trees and will surely piss IN the house against my walls and sofa and bed!

      So, bringing cats in, by necessity, needs to be a ME select process rather then CAT select!

  2. Mary Garner-Mitchell on November 18, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Sweet. The silence in our house is starting to get to me, too.

    • Ross on November 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Yes, the silence surprised me. I had not expected it.

      It is so weird, because it is not like Gilda was noisy 24/7. She was mostly asleep! She when awake she was quite chatty actually!

      Meow! Meow! Meow!

      She was really chatty when I was I bed reading at night. She snuggled in alongside my chest and meowed and purred and nudged against me. For sixteen years!

      I miss that.

      • Mary Garner-Mitchell on November 18, 2016 at 10:00 pm

        My two kitties visit me in my dreams at least. Sometimes I am wakened by the sensation they are jumping onto the bed. And I so miss Scooter gently tapping my cheek in the morning looking for rubs. Sniff… I know I’m being terribly sappy, but I believe I’m in good company. Lately, a neighbor’s cat has been hanging out (under my bird feeders) since my Henry is no longer around to patrol the grounds. This cat is somewhat neglected by its owners and has terrible conjunctivitis. I’m going to have to speak to them and will get him to an vet since they apparently haven’t bothered.

  3. Carla Windsor Brown on November 18, 2016 at 11:25 pm


  4. Gia Poore on November 19, 2016 at 3:41 am

    I love how you care for the furry purrys!

  5. Brandy Mulvaine on November 19, 2016 at 6:20 am

    I pictured you running out into a raging Kansas storm wearing pajama onesies with a cape! If you could have one superpower what would it be?

  6. Andi on December 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Ross! Question: will there be a cat yard at the Cross House when all things are said and done? I can’t picture that big of a home without a furry friend or two traipsing around.

    • Ross on December 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Oh yes! A cat yard (with protective, non-scalable fence) has been planned from the beginning.

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