Ivy’s Little World

Ivy’s little world consists of four rooms and 725 square feet. I brought her here to join our little family in early October. And she hasn’t passed through the doors since then.

When I was adopting Ivy, I had to fill out lots of paperwork and sign on the dotted line. One of the things I had to agree to was to not put her outside.

I wonder if she wants to go through that door to see the rest of the world? To chase the birds or swat at flies. But then, she doesn’t know a thing about it, does she?

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

I get up in the morning when she has aggravated me until I give up. In the first few months she wanted food.

But now she doesn’t go to the food dish on the table under the window and eat first thing. So I figure she is just bored and wants me to get up and do her bidding.

I grab my yoga mat and get on the floor to stretch. Ivy gets her spring toy and plays around my body. As I move I feel her head or body or foot.

So I guess you could say that Ivy does her morning stretches too.

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.    – Paula Poundstone

I have spoiled her, I know that. She is a little minx. A stinker. She sticks her nose where it certainly doesn’t belong.

She plays with her spring toy, sending it shooting across the floor. Then scampers after it, hour after hour.

Cats will amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw. – Terry Pratchett

You’d think she’d get tired of this “fake prey” of her own invention. But no, she puts it in her mouth, lays on the floor and holds it in her paws with something close to reverence.

Then she’ll get up with a purposeful look and prance around with it in her teeth with great stealth. Her look seems to say: “Look how cool I am. I caught a spring toy and killed it.”

Then about 9:30 to 10 a.m. she’s ready for her nap. She has to rest up for lunch you see.

In the daytime Charlie and I are in the living room, so Ivy gets on the red and white quilt stack. In the evening while I read in bed and Charlie snoozes at the end, she heads to the other quilt stack.

Ivy likes to sit at the patio door and watch the birds eat berries up in the tree. She sits still as stone, except her tail is swooshing back and forth.

I have a cat, the pet that ranks just above a throw pillow in terms of required responsibility.”- Anna Quindlen

I spend much of the day extracting her spring toy out of whatever spot she’s swiped it underneath. As she’s grown, she can’t get underneath all of the furniture anymore.

When I pull the washer out to retrieve her toy, she sometimes goes back there, sits down and stares up at me. She refuses to move so I can scoot it back into place. So I have to move her myself.

I’ve tried scooting it in farther and farther to scare her, but she seems unperturbed.

She often ends her playtime with the spring toy by putting it in the water bowl. Sometimes I’ll find two of them in there. I take them out and set them on the kitchen counter to dry.

I have yet to figure out what this means, her putting it in the water bowl. But then I tell myself, there is no riddle to solve. It’s just something Ivy does.

Ivy loves to jump over Charlie when he’s walking. He’ll snap at her in annoyance as she scampers away

She loves to lie down next to him. But she can’t seem to resist reaching out with one paw and touching him, which she knows irritates him no end.

She insists on lunch between 11 and 12 a.m. She will walk across me and make Ivy noises. Ivy doesn’t really meow much. Instead she trills and chirps and makes Ivy sounds.

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” —Ernest Hemingway (author, For Whom the Bell Tolls)

In the evening we all retire to my bedroom. Charlie heads to the end of the bed and Ivy to her other quilt stack. I will have eaten supper after I’ve fed them theirs. And then I shower and settle down to read.

ivy in front of quilt

Every night she leaves her quilt stack at least once and plops down next to my right arm, belly up.

Her silky white belly begs to be rubbed, so I rub it. She thwaps me with her tail like she’s irritated.

So I switch things up and scratch her belly. It doesn’t make any difference, as I can’t quite seem to get the tempo just right to suit her. She’ll then grab my arm between her sharp little claws and bite me gently.

Ivy has this look in her eye like she wants to attack me, but once she gets my skin in her mouth, she becomes quite gentle.

Maybe she’s remembering at that moment who it is that extracts her toys with the yard stick and feeds her every day.

I give her a lot of leeway because her world is small. Because she can’t go beyond the 725 square feet of this apartment.

I shake my head at all the silly things she does. Imagine how liberating it would be to be a cat. You could do all kinds of weird things and get by with it.

Cats can jump straight up in the air with no provocation whatsoever. Run like their fur is on fire. Do all manner of crazy things. And no one thinks a thing of it.

If we did that, someone would call the nut house and reserve us a bed.

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” — Jean Cocteau (director, Orpheus)

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51 Comments

  1. If you like cats, I should tell you about a long lost love. He used to beat up dogs to protect me. And he was declawed. I saw him go up a small tree once and come back down again onto the dog! A couple of rakes with his back claws and the dog headed for home. He jumped off the dog’s back and then walked home, very slowly. All the time I was seeing him walk, I was hearing him in my head say, “yeah, I’m bad.”

  2. Brenda- Ivy is your dream come true! You are hers! I have read that those little soft bites – are love bites.For a cat to expose their tummy to you is quite the compliment= complete trust. What a temptation those tummies are so soft.

  3. Brenda,
    We love our cats, Buddy and Bailey, just as much as you love Ivy! They are a joy and spoiled rotten.

    I want to thank you for introducing me to the spring toy that you purchased for Ivy. I found them in a Pet Supermarket and my cats love them … especially Bailey. She thanks you everyday as she plays with those springs … pouncing on them, losing them, searching for them, and putting them in her certain special places!

    Cats are wonderful companions … I have a tin sign in my kitchen that says “A house is not a home without a cat” … so true!!

  4. We have two dogs and one cat that sleep in bed with us. I wouldn’t have if any other way knowing they are close by. They don’t get up till I do either!!
    It’s so funny. Our cat was a stray walking in our house on freezing cold night 9 years ago. Next morning I let her out in case she wanted to find her way back home but she stayed on our back deck till we returned from work. She came back in and we have never let her out the door since. She went to the vets to check for a chip and tests but otherwise she stays inside to keep her safe. The vet said a cat finds you and I believe it. Ivy looks so beautiful with her coloring on the stack of red and white quilts.

  5. Brenda, Ivy is such a pretty girl!! Mine do not play with toys much but have a basket full of furry mice and other things. I have three, two boys and a girl. And a dog!! The cats lay with the dog upstairs but he gets his own place downstairs with the daddy! The girl runs the show!! They love to lay with me on the couch and the bed when I let them. Hubby does not like to sleep with them in the bed. Thanks for sharing your stories.

      1. I wonder if Charlie likes the end of the bed because he prefers to be in a “protective mode” for your safety? Your first line of defense! I’m betting that’s it! – but Ivy? She just wants to be comfortable! – and that quilt stack? My, my! heaven on earth! 🙂

  6. Every morning I’m awakened very early by three cats who either want to be fed or just can’t bear to see me sleeping any longer than they feel is necessary! Then these 10 year old siblings will spend an hour or so racing up and down the stairs and skidding from room to room chasing each other and imaginary objects. As I am leaving for work they have settled down for a well earned(?) nap. I think I will come back as a cat!!

  7. I’ll bet she considers her “gotcha” day the best of her life!
    She got toys,fun,food,roomates,quilts…what more could a feline queen ask for????
    Obviously,I came by my crazy cat lady title honestly.L.O.L.
    She is a sweetpea!

      1. “Crazy cat lady?” Best compliment of my life! I’ve taken them in all of my life – the needy, feral ones no one else wants. They become family members on their own time, ever so grateful and loyal. I do have happy, healthy family relationships, but my cats and I hold a special bond that no person (even hubby!) comes close to matching!

  8. my cat does the same thing- she lies down along my arm with her head near my hand, and she keeps bumping my hand so I will rub her head, and while she does that she whips her tail at my shoulder. And sometimes she nips my hand. I don’t think she really wants to bite me, it is just play. Maybe a way of saying I love you. when she nips me, I put my hand very gently on her head for several seconds, and she hopefully gets the idea that nipping isn’t what I want. She has been doing it a lot less. Just being gentle with a cat will eventually teach her that you will never hurt her. She also whips around the house, but we have a bigger house and she likes to be alone in the downstairs rec room for a while.

      1. I’m learning, too! One of my cats gives me a little “love bite” as I’m petting him. I didn’t know what to think, so I’d gently tap his little pink nose, and say, “Don’t bite!” No more. I now know it’s a sign of affection from him and I’ll just have to deal with it!

  9. Your stories of Ivy never fail to bring a smile. Cats can be so silly. Mine too, will put her paw on my face, and then try to put it on my lips..trying to wake me up. When I play with her in the morning, just before I get out of bed, a little like hide and seek, with my fingers peeking out from the blankets, she’ll grab ahold of a finger, and then too, bite at it, very gently. Must be a thing with them, maybe like giving kisses or something. She used to love sitting on the bathroom vanity, drinking out of the faucet, but no longer can jump up there, cuz she is old and pretty fat, so now I keep a second cup of water out for her, on my desk/table, and she gets drinks there, and pokes around in the cup with her paw, and then licking it. Right now, she is laying here, taking a nap, almost on the keyboard. Such is the life of a cat.

  10. Someone told me recently that when a cat shows you its belly, it is a sign of trust, but for you to rub its belly is an abuse of that trust. What they would probably rather have you do is rub their head. I wonder if putting the spring in the water bowl is like trying to drown their prey?

  11. Ivy Lou has a wonderful life with you and Charlie! I love the photo of the two of them together at the door. So sweet!

  12. Brenda, you were so lucky to have found Ivy and she you. How wonderful to have this little fur ball running, jumping and adding a little mischief to your day.

    Have a wonderful day!
    Elizabeth

  13. The picture of Ivy and Charlie looking out of the sliding glass door is so cute. It is one of the best you’ve ever put on your blog.

  14. I just love reading your Ivy stories….she’s a regular riot, that kitty cat of yours!! I can just picture her jumping over Charlie, and reaching out and touching him just to annoy him, they are just like human siblings! Molly does things to annoy Monkey sometimes, also, and then she ‘flirts’ with her to make up for it, it’s so cute to watch them!

  15. I would let her out on the patio when it warms up while you are out there and let her enjoy some sunshine, fresh air and sounds and smells.

    1. Unless Ivy is in a harness and leashed, letting her outside can pose a danger to her.

      Studies indicate a cat kept indoors lives considerably longer than a cat who is allowed out-of-doors.

      The following information is from pets.webmd:

      Cats who are kept indoors can reach the ripe old age of 17 or more years, whereas outdoor cats live an average of just two to five years. Another reason for indoor cats’ longevity is that it’s easier for their owners to identify health problems early, before they become life threatening.

      1. Of course I knew that what I posted would be taken wrong. I didn’t say let her live out doors,I said take her out supervised and let her experience the outdoors, leash and all. I’ve had several cats, that live indoors but can go outside, that have lived in their teens and twenties.

  16. At least you are never bored with Miss Ivy and Mr. Charming Charlie. When I saw them both at the sliding glass door, I wonder if she was next to him as a loving sister, or, she just got in front of him to irritate him! Ha. I look forward to your fur baby stories.

    1. Some cats just really like playing in water. I used to have one that was fascinated with water and I would turn on the bathroom water faucet to a trickle and he would sit there and play in it and drink for several minutes. They have ways of amusing themselves just like we do. And no matter how big or small the home, they still love to watch birds and squirrels through the window. It’s called “kitty TV”!! 🙂

  17. Every one of my cats do the same with their toys..either putting them in the water dish or their food dish!
    Bebe did it more often than the others!
    Maybe as you say, it’s a CAT thing..

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