Hi, I’m Willow the Cat

Today, we’re going to take a break from our ongoing trip blog to introduce you all to Willow the Cat, the newest member of the Jessop family. Jackie and I talked about it, and we thought this furry new family member was worthy of her own blog post. We’ll be back next week with our latest MURDER BY ROAD TRIP-trip blog post. But, for now, take it away, Willow. Willow the Cat

Hi, I’m Willow. Mommy rescued me from the animal shelter. The people at the shelter were nice, but I didn’t know what would happen if I didn’t find a permanent family. I had a feeling it wasn’t good. There were lots of other cats there. andI’m an older kitty. For some reason people don’t often adopt us older guys. They want the cute, annoying young’uns. Willow the Cat

I’m what they call an alley cat, or stray. I spent ten years surviving on the streets of a big city. When I arrived at the shelter, I was hungry, skinny, and had lost a few teeth and a piece of my ear in a fight. I only weighed six pounds. I might be little, but I’m tough. I’m a survivor. Willow the Cat

I thought I was a goner, but no worries, I found Mommy. I had been looking for the right person, and when Mommy came in the room I just knew. It didn’t look good at first, because Mommy walked up to a little one-year-old gray tabby, one of the cute young’uns. But, when she started to scratch behind his ear, he bit her. Silly kitty, that’s no way to find a Mommy. Willow the Cat

She walked up to me next, perched up on a shelf so I’d be at her eye level and she’d be sure to see me. Us cats aren’t stupid. When she approached me, I immediately started purring and rubbing my cheek against her hand, asking for pets on the head. She gave me lots of pets, and I gave her ‘the face’…my biggest smile. I even let her rub my tummy. Willow the Cat

From the kind look on her face, I knew at that point that I had found myself a human, a Mommy. I’d never had one of those before, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it had to be better than the streets. Just to be sure she took me home, I spent the rest of her visit following her around the kitty room, and I made sure to cuddle her friend (she called her aunt Jeanne) for good measure. Willow the Cat

It worked! Mommy brought in one of the shelter staff and I heard her say, “I’ll be back tomorrow to pick her up.” Willow the Cat

Now, I had been on my very best behavior when I met mommy – purring up a storm, no claws, no noisy meows like the other silly kitties. That said, I’m not a fan of kitty carriers, so when mommy came to get me the next morning, I started mewing up a storm. I could tell mom was confused, but it didn’t matter. She’d already signed the paperwork so she was stuck with me! Willow the Cat

When we arrived at my new home, it was very exciting. Mommy lives in a three-bedroom apartment, with lots of places to explore. Us cats are very curious, and exploring is one of our best things. I found that I had my own food bowl, filled with yummy food and water bowl. I mean, I prefer running water so I kept drinking out of that tall bowl in the bathroom, but mom didn’t seem to like that so she got me my own water station where the water actually moves to keep it fresh. Willow the Cat

I’m such a good kitty – with such a trainable mommy. And, I discovered my favorite thing, the drawer where Mommy hides my treats. She gives me really yummy treats all the time, but especially when I give her the kitty ‘face’, and ask her in my sweetest kitty voice. Mommy doesn’t know it, but I’m gonna figure out how to open that drawer. It’s just a kitty thing. Willow the Cat

So, I now have my own human for the first time. Somehow I knew, I guess it’s survival instinct, that I needed to train her. I am a cat, and we felines are very independent and like things to be just right. I have been living on my own for almost ten years, and I need to maintain a certain amount of freedom in this new environment. So, I went about my business training Mommy to do my bidding. Willow the Cat

Once she gave me my first treat, I figured that would be a great place to start. If I want a treat, I start by sitting near her, giving her ‘the face’ and meowing. If that doesn’t work, say she’s sitting on her bed typing on her laptop, I jump up and rub my chin on her leg. And, if that doesn’t work, I go into the kitchen, jump up on the counter where I know I’m not supposed to go, point to the treat drawer with my nose and meow. That last one always gets her, and gets me a yummy treat. Willow the Cat

Then there’s the pets; I think Mommy likes to pet me as much as I like to be petted. So, I’ll climb up on her lap and let her pet me, and rub my tummy for a while. Then, to show her who’s really boss, I’ll move just out of her reach, lay down, smile at her sweetly, and refuse to move back within her reach no matter how many times she calls me. This gives her the message, I’m a cat and I love you, but you’re not the boss of me. Besides, she always moves closer so I still get my pets. Willow the Cat

Then, there’s my new bed. Mommy bought me this really comfy, soft, padded bed. She put it on the carpet next to the couch, so I can sleep nearby while she’s working in the living room     . Mommy obviously bought me the bed because she wants me to sleep in it. Since I’m a cat, whenever Mommy is around I choose to sleep on the carpet next to the bed. (Again, I love you but you’re not the boss of me). When Mommy’s not around, I snuggle down into that nice, soft, warm, comfy bed and take a nap. She’s caught me asleep in the bed a couple of times, but no kitty’s perfect. Willow the Cat

Mommy also needs to understand that, not only is she not the boss of me, but sometimes I want to be a people too. An example is Mommy’s chair. She often sits in a chair at the counter in the kitchen to eat or click away on her computer during the day. There’s another chair next to the one she sits in. I’ll sit in the second chair, getting my pets, until she gets up to do something. Then, when I see my chance, I immediately slip over and get comfy in that chair. When Mommy comes back, there I am, smiling innocently. The message is, “Look at me, I’m a people too.” Truth be told, it’s also comfy because Mommy kept the chair nice and warm sitting there. Willow the Cat

Then, there’s the people food thing. As an alley cat, I had to feed myself. This involved finding leftover people food in dumpsters and garbage cans, preferably meat. I had the drill all worked out; find the food, grab the food, run away to somewhere safe with the food and eat the food as fast as possible before some other cat, dog, or mean person took it away. Since I often had trouble finding food, especially in the winter, it’s ingrained in my kitty brain that there’ll never be enough food. It’s also ingrained in there that, if I see people food, I grab it, run away, hide and eat it as fast as I can. Well, let me tell you, Mommy and I are struggling with this one. Willow the Cat

Mommy eats three meals a day, and that’s some really good people food. She has all kinds of meat; things like chicken, fish, beef. I can’t seem to control myself. The first time she made the mistake of sitting down a plate with something called chicken tenders on it, I did a grab and run, and ate my first chicken strip while hiding under the couch. Willow the Cat

As it turns out, Mommy’s pretty smart too, so she doesn’t just let her people food sit around unprotected anymore. She’ll often hold me in her lap while eating, and she still underestimates how quick a kitty can be. Every now and then I still get a taste or two of her food, but she doesn’t seem to get all that upset. I think she understands that I’ll always want people food, and she doesn’t mind sharing once in a while. Willow the Cat

Mommy also had to learn how determined I can be. She buys my kitty food in paper bags. I’ve seen her dump the food from the bag into my kitty bowl, so I know there’s also kitty food in the bag. She always keeps my bowl full, but I think the fresh stuff in the bag probably tastes better. So, the first night I was home, I decided to help myself to more food. I climbed onto the kitchen counter and started chewing through the bag to get more food. Willow the Cat

I guess Mommy didn’t want me to have more food yet, because she woke up, stumbled out into the kitchen, and moved the food way up high to the top shelf of the kitchen cabinets. Well, I am a cat, and we have some mad skills. So, I just leaped up there on that shelf and continued foraging for food. Mommy finally gave up and filled my food bowl again. She is smart though. Now she stores the food in a plastic container. I’m still working on how to get that thing opened; it’s just a matter of time, Mommy. Willow the Cat

We had an adventure last week. Mommy took me to meet her friend. He was house sitting for his Mommy. Mommy introduced us, and he’s really nice too. The exciting part, the house came with another kitty, and a dog. I met the kitty first. She is quite a bit bigger than me, but she has always been a house cat, never on her own. We had a little chat, and then that other kitty went and hid in the bath tub. I didn’t even have to hiss or anything. I might be little, but I’m a survivor. Willow the Cat

The dog worried me some. I ran into a lot of mean dogs on the street, and they didn’t like kitties. But I was very fast, and always got away. Now, here’s this big dog, and I’m trapped in the house with her. I kept my kitty cool though, and showed her no fear. Apparently, this dog is used to being around kitties, and didn’t seem to care that I was there. I felt so comfortable that I took a nap on the chair while she was in the room. Willow the Cat

This having your own family thing is great; the rules are all mixed up, but I’m getting used to it. On the streets, I had to fight for my own food. Now, if I want food all I have to do is call Mommy, or figure out how to open that darn treat drawer. There’s more food here, both kitty and people food, that I could ever have imagined. I always feared for my life on the streets, with all the big, mean cats and dogs out there, not to mention some pretty mean humans. With my own family, I get all the pets and loving that I want. Willow the Cat

On the streets, I almost froze to death in the winter. Now, I’m warm in winter. On the streets I had to be very careful where I slept; there was danger everywhere. Now, I can sleep peacefully any time I want and as often as I want. I have my own food bowl, water bowl, potty, scratching post, bed…it’s like I won the lottery. Willow the Cat

And, best of all, there’s Mommy. She loves me, gives me all the pets and tummy rubs I want, and we take good care of each other. Most important, she’s coming along nicely with her training. Willow the Cat

If you liked this blog, you might also enjoy our comedy murder mystery, MURDER BY ROAD TRIP. Speaking of animals, it’s got a monkey in it. It’s available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2HauHCg Barnes&Noble https://bit.ly/35lISh and Indie Books https://bit.ly/2I95at8