Family · Nature · Pets

Bernie’s Twitter Posts

Bernie, the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Begins His Adventures

My first memories are of nursing from my mom, sleeping in a warm pile with my brothers and sisters, playing and learning to eat kibble. Then, we were scooped up, dressed up and photographed.

Bernie’s Breeder Debut

Bernie, the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Looks for a Home

After our pictures were taken, we began visiting another room in our house. First, we’d ride in a fleece lined basket to a padded table with toys. Then, strange people would pet us and lift us out.

Bernie on the Day of Mom’s Visit

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Explains

My mom-to-be has described how she prepared before she brought me home. She wanted to make sure I’d feel secure in our family of four: Grandma, #Parrot Sister Erin and #Yorkie Uncle Bear.

Bernie’s Setup

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold – Meet Mom

Mom moved in with Grandma during COVID and then retired. Her #Parrot Erin came with her. She decided to adopt a cat and then to get a kitten – her first kitten in 30+ years.

Bernie’s Mom

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Takes a Trip

Mom took me home from the breeder on a normal day.  After cuddling me, she put me in a padded carrier with a blanket and toys. I rode in the passenger seat drivin home. We stopped once to cuddle.

Bernie’s Arrival

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Looks Around

When mom brought me home for the first time, I had my own tent with bed, litter box, food, water and toys. I stayed in there a little while. #Yorkie Uncle Bear watched until I went exploring

Uncle Bear Watches
Bernie Explores

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold: First Night

Mom expected me to sleep in my tent where I had everything I could possibly need – except company.  I told her NO very loudly.  So she spent the night there with me, taking naps on the recliner or the floor –  learning.

Bernie Rebels

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Playing on the Second Day with Mom

Mom seemed tired after our first night, but I was ready to play and explore.

Bernie Meets Ball

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Meets Prey

Coming out of my den, I found a suspicious object. I determined that it was prey to be subdued and NOT a toothbrush as Mom kept saying.

Bernie Attacks

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Naps

While the tent and my tunnel den were great for play, food and litter box, I decide where to sleep. And that means sleeping close to my mom.

Bernie Guards the Snake
Baby Bernie

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Climbs a Tree

Mom padded the nearest end table to keep me close, but she left a great climbing tree (lamp) for me to explore.

Bernie Climbs Up
Bernie Climbs Down

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Shares the Bed

For some reason, mom thought we should spend every night shut in her room. At least that meant she was available whenever I wanted to play and I had a really big pillow.

Bernie Gets Ready for Bed

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Works Out

Mom seemed surprised that properly grooming, especially of my feet and toes, is very tiring! I needed a nap under my special tree.

Bernie’s Pedicure

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Expands

I don’t know why mom calls this my “bear rug” pose or calls me her “little pancake.” I was just spreading out and getting comfortable. Plus, that was a long way down if I fell off!

Bernie Gets Comfortable

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Spends Time with Grandma

I like spending time with Grandma watching TV, but Uncle Bear doesn’t like sharing the space. At least Grandma can pet me more easily lying close on the armrest.

Watching TV

Bernie the (Mildly) Disgruntled #ScottishFold Meets Nature

Mom found a harness for me and moved my camping tent out to the patio. Exploring was fun, but she carried me out to prickly ground! She put me down, so I jumped on her shoe and grabbed her leg. She called it “grass.” I loved exploring, but grass should never be walked on! Grass is strictly for nibbling. Grass is pokey. I preferred sitting on mom’s feet to standing on it.

Bernie Exploring
Bernie Evaluates
Ethics · Personal · Pets

Being a Cat Person

I’ve shared my life with a variety of animals and loved them all. But, in the end, I am a lover of cats.

Katie, Keith, Toby, Toejoe, Patches, Gidget, Enie, Sammy, Charlie (& Morris), Jesse James, Dusty, Merlin, Christmas, Grace, Molly, Murphy, Mouse, Bernie

Things I’ve Learned

  • Food should be wet, air dried, or kibble
  • Food should be high protein, no grain, minimal peas/lentils/potatoes.
  • Food needs to be composed of human quality ingredients, whole parts rather than meal.
  • Vaccinations increase the chances of cancers. If you have an indoor cat with little or no exposure, do not vaccinate.
  • Do not get all your vaccines at the same time. Do not get them in the same location.
  • Most vaccines, especially rabies and rabies combos, are effective up to 5 years. 3 years is a good compromise.
  • Never declaw (unless you want to inflict trauma equivalent to cutting off your own fingers and toes to the first joint). Arthritis, joint deterioration, pain and balance problems result.
  • Rescue when possible. Adopt specific breed rescues. Purchase ONLY from vetted and ethical breeders. (I had my heart set on a Scottish Fold.)
  • Spay or neuter after 5 pounds … or as soon as feasible. Doing so, decreases the chances of many health issues.
  • Don’t breed your pets. Too many pets still need homes.
  • Commit to your pets. They are not disposable for any reason, especially inconvenience.

Finally, cats are individuals. You should understand their individual personalities, learn their histories, and honor their boundaries. My Scottish Fold Bernie is a joy, but I wish he was more of a cuddler. He isn’t, but he is companionable and affectionate. Most of all, nobody has mistreated or been mean to him EVER. I raised him from a kitten after having rescues for 30 years. I loved those rescues, but I’m sad for who they might have been under better circumstances. And, I’m amazed at how loving and lovable they remained.

Family · Memory · Pets

Why a Fold? Beginning

During the pandemic I moved myself and my parrot Erin in with my mom. I teleworked from her location, 80 miles from my actual work. We joined her and her two Yorkies, Bear and Suzy.

We adjusted to circumscribed living and enjoyed their company, but Suzy had a heart condition and a tumor. She passed. We all missed her, but I began to think of getting a cat.

I’ve had three kittens in my life. My other cats were rescues or adoptions. Since Bear is older, I thought he’d find it easier to adjust to a kitten and might even bond with a baby. At first, I searched for adoptable kittens. I wanted kittens within 12-16 weeks and found none.

While I looked, I pulled out my books about cats and reread THE CAT WHO WENT TO PARIS series. I loved Norton the Scottish Fold then and now. I decided to look for breeders. The sticker shock was gigantic, but I found one who had kittens. Mom and I originally wanted two, but finally decided on one to be my focus while Bear remained hers.

Bernie, the mildly disgruntled (after Bernie Sanders), was a hard sell. He was the next thing to indifferent to what I wanted, but he was also very mellow. He was unconcerned to be loaded into his soft carrier for an hour drive. He got a little noisy about half way and we stopped for a few minutes of reassurance.

I brought him home to his tent where had a small litter box, food, water, toys, a shag bed, toys and some blankets waiting. Bear was very interested and Bernie was simply mellow. Much of this behavior is typical of a Scottish Fold.

He is independent, curious determined, companionable but only sometimes cuddly. He chases and explores but doesn’t really climb much. He’s fastidious. He chose his litter robot over his litter box because it was cleaner. We have pee pads down for Bear and, if Bernie finds a used one, he carefully ruffles or folds it to cover and hide the spot. He finds it rude.

When he couldn’t convince Bear to be his friend, he settled for grumpy uncle and made friends with parrot Erin instead. Sleeping on top of her cage remains one of his favorite spots, but he quickly learned respect after she stripped the fur and some skin on half of one side of his kitten tail.

While I know this is cliche:. Bernie is the most dog like cat I’ve ever known. Moreover, he actually thinks about and orders his time. If the first try fails, he tries it another way. If he really wants something he will get it or do it eventually.