Balancing Style & Purrspective

By Daniel “DQ” Quagliozzi

Your home is a sacred place for both you and your cats. It’s where you retreat, recharge and relax. If you’re a cat person, it means so much more. Let’s face it, some of us are home a lot. So, why not create an environment that exemplifies your style, keeps your stuff organized and allows your cats to share the same space with you, while still calling it their own? It can be done….even in your tiny apartment!

I think most people are hesitant to add cat furniture to their homes, because the choices we are used to are bleak and unattractive. I mean, beige on beige carpet is cool and all, but we’re living in modern times. We ARE doing so much better with cat enrichment and design. You just have to take the time to create the design. Manifest the vision. It’s meow or never.

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My consult in Mountain View with my clients, Sean & Bonnie and their cats, Dudley, Xena & Clyde was a total blast! I just had to feature their catification project on my blog, because I think it really combines aesthetic style, attention to comfort, cat logistics and just straight up consideration for the happiness of their cats. Virtually every nook and cranny in this house has thoughtful cat enrichment of some kind, paying extra attention to scent soaked areas like scratch pads, posts and perches.

Using Kate Benjamin & Jackson Galaxy’s book, “Catify to Satisfy” as a guide, the preferences of each cat to get up off the ground and into the mix have been embraced and catered to with modern elegance and kitsch. They added cabinets and shelves to areas that had the most social significance, like home offices, workshops and of course, the living room and bedroom areas.

Check out their hard work below. Most of the cabinets are Ikea models and the climbing pole was DIY, based on the book referenced above.

Does Your Senior Cat Really Want to Live with a Kitten?

Resistance is Futile

By Daniel Quagliozzi

Cat Behavior Consultant

 

 

 

One of the things that I find truly fascinating about cats is their keen ability to train human beings to do their bidding, no matter how inconvenient the task may be. We go to all sorts of lengths to keep our cats happy, eating, drinking and using their litter boxes, even if it means displacing ourselves in our own homes.

Cats are quirky animals. They could even be described as eccentric and little bit manipulative in their methods. Sure, human beings are particular about things too, but cats seem to boggle the mind when it comes to their likes, dislikes and habits. No one ever said that living with a cat would be easy. As long as you are trainable, your cat will have no worries at all.

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Let’s use my former best friend Matilda for example. These pictures are old as she has now crossed over into immortality. When Matilda was living, her old age and experience paved the way for many alterations in my lifestyle. There were certain conditions that she just had to have in order to get through the day. Most of these conditions happened at the my own expense.

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1. Matilda needed very cold water presented to her in a drinking glass, located on the night stand next to the bed. (I  found this out the hard way when I set a glass out for myself in case  I got thirsty during the night)

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2. Matilda demanded that sleeping be accomplished under the covers and on top of my chest… the moment I lay down for bed each night. This required me to lift my comforter up so that she could spin around several times on my chest and get comfortable. Other times, she preferred to be tucked in like a human…and I happily obliged.

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3. In the absence of a blanket, Matilda would attempt to crawl under my bathrobe. As you can see, this is was partly successful as there is only so much bathrobe to go around and I am wearing most of it.

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4. Matilda asked that her wet food be served exactly at 7:00 Am and 9:30 PM, which was communicated by the act of trampling all over me  until I finally give in to her cries for attention as she stood on my wind pipe. Her night-time demands were quite effective to say the very least.

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5. Once the food was served, Matilda would have roughly three or four bites of the food, walk away and make herself comfortable in the now empty master bed. She would remain in the bed until roughly 7 pm… when I returned home.

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6. For her daily work out session, Matilda required that a shoe lace attached to a stick be forever dangling from the same night stand she perched on for water. I guess she decided that having her very ownhome  gym was easier than pestering me for playtime.

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Cat guardians across the country can relate to Matilda’s story. She may be gone in body but the spirit of her quirks will forever live on. Her needs, although not that outlandish… were still her very own.

Freedom of choice is a cats prime directive. They do what they want, when they want and there’s nothing you can do about it. Resistance is Futile.

The GO, CAT, GO mascot

My best friend and the GCG mascot: Cubby the Munchkin Cat from Mars.

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Believe it or not, Cubby was surrendered to San Francisco Animal Control. I thought it was odd to find a purebreed there but then I came to find out he was given up due to the illness of his guardian. When I was there one morning doing my daily intake for the SF/SPCA, I spotted him and fell head over heels. Cubby is one interesting fellow. He can stand upright (as pictured above) for minutes at a time. His short Munchkin legs give him a very unique sense of balance, not to mention a very awkward and clumsy play style. Add to that…the atypical Siamese breed traits and you have what I can only describe as a Munchkin cat from Mars. Cubby is not without his “behavior concerns”. He is diagnosed with Feline Hyperesthesia, which causes him to “chase ghosts”, running about the house as if his own tail is chasing him, eyes dilated and skin rolling across his back. He will even resort to self-mutilation and chew his own tail base. Thanks to Prozac, Cubby rarely has an episode these days, but it is quite surprising to see sometimes. It’s almost like he’s in a trance.

Like most cats, Cubby has a threshold that varies. He loves to be held and will stay in your arms for long periods of time, but is also very clear when he has had enough. The standard head turn, “love bite” or licking will precede a final warning. In my house, we never get to that point. Cubby stays comfortable in his surroundings because his boundaries and eccentricities are respected.

We found out the hard way that one of his boundaries was … NO OTHER CATS!! Cubby refuses to share his people with that of another feline. Like most people in San Francisco, I live in a tiny apartment with just enough space for us and him. We remedy that problem by providing Cubby with vertical climbing structures and cat shelves that get him off the floor and high up where he can be king of Mars.

Cubby exemplifies the Go, Cat, Go Motto. Slow down. Live in the moment. Be patient with the process.