Several Sides of Smooshy

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This is Cartoon Craziness Week 4! Again, thanks to the hosts for coming up with such a fun challenge! 🙂 The theme this week is Kids and Pets.

I loved the theme this week. It gave me an excuse to draw cartoons of my cat and babble on about her! Haha. My kid/pet is a Silver Persian named Ewok. She is more affectionately known as “Smooshy” because of her flat little face. She’s four years old is a complete quirky joy. So here are several sides of smooshy….

many sides of Ewok

Sitting Staring Smooshy. I always wonder what is going through her little kitty head when she sits there staring at me. She always does this at bedtime. She sits and stares at me lying in bed for a while before she jumps up and lies on my face.

Stumped Smooshy. She loves to scamper after her ball, but when it stops she stops, stands beside it and looks at me like “mommy, why’d it stop?!” My mom’s cat, Ruby, plays fetch…she thinks she’s a dog. It’s a lot of fun though. Alas, Ewok is not getting the fetch concept.

Shoulder Smooshy. When Hubby picks her up for a cuddle, she peers over his shoulder all sleepy-eyed while he strokes/scratches her.

Semi-psycho Smooshy. This is what she does when she’s a little riled up and trying to attack something. She gets down low in front with her butt up in the air and wiggles it. Eventually she decides to pounce, often missing her target. She’s a clumsy little kitty.

Psycho-Smoosh. This is Ewok full of energy darting around the apart like a bat out of hell. She’s leaping over chairs, skidding across the floor and making funny chirping sounds. It usually ends with her overshooting her jump onto the CD stand or crashing into something. Good thing her face can’t get any flatter!

Sustenance Smooshy. When we are eating at the table, Ewok sits beside one of us on the floor and gently reaches up to tap her slipper paw on someone’s thigh. I imagine she’s saying “Hello. I’m here. I’m cute. Feed me.” She usually gets a treat as long as she doesn’t use claws when she taps.

Spiral Smooshy. When relaxing, she contorts herself into all sorts of crazy positions. I can’t imagine how they could be comfortable, but she seems to be perfectly happy. My favourite one is when she twists to expose her little pink belly…lol. I wonder if she knows she’s pink underneath all that fluff.

Scurrying Smooshy. This is what she looks like on the balcony. Ewok hates having the wind blow her fur! Whenever a gust of wind blows, she runs for shelter with her belly almost rubbing the ground, lol. It’s funny to see.

And here is the real Smooshy, just for fun!

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March Mayhem

I have a headache today and my cat is being super cute trying to cheer me up, so I thought I’d share a story about her.

Last year at this time, my life was in shambles…literally! It all started on St. Patrick’s Day. The husband and I went to the parade with the family as usual. We came home after the parade because I had work to do. Oh, the joys of academia. I was sitting at the coffee table with my work spread out around me when I noticed Ewok, my cat, wasn’t with me. When I am home she is constantly under foot or sitting with me, so it was unusual to not have her by my side. I got up to look for her. She was in the bedroom staring at a large pool of green liquid.

OMG!! There was green goop pouring in from the light fixture on the ceiling of our walk in closet! It had already flooded out of the closet into the bedroom! Ahhhh, my clothes!! I’m so thankful Ewok got up to investigate. Who knows who long it would have taken me to notice otherwise. Thank you Ewok!

Our bedroom carpet and the walk-in were wrecked. At least my clothes survived. All the furniture and clothes had to come out of the bedroom to replace the carpet and fix the closet. Now, we live in a 1.5 apartment. Where is all this stuff going to go?! There was only one choice…the living area. Our sofa and chairs and kitchen table were covered in piles of clothes. The dresser was standing on it’s end in the middle of the room with the drawers (also full of clothes) all out on the floor. We could barely move around the apartment. It was awful for us, but not for Ewok. She was in heaven! Piles of clothes to cover with her fuzz and new places to hide. What more could the fluffy little nut want? She adopted the turned over dresser as her new bed which we referred to as her kitty apartment. So at least she got some thing out of it.

Great green gobs of gook! Happy St. Patrick’s Day indeed.

Ewok’s Kitty Apartment (Our over-turned dresser)
The kitty apartment is good for stretching and contortions too.

Super Pets – How your pet can help rescue you from depression

I didn’t have pets growing up, so I never understood the bond you could have with an animal. The closest thing I had ever had to a pet was the mealworm I brought home as third grade science homework to learn about metamorphosis. My folks adopted two cats, sisters, just before I moved out. So I guess technically they were my first pets, but it wasn’t until Ewok that I really got it. This post is about how Ewok has helped me get through some of the rough patches.

1. Interaction.

Sandpaper kisses from Ewok

It doesn’t really matter what kind of pet you have for this one. As long as you can pat them, play with them or watch them. They can provide a distraction, getting you thinking about something other than the big black hole you are in. Research has shown that spending just 20 minutes with your pet can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, levels and elevate serotonin. You can talk to them too. They may not respond, but they can listen and it sure beats talking to yourself. So let it all out, they’ll stay by your side.

2. Purring.
Obviously this is just for the lucky people who have cats. I love listening to Ewok purring. Cats purr at a frequency of 25Hz, the same frequency that is used to help heal wounds faster in humans (reference). The rhythmic sound Ewok makes often helps me sleep. When I’m tossing and turning or my mind is racing, I put her beside my pillow and focus on the sound she is making. This usually helps me drift off. I’m assuming her purring means she is content which means I am doing something right. This gives me a peaceful feeling, allowing me to sleep. How do I get her to stay? I’m lucky she just likes to sleep with me every night. Unfortunately her favourite spot to sleep is on my face. So if I want her to stay, I have to wait until she is sleepy and then I can position her like putty.

3. Exercise.
This makes more sense if you have a dog. Obviously, you have to walk the dog. Ewok is unique, but I don’t take her for a walk. She’s an indoor cat. Ewok and I do yoga together. Yes, you read that last sentence right. Yoga. Every time I do a workout video, I get out my yoga mat and I have to get Ewok’s mat out for her too. If I don’t workout often enough, she starts to remind me to get to it.

Kitty yoga time on her very own mat

Let me explain. I do workout videos at home for which I use a yoga mat. I would start my workout and Ewok would be there……batting my ponytail as I did sit-ups, climbing under me as I did push-ups and weaving in and out of my legs as I did squats. Not to mention scratching my mat to pieces. She was driving me nuts and making it impossible to workout at home. One day I got fed up with her antics and her scratching, so I got out another mat, only half hoping she’d stay on the old one and leave me alone. To my surprise, she did! She loves that ridiculous hot pink mat! Without me in the way she was free to scratch and roll and contort herself all over it. So now we workout together. Me on my mat, Ewok on hers. If I haven’t worked out in a while she’ll head over to where I keep the mats and start scratching her pink one. Hey Mum, workout time!

4. Curbing the loneliness.

Ewok watching for me to come home

Spending time with Ewok makes me feel better. Petting her, playing with her or listening to her purr gives me something else to focus on. Also, she needs me. As much as she’d like to think she was a ferocious little beast that could take care of herself, she can’t. She needs me, her little world revolves around me. It’s nice to be needed. Ewok is going to want me around and love me regardless of my mood, whether or not I got that grant for my research and despite my eating the whole chocolate cake. Pet love is unconditional, that’s a reason to keep going.

5. Creativity.
Your pet may inspire creativity whether it be through art, photography or writing. Maybe you capture a look that you can interpret since you don’t really know what they are thinking. Or perhaps they inject some humor in among the darkness. Currently, I’m starting to get that heavy feeling from being without my medication. I’m not in a smiling mood, but here I am writing a post about Ewok and her ridiculous yoga mat and its already making me feel a little lighter. You don’t have to be some kind of artist for your pet to inspire creativity either. What about homemade treats or toys? Decorations or bedding for a cage? I know it seems insignificant, but anything to distract you from over-thinking and and getting into that negative snowballing effect will help.

Baby Ewok

If you can’t have a pet for some reason, you can still benefit. I’m sure you have friends or relatives with pets that you can visit. If you are open to a little more commitment, you can also volunteer to walk neighbourhood dogs or work at the local animal shelter. For a less committed interaction try a bird feeder in the backyard or even going to the zoo could provide a nice distraction.

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