Izzy’s Paws

(The photos in this post are a repeat. I’ve been too busy to take new ones.)

There are tons of things I should be doing. I’ll get around to it eventually. Right now I want a little break from all the cleaning.

When I first adopted the kitties, I was determined not to play favorites. I should have known that wasn’t going to work out. Izzy, despite all attempts to resist, managed to wiggle her way into the #1 spot. Perhaps that’s not so surprising when you consider that she’s the Alpha Cat of the pair. Bella always defers to Izzy.

I read somewhere that the idea of not playing favorites isn’t a good idea when you have two female cats. One has to be the alpha cat or both will squabble, hiss, bitch, and fight with each other.

I think Izzy must have been the runt of the litter. While Bella has grown, Izzy still remains somewhat small in comparison. At first I thought it might be an illusion caused by the large spots of black fur on Izzy (the “black is slimming” phenomenon). But I can definitely tell the difference in size and weight when I pick them up.

Bella is one of the most laid back cats I’ve ever encountered. Nothing seems to phase her. When the LB is practicing on the drums and Izzy is shaking in her paws, Bella finds a place to curl up and go into a deep sleep, perfectly relaxed as if she can’t hear all that noise. Even after all these years of listening to the LB practice, I can’t relax so it amazes me that she can do so.

Bella is also one of the dumbest cats I’ve ever encountered. There’s a certain charm to this, but there’s also a big drawback. She doesn’t learn quickly or well. It’s as if she can’t retain what she’s been taught, no matter how many times she’s chased off the kitchen counter or shooed away from the comfy chair in the living room that we don’t want her playing on.

Izzy, on the other hand, is quite clever. Once chased off of something, she doesn’t go back. It doesn’t exist for her anymore. Izzy has figured out how some of the toys she plays with work. She opens doors and drawers. She knows the difference between the plates being rattled because I’m putting them away and when they’re being taken out to feed her.

My biggest problem with Izzy is her curiosity and her tendency to find trouble. Her poor paws have been taking a beating in the past few weeks. She’s been stepped on twice. M stepped on her paw when she was trying to play with his untied shoelaces. He came down hard (not knowing she was there), and she limped for a few days. The second time was a few days ago when I stepped on her paw. Fortunately, I was barefooted and felt the paw under my foot before I put my full weight down. She yelped and avoided me for a few hours, but I don’t think she was hurt.

During their first weeks here, Izzy found one of the sticky traps (used to catch mice) in the storage room. I saw her get one paw stuck on it and managed to grab it before she got the other one stuck. The paw was sticky for a few days until the sticky stuff wore off. It’s not toxic so I had no worries in that regard.

M said he got rid of all the sticky traps. This morning I found out that wasn’t the case. We’ve been letting the kittens into the storage room occasionally because that’s where mice come in. I let the cats in this morning, came back a few minutes later and heard a bang and stuff falling. Izzy had found another sticky trap. This time she got both paws in it. It took me a few minutes to figure all of this out. My initial worry was that she’d somehow opened a can of paint or something toxic because by the time I saw her she was frantically licking her paws and shaking them as if to shake off something. She managed to get herself out of the sticky trap (which I found a few minutes later).

Poor Izzy seemed pretty miserable about it all. She also acts embarrassed when something like this happens. To cheer her up, I turned on the cold water in the basement kitchen sink. She loves playing in water. I thought, too, that this might help her get the sticky stuff off of her paws if she was smart enough to put them in the water.

The photos above were taken a couple of days ago when the cats were playing at the faucet. Today Izzy was indeed smart enough to realize the water helped. She’d stick one paw under the water for a couple of seconds (usually she swats at the water, but doesn’t leave her paw under there), then lick it and stick the other paw under the water. She repeated this several times. Then I filled up the shallow sink on the left with cold water, and left her to it. She was up there for about 20 minutes, dipping her paws in and out of the water.

Clever Izzy.

Bella has been helping by nuzzling up to Izzy. Sweet Bella.

Sometimes the two of them drive me crazy, but most times they make me happy. They’ve brought a lot of cuteness and joy into my home.

And now I’d better go because something just came crashing down the basement stairs. Trouble (Bella) and Mischief (Izzy) are at it again.


One Comment on “Izzy’s Paws”

  1. Christina says:

    Well, I can certainly relate to these pictures and tales! My cats are new to the household just this year too. First time in a looong time to have pets. I have one very smart, troublemaker cat (Amber) and one very neurotic cat (Chip). Both though, prefer to stay away from people they don’t know. However, if something new comes into the house, Amber must inspect it. When I hear something crashing, she is always nearby. She is also tons more agile and brave than Chip. Chip is the male, and is smaller and was the runt of his litter. Amber is female, long haired, and ended up bigger than the vet thought she would be. Still, I have a hard time telling who is the boss! I think it alternates. This will be the first Christmas with the cats and I am used to decorating all over – I am fully aware that will not be possible with Amber in the house!


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