Tag: cat sitter

The Return Of The King’s Servant

My cat played it cool when I walked through the door today, acting as if he was indifferent to the fact that I’d been gone since Thursday afternoon.

I knew otherwise, of course — not only did Buddy attack his cat sitter, he also puked on two different carpets, leaving me a pair of surprises as a welcome-home gift.

As usual, the little guy couldn’t keep up the charade. After a few minutes he forgot he was supposed to be mad at me and climbed up to head bunt and reestablish his scent on me.

I enjoyed my time in the Catskills despite the heat and the pandemic. It was pretty clear some of the local businesses were hurting, especially those relying on vacationers coming through in the summer season.

For those of you unfamiliar with the region, the Catskills is an area of New York State about 120 miles north of New York City.

Most people who don’t live here think of New York as the city and its surrounding environs like Long Island and Westchester, but the vast majority of the state is rural and known for agriculture and recreation: The National Baseball Hall of Fame, Howe Caverns, Niagara Falls, the Adirondack mountains, Lake George, dozens of ski resorts, rivers for kayaking and fishing, and many other things for people who want to get away.

The Catskills does have a feline etymology, for those of you wondering. “Kill” is the Dutch word for river or creek, and the suffix is found in the names of local towns and rivers: Fishkill, Spackenkill, and Peekskill among them.

The “cat” in Catskill comes from catamount, a somewhat archaic word for a cougar, also known as a puma, mountain lion or panther. Although they’re very rare in the area these days, mountain lions were abundant in the forested valleys and mountains of the Catskill region.

Thus Catskill translates to “cat creek.”

This hotel on Route 28 has a section dubbed The Catamount, with carved wooden mountain lions keeping watch over the guests:

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Belleayre Mountain is a ski resort that offers scenic gondola rides in the summer. Here’s the view from the gondola:

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And from the mountain top:

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I saw this sign in Woodstock. We hope little Spooky finds her way home:

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A sign declares “HIPPIES WELCOME” in Woodstock, but not today — the shop is closed because of COVID-19:

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This is the interior of Candlestock, a candle shop in Woodstock, NY. As the sign says, the “drip mountain” was started 51 years ago and has grown into a monstrosity of wax:

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This dog was well-behaved and polite and waited for us to get up from our chairs before he swooped in for potential crumbs beneath the table. He’s got a unique coat and look, and he’s missing his tail. Does anyone know what kind of dog this is?

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A shop called Modern Mythology on Woodstock’s main stretch:

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Here’s my seven-year-old niece exploring the edge of Esopus Creek:

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A stretch of rural road that I thought looked pretty cool:

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Fabulous Furniture on Route 28 is adorned with metal sculptures of aliens, rocket ships and UFOs, all built by the store’s owner, Steve Heller:

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Heller also builds custom cars:

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Buddy Attacks His Cat-Sitter

I’m up in the Catskills this weekend, which means a friend has been looking in on Buddy and feeding him while I’m away.

He knows her and she’s helped me out by cat-sitting in the past, but it didn’t occur to me that it’s been quite a while since the little guy saw her.

Most cats would run and hide if their humans were away and a “stranger” suddenly entered the house. Not Buddy, apparently.

My friend unlocked the door, stepped inside and was greeted by all 10 pounds of the Budster in attack mode. Little man calmed down when he recognized her and realized she was there to feed him.

I’m sure he also gave her an earful, including “Where’s my servant?! This is unacceptable!”

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For all our progress in communicating with our pets, learning body language and other non-verbal cues, we humans still don’t have a way to help them understand what a weekend getaway is, or ease their anxiety by reassuring them we will be home in a few days.

I expect I’ll get the cold shoulder when I walk through the door. It’ll last a minute or two until Bud’s resolve breaks down and he celebrates my return by meowing happily and getting his scent all over me.

‘Hey, This Is Buddy’s Site! More Buddy!’

Buddy tells me he’s not happy that his blog — which is supposed to be about all things Buddy, after all — has been taken over by snow monkeys and the bright lights of Tokyo.

Thus we interrupt our regularly scheduled travelogue to check in with His Grace and see how he’s doing.

Yesterday was my brother’s birthday so we FaceTimed with mom back in New York — morning for her, evening for us. Of course I asked if Bud was driving her crazy (she says he isn’t) and called out to him.

He made his way toward the direction of the sound, the iPad, and appeared confused.

“He’s looking for you,” mom said.

She picked him up and showed him the screen, and Buddy started vocalizing with a unique mix of meows and mews. He blinked at me and I blinked back. He kept talking.

But did he really recognize me in the screen? What would serve as a signal?

Buddy the Dapper
This is an outrage! Who is going to scratch my chin precisely in the way I prefer it? You must return, servant!

That’s when I did the slow one-eyed blink, and he returned it immediately! It’s anecdotal, but I think I can safely say my cat most definitely recognized me on a screen from halfway around the world. He doesn’t do the one-eyed blink unless it’s deliberate, and only as a way of communicating to me.

Now if I could translate those meows and mews I think they might mean something like this:

“Where are you?! The fact that you’re having fun without me is not cool! This servant has been…adequate…but I demand you return to the Kingdom of Buddy immediately and resume your minionly duties! I need my chin scratched, and your mom won’t let me groom her hair. Unacceptable!”

Sorry, little dude. You’re just gonna have to make do without me for a little while yet. And hey, you should appreciate mom. She’s treating you well!

Note: Welcome Japanese readers! I didn’t realize I’d see a flood of new traffic from Japan after enabling location-tagged posting, so this is a pleasant surprise. Yes, this is normally a blog about a cat, but at the moment I’m in your beautiful country and enjoying every minute of it. I hope I’m doing justice to Tokyo and the surrounding areas, and if I’ve gotten anything wrong, please don’t hesitate to correct me. Cheers!