An open letter to the humans who maintain the home of three very important house cats.
Regarding the Pet Sitter, Amy.
Dear Humans we Dominate,
This letter is long overdue. The substitute Amy the pet sitter has been “tending” to our needs for years now and we are just now making time in our busy schedule to tell you what we think of her. First of all, she smells. Bad. Like dogs. It disgusts us. If you could talk to her about that you won’t regret doing it. Secondly, she does not feed us enough. I’m sure this is either a shining example of what you consider is “good for us” or of Amy’s inability to follow instructions.
Fred disagrees but Obi and I (Erie) think that 30 minutes a day is not enough time to adequately care for our needs and provide necessary adoration. We want her here to pay attention to us when we are ready, no when she just happens to be around. Therefore, we have decided she should be on call, so that we can summon her as needed, 24-7.
Fred says to make her leave quickly and tell her to stop uncovering him.
Obi is really upset, he invested a lot of time watching the houses on the street and chose you as his caretakers and you routinely leave him with Amy who does not feed him enough.
We might consider forgiving you for leaving us if you reintroduced canned food into our paltry diet. As for Amy, we’ve decided she is as trained as she is going to get and that training a new substitute would be to much trouble so you can keep her. Do talk to her about the smell though.
Your Adored Cats,
Erie, Obi Wan and Fred
I was happy as an only cat for years. I had my mom to myself and when she could tear herself away from me and I was provided with, Amy a pretty good substitute servant. I like her because she appreciates my need for treats and a lap. Then the unthinkable happened. Bella, another cat (and her human-training them is so hard) moved in. We disliked each other immediately. It was MY house, she did not belong and I made that clear, but my efforts were in vain, she’s still here.
Moving is very stressful for me but once we settled into our new home I made myself comfortable and began a campaign to rid myself of Mary. I thought this would be simple, she’s kind of soft, always playing sweet to the humans, never putting them in their place. Humans require intensive training and follow up sessions on a regular basis to remind them who is in charge. This includes but is not limited to swatting and hissing in the middle of a required adoration session to keep them on their toes. This is sometimes followed up by allowing more affection immediately or simply walking away. You have to keep them guessing. The same tactics, modified to terrorize a cat, were be employed for my Rid the House of Mary Campaign”. Thus far this has only resulted in much hissing and growling the humans discourage for some reason.
Mary and Bella:
This battle for dominence continued until the most unthinkable thing in the world happened:
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Our out and out war had to be altered to a cold war, allowing us to join forces occasionally in a covert operation to rid our home of this vile creature. We have tried everything from blaming any and every thing the humans dislike on the dog, ignoring the humans as punishment and attacks on the enemy. Alas, we are still at war but considering that cat’s are far superior to dogs, we will eventually prevail.
Until we do we now look forward to our humans leaving because the dog leaves too. Training Amy the substitute is an ongoing process but she’s preferable to the dog.
The humans that belong to Rommel and Nina have been my friends since before Rommel and Nina owned them.
Rommel the Rottweiler was often my house guest while his parents traveled. Shortly after they got Rommel they of course had to get him a sister (one pet is never enough), Nina, the Flat Coated Retriever Mix (?) who they adopted from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. Now when the humans traveled I had a house full, 5 dogs and a cat plus a feral cat colony outside. I loved it.
When I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2003 Nina and Rommel were at my house. They were scheduled to come stay again during the early part of my recovery but that was no longer an option. Their humans hired a Pet Sitter to come into the home and care for Rommel and Nina while they were away. What is a pet sitter I asked? They explained, I did some research and knew right away I was not returning to my job refinishing furniture. My surgery was February 6, 2003, I started Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc. in March of 2003, thanks to the first Happy Critters, Nina and Rommel.
Rommel has a foot fetish, when you walk, he puts his nose right on the top of your shoe and grumbles and sniff’s, as you try to walk. He gets over this in a few minutes. It’s cute, when you don’t trip over him an fall. As with most Rotties I’ve met he can not get enough love and attention. If you stop moving, he will be there presenting you with an ear or a stub of tail to scratch. If you sit down, it’s time to be prepared for kisses.
Nina loves affection just as much as her brother but, unlike Rommel who more or less outgrew his toy obsession, Nina takes the prey instinct to new heights. She quickly progressed from disemboweling squeeky toys to taking on raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, geese, ducks and swans with varying degrees of success.
Rommel, Nina and their humans are family to me. Rommel is now a spry 12 years old and Nina is ageless it seems. My friends added two children -of the human variety- to their family recently. I am not qualified to care for those types of critters but I have non the less appointed myself Aunt Amy again.
Thank you Rommel, Nina and your humans for helping me make something good come of something so bad and leading me into the post-cancer part of my life.
My Grandma Rosalynn DeFelice wrote this story of her beloved Bella Mia when I asked friends and family if they would like to share their pet stories. She typed it on a typewriter so I have uploaded it just as she gave it to me.
These Happy Critters were abandoned to my care for the first time. This is what they had to say to their humans via email.
Correspondence shown in maroon are letters received from the Cats to the Humans.
Correspondence shown in black are letters received from the Humans to the cats.
Notes in blue are from the Pet Sitter (aka. Substitute Mom).
Dear humans who have apparently abandoned us,
The substitute showed up, so that’s a good start. She tended to our needs as instructed under jimi and Simons supervision. We all graced her with a chance to pet us then ignored her, as a substitute deserves.
(they become much more affectionate with the substitute very quickly! I was glad to see everyone. All is well here, unless you’re an “abandoned” cat that is)
Dear Substitute Mom,
All of us humans were very happy to hear from our kitty friends.
We arrived here a little later than we planned 6 humans need more breaks than the 1 puppy.
All the owners especially Jimis’ much appreciated update and can see he is in good hands
Abandonment Day 2:
To the humans on probation,
(Henry is the spokes cat) Mila, Jimi and I greeted the substitute. Yes, she gave us pets and Simon finally intruded on that but we are being starved! Jimi is having great time chasing Simon. The rest of us are bored.
Abandonment Day 3:
We are under a lot of stress right now. That’s all we can say
It was a stressful day for all of us too…. we’re hoping tomorrow is a better day
We miss you all too
Abandonment Day 4:
Well, the substitute is quite trainable so she is acceptable. Feeding the birds is a waste of OUR time though.
Ok, the sub can be used again. That is if you can bear to leave us again, which is unfathomable to us.
We appreciate the great care you gave the kitty crowd… They were missed.
This is Emma, the newest and at present, the youngest, Happy Critter. I thought her tail was at attention while she was inspecting me but it pretty much stays that way all the time.
Here she is having fun with her big sister Inky. I’ve been caring for Inky for a couple of years now. Today was the first time she came out to meet me at the door. Our relationship progressed from her hiding from me to meeting me at the door today. I think she has decided she will get no attention with Emma around unless she comes on out.
Emma seems to have enjoyed our first meeting and I didn’t loose to much blood. The best part about Emma, aside from that tail, is that she has breathed new life into her big sister Inky.
Please keep getting puppies and kittens so that I can restrain myself from adding to our furry family.
Chloe, the 10 year young Pug, has been a Happy Critter since 2003. She took her human to Mutt Strut on Saturday May 1st, 2011 to strut her stuff and benefit her cousins at the Humane Society Of Indianapolis. Chloe persuaded her mom to walk the entire 2.5 miles without her mom needing to carry her. (Carrying Chloe helps her mom feel safe in strange places.) She did have to let her human rest and get a drink a few times but she is nonetheless very proud of her human for her assistance in helping the homeless animals.
If I Didn’t Have a Dog…or Cat…………
I could walk barefoot around the yard in safety.
My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and
laminated. All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would
When the doorbell rang, my home wouldn’t sound
like a kennel.
When the doorbell rang, I could get to the door without
wading through all the fuzzy bodies who beat me there. I could sit on the couch and the bed any way I wanted
without having to consider how much space several
furry bodies would need to get comfortable.
I would have enough money, and no guilt, to go on
a real vacation. I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians
as I put their yet-unborn grandkids through college.
My house would not be cordoned off into zones with
baby gates and makeshift barriers.
I would not talk baby talk: ‘Eat your din din’…’Yummy
yummy for the tummy’… My house would not look like a daycare center, with toys
My pockets would not contain things like poop bags,
treats, and an extra leash.
I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L,
W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, O-U-T, G-O, R-I-D-E, S-U-P-P-E-R,
I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as
I would not look strangely at people who think
having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.
I would look forward to spring and the rainy season
instead of dreading ‘mud’ season.
I would not have to answer the question ‘Why do you
have so many animals?’ from people who will never
know the joy of being loved unconditionally by the
closest thing to an angel they will ever encounter.
……………………………..How EMPTY my life would be!!!
My review of Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc. long term “care” facility – By The Cricket
The trip back to my natural habitat was not quite as harrowing as the banishment experience as a whole. There was a moment in transit where I feared being left behind in the dreaded Midwest again. I was forced to wear the harness and stuffed in to a box that fits under an airplane seat. Humiliating, not to mention uncomfortable.
About Amy and her pet “care” facility; the bathroom was spacious but only cleaned once a day, the beds were suitable, the food was edible but the portions were paltry – I nearly starved, the view was nice once the staff placed my heated bed in the window and put an entertainment center (bird feeder) on the roof outside of my window. As I have tried to make clear, the weather is appalling, horrible, unsuitable for felines, depressing and generally unacceptable but, I did have access to considerably more square footage then I ever have in California. Of course I could only access the entire facility when the dogs were confined at night and I had to fight off Monkey and Domino, aka The Black Devils, most nights but a girl needs a little excitement from time to time and they are wimps. Domino doesn’t even know how to hiss!
In short, should the small box that serves the sadistic purpose of cat transport container come into view again, I am NOT GETTING IN IT. I have no intention of leaving Santa Monica ever again, not even for more square footage. If my substitute servant, Amy, would care to preform her duties here where the the sun shines and water does not freeze I will hire her.