The Doodlebug

animal wisdom cat cat wisdom cats inside cat outside cat reincarnation wisdom of animals Jul 04, 2023
Cat on Man’s back

Most bloggers of animal-related things will be writing about how to keep your animals safe during Fireworks. Awesome! Read them and heed. It’s a tough time of year for our furry friends (and those of us who don’t care for loud noises - I always have my ears stuffed full of cotton at concerts).

A recent concert at Red Rocks. Despite it being Lyle Lovett (who is not AC/DC), it was still loud to my sensitive, cotton-stuffed ears.

I’m going to write about one of our cats. His actual name is Lynkx (and I think when he came to us his name was Boots, or something like that). How he came to be called Doodlebug is one of those unsolved mysteries. One day it fell out of my mouth, he looked at me as if to say “yeah, I like that”, so I guess he owns The Doodlebug (or Doodle) as much as his “real” name.

The Doodlebug came to us an adult cat with his brother Morpheus (aka Blackie before we had him), so we’re not sure how old he is. 16? 18? It’s as much a mystery as his nickname. They were our barn cats in Washington, and were extremely good at their job. Our barn was rodent free.


The Doodlebug at the Washington barn.

They weren’t your typical barn cats. These guys were social. They were always up for some lap time and petting. They often came up to the house and looked in the windows, but made it very clear they loved the barn and that was their domain. Live in the house? No thank you!


When we moved back to Colorado, we brought them with us. Good help is really hard to find, and there was no way we were leaving these two fellas with the new owners of our Washington property. They traveled well. They wanted to be with us, yay for our side!

Their first barn in Colorado was small and pretty close to the house. We kept them in the house when we were first there, because, well, new place, gotta know where you live, boys. We were going to leave them in for a month, which is pretty usual when introducing cats to a new environment. After two weeks, Lynkx would sit at the front screen door and look at me. Then he’d look toward the barn. Then he’d look at me again, laser-eying into my brain. Dull human, get the message! Finally, and reluctantly, I opened the door and let him out. He trotted straight to the barn, letting his brother know they were finally free! Morpheus followed.

They moved in, cleared the barn of rodents, and made it their own. No muss, no fuss. These cats knew where they wanted to be.

We’re believers in reincarnation, and Lynkx let us know he was someone we knew. It took us (again, dull human brain!) a little while to figure it out. First of all, he has a handsome Yin/Yang type symbol on his mouth. He also has a white spot on his forehead, which seems to be, in our family, the universal symbol for “Been here before.” Many of our animals sport that little dot.

The Yin/Yang and the white dot on display.

When these two rather obvious messages didn’t reach the desired brain cells, he started jumping from the top of the hay stack to the floor of the barn. The stack was about five bales high. It was a long way to the ground. Then he’d look at us. “Got it yet? No? Okay, watch again.” And fly through the air he would. We finally put it together! Years before, we had a cat named Yang who would leap from the top of the cupboard in the kitchen to the back of the couch. It was a pretty fantastic leap, and we finally realized that Lynkx was doing exactly the same thing - making a fantastic leap. Plus he had a Yin/Yang on his face. Duh. Our brain cells did their own fantastic leap, and my husband and I shouted “Yang!” 

Lynkx never jumped from the hay bales again. Point made and delivered.

In 2016 we moved to the place where we currently live. The barn/arena is huge, without the coziness of the little barn the cats had been living in, and it was December. Cold. We decided to leave Lynkx and Morpheus in the house for the winter and introduce them to the barn in the spring. Except that never happened. Lynkx in particular decided that being a quasi-indoor cat was actually a pretty good gig. He was so comfortable in the house, and got along fine with our “indoor” cats, so a “housecat with outside privileges” he became. Morpheus stayed by default, finally got fed up with having to deal with one of our indoors who was a bit of a bully, and took off. Morpheus always did go his own way, so we respected his desire to be elsewhere and wished him well. I’ll tell the Morpheus story next week, because it’s pretty cool.


Lynkx, meanwhile, has become the quintessential house cat. He sleeps on the bed. He loves laps. He especially loves Glenn, and cuddles with him every night  and morning. He meditates with us. We adore him.

Like I said before, we don’t know how old he is. He’s going through that stage, though, where he’s looking like an old man cat and getting very thin. We had some bloodwork done on him not too long ago, and his numbers are good. He eats well and seems very happy. We got some steps for the end of the bed, and he uses those. He can still jump up on the couch, but he has to think about it a bit before making the leap. If he can walk up stairs or climb easily, he’ll do that instead of jumping. He’s just skinny. And old. 

He loves to lay on the deck in the sun, basking in the rays and warming himself up. He’ll lay out there under one of the chairs even when it’s windy. So long as it’s sunny, he doesn’t seem to mind his fur ruffling in a gale.

On the deck.

We don’t know how much longer he’ll be with us, but we’ll pay attention and if he starts to act unhappy or unwell, we’ll help him along to the next life if that’s what he wants. Meanwhile, we are enjoying every moment with this special boy. We are so fortunate that his first owner couldn’t keep him and his brother any more, and that our friend Allyson thought of us as a safe haven for them. I’m not sure who got the better end of the deal, but I think it was us.

Next week: Morpheus’ journey

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