Monday, August 13, 2018

Three-dimensional Snoozing

It’s funny how some cats interact. Parker has taken to snoozing on the dining table. He started doing it to remind me to take him for his walk in the evenings, lying in front of me while I write. He evidently liked the location, for whatever reason, and has taken to spending a great deal of time there.

Tucker, on the other hand, continues to favour the outer-most chair at the same table, with its soft cushion. The strange thing about these two is that, while the roly poly dislikes the orange-boy, and will swat at him if he passes beneath the chair, there is no concern or agitation if Parker snoozes on the table-top above Tucker.

This pair - Tucker wanting Parker gone from the cosy apartment and Parker wishing to avoid any contact with Tucker - will lie within inches of each other, as long as they are on different levels. When they are on the same surface, there is friction and, possibly, trouble. It is like a game of three-dimensional chess, of which only these two know the rules.

I am content, therefore, to leave them as they are. Perhaps some day they will extend their truce to other planes. Until then, they have played to a draw on this one.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Neglected Treasures

I have cat-toys all over the apartment, littering the floors, where I step on them at least seven times a day, especially the milk-jug rings. I suspect them of actually moving at the last second to a spot under my feet. For the most part, these toys are ignored. I should pack them up and put them away.

But every now and then, one which has been neglected is re-used. I can never determine which it will be, or when it will happen. Yesterday, after months of ignorance, the last remaining “tackle-fish” enjoyed a brief renaissance. Tucker rubbed his face against it for a couple of minutes, and then snoozed with it.

How can I pack it away? How can I throw out any toy, or give any away, when it may be used at any moment, after an age of disregard? So the toys will continue to litter my apartment floor, causing me to mis-step every couple of paces, walking like Walter Brennan in To Have and Have Not. They are like that shirt that was too horrendous to wear even in the 1970s, that may be needed for a costume party, or the textbook on Esperanto that you won’t throw out because one day, in a burst of internationalism, you may actually want to learn that language. I sometimes wonder if hoarders don’t have a pathological compulsion to retain things, they just have cats.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Morning Glory

For a moment, on the last day of July, this year, this was the sunrise over the town in which I live. However the day turned out, it started with this beauty.

I thought I would publish this picture to show that while my life is mostly about cats, it’s not all about cats. Mostly, but not all. Mostly, though.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Once and Future Sin

Eight years ago – was it as long ago as that? – Tucker came to live with me, returned to the rescue-group after five years with a family because he was wetting where he shouldn’t. After a couple of instances of that in my home, he ceased it. Now, it has begun again.

I blame Parker. In fact, I do think it is the orange-boy’s fault, though inadvertent nonetheless. Tucker simply doesn’t like the foster-cat. To show this, he uses the litter-box in the library, which is where Parker is sequestered when I am absent or asleep. Actually, Tucker wets in front of the box. I have a soaker-pad in the spot for that reason, but the roly poly usually hits its edge.

There are three reactions I intend to have in response to this: one is to make an appointment with the veterinary and have Tucker examined for infections, etc. I do not believe he is suffering from anything physical. I think his wetting, considering its location, is due to his resentment of Parker. Two, I will buy a larger soaker-pad, to cover more area. Three, I will put away the library’s litter-box when Parker is not in there to use it. Puck will use the general boxes in the store-room. Number three has a risk attached to it: I want to leave nothing there to encourage Tucker to wet in that location, which means removing not just the litter-box but the soaker-pad in front of it. If Tucker still wets there, he will hit the carpet, damage which the soaker-pad was meant to avoid.

But Tucker is branching out. A couple of days ago, the roly poly wet in one of my shoes. That's right. Why he chose to do that, I don't know, though it may have to do with my wearing of those shoes when I take Parker for walks. They have orange-cat-smell on them now. Sigh. I must admit that, considering he's had a perineal urethrostomy, his aim is pretty good; he didn't get any outside the shoe. If I were a different sort of cat-owner, I'd return him. As it is, I'll keep my shoes up on boxes.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Lonely Food-bowl

The outsider-cats’ food-bowl must be feeling rather lonely these days, and that has me worried. It’s been a week since I have seen Sable and Sablette, and previously they were frequent visitors.

I last saw them July 21. It was after dark, and I had already taken in the food-bowl for the night. Sable came to the window of my bedroom and squeaked, to let me know that she and her sister were there, but the food was not. Before I could bring out the hard-food, as requested, there was a ruckus at the far end of the apartment building; it sounded as if a cat was being attacked. I saw one of the two sisters running from that direction. She stopped near my apartment and did not look or act injured.

Nevertheless, when I delivered the food, Sable and Sablette ran off, in different directions. That was the last I have seen of them. No one has been by my ditch to sample the food or water, except a skunk, who has come to slake his thirst, and leave the water-bowl tipped at an angle. (The food is taken in to discourage his visits.) I have not seen Au Lait/Blue or Vincent, or any of the others who have come by from time to time.

I am most worried about Sable and Sablette. The other cats are known to go to another resident’s food-bowls for nutrition, but the two black cats do not. They had become accustomed to me, and to being watched by my beasts, an observation which does not bother them. But in a week, the sisters have not come by.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Brown Becomes Blue

There is a cat I’ve named Au Lait whom I’ve seen about the apartment building lately. I’ve mentioned him previously. He came to drink from the outside water-bowl recently. I have since learned that he is known to another resident in the building, who has named him Blue, because of his eye-colour.

Blue has been visiting the other resident for a while, and eats there from time to time. Blue is a bit aggressive with the other cats, and has not been neutered. I and my fellow resident have discussed getting Blue fixed, but the logistics of that operation may be difficult. He does not like being touched. We will continue to work on a plan.

Blue (Au Lait what was) seems a confident, strong fellow, able to take care of himself in the wild. Nonetheless, he is welcome at the outside food- and water-bowls. It never hurts to have a place to come to for support when all else fails. It’s something from which we would all benefit, I think.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Bravery, and Its Limits

Wednesday night this past week, we had a tremendous thunder-storm here; in fact, we had two, or one that re-charged itself and came back. The first lasted a long time for such storms, about an hour and a half, with lightning and thunder throughout, and a downpour of rain. I have written about the beasts’ reactions to thunder previously, but things have changed a little.

Cammie is less inclined to hide during a storm. I suspect that she is still frightened of such meteorological upheavals, but she shows it less. Last night, she didn’t seek shelter from the storm until it was half over. Then it seemed to prove too much for her. But she came out again soon afterward, bravely lying on her towel by my desk in the bedroom. However, a particularly loud burst of thunder, the sort that rattles panes in window-frames, sent her under the bed.

Renn, despite his size, is not a combatant. He prefers to crouch behind the bed, with either his head or just his nose under it. When I talk encouragingly to him, he stands up and walks about with his tail up and his back arched. He’s not afraid - until I stop talking to him.

Tucker remained in the open, but wary. The roly poly apparently put up a toy as a small barricade, just in case the thunder broke into the house.

Josie was largely untroubled, and when the big bang of thunder shook the building, she ran out into the sitting room, as if to question what was going on. She never did hide, though.

And Parker… My orange-boy didn’t even acknowledge the storm. It was almost his bed-time, which meant a snack before retiring. His mind was entirely upon that. The apartment could have been inundated with lava, and Puck’s principal worry would have been that it would cut him off from his food-bowl.

I like thunder-storms, especially at night. I always have. But now I find that I spend them walking among the cats, telling them that everything is all right, that what they hear is just noise, and that nothing will hurt them. I don’t think they believe me, really. And Parker thinks such encouragement is distracting me from giving him his food.