Monday, October 24, 2016

Asleep Amid the Raspberries

Sometimes, my entries don’t need many words to accompany the pictures. This is my princess, snoozing on a Sunday afternoon in a heated cat-bed. Needless to say, I let her stay like this as long as she liked.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Breakable Upon Use

Last night, I was cleaning out the litter-boxes, as I usually do before bed. Some people drink warm milk, some read, others listen to music. I scoop unmentionable crap from big plastic boxes filled with desiccated corn chips. I’d like to claim it as a long-standing family tradition, handed down through the generations. It’s not.

Anyway, some of the beasts will wet against the inside walls of the box, so I press the scoop against the wall to free the resultant clump. Usually, the worst that happens is that the clump breaks apart. This time, the scoop broke apart. It didn’t just break; it snap and sent a shower of used litter all over the storeroom. These things, like Tucker getting into the old house’s fireplace, or Josie throwing up, tend to occur just after I shower and just before I go to bed. Timing is everything.

The picture was taken once the crime-scene was cleaned up. After all, the bowl of the scoop was still operable. Unfortunately, it’s as close to using my hands as I’ve yet come, and closer than I wanted to. I determine to buy a new scoop the next day.

I was already planning to go to the local Dollarama, so I decided to buy a scoop there. The Dollarama is the twenty-first century’s version of the old Five-and-Dime Stores – for those of us who are old enough to recall them – or the old Woolworth’s – for those of us in Canada or Britain. The new scoop was cheap but serviceable. It was, in fact, almost identical, but for colour, to the old one.

It snapped in two the first time I used it. I recall a rake that did the same thing: the handle shattered within seconds of applying the tool to leaves. The difference is that leaves feel much less unhygienic to the touch than does the product one must scoop. This photograph I took immediately subsequent to the incident. I think I wanted proof that it had transpired yet again.

I was not fooling around this time. I went to the pet-supply shop where I buy cat-food and litter and bought a heavy-duty scoop. Steel bowl, titanium handle, with battery-powered solid-fuel thrusters for propulsion and gyroscopic stabilizers to maintain equilibrium, and micro-chip relays to satellites in geo-synchronous orbit for topographically accurate guidance. All right, it was thicker plastic than the previous two. And it stayed in one piece.

I will buy another, cheap scoop as a reserve, but I don’t anticipate the current one breaking any time soon. But if it does, no one gets to use the litter-boxes until I buy a replacement.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Explorations Farther Afield

This week’s theme seems to be sleep, or beds in which to do so. Continuing that notion, I would like to present Cammie, once more. Having re-discovered the cylinder-house cat-tree, she went on to break new ground all together.

Though she had experimented with the armchair in the library, I had never seen her try those in the sitting room. But during the weekend, there she was, curled up and stretched out. Perhaps the princess, having found so far exactly what is comfortable and what is not, is expanding her horizons, to make sure all of her domain is explored.

Certainly, she seemed to enjoy her test in this case, though she has not been back up on the armchairs since Saturday. But I am simply glad to provide her and her roommates with as many options for relaxation and ease as possible.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Lonely Cat-bed

Sleep is important in our household. I never have enough. The cats seem to suffer a surfeit of it. ‘Suffer’ may be the wrong term, though, since they don’t appear to be in distress over receiving too much rest. There are many places to indulge their visits to Morpheus, from the bed, to couches and chairs, to cat-trees, as was shown in yesterday’s article.

There are also the cat-beds. They were resorted to less during the summer, but now that the cold is creeping back over the landscape, the heating pads are back under the beds’ cushions, and the beasts are curling up there in comfort. Well, they are curling up in one of the beds.

I have two. Last winter, when we were newly ensconced in the apartment, both beds were in frequent use. Cammie, in particular, liked the farther one. Though it was near the external wall, it was also against the heating pipes so that, with the electric pad underneath, she would receive warmth from two directions. I think she also found the isolation from her roommates to be pleasant.

This year, however, the farther cat-bed is abandoned. No one has considered using it at all. Cammie has chosen to curl up in the nearer bed, and risk the proximity of the other beasts; they have used it, as well. So far, the cat-bed by the cd-cabinet in the corner is forlorn.

If this apathy toward the farther cat-bed continues, I may have to move it to more congenial locations. That’s too bad, because it fills an otherwise empty spot, and I don’t have much available floor-space elsewhere. Putting it where it will be more readily noticed is, I think, a solution; once it is used, I can try moving it, gradually, back to its far corner. But first things first: I have to get a body into it.

It’s a shame it’s been abandoned, as it looks both comfortable and warm. I may end up using it myself.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cast Out

It was a few days after Cammie’s re-discovery of the cylinder-house cat-tree that I found this melancholy scene in my apartment. I initially saw Renn sitting near the front door, staring. He does that quite a bit; staring, seemingly into space. Sometimes, he is studying something of great interest, evaluating it, learning what he can and storing it in the vast library of his knowledge. Sometimes, he is just staring into space.

But this time, there was a third option. He was staring, plaintively, at the princess, who had taken over the cylinder-house cat-tree for the evening.

Cammie, of course, did not care. She was asleep. If she was not, she was feigning sleep to show her apathy to her roommate’s feelings. Periodically, it’s tough having brothers and sisters. Sometimes, life is sad. Eh, Renn?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tucker at My Table

Of my cats, only Tucker keeps me company when I eat. None of the others gives my dining a first thought, let alone a second. But the roly poly one likes to sit in a favourite spot, a dining table chair. For much of the meal, he watches me, hoping for a small share of what I am having. This is what I see while I eat.

Perhaps needless to write, he usually gets a little portion. Equally needless to write, it’s probably why Tucker is known as the roly poly one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Minor Mystery

Though the Thanksgiving weekend was a good one, it was marred to a small extent by a mystery that affected Josie. For about two and a half days, she was throwing up her food. This is not uncommon with my Chubs, though it is usually sporadic, and if she throws up two consecutive meals, it’s abnormal. This time, she was vomiting every mouthful of soft-food.

It would happen about two hours after consumption, though once she regurgitated a meal immediately. The food concerned was not a new variety: Merrick surf ’n’ turf. Josie enjoys that flavour, and has never had a problem with it before. I thought that it may have been the tin, though Tucker ate some - it isn’t one of his first choices - and did not bring it back up. Even so, I tried some beef flavour. This caused the same reaction in Josie.

The Great White could eat hard-food with no trouble, though this was sometimes returned with the soft. Her consumption of treats did not suffer, either. But if the soft-food was coming back up, and latching on to the hard as it climbed, then Josie was not getting much nutrition. I tried the old stand-by: Fancy Feast.

A small amount of ocean whitefish went down readily enough, though it had been so long since my Chubs had eaten it, except as a garnish, that she was hesitant. But two small helpings stayed down. This was encouraging. I repeated the performance half a day later; that too was a success. Whether the Fancy Feast was more settling to her stomach, or its arrival there was coincident to a separate recovery, I don’t know.

But I expanded my field of operations by opening a new tin of Merrick - rabbit flavour - and set that before Josie at her next dinner-time. All was well. The rabbit went through the g.i. tract as it should have done. As Sherlock Holmes may have said, “It was alimentary.” Perhaps he mayn’t have. In any case, I was pleased.

Since then, Sunday afternoon, Josie has been eating well but not heartily. Her appetite is a bit off, and she is consuming less of both hard- and soft-food. However, having weighed her and her roommates yesterday, I know that her poundage is good. She has gained a small amount of heftitude in the last month. (So has Cammie, still a little under-weight from her summer sickness; the boys are almost steady.)

I am guardedly optimistic. My Chubs seems to be over her problem, whatever it was. Since her illness earlier in the year, the princess receives a small ration of soft-food before bedtime; I may do the same for Josie. I will watch and weigh. Josie is now thirteen and has had no serious medical problems in the eight years she’s been with me. Of minor mysteries, she’s had a few, but as long as they remain minor, and lead to nothing major, they can stay mysteries.