Friday, January 13, 2017

My Impending Guest

There is a change coming to our little home - it’s about to become littler.

I have a guest-cat coming to stay for a while. His name is Parker. He is in the care of another local rescue-group, but his foster-guardian is going into the hospital for a bit, and then will need some time for recovery afterward. Parker is diabetic, and since I have some experience with a cat in that condition, he will be coming to stay with me for the interim.

It’s true that I already have four cats in a small apartment, but Parker is described as an easy-going fellow. He certainly gets along well with the other felines in his foster-home. Initially, he will stay sequestered in the library, but I intend to try to integrate him amongst my lot. As friendly as Parker may be, the real test will be how friendly my beasts are with him. Tucker was at odds with both of my last two foster-cats. The roly poly was determined to preserve his lowly position in the household’s hierarchy; it may have been fourth but he was not about to slip to fifth. We will see what he makes of Parker.

At the worst, I foresee the new fellow being relegated to the library when I sleep or leave the apartment for extended periods, as was the case with Noah and Kola. Parker’s dietary arrangement may require something along those lines regardless. In the meantime, my girls will have to become accustomed to less time in the library; it is, in particular, Josie’s favourite room. 

But right now, all of this is speculation and planning. My new guest arrives on Sunday. Then, we will know more.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How Sleeping Dogs Lie

Not every one of my cats sleeps in odd positions. Josie is pretty normal in that regard, and Cammie, though she indulges in some spillage from her cat-bed from time to time, is also quite conventional. Tucker’s angles can be a bit questionable. But when it comes to variety, none of them can beat Renn. My big enjoys his sleep and enjoys his many ways of sleeping.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just In Case

Living with four cats makes me a little nervous. I am often worried that something catastrophic, such as a fire, will occur and I won’t be able to get them out. This fear has been predicated mainly upon means and not opportunity. To ease this feeling, I at last bought two more cat-carriers, and now have one for each of the beasts.

I should have done this long ago, of course. When I was fostering cats for the PAW Society, I had some of their carriers for transporting the cats, but when I had no more fosters, I didn’t think it fair to use the group’s equipment. Thus, for a while, I had only two carriers. There is no cat I would want to carry indefinitely if I had to leave the apartment building in a hurry. Two are too heavy and big, a third would quickly become too restless and a fourth, Cammie, would not only want out of my arms immediately but, if she were able to get away from me outside, would probably never be seen again. I miss the trusting docility - and feather-lightness - of Tungsten.

But now, these problems are solved. I have two new carriers - which turn out to be identical to one I already had. The blue box is my original, which I bought for transporting the orange one years ago. It is still in very good condition. I did not purchase the most expensive models, those with heated seats, cruise-control and intercoms to see who is visiting. These are for containment to and from the veterinary hospital and for emergency transport only. I think they will suffice in any instance.

And my peace of mind is considerably increased - just in case.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snug for Winter

This entry is little more than an excuse to show a cute cat in a snug cat-bed. But it did make me think that one of the things for which I am grateful - one of the many things for which I should be grateful - is being able to provide a warm haven for four cats. I wish I could bring in more, but my wage doesn’t allow it, not if I want to retain a monetary margin for error. And space is limited.

But when it is cold outside, or wet, when the wind howls, or when I see one of my cats drinking fresh water from a clean bowl, or eagerly anticipating a dish of soft-food, I feel good, and thankful that I am in a position to do this for them. There are, of course, many other actions I should perform to help the world. I sometimes attempt them, to varying degrees of success. But the four beasts who live with me are my success story, and I am grateful for it.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Condiments for Cats

On a topic related to last week’s entry about food, I would like to mention my use of FortiFlora in the cats’ soft-food meals. If I repeat myself from earlier articles, please forgive me; I can’t recall whether I have described this subject previously in my blog, or just in conversations with friends.

FortiFlora is the brand-name for a pro-biotic that a number of cats in the Blogosphere have been ingesting. I was inspired to buy it after reading about it, specifically in Katie Isabella’s blog ( and Kim’s, at Musings on a Small Life ( Katie in particular seems to have had much success with pro-biotic.

It is meant to benefit digestion; in particular, it has been advantageous in reducing vomiting and improving the results of litter-box visits. I wanted to try it for Josie, since she has a very sensitive stomach and brings up her food, if not frequently, then more often than she should. Veterinary tests have shown - as much as they can - that there is little wrong with her. Thus, I thought a benevolent additive to her food would help.

The FortiFlora, which I purchase from my veterinarian, has not really helped with my Chubs’s vomiting. Its occurrence does seem a little less, but then its frequency has always fluctuated, and I don’t see evidence that it is being reduced by the new additive. This may be a problem with the delivery of the substance. The instructions call for a whole pouch to be used each day. My cats have always refused to eat a large amount of food when served all at once. I give two, three or more smaller portions, however many they want. (Yes, they are odd and picky and demanding. They are cats.) So I can’t put as much of the FortiFlora on or in the food as I would like.

However, the good news is that the cats enjoy the taste of it. This is the first time comestibles from the veterinary hospital have proved popular among my beasts. It has a beefy aroma to it and, as a powder, is easily added to the soft-food.

This encourages the cats to eat. Josie doesn’t need too much prompting in that direction, but there are some flavours of food for which even she doesn’t care. (I buy it for the others, or I bought it when someone, who has since changed her mind, liked it.) Some FortiFlora makes it more than palatable. This is also the case with the others. I am particularly pleased that Cammie likes the flavour. I have been able to feed her some Merrick brand soft-food, rather than just the one flavour of Fancy Feast, to which she had restricted herself previously. She particularly likes the chicken variety of Merrick. It is due to good and plentiful food, I believe, that the princess's bald patches on the sides of her head have filled in.

These developments mean more soft-food consumption, which is all to the good. And, as their doctor stated, the pro-biotic can do them little harm. I was considering sprinkling the FortiFlora on the hard-food, as well. This would probably result in more of the pro-biotic being ingested, but also more hard-food, which is not preferable to more soft.

The new additive has been provided only for a month or six weeks, so it is still early days. I will buy more - it’s not the most expensive item I buy for the beasts, but it’s not cheap, either - as I find that the beneficial qualities outweigh the bad (the latter really being no more than the cost). Seeing a pink nose, formerly turned up at many flavours and brands of food, now buried in a dish of nutrition is too satisfying to ignore.

Friday, January 6, 2017

My Left-over Cat

Do you have a left-over cat? Josie is my left-over cat. I don’t mean that she herself is a remnant. Very often when I serve soft-food, there are left-overs. Renn rarely eats soft-food, and when he does, he eats small amounts. When he eats more than that, he will consume a portion of what he is given and refuse to eat more of it, though he will eat the same amount of a second portion. Tucker will down most of any ration he is given, but not all of it. What happens to the remnant?

Josie gets it. Now, she doesn’t just get a glob of dried-out, day-old food plopped on a dish in front of her, while the others get fresh servings. I wrap it in plastic initially and, when it is time to serve the food, I mix a small portion of it with a new serving. Since my Chubs is usually a good eater, she receives two or three helpings, into each of which is mixed a bit of left-over. That way, yesterday’s food is consumed at last. And that day produces yet more left-overs.

This does not happen all the time. Now and then, the beasts gobble all of their helpings. The important thing is that Josie receives her nutrition and enjoys it; she appears to do so, anyway. And thank goodness the Great White is my left-over cat; otherwise, I’d have mounds of unwanted food by the end of each week. I’d have to eat it. I’d be my own left-over cat.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

And a Happy New Year

The new year has begun. I spent New Year’s Eve as I spend most Saturday nights, watching a movie with Renn. The other cats are not film-goers and snooze elsewhere. Later, I read. This Saturday night was different only in that the year turned at midnight. I didn’t notice it until ten or twelve minutes after the event.

Last year at this time, I and the beasts had just moved into the apartment. Not everything had been put away yet, but I believe it had been only on the last day of December that the movers brought all our belongings over from the old house. It was the start of a new chapter of my life. Well, the chapter, except for the setting, was much the same as the previous. My life would not make a best-seller.

While many lives experienced tribulation last year, mine improved. It had been 2015 that had been a tough one for me. A friend of mine died in January, and Tungsten in March. Then I had to sell the house. Though hardly ground-breaking in its beneficence, 2016 was better. There were some health concerns with the cats, but nothing major. They are aging, of course, so their well-being will, I suspect, cause greater anxiety to me in the days to come. (As an aside, it was pointed out to me – by the lady who adopted one of Renn’s brothers – that Renn is not eleven years old, as I described in the entry “Mini-Renn”. I was confusing cats. My big boy is my youngest, at nine; Tucker and Cammie are eleven, and Josie twelve.)

This new year may hold challenges (I don’t care for challenges; they usually mean more work) but I am in a reasonably good position to meet them. I hope everyone reading this now is in at least as advantageous a situation – and even those not reading this. Happy new year!