Saturday, November 28, 2020

In the Exercise Yard

The Felons are growing, and becoming stronger and more confident. When I let Oleo and Bisto out into the exercise yard (the sitting room) now, the nylon tunnel is still a great deal of fun, but they are climbing the cat-trees now. They don’t bother with platforms – one stops there to taunt one’s brother – they climb straight up the post. I imagine this will change as they gain weight. To descend, they leap from platforms to lower cat-trees or to chairs; climbing down one foot at a time is boring: they fly three or four feet at a time. That’s like a human child routinely jumping from thirty foot heights. And, recalling the ancient days of my youth, I think that’s what children do, if they can get away with it. Kittens certainly do.

When they are loose in the bedroom, however, the Felons live up to their nickname and cause trouble among my computer cords. One evening, to re-connect whatever they disconnected, I placed my chair on the bed so that I could crawl under my desk. (Once again, remembering my childhood, I think I could do that with the suppleness of a snake; now I do it like one of those three hundred year old tortoises from the Galapagos Islands.)

When I looked, Oleo and Bisto had, naturally, made a plaything of my furniture, the skunky-nosed Bisto leading, as he does any physical activity. I apparently re-invented the Jungle Gym.







Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Felons Turn to Vandalism - or Is It Murder?

The Felons continue their rampages through the house. I hope to have another video published of their activities soon. In the meantime, though, I need to lay this charge at their feet.


Some time ago, a friend sent my cats a number of toys. Among them was this representation of a fox; he turned out to be the most popular of the gifts. So it would appear with the kittens, as well. Their interaction with the fox was, alas, not as civilised as, say, Tucker’s. Oleo or Bisto, or both (though I suspect Bisto, as he was the more drawn to it) not only killed the fox but mutilated his corpse.



First the moustache was torn off, and then he was beheaded, though not, as you may see, completely. The horrid remains were left behind the couch in the library, perhaps in the hopes that I would not find them. I did, however: they were next to one of my books, a corner of the cover of which featured newly made tiny-teeth holes…


R.I.P. little fox toy.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Tunnelling Out of Captivity

The Felons were given a day-release on Sunday, and put out into the sitting room for some exercise. They certainly took advantage of the opportunity. They explored every corner of it, became confused in the kitchen, ran back to the sitting room and had plenty of fun.


They discovered the nylon tunnel. This was of immense delight to them. They zoomed in and out, out and in, popped through the side holes, came out the ends, turned and shot back in. They jumped on it and bounced. I think they liked that the nylon had some spring but still supported them. Oleo and Bisto didn’t wrestle or fight in the tunnel, which is interesting. They ran past each other and even managed to leap over each other in its confines.


I’d left Tucker and Neville out with them, putting Renn and Josie in the bedroom. I won’t do that again. Tucker wasn’t bothered; he was up on a dining table chair, and the Felons didn’t discover him there. Neville almost had a nervous breakdown. The kittens were quite respectful of the Nevsky, but he was agitated nonetheless. He will stay safely in the bedroom the next time the babies are on the loose.


But the youngsters had their fun, lots of it. I have been able to place two videos of their antics on Facebook. The one featuring them in the tunnel was initially upside down on Facebook, but that has been corrected. Viewers may derive some enjoyment from the images, though probably not as much as the Felons did making them. (https://www.facebook.com/betcha.hugh/)
















Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Fierce, the Daring and the Playful

The Felons’ characters continue to emerge. The most noticeable aspect is that Bisto is the more daring one, while Oleo is the – slightly – more cuddly one. Bisto will take chances that his brother won’t, at least not until he observes Bisto try it first. In the library, Bisto climbed the back of the couch and up onto the shelves of the bookcases. In the bedroom, he made it to the top of the saddle-seated cat-tree. And then there was this.

A leap of more than three feet to the bed from the taller cat-tree, made while I watched and attempted to talk him out of it.

A friend generously gave us a floppy fish – a soft, ‘kicker’ toy that moves on its own. The kittens didn’t know what to make of it, though Bisto approached it and eventually started whapping it repeatedly. Oleo may be seen viewing the strange creature from the edge of the bed.



Bisto is rather more confident in playing with me, though he enjoys his quiet times, too. His brother, however, is slightly more ready to lie still for affection. Oleo has a very loud purr, and it starts easily. It can be heard across the room. Bisto’s is much quieter, but is certainly used. They were both purring when I came into the bathroom this morning and found them like this. Note the bar of soap on the tub’s floor; not where I had left it.

When it comes to playing with each other, the brothers are equals, fighting and wrestling with similar strength and assertiveness. I wonder, though, if one would immediately submit if the fight were for real.

Something I have noticed while watching the Felons play is that their pretend-brawls may be enactments of instinctive hunting or fighting methods. Both of them will go principally for the under rear side of his opponent, the soft under-belly, the genital region, damage to which in real life would incapacitate prey or a rival. They also latch on to each other’s throat, and grab at the lower rear legs, as if attempting to hamstring an enemy. It shows me that, if protected by their mother or father, it would take young predators in the wild little time to become efficient in survival. Unfortunately, the wilderness that mankind has created, and in which too many cats, old and young, are dumped, is not what nature equipped them for, and many perish.



But Oleo and Bisto are thriving. They are now over a kilogram (2.2 pounds) each in weight. Three weeks ago, they were half as heavy. They are eating hard-food now, brittle little kitten-size kernels that are crunched up easily by hard and sharp little teeth. Their diet remains mostly soft-food, supplemented by liquid kitten milk-replacement poured over it. Every day the Felons grow and change; soon they will make their first veterinary visit, and then these fierce little pretend-killers, these real snugglers, will be ready for their permanent family.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Narrow Outdoors

The Felons continue to explore and expand their world. Last night, they discovered the outdoors.


Well, the scent of the outdoors, anyway. I opened the bedroom window a small amount. It was quite cold out, and, generally, I open the window a bit at bedtime for the fresh air while I sleep, but not always before. The kittens were exploring the upper reaches of the bedroom cat-trees, to which they can now climb. They did not react immediately when I opened the window, but then they caught the smells coming in and the hunt was on for the source. Oleo found it first.


They had been but two or three weeks old when they last sniffed the outdoors and, to judge by the sounds they made being transported through it in a carrier to my apartment building, they didn’t much care for the wider world. But now, they are approaching their two-month age, and are ever so much more grown up than they were. The world may be frightening at times, but it is always an object of curiosity.


As well, Oleo and Bisto have graduated to an adult litter-box. It may be considered too big for them - after all, they have to lift a leg quite a bit in order to lift a leg in it, the door’s lip being several inches up - but that doesn’t bother them. When I first placed them in the library, they found the litter-box there and left their business in it. I started providing them with a smaller adult box, and they scrabble in and out without a complaint. This assists me since the new box is not only bigger, so there is less spillage, but hooded. Half the labour with kittens is cleaning up after them, and this is now reduced. Though the Felons are quite clean little thugs as it is, there is nonetheless a bit of relief in the new litter-box for me, as much as for the little criminals.

Onwards and upwards - literally - for the kittens.




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Aging Gracefully

In between the continuing news about the kittens, I wanted to mention my old lady, Josie. She is doing rather well these days (if I can write that without jinxing her). She is eating a little more than before; not that her food consumption was at a dangerously low level but I always like to see a cat with a healthy appetite, especially if she is elderly. She even has started coming out of the bedroom to demand her meals, especially breakfast, as she used to do.


Except for that, my Chubs spends most of her days and nights in the bedroom, where she tolerates the Felons when they are on the loose. She has given them what-for more than once, and they have so far respected her admonitions. I keep an eye on their behaviour, as I would rather they be put out than Josie be anxious. So far, though, she has maintained her equanimity.


Her joints appear to be bothering her less than previously. This may or may not be due to the subcutaneous fluids that she is receiving twice a week. (She loathes the procedure, but I think it is helping her.) She even climbed to the top of a bookcase in the library on one of her rare outings.


Josie sleeps much of the time, of course, but nonetheless takes an interest in the outdoors, as seen through the bedroom window, and enjoys a good face-rubbing session, for which she sometimes asks. She still likes to spend some of the night on the bed with me, as in her youth. She has no difficulty making a trip once or twice a day to the litter-boxes, and her vomiting, which used to be almost frequent, is rarer now, perhaps due to her more select intake of nutrition.


So the Great White spends her days and nights simply and, I think, contentedly. It may be a dull life for us humans, though I like to believe that it is an enjoyable one for an old cat. I hope, and will do all I can, to keep it so.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Felons Have Their Mugshots Taken

The kittens had the photo-shoot for their website profile yesterday. They were shy of the new human who came to take their pictures, but consented to pose for several good images. Oleo and Bisto are now formally available for adoption, though they won’t be going anywhere before their first veterinary visit and vaccinations in the first week of December. Screening potential adopters will be tough but necessary: everyone loves kittens; someone who will also love the adults they grow into is not as common. You can see their ‘official’ pictures here: http://pawsociety.com/OleoandBisto.html.

I took some photographs myself while this was going on. Renn allowed the Felons to come close, though he didn’t seem to enjoy the experience. He whined and cried a bit and only once gave a real warning, which the little ones heeded. Yet, like Josie, my big boy did not move away or leave the room, which he could have done. (Josie was tolerant last evening as the kittens played and chased each other in the bedroom. When the two of them ran right over my Chubs as she lie in the heated cat-bed, though, she hissed, looked at me, and climbed to the top of the tallest cat-tree to continue her snooze. I could almost hear the sigh.)

You can tell from these pictures, I think, that Bisto is the more outgoing of the two brothers. Indeed, Oleo hid under the bed when my friend came in to take pictures. Bisto did as well but came out a minute later at my urging; his sibling took more coaxing (ie. I had to lift him bodily from his refuge.) With a second person present to hold squirming kittens, I was able to cut the Felons’ claws. Bisto’s was the sharper by a bit, but Oleo felt his loss more: he tried climbing up the bedspread subsequently; it was like watching Superman after he had been deprived of his powers.


After the visit, the Felons were tired, and slumbered on the bed. Sometimes, they plop down separately, and sleep where they fall.


Afterward, however, they went back into the bathroom for a spell, where they cuddled together in the shaggy bed, and lie and, eventually, fell asleep in these adorable positions. It was a full day for them.



Thursday, November 12, 2020

Social Climbers

The Felons continue to learn, grow and change. Their eyes turned green this week, suggesting that they are probably about seven weeks old, one week older than we in the rescue-group thought. We’ve now re-set their birthday to September 25th.

Oleo and Bisto have also learned to climb the cat-trees in the bedroom. This is somewhat to the consternation of Josie, who liked to keep out of their way by lying on one of the platforms off the floor. She can still escape the kittens by resorting to the saddle at the top of the taller tree.






But, in fact, my old lady does not do that as often as I thought she might. Even with the energetic pair flying about the carpet, Josie will lie in the heated cat-bed on the floor. The Felons will sometimes cautiously approach her, sniffing. My Chubs will usually tolerate this, sometimes sniffing in return. If the youngsters come too close, Josie will give them a warning; if they ignore it, she will whap them, though even that blow rarely connects. The Felons get the idea: you don’t mess with a guard five times your size. Mostly, the Great White ignores them.


Of the others, Nevile dislikes the kittens, growling and huffing at them, if he finds himself close to them. Tucker will tell pretty much everyone that he is displeased with the little ones, grumbling and mumbling to himself. When the roly poly is annoyed at something, he is annoyed at everything. Renn, on the other hand, though he doesn’t care for the newcomers, shows some promise. I will work on him.

In the meantime, Oleo and Bisto continue to fight each other, in between snoozing cuddled up. They love their games together, and are a perfect lesson for anyone wondering if two kittens are preferable to one. Alone all day, they are company for one another; I’m sure they spend half their time wrestling and chasing each other. Neither bullies, and they take in turns being the attacker and defender in their fun. One will look for the other, if he can’t see him, and come to discover what the other finds so interesting. Together, they are learning how to be cats. Perhaps, maybe, possibly, one or two of mine will help show them.