Monday, December 23, 2013

A Merry Christmas to All!

There are now only a couple more days remaining until Christmas begins. I like to think of the Yuletide as lasting the whole Twelve Days, but modern society needs to get back to normal as soon as possible - and I have just two days off (one unpaid) - so must make the most of what there is. I have always enjoyed Christmas, and look forward to spending the day with my beasts.

One of my favourite Christmas carols is "I Saw Three Ships", which I used to think of as "I Saw Three Cats", back when I had just three. Now, it's "I Saw Six Cats". Fortunately, all half-dozen are faring well. I have two foster-cats who weren't with me last Christmas. Bear-Bear, good natured, talkative, demanding, has medical problems we're working to combat, but is, right now, keeping up decently. Cammie, suspicious, curious, yearning for friendship, is making great strides and has taken to coming onto my lap whenever she wishes. My foster-cats from last year, Luther and Rachael, are doing nicely. The former was adopted with his friend, Fortune, and Rachael has made excellent progress as the only cat in her current foster-home. So I am grateful for happy felines this holiday season.

I hope everyone in the Cat Blogosphere and beyond has a wonderful (literally, wonder-filled) holiday, no matter how long it lasts. Though Christmas comes at the end of a year, it is, in a way, the commencement of the next, and it’s a good way to start it, celebrating the birth of Jesus. Have fun, have food, have plenty of antacid… Above is the outside of my Christmas card. Below is the inside. It tells the sorry history of me and cats. Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cammie Crosses the Line

Cammie has come a long way as a foster-cat, and this weekend, she came just a little bit further. She jumped up on my lap, and stayed there.

It began with a bad dream. At least, I think she was suffering some fright in her sleep. She was lying on a dining table chair; she likes the cushion there, and it’s just her size. I was sitting in a neighbouring chair, and heard my foster-cat giving little cries.  I don’t know what she was dreaming about; she came from a home in which she suffered some sort of physical abuse, so her nightmares probably have plenty of fodder from which to feed. I spoke to her and she woke with a start. She immediately jumped on to the table and walked beneath my chin, rubbing her back under my face. It was the first time she had rubbed against any part of me other than my hand. Like Tungsten when the orange one wakes from a bad dream, Cammie was probably glad to find herself in reality again. She returned to her chair after that, but purred louder and longer than I’d heard her before, while I stroked her head. Several times, she looked as if ready to step on to my lap and once even put her forepaws on my legs, only to withdraw them again.

Several hours later, I was again sitting at the dining table, writing. Cammie walked up to me and sat, as if unsure of what to do next. I have been patting my knees when she has been near, attempting to encourage her to jump up. I didn’t think she would. But she did. There was no hesitation, and she began purring right away. Her motor is usually faint, but now I heard it almost as strongly as I do Tucker’s. She lie still for minutes, then got up. I thought she was going to drop to the floor, but she merely changed position. She was on my lap for nearly a third of an hour, purring the whole time. At last, she got down, to have a nibble at the food bowls.

I hope that she’ll repeat her daring leap, but won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t any time soon. She was happy on my lap, and knows that she will be treated well and be given attention and affection. It was something new, and she may have to mull it over a bit. But I think she has crossed a line into greater trust, and she’ll be back. I can’t wait.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Does This Look Like the Face of a Bully?

Really, does this look like a bully’s face?

Josie has never been afraid of Cammie, and lately has been playing with her. Well, Josie thinks it’s a fun game. The guest-girl has other notions about it. My Chubs will wait in the nylon tunnel for Cammie to pass by, and then pop out at her, not trying to bite or even touch her, just to startle her. It always works. Josie will hide around a corner and surprise the Siamese girl, or trot right up to her, not running, but veering away at the last minute, amid Cammie’s hisses and screeches.

This activity has progressed to Josie actually chasing Cammie. One Saturday morning, about five, I was woken by horrible yowlings from downstairs. I found Cammie under a chair in the library’s lobby, and Josie nonchalantly squatting near by. The Great White rarely exerts herself, but I’ve seen her leap over the nylon tunnel to make Cammie run. I have even intercepted Josie before she’s launched herself in pursuit.

To be honest, Josie is not trying to bully my foster-cat. She is having a little fun at her expense, like a child who has discovered that the annoying new kid is easily startled, and so keeps jumping from behind corners and shouting, ‘Boo!’ This fact doesn’t make it more enjoyable for Cammie.

I can’t feel too bad about Cammie’s part in this little comedy. After all, she has chased Renn and Tucker and Bear-Bear, and has stalked Tungsten. All of those activities have faded; perhaps they taste too much now of her own medicine. But Josie’s mild intimidation of Cammie is a phase, I believe. As Cammie makes progress and hisses and pouts less because the other cats exist, Josie will bother her less. It’s always more fun to irritate someone who is easily irritated. Once Cammie adapts, Josie will relax her pressure. And then probably ask me if we’ll be getting another foster-cat...

Friday, December 13, 2013

An Award!

This week my blog was given the ‘Friends and Followers’ award by Tim, over at Tomcat Commentary. I’ve recently added his blog to my list of those which I regularly visit, and have found it most entertaining. His gift of the award to I Have Three Cats is typical of the Cat Blogosphere; though most of us will never meet, we feel that we come to know the different cats and people in the Blogosphere, just a little. Thanks again, Tim; I hope you and yours are enjoying the approach to Christmas, and have all your preparations for the big day set. And no, mine aren’t even close to completion...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Melancholy BB

Bear-Bear continues to go for his blood tests each week, but the results are not encouraging. My long foster-cat is fighting a low red blood-cell count, which may be indicative of cancer, though in the first instance, he is being treated for a condition in which his own body is attacking its blood cells. There is no certainty that this is the matter with him, but it is treatable, while the cancer is not.

The prednisone that he is currently taking is not helping him, however. It may soon be complemented by another drug, which may, if successful, replace it. On the other hand, it's possible that the prednisone is  ineffective in its cream form, which is rubbed in his ear. A pill may be more potent. These are the options that are being considered.

For the moment, Bear-Bear continues to act well and healthy. He has a good appetite - when he meets with a food to his liking - and very much enjoys his pets and chin rubs. He will often come up to me while I am sitting writing, and want to jump onto my lap. There, he will relax to some attention until he decides, quite suddenly, that he has had enough. He feels chilly at times, I know, for he has discovered the vents through which the furnace forces hot air, and will take up a station on a cat-tree above them, when they are exuding warmth. Otherwise, he will usually be found on his heated cat-pad. In the picture below, the BB appears to be on some sort of life-support. He is, in fact, snoozing in comfort.

Bear-Bear frequently appears to have a melancholy air to him. His lazy gaze and drawn out speech make him seem rather downcast. But I think he is content much of the time. He isn't one for socializing with the other cats, but he greets me at the door each day when I come home from work, and I’m sure to rub his fuzzy head, to let him know I appreciate his presence. I do like him being in my home - his home. The veterinarian told me that if the BB has cancer, it would be optimistic to expect him to live another year. But in what time he has left, all his friends will make certain that he is happy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Renn Views the Storm

A week ago, we had a blizzard here in southern Alberta. About a foot of snow fell, and it was accompanied by high winds and low temperatures. The following days have been very cold, the thermometer falling to -40° some times. For those of you reading this in other countries, I should write that though Canada has a reputation of being a chilly land, it’s rare to plumb these depths of frigidity. Even -20° (Celsius) is not all that common during winter. I thought of all the people, cats and dogs who don’t have warm shelters at this time of year, and was grateful that mine do.

Renn, like all his feline brethren, doesn’t concern himself with possibilities, such as not having a comfortable home. Instead, he restricts himself to facts, and when it snows, my furry scientist begins his studies. There was no snow on the ground when the storm began, but plenty of leaves covered the dull brown grass. These were whipped about by the gale and, with twigs, plastic bags and other debris, created no end of interest for my big boy.

The other cats watched the blizzard progress but without the intensity that a scholar such as Renn brings to an observation. From his perch on the taller of the sitting room cat-trees and, later, at the bedroom window, his attention was riveted by events outside. It was only with the fall of darkness that he relaxed and set aside his studies.

Such weather we have not suffered for years here and, though there were undoubtedly many accidents due to the conditions, I did not hear of any fatalities or even severe injuries, thank goodness. Indubitably, meteorologists and other scientists were keenly taking note of all that happened throughout the day, so as to render such storms less hazardous in the future, but few could have been studying the blizzard with the seriousness of my big boy, Renn.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tucker Wins Again

Tucker had been battling a new attack of urinary infection. For this he had been force-fed a pill thrice a day for a month. That was the prescription. I interpreted it as feeding him a different pill each of the three times a day; giving him the same pill each time would indeed have been an ordeal.

Anyway, semantical pedantry aside, the roly poly one endured his medicine for four weeks. Then he had to give a urine sample. I explained in a previous article about him successfully giving a sample in non-absorbent cat-litter, and how it was contaminated. After two stressful journeys to the animal hospital, Tucker was able to provide a sample directly from his bladder. It has now been proclaimed clean - well, as clean as urine gets. His infection has been destroyed.

I had guessed that this was the case, considering how he was acting, but the confirmation was necessary for my peace of mind and, of course, to plot a new strategy if the infection had not been cured. I am happy for the little sausage of a cat.

Though the affair of getting him to the veterinary hospital and having the sample extracted was very anxious for him, he came home, had a good meal, some relaxation and then play-time. A session of brushing made him feel even better. He was purring minutes after he returned home. He has always been quick to purr, but I think that he is a creature who simply puts bad things behind him. If he sees the cat-carrier, his worries will be renewed, but until then, evil is forgotten. There is a bowl of hard-food for nibbling through the day, soft-food will be served later, there are toys for recreation and comfy places in which to sleep. The house is warm and safe. Life is good. I wish we humans could disregard the possibility of disaster as he does, but it’s the fact that we do not that allows Tucker and those like him to live largely without concern. That’s worth the worrying that I do for him.