Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Josie, As If Remembering

Josie is my oldest cat (by a year), and the one who has been with me the longest. She has changed through the years, becoming much more demonstrably affectionate. She has also mellowed to a degree.

I thought of this earlier in the week while I was in the bedroom listening to music. It was a station that plays largely solo piano music, recent compositions that are variously compiled under the titles ‘adult contemporary’ or ‘new age’. In any case, I like it. This one selection featured not just a piano, but the sounds of birds, to evoke a feeling of a woodland in summer. When the birdsong was heard, my Chubs, who was curled in the saddle of the tall cat-tree in the bedroom, one of her favourite resorts, noticed, and turned toward the source of the music.

She was not alarmed or even noticeably alert. She was not annoyed, nor was she interested in finding these birds. It was as if she were simply enjoying the sounds. Was she recollecting a distant memory, when she was a kitten, possibly the last time she was outside? Was she thinking of lying under a tree in a forest glade, watching the birds above, or drifting off to sleep in a warm slumber?

Whatever her thoughts, Josie was contemplative until the birds ceased to sing. She then returned to her rest, her eyes closed, her breathing gentle. My oldest cat has changed through the years but, perhaps for a moment, she was young again, when everything was new, she was an excitable youngster, and birds sang in the trees overhead.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thin Is In

I find that my cats become bored with the toys I use to play with them. That’s natural, I suppose. They don’t put much effort into entertaining themselves, but will be interested in items presented to them. String-toys are a favourite, but even they must be altered from time to time. For a while, I had success with a shoelace, but that too has palled. So I brought out a NEW shoelace.

This one is thin, very thin. In fact, it is so thin the cats have trouble grabbing it. This appears to make it much more of a challenge to them, and they love it, for the moment. I do not make the mistake of believing this will last; I will soon have to come up with another diversion. The games that other cats enjoy - Track-Ball and Da Bird, for instance - have very limited appeal for the beasts at the cosy apartment, so I usually take a direct hand in their entertainment.

I don’t mind. I like seeing my roommates enjoy themselves. Even Cammie joined in this time and fought with the thin shoelace. So, while it lasts, I present the beasts having some burry fun. For now, thin is in.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Easy Like Sunday - At Least for Cats

Yesterday was indeed an easy Sunday - for the cats. For some reason, my Sundays are busy; there is always plenty to do. But I had time to take photographic proof that the beasts don’t share my work ethic. Behold, the reasons I work so much.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tiny But Growing

It’s about time for an update on tiny Adah, I think. She is doing well but her foster-home is suffering through a bout of ringworm. I don’t imagine there has been a rescue-group that hasn’t experienced that fungus - I think it may be an occupational hazard for people who rescue cats - but having kittens so young affected is probably rare. An older kitten from the same foster-home was tested by a veterinarian and the results are conclusive. The veterinarian will be able to treat the older baby but not Adah, as she is too young.

In the meantime, Adah is coping well enough. She is growing, and now weighs double what she did two and a half weeks ago - a whole seven ounces. I don’t know if that is light for a three week old cat, but she seems to be thriving, despite the ringworm. The milk of her surrogate-mum, Miss Mew, is being supplemented, and Adah has already expressed an interest in more solid - or at least slushy - food. She will stay with Miss Mew for plenty of time yet, and enjoy nature’s baby-food, but I think it is a good sign that she is adventurous enough to be curious about other nutrition.

Adah will be introduced to the world next week through the PAW Society’s monthly newsletter. If there is no one interested in adopting her before she leaves her surrogate-mum, she will come to live with me. But I can’t see there being no inquiries about this little sweetie, can you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My New Bath Buddy

Circumstances change, as do situations. I have found that with the coming and going of the seasons, my cats’ behaviour patterns alter. They sleep in different places, they are more or less active. Most Saturday nights, when I have my bath, Renn comes into the bathroom and keeps me company while the tub fills. Sometimes he stays afterward, sometimes not. But lately, he has been a little slack in his ablutionary accompaniment. Instead, someone new has been investigating the process.

While Renn seems to enjoy the sound and warmth of the rushing water falling into the tub, Parker wanted to see what was actually happening. He may not have experienced such a thing before. I was afraid a couple of times that he was about to jump in. That would have been a disaster for both of us. But he restricted himself to observation, and later settled down on my slippers. Eventually, he left and lie down, apparently on guard, at the threshold to the bathroom.

There is always something of interest going on when you have cats.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Holiday Weekend Tradition

We have a tradition here at the cosy apartment of which we are trying to rid ourselves. It seems that whenever a long weekend comes up, Cammie has one of her vomiting episodes. It happened again this Friday.

I know the cause of it, at least as definitely as I can, and I am at fault. Cammie has not been fed any soft-food for months because I know that some of it makes her throw up, and continue to throw up over several days, even when there is nothing left in her stomach. To be precise, I believe it is only Fancy Feast that causes this problem; there is something in it to which she is highly allergic. It is probably fish, and I suspect that it is even in some of the non-fish flavours. But I have been keeping her away from even Merrick and Wellness soft-foods, as I cannot be sure that they do not create problems. For several months, the princess has consumed only Z/D variety hard-food, and has been free of vomiting episodes.

On Friday, I believe she ate some tiny morsels that Josie had left in her food-bowl at dinner-time. Cammie had been in the sitting room’s tall cat-tree, with my Chubs at the bottom. Josie had finished and I saw that Cammie had descended from the tree. I am usually vigilant about keeping her away from the others’ bowls, but I think I was slack this time. She must have consumed some of the leftovers from Josie’s meal.

That evening, she threw up. She did it again later that night, and very early in the morning. This being Victoria Day weekend, I knew I couldn’t leave any solution for the next week; Cammie would have been without food for four days by then.

Fortunately, her veterinarian hospital is open Saturday mornings. I called them as soon as they opened, to request an injection of Cerenia for Cammie. It is the only solution to her problem that has proven effective. There were no slots open for an appointment, but the receptionist understood the situation’s urgency, and told me to bring Cammie in, and a shot would be administered between appointments. I did this, and the doctor who was on duty had treated Cammie before. The Cerenia was administered.

There was of course the chance that Cerenia would not work this time. I am always afraid that there will be a case from which my princess will not recover. But it was not this time. Later Saturday, she ate a few kernels of Z/D. She wanted to eat, but food was still unattractive to her. But, in the evening, she ate more, and by bed-time her appetite was normal again. Today, she was active and happy – as happy as she becomes – and eating a healthy amount of food. There has been no vomiting since before the Cerenia injection. I am angry at my own laxity, and must be extra-cautious with Cammie from now on.

As a result of thoughts about food, however, I have amended Josie’s diet, as well. As you may have read previously, she has been constantly losing weight, if only by very small increments. She also throws up too often for my liking, though not in the same circumstances as Cammie. I fear many possibilities, but it may be simply a matter of Josie not eating enough. The solution may have been under my hand all along. She loves Cammie’s Z/D hard-food. Much of her diet comprises Orijen Regional Red hard-food. (Cammie has access to this, but I do not believe it is disruptive to her stomach.) I am now supplementing Josie’s menu with Z/D. Like Cammie, she will receive it when she asks for it. Its bulk may reverse the diminishing of her poundage, and its hydrolysed nature should make it easy on her stomach. The Great White will continue to be given soft-food, but in smaller amounts, as it is frequently after her soft-food meals that she regurgitates. I am hopeful that this policy will put some chub on my Chubs once more.

I am someone who enjoys tradition. I think it is a rock which provides a foundation for new and enjoyable activities. But not every tradition is good; not every one deserves preservation. I can live without Cammie’s holiday weekend episodes. With greater vigilance on my part, she will, too.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Reaching a Compromise with Spring

After a long winter, not unusually cold but with much more snow than we have had in many years, it is at last spring. But just as the winter was abnormal, so too is this spring. It seems more like summer, with its high temperatures. The trees had to rush to catch up, their leaves bursting out very rapidly, and the flowering shrubs are late in blooming.

The cats too have experienced a summer-like spring. They have been enjoying the sunbeams that now come into the apartment, especially in the sitting room. But sometimes the heat is too much even for feline bodies. And yet, some cats are reluctant to abandon the warmth that felt so good for so many months. Cammie has found a compromise.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Roly Poly Rolling (or, Tucker a la Tumble)

Tucker often sleeps the first half of the night in a cat-bed in the sitting room, coming to the bedroom some time in the early morning. He snoozes at the foot of the bed, on the folded comforter, now that the warmer weather has reduced that covering’s use. Things are a bit lazy on weekends, so when I greet the beasts upon waking, there is usually much yawning and stretching. This last Saturday, Tucker happily gave a big stretch, changing his podgy form from a tubby wine cask shape to a slightly less tubby wine cask shape. But he was on the edge of the bed even before his stretch, and that action tumbled him over.

A quick twist to save himself failed as he was already plunging. Fortunately, he struck the steps - the flat surface of the top step - not far down, and that broke his fall. I don’t think he was hurt. With his padding, it must have been like landing on a big package of Twinkies. He recovered swiftly and, after I checked him over for shattered bones, torn ligaments and hurt pride, he started purring; embarrassed, probably.

These are the things with which a roly poly sausage has to put up. Luckily, while a sausage doesn’t fall gracefully, in this case, it landed well.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Her New Life Begins

The PAW Society’s most recent addition is doing well. Rebecca was, as may be imagined, frightened and disoriented by her new surroundings. She hid, and did not eat or produce waste, though two litter-boxes were provided (one with corn-based litter, the other with clay). No one expected her to do more than she did.

Different varieties of food were offered for her selection, and, after a day, she ate a little of one sort. The next day, she ate much more, and visited the clay-filled litter-box. That one may have been chosen due to its resemblance to crumbled asphalt, which was how her world was paved for, probably, her whole short life. Since then, she has been attending to her bodily needs admirably.

These include grooming. Whether she had little time for such a luxury or whether living outside simply rendered most of her efforts null, she was a bit shabby when trapped. As the photograph illustrates, she is cleaner now, her white fur whiter.

Coming from a colony, she perhaps is naturally sociable, at least with other cats. Another foster-cat in the house, Nicolas (available for adoption with his bonded sister, Isabella (, is a friendly fellow and wanted very much to meet Rebecca. When he was at last let into the newcomer’s room, they seemed to hit it off. Now, when their foster-guardian peeks into the room, she will often see Rebecca crouched beside her new pal. Nicolas will no doubt be an excellent influence on the little girlcat.

Rebecca’s progress with people has barely begun, but that is to be expected. She knew only cats in her previous life, except for the humans who fed her and her companions. Humans were not to be trusted. But that will change. As always, the key is to give a cat time – her own time – and where she is now she will receive all she needs.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Bit of Fresh Air

I would like to have a catio for my beasts. I didn’t have the resources when I lived in my house, and now that I am in the apartment, I don’t have the authority. I’m not sure how I would arrange one, anyway. But I notice them around my town now and then, and this past Saturday, I saw this one.

As you may observe, it is a little catio. I imagine it is for a small cat. There is no room to run, but it is probably for an elderly cat, one who wants to enjoy the fresh air, the warm fragrances of summer. He likely no longer has the energy for exercise, but wants to spend his golden years smelling the scents that still come strongly to his old nose. He is a small cat, to judge from the tiny hammock.

Though it is not roomy, the catio shows someone cares about their furry friend, and went to some trouble over his comfort. It may be a tenant in a basement flat, since there is access to the wired-in area from a basement window. I like it. I will pass by in the future, in the high summer, and perhaps catch its feline owner basking in the gentle breezes that he can feel on his ancient furs. I won’t disturb him, though; such a fellow deserves to have his fresh air in peace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Little More Good News

In the wake of good news about Adah’s health and Rebecca’s capture, I can report a bit more.

The blood-glucose numbers of my diabetes boys have stabilised. Their doctors are pleased with where their ‘curves’ show them to be. Tucker’s insulin dosage remains at two units twice a day, down from the five that he once had been given. Parker just received permission to be given a reduction in his amount: after being on four units twice a day for several weeks, he is now at three and a half. His latest curve dipped down very low and, while not dangerous, it need not reach that point for his health. Consequently, his insulin dosage has been decreased, to give him a margin of safety. This will undoubtedly make his daily ‘curve’ a less drastic one, and better for him. The loss of weight in each cat has had an effect on their blood-sugar numbers and their treatment.

I am fortunate to have such co-operative subjects for what seems to be a continuously experimental situation. They bear their monthly ‘curves’ with fortitude, and stay cheerful through all their injections. Parker even reminds me when it’s time for his evening shot - though this may have to do with the fact that the furry gourmand is given a little bit of soft food as a reward.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


It was long odds, to say the least.

I was representing the PAW Society in the efforts to trap Adah’s mother. She had had one litter (hopefully, just the one) for whom she was too young to care properly. It would not be long until she was pregnant again. We wanted to catch her, and give her permanent respite from such a fate. The early mornings and early evenings were the best times. Each day, I set the trap, and today was no different. I bicycled out to my work-place (not really something I like to do on a day off) four times to check on the situation; we couldn’t leave a cat in the trap too long – assuming we caught anyone. But three times, I saw an empty trap - a discouraging sight in such a case.

About 7.30, I rode out again. As I approached, I could see the trap had been sprung. Who had we caught? I asked myself. The feral colony behind my work-place was subjected to a trapping operation some time before, and most of the cats there are fixed. The unhappy cat in the cage could be one of those: a wasted effort, from our perspective. It could be one of the fewer cats who needed fixing; that would be a small chance, but possible. The notion that it would be Adah’s mum was unlikely.

There she was: Adah’s mother. Displeased and frightened, but on the verge of a better life. We have named her Rebecca. In the Bible, Rebecca was the mother of Jacob and Esau. In our more complicated situation, Rebbeca is the mother of Seraph and Jacob, alas passed away, and of Adah, formerly Esau. If Jacob had survived, and Adah had remained male, Rebecca’s name would have been more fitting. But, all things considered, and all obstacles considered, I think things have worked out rather well.

Rebecca will be spending some time calming down in the home of an experienced fellow PAW member. A veterinary appointment will be made, though that may yet be a few days. But this little cat is now safe; she will eat, she will sleep, little dreaming how her life has just improved.