Sunday, January 31, 2021

Xanadu Goes to the Movies

Xanadu passed the test of movie-night better than the Former Felons did. My latest foster-cat is quite active, but Saturday he was a little less so. I think what happened earlier in the day may have contributed: he had a visitor, a fellow member of the rescue-group, who came to take Xanadu’s pictures and clean his ears. The little boy with the swirl fur disliked the ear-cleaning greatly, and I think that subdued him for the day. We will get back into action this morning.

But during the movie, he disconnected the cable between the dvd-player and the television set only once, and, surprisingly, came out from behind the tv when I told him to. He settled down next to me for the most of the film, though he was intrigued by the popcorn that I ate for the first half-hour. Eventually, he nodded off: I think he probably prefers colour movies.

I chuckled afterward at his antics. I keep the television set in the library closet, opening the sliding doors when I want to view the screen. After the film, I closed the doors. This surprised Xanadu, and he paced about in front of the closet, probably wondering where the tv had gone. He then pulled up the soaker pad I keep in front of the litter-box. Perhaps not understanding the sliding doors, he probed the pad, thinking that the tv was under there. That’s not bad reasoning for a little fellow who can’t comprehend technology.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Xanadu Versus the Floppy Fish

The perma-cats usually have little to offer a new toy but apathy. I was not surprised, therefore, when, after a friend gave us a ‘floppy fish’, my four beasts played with it not at all. Their jaded reactions would be turned on their heads, I thought, when I presented the same animated toy to the Felons. While Bisto, the more adventurous of the two, whapped the fish several times, Oleo was frightened of it. Even Bisto’s interest was not great, and did not endure.

Enter Xanadu. This youngster, about six months of age, is at the right point of his life to appreciate such a fun adjunct to play-time. And he does. He attacks it, bites it, kicks it, wrestles with it and jumps on it – all the things a spirited cat should be doing.

Please excuse more blurry pictures. It’s difficult to capture a tiger pouncing.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Fun in the Library

Xanadu is doing well. He was moved to the library - with its greater space, comfy couch, bookcases to play around and window - and is enjoying himself there. I had to wait until I was sure he would use the litter-box. He used it for the first time in the bathroom while I was with him. Later, he used it further, including for solid waste. That proven, he was promoted to the library.

He is very active. It is difficult to take a picture of him that isn’t blurry; difficult to hold him - though he is very friendly, he needs to be on the go most of the time - and difficult to evaluate him for dirty ears, long claws, and other health issues. Fortunately, he seems in very good shape. With a friend’s help, I was able to cut Xanadu’s claws, though I trimmed one too shortly and he bled. I felt bad; he didn’t seem to feel it, though, and it didn’t slow him down.

He appears to calm when he is alone: coming into the library, I have caught him more than once relaxing on the heated towel on the couch, and a couple of times looking out the window. He enjoys the view he has now, and also likes exploring behind the bookcases.

My new guest also likes the toys that are strewn about the Cosy Apartment, unlike the other lazy beggars who populate the residence. I’ve brought a number of toys into the library for his entertainment, and he seems to have chosen a favourite, one of a pair of fat, grey mice. He will bat it around the legs of the bookcases, and periodically lose it too far under the same furniture. (The pictures here are of terrible quality, taken of a speedily-moving object in poor light.)

On Tuesday, I will end this long, slender stick-boy’s quarantine and introduce him to the perma-cats. I doubt that they will welcome the newcomer, but I fancy it will be a better relationship than the oldsters had with the Former Felons, whom they may not have recognised as their own species. That, of course, may not make a difference, but I’m hoping there will be some concession to similar dna. Trying to explain genetics to Tucker, however, is an up-hill battle…

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

No Joke for Scherzo

By a remarkable amount of luck, I have managed to trap the third of Bauble’s five kittens at my work-place. While Xanadu waits, more or less happily, at home, this little one waits, terrified, in a trap. I’ve named him Scherzo; it’s a classical music term for a light, amusing movement, from the Italian word for ‘joke’. Right now, however, Scherzo isn't seeing any humour.

I didn’t think I’d catch him, or as easily as he was caught. This morning, I set a trap while five or six of the regular cats, all previously fixed, came out for breakfast. I didn’t see any of Bauble’s kittens at the time (though Sonata and Serenade were seen on the weekend, cleaning themselves after eating.) Not ten minutes later, one of my co-workers came in and reported a cat in the trap. I was certain it was one I had previously captured.

Two black and white cats (Fresca and Shasta), brothers, are regular diners behind my work-place; they are nearly identical, but I can tell them apart upon inspection. Scherzo looks like them, but the nearly all-black nose and black smudge on the chin differentiate him. That he is an unsterilised youngster was confirmed by my colleague who feeds the colony.

I am waiting now upon the availability of a time for Scherzo’s surgery. Though I am, for convenience, calling him male, he may be a female, and the longer time required for spaying must be considered by the doctor. Either way, he will be staying over-night in the warmth of my bathroom. I think I feel confident enough in Xanadu to move him to the library this afternoon.

This seems like a good start to the day, even if Scherzo isn’t feeling it.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Welcome to Xanadu

About an hour ago, this little fellow arrived at the Cosy Apartment. He was found last week lying in the middle of the road, on the highway between my city and another town. There are no communities near by, and he was probably abandoned. We rarely have space for foster-cats, but he will be staying with me until he is adopted. I’ve named him Xanadu.

I don’t believe he was thrown from an automobile – as sometimes happens to unwanted cats – as he has no visible injuries, and acts unimpaired. He is five or six months old, in good shape, superficially, with smooth fur. He is very friendly, trusting and curious. He didn’t use a litter-box while at the home of the man who found him, but that may be for a variety of reasons. I don’t think he was an outside or barn cat, as he has the softness of an insider, and is very familiar and comfortable with human touch, suggesting daily, gentle contact. He has already sat on my lap – briefly, as there is much to explore.

For now, he will remain in quarantine in my bathroom. That will be tough for a lone youngster - Oleo and Bisto had each other for company – but unavoidable for the time being. When he has demonstrated a knowledge of litter-boxes, he can move to the library.

He may be a lost cat, rather than abandoned, and I will be checking the lost-and-found advertisements. If no one is missing him, Xanadu will be ready for adoption very soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

I See You

I have found that I never stop discovering things about my cats. That’s probably true of any advanced creature; just as we think we know them, their personalities develop some more and something new is presented.

Neville never struck me as someone with an expansive sense of levity. He plays, but in a rather desultory fashion. Fighting the stick and grabbing for the object at the end of a string-toy’s string – as long as not much effort is involved – seems to be his extent. But lately, I have found something else amuses him.

The Former Thin Man likes playing peek-a-boo. If I hide – or, rather, keep my face hidden – then reveal it, he starts purring. Repetition of this little game creates such a reaction that he starts kneading with his paws. Tucker has long enjoyed a short game of this, but I wouldn’t have thought that the Nevsky shared this taste.

I keep the game limited, so as not to cause boredom with it. I end it with a petting session, to which Neville is more receptive after a fun time peek-a-booing. It may be my imagination, but this seems to be part of a wider decision of his to be open to more interaction. He has not hitherto been an effusively warm cat, but he appears to be enjoying my company a bit more. I have to perform a curve on the poor fellow tomorrow – back to the traditional ear-pokes – so his sympathy toward me may be short-lived.

If he feels resentful because of the curve, however, I may be able to win him over again, with a little peek-a-boo.