Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Her Assertions

My foster-cat, Portia, is asserting herself in the Cosy Apartment. She knows how to communicate her wishes, getting her point across plainly. Aside from the hissing and whapping of her early days with me, she has also learned how to talk to me - or perhaps the phrase should be, how to make me listen.


In addition to picking up swiftly on the definitions of “dinner” and “snack”, Po has let me know when she is hungry. Yesterday, she climbed up onto my desk and sat in front of me, effectively blocking my attempts at work.


In the evenings, when the summer sun shines directly into my apartment, I draw the blinds in the bedroom, to reduce the temperature there a bit. Portia now comes into the bedroom now and then, and likes sitting on the ledge under the window to look out. While the boys accept the drawn blinds and, if they are intent on viewing the outside, go to another window, Portia has instead complained to me, telling me that - in case I was unaware - the blinds were drawn and she couldn’t look out. I am instructed to raise the blinds.


During the day, when I am at work, I close the sliding glass door to the concrete ditch. It is not closed completely, but is latched in place by a bar, so that it cannot be opened wide enough for someone to get in. Some air passes by the slightly open door and through the screen. But Portia likes to sit with the door open to the full screen. As soon as I come home, she will trot over to the sliding door and demand that it be opened.


My foster-cat, Portia, is asserting herself in the Cosy Apartment.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Our Time

I try to give my cats as much of my time as I can. What with work and chores, and the few hours I manage to sleep, the four of them don’t get much of me. But I like to give each his moment.

Renn has bath-time, when he waits happily with me while the tub fills with hot water. Later, he will join me for movie-night - through which he’ll sleep. Neville will come up on my lap for a prolonged session of chin-rubs. Porta now likes to snuggle next to me on the library couch.

Tucker, on the other hand, always seems to be near me. He’s at the dining table if I am writing, or - especially - if I am eating. He lies on the floor at my feet if I sit and read on the siting room couch, and he likes to snooze on the bed while I work on the computer.

But our favourite time is when I lift him up to the kitchen window. There is no chair or cat-tree or counter near enough to it for him to look out himself, so I will hold him. I talk to him as we look out; I ask him what he sees, and point out things that may interest him. He always purrs. When he is in a bad mood - perhaps Portia’s growls have been preventing the roly poly from going to the bedroom, or if he has thrown up a good dinner - holding him at the kitchen window and talking to him always makes him happy again. It is our time together; a short time, just a few minutes, really, but I think he views it as a treat.

I know I do.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Warm Weather Tunelling

As I had mentioned in a previous entry, Portia discovered the nylon tunnel a little while ago. Now and then, she fits; periodically, she doesn’t want to. It is hot today; maybe she prefers the ventilation…

Saturday, June 26, 2021

A Forgiving Cat

It always surprises me how forgiving a cat can be. As readers may recall, Neville develops mats in his fur, especially along his back and rear. This necessitates cutting them out. I have begun using an electric hair-trimmer for this task. It is effective and the result, if not pretty, is satisfactory.

But the process is far from satisfactory for the Nevsky. He finds it uncomfortable and dislikes the whole event. I have to shift his position several times and, though he remains static for most of the time, his patience eventually wears thin, and I must hold him in place.

Yet afterward, he holds no grudge. Whether or not he feels better for my efforts, and whether or not he associates any improved comfort with them, I can’t say. Today, after shearing bits of him in the bathroom, I sat on the sitting room couch with a glass of cold bubbly water. I asked if Neville, lying near by, wanted to join me, and he did.

He and I had a good half-hour of me rubbing his face and chin and him purring. I stick needles in him twice a day, I poke his ears numerous times once a month; I try to prompt him to play when he doesn’t want to and attempt to give him food to vary a diet he doesn’t seem to want varied. Yet he still will sit with me and allow me to make us both feel good.

Nev is a forgiving soul.

Friday, June 25, 2021

The Suitor

I have hopes that Neville and Portia will become friends. Right now, it’s only the Nevsky who seems to share my hope. Portia is starting to come into the bedroom now, climbing up to the ledge under the window to look out.

Last night, she moved from the ledge, across the desk to the bed, but decided the three boys there were too much of a crowd. After Po walked back to the window, Neville jumped onto a cat-tree near her, and stayed put through her growling and hissing. He’s received a good whapping from her more than once, but he doesn’t seem put off yet.

Yesterday, in the sitting room, I saw Nev ready to startle Portia when she walked by. I think he was hoping to play a game. I doubt that she would have called it that. Nonetheless, it was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, like many such attempts, it depended on the unwitting victim fulfilling her role. The unwitting was unwilling. Nev eventually gave up.

Don’t worry, my boy. There’s always tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Real Portia

One of the things that I have learned about Portia is that she is easier to handle than I thought. At the veterinary hospital, they discovered a major case of feline acne on her jaw, and the treatment with which she came home includes wiping this with medicated pads. Po doesn’t care for such treatment and she struggles a bit, but when I hold her firmly between my legs and wipe her jaw, she sits still.

She reminds me in a number of ways of my late friend Cammie. The princess put on a violent show but I eventually could do to her most of the things that other cats allow their people to do. It was always a bit of a fight, but it could be accomplished. Since I could never cut her claws, she could have flayed me alive had she wished. So could Portia. Whether it is because the work done on her mouth alleviated anger-inducing discomfort, or whether she is now trusting me, I can’t determine. Something I could never judge about Cammie was if her initial ferocity was genuine – and she simply grew to trust me – or if it was bluster from the start. I can’t tell that about Po, either.

I don’t expect my new guest-cat to allow me to do everything I need to with her. But potential adopters will know that, with some time – and Portia has been with me only six and a half weeks – she will permit unpleasant but necessary deeds. Just don’t expect her to be Miss Sunshine when she’s hungry…

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Return from Idylland

Alas, my holidays are now over, and I will be going back to work on Monday. I have had a very pleasant three weeks. Though I have to get up very early even on my days off – as I must maintain the sugar twins’ insulin schedule – I was able to have a nap most days, which brought me closer to the amount of sleep I need each day. The real amount is approximately what my cats sleep each day. If I had that, I would feel rested.

Everyone here is doing well. Portia has settled in. She is out among the others all the time now; I feel confident in letting her stay out while I am at work. The perma-cats have adjusted to her and, while there is still progress to be made in that regard, I expect no fatalities, or even mayhem, to result from their interaction.

I appreciated the past twenty-odd days in Idylland. They make up to some extent for the three hundred and forty-odd spent elsewhere. That I was able to have all three weeks of my holidays at once was a great boon to my relaxation; there is quite a difference between three weeks off and two, so I am grateful.

Now, it is back to the routine of the real world. I hope I can remember what day is which: outside of Idylland, if I recall correctly, such distinctions matter…