Sunday, April 30, 2023

They're Playing!

What a development! This morning, I witnessed Imogen and Percival playing.

I had seen what might be termed preparations for play, or perhaps tests for play, last week. Percival had been running around, and Imogen had followed, not involved in Perce’s fun, but, in a way, judging it, judging his willingness, or maybe his ability to separate playing from something too unpleasant.

This morning, after the beasts had had their breakfasts and their little post-meal naps, Percival felt energetic and started running about. Imogen ran after him. Very soon, I observed my new boy running into the bedroom, and my new girl running after him. Then, Imogen sprinted out again, Percival trotting, a little uncertainly, behind. But their postures and movements around the nylon cube were those of cats at play. And when Imogen hurried into the bathroom, Percival pursued her.

Everything had the stop-and-start action of two animals having fun; tails were up, and the only hissing came from Imo when, in the cube and facing one of its blank walls, she knew Perce was very near but couldn’t see him. I think that still unnerves her.

But what a step for both, especially Imogen. Had she known other cats in her kittenhood and played with them? Or is this a new discovery for her? Whatever the case, it is clear that she need not be an only cat in a new home, as long as the other cat or cats are gentle, unobtrusive and willing to let her be until she says otherwise. I was very lucky to bring her into a home with two oldsters who want merely to be left alone, and a new feline who cares more about attention from humans than his own species. It’s early days, yet I think Imo may have it in her to enjoy a feline pal.

This is a big step for Percival, too. It shows that he does have an interest in enjoying the company of other cats, but would likely let them set the pace. He might be just the sort to come into a home of a lonely cat who would benefit from a friend but would be initially frightened of a new family member.

I hope to see more of this behaviour. Will it occur tomorrow? Next week? Never? Unless scared into regression, cats move forward, so I am very optimistic.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

All in One

I haven’t published anything on the blog all week. That’s principally because nothing of note happened. The beasts are doing well; their health is at least adequate, and they are in good moods. Perceval continues to sing and talk at night, which means he spends most of them in the library, where he falls silent. I hope still to have him adjust to the quiet of the night; time is on our side. His integration with the other cats has been without problems.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. I will report on anything exciting if it occurs. I prefer the mundane, really. I can report on that, just as well. Until then, enjoy a very rare picture of all the cats in one frame.

Monday, April 24, 2023

More Accustomed

I’m leaving Percival out of the library while I am at work today. I don’t think there will be any problem between him and the others; certainly not between him and the other boys. He and Renn were sniffing noses last night, and, while my big boy would prefer Perce to keep his distance, he’s not very upset if he doesn’t.

Between Percival and Imogen there is no real difficulty either, though Imo thinks there is. If Perce comes too close to her, Miss Silky will hiss and complain, but Percival is usually just passing by.

The real trouble with the newcomer is that he is still quite voluble, talking a lot and loudly, even at night. When I put him in the library, he quiets down; it’s when he has the freedom of the house that he disturbs the peace. Incarcerating him in a separate room at night is not a true solution: not only should he not have to be locked up through the dark hours, but, while he is a prime candidate for adoption, he is also a prime candidate for being returned, if he keeps his new family up all night. We will still have to work on this.

Otherwise, he is doing very well. He had some excellent photographs taken of him for his profile on the rescue-group’s website, and found a cat-bed that he seemed to enjoy for an hour’s snooze.

Imogen, for her part, has decided that she likes the nylon cube. It went with Zofia to her new home but she and her new brother have two of their own now, so it came back. Imo has found it congenial.

She has also, to my great surprise, found my lap congenial. For the first time, she sat on my lap during the weekend. I hadn’t expected her to, nor had I summoned her to do so. This was a very pleasant surprise.

It was a good weekend.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Sleeping and Not Sleeping

Last night was Percival’s first night outside the library. It was not successful. He was too active and far too talkative. Between his yells and his grunts, sleep was elusive for me, so he had to go back into the library after a couple of hours.

I am not sure why he is quiet in the library, and noisy outside. It may have to do with the space to roam. However, I will try again tonight, as I believe it is a matter of him becoming accustomed to new freedom in the dark hours.

For other cats, quiet and sleep are assailed by other factors. I am washing the bedclothes today. Often, Imogen likes to crawl under the comforter, but that was in the wash, so she settled for the bedspread. When that too went to the laundry, I pulled the blanket over her. Alas, that of course followed the other items, and I have covered her with the top-sheet. Soon, the sheets will need to be changed, and Miss Silky will be disturbed again. The persecution of black cats never ceases.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Strange Protest

Percival likes to talk. Sometimes he will wander about talking in a loud, short wail. Other times, he will simply grunt, even if he is serenely sitting at a window looking out. He doesn’t make noise at night, for which I am grateful.

Last night, I was having a shower and Perce came into the bathroom. He started wailing, loud and long. It kept getting louder and longer. I don’t know if he was trying to warn me of the dangers of hot water or whether he was simply enjoying the acoustics.

Then I heard another sound, a much quieter but perhaps more forceful sound. It was Imogen, meowing. She was coming into the bathroom, walking toward Percival, which, while her attitude toward him is improving, she still doesn’t do. Yet she came into the bathroom, meowed for about twenty seconds and left again.

Thereafter, Percival was silent. He sat for a while on the bathroom floor, silent, and then left.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

A Quartet in the Early Morning

Neville is still having liquid crap. This morning, I woke at 12.30, and decided to check on him. Sure enough, I had to clean him, the floors, a cat-tree, etc. It took me only three quarters of an hour this time, though. This morning, he crapped again - the poor guy, it sounds like a gas line clearing its tubes - but didn’t leave anything on his bum. He did step in it, however, just for consistency. The effects of no longer eating the problem food will take a while to clear his system, I imagine.

On the other hand, there is improvement vis-a-vis Imogen and Percival. The latter presents no problem for the former, though the former thinks he does. But now Imo isn’t hissing much at Perce; what’s more, she is spending more time on the floor, rather than keeping her distance - and supposed safety - by lying on top of the cylinder-house cat-tree, or the kitchen cupboards. She has also passed by the newcomer quite closely, without hissing, and has even sniffed him - not nose-to-nose, but his tail and bum, while Percival was looking the other way.

I think having adapted to my two oldsters, Imogen was, if not willing to have another cat to deal with, then at least accepting of the situation sooner and with less fuss than she would otherwise. It helps tremendously that Percival isn’t interested in other cats.

Renn, too, is growling less at Percival, though my big boy was never a concern to me with regard the new arrival. I knew that he would acquiesce in Perce’s coming, so long as the latter didn’t bother him much.

While the Nevsky is still plagued by his nether-region troubles, they will improve. Things are looking positive at the Cosy Apartment.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

I Hope It's Not One of Those Mornings...

…because one of those mornings implies that there are more like it.

I woke up at 3.30 a.m. to the sounds of Renn about to wretch. This happens from time to time: mornings are a time when cats suffering kidney issues tend to throw up. Also, my big boy is prone to hairballs, which he usually discharges without difficulty. That was the case this morning. It is usually little trouble. Renn gives me fair warning, and I can almost always reach one of my shallow boxes - kept in every room for the purpose - and push it under his nose before he throws up.

I walked to the front door to put the soiled box there for disposal later, congratulating myself on catching the hairball before it landed on the bed, and noting that there was still more than an hour to go until I had to get up. I could go back to sleep. That’s when I realised that Renn’s hairball was the lesser of my problems.

Neville has been having very liquidy poop lately. I am not sure the cause, though I suspect it might be the new feeding arrangements. While he has eaten the Acana before, he is probably eating more of it now, and it could be having a disadvantageous effect on his digestion. That will be experimented with presently. Whatever the cause, the effect was plain.

There was litter-encrusted crap all over the floor of the store-room, where the litter-boxes are, the floor of the dining area, and the rugs of the corridor between, as well as in the sitting room. It had been ground in to the carpet, where Nev had obviously attempted to rub it off his fur. This of course meant that worse would be seen when I examined his fur. Worse was indeed seen.

All his backside was covered in debris, and both his rear legs. This despite the fact that his bum had been shaved recently. When a cat has liquid faces, it will cling not just to long hair, but to short; indeed, to skin. Feeling that he needed to cleanse himself, the Nevsky had tried his best. He had failed.

For the next hour and a half, I washed Neville, wiping, combing and trimming wherever was necessary, and cleaned the floors and the rugs. Only after that could I start on the normal routine of the morning: feeding the cats, scooping the litter-box, and the few things that pertain to me in preparation for work. I lost count of the number of times I wished my hands and arms… And Nev used the box again for number two before I left, necessitating another, albeit much less severe, cleaning.

I have taken away the new hard-food for the day, and will supply the cats with some of the former product. Nev will stay have access to his ‘dietetic’ food, which he prefers, anyway. He has been eating that with no ill-effects for years. In the meantime, I will watch, when I can, his litter-box visits, wash him immediately when it is required, and hope that he doesn’t need to go often when I am absent.

I was late for work and I am tired.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Renn, Don't Squash the Cat!

Imogen continues to enjoy burrowing under the comforter at the foot of the bed or, periodically, burrowing between the comforter’s folded layers. Renn, for his part, continues to enjoy having his buffet. Sometimes, the two of them partake of their enjoyments simultaneously. That can lead to a bit of disturbance for one or the other.

To be fair, I don’t think my big boy realised that Miss Silky was under the comforter. If he acknowledged the lump at all, he probably thought it just the way the comforter was lying. Then again, it must have felt quite corporeal under his feet as he walked over it.

But no one was put out for long. Renn had his mid-afternoon snack, and Imogen returned to sleep, hopefully unbruised.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

And Back to Food...

While Percival begins to make himself at home, other matters continue to occupy the attention of those in the Cosy Apartment: namely, food – to be precise, eating.

I have made an adjustment in the hard-food served here. For many years, it has been principally Orijen Regional Red. The cats I formerly had liked it, and the cats I have formerly liked it. It seemed to lose its appeal, however, and it appeared to me that it was eaten largely because it was the hard-food on offer. Thus, when my current supply was exhausted, I didn’t renew it.

I have found that the cats like a brand called Acana, a supply of which I first took in as part of a donation to the rescue-group to which I belong. I have been feeding it to the outsider-cats, but then tried it with my own. As they seem to prefer it to Orijen, I am given it a trial as the primary hard-food. But I am supplementing it with a ‘dietetic’ food. (It was once called ‘diabetic’ but I think there was a legal problem in that it could not be proved that it was good specifically for diabetic cats, and so the name was altered.) It is one that Renn has long enjoyed, and I have been giving it to Neville as a treat. Now, it is a secondary hard-food, provided, with the Acana, all the time. I see my two oldsters eating from the hard-food more often. This does not, though, mean that Renn will cease receiving his buffet; for some reason he enjoys the same foods more when they are served to him especially, rather than him eating from the supply made available to all and sundry.

And then there are methods of eating.

Imogen professed a shyness of eating, and, for quite a while, would eat only in the nylon tunnel. She would slip into it, turn around within its confines and wait near its mouth for service. Now, she wants to be fed on top of the cylinder-house cat-tree.

This necessitates a certain bowl, small enough to fit there without toppling of its own weight, yet stable enough not to slide off. Fortunately, Tungsten has come to the rescue: her bowl has a rim to its base, making it less liable to slipping than a flat-bottomed dish. Imo doesn’t push the bowl while she eats, so it stays put.

For the time being, then, until she changes her mind once more, Imogen will be fed where she wants, above and beyond all the others, which may have been the original reason for the position. She is eating, and that is the important thing.