Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tabby Cat Club for my dream vacation. Oja and I play all the time. It's great fun. I was having such a great time with the nip nanner this morning in the living room that Oja couldn't stand it.
Oja: If the toy was that great, I wanted it, living room or not. I pounced Spyro and took it away from him. Then I heard Herman making a lot of noise and I moved away from the nanner just enough to see what he was up to.
I am a very enthusiastic digger in the litter box and Oja only had to move about a foot to see me.
Spyro: I saw my chance. I went into my very best stealth mode and sloooowly sneaked up on the nanner, one inch at a time. I was very patient. I didn't grab the nanner when I was close to it, oh no. I waited until I had the upper half of my body covering the nanner, then I started licking and bunny kicking it. Unfortunately, Herman stopped making so much noise and Oja spotted me.
Oja: I spotted that sneak thief Spyro playing with MY nanner and I pounced him good! The trouble is that we had so much fun rasslin' that we forgot all about the nanner. I love rasslin' Spyro so much that in the afternoon I spotted him napping in Herman's ham-mick and pounced him. We rassled until Spyro kicked me off the ham-mick. Mom was afraid that I would have a bad experience with a ham-mick and avoid them, so she picked me up and put me in Spyro's ham-mick and petted me. I stayed in the ham-mick while I got petted, but jumped out the moment Mom stopped. Maybe I will try out a ham-mick on my own later. I also found Herman's bird-watching platform in the living room. The view is even more awesome than the one from the top of the bookshelves in my room. I like the living room and there is more choice of food in the kitchen. Did you know that Mom puts out two choices of canned food and two choices of kibble at every morning?
Karen Jo: I only put out kibble once a day. It is carefully measured, but you kitties never stick to your own.
Spyro and Oja: Herman's diet kibble is awesome. We love it.
Karen Jo: Poor Herman hardly gets any for himself. He ends up eating your kibble. The next time I see the vet I am going to ask if it is all right you give you all diet kibble, because you all like it so much. That way I could be sure that Herman wasn't getting too much higher calorie kibble.
Spyro: I don't need diet kibble. I am just the right weight. It is Herman and Oja who are heavy.
Karen Jo: And who is the first kitty to plant his face in the diet kibble?
Spyro: I am, of course. First you get out the Fancy Feast and I jump up on the counter and try to lick up all the juice, if it is a new can, then you put the dish down in front of Herman, but I am right there to share it. Then you put out the second flavor of canned food, whatever it is.
Karen Jo: I thought I would be sneaky and put out a higher quality canned food in the second dish, then slowly change you over to only high-quality canned food. Oja ruined that. She gets loose stools from anything but Fancy Feast Original Pate Style.
Oja: I ruined the whole scheme. I now come into the kitchen and plant my face in the high-quality food every chance I get. I don't care if it gives me a loose stool.
Karen Jo: Then I put out Oja's Fancy Feast in her bowl. Oja used to follow me down the hall to her room to get her Fancy Feast.
Oja: Lately I have been too busy gorging myself on what is in the second bowl in the kitchen to even notice that you have put food in my room.
Karen Jo: Then I put Herman's measured amount of diet food in his kibble bowl.
Spyro: By this time I have finished the Fancy Feast in the first bowl and am ready for more food, so I start munching Herman's diet food.
Karen Jo: Then I put Spyro's regular high-quality regular kibble in his bowl.
Oja: By this time, I have finished the canned food in the second bowl and am ready for more, so I help Spyro eat Herman's diet food.
Karen Jo: Then I put Oja's share of kibble in her bowl.
By this time, no cat is interested in Oja's kibble. It does disappear by the end of the day, most days. The upshot is that I have to share the Fancy Feast in the first bowl with Spyro. I hardly get a look-in at the high-quality food that Mom started buying for me. To top it off, my siblings eat all my diet food before I get a chance at it. No wonder I am not losing weight. Today it became evident that Spyro and Oja were eating up all the canned food and my diet kibble. so Mom picked me up and put me in front of Oja's Fancy Feast. I gobbled up about half of it. Soon Mom has to take me in for a weighing. I don't think I have lost any weight due to my greedy siblings, but time will tell. I like weighing sixteen pounds,
Karen Jo: I am not overly concerned with your lack of losing weight, Herman. You have been at an average of 16 pounds for the last year, even taking into account the pound you gained when Emma came to live with us and you put on the muscle weight you had lost when you were so sick without losing the fat you had gained after you got well. You gained muscle, but you didn't lose fat because you ate your food and Emma's too, most days. Emma was not deprived. She gained weight before her FeLV struck her down, too. It's weird. I heard from Herman's foster Mom and read on the Internet that it is very rare to have FeLV kitties get overweight. They are usually underweight and have to be encouraged to eat. Here I have three kitties with FeLV and one with FIV, both wasting diseases. Herman is about two pounds overweight, after surviving a bout of FeLV which brought him down to 8.5 pounds (he should weigh 12-14 pounds), one kitty who is at his normal weight and one kitty who is a bit heavy, but in her normal weight range. I don;'t want to take any credit not due me, but I think I have done well by my kitties. Brag, brag, brag! I think I was just lucky and got FeLV kitties with good appetites and good attitudes. Except Emma, that is. I feel so bad about Emma. She did gain a pound before her FeLV struck her down. I think it was the stress of being afraid of Herman that did her in. I don't know what I could have done about it. I couldn't have kept her in her room by herself -- she banged on the door until I let her out. I rescued her from Herman's dominating ways every time she yelled for help. I don't know what happened between the two of them while I was at work, though. Dear Emma, I did my best for you, it just wasn't enough. I must say, hurrah for Herman: he is through the danger zone Most kitties who get FIV or FeLV before they are grown die before they are five. Herman turned five in June and is doing great.
Karen Jo: Herman must have gotten FIV and FeLV before he was one and a half: Congratulations Herman! You made it to five!! The statistics say that you will probably live a normal cat lifespan. As far as I know Oja got FeLV after she was grown. The vet even says that she may have had kittens at a very young age. Her estimated age is two. Her chances are good. Spyro is estimated at one-and-a-half. His chances are not so great. He could have gotten FeLV before he was one. I am not going to worry about him. He is the most active of the kitties and he loves life so much that I think he has a long life in front of him. Go Spyro!
Karen Jo: Some people say I am an exceptional cat Mom because I take in kitties with a fatal virus or two. I don't see myself that way. I have lived in this house since I started third grade, allowing for university and a couple of jobs that didn't work out. When my Father and then my Mother died, the house became unbearably lonely. A few months after my Mom died I saw an ad for a cat who needed a home NOW. I went to see Herman and we took to each other immediately. His foster Mom said she had never seen Herman take to someone so quickly. I already knew that he had FIV and FeLV, but I didn't know what that meant, except that it would probably shorten his life span. I didn't care. I needed him and he needed me. His foster Mom brought him over to my home the next week and he became my heart-kitty almost immediately. A few months later Herman's FeLV became active and I thought I was going to lose him. The vet, his foster Mom and eventually I all thought that he was headed for the Rainbow Bridge. I kept giving him his meds and the vet kept trying new meds and I would sit by him by the hour and tell him how much I loved him and he recovered. His vet's office now refers to Herman as the Miracle Cat.
Karen Jo: A month or two after it became sure that Herman would survive his FeLV attack, his foster Mother called me and asked me if I would sign up as at least be a foster Mom to FIV and FeLV cats. I felt so blessed that I agreed. About a year and an half later I got a call from Herman's foster Mom that the Espanola kill shelter had a FeLV cat.. Emma was on death row and would be put to sleep in three days if a home could not be found for her. We picked her up the next day. Emma didn't work out as I had wished, but I gave her eight and a half months that she wouldn't otherwise have had. About six months after Emma went to the Rainbow Bridge, Herman's foster Mom called me again and told me that Spyro was on death row in Los Alamos. All the foster homes were full and I was his only chance. I went and got him that day. I had signed up with the Espanola shelter as someone who would take FeLV cats. About three months afer I adopted Spyro, I got a call. Oja needed a home within three days or she would be put down as unwanted. Herman's foster Mom and I picked her up the next day. I am no hero. I just love cats and have room and enough income to take care of some of the unwanted ones. I am blessed and nothing special. I just happened to adopt a special needs cat and found room for others with the same problems. May God shower blessings on everyone who adopts a shelter animal.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Karen Jo: We haven't posted in like forever, so what would all of you like to say about what you have been doing?
I miss being next to Mom when she goes to bed. Oja usually beats me to it. The other night, I was first. Oja jumped up on the bed after I had gotten all settled in and Mom expected a showdown. It never happened. Oja did what I usually do: looked over the situation and decided to snuggle down somewhere else. Mom often wakes up in the morning to find all three of us in bed with her. I still rassle Spyro sometimes, but mostly he and Oja rassle. Yesterday I saw Spyro having so much fun with the nip nanner that I rassled him for it. I got it for a little while, then Spyro started the rasslin' again and we both forgot about the nanner.
Spyro: I love rasslin' with Oja. She is nearer my size, being only one pound lighter now and Mom thinks she might have even grown a little bit since we got her. I don't see how, as she is two years old, but she does seem a little bigger and not just around the tummy. It's funny. I'm the cat who eats the most, but I'm the only one who hasn't gained weight. I think it's because I run and jump up on stuff more. I have given up on jumping in the laundry basket when it's on top of the dryer now. I did it a while ago and it fell off the dryer with me in it. I haven't been up there since. I am still the top escape artist. I have stopped being afraid of Mom's foot. She used to be able to stop me from slipping out screen door when she opens it by putting her foot in front of me. I know full well that she isn't going to kick me, so I just jump right over it and head for the back yard. Mom is still amazed at how close she can get to closing the door and I still fit through. She has to put her hand on my head and keep it there until she has the door almost shut and sometimes I still get through when she has to let go to get her hand out. When she is going to carry something outside, she shuts the kitchen door as far as it will go, then opens the screen door. I can get the kitchen door open, but it takes me longer to do that than she needs to get out the door. I love going out in my harness and leash, but I haven't been getting to do that nearly as much as I want to.
Karen Jo: I rigged the kitchen door so that it can't shut completely. That's so the wind won't blow it shut and latch it so you can't get in or out. You haven't been able to go out in your harness as much because the days have been crazy hot and it has been raining in the early evening. YAY! It can be pouring down rain and you will still be by the screen door begging to go out.
Oja: It is so much nicer now that we all get along. I rassle and groom Spyro and he rassles and grooms me back. I groom Herman sometimes, but he doesn't groom me back. Once Mom even saw him push me away with his back paw while I was grooming him. Mom hasn't ever seen me rassle Herman.
Karen Jo: I recently read an article on Cat Wisdom 101 on cat behavior that said that grooming another cat indicates that the groomer accepts the groomee as a member of his/her group. I think that maybe now Oja is more accepting of Herman than he is of her, even though I have seen them eating side by side. I guess that would mean that Oja and Spyro see only one group of three cats and Herman sees two groups with himself and Spyro as one group and Oja by herself. If so, I bet it is because she beats him to his accustomed spot next to me in bed. They have never fought over the "best" spot or even contested the other one when they find him/her already there. It's just a feeling I get from Herman. I also haven't seen any of the dominating behavior from Herman toward Oja that I saw him do toward Emma. I think Oja has more confidence in herself than Emma had and won't put up with it. I saw Spyro chase Oja into the bathroom one day and Oja jumped in the tub to escape him. When she had enough of being in the tub, she just jumped out right over Spyro. Emma would have been cowering in front of the tub and yelling for help.
Oja: I don't see what the boys like about going outside. I have absolutely no interest in going out. I look out the window and that is enough for me. I still haven't tried out the ham-micks, but I discovered that Herman has a great bed by the wall in the living room. I am getting quite a collection of toys in my room. I pick out the ones I like from the living room and bring them back, or play with them in the hall. I don't play with them in the living room. Sometimes Spyro comes in and we play with my toys together. I love the TurboScratcher in my room and play with it every day. Mom hopes that some day I will discover the big TurboTrack in the living room and play with that, too.
Karen Jo: I don't know why Oja won't play with toys in the living room. Maybe she still doesn't feel completely at home there. She mostly naps in her room or in my room, though I have seen all three of them in the living room napping with Emma in Herman's bed and the boys in their ham-micks. Ayla, Iza and Marley gave us an award ages ago. This post has gotten so long that I will save it for tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Karen Jo: I see this as a great advertisement for the sturdiness of Forty Paws' ham-micks. This one is holding almost 27 pounds of cat.
Mom got a new swivel chair and put it in the living room. It's great for napping. All of us have tried it out.
Karen Jo: That one is for when I get my office set up in the forbidden room. I have the desk and chair now. All I need is the get up and go to get it organized and cleaned up.
Get up and go? That's a laugh. All Mom has been doing lately is lying around, watching TV.
Karen Jo: The Olympics are on and it has been twenty years since I could really just sit or lie down and watch them. My lying around so much has left you kitties to your own devices and what have you done?
We all made friends with each other. Spyro and I both let Oja lick us, though Spyro is apt to turn it into a game of chase or rasslin'.
Spyro: It's great. I have two rasslin' partners now and one partner for chase games.
Oja: I think it's OK. Neither one of the boys has licked me, though. I hang around next to Herman sometimes and I play with Spyro. Mom is surprised that Herman and I don't fight over the bed.
Karen Jo: Yes, I am. Oja has taken Herman's old spot next to my chest at night and Herman doesn't seem to care. When I am lying on the bed in the evening, watching TV, Herman will come up sometimes and claim his old spot. That makes both of us very happy. Last evening, we were together like that and Oja jumped up on the bed. I thought that there would be a fight, but there wasn't. Oja looked things over, then decided she would rather have the computer chair. When Oja is next to me and Herman jumps up on the bed, he claims a spot near my feet. Sometimes Spyro jumps up on the bed too, but he never stays long. Spyro just isn't a bed cat, at least not in warm weather. I imagine that they will all pile on when it gets cold.