Monday, January 28, 2013

Mostly Mancat Monday

 Oja:  Spyro is over at The Tabby Cat Club today.  If you just have to see him, you can go over there.  Meanwhile, I am snoozing in my warm bed by the heat register.  We are having clouds and freezing rain for the third day in a row.  I want my sun puddles back!  The boys are being onery, too.  Austin was lying just where I wanted to walk, so I hissed at him to get out of my way and he ignored me.  I smacked him with my paw and he had the nerve to smack me back.  After a few more smacks, I gave up and walked around him. Boys!  Cant't they tell that I am the oldest and should be in charge around here?

 Austin:  While Spyro is gone, I have taken over his spy tower.  It's great up here and that hissy Oja can't get anywhere near me.  I learned something new today.  I have seen how Spyro does something, then runs over to a certain drawer and the Mom gets him something out of the drawer and he gets pretty excited about it.  Rocio started doing the same thing a couple of days ago.  I have even seen Oja do it.  Today I found out what it is.  I scratched a scratching post and the Mom went over to the drawer.  I ran over to find out what it is that she takes out of it, but so did Rocio.  Mom tried to give me something in her hand, but I was up on the back of the couch and fumbled it over the back twice trying to get it before Rocio did.  I finally got one and it was yummy.
Rocio:  It took you long enough to figure it out, Bro.  Whenever we scratch on scratching posts or scratchers, the Mom gives us a treat.  They are yummy, but you have to watch out when Spyro is around, or he will steal it.  Oja hissed at me today, too.  The Mom sat on the couch and I went to get next to her and Oja hissed at me.  It's like that silly girl is trying to claim the Mom as hers or something.  I just got on the other side of the Mom and we each got to be next to her.

Karen Jo:  I really know very little about the social dynamics in a group of cats, but it looks to me like Oja is making a bid to become Alpha cat.  She is trying to boss the Boys around, but they are having none of it.  Austin pounces Rocio and Spyro for chase and rasslin', but he ignores Oja.  Oja pounces Spyro for rasslin', but ignores the Boys unless she feels that they are in her way.  If Oja gets too hissy with one of the Boys, the other one will come to the rescue and Oja will run from the pair of them.  I don't know how it will turn out, but it is fascinating to watch.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Serious Sunday

When the director of Felines and Friends New Mexico gave me permission to blog about Austin and Rocio, she said that she hoped it would encourage other people to adopt cats with FIV or FeLV.  That got me to thinking and I decided to make a post based on things I have heard people say about adopting FIV+ and FeLV+ cats.

1. A cat with FIV or FeLV would make the cats I already have sick.

This one is mostly true.  Though it is not recommended to mix FIV+ and cats without the disease, the only way that it can be passed from cat to cat is through sex or a bite deep enough to bleed.  FeLV is much more contagious and it would be irresponsible to bring a FeLV+ cat into a household without the disease.  There are reported cases where a FeLV+ cat has lived with other cats for years without passing on the disease, but it would still be a very bad idea to mix them knowingly.

2.  I want a normal, playful cat, not a sick one.

How about these cats?


Rocio and Austin

All of these cats had/have FeLV and Herman had FIV as well.

3. Don't they get sick all the time?

Not in my experience.  Herman is the only one who got sick and recovered before his final illness.  The others have remained well and happy.  Because they must be indoor only cats and not have contact with other cats, they don't catch kitty colds or other communicable diseases.

4.  I think it's cruel to keep a cat indoors all the time.

It would be irresponsible to let a FeLV+ cat roam the neighborhood because of the possibility that he/she would pass the disease on to other cats, but that doesn't mean that your cat can never go out.  I solved the problem this way:
When the weather is warm enough, Spyro and I go out and explore the back yard.

5. FIV+ and FeLV+ cats are too expensive.

This isn't necessarily true.  I won't try to hide from you that Herman was a very expensive cat.  When he first got diarrhea he got medicine after medicine trying to stop it; then he got really sick, requiring numerous trips to the vet and more medicines.  At the worst part of his illness I was spending $70 a month to keep him alive.  After he got well, he was still on two medicines to keep him from getting sick again for several more months and one more for the rest of his life to boost his immune system.  However the other cats have all remained healthy.  The only time Emma got sick was just before she went to the Rainbow Bridge.  That was one trip to the vet and one medicine.  It is recommended that FeLV+ cats be giving L-Lysine every day and Interferon as the vet prescribes.  These medicines are not terribly expensive.  In its most expensive form you can get 120 doses of L-Lysine for $12.  I get a bottle of Interferon that holds 200 doses for $35.

6.  All cats testing positive for FIV and FeLV should be put to sleep as soon as they are diagnosed, as their lives will be short and miserable.

I really hate this one.  Their lives will probably be short compared to other cats, yes, but they are far from miserable.  FIV+ cats can remain in remission for most of their lives and live almost as long as any other cat. There was a FeLV+ cat adopted from Felines and Friends New Mexico ten years ago and he is still going strong.  Just look at the pictures of the kitties above and consider this:  Herman was diagnosed at 1 1/2 and lived to be 5 1/4.  He had a wonderful life with me.  Emma was diagnosed at just over one and lived to be 1 3/4.  Look at her playing and tell me she shouldn't have been given those months.  Spyro was diagnosed at 1 1/2 and is as healthy as he can be and really enjoying life at two,  Oja was diagnosed at two and she is having a wonderful time.  Austin and Rocio were diagnosed as kittens.  They are running, playing, leaping, wrestling, eating, sleeping and having a ball.  All of them deserve the chance to live out their (probably) short lives.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


 Spyro:  Mom took pictures today just after she got out the toys for the day and we had a play session.  Every cat is feeling happy.
 Oja:  I'm not feeling so happy.  Mom and I were quietly playing with the wand mousie when Spyro and the Boys noticed and came and took it away from me.

Karen Jo:  I got another wand toy, then the other wand mousie, so we could keep playing.

Oja:  I didn't want the other wand toy and the mean Boys eventually took the other mousie away from me, too.  I hissed at them, but it didn't do any good.

Karen Jo:  You had mostly stopped playing with the other wand mousie by the time Rocio decided that he wanted it.

Oja:  It's still not fair.  Austin and Rocio want whatever toy I am playing with and Rocio eats my food.

Karen Jo:  There's a lot of that going on.  Spyro was eating the Boys food this morning, too.  I think I better give you some good Mom Time this afternoon.

Oja:  That sounds good.
 Austin:  Whaddya mean this is your toy, Spyro?  I pounced on it as soon as Mom tossed it out of the box.

Sypyro:  I had it for a long time before you moved in.

Austin:  Well, I'm here now and I'm gonna play with it.  So there!
Rocio:  Spyro and Austin got in a rasslin' match over the toy and just because they like to rassle.  I'm staying in the cube until they calm down.  Or maybe I'll pounce both of them if they roll over this way.

Karen Jo:  Things are moving right along.  Oja is sleeping with me again most nights.  She doesn't let the Boys spook her off the bed any more.  I have had up  to three at a time on the bed with no fuss.  Oja only seems to hiss now when it seems to her like one of the Boys wants something she has or that she considers hers -- if they come too close to her food bowl, if they approach while she is having Mom Time in my lap, if she is playing with a toy and they want to "help" her play with it.  It's kind of a standoff, like when she first came out of the safe room.  She isn't afraid of the Boys, she just doesn't like them yet.  The Boys aren't a bit afraid of her, either.  I hope Oja does finally decide to accept the Boys.  I've got half a mind to adopt them if she does.  I would hate to see them adopted separately.  The Boys can be adopted from Felines and Friends New Mexico.  They are FeLV+, but in excellent health otherwise.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fun Friday

 Spyro:  Can you tell where I am?  I'm in the cube.  Mom has never seen a kitty napping in here before.  Having the Boys move in has changed all sorts of things.  Herman, Oja and I always just ignored the cube.  The Boys showed me how to play cube wars with it and I became interested in it.  The Boys have discovered the ham-micks and one is sleeping in Oja's ham-mick right now.

Karen Jo:  Hissy Boy just doesn't fit as a nickname any more, so I am going to call him Loverboy because he loves to sit on or next to me.  He is the one in the ham-mick at present.
Oja:  At least my bed has been safe from stinky boycats so far.  I still hiss at them a little, but not much.

Karen Jo:  I think maybe Oja hisses and growls just a little less each day.  During the night, there was one point where Spyro, Oja and Loverboy were all in bed with me at the same time, though spread out from each other.  I tried some toys on elastics today instead of the wand toys and they weren't any where nearly as popular.  The toys as a whole are very popular.  At least one bucket of toys gets dumped over every day.  Loverboy loves the rattly mice to death.  Really, he rips their faces off then goes for the rest of the skin, but first he rips their tails off.  I am not complaining.  I can easily afford to get them new rattly mice.  Cool Dude loves the door hanger on an elastic on the kitchen door, especially at dawn.  I am finding a few teeny-tiny disadvantages to three boycats who get along: THoE at 0 dark-thirty every night, lots of stuff gets knocked over during the wild chases and they don't settle down in bed.  They are likely to climb all over me at any hour.  Oh, well, I am enjoying having a houseful very much.

 Karen Jo: Spyro's food is no longer safe.  Loverboy found it and was helping himself to it this morning.  It's just turnabout is fair play.  Spyro was eating the Boys' food a little earlier this morning.  Oja hisses at any cat who comes near her food bowl, if she sees him, but they still nosh on her kibble.  I ordered some Lysine treats for Spyro and Oja, as the cats from Fuzzy Tales suggested.  I was going to thank them for the information in their comments, but I got a private blog notification when I hit the link on my list.  I'll double check to make sure I have the right URL for them.

UPDATE:  I now have permission to blog about the Boys.  I will let them introduce themselves.

Austin:  I am Austin, aka Cool Dude.  I was the first one to fit in around here, but I'm still not too sure about Oja.  Spyro and I love playing THoE up and down the hall in the middle of the night.
Rocio:  My name is Rocio, pronounced Rocky-oh.  I am really glad I won't be called Hissy Boy any more.  I haven't hissed in days.  These ham-micks are great.  I actually touched Oja the day before yesterday and she had to think about it for a second before she hissed at me.  We will be friends yet.

We are available for adoption through Felines and Friends New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We would love to be adopted together, as we are closely bonded.  We both have Feline Leukemia, but we are very healthy otherwise.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Almost Back to Normal

 Spyro:  Mom waited until nap time to take our pictures.  That's the only time we are still.
Oja:  It's nice to feel safe enough to nap wherever I want again.  I still hiss at them a little and try to smack them with my paw if they get too close.

Karen Jo:  Oja is back to moving around the house to all her usual places again.  She was in bed with me when I woke up this morning for the first time since the Boys moved in.  I think she might want to get to know the Boys, but she has a strange way of doing it.  She will sneak up on one of them from behind and sniff the very tip end of his tail very carefully, then hiss.  The situation is looking a lot better though.  Oja has become a lap cat and will sit in my lap while I  sit on the couch and read.  I found out last night that Hissy Boy is also a lap cat.  I was checking out all three computers to make sure they were working and playing games that I hadn't played in a long time when Hissy Boy jumped up in my lap and made himself right at home.  I'm taking a lazy day today and was reading on the couch with Oja in my lap.  Hissy Boy jumped up on the couch and slowly approached until he and Oja were only two inches apart from being nose to nose.  Oja didn't hiss until he turned and moved like he was going to get in my lap, too.  Hissy Boy jumped down, walked around to my other side, jumped up on the couch and cuddled up next to my  thigh.  Oja didn't mind that.  When I look my nap pictures today, all four cats were in the living room, sleeping peacefully.

Oja:  Spyro and I had a grooming session in my bed this morning for the first time since the Boycats moved in.  I feel like playing again.  Mom got out Da Bird and Kragonfly and Spyro and the Boys were really playing.  I came running up and grabbed Da Bird right out of the air.  That surprised those Boys!

Karen Jo:  It surprised and delighted me, too.  Oja played with Da Bird for quite some time, while the Boys played with Kragonfly and Spyro watched.  Then Cool Dude came flying through the air and grabbed Da Bird.  Oja hissed at him and walked over to her ham-mick and got in.  She wasn't through playing, though.  I flipped Kragonfly over to her while the Boys played with Da Bird and she really got into it.  She lay on her back and grabbed at Kragonfly with her paws, caught it and chewed on it, then let it go for more.

Oja:  I also played with my jingle-ball and the TurboTrack.  The only thing that's really wrong now is that every other cat wants to eat my food.  I don't have to compete with the Boys for my Stinky Goodness any more, thank goodness, but Spyro will wolf his down and try to help me eat mine.  Mom usually chases him off.  Then Spyro and both Boys want to help me eat my dry food.  Spyro won't eat his dry food, only mine.

Karen Jo:  That's why I have started taking some kibble from his bowl and putting it in yours.  I have no way of stopping any of them from eating your dry food, because anywhere you can go, they can go.  Maybe you should go sample their kibble.

Oja:  Maybe.  I haven't been in my old room since the Boys took it over.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busy Day

 Spyro:  Mom found my at a quiet moment and took a pretty good picture of me.  We didn't blog yesterday, because Mom really was busy.
Oja:  I am back to napping in my bed.  It used to be Herman's, but now it is mine, all mine.

Spyro:  Wait a minute!  I use it sometimes, too.

Oja:  Not nearly as much as I do.  Anyway, yesterday a strange man came to the house and he and Mom were in and out of the house and here and there in the house, doing all kinds of stuff.

Karen Jo:  My brother came by and brought me a brand new office chair for my study.  He put it together and he drilled a hole in the wall, so we could put the ground wire and telephone wire through from my bedroom to the study.  By the time he left, my study was all ready to have all the computers moved in and set up.  I did some of it yesterday and finished up today.  My study really is my study now and I am so happy.

Boys:  We missed our playtime yesterday and today and we want our real names and pictures up.

Karen Jo:  I'm sorry.  I was too busy and too tired for playtime, but you will get your fun time tomorrow for sure.  I still don't have permission to blog about you.  If I don't hear soon, I will ask again.

Boys:  We are all settled in now.  We play chase with Spyro all over the house and Hissy Boy slept with Mom last night.  Neither of us hisses at Oja any more, even though she still hisses at us.

Karen Jo:  Sometimes she has a reason.  You ate her dinner last night.

Boys:  Spyro showed us where it was and helped us eat it.

Karen Jo:  That's why I gave Oja Spyro's supper.  You ate her breakfast this morning, too.

Boys:  She gives us the big hissy, then walks away from her bowl.  Of course we ate it.

Karen Jo:  You aren't getting her supper tonight.  I'm closing you up in your room after I give you your supper and not letting you out again until Oja has eaten hers.

Boys:  Bummer.  We don't like being closed up in one room.

Karen Jo:  You won't be in there long.

Oja:  Yay!  I get to eat my food uninterrupted by stinky boycats.  It's about time you figured out how to work it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Settling In

Spyro: About every other Sunday, Mom gets out the 'nip and today was 'nip day.  Now I don't know which toy to play with next.
Oja:  Silly boys!  I stayed up here on the couch and watched them all get silly.  It's not that I don't like 'nip, but no way was I getting down there among those crazy boys to get some.

Karen Jo:  I'll remember that for next time and bring you some of your own on the couch or your chair.

Spyro:  Today has been a really fun day.  Mom has been staying up after feeding us breakfast and playing with us.

Karen Jo:  When I was working I was a night owl  because my hours were 2-10:30 PM.  Kitty playtime was   in the morning between the time I got dressed and the time I ate, then again after I got home.  Since I retired, I was keeping the same hours, only kitty playtime moved to dusk, as they were more active then.  The first morning after the boys moved in, I went back to bed after breakfast and I heard noise:  THoE, toys getting knocked around and hissing.  That last one got me up and I have been staying up after breakfast ever since.  I never knew how active kitties were early in the morning.

Spyro:  The boys and I had lots of fun.  We are all friends now, mostly.  We played chase and pounce and rasslin' and the boys had some games I had never seen before.

Karen Jo:  The boys showed Spyro how to play box wars and cube wars and under-the-sofa wars.  Spyro has been very polite about playing with the boys.  He never joins in unless he has been invited.  He will run from Cool Dude to start THoE, but he won't pounce first. Spyro has decided that jumping in the box is an invitation to play box wars, though.  I also wondered just how long he would last watching under-the-sofa wars before he couldn't resist joining in.  It turned out to be about 15 minutes.  Cool Dude saw some movement under the sofa (which has cloth flaps hanging down almost to the floor, so you can't see much) and charged under to get Hissy Boy (he thought).  He came charging right out again when he found Spyro under there instead.

Spyro:  After all that, Mom decided that it was time for different toys and she got out the kitty with the catnip shorts and put new catnip in it and she got one of the fuzzy balls out of the catnip jar.  Party time!

Karen Jo:  First I gave Hissy Boy the catnip covered fuzzy ball and he picked it up in his claw and shook catnip all over the place. Spyro pounced right on the loose catnip.  Cool Dude was looking a bit left out, so I gave him the kitty with the newly-filled catnip shorts.  Things got a bit wild and crazy.  Oja started making a sound like the beginning of a growl whenever they got really rambunctious.  I got out Da Bird to see what they would make of that.

Boys:  We like Da Bird!  We like it a lot.

Karen Jo:  Cool Dude was leaping way up in the air and catching Da Bird every time.  Hissy Boy was looking left out, so I grabbed the Kragonfly with the other hand.

Spyro:  I got tired just watching them, so I got in Herman's ham-mick.  Mom flipped the Kragonfly my way a few times, so I could play, too.

Karen Jo:  I waved the wand toys around until my arms got really tired, then I put them away, much to the disappointment of the boys.  They dragged Da Bird out again, but soon lost interest in it when it didn't fly.  Oja had gotten a bit agitated, so I sat down next to her on the couch and started petting her.

Oja:  It was high time I got some attention.  Mom gave me all her attention until that dang dryer buzzer went off.

Karen Jo:  I had started the laundry before I got involved in kitty playtime.  I went back to Oja after I took care of the laundry.  I had been getting a little concerned about Oja, as she didn't seem to be settling down very much.  In fact, Hissy Boy got too close and she ramped up to a full open-mouth hiss and a "One step nearer and I'll rip your face off" snarl.  Hissy Boy was too startled to hiss back.  I do think things are getting better, though.  Just before afternoon nap time, Oja jumped off the couch and made a tour of the house.  She checked out her favorite hidey-hole, but didn't go in.

Oja:  Those stinky boycats ruined it.  They had been in there and stank it all up.

Karen Jo:  Oja hissed softly at any boycat who looked at her, but mostly she just walked around, checking things out.  This made me feel better, because she had been staying up in her chair and on the couch in the living room, except to eat and use the litter box.  I think she is beginning to believe that the new boys won't hurt her.  It may be Tuesday before I can show you pictures of the Boycats and use their real names.  I forgot that Monday is a holiday.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unhappy Oja

 Spyro:  Mom thinks she will probably get permission to blog about the boycats on Monday, so for now I'm gonna call them Cool Dude and Hissy Boy.  Mom wanted to get a picture of me inspecting some of my handiwork in furniture redecorating, but Cool Dude did something to get my attention.  Wait a minute!  That's not all my handiwork.  Oja did at least half of it.

Karen Jo:  I know, but you started it.  Oja may not have helped if it hadn't been already worked on.

Spyro:  Hmmphf.  Cool Dude and I are almost friends now.  We play chase and hide-and-seek and smack-from-ambush.  Mom got out the cat-sized cardboard box and it makes a great fort for attack and defense.  Hissy Boy has stopped hissing at me altogether.  We gave each other a nose kiss this morning just after I woke Mom up for breakfast.  We also played attack the fort together, taking turns being in the fort.  I am going to love having these boycats around.
Oja:  Phooey!  I don't like having them around at all.  They sniff at my food bowls and use our litter boxes.  Why don't they use their own litter box?

Karen Jo:  I think they like your litter better.  They have this strange stuff in little pellets.

Oja:  Grump.  I guess I can't do anything about it.  Hissy Boy has stopped hissing at me until I hiss or growl at him first.  I am getting a little better about it all.  I will let them walk all around my chair or the couch and I won't hiss at them until they look at me.  I am on the couch because I just had a really nice session of Mom Time.  I love Mom Time.  I let one of those stinky boys get within inches of me before I hissed at him while Mom was petting me.  Mom thinks I am feeling more secure because I went to take my afternoon nap in the cat bed on the floor.

Karen Jo:  It is the first time you have spent any time on the floor since the boys arrived.  You are off your food a little bit.

Oja:  You are putting poison in it.

Karen Jo:  That's not poison, it's L-Lysine.  The boys are on it and your vet recommended it.  Remember that paste I used to put on your paw every day?

Oja:  And I sent flying everywhere, including the walls and drapes?  Yeah, I remember.

Karen Jo:  I'm putting it on your food now.  I figure it won't be long before every cat is into every other cat's food, so I want all the food to have the L-Lysine in it.  That way the boys will get their dose, no matter whose food they eat and it's good for  you, too.

Oja:  I guess I'll get used to it.

Spyro:  I don't much like it either, but I get too hungry to worry about it.  Speaking of which, isn't it past time that you gave us our dry food ration?  I'm starving.

Karen Jo:  You are right.  I'll finish posting this and get right to it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Invasion of the Boycats

Spyro: Man, oh, man, what am I going to do with Mom?  First she doesn't blog in, like, forever, then she inflicts an invasion on us.
Oja: I've been spending a lot of time in my easy chair to keep away from them.  Yesterday a strange man came to the house and he brought a couple of stinky boycats with him.  After a while the man went away, but the boycats stayed!  And they escaped from the safe room!  Ugh!!

Spyro:  I think it's kinda cool, except one of them hisses at me.

Oja:  I don't like it at all.  When that one hisses at me, I growl back.  When I came back from the litter box, they were between me and my chair, so I stomped my feet as I walked and growled with every step.  They got out of my way fast.

Spyro:  That was a riot.  I laughed and laughed.  One of them is pretty cool.  He and I play chase a little.

Karen Jo:  A rescue group called me and said that they had heard about me from Herman's foster Mom.  They wanted to know if I could please foster two  boy cats, aged 7 months and 8 months because their present foster was moving and couldn't take care of them any more.  They are both FeLV+ so I said yes and now the cat population has doubled around here.  The boys didn't want to stay in the safe room at all, so I let them out and, aside from a little hissing and growling from one of the boys and Oja, there have been no problems at all.  I don't yet have permission to blog about them, so I won't say much about them, except that they are fitting in around here already.  The hissing and growling is all of the, "I don't know you, so keep your distance" type and I expect it to go away in a little while.

Karen Jo:  I am really sorry that I haven't been blogging.  I lose track of the time and forget to take pictures, etc and so forth and just don't get it done.  I still  haven't gotten the header redone and I might as well wait now to see if I get permission to blog about the new boys.  If I do, then there will be four little faces on the header, if I can manage to do it right.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting the New Year

 Spyro:  Look at all the new balls we got for Christmas!  I hardly know where to start.  Oja tried to butt in and I pushed her away.
Oja:  Spyro finally made his choice, the orange plaid ball with the feathers, and I got a chance to check them all out.  I like all of them and knocked them all over.

Karen Jo:  My apologies for not posting and not visiting.  I haven't been feeling very good lately and haven't been doing much of anything.  I am all better now and will really try to post and visit much more often than I have been.

Spyro:  We also got more snow for Christmas.  I finally got a chance to run outside and check it out.  I don't like it.  It's cold and wet.  Mom keeps telling me that it is too cold for kitties outside, but that doesn't stop me from trying to get out every chance I get.

Karen Jo:  I hoped that you would learn how cold it is outside and stop trying to get out, but that didn't happen.  Oh, well, I can still stop you from getting out most of the time.  Luckily for me, when you do get out, you only go to the patio in back and sometimes you come back by yourself very quickly.