Sunday, April 28, 2013

Meet Jose

 Jose:  Hi, I'm new here.  I just arrived this afternoon.  I spent about an hour in the safe room, then I wanted out.  I knew there was a whole house here, 'cause I saw some of it when I arrived.  Here I am inspecting a messy room with a big bed.  I didn't see anything interesting in here.  I also checked out a room with a some tables with all kinds of stuff on them and the litter box room.  I didn't see anything interesting in them, either.  Then I loped into the living room and there were three cats in there.
 Jose:  Here I am walking very slowly around the living room, trying to figure out if I am welcome here.
Jose:  The smaller tabby cat jumped down and half-scared me.  Here we are meeting.  I have him a soft hiss and retreated under the chair.  I have been lying under the chair or walking around under the little table and behind the platform ever since.  The nice lady brought me some food under the table.  I don't want to stay in the safe room, but these three other cats make me a little nervous.

Karen Jo:  Jose is a very nice cat.  He came over to me on my second little visit to the safe room and let me pet him a little.  He really liked looking out the high window in the safe room.  I was surprised he wanted out so soon, but he wanted out and I let him out.  He seems to like hanging out in the living room watching Spyro, Bambino and Rocio.  Rocio has almost entirely ignored him since he approached the carrier when Jose first came in and got hissed at.  Spyro sneaked into the safe room and approached Jose very slowly and got a small hiss after a nose kiss.  He has pretty much ignored Jose, too.  Bambino seems fascinated by Jose.  He keeps approaching him and getting a small hiss, then he backs off and does other stuff for a while, then he tries greeting Jose again.  Oja has stayed out of the living room altogether.  She has no interest in Jose at all.  Since the hisses are all soft little hisses and one-sided, I think Jose will feel at home here pretty quickly.  I hope so, anyway.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day, Spyro!

Karen Jo:  Before I turn the blog over to Spyro, I just want to thank everyone for all the love and sympathy you gave me and the cats on the loss of Austin.

Spyro:  I am resting up a bit because today is my Gotcha Day and I want to party hearty!  I was adopted one year ago today and boy have I had fun since then!  When I first moved in it was just me and Herman and we hit it off right off the bat.  I was in the safe room maybe ten minutes before I wanted out to meet Herman.  We sized each other up and started playing with each other right away.  Then Oja moved in and hated both of us on sight, but got to like both of us a few months later.  Herman had to leave, but along came Austin and Rocio and it was party time!  We had a ball together.  Austin had to leave, but Bambino moved right it and it's party time again.  You will never guess what Mom is getting me for my Gotcha Day.  I am going to love it and Oja is going to get hissed off big time.  Give up?  Mom found another mancat for me.  His name is Jose and he's a three-year-old tabby-and-white just like me.  We will be almost the same age, as I am two-and-a-half.  I just know that we are going to have so much fun together.

Now it's time to party!  Tonight we have niptinis, meowgaritas, real live dead shrimp and tuna to snack on and dance music, along with toys and lots of places to nap.  In the morning Mom will start bringing out ham, turkey, roast beef, chicken and more shrimp and tuna, along with cat food for those of you who just like canned food and kibble.  To drink we have fresh water and milk along with the nip drinks.  We have nip, more toys than you can shake a stick at, wand toys that we will make Mom work for us until her arms fall off and Spring moths to chase.  They are tiny little things and fly around in all sorts of directions, which make them lots of fun.  Mom will fill up the bird feeders and bath, so the Cat TV Bird Channel should be pretty good.  There are gopher holes in the back yard to sniff along with grass to roll in and eat and dirt if anyone fancies a dirt bath.  I like them myself, much to Mom's dismay.  There is a fairly long hall for THoE with a table for sliding across at the end.  There are two nice boxes in the living room, one medium and one really big.  Mom gives out treats to any cat who uses the scratching posts.  Kitty rasslin' is a specialty of the house, everycat is welcome to join in.

Now let's get this party started!  Whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meet Bambino

 Bambino:  It's about time my lazy Mom got around to letting me introduce myself.  I've been here since April   7th.

Karen Jo:  Sorry, Bambino.  I was greatly affected by Austin's running off to the Bridge.  Then I got involved with my income taxes and that along with the return of winter really got my spirits down.  I'm OK now and will start blogging more again.

Bambino:  I love this nifty cushion.  See all those papers?  I pushed them all off on the floor the other day.  I'm good at pushing things off.

Karen Jo:  I've noticed.  The last three mornings I have been awakened by loud crashes.

Bambino:  It gets your attention and I get hungry in the mornings.  I guess I should tell you how I got here.  Several months ago a nice lady found me as a tiny kitten wandering around on a busy street in Santa Fe.  She took me home and took care of me, but when she discovered that I was FeLV+ she had to keep me in a playpen most of the time to keep me from infecting the cat who was already there and started looking for a new home for me.  She was a volunteer for Felines & Friends, who rescued Austin and Rocio.  There were plans made to pair me with Rocio, but then Austin came along and they were perfect together, so I had to wait.  When Mom first brought me home and put me down in the living room in the carrier, no cat hissed at me, not even Oja.  Things soon changed.

I noticed right away that Rocio and Spyro were both bigger than I was and Oja was stockier and stronger, so I decided that it was best to stay in the safe room for a few days.  Monday, I stuck my head out of my room and promptly got hissed at by Rocio, so I scurried back into hiding.

Karen Jo:  I was surprised that Rocio hissed at you.  He had never hissed at any cat before.  I think he was still missing Austin a whole lot.

Bambino:  Monday evening, I crept out into the hall in slink mode and Oja growled at me, so I ran back into my room again.  Tuesday morning and afternoon, I ventured out just a little, but when running back to my room when I got hissed or growled at.  By Tuesday night, I had figured out that these bigger cats were all talk and no action, so I came out and stayed out.  I spent part of Tuesday night on Mom's bed, until Oja got hissed off that I thought I could sleep ON Mom instead of beside her.
Bambino:  It was only a few more days before I made friends with Rocio.  He saw all the fun I was having with Spyro and decided that I was OK after all.  Here we are playing with Da Bird together.  Spyro, Rocio and I all play chase and rassle together, though not all three at once.  Well, not rasslin' anyway.  By the amount of stuff that gets knocked off of tables Mom strongly suspects that all three of us play THoE at once.  Oja isn't always hissy with me any more and I try to stay out of her way.

Karen Jo:  Bambino may not be the Sultan of Swat, but he is the Prince of Pounce.  He loves pouncing Spyro and Rocio.  From some yowls I have heard, he may have even pounced Oja.  I know that Rocio has been teasing Oja by jumping up the foot or side of the bed and taking a swat at her, then running away.  As a side note, I filed my application to adopt Bambino yesterday.  There is just a little more paperwork to do and he will be an official member of the family.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Remembering Austin

Karen Jo:  Here is Austin in action, which is how I most remember him.  There are things about Austin that I never got around to blogging about, so I thought I would do a remembrance post about him.  He was the most silent cat I have ever known.  All I ever heard out of him were the oofs and hunhs he made while rasslin'.  I never heard him meow at all.  He had other ways of communicating with me.  When he wanted to remind me that it was time to feed the kitties he would just stand and stare at me.  Every kitty here has a flat dish for canned food and a bowl for kibble.  Austin knew which ones were his and always ate out of his first.  When I would pick up his canned food dish, he would leap up and grab it.  I would show him that it was still empty and he would stand by where I would put it down full.  Sometimes he would run into the kitchen to watch me fill it, then run back to his room to wait for it.  This didn't stop him from sampling Rocio's dish as soon as I put it down and often Rocio would eat out of Austin's dish while Austin tried his.  As far as I know Austin only ate kibble out of his bowl.

I wear fuzzy plush socks to bed to keep my feet warm.  Austin thought they made great toys while they were on my feet.  He would grab at them and gently bite my toes.  He would rub his head all over them.  Once I took them off, he had no interest in them.  He never got tired of rasslin'.  Once he finished with Rocio (meaning Rocio ran off) he would look around for Spyro for another round.  After Spyro ran off, he would check to see if Oja was around.  She rarely was.  She knew what was coming and wanted no part of it.

I don't remember Austin being terribly interested in the toys on the floor, though he would play with them.  He loved the wand toys and would leap up to get them.  Da Bird is much in need of new feathers now, he played so hard with it.  He was just so full of life and fun that it is very sad to remember that he is gone.  I have some nice photos and memories of him and he might have send a present from the Bridge.  There is a new kitty in the house named Bambino.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

We Hardly Knew Ye, Austin

This is the last picture I ever took of Austin.  He was just settling down for his afternoon nap on Thursday.  Thursday night he ran off to the Rainbow Bridge.  He had a great and busy day Thursday.  He ate his breakfast and finished up Spyro's and Oja's breakfasts for them, then he wanted to play.  He chased Spyro down the hall a couple of times.  He and Spyro were great at THoE and Rocio often joined in.  He rassled with Rocio.  He batted toys around.  After nap time I even found out why I sometimes heard Oja give a big hissy, but nothing seemed to be bothering her when I went to investigate.  This time I saw the whole thing.  Oja was ambling along, headed to the kitchen for a bite to eat or a drink of water when Austin pounced.  Oja hissed and Austin ran off, probably having a little kitty laugh to himself.  Lately I had been getting the idea that Austin liked surprising Oja and making her squeal or hiss.  A little later I got out a wand toy and the fun was on.  Austin was standing up on his hind feet to catch the mousie and even leaping up and catching it in midair.  At sundown, he joined in the kitty playtime of more chasing and rasslin'.  He had a short rasslin' match with Spyro.  He ate his dinner with gusto, again finishing up anything any other cat left behind.  The house settled down to the evening routine of some playing and a bit of napping.  I have a light on a timer in the living room that goes on in the late evening.  I set it up long ago so that I wouldn't come home to a dark house from work.  The light going on usually signals another round of kitty playtime.

About eleven I went into the kitchen for a glass of iced tea and saw Austin lying on his side on the floor with Rocio also lying down, resting his head on Austin's haunches.  I thought how cute they looked napping together, though it struck me that it was unusual to see them on the floor.  After I got my tea I was about to walk by them again when I thought something didn't look right about Austin.  I bent down to pet him and check him out and sure enough, he had run off to the Rainbow Bridge.  I picked him up and laid him on the sofa on a fleece blanket and Rocio joined him.  Rocio spent the night on the couch with Austin.  The two of them loved each other as if they were litter mates.  I slept poorly that night and without kitty company.  I think they held a kitty wake in the living room.

Fairly early in the morning, but late enough that the vets should be through with morning surgery, I called to talk to vet about what could have happened.  Austin had FeLV, but he never showed any symptoms of being ill, just the opposite.  The vet told me that from how I described finding him and thinking he was just asleep at first that it must have been sudden heart failure.  He could have been born with a heart defect that didn't cause a murmur or any symptoms until the heart just stopped.  He had just turned 10 months old.  Rocio is heart-broken and spent the day yesterday lying in the pink hammock where he and Austin often napped together.  Spyro spent the day in the blue cat bed by the heat vent, keeping Rocio company, but not crowding him and doing his own mourning.  Oja spent the day in my room, giving the boys their space.  At twilight, Spyro batted the balls in the Turbo Track a few times and Rocio showed some interest.

It was interesting to me to see the kitties comforting each other.  Spyro and Oja had a long mutual grooming session that did not end in a rasslin' match.  After dinner that night Spyro and Rocio shared a chair, cuddling with a little gentle pushing and mock biting.  At bedtime Rocio wanted me to comfort him and let me know by jumping up on me and pushing my chin with his head.  I petted him and talked to him a little bit.  He stayed there for quite a while for him, then left to share a chair with Spyro.  I am so glad that I adopted Austin and Rocio.  Had they been in their previous foster home, Rocio would have had no kitty company to comfort him.  Spyro and Rocio have helped each other tremendously with their grief and all the kitties have helped me with mine.

I buried Austin next to Herman.  Interestingly there seems to be a volunteer flower growing next to Herman's grave.  I was careful not to disturb in when I buried Austin.  I got him a hummingbird light.  If you have seen these solar-powered garden lights on stakes, you will know what I am talking about.  They are basically a stake with a couple of solar collectors in the middle and a clear plastic shape on top.  At night they shine with  a light that changes colors.  I love them and decided to use them to mark the kitties' graves.  Emma got a dragonfly, Herman has a star and Austin has a hummingbird.

You went much too soon, Austin, and we all miss you terribly.  We will see you again at the Bridge.  In the meantime, I know that you will have a blast. Say hi to Herman and Emma for us.