Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Remembering Herman

 Karen Jo: This is Herman's birthday and I try to do a post like this at least once a year, so new posters who come across this blog will know what's going on here.  A new reader might wonder: "Who's Herman and why is this blog still named after him if he's gone over the Rainbow Bridge?" The main reason that this blog is still named Herman's Hideaway and always will be is that I can't bear to change it.  It is also a tribute to Herman, the founder of my present houseful of kitties.  Without him, this wouldn't be the home of FeLV+ kitties.  This is an early photo of Herman, taken shortly after he arrived.

Let me start at the beginning.  I have always loved cats, but could never have one because my mother was extremely allergic to them.  After my mother died, I decided to get the house the way I wanted it and get rid of the cat unfriendly stuff and get a cat.  It didn't work out that way.  I saw a poster with that face on it saying that Herman really needed a home, but he was FIV+ and FeLV+ so he had to be an inside only only cat.  I went home and looked up the diseases and decided that I could live with the limitations and called to say I was interested in adopting him.  First I had to pass an interview and meet Herman to see if he liked me.  He did.  His foster mother said that he had reacted more positively to me than he had to any one else who had come to see him.  A few days later, Herman moved in and stole my heart completely.
 This is a much later picture of Herman taken after he had put on his weight.  He got really sick a few months after he moved in and lost a lot of weight and almost died.  After he recovered he put on quite a bit of weight and ended up at 14 pounds, as you see him here.  His ideal weight was 12 pounds.  He was a big cat.  He is  in full floof here.  He used to get the most awful matts and had to get a summer haircut every year.  Once I had adopted Herman, I could only adopt other FeLV+ cats.  Herman let me know that he wanted some feline company so he wouldn't get so lonely while I was working, so I brought home Emma one day.  That didn't work out.  Herman liked her, but she was a tiny little thing and never got over being terrified of him.  This made him unhappy and he started bullying her by backing her up against the bathtub and just staring at her.  She would scream and I would go break it up.  He also wanted her to know that he didn't appreciate her trying to take his place in the bed at bedtime.  Emma ran off to the Rainbow Bridge after only 8 months of living with us.  Then something wonderful happened.  Spyro moved in.
 Spyro:  I didn't want anything to do with the safe room when Mom brought me home.  I demanded that she open the door and I ran into the living room to meet Herman.  We sniffed each other over and were buddies from then on.  He was my rasslin' buddy and my nap buddy and my everything else buddy.  Here we are rasslin' in the living room.  I am very grateful to Herman, because without him, Mom would never have adopted me.  A few months after I arrived, Oja moved in.
Oja:  It took me a month to get the nerve to come out of the safe room and get to know Herman and Spyro.  I had already met them, as they would sneak into my room almost every day, but I would hiss at them and Mom would eject them.  Once I got over being scared of Herman, we became cuddle buddies.  I would groom him until he was sopping wet and he would groom me, too.  This is the last good picture Mom took of Herman.  I am very grateful to Herman, also, because without him, Mom wouldn't have adopted me, either.  Herman is the reason that Karen Jo's house is the home of the FeLV+ kitties.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Finally Posting Again

 Karen Jo:  I really apologize for not blogging for so long.  My only excuse is that I had no idea what I was taking on when I adopted two 8-month old kittens when I already had an 8-month old kitten in the house.  You know what happens when you do that? Chaos!  Within four days of adopting Brody and Cissy I had a kitten gang four strong terrorizing the house.  Brody, Cissy and Julius hit it right off and they invited Bambino (who still thinks like a kitten) in within a day.  There has been THoE around here like never before and some of it ends in CRASH!  There have been many mountain climbing expeditions and they often end in CRASH, too.  Nothing is getting broken, just falling down.  I have coffee table books that won't stay on the coffee table.  I have paperbacks that won't stay on the shelves.  Sometimes the cat food cans rain down from the counter.  When I opened the screen door to go outside, I was getting rushed by 5 kitties:  Spyro, Horus, Oja, Brody and Cissy.  Now I have to clear the kitchen of kitties and close the kitchen door before I can leave the house.

Spyro:  That was so cool.  There was no way Mom could stop 5 of us from escaping.  Mom always grabbed the kittens first, then Oja or Horus and me last, because I always go to the same place in the yard and stay there.  Sometimes when she would catch the last kitty before me, I would walk in with her.  Now none of us can get out,  unless we manage to hide in the kitchen long enough for Mom to open the door.
 Oja:  I never thought getting two more kittens in the house would be good for me, but it has been.  When they first moved in, I did my usual thing and moved into the computer room and seldom left it.  The kittens would come in to visit and they never really bothered me.  Cissy and I would hiss at each other, but that was it, so I got used to them.  I started coming out to the living room again and watching those kittens play made me more lively.  I am playing more, both with toys and with Spyro.  I started escaping the house, which I had never done before.  I started jumping up on things where I had never been before.  I'm up on the spy tower, where Mom has seen me only once before.  I have been up on top of the file cabinet in up in the bathroom sink.  I even run occasionally.
 Bambino:  It has been so exciting around here.  Brody and I rassle every morning before breakfast and whenever else we feel like it.  I play THoE with Spyro, Brody, Cissy, Julian and Rocio.  Man, do we make a racket!  Nothing is safe from us.  We even knock the phone off the kitchen counter.
 Horus:  I don't like all the changes around here.  It's all those kittens' fault; I know it.  I bully them to make them stop whatever it is that they're doing to change things, but they keep right on doing it.  Now Bambino ambushes me from behind and boxes with me to stop my bullying.  Even Oja has started hissing at me sometimes.  I'm the grumpy cat of the house now.
 Rocio and Julius:  Cissy and Brody have only strengthened the bond between us.  We rassle with each other and groom each other and nap together.  Of course Julius play with the kittens and Rocio plays with Bambino and Spyro, but we sure do like hanging out together.
 Brody:  There is so much to do around here! Mountainous bookshelves to climb, closets to explore and climb up the clothes and knock stuff off the shelves.  Kitties to play with, except that mean Horus.  I have a scratch on my nose and he has one on his whisker-hump and Mom is wondering if they happened at the same time.  Oja has stopped hissing at me.
Cissy:  I like to do all the things that Brody does, except rassle with Bambino.  I rassle with Brody only, but I think the time is coming soon when I will rassle Julius.  I still hiss at Oja sometimes, but she never hisses back any more.  Horus is mean.  He backs me up against a wall and stalks me and I hiss and snarl at him until he backs off or Mom makes him stop.  I don't like him at all.