Friday, May 29, 2015

Holiday-time

Today, I begin my annual holidays. I love Christmas, but I get only two days (one unpaid) off from work in order to enjoy the season. For my summer holidays, I take three weeks. This is like a second Christmas, but without the Day itself.

I won’t be going anywhere. But I intend to enjoy myself nonetheless. I will of course spend time with the cats, and hope further to integrate Noah, my current foster-cat, into the perma-cat population. Aside from that, I will be taking my ease by doing many other things.

I will be reading books…


And watching movies…


I will be enjoying the outdoors…


And, of course, sleeping…


I will be publishing bits and pieces on my blog, but they probably won’t appear as frequently as at normal times. As well, I may not be visiting other blogs as regularly. Whatever happens, I expect I and the cats will be having a most pleasant time over the next three weeks.

Noah at Play

I am getting to know Noah, and he is getting to know me and the perma-cats. The latter acquaintance is slow. I am letting him out of the parlour for an hour each evening, and will be able to expand his freedom during my upcoming holidays. He doesn’t require constant supervision, but I do notice moments that need me to watch him carefully. For instance, he was out yesterday with Tucker and Josie. My Chubs’s warnings kept him at a distance but Tucker was on the couch, and the new boy continually looked up at its arm. I knew he was thinking of jumping up there, which would have been behind Tucker - and suddenly behind him. Any cat-fancier realises what that would mean.


Noah is a loveable, energetic youth. He loves playing. He has all sorts of toys for diversion. When he is in the parlour, he has fuzzy mice and plastic rings off milk jugs, and the Trac-ball that no one else seems to like. When he has the run of the house, he has other toys.


But in the parlour, he has another distraction. I don’t intend for him to play with it, but I am fully aware that he does. I’ve had to put it away when I am not using in; that’s an inconvenience, so he and I are trying to reach an accommodation. Well, I am. What’s the problem, you may wonder? Noah is a cat, of course. And like every cat, he has one natural prey. The problem is that Noah keeps chasing the mouse.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Renn Unbalanced

Renn is a strong fellow. He can haul himself up the post of a cat-tree, he can leap high into the air. His muscles are powerful, and his balance is superb. Most of the time.

He likes to play with a string-toy. He will slap his big paws down on it, he will catch it in his mighty jaws, he will lunge for it across the nylon tunnel. He is especially active when playing on the bed. I think he feels the springs in the mattress, and they give him the extra bounce. As well, the softness of the surface encourages him to take risks that he would not normally take. This can cause problems now and then.


The other day, he was jumping about on the bed, making the string-toy fear him as he displayed his agility. But, alas, he leaped too far to one side this time and his rear legs barely touched the bed as his hindquarters fell. His forelegs came down on to the bedspread to arrest his descent, and for a moment, he clung to it like a mountaineer hanging on the edge of a precipice. I hurried over to help him up but by an herculean effort, he pulled himself to safety with his own strength.

Unfortunately, his claws, which are not sharp right now, were edged enough both to prevent him from  falling the further six inches to the floor and to tear a hole in the bedspread. I of course could hardly chastise him, as he was reacting through feline reflex - and did a good job of it at that.


He was, perhaps naturally, disinclined to continue our play thereafter, and retired to the sitting room for some rest. I think damaging the household property unnerved him a bit, the poor cat.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Josie Enjoys a Chuckle

Josie is a fairly good-humoured cat. When she wants attention, she is not obnoxious about seeking it, and when she doesn’t want it foisted upon her, she is not grumpy in her protests. She can be insistent when demanding her soft-meal foods, but that is just feline impatience. She is pleasant-tempered but not noted for her joking demeanour, nor for her appreciation of irony.

Once in a while, however, My Chubs surprises me, whether it is her intention or not. This weekend, I was doing the laundry. I had washed and dried clothes, and had folded them at the dining table, which is the largest flat, clean surface fit for the task. Next, I wanted to change the sheets on the bed. Josie was lying there, no doubt very comfortably. She complained at her forced eviction, but she had been removed from places of rest before, so she told me how unfair the process was, waddled down the steps to the floor and away from the bedroom. I changed the sheets, then I returned to finishing with the towels I had left on the dining table.

Josie had found another comfortable spot: a freshly laundered bath-towel, now covered with her easily-shed fur. Oh, she removed herself readily enough from there; her point had been made. I think I saw a smirk on that little alien cat-face as she settled herself on a chair cushion instead. Very droll, my Chubs, very droll.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Noah the Explorer

Noah is a fun cat. He’s young, so everything is an adventure to him. I have been letting him out of the parlour so that he can explore and meet the perma-cats. He’s curious about everything. I’ll let the photographs explain his first day out, beginning with his emergence from the parlour and surveillance of the corridor beyond.


Then, Josie sees the newcomer for the first time.


Noah smells the fresh air carried by the breeze coming through the front screen door.


This is just about what Tucker sees of the new boy.


Then Noah finds a Kick-a-roo.



And then starts climbing.




Here he is either examining my compact disc collection or admiring himself in the reflection from the glass.


Noah is pulling a Tucker and observing Josie.


Then he wanders farther afield. First the kitchen…


…and then downstairs to the library.


There, he seems to be choosing some reading material for when he is once again locked up in the parlour.


Noah’s relations with the perma-cats are rocky at the moment. He has chased several of them up the stairs from the basement. I think this is no more than the habit that Cammie had: a cat noticed Cammie following, and then broke into a run, whereupon the princess did the same and it ended in a chase.

However, Noah is a bit rougher than Cammie. He is not yet a year old and is rambunctious. He enjoys his play-time and has to learn that not everyone plays with the same intensity. He and Cammie have developed a bit of friction, and need to work on their compatibility skills. In the photograph below, the princess most certainly is not aware that our guest is near her.


Noah is a loveable boy who wants more than anything to be out and about in a home, exploring and enjoying attention. He would like very much not to be locked up, and that will come in time at my house, but for now, things will have to move at a pace that is more sedate than he would like. Youngsters are always in a hurry.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Proximity

In continuing my subject of Cammie, she is not only recovering from her illness, but from other afflictions, as well, such as her understandable lack of trust. She and I are already good friends, and she allows me to pick her up whenever I like. That is, I must admit, too often for her favour. As well, because of recent events, she associates me picking her up with me taking her to the bathroom for some medicine. I want to get her accustomed again to being held with no unpleasant repercussions. Even so, being gripped by a human, even one she trusts, is not something she likes, and she will grumble about it, and hiss at me, but only after I put her down again.


The Siamese princess is trusting the other cats rather more. She walks within a foot or so of Tucker and thinks nothing of it, though the roly poly one sometimes will, for fun, I think, swat at any of his roommates who pass too close. Cammie minds Renn the least. In the photograph below, she and the big boy are eating their meals almost together. Neither has tolerated such proximity in the past while dining.


Cammie is snoozing more and more on the bed. Saturday morning, after I had risen and eaten breakfast, I found her there, and Josie - whom she considers her enemy - just three feet away, also snoozing. Not fleeing immediately upon the approach of another animal is a big step forward for her.



My favourite instance of progress comes at night. Cammie likes to lie on my chest while I am in bed, purring heavily and flexing her paws at my throat. Some evenings, she will be on the bed before I get in it, or jump up on it as soon as I settle in. Last night, she not only remained there after Renn got on the bed as well, but continued to purr. This lasted only about twenty seconds, but that’s a third of a minute longer than she had stayed previously.

I think about where Cammie was before she was rescued, and how she almost spent her life in a less than congenial environment in Regina. I am very thankful she is here with me. There are many people who would have given her the chance to be herself, as I have. What she has accomplished here has little to do with me. It has been her choice to trust, to let others get close to her. I see a lessening of her anxiety with other humans, and I see it with the other cats. Distances are not what they used to be.

The Siamese Patient

I am going on holidays at the end of Friday: three wonderful weeks in the peaceful Kingdom of Not-at-Work. It’s an easy-going, gentle land where there are chores to do, but no schedules or time-tables to keep, except for the odd doctor’s appointment. It’s like a pastoral landscape by Claude Lorraine in which shepherds spend their lazy days watching their flocks and playing their flutes. Except there is concrete, and exhaust fumes from automobile traffic.

In the meantime, I want to report as much about the beasts as possible. I can publish articles from home, of course, but somehow, I have more time for it while working. Today, I have the pleasure of recording that Cammie is doing better than she had been. She is eating well, though not as much as I would like to see. Her activity is lower than it was before her illness; she isn’t playing much, but then she is still being given Prednisolone. That may be affecting her behaviour somewhat, though she is receiving it only once every two days now, and that for only a couple more times.

The ugly swelling on either side of her head has vanished, leaving bald patches that may or may not fill in later. Appearances mean nothing in my household; as long as the Siamese princess is healthy, I don't care about her looks. She's a beautiful cat, regardless.

Cammie was good about taking her medicine; not very good, but good. She struggled a bit when getting her syringe-fed solutions, but I felt I had to give them by that method since she was not eating the pill-pockets with the medicine inside. Then I recollected that on a previous occasion, I had doctored the pill-pockets with small amounts of Temptation treats, which she enjoys. She gave me anxious moments when she continually rolled the pill-pocket, now filled with half a pill and half a Temptation treat, around and around, but she eventually ate it.

She is, I think, on her way to recovery, for which I am grateful.