Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Do Your Cats Get Along? Really?

"What do you expect me to do about this?"
Brendan reluctantly prepares for a day of kitten sitting.

We weren't planning on going to a three cat household. What happened is my best buddy, rascal and companion of fourteen and a half years, Finnegan, died suddenly of kidney failure. (A story I will cover in another post) I was bereft and sad, dragging around for four months. Brendan, honestly, was quite content to be an only cat. He was getting a lot of attention and Finnegan, his brother, had been a thorn in his side for years. But Brendan is O's cat and devoted soul mate and much as I loved him, I was catless. Then the election came and went and I was even more depressed so O announced it was time to make a visit to the pet shelter. I was immediately chosen ( also another story) by the fuzzy furball we named Fergus and we took the little tyke home.

To a glaring reception.

Brendan was not pleased. We should have known this, shouldn't we? And Fergus wanted Brendan to be 1: Mommy, 2:Play thing, 3: Punching Bag and Climbing Tree, 4: Buddy and Sleeping Pillow.

Brendan was not interested. However, he is a wise and understanding fellow with sixteen years under his belt and I think he realized I needed a kitten and he would live with it. How ever, he did give the multi-ounce furball a good swift whack a few times to teach him who was boss and we hoped that would do it.

But Fergus wouldn't give up. He wanted someone to play with and darn if Brendan just wasn't the most attractive guy around. I was spending hours playing kitten games but it became obvious.

For family harmony we needed a playmate.

So we went to the other local shelter and brought home a sleepy, amiable bundle we named Silas.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: Silas Arrives.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thunderdome A Picture Essay for Feline Friday

It looks cozy in there, let me in.


Forced out by the defender of the dome.

Silas is victorious.

Fergus circles around for another try.

Thunderdome Continued

Silas is tough.

Two kittens enter.

One leaves.

It's mine.

All mine.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

In which we visit Uncle Sid

Now that I am well on the way to becoming a Crazy Cat Lady in my old age and a slave to the Master Race, I am fortunate to be in a family that accepts this as normal behavior. My mother has had up to four felines living in her tiny Cape Cod house (she is now down to one possessive one), and my in-laws once had four and are now down to one they took in out of pity (isn't that the way it often works?) Sid went from being mistreated and abused to being the lord of the manor with a staff of two. But it does put a kink in his tail when the Irish gang (Brendan, Fergus and Silas) come to raise a little heck.
Now Silas, (Mr. No Trouble to Anyone), is a peaceable guy but he is curious about Sid so he will go in Sid's private domain, the master bedroom and, well, just hang out. Sid seems to handle this ok because Silas just sits there.
But Fergus thinks that it is a really cool game to sneak up on Uncle Sid when Sid is having some munchies and try to sneak a few out from under his chin. It doesn't matter if the same dish is being served downstairs, what's fun is getting them from Sid. This doesn't go over too well as you can imagine.
Brendan and Sid have a gentleman's agreement, they divide up the resting spots in the house and live in peace. But Fergus, he's always got to find that edge of the envelope and give it a little push to see what happens.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

In which we all travel and Fergus gets carsick

So maybe we are a little nutty but I don't like to leave the cats alone while I'm away overnight. I panic the house will burn down until I get back. So when we go to see O's folks in Portland about once a month, everybody goes.
Brendan rides in his car seat since he will not accept being in a box. He knows the way and if we take a detour he gets very upset and comes up front to let us know. Silas sleeps peacefully in a travel box in the back ( Silas's motto is never be any trouble to anyone.) And Fergus, well, Fergus gets carsick. His first couple of trips to Maine he just slept in my lap but then one day he was riding in a box on the passenger seat and suddenly threw up everything in his belly. He was very upset about it all and of course, so was I. Since then, every trip has started off with his anguished cries "I'm gonna puke! I'm gonna puke!"
We've come up with the best way of dealing with it. We leave in the afternoon with everyone on an empty stomach. Fergus starts off in his travel bag until he yelps, then I let him out and put him on my lap and keep an eye on him. We drive very slowly down the lumpy bumpy road which is like a roller coaster and is the road that does it and....we hope for the best.
One memorable trip was just me and Fergus coming home from Portland when he had a double ender. I was very very glad that we always travel with an emergency bathroom. I had to have the windows open the rest of the way home.
Today Fergus was really quite brave about it. He was drooling but sat quietly on my lap. I know he was nausous but he was dealing with it.
What a brave petite garcon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Pouring rain today. Both little guys went out and got soaking wet. I dried them with a towel and set the cat door to in only. Fergus cries with boredom when he can't go out so we had a game at lunch time playing with the tunnel and then I set up the toys and went back to work.
Tomorrow we will take the whole gang to the in-laws for Thanksgiving and a visit with Uncle Sid. Sid will not be pleased. But he won't be bored either.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Cat Stairs

This is the stairway Olof built so we don't have to go downstairs in the morning to let the cats out for dawn patrol. You can be half asleep and just roll over and open the window. The sunroom roof is below the window and the stair goes from that to the hill with room for the people path under it. On nice mornings all three will be lined up at the window waiting for it to open. Out is allowed from morning light until some time in the afternoon. The cat door downstairs is opened both ways in the morning and then gets turned to in only when I want them in. They just love having their own door.
These guys are outdoor indoor cats and they wouldn't be happy any other way. With the kittens I was thinking of making them indoor cats. But we have four acres surrounded by woods and my neighbor has a barn all our cats spend their youth chasing mice in. And there was no way Fergus was going to be happy being an indoor cat. No way. He was miserable when I wouldn't let him out. But it wasn't easy for me to finally let him go.
Caturday, after he didn't check in when I called at 11:30, the other two went out and got him. They must have said something because yesterday and today he checked in at 9AM, after going out at 7. In general, all my cats come when I call them. And Fergus comes running.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A chilly Caturday morning

Cold this morning,yet there was still a line at the window waiting for us to open it for dawn patrol around 7 AM. It was only in the low twenties yet Fergus still hadn't come in by 11:30 and I was getting worried. So, and only cat lovers will believe me, Silas and Brendan went out and told him to come check in. Shortly after that, Fergus came in the cat door, had some munchies, got some pets, and now everyone is running in and out the since it is almost 50 out and sunny. They just love having the independence of their own door. It gets set to in only in the afternoon and then closed up with insulation over it at night.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Here He Is

Here is our Soul Kitty

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Brendan recovers from URI

Brendan is finally better after a pretty bad week. First Fergus broke out with aa cold. Our vet said he was probably stressed out from having one of those under the skin infections cats get from a claw dig ( probably from wrestling with Silas). So Fergus had a trip to the vet where he got a shot and then twice a day doses of Clavamox. Then he started sneezing.
Silas seemed to avoid it, since he had been vaccinated, I think, at the shelter. But poor Brendan at sixteen got a cold for the first time ever.
He started sneezing and his eyes started running and he couldn't breathe and he was just plain miserable. I would bring in the shower and turn it on hot and steam up the bathroom to give him some relief. During the day he was completely listless and blue and he would lie near the woodstove. I would play his favorite music, Bach, and some nice quiet new age stuff. But he wouldn't even purr. The good thing is he kept on eating when I would bring him warm wet food. He liked itr quite hot, almost bath tub temperature. And he developed a taste for warm water, hopping in the tub where I would run it for him. Sometimes I would bring him a bowl of hot water and he would drink it.
Once again, there was the foul tasting Clavamox, but this seemed to make him nausous so the vet agreed we should stop it. Also, the infection seemed to be purely viral so there was no reason to give it to him unless we suspected a bacterial infection. Olof was afraid Brendan would get pneumonia.
At night he would snuggle up inbetween us and we would keep him warm. We were afraid we were going to lose him.
But after some very bad, miserable days he started to get better and we had hope. Then, at last, we heard a purr and the sneezes got less violent. Then Brendan let us know he felt better. It was obvious how thrilled he was about it. He would sing and sing, that funny kind of musical purr my mother calls trilling.
Now I have to look into whether Fergus is a carrier for this and if Brendan can be vaccinated so it doesn't happen again. It is called, I believe, FHV, or Feline Herpes Virus and it is no fun.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tell me again, why did we get these guys?

Caturday is under way

Caturday is in progress! I spent time working on the template and doing my best to customize it. I'll keep tweaking. I intend to write stories about cats and collect useful information for cat lovers. Stay tuned and come back soon!