Our boys are presently coming to terms with the possibility of a new edition, approximately three to four months old. For me, this is a new experience as all the strays I have previously taken in were adult. It was a relief to find that this new fellow, Pepper, is already litter box trained.
When you want cats to become friends, they need to smell the same. We have used a pure pet soap and it has successfully stopped all flea problems so that we no longer have to treat the cats for flea seasons.When Marmaduke was alive, the boys always play fought for space in front of the fire. One didn't have to hunt through the house to find any of them as they were inseperable.
In the photo above, there is a two pound bucket of water. We have a number of these through the house as cats prefer to graze on water as they do on food in the wild. We find they use the water next to food less than water left at other spots where congregation occurs. They are far more comfortable drinking from water at the height it is in the buckets.
At left is Hamlet, basking in the sun, hunting squirrels, (see through window), as only Hamlet can.
This morning - Max, waiting for prey, and then preparing to pounce on a victim. His diaper was hung up at the other end of the box, and needless to say, "pounce" was a fantasy as his back legs would not be cooperating. His aim is to show that paralysis does not end quality of life for animals, any more than it does for humans.
Poor dear Kayla. She was with us for so short a time, but left an impact, none the less. We had noticed her in the SPCA cage at a pet store, several times after losing Marmaduke, in 2003, and friends thought we would make a good home for her. When we brought her home, she seemed to be suffering from her time in the small cage in that her limbs didn't want to move properly from lack of strength. The basic once over by the vet showed no illness. A couple of days later, we took her back and had more tests run. By the time we discovered that she did indeed have a serious problem that was not related to her stay in the cage, it was too late to save her beautiful little life. After emergency surgery and at least pain medications for comfort, she died the next day, (May 31, 2003), of septic peritonitis.
The boys hadn't known what to do with a girl. ;-(
We ended up taking Snuffles in when she wasn't doing so well at the other home, in 1997. As a lover of animals, I agreed to find a way to cope in order to provide her with comfort. 'Coping' consisted of taking up outdoor activities, and using meds when the weather was inclement.
Snuffles had a hard life, and was with us for only a few months when it was discovered she had untreatable cancer. She was a good girl who never hurt a fly, and didn't bat an eyelash, (well maybe just one), when we let Hamlet into the house for repairs in July of 1998. Hamlet grew to love her dearly and missed her terribly when she died in early January of 1999.
We couldn't move into our new home without instructing the contractors who are PowerSmarting our home to install a door with an internal blind, (between two panes of glass), so that our cats have a permanent view on the most active side of our home. We didn't have southern exposure before, and the cats love the move to this house for the window in the door alone. Mind you, they aren't so thrilled with the increase in coyote population at this location.........wait till they get to meet the local bear. It hasn't been hard to turn our boys into indoor only cats.When the sun isn't out, the squirrel who owns our house comes knocking on the window looking for food, and is well aware that the cats can't reach her. The previous owner of this home used to let her come indoors to eat, and we have trouble with her if we so much as open a window, as she is very adept at travelling vertically and horizontally on stucco.
In the photo to the left, Max is in the middle of his chemo, at a time when his manner indicated he was in pain, so he is wearing a fentanyl patch. He is trying to catch some sun, and while he goes through chemo, we are not sure if he is going to beat the odds again, so he is treated as a 'privileged' boy in the house and gets to soak in the sun before the others. Hamlet can be seen here in his, "is she watching?," pose as he contemplates pushing Max out of the sun to 'hog' it for himself. As you may notice, here, the rugs need daily vacuuming as the surface of the rug changes to a mottled grey/black/brown/white surface with the constant horizontal traffic.
This licking, to the right, is a common occurance in our home, and the practice is passed from one cat to another. It can mean affection if the licking gets no response as in this photo where mutual preaning happens after bathtime.In this case, Hamlet is showing appreciation with his manner.
However, in this photo to the left, Hamlet is seen bending his head in a manner consistant with getting ready to 'brawl' by reaching toward Max's throat in a slow and gentle manouver.
Sometimes this game is a brief 'roll on the carpet' and sometimes, (the times we prefer), Max and Hamlet actually get into some good old cardiovascular exercise.
Legolas sits at his door and howls to attract attention. If that doesn't work, on occasion , he makes a bigger racket by clamoring up the wire door to the top, bellowing, and then clamoring back down, but that wasn't necessary this morning.
While I was making lunches, Thumper started galloping through the house, from the back door to Legolas's door, repeatedly, as he was the one trying to entice Legolas to his door. He did this several times and then got a big surprise as Hamlet jumped out of the tunnel, (shown at the top of this page), and bopped Thumper on the nose as he passed.
The activity level around here always increases noticably before feline meals.
October 4, 2007
The activity level has increased around here even more as we have a new introduction, Pepper, who is a fearless kitten with boundless energy. He has even challenged Legolas to the wire climb, and managed to make it nearly as high as Legolas. It is a little strange to see a cat on either side of the wire at the same time. Hopefully our sedentary household will drop a few pounds, now. Pepper has become Thumper's new shadow and now 'the games' are between the two of them, as can be seen on Pepper's new page, (click on hypertext).
Yoda only lived with us for a short period, when she had been abandonned after her family split up. They were leaving food out for her while they looked for a home, and came to us for help finding a place for her to live. We noticed that the crows were terrorizing her when she tried to eat her food, and the same old story of food being stolen by wildlife, and felines having to hide from coyotes using the area as a thoroughfare caused us to take action by blanketing the city with notices one day. When we arrived home, Yoda's fairy tale began.
Now, Yoda is queen, and she is loved, years later. The picture shows her on her 'throne' in her palace.
February 2011 - Yoda moved back in with us last September and now has her own page.