Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kitty Condo Maintenance

Every time I think I'm clever, I fall to earth and discover that it's a "NOT".:-)  When I saw all those lovely large carpet remnants in my garage, I immediately thought the perfect use would be to have my tattered cat condos recovered.  How hard could that be?  And, it was bound to be much less expensive than buying new ones.  

It isn't like the cats were complaining about them.  No, the cats were pleased to have FOUR of them....not all equal in providing perfect perches, but, nevertheless, FOUR.  Even my furry royalty knows that this is royal treatment, and showed their appreciation by constant use.

It was only I who was unhappy with these tattered structures.....not nearly so much their appearance but the fact that their shredding left a constant mess.  The continuous filament nylon carpet....very difficult to pull up a "thread", let alone have the whole thing unravel....would be I thought.

I used Craigslist which in the past has brought me some odd characters, but always gotten the job done for a reasonable price.  I advertised for an experienced carpet layer/ upholsterer yesterday, and within two hours had someone here working in the garage on the first condo.  Several hours of pissing and moaning later, he said it was taking too long and he had to leave.  He had one finished.  Badly finished....though I didn't notice just how badly until after I'd paid him and he was long gone.

Today I decided to make one more attempt, and now there is another man in my garage, repairing the first condo and recovering a second......or so I hope.  But, I swear, after this I quit, and will never try this again.

If I can't afford to buy new ones, I will just live with nasty tattered ones!  The cats don't care. 

P.S.  It is now many hours later.  The kitty condo business has been a real pain in the neck, but it has turned out o.k. Two condos covered with new carpet, and another one repaired and looking good.  Total cost: $125 and lots of aggravation, both of which I will forgot by tomorrow.  It would have cost $360 to replace all three.  Ah....the things I do to save money, just so I can keep buying art supplies! :-)

May need a chiropractor.  Kitties rode the condos to and from the garage.  It was just too cute for me to make them get off.

PPS  I required two visits to the chiropractor, but I am fine now and the kitty furniture looks great!  They passed the catscans, too.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Better Day

This morning Santino jumped up on the vanity while I was trying to make my hair behave.  As we played "kissy-face", I absent mindedly brushed him with my hairbrush.  He liked it!  He does not like his kitty brush, but mine is a different story!  

He did not seem to mind being called pretty.:-)  I just can't help myself.:-)  My brush is now full of white fluff, and because the bristles are rubber tipped, it's difficult to clean....Note to self: buy new hairbrush.

What a difference a day makes.  Miki is much more himself today.  When I opened the cabinet above my computer desk, he was promptly in it.  And, for the first time in a week, he had an appetite. This mom is happy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who's The Baby?

Miki, from the time he came to live with me, was Zippy's baby.  Though a neutered male, Zippy just loved babies, even sitting with a litter of opossums born under our deck, and he was very happy to get his own kitten. 

Miki has been "lost" since Zippy died,....but, to some extent has adopted me as his "mommy".  He clings.  Rudy has always been independent, but when baby Santino joined us, Rudy made it very clear that HE really was the baby.:-)  It wasn't even so much a matter of least not overtly so. He has never shoved his brothers aside, and mostly does his "baby stuff" when no one is watching.

Santino, the real baby of the family, is doing great, on the other hand.:-)

Miki takes over my lap every time I'm seated.  For the first time in the five years he has been with me, Rudy, too, has become a lap sitter.  And one evening I had all three on my lap!!!  That's at least a combined weight of 26 pounds! How could heaven be so uncomfortable?

But I veered way off here.  Even making allowances for Miki being Siamese, I cannot tell how he is doing.  He bypasses wet food and eats a few bits of the dry.  He mopes, but then he has been mopey for a long time.  When Rudy had 6 extractions last year, he bounced back immediately.  Miki is not a happy camper.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Body Language Expert

It was still dark when the alarm went off.  Confused, I tried remembering what time my flight was....and where was I going?  This is my association with waking up in the dark to the shrill sound of the alarm.  

A shiver of excitement, coupled with a shred of anxiety,  ran through my body before I remembered that I had to get Miki to the vet for his dental work.  I had allowed myself only 15 minutes before we had to leave. I prize sleep above grooming and make-up.  I now realize that I prize it even above making sure my brain is engaged before taking action.

I walked toward Miki, making contact but just barely.  He KNEW. I flashed back to the time my husband had insisted that the cats could "read his mind".  Yes, Jack, you were right!  They are experts at body language.

 First, I tried treats.  This was tricky as I couldn't actually let Miki eat them before anesthesia.  He came and just as quickly ran off again.  I called the vet and reported the state of affairs here.  This was a bit embarrassing as I had begged them to take Miki before anyone else so he would not have to endure the stress of waiting.  

I had put the dry food dishes away and knew he must be hungry. I served breakfast....v e r y casually, and he came...but one look at me sent him scurrying off.  I gave up.  Made coffee and toast.  Fired up the computer.
Much to my surprise, Mike came, hopped on my desk, and lowered his head to eat from my plate.  His concentration was on the cottage cheese, and I was able to grab him.  He yelled loudly for the entire 15 minute drive.


It's now much later, and I just brought Miki home.  He had 6 extractions.  With Stomatitis...having lost Zippy to this illness...I know that we may be in for some rough and expensive times.  

I love my vet.  He answers all my this case they were about the commoness of Stomatitis, which then led into a discussion about the genetic pool in full-bred kitties.  Even though they aren't inbred in the way we usually think of the word, they, in fact, are. I asked him whether marriages should be interracial, then, and he said "absolutely".  (Being 100% Northern European and gluten intolerant, I should have had children with a Chinese!!!:-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mystery of the Vanishing Mice

Twenty years of mice....
all vanished!  

Have you noticed how we just have to make up an explanation when items disappear? 
In every house on the planet, something always vanishes into thin air. Most commonly, it is socks and cooking spices...or maybe postage stamps. My guess is every household has their own "specialties".  

Feng Shui practitioners explain this phenomenon by saying that some houses have "holes"...Some houses, like mine, are even built on top of these "holes".  Even some of my walls have these portals to another reality. So now you know where your missing things go, though I have had no success in going there myself. I figured that would be a good place to look for everything that I have been missing.   

I didn't even think about calling the Feng Shui master, a friend of a friend, to hunt for the mice.  I always assumed the mice were under the furniture, like the couch which weighs a ton, for example. My pets have always taken delight in shoving them under things where they can fish for them with their paws, but which are too close to the ground to allow more than a mouse or a paw.  "Tough!" I would say, but then eventually relent and bring home another mouse or two.
Then we had a big to-do here.  We had the carpeting replaced....and so it came to pass that I discovered that the mice had, indeed, vanished!  We only have three small closets which are not carpeted, and therefore untouched by the carpet layers. So I went on a mouse hunt, and though my yield was only five mice, I am pleased.  The rest are either all under the refrigerator or living happily, free from cats, in a different reality.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting My Attention

Perhaps it's a Siamese trait, but Miki's ability to communicate with me is amazing. I'm not so swift in "getting it" very quickly, unfortunately.  

For the past week, Miki has been very consistent about being in my face.  At first I thought he wanted more affection.....His voice was sweetly modulated in a "talkative" tone, but that wasn't it.  It was his behavior...  His clinginess, his sitting in front of the computer screen and staring at me.  He had dragon breath, but not consistently. I had tried to look in his mouth, but he clamped it tightly shut and turned his head away.  Should have been my clue.

I've been unusually busy, and I caught myself feeling some annoyance with him. His pestering  felt an awful lot like that of a toddler....I want, I want, I want......

Finally, I got it!  Cats must think we humans are so stupid.  This morning, he blocked my computer screen, opened his mouth, and blew his dragon breath into my face.  I picked up the phone and called the vet.

Leaving the house in shambles from the mess from carpet installation yesterday, we were at the vet an hour later.  He protested all the way.  Good, I thought....not TOO sick.  The diagnosis is stomatitis.  How come we never heard of this until a few years ago?  Cats never had their teeth cleaned....and they were never allergic to their own bacteria.  Miki is only 7, and has had the best of care.  

He got a steroid shot, and I'll have his annual teeth cleaning done next week.  If any teeth are bad, we will remove them.  Unfortunately, Miki is too smart to allow me to give him any meds more than once.  All my cats are smarter and faster than I.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More Kitties Sleeping

Virginia Torsch, my Santino's first Mom, sent me this photo at my request.  Without fail, every time I see Santino duplicated many times over, I go crazy with envy and ask Virginia if I can move in with her and her husband.  (She ignores me.:-) but, many people do.)

The only reason I have only one Balinese is that I was unable to find one.  When I went to find a Siamese in 1990, I got Zippy who did not look like any Siamese I'd ever seen.  Much later I learned that he fit the description given for a Balinese.  He was, by far, the smartest, wisest, and most loving creature I had ever met!  I promised myself that there would ONLY be Balinese kitties in my life.  Each time I had an "opening" for an addition, I searched and searched. in vain.  I took in, one at a time, two Siamese, one Abyssinian, and one stray.   (It's a lot like getting married to Mr. "Good-Enough", actually.)  Then I found poor sick Blue who only lived for two years.  So, Virginia, I am so very happy with Santino and if I can find some Youth Serum, I want several more!  (I do think about their future should I die first.)

By the way, Virginia says that this is HER side of the bed all the cats have chosen.  I think it speaks well of her.:-)  Oh, and I think you chose the color of your bed cover very well.  You were much more practical than I, though.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sleeping Cats

This is what the cats look like sleeping in March, 2010.
It's the first thing I see when I wake up and it never fails to make me smile.  My body, however, is less happy, as it has twisted and bent to accommodate my precious a king size bed, yet.  I keep promising myself to insist on space on my own bed, but it just doesn't happen. :-)   At least, not often.

Santino has been here a year now, and is KING.  In spite of constantly asserting himself as Numero Uno, he continues to be adored by all.  He curls up with all three, and Sophie no longer gets him all the time. change.  It's almost a year, and she is less, but still afraid of me, especially when I'm walking toward her and even more so when I lift up a blanket.  I believe her previous owner walked toward her and threw a blanket or large towel over her, grabbing and then dumping her.  She is a really nice cat...never a problem, and it's obvious that she is happy.
She still has trouble believing that she is allowed on the furniture. When she tries a new place, she checks me out carefully, and I have to reassure her that it's o.k.  Yes, I think someone in her previous home hated cats and believed they should not get on the furniture.

Miki now seeks out Santino to curl up with....He has never liked sleeping alone.  My bed, as you probably already know from my photos, seldom gets made up.  There are always cats in it!  I many pictures of sleeping cats can I show you?