Monday, May 31, 2010

Joy of Kittenhood

This morning when I awakened, only Santino was in bed. I stroked him gently in greeting, then...looking around the room....asked out loud, "And where is little Issey?"

At the same moment I saw Issey running toward me and heard him loudly purring. And, there he was....all over me....expressing his happiness at seeing me at last! Kittens express such joy!

Issey, like all kittens, is on the clumsy side. He smacks into walls, falls off things he tries to climb....And, when I say "Oh, Issey, please be careful. Are you o.k.?" the loud, loud purring starts and whatever just happened is forgotten. (While I try not to worry about it.)

I was still in the magic of this kitten, when I heard a loud crash a few feet away. I have too many tasseled thing around the house......why did I not think to kitten-proof it better? Did Santino not do any of these things? I don't think he did!

Next, Issey jumped up on my studio wall....a perfectly aimed leap, for he smoothly grabbed the pushpin he had aimed for, and ran off with it.....with me right behind him. OMG! I can't outrun a kitten! I stopped, sat on the floor and called him. He brought me the pushpin. Sweet, sweet baby! He is so much fun!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our Family

It's a good thing that Santino is such a sweet kitty, because Issey looks up to him. Of course, then there are the things that Santino would never do....things like get on the kitchen counter or the dining table. Issey also figured out curtain climbing all by himself. He is a smart boy. Oh, how I love having him! I especially love how he flops over onto his back, presenting his belly for rubbing.

Everyone who has seen him asks about his being so thin.....and, of course I tell them he looks exactly how he should look.....Perception is a funny thing....He has never looked thin to me....I assume, because I have seen enough Oriental breeds. I so hope I can keep him lithe and sleek! He has a voracious appetite.

Rudy always arranges himself in a perfect setting and patiently waits until I have finished.....Yes, I tell him "Good job!" and he knows he is done sitting for his portrait. Rudy is having a hard time. Miki used to groom him. Now everyone steers clear of him because they can't understand his muttering and growling.

Santino hanging out with Sophie. Sophie has relaxed. Perhaps, she thought I brought Issey home as a replacement for her? I have promised her that she can stay with me forever.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Let's play werewolves, o.k.?

I so don't stick my tongue out!

Now what is there to do?

This is so in my way!

Yes, things are really are weird here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bed-Making 101

I almost said that Issey failed, but that would have been incorrect. All good teachers know what mothers seem to have a harder time grasping: that students will only learn what they want to learn. The teacher's job is to motivate the student.

Santino is so good that he can approach the bed running and in one swift movement dive under the covers which hang down halfway on the side of the bed. Yes, one fluid motion puts him a good 3 feet away from the edge under the covers! There is no way I could have taught him that as I haven't a clue how he achieves this. But, I did provide the original motivation of a wiggling toe or a furry mouse....even Rudy, sometimes.

The other evening Issey watched this and attempted to follow.....unsuccessfully.

So today when I saw Santino and Issey playing on the bed, I thought it might be a good time to start Bed-making 101. But, as I said earlier.....mothers can be on the slow side.

Santino knew right away what game we were playing, but Issey was having no part of it. Duh! They already HAD a game going and I was interfering!

I failed Training Cats 101. :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Boys

Take a close look at this first photo. Issey/Santino look glued together. :-)

Issey likes to sit in the sun behind the blinds. In this photo, he has just come back....looking zoned out from the heat.

All the cats like this fake fur afghan, but Santino and Issey most of all.

As yummy as an icecream cone...

Rudy, the photogenic kitty.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Adorable! So sweet!

Do I say this about all my kittens? I believe Issey is the smartest and cutest EVER! This opinion doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the others.....I just know that kittenhood is fleeting, and I don't want to miss a moment of it! Every kitten murmur, every prancing side step, even every naughtiness....Issey loves silk plants...(and I put them away one by one, reluctantly, as even this is cute.)

Issey prefers Santino's company to mine....for which I do not blame him. I like Santino's company, too.:-) Sophie has engaged Issey in play, but he is so very taken by Santino that everyone else comes in second. I guess Santino does look like "family"!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

All is Well!

Santino is well! Issey has adjusted! And, I am much relieved and that lovely feeling of "all is well with the world" is returning.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Fur Kids

Santino went to the vet yesterday, but nothing.....He received fluids and an anti-nausea injection. He is definitely better, asked for treats and ate them, is moving around....but not much. As the day is ending, he is beginning to look scraggly again. I will give him more Pedialite, but I can't get enough down him, I think, to make a whole lot of difference.

I may need to take him back in tomorrow. If it weren't for my recent experience with Miki, I don't think I would be as worried.

In the meanwhile, everything is going well with acclimating Issey. He takes his place as "one of the boys". So cute! Sophie is disgruntled. She is hanging out all by herself. Santino is still sounding the 3:30 AM alarm, but doesn't keep it up for so long that I can't go back to sleep. He is happy to eat dinner whenever, though.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Baby in the House

Oh, what a night it was. I heard vomiting....gushy vomiting....over and over. It was 12:30 AM, and I'd been asleep only an hour. I am NOT hearing this....I'll clean it up in the morning. Note to self: Watch where you step. (Santino had thrown up before we went to bed, but I could see him and Issey in bed, so I knew it was probably Rudy.)

Issey sounded the wake-up call promptly at 3:30 (His body clock has not made the hour adjustment for Texas. He was accustomed to Virginia getting up at 4:30 and that meant breakfast!) This cruel new Mommy said "Issey, it's too early!" and went back to sleep.....for a long time.

When I opened my eyes it was light. I stepped gingerly to the bathroom. I hate the feeling of vomit squishing between my bare toes. A happy surprise! It was a dream, because all I found was one single long, hair "ball". Rudy must have groomed Santino a lot while I was away.

My relief quickly changed to alarm as I realized that Santino was sick. I reminded myself to not assume the worst....After all, I had survived raising 4 children, and all had survived my raising them! I took his temperature: 102.4, within the high range of 'normal'....and reminded myself that a loose stool is not necessarily 'diarrhea' when it isn't urgent or frequent. However, he isn't eating or drinking....We're o.k. for today, but tomorrow I will take him to the vet tomorrow, Monday. My guess is that Issey's food upset his tummy, or he is stressed from having a new baby in the house.

Last night no one would eat the new food, but they had eaten some when I first brought it home. I was so excited about having located a store that sells it, I opened a can immediately. (Izzy ate with gusto...once....and then didn't want it again, perhaps, because it was cold from being in the refrigerator. Then again he didn't want any from the fresh can this morning, either.

In the meanwhile....though Izzy doesn't necessarily like how his castle is being run, I being a slow learner, he is good with his fellow princes.:-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

So Many Beautiful Cats!

I had intended to take photos of individual kitties, but Virginia and Paul's kids are seldom alone...and, alas, they do not pose for the camera....not that I could keep my mind on photography.

Staying with Virginia and Paul and feline family was even better than expected. Even though they were constantly doing something for the cats, they did it patiently, lovingly. Everything proceeded smoothly. Balinese seem to do an excellent job at training their staff. They even had me happily cleaning a few boxes....though I admit, I kept getting distracted.

If you wonder why there are so many cats of various ages, it's because Virginia has trouble parting with them.

From an adopter's viewpoint, I can't imagine a better environment for early upbringing......if you don't mind "spoiled". :-)

These are not kitties who would come to a new household delighted and grateful. Their royal crowns may not immediately be visible to you, and they may or may not be patient in training you, but it's easier if you get it quickly.:-)

Cats are not for people who mind being controlled by fur children! Being soft, gentle and yielding is a requirement, I believe.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Issey Miyake

Today I found a local source for Issey's favorite food "Instinct" chicken by Nature's Way. He was delighted, but then after some hearty eating left it in favor of dry! He did take his first long nap since arriving here after......look. Sophie is still holding out, but allowed him to sleep this close. Perhaps because he knows she is a mama cat, Issey is particularly taken by her.

Issey and Rudy played within the first hour or so of our arrival here. Santino continued to object until yesterday when allowed some rough-housing. Oh, he isn't crazy about being climbed, but he tolerates it. I am loving it! Even being tired from not getting enough sleep, I am grateful to have my four. It doesn't keep me from missing Miki, but it puts my attention on life, not death....and that's a good thing. I do not understand people who insist on a "proper" mourning period. Joy does not negate sorrow. It stands beside it, and gradually wins center stage.

Issey has been everywhere in this house, except under the beds or any of the other furniture. He seems to prefer the little TV room.....oh, and the dining table chairs for sharpening his claws. I could swear the others are watching in amusement as I remove him and take him to the scratching post.

Compared to Santino as a kitten, Issey is a wild kid! Amazingly, there are a couple of things broken that survived even little monkey Rudy. I'm going to be more careful.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Santino and Issey's Family

Twice a day..breakfast and dinner...this is the scene at Virginia and Paul's house. Actually, the house belongs to the kitties, with Virginia and Paul their devoted servants. Many cat owners say this about their cats, but I have never seen it be more true than in this household! Every cat is treated as an individual, fed the food of his/her preference in the spot of preference!

Some of the kitties like to eat on the table in the sun room, some under the coffee table in the living room, some in the upstairs bedroom...even under the bed....and, as you can see, the rest eat in the kitchen.

I sat on the floor and happily watched. When Virginia said that Santino already was spoiled when he came to me, I assumed she was joking. After all, when there are twenty some cats, how spoiled can any single one of them be?

I couldn't have been more mistaken! These cats get spoiled! I feel a little bit sorry for Santino and Issey. :-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A New Baby Adoption

My visit with Virginia and Paul and all the cats and kittens was wonderful! They are kind and gentle and completely devoted to their 20 cats who run the household. Their home is kitty heaven!

Even with this many cats, every one of them has the run of the house, and twice a day is served their preferred wet food. Virginia counts heads as the cats dine off their paper plates (placed down in the locations of their preferences....a couple of them being served under Virginia and Paul's bed) to make certain that everyone is eating. They call each one by his or her name; each one is an individual. I consider myself extremely lucky to now have two fur children from them.

I was amazed and delighted!

I always thought that my fur kids had the best home imaginable, and now I know that isn't true. Cats enjoy the company of others, and in a large family there is always someone to play, bathe, nuzzle or curl up with. No wonder my cats are happier than ever....I did not have enough of them!:-)

Making a decision as to who would go home with me was much more difficult than I anticipated. I wanted several!!!! And, several liked me....But, finally, 10 minutes before the required vet visit to get the necessary rabies injection and travel certificate I chose Santino's half brother who was absolutely gorgeous, and weighing in at over 9 pounds. That night we shut him in my bedroom so we wouldn't have to hunt before the early morning flight.....when "Tiny Tim" pushed his way in, and came into my arms. He had been my first choice all along, but he was too busy with his large family to pay me much attention. Now, however, he was curled up in my arms!

Virginia kindly told me she would part with him...He had been sleeping under the covers with her.... I could have kissed her! Tiny Tim traveled under the other kitty's paperwork. The airlines barely looked at it, and at the cat, not at all.

But, let me show you my new baby!!!! He is courageous.....and although incredibly cute, he is more elegant than his baby name of Tiny Tim. I'd had no intention of renaming him, but here he seemed to need a more "important" name. He is Issey Miyake, for the fashion designer. I will probably call him "Issey"

In flight....He was incredibly good in his carrier. When we arrived home, he said "Fine. Where are the guys to play with?" The guys weren't so certain, but it took Rudy only half an hour before he was racing through the house with the baby close behind!