Category Archives: cat

Heartsick

The story of the four kittens abandoned on my doorstep 3 1/2 months ago continues. As you can see, they are barely kittens anymore, and once they’d had all their shots and been neutered and spayed, it was time to make their transition outside. I knew there were dangers, but 5 cats inside is just too much for me to handle anymore, let alone for housesitters allergic to cats to handle, so the day came when they were finally let out to the wide world as it existed within my compound walls.  I am hoping they won’t be tempted to go over the walls but know it is inevitable. A bigger worry is that they’ll venture into the backyard where Morrie and Diego are accustomed to dealing with animal interlopers in a predictable manner.  I’ve kept sliding glass doors open (screens and bars closed) hoping they’ll get used to each other, but the dogs are jealous, curious, and, well, they are dogs.  Here are the events as they have unwound over the past week, ending yesterday. All in all, a scary day.

(Click on the first photo to enlarge and read captions.)

Heartsick. When I went out to feed the kittens this morning, only two showed up. I put out the food, which usually brings them out, but Ollie and Kukla never appeared. I called out over and over, opened the garage door, looked outside, nothing. I was sobbing by the time I thought to pen the dogs up and look in the backyard. It was the worst sort of suspense thriller–the kind of movie I hate–as I combed every inch of the backyard, expecting to find their little bodies everywhere I looked. I had heard the dogs take after something last night and a loud screech, and I had brought the dogs in immediately, but the screech was not catlike and when I called out for kittens, no one answered. Now I regretted not looking closer last night.

I looked everywhere again. As I searched behind the studio, both dogs came around the back way as though they were helping me to look, but nothing. I wondered if the cats had gone hunting in the lots across the street because I was a half hour late in feeding them this morning, thanks to my spider poem. Finally, I went back to the house and let the dogs out, then once again combed the plants around the studio. Diego kept running behind a monster pot containing aloe vera on the terrace near my bedroom, and eventually Morrie joined him. Beside it were two other pots too large to move and they were all tangled up in the thunbergia vine that covered the wall, all of the tall plants around the studio and behind my bedroom, and also had grown up the telephone post and along the wires. I tried to pull the pots back but they were too heavy. I finally pulled one smaller palm pot out and searched behind all the pots. Nothing. But, I thought I detected a tiny squeak.

I put the dogs in again and went back and repeatedly called “Kitty, kitty, kitty.” Finally, Ollie jumped down out of the vine tangle and nonchalantly strolled across the patio, looking very closely for dogs. I called again and a few minutes later, Kukla joined us. I was so relieved!!! I carried them around the house as I’d exited through the doggie domain and was not about to carry them through the room occupied by Morrie and Diego. I put them in the front yard, closed both of the barrier gates, let the dogs out and put the two wayfarers into the house so I could feed them separately from their sisters, who had already eaten. When I went out to get a collar to put on Kukla, however, the other cats got in, so I put another dish of food out, got a collar on Roo and Kukla but not Ollie. Fifteen minutes later, Frannie is the only one who has kept hers on for two days. The rest of the collars are lost somewhere out in the cat jungle. Phew. Motherhood.

Détente and the Wide Wide World of Cats

Kukla, Fran, Ollie and Roo are home after 24 hours at the neuter and spay spa—newly clipped and snipped and seemingly feeling no pain. After three months of life either in the house or in the small walled-off area outside the guest bedroom (and kitten suite) barred but with screen land glass sliders left open door, the vet says it is now okay to release them to their greater environment within my compound walls. They have a new outside sleeping room, but as you can see, are still curious about their old digs as well. Frannie has decided to stay inside with me for now. That’s her tail you see curling around over my screen. They were at first suspicious of their food bowls placed outside, refused to eat, then gave in to hunger and ate, but refused their next meal which was being devoured by ants, so I moved it inside. I let them roam inside and out, then locked them out, now have let them in to sleep and left screen open but closed the door to front garden so their outside area is, as before, secure. Except for bats. Cross your fingers. Below the poem are probably too many photos depicting their first afternoon of freedom, including a bit of dialogue with the dogs.

Détente and the Wide Wide World of Cats

Home from the veterinarian––shot and snipped and sewn,
time to reexamine everything they’ve known.
But now there is a difference. That whole wide outside world
has suddenly been opened up, its wonders all unfurled.
They must examine everything in this big new place.
Unearth all its mysteries and all its dangers face.

What are their dishes doing lined up here outside?
This alfresco dining is something they can’t abide.
All these swaying branches. This long wall to explore.
Who knew that all these wonders lurked behind the door
shutting off their private world in their “maison de chat”
where only their mom entered (and the scorpions and bat.)

Now there’s this new environment to jump on and to bat at
To peek in and to crawl through. To paw at and to pat at.
As they now investigate the outside world around them,
there are so many different things to puzzle and astound them.
That same world that they came from just three short months ago
becomes their playground once again––once more their status quo.

Walls protect them all for now from street dogs and from cars.
Morrie and Diego peek out from behind bars.
Neither cats nor dogs are sure what peace talks there might be
to turn this split menagerie into a family.
But five months old now, time to face that other world without.
Time for them to discover what the real world is about.

(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.)

 

Boxing Day with Kittens. Kitty Videos!!!!

With kittens, everything is a toy.  I put the long box their Whiskas Kitten Souffle packets came in on the floor of their playroom when it was empty and it took them about two seconds to devise a number of games to play with it, but no matter how they plotted, they always turned into a dead end.  I then opened up the other end and whole new games ensued.  Eventually, one of the kittens–I think it was Kukla–commandeered the box for her own.  I eventually gave up making videos of the fun and went into the living room.  Frannie jumped up on my lap and it was awhile before I noticed that she had noticed the videos I was trying to put on Youtube.  Her ears perked up and her eyes never left the screen.  It occurred to me I should be filming this and by the time I got my SD card out of the computer and into my camera, she had jumped up on the keyboard.  The last of the four videos is of her admiring herself.  Kittens are half pep pill and half tranquilizer.  They’ve certainly changed my life! Hope you enjoy these videos. Wish I knew how to edit them. (I must have messed up loading the second video so I’ll post it in another post tomorrow.  Have to get up early for day 3 of the kids camp tomorrow so should retire soon!)

Four kittens make good use of an empty Whiskas box:

 

Once I opened the other end of the Whiskas box, Kukla took permanent possession, but had plenty of visitors:

 

Frannie was sitting on my lap while I was trying to put the video of her and her siblings on YouTube. Suddenly, she seemed to notice she was a media star and jumped onto the keyboard to watch.

Kitten Agenda

Kitten Agenda

Skittering upward,
Climbing my cape,
An agile kitten
Makes her escape.
Prancing the hallway,
Evading my grasp,
Rattling the padlock to
Swing on its hasp.

Scampering everywhere,
Chasing small bugs.
Acrobat tunneling,
Mounding the rugs.
Purring rapscallion
Explores with no map.
Rests at her day’s end
Secure in my lap.

The prompt today is scamper.

Cat Nap

Cat Nap

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I chanced upon this scene when I came back to the guest room, where I am sleeping tonight hoping it will be less asthma-provoking than my room has been lately. It looked so cozy, I hated to disturb it.  I have another confession to make.  I bought this cat made of papier mache newsprint in PV.  It was made by an artist who would not reduce the pretty pricey price because he was selling them in galleries so couldn’t undercut them.  I actually bought it for my friend but when I saw it in my new guest room I decided to keep it.  I felt guilty about this while she was here. I had installed it cozily on the bed in the room where she slept.  Imagine my delight when I pointed it out after a few days, surprised she hadn’t mentioned it, and she made a rather disparaging comment about it.  Relief!  I was thinking if she was crazy about it I’d have to give it up to her.  She is a cat lady, I should add, of the first order.  So, I sent her back to her real cats and she let me keep my hypoallergenic cat. I’m sleeping with it tonight.

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S’cat!!!! NJW’s Halloween Challenge.

Everyday Kitty

Casts a fine shadow. Likes to curl up.
Has to put up with that scrawny new pup.
At her most regal when perched up on leather,
she suns on the wall in the sunniest weather.

Not very scary like Halloween cats.
Doesn’t quite go with pumpkins and bats.
But everyday kitty has her own way,
and she’s a great kitty for just every day.

https://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/10/04/jnws-halloween-challenge-cat/

Fierce

Fierce

When first he turned up on their lawn,
he might have been the Devil’s spawn.
He hissed and sputtered––showed tooth and claw––
fierce growls emitting from his widespread maw.
They feared they might be scratched or bitten,
yet took a chance ––and tamed the kitten!

(I think you’ll want to click on the below photos to enlarge them. You’ve seen some of them before, but worth reviewing imho.)

prompt word today was “Fierce.”