Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blubber and TMI

OK, time to get serious about losing weight. Having boobs on the front is bad enough, but on the back, too...? El yucko. Happened to catch sight of it this morning. Back on the diet for me!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No luck

Gracie (aka Gray Kitty) never showed up yesterday evening, nor this morning, so I had to cancel her appointment with the vet and just worry about her. I didn't see her Sunday evening, either, but it's not like I was watching the door constantly, so I just assumed I missed her. I don't think she came around to eat during the night because there was still plenty of food in the bowl this morning. I sure hope that means she found a home with someone (and I hope they spay her soon). Of course, she may still show up; just have to wait and see.

Minnie was upset when I got home from work yesterday; the very fluffy black & white cat who's been turning up in the yard was lying in a heap at the far corner of the yard, long gone. It had a terrible wound to its rear end (hence the lack of gender identification here). I couldn't tell whether it had been attacked by a dog or landed wrong on those dadgum pointy fence pickets. Poor kitty.... I started to dig a grave near Fluffy's, but ran into a ton of tree roots, so let's say B&W Kitty is being laid to rest compliments of the city. I hated to do it, but I had to cat-proof the front room of my house for Gracie and I was running out of time. (Turns out I didn't have to cat-proof, after all, but I didn't know that at the time.)

The collar I saw B&W Kitty wearing turned out to be just a flea collar, no ID. Probably another cat-friendly person caught the kitty long enough to slip it on.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gray kitty update

  • The gray kitty has an appointment at the vet for early tomorrow morning to be spayed and get her shots and blood tests.

  • I'm in for an interesting night because I need to bring the gray kitty inside tonight, for the whole night, so that she doesn't eat or drink before her operation.

  • Minnie's gonna hate that, but maybe I can shut the gray kitty in the bathroom with a bed and litterbox.

  • Gray kitty won't be too wild about that, either.

  • Gray kitty has a name now: Gracie.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kombat Kitties!

OK, we had a leeettle bit of unrest yesterday evening between Minnie and the little gray cat, with Gray Kitty suddenly chasing after Minnie, then the two of them whapping and shrieking, then more 100mph chasing while big ol' Mom with her elephant feet tried to get between them (completely impossible). Minnie wound up hiding under the furnace, growling at anything that moved nearby, including me. I couldn't picture standing watch over the cats all night, so I reluctantly put Gray Kitty outside. If the tomcats started messing with her again, well, we'd nip it in the bud soon enough.

This morning, I gave Minnie her stinky meat and let her out for her morning constitutional. Passing by the back doors at one point, I noticed that SamIAm was in the yard and both he and Minnie were hunkered down with their eyes fixed on the neighbors' tree, which comes right up against the fence and is also within cat's-reach of the little old garage in their back yard. When I moved to find what they were staring at, at first I only saw the fluffy black-and-white cat (who has a collar, so he belongs to somebody), but then I saw something else move further up the tree...and there was Gray Kitty, staying well out of reach of B&W Kitty. Kitties B&W and Gray played keep-away for several minutes, then I was able to coax Gray down to the "cat door" (a space in the fence where the top of one picket is broken off), scooped her up, and took her into the house for a respite from the tomcats.

I got Gray Kitty fed and snuck up on her with a tube of flea dope, then let her explore the place again. Fast-forward about an hour, and Minnie's looking in the back door, so I let her in and get her some crunchies while she hops up on one of her favorite perching spots by the phone. I set her food up there with her and she got a few mouthfuls...and then Gray Kitty hove into view. More staring, more growling, and then Minnie flew off her perch and ran for the bedroom with Gray Kitty in hot pursuit. Run! Whap! Scream! Chase! Hide! Run some more! Holy crap....

It was clear they weren't going to buddy up anytime soon, and since I must go out for a little bit today and can't possibly leave Minnie and Gray Kitty in the house together unsupervised, I had to put Gray Kitty out again. I'll bring her in again--so I can have her close for whisking off to the vet, mainly--and maybe the two kitties will start getting used to each other, but, man, that little gray cat is a fighter! Well, she's had to defend herself against all those dang toms, so I shouldn't be surprised....

Even if I can't let Gray Kitty stay inside, I know she'll come to me if she sees me, so I'll be able to scoop her up for spaying. Gotta catch her in the morning, though--she disappears after breakfast and doesn't turn up again until late afternoon or early evening.

I got a closer look at Gray Kitty's fur while she was inside this morning, rolling around on Minnie's dresser-top towel bed like a little hoyden. She's gray tabby with a sort of beige undercoat, and her tummy is beige with gray spots. The pattern reminds me of a Bengal cat.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Delicate doin's today

I had a couple of errands/chores lined up for today, but a wee matter--maybe 5 lbs. worth--has rearranged my schedule. This little gray kitty showed up a few days ago in the carport as I was leaving for work, sitting up on the brick half-wall between me and the neighbors. I gave her a sniff of me and even got a light pet or two in before she jumped off the wall and disappeared. She'd been very tense, and when I looked over the wall, I saw it wasn't all my doing--SamIAm, a Siamese-cross feral, was giving her the hairy eyeball (the gray kitty took off in the opposite direction).

Yesterday evening, she turned up in the backyard, dined in the ferals' food station, and stared in the window at me for a minute or two. Then she started to walk across the yard, and here comes SamIAm with the same intense look on his face. He followed her as she trotted away, caught her...and that's when I knew the gray kitty was definitely a girl. And she needed to be spayed right away.

She came back (unaccompanied) this morning for breakfast, so I hunkered down by the French doors and watched until she was done. As before, she came to look inside, and this time I opened the door and let her in. Minnie stared in disbelief as Mom let the interloper into her domain! The gray kitty--who can't be more than 7 or 8 months old, if that--cautiously nosed around the place while Minnie stared at her, sometimes hissing or growling, and I kept an eye on both cats. The gray kitty let out a few growls of her own, too, and there was one quick whapping match between them. After exchanging whaps, they both settled down in their neutral corners.

There are still growls being exchanged in proximity, but that's the worst of it so far, and I'm keeping a close eye on them. Minnie is rather disgruntled at her "company", but she'll live.

I know, I did this "let the feral move in" thing before and it didn't work out well (Leo, whom I thought was a girl because he came back from the vet with a shaved tummy, but who turned out to be a wall-spraying boy). This may not be permanent, but I let her in because it's a whole lot less traumatic to scoop her into a carrier in the house than to trap her outside. Monday, I'll call the vet and see if I can get her in for spaying then; Monday night, she'll stay in the house recuperating, for sure.

But between now and then? And afterward? Well, we'll see how it goes.

As for the spaying, I'm not made of money, but it's gotta be done. Anyone who's ever dealt with ferals knows how fast a pair of unaltered cats can breed. What's another month on the debt (ugh)....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Per Sister A's request...

...pix of the newly installed screens on the French doors. Check out the psychedelic moire made by the two screens in that second photo--yikes, fetch the Valium!  :D

You can also see Her Fatness in the first pic.  :P

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Well, duh....

I got a chance to test the new locks on the French doors yesterday, and they work very well--I stepped outside to check the ferals' food station and locked myself out of the house. In my slippers. Had to go next door to the neighbors' (in said fluffy slippers) and ask to use her phone to call a locksmith. And since I'm not exactly up-to-date where cellphones are concerned (and fewer people have landlines these days), I had to confess stupidity when I couldn't figure out how to use her phone. It was definitely a humbling experience.

I guess I oughta join the modern world and learn how to use an iPhone-type phone....

Oh, and I am so never leaving the house again without my keys!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sharing a movie

I got wrapped up in an old movie on TMC this evening--Tender Mercies, with Robert Duvall and Tess Harper--and about half an hour into it, here comes Minnie hopping up on the couch beside me and snuggling in for the long haul. I'd forgotten what a little gem that movie is, and I forgot the time as we watched (OK, I watched, Minnie slept). Daylight faded, we didn't move until the end, and there Minnie still was, curled up against my chest, despite my singing along every now and then...or maybe because of it. Music hath charms....

I told Minnie afterward that she was the nicest creature I'd ever shared a movie in the dark with. She has no agenda.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Door Day!

Say goodbye to the old sliding glass doors--it's New Door Installation Day! The French doors are sitting in my carport in one big pre-hung unit while the guys whittle out my sliders and cut new trim to replace the rotted wood. An Arctic blast (including snow) is heading our way this evening, but I hope to get one coat of protective paint on the outside trim before it hits.

Not surprisingly, Minnie is not too happy with all this strange activity and is currently hiding under the furnace.

Update: The doors are in! It took the guys about 3.5 hours to do all the work, including replacing rotten wood around the door hole, and it looks great! The manufacturer forgot to send my screens, but the installer's going to notify Home Depot about that (and, of course, I'll follow up). Popping them in will be quick work. After the installers left, I had enough time to slap on a coat of primer on the new wood outside, inhale a hamburger, and slap on a coat of white paint. It had almost two hours to dry before the wind sharpened and the temperature began to drop. That's not ideal, but it's what we've got.

Here are the new French doors, all beautiful.  :)
Minnie didn't hide the whole time, after all--she came out from under the furnace after about an hour and spent the rest of the time in the office with me, snoozing and doing other normal things like a totally-not-afraid cat. Such a brave girl!

Next up: do my tax return as soon as possible so I can get my refund and pay off the doors. Gotta get 'em off plastic.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to reality

It's really nice working for a university, especially around Christmas, when you get beaucoups vacation time. But, boy, it sure spoils ya! Had to go back to reality today and make like a working person.  :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I managed to get some fuzzy, long-distance photos of Punkin, one of my recent feral arrivals. I had to peek around a doorway and zoom the camera as far as it would go in order to get them; he's a wary critter and would bolt at the sight of me. He really is pumpkin-orange, with a white shirt-front, lower face, and paws, and a big ol' tomcat head. Catching him stretching in the second photo was a lucky shot!

SamIAm, the cream tabby/Siamese mix with very light points, was also in the yard at the time, but all my pix of him came out as nothing but a white blob. He's also wary, but comes up to the door glass to look in at me sometimes, so maybe I'll catch him later.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! And happy official birthday to Minnie!

Sometime in January of 2006, Minnie showed up in my yard and, after a mere two-week courtship, decided to live with me. The rather bad photo at left was taken on her first day in the house. When I took her to the vet to be spayed in February of that year, he thought she was about 2-3 years old, so I decided she was officially 2 years old at the time, hence born sometime around Jan. 2004. That makes her 6 years old today, Jan. 1, 2010 (Jan. 1 being her official birthday).

She's skinnier in the old photo, and leggy-looking, but the most striking difference between Minnie then and now is that the younger Minnie doesn't have the great, fluffy ruff around her neck. Not sure why that would be, but there you are.

And now here's Miss Minnie in her present-day glory.  :)