Saturday, April 28, 2012

Minnie's new friend

My rather asocial cat Minnie appears to have made a friend in the neighborhood--a longhaired gray kitty (gender indeterminate at the moment) has been hanging around with Minnie, mostly in the evenings, for at least a week now. They sit quietly together and even go places in the 'hood together. Here they are relaxing in the back yard.

Gray Kitty is one of the "jingle bell kids" I've met; he/she and two other cats have little bells on their collars, so somebody's taking care of them. (The other two cats are quite young shorthairs, one bold enough to come get a headrub from me once.) GK has what looks like a scab on its tail near the base, with fur missing around it; whatever kind of boo-boo it was, I think it's healing. GK is a skinny, skittish little thing, but he/she tolerated me being outside with him/her and Minnie on the patio for several a safe distance, of course.

It's nice to see Minnie being relaxed with somekitty!

Please ignore mom's pasty white knee.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I forgot to add in my post yesterday that Annabelle is now running all over the house, scratching on our treadmill instead of the walls (progress of a sort), and eating with the big girls (or, anyway, in the same location, if not at the same time).

Minnie still has no use for the new "white thing" and uses bad language every time they pass each other. But we haven't heard an actual fight starting up in several days, so that's OK.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I wish I were a better photographer, or had a better camera, or whatever. (We'll blame the camera, shall we?) Because look at how close Sammi and Annabelle got today! You can see they're within two planks of each other, which is about 8". Annabelle saw Sammi sitting in the living room and did the crouch-and-butt-wiggle, preparing to pounce. She leapt at Sammi, but stopped just short of her. Sammi didn't even react--just looked at her like "Whut?" So Annabelle casually flopped down in front of her. She even laid her head down and poked her little paws at Sammi as if inviting her to play!

Those two are going to be friends someday. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kitty progress report

It's been three weeks since new-kitty Annabelle arrived, shocking our resident cats, Minnie and Sammi. In that time, she has gone from hiding in Sister A's closet all day to wandering around the whole house, checking things out (if only when the "big girls" are outside or asleep), and knocking her hard mice & squishy balls all over the place.

We were worried about having to leave our unsettled trio for a previously-scheduled five-day trip--this only five days after Annabelle arrived!--but they all survived. Annabelle took to the catsitter well, and there was no blood on the walls upon our return. Our catsitter mentioned in her notes (which we really appreciate--what pet owner doesn’t love hearing about their critters' antics?) that Annabelle "is ready to come out of the bedroom but [Sammi] is not ready for her to do that just yet!"

Before we left on that trip, Sister A. took Annabelle to the vet to have her runny eyes checked, but as I wrote before, he said the problem was most likely just a blocked tear duct, which doesn't hurt her, and there's nothing to be done about it. Annabelle seems to react the same as we do on sinusy days--our eyes (and noses) run, too, only we don't have white fur for it to goop up on. She's certainly full of beans, happy and playful, so she's not in any pain.

Ignore the goopy eyes--the vet says she's healthy.

The vet did give us eyedrops to try on her...four times a day! After returning from our trip, we tried to get her to take the drops, but as Sister A. reported on Facebook:
"We cannot get Annabelle to behave long enough to get her eye drops into her eyes. We've tried several times, in several different ways, and I have suffered a pretty good gash. So the heck with that. The vet didn't think we had a good chance of them working anyway. She has blocked tear drainage ducts and her eyes just spill over with tears. She cleans them off her face a couple of times a day, so we'll just live with it. We don't want her hating us forever."
The eyedrop fiasco drove Annabelle back into Sister A's closet for a while, but that passed. Three days later, A's friend, the one who contacted us about our little refugee in the first place, asked if Annabelle was still hiding in the closet. A. replied:
"She comes into the sewing room when I'm in there, and into the living room at night when everything calms down. We have moved her food and water a little farther from my room so she'll have a reason to explore the hallway a little more."
She has improved quite a bit since then. Yesterday, she ventured over to the big girls' feeding station in the dining room and, after sniffing liberally, delicately ate one kibble--she plucked it out of the bowl and backed away before eating it, as if she were sneaking a piece when no-cat was looking. They weren’t, but we sure were--we very much hope to add her food bowl to the rest of the collection soon, so we're slowly moving her food bowl down the hall and around the corner. Next stop: living room, then dining room. It's a work in progress.

Annabelle had several bouts of vomiting about a week ago, most likely from eating too much and/or too fast, but that seems to be over now. She has completely switched over to the other cats' food (Purina ProPlan Chicken & Rice) from the food she came with, and I think she just really liked it and snarfed it up too fast at first.

She also uses the same litter as the other cats now (TidyCats clumping), but, boy, she sure doesn't use the litterbox the same way they do--she really gets after it, flinging litter everywhere! You’d think she was trying to burrow down to the center of the earth. I imagine that's why her previous person got her a hooded litterbox! Man, that girl's got some leg on her--she could outkick Mia Hamm! We now have a whisk broom and dustpan parked by one of the litterboxes to return the excess "flingage" and save the expense of vacuuming up otherwise clean litter every time Annabelle uses the box.

Oddly enough, the "big girls", Minnie and Sammi, seem to be getting along better since Annabelle arrived, although Minnie still avoids Sammi when possible, or at least gives her a wide berth if she has to pass "the enemy" in an enclosed area. Minnie's strategy toward Annabelle is also avoidance, and now that the weather's nice, she has the perfect excuse for spending hours outdoors. Sammi's strategy is mostly to just stare at Annabelle, although there have been several bouts of hissing & scrambling between them (no injuries, thank goodness). Annabelle seems to be good at standing her ground, despite how nervous she is toward other stimuli (dogs, men, cars, shrieking kids).

Minnie is beginning to tolerate Sammi's proximity, at least in the great outdoors. The other day, they were both hunkered down in the liriope bed (grasses about 6-8" tall right now), spying on the neighborhood, apparently oblivious of each other. Later, walking toward the driveway, they sniffed noses. Then, as Minnie walked away, Sammi investigated Minnie's "background", so to speak, and swiped a paw at her rear end. I was sure a hissy fight-or-flight would ensue, but Minnie just trotted a short distance away and plopped down on the driveway--and so did Sammi.

Peaceable kingdom, indeed.