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.

1 comment:

Perl Hacker said...

I'm so glad your girls are finally getting along. Worth the wait! And everytime I get a look at those floors, I get a teensy bit jealous... :-)