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18 November 2020

Cat Katze gatto chat kedi So the last time I talked about the cats we had just taken in Possum. [More:]He had arrived in very rough shape but got healthy fast and he is thriving. He is a tiny guy with big feets and the build of a greyhound. His hair is very long but very thin. I thought with time and regular food it would thicken up but that is not happening. I am not sure if his small size and thin hair is genetic or a result of some lean times but he is healthy and happy and full of energy and the most kitten like cat I have ever met. Again, I don't know enough to say if that kitten like demeaner is genetic or a result of his life on the street.

While he got healthy quickly he also developed terrible feline acne under his chin and at both sides of his mouth and all over his nose and between his eyes. Whitey Ford developed acne and it turned out he had a bad tooth. The drooling caused it. Possum's teeth were fine but he was rubbing his face on me constantly and that was causing the break-out. Over the last few months he has become comfortable knowing he has a place here and will not be back outside and he does not rub against me as much. He still does it a bit everyday and he still has his mouth hanging slack jawed when he does it so he has acne under his chin. To borrow a phrase, not great, not terrible.

Possum is about a year younger than Nora Lou Who but they are so different in personality. He plays like he is 4 months old and she totters around like a 15 year old slightly disapproving old lady. He plays like crazy with anything at all. Sometimes he fights with the door frame to my office. Laying on his back he grabs the door frame with his front paws and then flips up on his head and kicks at it with his back feet. Casper sits and looks at him with a look that says 'that boy ain't right'.

He runs up stairs and down and fights with all the toys and sometimes he runs from different corners of the house carrying toys and stashing them under a big chair. Other times he has stashed them under my office chair, the porch futon, and one morning I woke covered in cat toys. He will also play with any old thing. One day he appeared to be flipping around the floor with nothing but then I saw that he was fighting a small bit of lint. That kept him happy for at least 10 minutes. He runs and plays for 2 hours or more and then he flops down on the chair in my office or the cat bed in my office and he sleeps like the dead for a couple of hours.

On the subject of sleeping like the dead I must mention Nora. Like Kitty before her she can sleep very very soundly. Despite her thickness she can curl into a perfect ball. She is small but weighs in at somewhere around 13 pounds. When she curls up on the bed and goes into a deep sleep she can't be moved easily. Casper is a bigger cat and he weighs more but I can sweep my leg and slide him over. Not Nora. In order to move her sleeping form I have to get my hands under her and pick her up. I call her the cannonball.

She has very short but very luxurious fur. Crazy thick and very smooth and slick. As long as I keep her brushed she is fine but if I leave it too long even that very short fur can get matted.

Casper is my best buddy. He is a cat who needs a human partner. He is OK around people but he needs to have one best friend. When Nora came she quickly set about following and watching Casper. What he did she had to do. She also liked stalking him. She would get very flat and do the pointed ears, butt wiggle, weight shifting thing and then pounce. The sad thing is she would be a metre away and right in front of him while she did. Surprising only to her he was always ready for her. As Possum would later find out Casper is very fast. For every swing you take he will get in 3 accurate thumps to your melon.

So things have settled that way. Nora the somewhat dyspeptic old lady. Possum the goofy energetic boy and Casper the big brother. They look to Casper for guidance and rules and yet also bug and harass him sometimes until he smacks them. He seems OK with the role.

The nice thing is Possum got Casper to play. They sometimes chase each other and sometimes fight in the way kittens fight. At first Possum didn't get when it was time to stop. They would be fighting and all would be fun but then Casper would say 'I'm done' but Possum would keep at it until Casper thumped him good. One evening they were fighting and Casper tried to end it and walk away but Possum jumped him again and I saw Casper spin, stand up and grab him, pick him off the floor, spin him around, and drop him headfirst on the floor.

For a bit Possum had a few puncture wounds but he has finally understood that the fight stops when Casper says so. The thud thud thud of Casper's tail on the hardwood is a sure sign it's gone too far.

Casper is still a happy guy and the happiest time of day is when I say 'bedtime'. He races ahead and when I walk in the room I can hear him purring like mad in the dark.

Possum is a also an observer and a mimic. He watches all of us with his head tilting and turning getting every angle. If Casper sits very upright in the window so does Possum. If Nora curls into a ball on the futon so does he. If Casper sleeps on his back on the floor then of course Possum does too. When I sit on the couch with my arm on the side he sits human style at the other end of the couch with his arm up on the armrest too. He sits and looks at the TV as long as I am doing it.

Nora loves TV. She will sit about a metre away and watch Too Cute, a show about kittens and puppies. She is rapt. Late one night she sat on my desk and watched a documentary about lost sand casting with me. Why is a cat into lost sand casting? But she didn't take her eyes off it until the credits rolled. She also watched a rather darkly humorous Finnish film with me one night. Unlike Possum she is not trying to be like me. She just seems to really like TV.

Early on Possum would try to get Nora to play but she will have none of it. She would bat hell out of him. He is welcome to sleep next to her but play is right out. Still, friendly Nora might be worse that angry Nora. When I am working in the kitchen Nora is constantly walking by and smacking against my legs. One afternoon Possum was watching me and Nora was going round and round the room when she gave him a happy smack with her big ole bum and she knocked him over and sent him sliding into the flip top garbage can.

The three of them like attention but I am happy none of them are lap cats. My back can't take a lot of motionless sitting. Nora will sit on my wife's lap but she will only stay on mine for a few minutes.

A few nights ago I woke up and I could feel them between me and my wife. I reached down to see who was where but all I found was a bunch of legs. Casper must have decided to sleep there on his back so the other two decided that was the thing to do.

The outdoor crew.

Ginger has been safe and happy. No wounds or stuff stuck to him for a good long time. We did have a weird bit a few weeks back. He went into the garage when I left the door open while working in the yard. That is not unusual but when I went to lock up he was up on top of some shelves and would not come down. I left the door open but by bedtime he had still not come out. I left some food and a litter box. The next day he had eaten the food and pooped in the box. He spent 4 days and 3 nights in there. We thought that that might be his new home but then he came out and all went back to way it has been all these years. Odd. The big orange still sits at the back stair and stares at the door waiting for me.

I think I have told you about how Ed went missing and then came back for a few days before going for good. Well gentle polite Wilson has been gone for a few months. I was about to write about it and then big gorgeous Wen disappeared. I really miss that big guy.

It's also sad because he and Ginger were pals. Ginger lost his talks with Whitey Ford and then his bud Wen. Also Ginger and Wen used to curl up together on a chair on the patio on cold nights and Wen and Pan would share a house during the cold days. I hope Pan and Ginger can stay warm this winter.

I would like to think Wen and Ed and Wilson are doing great but I know it is more likely they are dead. It just comes with the territory.

Miss Pan, our grand old lady is still solitary and angry but despite her age she seems to be in good health. Still her age is showing. Both she and Ginger are double the size they were in July. His neck is not yet bigger than his head but it will be before Christmas.

Badger who looks like a bigger more normally shaped Nora is getting more comfortable and is bulking up nicely too. We have a new gray cat that comes by sporadically. I hope to trap him/her soon but it is very skittish. Still the gray cat has put on weight and looks more properly groomed so that means it is getting healthy.

So many cats. One nice thing about covid is that by being home almost all the time I am saving big on lint rollers.

Any of you have animal friend updates?
I almost forgot about the rodents. I have mentioned how I sometimes find pristine but dead mice by my chair on the patio. I speculated that it was Ginger. Now I am sure.

A few months back I heard a high squeak in the night and I looked round with my flashlight. I saw Ginger standing proudly with a dead mouse in his mouth.

A lot fell into place. The squeaks I sometimes hear are mice and the more guttural squeaks are rats dying at Ginger's hand. Or I guess Ginger's mouth.

And that thing where he is just sitting near me and suddenly pops up, ears pointed and then runs off into the dark? He is listening to the rodents of the night.

This summer was seemingly good for mice as I found several dead and neighbors on both sides have found perfect but dead mice by their back doors. Ginger is keeping us safe in the darkness.

He is fast and efficient with never any blood.
posted by arse_hat 18 November | 23:05
As I mentioned in the other thread, Rudi had a bad gastric upset the other week that saw him on a drip at the vet. He's back to his normal self now.

He's a very difficult cat to get along with - bitey and fighty, and he can turn from being blissed out as I stroke his head and chin to a frenzied mass of teeth and claws in a nanosecond. I wonder sometimes if the reason his previous owners re-homed him wasn't because of allergies (as they claimed) but due to his personality.

We have our little bedtime routine where he has a few treats (Dreamies, his favourites) and then he'll sometimes curl up at the foot of the bed, on the opposite side from me. He won't stay long though. Sometimes he just hops right off the bed and leaves the room. Rarely, very rarely, he will curl up next to me, but never for very long.

I've had cats who Will Not Leave Me Alone For A Second - and it's too much attention. Rudi is the exact opposite and it's me craving his attention. I'm grateful for any little crumb he throws my way.

Rudi likes to catch mice, but he tends to drop them and then they run and hide. I have a couple of Trip-Traps, which I bait with peanut butter and then I release the mouse back into the forest. Sometimes he'll run in through the cat flap with a mouse in his mouth. I know instantly because of the way he runs in and the position of his whiskers. He always runs down the hall with the mouse, to the front door, where the indoor mat is his 'killing mat'. I chase after him, scruff him and put him in the bathroom (which is right by the front door) and then I'm usually able to release the mouse via the front door. Sometimes they are too scared to go out that way and they panic and hide, and I have to hope the Trip-Trap gets them to safety before Rudi finds them and chases them out from behind whichever cabinet they've taken shelter behind.

The birds visiting the garden fill me with delight. Little birds - various varieties of tit, goldfinches, nuthatches, dunnocks, wrens and robins. Bigger birds - jackdaws, magpies and big fat wood pigeons. Today I also had four beautiful green parakeets on the bird feeders. The bigger birds do the best they can at getting food from the feeders, but I have a couple of Squirrel Busters, which close when anything too heavy lands on them, and a couple of caged feeders. The squirrels try too, but mostly the little birds get most of the food, as I planned it.

I had a fox visiting for a while, and would put out dog biscuits for him/her. But a neighbour fixed a damaged fence and I don't think s/he can get in now. Either that, or the fox died on the road, as so many of them do.

I walk in the forest with a friend who has two little dogs - a Border Terrier and a half-Border Terrier, half Portuguese Podengo (who looks as if she is made of gold). I get all the benefits of having a dog - walks, throwing sticks and balls for them, having them love me as only dogs can love people - without all the responsbilities. Win-win for me. Those dogs walks have kept me sane these last few months.
posted by Senyar 19 November | 14:42
I love your descriptions of the cats, arse_hat. You are a good man, to take care of so many. I can visualise Nora the cannonball. My old cat Bailey was like that, a massive fat dollop of a cat, with a low centre of gravity that made her impossible to dislodge.
posted by Senyar 19 November | 14:44
I recently had a cat named Nora. I miss her.
posted by Obscure Reference 20 November | 15:37
Joaquin is about to go in for a procedure to remove nasal polyps.

Iris is copacetic.
posted by Miko 21 November | 00:04
Tuesday multi--point update - how are y'all doing? || Glad to see Metachat returned