Friday, September 30, 2005

The vet

Chey had her first visit to the vet with me yesterday. It was a very good experience. I had someone to talk to about the various diets. This clinic does complementary medicine as well as traditional veterinary medicine. Diet is very important. I learned about raw food diets and the pros and cons of this.

I've always been a big fan of Solid Gold and it was interesting to talk to someone about my personal concerns about feeding this to an older cat.

Gemini is going into her the vet I have always used sometime soon to be spayed. I'll be setting up that appointment from my office so I know what days I am less busy on and won't have a problem taking her in and picking her up. I worry about her but I know she'll do fine. I look at her and am constantly amazed at how big she is getting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Icky stuff

Gemini is a lovely cat. Her fur usually is fairly smooth across her back and you notice that she's a longer furred cat mostly when she walks away. Then you can see from behind all the fur that sticks out behind her and around her legs. It's quite pretty with her billowing squirrel tail hovering above. I call it her fancy pants. I've been lucky. One reason I like shorter haired cats is because you don't have the problems with their fur like longer haired cats. Gemini's long fur is in the right position to be a problem..

Yes, those fellow cat owners with long haired beauties know where I'm going. The ick. The fecal mat. Being the cat that she is, Gemini got a fecal mat at about 10:30 PM last night. I was up because I was watching the Amazing Race, one of my few television addictions. Mostly I am online now. Anyway, she seemed to be paying unusual attention to her bottom and began scooting across the floor. I got a tissue and attemtped to pull--but that didn't help as she had already smashed fecal matter into her fur.

This cat, by the way was amazingly patient. I found an old pair of scissors and got most of it out. However she still stunk. So she got a half bath--which she wiggled through and didn't like but was actually quite easy to bathe. Still she stunk. We started wiping her behind with tissues to see if we couldn't wipe off, as everything seemed to be gone. After this I could still smell her and she continued to smell bad and she wanted to be in the bed... as now it was after 11 and I was trying to get to bed.

We went back to the scissors and started cutting more fur around her bottom. She disliked this. In fact this was the only time she started growling at me was when I continued to cut around her fur. She was up on her feet and I know I wasn't poking her or cutting anything other than hair but still she disliked this grooming thing in the middle of the night. Still after cutting off some more hair that looked strange, she stopped smelling so badly and I let her be.

She immediately began playing with the Siamese and ignoring me. When she woke me with her purr this morning, she no longer smelled.. The joy of having a longer furred cat...

Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm late

This weekend I was gone overnight. Gemini greeted me at the door standing there with a look on her face that suggested if she had arms, she'd have them crossed and if she knew how to tap a foot she would.

She's taken to walking around the house like that sometimes. I see her checking on me, on the other cats, on the food. She walks around as if she is the boss and it makes me want to laugh. If she doesn't like something, she meows loudly. Sometimes she is pleased with me and mews and puts her paws on my lap before jumping on me.

Early in the morning shortly before the alarm goes off, she does that in the bed, but she's usually standing on my chest. She tickles my face until I open an eye to see what's happening and then the purr begins. This goes on until I head downstairs to feed her and the other cats. As soon as we get to the kitchen, she goes about her bossy business to make sure I do it right.

I hope this is a phase and not a permanent part of her personality. I really don't need someone going behind me to make sure what I do, I do correctly and to their satisfaction. It's praticularly difficult when you aren't sure what (if anything) will satisfy a cat.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cat differences

We all know cats are as different from one another as people but it's funny sometimes to notice these differences. Of my three, Georgia, my eldest is fairly round and slightly over plump. She's definitely the boss of the place and will take on any cat who threatens her authority. She's fairly friendly but not too much so. She does enjoy a good round of play time, but she's old enough to enjoy a nice comfortable nap even more.

Gemini is the kitten, of course. She still runs and plays and jumps like all kittens. Her paws, though, have outsized Georgia's nice fluffy paws and Chey's delicate Siamese toes. She's going to be a big cat. She screams when she doesn't get what she wants and anything that moves is about play. She is just learning what a nap is. She's not as coordinated as the other two but she's still learning. Nothing is beyond her to try at least once.

Cheysuli, the Siamese has a more delicate body shape. She'll end up being the shortest cat, but with a longer body length from nape of the neck to base of the tail than Georgia. She's lithe and she moves like the crack of a whip. She's also young enough to prefer play time to nap time and her movements are the conserved, exact movements of a martial artist. She is no doubt my black belt cat!

As she grows up and gets her full body growth, which I think will be larger than Georgia and Chey both, I wonder how Gemini will react to these too different adult cat mentors and who she will try and emulate most?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hungry Cats

My cats eat a lot. I thought Gemini was quite the little piggy cat when I got here but Chey is even worse. I need to move them from the canned food that Chey was eating at her old home to dry food, but this is getting frustrated. Chey, currently, has no interest in the dry stuff. I hate feeding canned.

As they meow at me and wrap themselves around my legs, I have to admit, I wonder why we called humans and animals who eat with gusto, pigs? Cats are just as bad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Running Around

Chey and Gemini have discovered each other. Gemini has discovered a young adult cat who has more athletic ability and energy than most people would think possible. Chey has discovered a hyperactive youngster who can keep up. It's a match made in heaven--for them. It might be made elsewhere for the rest of us.

I have two scratches on my arm where a cat ran across me as I was reading and then when I was working at the computer.

It's amusing to watch sometimes. Gemini likes to stop suddenly. One time Chey almost plowed into her and she fell over the stopped kitten. She did land on the kitten, so I am not sure Gemini liked that. Another time, Gemini stopped and Chey managed to go around her but was halfway across the room before she could turn around to see that she wasn't chasing anything any more...

So far nothing has been destroyed and they both seem happy. Oh and Georgia, my older cat only looks annoyed when they decide to run around the area where she's trying to nap. Well, she's 15! You can't expect her to keep up with the kids, can you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The new cat

This is Chey, the new cat. Lately she has been chasing Gemini around and they are having a grand old time!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Meat Loaf position

The meat loaf position is, of course, a technical term. I used it when I worked for the vet. Most techs very appropriately said "sternal". I yelled back one day when they asked me how a cat was doing and I quickly said good, he's in the meatloaf position. They said great. He's ready to go home and then the two techs holding a dog talking to me looked at each other and laughed because they both knew exactly what I meant.

I thought of that this afternoon as I caught Gemini in the meatloaf position. I think this is the first time. It's not that kittens don't do the sternal position. They just rarely sit still long enough to curl their paws under them and sit there. They are mostly actively playing or they're sleeping. There are no in betweens.

Today my baby grew up and was a meatloaf.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Making the Bed

I've heard people sound amazed that their cat can hear a can opener a mile away. I'm not surprised. Cats have great hearing. What does surprise me is that even cats who don't get canned food come running. Why do you suppose they come running?

What also amazes me is that cats always know when you make the bed. They can be asleep any where in the house, but go upstairs to the bedroom and start to make the bed and suddenly there's a cat in the middle. Gemini is particularly bad about this. She loves to suddenly appear and be under the covers (she climbs up the side of the bed) and starts attacking any movement.

I have to wonder what sound she hears to know that I am about to start this wonderful game?

Friday, September 16, 2005

A New Cat

With the new Siamese, Chey, I have tried doing what all the major cat sites and books say. It keeps being suggested that I isolate her and then let her create her own safe territory before introducing the other cats. Well she spent most the first several days terrified, except for the short introduction to my little ambassador. However, a couple of days ago she actually let me pet her and started purring and rolling on the floor. I thought great. NOW is when I let her create territory. Except for my presence, she was alone for a full day carving out her territory.

The next day, Wednesday, Gemini howlered outside the door and so I went to spend time with her. No sooner have I opened the door and Gemini peeked in, then this Siamese gives this sweet little chirp and runs over to greet the kitten! She was prancing around and rolling around and purring as hard as she could Gemimi was a bit taken aback and still isn't sure what to do about this cat. I have figured out that Chey really only needs a safe haven from me, rather than the other cats.

I have to say,thinking back on this, leave it to me to try and do the right thing with just the wrong cat!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Cats Fighting

It used to be that Gemini would attack Georgia and Georgia would turn around and wave a paw and Gemini would fall over on her back. Georgia would sit there and hold her down, looking bored. In the last couple of months, this paw waving from Georgia has required a bit more work. Gradually you could see her putting more effort into knocking the kitten over.

Lately, I've noticed that Georgia has had to look interested in the fights while holding Gemini down. Gone is the baby cat that she could push around so easily. This past weekend for the first time, I saw Gemini knock Georgia over on her side for a moment. Georgia got right back up and then Gemini paid the price for such a feat. Last night, the kitten knocked her over again and it took a moment longer for Georgia to extricate herself and pin Gemini back to the floor.

I worry a bit that my 15 year old will end up being beaten by this younger cat. She's waited for so long to be the head cat, that I'd hate to see the younger one usurp the place that she should have by rights of seniority--both in age and length of living with me. Still, I watch the two and know that this younger cat has brought out a playful side in Georgia that I haven't seen in years. I regret a bit that I didn't get a kitten for my other older cat as well.

I realize I shouldn't worry. Chey, the Siamese will be ready to play soon enough. Gemini bullied her way into the office past me this morning and Chey even chirped at the younger cat and was happier than I've ever seen her. I suspect she'll make a great companion and take the fighting kitten in stride.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


So this is Georgia, Gemini's friend. She's about 15 years old but she doesn't look it, does she? Gemini loves playing with her. The kitten often looks to Georgia to see how to react in certain situations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cat Tails

So this is my fictional account of Gemini's tail. I am find it fascinating to think that her tail makes her look part squirrel. It's very pretty and I think she's quite proud of it.

Before Gemini, when I had three elderly cats, my orange cat, Iggy, had the longest tail ever. He was a tall cat and large in structure. His tail went across his back and then curled over for another inch or so of length. The main part was orange and white and the tip was mostly white, with a hint of ginger. I was sure, given that he had such a long tail he was the king of cats. I told him that many times. He was the king of cats because he had the longest tail.

I think that after he died he found Gemini and led her to me because he knew how upset I was at loosing my Siamese cat so unexpectedly. As good king, Iggy had made it known for months before that he was leaving. You could see him growing slower and steadily less himself. Anyway I think my old king of cats saw Gemini and knew she'd be perfect for me. He led her to the condominium complex where I live and had her howl until I heard her. Just to be sure I knew he had sent her, he fluffed her tail out. He probably couldn't make it longer, after all she was a little girl and how could a girl be the king of cats. No doubt, I am sure that an owner is only blessed with such cat royalty once in their life anyway.

I think that he gave her the fluffy tail to be sure that I knew she was a final gift from my king of cats.

Then again, she could just have a particularly fluffy tail...

Monday, September 12, 2005

My Little Ambassador

Gemini must make a very good ambassador. Since her first visit with her new companion Chey, a lovely frightened chocolate point Siamese, Chey has begun to eat. She is still not happy about her change in circumstances but she seems to be relaxing. It's funny to watch her completely ignore me but put Gemini in the room and her ears go forward and she starts watching what's going on out there!

I've even allowed Georgia in (yes, the G names. It wasn't intentional. In fact Gemini was one of the few cats I ever actually got to name!) and she has pretty much ignored Chey. I suppose this is what happens when a cat is so obviously terrified that she isn't even on the radar.

Still Chey is now eating and eating quite a lot. She is also willing to look out at me rather than just show me her behind, as cats do when they really aren't pleased with you. It's only the second full day of her new home, so I have hopes that soon she'll be talking to me and sitting on me. As Gemini has the potential to be a cuddler, I am also hopeful that this cat will let her cuddle as well. Georgia, alas, is not a cuddler--at least not with other cats.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A new friend for Gemini

Gemini got another friend this weekend. I lost a Siamese shortly before I found Gemini and now I have another Siamese. Chey is a lovely purebred chocolate point. She lived five hours away from my home and is decidedly stressed out about the whole drive and having to live in a new home. I'm good with cats but she's not warming to me all that quickly. I decided to try the big guns. I figured Gemini was a smaller, younger cat so I let them meet. Later on I left them alone for a short while. While they are not yet buddies, Gemini at least got the Siamese out of her carrier. She's sitting near me even as I type, though she still isn't tht interested in anything I do.

Sometimes it just takes a cat to get through to another cat. Stay tuned to what adventures the three of them have as this new baby gets settled in.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Changing Cat Food

When Gemini was a tiny cat, she was so scared and little that I was worried she wouldn't eat. I put canned cat food on my finger and had to brush it on her mouth to get her to lick it off before she realized it was food. Then she about ate my finger! Her legs were so short she had to crawl into the soup bowl to eat her food.

I tried adding in dry food--hiding it in the canned food, but from that time on, she was pretty much hooked. She eats dry food a little. She at least recognizes it as food. I have tried cat treats and she doesn't get that they are food. In fact, she didn't even quite get that tuna was food. I'm not real worried about this at this point. She's a bit young to be sampling other foods just yet. And well, my last cat always got human food and he was a Taco Bell fan. You didn't eat Taco Bell in the same room with him. You always fed him his stuff and then ate yours out of reach...

I am concerned that I will be stuck feeding canned food forever though. I am slowly weaning her off the canned food thing. It's taking awhile. I hate being a mean owner/parent and tend to give into my cats. Still it's so much easier to just feed dry food and in some ways it's better for them. I'd rather feed them raw food as a supplement than canned cat food, no matter how good and organic it is! One of these days I'll just have to take the plunge. I'm sure the cats will hate me for awhile, but I'm sure they'll get it eventually...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hurricane Survivors

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is heartbreaking for both the human survivors and animal survivors. I am reading about more and more how many different animal shelters are sending aid to the pet victims of Hurricane Katrina.

My favorite pet charity is a no kill shelter called Best Friends. Best Friends is located in Utah and has sent many of their regular staffers and volunteers into the damaged region. They are working with other shelters to coordinate efforts to rescue pets left behind, reunited pets that got separated from families, and find foster homes for all those newly homeless pets.

So many families are homeless and are choosing to surrender their beloved pets to the shelters that the current facilites will quickly be overrun. As a no kill shelter, Best Friends is looking not only for donations but for volunteers who can be foster homes to some of these animals. They have a special web page devoted to the Hurricane Katrina efforts and ways in which people can help.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Kittens don't tip toe

Have you ever wondered how cats and kittens can make so much noise when they travel through the house? I am particularly amazed at how much noise they make going up and down stairs. Sometimes I wonder if I don't have elephants instead of cats. Sometimes I get up to check, but then no, they are still just cats.

I have wondered if it's the house but I have had cats in two homes with stairs and they seem to have an uncanny ability to make the most of their weight. In my next life I want to be a cat. I can be noisy and no one cares. I can be as fat as I want and make the most of it and no one cares...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stealth Kitten

Gemini is at any age where she loves to hide and then attack. It's not very dramatic when a blanket comes at you with a large lump under it, but she seems to think she is hidden. I have to wonder what she's pretending when she does that. Do cats pretend?

The thing that got me the other day was when I was reclining on the sofa--okay I was laying there on my back thinking I would take a nap. I heard her behind the sofa. Then I thought it sounded like she had climbed under the sofa. She still does that. Then something started grabbing at my leg. It was like a sharp kitten claw. I was thinking, she couldn't be attacking me from under there could she? Sticking my fingers (a dangerous thing I realize) into the sofa, I felt a nose and then heard a purr and then was attacked with a nice sharp set of claws... Yes, I confirmed I was being attacked from below.

Most people would either yell or move somewhere else. I laid there and thought, you know in a few years, I'll be able to take a nap on the sofa again...