On The Inside, Looking Out

Hat’s been an indoor member of the family for about a month and a half now. He’s not out in the main part of the house unsupervised yet, but he’s settling in really well and I couldn’t be happier with him – what a sweetheart he is! He’s learning about catnip (loves it), toys (not as good as real prey, but they’ll do) cat furniture (fun to scratch on and climb), shiny reflective surfaces (intriguing but a little scary too) and the Roomba (Whoa – WAY scary!).

I think he still misses the outdoors and his outside friends, especially his BFF Cassie. He’s interested in the front door and I’m sure it’s because he smells all the outside scents wafting in around it. Cassie has been coming by every day. Sadly, I haven’t seen Kit since before Hat came in – I keep hoping that he’ll turn up again one of these days, but I’m afraid he may have used up his 9th life :( .

Hat’s making new friends inside – he loves the dogs and the dogs love him. And he’s getting along really well with Kacey. I’m impressed – NOBODY gets along with Kacey! Biki’s kind of afraid of him and hisses when he gets too close, but she’s doing better. She gets lots of treats and play time whenever he’s out to try to impress upon her that good things happen whenever he’s around. She sniffed his tail this morning … then he turned and looked at her and she spat at him, but that was pretty bold on her part. Hat would really like to be her friend, but he wisely averts his eyes and makes himself small when she hisses at him. The boy has excellent social skills!

It’s fun observing all the kitty body language that’s going on. Cats have basically 3 ways of marking territory – spraying, scratching and rubbing their head on things. Head rubbing deposits facial pheremones, which signal friendly intent. (Feliway spray, used to calm anxious cats, is a synthetic version of facial pheremones.) Hat is a serious head bumper – the furniture, corners, me, the dogs, even Kacey. He’s making some very pushy statements of ownership … but in a nice way.

Kacey’s very excited about her new subject family member. She also spends a lot of time perched on the highest spot in the room when he’s out – a way cats signal their rank. For a cat who’s used to being “King” outside, Hat’s doing a pretty good job of asserting himself AND sucking up to the “Queen”.

He’s also pretty good at posing, when he’s not climbing into the camera!

Hat’s Progress

After a restless (and for some of us, sleepless) first 2 weeks, Hat’s settling in nicely!

  • He’s not having the nocturnal crazies any more (well, just a little bit, but it’s not so bad)
  • He’s starting to relax and PLAY!
  • He and Kacey touched noses through the baby gate today – nobody hissed!
  • Isn’t he handsome? I think he’s a gorgeous cat despite his poor little ears. It’s so hard to get a picture of him though – he always has his face right in the camera!

    His injuries have healed and he’s starting to act like a happy little house-hat. Sometimes I go upstairs to sit with him – he jumps in my lap, head bumps for a while, rolls over for belly rubs, then takes a bath and purrs himself to sleep. Too cute! Did I mention I LOVE this cat :)?

    Next on the agenda – introduce him to Ambika (who’s taken a peek or two from the stairs) and start letting him see the rest of the house.

The Cat Who Came In From The Cold

Explaining that last, somewhat incoherent post:

Hat is one of the trio of outdoor cats I’ve been caring for over the last several years. He’s very friendly and had become quite the homebody, following the sun from my front to my back porch and back during the day and sleeping in an old cat carrier on my front porch at night. On a typical day he would leave to do his business, stretch his legs or hang out with his friends for a while, otherwise he was always here.

Last night when I went out to “tuck him in” and give him a bedtime snack he was in his “bed”. I reached in and he shied away from me – VERY unlike him. Then he came out, but instead of going to me, he went under my car. He was limping!

I freaked out. At first I thought he’d been hit by a car, but I couldn’t examine him while he was under MY car. I was really afraid he’d do the typical injured cat thing – run away and hide.

So I ran inside and got food. All kinds of food. He still wouldn’t come to me, but I wasn’t going to leave him so there I was: middle of the night, about 20 degrees out, in my PJ’s, sitting in my driveway, fingers covered in smelly cat food, trying to coax a frightened cat out from underneath my car!

Finally I put some in a dish and stepped away. If there’s one thing Hat likes it’s food and the temptation was finally too much for him to resist – he came out to eat.

I grabbed him, carried him into my house and shut the door. By this time he seemed to have stopped limping, but it looked like he’d been attacked by something – there were spikey areas in his fur, a cut on his ear and under his eye, maybe more. The eye was tearing a lot. He also cried when I picked him up, which isn’t typical of him. I sat there pondering the situation for a while, then I picked him up again and carried him up the stairs to my spare room – simple as that.

He spent most of the night meowing. I tried sleeping on the floor with him – that idea worked out better for him (he was all too happy to snuggle up with me and my blanket) than for me (Ouch! – Apparently I’ve reached the age where I’m Too Old to Sleep On Floors). Went downstairs. Heard noise – went up, he’d knocked some books off a bookshelf. Sat with him again for a while then went back to bed. That was around 2AM. Bryce got me up again around 5:30.

Called my vet first thing in the AM and sleepwalked brought him over to be boostered, antibiotic-ed, have his ears cleaned, his nails trimmed, get checked for FELV/FIV (negative :)!) and have some icky stuff squeezed out of the cut under his eye. He was such a good cat at the vet – I wish my other cats were half that good! Fortunately my vet has a “deal” for treating stray cats so the damage wasn’t as bad as it otherwise might have been!

So he’s upstairs now, closing in on his first 24 hrs. He’s eating, he’s sleeping, he isn’t quite himself and he seems pretty tired, but that’s to be expected – so am I!

Changes …

“‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”
(“Shelter from the Storm” – Bob Dylan)

I can’t save them all, but I can save this one – I got a “wake up call” last night and realized it was high time I did.

Hat - home

Don’t know if this will ultimately simplify my life or complicate it – probably a little bit of both. Smart move or stupid move? Yep – probably a little bit of both. Life’s funny like that.

For better or for worse, it’s a boy! Welcome home, Hat!

(More after a trip to the vet about his eye, a trip to the store for another litter pan, and maybe some sleep!)

Oldies but Goodies – Part 1

A few months ago I spent some of my Amazon mad-money on a video input adapter, with the intention of copying all my old videos off tape and onto DVD’s,. Unfortunately, I was too busy to do anything with it when it arrived, so I decided why not save it for Christmas. I finally got around to messing with it today!

Still not familiar with the software and having problems getting my REALLY old VHS tapes to copy, but I got it working with my 8mm tapes.

The first tape I’ve copied is from 1996-1997 – before Bryce was so much as a glimmer in his father’s eye! It features my “second generation” – Tiffy, Sally, Jasmine and Kacey. Of the 4 girls, only Kacey is still alive. Watching it, at first I didn’t know whether to smile or cry – smiling won out :). There are some classic clips on it, a few of which will be going on youtube, but meanwhile here are a few still frame captures from way back when:

Tiffy at 8-9 years old. When she was 5, Tiffy was badly injured in a household accident so she was a little lopsided the remainder of her 15.5 years. Hard to tell from this angle and the grainy image, but she was a very pretty girl. She was only about 13.5″ tall – Raven’s height. Doesn’t look that small, does she? She was built like a tank!

Sally at 6 – just a sweet young thing! In this clip, she wanted me to get out of bed and FEED her! Instead, I laughed at her and grabbed the camera. (She was a little annoyed – can you tell?)

Jasmine, the 3rd of my 3 little “redheads”, shown here at about 3 1/2 years old. (Jasmine never did like having her picture taken.)

Kacey … as a kitten! (7 months or so)

Baby Kacey

Proof that I once had a dog with a start line stay …

… but really crappy contacts!

No contact

(Not that my handling was anything to write home about either …)

More on the way :)!