Thursday, February 28, 2013

Things are calmer now

At least for the cats. Eddie saw our new vet last week and while he'll never be a fan of going to the vet, I was impressed with both the vet and the vet tech. They were really good with Eddie, so good in fact that he didn't freak out until about the last five minutes. I think by then he'd just had enough.

He had healed up quite well and was able to lose the donut of shame that day. Now, a week later, the hissing has mostly stopped. Kent thinks that when Wally does hiss, it's more because he developed a bad habit and less so from fear or anxiety.

And Wally is sleeping with us all again at night. When I say all, I mean all: Kent, me, Eddie and Chloe. Sometimes I think we should have gotten a king size bed.

Here's hoping none of the cats have that kind of anal gland issue again. It was most unpleasant for all involved and I'm not eager to repeat it.

Typical day sleeping positions. Wally likes to sleep
on my office desk, and gets it furred up.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A sweet story*

Last night, Kent ended up singing some lovely sinus songs (that's code for he snored) so around 11, I moved to the second bedroom. Wally hasn't been sleeping with us ever since Eddie got the cone of shame 11 days ago and last night was no exception. He's been sleeping on the guest bed by himself. So when I went in there, he was immediately thrilled and hovered over me as I got things situated. Once I got in bed, he curled up for a petting session . . . until he saw Eddie.

Eddie was sitting on the floor just watching us. Wally hissed a bit but seemed OK until Eddie jumped up on the bed, on the other side from me. At that point Wally draped himself over me and sort of grabbed on with all his paws, tensed up and started growling very softly at his brother.

I'm pretty sure he was telling Eddie to back off, to go back into the other bedroom and curl up with Kent, that this bed and this human were his tonight. It was kind of sweet, actually. Eddie was oblivious though, and I ended up nudging him off the bed. He stayed away the rest of the night, and Wally and I enjoyed our peaceful sleep.

Today on the file cabinet; yes there's fur.
We have three cats. Don't judge!
*Eddie probably doesn't think it's very sweet.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New collars for the cats

They're pheromone collars and are supposed to calm them all down. We'll see, I've gone through at least one full bottle of the spray to no effect.

Of course, Wally likes to be contrary so I just now got this video of him:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Of hidey-holes and accommodations

First, the hidey-hole. Wally has struggled to find his super secret safe hiding place here in the Little Yellow House. He's a cat who truly needs that spot where he can go to collect his kitty thoughts. In Boston, he had a couple of places in closets way up high, where the other two cats couldn't/wouldn't venture. In our apartment, he loved to get in the under the sink cabinet in our bathroom. He's tried a couple of spots here, mostly the cabinet under the kitchen sink (and believe me, it's rather startling when a cat pushes open a cabinet door at your feet and leaps out).

Today he found a spot he clearly likes in the second bedroom closet. He doesn't know yet that this won't be his safe place because we keep those closet doors shut. I just haven't had the heart to make him move yet.

As far as accommodations go, well I hesitate to post this but I will anyway. To help reduce the growling and hissing, we've had to move the litter boxes out of the sideboard I showed you a couple of weeks ago and even go so far as to put them in separate rooms. If we didn't do that, poor Eddie would never have been able to use the litter box because Wally tried his darndest to block him from getting to them.

Right now, one is on the floor in the office, so it's pretty close to where we had it before. The other one? Is in the tub in the guest bathroom. Apparently the cats like the pink tile in there too, because that box is the one they're using the most. Don't worry, Mom and Dad -- I promise we'll disinfect that tub before you come visit.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tinkerbell is gone

Kent filled all the nail holes throughout the house today, which was a lot of work. He estimates he filled in between 40 and 50 holes. He also finished scraping Tinkerbell off the office wall. We liked Tinkerbell, only the previous owner had pretty clearly tried and failed to peel her off and (presumably) use it in her new place. So only half of Tinkerbell's head survived and she just looked malformed.

While he did that, I amused myself by working on things in the kitchen. One of the nice things about the kitchen is that the cabinets are the original hardwood. Alas, the shelves are built in and not movable so I did my best to bring order to cabinets of chaos.

Now you see her

Now you don't

Friday, February 15, 2013

Update on Eddie

He's healing but still has to wear his donut so he doesn't groom the wound. Wally is still hissing and growling and chasing him away if Eddie gets too close. Chloe's joined in on the hissing too and I think at this point, it's not the vet smell. I think they are bothered by how the donut looks on Eddie.

We take him for a follow up visit next Wednesday (not to the place we went to on Sunday, no way) and my fear is that the Hissing Wars will redouble in noise and aggression because he'll stink of the vet's clinic again. And my really big fear is that he'll have to wear the donut longer.

In the meantime, for the last three nights I've wiped all cats down with a washcloth dipped in water that's got a tiny amount of their kitty shampoo in it. This is in hopes of making them all smell the same and thus eliminating the source of the hissing. I can only report limited success i.e. Wally still hisses but isn't always outright growling.

So that's the latest. It would be funny only if it weren't so sad.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Not for the squeamish

Or Eddie's very bad, no good day.

Yesterday, Kent noticed a big open wound on Eddie's back leg, up near his bits. Long story not so long, we took him to a vet clinic in a pet store (not the best choice but it was Sunday) and it turned out his right anal gland blew out and his left one was close to doing the same. Three hours and $225 later, we took home our drugged out kitty in a cone of shame.

Only the cone was actually too big and whoever put it on cinched it much too tight. Poor Eddie couldn't swallow his own saliva and could barely (no joke) breathe. So Kent ran back out to a different pet place and came home with the inflatable donut of shame instead.

He's not supposed to groom his open wound for 10 days, and the vet infused it with all sorts of antibiotic stuff. Between the donut of shame and the oozing ointment stuff, I'm sure Eddie stinks exactly like the vet's clinic. As you may recall, Wally hisses and growls at anything smelling of the vet (even himself). So for the last 24 hours, it's been a growl/hiss fest around here.

Poor Eddie is miserable, his brother is a growly mess and even Chloe is getting in on the cranky cat act. As for me, all I really want is no growling tonight. That's just not a pleasant way to wake up.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Made by a friend

And cat-approved:

A dear friend of ours knitted (crocheted? I am clueless when it comes to those two crafts) this lap blanket and also wove (yes, WOVE) some beautiful kitchen towels for us as a house warming gift. As you can see, Eddie approves of the blanket and in fact, didn't rouse until an hour or so after I took this picture.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The ties that bind

I'm not sure exactly why it is I crave ties to my family's history. Perhaps it's because my biological father's side is mostly a blank. He died about 14 years ago and we'd been estranged for many years before that. I didn't really know his brother, my uncle, and his parents were not young when I was born. In fact, they were both born in the 1800s. So I don't know much about them.

Instead I cling to what I have from my mother's side. I love seeing pictures of my G'Pa and Mana when they were young, I've always tried (and mostly failed) to find physical resemblances there too. I can look at my brother and one of my sisters and see how they look like our grandparents, and somehow that's comforting to me.

I love it that sewing is something I share with my aunt after whom I'm named, and my grandmother. My mother has sewn all her life too but her interests lie more in creating artisan quilts rather than clothing. And we are all gourmet cooks, we cannot help it. I think it's just innate and even though I tried not to get interested in cooking well, I did anyway. I'm (secretly) pleased that my younger son has this ability and interest too. He's fearless in the kitchen and I smile when I see him in action (and I smile more when I eat his food -- the man can cook).

Last week I got an email from my aunt Liz. She mentioned that she had some family things of Mana's -- old teacups and some saucers and stuff. Aunt Liz and my uncle are moving and she's ready to pass those things along but wasn't sure if anyone would want them. My mother knows me well and told Liz she might see if I were interested. Well of course I was, and on Thursday the box arrived.

I have to say, I thought there'd be a few cups and such but instead the box was full. It was like Christmas opening all those lovely things. I've had a chance now to get them arranged in our built in display cabinet in the dining room and I think they look lovely there.

With the exception of the clock (which is from Kent's side of the family) and the framed wax display to the right of the clock (oh and the cat on the top shelf), all of these things are from my family. The pig on the bottom shelf is my mother's piggy bank when she was a girl leaving home, and the jar on the top shelf toward the right is also my grandmother's and held some sort of scented leaves. Everything else was in the box from my aunt -- and in the cabinet to the left, I've got the tea cups and saucers and dessert plates.

I have been smiling all day, just feeling a little more connected to my family. As I said, I don't know why I'm wired this way. I just know that I am and having these things to cherish and take care of and at some point pass on to the next family historian/caretaker fills me with joy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Second place

For the "race" to the window seat? It's Chloe:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Getting comfy

We'd wondered how long it would take for a cat to stretch out on the window seat in the third bedroom (we're using it as our office). The answer is it took two weeks.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Random zombie apocalypse musings

I like some zombie literature – not the horror kind, I’m really not into detailed gore. But I really enjoy the ones that use zombies as the pretext for talking about things that matter. I loved World War Z (although I won't see the movie, there's no way that book can be made into a movie that makes sense and keeps the book intact enough for me), Zone One and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Actually, if I’m truthful, I did not like Pride and Prejudice in the least, but I did like the zombie-fied version. I’m sure that says something about me and I’ll probably lose my English major card for saying that. Oh well.

Sometimes I amuse myself by thinking about the modern conveniences I’d miss should a full blown apocalypse occur. For example:
  • Coffee – guessing the grid would collapse before too long so there goes your electricity
  • Hot showers – ditto
  • Haircuts – what if my stylist were a zombie?
  • The cloud – no music, phone service, heck no Angry Birds Space
  • My car – pretty much all zombie lit agrees that cars = death traps during the apocalypse so bye-bye Volvo
And then I think about things I’d want in my backpack while fleeing the zombies:
  • Nail clippers – I hate it when my nails get long although zombie lore holds that zombies have excellent hearing so maybe I should go with a file
  • Vaseline – all-purpose ointment and it wouldn’t take up much room
  • Comb or brush plus pony tail holders – since I wouldn’t be able to get my hair cut, I might as well wear it up all the time
  • Lots of decongestants – don’t want the sniffles around the walking dead when they hear so well
  • Good boots – I had a great pair my parents bought me but they got ruined in our first flood
So that’s my random ramblings at the end of a very full week that I think ate my brain. What would you miss? What would you take with you? What zombie books do you like?