Tuesday, January 3, 2012

...kitty roll call

It's been a nice holiday season for me & the kitties. They've feasted on kitty treats from their benefactor, scarfed their favorite canned & dry food, had roast beef scraps, chicken from my New Years' Chinese food treat[chow mein with chicken, shrimp & Chinese sausage, fried shrimp & almond chicken... got 3 good meals from the one order...] and soon, more turkey bits, after I cook the turkey I have in the 'fridge. The dog has also shared in the bounty, including beef rib bones, but this isn't about the dog...

Since opening my bedroom to all kitties after losing Fluff & Piglet last January, several things have happened. I found that I need to keep the dog in her crate when she's inside, because she will be aggressive towards any cat moving past her lair, especially when she's chewing on a bone. This has resulted in cats moving less fearfully through the house, though she still barks at them when they scamper past her den, often in the middle of the night, waking me up.

Another habit they have established is taking over my bed. I try to keep the thermostat around 67/66˚ day or night, otherwise they surround me, pinning me down, opportunistic heat seekers that they are, and I wake up stiff from being immobile.

Their crunchies and water dish are on my old dresser, so I can monitor their individual health situations more closely. This is also a good way to have frequent interaction with those who need medication as well as the three who don't spend the day or night on my bed.

MJ,[Midnight, Junior], is the last of a family of 5, all with short black hair, who were raised in my back yard by their Mom, who was a neighborhood cat with long black hair that came regularly for food and I had spayed after the kittens were weaned. The Dad, [Midnight], was a short-haired black, neighborhood cat who also came for food, that I found sleeping peacefully on the foot of my bed one summer night. He was never aggressive with any of my kitties or the kittens after they were born, quite an unusual demeanor for an intact tomcat. I had him neutered after I realized that he was the daddy of the kittens. I remember one really nice late spring morning, when I saw he and the momcat, sitting together in my driveway, watching the 5 black kittens play and frolic. Shortly after that morning, I captured the kittens and took them inside so they wouldn't get hurt outside, and took both "parents" to the vet to be neutered.

Here you see him with the treat ball he loved, until the dog took it. These days, I really enjoy watching him search for the treats I hide on my bedspread and dresser. Whenever I sit on my bed, he is instantly there, snuggling-in on my left side, wanting to be petted, to have his tummy scratched and purring, with the tip of his pink tongue showing, his eyes closed in pure bliss. He is the sweetest of the 5 kittens and was named for his sweet daddy, who also loved a good snuggle.

Lacy spends much of her day & night snoozing in a front window. She does come in to eat and drink often, which is good since she has tongue lesions and needs monitoring.

She recently had a steroid shot and is almost done with her antibiotic drops, so she seems to be lesion-free at the moment. It is a reoccurring problem though, so I watch her closely, which is not hard, since she joins me, hoping to drink from the faucet, every time I go into the bathroom for any reason. She also loves to be petted, but will complain loudly if I try to check for fleas.

Her sister Cagney, is the loner of the group. She has, "issues", with MJ, who loves to chase her,[his only bad habit...], Lucyfur and Sneaky Pie, and spends most of her time on the mantel, the TV cabinet or in a sunny window when it's warm. Sneaky Pie will ambush her after a food or water visit and chase her until she returns to her "spot". Lucy will confront her at the food or water dish, exerting her dominance.

Cagney is also a frequent bathroom visitor, as she has had a "thing" for drinking from the faucet since she was a kitten. I intervene when I can, letting Cagney know that she is safe near me, but the control mavens persist. So far there have been no bloody physical altercations, just a lot of nasty name-calling and boxing.

Mz Sneaky Pie, is also ,"bossed", by Lucyfur, so her aggression towards Cagney is probably some of the frustrations she can't show to Lucyfur.

"SPie", as she is also known, can be very sweet... but if she gets too "stimulated" by petting or grooming, she will bite or swipe at me with claws extended. She was raised for the first 6 months, by someone who played too roughly with her. So I have to be on my guard not to arouse her catly ire... She is a very loving and companionable kitty when she's in the mood, which is most of the time and being the youngest by about 5 years, she often will go on a mad dash about the upper reaches of the house, especially when the moon is full.

Murphy Brown, [Murph] and her brother Mack, [Mackie], are like most siblings, they can be together quite peacefully, and then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, will stand up and one will smack the other, with a full-fledged boxing match breaking-out, complete with loud catly insults.

Then, as quickly as it began, it's over and they are snuggled next to me, washing each others' faces.

Mackie has gray/black accents and is the ultimate cuddle cat. I can shoo him off of my bed, climb in and there he is, snuggled next to my left arm wanting to be petted.
If I don't move him back to his spot, he will climb on top of me. From the first time I looked into his green eyes, with the direct, pet-me, gaze, I was toast.

Murph is more golden brown, though they both have big white paws with very sharp claws. She was always much more aloof, but since the bedroom door was opened, she has become a super cuddler too. Mackie will meow for attention, but Murph is like Fluff was. She has paws with claws that she knows how to use to her best advantage, all the while purring so loudly in my ear that I've been known to have to turn up the volume if I was watching something. She also mews from time to time and after being petted a satisfactory amount of time, [somewhere between 3 minutes and infinity...], she will settle down, generally just above Mackie, claiming my left shoulder. If Lucyfur is on the bed to the right of my pillow, she may settle there, giving my right shoulder the same treatment and purring, loudly. She was sick in early December, but is fine now.

Lucyfur considers herself "Queen"... no further modifiers needed, she is simply that, queen...

She assumes her position to the right of my pillow nearly all the time, but she has her moments of camping-out on my feet, a practice I always discourage. She is the Alpha, therefore, she eats first, etc., and bosses everyone. Mackie doesn't always appreciate her bossiness and will swat her if she gets too pushy. Murph stays out of her way, as does Lacy, but Murph will curl up with her and Lacy will not. Sneaky Pie generally gives her her "due", and stays clear. Cagney is completely cowed and is always submissive when confronted. MJ is one of Lucyfurs',"boys",[Charlie is the other...]. Both MJ and Charlie curl up with Lucyfur and she will groom them both. They both are small, having been rather shy all their lives.

Charlie was adopted along with Lucyfur and her brother Bubba, from my vet after the death of Dexter. From the beginning, Lucyfur "mothered" Bubba and Charlie. MJ was just a young kitten when he came into her sphere and as a result, became "hers" too.

Charlie is quite shy, so the bedroom opening has been good for him. He and Sneaky Pie were the 2 that stayed with me when all the others went to stay at the vets during the bathroom rebuild in Jan, 2009, because they would not be caught. I captured them both, several times, but could get neither to stay in the cat carrier long enough to secure it. Scratched and bleeding, I gave up. They lived in the bedroom with the door closed, but got to go into the rest of the house at night when the workmen were gone and it was safe.

Since last January, Charlie has been becoming more secure in coming into the bedroom. He makes daily appearances near mealtime and I often awake from a nap to find him standing on top of me, purring and angling to be petted. As long as I'm laying down, or sitting, he'll approach. The moment I stand or move around, he's a ghost... But if I let him lay on me, he'll purr happily while I pet him or scratch his ears for quite a while. As a result, I have discovered that he has something in common with every red cat I've ever been owned by, and that is that if I scritch his tummy, he'll grasp my hand with all his might and kick scratch me until I can extricate myself. I know... not all red cats do this, but all I've known well have...


Anonymous said...

Why do you have a dog if you just keep her locked up in a cage??

catsinger said...

Molly stays in her crate at night and when I'm gone and she's in, otherwise, she spends the day in the back yard, where she runs around, barks at things and seems to have a good time. She always comes in at night or if the weather is bad. She has a cozy nest in a protected spot, if the weather is "iffy" and when it turns bad, she comes in.
When I gave her the run of the house, she hurt several cats, playing too rough with them, rummaged in the cat boxes, ate all the cat food[making herself sick] and getting into the trash.
She is too strong and boisterous for me to walk very far with her and she's unpredictable around other dogs.
I am a cat person and my group of elderly cats deserve to be safe in their own home. If I can find a good home for the dog, I'll give her up. Until then, she is well-fed, happy and healthy... and so are the kitties.