Petloss.com Logo. Puff and Midget under the rainbow



ALL the Pet Loss Message Boards are moderated to make this an ABSOLUTELY SAFE place for you to find support.
You must REGISTER before you can post or reply.
Posts and replies cannot be viewed until after they have been checked for content & released by the Board Moderators. - EdW
Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
Sign up  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 4 of 6      Prev   1   2   3   4   5   6   Next
sissybarmama

Registered:
Posts: 9
 #121 
Hi Karen:  It's me.  What a wonderful person you are.  We moved 5 cats from a location where they were born--all uncared for.  My beloved Poopie cat was the one I was worried about with the adjustment.  If you have a safe area, Ace and Sissy will explore and get used to it.  As you know, I thought I had a safe area and neighbors were shocked that something like this happened.  Our street is practically deserted most of the time.  I supervised my cats as much as possible when they showed an interest in going outside.  Of course, we bring them in at night--they don't like that at all.  I just tell them "tough kitty claws", you  guys have a curfew.  So glad you rescued these kitties and I know they will get used to their new surroundings, as mine did. They have your love.  That's what they need. I would love to read your progress updates. 
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #122 
Mea culpa- I let 9 days go by since the last update.  This thread has had 2691 hits, which shows a lot of people are interested in these furry kids, so I ought to be putting something in regularly.

Ace was butting against my shoulder, licking my arm, purring as I typed that first paragraph. Now he's collapsed atop the desk, purring softly and flicking his tail on the mouse pad and me, curling his front paws.  He's happy being here, in touching range.

sissybarmama, thank  you for  your kind words.  I like the expression "tough kitty claws"!

Ace and Arabella arrived here April 23, 10 1/2 weeks ago.  Sadly, Julian's big surgery was September 23; it was meant to be a cure, but instead was the start of his final chapter.  It is definitely a blessing that on Sept. 23 I didn't know what lay ahead.  And the first month after the kids arrived here wasn't an easy one, either, though it was instantly so *nice* to again have kitties in the house.

The kids have been outside about half a dozen times now, always on the patio.  They come right out when I leave the screen door open for them, but just about anything sends them back inside: my sweeping the patio, or breaking a tree branch within their hearing.  Since they have no outside smarts at all, this is actually better, that they are "overly" cautious, instead of trying to find a way out of the back yard.

Both of them spend about half the night on the bed with me, every night now.  Sissy favors lying on my foot or leg, Ace is atop the pillow from their original home, at the catty-corner from my head, as far from me as he can get.  Neither is in petting range, but they are both there.  Most evenings both will approach me as I read in bed, get some pets, check out the bed cover situation.  They both lie on the floor just inside the door and watch me, if they were really scared they'd vanish.  Nobody has gone under the bed in at least a month now, either.

Arabella has become much more assertive since she got her new name.  She is now spending about half the time on the cat chair in the computer room (half the time that it is occupied, she'll be in it, while for over a month Ace was there exclusively), so Ace ends up on the floor behind me or on the love seat next to the desk.  Or on the desk for regular pets.  About four days ago, for the first time she jumped onto the chair while he was on it- and lay down on top of his back legs!  Neither would get down, so now that Captain's chair is often very filled with two adult cats sleeping or grooming.  And one afternoon, she hit him in the face.  I was kind of shocked and nearly intervened.  Ace pulled his head back far as he could, his mouth was open, his eyes were wide and round, but he didn't move, didn't make a sound, and didn't hit her back.  He weighs easily half again as much as she does and could deck her like nothing he wanted, but he was so patient with her.  I wouldn't have guessed she had such a feisty side.  There may have been something to my theory that she half thought she was being spit at when her name was Sissy, because soon as she stopped hearing that name she became much calmer and braver.

Ace is now jumping onto the bathroom counter to supervise me when I'm at the sink.  He also oversees me getting dressed in the morning and patrols the bedroom in between watching me. About half the time he supervises me when I'm doing dishes, too, jumping on the kitchen counter.  I know some people don't like cats to do that, but it's just me and as fastidious as cats are, I honestly don't mind at all- and I have *never* had a cat-borne disease in all the decades of living with kitties, not even once.

Mike said they spent the days hanging out with his mother, and now they are doing that with me. No matter what room I'm in, there will be a cat or two in it in less than 5 minutes.  It's wonderful!!  Nobody has spit or growled at me in over a month now, not even when I accidentally tripped on Ace in the kitchen  a few nights ago.  He didn't say anything, nor raise a claw, he just graciously accepted my apology when I followed him into the living room.

Like their original human mommy, I'm fairly reclusive and have few visitors.  When somebody comes to the door, they both run and hide somewhere.  But once whoever it is has gone, they reappear within minutes to resume their napping in whatever room I'm in.

I still want to rename Ace.  I think this time it would be kind of cute for both their names to start with "A", and favor longer, fancier, nicer names for kitties to grow into.  Far as I know, there is no name that means "Magnificent kitty belly," which he is showing to me right this minute.  Current favorite (though not yet decided, obviously) is Alexander.  I would have liked Amadeus, but after seeing the movie of that name, Mozart was way too flakey so that isn't a good association.  

Name the kitty contest, please give your suggestions.  If  you don't want to put them in this thread, then you can PM (private message me).  I haven't called him Ace in several weeks, just things like "Angel" or "King Cat" or "Baby."  But this huge beautiful cat boy needs a name that better matches his looks and his purr-sonality.



 


brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #123 
How about Arthur, meaning Noble strength,   or   Artemis meaning Intelligent.    I think Arthur would go good with Arabella.  They have come such a long ways from when you first brought them home.  
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #124 
A couple suggestions:

Alessandro (means defender of man...which definitely sound like Ace!)
Abraham

So happy that your two are so settled and the three of you have established such a great family bond.  I am one that watches for your updates!!!

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal

goofygirlinva

Registered:
Posts: 1,082
 #125 
I agree, Arthur is a good option, particularly given its meaning. How about Augustus, or Gus for short? Alfred, Abraham/Abe, Alexander/Alex, Adam, Ares, Artemis or Aslan are others I came up with....

I kind of suck at naming cats. :-) Small wonder mine have been called Nitelite (for a small white splotch on the chest of an otherwise all-black cat), Batman (for a tuxedo cat with markings on his face that mirror the character Batman) Blackie (for a black cat, LOL!), Bud, Rufus, Red (for an orange & white kitty) and Squeeker. I clearly have little/no imagination with cat names. If I ever get a white cat, I'll most likely either keep the name he came with or name him Whitey, LOL!

- Kelly
MyBoys

Registered:
Posts: 31
 #126 
I couldn't help but throw my 2 cents in... My names are total extremes, though. Since Ace is so aristocrastic I thought of the Greek God Ares (nickname Ari). Although Ares was the God of War, which might be too antagonistic for a kitty who's turned into a lover, not a fighter. My other thought was Aristotle - after all who better to name a cat with a mind of his own! 

I'm thrilled to hear the two are acclimating. It's hard to adopt an older kitty in that they take some time to earn their trust. But boy oh boy is it worth it. My little one who passed 2 weeks ago came to us at the ripe old age of 7 and before then had no clue what humans did. He never did let me pick him up voluntarily, but over the next 7 years he came into his own. Watching him sleep peacefully out in the open (on my bed, on Bruce, on his favorite chair) was my greatest joy, because it meant he was comfortable. He loved head rubs and belly rubs and always slept on the pillow to my right. And when he purred, it was like a car engine beside my head. It's the little things that mean so much to them. And no doubt that Ace and Sissy are enjoying the little things you're giving them. They're lucky lucky lucky to have found you!
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #127 
So hard for me to realize, but in exactly one *week*, a mere 7 more days, the kids will have been here for three months.  I want to thank all of you yet again, for the twentieth time or more, for all the help and encouragement you gave me in those early weeks.  Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, and despite the best efforts of so many people, Ace and Sissy (now Arabella) had become virtually unadoptable, scared to the point that their original human's son had been told they would either have to become outside cats or be euthanized.  As it turns out, I am still the only person who has pet them since their human mother died September 12... and donated a bit of blood to the cause along the way.  

But I can honestly say these are now happy kitties, eager to explore, on the bed at night, and constantly around me by day doing cute things.  Neither one still likes to be picked up, but I keep trying because I love cats and love to bury my face in their fur.  Hope that doesn't sound overly kinky (too bad if it does, lol).

Thank you all for the suggested names.  I can't *believe* Ace still doesn't have a new name.  As it turns out I've considered nearly all the ones you helpful people have suggested, but so far nothing seems quite right.  Gad, I know of people that'll name their new furred one Inky or Spot the day they are adopted.  

A day or so after this last update, Arabella again did something so... assertive?  unthinking? ... that I'm surprised Ace didn't belt her.  He was curled up asleep on the cat chair next to the computer when she wanted to look out the window.  She jumped on him, she used him as a foot stool- she was standing on him!  Of course it woke him up, but very patiently all he did was look at me, his ears didn't go back, he didn't make a sound.  He just waited until she'd seen whatever she wanted to see, then turned and walked over him some more and jumped down.  I don't have that good a disposition, so admire his forbearance.  We can learn much from our furred ones.

Several days ago the kids went out on the patio and began to explore.  Although Ace is usually the more exploring one, this time to my dismay Arabella found a hole in the fence, from when I'd cut back honeysuckle and blackberry vines- and went through it into the next yard.  I wanted her back in this yard, but didn't dare leave Ace unattended when I went next door.... it took easily 10 minutes to get him back into the house.  He kept walking away from me going hither and yon.  At one point in the back yard, he actually spit, for the first time in over a month.  I agree with Eddysmom- he was just overly stimulated: his ears didn't go back, and he wasn't even looking at me when he spit, and I do know from his first month here when I'm the target.  

Today when I let them out, I cleverly turned on the sprinkler so it was hitting against the hole in the fence.  Neither would brave the water to leave the yard.  The hackles on Ace's back were up when he came onto the patio again after getting sprinkled when he went past that area, though.  

Yesterday I began painting the ceiling in this computer room, decades after it needed to be done.  Ceiling white against dark brown molding where wall meets ceiling is very slow going, plus I won't move the desk which would mean taking apart this computer system, so I'm climbing all over stuff and trying not to baptize everything with splatters.   This afternoon I closed the door to put the first coat on that part of the ceiling.  Ace was frantic, he meowed loudly and constantly, and nothing I said to him calmed him down.  Finally I opened the door and went into the kitchen.  He'd meowed so much that he was hoarse when he talked to me, poor baby, before he got yet another snack, he'd actually over-strained his little vocal chords.  I wasn't rejecting him, the door wasn't closed more than 10 minutes, but he couldn't stand it.  It's a brand of acrylic paint I've not used before, it has practically no odor, but I would have preferred minimizing the cats' exposure to it.  No deal.  He spent the rest of the afternoon calmly lying in the cat chair, washing or dozing as I painted; as long as we were in the same room that's all that mattered to him.  I never would have guessed that being shut out for such a short time would so upset him, so won't do that again!

Arabella has become quite the huntress.  She's begun making a little kind of special meow sound that reminds me of when Shalimar had prey in her mouth and came to me to show me.  Arabella's prey is various cat toys.  The way she carries them, sometimes I think for an instant that she has some kind of rodent in her mouth, but it's not been that.  So far, anyway.  She has three toys that travel from room to room during the day and night.  I rarely see her move them, but I keep almost tripping on them.  She's spending quite a bit of time doing that during the day and night.  I just try to keep up on things and half way fall over so as not to step on what might my toes say might be a kitty but is so far always just a toy.

The kids always have two kinds of dry food and water available.  They get canned food for breakfast and dinner.  Almost always now, they are also getting a little 3 oz. can of something for lunch.  It's only a few tablespoons each, but they will demand it any time from 11:30 on.  They've both slimmed down since arriving here, but I figure that's because they are so much more active now, running through the house and jumping up on things.  There original home wasn't set up so they could do that.

Hugs and purrs,

Us

 


AmandaWI

Registered:
Posts: 1,415
 #128 

Love the update, they are so darn endearing!  How about Aristotle?  Ari and Ara................... Adonis, Augustus, Amos, Apollo, Abner, Addison, Abraham, Axel.....

Amanda

InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #129 
Karen thank you for the update.  I love your family.  I laughed reading about Ace crying when you kept him out of the room while you were painting.  My Rambo and Rascal would cry if I closed them out of somewhere - they would sould like someone was shoving bamboo under their nails; they would shove their paws under the door and put their mouth near the crack like they couldn't find air.  LOL  So much drama.  HA.

Love your Arabella and Ace.  They were just what you needed and vice versa.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #130 
Gabby cries if I lock her out of a room. She shoves her paw under the door and tries to pull it open. I have been doing that a bit this week, because I am trying to encourage a little siamese/siamese mix kitten to come in. I have no plans on keeping it, but I worry about it out there. It looks to be about 3 to 4 months old, give or take. Of course, Sandy has taken it under his wing, and is frantic if he can't find it on getting outside.
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #131 
Tomorrow the kids will have been here three months!

Thank you for the name suggestions, I still haven't decided on what to name Ace.  I even went through the entire Bridge List of "A" names.  This is getting ridiculous on my part.

So it's pretty usual for cats to not tolerate closed doors, going by the comments since my last post.  All the kitties I've ever had have been anti-closed door to the point that now I don't close interior doors any more.  (The kids lived in the guest room with the door closed for the first month, but that was because they were so scared and that was their refuge.)  An awful lot of kitties in my past have demanded for a door to be open, yet once the door is opened, they go into the room- and then out again a few seconds later.  So it's not that they really wanted to be in that room, they just wanted the choice.  But Ace became frantic and upset, he made himself hoarse, and then once the door was open he stayed in the room for several hours.  Apparently he had separation anxiety, which I didn't think could happen.  

Yesterday the kids were outside for 40 minutes.  At this point I come inside for a few minutes, then go out to check on them again.  Arabella "discovered" the far side of the house, outside the computer room.  When I decided it was time for them to come in, I propped the back door open with the door mat- and she went right inside, smart girl.  Then I went to get Ace in.  He was lying on the patio amongst the potted flowers, he's fascinated by the hummingbirds.   I told him it was time to come in, pointed to the open sliding door behind him- and he got up and walked straight into the house!  

Today the kids were out for an hour and 20 minutes, literally twice as long as yesterday which  itself was a new record for them.  I checked on them only about a dozen times, they were mostly on their own.  When Arabella came back on the patio I said it was time to go in, and she trotted into the house.  I immediately went and got the sack of Temptations and gave her about 8 for being such a good girl.  Went looking for Ace... turns out he went into the house behind me, so I pulled the sliding door closed and gave him a bunch of Temptations, too.  

Shortly after dawn this morning we had a spate of very strange weather.  First there was the longest roll of thunder I've ever heard in the 30 years here, I began to wonder if it were some kind of slow explosion or an airplane in trouble.   It was the first time the kids have heard thunder in this house.  They were somewhere when it began, both of them ran into the hallway and sat down so they could see me still in bed.  Their heads moved in unison as they tracked the sound overhead, but they didn't hide and weren't crouched down in fear.  Then it rained pretty hard for about five minutes- the first rain they've heard here, as well.  Part of the sky was almost black, the sun was shining in another part.  The word for that is "cloudburst".... took me a while to think of the word, as rare as those are around here. ;)

Ace is going into a loud demanding meow phase again, sometimes he goes on for about a 40 minute stretch.  Out of desperation, I began meowing back at him.  I sound almost exactly like he does; don't know what I'm saying in cat language, but it surprises him enough to quiet him down for a few minutes.  I told someone at the library about him dinging me with all that meowing, and she said it was a very good sign that he feels confident and secure now.  It's wonderful that he feels confident and secure now, but when he goes on and on like that my sanity is at risk.  Hopefully there is some middle ground somewhere.

The kids spend most of the night on the bed, down at the foot. I wish they'd come to bed when I do but so far they aren't doing that.  I'd carry them in, except neither one particularly likes to be picked up and neither has ever purred while I stand holding them, at best they are still for a few seconds, then begin to try to get down.  It's wonderful to have kitties on the bed, they are so cute.


Slydog

Registered:
Posts: 41
 #132 
Thank You Kamc22 for the wonderful saga of Sissy & Ace. It did my heart good. I lost my sweet darling of 10 years just 5 days ago and your story of retrieval and adoption did my soul good! I wish you great good luck with your new charges. They are obviously in good and caring arms. You provide a true lesson about Life After Death. Thanks!
brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #133 
Sandy had some separation anxiety when he first came to be in. He had been abandoned, and was a stray for several months before I was finally able to convince him to come in. It was about the time I had my surgery last year, and I had been home with him for the first weeks. The first time I noted it was when I had a doctor appointment and was gone for about an hour. When I got back home, I had to love him up, and pet and cuddle with him for about 20 to 30 minutes. He got better as time went on, and he realized that I would be coming back. He also used to meow for a long time, and drag his toys around the house, mostly at night after I went to bed. It was mostly the string toys, and I would find them usually close to the computer. I guess he wanted his toys close to my toy??? And gabby does not like closed doors, if you close a door for any reason, she will try for hours to reopen it, and if she can't, she will go and lay down, but she checks that door every so often to see if it is open to her. When it is finally reopened, she will go and investigate the reason for it being closed. 
goofygirlinva

Registered:
Posts: 1,082
 #134 
Hi Karen,
I've said this before, but I'll repeat it: I absolutely love reading about the journey you, Arabella & Ace are on. It is so wonderful to come to these boards and read happy stories like yours!

My cats don't meow a whole lot, but when they do, I pay attention, as it's usually a signal that they want something or that one of the cats isn't playing nice with the other. Other than when we go to the vet, their meowing isn't nearly as annoying as Ace's seems to be, LOL! When we are in the car on the way to the vet, they'll meow up a storm, especially my youngest kitty Bud. Bud rarely makes a peep at home - he is such a quiet boy - but when we're in the car, his meow is extremely loud and sonic that I often wonder where he got such a powerful set of lungs! And just when I think he can't get any louder, he turns it up another notch or so. I mean, it is REALLY loud and piercing! So I meow back to him and for 15-20 minutes or so (or however long it takes us to get to the vet), we have a meowing contest. It is actually quite comical, and in the end all I can do is laugh with how absurd we must sound.

There is one good side to the meowing contest - by the time we get to the vet & he's settled in for his exam, he's often too exhausted & hoarse to meow much more, and the ride home is often much more peaceful and pleasing to my ears. :-)

- Kelly
Blackie's mom

kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #135 
The Kids have now been here an amazing 3 months and 10 days and continue to do new things.  This thread has had a remarkable number of hits= 3,153 perhaps because this is one of the happier stories on this message board, and of course because Ace and Arabella are so endearing.

Slydog, I'm sorry for your recent loss and am glad reading about my two cat "children" has given you some comfort when you so much need it.  The first weeks after such a loss are brutal, eventually it won't hurt so much nor so constantly.

brenrae, thanks for sharing how Sandy had separation anxiety in his early days with you.  I personally think it is criminal to abandon a furred one like that, what cruel repayment for the love and companionship they give us.  Your recovery from surgery was probably faster than usual, since he was there to give you cat therapy, which is highly effective and has no side effects.  Arabella often brings toys into the computer room, as you say putting her toys next to mine.

Kelly, what a funny story about the meowing contests you have with Bud.  Over the years I've heard some absolutely horrible noises on the way to the vet's, far louder than any sound ever made at home, and continuous.  I've found that the male cats are the most vocal, yet once we're in the waiting room silence prevails; the cat waiting room is pretty much always quiet, unlike the dog waiting room on the other side of the reception desk.

Just *once* I stupidly decided to save time and take Julian and Houston to the vet at the same time for their booster shots.  Both were unhappy going to the vet, but combining them made at least triple the noise.  They set each other off, it was a contest or something, louder and louder the whole 15 minute drive.  It was horrible, I couldn't calm them down, and was literally shaking by the time we got there.  I took the first carrier into the waiting room and the lady at the desk said I looked like I was about to cry.  As it turned out, when Houston had his pulse taken, it was only 100- he wasn't really upset at all, regardless how he'd sounded.  My pulse was higher than his at that point.  Last time I ever did that.  It's funny now, but was traumatic at the time.  

I'm very pleased to report that the kids are becoming better and better bed kitties, which is a bit surprising since we've had over a week of heat wave into the 90's, maybe once it got to 100.  I vacuumed the large velvet magenta pillow Ace had been sleeping on at night, which is catty-corner from my head.  Dust actually came out of it.  Perversely, he's not slept on it since; now he favors sleeping on the other pillow, close to my head!  One night he threw himself down into my arm, wiggled onto his back so he was pressed against my side, and spread his hind legs.  Gently I pet his kitty belly, he purred and purred, and his forepaws reached into the air curling with delight.  He stayed there at least 10 minutes.  Arabella's begun sleeping on the sheepskin throw (from their former home like the velvet pillow), so now both are in petting range for hours.  The past few nights she's begun having kneading/purring sessions on the throw before she curls up to sleep, she is by far the fastest kneader I've ever seen.  She's a little girl, and is downright kittenish when she does that.  

A few days ago I let the kids out in the afternoon, kept checking on them, the door was open for almost 2 1/2 hours.  Ace actually came back into the house to lie on the computer desk next to me for part of the time, choosing nearness to me over the novelty of being outside.  Then I couldn't find Arabella for about half an hour which alarmed me, but I figured she was all right because Ace was calmly lying on the cement and quietly purring.  Finally when I called her- I saw her on *top* of the 6 foot fence.  So she is strong enough now to get there, it was a bit of a shock to see her there.  She immediately jumped onto the patio bench, then trotted into the house.  Ace followed.  It turned out she'd brought a flying insect inside, both of them chased it around the dining room and kitchen for about 15 minutes. 

She likely was in the neighbor's yard, I hope in the back part which is fenced, though that's not the part of the fence she reappeared on. Still, I wasn't looking at the top of the fence, so she could as easily have walked the length of it before I spotted her.  They couldn't have much in the way of outdoor smarts.  But in a few days they will have been here 3 1/2 months, so they definitely know this is their home now.  Plus, even though I've never heard nor seen one in the 30 years I've lived here, a few days ago I read of a cat that had been grabbed by a coyote in its own yard up against the open space about 3/4 mile from here. (As it turned out, it was a large and heavy cat, so the coyote couldn't move fast; the owners got the cat away from it, and it recovered fully from its injuries.)

I didn't let them out for the next two days, she had me worried.   

Ace has an unusual way of playing with his tail.  All my other kitties would chase their tail, running in a circle, even occasionally biting it and looking surprised when they "realized" it was part of them.  But Ace lay on his side on the floor, propped against the love seat, lifted his hindquarters and dangled his tail in front of him, and took swings at it as he lay there.  He never got to his feet.  Well, as I say, it's been hot here, so the kids have been mostly avoiding strenuous exercise.  I giggle thinking about it.

They are now getting lunch almost daily.  It's more a ritual than a requirement: there are always two kinds of dry food available, and splitting a 3 oz. can of food between them is only a couple of tablespoons of food each.  I go to the kitchen quite a bit for coffee, but I think they know what "Lunch" means.  Sometime midday Ace makes kind of a demanding meow, so I'll stand up and say "Do you want lunch now?", and both will trot into the kitchen and watch expectantly.  If she's in a different room, she magically appears for lunch, though most of the time now they are both in the same room I am. 

Anyway, these are pretty happy cats now.  Their appetites are good, they are playful and explore, they prance through the house with tails held high, they purr at the drop of a hat, knead like kittens, and ask for what they want.  They've now been here for one cat year (one calendar year equals four years of an adult cat's life, according to the most commonly used cat age calculator I've found online) and are adjusting very nicely considering what they've been through.  Thank  you all for your support and your good wishes, especially in the first month which wasn't an easy one.




kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #136 
In ten days the kids will have been here for *four* months.  How quickly the time goes by.

They continue to do new things.  Ace never slept on the velvet pillow again after I vacuumed it; so much for my attempt to make it nicer for him.  The past few days he and Arabella have been practically living on the (clean) unfolded flannel sheet atop the washing machine, curled together in one purring kitty pile.  It's been a favored spot for past kitties in the winter because the sun comes thru the window then, though there's no sun there in the summer.

Ace is willing to eat anywhere in the kitchen, she continues to roam.  Lately she wants about half her meals atop a section of the dining room table, which is fine since it has a plastic cloth on it to protect the wood. In  what I *hope* is not a developing ritual, wherever I put a dish down near her, she turns and trots a few steps away--  so I take it to wherever she ends up.

The kids have been going outside about three days a week for longer and longer.  I check on them about every 10 minutes and they're usually very good about staying in this yard, or atop the fence.  Monday they were in and out of the house for four hours, coming in for snacks, water and to use the litter box.  Yesterday I let them out at 4:24, which is later than usual, figuring to get them in for dinner 6:30-ish.  But after checking on them for the first hour, suddenly I couldn't find Arabella around 5:30.  I called and called, getting more and more worried.  Ace wasn't particularly bothered.  Eventually I brought him in, but the sounds of me preparing dinner didn't bring her.  Closed him in, kept calling her every 5-10 minutes.  It got dark and I was really worried and wondered if this would be her last night in this world.  I asked Julian to watch over her; he'd basically lived on the street his first five years, but this was the first time in her life she'd been outside after dark- when the varmints come out.   Finally at 9:26 pm she showed up on the patio.  She was skittish about coming into the house, then too wound up to eat right away.  She's fine, but I was an emotional wreck.  She then slept the entire night on my knees and purred whenever I pet her- it may have been by way of apology or maybe she missed us.  [They are *not* going out today and maybe not tomorrow, either!]

This morning a computer tech guy, John, arrived at 9:15.  I expected the kids would hide until he left.  When their original human Mary was alive, her son Mike was able to pet them sometimes when he was there, though Ace would take a swing at Mike when he'd had enough petting.  After she died he was never again able to pet either of them, though they'd known him since kittenhood.

John is... quite large.  I thought I was being pretty daring to comment that he weighed double what I did (I'm 114-ish).  Turns out he's 280, down from 300!  He must have a lot of muscle, he isn't shaped like a bozo toy I told him. He actually was a bouncer at some point, as it turns out. Within minutes Ace was peering into the computer room!  Then he approached John!  Then he came and put his paws on John's thigh, leaving cat prints and fur on what had been spanking clean black pants.  Pretty soon John was petting him.  John said he loves all animals and he thinks that cats especially can easily pick up on emotions, energies and who likes them.  I agree.  Ace lay on the floor behind us off and on, then- this cat who spent literally 7 months hiding from people and never being pet at all until I met him in April- Ace began jumping onto the desk and, catlike,  kept walking between John and the monitor.  He started the loud meowing, which John found funny.  When I said Ace was "sort of demanding", John started laughing and said, "He is *definitely* demanding."  See, I haven't been making that up.

Late morning I gave both the kids a snack, which brought Arabella into the kitchen, so John saw her, too.  She hid at first, then spent a long time in the middle of the living room rug.

Their original human was reclusive and in poor health, and few people except her son Mike came into the house for months before she passed away.  I do go out and about, but it's possible that John is the only human who's actually been in this house since the kids arrived.  So I'm delighted at how confident both of them were.  I'd thought both would hide until John left, yet these are now amazingly self-assured cats.   Janet of Friends of Ferals and Mike both agreed with me when I said before adopting them that maybe they are more comfortable with females.  And now here the kids are opening up to a very male person.  

The kids are blossoming.  I'm so lucky they are here, and we are all fortunate that someone like John showed up this morning, to show how far they have come in their new lives.



brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #137 
Jinx always hides when people come. I think it may be because she was a feral when I got her, and I'm the only one she will have any contact with. It probably doesn't help that I don't have a lot of people over. My sister and her bf comes once a week, and though I am sure that jinx is used to her scent, she still hides until they leave. Then, when she feels it is safe to come out, she will sit and talk to me about it for 20 to 30 minutes. My sister will go and find her, and talk softly to her, and will pet her if she can, but Jinx will only allow so much of that contact. Next month, I plan to take her to the vet for an update on her shots, and I am hoping it goes well, since she is shy around others. I take Sandy tomorrow, and I hope they can help him. He seems to be having some kind of skin irritation, which may be from fleas, or something else. He is also due his shots to keep up to date.   
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #138 
I love hearing about how well Ace and Arabella are doing!  It is clear that the computer guy is one of the "good" ones and your two sweet babies realize that.  And you have created such a loving home that they are so very secure.  You have a great little family - and I know your Julian is very happy.

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #139 
Tomorrow is the four month anniversary of when the kids arrived here.

Perversely, Ace never again slept on the velvet pillow after I vacuumed it, perversely you can see he still doesn't have a new name.  I'm almost beginning to think that since Ace at least implies "tops" it's fitting, tho not very elegant.

A week ago today I stepped onto the built-in patio bench- and it collapsed.  The noise of the bench, the potted plants and me landing on the cement sent the kids running into the house.  I'd landed on my left foot, leg straight if not hyperextended and really did a number on it.  Took me a while to get into the house; luckily I still have the crutches from when the other knee had two surgeries years ago.  I closed us into the house.  It took two days before that leg could do any weightbearing again, it didn't feel good.  

The kids were so solicitous and attentive.  Ace has spent every night sleeping near my head, if not right against me, which he rarely did before.  Now it seems like the new normal for him.  Arabella sniffs my knee through the blanket and has been gently licking the blanket at that spot; she knows something is wrong there.  She's spent most nights on the bed, too; she especially likes lying atop the pillow that I put in bed for my knee.  These poor delicate cats: the mattress is too hard for them, now they have to sleep on pillows, tee hee.  The actual pain lasted less than two days.  Whenever I was at the computer, which is about all I was good for, both of them were near, no more than a foot or two away at most.  They knew something was wrong and were so devotedly cute.  

As attentive and devoted as both of them have been, even though I didn't want to get hurt like that since I've never been "into" pain, it looks as if they now both consider me their mommy, and they were both doing whatever they could to help and to reassure me.  They've now been here for 15 cat months and I matter to them.  That makes me very happy, for myself and for them.

Yesterday I saw that the rubber cord that presses the edge of the sliding door screen into the groove of the door frame was hanging loose, which I'd not noticed before.  I figured something else to do with the house was falling apart.  Less than an hour later-- I saw Arabella on the patio!  The screen did not just "fall apart": a certain clever little cat girl systematically pulled it apart so she could get out (after being so cruelly and unfairly kept indoors for six days).

Since I'm now walking again, altho at about half speed, I let them out yesterday for the first time since the accident.  They're both intrigued by the wreckage at the end of the patio and easily walk across the edge of the bench.

I'd left the sliding door open maybe 2 1/2 inches, max,  during the night for ventilation.  Arabella was there for breakfast, but then I discovered that the loose end of the screen was *inside*.  That means she was out for some unknown length of time during the night.  I don't know how she got her head through such a narrow spot, but she did, and then came in again.   She spent so much time today sleeping on the "comfortable" decorative bark/mulch in a patio planter rather than running around that for a while I feared she was getting sick.  Now I suspect she's catching up on her sleep after her secret night out, sigh.  

Today Ace's noise level was so high that I let them out at 10:43 am, and didn't bring them back in until 3:56.  They both went in and out, came in for lunch and a snack, visited me in the computer room, used the litter box.   

He's been really good about staying in sight, but she kept vanishing, and has that feline sense of humor.  I went thru the yard calling her to no avail, then came back into the house- and there she was sprawled on the floor in front of the open sliding door.  That's the way that I'd gone outside, I can assure you I would have noticed a cat on the floor.  Kids!

A few days ago I folded a tattered bath towel and put it on the computer desk.  At this moment, he's covering 2/3 of it, and she is napping against him covering most of the rest of the towel.  They have the whole house to choose from and both are a foot away from me. :)
 
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #140 
Earthquake!  We live only 19 miles from the epicenter of the 6.0 or 6.1 quake that occurred at 3:20 am this Sunday morning.  It woke all of us up.  Ace jumped off the bed, Arabella met him in the entry hall and they sat touching side by side until it stopped, looking at me who was still in bed, and at each other when they couldn't spot the source.  That's what they did when they heard thunder from a cloudburst a while back.  How cute that they run to each other for reassurance.  They've  felt earthquakes before in their six years of life, though I don't know what it was like seismically speaking at their original home.

For some reason, it was a very mild shake, very quiet and didn't last long here.  I was surprised at the magnitude and closeness, and how shallow it was,  when I went to the USGS web site to report in the "Did you feel it?" section.  We're fine, the house is fine; one of them is napping on each side of me.
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #141 
Yesterday was another weekly anniversary since the kids arrived here April 23: they have now been here 19 weeks, and this thread has had 3500 hits.

Ace is becoming a wonderful bed kitty; most nights now his head is on the pillow next to mine for a little while, though like Houston he prefers lying against me with his head around my knee, hind legs spread for gentle belly rubs.  He's the only kitty of my life who so much curls his paws in the air as he purrs and is adorable when he does that, in fact I don't offhand remember seeing any others do it though somebody must have.  Julian-like, he's begun throwing himself down landing on his side and me, purring instantly, much more dramatic than just laying down.  So cute and funny.

Arabella's nightly routine is much more variable. Some nights she's never on the bed at all, other times she and Ace are curled up together for hours at my feet.  Occasionally she walks across me for some petting, I am the cat freeway.

By day, I get a lot of company in the computer room, ditto the living room. Even when the door is open so they can go in and out, they are now likely- especially Ace- to spend time inside with me.  

They are both becoming such chatterboxes, Ace continues to "demand" attention even outside.  I'm meowing back at him regularly because that quiets him down for a few minutes- he can be pretty loud, claiming he is ignored and starved, which is not true at all. Ace climbed his first tree several days ago: I found him in the lower branches of the pear tree, what an intrepid explorer.  I regularly see both of them sitting on the fence and know they're going next door sometimes.  When I call them for dinner, they appear within a minute and come right in.

Yesterday I finally moved the collapsed bench off the patio.  It used to be that if I took two swipes with the broom on the patio, it scared them and they ran back into the house.  This time both of them lay under the eaves and watched me move dozens of potted plants out of the way, then drag the bench, sometimes only a few inches per tug, a good 20 feet.  They'd never heard or seen that before, but both watched until Arabella got bored and went out back, and Ace began dozing. 

Last night was a repeat of their 5 week anniversary here.  I check on them 4-5 times an hour when they're outside.  But neither came when I called them for dinner.  Dozens of times up to midnight I called for them out all the doors, looked in the yard.  Nothing.  I ended up leaving the sliding door to the living room open cat-width for the night.  No kitties.  I was getting more and more worried, trying to remind myself other kitties have done this over the years, feeling like an inept cat mother.

This morning I looked in the garage again-- Ace came out from the cat carrier; he'd been sleeping on the towel there.  Arabella came out from behind the water heater.  Those kids had heard me calling and calling for them, either one is capable of making a very loud meow or knocking something to make a noise-- but neither had made a sound, they spent 13 hours in the garage.  At least this time, they came right into the house, wolfed down breakfast and used the litter box.   I probably have a few more white hairs now, but they don't show since I color my hair.  Cats!

Except that neither likes to be picked up and held, they seem happy and secure, interested in their world, affectionate and perhaps the tiniest little bit spoiled now.  Compared to their first month here, their purr-sonalities have been transformed.  They are wonderful!
brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #142 
Seems like they are getting more used to their surroundings, and feeling more secure. Ace has really emerged from his first few weeks there, and seems to be the more social of the two. I guess sometimes they like to be outside at night, or in the garage. Sometimes when Sandy is outside, he is under my car or the ramp, and I can call him, but he doesn't respond, and lately he has been going to my neighbor's to sleep under their truck. I have found though that if i act like I am walking to the backyard, he will join me, and want to be picked up and petted.
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #143 
Karen I so love your updates!  And your two make me laugh that they were all relaxed and sleeping in the garage while you called out over and over and were so worried.  LOL  Have no ideas why cats seems to enjoy doing that but I can picture it in my mind.

I am glad that your two are so settled and loved.  And that you have the opportunity to be a little kitty freeway!  

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
AmandaWI

Registered:
Posts: 1,415
 #144 
I am still so much enjoying your updates on the kids.  They are certainly not boring kitties.  The adventures, although innocent, would certainly add to my gray hair!!  But it sounds like you are very rational and can keep yourself calm.  I could take a few lessons.  I'm glad that the earthquake was not destructive for you and the kids.  And that they run to each other for security, so cute. 

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #145 
Brenrae, that's what I decided, too- that the kids are using an occasional night in the dark and uninhabited garage as a substitute for being able to go outside after dark.  I don't mind that they're taking time off from being with me, but varmints come out at night so I want them to be in before then.  Yes, Ace is definitely the one who wants and gives more affection; Mike whose mother had them for their first six years told me that I was describing the same kind of personalities that his mother did, which is gratifying to both him and me.  Sandy is actually pretty safe sleeping under the neighbor's truck; nothing very big could get under there so it's kind of like a little protected cat cave.

Nicole, yes, the kids really do seem happy and self-assured now; as you know it didn't happen quickly.  That thing of silently hiding in the garage is hard on me- but they are cats, and that is a cat thing.  They and kitties before them have also enjoyed being jungle kitties: hiding silently in the bushes in the yard, watching me call and look for them, but staying hidden.  They seem to know that their tabby markings make excellent camouflage in the shadows.  Sigh.

Amanda, I wasn't all that calm when the kids disappeared again, I imagined all kinds of awful scenarios.  But I've been through versions of this before so tried to keep some perspective.  This time it seemed like they were doing it as kind of a joke, not getting scared like they did on their 5 week anniversary, since they came right in and ate immediately when I discovered them.  We were very fortunate  in that last earthquake; it caused plenty of damage where it struck, it would have been far worse if the epicenter had been in a more populated area.

The kids have been more affectionate than usual after their night in the garage, which is wonderful besides being so adorable.


Maybe it wasn't the best timing, but the day I found them in the garage I decided to give them flea medication.  It's that time of year.  This was the first time I've tried to dose them with anything, and it did *not* go well.  It took about two hours to corner them both and dose them, they kept running away.  I guess they could smell the stuff, maybe their original mommy had used it, too.  I had reservations about using it, but it was all I could get since I've been unable to determine exact weights for the kids.  This stuff is one size dose for any cat once it is 8 weeks old, instead of different doses depending upon weight.  For hours afterwards, they both hid or backed away when I tried to pet them or even came near, though I'm positive I didn't actually hurt either one cornering and dosing them.  Eddysmom says that's because it was a new first for all of us.  (Plus they can usually do pretty much whatever they want, but this time what they wanted got overruled.)

So I didn't let them out at all that day while they were still annoyed with me.  By nightfall I'd been forgiven: Ace was purring and kneading when I went to bed, Arabella slept for hours at the foot of the bed.

The next morning, yesterday, she became as loud and demanding as her brother, wanting to go out at 9 am.  I made them wait until 10 am, so by the time they came in for dinner at 6:30 it had been a long day of being able to go in and out.   This morning she's again demanding to go out, but I have to run a couple of errands and won't leave the house while they're outside, so she has to wait.  You can see I am barely maintaining control around here, but I *am* outnumbered, tee hee.

I've been meaning for months to say a big thank you to the moderators, and finally thought of it while actually composing a post.   These updates are reviewed and put onto the board so fast, sometimes in less than half an hour- in minutes.  Usually things take several hours, but for some reason these are zipping through very quickly.   So thank you all for your speedy help.
SharG

Registered:
Posts: 533
 #146 
Karen, I think you're very brave to let them out, I'm such a coward and worrier that I've never let my kitties out. The thoughts of what could be waiting for them just drives me crazy. I even worry when I can't find them in the house. Oscar and Felix would come when you called their names but Sebastian is a different matter. He comes when he decides he should.

I know they have a strong hunting instinct so being outdoors at night satisfies their inner cat but we have foxes around (I love them too and for my sins, I feed them). I don't know if they would attack a cat but not going to find out. Sebastian likes to watch them from the window however. He has his own "FOX" network and it doesn't cost a dime.

I'm glad they've forgiven you for the meds. The book I have, written by a cat behaviour specialist, claims cats only remember for about 10 minutes. Not sure she has any cats of her own because it isn't my experience!

It is such a wonderful thread you've started and I love reading Ace and Arabella's saga|

Sharon
brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #147 
Jinx is the hardest of the cats to put flea medicine on. I usually try to do her first, as she will run from me, and hide. It has taken me several hours to put it on her before. After I get it on her, she won't let me touch her fr a while, but after a few hours, she will come to me and "talk" to me about it.  I guess she is telling me how awful it was for me to do that. She "talks" to me about everything. She is my little chatterbox. I have 2 that go out, Gabby, and Sandy. Jinx doesn't seem interested. They have to be in before I go to bed, and before  go anywhere. Gabby stays in the fenced in part of the yard, but Sandy can get over the fence. I would really prefer he stay in the fenced in part, but, he stays close, so I have to be content with that. Ace and Arabella will probably hide for a bit every time you put on the flea medicine, but, they will always come back out. I think it is because they don't understand what is happening, just know their mommy is doing something to them that they don't like.
InMemoryOfRascal

Registered:
Posts: 2,422
 #148 
Karen, I learned the hard way that I have to apply the flea treatment in a certain "order".  And sometimes I have to do each one on different days.  But one thing for sure....Edie has to be first; if she smells it in the air that girl is uncatchable!  LOL

Good luck.  Love your two who are clearly so happy with you!

Take care
InMemoryOfRascal
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #149 
On Wednesday the kids had been here for 20 weeks.

Sharon, I'm not letting the kids out at night, for sure there are raccoons out then, and the past few months I've been reading about coyotes in neighborhoods abutting open space (3/4 mile from here).  By day there can be deer on the street, but although a kick could do a lot of damage to a cat, deer aren't predators.  I don't agree with that book you have, either: if cats remembered things for only 10 minutes-- there could be no learning!  Sometimes the experts don't know everything: I read a book that claimed "no cat" could catch a hummingbird, but my Shalimar would regularly catch them alive, I'd pry her jaws open and the birds would fly off.  

Brenrae and Nicole, thanks for the reassurance: my kids and yours are doing the same kind of things when it comes to getting flea meds.  If it would go to work instantly, they'd associate it with relief from those pests, but it seems to take hours to kick in so they don't see the connection.  We clearly don't crush the spirits of our cats; they have no hesitation about expressing their displeasure.

Yesterday was a sad anniversary: their original human, Mary, left this world September 12, 2013, so it's now been one year since they last saw her and she last pet them. Although the kids and my last three cats have known about clock time, it seems they don't know about calendar time.  Just in case, I was watching them closely to give them extra affection if they looked sad or subdued, but they seemed fine.  

It was in fact a pretty busy day for them yesterday. The kids suddenly turned against Friskies prime filets of beef: Arabella in fact mimed burying it when I served them.  Sigh, now it's guesswork to find what will please them, cats go through phases.  For the second time, I found Ace on the driveway; this time he slowly followed me to the front door, no spitting, and moseyed into the house.  Far as I know he didn't leave our or the neighbor's fenced in back yards again.  And for the second time I found Arabella in the coastal oak; this time she walked across a branch that hangs over the patio- it doesn't take a very big branch to support such a petite little athlete.

Then I found a lizard tail on the door mat.  There is a kind of lizard that drops its tail if threatened, the tail twitches, the lizard escapes and eventually grows a new tail.  Those lizards were being studied in hopes of helping humans to regrow limbs, but whoever found that lizard wasn't engaging in scientific study.  It had been years since a kitty had found such a lizard, I didn't know they were still around.  A while later the tail was gone, don't know whether it was a snack or just batted out of sight.

The house is now open for them to go in and out for about 9 hours a day.  Ace is actually spending almost half the time inside, near me, but Arabella is a little nature girl and happily spends hours lying in the broken shade in the back yard.  Almost every time that I see them on the fence, they're coming from the next door neighbor's back yard, which is also fenced in, though yesterday Ace was on the fence surveying the street for a little while.

The kids came in for the night at 6:55pm, as usual all I had to do was say "It's 6:55 now", and they both stood up and walked into the house. After their little Temptation snack as a reward,  both collapsed in a kitty pile on the towel on the computer desk and went to sleep in petting range.  I do like how they choose to be a foot away from me when they have the entire house to be in.

He played too rough with her a few days ago.  They are very closely bonded, but he easily weighs 1 1/2 times what she does if not more.  They were playing on the patio and he half bit her by the nape of the neck and had his feet on both sides of her.  Her little meows didn't work- so she spit at him.  He may not realize how much bigger and stronger he is; that's about the only time I've seen her spit at him since they arrived.  (All was forgiven, a little while later they were both napping on the patio, he had his paw and tail on her.)

Then, last night in bed I felt downright imperiled!  Both of the kids went half berserk trying to catch a moth in the bedroom.  They were jumping across me, from the cat tree to the shelves over the bed, to the dresser, jumping up the walls, catching their claws on the window screens.  It was an amazing performance, two flying kitties.  Ace got inside the lamp shade going after that moth and I literally had my hand on the lamp to keep him from tipping it over.  They've already put holes into the lampshade chasing flying bugs, it's getting pretty tattered and has spots of unknown origin inside of it. It was so amazing and funny to watch- cats are incredible athletes, so fast and making jumps far beyond human capability (no, I cannot jump 16 feet up from a standing start nor broad jump 20+ feet!), and they were so exuberant and uninhibited acting like (focused) mad things. 

By night, lately Arabella is mostly atop the cat tree again, after a hiatus of weeks when I never saw either of them there at all.  Most nights she also spends hours curled up with Ace at the foot of the bed... well, they take the bottom third of the bed, I position myself around them.  The last few nights Ace has begun laying his head on the pillow next to mine, and sometimes I can put my arms around him and bury my face in his fur.  I just melt when he lets me do that.  It's not for very long, but each night a little longer or more little sessions than before.  I realize he's not Julian who was the king of all bed kitties, so really like whatever I can get.

The kitties are enjoying these final weeks of their first summer here.  



 




kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #150 
Today, September 23, is the 5 month anniversary that Ace and Arabella arrived here.  It is also, sadly, the one year anniversary of my Julian's big surgery that was meant to be a cure... but bought him only 3 1/2 more months of happiness and being loved in this world.  I think I've said the 24th is the coincidence date, but that was wrong according to my desk calendars, it's today.

Letting the kids out for a time after dinner didn't work.  One night it took me 25 minutes to get her back into the house.  The next night, it took "only" 17 minutes-- but she spit at me three times(!!) before allowing me to take her inside.  Smart little girl, she learned fast.  Since then, she comes into the house some time in the 6-6:30 time slot for dinner ever since.  I softly call for her if I don't see her, and within seconds there she is atop the fence, immediately jumping down to trot into the house.  I feed them, close up the house while they're eating, and they are both fine with that.  Neither has ever asked to go outside afterwards, usually they get together on the folded towel atop the computer desk and sleep together, getting pets from me.  The days are growing shorter, but that doesn't seem to matter, they come in readily, and so easily.

Ace is becoming such a wonderful bed kitty, lying against my side and spreading his back legs for belly pets.  He curls his paws in the air and looks like a huge kitten.  The past couple of nights Arabella has begun sleeping on the pillow next to mine.  At first I thought she was Ace, but she's usurped his spot.  She lays there sleeping and occasionally purring as I rest my hand on her.  By day she is such a little tomboy that sometimes I call her Shalimar by accident= she ducks under my hand during the day, she has trees to climb, fences to get on, and avoids me when the sun is up just like little Shalimar did so many years ago.  But by night, she wants to be near and to be petted.

The flea stuff didn't work that well.  In two days they are due for the next dose, which I hope works better... and its application will have them annoyed and scared of me for hours afterwards. Sigh.  But they won't hold still long enough for me to find out how much they weigh, so we're pretty much stuck with this stuff that one dose is for all cats more than two months old.  Ace runs when I try to use the flea comb on him, tho it would help if I could get those pests out of his fur.  They aren't really fit to go to the vet's now.  Or I'm not fit- I don't think I could get either of them into a carrier the way they struggle when I pick them up.  

Today the first of what I hope are three arborists arrived to give me an estimate on work to be done on some trees.  Once again I was mistaken.  I thought the kids would duck for cover when a strange man came into the house en route to the back yard and the biggest tree, so carefully left them three different ways to get into the house.   But soon as I turned around after closing the door when Fernando left-- there were the kids lying on the sill of the living room sliding glass door.  They'd watched him leave, they were lying there in plain sight.  For all I know they may have been peeking around the corner watching us discuss the tree in the back yard.  This is an amazing difference from how they spent literally months hiding from people and no one ever saw them for weeks on end after their original human mommy died.  I can't get over it!

I'm not a perfect cat mommy at all, but somehow the kids are now curious about everything and don't expect bad things any more.  I guess I didn't make them happy, I just let them *be* happy.... which is a wonderful outcome regardless how it happened.





kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #151 
October 29: Last Thursday, the 23rd, was the six month anniversary of the kids arriving here.  I still don't know how much they weigh, since both of them go half berserk when I put them on the baby scale, and won't be still when I stand on the human scale.  No way could I get either into a carrier to go to the veterinary... though far as I know they hadn't been to the vet for the previous three years before I adopted them, either.

Aside from that, they are amazingly confident cats now.  It would of course be fine if they chose to hide from strangers who come to the house; plenty of cats who haven't had the traumatic past of these two are reticent their whole lives.

At the request of my wonderful next door neighbors, I had tree work done.  In one week, men from three different companies came to the door to look things over and give me estimates.  Every time, Ace followed me to the door to look at these new men.  Every time he let himself be seen on the patio.  As it turns out all three men are animal lovers and talked to him.  He could have hidden, but instead sat there watching them.  Arabella in fact tailed him to the door the third time, so the last man saw her as well.

Then-- the work began.  Four men showed up with power tools  promptly at 8:45 am.  They tromped through the yard, branches were falling, debris was hauled out of the yard, the men walked across the roof, branches *fell* on the roof (heavy sigh), branches scraped the side of the house as they were hauled away. Nothing like a usual morning here, and having seen their original home, I know they'd never seen tree work done before.  I expected the kids would hide in a closet.  Instead they spent almost the entire morning laying in plain sight on the living room rug.   They even had a midmorning snack and ate lunch.  Finally the chipper was set into operation.  The noise was unbelievable.  Arabella stayed in the living room (!), but Ace went into the bedroom and wrapped himself into the bedspread at the foot of the bed.  He looked like a giant cat burrito, but he wasn't actually *under* the bed, like he'd spent the first scared month here.    When the crew left, I lifted the edge of the spread and said, "It's over", and he came right out.  I'd say they were actually less anxious than I was that day... if a tree was mispruned, I'll have to deal with it down the road, and it may turn out that the roof now leaks which I won't know until we have a real rain storm. 

A few days ago a man showed up soliciting donations, and I saw that the kids were both sitting in the living room doorway watching him with big round eyes.  How very confident they are now.

We are now in a good routine where I let them out after they've had breakfast, and bring them in around sunset.  They go in and out of the house during the day, for snacks and to use the litter box.  Ace spends about half the day inside with me, but his sister is a nature kitty who may vanish for several hours at a time.  Yet when I call her in the evening, within a minute she comes over the fence and goes straight into the house.  Every single night.  After those two nights where I had trouble bringing her in, she now comes in as fast as, dare I say it a {d-o-g}.

Arabella reminds me so much of Shalimar.  By day she's a little tomboy, she ducks under my hand or runs out of reach when I try to pet her.  But by night she sleeps on the bed pressed against me, kneads and purrs before she settles down and spends hours being touched.  Ace is more of a bed kitty, he's even been spending time in the kitty cathedral, the place under my knees.  But sometimes when Arabella is near, he acts as if he's being ignored and spends the night somewhere else.  Or part of the night; I am perfectly capable of loving two kitties at once and love having "stereophonic kitties," one on either side.

Arabella had her first successful hunt a couple of weeks ago.  I called her for dinner one night, she was a little bit slow to arrive, and then she came over the fence- with a lizard in her mouth!  She dropped it on the patio and batted it around.  It dropped its tail and probably ran off.  I'm not a vegetarian, but got a bit squeamish watching her eat the tail.  I don't know if she actually killed the whole lizard, but that was a successful hunt, and she is entirely self-taught. Ace watched avidly and practically tripped on her  but he didn't at all interfere; he knew that was *her* prey to deal with. 


This may be the last entry of this thread.  These are active, healthy, loving and confident cats now.  Although the son of their original human mommy had been told that they would either have to become outdoor cats or be euthanized because of how they acted all those months alone after her death, they are closely bonded litter mates 
who spend a lot of time each day purring and being happy.  That awful prediction, putting two healthy cats to sleep because they were just scared, didn't happen.  They are loved and they know it.








brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #152 
I am glad that they are now such confident kitties, and they know that they are loved. That is something all these fur children deserve, is love, and acceptance of who they are. I still have trouble with Jinx and other people. The only one besides me that she will have anything to do with is my daughter, and she has only seen her a few times. My sister comes every week, and she still hides from her. The other 2 are fine with her and her boyfriend. Sandy is still timid of other people, especially men, but he does love the ladies. 
AmandaWI

Registered:
Posts: 1,415
 #153 
Wow, Ace and Arabella have certainly progressed into very confident and content kitties!  How proud you must be of them.  I love that they are not intimidated by the visiting workers, that is just unbelievable!  And in only six months!  Who would have guessed, based on their behavior in the beginning.  Such good babies, and such a good momma.  I, for one, so enjoy your updates about them and would welcome their continuing saga but I also understand if you decide not to.  You were definitely just what the other needed and I'm so happy for all of you.  Big hugs of congratulations to all of you.

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #154 
Thank you both for  responding to my latest update.  The reason I said that this might be the last update was that no one had replied to the previous one, so I thought interest in the kids was ended.  Of course, I could talk about them for hours, but won't subject anybody to that! 

brenrae, your Jinx sounds like my Shalimar.  Even though she spent her entire life with her mother and her brother from a different litter, even though Bartholomew was so friendly that he once jumped into the car of a neighbor's visitor(! Eek, that's how you lose a cat), and even though her mother Tiffany spent a lot of time on the sidewalk greeting people who went by,  when I was away and neighbors came in twice a day to feed The Three, sometimes they never saw Shalimar at all.  She was so shy, even of me who adopted them when she was only three months old, that sometimes I never actually saw her eat for several weeks at a time.   She and her brother had the same father and the same mother, but she was just a shy little girl.  

And your Sandy is like my Whitney.  The fosterer commented that she much preferred males, and I found out the same thing.  Any man who came to the house, she would lie there and purr and look at him soulfully for 10-20 minutes at a time as she was pet.  If I pet her... she'd walk away after a minute or two.  The original human who had Whitney and her brother Houston was an obese male who died of a heart attack, sadly, in his 40's.  When a very large computer techie came to the house, she lay on the chair next to him and purred the whole time he was there.  She never did that for me.  Cats!

Amanda, in my last email to Mike, the son of their original human, I went on and on saying I was "just so proud of The Kids."  You took the words out of my mouth (well, my fingers actually), lol.  After all those months of them hiding in their former home, I figured they would always be shy cats.  I was fine with that, the main thing is that they're happy otherwise.  And yet, on a very noisy day with the tree work being done, the kids actually spent most of the morning lying on the living room rug- in plain sight- and watched the workers go past the picture window hauling debris away.  Unbelievable is right, I would have bet they'd hide- and lost that bet big time. 

I think that their original mommy, being pretty much housebound, gave them a huge amount of attention, so they were very much loved, literally from the day that they were born in that house.  When that ended, and they didn't get a new home for so long, it was a kind of nightmare for them.  But once they again weren't alone, once they had a soppy person like me who basically loves all kitties, they were able to again become the loving sweet kitties they were for their first six years.   You're 1000% right= I discovered that I *couldn't* live without cats, and they desperately needed a loving human.  Even though I still cry about my Julian, who has been gone a tragic 42 weeks today, having two such wonderful angels in fur coats as they are now has made me so much happier.  We needed each other, and now we are together, and it gets better day by day.  


brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #155 
It seems that Gabby is the most social, she loves everyone that will pay attention to her, and climbs in their lap. I enjoy reading to see how Arabella and Ace are doing, though I don't always reply. I am glad to see that they are coming out of their shell, and they know they are loved by you. I think Jinx will always hide, since when she came she was wild, and never had any human contact until she was 4 months old, and I think Sandy is afraid of men more because men, or a man was mean to him. He used to duck when I would go to pet him on the head as if he expected to be smacked. He doesn't anymore, unless you surprise him when he isn't aware you are there.
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #156 
Gabby was well named- she is social and friendly to everybody, what a charmer she is.

Sandy well could have been mistreated by a man.  My mother and stepfather found a starving cat at Lake Tahoe near their cabin and took her home to a forever after life of love and plenty.  He'd had a housekeeper who'd been with him decades, he'd always had cats.  Doris was a quiet, gentle Shoshone Indian woman whom I never in over 20 years heard even raise her voice, much less swear.  But whenever she brought out the broom, Amber instantly ran away in panic  Somebody had hit her with a broom, and she never got over it.  Sadly, despite the millions of men who adore cats, I do think that the male of this race is more likely to abuse children, women, cats and dogs than females are.  I guess crime statistics support my opinion.  Sandy could eventually overcome that, at least with a particular male who she sees regularly, if there is one in her life.  Poor little cat girl.

The Kids have already become much more outgoing and curious about people than I frankly thought they ever would.  And far as I can tell from talking to Mike, they are now in some ways more outgoing than they were with his mother, their original human.  I didn't think that possible- and am so glad to be wrong!
brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #157 
Sandy has one male he likes, my sister's boyfriend. When they come over, he makes sure to greet Roy first, even bypassing my sister, and then he will come back to greet her. He used to be afraid and run around frantically when they came over, but now, he wants their attention, especially Roy's. Perhaps he feels outnumbered with being the only male here, and sees Roy as an ally.

All 3 cats were afraid of the broom when I would bring it out, and if I got too close to them with it, they would run, but, I have used it slow when I have to sweep close to them, and they are all right now, and don't hide. But, they all run and hide when I bring out the vacuum.

Jinx and Sandy will also growl if a vehicle pulls up and they don't recognize it, then they run and hide, and Sandy will growl at the garbage truck. I guess he doesn't like the noise. I find that to be a bit weird, for I have never had a cat that growled at vehicles before. But, basically, Jinx will do anything Sandy does, except allow my sister and her boyfriend to pet her.
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #158 
In two days, the kids will have been here for seven months, and as of tonight this thread has had 4,310 hits.  Both statements are astonishing!

Summer is past, the days are colder and shorter.  The kids have been very good about coming in at sunset; most evenings Arabella is running across the patio in maybe 15 seconds to come straight into the house.  Just about everybody I tell about how good they are at coming in is surprised, cats are apparently not thought to be, er, obedient or compliant. But I've explained to the kids over and over why it's dangerous outside after dark and why it's important that they be in by then, and they're doing what is best for them (and me!). I gave up feeding them soon as they came in because dinner was getting so early.  They're now content to nap in the computer room for an hour or two and then be fed. 

It's rained pretty constantly the past few days, yay!  Ace has been off the patio maybe twice, out of sight, mostly he's been inside.  Arabella's been outside less than half the possible time, and most of that has been under the eaves.  The one time she came in with wet fur, it almost scared her when I tried to dry her off with a hand towel.  It's been gentle rain,  not inch-an-hour downpour, no wind, but still a lot wetter than they've ever experienced before until this week.  So they've both been spending quite a bit of time napping and resting up for the challenge of their next snack.  And they've been asking for snacks every hour or two.

I've begun using the space heater in the computer room, so that's where they usually are when they're inside.  For some reason last week I decided to put a big bath sheet/towel on the love seat next to the desk for the first time in the 20+ years since inheriting it.   They loved it- Arabella even stopped sleeping on the bed in order to spend her nights there, which kind of hurt my feelings (being around me ought to count for something, whine, whine).   A few nights ago I lay my terry cloth bathrobe at the foot of the bed. Both discovered it and spent the night there.  So they really like terry cloth, but not even for them, not even in this house, will I cover everything with toweling!  I've moved the robe up the bed bit by bit, so now they are in petting range again at night. Sometimes I think like a cat. :)

When I saw Ace on the floor next to the space heater, I went and got a Purr Padd from under the sheepskin throw from their old house.  It had picked up the smell of their original house.  Wrapped it in a towel and put it on the floor next to the heater for them.  They both sniffed it avidly... then followed me out to the living room.  The smell must have brought back memories, I hope it didn't upset them.  But their last 7 months in that house were far from happy ones.  I told them then, watching how they sniffed that smell from their past, that their old house wasn't there any more: they know their original mommy died,  also the house itself has been completely emptied out, there might even be new people living there now.  As I type this, both are curled up against each other on the Padd, and the heater is on low.

The doors are no longer left open, so I am again the cat valet.  When I opened the door for them, they both just sat there deciding whether or not to go out, so as I've done with all the other kitties who've ever lived here, I slowly and dramatically began counting to five and told them I won't even attempt to heat the whole county. The kids learned how to count to five immediately:  Arabella hopped outside when I said "three", Ace stood up when I said "four" and was halfway through the door at "five."  That was the very first time they heard me count to five, and they both got it.  A day or two ago I did the count again:  Arabella jumped over Ace who was contemplating at "two", sharpened her claws on the door mat, and darted back inside at "four".  It's a game for her now; they both stayed inside that time.  So, they do get some fresh air without having to go outside, sigh.

When somebody wants to go out, they come and meow at me.  After decades of being a cat valet, I follow them and open the door.  You can see it's not solely them who is getting trained around here.  

Arabella is a happy little girl, but not once has she lay in my arms at night in bed, I've only held her briefly a few times in all these months.  She still ducks under my hand most of the time during the day when I try to pet her.  She hasn't had very much actual petting,  I'd like to give her so much more.  But she must be happy, otherwise she wouldn't throw herself down on the floor and start purring and rolling back and forth like she does every day.  She's on the bed probably 3/4 of the time that I am and will take a lot of little pets then, she's just not very demonstrative.

Ace has love fits, he butts against me when I'm at the computer, sometimes he trips and almost falls off the desk.  He's begun spending more time under the covers, and lies in my arms for at least a little while each night, purring and waving his paws in the air as he curls them.  It reminds me of sea anemones under water, so graceful (and cute!).  He's slowly shredding the living room chair that I read in, sharpening his claws on it by way of "greeting."  It was once a nice chair, but after decades of cats in my stepfather's, mother's and now my home... it probably needs reupholstering or a big slip cover. 

A few days ago they began play chasing and attacking each other- on opposite sides of the glass wall of the living room.  How terrifying for both of them- she got a big tail, tee hee.  And a little while later Ace got a big tail, too. Such imaginations these two have.  She's playing rougher with him, more like he does with her- last night his ears actually went back and his eyes got big and round as she sat next to him with a paw raised to whomp him.  But he didn't hit or back nor make a sound.  Yet he sleeps through it, or pretends to, when she walks across him and tries to deliver a death bite to the back of his neck.  He's much too big for her little jaw, but she's *stepping* on him with her full weight and he doesn't even twitch when I see her paws sink past his ribs.   They often sleep together, with his forepaw across her shoulder or neck, he has an arm around her and she's pressed against him.  They are closely bonded and so cute.

So their first autumn in this their new home is going well, they look like happy cats in their new lives.






brenrae

Registered:
Posts: 4,645
 #159 
I bet they love the warmth from the space heater. With multiple cats, one of the times I always enjoyed was watching them play. Baby Kitty used to run up and smack Harry when he was sleeping to get him to chase her. He always looked up with a "what in the world" look on his face, then he would lay his head down, and she would do it again. Finally, he would chase her, and around and around the house they would rune, until they got wore out. I guess she wanted some excitement, and was bored. Sandy has been greeting me every day when I come home from work with head butts, and soft meows. I don't know how he will feel when I will be gone for 2 days, and the neighbor will take care of them. He may be made, like Harry was. He has really come out of his shell since he has been here. Gabby used to hide in the bedroom except for meoltime, but now, she lays up om the couch. The only one I still don't see often is Jinx. But, she is the one that wants to be cuddled.  Sandy, he always has to sharpen his claws on the door frame as he comes in. Perhaps to let other cats know that this is his home.

You have done such a wonderful job in providing a home in which Ace and Arabella feel safe and loved. They are really coming out of their shell with you as their mom. I bet the Christmas season will be fun with them around. I hope to hear about it. They will probably want to play with the ornaments. We had a cat when I was younger that would, so mom got him his own special ornament to play with.  I have been considering getting a special own for my three cats.  I bet they also help with the wrapping of the presents, and I bet they will be such a big help. 
kamc22

Registered:
Posts: 1,910
 #160 
Yes, brenrae, the kids definitely love to be near the space heater.  In fact they often lie on the Purr Padd next to it when it isn't even on; being an indulgent cat mother I do turn it on when one of them is there... and turn it off again when they go elsewhere.  Since he's a cat, I hesitate to predict how Sandy will react when you're gone for two days- he could be perfectly fine, he might cut back on eating (do let your neighbor know that's a possibility and not a sign of a sick cat), but he'll be so glad to see  you again.  I confess, I don't "do" Christmas, so to the kids it'll just be another day.... well, maybe I'll get them a toy or two.  Just having them here means new happy memories every day.  Thank you for saying I've given Ace and Arabella a good home; as you know it took them a while to adjust and that first month wasn't an easy one.

In my last update I forgot to mention just how exuberant one or both of the kids are in the litter box.  A few weeks ago I discovered a speck of litter on the door opposite their litter box-- four feet off the floor!  I've also discovered grains atop the 42" tall cabinet the box is against.  No wonder there's kitty litter all over the house; it's not just that they track it around, pieces of it are falling off their fur after they shower themselves in it.  They/he/she is throwing it way over their heads... which none of my other kitties ever did.  Hope I have a chance to see that technique, tee hee.  

And tonight, for the first time since she worried me almost to tears by staying out until 9:26 pm one night in mid August, Arabella didn't come right in when I called her.  She arrived home at 7:30, a good two hours after dark.  She was fine, she kept throwing herself down on the rug and rolling back and forth purring as I pet her and told her how glad I was that she had come home and was all right.  This time I was much calmer about it (though did again ask the spirits of Julian and Houston to look out for her).  That's a cat thing, to every once in a while do something that's not usual.  We both survived her one night in a hundred of not coming right in around sunset, and I'd be willing to be she was in the shadows and bushes nearby and heard me calling her tonight.

Having had a late dinner, the kids are now on the Purr Padd next to the space heater... Ace got most of the pad, but she's lying half on top of him as he washes her face.


Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.

If you can, please help support this Message Board with a donation:

Do your  shopping through Petloss.com & help support Petloss.com for free!
Click HERE to see how it works.