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SharG

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Posts: 533
 #201 
Such beautiful eyes! You're correct, the size difference isn't noticeable in their picture. Glad to meet you Adorian & Arabella.

Sharon
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #202 
Yesterday was the 19 month anniversary of the kids arriving here on April 23, 2014.  One year and seven months.  These are not the cats you've read about in the first pages of this thread,these are wonderfully confident,curious and loving cats now! I am so happy for them, and so happy they are here.

They're very healthy, neither has been to the vet since Arabella got sick eating her first bird catch.  I recently read that annual booster shots are no longer recommended for cats: they last years longer than was tested for.  So Adorian hasn't been to the vet at all, Arabella only for that one episode. 

About two weeks ago Arabella brought her second bird into the house.  Twice I took it outside and set it on shrubbery, twice she brought it back in.  The third time I thought it was dead, but then it moved.  A lot of feathers were scattered in the living room, pretty much all its tail feathers were gone.  Adorian began playing with it, too.  The third time I took it outside, three houses down, crossed the street and left it in a neighbor's bush.  I doubt if it could survive without tail feathers and not being able to fly, but couldn't bring myself to kill it.  The kids don't know how to do that either.  They spent the rest of the day and part of the next checking and rechecking everywhere it had been in the house and the yard.

Now the house on the other side of us, a rental for long as I've been here, is undergoing major renovations after years of neglect.  The back yard used to be a wonderful place for the kids, weeds 5 feet tall so they could play jungle kitty, but no more. 

The kids are spending a lot more time inside now, even Arabella.  Before dawn today it began raining and got windy.  Though I kept opening the sliding door of the living room for them, neither spent more than half an hour outside all day long.  Surprisingly, Arabella didn't bother going out until nearly 11 am, the nature girl who spent over a year outside every possible single minute.  

Their latest phase is to actually *be* bed kitties with me.  Arabella's now spending most of the night sleeping against my knees or hips-  after months of at best being atop the cat tree by the bed.  Sometimes she even gets under the covers and stays there purring and adorable for a few hours.  Adorian, gad I do not understand kitties at all, gets *jealous*.  He sees her at the door and chases her away... as if I'm incapable of loving two kitties at once.  But when he goes to sleep at my feet, she arrives, too.

The past couple of days they have rediscovered the kitty chair next to my computer chair.   It  has a Purr Pad with crocheted afghan atop it,and a towel across the back to block the cold from the single pane glass behind it.  Neither was on it for maybe five months.  Night before last *both* of them were on it, which is very crowded for 27 pounds of kitty. They slept in each others' arms until the middle of the night, then Adorian joined me on the bed.  Last night was a repeat, then both of them came onto the bed.   Arabella was on it when I got up this morning.

And there she is now at 8:11p tonight, curled up asleep and darling,  while her poor brother naps on the towel and Purr Pad next to the space heater.  This is really very cute: they could be anywhere in the house yet have both chosen to nap within a few feet of me.

We are now a happy little family of three.  You know it wasn't an easy start because the kids had been so traumatized by the loss of their original human.  They were so scared that the son of their deceased human mommy had been told that they were now unadoptable so would either have to become outside cats- or be euthanized.  I can happily say that these are now confident and loving baby kitties,  very good for all of us.

Thank you all for you support, suggestions and reassurances. It wasn't a quick nor easy fix, but it has been a wonderful outcome.

Hugs and purrs,
Us
brenrae

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Posts: 4,647
 #203 
Karen, it sounds like you and the kitties are one big happy family. I am so glad that you was able to help them become the kitties they were meant to be. And, I am sure they have helped you as you and them have developed a loving relationship. Our cats get jealous sometimes when we pay attention to another, especially Sandy. But, we give them all the attention they want, as I am sure you do with your two babies. We have a blanket that we put on the entertainment center, and the ones that can jump up there curl together on it. It is so cute to see them curled up together. I think that knowing how much you love them has been the best therapy they needed to get over their traumatizing experience. If there was more people like you in this world, it would be a better place, 
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #204 
It's been awhile since my last update on the kids.

Thank you, brenrae, for your kind words.  The kids are definitely happy, healthy and playful now.  We did become a loving family in time, we needed each other.  So your cats sometimes get jealous when one sees another getting attention, too- as if besotted cat people like us couldn't give them enough attention.  Silly kids.

Refurbishing of the house next door continues.  On days that noisy work is being done, the kids stay mostly indoors; I've read that cats' hearing is five times as acute as humans', so what I find loud could be almost painful for them.  Plus, it's rainy season now, and neither of the kids likes being outside in that kind of weather.  At the moment they are curled up against each other on the love seat here in the computer room.  Lately Adorian is spending more time outside than his sister, though even he is rarely out for more than an hour total each day.

They drift in and out of bed kitty phases, so I just have to wait for things to change yet again.  Adorian now likes the terry cloth bathrobe I put at the foot of the bed and spends most of the night there.  Arabella comes to visit but doesn't stay long.

They continue to not want to eat the canned breakfast and dinner I offer daily if I put the dishes down in the kitchen, though they have no problem with the three kinds of dry food and the water being located there.  This morning they decided they wanted to eat atop a section of the dining room table.  Arabella went up there first, so I put her dish there... minutes later they were both eating out of the same dish, so I put the second one there, too. Perversely, "her" dish is empty, "his" has barely been touched- even though the food came out of the same can.  Kids!

Last time I was cleaning the bathtub, Adorian actually jumped into the tub while I was still rinsing it!  His tail was held high, he meowed at me to let me know he was there. He has to see what I am up to, or perhaps thinks I need special supervision to do housework, lol.

Two days ago was another first, which was very cute.  Both of them came into the computer room at the same time, nearly shoulder to shoulder!  Adorian did the talking.  I got up and followed them: they split off in the entry hall, one went to the kitchen for a snack the other to the door to go out onto the patio.  Both got what they wanted, of course.

As you know, Molly cat arrived here a month ago.  They seem to have accepted that she now lives here, though are only looking at her several times a day.  They aren't interacting with her, neither have they ever acted hostile.  They no longer seem needy or in need of reassurance like they did at first, they're acting about the same as they did before she arrived.  This was an unexpected adjustment for them, and I think they're doing well considering their difficult past.  


eillah

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 #205 
My gpod friend ises rescur on hrt csts and kittens? She had 24. I believe love knows no language and has no boundaries. Love creates security. You have so many replies, so who am I. A Christian woman that knows when you give love there is nothing more as love conquerors all. If you have the love to give these animals who have known none that is a huge gift that you won't regret. I have not had one moment of regret.
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #206 
Thank you, eillah.  Adorian and Arabella had known much love during their first six years with their original human who was nearly housebound due to ill health.  But soon as she died, they began hiding from people, no one saw them for weeks, no one actually pet them except me when I finally showed up seven months after their human had died... so then they needed to be practically resocialized, which took months as you can see by the size of this thread.

Molly who I adopted six weeks ago following the death of her original human apparently never got as much attention as I've given her, according to both her original human and two close friends of hers.  This little girl instantly purrs when I touch her and doesn't stop until I leave the room.  So now, besides a bunch of little sessions throughout the day, I spend 20-40 minutes one on one with her, holding her and/or petting her nonstop as I read a book.  It's a shame (in a way) that she had to wait until age 17 for that, but she has it now!  

Work on the house next door continues, it's been going on for nearly three months now.  The past several days they've begun actually replacing the top of the house= the planks of the ceiling on which the roofing material rests.  The noise level annoys and irritates me more each day: I'm getting crabby and figure that's because noise itself is an environmental pollutant and stressor.  Sure is for me.  For the kids it has to be much worse.  And yet, both of are adjusting.  Yesterday morning Arabella stepped out onto the patio and sat there watching the men work for awhile.  She was doing her little girl cat version of what Adorian did last summer when he lay down within 30 feet to watch men using a jackhammer to dig through the street.

Adorian rarely goes onto the patio now; he prefers the front door to lie on the welcome mat contemplating life.  The front door is on the side of the house, there are mature plantings, so he's invisible to humans or animals passing by.  Today I found him on the back door mat, observing the work  next door.   That extra 25 feet of distance works for him now.  I must say that the past few days he and his sister are tolerating all this noise way better than I!

And I do think their latest phase shows that they have become quite self-assured now.  Many cats would hide with all this noise, but now both of them are choosing to go outside and observe the work going on.  Considering they'd been strictly indoor cats the first six years of their lives and never were allowed outside until I began doing that when they were nearly seven years old, that shows a lot of adaptability.  They aren't allowed out until half an hour after sunrise, and are in for the night 10-30 minutes before sunset- much safer to be indoors when varmints of the night may be around.

By day Arabella's begun seeking a lot more attention from me, getting onto the computer desk, lying on it.  At night she even gets  under the covers sometimes.  On really good nights, I have "stereo" kitties, one pressed against me on each side.  I love being the middle of a cat sandwich.  She may be seeking reassurance for having to deal with next door and Molly cat's arrival, or maybe after 21 months, she is settling in  more than before.  

In any event, they are both happy cats whose tails are always held high when they are on the move, who don't hesitate to ask for pets, snacks or doors opened.  And yesterday afternoon's wrestling session was adorable after Arabella dive-bombed her unsuspecting brother who was trying to sleep on the living room rug.  She did a front flip over his head, landed on her side, slapped him on the nose and rolled over.  Languidly, he rolled over with his belly exposed and took a few lazy swings at her.  So cute and silly, both of them.


brenrae

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 #207 
Karen, like Adorian, Sandy doesn't seem to be interested in going out as much. It may be the weather is cooler, or, perhaps he just prefers being in more. He does go out occasionally, but, mostly if I am out there. Is Molly coming out into the other rooms yet. My sister has moved in with me, and it seems that Gabby has adopted her to be her human. It may be that Gabby is trying to comfort my sister after the loss of her,may as well say husband, Gabby is so sensitive to others feelings. She just lays on my sister and purrs. Do your cats love boxes. Ours do. We give them a box, and they share it for a while, until it gets too bad to keep, then we toss it, and wait for the perfect box for them. Sandy likes the ones that are like caves, that he can climb in and be hidden, though how he is hidden, I don't know, since he does this little chirping meow the whole time he is in it.  
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #208 
brenrae,  The kids are now like your Sandy.  Used to be they'd dash out the instant I opened the door, regardless of the weather.  Now they realize there will be other times, so they choose when they'll commune with nature.  They definitely do not like rain (we've had 43 inches on this street since Nov. 1; this is a very wet microclimate).  Your Gabby is being so sweet to have adopted your sister after her loss; cats are very astute at picking up our feelings.

I don't know if the kids like boxes, when I get one it is usually flattened to be recycled.  They have both gone into paper grocery bags that I tossed onto the floor for their enjoyment, and most of the time that Adorian goes into the garage, he spends some time in the (box-shaped) cat carrier that is stored there, so they might like boxes, too.

The day after you wrote your post, Molly came out of her suite and pretty much took over.  She now goes in there chiefly to use her litter box and drink water.  She's curled up almost asleep on the mousepad as I attempt to type this, her head is resting on my hand.

This morning she spit at both of the kids, separately, within an hour.  Neither of them did anything except look at her, they have never threatened her, if anything they retreat from her.  It hurt their feelings, especially Adorian's, I could tell by his expression.  I comforted him afterwards, but this afternoon I found Arabella atop the bed we sleep on and Adorian rolled up in the bedspread and beddings he'd pulled down to the floor at the foot of the bed.  I could barely find him inside all of that stuff.  He did that the first month he was here, then last fall when the tree guys started the very noisy chipper, and then he did it again today after being spit at.  Cats are so emotionally sensitive.

Otherwise, they are quite adaptable.  Work has been going on next door for three and a half months now (I'm getting really tired of it, but that is off-topic).  Late this afternoon I found the kids side by side on the bench in the back yard, enjoying an unseasonably warm (76, usual would be 56) and sunny day.  This despite the sound of power tools coming from next door, which sound extra loud in this normally quiet neighborhood.  On the other side of the fence, when I was petting them, the new dog suddenly let out some horrible sounds that sounded like half screams and half barks.  Neither of the kids batted an ear, though I actually jerked upright.  They've adjusted to the noises, but Molly upset them, my poor sensitive babies.

This is so sad.  I got them in for the night half an hour ago.  Arabella's in the living room-- and Adorian is again wrapped in bed linens on the floor at the foot of the bed.  Twice in one day, he is really upset.  I'm going to go give him love now.  He deserves better than this.
SharG

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Posts: 533
 #209 
Oh the wonderful world of cats that we are not meant to understand! I think it's possible that Molly now regards you as her personal person and might be warning poor Adorian and Arabella away to ensure she gets the affection she craves?

Sebastian is the most wonderful loving boy and has been terrific with Francis, cuddles with him, plays with him and grooms him. BUT, when it comes to my lap he hisses at Francis as if to say "that's my Mom and my place". Unfortunately I'm not a very big person and my lap won't accommodate them both at once now that Francis is bigger.

I try to give them equal love and attention. They have such a knack for making me feel guilty about it. I know it's hard but can you get all 3 of them together close to you so they all get attention at the same time - a really big chair or on the sofa or bed? Maybe give them all a treat at the same time in the same place? My vet advised that when both cats would eat side by side it would be a sign of acceptance.

Wish I had some better suggestions but I'm sure you will get it sorted, you've done such a great job with the kids.

Sharon
brenrae

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Posts: 4,647
 #210 
I think that Molly may still be unsure of her surroundings, and is trying to establish her spot on the totem pole. Molly came from a household where she didn't get a lot of attention, and I am sure that the dog companion probably barked at her a lot, so she may still feel that she needs to be defensive. I think in time, when she realizes that they are not a threat, it will be all right. When Nico was first introduced, she hissed at the others, but that was because she was scared. When my daughter lived in Douglasville, she had to keep Nico in one room, and all of a sudden, Nico had more room to explore. I have a facebook friend that had two cats, and suddenly ended up with another, and eventually all 3 cats started sleeping curled up together. 
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #211 
A month since my last post.

SharG, Molly definitely thought I ought to be her person; it was a combination of never having been around other cats before and not knowing how to interact with others of her kind, and I think because I was giving her so much more attention daily than she'd ever had in her long life.  So she just wanted it all for her, poor little mite.

brenrae, I think  what you wrote could have happened, had Molly survived long enough: that all three of them would have become friends and sleep together.  I even had hopes of sleeping with a pile of three kitties at night, how greedy of me.

As it turned out, sadly, I took her breakfast to her Feb. 26... and found she had died in the early morning hours; her body was still warm. My thread "Molly Is in Heaven" describes our relationship and my subsequent dealing with her loss.  This is about the kids and their reactions.

Of course they knew even before I did that she was gone: her body was only four feet from one of their litter boxes.  They never saw me like this before, so sad and subdued, crying in my sleep night after night.  They almost quit going outside.

Finally a week after she was gone I picked Adorian up and put him on the computer desk.  He hadn't been there since that night that Molly took over, even after she was gone.  For three weeks he never came onto the desk until I physically put him there, and he'd been "helping" me on the computer for about 20 months before.   Oh, he really liked that.  Within a couple of days both of the kids have been spending a lot of time on the desk, for the first time ever.  I hope they didn't think that I'd decreed it was no longer a place for them, but that's how they acted;  I just let Molly do whatever she wanted in what turned out to be the final two weeks of her life.

Molly left this world three weeks this coming Friday, two days from now.  The kids are both spending huge amounts of time in the computer room every day.  Arabella, the former nature kitty, doesn't even go outside every day.  They have never before both spent so much time so close to me, both of them, for so many hours.  I cannot attribute the source of their new behavior.  Of course they picked up on my sadness, they knew Molly was gone and may miss her more than I realize for all that they didn't interact with her.  Or maybe they're just glad to have me "back", all theirs again.  I don't think I'll adopt another cat while I have them, they never felt secure and safe even though I gave both of them even more attention than usual after I brought her here.

By night, the two of them have begun sleeping together in the pet bed that Eddiesmom, Lin, sent right after they arrived here.  I never saw them both in that bed together until a few weeks ago.  Sometimes one would get into that bed, but months would go by that neither of them did.  They are both in the bedroom with me every night now, sometimes on the bed next to me or in petting range, other times just a few feet away.  And being there much more consistently than ever before.  Next month will be the two  year anniversary of them arriving here half crazed with fear as they began their new lives.

And meanwhile, for all that kitties are so emotionally sensitive, Adorian amazed me yet again today.  Work on the house next door has been going on for 4 1/2 months now.  I'm beyond heartily sick of it.  The noise, everything the owner has said to me hasn't happened, work goes on seven days a week despite city ordinance,  one week the workers put part of the heating system into my trash can (so it was not collected that week), I got a nail in my tire and had to have it patched... they've hauled tons of stuff away, most likely one little nail escaped  though I cannot prove it came from there.  And still looming is an expense of several thousand dollars to replace 90 feet of our shared fence.  Ugh.

But this afternoon I went exploring next door because it had been so noisy.  OMG-  now they are jackhammering up the driveway next door to replace it.  I poked around and discovered chunks of driveway are very heavy.  THen I saw a workman sitting in the shade on break.... and 25 feet behind him was a cat observing him!  It was Adorian.  I cannot understand how he'd literally run from the room and get a big tail out of fear when 17 pound him saw 4 1/2 pound Molly.  And yet he chose to go into the yard next door to investigate while workers were still there.  Work has been going on for 4 1/2 months now, which is one cat year... so I guess he's adjusted to it.












kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #212 
The kids have had solely me again for a month and a day now after Molly's passing.  They both continue to spend a huge amount of time in the computer room with me, more than ever before.  Sometimes they're curled up together, other times they're a few feet apart.  Even though there's over an hour  left before their pre-sunset curfew, neither wants to go outside in the wind; Arabella's asleep on the captain's chair, Adorian's napping on the towel atop the desk.  Earlier this afternoon they were curled up together on the captain's chair: 17 pound him was using 9 pound her as a combination pillow/mattress.  The little cat girl was half buried but was actually purring softly.

We had several days of heavy rain; the driveway next door still hasn't been poured.  Even though they put plastic over the bare ground, it's still pretty wet, there being a lot of clay in the soil, plus hard pan less than two feet down.  

A few days ago Adorian began doing something that I don't think he ever saw another cat do.  When he wants to go in or out through the sliding glass door, he's begun standing on his hind legs, reaching up with his forepaws and rapidly swiping the glass.  He can reach about three feet up, so now there are cat marks inside and out on the glass on the bottom three feet of it.    And sometimes his ears go back as he does it.  It's not as if he's ever had to wait more than a minute for me to be his valet; soon as I see him I go open the door.    I hope this doesn't mean that he's getting more demanding.  But he really looks magnificent all stretched out and working on the glass, lol.

On April 23 they will have been here for two years, nevertheless he's begun yet another new thing.  Cats are so versatile.  
kamc22

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 #213 
In two weeks the kids will have been here for two years.

A few days ago they were sharing the captain's chair next to the computer.  Adorian was totally on top of little Arabella; I don't see how she could breathe with a 17 pound cat on top of 9 pound her. All I could see was her head, two paws and part of her tail, he almost completely buried her. Yet she didn't growl or try to get out from underneath him.   She did look groggy, though.  A while later they were in a more normal position, curled up sort of ying-yang fashion around each other.

Monday the utility worker subcontractors showed up a day early to replace the copper pipe that delivers natural gas to the house with plastic piping.  Major mess up: everyone except the people doing the work thought the work would be done Tuesday- but the work crew hadn't been told.  Oh, I was annoyed!  I'd planned to keep the kids inside until the workmen were done, but Adorian really wanted to go out, so I let him follow me out onto the patio.  Two men were digging in the yard about 25 feet from us.  He was so brave and curious.  I petted him and stood close to him.  He was actually sniffing besides staring at them.  He lay on the patio on his own for a few minutes, then came in.  It was pretty noisy with jackhammers, tampers, three trucks, 7 workers.  But he was more curious than frightened.   The crew left a little before 6, the PG&E guy came to relight my water heater and himself left at 6:46.  I sat down at the computer, and within three minutes both of the kids were lounging on the towel together on the desk.  Smart little creatures, they knew without even being told when everything was done!

This morning it was one month since the last flea treatment so gave them each another dose of Activyl. I began thinking about it shortly after getting up.  Even before I took the box out of the cupboard, somehow Arabella acted "endangered".  She kept running away from me, I swear cats are psychic.   It did not go well.  Adorian struggled and became angry- he even spit.  I dosed him at the base of the back of his head per the instructions; he's now been under the bed for an hour and 40 minutes.  Arabella wasn't happy about it, either, but did allow me to pet her about an hour later.  My boy kitty is really annoyed or hurt feelinged or something.  These two by far protest flea treatment the most of any cats I've ever had- to the point of it stressing me as well as them, but I don't know why they are so uncooperative.  Anyway, it's done for another month now.


Ah- Adorian's on the patio and let me pet him.  He lasted almost two hours under the bed, now he's enjoying a lovely spring day.
brenrae

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 #214 
When we dose our cats, I have to do Jinx first, because if she even smells it, she will hide for most the day. We have had to have the landlord here twice in the past week for the same problem. Sandy used to hide when strangers came. He still does, but, he stays in a spot that he can watch them, or he gets close to me or my sister, whoever is furthest from the stranger. Jinx, she still hides, but she still has a bit of wildness in her. Gabby is the one that will stay out when people come, more people to give her attention. And, little Nico, for some reason she has been skittish when people come, and jumpy. I am wondering if it has to do with them blasting up the road a little ways from us. But, also, with warmer weather, the neighbors are out more, but she had no problem last year. It may also be the changes since my sister moved in, and things was brought in, and things was taken out, so maybe that has her more jumpy. It is hard to say.

It is hard to imagine, 2 years, and they have grown to be more trusting of you and more secure in your love for them. It seems they are so much more different than when they came.  
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #215 
brenrae, Ah- so your Jinx acts about like the kids do when it comes to flea treatment.  The stuff smells strong to me, and makes Adorian's eyes sort of water so he blinks a lot afterwards.  It sounds as if your crew is adjusting to your sister moving in; it can take awhile.  I've read that cats can get very upset if their humans rearrange the furniture in a room, some of them apparently do not like change at all. 

Today is a happy event: "Ace and Sissy", now Adorian and Arabella, arrived here two years ago today!!

They are not at all the same cats as came here two years ago, frightened half out of their wits.  Poor Adorian hid under the bed for weeks, so upset and scared.  This morning he lay purring in my arms, then got up and went to groom his sister Arabella who was sleeping elsewhere on the bed.  As a kind of a treat for them on this anniversary, I let them out before serving breakfast; both of them came back in and went straight to the kitchen a few minutes later, so I served them breakfast then- in the living room still, they don't want to eat canned food in the kitchen.

A few days ago Arabella came in and made that special sound that she does when she's caught something.  Adorian and I immediately went to see what she had.  It was one of those lizards that drops its tail.  Even though it had dropped two sections of its tail, it was still about 5 1/2 inches long, must have been more like 8 inches before she found it.  I didn't realize they got that big.  So the two of them followed it around the house for the next hour.  It hid somewhere overnight; I found it on the sill of the wall of glass in the living room next morning and gently put it outside with a broom.  Far as I know it hid under a potted plant until Arabella lost interest and came back in.  It was her first hunt of the year, so I praised her for her expertise.

The kids were chasing each other and talking about it for about an hour last night.  Today I discovered it's a full moon, so they were acting like little moonstruck kitties last night, running into walls and doors as they chased each other around.  I laughed at their antics; they knew they'd pleased me and weren't upset.

Actually the craziness started midday, when one or the other of them kept coming into the computer room to demand something every few minutes.  It went on for several hours and began to get, frankly, irritating.  Getting up 20 times an hour to follow a cat is disruptive even in this house.  The sliding door was open, so all of those demands were just for attention or snacks.  They certainly have no hesitation to let me know if they want something.  In Arabella's case it has to be the *right* snack: the choices here are Temptations, Party Mix or Irresistibles and she'll walk away if it's not the one she wants. (So I put the rejected choice back in the sack and offer something different, she knows I will.)

Work on the house next door is winding down, there were no workmen there at all for several days last week.  The kids spent quite a bit more time on the patio as a result.  And stayed almost entirely indoors the two days that it rained this week.  Arabella used to be the first one outside in the morning, but now her brother usually goes out for at least a few minutes several hours before she does.  They continue to come in immediately when I go get them before sunset; if it's in the final 15 minutes they now wait on or near the patio for me and both run straight into the house when I call whoever I don't see.  That's pretty unusual for cats, of course these are both special cat babies and know it!
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #216 
Adorian the Courageous.  This morning workmen began tearing down the shared fence between the house undergoing rehab and this one, mostly using a loud power saw, also hammers.  I told Adorian that neither of us would live long enough to see this happen again (the wooden fence must be at least 35 years old).  The plan had been to keep him and Arabella in until the work is done, which may take until Friday. 

Nevertheless he went out onto the patio to watch workmen digging post holes, paced the length of the patio a few times looking at everything, sniffed in all directions, ears pricked, eyes big and round, completely on the alert- but showing no sign of fear. I stood watching him from the sliding door, since there is now no protection from unleashed dogs. Plus I don't know if any of the workmen would behave unfriendly towards him so I stood watch.  When I called him softly, he came slowly into the house.  He's also been out the front door several times, which is on the opposite side of the house.  Now he and his sister Arabella are curled up against each other having their afternoon nap.

It's as if he is much braver outside than indoors.  He's the one who last year chose to walk within 30 feet of men using a jackhammer, then lay for awhile behind the oleander bush watching them, he's the one who inspected the fence demolition today.  Yet inside, he's the one who got a big tail the first time he saw Molly cat who was barely over a quarter of his weight, and he ran outside to escape the "danger" in the kitchen when I rustled a plastic bag that he saw me pick up.
kamc22

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 #217 
Two and half months later.  This is the kids' *third* summer here, believe it or not.

They have been unusually attentive & just so cute.  May 29, standing 4' above the patio as I pruned deadwood off a tree, I fell off the ladder (I disobeyed basic safety rules for about a second, my bad).  My arms were over my head to prune, so it was about a 10 foot fall onto the cement for my hand, plus I put my hand down to break the fall, so it was quite a bit of distance and speed onto cement.  Yep, I broke my wrist, first bone fracture ever. 2 1/2 days later I went to ER because everybody who saw my wrist said to. (I'd thought it couldn't be a break because my big drug day was 3 Advil the day after, and what could Advil do for a break.  Wrong: four people at Kaiser told me I had a "high threshold for pain" on my first visit.  Sigh.)

I *was* lefthanded until I did this.  It now takes three times longer to do things half as well (or at all), so about all I'm doing is sitting around reading and moping at the inactivity.  Not usual at all, the kids know that and generously offer attention.  Cats are beyond wonderful. :)

The kids are mostly staying inside near me day after day.  Adorian has tried licking the cast, but I stop him not knowing what toxic things he might ingest.  I've seen him give himself a pedicure by carefully chewing on his toes-  he's done that to me as well, carefully biting down on the fingers exposed out of the cast.  These cats are unbelievable!

Arabella is becoming a more and more amazing little huntress.  One morning she brought in a very large cricket, then a moth, then a branchlet of 17 leaves, all by 10:20 am one morning.  Adorian has never had a successful hunt far as I've seen, he is a lover instead. :)  Besides being so demanding, lol.

After almost 8 months of refurbishing, the house next door again has tenants.  Far as I can tell it is at least a woman w/ 2 small childr3en.  There about 3 more vehicles on the street now, don't know what that is all about.  Arabella usually runs inside when she hears the children, though I think they are very quiet for being so young.  Bit by bit she is adjusting to our new neighbors.  The kids have been quite adaptable through all this unusual noise of the past two years since they arrived here.

Most nights both of them sleep on the bed, not touching me, but there for hours only a few feet away.  They are becoming bed kitties!






AmandaWI

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 #218 
I am still enjoying your updates about the kids so much!  I always read but rarely post anymore.  Sorry to hear about your accident, but you have some great furry comforters to keep you company while you heal.  Time really does fly, it seems much more recently that you started this post.  I'll also say I was so sorry to hear about Molly and Murphy.  They both broke my heart.  I always wondered what became of Murphy after the kids came to you.  And Molly was such a sweet little soul.  Adorian and Arabella certainly bear no resemblance to the kitties that you brought home, it just shows how different animals can be after a period of adjustment and much patience and love.  A friend of mine recently got a kitten that she named Molly after having lost her much loved Kitty more than 10 years ago.  I'd love for you to pm me with information on good food for kitties as her vet office was unwilling to make any endorsements which I thought was very odd.  She wants to do the best for her, so any other kitty related info that you feel is important I would love to share with her.  Give the kitties lots of love from me--I so miss having a furry to love. 

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #219 
Just spent part of two days rereading this entire gargantuan thread. I certainly did repeat myself (tho politely nobody ever mentioned it).  Thank you, Amanda, for your sweet reply.  My next appt. is on the 19th; I've not had a fractured bone before, but it doesn't seem like this one will be healed by then.  My googling says this could take 2 or 2 1/2 months, the next appt is 6 weeks since casting, an average.   But a 10 foot drop onto cement is not "low impact" like falling while walking on the sidewalk... the bone ends must have been more stressed than is usual since my hand fell four times farther than a low impact fracture. Seems like there are too many "twinges" and such, though day by day I can use that hand a little more.  Whatever, sigh.

I never saw Murphy again after he came to me twice in one day.  Two weeks after his final visit, I adopted the kids.  And then I thought it better to not encourage him to come here when they were so upset... so I never visited him at his home despite having an invitation to do so.  Whenever I walk past his house on the way to Scotty's Market I always murmur "I love you, angel cat Murphy."  He is now an angel cat, and I'll always love him.

The spirit of Molly is still here sometimes: I keep catching glimpses of off-white cat trundling through the house. I think Adorian still sees her, too: he spends quite a bit of time lying in the hall outside the bedroom as if to "guard" me from Molly, Julian and perhaps even Houston.  He began doing that shortly after Molly passed, and is still doing that almost five months later.  I apologize if that sounds too woo-woo, but I keep catching glimpses of departed kitties who don't look like either of the kids, glimpses that couldn't be the kids when I find them sleeping in entirely different rooms.

The family about four houses down is bugging me.  At least six times in the past two months their Lola Corgi has escaped and tried to get into this house.  The mother says her children keep leaving the door open.  I told her she needs to train her children (which she didn't much appreciate).  No dog should try to chase my cats into their own house!  Especially when they are in their own yard in the first place, not even wandering.  It happened again today.  Adorian was near the front door when Lola arrived and  he ran into the house; that's exactly why I leave the front door open whenever he's on that side of the house.  I escorted Lola to the sidewalk where the mother and her two young children were, didn't say a word.  Nor did I look particularly friendly.  I found Adorian inside with huge round eyes, but he was fine, he wasn't hiding nor hurt.  I'm glad I didn't have to search for him!

The kids are doing fine, happy and I admit more than a little spoiled now.  That wasn't their doing but they are living the cat credo of "It never hurts to ask.'" LOL

I intend to pm you soon about cat nutrition for your friend who just adopted a new Molly.

Take care, hope you have a wonderful summer, we are so lucky to have found one another on this site.

Hugs and purrs,

Us



kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #220 
This morning a new first that I didn't want.  Sunday 7 am I was doing stuff out front.  Adorian got tired of watching me- and crossed the street twice!  He may have done it before, having arrived here 27 months ago, this is the first time I've actually seen it.  Both times I crossed the street to him and had him follow me back to our yard.  Luckily there was no traffic at all, nor any dogs.  I've told him three times now to be *very* careful crossing the street and not to do it if there is any traffic coming our way, any dogs, or if he even hears a vehicle (we are one house from a corner). 

Come to think of it, he may have done that last night.  It took him about four minutes to come in when I called him in  just before sunset.  He showed up on the front door mat, by then I was pretty worried because that's the slowest either of the kids has been to come in for well over a year.  Still, he does have some "outside smarts" now: he sat still and was hidden behind the oleander bush to watch one leashed and later one unleashed (ugh) dog go past on the other side of the street, both with their humans.
kamc22

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 #221 
These really are remarkable cat children.  Since I broke my wrist, there has been no schedule at all, I stay at home, read about a book  a day (having unplugged the TV easily 11 years ago) and kind of schlep around the house.  But this morning was the first physical therapy appointment.  I'd opened the sliding glass door about 7:30, now at 9 am I wanted them back inside  to be safe.  Both were in the back yard, I asked them to come in now--- and both of them did within one minute!!!

This is at least the fourth time they've done that when I've asked them to come in during the day.  Mondays for my book mending job and sunset they understand, but these infrequent other times on other days are not usual-- yet they oblige me every time! They never miss coming in before sunset every single night, which itself is pretty unusual for cats (and I'm told is unusual for dogs as well). 

I can't explain how this happens so consistently.  Maybe the kids and I have an unusually close bond, maybe most people underestimate the intelligence and awareness of cats. Maybe it's both and/or something(s) else too.  I feel so grateful that the kids are doing this and look forward to hearing what other people on this message board think about such unusual cat behavior.

brenrae

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Posts: 4,647
 #222 
I think they get into a routine. Sandy, he knows when my sister gets up in the morning, she will usually let him out with her, unless another cat is hanging around. And, he knows that if I tell him he can't go out now, then he needs to wait. Which he does, on the end of the entertainment center, watching me as I go outside. He is only allowed out during the day, and if I will be home. I believe they understand us, because when I tell one of them that I love them, they start purring very loudly. Cats are very intelligent, but stubborn. 

It seems we now have 5 cats in our household. One is still a kitten, just a few months old. Someone left it in the Walmart parking lot, and one of my co- workers asked if I wanted it. I said no at first, but, I thought it was at her house, when I found out it was there, I couldn't leave it to get hit. So, now my sister has a cat.
kamc22

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 #223 
brenrae, Congratulations on now having *five* cats!  You saved that kitten's life; I do not understand why people ditch cats in parking lots or anywhere else, and a kitten has no chance at all to survive on its own when it is so young.  So it is a happy ending for that little mite.

I agree that cats easily learn our daily schedules and routines, that is easy for such astute observers as they are!

Well, yesterday the kids were acting like--- cats.  Imagine.  It was the second time Anne-Marie came over to meet them.  Both times we sat on the sofa quietly chatting over snacks and beverage.  At her former house over the years well over a dozen homeless cats came to her door and she adopted them, she is very much a cat person. She was somewhat embarrassed by how many it was, so if somebody asked she'd divide them into "inside" and "outside" kitties, as if no one could do simple addition, lol.

The first visit, the kids immediately vanished; they appeared within minutes of her leaving hours later.

Yesterday started out better.  Arabella stayed in the living room for about a minute, so Anne-Marie saw her for the first time.  Adorian had been napping on the cat chair in the computer room, and stayed there for about five minutes, so she got to admire him, too, from across the room.  That was progress.

We agreed the thing to do was to wait for kitties to come to us.... and waited in vain for almost four hours.  Every hour or so I did a cat search, never saw them.  I wasn't worried, knew they were somewhere in the house or yard, well camouflaged with their tabby markings.

Sure enough- when Anne-Marie got into her car, Adorian ambled out the front door to watch us.
Arabella magically appeared in the living room a  minute or so later.  The kids had spent the entire afternoon listening to us chat, and may even have surrepitiously been watching too!

She said we'll have to do this again soon, which is nice of her.  We agree they  know what she looks like and now very well know the sound of her voice.  Cats!!

brenrae

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 #224 
Karen, we found out the kitten, named Sheba, is approximately 3 and a half, to 4 months old. She only weighed 3 pounds, but is sure picking up weight now with regular meals. Her and Nico are playing, which is great. 

Sounds like they are still a bit shy, but, I bet they will come around, and soon will be wanting Anne-Marie to pet them. But, they are getting to know her, and will recognize her the next time she comes. 
kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #225 
brenrae, I'm glad  your little girl is thriving; she is sooo lucky to have you for a mommy!

Haven't written an update in 3 months.  Adorian and Arabella have now been here over 2 1/2 years, and they continue to evolve themselves.

After Molly's passing, the kids wouldn't stay in the master bedroom suite where she basically lived her first two moths here for more than a minute or so- then they'd dash out.  On what turned out to be the 7 month plus one day anniversary of Molly's death, one morning I couldn't find Arabella who'd been sleeping on the bed for several weeks.  Turns out she'd spent the night curled up in the fake fur throw that had been Molly's night time nest, at the foot of the master bed.  She wouldn't leave the room, so I took her breakfast in to her, and she ate much better than usual.  She did that four more nights... and then went on to a new phase.   Occasionally I find her somewhere in there during the day and can't help but think she is channeling Molly sometimes.

Finally, maybe two months ago, Adorian has become a night time cuddler.  He's begun lying against my right side, pressing his head on my chest and purring, waving his forepaws in the air and curling them in delight.  He spends up to half an hour doing that, sometimes twice in a night, so now both of us are getting easily an hour a day of cuddles and pets.  He'd been lying against my left side, but there was a cast on that arm for 1 1/2 months after I broke my left wrist at the end of May, and then a hard plastic brace/support thing for weeks longer so finally he switched to the other "friendlier" side.

The cat who lives about four houses away comes almost every morning to have a snack.  The kids just watch him, they're no longer upset, they've never growled or spit nor laid their ears back.  I'd like them to have more of a social life, but so far they're not really interacting with him.  But they are both so calm about him coming in, they just kind of accept his morning visits and don't seem upset nor needy after he leaves, nor while he is here. 

Anne-Marie visited for the third time three weeks ago.  Just as we'd expected, the kids were much "braver".  Adorian was napping atop some newly dried sheets on the clothes dryer.  He looked up when she spoke to him, then went back to sleep and stayed there for several *hours*.  He could have left that spot at any time, but stayed where he was visible: we both kept coming down the hall to peek at him, he'd open one eye, then go back to sleep.  Arabella never went far either: for the first time since she's been here, she deliberately came onto the patio and lay down in front of the open sliding glass door to the living room.  Anne-Marie and I were chatting on the sofa facing the patio.  The little cat girl stayed in plain sight for well over an hour, she even rolled back and forth on the patio enjoying the day.  That is a big step forward; usually she remains hidden, at best people get a glimpse of her, but she was in plain sight and relaxed for a long time.

The thrill of being able to go outside has definitely faded over the past two years.  The kids no longer rush to an open door, they don't even care if a door is left open for hours, I often find both of them sleeping somewhere inside when they could be outside communing with nature.  And, what continues to amaze me, is how every single night for more than two years, both of them come straight into the house when I call them in before sunset.  They never miss nor dally, they trot straight inside with tails held high, within one minute of my soft call.  I never asked this of any other cats, and hadn't thought felines could be so unfailingly cooperative- it amazes me every single night, so they get pets and sweet talk soon as the door is closed for the night.

Now that my broken wrist is better, though I seriously doubt if it'll ever be normal again, I've begun cleaning kitchen cupboard shelves.  Naturally, when I had one shelf emptied out and washed, Adorian had to go inside and explore the empty shelf in some detail.  You can't keep cats out of anything they are curious about.  Needless to say, I don't mind a fresh paw print or new cat hairs on a just washed cupboard shelf- this is a cat house!

kamc22

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Posts: 1,910
 #226 
On April 23, the kids will have been here for three years!  Hard to believe it's already been that long.

The reason I'm writing this a few days early is that today was a first that I've been waiting for a long time.  Adorian jumped into my lap today for the very first time!! I'd begun to think the kids would never do that, and couldn't help but miss it.   I'm still smoking outside so was sitting on a patio chair and reading, when to my amazement suddenly well over 17 pounds of kitty landed in my lap.  I pet and talked to him and kissed him.  He purred nonstop, eventually lay down in sort of a ball with edges dripping over the sides of my legs, and there he stayed for easily half an hour.  The five minute break lasted way longer than intended, because I wanted to make sure to reward him for coming up like that.  Arabella kept coming by for pets, but could see there really wasn't room for her to come up, too.

Winter has finally ended, weeks later than usual.  The kids spent more time than usual sleeping together on this their third winter here. Because we had double the normal rainfall, there were few dry days for months.  Some days neither of them went out at all, though most days they'd at least grab five minutes of outside time in the late afternoon just before sunset.  As always, without fail, they both come in for the night within a minute of me calling them.  Since around sunset is the curfew, before it actually, they're usually waiting nearby so I don't even have to call; they hear the sliding door open and come running into the house.  Some mornings Arabella doesn't even bother to get up for breakfast, she just stays on the bed sleeping.  A few days were so wet and rainy that the kids slept the entire day away, neither got up to ask for snacks even once.  Usually they get about three little snacks a day, but they were practically hibernating when the rain seemed to never stop.

On April Fool's Arabella brought in her first hunt of the year: she deposited a rather large lizard tail on the living room rug.  So I praised her for being such a good little huntress, though I personally am not fond of lizard tails.  Again, it's the kind of lizard that drops its tail to escape; the tail twitches, the lizard runs off, and will eventually grow a new tail.  She didn't even have to touch the lizard for its tail to fall off, she didn't hurt the creature.

For about the past month she's developed a new kind of meow when she wants me to do something for her.  It's a whiney kind of meow, a feline version of how Bob Dylan sounds.  She invented it herself, but I hope Adorian doesn't start doing it too.

Monty the neighbor cat comes over every day that it's not too rainy.  A few weeks ago he began sitting on a patio chair waiting for me to let him in.  The plastic is definitely warmer than the cement and it's dry, too.  So about a week ago both of the kids began sitting or napping on patio chairs.  Sometimes both of them are curled up each on their own chair.  I especially like it when I have three tabby cats on the patio, lol. 

Monty occasionally raises his paw to Adorian, but I haven't seen him actually make contact in months now.  Not Arabella: several times she's reached out and swatted him on the rump as he goes past.  She's just a little girl and he's a good-sized male, but he just runs away from her, doesn't retaliate or growl or anything.  Arabella rules, an iron paw inside a velvet kitty glove.

She's in a longish phase for her: nearly every night for the past month she's spent most of the night on the bed against my legs.  Being a cat girl, she makes it a point to usually just be out of easy reach for me to pet her, but she stays on the bed for hours.  Adorian is also on the bed most of the night.  Last week for several nights they were sleeping together, with Arabella between him and me.  That's what they did in the early days their first months here, now that cycle is repeating years later.

The kids get canned food for breakfast and dinner, and there is always water and one to three kinds of dry food available for grazing.  Adorian's begun to come into the computer room and meow.  I get up, follow him into the kitchen.  He sits down next to the empty dry food bowls and stares at them.  Well, even me, a mere human, gets the message: so I put down some dry food for them. 

Going by their tails, which are always held high when they're on the move, these are happy cats.  They had their 9th birthdays around the beginning of the month, which makes them 52 years old now. 

Hugs and purrs,
Us
SharG

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Posts: 533
 #227 
I still believe they are all related in some weird cosmic way! Sitting by the empty food bowl is for sure one of those ways. Sebastian never waits for it to be empty, he takes me to the kitchen whenever the bottom of his dish becomes visible. And, he's not a greedy boy, quite slim and trim. It's Francis who is my feeding problem - anything, anytime, anywhere - and he is too heavy although not 17 lbs, only 13.

At 13 pounds, he is a little uncomfortable on my knee. But that works out because Sebastian as declared the knee to be his place, make no mistake Francis. Sometimes it's a bit too cozy but there is nothing as good as sharing the bed with 2 kitties. None can ever replace Felix and Oscar or Julian - the king of all bed kitties - but they do their best!

Three years, it doesn't seem possible but I remember when they came home to you, when they got their new names and all of the adventures they have had. It's been a happy 3 years for all, wonderful outcome for all of you.

Sharon
goofygirlinva

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Posts: 1,084
 #228 
Hi Karen,

I almost never come to this part of the website anymore, but today I felt compelled to do so. It is so wonderful to hear how your beauties have adjusted to their new life and that they are doing so well. I'm so glad you are finally getting some lap time with them and that they are sleeping with you at night. One of the things I really looked for in a kitty after Blackie passed away was a cat that loves to snuggle. I got that and more in Squeeker. He purrs without any prompting and loves to snuggle with me. I will miss that so very much once he is gone.

Hard to believe it's been 3 years - time goes by so quickly, doesn't it? Here's to many more 3-year anniversaries to come for you and your precious felines!

- Kelly
Blackie's mom
Squeeker's mom
brenrae

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Posts: 4,647
 #229 
I can't believe it has been 3 years now. The adjustment period is over, and a routine has been established. One thing I have noticed is that sometimes they decide they want a new routine. Sandy, my siamese mix male has decided he wants to be carried to the bed, and then petted for a few minutes before he goes to sleep when bedtime comes around. And, Jinx, when it comes time to eat, she wants you to pet her a few minutes as she eats. And, she can't decide where she wants her food to be. Basically, when she hears you getting the food, she goes and sits where she wants it at that time. Nico, my daughter's cat, the smallest one, is like Arabella in some ways. She will swat at the other cats but, not make contact, especially when it comes to "her" room. I am so glad they are happy, and confident kitties, but, I knew that with you as their mommy, they would be. 
AmandaWI

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Posts: 1,415
 #230 
Just wondering if everything is ok?  There hasn't been a post in so long which is just not like you.  I sent a private message a long time ago and never got a reply either?  Anyone know how Karen and the kids are?

Amanda
Kodiak & Bailee's mom
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