July 17, 2016
Fuzzy and Rita Update
When we last left Rita, she was ensconced in the craft room with a gate between her and Fuzzy.
Oh sure, Fuzzy could, and did, jump the fence, but I made it quite clear to him that was not acceptable. Twice, the first day Rita was here, he jumped the fence and started yowling and hissing, and generally trying to chase her around. Both times he got his butt lifted out of the room and put outside Since he wanted to be in to check out the cat, he got the picture pretty quickly. As an observation, it is a testament to his temperament and level-headedness that he never tried to claw or bite me as I was non-too-gently getting him out of the room, even though he was worked up about the strange cat.
Rita also could jump the gate, but chose not to as she realized her safety depended on her staying in.
The night of the 4th (ir early morning of the 5th), she jumped the gate and started exploring. I was asleep on the couch and Fuzzy was sleeping on my legs (his favorite place to sleep). I was suddenly jerked out of sleep by growling and hissing. Fuzzy was swatting at something under the couch, and I realized it was Rita. I grabbed her and placed her back in the room, where she stayed until the afternoon of the 5th. Once again she jumped out and this time Fuzzy just watched her.
I left the gate up in case Rita needed to jump back in for safety (her food and litter box were in there too). By Wednesday evening, after I got home from work, it was evident that the gate was a moot point, so I took it down. Byt the 9th, I was able to move the litter box downstairs. interestingly enough, I still feed her in that room as she doesn't want to jump on the table that Fuzzy's food is on.
Gratuitous pic of Fuzzy
Last Sunday I was a couch potato (reading), and the cats took full advantage.
Last night I was vacuuming and as I came around from the living room toward the kitchen, here is what I saw (neither is a fan of the vacuum - LOL).
Rita has not been outside yet. She only evinces interest if I am outside, but the minute I open the door she leaves the kitchen, so she isn't much interested - except when the vacuum is out :), but even then when I approached the door she went into the office. She also likes to chase the bugs on the other side at night.
Although not fast friends, they are doing well. They already get along better than Fuzzy got along with Tory, so all is good.
July 04, 2016
Spirit of America
It has been lonely without a lap kitty in the house. Sure, Fuzzy keeps me company, along with Birdie, but Fuzzy is definitely not a lap cat and although not stand-offish, is not as willing to be sociable at a drop of a hat. Tory, since moving into this house, had always jumped in my lap every time I sat down. Didn't matter where he was, or if he was in the deep of sleep, he knew when I sat down and would come over to sit in my lap for a time (annoying when I was try to eat - but still endearing).
Last Sunday I decided to go to the Animal Rescue League (ARL) in Bedford to see if there were any grown cats that I thought would fit in the household. I had a specific wish list for a cat; gets along with other cats (some don't), somewhat outgoing (although I could work with a shy cat), must be a lover - after all I want a lap kitty. I was also looking for an adult younger or older didn't matter) and preferably female (spayed of course) as I felt Fuzzy was more apt to accept a female as to another male. Color was unimportant, although I do tend to favor darker colors such as black and gray with black stripes. Additionally, hair length was unimportant.
The ARL had several cats that I fancied, but most were not good with other cats. Then I saw some posters of cats that were held in some of the offices (allowed to roam free during the day in their designated office. One, a white cat named Spirit, was said to be good with other animals and the adoption fee was already paid by a good Samaritan. I asked to see her, and off we went to her assigned abode.
Spirit, a 4 YO white cat with light blue eyes and red ears (actually the blood going thru her ears), was walking toward the door as we opened it. Although she didn't rush up to the stranger (me), she came over within a minute or two to see what was up. after petting her and talking to her, she was quite vocal - although a soft vocalization, I decided that she would be a great new companion. I started the adoption process, and that is when they discovered she had dental issues and hadn't been tested for FeLV - a requirement before she went to a new home. She had been recently been transferred from a rescue in the northern part of the state, and apparently all of her records hadn't made it into the computer yet, which was the reason the dental and testing issues were not known at the time.
The ARL didn't know when she would be ready since they depend on vets volunteering their time to do needed surgeries and they said they would get back to me when everything was set. Friday, they called to let me know that the test had come back negative and that three back teeth had been removed. She would be done with her meds Saturday morning, so would be ready to pick up after that. Was I still interested? Of course I was.
Saturday afternoon, I picked her up - here is a picture of her in the office as we were waiting for the paper work to go thru.
Even though her adoption fee had been paid, I made a donation that was equal to what it would have been. She talked to me a bit in the truck as we were headed home, but she settled for travel fairly quickly.
I had readied the craft room, the coolest main-floor room in summer, to receive her - that would be here "home" for a while until Fuzzy figured out she was part of the family. I let her out of the carrier and she immediatly scooted for cover. A couple of hours later I went and checked, and she had eaten the few kibbles I had placed in the food bowl and gone back into hiding. The next time I checked, she came out and greeted me - and wouldn't stay still for a picture :)
Since then, she has claimed a window seat on top of Cop Car's old sewing machine. Fuzzy still isn't enamored of the idea, but he has quit standing outside the door and yowling/growling at her. He does check out the door several times a day. The door is cracked open a couple of inches, with a baby gate in front so Fuzzy can't go in, but they can get used to each other's scents and presence.
Meanwhile, every time I go in there she greets me, talks to me, and presents herself for belly rubs. Yep, that's right, she thinks she's a dog :) She is very affectionate and she is very good with her claws; when she kneads, she kneads air.
As for her name, Spirit just doesn't flow from the tongue. I have decided that Spirit is short for Spirit of America (being she is red, whit and blue) and have shortened that to Rita (spiRIT of America).
June 25, 2016
Tory 5/2000 to 6/23/16
Several weeks ago I noticed that Tory's purring changed in depth and timber. He was also slowly loosing weight, although I could only tell because I picked him up every morning into my lap while at the computer before leaving for work. Monday he didn't eat enough for me to tell that he had eaten. Tuesday and Wednesday were the same (Fuzzy eats different food, which Tory wouldn't touch). I thought I felt a hard lump in his throat, but was unsure.
Thursday morning I took him to the vet. She confirmed that he had a restriction growing along his windpipe that was squeezing it shut. Thus, the change in his purring/snoring (he was working hard to breathe) and probably the culprit for his not wishing to eat. It was a hard mass along the full length of his windpipe, and there was no way they could remove it. My choices were to take him home and watch him decline for the next couple of weeks before putting down, or let him go then.
I had already prepared myself over the last couple of days (hoping for the best, fearing the worst) and had spent extra special time the previous night and that morning - I held him as he drew his last breath on the examine table.
This is the most at peace I have been with helping a furry friend to the end. I didn't wait too long as I did for some, circumstances didn't force the decision too soon as happened with others, I had the opportunity to help as I didn't get to for a couple of others. He went before his struggle became a burden.
Pictures taken 6/22 and 6/23
He looks remarkably good for a 16 year old cat who had, at best, 2-3 weeks to live. I miss my lap kitty, but know it was for the best.
Rest easy my friend.
May 22, 2016
Went in to make the bed and apparently Fuzzy liked the configuration it was in.
Needless to say the bedding did not get pulled up - wouldn't want to disturb the kitty ;D
April 02, 2016
I have squirrels that constantly raid my birdfeeders even though the feeders are literally right outside my back door. I thought that when Fuzzy was outside the squirrels stayed out of the penned in area. They have figured out they are in no danger from me if they are outside the pen and I am on the back porch, but surely the squirrels wouldn't come onto the porch while the cat was outside. Remember, Fuzzy was feral the first 5-6 years of his life and I imagine he caught a lot of his own food.
Yeah, right. See how my hopes are dashed :)
April 19, 2015
Birdie's Cage Fail
When last I left you in this riveting story, due to the base of Birdie's cage breaking, I bought a new cage for him and seemed to be doing well in his digs 9picture taken 3/27).
Well, he liked his mirror (transferred from the old cage), but he was rooted to his spot on the upper perch. He would not venture down to eat, even when I clipped one of his favorites, whole grain bread, above the food dish. By 3/31, he still had not moved to eat, although he did eat some bread that I placed in a clip next to the perch he was on - so I knew I had to do something - especially since I would be leaving for my 3 day trip to Rhode Island. So. I brought the old cage back pstairs and placed him in it until I could come up with something better. He immediately ran down to the food dish and started munching away.
I started searching CL, and found that several weeks previously someone had posted the exact same model as Birdie's old cage. I had tried desperately to find the same model as new, but evidently it had gone out of production (not surprised since it is at least 12 years old). So, I found someone who was selling the cage - or were they? You never know on CL with older ads. Did they sell the item and not delete the post? Did they get tired of waiting for someone to want it and take it to the dump or local swap shop?
Only one way to find out, so I mailed the person that had placed the ad. In the email I offered a little less than they wanted explaining that I really only needed the base, not the whole cage. Yes, the cage was still available, and they would take what I offered so I arranged to pick it up the night before leaving for RI. I didn't wet it up as I had other things to accomplish (like pack), but at least I didn't have to worry about it while I was supposed to be relaxing.
A couple of days after I got home, I transferred Birdie to the new/used cage (hey, it was already clan, so I might as well use the whole thing). Although traumatized by the move, as usual, he settled in as if it was the same old cage.
At the same time, I decided to go ahead and assemble the stand that I had gotten for the new cage. Since the stand is contoured to fit the base of the new cage exactly, I had to scrounge in the basement and found a couple of shelves from a broken book shelf that works well for holding the cage.
If you look below the cage in use, there is a clear plastic seed catcher in the above picture. That thing has been in use since sometime in the 90's, and is brittle, cracked and falling apart. I looked and looked for a replacement, but the company that used to make them was bought out by another company and they discontinued making the seed catcher. Birdie is very messy for a cockatiel; throwing food and pellets out of the cage, so a catcher is needed.
Most solutions available now consist of a covering that blocks off view from above the seed bowl to the cage bottom. I knew Birdie would never go for that, so I finally found something that works, although it freaked out Birdie for a couple of days - but he is okay with it now.
Note that I only put up a couple of sides to the catcher so it sags and looks like crap, but it is the only way that I can still access the food bowls every day (it interferes with the latches for the bowls - if they slid upwards the catcher would be fine). It works better than the old catcher as Birdie hasn't figured out how to flip the pellets/seeds over the side, so the floor stays a lot cleaner.
Since the new cage that Birdie doesn't like is used, it can't be returned. I am torn as to whether I will try to sell it (and take a loss), or hold onto it. Every once in a while I see birds being given away on CL (cockatiels or parakeets), and I wouldn't mind having a couple more birds. Even if I don't get more birds at this point, Birdie has surpassed his life expectancy (he's over 20), so when it is his time to go, I am sure I will get another small bird or two - and having a new cage would be preferable to the used cage, which is about as old as the cage that I replaced.
At least Birdie is happy and eating, so anything beyond that is just a minor irritant.
March 29, 2015
Birdie's New Digs
I was cleaning Birdie's cage Wednesday evening when this happened.
I can't be too upset. It was Birdies original cage; I have had him since 2003 and he was about 10 years old when I got him. That cage came with Birdie, so I assume it is around 20 years old or so. Additionally, the center part had cracked a couple of years ago, so it was only a matter of time. Fortunately, Birdie isn't a big wanderer, the biggest issues the break caused would be more mess outside the cage and the wire being less securely balanced on the base. Heck, that portion that is still attached was very floppy even with the cage wire settled on top of it, and I was afraid it would break too.
I was originally going to go to a pet store to get a replacement cage - I could run out during lunch and pick one up. I got online to see what was available in-store, and couldn't believe what they were charging for a small cage (smaller than the 18 x 18 x 22T cage I had). I did find a somewhat larger cage that would be good for Birdie, but I wasn't liking the cost (really - it should have come with a bird or two already). People on CL also must have coated their cages in gold.
So, off on an internet search I went. At Overstock I found what I was looking for with the additional bonus of being able to buy a stand (total cost was for what the cage cost at where the pets go). A stand would be good because even wwith birdie's broken cage, it was all I dould do to fit the cage and the cat food on the table. With a stand for the even larger cage, I wouldn't have to worry about that. However, the cage wouldn't arrive until next week if I got it from Overstock. Although not a catastrophe, I had issues with that for my own reasons.
Since Overstock gave me a good skew number (the pet place used its own numbers), I was able to track one down on Amazon, where my Prime membership would get me 2-day delivery for the cage (the stand will be here sometime in the coming week - but that is not so urgent a need). So, Friday evening FedEx delivered the cage and I got it all set up.
The cool thing about this cage is that I can take it completely down to flat if needed (the other cage I couldn't).
Birdie is still getting used to his new place. The more vertical bars, versus his old cage having more horizontal bars, are not as easy for him to maneuver around with. He was never that good at climbing cage wires to begin with. The perch dowels supplied with the cage were for slightly larger birds (O'hara-size), so I bought a dowel yesterday and fashioned a new main perch for him - he seems more comfortable now.
As I suspected, the new cage takes up almost all the width of the table so I have moved the cat food to the living room bay window until the stand arrives.
Hopefully Birdie settles in quickly and enjoys his new cage for a long time to come.
February 14, 2015
House of Warm Critters
Last night it was -7 or -8 at 8 pm. Looked to be getting a really cold night, so I put the upstairs pellet stove in T-stat mode. Now, that sounds like a thermostat turns it on and off, but that would be SmartStat mode (which it normally is in - by the way Cop Car, the digital thermostat works great - thanks!) T-Stat mode is slightly different; I set the highest heat output it is allowed to get to (I set at #3, but the rang is 1-5) then if there is a call for heat, the stove goes directly to #3 output. If there is no call for heat, it idles at #1 output. So, it never goes out.
Since the thermostat is in the office, closer to the stove, it stays warmer than the bedroom by 2-4 degrees on a normal day. However, with the frigid temps, the bedroom temperature was getting to the lowest it has been, 66, since I put the stove in. I figured it would get even lower thru the night as the cold from the garage infiltrated the floor. So, by putting it on T-stat, there would be steady heat for the fan to push into the bedroom (dang, I should go into a big explanation of how the heat gets to the other side of the house, but I won't). This worked well and the bedroom was 68 when I awoke this morning.
Anyway, to back up at 8 pm last night - I came into the living room after checking the outside thermometer to see that Fuzzy looked like he knew how cold it was outside and was getting prepared in case the house got cold
Tory and Birdie seemed to be more confident that no such thing would happen.
And yes, I am staying toasty warm with the pellet stoves going - at half the fuel cost of when I used propane.
January 24, 2015
About a week ago - Tory in the kitchen bay window
Hope you enjoyed your cuteness quotient for the day.
January 11, 2015
Yesterday morning I awoke very early and moved my left hand down beside my hip. My hand hit a cat, so I pet Tory. It is easy to know that it is Tory since Fuzzy has never been on a bed since he became a housecat. The bed was Owned by Shadoe, who consented to let Troy on it, but not Fuzzy and the tradition continued when Shadow passed and I don't know of a time that Fuzzy has actually entered a bedroom since I've been in this house.
As I was drifting back off to sleep, I heard a strange purring. It took me a minute in my brain fog to realize why it sounded strange; it sounded like Fuzzy's purring and not Tory's. I soon figured out, while still almost asleep, that for some reason Fuzzy must be out in the hallway and he heard me move, so started purring.
When I woke up later, and got ready to get out of bed, I put my hand down to pet Tory. Being a bit mre awake, I thought the hair was a bit long for Tory, so opened my eyes. About that time, Fuzzy's purring became very loud and I realized that Fuzzy had joined us during the night. Tory was on my right side, not quite touching me so I hadn't realized he was there.
Then last night I got ready for bed late, about 11 pm. Tory was sitting on the couch staring at me, waiting for me to go to bed so he could join. He has learned it takes me a minute or two to settle down so that the covers and pillows are to my liking, so waits until I call him. I realized that Fuzzy wasn't in the living room, or the kitchen, his two usual haunts. I then went to the bedroom and saw this:
Apparently the whole family (except Birdie) will be using the bed at night now. Fuzzy moved while I got in bed, then planted himself at my right hip. Tory came for his usaul bedtime pets, on my left side (hi usual side to start the night). When I woke up this morning, Fuzzy was at my left, and Tory at my right.
I don't know what has changed where Tory will tolerate him on the bed and in fairly close proximity without at least grumbling, but I will take it.