Wednesday, August 20, 2008

String Theory

INKY really loves his toys. In this picture he is climbing into his basket of toys to pick just the right one. Today he was insistent on playing with a broken toy. He jumped up on my desk, sniffing around my music and rubbing all over my flute to try to get to the remains of his wand toy they call Da Bird. By now da bird feathers and da clasp dat holds da bird feathers have been chewed off. Noone ate the clasp: don't worry. He cried until I dropped what I was doing and dragged the 10 or so inches of string attached to the wand all around the house for him to chase. We ran through the kitchen, through the piano bar and into the bedroom, circled all over the waterbed, down the back hallway and back into the piano bar. Over and over. He wasn't tiring from this but I had work to do. Finally, I had him complete the prey cycle by catching it one last time in the kitchen. As a reward I poured him a small bowl of shrimp treat crumbs. I figured it would take him a while to eat all that, so I made the mistake of leaving the room to finish my work on the piano. This was a bad idea as, when I returned less than 5 minutes later to check on him (mind you, he was barely out of sight and only 6 feet away from me the whole time)...I found the cat, the bowl with some shrimp still in it and the wand. NO STRING! He ate the string! INKY bit about 6 inches off the string and consumed it. It was nowhere to be found and none of the other cats had moved from their sleeping posts around the house. INKY ATE THE STRING!!! Of course I panicked could get stuck in his intestines or something bad like that (I imagined some pretty horrific possibilities). Throwing it up as he had once done before with a long piece of fleece that he bit off a wand wouldn't have been so bad. String can be very dangerous for a kitty!!! I picked up the phone to call Dr. Yao, hysterically, again. Then I stopped myself. I ended up just giving him some hairball medicine and praying that he didn't eat it all in one piece. Or, maybe Da Bird is da bomb and is easily digested by cats. All the feline behaviorists recommend Da, hopefully they know something I don't and he will be OK. He seems a little mopey tonight. But then... he is a cat - he sleeps a lot. I keep checking on him and will give him more fur ball meds to help pass the string. Anyone have a theory about how this will turn out?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Laundry Fay

No school in Dade, Broward and Monroe counties today and tomorrow due to Tropical Storm Fay. These would be the only enjoyable days of school teaching, if I were still doing that. Instead, I spent all day doing laundry (after having another blood test to find out why I get so cold all the time). Usually the kitties like to help. Spike really likes rolling all over the clean laundry while I try to fold it and as you can see, INKY enjoys monopolizing the basket so his poor Cinderella of a mother doesn't have to do yet another load. But today is a special laundry day. We got a new High Efficiency washing machine by Frigidaire. It's so fun and different. I know I don't get out much, but I couldn't resist shining the flashlight through the little window to spy on my clothes as they were tumbled around in the new machine. What does this have to do with cat behavior? Everything I do is controlled by cat behavior. I am constantly moving about and planning my day around the cats. If CC is not up on her perch atop the spiral kitty stairs...INKY is after her and I have to protect her. I throw in a load of laundry while INKY is taking a bath. I move the clean clothes into the bedroom while CC is hiding under the chair and INKY is mistakenly looking in the guest bedroom for her. I don't recall any scuffles today. I was busy preventing them. CC has been spending a lot of time in solitary (locked in guest bedroom) for her own safety and my peace of mind. Yesterday I found someone had sprayed a tiny bit on the plastic covering the bookshelves (because of new window installation) in the guest bedroom. I cleaned that up with Urine-off. And I switched the litterbox in there to a giant sterilite box. Someone was peeing over the edge of the old little(small) box. Cat owners: don't waste your time buying commercial litter boxes. Buy BIG sterilite boxes. They are roomy and don't absorb smells like the cheap litterboxes. Good news is, they are actually less expensive than most litterboxes. They just aren't as pretty. I know that will kill some of you people who live in museum like homes and obviously don't care that much about your cats well being. ME-OW!!
So, we have the same problem as usual: INKY spends most of his day hunting down CC and she in turn spends most of her time trying to hide. I just found a sweet new Champagne box from Total Wine that I want to give to CC to hide in. I'm looking for the best location for it. INKY already took it for a test sit. I really don't know what my next move should be with these 2. It's getting old again: desperately trying to keep them apart, yet still together. They don't get into real cat fights. Just a little hissing and smacking and running and yelling. No real fur flying usually. Are any behaviorists out there reading this??? Please help.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I've been called the crazy cat lady. An old college buddy used to call me cat-woman. With the edition of one letter, some people used to turn my maiden name into a cat's cry (they do get so clever with names, don't they?). A student once said, "no offense, but I can only picture you going home every night and sitting with your cats grading our papers". It was better that they thought I was only doing THAT. So...I do find it ironic to discover I am allergic to cats! Yes, I finally went to an allergist who used me 2 times (so far) as a human pin cushion and found out I am allergic to cats (and dogs and american cockroaches and several types of grasses). Even though my car broke that day and cost me more money than I've made all summer and other mayhem ensued...all I could think about was, "I am allergic to cats!!!". Luckily, it doesn't seem to be a bad allergy (one of my best friends can't even step foot in my house without tearing up and sneezing for days afterward) and, naturally, the cats will not be moving out of the house. I'll probably do the shots and remove the carpeting (thank God! Now I have an excuse to get rid of that carpeting. It was disgusting from the beginning and filled with dog-dander from the previous owner - I mean her dogs!) and maybe get new pillows or something.
Next topic: today's photo is of my sister Dorothy's cat smelling the roses after Dorothy's beautiful wedding in her back yard which happens to be LAKE TAHOE! Gorgeous!
And...the cats continue to behave badly. INKY has rushed at CC several times since we've been back from Tahoe. I have resorted to a high pitched yelp (thanks Victoria Stillwell) when I see this. I figure they might not pin the horrid sound on me, but are startled enough to halt the pursuit. And last night, JP decided to spray the corner near the spiral staircase as we all sat watching him/the TV. Like I need THIS problem again. I soaked up a bunch and sprayed Urine-Off on it. He loves to spray in that corner right near the felliway plugin! I can't wait for the windows and roof to be done and for us to magically have money to redo the floors! Then I can properly clean that corner and get rid of the nasty carpeting. Then will I have perfectly behaved little kitties???
Also, I'm thinking Spike (cat) may have allergies and that is why he is constantly scratching the whiskers right off his face!
Right now CC is hiding under the Zero Gravity Chair and INKY and Spike are taking turns bugging her as I fight them away each time.
Still hoping a great feline behaviorist moves into my neighborhood.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Knock Knock!

We're getting new (impact) windows and the kitties DO NOT LIKE ALL THE KNOCKING SOUNDS! I got back from the doctors to find these dudes in and out of my house banging away scaring the kitties. The boys have come out of hiding and I did find CC wedged under the futon, but Scooter is, of course, eluding us all. At least I don't think she'll make a break for it and the guys do one whole window at a, it seems.
Update (already). INKY just found CC under the futon and went for her. I had to cover him with a blanket and remove him from the room. He is currently quarantined in the studio while CC is locked in the guest bedroom. The others are...wandering. I think Scooter is stuck with INKY. I hope he doesn't find her too! Ugghhh! The knocking!! I hate it! INKY is now scratching at the door.
So...we went on vacation for a week and my cat care givers claim there were no problems. Bill thinks I am the problem. All I can say is, they are only truly relaxed around ME as opposed to other people. Even though they love uncle Bill and seemed to take right to Jen and Remy and they like Tabitha too.
INKY figured out how to get out of the studio. I wonder if I leave to go to my next appointment, will they get scared and hide again? That would be much better.
And, of course, INKY still spends most of his time and energy stalking CC and she is constantly trying to hide from him! What can I do now?