Friday, December 23, 2005
Magoo is my little soldier. He's not that little however. At his last vet visit, he weighed 17 lbs. My wife keeps calling him her little baby, since he was our first cat together. He was one of the cutest kittens I have ever seen. Once I get a scanner, I will post his kitten picture. If we had only known, how big he would get. It wouldn't have changed anything, but maybe we would have tried to socialize him a little better. My father is scared to death of Magoo. Magoo isn't mean, he is just very strong and I don't think he knows it.
The reason I call him my soldier is that he protects our yard like its his own. During last summer, we let our cats play in the backyard while we gardened. When we landscaped our yard, we put a Cat Garden in. It is full of catnip plants. You can see Smudge sitting in it in his first post. Unfortunately, it attracts other neighborhood cats. One of these cats came by while ours were in the backyard We heard the commotion and ran to see Smudge pinned against the fence. Smudge is not a fighter by any means. Magoo on the otherhand was puffed up and growling. Before we could chase the other cat away, Magoo and the cat got into it. Within twenty seconds or so, the fight was over. Magoo was standing there with this collar hanging from his mouth. We tried to console him since he was very upset. When we saw the collar, I told my wife that Magoo is starting to take trophies off the neighborhood cats.
PS. We have found two more collars since that incident. Needless to say, no one goes out without strict supervision anymore.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
This is the Lover of our four cats. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. Just the opposite in fact, he is actually quite a shy scaredy cat. He hides whenever someone comes over and only comes out once he knows who they are. He loves his Grandma and will sit with her for hours when she comes to visit. He is enamoured with his two sisters. He will call to Bella and taunt her to chase him in a game of Kitty tag. He is trying to get his new sister to play, but she doesn't know what to do with such a big cat. He is six times her size. He can sense a lap forming from anywhere in the house and will come running. He also knows when bedtime is and will chattered at you if you don't follow him. He does have one bad habit, he swears under his breath. My wife says he learned it from me. He makes the funniest PFFT! sound when he is disgusted with something.
After I posted the happy holidays message, my oldest cat Magoo decided he needed to weigh in with his thoughts:
First things first, I'm not fat, I'm big boned. The vet you take me to is a quack. Really how can you trust the opinion of a person who spends his days sticking thermometers in kitty bums. Get a real job, a meaningful job. Like delivering milk or Head Treat Developer for Purina (Cat Division of course).
Now for my thoughts on the holidays. Don't put up a tree and then freak out if we climb it. God gave us claws so that we can climb things. God gave us you to give us things to climb. 1 + 1 = 2. Now put that eggnog closer to the floor, so I can get my fair share.
Also, I already had two demanding women in my life, did you really think I needed a third.
To all, whatever your holiday celebration, I wish it to be a happy one. Hopefully it is spent with those you love and those who love you. If not, remember that you are never far from their thoughts and their purrayers.
I don't know what Dolce is dreaming of, but I'm sure it's about having a forever home and her new brothers and sisters. I know she wishes that all kitties, puppies, birdies and others could find a home like she has.
Monday, December 19, 2005
We have learned our lesson: No more cats from pet stores. The princess of our foursome, the Thinker, was adopted from the local humane society. I had seen an ad in the paper that was stating that they had an abundance of kittens. For wahtever reason, people were adopting adult cats instead of kittens. We had attempted to adopted another adult cat earlier, but because of our two mature boys, we thought it would be easier to integrate a kitten.
I told my wife that we were going to the humane society to look at the kittens and unless none of them appealed to us, we were going to bring one home. We looked at the fifty plus kittens that were in cages. There were black kittens, white kittens. calico kittens and tuxedo kittens. We found two cages of tabby kittens. My wife picked up one little girl and the kitten did not want my wife at all. We went to the other cage and picked out this wee little tabby/tortie kitten. She was in charge from the first moment. She purred and nuzzled my wife. She purred and nuzzled me. She decided that we were her forever home.
I remember filling out the paperwork while my wife played with Bella. There was a spastic puppy that was jumping around and spinning in the same lobby. I watched as Bella sat on my wife's legs and calmly watched the puppy. I would have thought that a kitten would have gone ballistic, but she sat there perfectly calm. We even had a former boxing champion asking if his daughter could have our kitten. We told him that she had a sister, and that he should take a look at her. Bella is four years old now and she is as much of a princess and a Thinker as she was the day we found her.
The second cat we obtained (Once again we had not yet learned the truth about pet stores) was under strange circumstances. My wife was looking for a dress to wear to my brother's upcoming wedding. She had dragged me to at least ten dress stores in at least four different malls. Each possibility had been dismissed with the excuse of wrong colour, too fancy, not fancy enough, too small, too large, and my all time favourite - my a$$ looks too fat.
I had reached my shopping limit when we walked by a pet shop inside the mall. They had a cage of five kittens out in the mall with a big sale sticker on the cage - "Kittens - $49". We came over to look at the kittens and we were entranced by a tabby kitten that was so confident. He purred for my wife,but wasn't as quick to attach as our first cat, Magoo. I told my wife that we might want a less dominant cat, because of Magoo (our soldier).
There was a little black kitten who was all cuddled up in the corner of the cage. He seemed to want nothing to do with anyone. We took this as a sign of a less dominant personality, we couldn't have been more wrong. It was the sign of a kitten that had given up the will to live. We found out afterwards that he was slated to be rotated to the backroom where he was to be given a chance to recover from what they call "Store Stress". What do you expect after days of being poked by unsupervised children. Now kids want to see kittens playing and not sleeping, so here was a poor little kitten that had been prodded for hours on end.
We took Smudge home weighing 2 lbs 14 ounces; within four days he was down to 2 lbs 3 ounces (First vet visit after adopting). He wouldn't eat, even though we bought the same food the pet store was feeding him. He lost four more ounces when we took him back to vet because he would not eat. This is when we found out about "Store Stress." They had to shave his throat because they couldn't find a vein large enough to take the IV. The Vet told us that he might not make it. He said that some animals just give up. After a night of subcutaneous fluids, Smudge started to make a comeback. All the staff loved this little black fella; one of them gave him a little bandanna to cover his shaved throat where they inserted the IV. He was on food that they give to terminal or catastrophically injured cats to make them eat. It was on that night our Smudge almost died.
But this tale has a happy ending, we picked him from the Vet and he buried himself in my Wife's neck almost to say "Never let that happen to me again!" We found out afterwards how he had been treated in the cage. He is now eight years old and the purring picture of help. He is the Lover of our foursome.
The first cat we ever obtained (I say obtained because we were very bad and got him from a pet store. Before you flame me, this was before we knew the real truth about pet stores. A tragic truth we nearly learned from our second cat) was a quizical creature who grew into a majestic monster.
Shortly before our first anniversary, I took my wife to a pet store to acclimate her to the idea of getting a dog. Now I have had a dog almost all my life and my wife has always had cats. For me cats where always a tool to keep vermin down on a farm. As she was looking at the cute puppies in their cages, I was standing by the cat cage. I heard a rustling sound from next to the cage and I saw this little fluffy grey kitten work his paw through the wires of his cage and slowly work the cat toys off their display peg to fall to the floor. I watched him work at least four toys off the peg in this manner. I called my wife over and asked her to quietly watch this kitten. Oblivious to our interest, he worked three more toys off the peg and started to work on the next nearest collection.
Now my wife wanted appearances to rule over substance. She focused on the brother to the kitten I was watching. He still had the blue eyes of kittenhood, and my wife figured they might be the permanent colour. Needless to say when she asked to see him his first instinct was to bite her. I then asked to see the kitten that had first gotten my attention. He immediately found the hollow of my wife's neck and began purring. We did not select him, he decided that he should come home with us. The clerk said that he was forlorn when we left him as we decided whether or not we should buy him. He sat in the isolation cage without a cry or whine. He knew he had found his forever parents, it was only up to us to realize we had found our forever friend. We picked him up the next day, and he has been with us for the last ten years. He is our Soldier.
By the way, on the way home, Magoo pooped in my wife's lap. As always, he gets the last word. To this day, we say that was his way of saying "What took you so long?"
Two weeks ago, My wife and I adopted a little female tabby and white kitten from a local No-Kill Shelter. I had attempted to start another blog for our other three cats, but it didn't feel quite right. How can I share what our cats mean to us and how much joy they bring to our lives as friends, companions and mercifully silent confidants? Our last kitten told me how. Don't try and tell our story, she said, tell your story; just make it about us.
So to start, here is Dolce. She is currently an 11 week-old female kitten that we adopted from the NASAP (www.nasap.ca). They are a No-Kill, Fostering Animial Society in Alberta, Canada. We named her Dolce which is Italian for Sweet, mostly becuase we thought she looked so sweet in her adoption ad. But also because we had named her sister Bella, which is Italian for Beautiful. My wife had a theme going and as long as it let me rescue this little darling, I was not about to argue.
I told my wife there are terrible things done by people to other people that are almost impossible to stop, but we can save one little life, one little heartbeat that did not ask to be born but showed up nonetheless. We had the means and the opportunity to rescue another furry creature and so I sent my wife Dolce's picture. She fell in love with the kitten she saw and within 48 Hours, Dolce joined her sister, Bella and her brothers, Magoo and Smudge.
To be honest, the question of whether or not our house could support another kitten rested with JasperMcKittenCat and Scooby, Shaggy and Scout's webblogs. I had read their postings faithfully for several months and was encouraged that one more set of furry paws was not out of the question. We had three happy well adjusted cats before Dolce...And then there were four happy well adjusted cats.