It seems to me, just a few cats have been getting all the attention lately, so I think it’s time for a generic update on everyone. Here goes:
Ajax: The old man alpha cat with soul-searching eyes. He’s long, tall, and skinny. He’s Mr. L’s 11-year-old baby. Most of the girls adore him, and Tarzan does, too. Sneaky does not.
Lady: Our people-lover kitty. She loves to sit on your lap and be petted. She just spent a long while on my lap as I used the Furminator on her, and she loved the whole experience, happily sitting and purring as I brushed her medium-length coat. Lady is our largest kitty, tipping the scale at 17 pounds. Lady, as most of you know, does not always get along with other kitties. Delta adores Lady but knows to keep her distance most of the time, but we find them sleeping near one another often. In recent months, Lady has become more responsive to voice commands calling her off if we hear warning growls in time. This has been helpful in keeping her relationship with Rossie mostly peaceful.
Tarzan: Tarzan has an irritable bladder, so he takes bi-weekly Adequan shots and quarterly antibiotics to make sure his bladder problems don’t result in an untimely death. Mr. L has worked extensively with Tarzan to get him to enjoy being a lapcat, and he’s mostly reached that point. If people come over, Tarzan hides — if you see a lump on the bed, you can count on it being Tarzan.
Sneaky: Sneaky loves Mr. L and me. Other cats? Not so much. Sneaky sequesters herself in the dining room and downstairs bathroom (where her food, water, and litter box can be found). During the day, the dining room door is open, and Sneaky is free to explore the house. She chooses not to. Ajax stays in the kitchen and parlor during the day to ensure they are kept apart. Other cats come and go and mostly things are peaceful. Sometimes, Tarzan or Daphne will start an altercation. Tarzan and Sneaky had a pretty serious discussion last week, and a few days ago, I found evidence of scabs on Sneaky’s underside, so I believe it was more serious than I initially thought. I’ve been watching them since then, and they seem to be doing okay with each other.
Zelda: Zelda has been a regular at the outdoor feeder for some time now. Last November, I trapped her, she was tested and came through healthy. She’s been spayed and vaccinated. Zelda chooses to be with us and near us, but she will not let us touch her or handle her. This month, I talked to Dr. Val about a flea treatment I could mix with her food. Zelda ate it just fine, and I haven’t noticed her scratching as much. I bought a six-month supply. Revolution covers more parasites, but Dr. Val and I agreed this was the most critical aspect for her ongoing care.
Delta: Delta is more interested in being petted in more places. At five years old, she continues to mellow. She’s now tolerating brief amounts of time on a lap.
Rossie: Rossie has been an enigma. Most of the time, she’s fearful. If we approach her, we usually get the “deer in the headlights” look. She prefers us to ask permission to pet her, and she doesn’t alway grant it. When she does, she soaks up the attention. But each time, it’s as if we’ve never done it before. Given the run of the house, she takes to hidding after a day or two. At night, there are altercations, not always with Lady. Rossie is most relaxed when confined to the parlor and kitchen (she never goes in the kitchen) during the day and when she goes into a large dog cage (with litter box, food, water, space, and carrier cave) at night. We’ve been doing this with brief exceptions for the last two years, and Rossie has gradually become more like a cat. She has started standing up to Lady. She approaches Mr. L (only in arm’s reach) for petting, and she moves about. We tuck her into the cage at 8pm so the door can be opened for the other cats to come in for food, water, and companionship. We wish things could be different for Rossie, but we’ve tried other things, and this is the only approach that seems to result in a relatively mentally healthy kitty, and that’s important.
Ruby: Ruby was the runt of the litter of Pretty Boy Floyd (deceased), Delta, Rossie, and Ruby. I’m firmly convinced if we hadn’t captured them that Ruby would not have survived. In the house, she has thrived. She’s somewhat reclusive, but in recent months, she’s become more amenable to being petted when she is in certain locations.
Walter: Walter is approaching his three year anniversary of his neutering and initial vaccination set. He spent much of last year somewhere else but usually returned around the first of each month for me to apply his Revolution. He’s one of the few cats who doesn’t mind having Revolution applied. Once Nick (due to being hit by a car) and Daisy (due to being brought inside) were no longer outside, Walter returned regularly, and I’m delighted to see him on the side porch morning and evening. During the day he retreats from the heat — usually under the house where it’s cool.
Daphne: Our high flyer, Daphne can usually be found in the highest location accessible. She’s a strong believer in taking the high ground. Daphne is curious, independent, and a bit of a bully if you let her. She also likes to play, and she plays with ferocity. She likes to be petted, but she doesn’t like to be held.
Sapphire: One of Zelda’s kittens, Sapphire has never welcomed human interaction. She does, however, get along with every cat in the house. We tried socializing her for a long time. Finally, we turned her loose in the house. We’ve found ways to capture her when needed to administer Revolution or to travel, but the rest of the time, she is the gray ghost. We have discovered her sleeping on our beds. I’ve even discovered her sleeping near my feet (rarely). She is usually curious about us humans but not curious enough to let us pick her up.
Daisy: Zelda’s last kitten, she has a lot of Zelda’s stand-offishness. Like Sapphire, I’m afraid Daisy isn’t going to socialize with us humans. This week, she’s refused to come out of the cage when I’m near the opening, and she will go into the cage to avoid me approaching her. Not what I’d hoped for, but I’m not surprised, either. Since we’ve returned from our trip in May, I’ve seen no signs of her not using the litter box (for a brief time before, the fireplace was an occasional spot of hers), so we can release her to the rest of the household soon. I suspect she’s going to be much like Sapphire in that we’ll see her, but we won’t be able to interact with her. For now, she’s Rossie’s roommate at night, but she doesn’t need to be there. Like Sapphire, Daisy either gets along with all the other cats or has effective coping mechanisms.
Everyone is healthy and seems happy. Most would not be adoptable in other homes, because they aren’t cuddly kitties. I’m pleased that with Walter and Zelda outside, that population has been stable for a couple of months. It’s mostly those two at the feeder interspersed with the occasional raccoon, opposum, and orange cat.