Away from Home

I’m down in Massachusetts for two–count ’em, two!–whole days with my boyfriend and of course, his cats.

Back at home in Maine, Cindy the shy cat is in the general population of 5 in the kitchen-living room combo, and Kitty-Kitter the former stray is in the bedroom-bathroom combo. My sitter is the wonderful lady who was the caretaker for Kitty-Kitter for over a year while she was outdoors. Still, I’m afraid for Cindy at 4am when big Wave gets antsy and wants to chase her and might get his claws into her. But I put her in the playpen with all her stuff and she complained–made it quite clear that she wanted out. I worry and I will worry but unlike previously when I actually lived in the same state as my dear significant other, I insist on sleeping over every now and then here, and traveling.

I can’t get over this shot of him with feline friends Loki and Chaplin:

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Kitty-Kitter’s Changes

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Above: Kitty-Kitter tongue blep.

When Kitty-Kitter first came out of her bedroom–which used to be my bedroom, by the way–she was nonchalant toward the other cats. it was almost as if they didn’t exist. She didn’t NOT like them, but she didn’t want to hang out with them either. She didn’t even want to sniff them. Well, now, five cats too many later, with a number of explorations by those cats in “her” bedroom, she launches herself at them.

I’m able to stop it and to intervene with pillows, or at least everyone involved gets the idea right away and parts ways once I react in a shocked manner by moving quickly. So there hasn’t been any real damage.

Kitty-Kitter 2

I talked to the director of community outreach at the Humane Society here, and she picked up through my description that Kitty-Kitter is shy at first, then loves her human once she gets to know him or her, and Kitty-Kitter needs to be the queen of the household and/or does not like other cats. I have not called to surrender her because they’re not allowed to connect foster people/surrenderers with adopters. I’d prefer to have an update.

Here, she’s sitting on my lap. Yes, shoes on table and gloves on chair…but cat on lap!

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It’s kind of funny. Wave is so afraid of her. He’s big and long and when he actually catches a glimpse of her now he slinks slowly away with his belly low to the ground and his back ruffled. He’s Cindy’s nemesis, and Kitty-Kitter is his nemesis.

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Cindy’s Progress

Cindy has been very sweet since being taken out of the playpen. She allowed a big cheek scratching again tonight–me reaching from behind and to the side of her and rubbing that extra-thick fur on her cheeks and massaging some of that scruff skin. With both hands! This got purrs.

She was out tonight a few more times than usual and a good portion of that, Wave was sleeping in the cat tower so she could act all squirmy and play a little and he didn’t pounce.

Kitty-Kitter yowls at all the other cats lately, so she is in the bedroom. It is either one thing or another lately.

Playpen Fail! – Again

Cindy was so alone in that playpen. Some playpen! She wasn’t even playing. I mean, luckily she was not getting chased and beat up by my resident cats, but she was being examined from the outside in an annoying way, and she just stayed in that good ol’ carrier.

I didn’t know how to reach in and pet her. I’m too big to go fold myself in there and try to play with her. So I took her out, in her carrier. The thinking is, I can put her back in if I like. But I think tonight I will sleep next to her carrier as usual, in the living room.

Taking her out was rewarding. She came out of her carrier after a little while and she played and did some washing and looked comfortable. Even though I wasn’t able to pet her yesterday due to the playpen issue–cats like her are afraid of hands coming in to them and I didn’t want to do that–she remembered pets today and I got in tons! I got to scratch her cheek fur and use both hands, and at one point I had one hand on her belly and the other on her back. Belly touching is the preliminary to picking up!

She also played a whole bunch. I keep trying to get a video of this, but all I got was washing: Cindy Washing Intensely

(Note, there are speaker wires next to her, but the speakers are entirely unplugged. The green thing is a cat tunnel.)

Of course, I don’t want to be too positive. I am pretty angry at every other cat in the apartment. Even Kitty-Kitter, the stray I took in from down the road, ran at her and even when she was already in her carrier, swatted her. What is it about this small, shy cat that makes everyone want to bully her?

She came with her brother. Because she was with one partner cat for her entire early life, is that why other cats reject her? Or, as I have been thinking, does she just throw off fearful pheromones? I found the Pet Remedy to in the short run, not be incredibly helpful, and now I’ve misplaced it. Yes, perhaps I am not even organized enough to be a cat parent!

Tonight I had a vision of how friendly I could get Cindy to be. I could even get her used to being moved in her carrier, if I just move it into the playpen and back. But there are so many obstacles–five of them exact. Do the math. Five cats. Two rooms: four if you count kitchen and bath, but only one door between them.

Aside: what should I call the playpen now? The corral?

Cat Playpen and Kitty-Kitter Update

I’m a failure because I’m such a mush. I don’t want to force Cindy into the cat playpen, so she hasn’t set foot in it today as far as I know. I tried to sort of tilt her carrier to make her run into the playpen, but with a foot or so of space between them, so she of course ran to the side of the playpen, then I felt bad for scaring her. I opened up both doors so that the cats can run through, if they want. Maybe that will make them feel more comfortable with it in the end.

Kitty-Kitter had my wonderful vet, Tori Weston, come to visit today. It was just to draw blood for her Felv/FIV test and give her a dewormer and exam. She appears to be around 8 years old. She is spayed, but is not microchipped. The vet and her tech both loved Kitty-Kitter. We get results in a few days because Dr. Weston sends the test out to IDEXX.

Wave has really been ramping up his meeping thing. What I mean by his meeping thing is that when he knows there is another cat in the house and he can’t get to her he goes meeep meeeeeeeep mmeeeeeeeeeeeep mmmeeeeeow!!!! near the location of the other cat. Sleep was at a minimum last night.

The Cat Playpen

I got my cat playpen today. Or dog playpen–pet playpen. This is one item in a string of items I’ve ordered to male multi-cat life more bearable here. The favored solution, owning my own house, is going to take a little more money and work.

I plan to use this for Cindy, but I don’t want to force her into it. She’s the most shy, so she didn’t go into it first–the most friendly did, in order of friendliness. Friendly is almost completely sinonymous with fearless.

Then I was disappointed that Cindy wasn’t in it already. Thus, I was the victim of a logical fallacy. I wanted her in one place at one time but wanted the cat to agree with me!

I put a carrier with the door open right in the middle of the playpen. Carriers are Cindy’s refuges and if she got an attack on the side wall of the playpen, she could retreat into the carrier. Well, Pearl went in and checked it out, then Noodle went in, and thinking it was the center of the universe and of course meant for her, settled down on the towel I had inside of the carrier and stayed there for quite some time.

Sorry for the clutter. Here’s Noodle in the carrier, barely visible:

Next, Iris, who can be pretty shy, entered the Center of The Universe and relaxed in there.

Wave, true to type, has not yet ventured into the playpen or the carrier.

Cindy just recently stepped in–I put a bowl with food in there. I still was reluctant to close the zipper on the door and scare her, so she came back out. So curious if she will want to go in overnight!

Kitty-Kitter update: she likes to play and wants to come out of the bathroom. She gets a vet visit tomorrow.

Cindy Update and Kitty-Kitter Update

Cindy has left the bedroom. I’ve never seen a cat hate one room so much! Saturday night I had my boyfriend, Clay, over, and some other people. At the end of the night, we retired to the bedroom after consuming a bunch of wine. Clay was a (fairly) new person for Cindy, so she stayed under the lowest dish of the cat tower while we talked and watched videos. As soon as he fell asleep, she was at the door meowing.

What do you want, Cindy? Do you want to go out there because you forgot that Wave is your nemesis and he’s out there? Or because you used to like to hang out in and on your carrier under the table at the side of the kitchen and watch me wash dishes?

If I played with her, she was okay. But then she’d start up again. I let her out Sunday, then repeated the process today when I went to work. She wanted to come right back out this evening. She went to the tallest cat tower, next to one of my skinny windows in the living room. She situated herself on the second tray. That seemed like a very good sign but then she went into the living room carrier aka hiding spot.

Here’s what happens with Cindy: playing, then afraid. The other cat is Iris.

Cindy’s small play session

Kitty-Kitter is here! She is in the bathroom. She did not like coming over from my neighbor’s porch to my house, but after an original meow festival in the bathroom with me she went right on my lap and it became a lovefest. The housecall vet is coming to check her out and give her the SNAP test (Felv/FIV/heartworm) on Thursday.

My neighbor met me halfway after I realized I still needed to get her bed from under my neighbor’s front porch. I specifically gave her that bed so she could get her smell in it and then it could come with her and she would have something familiar. Now she is in the bed most of the time. She is calm and quiet unless I do something near the bathroom door. Then she meows for affection time. I love her but I also have a potential home for her.

Here is a video and photo of her hanging out in the bathroom. The pink sweatshirt on the floor is what I put on my lap when I sit down and pet her on my lap.

Kitty-Kitter in her new bathroom digs

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