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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 03:50pm on 12/07/2014 under ,
I carefully scrubbed down the sofa cushions Zola had anointed, and erected a series of cat deterrents (a coating of tissue paper, propped up cushions with the scrubbed parts facing the back, a strategically placed laundry basket where the cushions would normally sit) to ensure that Zola stayed off the sofa while the anti-odor solution was drying.

It all seems to have worked. Zola has not been back on the sofa -- or if he has, he hasn't sprayed anything while on the sofa, or anywhere else. Litter box examination indicates that he's doing his business in the proper place. Huzzah!

On the even brighter side, Zola seeks our company out more; sometimes he's content to just lie on the rug near us while we do things on the computer, or eat. And he's invented some games for himself, placed with pet store balls made of crinkly foil, to engage in while we're sleeping.

So peace has been restored. I will miss him so much when we go to Summer Weapons Retreat next week. We'll be gone about a week. We've hired a young woman with a veterinary technician background to come in daily and feed him, and give him some love while we're gone; I hope he can deal with that.
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:06pm on 24/05/2010 under ,
My sister-in-law came to retrieve Sofie this evening. My bedroom seems oddly quieter and emptier--even though Sofie is not a loud cat.

I finally got the rest of my usable photos of her uploaded tonight, with the aid of [ profile] esrblog. It was hard to photograph her because by the time I would compose the shot, she'd move--and I can't do stop-action with my camera. Anyway, the new pictures are here, here, and here. They give an adequate idea of what she looks like, I suppose, but none of them really capture her charm.
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 04:01pm on 22/05/2010 under ,
So [ profile] esrblog and I have been hosting Sofie, my sister-in-law's new kitten, since Monday night. I figure she is about eight months old, from what I know of her history.

When my sister-in-law first let her out of the cat carrier, she quickly darted through the house and behind the futon in my room. So we set up my room as Sofie's guest quarters, with her litter box near the door, and a box holding her food and water dishes farther inside.

I kept the door to my room closed for the first night, most of which Sofie spent behind the futon, not eating or drinking. Because Sugar is now far too large to fit under or behind the futon (that hasn't always been the case, of course), I let her in the room to roam around a few times while I was present (I made sure Sugar was outside the room with the door closed when I left it.) Sugar seemed curious about Sofie, but not hostile or otherwise terribly concerned, though I had to keep her from eating Sofie's food.

I finally lured Sofie out by rattling a toy underneath the futon. (I did that when Sugar was on the other side of the closed door to the room, naturally.) She was willing enough to explore the room freely when the door was closed, and ate ravenously (then threw up because she had eaten too much too fast).

At that point, I recalled that I still had the gate we bought when we were trying to adopt Princess. It's been useful to let the cats see each other without contact. It probably wouldn't keep Sofie *in* the room, though it keeps Sugar out (except when we haven't placed it properly and she knocks it over).

Over the next few days, we developed a routine for dealing with the two cats. The gate stays up while we're not in the room, with Sofie in the room and Sugar outside it, and we make sure Sofie is in my room and Sugar is outside my room if we leave the house. While one of us is in the room, the gate stays down and the door to my room stays open, so that Sofie can explore the house if she likes and the two cats can get close to each other under controlled conditions, if they wish. They have been in the same room (not always my bedroom) together a number of times now, and nothing has happened except occasional hissing from one or the other of them. Sugar seems to have gotten used to the idea of having Sofie around, and even attempts to approach her in a friendly manner from time to time, but Sofie is clearly still intimidated by her, and hisses or bolts if Sugar gets too close, and she dashes back to my room if anything startles her.

On the other hand, Sofie has been very friendly and playful with [ profile] esrblog and me, leaping onto our laps or calling out for some affection and play. She has not been at all destructive or messy. Well, she does prefer to paw kibble out of her bowl to eat them, but since we have her bowl inside a box that isn't a very big deal. :-)

She acts more than a bit like Sugar did at her age, except Sugar was always an extrovert, and Sofie isn't, really.

I will miss Sofie when my sister-in-law comes for her on Monday, but crawling around on the floor so much has reminded me of how badly the house needs vacuuming, and it will be good to get that done.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 02:04pm on 16/05/2010 under , ,
Those of you who read this blog may recall a recent post of mine, in which I praised my cat, Sugar, for having recently discovered her image in my full-length bedroom mirror, and for starting to wrestle with the intellectual challenge that presents her.

I have also said, probably not on this blog, that as much as I love intelligent cats, they tend to present greater discipline and behavior problems.

Sugar's new attainment, sadly, is not the exception to this rule. She continues to move to the mirror, at night when [ profile] esrblog and I are attempting to sleep, where she calls out piercingly until one of us yells or gets up and chases her away from the mirror. Lately, she's begun to do this more often. She woke [ profile] esrblog several times Friday night, and at least four times last night. She woke me three times. Closing the bedroom door did no good--she kept calling through it, and attempting to reach under the door with her paws.

Despite his fatigue and irritation, [ profile] esrblog is kind of touched and moved by Sugar's behavior. He thinks her tones are inquiring, and that what's she's doing is attempting to invite the unknown (!) cat to play. I think her tones are challenging; she's trying to figure out whether the unknown cat is a dangerous intruder on her turf. But either way, we're losing sleep as a result.

I, however, usually can manage to go back to sleep. [ profile] esrblog often can't, and his energy and mood are suffering for it.

So I fear we must cut Sugar's experiments short. Today, I bought some white posterboard and covered the lower third of the mirror (the part Sugar can see into). Hopefully, she'll decide that the mystery cat is gone, and she can resume her quiet life.

And the crowning irony is that, starting tomorrow night, we will be hosting my sister-in-law's new kitten, Sofie, for a week! I hope that this doesn't result in more lost sleep and nighttime shenanigans, though I'm not especially optimistic.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:39pm on 09/02/2010 under
I've been noticing lately that sometimes, after [ profile] esrblog and I have gone to bed, our cat, Sugar, will leave our bedroom and roam through the house, occasionally stopping several rooms away and meowing loudly and piteously.

When she first started doing that, I thought she might be losing her hearing, and was meowing because she wanted us and wasn't getting sufficient audio traces of our presence. But since I've started cleaning the excess ear wax out of her ears, she hasn't been acting as though she can't hear us during the day.

So what I usually do when she starts yelling at night is try to catch her attention (without sound, so as to avoid waking [ profile] esrblog) and beckoning to her to come join me in bed, which she does. Sometimes, if she's far enough away that she can't see me, I get out of bed and find her.

I did that last night, and found, to my surprise, that she was sitting in front of the full-length mirror in my room (which I use as an office, as opposed to the bedroom [ profile] esrblog and I share). The mirror is hung low enough that a cat can easily look into it while sitting or standing in front of it. She seemed perplexed, so I petted her as she stood there looking, so she could see the change in the image.

The odd thing is that Sugar never seemed to take any interest in the mirror before. She always treated it as though... it were part of the wallpaper. I was intrigued by the fact that she spotted it now.

This morning, when I got up, I found a stretch band that I use to keep one of my games together on the floor in the bathroom. It had been on the dining room table. Sugar always *has* liked to play with rubber bands. Apparently she got bored again, later in the night, and filched it to play with.

I"m proud of my cat. At 16, she's developing new capacities.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:43pm on 21/06/2009 under ,
Some of you know that I have a pet cat, named Sugar. Sugar is going on 16 years old, and, according to our veterinarian, has greatly diminished kidney function, for which I need to give her a special kind of cat food.

On Saturday, Sugar had her annual physical checkup. The vet was extremely pleased with her liveliness and physical condition. The vet's assistant was also pleased with Sugar's (relatively) polite behavior, even while having her claws trimmed--an act which has, in the past, sent Sugar into a struggling, screaming frenzy.

I am pleased to see that it continues to be true that, in some ways, Sugar is healthier than I am. We hope to have her with us in good condition for as long as that is possible.

EDIT: For those of you who haven't met Sugar, she looks pretty much like this, even though the picture under the link was taken nearly 8 years ago. I'm sorry about the size, and lack of quality, of the photo; if you want to see smaller photos of her go here. I'll be happy to supply explanations of what that page is about upon request.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:18pm on 03/09/2007 under , , ,
[ profile] esrblog and I just got back from a weekend at TCEP 14, a gaming relaxacon sponsored by some of our fannish friends. It was a great time--especially since they had a con suite with fresh-baked bread machine bread every three or four hours or so. (Ummmm, the chocolate bread. And the apple oatmeal.) We played lots of Puerto Rico, and Power Grid, and other favorites, and I actually won some of them.

In other news, I've been feeding an orange tabby cat that has been hanging around near our front door, in the hopes of encouraging him to get close enough that I can pet him, and perhaps take him to a vet with a view toward adopting him. We even named him Fireball. Right before we left for TCEP, however, we learned from our neighbors that Fireball isn't a he. She's a she, and she recently had kittens in a hole near the wall of our house. (I'd seen the hole, but I didn't realize that it was a cat that had made it.) They haven't seen anything of the kittens since shortly after the birth--bad news for them, probably. :-(

So Fireball was just using me to get enough food for her litter; she's not really interested in us after all. I feel a bit betrayed, illogical though that sounds.
location: home
Mood:: 'mixed' mixed
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 12:52am on 04/06/2007 under ,
Munchkin. Yes, is a site about cats. Specifically, about a particular breed of cat, the Munchkin, which has unusually short legs. From the website:

"The Munchkin is a naturally occurring domestic cat breed characterized by unusually short legs. A spontaneous change in the genetic heritage of the cat has introduced a gene which is similar to that seen in the Bassett Hound, Corgi, and Dachshund, which the Munchkin closely resembles in body style. The Munchkin is a product of nature rather than a man-made breed. Because of the autosomal dominant inheritance pattern, a cat with the Munchkin gene will produce kittens with the same short legs."

Wonder if Steve Jackson knows about this?
location: home
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:59pm on 15/03/2006 under , , ,
Tonight, when I came home from work around 8:00 p.m., long after it had gotten dark, I saw a gray shape, wafting in front of my door.

It turned out to be a cat. At first, I thought that my cat, Sugar, had accidentally gotten outside and was hoping to be let back in. But this cat was taller at the shoulder than Sugar is, and was a slightly different shape of slightly overweight. Also, Sugar has pure white patches, but this cat was tabby all over. It was too dark out, though, to be sure what color of tabby. I got the distinct impression that this cat was a tom, instead of a queen, though I'm not sure why.

He was very friendly, too--unusual for a strange cat, at least with me. He kept rubbing himself gently against my legs, and let me pet him several times. His fur was short, shorter than Sugar's fur, and a bit rough, as though he'd been living outside for a bit. He wore no collar, and I could neither feel nor see any obvious sign that he had worn one recently. While I was unlocking the door, he crowded me a bit, apparently wanting me to let him in.

If I had no cat of my own, I probably would have. But I could already hear Sugar mewing impatiently inside, and I feared that a battle royal would ensue if I yielded to temptation.

So I carefully entered alone, and by the time I put down my briefcase and turned the front door light on, hoping to get a better look at him, he was gone.

I set some food outside the door anyway. I'd like to meet him in better light, so that I will be able to describe him and help reunite him with his people, if he has any. In any event, I'd like to get to know him better.
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful


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