Friday, December 6, 2013

The Cat Report (W. Dec. 4th)

Just last week we were joined by the three new kittens, FELIX and SYLVESTER and PEPE, and now already two of them have been adopted together -- hurray for both! --  so Wednesday morning we were back down to just six cats. I was expecting some new ones to show up that day but they hadn't done so by the time I left (12.30). However, noticed we were out of trash bags so swung by briefly Thursday to drop off a few and so got to meet both the new arrivals: SCRUFFY (yet another black cat) and CHIPOTLE, albeit briefly. And two more (black and white) kittens on the way, so it shd soon be a full house again, and of mostly black cats. And I we'll have at least four male cats (don't know about the two new tuxedo kittens on their way) in what's usually a girl-cat dominated room.

Since there were only six cats Wednesday, I decided to take them all on walks. ANNETTE hadn't seemed to enjoy being out that much in the past, but hearing someone else's report about how well she'd done on the leash I decided to give it another try, and she did v. well. She's pretty calm, whether inside or outside the room. Afterwards I boosted her up to the cage-tops so she could have some quiet time to herself, and she quickly chose the little cat-bed up there that pleased her best and happily slept the rest of the morning away. She's so well-behaved it's easy to overlook her when it comes to petting time, so I'm trying to make it a point to see she gets her fair share of attention.

RUNA did great, as usual. Last week she only walked in one direction: straight back toward the room, so that our 'walk' consisted of me carrying her to various parts of the store, putting her down, and following behind as she makes a beeline back to the cat-room door. This week she did better, and was willing to negotiate about what direction to go next; she actually did some exploring. Several times she walked up to people she saw in the aisles and made herself agreeable (rubbing legs, arching back, and I suspect purrs). Once we got back to the room she was v. active the rest of the morning -- playing games, interacting with the other cats, going high and back down again, exploring, and coming up and asking for attention several times. Tried her in my lap, but she was a little too restless for that, though she did welcome a petting session. The bench seemed kind of crowded, so last week I moved one of the wicker short cat-stands onto the floor beside cat-stand #1, and she loved it; Runa immediately claimed the stop atop it as her very own. This week she was in-and-out of the wicket baskets, never quite settling in any one spot. What a sweetheart.

Little SPIDGE thinks maybe he should be the boss-cat of the room, but Runa's attitude towards that seems to be 'yeah, right'. He's very friendly, very playful, and full of beans: he pretty much played the whole time I was there, finally crashing and sacking out after about three hours. His favorite toy was the sheet of crinkly paper I laid down for them: he'd shredded it pretty good by the end of my shift. Interesting to see him play alternately with both Pepe and Runa, but not all three together -- seems like he can shift focus to play with whoever else wants to play. Last week he'd been wrastling with the kittens, esp. Felix. That made for an interesting dynamic: the kittens discovered that Spidge was bigger than they were, but that there were more of them, so it all balanced out. I was curious to see how little PEPE wd fare against him this week, but Pepe turns out to be such a quiet, well-mannered little fellow that he took himself off to a comfy spot and slept instead. I shd note that Spidge was very nervous when out on the leash and is still working out the rules; he purred when returned to the room, relieved to be back in safe and familiar surroundings. Pepe took what I assume was his first walk, and did pretty well; he tends to hunker down instead of panicking when something alarms him. He too purred upon returning to the room, and enjoyed being picked up and cuddled from time to time. He also got interested in the whole cage-cleaning deal and joined in as my little helper. A gentle, friendly little fellow who'll make someone a great little lap-cat companion.

ZIPPI ZOE had a good day. She did really well at first on the leash, then panicked and started giving out distress calls (Mrr! Mrr! Mrr!), so took her back in. She claimed her usual spot atop cat-stand #1, from which she accepted petting sessions with enthusiasm, showed she's second to none on the feather game, and generally was her usual sassy little self. It was amusing at one point where she was inadvertently playing with Spidge: she had a mouse and he had the other end of the string it was tied to, so every time he pulled in one way she pulled it back the other. I like how she's cunning in games, making sure to grab hold of whatever string or feather toy that comes her way so it can't get away. She loves the string and feather games the most, though she demonstrated that she knew all about, and approves of, the gopher game as well. Basically if you can paw or swat it without having to leave your comfy spot to chase after it, she likes that game.

Little BENTLEY surprised me by being sociable; think it just takes her a while to get to know and become comfortable with people. She most hung out around the bottom of the cat-stands near the door, emerging to pounce on crinkly paper and occasionally chase some feather-toy that was swishing by. Later in the morning, after the other cats were settling down, she came up and requested a petting session, which went to her great satisfaction. I'd offered her a walk this morning, which she strongly declined. 

No health concerns, fortunately.

An odd note: I sat down and had a cup of tea at one point, to see if anyone wanted some lap time. Both Runa and little Pepe declined, but both expressed astonishment at the smell of hot tea, as if neither cd quite believe I'd willing drink such stuff. 

--John R.

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