Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Cat Report (W.4/30-14)

Quite a change from just a week ago, with Bouillabasse and my pal Kaboodle having gone up to the main shelter for some health issues and the bonded Chongo-Monya pair having been adopted. With the addition of three new cats, that leaves us with five cats today: Mr. Scruffs (fluffy black), Kaspar (mostly white with black patches), Blackberry (mediumhair black, curly-whiskered and curly-tummied), and the bonded pair Kamryn (sleek, grey) and Firguson (smallish patterned orange).

Started the day off by greeting everyone: there were paws coming out and much pressing themselves against the bars to be petted. I let MR. SCRUFFS out first, in recognition of his seniority. Instead of putting the leash on and taking him out first thing, I instead held him in my lap and petted him. He seemed very pleased with this, purring and even grooming my arm. He had a short walk afterwards, but it was really the one-on-one attention with none of the other cats around that he liked most. Later he went to the top of the cabinet where he ruled and reigned, going back into his cube well before noon of his own accord. Where he watched other cats coming and going into his double-wide but they came and went without incident.

KASPAR had the next turn, and he thought it high time too -- he'd been waiting with his paws hanging out of his cage (a habit of his, I've noticed, that gets a lot of attention from visitors to the cat-room). Once out on the actual walk he seemed hesitant and reluctant, until he ran into a woman with a small child (maybe a year old), both of whom petted him. The woman played with him a little with a cat-toy she was buying (feathers-on-a-stick -- wonder what will her cat or cats at home will think when they smell Other Cat on their new toy). I realized how much Kaspar had liked it when, later in the same walk, I realized he was looking for her, probably to see if he could get another round of attention. After some time spent sprawling on cool concrete, he had to go back in and, much to his annoyance, back in his cage while the others had a turn.  Later he hung out mostly by the door, enjoying that cool breeze, and enjoyed all kinds of games -- the string game, the laser pointer, and especially the feather duster. Later still I put him Up High for a while but he didn't really like it: wants to be down below where the action is. He almost played with Kamryn, in that both would be near each other, taking turns pawing some toy, but not directly interacting. Also noticed he's quite a talker. Tried to work on his chin some (looks almost like a five-o-clock shadow) but need to bring in something like an old toothbrush to do it right. 

Little Miss BLACKBERRY, our own little hiss bomb, has quite the attitude. Mostly I think this is due to being in a new place, the only girl in a room with four boys, and partly because I think she may have been declawed (didn't get a close look at her paws, not wanting to annoy her). She did surprisingly well on her walk, once she got used to the idea, using the opportunity to explore. She likes the string game quite a bit, and had the best response to the feather duster of all, advancing slowly and pushing her face into it till she got a good grip, then biting down and backing up, carrying it off as legitimate prey. This was quite different from Kamryn's technique, which was to high-five it, using both paws to slap it down like a bird or bug in flight. Kaspar just swatted at it any old which way. I put her up on the cagetops to let her take a break from all the hissing and she was all over that cardboard ring thing up there, scratching away with great zest. Later she came down and took up a post in the bottom of the cabinet. She and Kaspar neither one seem interested in the hanging steps, but they both don't mind using my shoulders as a stepping-stone. Kamryn, by contrast, leapt clear over me.
A sweet little cat, once we get her calmed down enough to relax a bit.

KAMRYN and FIRGUSON, our new bonded pair, are really different. Kamryn is the outgoing one, always interested in any game and out and about the whole time. Firguson slipped into the rondel under the cat-stand near the cabinet and stayed there most of the morning. Neither did well on their walks, which were brief and disappointing (mostly consisted of their begging to come back in). Kamryn was all over the place but spent a fair amount of time near the door, like Kaspar. He loves to chase little mice that go skittering by. And the string game. And the feather-duster game. And the laser pointer. In fact, so far haven't found a game he doesn't love. His funniest moment was when he burrowed into the box I'd brought in and energed with his head covered in catnip. He's noticeably bigger than Firgus, and looks a little older too -- are they really brothers?

Here's how I summed them all up to myself:

     Kaspar's a talker, Blackberry a grumbler
     Kamryn loves games, Firgus is shy
     and then there's Mr. Scruffy.

And that's pretty much it for this week. Some visitors who came by and spent time petting or playing with the cats -- one was about to move cross-country with her two cats, another talked about giving insulin to her diabetic cat. None seemed potential adopters, at least in the short term, but figured it was good for the 'socializing' part of my Cleaner/Socializer shift, and for them to spread the word to any friends who were looking for a cat. 

No health issues other than Kaspar's chin. 
I was sorry to hear the folks who'd expressed an interest in adopting Kaspar didn't come back. On the plus side, he was far less nibbly today, so think all the games are burning off some of that energy. In any case, I came away without my hands marked up. 
Here's hoping Kaboodle and Bouillabasse are doing well in their new digs and are feeling better.
--John R.

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