Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Cat Report (Wend. November 7th, 2012)

A quiet day, overall, in the cat room, with eight cats (plus the two kittens who were off-site):

--little QUIBBLE, our adorable little Siamese, who's really not as old as she acts. Turns out Amy was right: she's more or less toothless, poor thing. Loves to sleep the day away atop one of the cat-stands (in this case, the smaller one near the door). 

--adorable little fluffy black twist-tail GABRIELLA, who went into the rondel under the cat-stand by the cabinet. But first she had a little walk, and some petting, and some grooming (she loves to have her fur combed). On her walk she discovered the huge soft bed-cushions at the far end of the little alley past the rest-rooms, and jumped right up one one and wanted to settle herself down for a nice long nap -- a little fluffy cat in the exact middle of a v. large cushion. Wd have made a great picture.

--matching her is our fluffy white newcomer CLAIRE, who loves attention and makes a great matched set with Gabriella (aesthetically; the two pretty much ignored each other otherwise). Not sure what happened to her fur, but at least it's growing back nicely. These two are really sweet and outgoing economy-sized cats. Gave her a short walk: she tried to figure out what that was all about. Think she'll enjoy being out and about once she gets used to it.*

In contrast to the sweetness and light with the girls, the boy-cats are feeling out territory and pecking order, mostly in a quiet way. Thinking about it, it's fairly rare to have as many boy cats as girl cats (an even split: four of each, or five apiece if we count the kittens). Given that, they're being pretty well behaved. Mr. ASHWYN very much considers himself the boss, with demands to be let out right away whenever anyone enters the room (to be fair, Gabriella and Claire are always willing to join him in demanding their rights to roam the room). He's claimed the cagetops as his special territory, and resents intruders therein. Not that it does him any good. His other favorite thing is a box I brought in with catnip in it. He's really too big for the box, spilling over in all directions, so it sways perilously to and fro while he's digging for catnip in it: at the risk of overusing the word, he was adorable. 

Unfortunately for him, Mr. BROTHERS is also v. interested in the box, and when Ashwyn jumped out he jumped right in and took over. Ashwyn came back and hovered menacingly, to no avail: Brothers simply ignored him and enjoyed a good buzz. They switched back and forth several times over the next hour or so, and finally had a show-down. Ashwyn advanced on Mr. Brothers, who instead of backing down advanced right back. This threw Ashwyn off; apparently he hadn't planned for his bluff not working. He retreated, making ever more menacing noises, which Mr. Brothers altogether ignored as he quietly advanced bit by bit. I managed to talk Mr. Brothers into going back into the box, and things cooled down, but I think Ashwyn's wd-be-boss position may have taken a hit and Mr. Brothers might be moving into that spot.

SEECONNIE , the youngest adult male in the room, had been watching all this from the safe distance of the top of cat-stand #2; a short while later when Mr. Brothers left the box for the cabinet-top, SeeConnie swapped places with him, so that SeeConnie wound up in the box and Mr. Brothers atop the cat-stand, where he got a good round of petting. Ashwyn didn't try to drive him off; think the was a little unnerved by the standoff with Mr.B. and didn't want to risk another blow to the dignity.  Hard to believe that Mr. Brothers is the oldest cat in the room (13); I wd have guessed Quibble. Guess he's just been well-treated until now and she must have had a hard life, gentle and sweet though she is.

The other two cats preferred to stay in their cages, so much so that I had to clean around them. Glad to see Mr. NIKO back with us. He was deeply worried I was going to take him out of his Safe Place, but once he became convinced this was not so he came to the front of the cage and purred and purred and purred. He ate while being petted; he even let me give him a belly rub. To my surprise, turns out he loves the gopher game. Left his cage-door open, but he didn't take the hint.

The other contender for shyest cat, TARAH, was similarly worried about what I'd do, but once her cage was all fixed up she relaxed a bit. Also left her cage door open, and to my surprise about a quarter till twelve she came out on her own and explored a bit near the door, settling down beneath cat-stand #1. I left bad making her go back inside so soon afterwards (she got maybe twenty or twenty-five minutes outside her cage), since think it did her good to come out on her own accord.

And that's pretty much it for the morning.

--John R.

*the other four out-and-about cats also had very brief walks but only Mr. Brothers looked like a potential walker.

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