Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Cat Report (10/22, 10/24; 10/29, 10/31)

So, while I was away in the Midwest, there was plenty of activity in the cat room. The bonded pair CASTLE and WINDSOR came and went and are now happily settled in their new home. The other new arrivals were Cher's four (mostly black) kittens: WYSTERIA, FUSCHIA, LILAC, and ZENNIA, two of which (Lilac and Zennia) were adopted right away, before my return. The other new arrival was DIVA (who, as a fellow volunteer observed to me, really out to be called Gracie): a smooth-furred grey cat who gives the impression of bulging at the seams.

So the cat population when I got back was good girl MOLLINI, the sisters BUXTER and MAEBE, plus the kittens FUSCHIA and WYSTERIA, plus DIVA-Gracie. I was particularly glad to see Mollini again, who I think I finally figured out: she hated being picked up, and much preferred if I made a path for her to leap from small stand to big stand to her own cage (or vice-versa). She'd become the one cat who really likes to hang out near the door, so she got that territory all to herself (aside from encroachment by the kittens). Buxter and Maebe went to their usual spots (atop the cat-stand by the door and to the cagetops, respectively); Gracie was much worried at being surrounded by all these cats and gravitated towards the middle-levels of the cat-stand by the cabinet. At one point she became interested in going into the cabinet herself, but her leap (not v. far) fell short, and she wentcrashing to the floor. Didn't seem hurt, but also didn't try leaping again. Poor Diva.

And of course there was much activity by Wysteria and Fushia, chasing balls, tearing up rolls of paper towels, chasing feathers, stalking that little red light from the laser pointer, chasing ping-pong balls, pouncing on string,and of course chasing each other. Their favorite toy, bar none, seemed to be the mouse-on-a-stick, which they would catch, bite down on, and then drag away to a spot where they could concentrate on biting it properly. They're natural-born mousers, I'd say -- one of them even figured out how to unhook the 'mouse' from the line, making it easier for them to carry their trophy around.  Cute as they are, they don't seem to want to be picked up or cuddled, but when they finally crash around noontime they welcome being petted, stretching and purring with approval.

The bad news from this week was that the man who adopted BOOGIEMAN last year (Sept. 2013 I think it was) came by in great distress, saying that Boogieman (or 'Bugle Boy' as he'd renamed him) was in failing health, losing weight rapidly and beginning to have trouble walking with the back legs. Sad to say that the vets Cher put him in touch with were unable to help and he died on Tuesday (the 28th). Poor Boogieman. He was one of our most memorable cats, along with his partner in belly-up snoozing outside the room Mr. Moreo. I'm glad he had that year and more of a home of his own before the end.

The next week, the week of Halloween, brought good news to our longest-serving-cat, Mollini, who finally got adopted (the evening of October 24th), after having been here in the cat-room since May.  I'll really miss her, but I'm so glad she's got a home now. I'm sure she's already sitting on the couch next to her new people, teaching them The Rules.

The other great good news was that my pal KABOODLE has also been adopted (as of I think Monday the 27th). He was one of my favorites of all the cats who've passed through the cat-room in the past five years or so; I'd gladly have adopted him if we weren't already at our limit. I felt bad for him when he had to go back to the main clinic for health problems and have been checking the website from time to time to see if he'd gone back on the adoptable list but not seen his name appear. Turns out there was someone else who'd made a connection with him, who'd been checking for his name weekly, and who went and promptly adopted him as soon as he was pronounced good to go. I'm sorry not to have had the chance to see him again, but I'm so glad he finally has that long-awaited home (having waited the better part of a year; according to my notes, he arrived at the Tukwila cat room in early January, and has been up at the main shelter since April).

The main event of this week was the new arrival, CLOUD, a young (maybe a year old, maybe less) pale orange mama cat with an injured eye. I don't think she can see anything out of the left eye, and I think that makes her skittish -- certainly she hisses at the other cats when she notices them, but somethings doesn't seem to know they're there, or how close they are.  The first day (W. 10/29) she cowered in her cage so I didn't force thing, straightened up around her, and generally tried to put her on her ease. By Friday (Halloween) she clearly felt safer and came up requesting attention, ate a little, and actually came out on her own and explored a little. She's still definitely no fan of the other cats, but perhaps she'll reach a live-and-let-live agreement with them soon.

As for the others, BUXTER and MAEBE had  a quiet day in their respective spots. Gracie explored the steps but decided that rather than stepping off onto the cagetops she'd go back down, backwards. As usual when a cat decides to climb down backwards, it didn't work for her as well as she'd hoped. Luckily I intervened and got her down safely. The kittens did better, and one of them quite liked having a route up to new and interesting territory.

No walks for anyone, since Buxter no longer seems to enjoy them and she was the only cat among our current crop I could persuade to go on walks -- Gracie makes a concerted dive to hide under the shelving, the kittens think the leash is a diabolically clever plot of some sort, Maebe yowls despairingly, and Cloud has seemed too spooked already to risk it.

It was good to hear that Moanie and Joanie, who I remember as kittens, are doing well and to see pictures of them as full-grown (and rather beautiful) cats. The only other news of note was that Ginsu's owner came by; said she'd adopted him about five years ago and he's doing fine.

--John R.

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