piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
battle-scarred

he had lived in the neighbourhood for quite some time already. when i first saw him, the missing ear was already an old, healed wound. he was always at it with "roundface", a large, dark, aggressive tabby, who disappeared after a while.

shortly thereafter, roughly 4 years ago, vincent settled in around the house. much growling and tussling resulted, but as it turned out, he was never the aggressor, despite being an adult tomcat. he was BFF's with bear, another feral tom, who was only with us a short time. i was joking that at least we didn't have to neuter him.

he was shy, and sweet, and when he finally let us touch him, he was so eager for being petted. soon he lived under the old table that sits under the paramour's window. for the last couple of years we made him a comfy bed under there since he wouldn't really stay inside even when it was crappy outside. saoba named him, a brilliant choice -- everybody always laughed at that.

not so long ago, he did decide to come inside. he wasn't fully house trained, and had the occasional accident, so we just placed more litter boxes around the house. he really liked to go into my room and sleep in the middle of my bed.

that's where he was last night. just skin and bones now, he didn't want to eat even the treats he used to go nuts over, and i knew it wouldn't be long anymore. he crawled up onto the pillow, against my head and for a little while, in the morning, laid on my ear and purred and drooled. he was kinda smelly, but i didn't care. a feral tomcat purred in my ear. i felt honoured. i have not done much with my life, but i made things a little better for the cats i've met who'd been cast aside.

some time today he passed. he had settled under the computer table between the paramour and my work stations, where we both sat; it's a low, small space with humming machinery around; perfect for a cat to curl up. i noticed he hadn't come out in a long time, not even to drink. i didn't want to look.

it's so hard to lose them.

sunny disposition

may there be sunshine where he is now. he loved the sunlight like no other cat of ours. even in his last days, he'd slowly move outside and stay there while the sun was up.

i'm gonna miss him.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i fell off the exercise wagon since gloria was gone on thursday, we had to take vincent to the vet, and i've had a low grade stomach bug for about a week, so since last tuesday i only did one interval workout on the exercycle.

but it's back on. data and ramblings under the cut )

vincent has advanced kidney disease, so i spent some time researching how we can make him more comfortable. picked up an assortment of low phosphorus / low protein foods, though for some reason veterinarians seem to have a lock on the really low diets. what a ridiculous idea, that one must purchase overpriced food at a vet's -- i understand prescriptions for narcotics, but food? *grump*. just one more example of the nanny state taking choices away from me; ghods, i sound like a libertarian. i guess in this regard i am one. i can abuse my pets in many ways without the state stepping in, but oh no, i can't purchase a certain diet food for my pet without white-coated approval.

the doc said he probably has less than a year to live. i'm ok; i never actually expected him to live as long as he has, being a feral tom -- he's older than 12 now. and he's become pretty tame; sleeping in my bed, headbutting me in the face, and behaving really, really well at the vet, even ended up purring when we cut off the big mats with a cordless clipper (i have to get one of those). we've already given him several years more life than he would have had otherwise, and i've found him some yummy food that doesn't make him throw up, feed him small portions, all by himself so he doesn't have to feel crowded by the others. even if he just has a few more months, at least he'll be comfy.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
yesterday, we took cal to the vet for what looked like a herniated abdomen. this morning during surgery, the vet found metastasized pancreatic cancer. we decided not to let her wake from the anesthesia.

she was one of shadow's litter of four, which shadow brought to us a few days after we took her in. she was with us for 10 and a half years, and she was such a good cat, no trouble at all, ever. i feel a bit guilty because she never got a "real" name -- usually my cats name themselves in some way, but cal didn't do so right away, and we called her "cal" for "calico" in the meantime... and that stuck, and i stopped listening for a name. for a while i pretended it stood for "calliope", but really, that didn't fit. so, cal it was. sorry, cal. i should have tried harder. you deserved a better name.
cal the day shadow brought us her kittens the first time

she was the least rambunctious of the litter, but she was playful as a kitten, and remained cautiously playful as she grew up. unfortunately she became quite afraid of bacchus, and he could smell her fear, and went after her every chance he could. we kept him in a big cage for a while, and zapped him with water pistols so he'd stop terrorizing her. that worked, but she remained wary of him for a long time, always kept an eye out. in the last couple of years he's slowed down, and she figured out how to read his moods, and i have a picture of them lying on the bed together with less than a foot between them. that brought a unanimous sigh of relief. and then bang! started stalking her. poor cal, she just wanted to doze in peace, but the obnoxious males in her family kept pestering her.

she never met a box she didn't like.
cal-in-the-box

she was very cuddly in a mostly unobtrusive way; she liked to sleep with shadow and/or timid, and she'd curl up behind the paramour's knees on the bed and snooze whenever possible. i called her my little pit viper, because she had a major thing for suckling and kneading in arm pits, going into a total drool trance. i wasn't very fond of that, but if i were into bargaining, i'd gladly let her suck my pit every day if she could have only stayed with us longer.
sweetie face closeup

sleep in peace, little cal cat. we'll miss you.
cal walking away in the snow, looking back over her shoulder
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)


it's been a while since we've had a new cat. really this is #9 in chronological order, but the bear is no more. very small; about persis's size, only fluffier, with a stubbier tail. very interesting colouration. i don't think it's feral; probably just stray for long enough not to trust humans a whole lot. this is a speedy little bugger; not afraid to venture into the house if the racoons have emptied the outside food dish -- once went all the way into my room where it hid under the bed for a while before dashing back outside. been around for about 3 weeks; looks healthy. we've been getting acquainted; i am now allowed to approach to within 1.5m if i come bearing food dish in hand.

cat

Nov. 16th, 2012 21:10
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
in other news, timid has a bad ear infection in both ears. we took her to the vet, and now she has to stay confined inside, which means she has to stay in the big dog cage we have for that, since we don't have a spare room for a quarantined cat. she is NOT happy, though despite hating the cage she is being remarkably good. especially about the medication i get to squirt into her ears twice a day; i have no wounds to show for it (the paramour got scratched when we corralled her to put her in the carrier - next time, bigger towel). she yowls for a bit a few times each day, and tries to be a monkey and climb out the top of the cage (except that is closed too), but calms quickly if we sit down and pet her for a while. i am sleeping next to the cage on my thermarest so she isn't alone at night, and while i am not sleeping well, it keeps her mostly calm. we have pills to sedate her, but we're doing ok without.

10 days total, and we're at the end of day 4. i think we might all live. originally the vet wanted to put a cannula in her ear, but that would have meant 3 weeks inside and a cone around her head. she would have just gone nuts. as it is, her ears will likely cauliflower, but she doesn't need to win any beauty contests, and at least they won't hurt her.

we went to a new vet and she is great. gave me a prescription for 6 months of revolution so i can get all the others treated for fleas and mites as well -- the previous place wanted us to bring each cat in for that, which isn't in the stars. not gonna traumatize the lot of them just for a treatment. they were kinda weird in general -- the doctors never introduced themselves, and had no name tags either. i mean, you know my name and my cats' names, maybe i could get yours as well? i'm glad this new place opened, and it's even a bit closer.

vincent is around again (he was gone for a while), and actually looking a bit better, more meat on his bones. i managed to cut most of his matted fur off before the weather got colder, but there is still a chunk on his back that i can't get off without restraining him, and he is suspicious enough that he'd just disappear again after that. i rather keep him close so i can fatten him up. bacchus is still a dick to him, though he's starting to slow down now; getting older.

the "kittens" are all more than 10 years old now. time really does fly.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i think of myself as generally observant, but now and then i realize -- yeah, not so much.

this morning persis was pestering me while i wanted to read, and she got quite obnoxiously noisy, and i finally shoved her off my chest and said "oh, go meow at one of the other cats".

and then i stopped and thought. and the more i thought the more examples came to mind (i've taken care of many cats over the years). and none of them ever meow at each other. they make all sorts of other sounds; they purr, chirrup, click, hiss, chirp, growl, scream, shriek, snarl, yowl, caterwaul, but they do not meow.

small kittens make meow-like sounds at their mothers, but even those don't quite sound like what our cats direct at us. and they stop making those sounds as they're weaned.

so have adult domesticated cats developed a specialized language for humans? quite possibly even customized to individual humans? most of ours don't talk a lot, but persis is a good example of a very vocal cat. she uses some of the same meow-style sounds for both, the paramour and myself, but additional different ones for me (probably because i am willing to share my sausage, while the paramour isn't).

(yes, of course i will duckduckgo [*] right after posting this. ;)

[*] when creating a search engine, i don't think it'd be presumptuous for the creator to contemplate how people might be verbing their searching if they used it a lot. "google" works when verbing; "duckduckgo" does most emphatically not.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
he sits facing left and stares into the distance

bang!,the younger of our two tuxedo cats.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
flooded area, brown leaves floating just under the surface of the water; a small branch of red oosier dogwood sticking out; bright red leaves and small, waxy white berries


crud gone.


extracted the "dailies" from the scrapbook backup, and am starting to prep high-res versions to upload to smugmug.


both vincent and bear are settling in nicely. bear has his favourite basket, and today vincent curled up in the *poing*'s recliner for the first time. he's also filling out nicely; no longer feels like i could break him in two if i touch his hips. he's very cuddly as well; really loves being petted.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
tiny black cat with demon green eyes in bright green plastic tote

(no click for larger today; i don't think anyone would ever want prints of this :).)

demon-eyed persis sez "can't a cat groom herself in peace without somebody shooting a damn flash in her eyes?".


crud still hanging around, but mostly in my throat now, and not really bad.

my SPF factor (sarah palin fatigue) is 45.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
khaki stucco wall with 3 perfectly lined-up outdoor lamps, made from galvanized steel, with graceful shepherd crook arms and angle-shaped heads casting their shades upon a navy blue awning


the crud is definitely on its way out, but still lingering in the nose.

the consistent diet of wet food is helping vincent put some meat on his scrawny bones. he sleeps inside all the time now, though he doesn't like boxes -- right now his favourite place is under the futon couch. mangy-cat, who now is officially "melancholy bear", "bear" for short, has migrated from right next to the door to the space where the work bench will be once i put it together, and is curling up on a black piece of fleece; invisible.

since all the outdoor cats are now eating dry food inside, i'm no longer leaving dry food outside. the racoons are not well pleased, and have taken to dragging off the small plates on which i feed vincent and bear wet food outside, and breaking them. i guess i'll have to figure out how to feed all 8 inside at the same time; *ack*, or get some bowls the coons can't break, even if they'll still drag them off. i'm hoping that they'll depart once they realize they just is no more food to be had here.

i'm feeling a little guilty over no longer feeding them.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
left: timid looks forward, vincent sneaks up. middle: timid looks backward, vincent lays down and looks innocent.  right: timid looks forward again, but her whole body says *don't you dare*, vincent stays put

clicking on the image gets you a larger version.

i got lots done today; good day. real artist acrylics are beautiful; so saturated. i've never worked with such lovely paints before.

vincent is deigning to let me pet him again; apparently i am finally forgiven for the flea treatment. little does he know what is yet to come. *sigh*. i wish we could communicate better with animals.

though i guess "we're gonna have the vet pull all your teeth and chop off your balls" wouldn't go over real well in any case.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
dark brown maple keys (seedpods) on long,  flattened grass covered with rain drops


vincent is not happy with me. either it was the flea treatment or the application of his new last name that scared him off.

the latter is mostly the paramour's fault: vincent van d'oh.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
#8 cat is now "vincent".

thanks to [personal profile] saoba and [personal profile] semperfiona. normally i just wait until some name comes to me ("the cat names zirself"), but this was too perfect to pass up.

thank you!
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
grey tabby tom cat with his left ear missing

once he trusted me enough to let me touch him, i knew it wasn't gonna be long before he'd move in, but #8 is quite intrepid as it turns out, and now follows me anywhere, even when scared. it's kinda endearing, but i know my place; i am The Purveyor of Food. though he does like the petting too; he even occasionally interrupts the eating to butt his head into my leg.

i am amused. bacchus is not. two new cats in his house! but he's remarkably peaceful with both the new toms. just the way he walks around and casts glances shows that he's enormously put out. i am petting him a lot. and i'm gonna build a cat tower; we need more places for cats to settle on. shadow dug up my grey shetland roving yesterday (which is in a bag); luckily i discovered her kneading it before she had felted the lot.

#8 looks in better shape in this picture than he is; he's basically skin and bones. he turns his face away when i try to look into his mouth, but i expect what i'll find once i get to see is not very many teeth, and quite possibly some badly infected ones. his fur is matted in several places, and his tail looks ratty, but today he is cleaning himself, so getting some food which he could eat easily into him was probably the main thing needed. he doesn't seem to have any fresh injuries; the missing ear healed before we saw him for the first time.

guess he needs a name now. the paramour doesn't like "ear". don't understand why not.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
and not enough here.

so, there's news on the cat front. both feral toms who have been around for the last 2 years, the black ("mangy cat") and the tabby with the torn-off ear (#8) have become considerably more social.

mangy actually comes inside now and has even started to settle down (on the floor near the door). i'm guessing as it gets colder this will become more common. he no longer flees from me. he's also letting me pet him, and actively seeks it out by rubbing around my legs. i think he's almost at the point where i can take him to the vet. he's got some kind of infection, because his eyes are exuding cloudy liquid, but he's better than he's been. he doesn't even look particularly mangy now. all the good food is probably having some results.

he also gets along with most of the other cats now, even bacchus. well, bang still has hissy fits, but he has hissy fits with his own siblings, so that doesn't mean much.

#8 is a little less scrawny, and also less shy. he used to flee far away whenever one of us stepped out the door, but yesterday he sat next to the food bowl and talked to me. he still moved away when i refilled the bowl, but only under the hedge from where he was watching me and continued to talk.

so it looks like we will have to name him. *little sigh*. maybe we should start a reality show; we've got the "+ 8" down.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
black cat with white breast and toes lurks half-hidden behind moss-covered tree
watching each other, waiting for something interesting to happen. as it turns out, the waiting was the interesting part.
piranha: big ginger cat curled up in bathroom sink (cats)
i have a cat with goldfish brains(not the one in the icon, this one.
- shadow was trapped in the attic.
- she mewled piteously.
- we took a ladder out to her.
- she wouldn't go, too steep.
- we wrapped towels around the rungs for better traction.
- she went on first run, not good enough.
- we took the ladder inside where there is attic access and less steepness.
- she wouldn't come down.
- i went up to pick her up. she didn't like that.
- we lured her with cat food treat at bottom.
- no good.
- finally we left to give her time to consider and maybe come down on her own (she used to do that all the time).

a few minutes later:
she barrelled down the outside (where the ladder had been before), sliding down the wall. then she went inside to eat the treat.

*headdesk*.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)


last bulkhead put in place, a couple of frames sistered in the fo'c'sle; now all major structural work on the boat is done. flex tubes for hot water floor heating laid in the paramour's quarters. all cabin soles are in. about half the casework cabinets are built. hull and uppers are primed.

and shadow is eating regular kibble. we went from cream and egg, to tunawater and egg, to flaked tuna, to canned paté chopped in cream, straight back to kibble. she refused the liquified canned stuff i had fed her before the teeth came out, and she never wanted to touch canned chunks which she used to love. weird. but this is great; some cats don't ever go back to hard kibble after their teeth come out.

now the whole lot slinks around my feet and mreeps when i get up, feeling entitled to their share of goodies (because it is not possible to just give one cat special treatment in this house).

i am happy that shadow is alright again.

i've been unusually productive all week as well. yay!

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