icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Spilled Grape Nuts on the floor.

First Rothy came by and nibbled some.
Then Junior.

Cats eat Grape Nuts?

Somehow, I can't see Post cereal turning this into a plus. "Tastes as good as cat food!"
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Kitty search timeline

July 16th - Athena's cat carrier broke (bottom fell off) outside the vet on Muddy Branch Rd as S. was carrying her out. We hunted through the bushes, put up flyers, stayed up all night where she was last seen.

July 17 through 19th - set up cat trap near where she was lost, nightly flyers and talking to people, five hours a night. Stakeout replaced by cat trap. Pet tracker out of town until Sunday.

July 20th - Pet tracker! Golden retriever on the scent, we followed Athena's path to where she was either picked up or escaped down a storm drain. Our stakeouts had been nowhere near where she'd gone.

July 21st through 24th - food set out with a wildlife camera to see if she's still in the area. Daily phone calls from people who sighted a similar cat. These don't pan out. There are a lot of tabbies in this world. S. visiting animal shelter every day. Three-five hours a day together hoofing it, handing out flyers. (July 23rd I hit the wall with exhaustion.)

July 25th - After ten days of flyers/searching/stakeouts until after midnight, I let S. know that I can't keep up this pace. Most of the hard work of posting flyers is done, but while he could get time off from work and do late nights, I had to be on a train at 7am every day. I start daytime checks of the cat trap rather than late night tramps.

July 26th - S. involves other friends in putting out flyers and setting up the trap.

July 27th - photo of Athena! She wasn't picked up and is still in the area! S. sets cat trap. He starts checking the trap every three hours. He has food both inside and outside the cat trap.

July 30th - cat trap catches wrong cat. But hey, the trap works.

Aug 1st - photo of Athena! She eats the food outside the cat trap, not what's inside. S. removes the food outside the trap. Second wildlife camera set up.

Aug 3rd - photo of Athena! She sticks her head in the cat trap, decides no, and walks away.

Aug 4th-tonight - rain. No photos.

The search continues, with fresh hope -- and frustration.
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I didn't post this? Arrgh.

Here's the report from July 20th --

Lost!Athena kitty tracker report:

Athena's not been cowering in the bushes. She knows her stuff and is a "very confident kitty." Tracker Sam Connelly was amused that Athena mostly sticks to the sidewalks. Kitty's found water, has hunted, has rolled around like she was getting petted, but the trail was cut off at a storm drain near where she was (apparently) being petted.

The picture Sam had was either that someone found Athena by the storm drain, petted her, picked her up and carried her off. Or else they tried to pick her up, and Athena jumped away and ran down the storm drain. So we put flyers everywhere. They're hanging off the trees like Christmas ornaments, man. We have food out by the storm drain. If someone eats it, then we'll put out the cat trap.

Things I learned:

- Most lost pets are found due to flyers.
- Rain does not wash away scent trails (take that, Nancy Drew).
- Cats often return to where you lost them.
- In addition to food, leave out something that smells of you, because they're looking for you.
- Something that smells of *kitty,* however, could draw ferals, who'll pee on it and possibly scare your cat away.
- Lifelong house cats will hide near where they were lost & not move; but indoor-outdoor cats are surprisingly competent, and will sometimes even gain weight.
- While declawed cats are defenseless (can't climb!) cats with claw caps can easily get those suckers off.
- People get attached to pets they find & make excuses ("this lost dog is skinny -- must've been abused!") to try to keep them, even when microchipped.
- If your cat has a microchip especially, never give up. They can come back to you at any time.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Junior and Rothy are mortal enemies.

Cat enemies, which means they may nap in each other's presence. But enemies nonetheless.

It started with Rothy's sister. She's small, round, cute, the ultimate lap cat ... and runs away like prey from the Very Large Junior.

Junior couldn't resist.

Rothy won't stand up for himself. But apparently you don't mess with his sister. Junior backs little round Taffy into a corner, who mews in terror -- and Rothy's There, the defending hero. And big enough to stand up to Junior.

(Otherwise Junior and Rothy used to get along just fine.)

We've been working on this.

First, Junior and Taffy have been separated. She's an upstairs cat with my aunt, while Junior and Rothy stay downstairs with me.

Second, I've been giving Junior Lots of love and attention. It's true. Small, cute Taffy got all the cuddles while Big Bad Junior got none. Jealousy was part of the equation. Junior's always wanted to be a lap cat, too.

Third, I've been overfeeding Junior. A plump Junior prefers to watch his prey rather than chase.

Fourth, I've been getting Junior and Rothy habituated to each other's company in comforting conditions: eating together, snuggling on the couch to either side of me.

Last month they got up my bed. At the same time. Granted, it was to escape the growling floor monster (otherwise known as the vacuum cleaner) but they did it of their own accord.

And then ... last night, our biggest victory so far.

icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Pile up blankets and they will come....

I have one cat per chair today. Rothy's a calico sprawl in the tumbled blankets on the bed. Junior, a plump orange and white on a green throw, is parked on the couch. Then, perfectly camouflaged, little grey Callie is hidden in the dark green blanket on a grey wingback. Didn't know she was there until she looked up. My chair doesn't usually have eyes.

If I had more chairs, more cats might appear.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I lay down for a short nap (after having stayed up most the night, three hours sleep, natch).

Five hours later ... oooh, that was a mistake.

On the plus side, the cats are really, really happy, like I'm their kind of nocturnal girl.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
My cat is chiding me, and leading me to my little prayer room, giving me a sloe-eyed reproving look.

It's not that late! I can still get my practice and meditation and stuff done tonight.


Bossy cats....
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Why did Junior kitty take my step towel and stuff it in his catbox? It had to've been him, because he's the only big enough to pull it off.


*doing laundry tonight*
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Rothy woke up suddenly with an angry "HSSS!" for no apparent reason.

He does this sometimes. It's startling, and this time scary.

Nightmares, maybe?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Watching my kitties eat is pleasing but...

... I can see why they're getting fat.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Rothy's curled up on my coat and hat.

I'm charmed, complimented ...

...and wonder if I'll have to wear a different one to work.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Curled up with kitties, happyhappy. Rothy knows how cute he is, and he knows how to use it.

Oooh, kitty!stretch, wriggle-wriggle, flirt! Cuddle in a little ball ... snuggle, snuggle, purrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Nose-to-tail, paw over face -- then peek!

Hi! Have you been watching?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Am fogged. I came home from work, raring to clean before I packed up to kitty sit tonight.

...and fell promptly asleep.

Oops. Neglected!Callie did enjoy her cuddle time, so there's that.

Now it's midnight, I've had a few hours sleep, cleaning is abandoned for a quick dash out the door to cat sit. My worry about being too late proved unfounded. Kitty's not hungy -- she's in heat. And how.

I should be working on my Yuletide fic (outlined it in chat with [personal profile] sarka). But ... fog.

Should've brought the OAR (Overly Ambitious Rug, yes I've been working on it for two years but it's very close to done now).

Maybe plot out the SGA Santa fic? This is the first year I've signed up for two fests.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The new chairs have arrived!

Cut for image. )

I'm thinking I need to stain them a cherry or walnut color. The oak just doesn't look right in here. The fabric on the seats is less formal than I'd like, but they can be easily recovered and...

... ooooh, are they comfortable.

They're small, they fit my little table much better, I love the shape of the backs, they've good clean lines and...

... ooooh, are they comfortable.

Two of four kitties have already curled up to sleep on them.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Someone please figure out how I can crochet lace and read fic at the same time, please and thank you.

A moment ago Rothy grabbed my hand with his claws and then, holding it, proceeded to do tentative little licks. He's never done that before.


I think he likes me.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Rothy kitty (of the kitty boys) always felt nervous about the other cats. He had been a favorite cat once, and then suddenly and inexplicably (to me as well) rejected, in favor of another cat in the household.

As a result, Rothy grew jealous and hurt every time I petted another cat, or when another cat slept in his spot. Being a decent guy, most of the time his tail would droop and he'd walk away, and it was very difficult to reassure him.

Last night, I allowed Another!Cat to sit in Rothy's spot next to me. But when Rothy did that tail droop/walk away thing, I set the Other!Cat got down, and went over and sat on the floor next to Rothy.

I'd done this before, but while he accepted the petting, he wasn't reassured.

This time, instead of being inconsolable, he accepted petting and love. He stretched out and even relaxed enough to try to claw the throw. Later, after Other!Cat had left, he returned to take his place on my lap, and it felt different. He sat there, completely confident and secure.

Congratulations, Rothy love.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)

More Athena news: four weeks after being rescued from where she was starving in a Giant parking lot, she is now clearly happy. Also, spoiled enough to turn her nose up at duck wet food. (Too gamey, I suppose.)

She doesn't even look like the same cat. Her body is catching up to the size of her tail as she regains weight. She no longer looks like a five-month old kitten. That was starvation, my friends.

Look at her now.

*hums* If you could see me now...

I'm trying to talk her new owner (ha, owner -- she orders S. around) into buying her a $300 cat tower.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Rothy kitty parked next to the doorwall, gave me the "Hey, mom, lookit what I found" cat-smile, then zeroed back in on the mad twittering sound.

A little baby bird, a fledgling by the looks of it, was snuggled in next to the window, looking up at my lights.

"Hi, little bird...." I knelt down.

He (she?) gave me a bright-eyed utterly trusting gaze. Another "Hey, mom" look.

Had he fallen out of the nest? Oh no, what to do?

The Auduban Society of Portland says don't touch the birdie. Mamma bird is nearby, taking care of things while baby figures out how to take care of itself.

And yes, it is dangerous on the ground, but they have to learn sometime.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
New video of momma kitty ... who's name is now Athena. Isn't she sweet?

Snuggly kitty snuggles.


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December 2015

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