Monday, November 19, 2012

I continue to be amazed!

Pwincess never ceases to amaze me! She is on the couch next to me *every* day now! She even gave me a brief purr while stroking her tummy! But, the final gift of acceptance came last week; she groomed my hand! She was looking at me earlier as I was playing "Zuma" on the PS3, as if to say "Hey! You haven't told the world how much more I've been showing you that I love you!". I promised her I would write as soon as I finished the level I was on. So, here I am! And she is now looking at me contentedly, while her brothers try to convince Alan and I to feed them early (even after getting snacks this afternoon!).

This beautiful girl fills my heart with joy every single day. She shows the world that if you are willing to be extra-patient, kind and loving, a feral cat or dog can feel secure in their environment. Not all of them will turn into lap cats/dogs, and they will still have some fears. Pwincess still doesn't like to be picked up, and still requires some 'sacred space' from time to time. But, the effort is well worth it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quality time with a Pwincess

When it comes to socializing, feral cats require extra patience and effort. But, it is well worth it!

Pwincess is the feral girl we took in back in April 2010. She continues to expand her comfort level around us, and it's an amazing and beautiful thing to see.

One thing I noticed, is that she's much more interested in snuggling with the humans if she has an easy 'escape' outlet, should she feel scared (or bored). So, I moved my sitting spot on the couch to the middle, while Alan remains on the left side. I saw an immediate result in that she was spending more time on the couch with just Alan there. She also seems to prefer sitting on my fleece jacket (cats and fleece, what can I say?), so I put it there, ready to be muffined at will. This also increased her choice of being on the couch with a human there.

Over a couple of weeks time, I started sitting between Pwincess and Alan when I got up in the mornings. At first, she wouldn't stay, although she didn't bolt either. Then, she started staying where she was! She would carefully observe me, to make sure she wasn't going to be ambushed, then she would close her eyes and go back to napping. Now when I sit down, she barely raises an eyelid! She is sitting next to me now, in the cinnamon-bun position (cat yoga), snoozing away. It makes me tear up on some days, just knowing how far she has come. I still don't think she will ever be a lap cat, but I'll take my kitty love from her as she's willing to give it.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You ish herez!!

My wonderful step-daughter is visiting us for a couple of months, and the meows are happy that she's here! Punkin' has already been asking for playtime, trying to eat her food, and generally just being, well, Punkin'. The others remember her scent, and are simply going about business as usual. We broke out the laser toy, and actually managed to tire Punkin' out for a bit. She didn't nap, but just stretched out on the hall floor, watching and waiting for the funny red dot to make another appearance. Even Pwincess got in on the action for a brief period. Bean, who was comfortable in the kitty cave with Kirby, had his head poked out, watching with anticipation. But, alas, he was too comfy to come down and play. Maybe next time!

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Birfday Oma!

Friday, April 6th was my wonderful MIL's birthday. To brighten her day, Punkin' decided to make a very special birthday video in order to wish her a happy birthday.

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Seventh Kitty Heaven

Jelly Bean has been really affectionate lately, coming to me for belly rubs several times a day. But, this morning's request was utterly hilarious! He was by my side of the futon, looking up at me, and as I reached down to scratch his head, I noticed that Kirby was on top of him, doing the Top Cat dance. Jelly Bean is just lying on the floor like nothing else is going on. He keeps moving his head closer to my hand, while Kirby keeps trying to maintain a hold on Jelly Beans scruff. Then the *really* funny part begins: Jelly Bean is trying to roll over so that I can rub his belly, and Kirby keeps rolling him back the other way so that he can continue the Top Cat dance! The look on Jelly Bean's face was priceless; he had a look of utter contentment, and that all was right in his world. He was in kitty seventh heaven! Sadly, I did not have my phone video camera nearby, but it was great fun to watch and participate in. It's a great moment during a busy weekend!

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Mommy, You Haven't Written About Us In A While!!

Yes, I'll admit it. I have let other things get in the way of writing about my beloved meows. But, after some serious antics that demand I share them, I am getting back to the joy of sharing my meows with the world!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Watching The Squirrel Channel

I went into our bedroom to change into some sweatpants, and noticed Punkin' and Pwincess in the window. They both were in the ready-to-attack-my-prey position, eyes firmly focused on something. They were so occupied by something outside, that neither noticed me creep around to see what the excitement was about.

I saw a bushy squirrel tail flicking around, with the squirrel looking at the window, then turn around and flick his tail. This went on for almost 15 minutes, and I was giggling the whole time. Even though I was giggling out loud, they were completely oblivious to my presence. If the window shade wasn't down, I could've gotten a great picture! Ah well, the image will forever live in my memory.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

At My Feet (Actually, On My Feet)

I had a wonderful snuggle session last night. After cleaning up the kitchen, I decided to watch a few things on Netflix. I turned out all the lights, save the one over the range top, arranged myself on the futon, and proceeded to watch TV. After about 20 minutes, I noticed my feet felt like a ton of bricks had been dumped there. I carefully turned my head to the side, and discovered why: all four of our beloved meows were piled up, schnoogled with each other, on my feet. If only I had a camera that could take night pictures!

Eventually, I had to pry my feet out so I could go to bed. As usual, I was given the "Why'd you move? I was comfy!!" look. If I could sleep well on the futon, I would have done so (damn you CPAP!). It was one of the most enjoyable TV watching experiences I've had in a long time. And, I look forward to more.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Patiently Waiting

Jelly Bean and Pwincess adore getting petted. However, they are very quiet in making this request. They will sit patiently next to the person they want attention from, just waiting for you to look down and see them.

Pwincess is very much Daddy's girl. She sits on the floor to his left, patiently waiting to be noticed. She doesn't even emit her little chirpy "'Meow!" to let him know she's there. She just sits there. Once she's noticed, she rubs all over his hand to her hearts content.

Jelly Bean is much the same way. He will sit on the floor to my right, looking up at me until I notice him. While Pwincess tends to hide in your blind spot, Bean is out far enough to spot him in your peripheral vision. I'll reach down to pet him, and he rubs his cheek all over my hand. Then he wants a head-to-tail stroke a few times, with a booty-scratch or two thrown in for good measure. Ultimately, he will lie on his back for tummy rubs. As I glide my hand over his tummy, he looks at me with contentment in his eyes. I can't help but smile and do the baby-talk thing during this whole process.

This simple request for affection always amazes me. Many human beings feel the need for complicated ways of requesting - and showing - affection, whether it's affection due to love, or affection due to selfish desires. But, our meows know how to keep it simple. Touch is probably the most intense way of outwardly showing love, especially when the requester is fearful in doing so. The trust required to engage in the exchange of touch, no matter how brief, is breathtaking.

To see Pwincess openly request affection is doubly amazing. When compared to the terrified ball of fur that arrived here in April 2010, she is not the same cat. She may never be as affectionate with me as she is with Alan (I'm the evil person who must round everyone one up to be put in carriers for vet trips, after all!), she does let me pet her. It's very brief, but she does. But, one brief touch a day means as much to me as if I had her in my lap all day. Trust is not easily given, no matter the species; when her trust is shown to me, I don't abuse it by pushing for more than she's willing to give.

I was the first one that Jelly Bean showed his tummy to. I woke up one morning, after he and Kirby had been with us for about three weeks. I was treated to a very relaxed Bean curled up in my lap. After a verbal "Good Morning!" to him, he rolled over and showed his belly. I was *so* happy, and engaged in the first of many tummy rubs. He has asked Alan for them, but he tends to favor me (I guess we know who Momma's boy is, hee hee!).

Simple showings of affection. They are what make my day, and rock my world. Whether it be from God, my husband, or my meows, it is one of the best gifts to receive.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Meet Punkin'!

Punkin' came to us thanks to an error by my husband. An upstairs neighbor came knocking at the back door one October morning, asking if we had lost a black cat. Alan, in a state of panic, rushed outside and upstairs to fetch our 'missing' cat. His fear was that Pwincess had somehow gotten outside! I had just gotten out of bed when he came down the hall, holding a little black cat. Worried, he said, "Honey, Pwincess got out!" He put the kitty down, and a quick look told me that it was *not* our Pwincess! I said, "Honey, that's not Pwincess. The kitty is too skinny, and Pwincess would have never let you pick her up!" After a brief "DUH" moment, we went about figuring out what to do with this little black furball. The kitty was quite sociable, but didn't want the boys coming near. Pwincess was curious, but didn't want to come near.

Alan decided we would name the kitty Punkin', after a black cat that his Oma and Opa had at one time. After calling Cindy at Virtually Home Chicago, we cordoned off Punkin' in the spare bedroom - to reduce the chance of spreading worms and/or fleas to the others - and left a litter box, some food and some water. Punkin' was quite vocal about being left alone, so we took turns every couple of hours to check up on, and spend some time with Punkin'. Each time we went in, all Punkin' wanted was to be held. To lie on your chest or lap, and just snooze, was all Punkin' wanted. Talk about your SQUEE! Punkin' wasn't eating a whole lot, but seemed ok, so we didn't worry too much. At this point, we didn't know if Punkin' was a boy or a girl, but we were to find out later on that night.

After dark, I went in to check on Punkin' and got a scare: there was a pool of blood on the floor near the window! In a panic, I called Cindy again, asking what to do. Punkin' was clearly still a kitten, but now we had to consider the possibility of needing to make an emergency vet trip. We agreed that Alan and I would keep a very close watch on Punkin', and if we saw anymore bleeding, and where it was coming from, we could then decide the next step. Less than 5 minutes after I hung up, Punkin' gave us our answer: Punkin' was a girl, and was bleeding because she was pregnant, and losing her babies. As I saw the first one pass, my heart sank. I immediately called Cindy back, and said, "Punkin' is a girl". I then explained what was happening. Based on the state of development, I estimated that she was in the human-equivalent of the first trimester.

Fortunately, there was an AETC (Animal Emergency Treatment Center) location one block east of us. So, we packed Punkin' in a carrier, and took her to AETC. The vet examined her, to make sure she wasn't under any stress. While we were there, another kitten passed. The vet estimated Punkin' to be somewhere between six and ten months. Still a baby, but having babies. Since Punkin' had no fever, and seemed to be fine, the vet simply gave her a saline injection (to prevent dehydration), and told us to keep her comfortable in her room. She advised us to remove any other kittens that passed, and that she most likely would need an emergency spay the next day, so no more food or water. In total, three kittens were passed. Both Alan and I were heartbroken.

The following morning, Cindy came by to take Punkin' to Mid North Animal Hospital, so they could give her a more thorough exam, and schedule her spay. Since everything checked out normal, her spay was scheduled for the following day. When we got the spay results, we realized just how lucky little Punkin' was that we took her in. The placenta from each of the three miscarried kittens had not passed, and was becoming necrotic. Had we not taken her in, she would have died shortly after miscarrying.

Since the day she arrived, Punkin' had us both wrapped around her little paw. So naturally, we added her to our furry family. To this day, she still wants lots of attention. Whether it be fetching some of her favorite toys (yes, she plays fetch!), stretching out for belly rubs, or just snoozing in your lap or arms, Punkin' continues to bring much joy to our home, even if she persists in wanting attention at inopportune moments (like making dinner). In fact, the busier you are, the more she wants your attention! We call her our little siren, because she sounds like one when trying to get your attention!

Punkin's story has a happy ending. Unfortunately, for many animals that are not spayed or neutered, the story doesn't have a happy ending. Punkin' is a shining example of why all pets should be spayed or neutered.