Settling In

Lefty and MM remain in their separate quarters. Though neither is particularly accepting of our presence, we think Lefty may be starting to accept the idea that this indoor living gig might be worth considering.

Yes, there are a lot of conditionals in that sentence, aren’t there?

In any case, he still spends most of his time in his Fortress of Solitude, a carrier secured to one wall of his cage. But he seems slightly more relaxed when we’re around. He no longer glares at us, but eyes us speculatively.
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And, as you can see, his face is looking much, much better. His forehead seems to be healed up and the fur is largely regrown. The bridge of his nose is still furless, but then, that’s where he took the most severe damage, so taking longer to grow back–if it grows back at all–isn’t surprising.

Note the lovely red tones in his fur. Tuxie, you may recall, showed similar shading, especially when he pulled his color-changing trick. Makes me wonder if the two of them aren’t related in some fashion. Though that’s purely speculation, I hasten to add.

In any case, Lefty does emerge from his fortress for more than eating and using the box.

Note the quick glimpse of his turbo button.

He does love both the gooshy food (middle bowl) and the krunchiez (near bowl). And, unlike Rufus, he does drink, so we don’t have to mix his gooshy with water.

He seems to like the camera. We’ve got a fair amount of footage of him leaning up against the bars where it’s mounted. My guess is that he likes the feel of the infrared lights on his flank.

Yes, the camera does do IR, which is nice, since we can keep tabs on Lefty at night, when he’s most likely to be out and about, without leaving the garage light on. Though it does mean sacrificing color. A fair exchange.

We gave him the ball toy last weekend, and he completely ignored it until Wednesday, when that second video was captured. He’s rather more interested in the catnip lemon.

And he was very, very enthusiastic about the loose catnip we gave him Tuesday evening. I suspect he was stoned on the ‘nip when he played with the ball toy later that night; it does lower inhibitions.

We’d never try to bribe him into domestication with drugs, of course. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

But it’s worth noting that we noticed his attitude change on Wednesday.

Three Cats

A grab bag of felines today–though I don’t recommend putting cats in a bag. Especially not multiple cats.

Lefty continues to heal.
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As you can see, the fur is starting to grow back on his forehead, and his nose no longer looks scabby and raw. And this picture is several days old; he’s looking even better now.

He’s still spending most of his time in his Fortress of Solitude and refusing to interact with us, but he’s moving around well, eating enthusiastically, and keeping himself groomed. In fact, he’s turning into quite the dapper gentleman.

Then there’s Watanuki, who seems determined to prove that even the most thuggish fellows have their charming moments.
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Normally, he’s extremely dignified, but occasionally he forgets himself and winds up showing off his cute side.

Speaking of which…
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Patience may not be a kitten any more, but she continues to embody the very spirit and soul of cute.

A Rare Sight

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It’s not that they actively dislike each other. Though it’s true that dinnertime can be a bit fraught. Kaja is on a restricted diet and often supplements her meals at Kokoro’s expense.

Nor is it that they don’t spend time together. True, Kaja is largely confined to one room, due to her history of expressing her dislike of Yuki in physical terms. But Kokoro spends most days in the same room, in a largely successful attempt to avoid, well, everyone else*.

* It ain’t easy being Queen, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and other platitudes related to royalty maintaining its mastery over the commoners.

In truth, one hardly ever sees them sharing space simply because there are so many cat-attractive hangouts in that room. The heat vent. At least two caves. A hidden nook behind a pile of boxes. The desk chair. The middle of the floor, next to the food bowls.

But every so often, the stars align, and we find Her Majesty and her Chief Hunter just chillin’.

(Note, however, which one of them gets the full benefit of the sun.)

Feeling Lucky

If you were wondering, yes, the coyotes are still around. We haven’t seen the adults lately, but the pups put in an appearance from time to time. Needless to say, we’re not happy about that. But what can one do?

Well, for starters, one can put MM in protective custody.
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She’s been an involuntary resident of the catio* for a while now.

* Note, by the way, that the catio has been upgraded with a real roof and a partial wall on the side that gets the most rain. These upgrades should make life much more pleasant for any inhabitants during the rainy season. Assuming we ever have another rainy season, of course.

Don’t let that mild demeanor and the sun-basking fool you. She is not happy to be there.
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Not only did she tear the railing off the shelter and make a massive mess of the straw, forcing us to replace the wooden shelter with one of the plastic “quonset hut” shelters from the yard, but she also tore up and tore apart the rubber floor mats.

She’s calmed down a bit, but she still wants nothing to do with the nasty bipeds who locked her up. She hides in the shelter when we take her food out and we hear an occasional “Cattica! Cattica!” chant late at night. At least we’ve persuaded her that the litter box is for excretion, not residency.

We’re not sure how long we’ll hold onto her, but we’ve given up any notion of civilizing her. Once we decide it’s sufficiently safe, we’ll let her loose.

And then there’s the other involuntary recipient of our hospitality.

Meet Lefty.
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He hasn’t been with us as long, mostly because it took several times as long to trap him. (We caught MM the first night we tried. Lefty was more cautious, and it took more than a week.)

And if we thought MM was unhappy in the catio, Lefty took matters to previously unconsidered depths. He complained. He prowled around, shoving shelters out of his way, and generally created chaos.

Nor, to be blunt, did he get along with MM. She wanted him in the catio even less than he wanted to be there.
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To make matters worse, Lefty is not the most graceful cat we’ve ever met. He’s got an excuse, granted, but the combination of clumsiness and escape attempts resulted in several rather nasty wounds.
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Be glad I’m not showing you any of the earlier pictures. This one is quite upsetting enough; the others are…well, put it this way: I did not look at them, just attached them to an email to the vet and hit send as quickly as I could.

No, he’s not a calico; he’s pure black except for a small white patch on his chest. That strip down his forehead and nose is one of the wounds he picked up in the catio.

He took a trip to the vet and he’s looking better now. We’ve given him separate quarters in the garage while he recovers from his neutering, goes through a course of antibiotics, and generally heals up. That space seems to be more to his tastes: we haven’t seen any sign of escape attempts and he’s eating more enthusiastically than he did in the catio.

We don’t know if it’s going to be possible, but we’d like to adopt him into our posse. Not because every team needs a good southpaw (sorry), but because of that excuse for his clumsiness.

Some of you, especially knowing that we generally give neighborhood cats descriptions instead of proper names, may have figured out why we call him “Lefty”. For the rest of you, here’s a hint:
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That cloudy right eye is no camera illusion. As we feared, and the vet confirmed, it’s unlikely he’s got any vision in it. We don’t know if it’s acquired or congenital, but either way, it’s not curable.

On the brighter side, the vet doesn’t think there’s any need to remove it to avoid infection. So, while a nicely piratical eyepatch might look good on him, he won’t have to wear one.

Further good news: he’s tested negative for Heartworm, FIV, and FeLV.

So he’s been lucky so far. But monocular vision certainly puts him at a disadvantage on the streets.

We’ll see how he’s doing by the time he finishes his antibiotics. If he’s still relatively chill, we’ll see if we can persuade him to adopt an indoor lifestyle. It’ll be a long haul, and an awkward one, since we don’t feel at all comfortable about putting him back in the catio, even after MM goes on her way. But it’s worth a try. Wish him (further) luck.

Eternal Verity

In trying times like these, when everything seems unsettled, it’s a good idea to take a step back and remind yourself that some things don’t change.

A sleeping cat is, by definition, cute.
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Yuki needs a pillow to sleep soundly, and Rhubarb needs to be used as a pillow before he can doze off.
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Synergy!

So when you’re stressed, when you need a break from the insanity, go pat a cat.

Better yet, take a nap with one. Your psyche will thank you.

Friday the Thirteenth

A brief tailtale in honor of Friday the Thirteenth.

Yuki, you see, had an unpleasant encounter with a monster.
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Nervous? Uneasy? You be the judge.
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Here’s a hint: A few seconds later, he made a break for freedom.
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What do you mean, ‘Did he get away?’ What do you take me for? Today may be Friday the Thirteenth, but I don’t do horror films.
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Sheesh!

Rufus Beans

And so we come at last to the final stop on our tour of the local toe beans. It might have been longer, but MM adamantly declined to participate.

So, instead of ending as we began, with a feral foot, we’ll close it out with a formerly-feral foot.

Rufus is of the single-color school. But he eschews plebeian pinks and blacks. His handsome silver-gray coat demands something a little out of the ordinary for proper contrast.

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Note the subtle, yet elegant, lavender tones, which elevate Sir Rufus’ toe beans to a realm most cats can only dream of attaining.

Kokoro Beans

Status quo is status quo and the odds of returning to the status quo ante are slim, however much we might wish otherwise. Should the unlikely occur, we shall celebrate with quiet cheers, a few discreet dance steps, and copious photographs.

Until that day, however, let us resume our survey of the local toe bean population.

Kokoro is a lady of simple needs and refined tastes.

A patch of sunlight or a trusted human’s lap.

An elegant sufficiency of food.

Acknowledgment of her role as supreme ruler of the universe.

Do I even need to point out that taking pictures of the soles of her feet does not fall within the bounds of any of her requirements?

In other words, pardon the blur. This is the best of far more attempts than she or we felt comfortable with.

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Given her tastes and her fur tones, one might expect her to belong to the one-toned school of toe beanery. But no. Pink predominates, but a few streaks of darker shades–no doubt borrowed from her points–sneak in.

Not, I must admit in all honesty, the most elegant of feet. But then, anyone who’s seen Kokoro contort herself into a pretzel shape to get maximum sunlight on her stomach knows that even the most refined lady lets her guard down occasionally and indulges in pure silliness.

Unhappiness

No cute picture this week.

Sorry, I’m not feeling the toe bean love. Or the sleeping cat, cat in a small space, or, indeed, any other cuteness.

A family of coyotes–mother and four or five pups–has moved into the neighborhood, and is hanging around the area outside our fence.

All the cats have gone into hiding. Hell, even the damn Trash Pandas have made themselves scarce.

We’re doing our best to annoy the coyotes into leaving, making loud noises and throwing pine cones when we see them. And we’ve moved the Backyard Bowl to a somewhat more protected location. The felines sneak out when things are quiet, grab some food, and vanish back into hiding again.

We saw MM late Wednesday night.

Tuxie hasn’t been seen in more than a week. This is not good.

We’re clinging to the hope that someone else saw his charm and charisma, and has given him the indoor home he’s been angling for. It could be. We know he’s been visiting more people than us, and the last time we saw him was a couple of days before the first reports of coyote sightings.

But it’s hard to maintain optimism, especially knowing he’s got a microchip registered to us. Surely if someone had adopted him, they’d have taken him to the vet for a checkup, right?

Or maybe someone spotted the coyote and gave Tuxie some temporary shelter. That could be too.

And there are still other cats around. We’ve caught glimpses of a black cat from across the street and an unknown black and white critter.

But they’re not our buddy Tuxie.

So, no pictures today. Maybe next week.