Kitten update

Not only is Mistofelees really doing well with the teenager, but the teenager helped our neighbors catch one of Misty’s siblings.

The word on the street is that that cat shall be named Smoky.

And I even got some kitten cuddles!

Here are some videos of Mistofelees, the one features Opie, our three-legged, cancer surviving 9-year-old male cat.

Opie and Misty

Misty purrs so loud

State of the menagerie

Author’s note: this post was originally posted last week but somehow got unpublished and republished in the wrong order.

Let’s start with the kitten…

Mistofelees is still on our sun porch. The teenager has her room 100% clean and ready to accept the new member of the household though she and the teen have not worked out an agreement for when she will sign her lease.

The two have been playing, footage of which can be seen here: Playing Kitten

Some of our other neighbors are feeding her braver siblings and hope to catch them because they know of a potential home.

And then there is Naughty Nala. She was mad at me from the time I got home from work yesterday until I came home today. Refusing to step up, refusing to come out of her cage, biting me if I went near.

But today she seemed to forgive me for going to work. She stepped up beautifully and snuggled like a sweetheart chattering away.

She stood on the dishwasher while I made dinner and while we ate. To reward her, we fed her sweet potato fries which she loved. Video here: Nala is a Sweet Potato Girl (that’s a pun, referring to Tori Amos’ Cornflake Girl.)

If you don’t know the song, let me take you back to my college days: Cornflake Girl

Nala shenanigans and meal planning

For those who enjoy Nala’s shenanigans… She insisted on trying to steal my coffee. See her here: Coffee thief.

And we do still have the cats. Including big, dumb Oz.

Periodically I put her back in my room, but she kept calling me due to her fear of the budgies. So Nala watched me unload & reload the dishwasher, have breakfast and make extra parfaits, do two loads of wash, hang wash, let the roomba vacuum the kitchen and then I washed the kitchen floor.

As for meals this week, the menu includes:

  • A nice chunk of ham I got at the grocery outlet for $1. Probably with boxed Mac and cheese.
  • Veggie burgers or regular burgers
  • Spaghetti, either that black bean spaghetti I got at Marshall’s or Green Giant lentil rotini I got on sale at Target
  • A prepared salmon and vegetable salad I also got cheap at Grocery Outlet
  • And “Greek night” with a lentil salad and a white bean salad from Lidl and some mighty fine looking mixed olives I got at Grocery Outlet for 77 cents.

And this little naughty cockatoo refuses to vacate the drying rack, probably because it’s heated.

Now my daughter and I are off to bake cookies.

Stream of consciousness: real talk

It’s almost 8:30 on a Saturday morning. This post will probably be babble, but I have a feeling it might resonate in a “real life” way. Like let’s not talk about Facebook perfect lives or fun on YouTube.

This is life with a teenager, a stressful job, three cats, three budgies and a Goffins cockatoo.

This is life. I have had the divorce papers in my possession for months but I just don’t want to sit down, fill them out, and file them. Not because I want to save my marriage but because it’s one more thing to do. It sometimes feels like my choices boil down to “file for divorce” or “do the dishes.” Neither situation will resolve without me taking the lead.

I can’t even articulate the chaos swirling around my head right now, let alone the chaos in it.

I have two parakeets flying around my head. One still timidly standing in his cage singing, not ready to come out. Wink, the blue budgie, has decided to eat the molding above my bedroom door (luckily not the visible side but the top) and fling chunks to the floor.

The big dumb cat raced into my room to sleep on my bed, and he looks just as perplexed as Nala does that critters are flying over head.

I did learn parrots can be potty trained. If you’re interested in that: Parront Tip: Potty Training. I also learned parrots need a lot of sleep. I should probably move my supper time to 6:30 or 7 so I can spend time with her and then put her to bed before I eat.

Today, I crawled out of bed at 6:30ish. In part, because Nala already knows when I get up for work and plucked a feather and screeched. The night before I had a bout of insomnia, not sure if it was hormones, work-stress or home stress but I only got five hours sleep. So getting seven hours last night felt magnificent.

Nala pooped on me right away, and all I had on was a t-shirt and underpants. We went to make coffee, feed the cats, and I made her tea. She pooped on me again. Time for a clean t-shirt.

I stepped on the scale and saw that I am almost back to my pre-holiday weight. I’m happy with that. I’m in a comfortable range. Now I just need to get back into routine with my weights.

I read one page of Zazi in the Metro (which I bought more than a month ago). The book club meeting is Friday. So much for that new social activity.

Booboo keeps investigating Nala. Speaking of Nala, between her and the kitten (whom the teenager now firmly believes is a boy) I think I have to cancel the trip to DC I was planning next weekend. I’m really disappointed. I know the teen can stay home and care for the pets. But it’s too soon for me to leave Nala. And I can’t take her to be boarded because that’s where I got her and she’ll think she’s been abandoned.

And I also noticed she’s not banded. Most birds are registered and have a band on their ankle. Nala does not.

Update on the kitten

So, Monday night was cold and we felt sorry for the kitten and wanted to bring him/her into the house.

The teenager had reached the point where we could briefly touch it, with a casual poke. With my daughter’s permission, I grabbed the kitten and brought him/her in the house.

He/she didn’t like that. Poor dear hissed and carried on. I wasn’t prepared for how bad he smelled. He squirmed free and hid under the Christmas tree.

The teenager played video games and went to bed.

The big cats crawled in bed with me.

In the morning, the kitten was gone. I checked all the cat hiding spaces I could think of and no cat.

And the basement door was open.

The teenager and I tore the house apart for what seemed hours. She was bereft. I felt guilty.

I made lunch.

Then we suddenly walked through the dining room and the cat was sitting on the porch looking at us.

Just like a cat. No where to be found one minute and sitting there as if he had never gone.

The teenager spent New Year’s Eve with her grandparents (and I went out for drinks with some girlfriends, something I’ve never gotten to do before).

When I got up this morning I found kitten, whom the teenager has aptly named Mistofelees, sitting inside the dollhouse. Later I found him on top of the dollhouse. And a few moments ago I found him on the windowsill.

Progress is being made.

To help with his smell, we bought some Burt’s Bees Dry Shampoo for cats. Which, of course, we tested on Big Dumb Oz.

Testing the Dry Shampoo for Cats

Just now… the kitten stalked across the porch and checked out Opie.

Kitten checks out Opie

Opie and Kitten behind couch

He eats for us

Opie’s amputation: 9 months out

This morning I was feeding the cats and I was sitting with Opie as he ate his kibble. Both of our cats will be 9 this March, they aren’t related and we got Opie when he was about 9 months old.

The Backstory

We rescued Oz from the animal shelter as a three-month-old. He was a birthday gift to my daughter, who really wanted a dog but my husband said no. We researched other pets, but in the end her father reminded me that I was good with cats, we already had a cat, so a kitten would mean no new stuff.

Opie was the offspring of a feral cat rescued by friends of ours. Their cats terrorized him. Mine did not.

Opie is not cuddly. He took years to warm up to us and not be so aloof. He and Oz bonded, and even though Oz is bigger Opie was always dominate.

And neither one of the boys ever bothered my female cat, who was 12 years their senior and a force with which no one reckoned.

But when she passed away, Opie stepped into the role as my protector and house gargoyle.

The Cancer

Then last fall, Opie started limping. I didn’t think much of it, because he escapes from time to time and tends to disappear and I thought maybe he jumped from some unknown height or got into a tussle with some other animal. It came and went for months so I thought maybe arthritis. The vet thought maybe an old wound that hadn’t healed properly.

But then he started moping. He wouldn’t put the foot down at all. I spoke with a nurse at our veterinary practice and she recommended a different doctor there at the practice. Apparently the one I’d been seeing, or rather that Opie had seen, didn’t like cats.

The new vet xrayed Opie. The other had refused to X-ray him without sedating him. She warned me it looked like bone cancer in his joint, what would be the elbow in a person. This cancer, she also said, is rare in cats and when they get it, they usually get it in the rear paws.

When she called to confirm that he had the cancer, she also advised me to shop around as her practice was very expensive. I admire her honesty.

My daughter contacted No Kill Lehigh Valley and they found a vet who could do the surgery for less than half what our vet would charge.

This cat’s journey as an amputee also overlaps with my jump-starting my professional career after ten years in retail, and, in a way, hastened the end of my marriage as money had become more and more of an issue.

So, Opie is a warrior. And I suppose a symbol.

Life as a tripod

Opie came through his surgery like a champ. He recovered curled in a ball on my electric blanket on my bed, watching the budgies and probably plotting for when he felt better.

I could tell his pain had dissipated and he was feeling aggravated that he had to wear a cone and we were dragging him.

But this post is about Opie as an amputee and a kitty cat survivor. This is what I have noticed:

  • He can still catch a mouse from under the stove quickly and adeptly.
  • If you scratch him in just the right spot, he forgets he only has three legs and looses his balance and falls.
  • He is still the dominant cat.
  • He has always “buried” his food when done eating. He still does this, and when he does, he moves his shoulder stump as if using both legs.

Random video of my cats reacting to the roomba pushing a cardboard submarine across the floor

And yes, Oz is on my lap and I am wearing footy pajamas.