Saturday, March 21, 2015

Short video update

Not much to report on the kitty front, so today it's just a video update on the elusive SimbaToo, who is difficult to capture in still photographs due to always being on the move.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Switched at birth

Simba 2 in her "sleeping bag" (photo courtesy of my mother)

Judging by the information provided by my parents (who still have temporary custody), and by my own observations, I have now determined that it is entirely possible that Simba 2 is not, in fact, a cat. I think perhaps the humane society gave me a ferret in disguise by accident.

She has very specific toys that she hoards. She makes her own sleeping spaces by burrowing into any dark place she can find. She snarfs anything of interest. Pets behind the shoulders will result in chomps. She does the ferret-slink along the floor when she wants to play. Now I am told she does not know that sun spots are for sleeping in, and instead she plays with the shadows created by them.

This theory is further supported by the fact that she thinks my sister is the most awesome person in the universe, presumably because she knows how to play like a ferret.

More on this development as it arises. I think perhaps I must test her for love of shinies (though her namesake was fond of them too).

In the meantime, here is a brief video of this elusive creature who is proving difficult to capture on film:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Overdue updates

Back to being man of the house.

It seems I've been a little slack in keeping up with kitty posts. I've been a bit busy taking care of Anubis among other things. Simba 2 (also known as "Peanut" or "Munchkin" or "Stop That") is now staying with my parents indefinitely (her "foster parents" as my mom says) due to a need to focus more heavily on her big brother's care. He was starting to play with her a bit, but then he had a nasty hairball that led to some bleeding and loss of appetite, and in the intervening time he stopped having the energy to fight her off. She is too young and rambunctious to understand she can hurt him, and he was getting so fearful that he wouldn't even go to his food bowls, so my folks agreed to give her a place with them until such time as we are able to take her in again. Thankfully she is bonding quite well with my parents (and seems to love my dad).

Anubis has now been diagnosed with hypertension and hyperthyroidism, for which he is on medication. He has had a few bouts with IBS that seem to be calming down, so the vet has us dropping his steroid dosage to see if we can cut him back to only taking those when he is having a flare-up. He is, finally, gaining weight back and starting to act more energetic again, though his special dietary needs mean that he has to have his wet foods available to him at all times. His regular Adequan shots help with his arthritis, but not enough that he can handle a playful kitten, so it looks like the arrangement remains in place until... until. Which hopefully won't be for a good long time.

In the meantime the munchkin has a new favorite toy in her pink string my mom gave to her, which she carries around the house like a security blanket. I am told my dad hid it under a paper bag once, and she ended up searching for hours. Once she found it, the bag was destroyed for its impertinence. She still has a few quirks, a few of which are concerning - I am considering having her taken in for belly x-rays because she is sensitive from the shoulders back, and according to my dad she is still very gassy which seems odd as she is now over 6 months old and has been on the same food for quite some time. Thankfully if she needs pills it shouldn't be difficult to give them to her - she eats just about anything that gets dropped on the floor unless you run to pick it up before she can reach it.

So all in all the furkids are doing alright. I will have to do a bit better at providing updates.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Hi! My name is Simba No. Some people call me Nala instead. I is a kitten, and I is very cute. I has a new house I got a couple weeks ago and it's pretty neat. I has a big brother, and a mommy and a daddy, and LOTS of toys. There's lots of rules I gots to learn but mommy says I is doing a pretty good job of learning them, I just gets distracted because I is still a baby.

I has sort of figured out that night times are for sleepings, but sometimes the bed still looks reeeeeeally fun to play on so mommy has to wear me out real good before bedtime.

I is losing my baby teeths now so I is chewing on stuff and sometimes trying to eat stuffs I shouldn't, but mommy and daddy are trying to teach me what isn't okay to eat so I can grow out of that. Mommy had to put some bitter icky stuff on one of my wand toys to I won't chew it, because I bit a whole piece off it this morning. Mommy also got me some teething toys to help, and I like to bite them a lot so mommy tries to throw me those every time I chew on things I shouldn't, so I think I is supposed to chew on those toys instead. She says she wishes she could find me more of them so I could have lots all over the house so any time I want to chew, there will be an okay thing to chew right there for me.

I is starting to learn that a cord is not a string, and I think I is not supposed to bite those so I tries not to, but sometimes I sniffs them pretty hard and I still has to be told no. I think mommy just put some of that bitter icky stuff on the cords too so maybe now I will remember.

My big brother is really nice. He was mad at me when I first got here and I don't know why, but now I know to listen when he doesn't want to play, and not to steal his special foods. Daddy says he needs it so I tries to remember to leave it alone. I still sometimes forgets because it smells really good, but I is learning. But I think my big brother likes me now. Here we are in the window:

He doesn't play back yet, and he doesn't want to cuddle with me, but he likes to watch me play so I think for now that's okay.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New baby, day 2

Last night went about as well as can be expected. We had to teach the new brat that the "kitty crazies" are not appropriate on the bed. She got dumped off said bed maybe half a dozen times before she finally seemed to decide maybe we didn't want her attacking everything in sight. Then she curled up and slept through the night.

Today I left the house for a bit this morning, and my other half thought I had taken the kitten with me - I hadn't. So she didn't fuss at all while I was away. I came back to both cats nose to nose again, no hissing. Played with her some more, and Anubis started to watch with interest, and even ran past with his "monkey tail" once. He only curls his tail in that specific manner when he is playing. So we're making very fast progress, and I think they're going to do just fine tomorrow while we're both out out of the house (I have work, he has some errands to run).

So now it's just a matter of teaching her house rules, and calming my own anxiety. I'm one of those people who has issues with change, to the effect that my brain reads any new thing in the house as "scary", so it takes me some time to get used to a new furball. I did the same thing when Simba moved in years ago, so I know it will be okay, but that part of my brain refuses to listen to logic. Maybe it's part of why I understand animals so well. I know what throws them off, because the same things often bug me too.

My mother has dubbed the kitten "Nala", since she looks (and acts) a great deal like Simba. My sister suggested "Kiara" which I liked as well, but my other half put in his vote for Nala, so Nala she is.

Nala is starting to learn to entertain herself a bit, has discovered the "racetrack" (hallway) and has started to use it. She is figuring out what are toys, where she shouldn't go - though she does get curious about places if you are standing next to them. But hopefully this means she will wear herself out some while everyone's away at work, instead of sleeping all day and turning into a maniac at night. If Anubis decides to start playing with her a little too, that will help.

Friday, July 18, 2014

New baby, first evening

We have hit evening of day one.

Though there is still some hissing going on, the kitten is doing a very good job of listening when Anubis warns her off. And he is doing a very good job of allowing her some shared space. She may not go to his chicken bowl, she may NOT sit on his spot on the cedar chest (hoo boy did he not like that), but the regular food bowl in the kitchen, he not only let her eat from, he snuck around the corner to sniff at her tail like he used to with Simba when they were first getting to know one another.

On that note, I am seriously thinking of taking my grandparents suggestion (made in separate conversations no less) to just dub her Simba 2. I've slipped into calling her Simba anyway, and it feels right. They say cats have 9 lives anyway, so who knows?

She's curled up on the couch now, purring away. She seems to be trying to sit in places where she smells that other kitties have sat before. I couldn't figure out why she was insistent on being allowed on James's nightstand, until he told me Anubis has been sitting on it (even when told not to - whoops) so - she smells kitty there, therefore she assumes it's okay to sit there. That also explains why she refused to be deterred from sitting on Gram's table tonight (I ended up having to distract her with string).

Gram discovered she likes plain old yarn (she snubbed the other string-y things I tried to offer her). And it seems those crinkly sparkle balls she also likes - the ones made of cellophane.

Hopefully she and Anubis can get their differences worked out here soon. If Monday rolls around and we're still not sure of it, we're just going to have to clear out one of the bathrooms enough to let her plop in there with a litter box and some food and water since we'll both be out of the house. But if things progress as quickly as they have thus far, they may actually be fine that soon.

Introducing cats, 2014 edition

Anubis has been getting lonely lately, and since I posted about Jellybean, it's no secret that I have been thinking about bringing home a kitten. So a few weeks ago, I started looked at the local humane society to try and find a kitten. lots of sweeties came and went, but none of them seemed to be my cat. They just didn't have that special something, and sometimes the ones that did were a bit too wild to bring home to Anubis.

But today I found someone. She... looks a lot like Simba actually. I don't know what we're going to call her yet.

Anubis seems to have mixed feelings. When we brought her in and opened the carrier (she comes with all her shots and tested negative for all the nasties so no worries there) they touched noses right away, nobody hissed. Until several minutes later when she had explored the house and decided she wanted to play with that other kitty.

Sound familiar?

Yup. This is pretty much the same situation we dealt with when Anubis first moved in, except now he's on the receiving end as the one who is not sure he wants to play.

Go figure.

There was one other worrying development, though. He started hissing at me. That was a bit concerning, as that indicated to us a much higher level of stress. So we agreed the kitten would not be left alone with him for at least the first 24 hours (I am taking her to visit my folks tonight so she's not left in the house - there's no really good place to shut her away, and closed doors will upset Anubis MORE).

Since then, however, he does seem to be calming down somewhat. he saw us tell her "no" a couple of times as we are trying to teach her where she can and cannot jump (much like Simba, it looks like she responds very well and doesn't push the issue if she finds out you don't want her somewhere - she has yet to try to jump into the bathtub again). So he sees now that we are starting to enforce the same rules on her that we do on him. That will help a lot, I think.

He has also used the litterbox since then. I think this accomplished two things. First, it probably made his tummy feel better (he's been swallowing his hair a lot lately and isn't always so cooperative for brushing sessions so we don't get him brushed out as well as we'd like, since they have to stay short). Second, there is now a big stinky I LIVE HERE sign. He seems to be MUCH calmer now, is letting me pet him again already, and even came up to sit by me on the couch. Of course, the munchkin is also asleep right now, so that may have something to do with it. But the litterbox he used is the one in the room she's sleeping in right now, so I'm pretty sure he knows she's still here.

I have opted to leave that poop right where it is for the time being, since it seems to calm him to know he's got a nice big territory marker.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

RIP Jellybean

You life was too short, baby.

In spite of all attempts at treatment, it seems the URI won. All the cats had it this winter, it was a bad one. The cats and kittens were all on antibiotics, had ointment for their eyes, and had started to regain their appetites for a little while, but then they took a turn for the worse again.

None of the kittens made it.

The life of a barn kitty is rough. Worse still when they're born in winter when the weather has been horrible on pretty much every critter out there (and the barn where they lived was even heated, so they didn't get the worst of it, but it still had an effect). Had we taken her sooner, though, she wouldn't have been ready to leave mama cat yet.

Mama cat was a lot less chipper today than I've seen her every other time we've visited. She was totally devoted to those babies. Now she's lost them.