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      Friday, September 03, 2004

11:01 AM - 09/03/2004

The topic: Kittens are a month old today

Friday, September 3, 2004  Little Bit’s kittens are a month old today.  And right on schedule, the four week mark, she brought them up from her last nest (under the downhill neighbor’s front window, behind the jade plants) and now they’re under the car.  Yesterday morning, I heard kittens crying, went through the gate to see them in the next door yard and didn’t.  I walked behind the car to get the newspaper and when I went back to the gate, I saw two little black kittens next to the car, looking up at me in horror. *grin*  Then they skittered under the car, where Little Bit was doing her part in hissing me away.

I left them a plate of Sheba, which got eaten quickly.  This morning when I went out, I sat next to the car and two kittens were under the Escape.  I don’t know if they’d been playing, or mom was showing them where food was.  I did grab one and held it.  These kittens aren’t as socialized (yet) as the others were (of course, this is only the second day they’ve seen me, the other kittens saw and heard me the entire first weeks of their lives since Little Bit kept her nests on our property), but hopefully, a week of bringing out yummy food and interacting with them should help. 

As for the neighbors and the fence, here’s a post I made last Saturday (the 28th) over at Benny’s Cat Fights.


So, Brian is going to do the fence today. He got all of the wood earlier this week. He goes out there and starts attaching wood to the existing chain link.

Now, a little background for those of you who don’t follow my diary. We’ve got some really tall pine trees. They’ve been here since before we moved in. The woman next door hates them. She’s obsessed with hatred for these trees. She’s been known to go out there with the blower a couple of times a day and blow the needles onto our property. We used to be on pretty good terms until she started in about the trees. I told her flat out that there was nothing I could do about them. If she had a problem with them, talk to Brian. He loves those trees. And for those of you who are into astrology, Brian is a true Taurus. The more you push him on a point, the firmer he will stand his ground. Pushing Brian gets you nowhere. It will make things worse.

Well, she kept at me and finally, I’d had enough. I told her I had to go (we were on the phone) and I haven’t really said too much to her since. It’s been a while now, but I just don’t feel comfortable speaking with her because I just know she’s going to start nagging me about the trees and there’s not a darned thing I can do about them.

I put up with her blowing the needles off of her driveway and dirt(!) (sometimes I turn the sprinklers on when she’s doing it; our house is downhill from their’s and I hate getting the dust on everything in the bedroom when I’ve just cleaned) and her childishness in picking up the needles and throwing them onto our bank. Brian goes out about once a week with his yard vacuum and vacuums the street and their driveway. He does make an effort, but that doesn’t count for anything with her. She wants the trees gone.

Now, last week, after Marco fell, Brian was off helping his brother get moved (more on that drama on the Friends and Family board). The damn dogs were still next door, going at the fence when they’d see a cat. I ended up going back to Brian’s shop and finding this huge, long piece of cardboard, which I attached to the worst part of the fence with clothespins. I had to do something. It looked like crap, but it helped keep the dogs from running up to the fence. I kept it up almost all week, until I was certain the dogs were gone. One night, when I went out, she was out there with some people, laughing at my handiwork. I kept quiet. I didn’t dare say anything, because I’ve been building it up all week (I’m sure some of you know what that’s like). Some things are just best left unsaid.

This year they’ve done quite a bit to their house. New roof, new windows, new paint job. They had a new garage door put in yesterday. It looks nice. They’re cleaning it up. They’ve spent more time in their hot tub this year than all the years we’ve lived here. A person should be able to enjoy their home.

So, back to this morning, enough with the history lesson.

Brian’s out there, drilling into the existing poles for the chain link. The neighbor (the husband) comes out and tells Brian that it’s not really a good idea, that the poles aren’t meant for the weight of a wooden fence. And then there was a little discussion about who actually owned the fence. Brian told him that the reason he was putting up the fence is because of what happened last week to Marco. He said “now, I don’t blame you for what happened. But it cost $2000.00 in vet bills and that’s not something I want to have to pay out again.”

Well, as stubborn as Brian can be, if he’s not 100% sure he’s right, he’ll back off. He can’t prove the fence is ours. After his discussion with the neighbor, he got his pink tape and marked off where he’d need to dig post holes. He dug the holes, now he’s off to Home Depot to get concrete and posts. He’s also going to redo all of the barrier at the top. This way, the neighbors can’t do a darned thing about the fence and the barrier.

Well, when Brian was initially speaking the the husband, the wife came out. Oh, lordy, is she pissed off. See, she’ll be losing her view once we put up the wood. When she sits in her living room, she’ll see wooden fence, not our lovely backyard with its green lawn. She won’t be able to see into the valley past our house. I stayed in the house during this entire exchange. In the exercise (ha!) room, where I could see and hear everything. She almost sounded like she was going to cry. She said “well, are you going to take down the trees?” Huh? Put up a fence and take down the trees? What sense does that make? She was getting wound up and her husband told her to calm down. I guess she huffed off into her house. I did hear him tell Brian he didn’t really care what Brian does about the fence, just don’t attach it to the chain link poles.

Funny, she’s not laughing now like she did at my pathetic cardboard.

If she hadn’t been so nasty these past few years, I could almost feel sorry for her.


I also took many pictures of the progress of the fence, which you can see over on the Family Album site.  I think we’ll like having the new fence up.  The privacy has been nice (since my twenties, I’ve sunbathed topless, just so I didn’t have to mess with moving straps and with the fence up, I don’t have to hug the wall by the pool and be careful where I walk when I’m in the pool).  The cats were a little disconcerted at first, but they’ve adjusted well.  I think, too, they won’t be as frustrated now, since they won’t be able to see birds and other critters that they can’t get to in the other yard.

Marco is doing well.  He started laying on the side with the broken leg earlier this week. And he’s starting to want out of that crate.  It’s going to be hard dealing with this for another six and a half weeks.  But that’s how long it will take for the bone to fuse back together. Sometimes Ross wants in to visit with him, which we gladly let happen.  Marco likes the company. Of course, when Marco gets too affectionate, if you know what I mean, and Ross starts crying, Ross gets to come out.

I guess the stress of the past couple of weeks finally got to me.  I think what I got was constipation.  And with it, gas.  I was in so much pain I couldn’t even walk.  A couple of days worth of Correctol seemed to do the trick.  This has happened before and I’ve always tried to figure out exactly what I’ve done that brings it on.  This last time, it wasn’t diet, so the only thing I could narrow it down to was the situation with the neighbors and Marco.  It really sucks, that’s for sure.  We didn’t walk all week long. And because I was so uncomfortable, tossing and turning instead of sleeping, I slept on the sofa most of the week.  Last night was my first night back in bed.  It was wonderful.

Oh, I’d like to thank whoever it was who left the nice donation with Amazon.  What a surprise!  I wish you’d left your name so I could thank you privately.

Well, I’m having a hard time concentrating on making this entry right now, so maybe I’ll get back to it later today.  Too many distractions at this time.  *sigh*

      Monday, September 13, 2004

12:59 PM - 09/13/2004

The topic: Living life in the slow lane….

Monday, September 13, 2004  Things have (sort of) settled down since my last entry.  The neighbors are keeping to themselves.  It’s funny, she made such a big deal about losing her view and this past week, they put up a shed right outside of the window with the stained glass.  It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, they’d been planning on it.  So, why did she get so wacko about her “view”?  Aw, who knows?  Certainly not me.

In the last entry, I also mentioned Little Bit bringing her kittens up.  Well, I have a hard time not trying to watch them and she got pissed when I lifted up the car covers to look at a couple of them sitting on the tire.  So, that night, she moved them back to the neighbor’s yard. Where she kept them for about a day, then she brought them back.  This was at the beginning of last week.  I started bringing out plates of food like I had for the previous litter, but this litter is a little wilder.  I was only able to pick up two of the kittens, the other one stayed far away from me.  And it didn’t get better as the week went on.

I seriously considered what I was going to do.  Brian and I hadn’t really discussed this, what to do with the kittens, beyond him saying “we can’t keep them”.  But we couldn’t leave them outside. And I was becoming more concerned each day I went out when the kittens ran away from me.  And Little Bit wasn’t a big help, she did her share of hissing, going as far as to slap my hand at one point.  She drew a little blood, but I’m sure it wasn’t intentional.  My main concern was the fact they were becoming more feral with each passing day and in doing so, would be that much harder to tame up.  Saturday morning at breakfast, I told Brian I was going to try to get them all by the end of the weekend.  Then we’d decide what to do from there.  On our way home from breakfast, we stopped by Wal-Mart, where I bought some Sheba cat food. This worked the last time, with any luck, it would do the trick again.

And it almost did.  I was able to pluck one kitten from the dish, but the other two ran.  I took the kitten into the bathroom, where I’d put a doorless carrier, covered with a towel and having a towel inside.  I went back outside to continue my work.  I went over to the right passenger side front tire and lifted up the car covers.  Little Bit hissed and spit at me.  I had brought out a fishing pole type toy and tossed the cloth toy at the end under the car, where she attacked it.  She kept slapping at that and while she was doing that, I was able to get kitten number two.  I brought it into the house.  It was hot and I was sweating, nervous as all get out.  I hate doing this, I really do.  We really have to get Little Bit spayed and I just don’t know how we’ll get it down when she’s so damned trap smart. 

There was one kitten left.  I looked under the car and Little Bit was just laying there.  I didn’t see the third kitten.  I went over to the tire and looked on it, no kitten.  I thought about it and figured I’d start checking the other tires.  I found the kitten on the second tire I looked at.  I grabbed it, it digging it’s tiny claws into the tire, not making a sound.  And Little Bit didn’t appear to be concerned at all.

Dripping sweat (like I said, it was hot with quite a bit of humidity, storming in the mountains and deserts; boy would I love to see some rain) I took the last kitten inside.  I put down a little rug in the bathroom (something I don’t normally do because they have a tendency to get peed on), got some food, water and the little pan we used before with Ross and Rachel for litter.  One of the kittens, a little boy, kept hissing at me.  Telling me what a big doodoo head I am, I guess, and that he wasn’t afraid of me, not one little bit.  I’d pick him up and kiss his little belly and tell him he was a real cutie pie. I’d put him on the floor and he’d look at me and hiss some more. The other two were quieter.  An occasional spit, but not much else.  I spent some time with them, handling them and checking them over.  We have two boys and a girl.  If I could keep them, I thought, I’d name the little hisser Joey, the other boy Chandler and the little girl would be Phoebe, staying with the “Friends” theme originally started with Rachel and Ross.  If I could keep them.  I didn’t think of them in terms of names, though, that’s not a thing to do when you won’t be keeping them.  Makes it too hard to say goodbye.

I called one of my rescue friends to ask about trapping a queen using the kittens as bait.  She gave me some really good advice.  I also posted on one of the cat boards I frequent to get more tips about kittens as bait.  It was pretty funny when I spoke with my friend.  She said she puts it in a little bowl.  I’m thinking “they’ll walk out of a little bowl, what good would that do?”  And it dawned on me, the connection wasn’t the best and she was thinking I was saying “chicken” not “kittens”.  We had a decent laugh about that.  As much as I loathed the idea of kittens as bait, it didn’t seem as if we have any other option at this point.  We’ve got to get her.  We just don’t have the resources for any more kittens.  We don’t even know what we’re going to do with the ones in the bathroom.

So, the decision was made to use the kittens to catch Little Bit. We’d try that night. But I saw these really nice huge fluffy white thunder clouds in the distance, over the mountains and desert and we thought it would be nice to actually get into some rain.  We started a little after four and didn’t get home until 8:30.  We only got two drops of rain, but I took a bunch of pictures which I’ll put up in the photo album later today.  And since it was so late, I really didn’t want to try trapping Little Bit Saturday night.  I did go in and spend some time with the kittens and that little hisser just cracked me up.  I laid down on the floor and he walked down my body, hissing at each new body part.  It was so darned funny.  And these kittens seem so much more mentally advanced that the last litter.  The other kittens were about a week younger when I got them, so that might be a big part of the difference. 

That little hisser also figured out that the door meant “out”.  And he would sit at the door and cry.  Sometimes one of the other kittens would be there with him.  Usually they quit after ten minutes.  I wonder if Little Bit could hear them from the bathroom window.  I really feel evil when I do this. And using the kittens as bait will tear me up even more.  I just know it.

I got up early Sunday morning and checked on the kittens.  They were all there, still alive and kicking (I hear so many stories about kittens dying after coming in).  About an hour later, around 6:30, Brian said from the bedroom that Little Bit was looking for her kittens.  She was calling for them.  I said let’s do it.  He got out of bed, got dressed and got the trap ready.  I put the door back on the carrier and took the kittens out to the trap.  Brian set the trap and draped the towels over the top.  Now, we wait.

Two and half hours later, she still hadn’t gone in.  The kittens kept crying.  She circled the trap and the carrier, going up to the sides of the carrier and trying to look in past the towel.  She called to her kittens and they called back.  It was awful.  I felt like the lowest of the low.  Keeping mom and her kids apart.  Because she was so stressed, she ate almost all of the food that was out there.  She would just sit at the opening of the trap, looking in.  The day was warming up and I couldn’t leave the kittens out there in a carrier in the heat.  The sun was up enough that it was streaming into the entry way.  We’d try again later in the day.  Right now, I’m bringing the kittens in.

As the day progressed, I moved the trap from one spot to another, since I’d put Sheba food in the back. Which, when I thought about it was a pretty stupid thing to do.  No way would she be hungry after having eaten all of that other food.  But I didn’t want the sun beating down on the trap, making the food go bad.  At one point, I saw the plate with the food was covered with ants, so I came inside and got an old satellite tv guide and put Sevin dust on it and put the plate on top of that.  And back into the trap.  I hoped it would be okay.  I had called my rescue friend earlier and she advised pulling up all food except what was in the trap.  This I did.

I checked on the kittens every so often and the two little boys had swollen faces.  This frightened me.  The little girl was fine and I ran through my head of what it might be.  I finally decided that they must have done this when they tried to push through the carrier door when they saw their mother (oh, my heart is just breaking).  They didn’t get any worse, as a matter of fact, they slowly started getting better.  This trapping thing is just so hard on me. But I was even more reluctant to use them as bait.

Things settling down, I went out into the backyard where I caught Rachel eating mushrooms.  Gah!  Are they safe?  I didn’t know.  I pulled the one she was chewing on out of her mouth then went through the yard and pulled up all that I could find.  I came inside and looked through the dictionary and the encyclopedia, trying to find information on how to tell safe shrooms from killer shrooms.  I couldn’t check online because my provider had been down since before five pm Saturday night.  I was stressing out, to say the least.  The kittens, Little Bit, mushrooms, what next?

Anyway, the mushrooms didn’t hurt her (I’m still going to pull them up) and she was fine. 

I did some laundry and while I was in the bedroom folding, I listened to Brian talking to Little Bit.  He was outside washing and waxing the Escape.  It had gotten pretty dirty during our drive the previous evening.  He was speaking to her as if she were a human who could understand him.  He told her about the reasons she needed to go into the trap.  Calmly and matter of factly.  He told her that it would be the only way she’d ever see her kittens again.  Go into the trap, we’d get her fixed and she would live with us and her kittens.  She wouldn’t have to worry about traffic and coyotes and dogs and mean people and having more litters of kittens which would do a number on her health.  And he talked.

And I thought what a wonderful thing to do.  Then it hit me.  Stay with her kittens?  Stay here, in our home, with her kittens?  I know we talked about how hard it would be to find homes for them.  Recall, her litter earlier this year?  We kept Ross because he’s black.  We kept Rachel to keep Ross company.  Well, it’s really close to Halloween and we certainly didn’t want to adopt black kittens out at this time of the year.  So, we’re going to keep them?  This was the first I’d heard of this.  Like I said, we didn’t discuss it much.  I’d never mentioned names or anything, trying to stay detached.  Now, I didn’t have to.  I told him later about “Joey” being such a little hisser and doing most of the crying.  “Joey?” he asked.  Yeah, Joey, Chandler and Phoebe.  He just laughed.

He went in to take a shower and I walked by the front door and noticed the sun was hitting the trap.  I looked at and found where I’d move it next.  I walked outside and reached down to grab the handles through the towels when I noticed the trap door was down. I looked in.  A pair of yellow eyes looked back.  Yellow eyes in a black face, with a sleek black body with a little white blaze on the chest.  LITTLE BIT!  LITTLE BIT WAS IN THE TRAP!  Woohoo!

I ran inside and ran to the bedroom, into the bathroom where Brian was still under the spray of the shower.  “We got her!”  I yelled.  “We got her!”  No more fretting over putting the kittens back out as bait!  No more kittens!  Yay!  I came back to the office and found the phone number of the clinic we took Marco to.  They’re open seven days a week, open until five on Sundays.  It was close to 2:30. I called.  I explained the situation, they said “bring her in”.  I got a dose of Advantage ready, Brian had finished his shower and was ready to go.  He put towels down in the back of the Escape and he grabbed the trap, still covered.  We were at the vet’s in under fifteen minutes.  We checked her in and she’s due to be spayed today.  I’ll be calling and checking on her after seven tonight.  She comes home (HOME!) tomorrow. 

Now, the logistics of keeping a feral mom and her kittens, with the health and safety of all in mind.  I really don’t want to let her loose in a room.  She’d go nuts.  At least that’s been our experience in the past.  She’d be climbing the walls and that’s not a good thing for a cat fresh out of surgery.  It would be great if Marco wasn’t in the big crate.  I asked Brian if he could build something, but we decided to get another crate like the one Marco is in, Brian will do a little modification to it.  Like putting in a shelf at the top so she can get away from the kittens.  And something for me to attach a bungee cord or something similar so that I can put a cloth down to give privacy in the back portion of the crate.  It’s going to be scary at first to clean litter and put out food for her.  And let the kittens out.  They’re going nuts just staying in the bathroom, I can’t imagine it would be any easier in a crate.  After they get the run of the house, I think we could move the crate to the living room, where Little Bit can become acquainted with the rest of the household, in safety.  To begin with, we’ll keep her in the exercise (ha!) room. We think it’s a good plan.

Now, Joey has gotten worse at the bathroom door.  I just checked a calendar and these kittens are about ten days older than Rachel and Ross were when we got that litter.  This new bunch is ready to run.  *lol*  This morning, Brian put the plastic lattice back up so the kittens can have the run of this end of the house.  They don’t stay out here, I put them up for sleeping and to eat.  But they seem to like it.

One of the other things we talked about was KittyMeezer.  He’ll be by himself now.  Well, Brian thinks we should try to get him in. And then, work on trapping SpotTee, get him fixed and bring him in.  That way, it will pretty much clear the neighborhood of stray/feral cats.  Of course, there’s the tortie we caught last year, Carla I call her.  But we haven’t seen her in a couple of weeks.  She was living in the Heartless Bastard’s yard, no telling where she is now.  I hope she’s okay, but life on the street is hard for a cat.  I do know that we’re not the only home that puts out food and she could very well be eating down there.

I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to no longer have any homeless cats around.  And I think it would be very nice.  Very, very nice.  We would pull up all of the food (which attracts ants and other critters), we wouldn’t have to worry about the cats being safe, we could water whenever we wanted (with Little Bit keeping kittens on the bank, we had to cut back).  I wouldn’t obsess over a cat getting hit when we pulled into our driveway and Halloween would once again be stress free.

Yep, it sure would be nice.

Brian’s picking up the new supplies today and my mom came over and gave us a hundred dollars to help out.  I know it will.

Well, that’s it for now.  Life in the slow lane.

      Tuesday, September 14, 2004

07:49 PM - 09/14/2004

The topic: Little Bit hates her kittens

Tuesday, September 14, 2004  Little Bit hates her kittens?  Okay, maybe not, but she wasn’t really thrilled to be back with them.  Her surgery went well yesterday and the vet was surprised at how very healthy she is.  I told her about all of the litters she’s had and she was astounded when I told her that Little Bit had a litter of five earlier this year.  She said “she must have been huge!”

Anyway, last night, Brian got the crate and feeders and litterbox for the new crate. Then he made the shelf, he drilled holes for a nylon rope which I used to hang a towel from.  This gives the back half of the crate some privacy.  Before I left to pick her up, I got everything ready, even putting the kittens in the crate. 

When I got home, I brought the trap into the house and into the exercise (ha!)  room and opened the crate.  The kittens were all sleeping soundly.  Joey in the litterbox and Chandler and Phoebe were cuddled up together on the towel.  I put the end of the trap in with the slide up door side and slowly slid the door up.  Little Bit slowly left the trap and went behind the towel, into the litterbox.  I thought everything would be okay.

It wasn’t.  A few hours later when the kittens woke up, they started to play.  Phoebe was laying on her back and started pulling on the towel.  Little Bit hissed at her.  Enough to startle Phoebs.  Then a few minutes later, Joey went into the litterbox, or was trying to go into it, when she went after him.  I waited until she’d calmed down and the kittens were in a sort of shellshocked mode on my side of the hanging towel.  I slowly reached in and took them out one by one.  They’ve been cruising this side of the house since.  Hopefully, this is a temporary thing, with Little Bit still sore and not a little stressed at the events of the past four days.  So far, though, I haven’t seen any reaction when the kittens cry.


The kittens are six weeks old, though, and she’d most likely start weaning them at this point.  Maybe she’s just thinking she won’t have to go through it now.  Maybe she’s just done raising kittens.  I do hope she doesn’t hate them forever.

Oh, if you’d like to talk cats, I’ve opened up a new forum just for cat talk.  It’s over at Benny’s and the name of it is “the Cats’ Door”, a little play on the old Cat’s Window at Acmepet.  I sure miss those forums, I don’t think anything will ever replace them or have the same feel that they did. 

Well, that’s it for now.  It’s been a long couple of days and I have an appointment with my new gynocologist tomorrow morning at 8:45.  My old gyn retired.  What fun.

      Friday, September 17, 2004

11:27 AM - 09/17/2004

The topic: The latest

Friday, September 17, 2004  Well, Little Bit is feeling a lot better.  Yesterday, she saw her kittens for the first time since Tuesday and she trilled at them.  They went up to the crate and stretched to look in at her, but the minute I got close to the crate, with the intention of opening the door and letting a kitten or two in, she struck out at me.  This not only had the result of me backing off, it also scared the kittens.  They ran out into the hallway.  I think the thing to do now is to just leave the door open to that room for a couple of hours a day and go in there myself.  Maybe just sit and read out loud so she gets used to my voice. 

The kittens are becoming fearless, as kittens do.  Joey no longer spits or hisses at me.  He wants up.  Phoebe loves to have face to face rubs.  It’s the sweetest thing.  And Chandler is pretty quiet, but I think he’ll turn out very lovable. It’s so much fun to watch them play and explore.  I’ve opened up the gate to the entryway hall.  They go down there a little bit, but so far, they haven’t been that adventurous.  This morning, after playing and running around for a few hours, I found Phoebe and Chandler back in the catcam chair.  I went into the living room looking for Joey, and I couldn’t find him.  I came back into the office and found that he’d made his way onto the chair with his brother and sister.  Where they are right now.

Brian made some comment to one of the other cats this morning about the upheaval in their lives. He said this after he noticed that Benny was in the house.  An oddity, to be sure.  I considered this for a couple of minutes and pointed out that it was not only Benny, but Sammy has been spending more of his day in the house.  And that one of the changes with the cats came with Marco being in a crate and their see-through fence going the way of the dinosaur.  That I thought a huge part of the change in the cats was the fence.  New felines aren’t all that exciting, I guess it’s not that big a change in their lives.  But that fence has been open for all of their lives and now it’s not.  Now, there’s more a feeling of being closed in, that there’s really no “out” out there.  I could see Brian thinking about it and he agreed that’s when this attitude change in so many of the cats started.

Speaking of the resident cats’ reaction to the newcomers, most of the cats don’t seem to have an opinion one way or the other.  It’s more a thing of “just leave me alone”.  Ross and Rachel’s reaction has surprised me.  I kind of thought they’d be more amenable, being so young.  But that hasn’t been the case.  At least not to start.  I think Rachel is going to accept the kittens before Ross, I think I caught her playing with Joey in the living room this morning.  It was under the skirt of the sofa cover.  After Joey was in the catcam chair, she was still out sniffing and chirping at the sofa.  And both she and Ross were playing with the cat tracker earlier.  Right now, Ross is playing with a pipe cleaner in the bedroom.  Even though they aren’t all that old, they’ve never seemed to play much.  Now, they’re making up for it.  It’s kind of cute.

And I figured out a system for cleaning the litterbox.  There was no way I was going to put my arm in there, not with her wigging out like she was.  So, I brought up my ideas to Brian and he found a crowbar for me to use.  What I do is open the door,  take out the towel in the front and use the crowbar to pull the litterbox to the front of the crate.  I clean it, then slowly push it back, then I put the towel back in.  So far, it’s working nicely.  The first time, Little Bit was sitting in the litterbox and moved when she felt it being pulled.  When I pushed it back, obviously I couldn’t get it back all the way because she was sitting there.  But Wednesday night, she found the shelf and she spends quite a bit of time laying on that, which makes it a little easier for me to do the cleaning. 

She’s eating and drinking with no problem and from what I’ve been seeing in the litterbox, her elimination is fine.  I’m pretty sure this whole thing will work out, but right now, it looks like it might take forever.  Most likely, it will be a few months at the worst, but some projects always look tougher than they actually are.  I’m hoping that’s what will happen now. Since we haven’t seen the tortie (the one we got fixed last year around Easter, who is Little Bit’s mom) in a couple of weeks, there’s no way I’d ever willingly put Little Bit back on the street.

Well, my housework has fallen behind because of the time I’ve been spending with the cats and related work, and I’d really like to get the place straightened up.  And the heat hasn’t helped, I’m incredibly tired.  Today is a little cooler and I’d best take advantage of it. 

Have a great weekend.  If anything exciting happens, I’ll be posting.

Oh, about DeeJay and Ciara.  DeeJay is still plugging along.  He’s eating and taking his fluids well.  I started him on Orbax this past week for the UTI he has.  He sneaks into the exercise room to eat and I let him.  He likes the NutroMax Salmon that’s in there.

Earlier this week, I started giving Ciara 250mg of L-Lysine twice a day and it’s been a tremendous help.  She’s hardly coughing at all.  She is bringing up quite a few hairballs, which is good, I guess.

I don’t know what’s going on with Jackson.  He didn’t seem as if he was feeling well much of this summer, which I attributed to hairballs.  He did have diarrhea a couple of times and when I hit it with the hose, it was loaded with fur.  Anyway, he’s doing better, but since he’s been doing better, he’s let me touch him a whole lot more.  I can even stroke him with both hands and give him scritches around his face and head.  He’s really mellowing out.  Right now, he’s on the patio playing with the other cats, even tried sharing a stick bug with Sammy.  With any luck, we’ll be able to get him to a vet soon and get him neutered.

      Friday, September 24, 2004

10:47 AM - 09/24/2004

The topic: Getting back into a routine

Friday, September 24, 2004  Well, I’m finally getting back into some sort of routine.  For so much of this past couple of months, stuff was weird and I felt all off track, but it’s slowly getting back to where it should be.

Marco had his thirty day check up yesterday.  Damn clinic.  I was supposed to bring him in before eleven yesterday morning, we checked in at 11:05.  The doctor was supposed to be in at noon and I figured it shouldn’t really take all of that long to take an x-ray, look at it, then send Marco home.  I called at 3:30 asking how it went.  Well, the doctor hadn’t had a chance to view the image yet, someone would call me when it was done.  Finally, almost 5:30, they called and Marco could come home.  The good news is he’s healing nicely, his leg is seventy percent healed.  He still has to be confined for an additional four weeks, which means he won’t be loose until the week after our annual Disneyland trip.  This wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it’s what’s necessary.  I’m glad he’s doing so well, though.  I kept having fears about the leg not healing properly.  I kept thinking back to when Bobby lost his leg.  Eight weeks of having a pin in it, then finding out the bone was mush and the leg was removed.  So, I’m happy that Marco is healing.  There’s a big sense of relief there.  It was something that has been in the back of my mind.

Little Bit is slowly coming around. On Monday, I moved the crate from the exercise (ha!) room to the living room. I hoped that this would help her to assimilate and I think it is working.  This morning, for instance, I opened a can of Fancy Feast for the kittens and the big cats were all over me.  So, I split the can and put it in the crate with Little Bit and put the kittens in there with her.  She ate hers, they ate theirs, she went back and sat in the litterbox and I got the kittens out.  She made no move to attack me.  She hissed and growled, but the attacking mode has been greatly reduced.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way I’ll be reaching in there to give her a little scritch behind an ear. That ain’t gonna happen.  And I still keep my stick (actually, a bamboo back scratcher) handy so that she can slap that and not my flesh.  (One of those afterthoughts, I should have had them clip her claws when she was getting spayed. That’s what was done with Blackie so long ago and it was a good thing.) 

The kittens couldn’t be any more adorable if they tried.  And with each minute that passes, they’re getting cuter.  Of course, whenever one of them seems really tired, I start to fret that we might have a sick kitten on our hands, but after a few hours sleep, that kitten is as energetic as ever.  I guess I have to get used to their sleeping patterns again.  What’s really kind of neat is Rachel and Ross are starting to show an interest in their siblings.

I bought five pounds of Odor Mute with the hopes I’d be able to finally get the living room furniture usable.  I mixed it up to skunk strength and applied it liberally to one of the cushions.  The smell didn’t lessen at all.  I got one of my machines out and tried sucking out the excess moisture and finally took the cover off of the foam and took it into the kitchen, where I ran lukewarm water over it for five minutes straight.  The water was nasty, nasty, nasty.  Dark yellow/brown.  I gave up.

I called the trash company and arranged for a bulk item pickup.  This weekend, Brian will get the furniture out of the house.  It would be one thing if we ever used that room, but we don’t, we’ve pretty much given it over to the cats.  It’s been theirs for years now.  I do want to get a wooden rocking chair and I can put it by the sliding glass door.  Get myself a hanging lamp for that side of the room, a little end table and I’ll have a nice little reading area with a great view.  And I won’t have to worry about the smell eminating from the furniture. 

Brian also said to get a few of the cat trees replaced, so I did that this morning.  Three of them are pretty thrashed.  They should be here within seven working days.  So, even though the living room isn’t done, not even close to it, it will be nice to be able to sit out there.

Welp, that’s it for now.  It’s laundry day and we’re going shopping later. And I absolutely must take advantage of the sun while it’s still hot.  Earlier this week, I went swimming and the pool temp was seventy five.  Boy, did that get the old heart pumping.  It felt GOOD!  Gonna do it some more before the Disney trip. Then I’ll be done with pool stuff for the year.  Maybe I’ll start sitting at the table on the patio and drinking tea or coffee during the cool autumn mornings.

I love this time of year.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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