Hello, interwebs! Long time no blogging!
Ye Olde Technology Curse kicked me in the pants hardcore, and TBH I didn’t have the technical ability to post anymore! But if this posts, I can blog with my Kindle, huzzah!
So… a lot has happened since I posted last. Let’s start with the hardest part.
Deidre crossed the rainbow bridge in October. She was 15 years old. She was my best friend, and I still cry sometimes when I miss her. She was acting totally normal until the week she passed. At first I thought it was another UTI like she had the year before, but it turned out her kidneys were failing, and her liver too at the end. We tried two days of IVs, but she wasn’t getting any better, wasn’t eating, and was in a lot of pain. I was with her as she passed (our vet hospital has a nice place with couches so you can hold them and feel more comforted). I scattered her ashes in my sacred place in the mountains. Deids is now with me in spirit.
Maggie and Yuan are doing well. They have their ups and downs in the getting along department: on the one hand, Maggie has been Adventure Tortie and going places in the apartment she never went before, like the bathroom counter (really. 6 1/2 years, she never went on that counter until this week!). She has also asserted her right to Sleep With Her Human, whether little brother likes it or not. So now I often wake up with two kitties in bed, which makes me happy.
She has also taken to belleh petting!!!
Which makes me squee. Yuan likes to SHOW OFF his belleh, but don’t pet it… it’s a trap!
^ a trap.
Yuan still has his bullypants moments, but there are things that help. He originally ratcheted down for a while after Deidre passed, as he was now The Undisputed Alpha. But then… I think he wasn’t keen on Maggie joining us in bed. Bed is very important territory. So he started picking on Maggie, and… surprise! Poop and pee in weird places!
The carpet in this apartment needs to be buried in that nuclear waste mountain at this point, I think.
BUT… when I play with Yuan enough that he gets to panting at least once but preferably a few times a day, he picks on Maggie less. So really, it seems to be more of an issue of distracting him and redirecting his energy. You know, to the REAL enemies. Like the business end of wand toys.
(Enter quasi technology curse here; video wasn’t letting me upload the post!)
He’s a very smart kitteh. He knows which end is running that show.
The kitteh superhighway has expanded, and all it needs now is a suspension bridge (yes, a suspension bridge). But even with the bridge missing, it still helps keep peace as only Yuan goes up to the high points, and when he’s up there, Maggie feels free to be a Beach Cat in the middle of the floor without being accosted my Mr. Pouncypants. I think when I finally have some money to make that last link, it will be even better, because then Yuan can on- and offramp on either end, bypassing Maggie if she is on the floor-to-ceiling cat tree (which she often is).
^ still a trap.
We have had moments of peaceful tolerance! I have photographic evidence!
…even the vacuum didn’t deter them!
And in the fluffy kittehs department, they finally settled on ONE food for wet and one for dry (after searching for a long time, trying to go raw, trying to minimize upset tummehs and hairballs), and they have both lost weight (I don’t know exactly how much as I haven’t weighed them in a while, but it’s visible AND I can tell when I lift them). They are NOT on a raw diet (the vet actually told me not to bother with that), they are not getting bored of it and turning up their noses at it (like they did with soooo many foods), Yuan is not having hairballs left and right (Maggie never did), and human and kittehs are happy!
So that’s about it for now! If you are still following this blog, welcome back! If this works I shouldn’t be so derelict about posting in future. 🙂 Yay Kindle!
So in my ever-expanding quest to catify the apartment to a) make them happy and b) help ease tensions, I re-did a corner of the living room again, all new and kitteh-like. I moved the stairstep scratcher into the bedroom (its intended purchase was to provide steps to go up to the bed, though it has never been used that way), moved a litter box into that corner, added another wall shelf, cut the Cardboard House of Awesome in half, and added a sky chair.
Wait, why did I cut the Cardboard House of Awesome in half? It has four stories inside made of super industrial cardboard. Well, one of those stories went bye-bye after it was peed upon. Two more have buckled and been clawed to death (btw, yes – considering I’ve had the House for I think a couple of years, that’s durable for them to have lasted this long). They could no longer hop through all the stories up to the rooftop. So I took the inner floor that was still intact and one of the buckling ones that was the least damaged (it wouldn’t matter if it was buckling if it was upside down and on the ground level), and made it a two-story House of Awesome instead. I added a basket with the warming blanket I made them on top, and now they have a salvaged Cardboard House of Awesome!
Now, the sky chair. Have you ever seen those beds that are pillows hung from the ceiling with cloth, like this? I’ve long wanted to get one for my kitties, but I am, alas, but a poor blogger and funds are tight. So, I made a makeshift one of my own!
All I did really was take one of their pillows that my grandmother had made them years ago, and suspended it in a macrame plant hanger. Voilà! Instant kitty sky chair!
So this is what the new-and-improved cat corner looks like:
I hope they like the changes. Yuan has already been in the cup on the stairstep scratcher in the bedroom (I’m hoping its proximity to my pillows will facilitate two – or three – cats sharing bedtime with me with less of an issue, though it has been getting better already anyway). But so far the corner has not been claimed (I just put up the sky chair this afternoon, and was modifying the Cardboard House of Awesome at about three this morning). Maybe I’ll put out some catnip to signal that construction is complete.
Now if only I could mount a sky chair for *me* from the ceiling…
Deidre and Maggie have a heated discussion about exactly who can sit where on the papasan, and when.
Maggie loves to hang out on top of the toilet lid. I’m not sure why, but that is one of her favorite spots. Maybe that shaggy cover is really comfy…
PS – Maggie has lost .4 pounds! Woohoo! The new noms strategy is working! ^.^
So first I must share the amazing news: not only are Maggie and Yuan sniffing noses now, but Deidre has reclaimed a bunch of territory and has been super brave! She has joined me on the bed again, including when Yuan was also on the bed, and though a couple of times there were growls and hisses, there were also a couple of times where absolutely nothing happened. The other day, she not only joined Yuan and I on the bed, but she climbed over me to be on the same side where he was, growled at him a little, he gave her kitty kisses/blinky eyes, and she calmed down. Her nose was less than two inches from his foot and both of them were chill. And to boot, she had to cross within inches of Maggie, who has taken to curling up on the floor next to the bed, to hop up and join us in the first place.
So on that note, I give you the latest addition of Things That Have Helped With The Peace Process: Spirit Essences by Jackson Galaxy.
Spirit Essences are holistic remedies that you can give either in food or water, or topically (may I just say I love the topical option? Especially if your kitties are sharing dishes, and/or you’ve got food bullies (*cough*Yuan*cough*), it can be hard to separate who gets what in food sometimes if they need different things. So I can put Peacemaker (which is for everybody) in the water dishes/fountains which everyone drinks out of, and apply the Bully Remedy to Yuan and the Self Esteem to Deidre on their fur).
First of all, I have to say that they must not taste funny, because I’ve been putting Peacemaker in their water for a while now and no one seems to mind in the slightest. At first I tried it in the gravity waterer and not the fountain, figuring if they were going to turn their noses up at the taste, they’d at least have an alternative and not go thirsty – but no one avoided it, so now it’s in both. So that’s a plus from the get-go.
Secondly, the topical option, which not only is great for getting everyone their different needs, is *so easy*. I just drop some drops into my hand, rub it across my palms, and pet them. Especially Yuan, who loves the thorough, full-body pets will get into this, but I think he actually enjoys the essence itself, because he seems to get excited when I say, “It’s good juju stuff time!” …which is what I call Spirit Essences. They are Good Juju Stuff. 😉
But most importantly, they seem to be helping! We’ve made so much progress lately, which sure, you could say is a cumulative process, but the most dramatic changes have aligned pretty nicely with the continued use of Good Juju Stuff.
So – all three kitties and a human agree – Spirit Essences get two paws up!
It’s the little things that make me happy in the Quest For Kitteh Peace, and one of those things is Maggie and Yuan SNIFFING NOSES!
You may think that’s not a big deal, cats sniff noses all the time… but when they’re at war, they don’t!
Back when it was just the girls and I, one of the first signs of peace and tolerance for each other (which, incidentally, ALSO took about two years to develop) was that Deidre and Maggie would surreptitiously sniff each other. Usually that meant one of them was cuddling with me in the papasan with their tail hanging over the side, and the other would come up and sniff the tail, with the cuddler unawares. Or perhaps I was feeding them in the kitchen, and one would be so fixated on me with the food that they didn’t notice the other come up from behind and sniff their… behind.
Now Yuan and Maggie have been doing the while-they’re-not-looking sniffs, which made me happy in and of itself, but the other day they actually both turned the corner at the same time and sniffed *noses*. No growls, no hisses. Just sweet sniffs!
I am a happy human.
And yes – I’ve had Yuan for a little over two years now. Apparently that is the magic timeframe.
On a little side note, I finally got the water fountain working that had been out of commission for WAY too long (I lost two different parts at two different times when I had taken it apart for washing, and only found them months later, because yes, I think the dryer sock monster sometimes vacations in my kitchen), and Yuan is MYSTIFIED by it. The girls seem to be like, “Oh yeah, the fountain,” but for the first day Yuan was just staring at it, as though he was debating whether he should drink from it or pounce it (he eventually did drink from it, and yes, I still have other water bowls about). Simple kitty amusements.
And finally, the other kitteh news is: Maggie is frisky!!! And playing with TOYS! It’s a miracle!!!
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that Maggie, historically, generally found toys to be evil. She would growl and hiss at them, and seemed to be stressed out by their presence rather than amused. As she is the fluffiest of the three (though Yuan The Food Bully is doing his darndest to catch up despite all of them being on a diet), I could never figure out how to get her to play so she’d get some exercise and have fun! Then she got some awesome wine cork toys for Christmas from a neighbor friend, and she’d actually chase and play with them in small doses. Previously, the closest we got to play was her rolling around in catnip or licking catnip toys enthusiastically – but she never chased them. These ones she chased!
Then the other day, I couldn’t find the wine corks, so I tossed a feather-ball toy that we’ve had for years and… she actually chased it and attacked it! We’ve had a few play sessions since then, and she’s actually having fun!
*sings the hallelujah chorus*
I have a Deidre curled up leaning on me right now, so I’m going to go and snuggle a kitteh. The peace treaties are working! Yay! 🙂
Those of you who have cats and papasans (bowl chairs) may know that they are the Kitteh Throne Of Choice. All three of mine have at one time or another claimed the papasan as their territory, and currently it’s Miss Maggie Magnificat.
So if you’re looking for a comfy piece of furniture that the kittehs will enjoy just as much (if not moreso) than you do, get yourself a papasan! Plus, they’re good for snuggling together in. You know you love a cat curled up in your lap. Don’t deny it. 😉
Yep, my crazy human self tried to make the kittehs (but especially Yuan – since he’s the one that looks the most like Nyan Cat) a costume for Samhain (Halloween). A few action shots, since Yuan was either attacking the costume or the camera strap… lol.
If I get any good shots of the girls in costume, I will post them later. 🙂
Now to explain Maggie’s boyfriend, mentioned in the last post. There was an outdoor kitty (not mine), who took to peeing on the outside of my front door. I live in an apartment building, but everyone’s door faces outside to an inner courtyard; while it’s possible he was from elsewhere and managed to get in and out of our (locked) building (squirrels do, and a neighbor adopted a stray that had done it before), I figured he was an indoor/outdoor cat that lived in the building, though I never caught him in the act to see who it was. And yes, I was guessing male as it seemed like more of a male cat thing to do to have a bigger territory and get so close to other cats’ territory (whom he could see in the window and smell under the door). Anyway, I would come home or go outside to find puddles on my doormat. So Miss Maggie took to spraying the front door (really, truly, spraying up the side of the door, which she hadn’t done before this) in response, as if to say, “This is OUR house, buster! You smell MY pee!” This went on for some time – I’d clean the outside AND the inside pee spots, only to have it resurface in a day or so. Finally I got wise and started spraying the outside stoop all over with feliway spray – and eventually her boyfriend stopped peeing out there. Only then (and with strategic rearranging of litter boxes), did I get Maggie to finally stop peeing inside the door. Oh yes, and putting the Big Scary Noisy Machines (read: the vacuum and the carpet shampooer) in front of the door for a few nights to deter visits.
I asked Maggie if outdoor kitty was her boyfriend (she said yes), so I called their messages-in-pee to each other “love notes”.
So that’s the story of Maggie’s boyfriend.
Before I found the solution via feliway spray, I was half tempted to take one of the soiled puppy pee-pee pads and stick it under my doormat. It would smell (but it smelled there anyway thanks to the puddles), but I thought it might deter him. Of course, I was also afraid that it might make him mark MORE, so I’m glad the feliway worked instead. Ah, the joys of territory marking…
Are your animal friends dressing up for Halloween? Let me know as what in the comments! 🙂
I will be working on a longer post soon, but just a quickie update to say that yes, the kitties and I are alive and well, and naughty blogger is naughty for not posting in so long. Sorry! As you may have noticed, I tend to blog in waves… a bunch of posts, and then a drought. Another wave of posts, and then another drought. That’s kind of how I function in most areas in my life… to everything, turn, turn, turn…
At this very moment as I type this, I am in my bed with Deidre and Yuan, playing Great Wall of China like I used to do with Maggie and Deidre. AMAZING! Especially since there has been a return of peeing-outside-the-box on the part of the girls as of late: Deidre because Yuan has been intimidating her, and Maggie because she has a boyfriend. But more on the boyfriend later in the longer post. I just repositioned a litter box again tonight – hopefully third time’s the charm on that front! I should buy stock in enzyme cleaners. And puppy peepee pads.
Yes, my cats will use puppy peepee pads when they won’t use the box.
Anyway! I also wanted to mention that as I was looking things over today, I noticed that for some mysterious technology is the spawn of Loki reason, almost all of my embedded YouTube videos on this site have transmogrified to show the last video I uploaded to YouTube – which is a drive down Pikes Peak, instead of the relevant video, such as building cat shelves. I do not know how that happened, but when I am working on the long post tomorrow I will see if it is fixible, or if Loki just wants to laugh at me some more. 😉
Finally, even though I am employing ever-more strategies to help my kitties get along all the time and hoping they will take, y’all know I have been at this for a while (Maggie joined Deidre and I four years ago this December – Yuan will be two years ago this October). For those that don’t know me outside of this blog, I have been slowly working to downsize my massive amounts of clutter – for many reasons, but especially because I have a dream of building/owning my own tiny house.
The kitties already have territory issues in 600-some square feet… going smaller would take some serious progress on the making friends front.
So with that in mind, I saw on Facebook today that My Cat From Hell is now casting.
What do ya’ll think? Should I ask Jackson Galaxy to come and play peace treaty negotiator for my kitties? I’m seriously thinking about it!