Zoey, Part 6: Settling in

I brought Zoey home and got started on her aftercare plan. I found it impossible to squirt the drops of liquid medicine down her throat; she was too wiggly. So I mixed the drops into her wet food, and she ate it right up. The flea med seemed to be working as well. While she still scratched a lot, a quick few strokes with a flea comb turned up no live fleas. The neck wound still looked awful, although it had started to fade from blood red to a healthier pink. I wondered if her fur would ever grow back there, or if she’d always have a bald spot.

My two adult cats weren’t sure what to make of the newcomer. I kept them separate as much as possible, sequestering Zoey in the spare bedroom most of the time. Of course, the other cats knew she was there; they’d smell her under the door, the way cats do. Also, I couldn’t resist letting her out once in awhile, for just a few minutes at a time, to explore a little bit of her new home.Well, the hallway at least.

As her sniffles cleared up, I let her out more and more. She was so curious about everything!

zoey bookcase
Zoey explores the bookcase. Notice that she is standing on a stack of cat-related books!

Speaking of curiosity, Milo seemed to want to know about Zoey. Jinx, however, was terribly offended that I would let another cat into our world. Certainly she, the magnificent Jinx, was splendid enough to fulfill anyone’s need for a cat! Even this Milo character was merely an “extra” on the set of her life. Him, she’d grown to tolerate, but this… this ZOEY. Just, no.

It will all work out, I thought. It’ll just take time. But three is my limit!

It’s funny, when I had just the two, I’d always joked that I was “one cat short of crazy.” Now, with the addition of Zoey, what did that make me???

 

jinx zoey staredown
Zoey looking up at Jinx. Jinx keeps her distance.

 

Before I could figure out the answer to that question, there was a knock at my door. I opened it to see Jake and Clarissa*, my neighbors. I’d only exchanged “hellos” in passing with them, yet I knew what they were here for.

They were Zoey’s original human parents. And Jake looked very unhappy.

 

*Names of humans have been changed

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My Life With Cats, as Reviewed by… Cats!

Now that My Life With Cats is in print as a real, actual, physical BOOK, I thought I would share it with four of the cats featured in its pages. I had to read it aloud to them, as my cats are pretty intelligent (except for Tiffany), but they’re not clever enough to read. Here are their honest, uncensored reactions.

 

JINX:

jinx-bradbury

First of all, I’m a little embarrassed by the revelation that my original name was “June Bug.” The folks at the SPCA thought me to be ornery and antisocial. Well, who can blame me? A sleek, black, spooky Halloween cat named “June Bug”??!? How demeaning! Mom and Pete chose the perfect name for me. I’ve always been a Jinx. I have lived many lives before… AT LEAST nine!!!! Bwahahahaha!

Other than that, I am pleased with my portrayal in this book.

Something you didn’t read about (because Mom doesn’t know)… I didn’t spend ALL my “missing days” in the neighbor’s basement. I had me some adventures I have never disclosed to anyone. Why? Because I am saving them for my own book someday!

 

MILO:

 

smiley-face

I love the book and I love my Momma! I am her favorite! Sometimes I gotta remind Jinx of that. I hardly remember my Military humans at all. Or my brothers and sisters. It seems that the whole world has always revolved around me. I don’t know what “surgery” is, but it sounds scary. I’m glad Momma’s not making me have it. She takes good care of my eyes.

I don’t know why Momma didn’t mention the tricks I can do, like the tunnel crawl and the bacon dance! Or how much I love John Denver. His voice makes my ears twitch. I think I remember him from one of my previous lives. How many am I up to anyway?

 

TIFFANY:

snootycat

 

I live with Pete now, but I still see Mom once a week. She’s okay. I prefer my Papa, or as I call him, my “Sugar Daddy.”

The cooler incident with my kittens is all a blur in my memory. I was never meant to be a mother. I am quite self-centered. My role models are Mae West and Scarlet O’Hara. I’m not sure I like the way Mom portrayed me in this book. Almost like I’m a…. Floozy!

 

OLIVER:

ollieollieoliver

My earliest memory is of not feeling like I belonged. I was the “black sheep” of the litter, if you will. I guess it’s because I have seven toes on my feet instead of five. I have a very faint memory of riding home in that little red canvas carrier. My goodness, I couldn’t even fit one leg in that little bitty thing now! I’m a big boy! I can’t help it if I’m shy. I don’t ALWAYS hide when Mom comes to visit. Sometimes I come out and do a “panther stalk” across the living room in slow motion. Tiffany may be a Daddy’s Girl, but Dad and me are best buddies.

All in all, an interesting book. Who knew Mom had so many kitties before us?

 

Copies of My Life With Cats may be ordered by clicking here.

 

my-life
Author! Author!

I’ve Created a Monster

I’m feeling just a little bit guilty.

I’ve noticed that my sweet black cat, Jinx, has been stressed out lately.

And I feel like… It’s. All. My. Fault.

If you read my previous post, The Stray Cat That Wasn’t, you know of the neighbor cat, Snowflake, AKA Toby. If you missed it, Snowflake was a cat that just showed up on my doorstep. Assuming he had been abandoned, I started feeding him and posted pics of the handsome cat. Came to find out he belongs to my new neighbors. Apparently, Toby/ Snowflake puts on his pathetic “starving stray cat” act for as many as five different households, according to his humans.

Even after I learned of his deception, I couldn’t help doting on Snowflake. His distinctive, hoarse “meow” and his refined pandering techniques were too cute for me to resist. I continued to feed him and make a fuss over him. I sometimes sat outside in my camping chair, with a book, with Toby/ Snowflake at my feet. I called him my “Reading Buddy.”

flakey boy
“Nom! Nom! Nom! I’m starving! I haven’t eaten in, like, two hours!”

Meanwhile, Jinx had been observing our budding friendship  from her perch on the living room windowsill. She seemed unaffected at first, like she couldn’t care less about this shaggy imposter. But one day, she started vocalizing her disapproval, letting out a series of forlorn meows through the window screen as she watched me play with Snowflake/ Toby on the porch. It wasn’t a jealous vibe that I picked up; it was more of an “Aren’t I good enough for you?” meow, as though her feelings had been hurt. When I found her crouched atop the kitchen cabinets (she NEVER gets up that high!) I knew things had to change.

jinx-is-high
“I am making a statement… Now help me down.”

Naturally, I felt like a Very Bad Mom. I decided to cut back on the attention I gave to the neighbor’s cat.

Easier said than done. That cat is seemingly ALWAYS here, croaking in his weird little voice on my doorstep. Jinx is perpetually stationed on the windowsill, staring out at him, her eyes as large and round as frisbees. Sometimes the loitering cat will stand up on his hind legs so that he’s almost nose-to-nose level with Jinx through the window screen. She doesn’t hiss or recoil, nor does she return his affections. She just stares at him.

The other day, Snowby (haha– get it? Combo of Snowflake and Toby!) actually rushed into my living room when I opened the front door. This was a first. Jinx remained where she was, again regarding him with that blank stare.

Milo, on the other hand, did not like this intrusion whatsoever. He leapt up on a table and hissed at Snowby. I scooped up the uninvited guest and quickly escorted him back outside. Milo had been within seconds of launching himself at Snowby, which would NOT have been pretty. He continued to hiss for a full minute after the  trespasser was gone.

milo-now
“This is my Domain. My. Domain. Mine.”

The neighbors who own Snowflake say “he just keeps running out.” I personally think they are overwhelmed with two toddlers, a newborn, a dog, and a cat. I feel sorry for Snow, even though he’s annoying. If only Milo wasn’t such a bully, I’d just let him in sometimes. I’m worried he might get hit by a car, the way he runs amok in the neighborhood.

Stay tuned for another installment of “As the Litterbox Turns,” coming soon.

snowby-poser
“You know you can’t resist me.”

 

 

 

 

Cat Names: Beyond Muffin

 

Petco just released its annual Top 10 lists of the most popular cat names for boy and girl kitties for 2015. It seems that the days of giving our cats cutie-pie monikers like Fluffy, Princess, Muffin, and Blackie are a thing of the past.

Here are the lists, starting with the boys…

  1. Oliver
  2. Charlie
  3. Max
  4. Leo
  5. Milo
  6. Simba
  7. Smokey
  8. Jack
  9. Tiger
  10. Kitty
Milo peekaboo
My Milo… He ranks at #5

Okay, so numbers 9 and 10 are “leftovers” that have been around awhile. I predict that “Kitty” will disappear from the list next year. I’m surprised that “Tiger” is in the Top 10… What happened to “Tigger” (as in the Winnie the Pooh character)? I’m pretty sure it was high on the list last year. I must pat myself on the back for being a trendsetter… I named my rescue kitten Oliver like, five years ago! (He now lives with my ex.) And I didn’t realize Milo was a popular name for male cats when I bestowed it upon my newest addition nearly two years ago. He has a mark on his forehead that looks like the letter “M” and he just looked like a Milo to me!

2 kitties
Oliver and Tiffany. Oliver is the #1 name for male cats.

 

Okay, now for the girls…

  1. Chloe
  2. Bella
  3. Lucy
  4. Kitty
  5. Chloe
  6. Callie
  7. Nala
  8. Lily
  9. Gracie
  10. Daisy
Punkin Spice4
My neighbor’s cat, Daisy. She ranks at #10

Petco predicts that the popular Hunger Games book/ movie series will make an impact on next year’s list, so don’t be surprised if you see Katniss and Peeta in the Top 10 by the end of 2016. Also, due to the resurgence of Star Wars mania, Petco experts think that it’s possible that Leia and Chewie might an appearance as well.

Here are some cat names I like for girls. First, I must give a shout out to Tiffany (my little Turkish angora who lives with Oliver and the Ex) and Jinx, who is my perfect, stunning black cat.

peaceful Jinx
Jinx looks peeved that she didn’t make the list!

 

Other female cat names I fancy, but haven’t used yet are, well, Fancy, for a start! It’s a great name for a long-haired cat, such as a Persian. (Think of the Fancy Feast kitty.) I also like Delilah, Samantha, Gypsy, Angel, Abigail, Emma, Tabitha, and Taffy.

Some boy cat names I like are: Thomas (never goes out of style for big ol’ Tom), Oscar, Jasper, Casper (for a white cat), Samson, Brutus, Jaxon, and Diablo (for a black cat; it means “devil” in Spanish).

What about you? What are your favorite cat names. How did you come to name your own furbabies? I’d love to hear from you!

A Poem For Milo

 

 

Upside Down, Boy You Turn Me Inside Out

Do you think I’m your mother?

This is not true.

I’ve never suckled the likes of you.

I know not if

You have sisters or brothers.

Sorry, Milo…

I’m not your mother.

Evil Milo 1209

Do you think I’m your servant?

Your personal slave?

Is “meow” an order,

Telling me to “behave”?

You ask for the Moon,

And you deserve it.

But sorry, Milo…

I’m not your servant.

Sly Smile

Do you think I’m your plaything?

A chew toy for you?

Is that why you chomp

On my toes like you do?

Do you think I’m a tree?

Is that why you climb me,

Scaling the front or the side or behind me?

I love you, Milo,

But I’m not your tree,

Your chew toy, or plaything…

I’m just ME!

Me and Milo FB prof pic

 

A Milo Mini Update

 

christmas memories 041

The latest news on Milo’s eye situation is frustrating. The hospital in Syracuse I was advised to contact replied to my email as such: 

Unfortunately our Ophthalmologist, Dr B. recently semi-retired and is no longer available for appointments at VMC. 

At this time, Dr B.is still seeing appointments in Rochester so I would recommend calling the clinic there.

Thank you, and have a great day!  
Yeah, I’ll have a super day after that. Sigh. Rochester is 150 miles from my home city of Watertown, more than twice the distance as Syracuse. I don’t drive, so I have to depend on someone else to get me there. I still have to contact the Fulton facility; I don’t expect to make any meaningful contacts until after the New Year weekend is over. That would be the closest to me, at “only” 61 miles away.
Meanwhile, Milo is doing super-well with the antibiotic ointment. His eyes are bright and clear, with most of the redness gone away. He’s my little trooper!
Milo, Jinx and I wish all of you a Happy New Year! Please continue to follow our story in 2016!
Bed bugs with fur

A Cat With No Eyelids

Ever since I acquired my “little guy” (well, not so little anymore), I noticed that there was something different about his eyes. I’ve had many cats, and their eyes were lovely, round, and bright. Not Milo. In this case, they were little and squinty. I wondered if he were blind. It didn’t take me long to realize that he could see just fine. As a kitten, he watched big sister Jinx’s every move. He never bumped into things, and he was as agile and quick as any other cat. He loved to swat at any string or ribbon I might dangle before him. But… those eyes. They worried me. Sometimes they’d get “gunky,” but he hated it when I tried to wipe them with a damp rag or a cotton ball. I couldn’t find anything on the internet that was exactly like what he had. I was pretty sure his eyes weren’t itchy, as I’ve never seen him scratching or rubbing them with his paws.

Milo, ready for a day trip!
Milo, ready for a day trip.

Finally, to set my mind at ease, I made an appointment with the local animal hospital. The shocking diagnosis: Milo had been born without eyelids! What a stroke of luck, that I got the vet I did. This particular vet– I will call her Dr. K.– had just recently read an article about this condition, but she’d never actually met a cat without eyelids before. And who should magically appear in her office a short time later but Milo?! Talk about serendipity!

Dr. K. applied a water-soluble dye in Milo’s eyes (he was such a good boy during this procedure!) and, in the dark, shone a special light in them to look for any damage. The light caused the dye around his eyes to glow like neon yellow mascara. He looked like a punk rock kitty! Fortunately, there was nothing too bad to be found. Dr. K. pointed out a “black spot” in his right eye where an ulcer had been, but it had healed itself. What’s causing the problem, is there are certain hairs close to Milo’s eyes that poke him and scratch the corneas. The black “gunk” I was worried about, was Milo’s eyes trying to rid themselves of irritants. I asked her if he was in any pain, and she said yes, it’s like you or I getting a grain of sand in our eye. It hurts! But then, he’s never known anything different since the day he was born, so he is used to it. It certainly hasn’t held him back any. He is intelligent, curious, brave, and very loving. But surgery is definitely in Milo’s future. I’m still waiting on a breakdown of the different options and costs.

In the meantime, Dr. K. gave me a tube of lubricant to apply twice a day to Milo’s eyes, so they won’t be so dry and scratchy. After that, she said I can use any brand of “Artificial Tears” (made for humans) that are available in the drugstore.

What a brave little trooper Milo was today! The only time he cried or made a fuss was during the car ride. He wasn’t fazed by the dogs in the waiting room or by the needle when he got his rabies shot. He is really a great cat, and I am so proud of him! I will keep everyone updated on his progress.

He's always smiling, no matter what!
He’s always smiling, no matter what!