A Year of Cats
Good morning, dear friends! Yesterday was the one year anniversary of bringing our fuzzy friends home to live with us! That’s right, we’ve survived a whole year with cats of our very own and they are still alive! Seriously, being responsible for tiny, furry lives is a little intimidating, but we managed to make it through a whole year without too much destruction. So to commemorate such a momentous occasion I’m going to tell you all about our cats.
Pearl and Calamity are sisters. They were found with their third sister, Belle, when then were about two weeks old by a friend of my sister’s. Yes, lots of sisters. Many people are not as skilled at caring for under-aged kittens as my sister, so she brought them home and nursed them on cat formula in my family’s sun room. Often times a mother cat will adopt stray kittens, but the cat who claimed my girls was not a mother cat, she just really wanted to be. This means that the kittens couldn’t nurse from her, but she still washed them and played with them and did her best to take care of them like a good mama cat.
In October of 2015 Logan and I decided we were moving out when our lease was up and we couldn’t wait to have cats any longer. We picked two cats from my parents house based on their need for a safe place. Calamity, because she had a terrible eye infection which left her with one eye nearly always swollen shut, and Grizz because he had a hernia which was ill suited to outdoor life. He was also the sweetest fluffy cat ever. Unfortunately, Grizz wondered off, as boys often do, and was never seen again. We were left with the choice of splitting up sibling: take one of Grizz’s sisters and leave the other alone, or take one of Calamity’s and leave the last one behind. There was simply no way for us to take all three. As sad as I was to leave Belle behind, we picked Pearl because her coloring made her easier to tell apart from Calamity.
My wonderful in-laws agreed to foster our kittens while we looked for a new place to live. We moved the girls down in November and started a long series of vet visits to save Calamity’s eye and get them all cleaned up and healthy again. Outside cats are prone to fleas and worms and ear mites and all sorts of thing that require a lot of medication. Our poor girls got so many pills and drops in their first few weeks at my in-laws, but they were so patient in giving them. Molly was especially good with Pearl who hates medicine above all else. Calamity just sort of gave up and would lie limp in my husband’s arms as we gave her eye drops and ear drops. Pills were a different story.
Thankfully, after about two months of treatments, Calamity’s eyes cleared up completely. Her problem eye is still a little cloudy looking, but she sees fine and moves around as gracefully as her sister, which, admittedly, is not always all that graceful. The next challenge was the poops. If you don’t care to read about cat poop issues, you can go ahead and skip the next paragraph.
Calamity has irritable bowl syndrome. Her tummy is sensitive about the way she eats and when. While living at my in-laws they cats were free fed, meaning a bowl of dry food was just out all day and they got a can of wet food once a day. They also dealt with Calamity sometimes leaking poop all over because she had no idea it was there. She would act totally normal, but have diarrhea all over the litter box and on everything she sat on. This is where we learned that the stool thickener pills are the actual worst. They taste awful even to humans and especially to cats and Calamity would fight tooth and nail not to take them. It was awful, but we managed to get enough into her to stop her issues for a while. We only had one big incident since she moved in with us, and thankfully after that we learned to feed her only enough cat food, split between dry food and wet food, one in the morning, the other at night. Her tummy seems satisfied with this arrangement.
If you skipped that part, welcome back. So we moved the cats into our new house about two weeks after we moved in. This gave us time to sort of get things set up and also gave them time to heal up completely from their spaying. When the first arrived Pearl needed to inspect every inch of the house. Calamity wanted to explore, but also didn’t want me out of her sight. She followed me as I tried not to follow Pearl, just observe from a distance and not interfere with her investigation. Finally they both ended up hiding in the bedroom while my sister and mom visited for the day. Pearl hid under my husband’s dresser while Calamity hung out under the bed.
In the past year we’ve had so many adventures with our girls. They’ve learned to be brave and even sometimes come out to see our guests when we have them. They’ve gotten used to my brother, who comes every week for DnD and stays the night afterward. Pearl likes when he comes because she can play with his socks, which she loved. We’ve learned that Calamity is a super weirdo who rolls in the litter box and likes bags, for some reason. She discovered, at some point, that bags often have food in them and now tries to get into them when she cat. She’s chewed up a loaf of bread, stolen a cookie from the table and most recently snatched a small baggy of shortbread from my purse and hid under the bed with it while she chewed on it. That’s the really confusing part. She knows she’s not supposed to have these things, but she comes to the place where we’re trying to sleep to play with them.
Calamity has also learned the feeding schedule. Every day at 7 am, she is on us, demanding breakfast. Sometimes it starts as early as 6. She’s also learned that the alarm means we’re going to get up and feed her, and she gets super excited when it goes off. Pearl really likes to play with the coasters. They look like cat butts and she loves to steal them and play with them in the other room. I’ve twice seen her put them in the water dish, which still baffles me. Why do they put things in their water dish? What is the purpose of this? They both like to show off their kills. And by “kills” I mean the cat toy they have most recently vanquished. Usually the blue catnip mouse and lady at church made for them. Anyway, our cats are super strange, but we love them.
I think it’s really funny how opposite they are. Pearl is calm and enjoys lap time and sleeping on your feel or near by while you’re hanging out. Calamity is kind of a spaz. When she wants snuggles, she needs to be up on your chest, as close to your face as she can get. She often wants to cuddle your arm and pins things down as best she can. Calamity is also super into fingers and hands and will chew, lick, or claim them any way she can. Pearl, on the other hand, enjoys feet; rubbing on them, attaching them, biting them, you name it. She loves socks but mostly when they’re on feet. Pearly is super into the meaty bits of the wet food, while Calamity prefers the gravy. They’re the same way if we give them tuna or chicken water. Pearl would rather have the bits.
This past year has been an adventure, from learning about our cats, to wild vet visits, to trying to figure out what that crashing sound was. We’ve managed to keep them alive, and my plants alive, for the most part, and the carpet has survived as well. I wouldn’t say we’re prefect cat owners, by any stretch of the imagination, but we’ve definitely grown in the last year and I think we’re doing pretty well. We love our cats and wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Have a lovely day, my friends.