The Comfort of Paws

Castiel Paws

This morning, Boots awoke me at 4am meowing with crazies.  I got up and gave him some water drips from the bathroom tub faucet.  When I got back into bed, Icarus decided he wanted to bunny kick my hand.  And attack me every time I moved under my quilt.  I had difficulty falling back to sleep.

Icarus decided he wanted to wrap his front paws around my arm and give me more bunny kicks to my hand.  I started to pet his belly and head.  Seemed to work, because he settled down into a kitten slumber.  When Icarus fell asleep, his paws were still wrapped around my arm.

CastielPawsThe multi-colored fleshy pads were cool against my skin. ¬†We slept with the windows open last night, so the bedroom was cool around 4:30-5:00am. ¬†A chilly breeze reminiscent of early October wafted through the screens. ¬†It was the perfect sleeping weather. ¬†And Icarus’ paws helped me fall back to sleep.

Maybe it’s just me. ¬†There’s something about paws that relaxes me. ¬†I love kitty paws (claws intact, thank you). ¬†Sometimes cats get sensitive about people touching their paws, but I try to get in the habit of touching my cats paws daily. ¬†The more familiar they are with me handling their “fingers” and “toes,” the easier it is for me to trim their claws!

Sometimes Castiel, Prometheus, or Ishtar put their paws in my hand and fall asleep that way (and sometimes I do, too). ¬†I don’t know. ¬†Something about holding a cat’s paw just relaxes me.

Boots Paw

Boots Paw

Food Intolerance and Fan Club

So, Castiel was back at the vet on Tuesday.  Since his last visit, he started puking every time he ate.  I started his diet the same evening, so his feeding schedule went something along the lines of:

6:30AM – nom-nom-nom; 7:00AM – barf meal he just ate.

This was happening 2-3 times a day (with three pukes per session).  Needless to say, I was worried and frustrated.

The vet said that there could be several things wrong, but an x-ray would show what she suspected… constipation or a lodged foreign body. ¬†At first she thought he was doing a “scarf-n-barf” because he rapidly ate his food during meal times. ¬†However, the only food he was puking was the Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach / Healthy Skin formula. ¬†If he ate the regular Indoor Cat Chow, he was fine.

X-ray showed nothing of concern. ¬†There was a small pocket of gas in his small intestine. ¬†That was it. ¬†And the pockets of gas show up now and then (according to the doc). ¬†Dr. O also worried that maybe the giardia didn’t really go away because sometimes the fecal floatation can show up negative several times before a positive confirmation is made. ¬†However, because he was keeping one food down and not another, she thought it was a food intolerance.

And this is weird… because he was eating a higher quality of food which caused vomiting. ¬†But the low-end food he kept down. ¬†Castiel was put on a special bland diet and flagyl. ¬†I’ve ended up feeding all the cats the special GI health food I had to buy at the vet. ¬†Castiel didn’t want to eat it from his bowl. ¬†So, if everyone was eating it, he¬†had to eat it. ¬†Gotta say, no funky poops in the litter boxes now!

Before I left, all the vet-techs were sure to tell me how Castiel is so handsome and so well-behaved in the back room. ¬†He got a complimentary mani-pedi and we were on our way home. ¬†When I was leaving, two women stopped me just outside the vet’s office. ¬†They asked to see Castiel. ¬†So, I lifted the carrier a little higher so they could peek inside.

Castiel started talking to them, which made the women laugh.

“Oh my, he’s a big boy,” the older lady said.

“Yes, he is.”

“How much does he weigh?” the younger asked.

“18.4 pounds. ¬†And the Doc says he wears it well.”

“That’s a big cat! ¬†What’s his name?” Again, the older woman.

“Castiel. ¬†Named after one of the angels on¬†Supernatural.”

“What a beautiful name for such a beautiful cat!”

“Thank you!” ¬†When my cat gets compliments, it’s better than me getting a compliment.

“Bless you, Castiel!” both women said.

And throughout this conversation, Castiel is talking away the entire time.

I was still laughing about it when I got home.  I told volunteers I work with about it and how he had his own little fan club.

New Friends

The past few weeks have been quite busy, and, regretfully, I have been unable to post.

My niece and nephew visited this week from Hawaii. ¬†I hadn’t seen them in 4 years, so I was shocked to see how much they’ve grown. ¬†Gorgeous children! ¬†Three out of five of the cats they knew from their last visit have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. ¬†Josie was quite sad. ¬†However, she was delighted to make some new feline friends this week.

Boots

Boots

Tuesday evening Josie visited our kitties. ¬†My sis is allergic to cats, so Josie can’t have a cat of her own. ¬†So, she was able to get out some love for kitties she bottled up over the years. ¬†Boots was the first to greet her. ¬†I knew he would be. ¬†He mewed at her and rubbed his head against her hand. ¬†She was little nervous at first, but I gave her a quick lesson on feline body language and she relaxed. ¬†At one point Boots rolled over and showed his belly. ¬†Josie was so excited. ¬†She said, “Aunt Colleen! ¬†Look! ¬†Boots loves me now!”

Castiel

Castiel

Castiel ran back and forth a few times through the apartment. ¬†When he saw there wasn’t¬†anything to be nervous about, he relaxed around Josie. ¬†Castiel kept giving her headbutts and rubbing against her leg, purring. ¬†Once Josie and Castiel were friends, she moved on to the next cat.

Pandora loved Josie.  She rolled around on the bathroom rug begging Josie for bellyrubs.  Pandora is very affectionate with people, but not so much with other cats.  Josie gave her lots of pets and some water drips from the bathtub.  Pandora was in heaven!

Prometheus hid.  Yes, he hid.  Of all the cats, I thought he would be one of the outgoing ones.  Propro proved me wrong.  He saw her enter the living room and wobble-ran to the bedroom.  He stayed under there with Ishtar for most of the evening.

Orlox couldn’t really have been bothered. ¬†He let her pet him, gave her a couple of headbutts, then walked away for a nap.

Josie - in kitty gear

Josie – in kitty gear

Icarus was frightened at first.  However, once Josie got the laser pointer out, he was her best friend.  Prometheus came out a couple of times when he heard Icarus playing with Josie, but once he saw Josie, he went back under the bed.  Icarus let Josie hold him and sat on her lap for a while!

Ishtar stayed under the bed while Josie was around.  She seemed content there when I checked on her.  I knew she would be nervous.

The next couple of days, Josie came downstairs to our apartment to play with our cats.  They were used to her by yesterday (her last day in this area of NJ) and all of them except Ishtar came out to say hello to her.

Wednesday morning my mom, Josie, and Marquis came to the START II shelter to see the animals. ¬†Jodi and I made sure that they were only interacting with very friendly cats and dogs. ¬†Houdini absolutely loved Josie. ¬†He put his paws on her shoulders and gave her kisses on her face! ¬†He then tried to make himself cozy in her lap, but she wasn’t sitting correctly for optimal lap time.

I introduced Josie to Wobbles (April). ¬†She said that Wobbles’ story was so sad. ¬†Wobbles¬†loved the attention from Josie. ¬†She was flopping around in her cage, purring like a motorboat, and giving lots of kisses! ¬†Josie said, “All she wants is to be loved. ¬†You should adopt her, Aunt Colleen, because you would take good care of her. ¬†You take really good care of your cats and you love your cats. ¬†And she needs a good home and lots of love.”

During lunch yesterday, Josie told Ron what she said to me. ¬†We’ll see if we have a new addition to the family in the coming weeks.

Toilet Flushing Cat?

Yes, a toilet flushing cat… AKA my special cookie, Prometheus.

For some reason, Prometheus and Castiel¬†love hanging out on the rug in the bathroom. ¬†It’s not like it’s special or anything, nor does it contain magical secrets to the universe’s problems. ¬†It is a plain, gray rug. ¬†That has been bleached too many times and turned a reddish gray color.

Yesterday, Castiel was hanging out on this rug. ¬†I sat on the edge of the bathtub and gave him head scratches. ¬†He was purring like a¬†motorboat¬†and showed the belly. ¬†While Cas was chatting and purring, Prometheus wobbled in and attacked Castiel’s exposed belly. ¬†I pried Pro off Cas and scooted him toward the toilet. ¬†(Castiel hates having other cats attack his belly. ¬†He’s sensitive about his weight)

While I was paying attention to Castiel, Prometheus decided to hop on the toilet seat. ¬†He stared at me for a few minutes, then huffed. ¬†When I looked him directly in the eyes, his head started twitching side to side like a bobble head (common in CH cats). ¬†Pro’s stare was intent. ¬†Out of nowhere, he took out whatever frustration that had been building up on the toilet paper roll, tearing apart about half the roll of tissue. ¬†While I started to clean that up, he stood on his hind legs and perched his front paws on the toilet tank. ¬†Prometheus sat back down. ¬†The he cocked his head (which started to¬†wobble¬†back and forth), staring intently on the handle of the toilet tank. ¬†Lo and behold – Propro stood up and pushed down the handle with his left front paw. ¬†He jumped a little and arched his back when flushing commenced. ¬†Then he laid down on the toilet seat, keeping an eye on Castiel.

Prometheus never ceases to amaze me.

On another note…

I changed all the litter out of the cat boxes yesterday. ¬†When I set up one of the boxes in the kitchen with clean litter, Castiel was the first to use it. ¬†(For awhile, Boots circled me like a great white when I changed them to ensure he was the first to use it) ¬†I¬†finally got a stool sample. ¬†And to my relief, Castiel had a healthy poop. ¬†Like you really needed to know that. ¬†But I figured I’d update you since he¬†was on meds over the weekend.

Never a dull moment with these cats!