Critter report

Long time no see, friends.

It’s a good thing. When I haven’t been working on my book cover and scroll box projects for my ceramics class, I’ve been relaxing. That’s right. I can relax now. Although that crash that just came from the kitchen kind of nullified that for a minute.

The kittens are between 4-5 months old and completely crazy and entertaining but they also require some training about scratching the furniture and jumping on forbidden places like the woodstove and the counter around the stove where I prepare food. Unfortunately, Theo is a nervous wreck and whenever he hears me say “No” to the kittens he freaks out and hides. This reminds me that I have no idea what happened to him during his first eight years, or why he was turned over to the animal shelter. So this situation is a bit of a challenge.

Pablo Opie Blondie Fritz and Diego Wolf Winnie (we can’t settle on one name, and the latter ones are the ones the shelter gave them) are definitely in need of neutering and no one will do it until they are completely free of the ringworm. Pablo seems to be over it, and Diego is close – he has a spot near the end of his tail that has been there from the beginning which is really stubborn. Once we adopted them and turned them over to our vet’s care, they went on oral meds which has helped enormously. Their coats are beautiful now. We discovered that the shelter would euthanize them because of the ringworm even though we were committed to adopting them so we went ahead and paid the fee and signed a contract that we would take care of the rest of their vaccines and neutering. They are expensive little boogers. We saved their lives. They owe us, dammit.

I think that Pablo will earn his keep. One night he sat on the floor hunched down and growling. I picked him up and he clearly had something in his mouth, but he was not letting go. I stuck my finger into his mouth between his teeth and he chomped down hard enough that I couldn’t get my finger out! So I walked him over to Sandy, Pablo still growling, and Sandy saw that he had a palmetto bug in his mouth. God, how I hate those things. This year is my first experience with them. I managed to get my finger out and Sandy asked if I wanted him to get the bug out of his mouth. Well, first off, I don’t think that Pablo would have allowed that. Secondly, if he wants to eat palmetto bugs, I say by all means let him.

There has not been another bug incident that I am aware of, but it does bode well that Miss Lucy will have a hunting partner when the mice come back into the house for the winter. In the meantime, Pablo runs around with a butterbean in his mouth growling. That’s my boy.

Lucy has adjusted well to the kittens and plays with them sometimes. She is fascinated with watching them and has a happy relaxed curled tail while she sits in the middle of the chaos. Poor Theo is the one I am worried about. He will occasionally lick their faces when they are calm but he doesn’t eat much. I give him as much attention as always and he sleeps beside me at night. I’m glad that he is overweight because mealtimes seem to be a source of stress and I have tried a lot of variations, including giving him a special treat before he eats to charge up his appetite. That seems to work best but not if he is running from me and hiding. It used to be that shaking the treat bag would bring him out of anywhere in the house anytime, but no more.

Art report later.