FC – the new cat

Ferguson Cat, aka FC, relaxed right into being an indoor cat. I’m so grateful that he isn’t miserable about being locked in. I kept him and my existing cats separated for 2 days and then I opened the door. It was vastly under dramatic. I have no idea why I have not done this with every cat melding.

I mean they didn’t get into any kind screaming hissing face offs. They stared at each other from a distance, eventually met close enough for sniffs. If they were caught off guard, there was a small hiss and retreat, but not anything angry or warlike.

We went to the vet yesterday. He was dewormed, given some vaccines and chipped. I expected him to fight that – but nope. He took all the indignities with a stoic calm.

He has looked over the outside balcony with an eye for jumping but responded immediately when I called him back. I think he knows full well that life is much better inside than outside.

Life, Loneliness and Cats

My life has been dragging along. My depression has creeped into the old corners and I’m just dragging about out of necessity. I would prefer to just curl up in a ball and sink to the bottom. Which is an odd thing. Why would I want to just get worse? That’s the crazy part of the depression. It makes you want to feed it instead of fight it. Even while your logical brain knows it’s not a wise plan to do things that will make you even more miserable than you already are. But I have structure in my life now, so I drag about and go to work and feed cats and take walks and keep going.

One of the biggest miseries in my life is relatively new. Loneliness. I’ve always been a loner, but with plenty of friends. I never felt lonely or extremely rarely until I became homeless. Or more specifically until it became clear to me that one of the mental platforms of my personal identity didn’t actually exist. I thought I was deeply connected to my family. That family meant I was never really alone. But actually – no. When my mother died – the connection died. Because my sisters are married and have families of their own. I never married or had kids – so they did not feel the same connection to me as they had their own lives. That was when loneliness arrived. It’s a terrible feeling and I wish deeply to go back to the place where being alone was just fine and enjoyable. The loneliness is much worse when the depression is mobbing my brain.

But. But. Then there are cats. I do not exaggerate when I say that cats are the reason I have not exited this life. They provide a warm and loving companionship. They give me an obligation to do that makes getting up and moving necessary.

And I now have another cat. Or more precisely FC has moved inside. Yesterday I snatched him up, and won a close struggle and now he is inside. Amazingly, he didn’t hide at all. He just complained in the song of his people for many hours. It turns out, he likes to be pet. He no longer minds being picked up – a thing no one would have predicted after seeing his struggle on the way in.

This is where a picture of FC would go except I can’t find that option anymore because wordpress new and unimproved itself.

And he destroyed the window blind. Yeah. He sits on the window sill, but last night I put the blind down, because I’m not fond of the world seeing into my apartment at night. At first he was fine with that. But at some point while I was asleep he decided he wanted to be on the window sill and even tiny cats will break a shitty window blind. And he did. Very thoroughly. Between him and Tim I will not be getting my deposit back. Tim has ruined the carpet in the bedroom by pulling out the yarns. Apparently that is fun?

Anyway. FC is in. Tim and Bijou are locked in the bedroom and FC has the rest of the apartment. Maybe this afternoon or evening I will bring one of them out to meet FC. I want them to get along – and I’m not sure how long stretch this separation to make the meet and greet easiest. We’ll see.

Ferguson Cat – the gift of happiness

FC was not around when I arrived home to feed him yesterday.  I had an extremely bad day, that had been the nadir of several bad weeks.  And when he didn’t trot out to meet me or come when I called, I decided he was dead.  And the tears that had been falling down my face fairly consistently all day, started again.  Welcome to my broken brain – always focusing on the worst outlook.

As I leaned over to put his food down, I caught sight of him.  Under the truck – eating a chipmunk.  And he was not even considering the fine Fancy Feast cat food I was offering him.  He clearly prefers fresh to canned.

I was soo relieved.  On all levels.  Not just because he was alive and well, but because he is clearly able to hunt well and feed himself.  And while I don’t plan to stop feeding him, it’s just a comfort somehow.  He’s a wild being.

This morning he came trotting up to me to lead me to his dining area so he could have his breakfast.  He’s too wise to ignore a gift of food.

 

FC – Ferguson Cat

He’s been given a proper name, so now he is not FC – Feral Cat.  He is FC Ferguson Cat.

FC is getting closer to making full on friends with me.

It used to be that he was only there 1 in 4 times when I went to feed.  Then it was once a day.  Now it’s everytime.  I put out food 2x a day.

It used to be that when I showed up, he would run to the spot under the truck where he knew I would place the food.  Now he runs toward me and then proudly leads me to his spot under the truck, with his tail high.

It used to be I didn’t know his gender because I never saw his tail up in the air.  Now it’s a happy flag pole when I arrive.

On Saturday I put the food out in the open, in front of where I was standing.  And he walked right over and ate, without showing signs of anxiety.

I have not made any attempt to touch him.Since he is no longer hurt, I feel no need to hurry this process.  I want him to feel completely unpressured to be my friend.

This is his spot under the truck.

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I don’t keep the water under the truck because black flaky yuck ends up falling into the water.  So it sits just outside the truck on the ground.  It gets plant debris in it, but I’m not as worried that plant leaves are going to give him some form of cancer.  Who knows what sort of horrors are lining the bottom of that truck.  They certainly shouldn’t be ingested.

I’d like to move the food to a different spot, but it’s problematic about where to move it.

I’ve been giving serious thought to moving to the empty apartment below me.  Most of my worries about this cat would disappear if I did.  He can come and go from that balcony with ease. But I really do like my apartment.  Which is just slightly larger and also more private because it’s on the second floor.  And also – moving!  Yuck.  Yuck.  yuck. sigh.

But all of that is kind of selfish of me.

The alternative is a cat house.  Like this one.  I’d have to get permission from my landlord to place it against the building in the backyard.  But would it be enough?  And would he even go in?  Both my indoor cats were trapped ferals.  Neither will even sit in a shoe box and absolutely abhor the cat carrier.  I’m wondering if FC will go into anything that resembles a cage.  I wish I knew.

 

 

 

FC – FeralCat – The interim update

I’ve finally seen FC.  He was waiting for his dinner last night.  His limp is very much worse.  He holds his paw in the air when sitting or standing still.

Under good news – I don’t think it’s an infected wound.  He doesn’t act sick and infected cat bite wounds make cats feels super shitty.

It’s obviously painful though and I would really like to catch him and take him to the vet.  Although it might take me 6 months to recover any trust after that.  Ideally he would trust me completely before I took him to the vet, but that is not the current circumstance.

So – trapping him and probably getting bitten and losing trust – is the path forward.  sigh.

Why can’t life be a bit simpler?

A Third Cat?

Back in the fall, my little grey cat Timmy jumped off my balcony and got lost for 3 horrible weeks.  It was a misery for me and I think also for him.  He’s shown zero interest in going out on the balcony since.

While he was out, I would walk the neighborhood calling, holding an open can of smelly catfood.  That’s how I met FC (FeralCat).  FC owned the backyard of this apartment building.  And lived under the box truck that is permanently parked in the parking lot that abuts the yard.  After my fruitless wandering I would end up putting down the food for FC, because the cat was following me.

I am normally not a proponent of feeding feral cats.  Wild animal populations tend to equalize to the available resources and when you feed cats – you promote more feral cats.  And being a feral cat is NOT a glad life.  So while it seems on the surface like a kindness, it’s actually a systemic evil.  Groups that feed and sterilize are at least mitigating the problem, but it’s slippery slope.

But once you do feed a feral cat, you have a problem.  Because I did it for 3 weeks, the cat was using me as a reliable source of food.  Happily, my downstairs neighbors were enchanted by the slow taming of the wild cat and began to participate in feeding it, eventually gaining it’s trust and letting in/out of their apartment during the cold winter days/nights.

They had never had a cat and everything about FC was novel and unexplained.   I thought the problem of FC was solved and went happily on with my life.  Then the neighbors decided to move.  And didn’t take FC.  I have a lot of thoughts on people who treat animals as disposable when they are inconvenient, but I will summarize with they are scum.  This neighbor was bold enough to ask me to feed and look out for the cat they consciously abandoned.

So now I’m feeding FC again.  It’s not been particularly easy on my mental landscape.  For one thing, FC isn’t always around when I put out the food.  So I have no idea if FC got the food or some other animal did.  Last time I saw FC he had a pronounced limp.  But will not let me anywhere near him…

And worse – I haven’t seen him in 3 days.  He’s feral.  Or maybe she.  I’m not sure because FC is never so comfortable as give me a high tail.

But feral cats fight.  And cat bites get infected and need to be looked after.  And now I have no idea where FC is, so I can’t concentrate on taming him and getting a look at that limp.

In my ideal world I would take FC in, all three cats would form a giant cuddle puddle of happiness and I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about FC.  But reality is not like that.  The two cats I have just coexist and are in a constant land war over disputed territories.  They tolerate each other, occasionally play chase, but never groom each other or sleep together.  It’s not a big apartment.  Adding a third cat would easily disturb the power dynamics of the relationship and cause them to destroy my apartment.

Even then – keeping an outdoor cat entirely inside is cruel.  But I live on the second floor and there isn’t a good way for FC to get up and down.  I suppose I could let him in and out of the front door, but the idea of trudging out into a public hallway and down the stairs to let a cat in and out is borderline insane.  Only people who have indoor/outdoor cats will understand.  Cats have a thing about doors.  Just an insanity really.  They will beg to be let out, walk three feet, turn around and beg to let in.  And they do this many times a day and night, before they decide that yes, actually the conditions are all perfect for a bit of a walkabout.

So.  I don’t know what to do.  It’s exhausting my brain at the moment.  I had originally thought I would have the whole summer to tame him and consider alternatives.  But the limp is really weighing on me.  I wish he would show up and let me see him.

 

Still Missing

My little Tim cat is still not home.  He jumped off the balcony on October 1st.  I’m exhausted from the anxiety and despair.  It’s been a hellish 2 and half weeks.

The last Pawsboost blast I did got no responses.

I’ve put out about 200 flyers.  I’ve walked and called with an open can of cat food.

I’ve got water and food out.

I hear people say – my cat came home 2 months later… But all I keep thinking is Winter is Coming.

I miss him so much.  I can start crying about it just by spending a moment considering what plight he might be in.  Lost, hurt, scared, starved, thirsty…  I’m not particularly functional while I’m worried.  I am on the verge of tears at work quite often.  I’m so tired from lack of sleep that I don’t stay focused.

I want him to be home.  Safe and annoying me all the ways that I love him to.  It feels like as soon as he is home I will be released from the mental hell that I’ve been living in for weeks.

But I can’t help but feel like he won’t be coming home.  That I’ve lost him for always and I don’t even know how I can cope with that.

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Worrisome Behavior

Rebel Tim, the grey kitten whose not a kitten anymore, has been acting a bit off.  Odd.

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He’s started doing obsessive digging in the kitty litter and yesterday he was digging at a random place on the hardwood floor.  Nothing there.  I smelled it worried that someone had peed there.  But nope.  I distracted him for a bit but once the distraction was over he was back to digging obsessively.

I picked him up to check his bladder – I’ve had cats with urinary tract blocks and it killed one and cost more than a fortune to fix the other one.   But his bladder wasn’t full.

I wonder if he is constipated?  But the kitty litter seems to have the requisite amount of poop. His stomach isn’t distended, although he is too fat.

Last night it finally occurred to me.  He’s bored.  And is acting out in odd ways.  He needs more playtime than Bijou is willing to give him.

I have been seriously considering getting those indoor hunter feeder things that Katzenworld recommended last week.  I have hesitated because I picture my own hunt to find the empty toys every day.  Also stepping on random uneaten pieces of dry food.  But I might be wrong about the food, he is a piglet.  I won’t be wrong about the annoying hunt.

I’m also worried that the more active recently a kitten will get a disproportionate amount of the food.  I’m not sure how to make sure that doesn’t happen, but I guess that’s part of the process.  Making them work and compete.  Maybe??

Has anyone tried the indoor hunter feeder for a multi-cat household?

Addicted to the Dot.

My cats are addicted to the laser dot.

It’s problematic in that I keep 2 lasers hanging on bedside table.  Every morning, I let the cats into my bedroom and they begin a quest to reach the lasers.

I’m not a fan of playing laser dot.  It eventually cramps my fingers from pressing the button and it’s awkward to run two different dots in two different parts of the room.

But they won’t share a dot.  And Tim is ruder than Bijou, he is entirely focused on the chase and has no boundaries when the chase is on.  Her calico highness will just sit back and wait for him unless it’s directly in front of her.  But that means she gets very little fun or exercise from the dot.  So I usually have two going at once.

It’s the quest to reach the lasers that is annoying.  Because I’m between them and the bedside table.  More accurately, I’m the path they prefer to the bedside table.  They could just jump up from the floor, but that isn’t quite so annoying and therefore not Good Cat Policy.

And then once on the table there is a great deal of pushing and biting at the pointer as though this will some how create a dot that they can chase.  This often involves knocking things over and is noisy.

They understand I’m the one moving the dot.  It’s not a mystery to them.  They still adore it.  Lily loved the dot as a kitten until she realized it wasn’t real and that I was the one creating the moving dot.  Then she lost interest entirely and never did more than watch it with bored disinterest.

But they get it fully and still ADORE the dot.  Related image

Watering the Beasts

rebel tim

Above us is the Rebel, Tim.  He is usually referred to as The Kitten.  But I think he’s all grown up now.  He’s not a big cat though, so I will probably always call him The Kitten.

He’s excellent at distracting me from my chores and just generally being in the way.  In other words, he cats very well.

One of his peculiarities is that he insists on drinking his water just when he knows I will be picking it up to change it.  I’m not sure why.  It’s not because he prefers the old water because he will also immediately drink the fresh.  I’m pretty sure it’s because he knows I will stop and wait for him.  And any action that causes me to change direction or pause is  GOOD CAT POLICY.

Recently I’ve taken to putting a giant ice cube in the water bowl.  I don’t actually have an ice cube tray.  I freeze water in solo cups.  I keep two standard size cups frozen and one small dixie cup frozen.  I put the dixie one in the cat’s water.  It bobs around and makes for an excellent distracting toy and he likes to lick it.  Bijou shows zero interest.  She’s above such things.  Royalty does not deem to notice icebergs in water bowls.

Seeing that he is interested in water generally, I decided a water fountain would probably work well.  So I bought one.  Naturally, since I’ve invested money he just stares, doesn’t drink.  At least so far.  I really need for it to work because I’m supposed to take a small trip and this water fountain will make me feel less worried about the water situation with the cats.  It has a large reservoir and a filter.  So I think it will keep fresh water for up to 4 days.  And hopefully I won’t be gone more than 3.

The more you rely on cat’s reacting a certain way, the less they are reliable.  sigh.

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Here’s a young Tim, involving himself in my interests. 🙂