I decided to dig into the archives and post an early photo that I have not posted before. This is Chris with Tigger on November 23, 2009, nine days after we adopted him. You can see how happy Tigger looks after getting a new little brother.
Chris is now bigger and darker than he was then so he is more like Tigger in this photo.
Chris has always been good at annoying people and cats alike but this past year his annoyance level seems well above what it has been in the past. Knowing that, I couldn’t help but laugh at seeing Chris on the receiving end for a change. I think I spent a good two or three minutes laughing before I thought to record what was happening. I managed to capture the last thirty seconds of Floki annoying Chris. Enjoy.
I usually don’t jump out of bed and then make it. There is some time for relaxing and enjoying a cup of coffee. During that time at least one cat will often decide to nap on the bed. Three cats sleeping on the bed when I need to make it is rare and a good reason to put off the task.
Of course, I can never put it off until the next day so I guess it is not very helpful.
Since returning from West Virginia, Frankie and Chris have enjoyed much more outside time, although not as much as they would like. Our trips outside usually start with Frankie who gets really excited when he knows, or thinks he knows, when I am getting ready to take him out. My wife has to get him even more excited by saying things like, “Are you going outside, Frankie? Oh boy, you’re going outside!”
Once outside, after the initial excitement wears off, we usually spend time smelling stuff, especially plants.
When the smelling is done it is time to lie in the dirt.
Sometimes he pulls a Harry Houdini on me and starts to slip out of his harness.
When that happens it is usually too risky to try to fix it “in the field” so I will pick him up and carry him home while he hisses at me the whole way there. Usually, by that time we already had a good walk and Chris is at home waiting for his turn.
The first thing Chris does when he gets outside is do the “happy roll.” This is something I never see him do inside.
He then does a little exploring but he usually stays close to home which is why he doesn’t need a harness, although I still need to watch him because he sometimes wanders away.
Eventually he finds some grass to munch on.
After that he sometimes lies down for a few minutes and is then ready to go inside. I don’t have to carry him home while being hissed at.
Chris loves napping in his bed by the window but Wednesday Floki was sleeping in it. I heard growling and hissing and looked to see Chris standing over Floki. I didn’t see what Chris did to him but I did see Floki leave the cat bed and then Chris lie down and take a nap. A little later I saw this.
I was looking through videos and came across one from December and thought that it was a perfect example of what happens around here just about every day. Usually Frankie and Chris get along pretty well but then, all of a sudden, there is a cat fight. This fight usually, but not always, has Frankie as the agressor while Chris defends himself while lying down.
I’m not sure how this lying down defense makes much practical sense but I am not an expert at cat fighting.
I used to think cat grass was a perineal, like regular grass, and that I was just somehow terrible at keeping it growing. Now I realize that it is not like regular grass and will always die after a few weeks. I don’t know for sure but knowing how everything centers around money in America, I assume the seeds are picked less for the cat’s benefit and more for the benefit of the company’s bottom line.
After my last batch of cat grass died I just left the pot outside for several months. I had no desire to try again but I was cleaning out my shed and noticed a half-used bag of cat grass seeds and decided to give it another go. I knew it wouldn’t last but I still thought it would be worth it for the cats’ sake.
After a week or two the grass was tall enough to bring in for the cats.
As expected, Chris was the king of the grass-eating with Frankie a close second. Floki seemed to show just a mild curiosity. I guess I need to accept the realty and just replant the cat grass every so often.
I returned to volunteering at the SPCA three Fridays ago and was pleased that the number of cats had not increased since before I went to West Virginia. Indeed, it may have even decreased.
When I first started volunteering, about a year and a half ago, the shelter was close to full. There are eight pods designed for eight cats each and all the pods usually had between five and eight cats. In addition there are two more rooms that often house either a group of kittens or special needs cats, such as FIV positive cats. Then there is a room that contains about eight to ten individual cages. They call that room “Shoreline” for a reason I am unfamiliar with. There is also another room with about eight more similar cages. These usually house cats that are fresh out of surgery, cats that are on a special diet, or cats that don’t play well with others. I would estimate that there was a consistent number of between 50 and 75 cats at all times.
Then COVID hit and I feared that the number would go up because of restrictions on visitors and people’s general fear of going out. I was wrong. People stepped up and adopted like never before. By the time we left for West Virginia in November there were probably around twenty cats up for adoption.
When I returned there were cats in two of the eight pods and a few in the Shoreline cages. I was mostly happy that the shelter was low on cats but part of me was perhaps a little sefishly glad there were still a few there because I missed being able to interact with these cats.
The following week most of the cats were gone but were replaced by new cats.
I think the only holdover was this orange and white cat.
Yesterday there was a total of five cats when I came it for my shift. I did not get a photo of the tortie but here are the other four. The first two were adopted together while I was there.
While the woman was getting her adoption paperwork finalized someone from medical brought back two more cats that were now ready for adoption. One of them was six-year-old male ginger with the best name ever, “Lasagna.”
The other was a three-year-old female Bengal cat named “Phoenix.”
I was given the heads up about Phoenix and Lasagna before she brought them back so, knowing my wife wanted a Bengal cat, I texted her that a girl Bengal cat was coming. I told her if she wanted her she needed to come to see her right away and bring a carrier. She was excited at first and then was worried that four cats would be too difficult to bring to our other home. She also worried that she might disrupt the harmony in our house.
Indeed, she did some growling and hissing when she first arrived and when I opened the cage to see if I could calm her down she bolted and escaped. It took some effort to catch up to her and bring her back and she did not go back willingly.
Before I left, someone from medical came and brought back Lasagna. I’m not sure why but apparently he was not supposed to come out for adoption yet. When I left there were only four cats up for adoption, the lowest number I have seen since starting there.
This morning my wife changed her mind and decided she wanted to go see the Bengal cat. She asked me if I thought she would still be there and I said, “I doubt it but I will check.” I looked on the SPCA website and saw there were only two cats left and neither one was Pheonix. I checked again now, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and there are now zero cats up for adoption. This really is good news but now I wonder if I will be needed next week.