danagryphon: (Kids)
Both my boys' birthdays were this past weekend. My oldest, The Boog, turned 20 on Sunday. My younger, The Eepster, turned 15 on Monday. I posted embarrassing pictures of them as newborns on FB. At least I didn't use the full frontal one of the younger boy, so I did show some restraint, lol. But it was also weird to see me 15 and 20 years ago with long, curly dark hair and being so much heavier. One thing I will say, I did love post-pregnancy hair. Thick and curly and not at all frizzy even though it was the height of summer humidity. But my boys were *the* most photogenic babies. Boog especially, had these big fat baby cheeks and cherubic face.

Anyway, Saturday was the celebration day; E's friend who has been in the hospital came with us to go see a movie (Maleficent), lunch at Red Robin, and then present shopping at Best Buy. E was desperately in need of a new computer; his old one was running XP, and we are getting to the point where stuff he wants/needs for school or fun won't run well or at all on it anymore. I was looking into Chromebooks, since most of what he does is online, but turns out that his Kindle Fire would be more useful as a computer! Chrombooks can't download anything, can't do anything if they aren't connected to the internet. P.O.S! So I splurged and got him an inexpensive (ha!) HP laptop. My Dad and Sis are going to chip in to help pay for it as their presents to him as well, so that helps a lot. The Boog, who has a MacBook Pro, got a gift card to Amazon.

Speaking of family (and I use the term loosely, ahem), my darling spouse's parents seem to have decided that their religious-based bigotry that they are showing toward their transgender child also extends to my children (who they, up until this point, have been *so proud* to call their grandchildren). We have not heard one peep out of them to even call the boys to wish them happy birthday. Yeah. I am SO done with them. At least my boys are old enough to realize that it isn't them or anything they did; they understand that grandma and grandpa are just assclowns about some things.

E got another bday present of another sort, though; he got his braces off! On his birthday! The orthodontist's office is pretty cool; they give the kids a goody bag of "forbidden foods" that they can't eat while they have the braces on, and because it was E's bday, they gave him an extra goody of a gift card for ice cream. He is free until Thursday, when he has to go back in to get his retainers. But he only needs to wear them while he's not in school, so he's happy about that. And he got clear ones, so even when they are in, they will barely be noticeable.

The other (fur)kids had their annual physicals yesterday, too. Both of them have lost about 3 lbs in the last year, so the whole cutting back on their food that they have been MEGA unhappy about has really helped. Both are now about at their ideal weights, so we need to keep and eye on things and may need to actually adjust their food *upward* to make sure they don't keep losing. The vet did blood work on both of them (they are 7 and 11 now, so the older one is a "senior" and the younger is getting close), and once that comes back, we are going to talk about options to try to get the older one to stop chewing her fur off. It is most likely neurotic behavior, but we want to rule out allergy or illness of any sort (fleas have already been ruled out, not that I thought it was). The vet is new to the practice, and is big on protecting against kidney and liver issues in cats as they grow older, thus the blood work. Made for an expensive visit, but worth keeping the little ones healthy. We may have to resort to some sort of anti-anxiety med for the older one, but the vet is very conservative when it comes to drugs, so we'll see what he has to say.
danagryphon: (Sun & Moon)
My boy came home this morning in the predawn light, sitting on the back porch when M went down to feed Fuzzy breakfast. I had just gotten out of the shower when M called me down to call to Shadow, who responds more to my voice than his. M opened the slider and backed off to sit on the steps holding Fuzzy (so she wouldn't dart out) and waited for him to come in. By the time I threw on clothes and got downstairs, he was in with the door safely closed behind him. I scooped him up, not caring that he if he was covered in fleas and ticks, and slobbered all over him with joy.

We immediately treated them both with Frontline, and we did feel at least one tick attached to Shadow, but it wasn't very big, so it hopefully hadn't been on long. M is staying home from work today to take him in to the vet to get checked over. But he definitely seems to be happy to be home.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes, prayers, and support.
danagryphon: (Sun & Moon)
My boy came home this morning in the predawn light, sitting on the back porch when M went down to feed Fuzzy breakfast. I had just gotten out of the shower when M called me down to call to Shadow, who responds more to my voice than his. M opened the slider and backed off to sit on the steps holding Fuzzy (so she wouldn't dart out) and waited for him to come in. By the time I threw on clothes and got downstairs, he was in with the door safely closed behind him. I scooped him up, not caring that he if he was covered in fleas and ticks, and slobbered all over him with joy.

We immediately treated them both with Frontline, and we did feel at least one tick attached to Shadow, but it wasn't very big, so it hopefully hadn't been on long. M is staying home from work today to take him in to the vet to get checked over. But he definitely seems to be happy to be home.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes, prayers, and support.
danagryphon: (Triquetra)
My black, long-haired cat is missing. He slipped out of the house sometime, somehow today, despite me being home all day. But we didn't discover he was gone until about 10:30 tonight. M caught sight of him behind the building, but he ran and disappeared. We've put food on the front and back porch hoping to lure him home.

Please send good thoughts for his safe return. Another family nearby lost a cat (found the bloody collar), probably to a coyote, a couple of weeks ago.
danagryphon: (Triquetra)
My black, long-haired cat is missing. He slipped out of the house sometime, somehow today, despite me being home all day. But we didn't discover he was gone until about 10:30 tonight. M caught sight of him behind the building, but he ran and disappeared. We've put food on the front and back porch hoping to lure him home.

Please send good thoughts for his safe return. Another family nearby lost a cat (found the bloody collar), probably to a coyote, a couple of weeks ago.
danagryphon: (Cats)
It's that time of year again, checkups for all the kids.

The cats went to the vet yesterday. They both turned into piteous meowing machines as soon as I got them into the car, but luckily it is only a 5 minute ride to the vet. Fuzzy hates going anywhere outside the house; she hid under my bed as soon as she saw the carrier, and started shaking as soon as I picked her up to put her in it. Poor little thing.

She is always quite docile with being examined, though. Doesn't try to bite or even hiss. And she puts up with shots and blood draws like a trooper. The vet found some swollen lymph nodes that she was concerned about, so instead of vaccines, she got blood drawn to check her white count and liver functions (which have been an intermittently chronic problem). But the office called me this morning to say everything was great, so she will go back in Friday morning for her booster vaccines.

This was their first time seeing Shadow, and they were appropriately appreciative of his beauty. He was pretty good about it, until the vet started poking around his hindquarters. For some reason, he really doesn't like anyone messing around with this back legs, and especially not his behind. There was much growling and two hisses until that was done. Then he actually sat pretty quietly while he got his rabies and distemper boosters. By the time the vet was back with Fuzzy from drawing blood, he was lounging on the floor like he owned the place. At least he is quick to forgive, unlike Fuzzy, who definitely holds a grudge. The vet gave some advice on dealing with Shadow's eliminating outside the litterbox behavior (she thinks it's related to the basement construction, since he can't go down there, and that may be his favorite of the 3 litterboxes in the house). She also said that she thinks he might be part Maine Coon, with the thick gray fringe he has running down his sides and on his haunches.

Both kittehs, unfortunately, have to be put on diets. Fuzzy is up to 11+ lbs, and Shadow is 15+ lbs. The vet wants us to take them off of ad libitum feeding and give them only a set amount of dry food each day. Ugh. They are NOT going to be happy about that. First, of course, we have to figure out how much dry food they actually eat each day now, so I'll have to start giving them a generous measured amount and see if they finish it. Then start reducing a little bit. The vet thinks cutting it down by 25% is a good start. Oh, they are NOT going to be happy about that at all, especially The Mooch (Shadow) who licks bowls and begs table scraps.

Anyway, the boys have their physicals in July, which is the soonest I could get them in. Gotta start remembering to call in March to get their appointments scheduled if I want to get them closer to their bdays in early June. As it is, it's going to be cutting it close to get all the necessary medical forms filled out for Boy Scout camp the first week of August.
danagryphon: (Cats)
It's that time of year again, checkups for all the kids.

The cats went to the vet yesterday. They both turned into piteous meowing machines as soon as I got them into the car, but luckily it is only a 5 minute ride to the vet. Fuzzy hates going anywhere outside the house; she hid under my bed as soon as she saw the carrier, and started shaking as soon as I picked her up to put her in it. Poor little thing.

She is always quite docile with being examined, though. Doesn't try to bite or even hiss. And she puts up with shots and blood draws like a trooper. The vet found some swollen lymph nodes that she was concerned about, so instead of vaccines, she got blood drawn to check her white count and liver functions (which have been an intermittently chronic problem). But the office called me this morning to say everything was great, so she will go back in Friday morning for her booster vaccines.

This was their first time seeing Shadow, and they were appropriately appreciative of his beauty. He was pretty good about it, until the vet started poking around his hindquarters. For some reason, he really doesn't like anyone messing around with this back legs, and especially not his behind. There was much growling and two hisses until that was done. Then he actually sat pretty quietly while he got his rabies and distemper boosters. By the time the vet was back with Fuzzy from drawing blood, he was lounging on the floor like he owned the place. At least he is quick to forgive, unlike Fuzzy, who definitely holds a grudge. The vet gave some advice on dealing with Shadow's eliminating outside the litterbox behavior (she thinks it's related to the basement construction, since he can't go down there, and that may be his favorite of the 3 litterboxes in the house). She also said that she thinks he might be part Maine Coon, with the thick gray fringe he has running down his sides and on his haunches.

Both kittehs, unfortunately, have to be put on diets. Fuzzy is up to 11+ lbs, and Shadow is 15+ lbs. The vet wants us to take them off of ad libitum feeding and give them only a set amount of dry food each day. Ugh. They are NOT going to be happy about that. First, of course, we have to figure out how much dry food they actually eat each day now, so I'll have to start giving them a generous measured amount and see if they finish it. Then start reducing a little bit. The vet thinks cutting it down by 25% is a good start. Oh, they are NOT going to be happy about that at all, especially The Mooch (Shadow) who licks bowls and begs table scraps.

Anyway, the boys have their physicals in July, which is the soonest I could get them in. Gotta start remembering to call in March to get their appointments scheduled if I want to get them closer to their bdays in early June. As it is, it's going to be cutting it close to get all the necessary medical forms filled out for Boy Scout camp the first week of August.
danagryphon: (Cats)
So everything was hunky dory yesterday until I got a call at 4:50 while I was on the train on the way home from my friend who stopped by my place to pick up something I left for her on the front porch. She said my front door was wide open, and did I want her to close it? She was concerned that M or one of the boys might have just stepped out and left the door open, and she didn't want to close it and lock anybody out without checking with me first.

OMG. The cats. That was all I could think about.

We have had problems with the door latching, which seems to get worse in the winter. My theory is that because it is a metal door, it shrinks a little bit in the cold, and then doesn't latch unless it is closed very tightly. So the door probably didn't get latched properly yesterday morning, and at some point during the day, the wind blew it open. No idea how long it had been open, but I was sure that Shadow, Mr. Houdini, was out. My heart stopped.

I called M, who was in his car on the way home, and got out "The door was open and Shadow is probably out" before my phone battery died. I knew the woman sitting behind me on the train, and was able to borrow her cell phone to call him back. He promised he would go looking for him as soon as he got home, and I should call him back when I got to my car and could plug my phone back in. The next 30 minutes lasted for about a decade. We've only had Shadow for about 6 months, so I was afraid that he would take off completely, and we'd never see him again. I was also worried that Ms. Fuzzy, who has traditionally been quite the agoraphobe, but has been getting more bold of late, would follow him out.

So I called M when I could get the phone to work again, and he had already found Shadow and brought him back in safe and sound. Fuzzy never even left the upstairs (whew). M found Shadow at the other end of our building, hanging out on the neighbor's front porch. His theory is that Shadow wanted to come back home, but couldn't remember which unit was home. ;) They do all look alike, after all. But it is a little reassuring that even when he got out for what was probably hours, he stuck around the building (or at least, came back).

I gave both the kittehs lots of hugs and love when I got home. Oh, and then thought to check that no one had walked off with the TV or computer. Meanwhile, we have decided that we are going to start using the deadbolt regularly, because that way we will be sure the door is locked and secure.
danagryphon: (Cats)
So everything was hunky dory yesterday until I got a call at 4:50 while I was on the train on the way home from my friend who stopped by my place to pick up something I left for her on the front porch. She said my front door was wide open, and did I want her to close it? She was concerned that M or one of the boys might have just stepped out and left the door open, and she didn't want to close it and lock anybody out without checking with me first.

OMG. The cats. That was all I could think about.

We have had problems with the door latching, which seems to get worse in the winter. My theory is that because it is a metal door, it shrinks a little bit in the cold, and then doesn't latch unless it is closed very tightly. So the door probably didn't get latched properly yesterday morning, and at some point during the day, the wind blew it open. No idea how long it had been open, but I was sure that Shadow, Mr. Houdini, was out. My heart stopped.

I called M, who was in his car on the way home, and got out "The door was open and Shadow is probably out" before my phone battery died. I knew the woman sitting behind me on the train, and was able to borrow her cell phone to call him back. He promised he would go looking for him as soon as he got home, and I should call him back when I got to my car and could plug my phone back in. The next 30 minutes lasted for about a decade. We've only had Shadow for about 6 months, so I was afraid that he would take off completely, and we'd never see him again. I was also worried that Ms. Fuzzy, who has traditionally been quite the agoraphobe, but has been getting more bold of late, would follow him out.

So I called M when I could get the phone to work again, and he had already found Shadow and brought him back in safe and sound. Fuzzy never even left the upstairs (whew). M found Shadow at the other end of our building, hanging out on the neighbor's front porch. His theory is that Shadow wanted to come back home, but couldn't remember which unit was home. ;) They do all look alike, after all. But it is a little reassuring that even when he got out for what was probably hours, he stuck around the building (or at least, came back).

I gave both the kittehs lots of hugs and love when I got home. Oh, and then thought to check that no one had walked off with the TV or computer. Meanwhile, we have decided that we are going to start using the deadbolt regularly, because that way we will be sure the door is locked and secure.
danagryphon: (Cats)
Shadow really is the world's most ungraceful cat. Aside from sliding across the linoleum floor after trying to stop from a full tilt, then decided it was fun and doing it again and again. Last night he decided to leap onto the back of the sofa from my lap and... missed. It was evidently a little bit further of a leap than he thought it was, and I ended up with a face full of cat butt.

However, he is much more fun to watch chase the laser pointer, since all Fuzzy will really do is reach out and try to paw at it, but running after it is just too much effort. Shadow, on the other hand, will run along the top of the sectional from one end to the other chasing the little red dot.

I've also discovered that Shadow has a sweet tooth. Where Fuzzy won't touch human food, not even boiled chicken (as we found out when prescribed a diet of boiled chicken by the vet for an upset tummy), Shadow will eat anything and everything that isn't hidden, covered, or nailed down. He has a liking for both cheesecake and apple crisp. If we go out with food left out, we have to cover it or stick it in the microwave so he can't get at it. And the kids have learned that any food dropped on the floor needs to be picked up quickly before Hoover sucks it up.

Not that Fuzzy doesn't have her idiosyncrasies as well. She thinks the stairs are the greatest cat toy in the world, a combination scratching post (the risers, at least) and jungle gym. She will regularly go down the stairs by rolling down them one at a time, holding onto the previous step with her claws as she slides down to the next one on her back. And I've given up being surprised by her ability to climb the vertical metal ladder up into E's bunk bed. And then there is her compulsive need to sit *in* and *on* things. Baskets, boxes, step stools, newspapers. If there is something laying on the floor, she will be sitting on it. And I can't even put an empty laundry basket down for five seconds before she jumps into it like it is her own personal castle.

I have a couple of weird cats.
danagryphon: (Cats)
Shadow really is the world's most ungraceful cat. Aside from sliding across the linoleum floor after trying to stop from a full tilt, then decided it was fun and doing it again and again. Last night he decided to leap onto the back of the sofa from my lap and... missed. It was evidently a little bit further of a leap than he thought it was, and I ended up with a face full of cat butt.

However, he is much more fun to watch chase the laser pointer, since all Fuzzy will really do is reach out and try to paw at it, but running after it is just too much effort. Shadow, on the other hand, will run along the top of the sectional from one end to the other chasing the little red dot.

I've also discovered that Shadow has a sweet tooth. Where Fuzzy won't touch human food, not even boiled chicken (as we found out when prescribed a diet of boiled chicken by the vet for an upset tummy), Shadow will eat anything and everything that isn't hidden, covered, or nailed down. He has a liking for both cheesecake and apple crisp. If we go out with food left out, we have to cover it or stick it in the microwave so he can't get at it. And the kids have learned that any food dropped on the floor needs to be picked up quickly before Hoover sucks it up.

Not that Fuzzy doesn't have her idiosyncrasies as well. She thinks the stairs are the greatest cat toy in the world, a combination scratching post (the risers, at least) and jungle gym. She will regularly go down the stairs by rolling down them one at a time, holding onto the previous step with her claws as she slides down to the next one on her back. And I've given up being surprised by her ability to climb the vertical metal ladder up into E's bunk bed. And then there is her compulsive need to sit *in* and *on* things. Baskets, boxes, step stools, newspapers. If there is something laying on the floor, she will be sitting on it. And I can't even put an empty laundry basket down for five seconds before she jumps into it like it is her own personal castle.

I have a couple of weird cats.
danagryphon: (Cats)

Yesterday, I woke up with this weird painful and swollen eye. I called in sick to work, not being sure if this was something I'd have to go see the doc about, being particularly paranoid about conjunctivitis with two rather un-hygienic adolescents in the house. I called the doc's office when they opened and spoke to the nurse. No, there was no discharge. Yes, it was painful, even just blinking hurt. She suggested putting cold compresses on it, and call them back in the afternoon if it wasn't any better.

So I sat there the rest of the morning with an ice pack on my face, trying to figure out what it could be if it wasn't conjunctivitis. Usually, if I take an elbow during the night from M's flailing, I will certainly wake up. And it wasn't bruised, like I had gotten hit or bumped into anything, just puffy underneath, and a bit swollen all around.

My best guess is that Shadow, who loves to lay on my chest while I sleep, and occasionally reach up and touch my face with his paw, managed to deposit something *into* my eye from said paw, possibly a bit of litter from the litter box. And if not, well, he certainly makes a good scapegoat.

In any case, the eye is less swollen, and a little less painful, certainly not any worse, which it would be if it was any sort of infection. My vision is not affected at all, so I don't think it's anything like a corneal scratch, which I've heard are excruciatingly painful, cause tearing, blurred vision, etc., none of which is happening. So I'm back at work today.

Yesterday, between cold packs on the face, I was able to cut out M's farsetto and giornea, and get most of the construction on the giornea done last night. I remember now how much I hate pleats. But all that remains is to sew on one more piece of trim, and it will be done. The farsetto, however, will involve a bit more construction, but I am still hoping to get it done for Saturday. Then he will have an actual period Italian outfit. I'm glad I did it this first time in the cheap fabric, though, as there are some things I will improve upon with the second, more expensive version. I'm also a little annoyed with the way that Period Patterns sets up the tissue paper. Now, most pattern makers, if the pattern has multiple versions that are similar, will use the same pattern piece for all the versions with slightly different cut lines. But Period Patterns combined the 4 largest pieces, including the front AND back of the giornea in the same piece; even worse for the cioppa, which has the front, back, and sleeves all in the same piece. Which sucks for me because I hate tracing patterns onto the fabric. I prefer to pin the pattern to the fabric and cut around it. Which meant I had to do all sorts of interesting things with this piece to get the entire giornea cut out, not to mention then marking all the frigging pleats (~20 total). And some of the lines for the different sizes were hard to figure out, too, like when the line for size 36 seemed to connect at a corner with the line for size 48. But I did my best, and it looks pretty good. Next time, however, should also go a lot faster now that I know the weirdnesses of the pattern. Heck, I might even make a little Italian ren garb for myself, just for variety.

danagryphon: (Cats)

Yesterday, I woke up with this weird painful and swollen eye. I called in sick to work, not being sure if this was something I'd have to go see the doc about, being particularly paranoid about conjunctivitis with two rather un-hygienic adolescents in the house. I called the doc's office when they opened and spoke to the nurse. No, there was no discharge. Yes, it was painful, even just blinking hurt. She suggested putting cold compresses on it, and call them back in the afternoon if it wasn't any better.

So I sat there the rest of the morning with an ice pack on my face, trying to figure out what it could be if it wasn't conjunctivitis. Usually, if I take an elbow during the night from M's flailing, I will certainly wake up. And it wasn't bruised, like I had gotten hit or bumped into anything, just puffy underneath, and a bit swollen all around.

My best guess is that Shadow, who loves to lay on my chest while I sleep, and occasionally reach up and touch my face with his paw, managed to deposit something *into* my eye from said paw, possibly a bit of litter from the litter box. And if not, well, he certainly makes a good scapegoat.

In any case, the eye is less swollen, and a little less painful, certainly not any worse, which it would be if it was any sort of infection. My vision is not affected at all, so I don't think it's anything like a corneal scratch, which I've heard are excruciatingly painful, cause tearing, blurred vision, etc., none of which is happening. So I'm back at work today.

Yesterday, between cold packs on the face, I was able to cut out M's farsetto and giornea, and get most of the construction on the giornea done last night. I remember now how much I hate pleats. But all that remains is to sew on one more piece of trim, and it will be done. The farsetto, however, will involve a bit more construction, but I am still hoping to get it done for Saturday. Then he will have an actual period Italian outfit. I'm glad I did it this first time in the cheap fabric, though, as there are some things I will improve upon with the second, more expensive version. I'm also a little annoyed with the way that Period Patterns sets up the tissue paper. Now, most pattern makers, if the pattern has multiple versions that are similar, will use the same pattern piece for all the versions with slightly different cut lines. But Period Patterns combined the 4 largest pieces, including the front AND back of the giornea in the same piece; even worse for the cioppa, which has the front, back, and sleeves all in the same piece. Which sucks for me because I hate tracing patterns onto the fabric. I prefer to pin the pattern to the fabric and cut around it. Which meant I had to do all sorts of interesting things with this piece to get the entire giornea cut out, not to mention then marking all the frigging pleats (~20 total). And some of the lines for the different sizes were hard to figure out, too, like when the line for size 36 seemed to connect at a corner with the line for size 48. But I did my best, and it looks pretty good. Next time, however, should also go a lot faster now that I know the weirdnesses of the pattern. Heck, I might even make a little Italian ren garb for myself, just for variety.

danagryphon: (Fuzzy Mama)
Well, I seem to have been premature in declaring that we have achieved cat integration. At first, seemed like Shadow was quite happy to let Fuzzy assert her alpha-ness and submit to her.

Or maybe not. Now that he has gotten more comfortable with his surroundings, Shadow seems to have decided that is enough of that.

Now the what I thought was playful chasing around the house is ending in a wrestling and biting cat fight. Complete with horrible screeching noises from both of them. Part of the problem may be that, having never had cats before, I can't tell fighting from vigorous playing, but it definitely seems on the nasty side to me. Especially since, while petting them both, I have now noticed, at least one on him and two on her, little (and I do mean really little, like pinpricks, which makes me think it is from teeth) scabbed over puncture marks on both their necks.

Most of the time, they are fine with each other. They touch noses, they sniff each other, they will even lay near each other. But with alarmingly increasing frequency lately, there are these nasty periods where they seem to be fighting. Shadow seems to instigate most of it, but I have seen Fuzzy start it, too, even though she usually comes out on the short end of it because he is bigger and stronger than her.

We have tried spraying them (mostly him) with water when they start getting nasty. Is there some other good way of disciplining cats to discourage behavior? Last night, I put Shadow back in the basement for the night so we could all have a break and get some rest (it seems to be worse at night). But I'm really worried about them hurting each other, especially when they are going to be alone most of the time while we are on our honeymoon; [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 has wonderfully agreed to feed them and check in on them, but that's going to only be for a short time each day.

I don't want to give Shadow away. I've gotten attached to the little guy; he really is very sweet to the humans in the house, and truly is my little shadow most of the time, following me around the house. But it's not fair to poor Fuzzy, and I can see that she is getting stressed and it is affecting her behavior. And when they start fighting and screeching at each other, it also upsets the boys, especially E.

So I'm kind of at a loss about what to do. I don't know if I should just give it more time and see if they work out the dominance thing on their own; on the other hand, I'd hate to let it go and have it escalate until one of them gets hurt. I don't know if I should try to separate them again for a while, and put him back in the basement when we are not there to supervise (and at night), or if that will just delay dealing with the problem. It's been just about a month now; but I have no idea if this is normal, to be expected, or if this is a sign that things just aren't going to work out.

Help!
danagryphon: (Fuzzy Mama)
Well, I seem to have been premature in declaring that we have achieved cat integration. At first, seemed like Shadow was quite happy to let Fuzzy assert her alpha-ness and submit to her.

Or maybe not. Now that he has gotten more comfortable with his surroundings, Shadow seems to have decided that is enough of that.

Now the what I thought was playful chasing around the house is ending in a wrestling and biting cat fight. Complete with horrible screeching noises from both of them. Part of the problem may be that, having never had cats before, I can't tell fighting from vigorous playing, but it definitely seems on the nasty side to me. Especially since, while petting them both, I have now noticed, at least one on him and two on her, little (and I do mean really little, like pinpricks, which makes me think it is from teeth) scabbed over puncture marks on both their necks.

Most of the time, they are fine with each other. They touch noses, they sniff each other, they will even lay near each other. But with alarmingly increasing frequency lately, there are these nasty periods where they seem to be fighting. Shadow seems to instigate most of it, but I have seen Fuzzy start it, too, even though she usually comes out on the short end of it because he is bigger and stronger than her.

We have tried spraying them (mostly him) with water when they start getting nasty. Is there some other good way of disciplining cats to discourage behavior? Last night, I put Shadow back in the basement for the night so we could all have a break and get some rest (it seems to be worse at night). But I'm really worried about them hurting each other, especially when they are going to be alone most of the time while we are on our honeymoon; [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 has wonderfully agreed to feed them and check in on them, but that's going to only be for a short time each day.

I don't want to give Shadow away. I've gotten attached to the little guy; he really is very sweet to the humans in the house, and truly is my little shadow most of the time, following me around the house. But it's not fair to poor Fuzzy, and I can see that she is getting stressed and it is affecting her behavior. And when they start fighting and screeching at each other, it also upsets the boys, especially E.

So I'm kind of at a loss about what to do. I don't know if I should just give it more time and see if they work out the dominance thing on their own; on the other hand, I'd hate to let it go and have it escalate until one of them gets hurt. I don't know if I should try to separate them again for a while, and put him back in the basement when we are not there to supervise (and at night), or if that will just delay dealing with the problem. It's been just about a month now; but I have no idea if this is normal, to be expected, or if this is a sign that things just aren't going to work out.

Help!
danagryphon: (Fuzzy Mama)
It's been a while since I updated on the progress of the kittehs.

Shadow has definitely turned into a "mama's boy". I suspect this is because when he first came home with us, I spent most of the next week working from home, so I was with him pretty solid for most of that time, while M was stuck going into the office. But I guess that balances things out since Fuzzy has always been a bit more of "daddy's girl".

There is nothing like waking up with a largish black cat laying on your chest vibrating the bed with his purring. He has also gotten more comfortable with being picked up, and will tolerate petting for a while now before squirming to be put down. I've even gotten him purring once or twice while being held. But in general, he is not as much into being held as Fuzzy is.

He is also not a belly-rubber. Although he flips over and presents his belly when he is being petted, anyone who actually attempts to rub said belly gets a warning nip. Fuzzy, on the other hand, will be quite happy with vigorous (and I do mean, VIGOROUS; M calls it "muffing the kitteh") rubbing of her belly.

So he is getting along quite well with the hoomans in his new home. He is even very good about the boys, and will let them approach and pet him.

The other feline occupant... well, it runs hot and cold. Most of the time, they are at peace, touching noses when they get near each other, occasionally sniffing other parts. But sometimes, when they start playing, it turns nasty. I first noticed them playing by chasing each other around the house about a week after he arrived. However, when Fuzzy decided she'd had enough, he would roll over on his back and submit to her and leave her alone. Well, now he's gotten more bold. When she decides she doesn't want to play anymore and takes a swipe at him, he takes a swipe back. And it escalates from there. I'm having a very hard time telling if it is truly fighting or just more robust playing than we have seen before. But whatever it is, Fuzzy definitely doesn't seem to like it. We have taken to breaking them up with a spray bottle if it looks like they are starting to bite each other in earnest. I'm particularly worried about Fuzzy getting hurt, since he is quite a bit bigger than her (and seems to have sharper teeth, from my few encounters with them). However, friends who have multiple animals have assured us that this is probably still part of the establishing dominance routine, and may take up to 6 months for them to completely settle down with each other.

We went to Petco last night to pick up a few more indulgences for them. Shadow now has a tag with his name and our phone number, just in case he ever gets out, not that he's shown a lot of inclination to do so. We also got a second carrier so we can transport them both at the same time when necessary. I also picked up something I've wanted to get them for a while; a water fountain. Water sitting in the dish gets so stale and nasty, and it's a pain to clean it when it is a double dish and the other half is filled with food. So I got one of those continuously filtering water things. It is so cool. And it's got a big reservoir since Shadow definitely goes through water a lot faster than Fuzzy does. Hopefully, it is also big and heavy enough that Fuzzy can't push it around and spill it everywhere like she did with her smaller water dish.

Yes, I am an indulgent cat parent. It also doesn't help that I love gadgets!
danagryphon: (Fuzzy Mama)
It's been a while since I updated on the progress of the kittehs.

Shadow has definitely turned into a "mama's boy". I suspect this is because when he first came home with us, I spent most of the next week working from home, so I was with him pretty solid for most of that time, while M was stuck going into the office. But I guess that balances things out since Fuzzy has always been a bit more of "daddy's girl".

There is nothing like waking up with a largish black cat laying on your chest vibrating the bed with his purring. He has also gotten more comfortable with being picked up, and will tolerate petting for a while now before squirming to be put down. I've even gotten him purring once or twice while being held. But in general, he is not as much into being held as Fuzzy is.

He is also not a belly-rubber. Although he flips over and presents his belly when he is being petted, anyone who actually attempts to rub said belly gets a warning nip. Fuzzy, on the other hand, will be quite happy with vigorous (and I do mean, VIGOROUS; M calls it "muffing the kitteh") rubbing of her belly.

So he is getting along quite well with the hoomans in his new home. He is even very good about the boys, and will let them approach and pet him.

The other feline occupant... well, it runs hot and cold. Most of the time, they are at peace, touching noses when they get near each other, occasionally sniffing other parts. But sometimes, when they start playing, it turns nasty. I first noticed them playing by chasing each other around the house about a week after he arrived. However, when Fuzzy decided she'd had enough, he would roll over on his back and submit to her and leave her alone. Well, now he's gotten more bold. When she decides she doesn't want to play anymore and takes a swipe at him, he takes a swipe back. And it escalates from there. I'm having a very hard time telling if it is truly fighting or just more robust playing than we have seen before. But whatever it is, Fuzzy definitely doesn't seem to like it. We have taken to breaking them up with a spray bottle if it looks like they are starting to bite each other in earnest. I'm particularly worried about Fuzzy getting hurt, since he is quite a bit bigger than her (and seems to have sharper teeth, from my few encounters with them). However, friends who have multiple animals have assured us that this is probably still part of the establishing dominance routine, and may take up to 6 months for them to completely settle down with each other.

We went to Petco last night to pick up a few more indulgences for them. Shadow now has a tag with his name and our phone number, just in case he ever gets out, not that he's shown a lot of inclination to do so. We also got a second carrier so we can transport them both at the same time when necessary. I also picked up something I've wanted to get them for a while; a water fountain. Water sitting in the dish gets so stale and nasty, and it's a pain to clean it when it is a double dish and the other half is filled with food. So I got one of those continuously filtering water things. It is so cool. And it's got a big reservoir since Shadow definitely goes through water a lot faster than Fuzzy does. Hopefully, it is also big and heavy enough that Fuzzy can't push it around and spill it everywhere like she did with her smaller water dish.

Yes, I am an indulgent cat parent. It also doesn't help that I love gadgets!
danagryphon: (Gryphon Art)
Well, we seem to have achieved cat integration. We let Shadow out of the basement yesterday afternoon, and they have been interacting pretty freely since then. They have done some nose touching, and I think Shadow was trying to give Fuzzy kisses. She has for the most part stopped hissing at him (except for the one time when he went after her treats after finishing his), but still growls occasionally.

The bedroom issue was a non-issue. Last evening they were both lounging on our bed pretty comfortably, and at one point last night, Fuzzy came into bed and snuggled up with me and purred her brains out. I did go open the boys' window around 1 am, and Shadow was right there, so I think he was hanging out in their room most of the night.

I'm so glad that they seem to be getting along, and I can see them getting more and more comfortable with each other by leaps and bounds. Looks like he's a keeper!
danagryphon: (Gryphon Art)
Well, we seem to have achieved cat integration. We let Shadow out of the basement yesterday afternoon, and they have been interacting pretty freely since then. They have done some nose touching, and I think Shadow was trying to give Fuzzy kisses. She has for the most part stopped hissing at him (except for the one time when he went after her treats after finishing his), but still growls occasionally.

The bedroom issue was a non-issue. Last evening they were both lounging on our bed pretty comfortably, and at one point last night, Fuzzy came into bed and snuggled up with me and purred her brains out. I did go open the boys' window around 1 am, and Shadow was right there, so I think he was hanging out in their room most of the night.

I'm so glad that they seem to be getting along, and I can see them getting more and more comfortable with each other by leaps and bounds. Looks like he's a keeper!

Cat Update

Sep. 1st, 2009 07:24 pm
danagryphon: (Celtic Gryphon)
Well, things are proceeding about as well as can be expected between Fuzzy and Shadow. There was a lot of staring contests under the basement door last evening and this morning, even some sniffing close up. The little black paw reaching under the basement door was so pathetic, it finally got to me.

This afternoon, I let Shadow out of the basement. He was very shy about coming up at first, and retreated back down there a few times  Fuzzy has been hanging out upstairs on the bed where she usually sleeps during the day. But there have been some promising interactions. When he gets too close, she definitely lets him know it with a growl and a hiss, but they had actually touched noses a couple of times without nastiness. And even though she is giving him growls and hisses, he usually lays down and acts submissive when she does that, so there has been no actual violence. He is now pretty freely wandering the first floor, although I don't think he has ventured up to the bedrooms much yet, because that is where SHE hangs out. But they've been in close proximity quite a bit.

I'm very encouraged. I never would have dreamed that Fuzzy would be the aggressor, but it makes sense since she is older and was here first that she would end up being the dominant one. As long as he continues to act submissive when she flares up, I think all will be well. Another big hurdle will be her allowing him into the bedrooms upstairs, especially onto our bed. He is reportedly a bed snuggler at night, just like she is, so I can see that being another point of contention between them, the final territory that she may not be willing to surrender so easily.

Tonight will be interesting.

December 2015

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