Look at Those Ham Eyes

Yes, look at those big eyes. And he’s always looking for something to get into.

And when he can’t he chases and leaps on me and sometimes Ichiro, except Ichiro seems to like the tussle. I scream and hiss and growl and he doesn’t listen at all which means he gets a time out in what used to be the kitten room but is now mostly back to the sunroom. Momma gets so mad because Ichiro and I run in there with him when she does that.

But I mean, maybe he’s going to get treats right?

And I hate to think that he’s going to be alone.

In September THIS happened

So in September THIS happened. I am not sure that I like him any more than I liked Ichiro. Ichiro, however, seems to like him, except when he is chewing on his leg.

The humans call him Ham. Hamnado is more like it. Or Hamnible Lecter.

Cheysuli Forever

A long time ago, in a state far far away there was a Meezer named Simone and she was the best cat. But she died. So there was a search for another cat as good as Simone, if not better.

It went far and wide. Wide-eyed kittens hopefully and eagerly dreamed of being chosen.

But it was not to be.

In a small town, only people in Oregon (or who love Oregon) knew about, a Siamese Queen awaited her fate. Cheysuli was chosen.

For many years all was well in Chey’s world. She was crushed (and perhaps one could say diminished) when her beloved calico mentor, Georgia transitioned. She was further distressed to the point of near death when Ichiro was adopted. But she soldiered on as all good cats must.

And then she stopped eating. The vet did blood work. She still didn’t eat but they did fluids and an anti-emetic.

On the third day, which was a Saturday, after she’d only been eating what was forced down her and painted on her pretty brown stockings, they gave her more fluids and another injection. They started her on Tapazol because her thyroid was high.

She nibbled but didn’t eat. She was force fed on Sunday and her body painted, which she dutifully cleaned.

Chey is pulling on string. What is your caption?On Monday, she went in to the vet again and got IV fluids, a vit B injection, another injection for nausea, and some medication to help with nausea that she would take until Thursday.

And she came home and ate.

She didn’t eat a ton at any one visit to the dish but she ate frequently, probably at about 70% of what she would normally eat and 300% of fishy flakes, because when you are 15 and haven’t been eating, if you like fishy flakes, you get fishy flakes.

And then Saturday night. She vomited. Once. Twice. Five times. White foamy bile. She was drinking though.

By Sunday morning she was refusing water.

The Woman knew. Chey wasn’t coming back from this. She had no interest even in cleaning herself up, not really. And while sometimes cats react to Tapazol, this didn’t feel like that.

But the Male wasn’t ready–who knew he liked her so much despite her constant disdain?

So they went to the emergency vet. Fluids, more blood work, offers of ultrasound. She got more injections. She went home and did not come out of her carrier. She could move. She didn’t want to.

She stayed hidden in her carrier nearly the whole night, coming out only twice to cuddle with the woman for an hour or so.

She refused all water, all food.

She could have been forced. She could have gone for an ultrasound. But at 15 years old there were few things in her presentation that would have made the extra days of life worth the effort of more time being fussed with. She was now on Tapazol and a high blood pressure medication and an appetite stimulant.

On Monday the Woman called a very nice man who came out that night and helped Chey across the Bridge. She was greeted by far too many beloved friends. This man treated everyone with kindness and cried with all of us though we had never met him.

And now the search may begin once more. But that is a story for future generations. For now, we can look at the stars and remember when Chey ruled the world.

Moving with Cats

coverSo there I was, in a car, moving across country.  The series of blog posts I wrote for the woman about moving has been turned into a book written from her point of view. I don’t even have my name on the cover (like Gemini does now that her short story, Rescued from the Rain is a stand alone short ebook). I can’t tell you how miffed I am.

It’s a short book, about the length of a short story so it’s priced at .99 cents. She’s writing as Bonnie Elizabeth because she didn’t want to add her credentials to her name or create yet another author persona by writing without those credentials. Besides, Bonnie Elizabeth often writes about cats in her fiction. Have you all met Zari A? She’s almost as good as I am, except of course, she’s not really a cat.

If you are facing the horrifying prospect of having to move, find a box, curl up and nap. Then after your person is tired of packing, sit on them until they read Moving with Cats. It might help. It might not. Humans never listen to us about the important things.

Moving with Cats is available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and most other favorite ebook retailers.

Rescued Tabby Tuesday

IMG_3502aYes, that is right. I was a Rescued cat and I am a published author type cat too! Yeah me, right?!

Mama and I walked about my story, which was very magical to her but was just ordinary to me and we wrote it up for Rescued. November is our month and 30% of all profits goes to Purrfect Pals out of Arlington, Washington. It is the place Mama adopted Ichiro, but we will not hold that against them. They do a lot of good for cats in the Seattle area.

You may wonder where I came from. I just showed up in Mama’s condominium complex on a dark and stormy night (she would not let me use that introduction, though). I was mewing and no one but Mama and Mama Georgia heard me. She did not find me until the next day but I ran and hid from her. There was a very nice big cat in the complex named Eight Ball who helped her find me again and then she took me inside to her bathroom and made sure that I would not run away again.

She says I have always been a wee bit feral. I just say I know what I want when I want. I can’t help it if she has other ideas!

Arriving

IMG_5131aSo the end of the journey comes and you’ve arrived at the new home.

It’s a good idea to use Feliway plugins in the main areas of the house you’ll be staying in at first. It’s also a good idea to give us a small space to start out in too.

This time, the Woman started us with our large carrier in the sun room with the Feliway. (Note: this is not a game of Clue. No one was killed). We started there because the woman was having the carpets cleaned and there wasn’t carpet in the sun room. She also thought we’d like the sun. We weren’t interested so we stayed mostly in our carrier as there weren’t many places to hide. She stayed there with us most of the time.

That night we were moved up to the master bedroom where we snoozed near them as much as possible. Actually we hid in the closet too.

The next day, our stuff came and we were moved back to the sun room because that room didn’t have to have any furniture that needed to be placed there immediately.  It was our safe room. We could have been put in a bathroom but this allowed the woman to spend a little time with us. The important points though were:

  1. Have a room in the house for us to explore first and slowly let us make our way down to the rest of the house.
  2. Make sure we cannot escape when the movers are moving things in.
  3. Consider a Feliway plugin or other calming device in the room that will belong to the cats.

After the moving in was done, we were moved back to the master bedroom with all our stuff. We were kept in there for the rest of the day and the night. The next day we were allowed out that evening for an hour or so under some supervision. Gemini and I did fine. Ichiro not so much. We were herded back up to the master bedroom, which was our final safe room, when the woman went to bed.

For the next few days the door to the master bedroom was left open during the day and we could come and go as we pleased (or not). We continued to have a litter box in there and were fed up there. We had Feliway plugins. We were locked in there at night with the people.

We continued this pattern for about ten days, when the woman noticed Ichiro exploring the house on his own. At that point she started feeding us downstairs but keeping some food and water upstairs in the same room. We continued to be locked in at night for a full two weeks. We were then allowed to explore the house as much as we wanted. There was no stress from anyone. In fact, Ichiro seems less stressed by visitors now than he was when we lived in our other homes. He likes to sit at the stop of the stairs and watch workers and delivery people. He sort of adopted the whole upstairs as his. He also has some other hiding spots downstairs in case he can’t get upstairs before the woman answers the door. But that’s just him.

And that’s how easy it is to move with cats. Doesn’t it make you want to go traveling with yours?

 

Hotels: Things to Watch out For

_MG_3944aSo you’re at the hotel. You have reservations. You’ve asked how many cats they take per room, right? Many only take two.

At any rate, so now you’re going in.

First the woman would always cover the carrier so we were less stressed should we see a stranger, or worse, a dog, as we went to the room.

She would plugin our Feliway difuser somewhere it was easily noticed so that she would not forget it in the morning.

Then she would examine the bed. Was the bed open underneath? If it had a box surrounding it, did the box come up to the wall. Was the box spring solid or did it offer openings that a creative cat could use to crawl under?

If the bed was not completely open but the stand the bed was on was not flush with the wall, she would stuff her paper towel rolls in between those places. If the box spring looked like it had openings, well extra bed pillows were stuffed around the edges. Even the nice blanket that was our safety net was stuffed in one area. Please be aware that certain hotels will not allow more than one or two extra pillows so use them wisely. Our “smells like home blanket” that covered our carrier did double duty plugging mattress openings once or twice.

For those open under the bed hotels, she really wishes she had taken a broom or something to force us to come out in the morning. Also, it would have been useful to persuade us to get out from behind dressers too!

We were not typically interested in behind the dresser, although at home that would have been a great place for us. We preferred the under the bed or behind the curtains. Make sure you explore those places before you let the cats out and look carefully! Some box springs may only have one small place that it is not covered underneath, which means it’s kitty fun time if you miss it.

 

Choosing a Place to Stay

_MG_6946e1If you have to stay some place overnight, knowing they accept pets is important. The woman found the best information on the Pets Welcome site. She did a fair amount of research into which hotels. She is also a AAA member so she used both sites.

Pets Welcome stated if the hotel took dogs or cats or exotics. AAA merely state pets and left it up to the individual website to state whether the hotel took cats. Because of the more detailed information on Pets Welcome she used them.

She also called to make sure they took cats and made reservations by phone. This is huge. She hates the phone. But this way she had a name and a reservation number with the information on tape should any of the places decide they did not want cats. None of them did, fortunately.

She found that in general Motel 6 will take all pets. We also found that there were a lot of pet smells in Motel 6 and found it difficult to settle.

La Quinta Inn will take pets and it was much easier for us to settle there, although it seemed as if we saw the same poodle and chihuahua every time we stayed in one. I was rather worried they were following us.

Quality Inn and Comfort Inn also frequently accepted cats.

Red Lion has a good pet policy but alas, they are more a west coast chain of hotels and there are not many of them anywhere any longer so we did not use them.

Best Western accepts “pets” which is to say small dogs and there is a hotel by hotel choice to accept other pets.

Holiday Inn sometimes accepts pets, which does include cats but not all of them. The woman was disappointed because back in 1968 when she traveled across country with her family and their cat they stayed at Holiday Inn because they accepted cats. Times change. Be sure to do your homework.

Remember that many places only take up to two cats to a room!

Next time, we’ll talk about what to watch out for in hotel rooms!

Traveling By Car: Early Planning

_MG_7633aWe moved by car which meant that it was going to take us more than one day to get there. We were going to be moving from Seattle to Charlotte at the beginning of February. This brought up a number of concerns.

First, I-90, the main route east, often gets a lot of snow at that time of the year. The Woman began watching the weather. She did not want to get stuck in a snow storm with three cats. She had her car winterized and checked over for driving. She began planning a route and where to stay based on how many miles she could travel.

Google maps and Pet’s Welcome were a huge help here.

The Male was going to be training in San Diego. He talked about coming back home to drive across the country with her so she wouldn’t have to do this alone. Then she thought, that’s silly. Why doesn’t she drive to San Diego and they could take the southern route which was far less likely to have snow during that time? So although it added a couple of days to her travel time, she did that. She didn’t actually get to San Diego. Instead they met up in Gallup, NM. The downside of this was that she had to drive through most of the really barren desert alone, something she hoped to avoid and she had to go one more day with having to handle us all on her own.

As you can see there were factors in her route planning that went beyond the shortest distance between two points. The travel time was long enough that the Woman figured she’d make it as easy as possible even if it did go longer.

First, she checked on the weather. In the spring or summer, the northern route would have been a no brainer, but in February it was iffy (although it turned out to be clear when she traveled).

Second, she wanted to have someone else around. Friends across country were more than happy to offer homes or help in case she got stuck in various places but nothing beat having an extra pair of hands to help out when she had to stop at night.

Consider your priorities! They will all be different.

After deciding on a route, she planned hotels. We’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post.

 

Moving: How Will You Travel?

Depositphotos_80421602_s-2015We’d like to thank some personal input from Waffles’ and Katie’s owner for talking with us about the differences between driving with a cat and flying with one. Waffles, being an easy going cat, traveled both by plane and by car by the time we were planning our move. The major issue, according to Waff and his person was the ability for Waffles to have control over his environment in the cat in a way he did not get to on a plane.

First, you can travel by car or plane or perhaps by train or bus. The two most common ways of traveling are by plane or by car. In moves that take less than a day to drive, we recommend traveling by car. There’s more control.

Longer moves can depend upon several factors, including if you would have to drive a car across country anyway, location of airports, personality of cats, comfort level of flying and how many pets you would have to transport on the aircraft.

First, traveling by air has the advantage of getting the move over with for the cat. I like this. On the other hand, there is less control. You are subject to very noisy spaces and can’t control the sorts of people and smells the cat will be exposed to. You will have to remove the cat from the carrier to go through security. You do not get a private room for this. The travel day may be long if you have to change planes and wait at another airport, not to mention the stress of worrying about the time if you miss a connection.

In addition to the stress of the airport, airlines typically have a limit on the number of in-cabin pets. Can you afford to make multiple trips?

One of our neighbors flew her cats to her new home. She was subject to a large number of people complaining to her about taking her cat on board because it would cause them a problem with their allergies. She said for her and her cats, that was the hardest part.

For us to travel by plane the woman said she’d need:

  • To have a harness and leash as well as an approved under the seat carrier
  • Money to spend on several flights to and from our new home
  • A direct flight to the where she was going
  • Not to have to drive the car across country after moving the cats
  • Some trustworthy place to leave the cat she wasn’t taking and then to leave the cats she was taking at the other end.

If you make that choice, be sure to understand whether you will need a health certificate.

Traveling by car gave her more control over our environment. While we weren’t allowed to sniff around and explore the environment like Waffles, we still had a much more protected area. Ichiro prefers to know where Gemini and I are at all times. He’s a busy body. That is one of the main reasons the woman put us all in one large carrier. It made him more comfortable. I was equally comfortable either way and she had an extra carrier if Gemini got pissed off with him. She did not. She seemed to like the company, which surprised us.

It did mean that the woman had to plan for hotels carefully and she mostly ate junk she could pick up through the drive through so she didn’t leave us in the car too long. It was a stressful week, but everyone made it. She made sure the car was well serviced, that we were in good health, and that she had reservations at hotels who knew she was traveling with cats all along the way.

In our next post, we will talk about how she picked hotels.