Category Archives: Cats

Feline Friday: Romeo is an attention seeker

And, yes, he gets his way.

RomeoRomeo welcomes you to our regular weekly Feline Friday. While I write this, he’s standing on the table next to my computer, reaching out repeatedly with his paw, claws extended, to remind me that he’s here. Also, I suppose, to remind me that he really would rather have a can of food opened than to rely on the bowl of dry kibbles that I put down for him a few minutes ago.

In his old age, Romeo has become quite expressive. He talks, he taps, or he scratches, sometimes to grab my attention, make sure he’s a top priority, or to make a point. He’s also become a lap cat, much to my surprise.

Actually, we’re not sure how old Romeo is. He arrived at our house, and was soon adopted, on January 1, 2005. At the time, he was an adult cat. Based on his teeth, our vet estimated he was 3-4 years old. He’s been with us for 11 years, so we’re guessing he’s now 14 or 15 years old.

He is, right now, clearly the Alpha Cat.

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Feline Friday: Yes, that’s a happy cat!

Mr. Duke

Yes, it’s another Feline Friday! And that’s Duke welcoming you to another update on the cats that share our home.

Duke had quite a week. The highlight was being kidnapped, placed in a carrier, then taken for a ride to the v-e-t.

It started with my desire to check a little lump on his chest. It’s like a little light colored mole. I’m paranoid, because years ago we had Buster, another big part-Siamese cat that looked a lot like Duke. And Buster eventually was taken down by skin cancer that appeared on one ear, and later returned on his face. So I wanted this lump checked out. Dr. Sakamoto took a look, and said it didn’t have any of the characteristics that would cause alarm at this point. I decided that wait and watch is warranted in this case.

But then I remembered that Duke needs another round of Droncit to zap his tapeworms, which returned a treatment some months back. Then in a routine exam, Dr. Sakamoto noticed that his ears had an accumulation of dark gunk. I’m sure that’s some technical word thrown around in such cases. After some further examination under a microscope, she decided that this wasn’t the result of ear mites, but rather a little infection.

So we headed home with a few Droncit pills, two doses worth, and a little bottle of Tresaderm, drops that go in his ears twice a day for a week.

He doesn’t mind the ear drops as much as I thought he would, although he does try to hide after eating and getting his insulin shot. This morning I pulled him out from our closet, where he hides back in a corner behind a section of hanging clothes. I follow the drops with some cat treats, which seem to placate him somewhat. We’re looking forward to seeing how he’ll be doing after we get through the week of ear drops.

Only other thing of note is that Toby is able to move around the house much better after losing a few ounces since switching food in the past month. He still has a little limp, but he’s not so hesitant to jump up or down getting to and from his favorite spots, and he’s making the rounds of the house more often than he has in a long time.

So all of that is good news.

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Feline Friday: After Kili

After Ms. Kili’s death a little over a month ago, several people wondered how the remaining four cats reacted to her absence.

Well, in the past week or so, there’s been one obvious seismic shift in the feline relationships: Romeo and Duke have come out as good buddies, palling around and even sharing the prized territory on our bed.

Amigos

This is a pretty dramatic turnaround.

For years, Romeo has been top cat. Well, almost. He yielded to Ms. Kili, who in her younger days was undisputed matriarch. He often bullied Toby and Duke, just to make the point that he was in charge.

The pecking order showed in the typical scene when I would walk into our bedroom and lay down to read a book or take a nap. Duke, Annie, and Kili would always jump up onto the bed, and then Romeo would appear. He would claim the prime spot in the middle of the bed, and then systematically drive off Duke and Annie with a swat of the paw or an aggressive lunge. Duke would immediately abandon the bed, while Annie would often fight back in a flurry of fur before withdrawing. But Romeo wouldn’t challenge Kili. Instead, he might engage in a little grooming, or perhaps signaling that he would like to be groomed. And they could even nap together without getting upset.

But since Kili has been gone, this has gradually changed. It didn’t really hit me until one night earlier this week. Duke was already on the bed when I got there to read for a while before going to sleep. Duke came up next to me and settled into sort of a Sphinx pose, front paws extended. And then Romeo arrive. I expected that he would posture a little and Duke would flee. Instead, Romeo settled down, laid his head on Duke’s extended paws, and closed his eyes, heading towards sleep. It was a first!

Then, as if to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, they repeated their buddy act an evening or two later. This time I went for a camera. The photo above is part of a series taken that night.

Not much other cat news. Toby is losing a little weight on the new food, as promised. The result is that he’s getting around a bit better, and his limp seems less pronounced.

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Throwback Thursday: When there were 5

Meal time in February 1997. We were in our kitchen in Kaaawa. It looks like I was serving up boiled fish that I had just cooked up.

There were five cats living with us at that time, and they’re all visible here.

The black cat on the counter in the foreground is Hiwahiwa. On the floor, our calico generation, Miki and Kua. The Cream Point Siamese looking down onto them from the the counter is Mr. Buster. And Mr. Lindsey is on the counter in the background.

For a better version, click on the photo to see a larger version of the photo.

It may have been the last time we had fewer than six cats until Wally died last summer, which brought us down to five again.

And now we’re down to four. I can’t remember when we last had just four cats.

Cats in 1997

Feline Friday: Mr. Romeo welcomes you back!

RomeoMr. Romeo welcomes you to another Feline Friday. It’s your weekly chance to check up on how things are going in our feline household. It’s not as busy as it was last year. We’re down from six to just four cats. That may sound like a lot to you, but we experience it as a small number, the fewest cats in the house in many years.

About five years ago, Romeo was an 18 pound bruiser who spent much of his time out in the yard in Kaaawa patrolling the boundaries and fighting off any stray that wandered into his territory.

But I’ve had him on a long, slow diet. He’s now a svelte 15 pounds or so. And he, along with the others, is a 100% indoor cat. Much safer. But probably not quite as much fun, for him at least. For us, it’s peace of mind. We know they’re not out getting in trouble and exposing themselves to all the normal risks. Cars, dogs, people with guns, traps, poison, fights, infections…the list goes on and on.

Bottom line: We’re glad that we are now back to having indoor cats.They will live longer. We’ll have far fewer moments of anxiety.

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