Random life updates

Do any of you follow the story threads of our lives and then wonder what happened since we forgot to update?  Here’s some updates:

Little Kitty’s IBS and health:

  • She had idiopathic elevated calcium levels (meaning they don’t know why).  This was the best possible outcome since the other outcomes where they know were all bad.  First she got steroids for two weeks.  Then she got taken off the hydrolized diet and put on a low calcium diet and now her tummy seems to be all better.  No more IBS even when she steals her favorite people food (chicken).  It is mysterious.
  • Once her calcium levels got balanced, she got to have her teeth cleaned.  Unfortunately 7 teeth also had to be pulled.  Also it is insane how even though these costs are expensive, they are waaay less expensive than costs of the same thing in paradise.

DH’s relatives:

  • The one with the abusive baby daddy has moved back home.  She’s not getting along with her dad because he says she frequently does dangerous things when taking care of her son and he tells her not to.  Her step-mom is doing well with chemo and is really enjoying taking care of the baby while her step-daughter works at the Walmart a few towns over.  I have no idea how the menu planning stuff went down or if now that the oldest girl is back she’s taken over some of the responsibilities.
  • The other one who was a teen mom is still living with her two kids with her husband near her biological mom across the country.  She seems to be doing fine.

Kitty saga:

  • I don’t think I ever mentioned this, but my sister ended up taking a second kitten from our back-yard cat saga since we were only allowed to take two cats with us to Paradise.  Her two still love each other and my sister seems to have bonded with them.  Problem:  her new roommate brought a bully cat and boy kitty started peeing on things in protest.  So now her two cats stay in her bedroom suite during the day, mostly sleeping while the bully cat roams the rest of the house.  :(

DC1 at public school:

  • In the end, DC1 transitioned well to public school for 5th grade in Paradise.  I think it was good that it was still an elementary school.
  • Zie seems to be doing fine at middle school for 6th grade so far this year.  Zie has to do some testing to get admitted to the GT pull-out program.   One of hir friends from private school is in orchestra with hir, which helps.  They should both transition from 5th grade orchestra to 6th grade orchestra at the semester.  (DC1 decided against another year of trumpet, which means zie has to have weekly violin lessons to ease the transition since zie is a year behind.  Zie is surprisingly not that awful– much better than my memories of that first year of my sister practicing.)
  • Zie tested into 7th grade advanced math, which is really nice.  This and orchestra are two big advantages over private school.  I do miss having a foreign language though.  DC1 had Spanish as an after school program last year (they also had French, but only for native speakers(!), so we dropped that), but it doesn’t appear that anything like that is available here.
  • The after school program is cheap ($115/mo and goes until 6:30pm) and the bus stop is literally at the corner of our house.  For now we’re doing after school instead of having hir take the bus home so we don’t have to worry about hir being latch-key when DH is out of town for work.  The law in our state is vague… it basically says, you’re ok so long as something bad doesn’t happen, but if something bad happens you made the wrong decision.  If we still had a home phone I’d feel a bit better about a latch-key situation.  If we do go latch-key DC1 will need a cell-phone.

DC2:

  • Returning to the Montessori here has been great.  So great we decided not to start K this year and to leave hir in Montessori another year.  Then we may skip K next year if zie doesn’t get into the dual-language program.  We’re playing it by ear a year at a time.
  • Zie really does miss hir friends, but many of them were heading off to public school anyway (either K or Pre-K), so…  And we’re happy zie is back to more academics and less of the creepy religious stuff.  (Nothing against non-creepy religious stuff, but even though DC1 and DC2 both attended a year of preschool from the same Lutheran branch, DC1’s was not at all creepy and DC2’s was full of not preschool appropriate stories.  Just comparing the children’s bibles they each got was pretty crazy.  Like, it wasn’t our imagination.)  Hir reading and math abilities have skyrocketed since we got back.

I think those are the big things in my online blog persona life.  If anybody cares.

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December Mortgage Update: Kitten-destroyed bathroom, during and after

Last month (November):
Balance:$17,936.85
Years left: 1.333333333
P =$1,138.89, I =$75.51, Escrow =$809.48

This month (December):
Balance:$16,793.45
Years left: 1.25
P =$1,143.40, I =$71.00, Escrow =$809.48

One month’s prepayment savings: $0

I realized I haven’t posted about this yet even though it happened ages ago.  I thought I’d taken pictures specifically for this post, but I’m having trouble finding them.  Here’s some kitteny pictures.

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Here you can see the start of damage on the bottom of the cabinet door behind Boy Kitty (who now lives with my sister).

Damage on the top. It's equally bad on the facing, but I can't find any facing pictures.

Damage on the top. It gets worse later.

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There used to be stuff under the wallpaper that used to be here…

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Here’s some pictures of facing on those drawers.

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What was that about wallpaper?

One more.

One more.

And after:

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No more wallpaper! Paint! Cabinet doors replaced (with custom-made identical doors) and repainted!

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I’d tell you how much it cost, but I don’t remember(!)

And then there were three (kitties)

I think it’s finally safe to tell boy kitty’s story.  My sister has gotten attached.

If you will recall, finding a kitten stuck in our garage led to 3 kittens (Nice kitty, the kitty formerly known as Mean kitty, and Boy kitty) and 2 gentlemen kitties, Garage Cat and Patio Cat, and still feral Mamacat.

Garage Cat is being spoiled to bits in his new home with a friend of mine across the country.  Reports are he’s getting along great with his new sister kitty.  I’ve seen pictures!  Patio Cat got lost outdoors for a few days but returned unharmed to my MIL.  We think feral outdoor Mamacat may have found another food source because she doesn’t finish the food every night, but more like every other night, which is good because we may have to stop feeding her next year.

My sister originally offered to take one of the kittens if we couldn’t find any takers.  But she wanted one who wasn’t black because black fur would show up on her furniture.  That stipulation made us think she really wasn’t ready for a destructive kitten.  Maybe two destructive kittens who could entertain each other, but not just the one (she nixed that idea).  So we put it off.  And put it off.  And still had no takers for our remaining kitties.

Finally we figured the three kittens had grown enough and settled down enough that my sister could handle one of them.  We picked boy kitty because he’s not black (unlike Patio Cat who we hadn’t yet given to my MIL) and he doesn’t pee on things (unlike Nice kitty) and he’s a bit more outgoing than the kitty formerly known as mean kitty while not being clingy like Nice kitty.  All around a good cat for someone with an active lifestyle who doesn’t want to be constantly covered in fur.

Unfortunately boy kitty doesn’t like claw caps at all (unlike Garage cat and Patio cat who were all, “whatevs, yo” when we capped them), and found the experience very traumatic.  Moving was also traumatic.  We told my sister we’d experiment for two weeks, but we really needed him out of the house while we went on a trip (we did have someone checking up on the remaining kittens and Little Kitty, but the bathroom really wasn’t enough to hold all three kittens for an extended period of time).

Settling in with my sister was rocky at first.  She complained about the litterbox.  She complained about him taking his clawcaps off.  He kept waking her up at 3am demanding petting.  [#2 notes: this is called having a pet.]. She kept referring to him as “your cat” rather than her cat in conversations.  But the two weeks extended to a month.  We’d bring it up in conversation and she’d be noncommittal about giving him back, so we didn’t push the issue.  Though at one point she made us pay her bill at Pet-smart when we visited.

When she left for a two week business trip, she left him with us (and after a few days he was back to playing with his sisters and terrorizing Little Kitty), but at the end of it, she took him back.

Now, finally, a little more than half a year later, she’s referring to him as “my cat” instead of “your cat” and no longer wants an automatic feeder or expensive litter cleaner.  She seems to be genuinely attached to him.  She has a new housemate who isn’t allergic to cats.  I’m no longer worried that he’ll be coming back to us.  He is her cat now.

So that’s the kitty update.  Join us next year as we attempt to temporarily get the remaining cat number down to something we’re allowed to keep in an apartment or rental house.

Thrills!

And then there were four kitties

After successfully taking Garage Cat to his new home, where he has settled in beautifully, we decided to rehome Patio Cat as our next project.  My MIL had said she was willing to take one cat, and since she prefers an indoor/outdoor cat, a cat living on our back porch who desperately wanted to come inside seemed like a good match.  So he spent a week in the guest bedroom acclimating to the great indoors separated from our other cats.  We took him to the vet who thinks he’s got that herpes thing that makes cats get weepy eyes when they’re stressed out, but otherwise checked out ok.  All muscle.

Next we claw-capped him, which wasn’t a problem at all.  He’s a sweet big guy, just like Garage Cat.  And before another week had passed, DH had taken Patio Cat and the two kids on the plane to see the in-laws.  There he spent the week mostly hiding under the bed, but also bonded with my BIL’s cat.  He did not get along with my SIL’s cat because her cat doesn’t like anybody, but he’s mostly just been ignoring her.  My SIL’s cats are always a little neurotic and somehow they always end up at my MIL’s place.  Unfortunately the BIL’s cat went back with BIL and SIL’s cat is staying on for a while.

So far it seems like Patio Cat has settled in.  He’s a good kitty and an easy kitty.

That leaves us with:

Little Kitty, our tiny aging cat who we are keeping.

Nice kitten who pees on things so we’ll be keeping her too.

The cat formerly known as mean kitten who is now a sweetheart.

Boy kitten.

One of my students emailed to ask if I still had cats because his grandma is in the market for one, but I haven’t heard back since replying in the affirmative, so I’m guessing she’s found another.

Kitty update

Regular readers will remember that we’ve had a surplus of felines these past few months.  In If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fashion, we had a kitten stuck in our garage and ended up with 3 kittens (Nice kitty, Mean kitty who has since been rechristened as she’s now a sweetheart, and Boy kitty) and 1 man kitty (Garage Cat) and another man kitty (Patio Cat) and Mamacat, the last two are outdoors only.  That’s on top of our original Little Kitty and Big Kitty.

We lost Big Kitty earlier this year to a stroke.  Garage Cat helped to fill in the hole in our lives left by her loss.

But now Garage Cat is moving on.  One of my friends in another state recently lost her Big Kitty and after some conversation decided that Garage Cat would be the perfect new addition to her family, especially since her Little Kitty has gone into a decline since his loss a few weeks ago.  DH happened to be going to her state for work, and he’s taking Garage Cat on the plane with him.

We’re seriously going to miss him.  He’s a great cat!  He’s big and huggable and gentle and loving.  He mothers the kittens and only plays rough with the big boy kitty (who usually initiates).  He never does the wrong thing after being told not to (except when he’s not 100% really sure that he isn’t supposed to eat the kitten’s food…)  He never scratches people or really anything that he’s been told not to scratch.  He let us put claw caps on his nails in preparation for going through airport security (DH is worried if he gets scared he might scratch).  He has good litterbox etiquette (though could do a little better job of covering his poo, sorry friend!  He does try.).  He purrs and mostly sits in laps (he’s so big he kind of spills over on most laps) and loves pettings and brushings and ear scritches and strings.  He respects Little Cat’s authority and never gets in her face or invades her space.  He even finally made peace with Patio Cat.

But hopefully within a few weeks he’ll be grooming my friend’s little kitty.  She’s a fantastic cat owner.  I know she’ll give him more pettings than we could.  She’ll be able to keep him from overeating (something that’s nearly impossible with 5 indoor cats).  He’ll live a long and healthy life with her.

When we got him he was scraggly and hurt and so thin.  Then he spent some time in our garage.  Then he moved up to our guest bedroom where Big Kitty kept him isolated and quarantined (other than us coming in to groom and love on him).  Then with Big Kitty gone, he incorporated himself into our household and became friends with the kittens once they were tamed.  Each step of the way life has gotten better for him.  I like to think that my friend’s house will be the culmination of kitty paradise.

So, from 6 indoor cats (and 2 outdoor cats), we’re down to 4 indoor (and 2 outdoor).  But gosh, we’re going to miss Garage Cat.  He’s truly an excellent cat.  We’ve grown to love him.  If he brings as much joy to my friend as he has to us, then well, that’ll be a lot of joy.  :)

Cat update

We still have 5 indoor cats.  No takers for the (3) kittens.  We’ve become attached to Garage Cat.  On top of that, outdoor Patio Cat has truly become our Patio Cat.  He mostly hangs out on our back porch and shelters in our patio when the weather is bad.  He loves pettings more than food.  He wishes he could come inside.  He’s good friends with outdoor Mamacat (who makes the occasional appearance to eat, and is usually on the porch in the wee hours quietly hanging with Patio Cat), but she still shies away from us.  He and Garage Cat are still mortal enemies and my hand got majorly scratched up (from Garage Cat) the one time Garage Cat and Patio Cat ended up on the patio at the same time.

The two little black kittens are both super loving and adorable, even the one who used to be mean kitty.  It seems like whenever I sit down I get covered in kitten(s), or occasionally by Garage Cat.  Boy kitten doesn’t like to be picked up, but is otherwise a sweetheart.  He’s almost as big as a full-sized cat, but the girl kittens are still smaller.

Garage cat and the kittens get along really well now.  They play together and Garage cat sometimes grooms the younger kitties.

My sister was going to take a kitten or two, but then her roommate got engaged and she’s waiting until she finds a new roommate to commit in case the new roommate is allergic or otherwise doesn’t like cats.  Really she should take Garage Cat because he’s so well-behaved and she’s not very experienced with pets, but Garage Cat is long-haired and she’s worried he will get hair on her furniture.  We believe this illustrates how she has No Idea about cats or kittens if a little fur is her biggest worry.

My MIL says she’ll take one, but just one, if we get it to her this summer.

One (or more) of the kittens, we’re not sure which one, occasionally pees on our bed.  I do not like this.  And I worry about said kitten ending up someplace that might not be as forgiving as we are.  At some point we’ll figure out which one it is and take it to the vet for a work-up to rule out physical causes.  It can’t be lack of litter boxes because we have 7 boxes for 5 cats, all of different shapes, sizes, and privacy, and they get cleaned out every day once or twice a day.  And they have no problem using them.  Just occasionally one will pee on the bed in addition to regular litter box use.

So that’s the cat update.  This time last year we had two middle-aged indoor cats.  Now we have 5 indoor cats and 2 outdoor cats.  That’s too many.  But that’s what we have for now.

Kitty update

Ok, the plan was to catch the kittens and mamacat, get them all fixed, get the kittens tamed and rehomed and if mama was tamed to keep her, otherwise to let her out.

Instead…

The three kittens are still in our bathroom (they got booted from the guest bedroom suite when partner’s parents visited).  Little boy is slowly coming around and one of his sisters may be right behind him.  The other sister will probably never be tamed [update:  still have hope].  She’s terrified of people.  Our bigcat is not helping as she does not like her access to my closet (her daytime napping spot) cut-off and she knows there’s kittens in there and she wants to show them exactly who is alpha kitty around here.  She threw herself bodily at the door one night and another night actually managed to get the door open.  Partner doesn’t want to put them back in the guest bedroom because it was a PITA to clean.  (Recall our bathroom is the only one that’s tiled.)

We caught 3 possums.  They are no longer in our neighborhood.

We caught one scraggly (longish-hair) black male cat with lots of scratches on his face.  We got him neutered, revolutioned, de-tapewormed, and vaccinated.  Initially cautious of people, he turned out to be a cuddle bug.  The vet thinks he was once someone’s cat but has been on his own for months.  He’s been in our garage.  He basically hangs out without destroying anything (unlike the kittens) until someone comes in to pet him.  He loves food, but he loves petting more than food.  He is a total sweetheart.  He is so grateful to be in our garage where it’s safe and relatively warm and there’s food and occasional petting.  It breaks your heart.  He was not doing well outside so he’s become our #1 priority for rehoming.  We may put him in the guest bedroom once we need the garage again, or we may try to integrate him with our other two cats.  A lot depends on how he gets along with bigkitty.  [Update:  I think I’m allergic to him.]

We caught one glossy young healthy-looking male cat.  We let him go.  We caught him again a few days later and took him to the vet.  We got him neutered, revolutioned, de-tapewormed, and vaccinated.  He turned out to be completely and totally tame.  Vet estimates him at about 1 year.  But he was covered in fleas and had a major tape-worm infestation.  She says he was certainly someone’s pet once but estimates he’s been on his own for a few months.  We let him recover in our patio during the day and in a carrying case in the nursery at night (it’s been getting cold) for two days and nights, but he was pretty unhappy about it and we let him go the morning after that.  We just don’t have space for him.  And, other than the tapeworms and fleas, he was doing fine outside.  He had a small scratch on his nose and we suspect he was the victor in a fight with garage cat.  He also may be the reason mamacat no longer has her home-base in our yard.  He immediately high-tailed it under our deck where she used to stay.  If we catch him again we may try to figure out what to do again.

We caught a bird.  We let it go.

We found and called another no-kill shelter.  She’s also full-up.  The humane society does have a program where they’ll take really nice cats and no-kill shelter them for a while (and take them to Petsmart  on adoption day and stuff), so we’re signing up garage cat for that.  Maybe.  They need a picture and by the time his face scratches heal and partner gets all the matting out of his fur (he’s almost done there), we may have decided to keep him.  Or we can drive him up to partner’s mom over Spring Break.

Still no idea what to do with the kittens.  Poor things.  It would be easier if they were tame.  Or if we’d caught mamacat way back when.  Now I worry about kicking them back outside unprotected where there’s fleas and tapeworms and big territorial black kitties.  But that may be what we end up doing.

Update:  boy kitten really likes pettings.

Sigh.

Update:  little girl kitten #1 really likes pettings

Update:  WE CAUGHT MAMACAT.  She had hookworms.  :(  She’s currently in our garage.  Vet says she’s really skittish.  We put garage cat in our guest bedroom.  After two nights in the garage she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink and hadn’t used the litterbox.  The only sign of her existence was a trickle of pee coming from someplace inside our car that we didn’t think she could get to.  So the vet said to open a side-door to the garage and hope she makes her escape.  So we did.  Hopefully she’ll be out of there before we have to use the car again in a few days.  (Note:  Honda civic hybrids are not good cars to leave in the garage with a cat.  Stick to a simpler car.)  Hopefully we’ll see her in the backyard so we know she’s out without having to take the car apart.  Update [Tuesday night]:  After another day of no eating and finding her wedged but breathing under the engine, I opened the other garage door.  That night, she seemed to lave left the garage and eaten all the food in there.  I think we saw her tonight just after dusk eating on the porch (after Patio Cat had his fill, talked amicably to our Bigkitty safe in the screened patio, and left).  It was dark, but so far I haven’t seen any other small cats in our backyard and her form in a brief flashlight flash looked tabby…

We did a lot of things wrong.  We should have set up feeding routines and used the kittens to catch mamacat and a dozen other things.  This website has some really great suggestions.  But, I suppose, if we’d done this correctly we wouldn’t have rescued garage-kitty or neutered patio-cat.

So that’s the story so far.  The kittens have come a long way and I think the next step is getting them used to DH or DC1.  Then maybe we advertise.  I don’t know.  It’s hard to know what to do.