Saturday, December 13, 2014

Herding Cats

Life is pretty routine at our house.  Highlights are garbage pick up day (Tuesdays) and water delivery day which is roughly every 8 days. (We get two 18 litre carbouys of drinking water delivered for $5.30 CAD).  Saturday we take a taxi to town for groceries. Round trip 14 km total fare $6 CAD.

We don't have children, though our granddaughters live in town and we visit often; every day by Skype.  So we have a dog and three cats to brighten our days.  We had two dogs but Bobik met an untimely end over a female, leaving Volk quite lonely.  Our cats Bonya and Tigritsa I have blogged about before.  Their brother Vovochka or Vovo (Vladimir) came to live with us permanently when Lina was working long hours.

They never met a door they were on the right side of, especially bathroom and front door.  Bonya can open the downstairs bathroom door if it isn't locked as the latch doesn't work.  He thinks if you are just sitting there doing nothing you should at least be petting him.  The door swings open on its own weight and leaves you rather exposed to the world especially should someone come in the front door which is opposite the bathroom door across the big entry way.

They go in and out the front door several times a day.  They come in to use the litter box.  I kid you not.  There is a heavy grape vine that winds its way to the upstairs balcony.  They learned to climb it as kittens and now, if we are not downstairs to let them in, they climb the vine and snap the plastic frame of the balcony screen door until we hear them.

Boyna likes to be petted and will climb on Tanya's lap sometimes when she is watching TV. He is a suck.  Vovo also likes to be petted but at night when we are sleeping.  He climbs on the bed and crawls between us to where he can bunt my hand with his head indicating "wake up and pet me".

Tigritsa only wants to be petted when I am at my computer.  She sits and looks longingly at me until I push the keyboard away to make room.  Then she jumps up for a face rub.  She licks my thumb so I wash her neck and top of her head, cat style - lick, rub, lick rub.  Then she flops over and goes to sleep with her head on my wrist.  I am allowed to use the mouse IF there are no sudden sweeping moves. Else she digs her claws into my arm to hold it.

Sleeping on the keyboard tray, head on my arm, back against my tummy
I never knew cats could have colds but all three of ours came down with something during the coldest weather when we had snow.  I was afraid it was distemper but the vet said not.  Bonya started it, trying to cough up a lung.  Our vet, who was out twice to see the cats, gave us an immuno-stimulator which we injected (sub-cu) every day for a few days.  Tigritsa had a mild case of it but Vovochka who was not at all sick at first got it really bad, more sneezing than coughing with runny nose and eyes.  They are finally over it.

Our vet, Andrei, is a wonderful man.  His office is that of a civil servant which means he is extremely poorly paid, charging only for medicines and travel.  Tanya pays him double and usually feeds him supper as he comes after work.

Yesterday, Boyna gave us a scare.  We have no idea what happened but he came downstairs dragging his back leg and meowing in pain.  We put him on our bed and even in his sleep he was crying and twitching his leg with the pain.  Touching it hurt him so much.  It seemed swollen.  Andrei came after work to check him out, thought it might be an infection from an earlier fight but couldn't find a break or anything.  Poor Andrei didn't get much of a supper as we had already eaten and there was no bread in the house to even make a sandwich.

Late in the evening, Bonya woke up, jumped off the bed, dragged his leg to the door and demanded to go out.  When Tanya refused he threw a giant hissy-fit, including trying to dump the pail of dry dog food. For that he got pitched into the back porch, bad leg and all.  This morning he favoured the leg a little bit but seemed fine otherwise.  He immediately went outside.

We have been having mild weather after our snow and cold.  It went to +5C and everything melted and everything is wet and muddy.  It even rained.  With three cats going in and out it is impossible to keep their feet clean when they come in the house.  There are muddy tracks everywhere and we just get a damp mop and follow them.  It is easier than trying to catch them at the door ten times a day.

If we don't let them out they get bored and start chasing and fighting each other.  Usually they chase Tigritsa.  If they don't she runs up to one, smacks it upside the head and runs for it.  Once Vovo and Bonya were wrestling and she jumped in and took a round out of Bonya when he was down.

Bonya and Tigritsa are long haired cats, Vovo is smooth haired.  The house if filled with clumps of hair, enough to start a new cat every time we vacuum or sweep.

Tonight we heard a banging on the front door.  It was Bonya wanting in.  Mud to the hocks and carrying a headless mouse.  The muddy floors, the cat hairs and the dead mouse had just about got to Tanya.  Not a good time for me to discover I had stepped in something when I went to feed Volk.

"Dog shit.  Cat shit.  This isn't a house.  It is a barn".





11 comments:

  1. Cats and dogs can both catch respiratory infections from humans. So can other animals. When I worked at the CDC I edited an interesting paper about a cat that was diagnosed with H1N1 influenza and another report that described an influenza outbreak among the giant anteaters at a zoo -- they picked up the disease from one of their keepers.

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    1. Thanks, Nan. I never knew animals could catch our diseases. I know when we can catch theirs, like bird flu and such, it is pretty serious.

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  2. My cats think I am a doorman, but they want to go out cuz they won't use a litter box, and I keep their food outside. One gets a cold every year.

    The grumpy old bastard decided to come in this winter, a week ago he bit and clawed me, he won't get away with that but one more time.

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    1. Our old cat would not use a litter box until he got diabetes and couldn't go out. None of ours have ever gotten hostile with us yet, other than pretend.

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  3. They come in to use the litter box
    Typical cat.

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    1. We laughed so hard when we first saw one of them come rushing into the house to use the sandbox

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  4. This made me laugh - reminded me vividly of the days when there were five cats and a largeish dog in our 1100-square-foot house. These days our house is a bit bigger and all our furry friends have left us. I miss them, but I don't miss the hair and the mess.

    Love the picture of Tigritsa - she's a real micro-manager, isn't she? :-)

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  5. Such personalities. We have a little dog. I have had cats in the past, and would love to have another. Husband hates the litter box. We have been in negotiations over this for quite some time now. The dog won't sit in my lap, but he comes up to the laptop and tries to close it if I haven't been paying enough attention to him. He also tries to herd all of us into one room. I can't imagine not having a pet of some sort.

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    1. Your dog must have some Border Collie in him. I read of one couple who had a Border Collie. They threw a party and after a few hours realized everyone was in the kitchen. The dog had gently herded all the people to one room.

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  6. Andrei should be a vet here because it has become a get-rich-quick scheme. Fortunately, Brewsky doesn't get on the computer table.

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