I asked on Discord what I should blog about this week, and the suggestion that came back way my cats.
Okay, I can talk about them pretty much endlessly!
… crap, what do I say?
If you’ve missed it, T. and I have three cats.
The slightly-older two are white-and-grey fluffbucket Norwegian Forest Cat mutts. They are loud, they are affectionate, demanding, and they chew on everything. Furniture. Firewood. They commonly eat their way out of cardboard boxes. Sharp teeth! Oli (Oligarchy) is a bit bigger, longer-furred in the “ruff” and “pantaloons”, more likely to be demanding in the food department. He sleeps on my feet at the beginning of the night and usually by my shoulder when he thinks I ought to be getting up.
Theo (Theocracy) is a little quieter than his brother but not by a lot. Of the three, he’s least likely to eat people food, but really, really likes plants. He’s the one that ate seedlings down to the dirt two years ago and ate the tips off of asparagus. (Oli just eats bread. Tunnels into the loaf). Theo likes to burrow and any pile of clothes or rags or well, anything is immediately his.
We got the boys about a month after our elder kitty Drake died. I was not dealing well without a cat in the house.
(Note to self: Just because your diabetic cat needs to be fed at 4 a.m. is no reason to encourage this behavior in new kittens. )
After looking everywhere for brother-cats (and having the Humane Society try to sell me two black kittens who had been sharing a cage but were unrelated), we found them on Craigslist, from a place just a few miles away from our house.
Merit (Meritocracy) came along a year after the boys. She was one of a litter of three, presumably from our neighbor’s barn cat, and the shyest of them at the beginning. We don’t know what happened to her more friendly siblings but I tell myself they ended up in a nice home.
Merit started spending more time around our yard as she got bigger, hunting in our hedgerow and sleeping in piles of leaves (and in the doghouse, but I don’t think she liked that because it had no back door). I knew I was keeping her when I found myself cooking meat scraps before I put them out in the compost bin (Yes, I know cats can handle raw chicken, but it bugged me). Then she got her own bowl and kibble, and knew she was going to be ours.
T. spent a lot of time convincing her that he was okay, moving closer and closer. Of the two of us, he has patience. I have… lots of things that are definitely not patiences. She would sit on the boulders in the hedgerow and shout at him (such a loud miaw): Put the food down and back away slowly. Naow.
As the weather got colder, she started suggesting maybe she could come live in the warmer place with the roof where we lived. And maybe some more food?
Eventually we managed to get her into a cat carrier, took her to the vets, and left her there for three days (vaccinations, spaying, checkup, etc.).
The vets love Merit. She’s shiny (short-haired black cat, nothing but shine), she’s well-behaved, and she’s friendly. “You’d never know she was feral!”
(Especially when she sleeps on me at night.)
Sometimes she still likes to pretend, though, shying away from people and running around like a madwoman. Madcat.
The cutest/weird thing about Merit is her eyesight. Or, um, slight deficiency thereof. I mean, as far as I’ve ever been able to discover, cats do not have great very-close vision to start with – but Merit has notably more trouble with things close-up than our other cats have.
She’s fine with things that are moving (caught a bird out of mid-air), seems to know Husband and I vs. strangers when we’re nearish, and can navigate the house with no problem; she knows “black” as a color because she is black and she prefers sleeping on things that are black, and is 90% absolutely fine with the world.
But her food just confuses her.
If we put her food in a bowl she doesn’t like getting her face down and covered. If we put it on a plate that’s dark, she has trouble finding it. She needs high contrast and no obstruction.
So I went to the Re-Use store and found her a melmanie (has to survive Oli throwing it on the floor) mostly white Holly Hobby plate with a lip (so she can chase her food around the plate)
(this one )
This pleases me more than I can explain, because my childhood quilt, the one my mom and grandma and aunt made for me when my parents were building our house – I was 5 – has Holly Hobby prints on it, so it’s like my childhood coming home to my kitty.
Also, now Merit can find her food, so that (plus sometimes heating it up when she’s feeling fussy) means there’s a much greater chance she’ll eat it.
Unless we’re having turkey.
Then the only thing that Merit will eat, ever, forever and ever, is turkey.
More turkey now please?