Monday, July 25, 2011

box fun

What's better than a new box?

A new box with crinkly paper inside!!










Friday, July 22, 2011

laying around

Not much new here in fourwhitepaws-land.

Lots of laying around waiting for the sun to arrive and the temperatures to warm up.
















Sunday, July 17, 2011

unexpected gifts

Rose spent the entire day sleeping in this spot. She didn't even get up for snacktime.



I wish I had followed her lead and napped all day. It was the perfect napping day!

Much of the US has been experiencing a major heat wave with toasty hot temps. Not so here, it has been a very cool summer. Today it only got to about 57° F and it was rainy. Rain in July here is quite rare. I read somewhere that we have only had 5 days this month when the temp got into the 70's and the average temp has been less than 60° F! Crazy summer! Here it is the middle of July and we are still running the heat here - this might be the summer where we use the heat year round!

Buddy's introduction to the other kitties hasn't been as smooth as I had hoped. Willow has been a hard sell. She continues to hiss and swat at Buddy whenever he walks by. Buddy does his best to ignore her.

Buddy has been grumpy to all the cats, I imagine in response to Willow's unfriendliness. The others give him lots of space.

Yesterday, Theo tried to steal Buddy's snack as he often does. Theo was in for quite a surprise when Buddy smacked him hard. Go Buddy!

I witnessed a beautiful moment today. Buddy was napping on the bed when Nahum popped up for a quick visit. He very gently approached Buddy and sniffed his head. Buddy didn't respond so Nahum tentatively licked Buddy's head a few times. Buddy leaned into it the licks, prompting Nahum to relax. A few more licks and Nahum left him alone before he changed his mind. This is exactly the thing I want for Buddy, to be welcomed by the other cats.

Nahum is the hub of the cattery - he makes it all go. He has a very different relationship with each cat. He loves to snuggle with Willow and Rose, and romp with Theo. I was so thrilled to see him extending Buddy some love.

Nahum is a delightful fluffy gift!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

wishing

Wishing I could trade places with Buddy for the day.


Wishing I could be in the middle of this kitty party.

Monday, July 11, 2011

feline therapy

True confessions: I am prone to anxiety and depression.

I am amazed at how the cats help reduce my anxiety and depression. Playing feather or string with Nahum is the best mental health therapy I have found. Cuddles with Max used to be amazingly therapeutic as well. I am hoping Buddy's cuddles may hold similar therapeutic value.

The cats also create a significant amount of anxiety - mainly fears concerning their health and impending death.

Buddy continues to have medical problems. The anemia continues and now he frequently parks by the water. He doesn't drink all that much, he sort of hovers over it sometimes soaking his chin in the water. He has gotten so soaked, I have had to dry him off a few times. Meanwhile his appetite remains strong and I haven't noticed any extra output in the litter box.

Kidney disease has been ruled out as his urine concentration "looks good" (this makes me very happy to hear, I like good looking urine!). The recent blood samples that were sent off to the lab all came back clean, meaning he doesn't have any nasty viruses. The vet seems stumped. She decided to rule out Cushing's disease, something that apparently is rare in cats. The results came in today - he doesn't have Cushing's (again I did the happy dance as the anxiety was released).

I am not sure what the next option is. We discuss it with the vet again on Wednesday and meanwhile keep an eye on Buddy.

While awaiting the Cushing's disease results I was quite aware of my intense anxiety. While curiously wandering around in my anxiety, I realized I have been reluctant to fully bond with Buddy for fear he would be diagnosed with some horrible illness and I would lose him. For some reason when I took him in I had a weird feeling that he might not be with us long.  By not fully allowing Buddy into my heart, I was trying to protect myself from the future pain of his loss. For most of my life this was my default way of living, intentionally choosing the chronic displeasure of loneliness and superficiality to mitigate the overwhelming sting of death. Now, I try to choose to step into the risk and go for the emotional ride while looking for healthy ways to grieve and manage the resulting anxiety.

One of the many things I love about playing with Nahum is it helps me be fully present to the moment. Nahum exists in the present moment, he doesn't worry about the future. He is very bonded with Willow and yet (unlike me) he doesn't worry about her death. His anxiety about Willow's future death doesn't stop him from getting everything possible from the moment. I have much to learn from my cats - fully give myself to the moment and not worry about tomorrow. Or as Nana used to say, "don't let tomorrow's clouds hide today's sun."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

hiding box

Theo: found me a good place to setup my ambush


Theo: here comes my unsuspecting victim


Nahum: hmmm... a new box...


Nahum: I'll just take a peek...


Theo: Boo!      Nahum: ACK! 


Nahum: THEO!! I'm gonna get you


Theo: time to go!

Friday, July 8, 2011

da bag

Some fear it. Some love it.

The cat carrier bag.

The bag is out because Buddy came home from having his teeth cleaned. The cleaning part went well, he had a cavity so they extracted the tooth. No fillings for my cats! When it's Theo's turn for dental work, I will inquire about getting him a gold crown, it would fit his image quite well! Anyway, the vet did a full blood panel and learned Buddy was anemic again. Apparently his bone marrow is creating the red blood cells but something is causing them problems. The vet sent off a bunch of samples to the lab for further testing. Should know more tomorrow. I am very thankful the dental work went fine and Buddy came through just great.

Willow and Rose run and hide at the sight or sound of the dreaded cat carrier bag. Theo has the opposite reaction, he comes running and hops in, waiting for his turn to go somewhere. He loves going places and knows the bag means an adventure! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

cat herding?!

This is a short advertisement that Laura brought to my attention. It's quite funny.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

have a cigar

I bought the kitties a catnip cigar. I like that the material is a tough material (canvas) and I hope it will withstand Theo's attempts to tear into it. The fleece toys that contain catnip get quickly shredded by Theo as he seeks to merge with it.

I couldn't decide which photos to post, so I post them all! Theo trying to merge with his new cigar.



























Buddy takes a turn:







My mistake was that I only bought one. I think they each wanted one!