Monday with Mau

In an effort to try to make Mau more comfortable, the APA vet prescribed him a painkiller and an antibiotic. We were quite pleased that we were able to mix these liquid medications into his food, which he ate without a problem. Hopefully these help him.

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mau didn’t stink! I picked him up and he smelled like mostly normal cat. I didn’t sense an overwhelmingly fetid whiff of bad breath! Amazing! I hope that’s the antibiotic at work.

Mau does not like being sequestered, and I don’t blame him. While he spends a good chunk of the day sleeping like any other cat, he mews pitifully for attention when he’s awake. I decided to help him embark on a mini-adventure by picking him up and bringing him to my office. I shut the door so he couldn’t get out and the boys could not get in. This experiment had mixed results. He got to explore and briefly settled for lap time but did seem a bit overwhelmed after a while. He also started asking most persistently for food. Mau is a sweet old man of a kitty but has a low threshold for hunger!

Look at that curious, handsome face!

“Outside!” I’m not sure if Mau ever looks out the window in Aaron’s office.

Mau found a hiding spot under one of my bookshelves.

Mau thought I could not see his magnificent tail.

Mau’s Adventure

For several reasons, we’ve kept Mau sequestered in Aaron’s office, which is our foster area. (Don’t worry, we visit him often.) On a few occasions, we’ve put Charlie and Garrus in the bedroom and let Mau slowly explore different areas of the house. He can be on the skittish side when exposed to something new, so we keep tabs on him so he doesn’t get too stressed out and overstimulated. The last time he explored the living room, he canceled lap time and put himself back up into the office, thus ending his little expedition.

Today Mau channeled his inner ninja and stealthily climbed over the two baby gates we put in the office doorway. Jailbreak! I didn’t hear him get out and only saw him when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a cat in my office. Initially I thought it was either Garrus or Charlie until I looked and saw Mau! Then he sped off into our bedroom, where he camped out beneath the bed all afternoon. He sat too far back under the bed for me to reach him and, since he wasn’t bothering anyone, I let him be.

For their part, Garrus and Charlie were exceptionally well-behaved. They knew something was up but they kept their distance from Mau and did not bother him at all. Garrus followed me once when I went to check if Mau was still under the bed; Garrus calmly sat in the doorway and looked in Mau’s general direction. No foofing, no hissing, no spats. I don’t even think that the boys acknowledged Mau when he did, briefly, venture into the hallway or kitchen. Garrus and Charlie proceeded to the afternoon adhering to their usual routine: sunbathing and snoozing.

When Aaron came home, Mau started talking and came out. He was apparently quite excited to see Aaron that he started drooling (which, by the way, is REALLY gross and stinky)!

Blep!

So much exploring!

Mau made like Bilbo Baggins and had quite the adventure! He did seem a bit overwhelmed and nervous, though, so Aaron picked him up and brought him back to our foster area. We fed him (om nom nom), after which he had a well-deserved chill session in Boudicca’s (former) pink bed. I don’t think he slept at all this afternoon; usually all three boys sleep for a while in the afternoon and wake up for dinner.

Mau likes to show us his paws. During lap time, he makes semi-biscuits.

Update on Mau

On Sunday Aaron and I took Mau to his vet appointment. He walked right into the carrier but once he realized Aaron shut the door behind him, Mau was decidedly upset about it. He complained a bit when carried and in the car but became quiet in the waiting room.

One of the vets looked him over and diagnosed him with severe gingivitis and multiple abscessed teeth. It is likely that he will have most, if not all, of his teeth removed. Because his teeth are rotting, that is why his breath smells like death. We just have to wait for a slot to open up so Mau can have his surgery. Also, judging from the age and condition of his teeth, it looks like Mau is older than I initially thought. Rather than being 10, he’s 15 years old! He is a sweet old man and a good houseguest.

He hid and slept under the desk after we brought him back from the vet. Poor guy.

On the bright side, Mau is eating wet food well. Both he and Garrus eat about 1-1.5 cans a day! It appears that since Mau was surrendered to the shelter in May, he has gained about half a pound of weight. We spend time with him every day, brushing him frequently and providing comfy laps and scritches. He is most grateful for any and all types of attention and responds by being most affectionate.

I also recently learned that Mau and his housemates came from a hoarding situation, which shed light as to why all three had significant dental problems. The oldest of the three went into foster care and recently passed away in his sleep. The female, also older than Mau, has one eye, if I recall correctly, and chronic bronchitis. When I gave the shelter director an update on Mau, she thought that he was lucky to be in our house. Aaron and I genuinely hope that we can help him get healthy and find a loving home in which he can live out the rest of his life, preferably most of it in someone’s lap and purring.

We think that Mau may be a Himalayan or possibly a Balinese cat! Look at that sweet face!

Mau did not want me to read my book (pictured on the desk) and instead wanted me to devote all my attention to him. After all, he takes lap time most seriously, even more so than Boudicca did!

Exchanging Pleasantries

Although Mau remains in our foster suite (read: Aaron’s office) because he’s on the skittish side, we propped two baby gates in the doorway so that he could see more of the house and passively meet our cats through a barrier.

Charlie is utterly fascinated by the presence of another cat and really wants to be friends.

Charlie and Garrus hang out in the hallway sometimes when they see Mau.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap a photo of Garrus sitting politely, like the gentleman he is, on one side of the gate while Mau chatted to him on the other side. It sounded like Mau just repeated his name over and over again. I was pleased with their initial meeting. Charlie has done the same thing, sometimes punctuated with squeaks and rubbing himself against the gate.

For his part, Mau has done well. At times he seems quite curious about our cats while at other times he would prefer the company of people only. Mau has occasionally hissed at Charlie, although I think that’s because he’s not a fan of Charlie’s habit of staring at him. (Charlie is enthusiastically friendly but not always adept at reading other cats’ body language and vocal cues. Imagine a feline version of Spongebob Squarepants.)

Sometimes Mau initiates staring contests.

Greetings from Mau

Aaron and I visited Mau this morning as we brought him food and cleaned his litterbox. He was firmly camped out behind the desk in the corner but looked at us curiously as we sat on the floor. If he wanted to hide, that was OK with us. A bit later I came back into the red room and chilled on the chair, reading a book. I babbled at him and beckoned him to come over to my hand for rubs if he wanted any. He did not, apparently, but he made eye contact with me on several occasions.

I checked on him throughout the day and found him sleeping. I did not want to disturb him so I didn’t linger.

When Aaron came home, we visited our foster kitty. We were so happy when Mau came out of hiding! Very casually, he waltzed right into Aaron’s lap and started purring.

He came over to me too, showed me his floofy tail, and asked for pets. He’s a sweetheart.

We were quite happy when he ate up all the wet food we offered. At the shelter, he had refused to eat the wet food they presented. Maybe that was due to stress or a matter of preference. In any case, we’ll be going through a lot more cat food at this rate! It’s all good though. We’re just happy to help this sweet boy.

Foster Parents Again!

We received word yesterday that Mau was ready for us to pick him up at the Austin Pets Alive facility. Although we were not stoked about the drive downtown, we were looking forward to helping a sweet senior cat decompress away from the shelter and receive much needed dental care.

Here is his photo from the shelter. Because his pupils are so dilated, you can’t see how blue his eyes really are. You can also see his lovely colorpoint markings and medium-length fluffiness.

When we picked him up, he meowed pitifully. I’m pretty sure he wanted to lodge a formal complaint with the management when he was transferred between carriers. I’m sure he was completely discombobulated from being transferred to the shelter to APA to us. Once in the car, though, he was quiet.

Aaron was magnanimous in loaning his office as a foster space. We set Mau up with food, water, a litter box, a bed (Boudicca’s pink one), a scratching pad, and a few toys. We visited but he remained put in the corner behind the desk. We spoke soothingly to him and sat on the floor but did not try to dig him out. If he wants to hide, that’s OK. Garrus and Charlie did that for the first couple of days in foster care.

We were pleased to note that he ate the wet food that APA provided for him, drank water, and used the litter box. At the shelter, he always snubbed wet food, preferring and apparently accustomed to eating hard food. We will continue to offer him both options. I will check on him throughout the day and hang out in the room with him, reading a book, so he can become used to my presence.

For their part, Garrus and Charlie knew something was up. As we moved the boys’ food out of the red room, Garrus came in and spotted Mau in the carrier before he left. He seemed mildly uneasy about the whole thing, but we also believe that he does not like change or the door shut. Charlie was puzzled by the shut door and investigated thoroughly, chirping. We made sure that Garrus and Charlie received ample visits and endeavored to disrupt their routine as little as possible. Of course, Garrus needed to go to the vet for his follow-up appointment so he won’t be happy about that either…

Visiting Mau

Our original goal of visiting the shelter on Sunday afternoon was to visit Mau. We had a lovely time with him. He doesn’t mind the kittens and apparently likes other cats, although one of his previous housemates, Virginia, did not like him. He enjoys being brushed and, when taken to the interaction room, evidently knows about lap time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snap a photo of him climbing into Aaron’s lap.

One of the volunteers suggested that he be renamed Frankie or Sinatra because of those beautiful blue eyes!

Compared to Garrus and Charlie, he has big paws! He’s also heavier than I expected, given that he is on the skinny side. On this visit, we were able to pick him up and hold him. He also purred! Cue warm fuzzies.