Cat-Dog Remembered

I wrote this anecdote one year ago. I want to continue sharing these stories about Boudicca and Nala as a way of remembering and celebrating their lives.

Whenever I come home, this is the reception I get:

Boudicca: *previously sound asleep the entire time I was gone, wakes up when I come in through the door* Mama! Mama! Why did you leave me? Mama! Love me, pet me, pick me up! Feed me! Is it lap time yet?

Me: No, Boudicca. It’s time to put away groceries.

Boudicca: Mama! Why are you not in your office? I’m quite concerned when you are in a different room than me. Is it lap time yet?

Me: *picks up 10 lb Slinky cat* Forgive me now?

Boudicca: Oh my person loves me. PURR. PURR. PURR. *goes googly and kneads in the air*

Two minutes later, Boudicca has passed out again. She has such a hard life, obviously.

Boudicca has still not realized that she is not a dog.

Googly Cat Remembered

I shared this little anecdote on Facebook one year ago, a few months before I started Purry Home Companion. It’s been three weeks since I said goodbye to Boudicca but she will always be my beloved Queen B in my heart.

This exchange happens nearly every time I open the sliding laundry doors…

Boudicca: Mama, whatcha doing? Can I help? I must be involved in every activity you do!

Me: Moving laundry.

Boudicca: I must explore this place for the 4,638th time! *sneaks in as I close the doors*…Um, Mama? Why is it dark in here? Mama? OMG I’ve been abandoned and imprisoned forever! I am now INCREDIBLY CONCERNED. Meow. Meow. Mreow. MROW.

Me: Boudicca, you’ve been in there for 2.3 seconds. Calm down. *I open the doors*

Boudicca: I must make epic prison break! I am FREE AT LAST! *darts out of laundry closet and proceeds with highly googly zoomies around the house*

In seventeen years, Boudicca hasn’t learned much and it’s still hilarious.

Love Me, Pet Me, Feed Me!

I am pleased to report that Queen B is doing very well! She responded swimmingly to her vitamin B-12 injections (not that she particularly enjoyed getting the shots). Afterward, she’d be perky, her appetite would go up, and she would digest her food better. Since she would swing between constipation and diarrhea (never pleasant) due to her small bowel disease, it took us some time to strike a perfect balance in terms of the right Miralax dosage. She started grooming herself more, hanging out in my office with me (I’ve enjoyed having my office supurrviser “helping” me work), seeking us out for attention, greeting me at the door, and being very assertive (read: meower mouth and underfoot) about regularly scheduled feeding time. She is decidedly not a fan of Daylight Savings Time. When she says it’s food o’clock, there’s no dissuading her!

This is how my office supurrviser takes a well-deserved break. Her schedule is packed: begging for food, getting fed, napping, being ridiculously cute, birdwatching, sprawling, being brushed, purring, being underfoot, talking to her humans, giving tail hugs, being a reading buddy, and snuggling.

Because she’s been rather hungry and we want her to gain some weight, we’ve been adding feedings. Twice a day she gets medication mixed into her food (breakfast and dinner) and just simple wet food at lunchtime and late afternoon. Sometimes if she did not eat all the food from an earlier meal, we will offer her a small portion before bedtime. Of course, this means that Boudicca now thinks that she will get food when either of us is in the kitchen. (Cue begging.) At present she only likes Friskies© Paté (any of the seafood varieties) and Blue Buffalo kitten kibble (ahem, Queen B is most persnickety). Essentially Boudicca is eating like a feline Hobbit!

Of course, Garrus and Charlie are intensely interested in the food that materializes around Boudicca at regular intervals. Charlie’s motive isn’t solely about food; since he’s a busybody, he just wants to be involved with whatever is going on. Garrus, on the other hand, alternates between pleading and determinedly attempting to sneak past me and, in the most genteel way possible, pilfer Boudicca’s leftovers. (I’m serious. He slinks on his belly and acts like he’s invisible. He thinks he’s such a smooth criminal, even when I catch him mid-pussyfoot.) I’ve even caught the boys loitering around my office, apparently guarding Boudicca and waiting for their human (me) to bring forth sustenance.

“You do not have food for me? How…disappointing.”

I gave Dr. R an update on Boudicca’s progress, to which she was quite pleased. She encouraged me to feed her what she wants as much as she wants, with the hopes she will put on some weight and be a happy old kitty. Dr. R explained that this guarding behavior I noted with the boys is somewhat normal in cats. Since Garrus and Charlie have not been aggressive toward Queen B (every day Charlie tries to make friends with and/or play with her), Dr. R told me that this healthy cats do this around a sick or injured cat. Hooray for a peaceful multi-cat household! She approved the idea of giving the boys a tablespoon or so of wet food, especially if it helped distract the boys and made them happy while Boudicca ate her meals. Garrus could use the extra calories while Charlie does not (he’s at a healthy weight), so I could give him half a tablespoon. I’m also happy that all three cats like their new dental treats (also vet approved, yay!).

“Hi Mom! You found me in my new spot!”

All in all it’s a pretty nice day when I get sequential visits and affection from each of the cats. I have ensured that each has been properly smooched. Don’t worry. They are only slightly over-loved in this house.

Kneading and Air Biscuits

It has taken Boudicca seventeen years to figure out how to knead and when she finally did knead, she did so for approximately 10 seconds. 99% of the time she simply does rather googly air biscuits. Oddly, she regularly makes air biscuits at the vet’s office when she is petted, examined, or even when getting poked or prodded (included getting blood drawn). She’ll make air biscuits when slung over my shoulder or when lounging in order to better receive adoration. (Usually purrs get louder if she is told she is a pretty girl.) It’s adorable and incredibly charming. Go Miss Dancing Paws.

Here Boudicca demonstrates how to simultaneously sunbathe and make air biscuits.

Charlie makes air biscuits too, usually when he is being exceptionally flirtatious and seeking rubs. Cue slow blinks, very loud purrs, lots of flopping, and the occasional super cute squeak.

As of yet, Garrus has not kneaded or demonstrated air biscuits. I’m not sure if he is simply too dignified a Gentleman Cat to do so or if he has not yet relaxed enough to go googly and knead. But he does slow blink and semi-flop (in a refined manner, of course).

I’m pretty sure when I took this photo Garrus was actually purring, despite his irritated looking expression.

Do your cats knead? Do they make air biscuits? What makes them happy (or googly) enough to do this? Have you ever had a cat drool when kneading?

Naked Girl

On the way home from the vet, Boudicca started talking a LOT, and her meows became frantic. Then we realize she peed on herself in the carrier. She had never done that before and she was clearly freaking out about it. Commence dealing with medium-sized cat disaster. Ugh.

Aaron’s Cat Whisperer side comes out when he has to bathe cats. It’s utterly adorable. Although Boudicca was not happy about the situation, she did behave herself and didn’t struggle too much while getting bathed. He talked very sweetly to our googly girl the whole time he gave her an oatmeal shampoo bath, got her all clean, and dried her off.

Of course, as part of the process he took her collar off and washed that too. A few hours after her bath, I heard Aaron casually remark, “I have a naked girl over here.”

[me from the other room] “What?! I am not naked!”

“Boudicca…she looks naked without her collar.”

After I stopped laughing, I had to agree.

IMG_2100

Life with cats and cat parents for you ladies and gentlemen!
(o_O)

Boudicca’s Trip to the Vet

One of the things a responsible pet owner must do is ensure their pet receives regular veterinary care. Senior pets may develop more health ailments and thus require more frequent visits.

Last week Aaron and I took Boudicca to the vet to address concerns about the fact that she has been having more accidents lately. We were not sure if this was due to the fact that she has hyperthyroidism or possibly feline inflammatory bowel disease. We had transferred her records to Garrus and Charlie’s vet for the sake of simplicity, so this visit was Boudicca’s first visit with Dr. R.

Boudicca acts very differently than either Garrus or Charlie does at the vet’s office. Dr. R and her techs were quite amused.

  1. Boudicca becomes Miss Meower Mouth. She talks loudly all the time, both in and out of the carrier. Apparently she felt it appropriate to give a running commentary about her experience and is a rather opinionated old lady. 
  2. Unlike the boys, Boudicca doesn’t act all that afraid. If a tech opens the carrier, she usually comes right out with her tail high in the air and doesn’t need to be scruffed. She will, however, smack someone with her high question-mark tail.
  3. If taken to the back where other furry patients are being treated, Boudicca does well. The presence of dogs does not disturb her.
  4. The chance of Boudicca making dancing paws and air biscuits and purring up a storm is highly likely, especially if someone pets her, talks to her, or holds her. 
  5. It is also probable that Boudicca will halfheartedly wiggle and struggle during her exam while simultaneously making air biscuits, as though she can’t decide whether she wants to be difficult or adorable.

    Googly cat is googly.