Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On the cat front

Both cats seem to be doing well, just not together yet. The baby has been with us two weeks today and Val says the average social acclimation period is three weeks.

Once with a lot of sweet talk from me last week, they did co-exist in the hallway outside my office, sitting about four feet apart. Then Memphie slowly initiated some nose-to-nose contact. There's nothing better than watching a slow motion cat looking askance, paranoid, but with a positive agenda.

Overall, Memphie seems more inclined for positive contact. Spenc-er acts as if he is, cooing sweetly and invitingly, then freaking out if Memphie gets too close. Memphie did sneak up to sniff on Spenc-er a number of times as Spenc-er was laying in the window, so Memphis got away with it without incident.

It is hurting my heart that Spenc-er isn't in the fold yet; that primarily means that he sleeps apart from us. He is very vocal and has this pathetic, lonely cry I'll hear downstairs. He's such a social cat that I hate him sleeping alone, most often in the living room or office. I am very conscious he went from a loud, crazy household to our relatively quiet one and I don't want him bored or depressed. That said, I am shocked at how much has grown; even my son's noticed. He was already 18ish months old, but he's longer and wider, so I guess he is thriving. Wish I had weighed him when we got him.

Whereas Memphie's domain is my bedroom and his favorite spot is the center of the bed, Spenc-er does have custody of the office, so he's good company for the vast amounts of time I spend in here. He likes me to hold him like a baby, is very pliable, and will sprawl out on the desk or curl up at my feet. However, I got him to be my bedtime cuddling cat and I know with his last owner he was. Time, takes time.

I think they'll become friends. With Memphie, the interest is there. Sometimes he's misunderstood, as he wants to play and Spenc-er get spastic about being chased when it is all in good fun.

Although I've kept their nails clipped, they are both scratching. I have found cats have either a horizontal or vertical scratching preference. Seems that Memphie is vertical and I am thrilled he found and expendible box he likes. Spenc-er is a horizontal scratcher. Just this weekend, he discovered our Trader Joe's Double Wide Cat Scratcher, reviewed here and seen here. I have never had a cat appreciate catnip before, but I am glad that Spenc-er likes the cheap scratching action, even if he doesn't care too much about the catnip.

Neither cat liked the Trader Joe's canned tuna cat food. Bummer. At only $.33 vs. the half-sized Fancy Feast at $.44, I was hoping for the bargain. I had almost two cases left of Fancy Feast from Sad!e and swore I would not have another canned food cat. I talk tough sometimes. They get from 1/2 to one can total when I go to bed to help them sleep better at night, but they start asking for it in the afternoon. They love the stuff, mostly the licking off of the broth from the extra water I add, just like Sad!e did. I sneak in hairball gel, as Memphie seems to really need that.

Spenc-er has found his own buffet downstairs. With the concrete foundation, we sometimes get critters in. Spenc-er is adept at finding them and playing with them. I've caught him with rolly pollies a few times. Today it was a salamander; by the time I found the poor creature, his tail was mostly gone and he was tuckered out. When I easily picked him up to put him outside, he swung around to bite me, but he didn't have anything left in him to make it hurt. Then Spenc-er cried that I took his toy away.

Memphie hogs the middle of the bed, if he's not chilling underneath. Sometimes he even hides in the covers and risks getting crushed. It's come close. This cat is so hard to photograph! I wanted to show his fangs that earned him the pet store names of Nemesis and Vampire, but this is the best I could do. He's on to the camera and it's a shame because he has a kind and loving face with his saucer eyes open. I'd love to share that! He has a high pitched talk, but a low rumbling purr, a sweet cat, a real mama's boy, who loves to be brushed and is getting more cuddly and less parallel. We marvel at the red underglow in his black coat. It is beautiful in the sunlight. We also marvel at his play. At over six years old, he plays as much as a cat half his age. I think he is incredibly happy.

Here's Spenc-er in one of his favorite places, my office chair. He'll claim it while it's still warm, then I have to claim it back with him fussing in protest. If he's not up here, he's often at my feet. Or sprawled out the length of the open window where there's plenty of activity due to people walking by. With the confidence of adolescence, he's a dependent, independent little cat (who is now bigger than Memph) and will always speak when spoken to, quickly purring even when he's just having his picture taken. His last owner quite appropriately labeled his vocalizations singing. Very attached, he will sit by the front door and wait for us to return, then call out a greeting when we get back. Spenc-er's collar has three bells on it so I can hear the difference in the two cats.

1 comment:

Well-heeled mom said...

Spencer is a beautiful cat! I hope he comes to terms with Memphis soon.