Archives for posts with tag: Cats

10.18.17.3.ATHENA.IN.BOX_NEW

I bake fresh ground turkey thigh for Athena and prepare little dishes of that, topped or mixed with Whole Paws canned meat (the turkey and the chicken and white fish flavors). Cats are obligate carnivores; they need meat.

I don’t leave out a bowl of dry food. She had a bad reaction to dry food when she first came to live with us so I just don’t feed her that anymore. The Whole Paws canned meat has no grain whatsoever, not even brown rice, but the dry food, even the best dry food I could find with a low ash content, has rice. Plus, it’s not true that dry food helps clean a cat’s teeth. My research says dry food has no beneficial effect on a cat’s dental health. Instead, we “brush” her teeth with dental sponges at least once a week.

As a result of this feeding regimen, Athena is very trim and muscular. What this means, though, is that when I set out a little dish of meat, she has to finish it all or back into the fridge the dish goes, covered by a little white cap. (To prevent food poisoning just like you should put leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast in the fridge no later than two hours after the food is cooked). A local pet food store gave Tom a dozen of these caps, which you use to cover uneaten portions of canned food. Note that the cans say not to do this, to store uneaten meat in another container. Which I do. I’ve got a glass container with a top in which I store uneaten canned meat.

What this also means is Athena, a nocturnal predator, prefers to eat late at night or in the early morning. When I’m sleeping. She often has to wake me up, and she’s devised a strategy. She jumps up on the bed (she’s strictly an in-door cat, so she’s very clean) by my head and snuffles in my ear. She gives my cheek little kitty kisses, and then she seizes the edge of my ear in her fangs and PULLS just as hard as she can. Sometimes she pulls my head off the pillow (she’s very strong). Sometimes she draws blood. I say “Ouch ouch ouch,” in a pitiable voice, but I also laugh so she knows I don’t mind it too  much. This morning Tom watched as she yanked my right ear, then circled over my head and yanked on my left.

This generally gets me out of bed and into the kitchen to set out one of her little bowls of meat. She left particularly bloody wounds on my right ear. I asked Tom to photograph the ear; he refused. Oh, well, it IS pretty weird. #ivegotcatbitesonmyears

 

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6.27.16.ATHENA.AND.LISA - Copy_NEW

Today, July 2, is the day I took a harrowing seventy-five mile drive to Santa Cruz to adopt a nine-month-old breeder’s cage kitten, a lilac-point-Angora mix with blue eyes. She was a sad, scared little person who was terrified of what was going to happen to her next.

When we let her out of the carrying case to explore her new home, she was totally thrilled. She immediately bonded to me and to Tom, learned the rules of where she was allowed to go and where not, and has blossomed as a wonderful member of our household.

But when Tom or I went to pick her up back then, she would thrash and writhe, kick and claw and bite. Apparently, she’d come to associate a human picking her up with Something Bad about to happen to her—vaccination needles, deworming, defleaing, surgery for spaying, and generally being shuttled around in a cage.

In past year, we each have made a point of picking her up and, gripping those strong hind legs and sharp claws, carrying her to someplace enjoyable, fun, and safe. To her food bowl in the kitchen, to her water bowl on the fireplace surround, to her cat tree, to her perch on my editor’s desk in my office, and especially to the bed, which she loves.

Now, one year later, she’s quite a handful as you can see and still strangely camera-shy—I had to hold her face up for this photo. Maybe having her picture taken reminds her of the pound, too. But she’s become comfortable with the human embrace. You can just catch a glimpse of her baby blue eyes.

Happy One Year Anniversary to Athena!