January 28th 2013 3:30 pm
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As I write this second entry in Uno's diary, Uno is in her favorite spot, lying on my lap right between me and my laptop, bumping my arm with her nose wanting me to pet her and although she knows better, occasionally trying to chew on my trackball cord.
Now...to continue Uno's story....
After Uno's surgery to trim her eyelids, relieved of the misery of her severe entropion (caused by the lack of a normal eyeball in the socket), she started showing her true self. She became a little dynamo which gave her her original name of Dynamo. As soon as her stitches had been removed, she no longer had to be crated or restricted to supervised play. Partly because she felt good for the first time in her life and partly because of Buddha's mothering her, Uno's confidence was in place and she was gung ho to take on the world. She did so with a vengeance and never looked back.
Uno was anywhere and everywhere all at once. No place was too high to climb, no cord was safe from her attempts to chew it, no other cat was safe from her baby playfulness, nothing was going to stop her now. Luckily Uno had no interest in chewing electrical cords, they were too thick for her tastes. Her preferences were for thin USB mouse and trackball cords. I had to splice trackball cords and repair them several times during Uno's kittenhood.
In spite of or perhaps BECAUSE Uno is one-eyed, small, lean and lightweight due to her Siamese type build, she's the fastest most coordinated cat I've ever known. During that first week after her surgery, she astounded me by doing such feats as leaping from the top of a shelf 5 feet high onto my bed which was a good 7 feet away from the shelf, a leap that carried her OVER one of my computer desks with two monitors on it, and landing precisely with one forepaw on a dime-sized piece of cheese I had placed on the bed beside me for Buttons, one of my other cats. I had just placed that piece of cheese on the bed for Buttons and he didn't even get time to move his head down and forward to pick it up before Uno snatched it and took off with it to the floor. Uno's entire maneuver was performed in mere seconds!
This kind of agility, speed, and coordination wasn't what I would have expected to see in an almost 9 week old, small for her age, one-eyed kitten. I've never seen a normal 2-eyed kitten do these things, not even Wings another of my cats who was named Wings for her ability to seemingly fly and land on me light as a feather from absolutely nowhere.
Uno very quickly made her dominant, strong willed, determined temperament and presence felt among the other cats, all except Hallie. Uno never once tried to bother Hallie. Hallie was the only cat in the house that Uno totally respected from day one. The other cats probably communicated to Uno that she should leave Hallie alone just as they communicated to Uno that Charlie the blue front Amazon parrot, Percy the cockatiel, Mama the chinchilla, Chloe the bearded dragon, the snakes, and the aquarium were all to be left alone. Uno never tried to bother them either.
My best friend had kept Uno's litter sister, who was longhaired and white and although larger than Uno, had the same slender oriental body type as Uno. Two of the older white kittens had found new homes but nobody wanted the two older white kittens with damaged eyes. So on 7-29-2011, Lefty and Righty joined my feline family. At this time, I changed Uno's name from Dynamo to Uno because it fit together with Lefty and Righty to make a theme of three names that aptly described the most distinguishing characteristics of the three kittens.
Lefty and Righty were similar in build to Uno and although there's no way to ever know for sure, it's quite likely that Lefty and Righty's mother was a sister to Uno's mother or at least very closely related. It's also possible that they all share the same father. White in cats is dominant and a cat has to have a white parent to produce white progeny. One of Uno's parents obviously wasn't white and would have had to be black, brown tabby carrying solid black, or Seal Point Siamese which is actually genetically a black cat whose appearance is modified by the action of the thermoreceptive partial albinism gene that is responsible for point colored cats.
Luckily Lefty and Righty's damaged eyes do not cause them discomfort or give them any kind of problems. Lefty's left eye is severely scarred and she has no vision in that eye. She does have vision in her right eye. Righty's right eye is scarred but less severely than Lefty's left eye and Righty does have partial vision in her right eye.
As soon as I brought Lefty and Righty home, all three-Lefty, Righty, and Uno-made it clear they were very much all bonded and very glad to see each other. The instant they came together, all three greeted each other with the familiarity you only see in cats who know each other well and like each other.
Lefty and Righty have temperaments that are totally different from Uno's temperament. Both are quiet and easygoing and laid back. They have an interesting way of "rotating", the only word I can think of at the moment to describe it. For awhile Lefty will be persistently wanting attention, petting etc, while Righty doesn't actively seek human attention much at all. Then they will switch off and Lefty will be doing her own thing while Righty will be persistently seeking human attention and petting etc. They also do this trading places when it comes to who sleeps where. One will sleep on a pillow near my head while the other will sleep on one of the cat beds at the foot of my bed. Then the two will switch places.
Speaking of rotating, I don't know if other people see cats organize rotations for favorite spots to sit or sleep, etc, or not but I see my cats do this all the time. The prime spot in the house for the cats is a cat bed by the window and next to the computer desk in my bedroom. The cats actually take turns sitting or sleeping on that cat bed. Once in a while two cats will sit together on that cat bed when something interesting is going on outside the window. Never once has there been any kind of cat quarrel over that favorite spot.
The cats also seem to have some kind of agreement among them for shelves by other windows in other rooms where they like to sit and watch out the window, for favored perches on the cat trees, and for favorite cat beds. There never are any disputes over these spots.
I find that cat communication is far more complex and imaginative than most people realize. Games between multiple cats are often obviously well planned and organized with an agreement on who will play the prey role. The cat who's agreed to be "it" will turn his or her back and, except for tail twitching, will pretend to be unaware of the cat or cats sneaking up on him. At the last minute, the cat who is "it" will obligingly run from the chaser, a play wrestling match usually ensues and then the cats reverse roles. The chaser becomes the chasee.
Two or more cats will play together batting the ball in the Turbo Scratcher, a toy the cats dearly love and one of the first cat scratching toys I found that the cats actually really spend a good bit of time playing with. The cats also love cat trees that have sisal rope around them and carpeted perches, although the trees they loved most were the cat trees built with actual tree branches and carpeted shelves that I had for many years until those became worn out and fell apart. The cats have all sorts of small toys, little balls, toy mice, the small boodabones, a couple of old socks rolled up with catnip inside them, etc. I try to keep all their toys in a basket but like little kids, soon as I pick up their toys and put them in the basket, the cats get busy taking them out and strewing them all over the place again!
Just like humans, the cats occasionally will be in irritable or bad moods and not want bothered and get into an argument with another cat who won't take "leave me alone" for an answer. There are times when everybody seems to be "in a mood" and argumentative. These cat quarrels are usually noisy and dramatic, with hissing, growling, long low warning meows, fluffed tails and chasing each other but when they're over there's rarely even a scratch on any of the combatants. When anybody has gotten a scratch on the nose, it usually was very well deserved.
Sometimes the cats are all in a weirdly active, playful, energetic mood. Interestingly, I've noticed this often coincides with a full moon. Even more sedate less active cats will usually run and play and act silly at these times.
Whenever I bring in fresh catnip from my catnip garden and crush a leaf to release the scent, it's fascinating to watch the cats start noticing the scent in the air. They put their heads up, you can see their noses wriggling as they start noticing the catnip scent. Then the fun begins. I strew bunches of catnip leaves and flowers around. Different cats react to catnip different ways. Some of them will rub their cheeks against it and roll on it. Some of them will eat it. Some of them will become very playful and play with if. A couple of them will play with it and then race around the house. A couple of them don't do much more than possess and guard their catnip from the other cats.
I've found the most effective kitty discipline to be a can of canned air or a can of air freshener. A squirt bottle of water works too, but with the canned air or air freshener, it's the hissing sound that does the disciplining. I don't actually squirt a cat with either one, I just aim in the general direction of the cat and tell the cat to get down, leave him or her alone, leave it alone, knock it off, etc and the offending cat or cats immediately stop the undesired action and usually vacate the area for awhile. After just a few times, I don't even have to actually squirt anything, all I have to do is just pick up the can and tell the cat get down, knock it off, etc. Sometimes when the cats are mobbing me and I'm busy or not in the mood to be mobbed, I'll pick up the can and say "enough now" and the cats will clear out and leave me alone for at least a good 10 to 15 minutes before they return. When they return, they gingerly come up to me, testing to see if its ok yet to mob me.
I always have plenty of feline "help" when it comes to changing bedding and making beds. However, the cats don't want any part of vacuuming, steam cleaning carpets, or flea spraying the house. They clear out when they see me go get the vacuum cleaner, steam cleaner, or flea spray jug. Most of them also usually clear out when they see me preparing to give them their flea drops and heartworm preventative/dewormer or when they see me pick up the claw clipper. The only declawed cats I have are cats that came already declawed. Except for Buddha, nobody cares much for having their claws clipped. Buddha is the only cat that will quietly lay in my lap and let me clip his claws without any protest. With a cat that struggles or tries to scratch or bite when having its claws clipped, I wrap the cat in a towel and just stick the foot I'm working on out of the towel, although after all my years of clipping cat claws, I can clip claws so fast that I usually have most of the claws clipped before a cat even starts getting really upset. Maybe thats the reason why it seems my cats don't protest claw clipping until I'm getting ready to do the very LAST claw.
Uno is one of my cats who, befitting her temperament, usually vigorously and very vocally protests claw clipping. Sometimes I have to towel her although usually I'm fast enough that I have most of her claws clipped before she gets to physically resisting enough to cause any problem. Like most of the other cats do, soon as I'm finished clipping her claws, she usually immediately flees the room. Unless I'm still clipping other cats claws, those who flee the room after their claws are done usually return after a few minutes and except for being a bit more alert to what I might pick up, act as if nothing has happened.
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