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Righty Undaunted By Her Partial Eclipse

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Righty & Friends & The Games They Play

February 2nd 2013 10:23 am
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Early Saturday morning, May 28 2011, six little kittens in a box were dumped at a sanitation plant. Four of the kittens were approximately 6 weeks old, two of the kittens were only 4 weeks old. Five of the kittens were white, one was black. The 6 week old kittens were all shorthairs. The one and only longhair in the group was Uno's white litter sister. A small bag of dry cat food was left sitting uselessly alongside the box. There the kittens sat in an open cardboard box throughout the long Memorial Day holiday weekend until Tuesday May 31 2011 when the sanitation plant employees returned to work and discovered the box of kittens.

One of the sanitation workers immediately called my best friend, a veterinarian who lives in the same town and told her about the kittens and asked her if she could take them and try to save them. She agreed and he took the box of kittens to her house.

Upon inspection, all six of the kittens were remarkably healthy, no herpes virus, no upper respiratory problems, no ear mites, although they did have a lot of fleas and of course were in very bad condition from starvation and dehydration after going 4 days without anything to eat or drink. Being the youngest, the little 4 week old kittens were in such bad shape it was feared neither would survive. The black 4 week old kitten was the smallest and in the worst condition of all. The kittens all survived and as told in her own diary, the little black kitten became Uno.

Two of the 6 week old white kittens also had eye damage caused by some kind of sharp object. One of the white kitten's left eye was so damaged there was no sight left in it and her right eye was damaged too although she seemed to have some vision left in the right eye. One of the 6 week white kittens had damage to her right eye but not to her left eye. Luckily the two white kittens eye damage wasn't severe enough to warrant enucleation. The other two 6 week old white kittens and the 4-week old white longhaired littermate to the little black kitten had no eye damage at all.

When offered solid food, it immediately was clear that none of the kittens had any idea at all what food even was. Obviously none of them had even begun to be weaned yet when they were taken from their mothers and dumped. My best friend tube fed the kittens, rehydrated them, got rid of the fleas, and gave them other supportive care. The kittens survived, learned how to eat solid food, and began to regain condition. All of the kittens had social temperaments and liked human attention, amazing considering how brutal their first experiences with human beings had been.

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. I of course, had 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 the name Uno fit together with Lefty and Righty to make a theme of three names that aptly described the most distinguishing characteristics of the three kittens. The three little kittens, having been together since their earliest days, all three forced to share the unimaginably awful experience of having their eyes damaged by sharp objects; Righty with her obviously damaged right eye and Lefty with her obviously damaged blind left eye and both being white, and Uno being black and having only one eye, just seem destined to go together and belong together.Their three names, Righty, Lefty, and Uno all go together too.

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 in particular are very bonded to each other and usually sleep together and groom each other.

Lefty's left eye is severely scarred and she has no vision in that eye. Righty's right eye is scarred and obviously damaged more than Lefty's right eye but much less severely damaged than Lefty's left eye. Except for their eye damage, both Lefty and Righty are in excellent health and condition. Their hearing and other sense, etc are all normal. Righty does have partial vision in her right eye and tends not to open her right eye as fully as normal. Her left eye appears to be totally normal without any damage at all.

Lefty and Righty have temperaments that are totally different from Uno's temperament. Righty is more active than Lefty. She spends more time interacting and playing with the other cats whereas Lefty usually can be found on my bed. Unlike Lefty, Righty likes to play hard and usually can be found right in the middle of the wildly energetic sometimes rough games the younger cats play. When all the doors are open it creates an unbroken pathway through the master bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, and two hallways and the younger cats turn this into an oval track and race around it at high speed. It can sound like horses galloping through the house.

The tube is a long fabric tube with a lightweight frame probably made for young children to play in that I saw and bought at a Goodwill store once because I thought it would be great fun for the cats to play with. It offers endless ways to play games and have fun. There is a game of chicken where one cat enters the tube at each end and then engage in a play wrestling match to get past each other. From what I can tell, first one through to the opposite end is the winner. There's another game where one cat sits in the tube and one or more cats slowly walk along the tube on the outside and lightly paw at the tube or rub against it. The cat on the inside is supposed to notice the movement on the tube wall and pounce at it before the movement stops. There's another game where one cat sits inside the tube and another sneaks up on him/her from one end. The cat in the tube pretends not to notice what's happening until the last minute. Variations on this include two trying to sneak up on the cat in the tube from both ends or a cat blocking one end while another sneaks up on the cat in the tube from the opposite end. Then there are games of tag that involve one or more cats inside the tube and one or more cats outside the tube racing in and out of the tube and pouncing on each other and staging feline versions of WWE wrestling matches. I haven't yet figured out the structure, organization or rules of this game.

There's a feline form of "king of the hill" that is played on the cat trees. One cat is on a high perch while one or more others come up and try to oust the cat on the perch. If the cat on the perch is ousted, he//she will land on one of the lower perches and take a turn trying to oust whoever now is on the top perch. Cats really LOVE the cat trees with sisal wrapped posts and carpeted shelves These cat trees although not cheap, offer the cats many hours of fun and a place to sharpen their claws that they prefer to use over furniture. Cats really like the sisal ropes that are wound around the posts on these trees. Problem is that now some of the sisal has been worn through and parts have come unwrapped and while I try to tie them back together, what I need to do is buy more sisal rope and completely rewrap the posts. But I haven't yet found anyplace that sells sisal rope by itself. The best cat trees I ever had and that my cats loved most, were some I used to have that were made from natural tree branches and carpeted wooden shelves. Those cat trees lasted over 20 years of being constantly used by many cats before they were worn out. They were so much sturdier than the cardboard core cat trees commonly sold now.

Another game that the cats occasionally like to play but that I don't appreciate, is the game that seems to consist of simply dumping all their toys out of the toy basket and then sending anything that's able to roll, under furniture, etc, until the toys are all stuck under something. Then one of the cats will come meow at me and lead me to a piece of furniture where toys are stuck and swipe a paw under it as if attempting to reach the toy. I don't know how the cats decide who will be the one to come get me to rescue their toys. I'll get a broom and retrieve the toys and return them to the toy basket. Then if I'm lucky, it'll be some time before the cats decide to play that game again.

One note of caution, don't waste your money buying one of those floor to ceiling cat trees that are held in place by a spring at the top of the tree (they are sold at stores such as WalMart and average around 40 dollars price) . They have thick cardboard cores, flimsy plastic at the ends of the sections, usually designed with a bolt and threaded receptacle end in the center of the plastic end pieces so the sections can be screwed together to form the main piece of the cat tree. The shelves sit at the point where two sections of the main pole meet. I bought one of these and started to set it up. When I set it up, the tension was too great on the spring against the ceiling and the tree would just come apart near the top and topple over from the force of the tension. I then cut several inches off the bottom of the top section of the main pole, the only piece that could be cut without ruining the tree. This time the tree held firmly in place as it was supposed to do until a cat jumped on one of the upper shelves. When a cat jumped on a middle shelf, the plastic at the end of the cardboard cores where a bolt is screwed into the receptacle on the joining section, broke and once again the tree came tumbling down. The top and bottom sections of the tree were stable but the areas where the sections met in the middle heights of the tree were obviously weak. I got creative and reinforced all the ends where the tree sections joined each other, with additional bolts etc. This time the tree lasted three days before a cat jumped on a shelf and the cardboard core itself broke apart near the middle shelf. I haven't yet found any way to rig the tree back together. Years ago I had one of these trees and it was designed so the thick cardboard tubes would slide together at the ends, one inside the other. That tree lasted many years before the ends started to wear out. Because that design of tree was hollow from the bottom almost to the top (where a block of wood inside the tree supported the spring that secured it against the ceiling), I was able to repair that tree and get more years of use out of it by running a piece of pcv pipe up through all middle of all the sections from bottom to top and bolting the sections into the pcv pipe and let the pcv pipe serve as the central frame. With this current design I can't do that unless I figure out a way to break and remove all the plastic end pieces from the sections and I haven't yet been motivated to fight with it. Besides I feel that when I paid $40 for it, the floor to ceiling cat tree should have been able to withstand a cat jumping onto one of its shelves without breaking apart!

Cats like a rough surface to sharpen their claws on. Cats also want to use something that's solid and stable, that won't sway too much or tip over when the cat uses it, and that offers enough height or length for the cat to stretch out when sharpening claws. One exception I've found to this is the Turbo Scratcher. You can see it in some of my cat photos. It's a plastic toy with a ball that runs around an outside track and a coil of cardboard fits into the center area. It comes with catnip you can sprinkle into the cardboard center to encourage the cats to use it. Replacement cardboard centers are sold separately so when the cardboard center wears out, you just simply put a replacement one in. The cats love this toy, with or without catnip. It gets a lot of use.

I'll get back to Righty, the actual subject of this diary, in the next chapter.


Growing Up

February 3rd 2013 12:04 pm
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When Righty and Lefty first came, except for the differences in their eye damage, they looked much alike. They were the same size, same oriental style, and had the same coat type. Righty was of course, much more active and liked rough play with the other cats whereas Lefty was less active and preferred more gentle games. As they started growing up, for awhile Righty would be larger than Lefty. Then Lefty would go through a growth spurt and catch up with Righty. For awhile they again would look so alike that the only easy way to tell who was who when they were both lying down or otherwise being relatively inactive, was to look at their eyes. Then Lefty would pass Righty and for awhile she'd be the larger of the two. This pattern went on throughout their first year.

Now Lefty appears larger than Righty although Lefty's coat is now thicker and softer and stands out away from the body more whereas Righty's coat is thinner, harder, sleeker, and close to the body the way most Siamese/Oriental Shorthair coats are. I don't know whether Lefty really is larger than Righty now or if its all merely an illusion caused by coat difference.

With both Lefty and Righty, in certain lights you can see subtle ghost tabby striping variations in their white coats. Both have amber eyes and normal hearing. It is BLUE eyed white cats who are usually deaf. Years ago I had a rescue longhaired white cat with blue eyes named Odette who was totally deaf. She had a very cottony Persian type coat that was very difficult to care for and I used to be able to vacuum her coat. She couldn't hear the noise of the vacuum and obviously it felt pleasant to be vacuumed and she liked it because when I'd stop vacuuming her, she'd nudge me to start again. Odette's coat still tended to tangle and mat easily in spite of frequent grooming. She was adopted by a woman who had lost her elderly white cat and this adoptive home was the best possible for Odette, her new owner was a professional groomer!


Righty's recipe for unintentionally creating a "monster"

February 6th 2013 6:57 pm
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On the headboard of my bed sits a reading lamp that turns off and on just by touching a button on the lamp's base. There is also a space by the lamp that usually is occupied by a member of my cat family. Righty is one that spends quite a bit of time up there by the lamp and she discovered how to push the button that turns the lamp on and off. She's figured out that turning the lamp on and off when I'm in the bedroom is an excellent way to get attention.

Now Righty's personality is fairly laid-back and easygoing and she's often busy playing and doesn't demand a lot of human attention. Therefore, she uses the trick of turning the light off and on to get attention in moderation. She only does it occasionally. Although some of the other cats have observed her doing this, they haven't seemed interested in it and I haven't observed any other cat try to do it.

Today, all that changed when the ingredients for creating a "monster" all came together.

Here is Righty's recipe for unintentionally creating a "monster."

You take:
one reading lamp that turns off and on by touching a button.
one part Righty turning the light off and on.
one part Uno p.o.'d because after she tried to help herself to my sandwich today, she didn't get any tidbits of it.

Mix well until until Uno has absorbed the skill of turning the light off and on and continues repeating the skill. When the strobe effect of the light getting turned off and on becomes annoying enough that you pull the plug on the lamp to stop the Uno-powered strobe light, you know you (in this case Righty) succeeded in creating a "monster."


Last Not Least When it Comes To Attention-Getting

February 17th 2013 5:50 am
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Procrastination may not have been quite right,
But everyone else was in the limelight.
For sole attention Righty decided to wait,
And give her Valentine thanks a little bit late.

Last is not least, Righty says. Her excuse for procrastinating is that by being the last of my cat family to thank her kitty friends for their Valentines, her thank yous will be more likely to stand out apart from everyone elses and get more attention. MOL just like a cat, isn't it! When a cat wants attention its sure to find a way to get that attention and it will persist until it receives enough attention to be satisfied. Yet if that same cat doesn't want attention, it can manage to disappear and seemingly become invisible even in an empty room! I'm sure I'm not the only cat owner who has ever tried to find a "missing" cat and has gone all over the house looking for and calling the cat to no avail, given up, then suddenly found that "missing" cat sitting motionless somewhere in relatively plain sight, and get the distinct feeling that cat has been sitting there laughing at you while watching you get ever more worried as you searched for it!

Thank you to all Righty's kitty friends for your love, thoughtfulness, caring, and generosity in giving her treats, stars, rosettes and Valentines.


Earning Brownie Points aka The Feline Art of Redirecting- Human Attention

March 18th 2013 7:24 am
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As I suppose others of our family have already told you, Mom bought us a big new cat tree a few days ago. She also had to buy a new camera because for some reason her camera, a Canon s5is, lens stuck open and won't retract. When she turns the s5is on, it gives her the error message "lens error, please restart camera." She's tried everything suggested on the web to try to fix it to no avail. When she asked at Best Buy how much it would cost to have them fix the s5is, they quoted her an estimate of around $150. Since it cost so much to fix the s5is and a new camera similar to the s5is cost only 30 dollars more, Mom bought the new one, a Canon sx160is-the new model most similar to the s5is they had available. Once Mom gets time to really experiment with the new camera, she will take some pics of us on our new cat tree for everyone on Catster to enjoy.

It was funny when Mom's son brought her new cat tree into the house for her (it's so easy for guys to carry in big heavy awkward things that are a real struggle for women to carry!) and set it down. Mom said it looked like a cat sized version of a swarm of school kids on a new playground toy! We were all over that tree checking it out. It's been awhile since we got a really elaborate new cat tree. We recently got a floor to ceiling pole style cat tree with four shelves but this newest tree is one of those really cool ones with the sisal wrapped posts we love to scratch so much and one of the shelves is a little house with two entrances that make it easy to play hide & seek in.

The arrival of the cat tree also helped me make sure Mom caught me doing a good deed. I needed to earn some "brownie points" from Mom anyway because a couple of days ago I accidentally left my pawprint in the cream cheese on top of one of her bagels. Next time I'll make sure to lick the bagel too and erase all my pawprint evidence after I swipe cream cheese from it Anyway, back to my story.

When everybody swarmed the new cat tree, Lefty wanted to climb it too but she was nervous because it was new and she had no idea yet of its size, shape, how many shelves were on it, what heights, etc. She was also afraid to try to climb it when everyone else was on it because admittedly we were having fun and pouncing on each other playing king of the hill. Lefty HATES the king of the hill game because every time she ever tried to play it, getting knocked off scared her.

I suddenly got an idea and whispered to Lefty to be patient and wait until the traffic got off the tree and then I'd help her learn to navigate up and down the tree. Being a cat, I excel at the art of "coincidental timing." After the tree was mostly empty of feline family members and Mom was in the kitchen where she had a nice clear view of us, I led Lefty over to the tree. I'll let Mom take over now and tell what she saw us doing.

Mom, "When I looked up, I saw Righty lead Lefty over to the new cat tree. Righty stopped and stood up and put her forepaws up and touched the edge of the first (lowest) shelf. Lefty did the same. Righty jumped up onto the lowest shelf giving Lefty plenty of room to follow her, which Lefty did. Bit by bit Righty escorted Lefty up the new cat tree and down it a few times. That was all it took. Since then, Lefty now goes up and down and plays on the new cat tree at will. Again the kitties make it clear just how intelligent they are and how rich and complex the communication and cooperation between cats can be."

And Righty succeeded at making Mom forget cream cheese pawprints and bagel theft, at least until Mom makes another bagel with cream cheese on it!!!


Cmon Join In on the Spring Tag Fun!

April 3rd 2013 1:18 am
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My fun furriend Anna Dreamgirl #20 tagged me - I name five things I like about Spring & then I tag some furfriends to pass along the fun!

5 Things I Like About Spring

1) Watching the robins under the trees in front of the window
2) The chorus of the frogs and toads singing in the swamp
3) Laying on the shelves in front of the open windows smelling all the spring smells through the screens
4) The excitement that us kitties feel in the air before a spring thunderstorm
5) Mom's catnip grows fast enough again for us to get fresh catnip all the time

I am tagging:
1) Caramello - 1271358
2) Kiara - 1288450
3) Moppie - 1193389
4) Riley - 102133
5) Beep - 1280510
6) Pounce - 1197689


Caramello's Five Things I Like About Spring

April 15th 2013 11:46 pm
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Caramello Plays Spring Tag

This diary entry is for Caramello

who doesn't presently have computer access but who wanted to play spring tag. Righty agreed to post Caramello's five favorite things about spring for her.

Caramello's Five Favorite Things About Spring

5 Things I Like About Spring

1) Watching all the birds, there are so many!
2) Darting outside with Mama and Papa and brofur Mango
3) Laying on the couch and dresser in front of the open windows smelling all the spring smells through the screens
4) Watching and smelling the rain, then running from the thunder
5) Sleeping in a sun puddle with a breeze coming in the house

Caramello Tags:
Clark Kent
Little Willie
Bad Boy


Clever Righty

May 1st 2013 12:40 pm
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Today I set a small fan in the bedroom window that Righty loves to look out of. Showing me how clever she is, Righty jumped up on the shelf by the window and sat at a 90% angle from the fan, just so she could catch the breeze with her nose without the fan blowing air on the rest of her. She sat there for quite a while, her nose twitching as she inhaled all the myriad fascinating outdoor scents.

Shortly after that, proving that cats can acquire and utilize a good idea when they see one, Skittles joined her.


Does Anybody Else Here Look Like Hell Right Now?

August 10th 2013 11:44 pm
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Does anybody else here look like hell right now? Mom says Uno and I look like hell because we both have flea allergy worst and we've lost alot of hair. Even though Mom puts flea drops on us monthly (which we hate and unsuccessfully try to avoid), a flea must bite the cat to ingest the flea drop substance that kills the flea. It only takes one flea bite to set off the cycle of scratching, itching, and hair loss that is so typically seen in cats with flea allergy. Most cats have flea allergy to some degree. Flea allergy generally causes hair loss on the rump, down the hindlegs, on the back, on the belly, and may also cause hair loss on the cat's sides. Most flea allergic cats also tear hair out of themselves and even cause sores on their skin by scratching. The vet can give a steroid injection or prescribe steroid tablets that help relieve the itching-scratching.

Mom also regularly sprays the house with Enforcer Flea Spray that she gets at the hardware store. In addition to killing adult fleas, it has an insect growth inhibitor in it. It also kills other insects. Its effects last for several months and during that time there will be no ants, etc in the house either. Mom thinks that the reason some fleas still get in the house and find us is that they can ride in on clothing etc, its impossible to spray absolutely everything in the house, and its always possible for some fleas to have developed a degree of resistance to the insecticide.

Whereas Uno and I are very flea allergic, other cats here show no flea allergy at all and some show only minor flea allergy effects. We all wondered if Uno and I are the only cats who get flea allergy this bad so I just had to ask...

Does anybody else here get flea allergy really bad, lose hair, and end up looking like hell in summertime because of it?


Torture Day

August 11th 2013 11:45 am
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Yesterday I was talking about flea allergy. Today I thought Mom must have read my diary and decided to get even with me, because today she sneaked up on me, grabbed me before I knew what was happening, and swiftly applied my flea drops and gave me my heartworm preventative before I had time to even get started protesting. She proceeded then to sneak up on others of us and do the same thing to them. Then she really CHEATED bigtime! Our food dishes were getting low on food so Mom refilled them. Naturally that brought some of us running. As soon as we got into the room, Mom shut the door! Then she gave flea drops and heartworm preventative to those in the room who hadn't yet gotten their doses. I sat and laughed at them because some of them didn't know I already had had my dose. I tried to make them believe I was special and wouldn't have to have my doses. Then Velcro the smartypants pointed out to me that it was obvious from the little oily spot on my back that I'd already had my flea drops!

Later I checked the calendar and realized today was Torture Day-meaning the day when Mom hunts us all down one by one and gives us our flea drops and heartworm preventative. Once a month Mom does this to us. A small consolation is that we all get to laugh at Destiny because she has to have flea drops, heartworm preventative, AND drops on her ears so flies won't get on her ears when she's outside. The best thing about all this'll be a whole month before this happens to us again!

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