Alex the Kitty!

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Baby Sitter

July 3rd 2013 2:28 pm
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Alex has a new friend. A friend that could possibly be a close relative.

Alex found a kitten. A light orange tabby. Now, orange tabby's aren't very common in these parts. Most of the feral cats around here are calico and solids, mostly gray. This kitten also rakes the water with his little paw when he drinks, just like Alex does.

He's a cute kitten. Beautiful eyes. Nice "M" between his eyes. Probably about 8 weeks old, most likely recently weaned. He was hungry and he was thirsty. Alex was very sweet to him. Friendly and accommodating. No growling or swiping the kitten with a mean paw. But that is just the way Alex is: very socialized and very sweet nature.

How did he get here? A drop off? A runaway? Who knows.... How did Alex get here? Like this kitten, he just turned up. And, just like Alex, appears to have had some human contact. He came to the wife and allowed himself to be picked up and carried to food and water. Cats with no human contact don't usually permit that to happen right away!

Now what in the heck are we going to do with an eight week old kitten?

 

Conflicted

June 28th 2013 9:49 am
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Alex is a conflicted boy. Always has been. When he first found us, he was conflicted between food and shelter and meeting us. He chose the former and allowed himself to be enticed from a feral state of being.

He loves, loves, loves being outside but the really special tasty food, the coolness or the heat, depending on the season, is inside the house. The security of a deep and satisfying sleep is to be had indoors over the scary sounds and threatening denizens of the out-of-doors nights.

He's conflicted when we call him in for the evening. He wants to stay outside and defend his territory. He wants to hunt and watch the comings and goings of the woodland creatures. But he can't help himself when we call or come looking for him. He just has to come to us. Every night he comes and, like a tired child, he complains and wants to go back outside for anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour, and then he collapses. He runs upstairs to the bedroom, hops on the bed, grooms himself for a few minutes and passes out for the night. Stick a fork in him...he's done.

When outside with us, he must supervise our activities. He wants attention and pets. He wants sweet talk and his tail softly pulled. He wants his back scratched and his chin tickled. Inside? Not so much. Give him his special inside food and leave him alone. Sit in a lap? Don't think so, won't happen, pal.

Yep, a conflicted boy.

 

Scaredy Cat

June 26th 2013 4:33 am
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Alex is the first cat I have ever been around that shows fear during thunderstorms.

We had distant thunder yesterday afternoon and Alex came running to the house to be let in. Last night we had storms roll through the area and the boy ran to the basement and hid out until things quietened down.

With the exception of one, all of our past golden retrievers were terrified of storms, but our cats? Never. So, it is really wild to see a cat put off by thunder.

Yesterday, it was around 90 degrees with a good jolt of humidity thrown in, you would think the silly boy-cat would want to stay in an air conditioned house. Nope. Not this nut. He was content to lay under the horse trailer on gravel. Gravel! This is a cat that spends his nights on a soft bed or sofa but he prefers his days under a shady trailer on gravel.

Cats! What can you say....?

 

Solo on the Trails

June 23rd 2013 12:14 pm
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After two days of putting up hay, we finally got an opportunity to walk the horse trails. The wife, Alex and I crossed the creek and hit the trails early this morning while it was still cool.

It was so strange not to have a big ol' golden retriever along. Alex did a good job of keeping up, only getting distracted twice by some news deposited on a trail side shrub by one of the area's feral cats. I believe Alex is mystified by the sudden departure of his big friend. Poor guy.

It's hot outside today, 90 degrees. We have tried twice to entice Alex into the cool, air conditioned house for the day, but he won't stand for it. He accepts that he will be inside for the night time, but the daytime hours are his to spend outside...hot or not. Now, the winter cold? That's another story. When it's cold, Alex will spend most of the time in the heat of the house. Summertime? That's outside cat time!

 

Loss of a Friend

June 22nd 2013 3:40 am
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The worse part of sharing our lives with our companion animals is their short time with us.

About three days ago, Tabitha, our 8 year old golden retriever, started being lethargic and showing signs of what we perceived as depression. We chalked it up to her torn ACL and her not being able to be the wild and crazy girl she enjoyed being.

Yesterday she barely ate and we had a devil of a time getting her to go outside and go potty. We had to leave at 5PM to go pickup hay from our dealer and didn't get back home until nearly 9PM. Tabitha would not get up to go outside and I was aghast to find her all bloated when I tried to help her up. We called our vet and told him we had an emergency and could he meet us at the clinic.

Without going into all the details, the bottom line was Tabitha had terminal cancer so bad it had even spread into in her lungs. She was suffering and we made the decision to give our wonderful sweetie peace.

Alex was looking for her this morning. They always shared some morning time together. What a difference to the "feel" of the house.

I've had a dog in my life since I was 7 years old. I can't do this anymore...

 

Bad News for Tabitha

June 19th 2013 8:47 am
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Alex's best canine friend, Tabitha, hurt her front left paw a couple of weeks ago and, with the wife being an ex-vet tech and all, we thought we could get it better. We thought wrong. She was gimping around worse than ever when we came back from our walk on Monday. It also appeared she was limping on her back left rear in addition to the front paw problem.

Well, we took her into the vet yesterday and we found out that in addition to the infected nail, she has torn her left rear ACL! We're going to take a couple of weeks and try some treatment, just to see how Tabitha responds, but it probably means ACL surgery for the girl-dog. Am I ever glad to have that VPI policy on her now!

No more walks for Tabitha for a while but Alex and I can still go.

 

Squirrel!

June 16th 2013 11:58 am
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Mr. Apex Predator brought Tabitha a squirrel today.

As far as I know this is his first squirrel. Not a baby or a young squirrel, mind you. No, this guy was a full grown specimen.

I'm not happy with Honcho. I like squirrels; I had one for a pet.

We all know this is one of the problems with a cat that goes, or lives outside: indiscriminate killing of wildlife. I wish Alex would stick to the barn mice, a really, really useful occupation, and leave the chipmunks, birds and squirrels alone. Even more incentive to evolve him into a full-time house cat.

After a couple days of not wanting to go with Tabitha and me on a walk, Alex decided to accompany us today. The creek level is down and all of his stepping stones were exposed so across the creek an up onto the horse trails he came. I think he was worn out from doing battle with the squirrel because it was like pulling teeth to get him to keep up. He did only one "Quick Cat" - that's where he lets us get ahead of him then runs as fast as he can to catch up, scrambling up a tree at the end of the run.

He's in the barn now, passed out, sound asleep. He could be on the bed, all snug and comfy but, no, he'd rather be on a hay bale.

He's got a bad case of outside-itis, I suppose.

 

BIG Day For The Boy!

June 15th 2013 7:57 am
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Wow! Having Alex highlighted as "Diary of the Day" was a huge thing for us! Being new to Catster, we have so much to learn! Rosettes, Stars, etc...who knew! Alex (and I) send out a big thanks to all who sent messages of friendship, invitations, stars, rosettes, treats, and everything else. What an honor. We're still reeling from all the attention. We can see where a great deal of our day could be devoted to this site!

But, Alex and I hit the ground running at 5:00 AM and usually don't get much of a chance to interact again until the evening. Alex has territory to inspect and I have a job and chores to attend to during the course of the day. Not much time to set on the computer, I fear.

We do find time to take a walk on a daily basis, that is if Honcho FEELS like a walk. The other day we set out on an afternoon walk but found the creek much too high for Alex to cross so the wife took Alex for a stroll on the house side of the creek and the dog and I crossed and walked the horse trails.

My wife reports that Alex was exploring the creek bank along the way. Suddenly, he pounced! The wife thought he had fallen into the rushing water, but, no.... Mr. Apex caught a frog and proudly brought it up for the wife to see. Shortly after he caught the amphibian, Tabitha and I crossed back over the creek and hooked up with Alex who, as he usually does, gave his prize to Tabitha to inspect. I wouldn't let Tabitha near the frog, and His Nibbs was bored, so the frog was permitted to hop back to his preferred element. Keeping Alex well fed goes a long way in preserving the lives of the wildlife Alex grabs. Except mice...Alex relishes his mice!

 

Cat Fight!

June 14th 2013 4:37 am
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Well, I see Alex's diary made Diary of the Day. Well, isn't that really something now? I told Alex and he assures me that he is humbled.

Seeing as how Alex the Kitty! is all highlighted and such, thought I better jump in here and tell the tale of Mr. Snot's big fight yesterday...

First thing after breakfast and coffee, I accompany Alex out to the horse barn. While I clean and prepare the stalls to bring the horses in for the day, Alex explores and sniffs the world he calls HIS.

Yesterday morning, while I was futzing around in the barn, the unmistakable sound of a cat fight screeched into my ears. I ran outside and listened for more noise so I could get a location of the commotion when I heard more yowling coming from our small grass paddock behind the barn. There was Alex facing off a half grown, longer haired, image of himself. The new kitten used my arrival in the dispute as a distraction to extract himself from a bad situation. As soon as the youngster moved, my meanie bowled him over onto his side. This could get ugly, fast! However, the invader was able to right himself and managed to make his getaway...with jerk Alex in hot pursuit. They headed over into the neighboring field, into the woods and towards the creek.

I went from being concerned about Alex's (and the kitten's!) physical health to worrying if I would ever see him again!

It was an hour later that my boy cat showed up on the wood pile, surveying his territory and ready to defend it from all the vicious kittens that may enter! That and he needed a good meal and some nap time on the bed after all the excitement....

 

So So Week

June 9th 2013 11:59 am
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It's been pretty hum-drum out here in the sticks this past week. When I got back from my trip to Lake Cumberland, Alex greeted me with a bored "oh, it's just you." kind of greeting. Nice to know I was missed.


This morning, once dawn was in the sky, I took Alex back to the horse barn, as I do every morning, just to make sure all is okay and safe for him to be there. The horses are put out at night this time of the year to give them relief from the flies and the hot sun. As I walked into the barn, a noise and a movement from the gelding's stall caught my attention. Turned out to be a mom raccoon and her three kits grubbing around in the stall for some dropped horse feed. They were pretty freaked and I didn't care for the fact that I had a mama coon with young cornered. I stepped back out the door and tapped on the side of the barn with my flashlight, giving them an opening. As the family spilled out of the open doorway, Alex comes dashing over from the driveway to challenge the fleeing family. When he was on top of them he got a better look at what they were and had the smarts to pull up and let them leave in peace.

Lesson learned here is to remember to close the stall doors when the horses are out at night. It's good to know Alex has the good instincts to know when not to be so quick to defend his territory. Good cat, that Alex!

 
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