August 31st 2009 8:22 am
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Today was supposed to be a typhoon, but it basically only dribbled. No cats and dogs.
But, oh ho! Inside the cattery, it's raining kittens. First we have Chibi's four, and then suddenly without warning Leila disappeared to have another tryst with Umesaburo, and when Mommy came home, she had another cat with her, a four month old kitten. Breeder Daddy is closing up shop and trying to get rid of his kittens, and this kitten was of especially good quality, so he wanted Mommy to make it her fourth queen (he thinks she has too many torties). We only got a glimpse of the new kitten, who is to be named either Nora Joyce (Nora Barnacle had too many letters) or Sylvia P (Sylvia Plath also had too many letters). (I know this because I was listening in on their phone conversation.) Of course, BD had something to say about that, as he is always criticizing Mommy. The kitten and Umesaburo are sort of engagement gifts, but Mommy is still on the fence about this one. BD really does seem to be very fond of her, but when he gets in a critical mood (which is often) he is intolerable. For example, Mommy still can't figure out her new cell phone (the instruction manual is 300 pages long, and she was told that even Japanese find it hard to figure out). Mommy told us (or maybe we read her mind) that BD gave her a hard time for buying a cell phone that she can't figure out how to use, but to be honest, while he's much better at some things than Mommy is, he's a bit slow in some areas. It took Mommy around 10 minutes to convince him that she didn't buy a confusing cell phone on purpose, and that on Tuesday she's going to go back to the shop and have the basics explained to her. Anyway, that's the kind of relationship they have. She's hoping she can train him out of this habit. It's not abusive, just annoying, but when it goes on for too long--and it's usually about trivial things--it makes Mommy irritable. I'd bop him on the head if I were her, but she's not a cat.
Anyway, back to Nora Joyce (or Sylvia P). Now Mommy has four queens, all of whom have good and bad points. The new kitten (who is in a cage in the bedroom, which means that Spike, Currier, and I have only the study, the kitchen, and the hallway to hang around in) is a brown and white tabby with gorgeous classic tabby patterning. She has pretty eyes, a firm muzzle, and the best noseline of all the females. She also seems to have a sweet disposition. Since BD gave her to Mommy for free, she took her, as brown tabby kittens sell out fast, and Mommy would prefer not to be in the red all the time with this breeding thing.
Unless we move to a house, or bump one of the other queens, this is our limit for females. What we DO need is another stud. Two studs and four queens is a reasonably sized cattery. Anything bigger, and you end up being unable to give each cat some quality time every day. I'm lying next to Mommy's laptop right now, and she pets me every few minutes. Spike and Currier, who seem to like each other, are sleeping on top of a box a few feet away. We love Mommy, but would like more of her time.
Oh, and Chibi moved her kittens behind the enormous cat tower last night (she told us through the door when Mommy was out). BD came and inspected the kittens yesterday, Mommy weighs them every day (which breeding manuals say you should do--BD says that Mommy is being too nervous about the whole thing, and that they don't need to be weighed), and Chibi's supersensitive feline sense of smell told her that there was a NEW CAT in the next room. After returning the kittens and Chibi to their nest, Mommy zipped up the SturdiShelter (BD didn't think that was an appropriate birthing hut, and also said the air conditioning was too strong--blah blah blah), and pulled the fleece blanket down over the front to make the inside darker and more private. Of course, there's food, water, and a toilet in there, but Mommy will have to let Chibi out occasionally to let her get some exercise. The last time Mommy looked, Chibi was nursing her kittens, but she didn't look happy about the whole thing.
What makes the rest of us mad is that Mommy is giving Chibi the good stuff--Hill's a/d (about the best and most nutritious food you can find in Japan, if you like spending $4.00 per can), spiked with stinky, mercury tainted tuna fish. BD said that Chibi ate cheese (which he recommends for putting weight on cats) when she was at his place, but she won't eat it here. We're not so fond of it, either. We usually just give it a few licks and walk away. It's not that cats can't eat cheese--we can eat cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese, just not liquid cow's milk. Spike and Leila are particularly fond of yogurt, although they only take a few licks. I can take it or leave it.
So that's the mews from here. Mommy is becoming a cat lady, may marry BD, may buy a house (not that she can even afford the down payment), and we suddenly have a new sister (whose father is Umesaburo, same as Leila and Chibi's kittens), but she had a different mother, so she's really our half-sister. She seems awfully sweet; I'm not sure whether I'll hiss at her or bop her or not. Nah, gotta show her who's boss here. I may not bop her on the head, but I'm sure I'll his. I hissed at Currier today for the first time in a long while. Maybe it was the pre-typhoon atmospheric pressure doing weird things to my chickpea-sized brain.
Oh, I almost forgot. There's that cat show feeling in the air. This time I'm not the one going (I'm retired), but Currier, who seems to have become part of our furmily by default (read: no one wants to buy her, and Mommy likes her). Mommy wanted Currier to go to a show with a foreign judge, since Japanese don't like torties, but she couldn't get Currier a CFA number fast enough to make the entry deadline. Instead, Currier will either go to a show sponsored by Mommy's new cat club, or to a show in Kobe (a waste of money for someone who's trying to scratch together enough money for the down payment on a house, if you ask me) because Chanan is there, and darkish torties like Currier are very hard to photograph. I'm sure Currier will be more cooperative than I was; she doesn't seem to have a nervous bone in her body, although cat shows can be rather nerve-wracking, so you never know. Kittens can be shown without a CFA number, but our new sister is only four months old, and kittens are more likely to get ribbons if they are a bit older and bigger. Not that she is going to have a show career; Grand Champion female Maine Coons are as scarce as hen's teeth (whoever thought of that metaphor, anyway?); better that Mommy should save her money for a very, very good stud, and make him a Grand Champion. But that's far in the future. Meanwhile, I only have to suffer the presence of Umesaburo.
Time to zone out again...
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Tell your Mommy to only marry BD if she can accept him the way he is right now. My mommy says that you don't change anyone who doesn't want to change. If she can't take him as is, to move on. :D
Hugs to you and yours,
Oscar J. Cat
Thanks, Oscar, for all your support. Actually, Mommy is not passionately in love with BD, but every time she has been passionately in love with someone, it hasn't worked out. She does find him a pleasant companion most of the time, and as both are old as the hills, it's not like either of them are going to find another partner. BD is incredibly tolerant of other things--Mommy sometimes walks with a cane, has various mental quirks that are being treated with medication, is going deaf--nothing bothers him. And when he's badgering her, she tells him to stop it, and he usually does. There are pluses and minuses in every relationship, and Mommy thinks that there are more pluses here than minuses. She's just not sure yet.
Your Mommy's advice is good, and I'll pass it on to my Mommy.
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