Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another day, another cat.

This morning I had an appointment at the vet to get Mochi, Charlie, and Bagira their annual shots. I returned home from the vet to discover a skinny female cat rolling around in my driveway, displaying the undeniable characteristics of a cat in heat. Are you kidding me? I've only been here two weeks! And had just come from the vet. Come on! I put Mochi and the two cats inside and grabbed some tuna. The cat was rolling around in the brush, purring and inquiring if either I or a nearby log might actually be a boy cat. Yep, definitely in heat. She didn't look to be in terrible condition or anything, but boy did she attack that tuna like she hadn't eaten in days. I scruffed her and stuffed her into a carrier (she was NOT happy) and headed back to the vet. (I have been there four times in two weeks. I should just sign my paycheck directly over to them. Sheesh. I do not earn enough money for this.)

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I had the kitty tested for FeLV and FIV, and she was negative. The vet agreed with my assessment that she probably hadn't eaten in several days, and pointed out that she was crawling with fleas. And yes, she was definitely in heat. I opted to leave her there, and have her spayed on Monday. She's a sweety and she's gorgeous (Anyone want her? As of Monday she'll be flea free and spayed and up to date on all her shots.) and she needs a name. Any suggestions? I was thinking Helena - which would be a tad ironic, as she will be the only cat of the bunch who doesn't look like a clone (Orphan Black reference).

Friday, July 18, 2014

The High (Springs) Life

It's been nearly two weeks since I last wrote - two weeks of getting settled in to my new house. Nothing too new or exciting has happened, just unpacking, organizing, decorating, and acquiring the minimum amount of furniture needed to live. The spare bedroom and dining room are still empty, and most of the living room 'furniture' consists of cheap camping chairs, but that's fine by me.

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Charlie is starting to resemble a linebacker: no neck!

Charlie got sick this past week. As I'm sure most of you know, Charlie is quite a vocal cat, and well.... she lost her voice. Yep, as humans can lose their voice when they get sick, so can cats. We don't normally notice because most cats don't carry on non-stop conversations with their humans. However, it was pretty obvious with Charlie. Additionally, she had a low-grade fever, was lethargic, and wasn't eating. Luckily, she perked up pretty quickly with antibiotics, and she seems to be feeling better - even though her voice isn't quite back to normal yet.

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Wolfie has been a little stressed out by the move, and is on happy pills at the moment. They've definitely made him calmer, although his biggest problem - holding his pee for way to long - hasn't completely been resolved. I can walk him all over town, and he won't so much as think about lifting his leg. Mochi, in contrast, will pee on every single tree, bush, shrub, flower, and mailbox post. 

Chappie the kitten is, of course, doing fine. He's pretty much running the show around here.

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The trouble with having rugs on the wall is that sometimes Chappie climbs up them...

Bagira and Mochi have adapted to the new house with out any health or mental problems.

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Mochi's tuckered out :)

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My yard gets the coolest fairy rings!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Housewarming dog, housewarming kitten

As part of the arrangement wherein my mom bought me a house (yes, I do have to pay her back), I agreed to take a couple of her animals off her hands - including two of her dogs, Wolfie and Nadya. The plan was to wait until AFTER I got my yard fenced in to add any new dogs to the mix, but when do things ever go as planned?

Mom had found Wolfie as a puppy back in the summer of 2011 (he had been dumped, and was terrified of pretty much everything). He grew into a gigantic - and incredibly sweet - boy... that all other male dogs seem to want to kill. And if he's attacked he doesn't fight back; he just rolls over and screams.

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This was Wolfie as a puppy in July 2011 playing with my (sadly now deceased) Koala.
She was Mochi's size, just to give you some scale.

Wolfie, just a couple of months ago, prancing around with his food bowl.

Now, mom has two Alpha Males (Brin and Viktor), who must be separated from each other and from Wolfie at all times because for some reason they want to eat him. Brin is kept in the house, Viktor has his yard and pen, and Wolfie had his. However, on Thursday night people began setting off fireworks, causing Wolfie to climb into Viktor's yard in an attempt to get into the house. Luckily, mom was able to get up and corral dogs in various places before all hell broke loose. However, as she was planning to spend Friday night down in Florida for the Fourth, she figured it wouldn't be safe to leave Wolfie behind. So, I agreed to take him a little bit early.

Wolfie has been having the time of his life, going from one of eight dogs to one of two, getting to come in the house, eating barbecued ribs... he wasn't even upset by the fireworks that Frank set off (I guess as long as his humans were around, he was OK with them).

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Wolfie looks like a bear here.

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Wolfie, mom, and Frank

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Wolfie at Frank's

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Nature's fireworks on the Fourth of July

Frank's fireworks. (I didn't think to start filming until after the best ones had already gone off, unfortunately, but you get the idea.)

Meanwhile, a couple of weekends ago an acquaintance via Facebook had two kittens dumped in her front yard. She was unable to keep either of them, although was quickly able to find a home for one. She had a couple people offer to take the remaining kitten - only to then back out. I saw the little guy - a perfect twin for Charlie - and told her that if no one had taken him by the time I moved into my house (due to my fumigation schedule, I couldn't move in until July 5th), I would take him. Well, no one else snagged him, so Saturday morning Wolfie and I drove to Lake City and picked up Chappie (from Charlie Chaplin, as I already have a Charlie).

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Chappie and Charlie

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"Eat more, and one day you may be like me."

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Charlie, Mochi, and Bagira were all kind of terrified of the kitten.
The kitten, meanwhile, was the only one scared of Wolfie.

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Mochi and Wolfie

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Bagira, meanwhile, thinks her twin lives in the bathroom mirror

I'm still working on housebreaking Wolfie and Chappie. Chappie doesn't seem to quite get the litterbox concept, and Wolfie won't go if someone is watching him. As I don't have a fenced in yard, he has to go out on a leash, and apparently he has performance anxiety. Even watching Mochi pee on every tree and bush in the yard didn't encourage him. He will, however, go on the floor in the house if I am in the other room. Sigh. Gotta work on that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My thoughts on tiny house living

You might remember that back in May I moved into a teeny-tiny apartment (about 250 square feet). In case you've forgotten, click here to take a video tour of my apartment. Trust me, it does not take long. For many years now I have been fascinated by the idea of tiny house living, although to be honest I always imagined doing it on a large plot of land out in the boonies, rather than in an ultra-teeny apartment in the center of town. It's been a lot harder than I expected - although not having a yard to go out in might have a lot to do with it. If I'd had a yard instead of a parking lot, I might have found it a bit more enjoyable. As it is, though, I've been feeling a bit cramped lately, and I am definitely looking forward to moving into my house in three days!

I am not an overly messy person although I'm not particularly OCD about keeping my house clean either. However, to live in a tiny house, you need to be very, very clean. One thing out of place, one unwashed dish, one bit of stuff on the floor left unswept, and suddenly, your house is a mess. And well, if multiple things get out of place, your tiny home immediately takes on tornado-aftermath status. On the plus side, it doesn't take too long to clean up, though!

Cats inside a tiny house are a challenge. Charlie and Bagira don't seem to mind living in cramped quarters at all - although Charlie did not like being left on the floor while Bagira and I climbed up into the loft bed. (Unlike Bagira, Charlie never did figure out the ladder.) The problem was the litter box. As you may remember, the litter box ended up under the loft bed, directly underneath the pillow. I have had to climb down the ladder numerous times, bleary eyed and half asleep, in order to rid the apartment of a midnight stinky poop that was wafting its odors up to my pillow. If I had a screened in porch for the litter box, or lived somewhere where they could use the great outdoors - and therefore didn't have to have the litter box confined in such a small space - cats wouldn't be a problem. As it is... well, you can probably imagine.

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Litter box, directly under pillow.

Now, check out my bathroom sink:
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I seriously can't brush my teeth without my elbow banging into the wall. At least now that I've cut off all my hair I don't have the curling iron taking up space, but even my few toiletries have completely filled what little counter space I have. I think of myself as pretty low-maintenance and I don't spend much time in front of the mirror getting ready, but I still have too much stuff for a bathroom this small. And don't even get me started on the closet space (or lack thereof).

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Also, it will be nice to have my cats, onions, shoes and books all in separate locations!

To the people living in tiny houses and doing so successfully, I salute you! It's a challenge, and while I remain fascinated by the concept, it is definitely not one that I will be taking up again, at least not any time soon.