Ocho at Night

LizzieLou | nablopomo,pets,single issues | Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Not My Kitty – Part Three

LizzieLou | lolly palooza,nablopomo,neighbors,pets | Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Ok, so what else do you need to know about this story?

Just after we officially named her Lucille N. Greenwood, because she was Loose-y in the neighborhood (geddit?!), a friend from work suggested we call her Ocho like an eight ball. It stuck, yes because looks a little like an eight ball, but also because she is the eighth cat Lolly and I have had together.

We first brought Ocho upstairs to meet the other cats in the travel crate. Little poked his pokey face right into the grate and she hissed. Gomez sat on top and peeped down at her, and she hissed. Ashley kind of meandered by on tiptoe, not overly curious but was hissed at too. This was very surprising! We thought they would be freaking out, especially Gomez who is afraid of almost everything. Weezie stayed the farthest away, peering around the furniture and making crabby wah-wah noises. After a few meetings with the crate (they didn’t last long), Ocho graduated to the leash. But we didn’t need it. She didn’t run after anyone to beat them up the way Weezie had when she was new. And nobody was chasing her either. Only some creepy stalking, and a bit of curious sniffage, followed by some slapping, and that was about it for the orientals. I tried a few things to help facilitate the integration plan, including trying to get them all to play with Da Bird. Ocho wasn’t at all ready for this yet, and calmly stared at me as I waved the toys around. “You might was well be belly dancing for her.” said Lolly. “Don’t poke my eye out with that thing.”

For a while Ocho mostly came out at night. Mostly.

Around this time another neighbor called, sorry she hadn’t called sooner, to ask if something had happened to “Mittens.” She hadn’t seen “Mittens” around and became concerned that my poster had been to try to notify someone that she had been hurt or run over or something bad. I reassured her that that was not the case. In fact the cat was “pretty much here all the time these days.” She responded that “Mittens” was a nice cat and sweet and all, but “not like she is ever going to just sit on your lap and stuff.” At least, I think that is what she said because Ocho was wrapped around my head, purring loudly in my ear as we snuggled together on the sofa eating bon bons and kissing.

So, the integration is ongoing. I receive regular email updates from Lolly while I am at work. E.g…

Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2011 15:10:04
Subject: 8 is now in window.
We have achieved interest in and hoppage into kitchen window.
Window is a go!

She likes to sit in the kitchen window and look out at the neighbors and the chihuahuas that she does not belong to. Of course this has been one of Weezie’s favorite places to sit too.

Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2011 14:36:26
Subject: effing hell
I let Weezie out from upstairs.
She re-aggressed Ocho, who was sitting peaceably on the sofa, within 90 seconds.
She does NOT think Ocho should be on the sofa.
I feel bad, I told her no and put her back upstairs, while she just looked at me with her big round peeps.

If is wasn’t for crabby, jealous, Weezie Meep (who I love most extremely), Ocho would probably be sleeping in the bed with us. She did come up to the bedroom one morning, at about 4:30 a.m., and we awoke to a screaming hissy fit. Being thrown by Weezie, of course. Ocho was cowering behind a curtain. We can’t understand why she’s such a jealous freak. Really they should get along the best, seeing as they have the most in common – being tough girls from the mean streets, knocked up and homeless – but instead of bonding about their past troubles and present fondness for shrimp, Weezie is a bully. However, Ocho could totally kick Weezie’s ass if she wanted to. Weezie is pillowy soft. She is a fuzzy mitten stuffed with pudding. She clearly doesn’t possess this self-knowledge, that in reality she is like mush and Ocho is like a warrior princess (especially now that she has gained a pound or two since moving in. The Princess likes to eat.) So, we’ll be making an “It Gets Better” video for Ocho. Because Weezie is very, very emphatic that Ocho is not her kitty.

Taking Care of the New Kitty and Crying

LizzieLou | nablopomo,pets,single issues | Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


A Reader Responds

LizzieLou | lolly palooza,nablopomo,pets | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

So, according to Lolly, there is not nearly enough “weeping” in the previous post.

I really have no idea what she’s talking about.

(Yes, ok, maybe I cried that one day at work when that friend of mine who said that she would take the cat was just lying and only said that to cajole me into taking her someplace to see if she had a microchip already. And, fine, maybe I cried a few nights lying in bed talking about the poor little kitty outside all alone in the dark with the raccoons and the perverts and the traffic. Or, perhaps there was a soupçon of tears while talking on the phone to the animal shelter lady, or to the receptionist at the vet office, or in the car on the way to the vet. But I am sure that was probably about it.)

I mean, really. How silly!

Not My Kitty – Part Two

LizzieLou | nablopomo,neighbors,pets | Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

For a month or so the aforementioned waif took up residence on our porch. We had become her home base and she spent time with me outside, sunning and reading and gardening. (Yes, she can read. She is very smart).

(BTW, this annoyed Weezie Meep very much because she has wanted to spend time with me outside for ages and I just won’t let her.)

The waif was scabby. We started calling her Lucy. Or Scabrielle. Or Anatasia Bubka. Or Princess Sparrow. Or just The Porch Kitty.

We put an upsidedown litter box lid on the porch and padded it with some towels and rugs to give her some shelter from the elements as the weather turned colder. Sometimes she would lie in this crate and let me loris her armpits. It got harder and harder to close the door on her every night. Something had to be done. Then I accidentally forgot not to care about her so much and kissed her head one evening. Her head smelled good. A plan was hatched.

A few nights later I quietly put a travel crate out on the porch with her and made an appointment with our vet for first thing in the morning – with the stipulation that, “You know, she’s not my cat, so I don’t even know if she be there for us to bring her in ’cause she’s not ours.” They were ok with that.

Next morning, no problem. We tempted her with a treat and she strolled right into the crate. She was pretty sedate in the car too. Happily, we got in to see Our Favorite Vet. They put us in a room to wait and the porch kitty sniffed around a little then sat quietly between us. (Next to Lolly you could hardly see her; they both wear mostly black all the time, so Lolly provides excellent camouflage.) OFV came in and said, “What have you guys done now!?” We told her tale of the waif, her background as we knew it and and what we were thinking should be done now. The latter being: we have no fucking idea. There was a slim chance that my boss would take her. OFV said that she would put some feelers out about finding her a home. But in the meantime, we needed to see what’s what.

First thing was to check her for a chip. No chip. (No surprise.) Then kitty AIDS and leukemia. No kitty AIDS or leukemia. (A relief.) Then her general health and her teeth and her weight. (Very good. One broken one. Normal.) OFV ran the flea comb over her and while she didn’t get any bugs off her, we could feel the many many many little scabs under her fur. Poor thing probably was allergic and OFV had a hard time finding a not-scabby place on her neck to put some flea poison.

So now what? We brought her home and plunked her out into the basement so we could monitor her after her treatments (de-flea, de-worm, allergy med, microchipping) and vaccinations (kAIDS, leuk, rabies). We gave her a litter box and food and water and a big pillow on top of the washing machine under the window and a few kisses.

She didn’t know what to do either so after a quick check of the window she just stayed where we put her.

Later that day we had a visit from the next door neighbor. She came over about some other issue (perhaps to be blogged about later) but in the course of the visit inquired about our cats and said, “You have a black and white one too, right?” Um… well, no. Not really. Although she is in our basement at the moment…

The neighbor’s husband had seen her several times helping herself to their chihuahuas’ food. (The waif, not the neighbor lady – at least not in this particular story. I can’t say for sure.) He wanted to bring her in and make her their own, but the wife told him that she thought the cat was ours. When I said that she wasn’t, but we are thinking about it, or hoping to find a home for her, she perked up like, “Oh? We’ll take her!” But when it was clear that they would have her as an indoor/outdoor cat I started making pretend like we were going to keep her ourselves. But I would let her know, because we’re only probably fostering her for the time being so far I think.

(im in ur hous)

Not My Kitty – Part One

LizzieLou | neighbors,pets,visitors,wildlife | Saturday, August 20th, 2011

About three weeks ago Lolly and I returned home from shopping to find a naked tuxedo kitty in our yard. We had never seen her before and thought it must be someone’s lost pet. After she vaulted over the fence, she flopped over in the alleyway and showed off her belly. (The kitty, that is, not Lolly. Although it would have been equally charming – and surprisingly studly with the fence leaping – if it had been Lolly.) Then a car pulled in, but she was in no hurry to get out of the way so we scooped her back into our yard.

As our gluten free fettuccine noodle dinners were thawing in the shopping bags, we stood around perplexed and worried about what to do next. Was she really a stray? Just some other neighbor’s cat? Dumped in our yard because of the pinkness of our lady house and the stunning cat-shaped topiary by the street?

We quickly surmised that she was not feral because a) the belly presentation, and b) taking of treats out of our hands. Also, whilst a little scabby, she also had some shininess and substance indicative of someone maybe doing some caring for her. So we did what anyone who remembers what her mother told her about not feeding a stray cat because it will keep coming back would do and fed her.

…And, lo and behold, she doth return…

However, without capturing her and stowing her in the basement –which we felt we couldn’t do because of exposure to our other extremely sheltered, coddled, spoiled, fraidy, indoor-only cats– I didn’t think we could put up flyers in the neighborhood to say she was “FOUND!” Really she was just “SEEN!” and “SOMETIMES ON MY PORCH!” and those wouldn’t make for very helpful signage. Instead I did some sleuthing: posted on our neighborhood forum and called around to local vets and the city animal shelters, repeatedly checked Petfinder and Craigslist, and looked for “LOST” signs in the area. No luck. No match. I also started pestering people about taking her in if she was in fact a homeless kitty, e.g. phoning my boss after work and telling her, “Your cat is on my porch again. I think you should come get her.”

I knew that the next thing to do entailed bringing her somewhere to have her scanned for a microchip (because cats with chips are allowed to roam around without tags on according to someone at the city shelter). But the thought of taking her somewhere, finding out she was nobody’s, then plopping her back out into the alleyway to continue to fend for herself seemed too cruel. If not just to her, then also to me. Closing the door in her little face every night and leaving her out there in the dark alone was making us anxious. And some of us began weeping regularly.

Then, a breakthrough. My boss’ daughter lives two blocks away. One afternoon she was over there with her new grandbaby and started a conversation with one of the neighbors. This neighbor, we’ll call her Alice, told my boss about a black and white cat that she used to have, three of whose grown kittens she still has, who didn’t want to stay with them anymore and was taken in by another neighbor who then moved away without her. Hence, Alice’s former cat was now roaming the neighborhood for the past year, coming and going as she pleased with no particular place to call home. Could this be the same cat?

The squawk box in my head told me I had a new mission: to confirm tuxedo kitty’s identity. I wrote a letter. I printed out some pictures. I left the letter on Alice’s porch. Later that day, her husband called me and filled in a little more of the story… Their daughter brought them a kitten one day. They kept her for about three years or so. In that time she had kittens of her own (because -I paraphrase- having animals needlessly reproduce is a great thing for kids to witness and kittens can be sold to people, who will even come from out of state to buy them, for twenty bucks or more, so kittens are not the burden one would think they are, and besides, she is spayed now). Then, mysteriously, the cat no longer wanted anything to do with her kittens when they got a little bigger and she stopped coming home. She “divorced” Mr. and Mrs. Alice. “We didn’t abandon her. She abandoned us.” He said she was not friendly to them and was even “semi-hostile.” Still, she was welcome to come around if she wanted and have some food, etc. etc. I thanked him for calling and kept my WTF to myself.

I made some more letters up and delivered them to the house where the lady-who-moved used to live to find out if anyone living in those apartments had taken up care for the cat. One of them, we’ll call her Betsy, called me to tell me that Socks/Boots was left behind by the woman who lived there before her. She does visit with her, feed her, and allow her into the house last winter, also that she gets along okay with her two cats.

We felt quite relieved by this information, but by this time she was already at our place in the morning (asleep in her be-blanketed crate until we make kitchen sounds), back in the afternoon (to have a nap and a treat if Lolly sees her), and here in the evening (for dinner, petting, playing, and sleeping). So while folks have been looking after her now and again, she has pretty much taken up residence here, and even more neighbors have noticed. To date, when I’ve been busted feeding her spotted with her, I’ve been asking, “Hey, do you know this cat?” because she is NOT MY CAT!

wtf AC, w.t.f.

LizzieLou | nablopomo,pets | Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Ashley Crumb has been back in our news again. She seemed to be getting a little thin, but this time she was showing signs of being manic: getting into all kinds of stuff, chewing all the time, and being super finicky about her food. When she started throwing up a lot one day, including pieces of hard clear packing tape, we figured it was time to go see Our Favorite Vet again.

At first OFV scared us by saying AC was jaundiced and could be showing signs of pancreatitis. But that got put on the back burner after OFV developed the X-rays.


That big blob there is plastic. Taking up all the room in her stomach, not allowing her to get sufficient nutrition, and giving her ulcers.

With more tests and an overnight, AC was ready to go to another special vet to have the plastic scoped out of her belly. We asked if they would be able to tell for sure what was in there. We were having a helluva time imagining how she could have eaten a piece of packing tape that large. They told us, “No problem.” In fact, we could have whatever it was back. Oh goody, we thought, we could put ACs baggie of tummy tape on the bulletin board next to the baggie of Gomey’s extracted teeth.

The scoping was successful and no surgery was needed. As promised, we were handed a sealed bag of slimy things — not just clear packing tape, but also frozen food bag plastic, cellophane, and other mysterious translucent bits. Twenty pieces in all.

When we got her home she was on a restricted diet and because she hadn’t eaten for two days she immediately started opening cabinets, snurfling around on the shelves, and looking for food. Even pistachios in a baggie. We’ve had to reorganize the entire kitchen so that anything even remotely crinkly or plastic-y is safe in a drawer. She can’t open those yet.

If only she could understand that if Ashley Crumb does “X,” then Ashley Crumb gets “Y”…

Where “X” is having a stomach so full of half-chewed plastic bits that one is becoming malnourished, and “Y” is getting wrapped in a towel and having kitty pepto squirted down your gullet two or three times per day after being denied food, carted around to doctors, staying away overnight, having an endoscopy, and getting hissed at by your beloveds when you do finally return home.


When You’re With Me I’m Smiling

LizzieLou | nablopomo,pets | Monday, November 10th, 2008

Meep kisses a ladybug…


Then chases her over to the lamp…


She will wait all night for that bug if she has to…

All night long…


LizzieLou | pets | Sunday, April 20th, 2008

The ridiculousness we have been forced to endure for the last three days:


Weezie Meep is doing better. She still has a dent in her eyeball and she’s still getting her drops. I’ve had to take her blue bonnet off because this toothless DUMPLEDORK thinks that Meep is one of those scary spitter dinosaurs from Jurassic Park when she has it on, and – as evidenced above – responds accordingly. Someone get this boy some glasses.

Hello Fornicoons

LizzieLou | pets,wildlife | Thursday, April 17th, 2008

What a day it has been. First I have a bunch of work appointments scattered throughout the day. Then, before I can even start on those I accidentally KICK Weezie Meep in the eyeball. And it’s just terrible and she’s miserable and I call the vet, crying, to tell them that I Kicked My Cat in the Face! and I think she needs to be seen this morning. So now it’s 8:30 a.m.

I weep to Lolly too and we decide not to wait to see our regular Best Vet Ever at 2 p.m. but take Meep to the vet now. So we do and after a bunch of driving back and forth we get her and her scratched cornea back with some eye drops, a shot of pain-killer in her bum, and new blue bib-slash-bonnet. (It really brings out the color of her EYE.)

Finally home again, and I am sitting with Meep on the sofa (with a pounding headache from my guilt-ridden weeping) trying to chill, but she is agitated. I think it’s the drugs. I pause the TiVO and listen. I think I hear cats. But the rest of them are sequestered away upstairs because I can’t right now deal with the hiss-fest that ensues after every trip to the vet. Meep hops up and kind of ambles around like she’s looking for something. I pause and listen again. And now I am sure that I hear cats fighting, and I get up to see what the neighborhood Poop Kitty is up to in our back yard. I go to the door, pull back the curtain and I see….



Holy cats! In the middle of the day? What a racket! Meep wants to see too, but mostly it is just freaking her out even more. The other kitties are in the bedroom and can’t see what’s happening, but I’m sure they can hear it. Lolly comes quickly and we spend the next 30 minutes taking pictures (and a little video) of this (un)usual springtime activity. Not because we are perving on the raccoon sex or anything, but because we’ve only ever seen one raccoon –at night, and skittish– in this neighborhood before, and these are huge! raccoons. I felt as surprised as if I had looked out and seen BEARS in the yard. For a while the fornicoons roll into the big grass thing and it’s quiet for a few minutes until they start up again and roll out the other side.


(stop watching us, Perverts!)

They quiet down a little, but show no signs of going anywhere. I creep out onto the porch, hoping I have time to flee back into the house when they turn to attack me, but I end up scaring them off. They gallop away, squeezing their fuzzy butts under the gate, and disappear into the neighbor’s yard.

Aftermath: The other three cats are still hiding in the bedroom this afternoon. There were weird and frightening sounds, and now there is a weird New Girl in the house with one glowy green eyeball (from the dye they used to check it), wearing a floppy thing, and smelling like a stranger. Oh the HISSING! Oh the FORNICOONS!

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