Noisy Humans

Alright folks, the missus hasn’t been updating like she should.
I am taking over!

Muwahaha!  Ahaha! *cough*sputter*cough*

Hairball.

Anyways, you all know me as the lovely (and never ornery), Loki.  That’s right, all those things about me being mischievous are untrue. I swear. More on that later; let’s get to the point.

The humans are cooking. Whenever the bearded human cooks, he likes to play this thing they call “music”. We are handling it the best we can, but I am at a loss how they can both enjoy this noise.

My sense of hearing may be currently under distress, but my sense of smell is singing!
See what I did there? *wink*

The humans are making something call “Fiesta Stuffed Chicken“. All I know is chicken is the yum and I am going to get me some. *double wink*
I’ve taken up a good spot on the chair under the living room window.

LokiChair

Look at this handsome beast!

From here, I have the perfect view of the entire kitchen. I’m keeping an ear out for the “Ding!” of the rice cooker.. I think that will be a good time to start circling.

I’m a little worried though.. Shadow has a spot IN the kitchen. She might get to some goodies before I do.

ShadowChair.png

She’s wise and wiley in her old age.

She looks disinterested, but I know she’s thinking the same thing I am, “I can endure this noise if it means delicious goodies. Just. Endure.”

Speaking of delicious goodies, the humans are frying up multi-colored bell peppers, yellow onion, and various spices in the wok.  I think they got this recipe from Buzzfeed Tasty.

Peppers.jpg

Peppers and Onions are a NO-NO for kitties.. I’m waiting for some extra bits o’chicken.

Enough of that stuff.. onto the chicken! They did something called butterfly and then stuffed it. Now, they’re searing it and then they’re going to “pop” it in the oven.  I just hope they get done soon; it smells delicious.

 

Now that’s chicken!

The music may be getting more and more obnoxious, but the smells are enough to lift me to kitty heaven! Not to worry, I still have 8 lives left.

Okay now, this is not fair.  The chicken is out of the oven and has been served up.. but none for us!

ChickenDone.png

Voila!

It looks SO GOOD! It smells like heaven… Mmm… ahhhh.

Buddy Holly sang it best: The sun is out, the sky is blue. There’s not a cloud to spoil the view. But it’s raining, raining in my heart.

Hey, is that my tail?!  *runs in circles*

 

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Rainy Days

The poor little floofs have been through so much this past year and a half. First, we moved in a hurry under not-so-great circumstances and had to live in a place with no windows. We tried to get them outside as much as possible, but it wasn’t the same.

Then, a few months ago, we moved again. We’re in a much better place with more room, more places to snuggle, and lots of windows. They couldn’t be happier.

Case in point:

Loki loves to sit and look out the windows as much as possible. Today, he’s been stalking a robin that’s been hopping around. I always know the robin is back because Loki’s talk starts to twitch in a, “If only I could get my claws on you,” kind of way.

 

LokiWindowBlurry

Loki watching the birdie

He also keeps moving his head back and forth, as the bird moves across the street or yard. It’s better than T.V., for both of us!

LokiWindow

I want that bird!

Shadow has her own way of enjoying the windows. Mainly, sleeping in front of them. We noticed her desire to do this, so we put a nice cozy chair in front of her preferred window and stuck one of Hubby’s hoodies on it. The cats love Hubby’s hoodies.

ShadowChairSleep

Zzzzzz

It’s so good to see the sweetums adjusting well to living in a new place. I think they’re doing a better job of it than we are!

Fearless

My cat, Shadow, is fearless. I’m not referring to her hunting skills. On the contrary, she is a horrible huntress. Don’t get me wrong, she used to be fantastic at this skill. When she first came into my life, she would leave me all kinds of meaty delights on my door step. Living indoors for ten years, however, has dulled this skill. Now, if she manages to catch something, she has no idea what to do with it from that point. Her killing instinct seems to be mellowing out in her older age. And I’m alright with that.

No, her fearlessness is in direct correlation towards myself. Specifically, my sleeping self.

She will wake me up. Multiple times. Until my grumpy, grumbling behind actually gets out of bed.  “Big deal,” you may be thinking, “my cats/dogs/ferrets/whatever wake me up all the time.” No, dear friend, it is not the act of waking someone up, it is the act of waking me up.

A picture of my cat, Shadow, on the bed.

This is my space.

Just to put this in proper proportions, my husband is afraid to wake me up. He is over 6 feet and weighs about 250 pounds. He is afraid to wake me up. He claims, and I believe him, that I yell and throw things when he tries to wake me. I remember none of it. Of course, I do a lot of things in my sleep that I don’t remember. I have become accustomed to waking up and thinking, “What the.. how did that happen?”  It was my sleeping self.

Ever since I have been fortunate enough to share the same living space with Shadow, she has been fearless about waking me up. She will nudge various parts of my face with her paw, her nose, or even start to lick me. I have no idea how long she is at this, as it takes me a while to get to the point where I am conscious of things.  Once I start retaining the information that she is poking my nose with her extended paw from the safety of the night stand, I know that I should just give up. But I don’t

This will probably go on for an hour two, at 15 to 30 minute intervals. I have no idea how much of my fatigue throughout the day is attributed towards this, but I’m sure a large chunk is. I digress.

Although my wonderful cat friend has lost her hunting skills, she has retained some wonderful defense and fighting skills. I attribute this to waking me up every morning. It is like Cheetah battling with Wonder Woman every morning. If I may be so bold as to liken myself to such a grand heroine.

Poor Shadow, but she takes it all in stride and loves me despite my failings.

Labor Day Fun

Well, we had a pretty good Labor Day Weekend.  We were able to finish grooming the big, black dog – Jet. Yay! I know it is getting closer to Winter, but he had some mats and he needed to get the shaved down.  The way his fur grows, he should be good to go. I think I could spin it into yarn, it grows so quickly. I digress – he is a very happy doggy now.

A picture of a groomed doggy

Groomed Doggie

He’s a little lopsided (his coat, not his ears) but it’s the best we could do under the circumstances. Getting him to hold still is like trying to give a pill to a cat. You can do it, but it’s not going to be easy. I’m just glad it’s done. I think it took us a total of 9 to 12 hours, which we broke up into a couple of weeks for own sakes.  I think that come Spring, we will have to get a different trimmer. His fur is so thick that the trimmer got jammed up a few times and outright stopped. We have tried all kinds of contraptions to brush and cut his fur – everything ends up breaking eventually. Even with oil. 

The cats had a good weekend of laying in their boxes and doing nothing. Like they do everyday. *insert jealous eyes*

Loki in his box

Loki in his box

I love when he lies down in this box because just his little ears poke out and it’s so cute.

Top view

Top view

“What? I’m in my box. Leave me alone.”

Shadow was in her box, too.. but she was otherwise engaged. Ahem.

That's great

That’s great

I couldn’t get a good picture because she wouldn’t stop licking her rear end. Ah well. It’s probably how I feel about having my picture taken, too.

So to sum up our satisfying weekend: Good food, good company, happy animals. What more could you ask for?

Loki the Lunatic

Just as I feared.  Not only does Loki live up to his name by being ornery as ever – he also seems to have lost his mind.

I’ll set the scene for you: It’s a gorgeous, sunny day. A cool breeze is blowing and it’s cool enough to wear jeans.  The smell of bbq wafts across the neighborhood. I’m sitting out on the front porch, listening to music and drawing. I have Shadow free, since she’s been fixed, and Loki on a lead, since he has not.

All is well for about 30 minutes. There are a few spats as Shadow takes advantage of Loki’s predicament and swats while hissing, but a few terse words and she’s back to exploring the grass.  Loki seems to be content. He goes from rolling around on the concrete to stalking unseen things across the lawn.

I start losing radio reception, so I switch the mp3 player to stored music. I’m too focused on drawing to search for the exact song I want to hear, so I hit “shuffle” and keep doodling.  “The Mountain” by The Trans-Sieberian Orchestra pops up.  A few moments later, Loki wigs out.

He starts jumping around so much that his lead is yanking on the bird feeder pole that I have him tethered to. He begins to meow at the top of his lungs and is now jumping only on his hind legs. He wraps the lead around the bird feeder pole, the lantern pole (flinging the hanging lantern in to the neighbor’s yard), and around the porch pole.  He is still yelling at the top of his lungs when he finally lands on the other, wooden, porch pole. He starts to try to climb it, but his lead has run out.

“Oh good,” I think to myself, “I can just grab him off of there and then put him inside.” Nope.

I go to grab him and he wriggles out of the harness and dashes under the house.

All of this happened so quickly, that by the time I stood up, he was already hanging on the wooden pole.

As usual, he wouldn’t come out from under the house. I decided to go inside and wait it out, he’d probably be out in a few hours.  He started to meow. It was an awful meow. It sounded like he was scared, in pain ,or both.

What got into him? I just couldn’t figure it out. I thought maybe he got stung by something or stepped on some glass.  Maybe it was the song? I fished out a can of cat food and set it outside the house. He slowly appeared, cautiously, and eventually headed for the food.

“I am going to pick you up as soon as I am able,” I said to him, “so come on out and let’s go inside.”

For once, he didn’t fight. I picked him and the cat food up and headed for the indoors.  Once inside, I didn’t notice anything odd. His paws were fine, there wasn’t any blood or bumps on his skin, and his eyes looked good. The only thing I noticed were cobwebs from crawling under the house, but that’s to be expected.

I still can’t seem to find a just cause for his reaction. He’s now taking a bath, licking the dust off his fur and enjoying a full belly.

I wonder if it was all a ploy to get wet cat food? Figures, with Loki.

Loki: A short history

Though probably not as short as you would like.

 

I talked about the story of Shadow coming into my life in a previous post, so now I am going to tell you about how Loki came into our lives.

It was a very hot August and I was just leaving, with my mom, to go do laundry. I remember that I had a basket full of dirty clothes on one hip and I was getting ready to close the locked front door when I looked down and saw a pathetic sight: a very scrawny kitten looking up at me and meowing.

Loki_Upclose

He was most definitely a kitten as he was probably just large enough to fit into one of my hands.  His meow was pitiful and the heat was overbearing. I knew I couldn’t leave him outside. I dropped the basket, picked up the tiny fuzzbutt and ran around the neighborhood asking if anybody knew anything about him.  No one did.  I couldn’t find any other kittens and I didn’t see a momma cat looking for him.  I did notice, however, that he smelled like women’s perfume. I began to wonder if he had been dumped nearby. Maybe someone was able to give away the rest of the kittens, but not this one.  I figured it was because he was sickly looking, with one eye swollen and goopy. I wasn’t sure if he had injured it or was unwell, but he needed medical attention.

I put him in the bedroom and locked the door so Shadow wouldn’t kill him while I was gone doing laundry. Yes, I was sure to set up a shoebox litterbox and a feeding station for him. I left with my mother to go do laundry and figure out how I was going to break the news to Hubby that I brought in another cat to our already too small apartment.  Needless to say, he wasn’t happy about it – but he wasn’t irate, either. He agreed it was too hot outside and that the poor thing looked sick. He needed to see a doctor.

Loki (who we had just named that – I had started out calling him Odin because of his eye, but his antics soon required a name change). At any rate, the vet gave him eye drops and tested him – everything came back negative. Phew.

We were planning on having him fixed and boostered as soon as possible, but something came up: he became exceedingly ill. His eye wasn’t as swollen, but the goop had spread to both eyes and he was blinking quite often.  He had also started to have massive bouts of diarrhea and would throw up on occasion. We tried as many remedies as we thought possible until one night he walked across the living room, literally drooling from both ends. I snatched him up and ran him to the vet. A quick anti-biotic and steroid shot seemed to clear up everything. I sighed in heavy relief as I thought it was behind us.  It wasn’t.

The goopy eyes, diarrhea, and vomitting began again, a few weeks later.  I did some research and discovered that he was sharing the symptoms of someone allergic to gluten. “Worth a shot,” I thought as I began to research how to make your own cat food. And that’s just what we did. Hubby seemed to enjoy it, the cook in him relishing a challenge. We fine tuned the recipe over the course of a few months and – behold- Loki was getting better.  He fattened up, grew about a foot, and started getting loads of energy. I was thrilled he was feeling better, but not so thrilled about having to make cat food for the rest of our lives.

To our great relief, gluten free pet food was becoming more mainstream. People were projecting their own faulty self-diagnosis onto their pets. (A side note: true gluten allergy is not as common in humans as people would lead themselves to believe. Many people may possess an intolerance to it, but not a full blown allergy which would cause an immune response. Okay, off my soapbox.) We weren’t about to complain, however, this just made our lives that much easier.

This is my blanket now

This is my blanket now

And so, that’s what we do now. We scan dry, wet, and snack cat food ingredients for any form of gluten. We try to find ones that have wheat and corn substitutes, obviously, and are able to find more and more each time we go to the store. We used to have to travel to a larger city with a pet store to find these foods. Now, thought, WalMart carries them. Yay!

We still keep an eye out for signs of remission: goopy eyes, loss of fur, fatigue, moodiness, losing weight, loose bowels, gagging, and coughing.  If we start to see any symptoms, we immediately make cat food for a couple weeks, or until the symptoms clear up.  Each time, he seems to be able to go longer and longer without symptoms returning.  He seems to have a skin condition similar to psoriasis on top of this and is constantly developing patches of scaly skin.  We’ve gotten spray steroid as well as have started adding coconut oil to their food. This seems to help quite a bit.

The vets we’ve been to do not feel comfortable starting his booster shots until his immune system has settled down, so we are still waiting to booster and fix him.  He still tests negative for anything, so we feel safe in waiting until he’s healthy enough. I would kick myself to the moon if I got him the shots and he became violently ill, again.  No, no, it can wait until he is very nearly 100% healthy.

We were trying to foster him, at first, but now this is a joke. He is apart of our family. Shadow doesn’t like this turn of events very well, but I think that once we get a larger apartment with more room for them to roam, they’ll be happier.  In fact, Shadow has not really adapted to Loki’s presence well at all. They constantly fight, play fight, and hiss at one another.  Loki has commandeered the cat tower that Hubby and his mom made. We’ve made an effort to provide plenty of places for each cat to hide out and get their peace.  Fortunately, Loki has never sprayed.  He does rub himself all over everything, much to Shadow’s dismay.  I think this turf war is the main reason there is so much cat fur constantly flying around the apartment. Between fighting and marking territory, they probably lose a lot of fur.

And so it is that I have a ninja and a Norse god for pets.  I love both of them and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Spooky Kitty

Alongside our two indoor kitties, we have a few outdoor kitties. Well, we used to have a few but last winter was very harsh and now we just have one.  “Why didn’t you bring them inside?” you might be asking. Because they weren’t our kitties. We were under the impression that they belonged to someone else who was just letting them roam.  We fed them when they got to looking scrawny, but did not see a need to bring them in.

I take that back, we did try to bring one in when the temperatures (without the windchill) dipped well below zero. He almost tore a hole in the bathroom door trying to get back outside, obviously so he could go home.

Since this past winter, however, we’ve only seen one familiar kitty face at our door: Spook.  Spook is short for “Spooky Ass Kitty”.  It didn’t occur to me until well after we named her that someone could mistake it for a racial slur.  You see, she’s a black kitty.  Duh, me. At any rate, the name has stuck.

A picture of Spook the cat on the porch

Why, hello there lovely!

You can’t really tell in any of the pictures, but Spook is BIG.  I mean very, very large.  It’s not that she’s fat, she’s just very BIG!  When we first saw her a few years ago, we were leery.  We weren’t sure if she was aggressive or not, because of her size. We started leaving food out and noticed how she purred and rubbed against the porch.  So, we made contact.

Let me just say that there must be something that correlates between the size of an otherwise smaller animal and their heart.  She is the most timid, sociable cat I have ever been around. No claws, no biting, no attempts to even do play biting. She is pure, unadulterated purring and petting.

spook porch closeup

The year before last, we were worried about where she goes in the winter, as we are with all the outdoor animals we see.  Nothing to fret over, she has a home about three houses down. We often see her curled up in the garden or on the porch. I’ve seen her owner let her out a few times. Phew!

A picture of Spook, the cat, on the porch showing off her belly.

Rub my belly!

In fact, she no longer eats any food we put out (and we don’t put any out, anymore), she just wants someone to come and sit and pet her.  She even takes the extra precaution of staying a safe distance from Shadow when ever I let her out.  Spook could probably take Shadow, no contest, merely based on the fact that she is two to three times larger than Shadow.  However, Shadow just hisses and runs to the corner and Spook stays on the other side of the porch until I let Shadow back in. What lovely manners.

A picture of Spook the cat's extra toes.

See my extra toe?

Did I mention that she’s Polydactyl?  Spook has an extra digit on each foot. When you combine this with her sheer size, it looks as though she’s walking around in high heels. Oh the charm just gets thicker. We love you, Spook!

A picture of Spook the Cat leaving

Until next time