Posts Tagged ‘Harriet’

Cats and Dogs, living together! Video of how Harriet met Nick.

For Valentine’s Day, allow me to introduce you to the budding love story between our cat and the dog upstairs.

Our neighbors were going out of town so we offered to take care of their pets while they were on their trip. Two cats, one dog. Our neighbor stopped by with Nick, the dog, to ask us a question and we invited them in. We were a little curious about how Harriet would behave with a dog, since we’d never seen her with one. She’s a friendly animal, but we did not expect her response. Not by any measure.

She was curled up on the couch and when Nick came through the door, Harriet jumped down and ran up to him, mewing like he was her long lost best friend. She rubbed against him. Followed him. And the purring…

The video below is the third time they’ve met.

Love at first sight. It’s so hard. Every time she’s thrown herself at him, begging for attention. Poor cat. He doesn’t even know she exists.

My cats and the standing desk. A minor problem.

I’ve recently moved to a standing desk, which I accomplished by placing several reams of paper under my laptop. So far, I think I like it. I need to raise the monitor some, but otherwise, I find it quite comfie.

The biggest problem comes from my chair. I have a very small office area, so just pushed the chair back and stand in front of it. Sometimes I do want to sit, so I want it around. It’s just that my cats… they’ve realized that they can sit in it and get my attention.

So I’ll be working away at a story, and suddenly I’m being goosed by a cat. It’s… disconcerting.

Edited to add: I see by the comments that I’ve left the wrong impression. This isn’t a case of me sitting in a chair occupied by the cats. No, no. This is the cats sitting in the chair, and actively goosing me with their little noggins.

Harriet is home from the dentist

Man, I thought the cats were whiney when we took the food up last night, I had no idea how bad it would get. Harriet woke us up at 2 this morning and wouldn’t stop yowling until I locked her in the bathroom.  Correction, she didn’t stop then either, she was just muffled.

Of course, I got my revenge since we took her to the vet to have her teeth out.

The poor thing is home from the vet and curled up in my lap right now. I’m working on the couch so that she’s got more lap possibilities.  Harriet wound up needing to have three teeth out.  Even to a layman, it’s pretty obvious from the x-rays that they were bad.

We picked up some soft food for her and will pamper her a bit for the next couple of days.  I say pamper, which unfortunately also includes forcing antibiotics down her throat twice a day.  Talk about insult to injury.

The vet says that she’s likely to have “bloody drool”  but she seems otherwise unaffected by the procedure.

Snaggle-tooth cat

The cats are whining because we’ve taken the food bowls up for the night. We don’t normally do this but Harriet is going in to the vet tomorrow to have a tooth removed.

Since we got her she has had the worst breath of any cat I’ve ever known.  They just get hard food but it smells like an entire school of fish is rotting in her mouth constantly.  Really. It is astonishing.  Last month, we noticed that her gum was inflamed so we asked the vet and it turns out that one of her canines is loose and infected.  She’s having it out tomorrow and they’ll clean the rest of her teeth.

You know what that means right? Tomorrow afternoon we’ll have a drugged kitty. Oh, the antics that we have to look forwar– what I really meant was that tomorrow she’ll be healthy and happy.

Our cats have a water fountain. So spoiled.

Harriet has taken to drinking out of the bathroom sink.  She’s so excited about it that she will sit in the sink waiting for us to come in and turn the water on.

The problem is that she’s not very good at it.  Frequently, she’ll just shove her head under the running water and let it dribble through her fur and drink from the water running off her nose. She will also try to bite the stream of water. Mostly she’s been licking up the water that’s splashed everywhere.

No amount of cleaning her actual water bowl convinced her to use it and we’re concerned that she wasn’t drinking enough. Yesterday I picked up a pet fountain from PetCo for her and Marlowe.

Initially suspicious, they are both noticeably drinking more water. Hurrah. It has a deeply annoying buzz, which is deeply, deeply annoying. I’ve ordered a different one that’s supposed to be super-quiet. The deeply, deeply, deeply annoying buzzing doesn’t seem to bother the cats as much as it does me.

Meanwhile, Harriet is still sitting in the sink.

Cozy cat is cozy

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks hiding out under the covers is a good plan for the day.

The most beautiful cat scratching pad in the world

When Rob and I moved into the apartment, we had a lot of boxes. I kept wishing that there was something I could do with them and, at some point, stumbled across this cardboard DIY cat scratching pad. Unlike most of the ones you see out there, this actually looked pretty stylish plus it was a way to use cardboard.

So I cut boxes into 4″ strips and rolled them tightly, joining them with masking tape until I had I nice disc of cardboard. This took way more boxes than I expected and the disc is still a little small for Marlowe to nap on.

Then I ignored it for six months even though the masking tape was hideous.

After six months, I had some procrastination I needed to do, so I cut some Japanese rice paper into the same 4″ strips and used double-sided sticky tape to attach it to the disc.

Now we have the most beautiful cat scratching pad in the world.

Harriet gives it her stamp of approval.

Harriet and Marlowe visit the vet

While I was away at World Fantasy, I got the following email from Rob:

I took Marlowe in first thing this morning to Fremont Vet. The tissue surrounding his eye is very swollen but they eye itself does not appear damaged. He is running a slight fever. The vet asked if our cats have been fighting. It is possible but I didn’t witness any altercations. She found no evidence of injury so the likely cause is a severe herpes infection induced by stress and exposure to Hariet, or perhaps an infection contracted from his night in the hospital. They gave him an antibiotic shot and a prescription for topical salve. If the inflammation is not reduced in two days I am to take him back in.

He is active, has good appetite, and appears to be annoyed but not distressed. Luckily I’ll be home to keep an eye on him until you return.

That’s it from the Sandycrest feline ward.

Apparently, he downplayed that. When I got home, Rob said that Marlowe’s eye was so swollen it looked like he’d been in a boxing bout. So, while I was having fun in San Jose, Rob dutifully put ointment on Marlowe’s eye twice a day for a week. The swelling went down, we were relieved.

And then Marlowe started sneezing and both eyes were oozing white goo. We gave him a couple of days, hoping it would clear up. Alas. No.

So, back to the vet with the poor guy. This time we took Harriet along to get her shots. Marlowe is a perfect gentleman and very stoic at the vets. Harriet? Not so much. She literally climbed me.

The vet examined his eyes and said that it’s likely chlamydia picked up from Harriet. So Marlowe is on a new course of eye salve and oral medications for another week. Poor guy. If he were human having herpes or chlamydia would have meant he’d at least have had some fun first. In cats its just an unpleasant cold.

Harriet meanwhile, aside from a mild digestive issue, is perfectly healthy. Rob and I are considering renaming Harriet to “Vector.”

Marlowe’s adventure eating string

String has long been one of Marlowe’s favorite things to chase. When Harriet came into our lives, we introduced her to string as well, which she thought was the best thing ever.  Now, Harriet has this funny habit of picking her toys up and walking around the apartment with them.  With the string, she’d trail this long end of it, which Marlowe would chase.

Hillarious and adorable.  Sometimes they would play tug-of-war.

But because I know the dangers of cats eating string, I always put it away when they weren’t supervised.  Until last night.

The cats were happily playing. I was helping Rob in the kitchen with dishes and Harriet walked in to complain, without her string.  So far, this has mean, “The string is inanimate again! Make it move!”

So I went into the living room. No string.  Marlowe was curled up on the couch looking innocent.  I wandered through the rest of the apartment. No string. I said, “You’d better not have eaten that.”

But I wasn’t really worried because neither cat had shown any interest in gnoshing on it and they lose toys all the time. I mean I was worried enough that I repeated to Rob, “I hope one of the cats didn’t eat it.”

So this morning, we got up, fed the kitties and about fifteen minutes later Marlowe vomited explosively. Oh look. There’s the string. Or… about half of it.  So I called the vet and we trotted off to the SE Portland Animal Hospital, which saw us right way.  The whole time, I was thinking of Cherie Priest’s cat, Spain, who had an episode with a hair tie and wound up needing surgery.  Much, much cursing was going on inside my head, because I know better than to let a cat have string. I know what it can do to their insides.

They’ve done x-rays of him, which I get to show you, and everything looks fine.

They’ve hydrated him and we’ve got him on a stool softener, hoping that he’ll pass the rest of the string with no problems. Apparently inducing vomiting in cats is not as safe as it is for dogs. We had the choice of hospitalizing him or bringing him home and since he seems fine at the moment, we’ve brought him home.

The really amazing thing? When we got Harriet, she came with pet health insurance. After her first vet visit, in which she had a couple of minor issues, I decided to extend the insurance and to add Marlowe. So this whole vet trip? Covered under “ingested foreign object.”

Ironic, eh? The cats have insurance, but the people don’t. Of course, we don’t eat string.

Edited to add: The vet just called and after the radiologist reviewed the x-rays they think there might be an obstruction in the small intestine. We are taking Marlowe back in for a review at 4:00.

Nothing to write home about

Dad emailed me today to ask if I were dead, because I hadn’t blogged in awhile.  Well, actually, he just wanted to know if I were really busy.  The truth is that while I am busy, I’m working on stuff that’s not terribly interesting to write about.

Shall I blog about laundry? Or, the phpBB template we’re arguing with at the moment?

Actually, this week we did have Liz Gorinsky staying with us, which was great fun. She’s a lovely houseguest and left us with macaroons from Pix Patisserie.  I highly recommend the Scotch Whiskey one.

Pretty much everything else is about the cats, which while amusing… I dunno, I just don’t want to turn into one of those people who blogs about her cats all the time. Although watching Harriet fall off the back of the couch while sleeping is pretty darn funny.  I’ve got to get a webcam hooked up because it’s happened more than once now.

Right now? I’m making yogurt. Exciting. I know.

Cold and cats

Yesterday was the first coldish day since we moved in and I’m impressed by how quickly the apartment loses all its heat through the large, gorgeous and single-glazed windows. The desk which I am so happy to have next to a window is, in fact, quite chilly.

There are storm window frames outside and some storm windows in the basement. I’m hoping that they’ll actually put them up.

Meanwhile the cats are starting to settle in to each other’s presence. Harriet is very interesting in how she plays. When I pull out a string or stick, she’s quite slow in batting at it. I finally realized that if she lived with 21 other cats in a single room that she probably didn’t ever play with a human. On the other hand, give her a toy mouse and she can amuse herself for big chunks of time.

The other thing, and this is actually a problem, is that if I give Marlowe any attention, Harriet comes over and pushes her way in between us. It’s clear that she is used to having to compete for attention and Marlowe is such a wimp that he runs away. Retraining her to share the human will take awhile.

We also had a vet trip today. She’s got some digestive issue going on (which is very stinky) and an ear infection.  Thank heavens she comes with insurance.  Let’s just hope it’s better than Rob’s…