And so the tale begins.... Siamese_Wannabee.
I have a male kitten that idolizes my 17 year old Siamese mix, Philphil. Philphil - who has the patience of a saint and who was raising Shermie very well - pointed out to me one evening a bite sized vacancy in his smoke grey fur and convinced me to adopt another Siamese Shermie's own age as a playmate for the baby.
Shermie is 75% Maine Coon & 25% busybody. At only four and a half months old, he goes from play-play-chasePhilphil-tumble-bitethedog'stoes-floponthefloor-runoverthecrankycat-climbupthebackofthechair to sleep & repeat. Very gentle bubbly people-oriented personality but very active & inquisitive. He's still in the grabby-bitey phase and does bunny kicks, but without using claws. When you pick him up, he goes ragdoll - until he wants to get down again, then Shermie becomes Squirmie! And he is the most vocal cat I've ever had, even more so than my own Philphil.
Idolizing Philphil, Shermie tries to imitate him in every way: talking, balancing on the toilet bowl to drink, eating next to Philphil, sleeping near him, getting a harness, leash and bell collar put on just like Philphil's so he can sit out in the garden eating grass & chasing bugs with him, etc. Shermie had been playing almost exclusively with St. Philphil, and my poor old boy was just wearing out from exhaustion. There were frequently a few patches of fur missing. Bite size, as the one that had been pointed out to me.
Approximately, two months following the "missing fur" conversation, Josh came to us from VASRC in early June 2002. An 11lb blue point with a rather large round head and moon eyes, he has been Shermie's shadow and rumble buddy ever since. Although Shermie still seeks out his "pop" for bedtime, Philphil is now enjoying the leisure he was used to and his fur is growing back nicely.
Shermie tries very hard to do everything the "big boys" do & he just might become Siamese yet!!!!
Philphil's & Shermie's bean [email@example.com]
Philphil's bean's introduction to one and a half year old Josh and 18 year old blind Princess, rescue cats from VASRC, and Shermie's exciting introduction to them as well, starting from the evening when she picked them up from the Meezer Transport checkpoint:
Josh and Princess were both very quiet but quite sociable all the way home. I had the windows closed and AC on, so it was quiet in the Explorer. After leaving Nina's on Monday afternoon, we stopped at the drive-through at Burger King just in case anybody was hungry. They weren't. I was. Although Josh did try a french fry. After that, they were free to wander about the cabin. Josh checked out my car and then alternately sat on my lap, in his box in the back or on top of Princess in her box. She had been comfortable in her carrier on the passenger seat where I had her gate open so my hand could rest inside petting her. She finally growled at him and came out after the second time the big galoot got in there and leaned on her and I helped her crawl over the console whereupon she fell asleep on my lap in the crook of my arm for the last half of the ride home. (Josh seemed to want to be up front where he could see me while I was talking and singing to them, but was too big to sit comfy on my lap, so he kept going into her carrier where he stared at me with those big moon eyes, purring the whole time - of course, I could pet them both at the same time that way, too.)
When I pulled into my driveway, my mother came out and melted when she saw how precious Princess is and reached in and carried her into the house, snuggling and cooing with her awhile as she got used to the new smells. Josh had climbed back in his carrier so I could take him in the house. He's quite agreeable. He looked at Shermie through the grate while I carried his other belongings up to the "nursery."
We had a playpen and a large cage set up in the room adjoining my bedroom, with his (blue) and hers (pink) hooded kitty boxes, food dishes, scratching pads, toys - you name it. It really looks like a nursery! I opened Josh's cage and out he came and perderped that he was here! Shermie was there watching through the gate and promptly climbed into the room (it was two gates high at the time - it's now three gates high while the door gets trimmed and the hinges re-put on due to the w2w carpet we had put in back in February). Shermie showed Josh around and then the two of them started playing with the toys together. Just like that. He found the crunchies and kitty pan and used both. He ignored the water bowls and stuck his head into the plastic pitcher I had carried the water in with.
Princess slept in a foam catbed in the playpen with her purple blanket from the shelter. She had major sniffles and wheezes, but I got her clavinox in her.
Josh is very clever about taking pills. He holds them between his teeth and and cheek, I believe, even going so far with the charade as to play with Shermie before spitting it out when I left the room. Tuesday a.m. I walked in and dontcha know there was his half-pill neatly deposited by itself in the middle of the white rug. I'm wise to him now. Either that, or he spits it out afterward under the radiator where I won't see it.
At 3p.m. Tuesday, Princess went with my mother to the vet with all of her paperwork so Dr. Mary could see her history. She got some more fluids and a shot to help lower the fever she had and a refill of the clavinox, which she gets twice a day. She has piddled a few times, but I have yet to see any solids. She does, however, appear to be eating the crunchy r/d vittles and drinking. They've got to come out eventually. We go back on Saturday with Josh and Shermie if her sniffles aren't gone. Dr. Mary recommends her seeing a veterinary opthamologist so I'm waiting on a referral. Didn't know there was such a thing!
Tuesday evening my mother had a meeting to go to, so I had the whole crew to myself. Shermie had insisted on staying in the nursery all day with Josh, my mother said, and only came out for his dinner when she reached in and pulled him out. Once she left, I saw that Princess was still sleeping, so I climbed into the room to play quietly with the boys. They promptly jumped out and left me in the kitty room while Shermie showed Josh around the house. Within an hour, the tour was completed and they got down to some serious playing.
Josh met Leo the ancient dog (Josh was a little apprehensive until Shermie demonstrated how to flop on old Leo's front paws and tickle his nose with his plumey tail - then Josh walked up and ever so nicely reached out and touched his little fingers to Leo's nose as though he were giving him a little hello pat, after which Josh was as unphased as Leo), then he met my mother's 10 year old, 13lb neutered-none-too-soon-tomcat Junior on top of the grand piano (Junior sniffed at the new four-paw with a "hey!" expression because his after-dinner nap was disturbed, but didn't get up or seem otherwise alarmed), then Josh jumped down and almost on top of Philphil as my ooboo entered the room. After Phil informed him that Shermie is the one whom he may tumble with, and not His Royalnesssssss, Josh apologized and jogged over to Shermie, whereupon the two of them proceeded to play patty cake and rollover before progressing to the full throttle running and tumbling that lasted well into the night. They were too interested in each other to take note of many of the toys.
While waiting for my mother to come home, I had left the boys to their own devices (they were having a grand time - not spazzy running around, but definitely pleased with each other's company - in fact, Josh kept coming up to me like he was Miss America just winning the crown and pererping that he couldn't believe I actually got him such a great playcat like Shermie and can we keep him, pleeezzz! - yeah, who's the new guy? hahhahah!!!). He's almost as vocal as Shermie (who's not even a Siamese!) and his pererps are about a minor sixth below Shermie's marows and chirps, which made for a most interesting musical number.
Anyway, so around 7:30, I went up to visit with Princess to see how she was recuperating from her vet appointment. She was still asleep, but her vittle bowl had been pecked through. I had a book to read, so I scooped her up and snuggled with her in my armpit while we lay together on my bed reading. She eventually moved over a little with her back against my pillow and I pulled the robe sleeve up to cover her little tootsies. She slept there by me until my mother came home around 10:30 from her meeting. Then I put her back in her bed - only because her litter pan was in there and I didn't want to risk having her fall off the bed when I was asleep - not because I wanted to let her go!!!
Our dining room chairs are actually office chairs with wheels because my mom and I are of smallish build and they are the most comfortable for us. Due to a recent, uh, accident of Leo's (necessitating a refill of his prescription for flagyl) on the hooked rug shown in his picture with Shermie that I sent you earlier, we had taken the rug out for cleaning, and the bare wood floors allow the chairs to roll quite readily. All the while Princess and I were upstairs, I could hear the rolling of chairs bumping into the old buffet and china cabinet on one side, back into the table, across the floor into my mother's antique German treadle sewing machine, etc. At one point, I heard Leo get up and was walking around more than his usual walk into the bathroom to drink from the bowl, and I had gathered that the boys might have run over him.
I was awakened around midnight by about 11lbs of large round blue eyes standing on my stomach and chest as Josh had come up on my bed and was schnerfing at my nose. He flopped down next to me for awhile, then got up, investigated my room and all three window sills and I then heard him and Shermie back downstairs just briefly before they must have gone to sleep somewhere. My mother woke up with him on her bed and Shermie was under my covers. Philphil was on my pillow. He hadn't noticed Josh on the bed during the night because he's a very sound sleeper. I have also begun to suspect that he's getting a little hard of hearing.
And this morning I learned a noteworthy lesson: attempt to pill the cats prior to showering and getting dressed for work, lest one need to repeat the showering and dressing part. But alack! Clavinox and pill successfully went into the appropriate felines.
When I got up today, I had led the clowder down to the daily feeding place. Josh and Shermie ate canned food together in one corner, and Philphil and my mother's cats ate in their own corner. When I went in for my shower, Shermie - who does everything he sees the "big boys" do - was tetering on the toilet bowl getting a drink, using his tail like a flailing balance bar. Josh promptly jumped up and stuck his great big head into the toilet as well and showed Shermie how to do it right. Shermie was awestruck by his anamh chiara's technique and watched admiringly. Then they supervised my shower, although Shermie's usual fascination with sitting on the side of the tub while I take my shower was pre-empted by whatever was going on in the other room, so they left.
My mother was sitting out there with her cup of tea and told me that Josh had flopped down in the middle of the floor next to her, gave a happy blink and flip of his tail like he owned the place. She said she's never seen a cat settle in as quickly as he has. She was also amazed that he is as vocal as Shermie and nearly as voice responsive.
Princess spent some time exploring the nursery this morning before I had to secure her in the safety of the big cage and go to work. She seemed a bit brighter of disposition this morning, although still with the sniffles and wheezy breathing. She's groggy from her head cold, but still alert and responsive to voice and petting.
So, when I left this morning (read: dragged myself off to work 45 minutes late), Shermie was lying on the tiger-striped fleece blanket with Josh in the nursery looking absolutely exhausted like they had been up all night running around or something. Both looked extremely happy and content. I knew this was going to be a perfect match!
I removed the playpen to make more space in the nursery, and put Princess safely into the large cage with all of her necessities. Josh and Shermie need the whole room to bounce and I don't want her getting stepped on.
Can't wait to get home tonight. This working for a living thing just gets in the way of my real life!!!! More news on Princess as she gets better!!
Update on Princess: Friday morning Princess was awake and waiting for me to come in. I had left her cage door open, and since it sits on the carpet, she can come and go freely. The sniffles seem to be nearly all gone now, so when I went downstairs to make tea and get my shower, I took her down with me on my shoulder. I had brought the playpen down the night before so she could be in the dining room with my mom and I and socialize, but she didn't really want to be contained. So here she is in the middle of the floor sniffing around. If you didn't know she was blind, you'd never know there was anything wrong with her watching her check out the room.
And my mother's normally asocial Junior was lying within two feet of her once she sat down on a throw rug to clean her paws and face. He actually growled at Josh and Shermie if they got too close to her! Imagine - the one cat in the house that wants nothing at all to do with anybody unless it's time to eat is the one who seems to be taking a proprietary interest in an older woman!!! Whooda thunk that?
Pictures of the whole crew can be seen at: http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/philphils_bean/
More news soon as it unfolds!!
Philphli's, Shermie's, Josh's & Princess' bean [firstname.lastname@example.org]
As promised, an update on the Purple House Clowder:
Here it is mid-October, 2002, and both Josh and Princess have fattened up like the traditional holiday geese! They have certainly been enjoying the all-you-can-eat crunchy vittle buffet available for their 24-hour feasting pleasure located on both the main feeding floor and upstairs in the room where our vision impaired member eats, sleeps and lives. Blind or no, Princess has no trouble at all finding her kitty box, her vittle and water bowls, her fuzzy kitty bed and blankies or the door when she wants to stretch her legs and wander out looking for me. She usually only wanders out looking for me when her vittle bowl has been emptied by somebody other than herself (Josh did it).
Speaking of whom, His Immenseness is now pushing 16 lbs of catness and his physique is rather football-esque. He plays with skinny Shermie (who has now grown to be taller and longer than Philphil, but still smaller than everybody else) and The Boys enjoy climbing their 6 foot tall cat tree in the dog-free room.
Josh also has taken quite a liking to wrestling with my mother's ornery grinch of a mongrel cat, Junior. In fact, Josh has so gotten Junior in the habit of playing (something this crab absolutely never, ever did for the last 12 years), the weirdest thing has happened: Junior is now honest to goodness playful. Talk about us looking for the pod where the REAL Junior is obviously hiding in. We have no idea who this new cat is! He frisks, purrs, jumps, meows (well, the noise he makes anyway) and actually LOOKS pleasant more often than not now. Except in the morning, but that's to be expected from anyone. Of course, he no longer pays any attention to Princess, which is just fine by her.
Newsflash!!!! The Purple House Clowder now has a website of their own! www.brownrabbitcompany.com, which is still in the process of getting more pictures posted to it, but in the meantime, please feel free to stop by and see how cute they everyone is!
Signed, the Clowder's Bean
Suzanne Ryan [email@example.com]
Sadly, I had to update our website last week to indicate the passing of Shermie's dog, Leo on October 22, 2002. The picture that is referred to way up at the beginning of this meezer epic can be found on Leo's Page on our website: www.brownrabbitcompany.com.
On a happier note, we got The Boys a new dog, who was lucky enough to overlap with Leo for a little more than three weeks - a yellow (orange, actually) lab puppy who is ten months old at this writing. Shermie's not too excited about being stepped on, but Josh enjoys Sadie quite a bit.
Princess is still doing very well, getting very plump and is quite pleased that the radiators have come on for the season.
Josh is even larger than he was the last time I wrote. He's increased from football-esque to almost pumpkin-esque. He's larger and heavier than any of the other cats I have in the Purple House.
Philphil has definitely begun getting a little dotty in his old age. Which is extremely upsetting for me since he has been with me since he was a wee tyke of only a month old and has been glued to my side ever since - rides in the car, relaxing together outside with his leash and bell on sleeping on me, etc. He had gotten terribly frail thin last month and I was horribly upset that there might have been something wrong with him. Then for whatever reason, every time somebody goes down to the kitchen, he insists he hasn't eaten for days. And he's sincere. So we pop open a small can of Fancy Feast or some other special Philphil Phood just for him and let him eat. I'm beginning to suspect that not only is he getting a little hard of hearing, he's getting forgetful in that he forgets that he's eaten. This, however, has been a good thing, because he is no longer so gaunt and frail as he was just a few weeks earlier.
Shermie, too, has taken a growth spurt this past month or so. He's taller than Philphil, as long as Josh and Junior, certainly hairier than anyone else with the longest tail in the house, but amazingly enough, still has not grown into that large nose of his. I mean if Josh had Shermie's hugh schnoz with the saucer eyes he's got, it would make sense. Then again, Josh DOES have a large nose. And now that I'm sitting here looking at them looking at me, I notice that Shermie's even slightly cross-eyed. A lot cross-eyed.
I told you from the start, Shermie wants to be a real Siamese!!