It is about time I did a little more testing of the effect of the new meds on Anna.  I know the kittens are still interested at the door if I am in there.  Harrison followed me and was instantly interested in eating Anna’s food.

She was down low in the closet, one of her more relaxed spots.  This morning some roofers were walking on the roof and she went to one of her most cautions spots, which is up above this on top of a pile of old speakers and a futon.

Harrison walked right by (twice) and she didn’t growl.  She never quite saw Davout as he went the other way, then back out when I dropped the wand toy outside for Rhea to play with.  Davout soon wanted out to play, and Anna didn’t seem distressed by them playing just outside the door, which is off to her right rear in this position.

The most hopeful part is that she didn’t seem to need to retreat to a ‘safer’ spot the whole time.

I took the wand toy down for the kittens to play with…

…and bite.  Rhea only drags her captures a foot or two.  Davout had me follow him twice around the kitchen/living room circle.

The use of cover is the most important part of being a hunter…

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Anna’s Toy

Today it was Anna’s turn to get some pictures of her playing with her feather toy.  She was sitting on the back of the red sofa near the door when I came in, which she has done more of since she’s been taking her medicine.  There is a kind of sliding scale of where she is sleeping or sitting that measures her confidence.  The sofa back is what I would consider the most confident spot, followed by the bookshelf shelf looking out the window.  The same spot but watching the door is one of her least confident spots – only high in the closet and the narrow cubby by the lamp show more nerves.  She also is doing more walking forward to the door looking for the kittens outside.  She usually still hisses on first sight.

Rhea is a lot less intent on breaking in these last few days.  She found a new spot in my closet today that she took some naps in.  I have been keeping Anna mostly shut away and avoiding much mixing this last week.

When the toys come out, Anna heads for the cubbies.  She likes some overhead protection and will wait for it to come close.   When it does, she swats at it multiple times like a machine gun – whak-whak-whak!

I tried a few times to lure her out or get her to jump for it…but she was wise to my shenanigans.

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The Kittens Borrow Anna’s Toy

Letting the kittens know that Anna had her own wand toy might have been a mistake, since now they are eager to go in there and find it.  So today I brought it out for them to play with away from her door.

Rhea made the first pounce and grab…

Davout hangs back away from the action, but if he gets hold of it he drags the wand all the way downstairs and across the house to the back door.  He did that about three different times, as it was very hard to get him to let go when he is pulling hard.

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Davout and the Egg

Davout continues to play with the little motorized egg toy.

The spinning sometime catches him a little off guard…

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Rhea had a difficult day today as she got a big poo stuck on her this morning, which required pulling, a half bath, some drying, and then later some hair combing and a bottom trim too.  She was a bit subdued most of the day after that.

I don’t know if her treatment is helping but she has showed less interest in getting into Anna’s room and less propensity to charge if she does get in.  Anna seems a little better, but when I carried her out of her room she hissed at everything she saw, and some things that she didn’t see.  She did take her time going back home when I let her down.

Davout has seemed a bit less jumpy too.  He might be getting it from the Calm dry food.

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Anna Versary

One year ago today I brought Anna home from a local shelter up in the Santa Monica mountains.  I saw her in Petfinder when it I was ready to look for a new cat after Julie’s death.  She was sitting  outside next to a pretty flower bush and had a sad story of abandonment by her owners, first to abuse by a young kid and then the loss of her home.

The shelter does what it can, but it is an outbuilding with an outdoor annex housing many cats.  When I was visiting I found Anna next to that same bush, and given a chance she went back to that same bush.

She was very happy in her little room, twitchy about being petted in the wrong way and not keen about being picked up.  She likes being pet more now, but still is grumpy about being manhandled.

She was a bit underweight, and her fur was a bit thin and dull.  Meals without disturbance made a big difference there over the months, and now she has an even more pretty coat.  Of course, she has gone from under to overweight so we need to take some steps.  She’s getting more wet food than in the last few months and will have the dry supply cut back considerably.  Already it seems like she’s eating little of the dry and finishing up her half of a little can of wet food.  This is about half of what Julie and Gus would get in a meal.

Anna was restricted to her room for a while because of some parasites she had, and soon after those were cleared up she needed some dental surgery.  She started to come out of her room for a while and sleep in other locations upstairs, like my walk-in-closet and bathroom.  But as the kittens started to lose their wariness of her, their curiosity began to take over and they would creep closer to her spots.  The layout of my house meant that she would have to pass by the kittens to get back to her room, which made her increasingly nervous.

Anna’s history has led to her having a lot of bad habits with people and with other cats.  She tends to lash out quickly, but then doesn’t back it up.  Rhea in particular soon figured this out and began to seek her out and provoke a confrontation that Anna always loses.  Anna decided that her room was large enough.  She even became more anxious when Harrison joined the family, even though he never came into her sight for some time.

So for now, Anna is happy in her little bedroom, so much larger than her little flowered bush in the shelter.   When I go to visit her she often has a cheerful greeting for me and likes a little bit of petting.   After a while she gets anxious about the cats at the door, sometimes real, sometimes imaginary.  She has what she needs now.

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Diet and Exercise

The ‘medicine’ for the two cranky girls has arrived.  It is supposedly the concentrated stuff that warm milk has in it to make you relax.

The effects on Rhea are unclear at the moment….

I also got Anna her own wand toy to encourage her to move around more at playtime.  She did jump up to this highest shelf for the first time in a while.

I started giving her half a small can of wet food and will reduce the new dry I add when that bowl runs low.  So far at least she is eating the wet food.

Anna likes the high shelf quite a bit.

She also likes the wand toy.

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Anna at the Vets

Anna had a checkup this morning, which she didn’t like one bit.  She resisted getting into the carrier pretty well, and cried the whole way there.  She was only normally twitchy and grumpy when the exams were going on, which is a little better than other visits.

The vet has some new thing to try before full on medication for Anna or Rhea or both to stop the tussles.  It is some other thing like the Calm food.

But Anna’s weigh in shows that Anna has gained considerable weight since her last visit, which I suspected, and she needs to have her diet changed to mostly wet food.  Since I just got a big bag of the Calm food last week, this was kind of annoying.  Also, Anna was very picky about the wet food in the months where I was giving her both wet and dry.

The vet had some other ideas that seem doomed to failure given the current situation, like getting Anna out of the room by having the food outside.  The problem I see there is that if the door is open for Anna to go out, even if she would, Rhea will go in first and a confrontation will result.  This house is not large enough to avoid a face off, as the whole upstairs is connected by narrow stairs and halls.

Now, I might be able to drag Anna out regularly and let her nibble from a bowl outside as a treat and incentive, but I know that I will have to do the dragging.  Before I resorted to the pet gate, I left the door open more.  Even before Rhea started going into her room after her, Anna had decided to stop leaving her room of her own will.  And since Anna has hissed out the door at imaginary kittens, even putting the others away probably will not help.

Harrison had another uneventful visit with Anna after she got home, although he did get spat at once.  Anna also spat at a cat at the vet’s office from her carrier when being carried out to leave.

She also got a little bottom trim, although not as severe as Davout’s was.

Rhea has continued her assaults on the cardboard cover of the gate.  She’s found a cunning foe in the duct tape I used to secure the cardboard.  Yesterday I found a piece stuck on her paw.  Today she was scratching while I was in there and suddenly stopped.  I’m not sure why I looked but she had gotten a claw caught in some tape and could not pull away.  She was brave enough to wait calmly for me to get her free.

There has been another interesting development.  Several times while she is peering in or clawing at the gate Davout has come up and bit Rhea on the butt and gotten into a play tussle with her in the hall.  This doesn’t make Anna any happier, and so far hasn’t discouraged Rhea much.  It is pretty funny.

I did some playtime with Anna.  She’s probably going to need more toys for exercise.  I need to come up with an even more permanent solution to Rhea getting through the gate.

It is pretty funny that it would be fairly simple for Rhea to just jump over it.  This has not occurred to her yet.

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Cozy Cubby

Harrison Hanging Out

I took Harrison up into Anna’s room for a visit and he decided to make a home in this little cubbyhole right under Anna’s feet.  She got over that, but was a little disturbed at Rhea chewing on the cardboard barriers to the room from outside.

Davout at Play

The undercover mouse is always a hit…if you can keep Davout from dragging it off into a corner.

Rhea watching

Rhea was watching from on high.

Davout Catching

Davout can’t resist the toy…but he likes it better across the room.

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Out Front

I decided it would be a good day for some front yard action with the cats.

I took a little risk with Harrison being without a lead, but it payed off and he spent more time going back inside for a bite of early dinner and no time dashing off into the street.

Rhea has jumped up on this chair a couple of times now.  None of the other cats did unless I plunked them down on it.

Just before this Rhea did the full roll around on the pavement act right next to Harrison.  She’s made a couple of attempts to get him to play with her, but so far he has just played it cool.

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