Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our cats

Last September I told you about our kitten Whiskers and the painful accident that caused him to lose a leg. (see Compassion for a Cat). I also said I would post a picture of him in a couple of months.

I am posting several.

Whiskers and his brother Stuart will celebrate their first birthday next month. The cats were part of two litters of four kittens each born to identical all-white cats named Lovey and Dovey on the same day - March 11, 2009.

The cats were owned by a couple in Caldwell, which is where I am from, and featured in a newspaper story in The Daily Jeffersonian, where I work. They may be brothers or they may not. In the days following their births the mothers each nursed and cared for all of the kittens and by the time we arrived to pick them up in very early May they were for the most part separated from their mother(s) and weaned.

Stuart is a black cat – the only one in the two litters - with just a small patch of white on his belly and in the areas of both underarms (front legs). He has black whiskers, a black nose and black foot pads. He has yellow eyes.

Whiskers is a black cat riddled in white. He has white whiskers and eyebrows (giving him the appearance of a mischievous old man), a pink nose, and black and pink paw pads. He has yellow eyes.

The cats look a lot alike but are very different.

Whiskers and Stuart are the best of friends and routinely clean each other, sleep near each other and antagonize each other.

Whiskers’ disability has caused him few problems. He is slow to bat at toys on the floor although I have seen him use his head to push things along. His litter box manners are messier than Stuart’s in that he can’t deposit all the litter from his paws before he exits the box. Therefore we have tracking areas that contain the litter at both boxes and that has helped. Aside from those two factors, Whiskers continues to run around the house, up stairs and jump on beds and furniture. He is not declawed; having one “deadly” front paw might save him if he ever escapes.

Stuart is declawed (front paws only) and it’s a good thing because he’s active and very ornery. Stuart escaped the house just yesterday and Will just about bawled me out. (Hey, I didn’t leave the front door open.) Will, having found a cure for cabin fever by trying out his Razor Spark kick scooter he got for Christmas, found Stuart on our front steps. The cat might have been outside 5 minutes.

Stuart typically sleeps all day and some of the evening and begins his romping about midnight just as we’re drifting off to sleep. Stuart likes to collect toys from the carpeted living room floor and carry them upstairs to begin batting them around on the hardwood floor in our bedroom. In the past month I’ve collected a TechDeck tool, Playmobil dog, Imaginext sword, plastic nut and screw, pirate costume earring, plastic tree, pet rock and plastic Wendy’s spoon.

Whiskers is more laid back than Stuart and it shows. He weighs a whooping 14.5 pounds compared to Stuart’s 12. Both Stuart and Whiskers are neutered.

Whiskers is more vocal than Stuart and is a cuddle dud with all members of the famly but especially Will, who early on shunned the poor cat after he came home from the animal hospital. Will has come along way.

Whiskers and Stuart both have a fetish for string and have even eaten (and digested) a shoelace. The Old Man last night observed a string (from the boys’ magic kit) hanging from Stuart’s mouth. Similar to a yo-yo string Stuart snacked on a couple of weeks ago, The Old Man instructed the oldest son to get it away from him - but not in time. Gulp.

I haven’t cleaned the little box yet today.

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