Responses to comments and questions...
1. Megan asked: “Why oh why is TBT so slow with the foods? Perhaps a wee nip on his ankle would speed him along”.
There is a process. First, because the cats don’t eat a whole can at once, there are leftovers of varying amounts and those are refrigerated. So the cold can has to be warmed in a shallow tray of hot water for 5 minutes. Then the proper amount for each cat must be spooned out carefully. Marley gets the most (being the largest). Ayla gets about 1/2 as much (being only 1.2 Marley’s weight. Iza’s food has to be smeared around the edges of her bowl to slow down her eating rate or she “returns it”.
Iza will eat as much food as she can get at, as fast as she can eat it, as often as she can get it. I got her 3rd-hand so I don’t know about her kittenhood. But apparently she had some food-issues.
I even have to give them all small amounts for the first meal of the day. Iza can’t handle more than a spoonful the first meal, and if I give Marley a full amount, Iza noses in on it when I’m not looking. Ayla gets a regular amount because she eats out of Iza’s reach.
Marley and Ayla want to go outside right after that, so Iza gets a 2nd spoonful 15-20 minutes later. After that, everything seems OK. Mealtimes can be a real dance around here!
2. Summer commented: “That's interesting that all three of you have gotcha days in January”.
It was mostly coincidence. In December 2007, came across a local Siamese cat breeder, and mentioned that if she ever had a kitten that didn’t quite meet her selling standards, I might be interested. As it turned out, she had female too small for breeding and her regular Queen had a litter on the way and she didn’t like having other cats in the house with newborns. So I got Ayla in January 2008.
When Skeeter died in December 2008, Ayla was lonely (she loved Skeeter and LC was mourning him and not being friendly). So I emailed the same breeder and she happened to have a Siamese female “with smudged colors” and wasn’t good breeding material. So I took her. That was Iza. Well Iza was really a Tonkinese and her colors were proper for her, but the breeder didn’t realize that. My thanks to the “A Tonk’s Tails” blog for telling me Iza was a Tonkie!
But after a year, Ayla and Iza weren’t getting along well (Iza was twice her size, and a bit “assertive”), so I remembered that Skeeter had always been a peacemaker. It seemed to me that Orange/White male cats had always been calm, so I searched for one. The shelters always seemed to have brothers that had to go together, and that was exactly NOT the point.
This is a bit embarrassing, but I don’t recall who directed me to a CraigsList notice about an Orange/White male cat for adoption (please feel free to remind me so that I can keep that in my cat file, and thank you once again).
I emailed the owner, and she sent a picture. I fell in love with him. She explained that Marley had been a Christmas gift from a friend, but it turned out she was allergic to cats. She loved him dearly, but wanted the best possible home for him.
I had to work to get him, as he had been promised to a family. I pointed out that I was retired and could give him attention all day. I mentioned the large fenced-in back yard full of moles. I told her about the high-quality food I gave my cats. I sent her pictures of all the toys and scratchers.
She suggested I come visit to see how he reacted to me. I came. She called “Marley”, and he walked right down the stairs. I sat on the floor cross legged and he came right over and curled up on my lap.
That settled everything right there! Marley went home with me, with his bag of Meow Mix, his litter box, and his one toy (a cloth fish with a Velcro strip that allowed you to stuff catnip in.
Over the first few days, I mixed better food in with his Meow Mix, emptied the old-style clay in his litter box and bleached it (in case of parasites), and put real catnip in his fish (which I examined and discovered had never had any catnip in it.). He arrived January 22.
So Marley was 4th-hand. He was, apparently, born in a house as one of a litter of unwanted kittens, then spent time in a shelter, then spent a month in a house where the owner was allergic, then came here. I’ll count that as 4.
I got Skeeter on Halloween 1992. I got LC on Halloween 1993 deliberately. Ayla, Iza and Marley came into my life at the same week of different years entirely by accident.
BTW, Ayla and Iza got their names from a series of books I loved (‘Clan Of The Cave Bear’). Ayla was the main character, a Cro-magnon orphan, and Iza was the adopting Neanderthal mother. I had intended a next cat to be named in the same style of the books, but when the lady said his name was “Marley”, I knew at once that “Marley” was exactly the right name. It just fit him perfectly. “Marley” he was and “Marley” he stays.
Marley has lived up to my expectations. From nearly his first days out of the adjustment room, he brought peace into the house. Iza was larger than him, but accepted him as equal. Ayla loved him. They slept together after the 1st week, ate together, and ran around together.
3. Many mentioned Ayla’s “Princess” poses, so I won’t list everyone. But from the first day she was here, she had the royal “look”. Not all Siamese do. She sits upright with her ruff showing and her long tail curled around the front paws. She eats daintily. She draws but only “allows” attention.
She only wants to see me at eye-height. If she is on the floor, she pulls away. If she is “up”, she demands my attention. We HAVE to be at least equal in height (and she likes it better if she is just a little above me) for her to feel comfortable.
She likes to walk off the bathroom windowsill and walk briefly around my shoulder, neck, and other shoulder before reclaiming her windowsill spot.
She lives almost entirely in the bedroom. But if I open the deck door (however stealthily) I can count down from 8 and she is there at the door. She is quite certain that I ONLY open the door JUST FOR HER!
Ayla is certain that I give only her the best food in the house. She is certain that the Duck, Turkey, and Rabbit is ONLY for her. That I give Marley and Iza cheap junk… She eats in the bedroom, so what does SHE know? I indulge her fantasies. Who wants to upset a true Princess?
Ask more questions, and I’ll do this more often…