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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Thankful Thursday

THE BIG THING:  I've heard The Mews mention a few "thankfuls" lately (and myself a few too).  Not the deep thoughtful formal "thankfuls"; more like "gee I'm glad that" and "isn't it nice that"...   And some of them as more like discussions.  So I thought it more suitable that I relate them.

1.  Marley and Ayla are glad the annual vet visit is over.  And they are waiting for Laz to be surprised when his occurs "sometime soon" (Early May actually but no specific date).  

2.  They are all enjoying more varied food but they don't really know why.  The vet discussed Marley's weight and diet.  When I mentioned brands and "why", he convinced me that unless a cat was having a specific problem with glutens (or anything else), any "certified 100% nutrients" brand was quite OK.

Since Laz especially was not liking the food I had been providing and Marley was reluctantly eating some of those lately (Ayla eats everything but not too much), I decided to try brands I had snubbed for years.  Well, when Skeeter died of kidney failure, I blamed myself for "cheap food".  

But after getting home from the vet, I thought about it more.  Skeeter and LC each lived to 16.5 on Friskies and loved their food.  Iza got "the best stuff" and went OTB at 12.  So, maybe the food wasn't the problem.  So I went out and bought "2 of everything" and kept track of who ate what.  

They all loved almost everything.  My apologies to 'Neuman's Own' (they wouldn't eat any flavor), Merrick's (too many flavors in each can, I think) and 'Hill's', but they didn't make the list.  Friskies and Fancy Feast were gobbled up, as were a few flavors of BFF and Wellness.  If those get them to 16, I'll be happy.

3.  I am thankful that Ayla is moving around through the house much more often lately.  She is still a bit cautious of Laz, but she is around more and that's good.  Even came up on my lap in the TV chair a few times.  In a practical sense, she is light.  Marley weighs 18 pounds (more about that below) and crushes my knees.  I love to have him there, but he really is HEAVY!  Laz is not (yet) a lapcat, but he seems to be getting closer...

5.  I am thankful that Laz is a sleeping-cat with me though; closeness is important.  He loves spending much of the night in the crook of my legs or on them.  The more he comes to associate closeness with security, the better he will adjust.  Yes, he is still adjusting.  

Sometimes I wish he would get used to "us" faster, but maybe that he has at all is impressive enough.  He had a bad start in life with dogs and children.  But he is SURE a lot calmer than he was the first months.  I appreciate that (as does Ayla).  Wrassling with Marley and running around outside helps.

He doesn't like "under the blankets, though.  That's Marley's territory.  Marley isn't a contact cat under the blankets, but he loves "close".  A foot away is just fine to him.

Ayla is still troubled by Laz on the bed.  She used to be where he is.  But there are times the past month when I wake up at night and Laz is against one side of me and Ayla is on the other.  We are all pretty thankful for peaceful nights...

6.  I am thankful that Ayla feels safe moving around the house for another reason.  She had adopted the bathroom mat as her litter box after she retreated to the bedroom and Mews Room after Laz arrived.  I first tried removing it, but she changed to using The Mews Room carpet so I put it back.  The mat is all synthetic with rubber backing and easy to clean.  

In fact, I made it better for her.  I set a washcloth on the mat and she focussed on that. She pees on it AND covers her poops with it.  I changed the washcloth daily (bought a dozen cheap ones).  I put them in a lidded tub and soaked them once a week before laundering them (and the mat).  

That isn't really a new experience for me.  I was 15 when a youngest sister was born and as eldest child, I changed a lot of diapers.  And that was back when diapers were cloth and were cleaned.  A damp washcloth and nice firm little poops (easy to scoop into the toilet) are not the worst things.

Which reminds me of how things can change.  When I was younger and a cat regurgitated some food, I would gag cleaning it.  Now, I just scoop it up even while eating dinner with no problem.  LOL!  I am thankful that exposure and experience helps us get past in life.

By the way, to help with that, I bought a cheap squeegee and cut the ends off to match the width of a plastic dustpan I had.  That, and a paper towel, no problem...

7.  Laz mentioned to Marley how exciting it is to go outside.  He is thankful he can.  He never could his first few years.  He was an inside cat for 3.5 years before here, and a few months after arriving here.  He was out after that briefly once or twice a day, and only with Marley out at the same time (and usually me too).  He was inexperienced and there are some intruder cats sometimes.  

So I was always watchful, and Laz tended to stay near Marley, so that made him pretty safe.  Few intruders want to tangle with Marley and I was good at throwing a rock against the fence (scary noise).

8.  And then I fell off the ladder and couldn't go out (hard walking, deck stairs) and Laz was inside again.  He went a bit wild for the 2 months.  That boycat can run around like mad inside and knock stuff over everywhere.  No regard for his own physical safety!

Laz is thankful for getting outside even in snow, but much more about "no snow" and running through the backyard.  It reached 70F today.  It has calmed him and I am thankful for that.  And it is a true pleasure to see a cat running full speed from the far fence to the house.  I couldn't run that fast on my best day at 20.  Four legs work great, briefly!

9.  Marley is thankful for Laz.  He mentioned how much he loves having a wrassling companion again (He and Iza used to wrassle).  I am thankful to watch them.  It's all kind of slow-motion (there ARE sudden swirls of cats), but it is mostly play and no fur-on-the-floor or bitey-scabs type activity.  

Some pictures, of course:

The Mancats eat together...

Ayla can share space with Laz...
Ayla comes out more often...
And sometimes sits on my lap again...

The Dad Report: