Once the Sparrow litter was all shipped out to new homes, our apartment seemed much too quiet. The kittens took up a huge amount of time and energy. A lot of this effort was part of a steep learning curve, and we’re waaaay better prepared now to take on a litter than we were in June. But at the same time, having four or five tiny furry toddlers rampaging around the apartment, eating, pooping, scratching, and being irritatingly, distractingly, painfully cute is probably going to take time away from other projects no matter what.
Buuuuut, having a cat around is really nice. And there are SO many that the shelter always needs more help.
In a fit of rational compromise, E and I ended up with Lili, a big 11 year old tortoiseshell ladycat.
As you can see, she is gorgeous. And, um, substantial. She’s an owner surrender, and had been at the shelter for some time and was not doing well — she was clearly very sad in the cage, and she had picked up some of the communicable diseases that shelters always circulate. I didn’t realize that she was on 4 different meds when I picked her up, and I was super intimidated at first. I finally figured out how to medicate small kittens and deal with their small kitten issues, but I’ve never done eye meds, or pilled a cat, or really handled a full grown cat much before at all.
One of her meds (ironically?) was for anerexia, because she stopped eating at the shelter. If cats don’t eat for too long, they can develop a potentially fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis, which just means that their livers are basically working too hard to convert body fat into energy, and it becomes toxic (fortunately, humans are put together differently, so intermittent fasting for us can be beneficial and/or convenient, and is unlikely to kill us).
Another fun fact about Lili is that she’s front declawed. Previously, I knew that declawing was a bad idea, but until recently I didnt realize just how terrible it is. If you took all the fingers on your hands and chopped the tips of them off at your first knuckle, that would be roughly equivalent to declawing a cat. Ouch, right? Watching this big mama express cat-like behaviors while being declawed is so heartbreaking sometimes. She tries to knead her front paws when she’s happy, and occasionally she’ll approach a surface (like the scratching post, the end of a mattress, or the edge of the couch) and paw at it, back and forth, like she’s stretching and sharpening her claws, even though she doesn’t have any to sharpen. I would so much rather her have claws and learn to do that on a scratching post, even if there was some trial and error involved. My convenience isn’t worth taking away such an important part of her cathood. Folks, don’t declaw!
She’s been here for about a week, and she’s been medicated and groomed and we’ve got her eating happily now. Medicating her eyes quickly turned out to be pretty straightforward (thanks, YouTube!) and the pills got tons easier when I ran out and picked up a pill pusher. Lili already has a rescue organization interested in taking her, so if she doesn’t get adopted by the end of the month, as long as she’s in healthy condition, she’ll be going to a happy home.
So far, Birthday Month has been all that and a bag of chips! But more on that later. The (bawlmor, murlin) weather was gorgeous this weekend, folks; I hope you spent some time outside.