Saturday, April 7, 2018

Best Friend and More Cats

This week.

I keep saying this. I keep saying that I've had a busy week and "how can I get it all done?", but here it is again. This past week was the first full week of classes. My daughter was on spring break, so she was home part of the day all week. I had to go to Hood River to pick up my work from the Art as Activism show from last month (I had postponed pickup because of Easter and my daughter's spring break), and on Monday we had to put our cat down.

Best Friend at 19

Our cat, Best Friend, turned 20 years old at the end of March. Her kidneys were shutting down, or maybe had shut down, and she had a really hard time the week before and over the weekend. We made the heart-wrenching decision to have her put down. It felt cruel and terrible and sucked so much. I've know her more than half my life. She's been a part of my daughter's entire life and is the first close death she's had to deal with.

Best Friend earlier this year

As you can tell by her name, she was a pretty important part of our life. I've been looking for Best Friend in odd moments all week. Less frequently at the end of the week than at the start, but just yesterday as I went to bed I started to find her to bring her up to bed with us. Until she got really weak, she slept with us almost every night, snuggled with us on the couch, especially when I sat down to read or grade, and talked to us every morning (and sometimes really loudly at night).

moving the books and bookcase out of the way of the kittens 
To make matters more messy (both emotionally and literally) we have been hosting some kittens in our house this week. The stray cat we befriended earlier this year had her kittens a couple months ago and last weekend they started coming out. It was really unfortunate that they reached this age just as Best Friend was having such a hard time, but I think having the kittens around helped my daughter deal.

Mom cat with her babies

My husband was concerned that if we didn't catch the kittens last weekend, they'd get too fast and too feral to catch. So he brought them into our house and into the room we used to call the computer room and are now calling the humane society room. Unfortunately, their cuteness didn't completely make up for the fact that my computer is in this room and I was teaching the first week of an online class that requires pretty regular attention every day and on the weekend so students don't get frustrated (or maybe for when they do).

naughty kitty

The plan was to get the kittens used to people and then adopt them out. We've so far been successful with the black and white kittens, but are still looking for a home for an adorable and frisky orange kitty. (Let me know if you want to see him.)

"Adopt me, please!"

To further complicate matters (our house is like a feline soap opera), the kittens' big brother and mother were also brought into our "humane society room."  Big brother is about a year old, the softest kitty you've ever heard of (seriously, he's SO SOFT!) and a huge wimp. He has been in our house before, but to bring him in we had to catch him in a live trap. When we brought him in he didn't bite, scratch, or run around, he just cried pitifully and cowered (seriously, his softness is matched only by his pitifulness). 

sibling snuggles

Our goal with Shiver Ball (so named because when we first saw him he was a shivering little ball of orange kitten) is also to get him more used to people. He loves getting petted and is much calmer now that he's been in the house a couple of days. His siblings have helped by snuggling him and calming him down.

orange kitties

He mostly sits under my computer desk and cowers or gets pets from my feet or from myself, my husband, or my daughter when we crawl under there with him. He kind of loves the attention, but he's also terrified of basically everything except his mother and his siblings. I think he could be a good pet (he's calm, non-violent, super soft, and loves getting petted), but it isn't clear that he wouldn't rather just run outside and hide.

petting train

We'd like to get him adopted, but he's a big guy and has spent a year outside, so I'm not sure it will happen. Regardless, we do plan to take him in to the vet and get him neutered before letting him stray too far. And he might end up hanging out with us. I'm sure the trauma of a trip to the vet's will not help with his terror of everything, but whether or not he stays outside, we definitely don't want him making more stray kittens.

black and white kitties posting as a two-headed monster

The mom also went to the vet. She's pretty friendly (she's sitting on the back of my chair as I type this) and will be staying with us. She's comfortable coming and going from the house and from our humane society room. She got spayed and had an eye injury looked at. She's pretty chill about it all and mostly wants us to feed her and let her in and out of various doors in the house. I'm hoping she can impart some chill to her oldest son.

Cali (momma cat)
I didn't intend this post to end up as a request for cat homes, but apparently that's where it has gone. It was kinda entertaining working from home during some of the mornings this week in our humane society room, but I will be happy to go back to my office on campus all day all next week. I'm looking forward to much less cat drama, no traumatic cat-related decisions, and no drive to Hood River and back. 

my work at my Aunt and Uncle's house in California

I had intended to write today about my experience with Escala training and revisions to my online classes, but I've run out of energy. I also intend to write about my NCECA trip and presentations, but not today. I will just include one art related image: the above picture of the commission work I sent to my aunt last week. The work made it to California without incident and my aunt was able to install it with minimal injury to herself.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Bestie, you'll be missed. So glad mama and kids are being loved.


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