Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Because I Haven't Blogged About Cats for Awhile

In the hubbub of moving, starting a new job, and electing an (awesome) new president, I realized it’s been awhile since I wrote about the kitties. They did great with the move and seem to be adjusting to the new apartment. They love love love the ungodly amount of windows we have. I think the verdict is still out about the hardwood floors, but Dean and I find great amusement watching them tear around corners kicking out their back legs like the road runner.

Our apartment is very old with a layout I still find unusual. I’m pretty sure it’s common for the style of house we live in, but we’re definitely still getting used to it. There are no hallways whatsoever. The living room and dining room are connected though separated by wood columns. From the dining room on the right side there is a door to the front bedroom. Straight ahead is the kitchen. If you go into the front bedroom, there is a door to the back bedroom. The back bedroom is connected on the other side to the kitchen. There are two additional small rooms (the pantry and the bathroom) both coming off our gi-normous kitchen. So if you’re picturing this correctly, you’ve realized that it is possible for one kitty to chase another kitty in a complete circle through the dining room, kitchen, both bedrooms, and back into the dining room. And any combination of kitties is doing this at any given time. It’s like an in-home race track.

As a side note, this unusual layout has presented some difficulties with home décor. Whereas we used to have book shelves lining almost every wall, so much wall space in this new place is just unavailable. I love all the windows almost as much as the kitties do, but that’s a lot of wall space where not much can go. Similarly, with both bedrooms having two doors, plus closet doors, there just isn’t a lot of room for bookshelves and dressers. This problem seems to be worst in the back bedroom since both open doors are along the same wall. Since this is our bedroom, there aren’t a lot of options. But we picked the back room because in the front bedroom the streetlight and the window are at a conspiratorial angle so that the first night we slept in the apartment (in the front bedroom) we were nearly blinded every time the streetlight came on. Plus with no hallways, we feel like the bedroom would be too exposed coming right off the dining room. Strange indeed.

Anyway, as multiple cat owners can guess, the instigator for the majority of the circular chasing is the baby. Well, McLovin isn’t as much of a baby as he was when we first got him in July, but technically he is still a kitten. A kitten who spent the first part of his life in more pain and discomfort than most kittens and is making up for it now. He is completely nuts. And the funniest thing about watching him chase the big kitties is the way he runs. He kind of hops like a rabbit - first jutting out his front leg and then pulling in his back two together.

The best part about a new pet is watching the type of personality they develop. I know that we humans tend to anthropomorphize our pets a little too much and that most cats don’t have any recollection of last week let alone their beginnings. But McLovin’s personality has emerged as a kitty who is truly grateful for where he is and seems aware that he could have just as easily met a horrific end on the streets. Despite being hyper and attacking anything that crosses his path, he can also be extremely docile and purrs immediately on contact with Dean or me. Putting out my hand to try to pet him, he always meets me halfway with his head. At mealtimes, he is the first in line, weaving through my legs purring loudly. He doesn’t turn his nose up at anything, as if remembering that everything I serve to my house cats is a giant step up from what I used to serve out by the dumpster. Except on soup days when I’d bring out bones or trimmings. He seemed to remember that too as he was the only one begging Sunday night when I trimmed the fat from the roast. He’s generally pretty quiet except for right before dinner when anticipation gets the best of him and he lets out a couple pathetic squeaks.

Anyway, since he was a little scary the last time you saw him, here is a recent picture of McLovin the Three-Legged Wonderkitty. He is sitting in the most coveted spot in the house – the kitchen window right above the radiator with the wood board across it. Oh, yeah.



For all the other cat lovers, I came across this great post about adopting tripod kitties. Get your hankies ready.

10 comments:

Beth said...

I've lived in a place with a weird set-up. Wait, I live here now. Haha. I think small spaces or challenging spaces force you to make great decisions.

I don't know if I should look at tripod cats. My daughter is talking about tripod dogs and we're stocked up here on pets.

Jeni said...

Gotta say this -McLovin' sure is a pretty little guy!
And -hardwood floors and cats -what a hoot that is whether it be one can just chasing its tail or a shadow or a couple cats, rippin and tearin around -you're so right on how funny it is to watch their hind quarters try to catch up with the front end or at least, sort of level out.
Chino -the one lone kitten that we had from the litter -is now the ONLY cat here too as Mama Jorge disappeared one night about a month ago now. Mandy hunted all up and down our road in case she might have been hit but never found sign one of her. And sadly too, Javier, one of the two male kittens of the litter, who left us to go live with Maya's van driver and his wife, was hit by a car near their home -about 20 miles from here. "Mr. Fred" the van driver -said his wife cried and cried over the accident as she was very attached to the kitten. One kitten we have no contact with the young lady who took him and the big kitten of the group -"Chubster" was renamed Willow by the family who took her in and at last report, she doing great -getting big -for sure, and like to lay on the top of their electric radiators, which are just a bit too narrow for her chubby butt, according to her new owner anyway.
Loved the article you linked to about the Tripod cats too -very good piece.

mom said...

as a multiple cat owner with hardwood floors, i can totally relate....

fermicat said...

That layout sounds very much like a lot of places I visited when I lived in New England. I never thought about the bookshelf problem, but it makes sense. Generally, the rooms always had to have unusual furniture arrangements because of the windows, openings, radiators, etc.

Love that picture. Kitteh found the warm spot!

Hot4Teacha said...

Oh yeah, Puder did not care for the hardwood laminate when it was installed last spring. She seems to have gotten the hang of it now, but the Road Runner image is truly priceless - and accurate!

Glad you guys are doing so well - the place sounds awesome (except for lack of wall space...um, you have a lot of books, ya know?)!

Dianne said...

oh my McLovin!! He is a character :)

I love all the windows. My side of the house has what I call 'trailer windows' - they're up high, I can barely see out even on tiptoes. Of course I got a 6 foot tall condo thing so Siren can sit by the window, he tells me what's going on

try googling 'alternative bookshelves' or 'alternative book storage'
I remember seeing these rolling book shelf/bin things. you could either lock the wheels and use them as partitons, when full of books they make a wall and if they're in the way you can roll them

if I find where I saw them I'll e-mail you

finally - Siren has never known anything but wood floors so he's good. Mia was on the street and then in a barn so she HATES these floors and gives me the pathetic look every time she skids.

gabrielle said...

Most adoptive parents dream of babies with little pigment and no dropped stitches. Navajo weavers believed a piece was not perfect unless it had at least two mistakes. I guess that makes us all plusperfect.

As an adoptive mother of a daughter with so much charisma that my mom called her “boss” and a very white cat who is very “special”, I can say with certainty that they are both perfect and we are blessed to be family.

McLovin is adorable!!!

Something about creatures who have endured great adversity. They somehow manage to cultivate unique strategies which enable them not only to survive but to thrive. Love the pic documenting the newcomer claiming the best seat in the house. Who would argue with McLovin?

I enjoyed the link to the tripod adoptees site. Very eloquently sums up these relationships we treasure.

I don’t have a very visual mind, but if I’m “following you” (literally) about the layout of the apt., you have the quintessential open floor plan!!!
Congrats on the move!

magnetbabe said...

beth,

I agree. In fact that's what Dean keeps saying, "we're going to have to make some decisions here." Unfortunately these "decision" all involve my books. :(

As far as the tripods, they are truly special. The article says you get extra karma points if you adopt one. :) I think it's great your daughter has a soft spot for them. She sounds so wonderful. But I've also noticed that the term "special needs" doesn't really apply to tripod pets. Yeah, the surgery was expensive (adopting one already after the surgery helps with that!) but once I brought little McLovin home he was off and running! He hasn't required any special attention at all.

jeni,

I'm very sad to hear about poor Javier. When I was caring for the outside kitties that happened all too often. Now, even more than before, I'm a firm believer that kitties belong inside. They will never win a fight with a truck. Sorry too that Jorge wandered off. Did you ever get her spayed? I had several of the dumpsters wander off too, and they were always the ones that hadn't been fixed. Hormones get the best of them and they go looking for love.

mom,

With the batting-stuff-around-in-the-wee-hours business on the hard floors I often lie awake wondering how YOU deal with it!

fermi,

Thanks! All the kittehs are aware of the warm spot. Sometimes there are two or three sitting there, and I'm sure when the weather gets even colder it will be permanently occupied.

hot4teacha,

Yes, many of the books are going in the basement. Thank heavens for storage space. The other things we noticed about the hard floors is the cats don't sleep on the floor as much and are always on the furniture. Much of the time they are ALL on the bed, which gets crowded at night!

di,

Our windows are low so nothing can go under them. I have a bunch of stackable bookshelves and even unstacked they won't fit. I also tried the piano under a window and that looks weird too. Thanks for the suggestions, but since this house isn't permanent (2 years tops) we might as well just store some stuff. If we end up staying in the NE and buy a funky house like this, I'll be beggin you for suggestions!

Mia! What a princess. Perhaps she needs padded slippers to keep her from skidding. Our wild bunch seem to enjoy the skidding. Especially Wrigley, he's a freak.

gabrielle,

I agree. When I first saw him I was really upset and could only think about how much this was going to cost. Heather suggested I drop him at a emergency vet/injured rescue place. They would decide if he could be socialized, or if not, at least healed enough to be put back on the streets. At no cost to me but I had to waive all rights to his care and they could decide at what point they should give up on him (socially and physically). I was going to do this because I was so stressed out with work and cats and I trusted the vets would do the right thing no matter how difficult. But of course when we actually trapped him, I instantly fell in love with his spirit and all of a sudden I was absolutely convinced he and I were in this together no matter what and there was no way in hell I was giving up on him. And I couldn't be happier.

As for the apartment. It is indeed an "open floor plan" which was absolutely what we thought we wanted until the reality of living in one sunk in. As I told Di above we'd be much more committed to creativity if it more more permanent. In the meantime, we make do.

Anonymous said...

Natalie:
So glad to see a pic of McLovin. He's one handsome cat! And they do love windows, especially when the sun shines in. My cat use to lay upside down in the window sill with a paw stretched out hooked into the screen and snooze. Just got back from visiting my cousin and seeing her new 8 week old kitten, named Dylan. A little fur ball of energy.
Catsforsure

Beth said...

I heard the same thing on television, Natalie ... that tripods are fine once the surgery is over. They just get over it and adapt, which is kind of amazing. If I go to look at animals, I'll come home with animals. I just can't resist.

I really love that my daughter doesn't want something shiny and new. She can be such a crabapple, it's nice to see the human side of her.