Wearflee and Binston

I don’t hate you…if you just keep sleeping and don’t attack me.

I think it’s about time to give an update on our kitty situation, since we’ve officially been over a month that we became a two-cat household. While it’s definitely been an adjustment for all four of us, we’ve come a long way! There was a point when we didn’t feel right leaving the house for fear that they’d kill each other, eat the fish, or do something else as equally naughty. But, hey, guess what. We can leave now! Obviously, or else we wouldn’t be doing our latest show at the theater. ๐Ÿ™‚

Winston has brought good and bad into the house. We love him like a son (that son who acts out a lot…you know the one), so we’re allowed to talk about his flaws as much as we can brag about what makes him great. The first bummer is the fact that his stomach seems to be constantly “off.” Yuck. Arm-in-arm with this is the fact that he has HORRIBLE aim in his litter pan. Double yuck. We get it on walls, the floor, and almost always smeared along the edge of the pan (and regularly on his feet, tail, etc). Gee, I hope, dear reader, you’re not eating. Sorry if you are!

I’m Winfton. Ftringf are my favorite.

I vowed to myself I wouldn’t do it, but I may try to get him to eat a different cat food. His stool has been tested twice, count it, twice, but nothing seems wrong. He’s had an upper-respiratory infection so we’ve got him on medication that’s supposed to take care of that, but also, as the vet says, his potty problem…to no avail. But, since both of the boys enjoy harassing each other by eating out of each other’s dish, I’d have to feed him when I’m home (and probably give him a little each day). Why can’t they each eat the same new food? Beardslee’s allergic to fish, and almost all the other food we’ve found has fish meal in it. Yeah. High maintenance much?

Winston, as a personality and physical presence, is wily and sly, childish and funny, sleek and sharp. Figuratively and literally. Since he’s so lanky and thin, it seems that it applies to almost everything about him — teeth and claws included. And that makes for painful pill sessions. Those claws have left a few very obnoxious, deep but thin scratches. Can’t blame him much for fighting back, though.

Otay, buddy. I’ll ftand guard. You fleep.
Mmm, birdf.

During the first couple of weeks, Winston’s looks scared me a bit. He’s a dark gray with a frosting of light gray depending on how the light hits him. A bit of a Halloween cat. I’m quite sure I colored a picture that looked a lot like him when I was a child. Throw in his yellowish green eyes, long fangs and propensity to quietly move and sneak up on you and you can see why he was a little frightening. Those fangs, however, helped us to consider him differently. Depending on whether he has control over those
two little sharpies, you’ll occasionally see them peeping out from below his upper lip. One day, it occurred to me that the voice we’d been using to portray his thoughts (yeah, we do put a voice to our cats — their interactions seem to call out for dialogue sometimes) was all wrong. While his voice is lower than Beardslee’s, he’s so young-acting that it just didn’t seem right. But, throw a speech impediment in there and you’re cooking with gas — “Mama. Bearflee if eatin’ in my dif.” A lot like a Kids in the Hall character, we think. Or, perhaps, a bit like that damn Gilly from SNL. Only adorable!

I think the best way to show a day in the life of Winston, in his new home, and Beardslee, adjusting to his new brother, is a comparison. They certainly are brothers — if those two brothers are pretty much polar opposites. Their only similarities lie in cat behavior and instinct — generally sleeping, eating, and play fighting.

We weren’t fightin’ a minute ago. It’s baftime!
Beardslee’s a roly poly boy, round in every sense of the word (his head, his belly, his paws, his eyes) while Winston is sleek and long and, at times, elegant — like an Egyptian cat. Beardslee’s bad at being a cat, thanks to his hardships — he’s got nearly zero balance ability and sucks at climbing or running; Winston’s the perfect cat, even when it means he climbs too high or gets in trouble for knocking things (thank goodness, not the fish!) over. Boo acts old, even though he’s maaaaayyyybe 6 months older than Wee-Wee — he sleeps at least twice as long everyday, is slow-moving and often looks at us as if to say he’s tired of playing with his brother, take him away now. At the same time, Winston seems younger than the age we were told at the humane society — very kitten-like and playful to a fault, and adores climbing into our bed to poke and prod and play with our faces, hardly ever sleeping — always alert and almost scared of what’s happening in his invisible world. Their physical appearances (round and orange, bony thin and gray) mirror how dissimilar they are in actions. Probably why giving them a red and blue collar (and Martin toys…we name toys, too, yes…if they’re going to be such a HUGE part of our daily lives, strewn all over the house, they get personalities, too!) seemed appropriate.

Look, I handfome and purdy.

And, yet, they’re friends. Friends who fight. A lot. But who, at the end of the day, can lay close and sleep peacefully or eat right next to each other or give one another a bath. Winston has drawn some of the kitten out of Beardslee, who tries to keep up and can hold his own in a fight — heck, Beardslee generally starts them, even though Winston runs circles around him. And, yet, Boo hasn’t lost an ounce of weight from trrrrryyyyyyiiiing to chase Win up the stairs. He’s definitely more active, but I think the fight for food may have created a hoarder. Beardslee, at times, seems to be telling Winston the rules…or, perhaps leading him astray. Many a time do we find Win committing an infraction, looking guilty, with Beardslee sitting regally nearby, watching in satisfaction. Oh, brothers.

So, these are our boys. They’ve gotten quite used to each other, and we try to be fair to show the same amount of affection to both. It may sound silly, but Boo does look terribly dejected sometimes when Winston is receiving hugs and kisses. And when we relish the old face rubs Beardslee so rarely bestows upon us now, Wee seems to be saying “Wait…what? What about me?” We’re definitely getting ready for parenthood, thanks to these little rascals!


ย And, time for some gratuitous cat pictures.

Where’s MY blog?
We fight, but here are no losers.
Not sure what he’s hugging in his sleep…

Surprise! No, this isn’t Winston.
We’re thinking it’s a sibling or parent, but she’s been
residing in our garage. Too skiddish to catch. But, at least she’s got a
place to stop and grab a bite or warm shelter during the winter.
(And, no, I don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy.)

Our Cat is Greener Than We Are

While reading up on simple ways to go green in the ever-popular blogosphere, I read a short blurb from a Best Green Home Tips article stating:

“Got pets?: Let them go organic too. Many people forget their pets but currently there are many organic varieties of pet foods, green pet homes, and toys out there.”

It made me think…and furrow my brow…and do some counting (fingers were involved). Given our little guy’s daily life, around 90% of it is completely eco-friendly. Here’s the run-down:

– His very important food choices (which took us weeks to get down pat) are either all-natural, organic, or both. We use Science Diet Nature’s Best Adult Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Dinner for his everyday crunchies (we were ecstatic when we found it while looking at the Science Diet lineup, where our vet had steered us — even moreso when we discovered he LOVES it). We throw the occasional wet food down for him, too — the only brand we try to use is By Nature’s Organics line (turkey & chicken flavors ONLY). We had an issue with anything containing fish meal, regardless of its organic status. So, this stuff is not only organic and fish meal-free, but he loves it. Bonus!

– His potty time is even eco-friendly. You’ve all seen the commercial — we’ve got “World’s Best Cat Litter”. While it isn’t completely smell-free (do you emit zero smell when YOU poop?), it is pretty darn convenient and less smelly than the usual stuff. We keep an old Cool Whip container near the pan so that, whenever he goes, we can scoop it and bring it to the human commode to flush. I usually wait until he’s gone a couple of times so that we’re flushing less (our water usage has decreased A LOT since we went “mellow”). It’s strange to be so happy flushing cat feces, knowing that clay mines aren’t being stripped just for my cat’s poop. Pretty cool shhhh….stuff.

– And Boo’s #1 favorite toy is a green one that I bought for under $4 at a recent vet visit. It’s only a long dowel with a jute rope and a cute mouse (remnant fabric) at the end. He tends to love anything that “hangs” for playtime — including Mommy’s hair.

But, Beardslee hasn’t been a 100% green kitty, I’m afraid. From day one, we had gone into panic mode since he was so sick, just wanted to give him an opportunity to go potty and eat — so, poor Dave went into Hannaford (and *gulp* later, Walmart) to stock up on goods. None of it was eco-friendly, much of it was cheap. So, the cat pan is plastic. Many of the toys we have (several as gifts) are plastic. The cat tower isn’t the DIY project that I’d envisioned using old carpet for. But, we’d rather USE ’em than fill a landfill with them and be unappreciative. ๐Ÿ™‚

The “important stuff” that we have to buy regularly, though, is very green. Beardslee’s on his way to being greener than we are — and we’re so proud!