Tag Archives: cats

Manchas to the Moon and Back

Manchas confirmed she was not pregnant by going into an agonizing heat cycle. She was miserable. Fuzz was annoyed. Cocoa was baffled. We were at our wits’ end trying to find something to calm her. Fishy treats lasted all of 2 seconds. Catnip was sniffed up in record time by Fuzz. 

We were extra careful to keep her in the house. Her last escape was stressful for everyone. And now that we could confirm she was not pregnant, we needed to make arrangements for her sterilization. 

The space capsule came out and we corraled Manchas in it. She hated it. She hated the ride. She hated the sun and shadows. She hated the traffic. She hated the dogs at the vet. When it was our turn, we explained that she didn’t like men and that she was very fast. The vet, who was a woman, made a special note that she would take care of the operation or at least the anesthesia administering, rather than passing it off to her dad, the head vet and that she would make sure that when the capsule was opened, it would be in an enclosed space. 

Since Manchas had eaten at 5 that morning, the operation couldn’t be done until later that afternoon. So we left her there, still in the space capsule, to be picked up at 5 p.m.

We were first in line when the vet opened his doors and rushed inside for our little Manchas only to find out the vet had FORGOTTEN to give her the operation. She was still in the space capsule in the corner of the shop. He said he’d do it right then and to return in an hour. So we did.

She was totally wigged out, as is to be expected after such a trauma. The ride home was terrifying for her. When we got her home, she insisted on dragging her body from one end of the room to the other–shadows spooked her but she seemed to recognize Fuzz, Cocoa, and my feet. I tried tucking her in her basket, but she kept getting out. I finally just let her situate herself for the night–and I don’t know where she slept. Her face was filthy in the morning.

The next day she could walk better but was in obvious distress. She didn’t want to eat. Fuzz was ok with that–more food for him he thought. The vet gave us pills to give her in lieu of a daily shot since I know she wouldn’t be riding in the space capsule ever again. I tried dissolving it in milk, but she wasn’t interested. She wouldn’t eat it mushed in her food either.

By day 2 she was up and around and starting to eat. She was even more tolerant of my son and husband, at least as tolerant as not running from the room every time they approached. My son even said she let him pet her and PURRED for a few minutes. Now that’s something. By the end of the day, she had managed to remove her bandage, but she wouldn’t let anyone check her surgery site for infection. She wasn’t having any of those pills either. So we kept an eye on her and hoped for the best. 

About a week after her operation, you couldn’t even tell she’d had some major trauma. She was back to her regular, curious self. She even curled up with Fuzz again, now that those hormones were out of the way. They took up playing hide and seek in the mornings after breakfast. Manchas has a decided advantage though. Not only is she more fleet of foot than lumbering Fuzz, but she isn’t blind in one eye. They both seem to enjoy the game though, so no harm done.

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Read more about our ongoing animal antics!

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Spot the Cat

A few days after Cocoa joined the gang, my son tried to introduce the new addition to the Puppers. Fred was curious but George was jealous. He barked at Cocoa who leaped out of my son’s arms and ran to the corner of the yard, curling up on himself like a pillbug. My son was disappointed. He’d hoped they could be friends.

Since the dogs aren’t getting along, we have three walks to take in the morning, and three in the afternoon. Fred and George have priority. Then Terry, as fast as possible–Terry’s choice not ours. Finally, Cocoa. He’s small, so he doesn’t go too far, but he loves the grass. He throws himself about like a kid in a ball pit. He isn’t much interested in doing his business outside though–too many things to sniff.

Our walks have added a Where’s Waldo activity just to liven things up. The borega guy has an orange and white cat that looks like a sun-bleached Garfield. This cat has taken to my son like they are long lost buddies. It comes mewing along every time it sees us, completely oblivious to the dogs.

So each of our walks, we play Spot the Cat! Sure as anything, at some point along the walk, Garfield will appear. Sometimes it’s on a rock, waiting like the Cheshire Cat. Other times it is in the cornfield, just watching us pass. 

Fred and George are absolutely stunned at Garfield’s presence, every single time. They freeze and it takes some coaxing to get them started again. Terry, when he takes the time to notice, tries to attack. The new leash has proven its mettle. Cocoa can’t see Garfield over the clover and has no reaction whatsoever. 

We’ve recently realized that Garfield is actually a Mrs. Garfield, and a pregnant one at that. She now not only appears on our walks but follows us home meowing piteously for food. She’ll only accept food from my son for whatever reason. And since she’s eating for 23 (or so my son says) she comes morning, noon, and night for more vittles. 

I think she’s taken up residence in my sister-in-law’s house and that’s where the kittens will appear. Time will tell!

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Cat Accomadations

Fuzz, our newest feline addition to the Flores animal kingdom, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Since he’s the first indoor pet we’ve had here, we’ve had to step up our game and make some cat accommodations. 

We’ve discovered that although he’s perfectly capable of opening the screen door to the back porch where his litter box is, he isn’t always so inclined to do that. I’ve had to set barriers around my indoor plants. 

The downstairs fireplace is another area he’s designated as a “bathroom” area. Since he managed to find a way through the stacked boxes we set up as a barrier, we had fireplace screens made by the local herrero (blacksmith). Screens for both chimneys cost $600 pesos and are simple but effective in keeping the cat out. 

I pestered my husband to make a ledge that Fuzz could look out the upstairs window from. We even risked reduced social distancing and bought a few boards at the maderaria for that to happen. He did make an extension, but it’s not wide enough. So stacked some boxes on the table that he could lie on to look outside.

My son also set up a lounging spot in front of his window with his archery target and some books as steps. Fuzz spends hours there watching the world go by. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like his soft squishy bed much. He prefers snoodling in our bed, which isn’t exactly the most comfortable sleeping arrangements, especially when he has tuna farts. 

I bought a few toys for the Fuzzer. He promptly lost all the balls and chewed the string on the chasing toy apart. So I bought this three-level ball spinner. The balls stay in the slots. I also picked up a scratching board to try and save my imitation pleather chairs from harm, fat lot of good it did. Who knew an indoor cat would need so many things!

Fuzz has also gone through 2 more of his nine lives. The first incident was when he got himself covered in motor oil. Then in the space of three days, he had two more near-death experiences. It makes me think I’m not a good pet parent. 

The next incident was probably my fault. Fuzz has been exploring past the tinacos (water storage containers) on the new garden roof, which we don’t want. So I thought I’d deter him by using the hose to spray the area in front of where he was exploring to get him to come back because he’d gone as far as Lady’s roof and I couldn’t reach him. However, instead of retreating, he lept sideways, falling off of the roof. He wasn’t hurt but immediately, George and Fred came a-running to see what was up and that really freaked him out. He hadn’t expected to fall into the dog pit! 

Neither dog attacked Fuzz who had puffed up three times his normal size. George got a little too close to give this furry creature a good sniff, and Fuzz scratched his nose. As soon as I saw Fuzz fall, I hollered for my son to help. Meanwhile, I made my way back into the house and down the stairs to the rescue while my son held the dogs. Fuzz was shaken, gave me a few scratches when I picked him up, but otherwise no worse for wear.

The third event I still don’t know what to think about. I bought some Whiskas at the Bodega to try instead of the cheapy brand I had been buying. Well, no sooner had Fuzz gotten a good bite or two when he started puking his guts out. It was awful! I put him outside to try and clean him up but he kept retching. 

My son stayed with him with some milk. We added a little bit of activated charcoal since we are always paranoid about poisoning having lost so many animals that way. Realistically, no one could have poisoned the food since it is always upstairs, inside, but hey, we never thought Puppy, Lil’Pup, or any of our other animals would die that way either. 

Eventually, the vomiting stopped. We cleaned the poor little guy up and tucked in him for the night. He slept most of the next day, exhausted, but by the next evening, he was eating again. Needless to say, that can of food was tossed and I went back to feeding him the cheapy brand.

Fuzz has done a pretty good job of training us so far. With only one angry poo incident under my son’s bed, we now jump to meet his every need. Then Sir Cocoa Beans joined us. 

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