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!
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.
Well, Kitty believes she is the ruler of my little front porch garden. She’s reserved a section for her litter box and another area behind the lavender for lounging. She meows at me if she feels I haven’t watered the plants enough. Once I take up the hose to do her bidding, she throws herself at my feet and lies there criticizing. She’s even attacked plants she’s unhappy with, like Jasmine and Rue. Or maybe she’s just pruning?
Although she doesn’t like some of the scented plants I added in an effort to keep her from creating more litter areas, she loves the smell of freshly washed clothes. When I bring a basket out to hang, she rushes over and crawls in the clean pile and rolls around in joy, leaving cat hair behind. Who knew that Foca detergent had such an effect on cats?
I’ve placed an old bath mat among the plants so she can watch my gardening without me accidently stepping on her tail. She has deemed it acceptable and queenly observes my actions from there. After all, she is highly offended if I accidentally get water on her while tending to my plants.
I’ve changed the size of her food dish, thinking a larger dish with more food will keep her from complaining so much. Alas, it’s not the size of the dish but the fact that she can see the bottom of it that causes her remonstrations. The same is true of her water dish. It’s now a small bucket so there’s no chance of her running out, however she gets huffy if a leaf or stray bug falls in. Her water is not PURE.
It’s difficult to manage such a furry diva but I’ve found that if I anticipate her complaints, she complains less. She might just get me trained yet.