Category Archives: 3 eyes and 7 legs

Enough About Me, Let’s Talk About My Cats (and Dogs)

I was just thinking that P’s next birthday in January will mark the start of our third year with the cats. Looking back it hardly seems like it has been that long. I have never lived with totally housebound cats without also having dogs in the mix before. I’ve got to say that cats are the way to go. The cats are so much easier to care for compared to dogs (at least my dogs). I think I would like to own a dog again in my life but I would want to have a schedule or situation that allowed the family to spend a lot of time with the dog. I still feel very guilty about the extended periods of time that I spent away from my dogs. When I was cooking and working at Bouley I would be gone from the apartment for 12-14 hours a day. I had a roomate but she wasn’t responsible for their care and attention, I was.  I read this piece in the NY Times the other day and it really got me thinking of my own “bad” dogs. While they were never aggressive like the author’s dog they had extremely bad doggie manners (i.e., jumping up, barking, whining, destructive, general disobedience) and I constantly blamed myself for my failings as a good citizen dog trainer/whisperer. I think that the dogs were happy with our life together but that is probably because they didn’t know any better. I loved them very much and they definitely knew that. Now how ’bout those cats?

bonnie mirror

My daughter’s shot of Bonnie with a mirror

BONNIE – For someone so tiny and obviously physically vulnerable, Bonnie is an extremely independant little cat. She is much less cuddly than Ponyo and rarely seeks us out for laptime. Even when she does so she seems to just want to hang out with you and doesn’t really want you to pet her that much. She is officially P’s cat and I know P wishes that she was a little mushier in temperment but that doesn’t stop P from trying to pick her up all the time. One time I was on my bed watching TV with Bonnie. We were both just chilling. We heard P coming up the stairs and I swear Bonnie let out a tiny yet audible *sigh*.  I am so glad that we stuck it out with her. Mr Awesome loves her but he wanted to return her to the shelter many many times in the beginning. It took her a lot longer to get the hang of not stepping in her own poop/diarreah than was acceptible to us or any one with a working nose or healthy fear of germs would.

ponyo holds on

Ponyo holding on in Mr Awesome’s lap

PONYO – Ponyo is such a funny cat. She has a lot of quirks and personality. She is a Chatty Cathy and punctuates her movement with little chirps and comments. I love that she still hasn’t lost her kitten-ish outlook. She loves to play with us or Bonnie but will also amuse herself for long periods with a cat toy or crumpled up piece of paper. When they both turned a year old I thought that I had to increase the amount of wet food I gave them from the recommended kitten amount to the recommended adult amount. It was essentially double the portions. Ponyo loves to eat and so she of course finished whatever I gave her. I noticed soon after that she became a lot more lethargic and slept a lot more when we were around with the extra food. Since they always have access to dry food if they like I decided to cut the wet food back to the kitten level and Ponyo soon started acting like herself again. They don’t seem to miss the extra food and it also cuts down on the cost. Ponyo is a large, solid cat and I really think the extra food would have done more harm then good. She is also very cuddly and is always looking for laptime especially from Mr Awesome. I love her pretty face, even without a full-sized right eye. We were told at the shelter that she had been previously adopted by someone who had to return her so I feel very fortunate to have her in our family. She is truly unique and plays a mean piano too.

I love all of my girls!!

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3 Eyes and 7 Legs

My daughter turned 9 in January and we decided to finally get her a kitten. Our last cat passed away two years ago this past Christmas and it was feeling like time to have a pet again. My kitty boyfriend Quarter was filling my pet need void for a while two summers ago but we barely saw him in the last year. I’m hoping that someone decided to finally take him in but I still fear the worst. He was special and I was heartbroken when I couldn’t get Mr Awesome to agree to make him ours.

When we decided to get a kitten for Piper we started searching petfinders for needy kitties in our area. We were happy when we found this wonderful shelter nearby. Going through the listings we saw Ponyo.

Ponyo!

Our first look at Ponyo the cat

We loved her name (because we loved the movie) and her little one-eyed face. She was found in the middle of the road with an infection in her right eye that was so bad she almost lost it. Ponyo was shy but somehow Mr Awesome managed to bond with her. While at the shelter we were led to the kitten room where we met Ponyo and about 10 other adorable kittens of varying ages. My daughter focused in on only one of them. A tiny grey kitten who was dragging her front leg around as she moved around the room.

Bonnie the day we met

We were told that her name was Bonnie and she had an even more harrowing story. Bonnie was found in the woods. She was the sole survivor of her litter who had been attacked by an animal. A lady heard her crying and brought her to the shelter. Her lower lip was detached from her jaw and she didn’t put any weight on her front right paw. The doctor fixed her lip and eventually determined that they wanted to amputate her leg because it had extensive nerve damage. They fear it would eventually become infected or lose circulation and it’s better to remove it now.

We never intended to bring home two kittens but somehow it just happened. We had to wait until after the New Year to bring them home since we were going away for the holiday and Bonnie wasn’t going to be fully recovered until then.

We brought home Ponyo home first in early January and she seemed to settle in very quickly. She was a cuddly sweet girl right from the start. Three weeks later Bonnie was deemed ready to come home too but now I question that decision. She was just getting off the heavy antibiotics she was on right after surgery and it was suggested we put a “little newspaper” around the litterbox because it could “be a little messy”. A little messy would not be the words I would have chosen to describe the stinking molten lava I saw coming out of her butt that first time. Yum! The diarrhea combined with her lack of balance made her frquent trips to the litterbox fun for the entire family. Ponyo didn’t know what to make of Bonnie and seemed genuinely pissed at us for bringing the interloper in. We really questioned if we had done the right thing. Bonnie was sweet and all but it was difficult to deal with her unsanitary condition and her effect on our Ponyo. Of course we went about it all totally wrong and didn’t separate them from the beginning but I know better now.

We had Bonnie treated for coccidia which seemed to improve her poop somewhat and switched around her food which seems to be helping as well. Her poop still isn’t exactly right but at least she’s learned to keep it off her most of the time.

We love her now and even though Mr Awesome likes to remind me that the shelter will take her back no questions asked for the rest of her life don’t see her doing that. She’s got a great spirit and doesn’t seem to be held back by only having 3 legs at all. Ponyo loves her now too and they love to chase each other all over the place. Bonnie can jump like any other cat and is faster than Ponyo at high speeds. Her walking gait is a little clunky but she makes it work. Piper is so proud of her little tripod and I like that we gave two special needs kitties a good home. They want and give as much love as anyone else. I had forgotten what joy a pet brings to your life. I missed that and think I really need it in my life.

Our family feels complete now.

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