There's been a lot to tell. I've had issues with my poor Penelope. She really hates Benny and I'm not so sure any more that Benny is thrilled with her either. Penelope had gotten very sick one day about four or five months back. Ron was actually worried enough about Penelope that he called me at work and I rushed home to get her to the vet. She ended up spending a night in the animal hospital and that about killed me.
The one vet thought her stomach distress (she had thrown up all over the house!) was due to her eating a bug, probably a spider. Benny hunts spiders and bugs so I would believe HE'D get sick over a bug, but I've never seen Penelope go after any. But, what do I know.
She was sent home from the hospital with a diet of special cat food that cost me $45 for a TEN pound bag! With cats, they eat out of whichever bowl is closer. So I made sure the new food was ok to feed Benny and I had to put both cats on it. What one eats, the other eats.
A few days later, Penelope was not much better. I took her back to the vet explaining she's still throwing up a lot. This time I saw Dr. Wood. By the way, I had fired my old vet quite awhile ago. That's a whole other story. So, I have had both cats at Dr. Wood's practice on Oberlin and Tower Boulevard. I really love Dr. Wood. Anyway, Dr. Wood went over all of the test results for Penelope and gave her a good look over and said he felt her problem was stress. Especially after I told him that Benny gave her little to no peace.
Dr. Wood explained that cats need four things to be happy. They are, in no particular order:
- Their own food bowls. Yep, got that.
- Their own litter boxes. Yep, got that too.
- Their own window to look out at the world through. Yep, had that covered.
- The ability to sleep or rest without being accosted. Um, is three out of four good??
Dr. Wood suggested separating them at night to give her at least that much peace to have some NO BENNY time. I tried to put her back in the basement for the night but she wasn't having any of it. She started her life with us in the basement and I think she just didn't want to go back there. So, I borrowed two baby gates from Linda and Larry and I put them at the top of the stairs. We kept Benny upstairs over night and Penelope would have the run of the downstairs all night long. I thought we could make this work.
Here were the baby gates. Night one, all went well. Benny slept in the office and had a food bowl and a litter box in the bathroom. Penelope was downstairs with a litter box in the mud room and a food bowl in the dining room. Good to go.
That lasted one night. Night two? At four in the morning, we had Penelope on her side of the baby gate meowing to beat the band. She did NOT like being kept out of part of the house, even if that part of the house had Benny in it!
That's her on the top step. Four in the morning, waking me up! I tried to explain that I was doing this for HER not me! She didn't care. I took the gates down and they never went back up.
Dr. Wood did give her a shot that was supposed to help calm her down and would last for six weeks. She was a little more mellow but I'm not thrilled with keeping her drugged. So we let that run out of her system in the six weeks and I didn't take her back for another dose. Dr. Wood felt they would be fine, once Benny got out of kitten hood. Based on their best guess counting back the months, we figured Benny was born last August. My goal is to hang in there until August until he got to be a year old. Well, my baby is now one, but he's still got some kitten in him!
I think he's a bit calmer. I think he and Penelope get along better than they did. I just hope I see the day that Dr. Wood promised where the two of them would be laying together and grooming each other. Yeah, I can only hope.
To show how far Benny has come, here is one of the first pictures I ever took of Benny. We brought him in on a Friday night and this was Sunday afternoon. All one pound, 11 ounces of him.
And then, a few months ago, we tried to recreate the same picture. Unfortunately, Benny's only still when he's sleeping! But you get the idea now that he's about 10 pounds.
He still likes to watch some TV with Ron though! It's a guy thing!
The kitten in him is still alive and well. He likes to get into everything! He'd watch the fish for a long time, trying to catch them through the glass. Then he learned that he could climb up on the fish tank and drink from the filter. I started counting the fish when he'd get down because I wasn't sure if he was getting good at fishing!
We've taken the fish tank down now and he misses it. He still gets up on that case he's on above and looks at the empty space like with the heck!
And then there is my five year old female, Penelope. I absolutely love her! She is a lover girl who loves kisses and to be petted and to be left alone by Benny. One of her favorite spots to lay is on the boot rug in the kitchen. I usually put the boots away after winter, but she loves to lay against them and she defends this spot from Benny, so I don't want to take away the boots. Oh well, I guess we're just ready early for next winter!
This is one of my favorite pictures of my little girl. Penelope is not much of a climber, she prefers to stay closer to the ground. Her place on the floor or on the recliner. When she needs to get away from Benny, she does like to jump up on the counter in the mudroom. Benny has jumped higher than that before but for some reason, he respects the counter. He will lay under neath her on the floor, but he won't jump up there after her. Anyway, I got one good picture of her up here.
She is beautiful! She must have known I was talking about her because I just had to take a break from typing because she came for a little visit with me. She was curled up in my lap enjoying a little ear scratching. Yeah, that can make you forget a lot of problems.
Here, Penelope is taking a little nap on the window seat in the office. You know, a cat may show you their belly, but they do NOT want you touching it. Yeah, learned that the hard way. This picture is my desk top at work. Every day I look at her and just say "aww"!
Penelope does like to climb on me. I do spend a lot of time on the couch and if I go down during the night, more times than not, she comes up to join me. A couple of weekends ago I was just laying there watching TV and luckily Ron had the camera! Me and Penelope, enjoying some girl time!
So these are my inside cats. They are both waiting at the door when I come home from work. I love that part of my day! Then, I have more cats outside that I feed. I have different relationships with each of them and if I had the money, the five outside would be inside with me. I'm getting worried about the winter already!
First, we have Hemingway. Hemingway has been coming around for a couple of years now. He comes running when I call him for breakfast and he is waiting on the porch for me when I come home from work. He's definitely got my heart!
The pictures don't do him justice. He is a beautiful little boy. This summer, I think he fathered three female kittens. I don't know where Mom is, but he has been bringing three kittens to the feeding bowls since early summer. When one of the girls is there to eat, Hemingway will always back up until they've had their share. The kittens are all gray but they have stripes like Hemingway does. I am just guessing about the paternity thing, but I don't know why else he'd be taking such good care of these kittens.
I have one picture of one of the kittens. This is Copa and she's still a little shy.
Her sisters, Lola and Cabana are also gorgeous! Then, we have a new kitten that's just been coming by for a month or so. She a tiny little thing so I'm guessing she was born about August like Benny was. Her name is Tinker! I'll try to get more pictures.
Some things don't change. I'm still allergic to the damn cats, and some days, this happens to me.
But you know what? I can live with this.
These cats have really changed my life. I love them and like I said, if I had the money, ok and the patience, I'd bring them all in. Integrating new cats is NOT an easy thing to do.
No matter how bad my day is, these guys all make it better. Pulling into the driveway after work, there will be Hemingway on the porch, meowing at me as soon as he sees me. The three older kittens used to be here twice a day but I've only seen Copa lately. She's usually waiting on the porch for me after work too. My little Tinker kitty is a morning girl. I hear her out on the porch yelling at me when she's ready for breakfast! It's good to be needed!
There you go, the good in my life right now. My babies!