More Dusty

Dusty continues to strike cute and photogenic poses. Here he is on the front porch, scrunched up against the front of the house.

And here he is in his “Whoa mama! I fell to my death off the porch!” pose.

The cats will do almost anything to find a slightly cooler place to lie down these days.

Old Zeke

On Wednesday the dogs and I took our first walk after I decided Zeke didn’t need to walk two miles in the Georgia July heat. We turned around at the halfway point. The dogs would have happily gone further, but they don’t ask questions, so they were happy enough to turn around.

Zeke had been walking pretty slowly on the way back up the mountain for some time. I noticed, but didn’t necessarily attribute it to old age. We have had Zeke for 11 years, and he was fully grown when we got him. He’s at least 12, maybe older, and that’s getting pretty old for a big dog like Zeke.

I think I see graying in his face, but it’s hard to tell. Here he is in December 2008.

And here he is on Wednesday.

I tried to get him to stand up so I could get a frontal shot of his face, but he was lying the floor, cooling off after our walk, and he didn’t want to get up.

I showed Leah these two shots without telling her which was which, and asked her which one she thought showed Zeke as older. She picked the one from 2008. I really can’t see much difference in the pictures, but when I look at him it seems like I should be able to.

He has always been an active dog, or at least as active as we can let him be. He still plays with Sam like a puppy, although he seems to prefer wrestling while lying on the street. The signs of aging are subtle so far, but I think I see them. Even so, once the damned heat retreats, I think we’ll be seeing what’s going on a little further down the road.

Oops

When we picked our new cat Mollie up from the vet’s on Tuesday afternoon, we found out that she had already been spayed. The vet looked for a scar when we first took her in, but didn’t see one. When she did the surgery, she thought the scar from the original surgery was too jagged to be a result of surgery. So she went ahead and opened her up.

She wasn’t able to eat much that evening, but her appetite has returned. This is her walking away from her bowl after eating some cat food Friday night.

The shaved area on her abdomen is barely visible in front of her right rear leg.

We have been letting her out occasionally but Leah is not comfortable leaving her outside without monitoring her. She doesn’t do much but walk around curiously for a while and then lie down under the truck with Smokey. It’s been in the 90’s and very humid here, so neither Leah nor I are keen on standing around chaperoning her for very long.

Two cats

We like to catch Dusty in odd poses. Here he’s doing the classic “raise your back leg if you want to ask a question”:

Here he is again doing the magician’s “cut the cat in two” trick:

But enough about Dusty. What about the new cat? Well, the new cat is named Mollie, at least for now, and only to the two humans in the house.

Mollie seems to be completely oblivious to her name, as well as apparently to any attempt to get her attention. It’s odd. She likes to be petted, and she isn’t afraid of people approaching her (or of vacuum cleaners, or dogs). But she won’t come when called, and most of the time she doesn’t even glance in our direction if we call her, or make some other cat attracting noise. She keeps to herself most of the time, except when she wants to be fed. She is obviously a house cat because she can’t seem to figure out that she can relieve herself outside.

She has an unusual call. It sounds kind of like “mirp”. She also makes other strange noises. Here she is watching hummingbirds on the feeder hanging from the porch, which we can see out the front window. I hope everyone can view it and hear the noise.

Yes, that odd sound was actually her.

On Tuesday she goes to the vet to get fixed. Fortunately, we won’t have any trouble getting her into her carrier. She walks right in.

Like all cats, she likes to climb up onto things, including dog food containers.

She has found a way to get behind the bathroom vanity drawers. She wants to follow us into the bathroom, probably because we have hands and can open the drawers more easily. She also loves getting between the two shower curtains while Leah is taking a shower.

Maybe she’ll warm to us, if she can ever forgive us for the upcoming surgery. Leah says she acts like she’s eating for more than just herself, but we hope there are no baby kitties inside there.

Cat take two

The little tortoise-shell cat we found outside the garage last week seems to be at home here.

She spends a lot of the day sleeping, and much of the night. Before we go to bed she usually runs laps around the house. After all the lights are off, she settles down until some time between 3 am and 6:30 am (that’s earlier than we like to get up, being retired and all). At that time she eats what cat food has been left out for her, relieves herself in a litter box, and jumps on the bed and stares at Leah to ask her to get up and feed her some more.

She likes cat toys. Like most cats, she ends up batting them so far under something that she can’t quite reach, like a refrigerator.

We don’t want to have a litter box in the house, but we also don’t want her to wander off and get lost. Leah has been taking her out occasionally to let her wander and investigate, and, we hope, relieve herself. So far she does the wandering part OK, but not the relieving part. We wonder whether she was a house cat in her previous life. She doesn’t seem to know that she can actually do her business outside.

This cat, whose name has evolved to Molly right now, is very much like the cat Leah has been wanting for years, except she’s not Siamese, Leah’s favorite. She is friendly, likes to be petted, and doesn’t startle and run away like all of our other cats. Leah says she’s sweet and precious. She doesn’t spend a lot of time sitting with us, but has climbed up on the sofa and sat in my lap at least once. She also sometimes ends up sleeping between us in the morning.

We took her to the vet last week. The vet thinks she is around three years old, much older than we thought. She certainly acts like a kitten and she’s even smaller than Chloe, who we used to think was a small cat. She and Chloe do not get along. She also doesn’t like Sylvester much. She’s OK with Smokey. She’s great with the dogs, and the dogs seem OK with her.

We posted on a local Facebook group asking whether anyone knew anything about her. One person said she found an almost identical tortoise-shell kitten at the base of the mountain within a few days of when we found Molly. We were thinking maybe they were litter mates, but if Molly is as old as the vet thinks, that can’t be the case. Next, we thought maybe Molly was the mother, but the vet says Molly has not had a litter recently, so that pretty much rules that out, too. In any case, Molly is scheduled for an appointment at the vet’s next week, after which she shouldn’t be bringing any new kitties into the world.