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November 2001

Lippy finally settled down somewhat. She now sleeps most nights curled up on the bed with us. She gets along well with Simber and Lucy, except that Lucy has her on the Black List since Lippy came home from the vet (she got "tutored"!). I don't get it.... She is beginning to show signs that she may, in fact, be a cat, as she is starting to demand lap time. She still doesn't much care to be picked up for more than a few minutes, and she lets us know by using a vocabulary that is especially, um, colorful for a cat as young as she is. 

Simber is settling in to winter mode, which means he spends most of his time sleeping in the house instead of sleeping outside. He brought in a not-quite-dead pigeon a few weeks back, along with a rat or two. Except for carnivore breath, he's a very sweet cat.

Lucy has appropriated a cat bed that we bought for Lippy. It is, of course, entirely too small for Lucy's vast bulk, but she insists on squeezing herself into it. She rests her chin on the edge, so we think she may like it because it keeps her airway open <chuckle>. She continues to begin purring whenever we either say her name or walk into the room.

August 2001

Criminey! Time flies! The cats recovered from the construction pretty well. 

Unfortunately, Selina (Kitty) died Memorial Day weekend of 2000. We were absolutely heartbroken, to say the least. 

Simber and Lucy... hey, wait a minute, you say -- who's Lucy? Lucy is a wonderful cat who came to us at Kim's office, having apparently been recently dumped, in November of 1996. She weighed about 8 pounds and was about nine months old, and made herself perfectly at home, wandering down the halls and into exam rooms. Kim brought her home that day, and she's been here ever since.

Lucy went through some interesting times. We had her spayed (nothing especially interesting there). But when we brought her back from the vet's office, we were positive he had removed her brain instead of her uterus, as she persisted in galumphing all over the house in a very energetic fashion for weeks and weeks.

Kitty and Lucy were in a constant struggle, as Lucy seemed to think she should be the queen of the house. Simber wisely remained neutral in the conflict. Despite the battles, Lucy was very sad when Kitty died, and Simber was absolutely mournful. It took them (and us) awhile to adjust.

Perhaps because of her sojourn on the streets, Lucy loves her food. She has been steadily gaining weight, so that she now weighs 19 pounds. She has butt cheeks and neck rolls. You can pick her up by her love handles. Her belly almost drags the floor. But she walks with a hippo-like daintiness, and has become ever more bonded to us. I've never known a sweeter cat -- she will purr if we just walk into the room.

While Lucy is not as smart as Kitty was, she knows her name. She will play an odd sort of fetch sometimes. And if she is watching a bird through the window and the bird flies out of view to one side or the other, she will go into the appropriate window to try and spot her -- even if the window is in a different room. Smart cat!

Simber is up to 15 pounds now. He is also an exceptionally affectionate cat -- our big orange tabby. He often sleeps between us with his head on the pillow. He is the hunter in the family, despite not having any front claws (not our doing!). He has brought in several more wood rats, a few mice, a pigeon(!), a few smaller birds, and several squirrels. He has a pretty soft mouth, so most of the time we are able to get him to release the poor terrorized critters, distract him, and get the victims outside, where they quickly disappear to safety.

But he met his match one fall night the year before last with a rat. This was not a cute little wood rat. This was a RAT that he caught and brought in. This thing had an body almost eight inches long, and a tail on top of that. And it was very much alive. The first I knew about it was a thumping in dining room, followed by a hiss. I went out there to see Simber on the floor watching this rat, who was perched on the top of the back of one of the dining room chairs, hissing at Simber. The rodeo continued for several minutes, with Simber catching the rat, not being quite sure how to "eat the elephant", and then letting it go again briefly. Sometimes the rat actually had the upper hand, I think. Simber finally took the thing to his food dish and began eating the now-exhausted rat's tail. At this point, Kim prudently dispatched the rat by breaking it's neck with a cleaver (the blunt side, mind you). Simber then gratefully ate the rat in the space of about ten minutes, and then looked somewhat ill for the remainder of the evening.

The next week, a similar incident occurred with a slightly smaller rat. Sheesh!

There was also an incident about this same time where an even larger nasty black rat came into the house via the cat door and tried to take up residence. This guy was crafty. It took Simber AND Lucy two days to corner the thing. The victory was announced in the middle of the night with very loud SQUEEEEAK! from the living room. Kim and I, upon entering, found two cats proudly standing over one dead rat.

A few weeks ago, Simber and Lucy acquired a new playmate named Lippy. Our friend Angel down the street had a litter of kittens looking for homes, so we decided after much deliberation that it was time for another cat. Lippy is a silver tabby now about 12 weeks old. She is absolutely full of energy, and growing like a weed. After a week or two of mutual hissing and growling, everyone is settling down a bit. Lippy spends a large amount of her waking energy attacking the other two, but it's play now -- at least until Simber and Lucy want to take a nap. 

Lippy, while a very pretty cat, seems to have been shortchanged in the brains department. She also eats almost anything, including rose petals, lettuce, and risotto. She tolerates a harness well, and has been on several walks with us. She doesn't mind riding in a car, as long as she's not in a cage. There is nothing she hates more than being shut away from her audience. She still hasn't learned that cats are supposed to be petted, etc., but she's making progress. About once a day we manage to entice a purr out of her. 

Occasionally, Lippy even sleeps, but rarely at night. So, she spends most nights locked in the bathroom, which she detests. Except for the locking up, it's a bit like having a rapidly growing human child -- except this one will never go to college or have kids....

October 1996

Let's see….what have the cats been up to lately?

The cats did not deal with construction noise (jackhammers, saws, etc.) especially well. They spent a lot of time outside in the neighbor's yard this summer.

For several weeks, these two skirmished over sleeping rights on our hideous blue chair. They finally came to some sort of agreement that allowed them to share it. So, there were several nights when they draped themselves over each other and shared the chair. After a few days of this, apparently they both decided that it wasn't worth the effort and they agreed to abandon the chair completely.

Selina has gone back to her old habit of finding a new weird place to sleep every week or so. Recent spots have included the lid of the toilet, bookshelves, on top of my old dot-matrix printer, and the laundry hamper.

Simber weighs in at about 13.5 pounds now.

We were working on the roof one night (yes, with work lights) trying to beat the rains when we heard Simber yowling. We had noticed that both cats' sense of what is right in the universe seemed to scream ALERT! whenever we were spotted up on the roof, so the yowling wasn't anything new. The yowling started getting closer, though. That's funny. Suddenly there was a big orange face emerging from the darkness and into the circle of the work light on the roof, accompanied by a very loud yowl. The combination of the two made us nearly jump out of our skins. Yes, Simber had found a way to get onto the roof and had come looking for us to inform us that we should stop for the night. He walked right along the ridge and came right up to us.

February 1996

The latest in Simber's hunting stories is the wood rat that he brought into the kitchen to play with during our cold snap. He apparently caught it outside and brought it in (unhurt) to the kitchen to "play" with it. The rat decided to make tracks and hid behind the stove. We arrived to find Simber staring very intently behind the stove. When we looked, we were greeted by a very frightened little face with soft brown eyes. Being the softies that we are, we caught the poor little guy with a jar and a piece of cardboard and let him go outside. We tried to tell Simber what a good hunter he was and how clever he was, etc., but he remained convinced for the remainder of the day that there was still a rat behind the stove.

January 1996

The cats are getting along much better now. They regularly rub noses, and occasionally wrestle playfully. Simber was making the most horrible racket yowling at night, but he seems to have settled down now. We let him out for the first time (after teaching him how to use the cat doors). He now happily wanders in and out all day. He has put one some more weight, I think. He frequently sits down in the basement keeping me company as I work We also found out that he is quite the hunter, after he brought in a half-eaten pigeon that he caught. Yes, I said pigeon.

Selina is just the same, although we have noticed that we seem to have accomplished one of our goals in getting Simber: Selina is no longer compulsively licking herself (i.e. she's not bored anymore).

December 1995

As you probably know, we have had our cat, Selina, since the summer of 1992. She is mostly 10.5 pound spayed female Maine Coon, with a touch of something else mixed in. She is a pretty cat (photo to come), but she's also neurotic and quite demanding. Since we moved to Salem, she has gotten increasingly lazy, despite my installing cat doors for her this fall.

So, after lots of thought over the past couple of months, we decided it was time to get her a companion. On Monday, December 11, we paid a visit to the Humane Society of the Willamette Valley. We looked at lots of cats. We talked with them, took them out and played with them, petted them, and tried to get to know them. After more than an hour of this, we made up our minds and adopted Simba, an 11.5 pound neutered male mixed breed. He's a handsome cat, too (photo to come). After a few days, we decided to change his name to Simber, after a cat in one of Katherine Kurtz's Deryni short stories. What a great cat! This guy has got to be the most unflappable cat I have ever met. Mellow is his middle name. Those of you who know Selina know that she is a serious lap slut: if there is a lap, she'll take it.. Simber's worse….

Selina is taking all of this pretty well. She is used to being the queen of the house, so this is a big change. She has hissed a couple of times, but now she'll condescend to being on the same couch with Simber, so long as there are a few feet separating them. We've been giving her lots of extra attention, but she's still a little sulky (no surprise). They even rubbed noses briefly last night.


Page created 12/22/95 by Michael Heggen.
Last updated 03/17/03 14:36.
1995 by Michael Heggen. All rights reserved.

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