Thursday, April 27, 2023

The dust has settled

Kitty has established her household order. She gets up from the end of the bed, or from under the chair, when I get up, at 8 a.m. or earlier. After that initial dash to the bathroom, I make the bed and get dressed. Kitty stays close, she knows these drills and when to insert herself. So, when I sit down to sort the day's pills, and take them, Kitty decided the rattle is her first summons for treats, and there she is, face expectant.

If I do not give her a treat soon enough, she simply moves on, to play with a toy or go to her food bowl. If I shake the treat can, she does appear. If she goes to bed for the day, she does not reappear. I had my chance and didn't use it. She does make sure I know she went to bed, she gets my attention and then obviously crawls under the edge of the bed covers, or into the bottom of the chair.

Feeling guilty over the lack of a "real" Kitty bed, I bought one for her. What a disaster. The first night I put it under the chair, so she would step into it on her "way to bed." In the morning I learned the eight pound cat could man handle a three pound bed. It was dragged from under the chair and left in the middle of the studio area. 

I put it between the chair and sofa, and put treats in it. Next morning the bed was moved and the treats gone. I put it back between the chair and sofa and did not replace the treats. It seems to be an impasse now. She does not move it and I don't put in treats. If she uses it, I do not know. So I will leave it there and see if she changes her mind.

This toy is the bulk of Kitty's play things. She also has the stripped rag in the first picture, a cardboard tube from the weaving thread and a tennis ball. That latter she never seems to use, and the tube seldom. The ball toy is her preference. I would like to get her another toy. I will get some ping pong balls soon. I can put some in this toy and see how long it takes her to learn she can pry out the white balls, but not the colored.

The only other toy I've looked at looks like a small Slinky. It does not behave like Slinky, but only looks like a small section.  The size makes me reluctant. Suggestions about the toy I've seen, and other cat toys, will be appreciated.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Domesticating my Torti

I've had this cat since February 11th. It was rapidly apparent to me I'd acquired a street-wise cat, as there was no account of her life for the five years until she was captured, hurt, on the street. and surrendered to a vet hospital. In the beginning she hid from everyone. If captured, she bolted at the first opportunity, and still does.

Whenever I move, if she is in the room, she fixates on my feet, being sure they do not represent a threat to her. I suppose, in her life there was a time when she was kicked about. I use the treats to gain her trust. So far she eats from my hand, but will not eat from the chair beside me. Worse yet, if my foot shifts a millimeter, she bolts and hides.

I decided to get her to trust my feet. First I fed her from my hand, then put the treats on my shoe.

She was sorely tempted, but just couldn't pull the trigger. She turns away to her safe place, up inside the chair.

I called her back with a tongue noise I make. "Tsk, tsk, tsk." She finds it a comfortable sound. This time she inched and inched closer and finally took the treats from my shoe.

Then she cleaned herself, as she does after any satisfactory nosh.

Then she climbed into her safe place, under the chair.

This is a breakthrough, I think. It will be treats on my shoe for the rest of the week, and then it will be treats beside me, on the red chair, and I'll see where we go from there.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Current state of affairs

First, me. I believe I am relying too much on my sister to take care of me. She took me to a doctor appointment this week that took a whole afternoon. I didn't drive because I was told the Check Engine light was on, and that discourages me. 

I've pretty much decided to quit driving and start using either Uber, or a local service. The first opportunity is a month away, and I'll postpone judgement until then. I've turned selling the car over to Beth. It's a Subaru, which she dotes on. I find I should have left well enough alone and kept the old Dodge, that I understood. The Subi is too complicated for me, and I think I'm a danger on the road trying to figure it out.

Tom drove it home from the doctor to my apartment, and in his very typical manner, nothing was returned to its original configuration.  So, now I have learned how to send the front driver's seat forward and back, up and down. Best learned in the parking lot, stationary, as I was this morning, thinking I needed to get to the dealer to turn off the Check Engine light. Which was not glowing this morning. I know how to leave well enough alone. I'll simply turn the paperwork over to Beth and walk away.

I'm working at getting stronger every day. The two weeks I was laid up took some stuffing out of me. It's no use being unhappy with the current state of affairs being unnecessarily inflicted on me. No matter how I wound up with a perforated lung, now I must get over it; get stronger and better. 

The only "excitement" in my life is my cat, who does little to acknowledge me.

She does have a routine established. I am the source of treats, and she now asks for treats, as in the picture. She stares at me until I pass out at few. She never puts herself in danger of being caught. Remember, I am very limited, physically. She darts away from any touch or contact. So, I am in my desk chair and Kitty is requesting treats.

Kitty does sleep under the feather comforter as much as possible. During the day, when I am not here, she hops on the bed and slithers between the comforter and sheet. At night, when I am in bed, she enters from the foot of the bed and stops before my knee. So, I am at a loss what to do to enhance this relationship. I do need to move "treats" to a bigger chair. Sounds like a plan for this weekend.

And my weekend excitement includes going with Beth for a pedicure. My first ever! Woo-hoo. And, a new decoration for my door:

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Reclaiming my own(?)

What a lark for Kitty, the two weeks I was away. She led all her "keepers" on a merry chase. Kitty did not behave in any unusual way; but like the tortie she is. If cornered, with no apparent escape route, she will submit to most anything. But her eye always searches for an escape, and given opportunity, she is gone!

Kitty appears for treats, but that is the only time she appears when "called". Saying "Kitty, Kitty, Kitty" does not move her. No special food, except the rattle of the treat can, moves her.

Cats with overall markings of black and red are tortoise shell cats, or Torties. Most have been observed to have an attitude, or Tortitude. If that includes the "meow", I do not know. I've never heard even a squeak from Kitty. Neither have I heard her purr.

Kitty has a completely unknown history, some of which can be deduced. When found on the street and turned over to the Akron Animal Protective League, she was both chipped and neutered. My guess is that spunky kitten she must have been, on returning from a vet after that experience, she took advantage of an open door and bolted.

She may have lived on and off with people who did not know she was "fixed". She was found on the street, injured. She was captured, taken to a vet hospital where she was treated, and then turned over to the APL in Akron, from which I adopted her and registered her chip.

You'll remember I reported her extremely reclusive. I barely had sight of her, and except for changes in the food bowl, had no idea she lived here. I came to terms with interactions solely over the treat can and decided I could wait her out.

Then real life interfered and I went away for two weeks. Ever so many kind people stepped in to interact with Kitty. My sister. My grandson. The staff here at the Atrium. At one point they feared she may have made an escape, and in the search pulled all the furniture out from the walls. There she was, easily captured and then passed from hand to hand, petted and cooed up, and happy to escape to under the bed at the first opportunity.

Eventually she took to "under the bed covers", and being  petted and released back under the covers. That was status quo when I returned, Tuesday afternoon. When I went to bed, she was in a tunnel by the wall. I did not disturb her, and watched and felt her slither to the end of the bed and disappear.

When I took a shower the next morning, she appeared in the bathroom and observed. Same place in bed that night, same disappearing act. Then last night, she was in the middle of the bed. Finally I had to actually disturb her for my place in bed! I felt all legs, and was amazed at how easily she slid closer to the edge of the bed. I cannot imagine Toby being displaced short of uncovering and lifting him bodily from the bed.

So, I slid in beside her. For sometime I could feel her against my side, at my waist. As I drifted off, she moved to the end of the bed and was gone. Then, with a great ring from the alarm, it was morning and up I came, to turn it off.

It will be interesting to see her "entitlement" tonight. She does not offend me, she is so easy to shift. And perhaps it's all part of testing me, to see if I have a limit. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum

I had a routine six month appointment with my doctor last month., which I was anxious to keep because my legs had been swelling. I figured I was in for another round of Lasix, the darn "pee pill".

The doc mildly chewed me out for not making a special appointment to come in, listened to my heart and lungs and did not like what she heard. She took an EKG, which she did not like at all. The "spaces were too far apart." She sent me to the emergency room, which also was unhappy with my "symptoms".

The ER recommended being admitted to the hospital for an assessment. From my 1 p.m. appointment with my doctor, I lay on the ER gurney until 9 p.m. at night until a hospital bed opened and I was transported by ambulance to the Cleveland Clinic, downtown Akron. 

In spite of the hour I was put on a heart monitor and given a full assessment. They told me my heart rate was occasionally dropping below 30 beats per minute, and they were recommending a pace maker, a simple procedure. It would happen the next day or the day after, another day of observation and back home.

This was Monday, March 20th. I got the pacemaker on Wednesday, I think, and woke up with it in place, and a perforated lung. The fellow who placed the pacemaker told me it was because I was so tiny. I said it was not my fault. He did apologize.

So, I stayed in the hospital, having my lung plugged. That and the eventual removal of the drainage plug were painful, but quick. By Sunday they were willing to release me, and I sprung for it. By the time I was back in this chair, I knew I'd made a mistake not staying another day (and surely be punctured by more needles). I was in a lot of pain. I went to bed to sleep it off.

Come morning, no improvement. I called Blake to come help with the cat for the duration, and asked to move from Independent to Assisted Living. A new big mistake. In AL, one has no rights. The new story:

Monday and Tuesday I joined in the activities, and met up with a couple of previous IL residents, Big and Little Marge. Tuesday night I contracted the Lurgy sweeping the facility. Vomiting all night, then diarrhea. For two days I made it to meals, as required, but could not eat. I essentially spent the next four days sleeping, bringing the time line to Sunday, when I felt human and could get to the dining room with no rests. 

I joined back in the community activities and worked on walking strength. I had been asking for release back to IL, but the AL staff wanted me to stay thirty days. They didn't think I was up to it. I insisted on an assessment, which I did get today, I was released because I had friends here in IL management advocating release. They were tired of hearing from me!

That's what happened. Because of the pacemaker, I am physically better than when I left. I was winding down before it happened.  The pacemaker increased my stamina tenfold. So far I'm not dozing off during the day. And, I'm back where I'm happy. Just two weeks late.