Over Thanksgiving my brother informed the family that he would be moving to Holland for about 6 months beginning in January. He then said he was going to ask me to do one of two things; either keep his bees, or care for his cats. While I thought having a coupl-a boxes of bees would be cool, you know free honey n’ all, I had the inkling my neighbors might not agree. Though I am much more of a dog person that a cat person, I like cats, his cats are pretty cool, I could handle three cats for six months. At least that was my thinking prior to the arrival of cat #1.
See, my brothers cats were cool because I didn’t live with them. Having lived with one of them for a week I’ve decided that the cats will definitely be not as cool as they were when I just saw them occasionally. Cat #1, Lilo, the $15,000 cat, is VERY affectionate. He follows me from room to room, tries to hop on my lap whenever and wherever I sit down (you should be including the toilet in your reading of that sentence. On more than one occasion I’ve had to say to him, “Get out of here! I don’t invade your space while you’re doing your business!) I do my best to discourage his jumping in my lap, but he’s cute and he purrs a lot so I give in more than I discourage which is bad pet parenting, I know. Oh, I’ve also been startled awake a few mornings as he plays “I’m not touching you!” by putting his nose millimeters from my face. Point is, he’s always vying for attention, butting his head into me, following me around, and tricking me with his purring. This behavior is making him less cool and is going to take a while to get used to.
~Lilo the $15,000 cat.
A point in favor of Lilo’s coolness is that he plays, or rather played, fetch. I had left a Gatorade lid on my coffee table which Lilo thought smelled pretty good so he picked it up in his mouth, carried it across the table and dropped it on the floor. He stared at it for a second or two, then hopped down and picked it up again, got this look on his face like, “What the heck am I doing, and what should I do next?”, then dropped the cap.
Just for the heck of it I picked it up and tossed it a few feet away. He jauntily pranced over to it, picked it up….and brought it back! He actually dropped it within my reach, so I tossed it again and BAM he brought it back! None of my dogs were ever that good! This went on for a good 20 minutes or so until he lost interest. I have since tried to get him to fetch the cap again to no avail; that’s more like a cat. I’ll keep trying.
A few things I’ve learned, and at least one I wonder, so far as I begin caring for my brothers cats:
1. There are many things I should’ve thought about and prepared for but didn’t, like where am I going to put the litter box? how big should it be? how many times will I have to scoop it? (Guest room, big, every day.)
2. Am I even getting the needle in the right place? (Lilo is diabetic, I have to give him two shots of insulin a day. My brother has spent $15,000 on him so far, but has told me if he gets sick again I should consider it a DNR situation; my plan is to make sure he doesn’t get sick.) Am I poking him in the same spot everyday? What if I am? Do the syringe holes heal quickly? This is a lot of pressure.
3. Cat litter does not stay in the litter box. (I actually knew that already but forgot how far it can migrate.)
4. Don’t put beverages on the arm of the arm chair. (Lesson learned when Lilo jumped up on the arm of the arm chair.
5. I should buy furniture covers for my leather furniture.
6. I’m going to have to sweep and vacuum more.
7. Cats can play fetch.
8. Lilo drinks a lot of water.
9. Lilo’s turds are huge; not sure why I thought cat turds would be small, but I did not expect them to have the heft they do…oh, god, there are two more cats coming.
10. What do I do with the litter? Does it go in the regular garbage or the green waste can? I mean, the stuff made by the cat is definitely ‘green’ waste, but I don’t think the litter itself is.