Peanut’s First Birthday

When we adopted Peanut in February, we were told he was three months old.  This gave him a November birthday.  The boys – particularly my youngest two – were very keen to celebrate Peanut’s very first birthday so they organised a little celebration party for him.  Peanut and Satchi shared a can of tuna, a special treat for them, and the humans got to eat some carrot cake.  It was sweet to see the kids making such a fuss for their cat’s birthday.  I cannot believe how much Peanut has grown in the nine months since we adopted him.  He is almost big enough to fit his ears now.

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Cat Companions

Having blogged about the introduction of Peanut to Satchi, I thought I would update on how things stand just over a month later.  In that previous post, I was hopeful that they would become friends and I am happy to report that that is indeed the case.

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The two cats are chalk and cheese in many respects –  one slow and limping; the other speedy and agile; one large, chubby and extremely fluffy; the other tiny, sleek, and slinky – they seem to work very well as an Odd Couple.  At first they seemed to set out separate territories, chilling out in different rooms, giving each other plenty of space, but gradually I found that more often than not I would come home and find them curled up together on the sofa or snoring away on the same bed.  They are also very playful together, playing chase, wrestling, playing hide and seek, more rough and tumble wrestling.  A few weeks ago they even started grooming each other which was sweet.

They are good companions.  I think they love each other.  We are so relieved.

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Spider-Cat and the ’70s Wallpaper

Other than our “vintage” bathrooms, by far and away the renovation job Mr Pict and I most dread and which we will probably procrastinate over for at least an eon is the wallpaper in the master bedroom.  This is no ordinary wallpaper.  This is 1970s grass wallpaper, all murky browns and hairy texture and all adhered to the wall using the toughest glue imaginable.  That would be quite horrendous enough but the previous owner had wallpapered every single surface in the room: every wall, every door, the light switches, and the air vents.  It is like being in a forest of hairy wallpaper and not in a cosy fairytale either.  We console ourselves with the fact that at least it was 1970s brown that was chosen and not bright magenta.  That would be much more difficult to live with while we decide how to problem solve the wallpaper horror.

So we hate the wallpaper in our bedroom but it turns out we know someone who loves it: Peanut the kitten.  Peanut is mischievous and likes to explore.  He likes to do parkour using our furniture.  Turns out, he also loves to scale walls that are covered in hairy 1970s wallpaper.  To Peanut, our bedroom is essentially a really large scratching post.  The first time I discovered this new activity of his, I saw it out of the corner of my eye and thought I was imagining things.  But, no, my cat was scaling the walls, Spider-Man style, and was then shuffling around the ceiling level of the room like a Bat-Crab.  If Bat-Crabs were a thing.  Maybe Peanut will somehow manage to remove the hideous wallpaper for me.

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PS I still don’t have a working camera (*sob*) so that is my explanation for the cruddy phone photos.

A Tale of Two Kitties

We did not make it to two weeks before introducing the cats to each other.  It was becoming too much of a challenge to ensure that the boys, going in and out of their bedroom, were keeping Peanut sequestered and Satchi had also worked out how to open the door.  Since Peanut’s sutures had healed, we decided to start the process of letting the cats get to know each other, initially held by us and in short bursts and then for gradually longer periods until we decided we could let Peanut have the same freedom to roam as Satchi has.

The result has been quite interesting.  The two cats – one three legged and fluffy and one tiny and sleek – constantly stalk each other, tracking, hiding, pouncing.  There has been a great deal of wrestling and tussling.  It was a bit troubling at first, seeming to suggest that they would not get along, but teeth have not been bared, claws have not been out, and there has been very little hissing.

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They do have their properly friendly moments too.  I caught Satchi licking Peanut’s fur the other day (unless he was just sampling the taste of him by way of an appetiser?) and they have been sharing – mostly food (to Satchi’s scoffing advantage) but also toys and the cat tree.  I like to think this all bodes well.

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Presently, however, they mostly give each other a wide berth and do their own thing in their own spaces.  Satchi has always liked tucking himself away anyway which leaves Peanut plenty of scope to be permanently attached to a human.

Only time will tell if we made the right decision giving into our 8 year old’s plea and adopting a second cat.

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The Persuasive Letter and Peanut

Ever since we adopted our three-legged cat, Satchi, the boys have been wondering when we might adopt a second cat, a buddy for Satchi.  Our original plan had been to adopt two cats at once but that, for various reasons, did not pan out.  We wanted to give Satchi time to adjust to being a tripod, get stronger with his mobility, and generally settle in before we introduced another cat.  I began to ponder whether Satchi might want to be an only cat….

Then my 8 year old was taught persuasive writing at school as part of a unit of work on modes of writing.  He came home with this letter.

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It was a plea for a second cat.  Another cat would be company for Satchi, there would be more cats to share around between Pict family members, and it would multiply the fun in the house.  It was pretty well argued, expressed with clarity, and heart-warmingly cute.  Ugh.  How could we say no?

Mr Pict and I chewed it over for a few days and then we caved.  Persuasive writing education won out.  Along with they puppy dog eyes of four kids.

We went along to another pet adoption event run by the same organisation from whom we had adopted Satchi.  As soon as I walked in, I spotted this tiny little scrap, a wee ginger kitten.  We knew, from discussions with the vet, that we had to have a cat who was also male and was younger than Satchi.  Bingo.  And incredibly he was still available!  The place was pretty packed but nobody had put in the paperwork for this adorable wee furball.  We spent some time with him, checked all his paperwork, and – woohoo! – he came home with us.

He came with the name Peanut and, just as with Satchi, we decided he should keep his name.

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We have to gently introduce Peanut to the household and keep him and Satchi separate for a couple of weeks.  The youngest kids are delighted as it means Peanut is permanently resident in their bedroom and he is proving to be a snuggly wee thing.  My oldest son thinks he looks just like an ancient Egyptian cat and he is being treated like a tiny wee Pharaoh.

Less impressed with this new arrangement of small kittens behind closed doors is Satchi.  He wants in to meet Peanut.  He likes to hang out outside the room and sniff under the door, where Peanut is sniffling and snuffling away on the other side, and occasionally the tips of their paws meet.

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I think so far they are mostly curious about each other but I would be lying if I said I did not have some trepidation about how it is going to pan out when they first meet.  Watch this space.

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A Tale of the Tail of a Three-Legged Cat

A few weeks ago, we adopted a three legged cat named Satchi.  He instantly made himself at home and became a much loved member of the family.  The kids adore him – though he is not diplomatic enough to sleep in their bedrooms – and love looking after him, playing with him, and snuggling him.  We are so glad he joined our family.

Last week, I was arrived home and spotted a large lump of fluff on the stairs.  It was grey fluff so I knew it must have come from Satchi.  I know cat’s shed hair but it seemed like a lot to have come out in one clump.  I thought that was weird.  Then I picked it up and was even more weirded out.  The lump of fur contained a hard core.  In fact, it looked like the tip of his tail.  What the heck?  How could that be?  Satchi was dozing on the sofa, one of his favourite spots, so I stalked like a ninja over to the sofa and gently picked up his fluffy tail.  Peeling back the fur to expose the end of the tail, I saw that my instinct was correct: the tip of his tail was not on his tail; it was in my hand.

I was freaked out.

I had to go and collect my kids from school so I quickly messaged a friend of mine who happens to be a vet.  Happily she was online and got back to me very quickly and in her calm and level-headed way asked me some questions and provided some answers that reassured me.  Yes, the tip of his tail was gone but it probably was not a surgical emergency if I could not see bone, which I couldn’t.  She felt the biggest risk was from infection but since Satchi was the only pet in the household and was an indoor cat that risk was reduced.

In addition to being freaked out, I felt guilty.  I had nothing to feel guilty about but I am one of those people who feel guilt over things I have no control over, feel guilty over nothing at all.  I felt guilt that I had not prevented my cat’s tail from dropping off even though I had not the first clue what might have caused it to happen.

I phoned a vet and made an appointment.  An over the phone triage interview persuaded the vet and me that there was no emergency (Satchi did not seem bothered by the tail situation at all, there was no bleeding, and no exposed bone) so he was scheduled in for an appointment the following week.  I started to feel better: if a vet who could charge me an emergency fee did not view it as an emergency then likely all was going to be well.

That appointment was today.  Satchi was exceedingly well behaved at the clinic and was very friendly and sweet towards everyone, little charmer that he is.  And wouldn’t you know it, everything was tickety boo.  In all likelihood, the tail was damaged in whatever mishap led to the badly broken leg that had to be amputated.  The tip had just turned into a (somewhat dramatic) scab that had fallen off.  Clean bill of health.  No concerns.  Just a three legged cat now missing the tip of his tail.

Fingers crossed that no more parts of my cat come off.  My nerves can’t take it.

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A New Member of the Pict Family

My kids have been asking for a pet for the majority of years they have been on the planet.  Back home in Scotland, we did have pet cockroaches for a while.  Seven Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches.  They were fascinating creatures and pretty easy to look after but they did not quell the boys’ desire for a more cuddly pet.  The youngest two have been campaigning for a dog for a few years now.  Specifically they want a pug named Russell.  For several reasons, that was not going to happen.  However, Mr Pict and I decided that perhaps we would be willing to compromise with another type of pet.  We hoped that a pet might help the boys settle further into life here, make it feel more like home.  Mr Pict and I had had a cat before we became parents so we felt comfortable with the idea of having a cat.  We broke the news to the kids and they were ecstatic.

We decided to adopt a rescue cat so set about visiting rescue places to find the perfect cat for us.  We knew we wanted a young cat but one who was no longer a kitten and it also had to be a cat who was good around kids and tolerated lots of noise and hectic activity.  We also wanted a cat who was good with other cats since our aim is to have two so that they are buddies for each other when we are away for the day.  On Saturday, we went along to an adoption event run by the local animal control department.  We fell in love with a fluffy grey two year old cat named Satchi.  He had a rear leg amputated a week ago as he was picked up off the streets with a badly broken leg.  When we spent time with him, he was very affectionate and very tolerant of being in a confined space with four kids and two adults.  We decided he had to come home with us.

The boys are over the moon and are loving having a pet to snuggle and take care of.  Satchi is adjusting well to the Pict family home and is pretty mobile already on his three legs.  I have never had a house cat before (although I have cared for many cats before, they have all been allowed to spend time outdoors) so learning how to tweak the care regime is interesting.  Already he feels like part of the family.

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