Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meet a Cat - Grayson

Grayson is at the vet today being neutered, so in honor of that I decided to start the meet the cats series with him, the youngest member of the crazy cat house family.


Every spring and every fall we get stray kittens.  I feed the neighborhood strays so when they have babies they stay pretty close.  I know you're already hovering over the comment button to let me know I should look into spay and release and trust me I have.  I think it must be this area but the way they do it is they'll call you the night before and give you a trap.  You trap the cat and bring her in in the morning where they'll spay her for a reduced price and clip her ear and then give her back to you.  I wish it was so easy.  We have a multitude of kitties around here, boys and girls of all ages and I won't be sure who I'll catch or if I'll even be able to catch a female, granted I haven't tried.  The weird thing is once they are done weaning the kittens the females don't stick around and they'll be mostly missing for another 6 months.  It's quite weird.  Where do they eat when they aren't here?  When we get to Zimmy I'll tell you more about our experiences with catch and release but for now, just know, I feed these cats and it's not cheap but I want to do it and I will continue to do it as long as they come.

This summer was a particular difficult summer with the strays.  Three females that I know of had babies and every single kitten died except for two, and one was Grayson who we grabbed at about 4 or 5 weeks.  The other one was a very cute orange and white cat, the last of four stunningly gorgeous kittens.  They were so beautiful it was heart wrenching to watch them get sick and not be able to do anything about it (they are fast runners if you don't catch them young).

One day I was in the backyard in a nightgown and no shoes giving the outdoor cats some food and I heard this kitten crying from next door, not my in-laws side but the other house.  I yelled for Brian who went next door to check it out (they don't have a fence that goes all the way around.  I know it's kind of bold to go into your next door neighbor's yard but I can't just leave a stray kitten crying).  I rushed to get clothes on and he came back over with this little gray fluff ball kitten whose eyes were completely sealed shut.  I tried gently using a warm wet papertowel but they were REALLY sealed.  We had to take him to the vet.

We didn't have an appointment so we just had to sit at the vet waiting for an opening.  The waiting room was enamored by him despite his crusty eyes.  He was super, super tiny and that's rare to see.  And so fluffy!  They ended up having to shave part of his face including some of his whiskers, much to my dismay, to get the crusties off his face, then they gave me four different medications for multiple times a day and went to see if he would eat canned food.  Thank god he did because bottle feeding Fox was a nightmare.

Even still I had to feed him wet cat food every 2 hours and it wasn't exactly easy.  He took his meds like a champ though, never an issue, even pills!  We quaranteed him in a crate and when I could I'd let him out and keep our cats away from him.  They were very good about it.

We tried finding him a home and even had a taker but they were in the process of moving and couldn't quite get it together.  He was going to be indoor/outdoor and that concerned me.  Meanwhile I was falling more and more in love every day and it gets harder and harder to let them go.  So we ended up keeping him!  Hurray!

Grayson is very even tempered and even listens when I say NO, imagine that.  He's a lot of fun and keeps the house young, which is even more evident today when he's not here.  He lays really funny with his back legs sprawled straight out behind him, we laugh every time he does it, it never gets old.  He runs to the kitchen everytime I grab a small plate because that used to mean he's about to eat some wet food but now it's just me having a snack.  He also runs, I mean literally runs, into the litter box in the kitchen every time I walk in there, I think because I used to put him in the litter box every time I went in the kitchen when he was a kitten.  He loves all the cats and all the cats love him, the orange outdoor kitty likes him too.  I've even seen old man Aidan play with him.  He will play a little harder and longer than the cats want and sometimes I hear some hissing especially from Fox but Grayson will listen when you say NO and I think neutering will help as well.

He has never jumped on the counter and jumped in the tub once and couldn't get out so now he's deathly afraid of it.  The worst thing about Grayson is he's nocturnal.  He's ready to play at night when we are ready to sleep.  I've never seen it this bad, he will run around the bedroom like his pants are on fire and he NEVER CALMS DOWN.  So since Grayson we now shut the door at night with all cats out (Fox will stay in sometime if he wants).  This kind of bums me out because I like having the cats cuddle at night so I keep trying to let him in there but he always gets thrown out.  Like Fox he also likes to eat inedible things like paper or plastic or whatever he finds on the floor (I'm about 90% sure he ate a giant cockroach one time) so we're careful about leaving stuff laying around.  He loves toys and his favorite toy is a green frog I used to put in his crate.  Currently it's missing though, probably under the sofa or the bed.  But he'll carry it around, he'll carry trash around too and I'm afraid if he does find a bug he might carry that thing around too, leave it on the bed or something.  That would be the worst.  Ugh.

When he is cuddly and he often is usually in the late afternoon or early evening he's the best.  He purrs really loud and like to knead, he'll nap on my lap while I write blog entries or mess about on Pinterest.  He really great, I love him.