Marco is doing fine; he is over his pink-eye, and has just gotten his second FeLV vaccine this morning. Marco has escaped out the front door several times already. He did so again last night when I left for a class I'm teaching. I was going to have to chase him when a couple that lives in the neighborhood came by walking their dogs. The dogs growled, and Marco headed right back inside.
Although Zoë was taking the medicine, she was becoming more and more listless. I took her back to the vet; the hemobartonella was gone, but her anemia was worse. Another blood test showed incipient liver failure, and other signs of Feline Infectious Peritonitis, which is invariably fatal. I could get her to eat baby food, but I had to carry her to the bowl before she would eat. Zoë was euthanized on 4 October. (The picture at the right is from 25 September.)
Marco was back to normal, and then got pink eye again. Zoë is taking her medicine, but not liking it very much. Tough. She seems to be more energetic, which is good. Both Marco and Zoë try to crawl up near my face while I’m sleeping, so I have to pick them up and put them at my side or toss ’em off the bed entirely. And now, the latest pictures:
Again, no new pictures. They wouldn’t have been too appealing, in any case; Marco has had pink eye and is only now getting back to normal. I’ve been giving him terramycin ointment in his eyes twice a day; he doesn’t like it, but he’s not scratching the heck out of me, either.
I took Zoë to the vet because she was not anywhere near as active as Marco; they did a full blood test on her and it turns out that she has hemobartonellosis, a blood parasite. You can find out more than you ever wanted to know about it at this site. I will go to the vet tomorrow and pick up some different antibiotics for her.
No new pictures; just an update. Zoë and Marco (whom I am now referring to fondly as Zo-zo and Marcitos) are getting along just great. A couple of days ago, at 3 AM, they decided to have a kitty battle in the bed. I tossed them both out, of course. As I type this, Zoë is walking across my lap to the chair, and Marco is preparing to have a nap on top of the monitor.
Jeffery and I were deciding on a better name for Willow. (He said it sounded masculine to him!) I said, “We could call her ’Snowball’ just to freak people out.”
He suggested “Snowy” and I said, “How about Zoë?” Jeffery liked the name, and so Willow is now Zoë.
They are getting along just great, as these pictures show.
(These notes written as the day progressed)
This morning I let them both out into the bedroom. As she has several times, Willow went over to Marco's water dish and started drinking. Marco approached this time, and I figured we would see fireworks. Nope. He just started drinking from the opposite side of the bowl. This gives me hope that they will get along well at some point, if they aren't already semi-pals.
Several moments after that, they were back to hiss/growl/bat-at-each-other, with Marco being the main instigator. I think it's more kitty wrestling than serious conflict, and definitely not fight-to-the-death. (I just had to break them up by giving them a very loud hiss-they were getting a little bit too rough.)
The kitty wrestling finally stopped, and Willow started grooming herself in my lap, with Marco asleep on the chair next to us. At some later point, she moved over to the chair, and they began grooming one another. When I fed them tonight, I put down two dishes right next to each other; he ate his cucumber and she ate her moist food. They are sharing the dry food bowl. As I'm writing this, she's asleep on the bed, and he's camped out beneath it. I think they’ll get along fine, and I plan to let them both stay in the bedroom with me tonight.
Thanks to MegaCat and Tammee (members of IRC channel #catchat), and also to Tom and Deborah and Tom and Harriett, who have been patiently assisting me with advice and moral support through this whole process.
First, a picture of Willow. These were taken while Marco was in the living room and the door to the bedroom was closed.
Yesterday afternoon, I tried putting them both in the bedroom (on opposite sides) at the same time, while giving Marco some cucumber as a treat. Marco ate the cucumber and then hid out under the bed. Willow started exploring. Marco growled and hissed, and Willow may have hissed once or twice. Then she just ignored him completely and started exploring. When she started to drink from Marco's water dish I was sure that he would go into attack mode, but he didn't move. Perhaps he's just having a “WTF?” experience.
Later in the evening, I fed them on opposite sides of a child gate; that went well—they were too busy eating to fight. It turns out that Willow figured out how to jump the gate, so there they were together. There was much hissing and growling and batting of paws. When I saw Willow’s ears flatten, I separated them. (This was about a five minute meeting).
This morning, I let them get together for about twenty minutes. They alternated between fighting and staring at one another. There have been some fairly angry snarls, but no fluffed tails or arched backs. I think they are scoping out whose territory is whose. There was enough “down time” during the twenty minutes for me to get these pictures:
No, I am not yet brave enough to leave them together in the room while I sleep; I don't want to be the battlefield as they decide who owns the bed!
I adopted a companion for Marco; she’s a shorthair tuxedo cat (white bib, stomach, and “socks”). The folks at Town Cats named her Willow, but the possibility of renaming is open. I put her in the bathroom to keep her separated from Marco. She is quite affectionate when she decides to come out from hiding behind the toilet. She likes the moist food, has ignored the dry food, and I have not seen her drinking yet. She has been sneezing frequently.
The question is how she and Marco will get along. I did have the bathroom door open this morning, with the wooden gate back in the hallway. Marco was peering over the gate, so he is aware that there’s another kitty in the house. He didn't hiss, he just meowed, and she meowed in response. I may let them have a supervised face-to-face tomorrow afternoon.
Marco’s days as a studmuffin are over. I just brought him back from The Cat Hospital after havng him neutered. It’s very humorous watching him try to walk a straight line. He should be back to being his normal pesky self tomorrow at this time (4 p.m.)
Marco is such an inventive fellow. He has decided that the water dish is not just for drinking from; he puts in his paw and splashes water all around. To avoid a soaked carpet, I’ve put the water dish on a cookie sheet. He splashes the water out onto the cookie sheet and drinks off its surface.
A couple of days ago I was in the back yard, and I had the sliding glass door open. I turned around and Marco was staring me in the eyes; he had climbed up the screen door. I didn’t have the camera at the time, but was able to catch him from inside as he tried doing the feline version of “The Great Escape.”
Marco is going to the vet tomorrow to be neutered. This will be much to the good of all involved. This weekend I’m going to the pet fairs sponsored by Town Cats of Morgan Hill so that I can get a companion for Marco.
Marco has discovered how to unspool the toilet paper. I have put a rubber band around the roll to dissuade him from that particular habit. (The roll will turn, but it won't give that satisfying stream of paper.) I also got him an empty paper grocery bag at the local Safeway, which he enjoys immensely.
Last night I got home to find that ants had discovered his dry food bowl. Strangely, they had not congregated at his nearby water bowl. I cleaned up, sprayed outside the house near the entry point, and put the bowl back. This morning—more ants. I have moved the bowl to a different place and sprayed again outside.
Marco seems to be getting along with other people nicely. Tom (the person who trapped Marco) came over yesterday, and Marco let Tom pet him and even pick him up. This morning when I woke up, Marco was scratching at the bed, and I couldn't figure out why—he normally doesn’t do that. After I turned on the lights I found out. He had brought one of his cat toys onto the bed, and was playing with it. Here are some pictures from yesterday that came out fairly well: