Goodbye, black and white cats

IMG_20130301_155007.jpg

Jinx and Fu have moved out of the house. The transition was a long time coming, but it was necessary, so one month ago, I posted the following on Facebook:

Jinx and Fu need a new home. We thought we had lined up a home with someone they know and love, but it fell through. They really can’t live here much longer, and I really don’t want them to go to a shelter.

They are sisters and litter mates, and we became their foster parents four years ago, when they were 8 years old. They are super affectionate: Jinx (long hair) loves to be picked up and cuddled and given belly rubs; Fu (short name, short hair) loves to curl up and nap on you and adores being brushed. They both love to play and are vocal when they want your attention. They are in perfect health. They are indoor cats, though we let them out on our back deck since it is so high.

If you or anyone you know would be willing to take two cats who are sweet and beautiful (and vocal and need lots of attention), let me know. (They are bonded to each other, so I’d love them to stay together.) They have their own incredible cat tree/ condo/ scratching post extravaganza, which of course goes along with them.

Continue reading “Goodbye, black and white cats”

Cat tails

We have two cats. They are sisters named Jinx and Fu. We adopted them from a friend who was moving overseas when they were eight years old – what is that in cat years? – back in September 2012. Life has been a roller coaster ever since.

Jinx and Fu cat

First of all, the cats were supposed to be Quinland’s. She had been dying for a pet, and when we were at our friend Liz’s house in London, Q fell madly in love with their cat, Garfield. Besides being cute and furry and a bit wacky, Garfield had the ultimate desirable cat trait: he would come and crawl up in Quinland’s lap to be petted or just to hang out. It was true cat love. Needless to say, Q was very excited at the prospect of getting not just one but TWO cats of her very own. Visions of cat cuddling danced in her head.

Quinland broke her leg three days before the cats were due to arrive, and the prospect of weeks on the couch must have made the idea of New Cat Friends seem even more attractive. Of course, it didn’t work out that way. Between the giant neon cast and the scary scary crutches, Jinx and Fu were absolutely terrified of Q. There was no cuddling. No petting. No anything. They didn’t want to come near her. They have warmed up slightly over the last year – Jinx will even occasionally sit on her lap to be petted – but by no means did they provide the pet companionship Q was looking for.

David, it turns out, does not like having cats. He was under the impression – as was I – that cats are like teenagers: they like their own space, they want to follow their own agenda, and as long as you make sure there is food in the house, they are fine. Jinx is pretty low-maintenance like that. She also tends to party late into the night and leave the house trashed.

Yarn Fest 2013 with Jinx the Cat

Fu, on the other hand, is like a newborn. She cries when she is hungry, thirsty, or has just used her litter box and wants it cleaned. She cries when she wants attention. She cries when she is tired and wants to go to bed. She cries when she wants you to get up. The noise is absolutely driving David insane.

Fu Up Close and Personal
This is what you see when Fu is crying for you to get up.
She stands right on your chest and starts yowling.

But, just like a little baby, when all her needs have been met to her satisfaction, Fu is so dang cute. She will roll onto her back and stretch out like an otter to get her tummy rubbed. She will let you cuddle her in your arms like a doll. She talks in her sleep and snores the tiniest little snore.

My sleepy baby kitten, Fu

Like all cats, they both love containers. Jinx tries to climb on, under, or around any box (or basket or stack of books or piece of paper) she sees.

Basket full of kitty cat - Jinx

Fu likes to crawl into a comfy box for a nap, regardless of comparative size.

Fat cat. Small box. Fu napping.

I feel like I have been getting pretty good Cat Value from these two. Though I sometimes feel like I am the only one cleaning the litter box, I love to play with them and brush them and cuddle them and talk to them in silly voices. They totally know my voice and they know when I am calling them.

But they may have to find a new home. Truly, David feels that they are a serious liability. I do see his points:

  • Fu’s constant meowing is keeping us from ever getting a decent night’s sleep. With the fatigue that comes from MS (for me) and from teaching high schoolers (for David), sleep is a precious commodity. The broken-up sleep could be a big factor in how down I have felt all this year.
  • Jinx and Fu are destroying the furniture. They both scratch and claw at everything. Both arms of our loveseat are shredded. The ottoman and sofa are getting seriously clawed. The carpet upstairs is being torn up bit by bit. As David says, “We are paying money (for food, etc.) to keep pets that are destroying our belongings. Why would anyone pay to have their stuff ruined?”

I can’t solve either of those issues. There is no way to shut Fu up, and nowhere to put her that we can’t hear her.  At 4:40 this morning, in a sleepy haze, David put Fu out on the deck. (They are indoor cats, but our deck is so high up, they can’t go anywhere.) At 7:00, when I woke up, I went to let the cat in and she was gone. Thankfully, she reappeared on the DOWNSTAIRS deck. Did she jump? Fall? Who knows, but we are lucky she seemed okay, if a bit disoriented.

As for the scratching, I am at a loss. The cats have a giant scratching tower-castle-thingy and they rarely use it. I’ve gotten a variety of scratching posts and boxes, but they don’t like them, even when liberally sprinkled with catnip.

I feel guilty about all the problems, since I was the one who brought them into our lives. I hate feeling like I am making my family suffer. I want to find a solution that makes everyone happy… but I don’t know what that is.

In the meantime, I look at these two cuddly mufflepuffins and think how sad I would be to see them go.

Sleepy cat friends - Jinx and Fu

A tale of two kitties

The third week in September was a hectic one for us. Two family members were seriously ill, Quinland broke her leg, David’s mom came for a visit… and we got two cats.

We’d chosen the Cat Adoption Day weeks before, when we had no way of knowing that our lives would already be topsy-turvy. A friend – inspired in part by our own trip overseas – had decided that he wanted to travel the world and telecommute for work, if only he could find someone to adopt his two cats. Coincidentally, we’d been talking about getting a pet or two; our excuse for not having one had always been that we would someday be gone on a long trip, but now that point was moot. So it was that after many family discussions and intercontinental Facebook chats, we agreed to adopt the cats.

Hardly a day goes by that we do not wonder what the heck we were thinking.

Let me introduce you to the cats. They are sisters – eight years old, I believe – named Jinx and Fu.

b

This is Jinx. She has long hair and a loud voice. She is in love with our friend Greg and cries when he disappears from her sight. Jinx believes she that there is treasure behind every closed door and that if she can just scratch at the door enough, it will open and the treasure will be hers. She will sit on your lap to be petted and likes to be held in your arms like a baby.

b

This is Fu. She has short hair, crossed eyes, and a wonky meow. She eats all of her own food and half of Jinx’s, so she is quite plump while Jinx is a skinny-mini. Fu will not sit in your lap, but she will hop up on the bed and curl up by you. She is not fond of closed doors, either, especially if she knows one of us is behind the door. Fu is an escape artist; you have to block any exterior door as it opens and closes.

I’ve gotten used to the routine of feeding the cats, brushing them, and cleaning the litter box. I am not at all used to all the attention-seeking behavior. We do play with the cats regularly, morning and evening; they have toys and balls and a cat castle and scratching thingys. But somehow, it never seems to be enough, and they beg for more attention. Loudly. I am not sure if this is because of the upheaval they suffered in moving from living in a sparsely-furnished apartment with a single guy who worked from home to a comparatively giant house filled with people and all kinds of stuff. Regardless, I thought it would be settling down after two months!

Jinx and Fu could get all the attention they’d ever want from Quinland. She would love the cats if they would let her. Sadly, since Q broke her leg three days before the cats arrived, they have only ever seen her with crutches. They do not like crutches, so they are wary. As she has gone from full-leg cast to half-leg cast to walking boot, Q has gotten more mobile and has been able to get down and play with them more. They are starting to warm up to her, thank goodness!

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for time spent with Q’s people and my people on Thursday nights for Glee. Tonight, we moms got to do the arm movements to “Greased Lightning” and sing all our favorite Grease songs. The poor girls… they don’t know whether to die of shame or die laughing.