Sunday, January 17, 2010

If you're keeping count...

...we're now up to seven inside cats. We've still got Laura's original cat (Chaka), my favorite kitty add-on (Koko), and the two we've had for four or five years (Meeper/Jayne and Emmett). We've since added three rescue cats. We brought Bowie in when it got extremely cold, and she's still in until we get her spayed. We also acquired an extremely damaged kitten late this summer. We named her Picasso, then found out he was a she; she's now Picassa. She lost a fight* with a raccoon or opossum, and had serious, infected wounds. We did wound care, took her to the emergency vet for antibiotics and a huge abscess, and took her to Virginia to visit Laura's family so we wouldn't have to find friends willing to not only feed our menagerie, but also willing to do wound care and risk return trips to the vet. She's also inside until we get her spayed. The seventh still has no name; naming a cat is a precursor to keeping them inside, and I'm hoping to avoid that. We've been calling her some diminutive: Itty Bitty, Teeny, Micro Cat, something like that. And the vet just informed us that she's a he, which makes us nervous since we've got two unspayed females in the house and a lot of unsprayed furniture. It adds a certain urgency to getting them all spayed/neutered.

So that's it: seven cats, four of whom are permanent. The amount of upkeep on seven cats is surprisingly higher than for four. With seven cats at home, you can't travel -- or, you have to be willing to impose on friends to feed and water them and empty their litter boxes twice daily, which I'm not willing to do. Just asking someone to drop by daily seems like a huge imposition. It's also surprising how much more dirt and hair seven cats produce. I'm sweeping the downstairs twice a day, usually, and regretting it if I don't. I even have to clean the bathroom more frequently, for reasons I can't grasp.

There are perks of seven cats, too, especially because all of ours are friendly and willing to be lap cats. When I lay on the couch to write, it's not unusual to have three or four cats join me to keep me company and make snide remarks about what's on the computer screen. They're all cute, and they all get along well. But it'll be nice to reduce the census.

* I assume she lost, given that she was a tiny kitten. But I never did see the other party in the fight. Maybe she won; she is rather scrappy.

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