Friday, July 18, 2008

My feline family

My first love was a Chihuahua. I was a baby, and utterly devoted to the Chihuahua we had. Since then, many dogs and cats have come and gone in my life. I confess I am a lifelong animal-lover.

My current animal family is feline: a venerable cat of sixteen (or more) years, and a pair of nine-month old kittens. Pippy, the oldest, lost much of her vision last year to illness. She is small, feisty and not shy about punching anyone who pushes her too far. Pippy has become a little tentative since developing limited vision, as happens to many animals that lose their sight in adulthood.

The kittens are "wobblers." Their mother had distemper during their gestation, and they in turn, have cerebellar hypoplasia, a lack of development in the part of the brain that controls balance. When they first arrived, it was like having furry tumbleweeds in the house because they fell and rolled across the floor all the time. They made great strides since then, but they will tumble and fall the rest of their lives. It seldom bothers them, though sometimes they get tired and discouraged. I apply a little extra TLC at those times, and they keep going.

Pippy is not fond of the kittens, as I expected. She tolerates them, though only just. Tucket, the spritely kitten, loves to pet Pippy's back and to sniff her. She also admires Pippy's tail and finds it irresistable when it waves. Her struggle to stop herself from grabbing that tail and biting it is evident; she quivers and strains, she leans forward and back and generally tries very hard not to attack the tantilizing tail.

Lindy, the affectionate purr-cat, is shaped like a bowling pin. Her large, round rump has a mind of its own and makes it tough for her to get where she wants to go. I altered a pop song to suit Lindy's rear end,
"Oh, the wayward end,
is a restless end,
a restless end
that yearns to wander..."
I'm sure Gogi Grant wouldn't mind. Lindy wants to cuddle with Pippy, wants to be her best friend, her playmate. Pippy believes that's beneath her dignity. She can freeze Lindy's overtures with a single look, and what a frosty look it is!

Pippy had an impregnable fortress on Housemate's bed until Lindy and Tucket learned to get there this summer. They can't jump up there, but they can pull themselves onto the bed. Now Pippy's dignity is assaulted when she tries to sleep and they lie nearby, gazing at her and inching closer.

I would love to publish photos of my feline family, but there are complications. So far all I have gotten are extreme closeups, some of paws batting at the camera lens, and some of eyeballs peering into the lens. I hope you like this word picture of my feline family instead of a photo essay.

1 comment:

teabird said...

You know, I'd love to see the eyeballs!