Saturday, August 30, 2008

Discipline and Love

Star takes good care of her "little boy".

It's hard to fathom now, but we've had the babies for over 4 weeks and we are all still at the beginning of getting to know each other's quirks and personalities. Cosmo is the sweetest little stinker you can imagine, and I alternately/sometimes simultaneously want to hug him and give him "time out". For the more egregious offenses---such as jumping up on the kitchen table to sample food or biting human hands and feet---I have resorted to using a spray bottle and it has worked rather well. I am thinking (hoping?) that time and "maturity" will largely take care of his behavioral deficiencies. (yeah right) One thing I have noticed is that when he plays with the ever tolerant Star he will sometimes become what I call "overly stimulated" and will find he has a hard time controlling himself. This is when "time out" works best. I pick him up and shut him away for a few minutes in a room by himself, something he
really loathes. After he gets out he is usually fit to be with again. He also sometimes plays too rough with Star and though at first I worried SHE would be too rough with HIM it's the other way around. She often takes a lot of crap from him and rarely dishes it out. She'll also lets him take her toys away, and unless I intervene he will eat her food as well. I don't want to make him sound like a bad kitten, he is JUST a boy kitten that's all. The other side of that coin is that he is very loving and very affectionate.

Star is just a jewel, period. Other than her nocturnal night stalkings she is a wonderful cat. She is still slightly distant, but I attribute that to her inherent personality and her sex. Bottom line is that we love them both, though at times I admit to having wanted to buy them a train ticket back to Columbus :-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Very Good Friends

Just taking a little "cat nap" together.

Star and Cosmo are doing extremely well as "housemates". I would not say that they need to be with each other constantly as each will separately seek us out during the day to be with us, but they clearly get along "famously". They play together, mostly in the mornings, groom each other, and sometimes take naps together. Last night we experimented by NOT closing Star up in Mark's office (where she has been at night since her surgery). She is still much more nocturnal than Cosmo is, at least at this time, and I think for the foreseeable future she will be sleeping in the office. She thankfully doesn't seem to mind sleeping on her own at all, and even though Cosmo was not responding to her 3AM wake up call last night as he sleeps like a "log", I did, YAWN. I am really hoping that with age and diminishing hormones she will calm down and be able to join the family at bedtime, but this may be just who she is and since Cosmo loves to sleep with us, and even sleeps in, I hate to lock BOTH cats out. Still I do feel guilty about "isolating" Star at night, and I hope that this situation turns around sooner rather than later.

Speaking of Star here I must mention that some puffiness has suddenly developed around her incision. Most vets take the stitches out after 10 days, which would be today, but Dr. Derby wants to wait a full two weeks. This swelling is apparently not at all unusual and indicates the cat's reaction to the internal stitches. It allegedly will resolve by itself in anywhere from three weeks to several months. In any case it was disconcerting to see it appear yesterday, especially after her recovery has been so routine. I wrote to her breeder Michele Cole (who is also a vet tech) about it this AM and she says no worries as long as there is no drainage or redness, which there is not. I am very happy to know this, but along with the joy of having these guys goes some occasional worry and concern about them, because after all they are my "babies".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


One of the beaches at beautiful Presque Isle State Park, time for a little break.

Star is out. She is healing so well that, even with Cosmo present, she is safe to be out of "confinement". She also no longer goes after her stitches which at this point would likely not be easy to pull out anyway, so the "collar" is off as well. Trouble is it will be a whole week before she gets her three stitches out, instead of the standard 10 days. I am all for erring on the side of caution, but this seems a bit excessive.

The "kids" were all alone almost all day long yesterday too. We went to Presque Isle for one last summer picnic (kids in PA are back at school so it was very quiet). Naturally we had to shop while In Erie, for cat food of course! Any road trip we have taken lately has in actuality been merely an excuse to listen to David Sedaris audio books, but I digress. They seem to do well without us too, but as Mark went for his Tuesday Hollyloft group ride I had sole babysitting duty for the seond of three consecutive nights. Mark has already started teaching digital photography two nights a week at JCC and that's great, but they do keep me hopping and unable to do other things. I know that as they grow up and get to be "mature" they will need far less supervision, and at that time I will probably long for the "good old days" when they really needed me, but there are times now.....

When they play Cosmo gets really worked up, sometimes I feel he is overstimulated by all of it. He then gets himself so tired that he can't stop and needs some "intervention". I have gotten out the spray bottle, but use it only when he is too rough with Star, or goes after human hands and/or feet. Most of the time when he gets overly worked up all he needs is a big time cuddle and he'll fall into kitten unconsciousness.

One of their favorite places has come to be my bathroom where they both follow me in to "use" the sink for water play. Maine Coons LOVE their water!! We'll it leave at that for now.

Cat action at the sink.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Star is healing beautifully, the stitches are thankfully still in and her incision looks great. But, she now "feels" so much better that she wants to run, jump, play, and chase Cosmo, at least early in the day. (I have noticed that by the end of the day she is still feeling the effects of her procedure and is much more laid back than she normally would be) She is after all only three and half days out from her surgery, major surgery I might add, and she really does need the time to heal. I feel so sorry for her confined to one room, especially now that she seems to be feeling so much better, but I feel there is no other choice I can make. After the weekend I'll call the vet and ask about limited play, but I know that with a "wild man" like Cosmo in the house it's not going to be advisable. I realize that I am probably being far too cautious as usual, but that's me a worrywart.

Cosmo in one of his quieter moments!

Cosmo is growing by leaps and bounds as it were, he is up to 5 lbs this weekend. He plays constantly when not "unconscious" and other than an occasionally runny eye he is the absolute picture of kitten health. After carefully looking at that eye I am thinking he has a hair or whisker that might be growing into it. His breeder assures me that there has never been feline herpes or other illnesses in her cattery, and the eye does not appear to have true conjunctivitis, only sporadic runiness that is completely gone the next day. We'll see, but I really think there is little of concern here. Mark had a wedding yesterday and Cosmo was a great companion, he can be a little jewel. I know Star would have been with me too, but the poor baby is "in jail" and I visited her frequently during the day. A week and a half before those stitches come out, it's hard to imagine.

PS Star requested that we take no more pictures of her in her "sick room" (Mark's workout room/office) as it's embarrassing. The room is her concern, not her appearance. :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What a Day!!

Dreaming of freedom in the window

You think that if you have owned cats
for many years you've seen everything. And I have seen LOTS. I had my Siamese spayed years ago, but had no other cat living in the house at that time, so this will be a new experience. Yesterday we brought Star home from her surgery and of course the first thing she did was to try and pull out her three stitches. We ran back to the vets to get her an Ecollar to try to stop her and thus far it has worked. She is still, I think, a little bit under the influence of the three day pain killing shot they gave her so she is intermittently sleepy. She is confined to Mark's office and has all of the "amenities" she could want there, except freedom of course. But, the biggest surprise so far has been Cosmo's reaction to the whole thing. He did not seem to miss her at all when she was gone overnight, but he sure wants to get in that room now to see how she is and possibly torture her. I think he is "concerned" by the strange smells she came in with from the vets, and they are allowed a couple of minutes at a time together a few times a day to groom each other a bit, but as soon as he starts to play with her I have to carry him out. She is feeling friskier this morning than she did last night too, and really seems a bit more ready to play. Unfortunately for her she is stuck in the room until after the weekend and then will be allowed out only under "supervision". If we didn't have a highly energetic kitten here I would let her roam the house on her own, keeping an eye in her to prevent her from jumping. But with Cosmo here ready to pounce that is just not possible. The complete healing cycle takes about two weeks give or take, and so it might be a tough time for Star, and us!! Fortunately the wound itself looks really good this morning, and the collar is still on so I am taking this and running with it, it's been a good night. I have some baking to do so here is another picture of my baby in her "Elizabethan collar". Poor Baby!! More to come...

Monday, August 18, 2008

In the "nick of time"

This is all the "mothering" Star needs to do!

Star goes in for surgery tomorrow AM and it's , I think, in the nick of time. She is showing some signs of going into "heat" and I am very glad that we can get her in to get the procedure done asap. I am hoping that this will calm her down as she is the one who gets the gang up at 5:30AM every day. She also seems very restless much of the time and though some of that might be attributed to the newness of our home I think lots of it is due to her being "hormonal". We will keep her overnight at the vet's Tuesday because Cosmo is here and I really want her initial healing to be quiet, and then we may keep her isolated for a few days due to his sometimes "rough play". In a way I hate to take her out of an environment in which she is just becoming accustomed to have her spayed, but it really has got to be done.

Cosmo continues to eat anything that doesn't walk away from him, he is so different from Gabriel who was such a picky eater all the time. Cosmo's growth seems incredible too, you can almost watch him grow. Anyway, there is more to come with a description of what a "typical" day is like around here with two "wild animals" in residence.

Friday, August 15, 2008

If a picture paints a 1,000 words....

Their favorite green chair, a moment of relative calm

Then why am I writing? I have a couple of shots I took last night that I think I'll put up today. They continue to grow, eat, sleep (sometimes), and play!! They are thriving. I am still trying to decide how to handle the unprofessional vet we saw on Tuesday, one thing was clear she didn't like purebred cats, or maybe it was us she didn't like I don't know. But, IMO someone (me) really needs to say something because we can't be the only people she gives misinformation and rude treatment to.

Cosmo in the "treetops".

Star "deep" in thought :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The vet from Hell!

Sometimes all you really need is a paper bag to entertain you!!

The trip to the vets yesterday was a disaster. The female vet, who shall remain nameless, was cold, rude, dismissive, and not even nice to the animals. She lied to me about a testing procedure which I know is in existence, and tried to sell me products for a nonexistent condition in one of the babies. Needless to say we will not be back. I called my old vet's office and they now have a "cat specialist" on staff. We scheduled Star's spaying for Tuesday. I guess I should have known that you can't trust someone who will not look you in the eye, this vet was just the worst and I may go over to Angie's List and warn people from her. The babies thus far seem no the worse for wear, though the rabies vaccine required by NYS set them back a bit yesterday. I also put on some Advantage and am hoping like crazy they will not have a bad reaction to it. >sigh<
The "good news" is that Mark and I finally got a good night's sleep, boy did we need it!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Growth and Independence

The babies are growing at an accelerated rate. Cosmo's growth is easier to see since he started out quite tiny, but I know Star is growing too. I did not officially weigh them when they arrived, but the vet will do so tomorrow and then I can keep better track of their progress. They eat very well with no urging needed , unlike Gabriel, and Cosmo in particular continues to be a gourmond and NOT a gourmet. He will consume his food as well as Star's if I don't watch him closely.

Meanwhile sleeping has still been sporadic at best, so tonight I may shut them downstairs to either sleep , play, or eat on their own. Michele Cole, the breeder who we purchased them from, suggested that they will not really be ready to sleep soundly with us for a while yet. Cosmo settles right in at 11 each night, and I think that if we just had him it would work. But Star seems to be the more nocturnal of the two and sometimes wants to start playing at 4:30AM. What with the Olympics on until midnight (and beyond) I am continually tired and need at least ONE really good night's sleep. We'll see if I get the guts to shut them downstairs or not. Meanwhile at the vets tomorrow we'll find out if Star is in heat now (I think she is not) and if not have her spayed asap, this may also help with the sleeping situation.

They'll always get a "good night's sleep" even if it's in the middle of the day!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's all in how you play...

Star plays surrogate "mom" on top of the "cat condo".

Sometimes when Star and Cosmo play I can't watch. The play rough. They are supposed to, and I know that they are getting rid of frustrations, energy, and are establishing their boundaries and pecking order (no contest at this point, she has the top rung of that ladder). But nonetheless it scares me to watch them. Sometimes I wimp out and just leave it to Mark who is the more easy going "daddy" observing their play while I go make beds or write for TBV. Some mornings they race around what used to be my house like wild mad banshees, and other mornings, like THIS morning, they only play with normal over the top kitten intensity. Thus, I have decided that I must just let them be, let them figure out what is what without too much , if any, interference from me. Mark had a wedding yesterday so it was mom and kids all alone for the day. They were wonderful companions hanging around with me wherever I went. They helped me clean, cook, blog, and take a nap. I confess that there have been times, when I was tired, that I wondered if we did the right thing by getting two of them, but after yesterday I have no doubts. They are wonderful! Just letting them be was probably the best thing I have done for them so far.

Friday, August 8, 2008

OK, so it's the "semi-daily" Maine...

Sleeping with us at night is one thing, napping on the utility room floor is another...

Yesterday got away from me what with important things to post over on TBV ect. , so the DM got pushed aside. But I'm back and the kids are rarin' to go as usual this morning. I have been reading the on line debate over the past week about whether or not you should allow your cats/kittens to sleep in your bedroom. For me it's never been an issue really. I've had cats since I was a little girl, honestly it's been for as long as I can remember, and they have always slept with me in my bed. Mark doesn't mind in the least, so they have been with us since night 1. For the first few days I had the master bedroom and adjacent office closed to the rest of the house while they became accustomed to their new home. Part of the reason was that the place they came from was much smaller than this house and they were a bit overwhelmed by the scope of it all, and part of it was due to the fact that Cosmo was tiny and I had to be confident in his ability to negotiate our 14 step oak staircase. Now they have access to the whole house all day long, but they still choose to bunk with us when the lights go out. Cosmo sleeps between us and Star generally sleeps down at the foot of the bed. Cosmo's position in bed was sort of alarming at first. This tiny little 3 pounder glomms himself right up against one of us every night, and both of us are still sleeping lightly due to fears that we'll roll over on him. He has grown tremendously in the past week though, as he eats like the proverbial pig, so this fear may start to abate slowly. Star is already a big girl so we wouldn't have those trepidations in her case, but she usually likes to sleep at the foot of the bed anyway where she can keep her eye on things. She wakes up anytime between 6-6:30 and gives the rest of us notice that it's time to begin the day. All in all the transition has been an easy one, though those summer days when we blissfully slept until 8 now seem to be lost in the distant past.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's the differences that make life interesting...

The "kids" atop the "cat condo" biding their time...

We have noticed that Star and Cosmo are very different in their approach to life. I am not sure at this point if Star, who will be 8 months old next week, would have been different had she been ours since Cosmo's age, or if she's different because she is just who she is. But, Cosmo is so easy. He's the essence of confidence as he bashes through the rooms of our house and into our hearts. He is a little stinker and a little angel all at once. Star is very quiet in her demeanor, and very humble for something with so much beauty. She sits back and watches all, waiting to see what will happen next. She is always thinking and is sometimes very affectionate and talkative, while at other times reticent finding her own space with no one else needed. It does indeed make for interesting contrasts, they are so alike and yet so vastly divergent.

The breeder we got our cats from is giving me some advice on how to get a better night's sleep (I have little hope of actually getting a GOOD night's sleep for some time to come) but that will have to ...YAWN... wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Easy day, thus far...

Cosmo not quite ready to wind down yet for the day.

I have to admit to having thought that the adjustment period on both sides of this proposition, the new cats and us, would be more difficult than it has been. So far, it's been relatively easy. (with the possible exception of the early morning wake up call, Mark and I are now alternating "dawn duty"). They are both bright, perceptive, and well adjusted cats, no mean feat. The older one ,Star, is very bright, you can watch her figure out how to solve her little problems. Cosmo, the "baby", is still into the "eat, sleep, play, eat" mode so his "brain" is seemingly less well developed though I suspect he'll get to Star's level of problem solving expertise one of these days. It's fascinating to watch them decide how to solve their various daily puzzles. My only real problem with them is the occasional "rough play" they exhibit. I know lots of people love watching kittens plays with each other, but I admit to fearing some kind of horrible injury that I would then have to explain to my new vet. And yes I got the courage to call and make an appointment with a new vet. The one we had used lives over a half hour's drive away and though he is perfectly competent and did a nice job with our very ill Gabriel, it's just too far for emergencies or snowy wintertime visits. We are scheduled for appointments with both babies on Tuesday so we'll see how that goes. I am very optimistic.

Star looking too alert for her own good too!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

There's nothin' like a good nap

Star and Cosmo having a siesta.

I know this because I NEED a good nap today!! What a crazy day! Mark was at the emergency room for three hours this PM with a cinder in his eye, needless to say he will NOT be riding with HollyLoft tomorrow night, and we had a minor crisis with Star. Cosmo is like beautiful clay, he is so young and unformed that he molds to everything we do. But, Star has been elsewhere for almost 8 months and she has had routines established in her life that no longer exist. I have not left the babies alone since they came home last Thursday, either Mark or I will always be here. But, Mark had a meeting this afternoon BEFORE the emergency room visit (I need to interject that we are teachers and have the summer off until after Labor day, well I do Mark shoots weddings each weekend) Anyway I decided to try to relieve my sleep deprivation (they get up at 5:45AM on the clock) and take a short nap this PM. Star did not know that I had Cosmo with me and she shrieked when she thought she was alone. This cat is the Grace Kelly of the kitty world: aloof, elegant, and seemingly needing no one, until she proved THAT analogy incorrect today when she thought she was alone. Of course I called for her immediately to let her know where we were, and she came trilling like only a Maine baby can do, but it was a lesson for me. I know now that I have more to learn from them than they have from me. Tomorrow, I switch vets, scary!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Welcome Home

Star and Cosmo

I've been blogging for about two years n
ow and it's something I enjoy doing, though at times it can be tedious. I hope that this blog is not tedious at all. It will concern the two Maine Coon Cat kittens my husband and I recently brought home with us. The younger, Cosmo, is 3 months old and is a brown mac tabby with white. and the previous link shows you Cosmo's dad. To say he is adorable would be completely understating the facts.The older kitten is female and her name is Star. She is a very glamorous silver patch mac tabby just like her mom Star is almost 8 months old. We lost our 14 year old MC to renal disease this spring and decided that our house was an empty place, so in order to fill it and our hearts I searched until I found a great MC breeder. Maine Delite Maine Coons, found in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio was just what I was looking for. Our babies made it home here to Western NY safely on Thursday and have already made great progress in adjusting to us, our house, and their new lives with us. I'll try to post pictures each day as a way of keeping track of how they have grown along with a few comments on what they have been doing. By doing this I also hope that the comment section of the blog will be a great place for other MC/cat lovers to discuss their favorite cats, and how they can best be raised.