Aby-a-Day – 18 Augusti: Welcome to the family!

After all the travelling, we finally brought Dashiell home and put his carrier down in the living room. Björn did the honours of unzipping the top whilst Emma looked on.

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Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai were on the scene as well, of course. And, much like when we introduced him to everyone when he was a kitten, Freddy was the first to hiss.

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Emma thought that perhaps a personal introduction between Zak and Dash might be a good idea.

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It wasn’t a bad idea; neither Zak or Dash hissed.

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And, in fact, Zak is the one cat Dash is closest to here.

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We also introduced Dash to the Trump cat toy.

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Like many of us, Dash didn’t know what to do with him. Join the club, Dash!

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Then Angel came to meet the newcomer, in typical Angel roundabout fashion.

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She skulked around the edges of the room, and then circled around the back of the couch to get a look at Dash.

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Then she lept off the sofa and ran right over Dash and out to the hallway.

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That made Dash hiss!

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He may be young and small, but he stands up for himself!

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“Yeah, big cat! Don’t do that again!”

Aby-a-Day – November 6: Babysitting

Back when we were just moving into our new apartment, our contractor had to come over a couple of evenings to finish painting and other detail work.

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When he did, he brought his two children. While my husband helped the contractor…

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…Jacoby helped watch the kids.

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Jake’s a very good babysitter.

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I think he enjoyed it as much as the little girl did.

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She and Jake played with just about every wand toy we have.

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I wonder how long after her visit that little girl asked her parents for a kitty of her own, though?

Aby-a-Day – March 20: Sunshine Supergirl

Our new apartment has three things that cats love: morning sun, wide windowsills and cushions in the windows.

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Angel is taking full advantage!

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She is a regular sunflower, turning to face the sun.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so contented.

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The windowseats are a great place to sit and watch the world go by for both humans and felines…but they seem to be first come, first served, and Angel isn’t sharing!

Aby-a-Day – March 14: Intimidating surroundings (Friday Flashback)

When Angel first came to live with us, she was only comfortable in two places: on the sofa or on the bed. Unless she was eating or using the litter box, she stayed on the sofa or the bed and acted as if the floor was lava.

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There was a reason for her timidness: Tessie.

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Angel and Tessie have always had a rather strained relationship. It got even tenser when Tessie was on the sofa at the same time Angel was (which was about 75% of the time).

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There were some times Angel would venture down off the furniture…but never on the floor! And always with an eye trained on Tessie.

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I think Angel wanted to be friends with Tessie, but Tessie has always been resentful – if not downright jealous – of Angel.

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This is one reason that Angel was scared of Tessie – Tessie would try to trap her in the litterbox!

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When Angel finally got up the nerve to push past Tessie, Kylie was waiting outside the bathroom to jump her.

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These two bullied Angel a lot when Angel first moved in.

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It’s no wonder the sofa was her safety zone!

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However, in the new apartment, it’s almost as if a reset button has been pressed. It’s a new territory for everyone, and suddenly Angel is on equal ground.

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It took six years, but Angel is exploring and owning the new apartment much more than she ever did the old one.

Angel’s First Week in Boston

I picked up Angel a week ago today, Friday, 10 October. and I drove to Pleasanton to meet Angel’s foster mom, Karen, and her cats. We got there at 7pm and Karen welcomed us into her home. First we met Karen’s resident cats, including her two Abys Megan (15 year old Ruddy Aby) and Cody (4 year old Ruddy Aby. Then we went upstairs to meet Angel and Tino, who were quarantined in one bedroom. Tino was a lover! We had to put him into the closet for a while as he wouldn’t let us give Angel any attention. We also saw Buffy, another Fawn Aby rescue and her two seven-week-old kittens Rusty (Red) and Lucy (Fawn). They were quarantined in the bathroom because of ringworm, but the kittens were so cute! And Buffy was so protective of them; when she saw us peeking over the “fence” into the bathroom, she’d glower at us and stand infront of her kittens. Karen also had another momma Fawn in another room who had one-week-old kittens, but we didn’t get to see her. We spent two hours there, looking at and playing with all the cats.

Finally we bundled Angel into the carrier I bought for her, made by PETote. I can honestly say that this is the best cat carrier I’ve ever used. We buckled her into the backseat and drove to my mom’s house. Angel talked during the entire trip.

Saturday, Angel explored my mom’s house, climbing up to the top of the cat tree and walking along the top of the sliding glass doors. I will post photos when I get a chance. I also managed to clip her claws with minimal bloodshed (she tried to launch off my solar plexus before I’d gotten to her back feet, so I got one good gouge from her).

On Sunday we flew back to Boston. The flight left at 2:30 so we were planning on leaving the house at 1, and I was planning to give Angel her Benedryl at 12:30. She did not want to take her Benedryl at 12:30 or any other time, and, let me tell you, Abys are strong. They’re also wiry and slippery. It took both my mom and I a few tries to get the half-pill a) in her mouth and b) down her throat – we managed a) about six times before we managed to achieve b), and I got another wicked gouge on the palm of my left hand. While clipped claws are less sharp than unclipped claws, they are still claws and, just as you can get a bad cut from a plastic butter knife (trust me on this one), they can do a bit of damage if they hit you just so. She also wailed like a banshee til my ears rang. Siamese have gotten a bad rap; I have never heard a Siamese howl the way Angel did when I was trying to give her her pill. Mom’s boycats, all twice her size, looked nervous, as males tend to do when confronted with a furious, screaming female. Of course, once she finally swallowed the pill, she was fine.

The Benedryl had absolutely no effect on her, which I’ll expand on later.

We went to the airport, Angel yelling the whole time that she was being kidnapped and OMG stranger danger! Seriously, Abys > Siamese in the screaming department. I went through security, which was fun; you have to take pets out of their carriers to go through the metal detector. At least she didn’t squirm out of my hands or anything dramatic like that…but she yelled in the waiting area, she yelled as I was boarding, and she yelled as I walked through the plane to my seat. I felt like I was running some sort of gauntlet, but at the same time, I felt like I was finally getting revenge for all those screaming babies and little kids kicking the backs of my seats all these years. Angel continued to yell during takeoff, but then quieted down and remained quiet until we started the landing approach in Denver, when she started yelling again.

She continued to yell as I got off the plane, and as I walked to the next gate. I had a little folding box and some litter so I set up on the changing table to see if she needed to go to the bathroom. She didn’t seem to, but she did like being out of the bag for a little bit. All too soon I had to put her back inside and when I did, the yelling started back up. She wasn’t so bad getting on in Sacto, but getting off and back on in Denver really upset her. She was YELLING (She is louder than any Siamese I’ve ever known when she wants to be), and trying to force her way out of the bag (she’s 7.5lbs and all muscle; I think she’s stronger than I am).

She was quiet under the seat while we were actually in flight, but not in the waiting area. Worse, all the other people waiting to board could hear her, and I was getting a lot of “Oh god, please don’t sit next to me” looks.

If there was ever a time I needed to get on board and get settled, this was it. So I went up and politely explained that I had this yelling, squirming cat who would quiet down as soon as she was back under the seat, so I was requesting the preboarding.

And the flight attendent told me I “couldn’t preboard.” Not because Angel was a cat and not a child, but because “I was in an aisle seat.”

WTF? I asked what difference that made, and didn’t get a very good response, other than they wanted to seat the window seats first. I asked what would happen if she were an infant and I was sitting in the aisle seat, and didn’t get an answer at all. While I waited for my group to board (we were Group 4 – out of 4!) Angel was telling everyone in earshot that she was being kidnapped and to call the FBI. Whee, fun.

When I finally got onto the plane and was making my way up the aisle to my seat, Angel decided to get herself tangled up in her harness and the inside of the carrier. As marvelous as it is, this carrier does have a design flaw; there’s an inside pocket and it’s only attached at top and bottom. The sides are open and an arm – or a cat – can go through it. So this + harness + inside hook to keep her inside in case the carrier is opened = really pissed off, scared kitty. I didn’t think it was possible, but she started yelling even louder and more frenzied. And I still had to walk past half the airplane. I tried to explain that she was just tangled up inside, and that once I got her free she’d quiet down, and the male flight attendent said, snottily, “Oh, we all hope so.”

(Oh, yes, I plan to write a letter to United.)

Luckily, I was seated near a pack of cat people. One helped me get Angel untangled (she’d done something with the clip and I wasn’t able to get it sorted on my own) and the couple sitting next to me were like, “Hey, beats a baby.” And she did calm down once we took off. But the Benedryl did absolutely nothing to calm her down.

After the traumatic trip, Angel’s settled in quite nicely. We’re taking her to the vet tomorrow (she’s been sneezing; I’m sure it’s a flare-up of her herpesvirus from the trip, but I want to make sure she’s all right) and then we can formally introduce her to Kylie and Tessie, which will be interesting.

Angel is a doll though. My husband fell in love with her the moment he saw her in person. She’s eating and drinking well, and she plays with toys and uses the box perfectly. When she’s happy, she purrs and rubs and headbutts with her whole body, and she’s slept in bed with us every night this week. She’s still a little skittish, and she still hides under furniture, but she’s blossoming more and more every day, and I have no doubt that by the end of the month it’ll be like she’s always lived with us.

I’ll try to post some photos of her this weekend.