When we first got Na Ki’o, he was overweight and we were told he had spent some large portion of his life lying on the bed of his previous owner, who was elderly and ill. Without even reading about it, I started serving some of his food upstairs, well removed from the kitchen, so that he would have to get some exercise. (It turns out, this is a common suggestion for overweight cats.)
But we also encouraged him to go outside, again for exercise. And then Khonsu, an indoor/outdoor cat her entire life, like all my cats had been, went outside the morning of her 13th birthday and never came back. I don’t know if it was a new kind of predator, or her aging back perhaps slowed her down. Suddenly it didn’t seem like such a good idea for Na Ki’o to go outside.
But that Pandora’s door had been opened, sort of. He still went outside, but usually only as far as the patio, where he would chew on the grass and then want to come back inside in fairly short order.
There was a cute incident one morning when he was out, having ventured just a touch farther than his patio, and Brandy, the Schneiders’ dog from across the alley, materialized. Brandy is a very good dog, trained for pheasant hunting, and Marrakesh has her completely cowed.
So here came Brandy, and very deliberately Marrakesh, who of course was also outside, inserted himself between Brandy and Na Ki’o, offering a shield. (Not needed, but gallant nonetheless.)
Now we’re in an entirely new place, and Na Ki’o has seemed more interested than usual in going outside. In his first forays he confined himself to the deck and the few random blades of grass close by, but yesterday I found him over by the ditch. That’s a little too far afield for me, because I have severe doubts about his cat skills. Plus, he’s clawless (on his front feet) and mostly toothless, and he’s still overweight. So he got carted back to the deck.
Marrakesh, who is still possibly feverish (all I can do is try to gauge by how hot his ears and paws feel) and who hasn’t touched his food in days), went out under supervision the other day. Yesterday in what was possibly not my best move I let him out unsupervised. And then promptly panicked when I couldn’t see him.
But within the hour there he was, sitting in the shadow of Lynn’s still-untested firepit on the deck. He came in and then spent the rest of the day asleep on a bed.
This morning both cats went out. Ki’o got as far as the edge of the deck; Marrakesh promptly headed across the dirt to the deep grass, and when I looked two minutes later, there he was with a mouse in his mouth. Perhaps he’s eating after all, just not the diet proscribed for him. Unless we’re going to say it’s what nature proscribed all along.
But Lynn is concerned since we just just spent a lot of money to track some giant glob of hair as it made its way very slowly through his backed-up alimentary canal. He does seem much peppier and active, and I don’t know if that’s the virus his vet can’t decide whether he has or not finally wearing off, or him getting back to a more normal state of being that’s making him more enthused once again about life.
Either way, this has not helped Oz, who yesterday got up from his resting place, walked clear across the floor to the white area rug (which is as far from doors as he could get), and then tossed his cookies on said rug.
If it’s moving that has upset everyone this much, then we’re never moving again. (You heard it here first.)
The plants, however, all seem to be enjoying their new space. The big ones all look much more manageable — not nearly as jammed up — and even though smaller ones have just been plunked wherever there might be space, everyone so far seems amenable to where they got set.
The two I was most concerned about only finally arrived at their proper place thanks to Shelf-a-Palooza, but I remain a bit concerned. They used to take up most of the island counter, where they got indirect westerly light. The only place to get that in the new house is the laundry/mud/pet/Trash Bags R Us room.
They’ve been sitting on the Some Day folding counter, but that picks up some direct sunlight later in the afternoon. So now they have their own special shelf (not so special: they have to share with laundry detergent), but I’m wondering how happy they will be.
This room doesn’t get as much light as their old kitchen, and the other component that may play a factor is they are no longer near a solar tube. Plus, thanks to the bigness of the washer and dryer, a stepstool will be required to tend to them, rather than me just looking and sticking a finger in the pots to see if water is required.
The poinsettia, which doesn’t look a thing like a poinsettia, is my only successful rescue from the airport, although to Lynn’s dismay I brought home several that got discarded after the holiday season each year, and the other plant, which I don’t even know what it is (it produces pink flowers when it feels like it), was a gift from Patti Garrison and Chris Arnett, the administrative assistants who really ran the middle school, when I left the newspaper. So they both have several years on them and a lot of sentimental value, so I will have to keep an eye on them to make sure they’re happy.
If we can get Oz and Marrakesh to stay healthy, and keep all three animals from testing out every surface we own by throwing up on it, then perhaps Lynn and I will be happy too.