A Cushy Life

kio mud room 1119

I think Lynn was in the kitchen the other day when she confessed that she was not yet at complete ease in whatever room it was because she hasn’t yet established a routine. She still loves loves everything about her new house, but when pieces are still being inserted — no word on the bathroom vanity that was to arrive Nov. 11 — and unpacked, it takes some time to make actions routine and habit.

A friend who has been in her house 15 years was in the shop the other day, and she said it took them three years after they moved in before they got any artwork up on the walls. That could be a record we break, except in the kitchen, where Lynn has put up several pictures.

As I predicted, the one I think who is settling in best around here is Na Ki’o. And settling in is what he’s doing, much to the detriment of his blood sugar.

In the old house, our dining table was pushed into a corner, and the six chairs that populate it were stacked along a wall, mostly serving to hold my clean but unfolded laundry. This table I believe belonged to my grandparents, and it’s a nice round table that becomes an oval when a leaf is added. The chairs, which have never bothered Lynn, tend to slide toward the back, meaning that those of us who like to sit on the edge of our seats are never very comfortable in them.

So Lynn ordered some seat cushions, since we are after all these years putting the table to regular use, but they arrived square and too wide for the back curve of the chairs. I put one on a more square chair that I use instead of an official dining chair (no sliding to the back of the chair), and we are using other cushions on the built-in benches in the mud room and along the southern windows. And when I say “we,” I mostly mean Na Ki’o. He has settled right in on the cushions like he is never going to move again.

I am assuming that he likes camping on the mud room bench because it is perched just above where Marrakesh’s feeder lives, and is a prime vantage point from which to poach food. It’s probably like hunting, only with a lot less effort.

Lately he has discovered the cushion next to the back door, which comes with a huge cat perk: it is in the sun. And it allows him to keep tabs on when Marrakesh might be coming back inside, often with the intent to consume food.

In the meantime we are ratcheting up Ki’o’s insulin dosages and watching his mid-section expand prolifically, unsure of what to do to bring either under control. We could not feed Marrakesh, that might solve those problems, but I feel Marrakesh, who objects to a lot already, might have something to say about that.

I can’t believe that Na Ki’o is the only food-grubbing cat out there that has figured out all he needs to do is shove in while Marrakesh is eating, but I suppose identifying the problem isn’t the same as solving it. I saw one feeder, on a site rating cat feeders, that’s supposed to dole out food based on how many grams of food you specify for each cat. But I still don’t know what stops Ki’o from helping himself to Marrakesh’s food as Marrakesh is eating. If only Kesh would be as territorial about his food as he seems to be with his property.

(An orange cat materialized on our deck the other evening, and he and Marrakesh held a stare-off for hours, first face-to-face and then through glass doors. I’m not sure where the interloper came from. Lynn thinks the trailer park across the highway, but I don’t want either cat crossing that ribbon of death, so I’m hoping it came from elsewhere.)

We are trying to feed Marrakesh in smaller portions. We have tried putting some of Ki’o’s diet food on the left side of the feeder, the point where Ki’o shoves in to help himself. We are trying to cut back on the amounts of food we give Ki’o, since he’s doing so much self-feeding. Yet almost every 12 hours his blood sugar is in the mid-300s, when it was generally around 200 pre-move.

I could take him to his vet, but I don’t really know what this will prove. The problem is obvious, and located just below where he spends his day lolling on cushions that don’t fit the chairs for which they were intended. Unfortunately, the only potentially “spooky” place in this new house, one that would make him think a lot harder before venturing into the dark unknown with the hopes of securing a snack or two, is the garage. And because it has two big windows, it’s not nearly as spooky as the old garage, plus Marrakesh doesn’t spend enough time out there to make it an ideal place to leave his food.

We have more problems than solutions so far in this dynamic, which is not being helped by Oz, who has decided karmic retribution is in order for Na Ki’o. Since we’ve had him, Oz has always waited until Na Ki’o is done with a plate before licking off any stray wisp of gravy or morsel of food (he’s mostly wasting his time, trying to clean up after a Hoover-ish cat). Recently, though, he has started to move from his plate the second he’s done right on to Ki’o’s.

As I said, perhaps Ki’o deserves this for all the mooching he does off Marrakesh, but sometimes there are medications in his own food that he needs which Oz does not, and since this new poaching generally takes place the second my back is turned, I’m never sure how much food went to Ki’o and how much to Oz.

Oz may also have swiped a cube steak off a plate sitting on a kitchen counter the other night. We have no other means of accounting for its disappearance. This is one of those weeks where I’m wondering why we have pets. Oh, right: the joy they bring to our lives as I spend my day watching animals eat.

Without an obvious solution close at hand, we will keep trying, probably failing, to keep every animal in his own dish and out of the others’, and be glad that our not-dining-chair cushions are keeping at least one of us in comfort.

This picture is spectacularly blurry, but it’s funny, so I can’t help sharing:

kio stretching 1119



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