It’s been an unbelievable year since the dusty little furball I now call Nala-Mia showed up.
She’s been with HBlu and I during some rough times. She was with us the day that leashed Blu was attacked by an unleashed dog. Interestingly, she showed no fear, waiting and watching. She followed us home, as she had been for a few weeks. I already worried about her at night; was relieved when she’d show up for breakfast. Was overjoyed the first day she let me touch her; the first day she ate from my hand.
We’ve been through a few twists and turns, barely avoiding craters of disaster. When she showed signs of respiratory distress, I feared the worst. I wasn’t able to get her into the carrier the first two times I tried. The third time wasn’t easy or graceful, but, it was successful. I figured she’d be annoyed with me, after that. I didn’t figure she’d be lost for three days in an animal hospital, and end up traumatized and unexamined.
Much like Harley Blu after his encounter, she just wasn’t the same when I got her back. She’s still a bit skittish if I move too fast toward her standing up. If I’m sitting, reclining, sleeping – she’s a love-bug.
Much like Harley Blu, I want her back the way she was before she was damaged. He’s getting there with the help of meds and chiropractic therapy. She’s in love with him, and he seems to be more understanding of that, lately.
I’ll confess, at times, I feel badly for them, both. HB was an only cat-child for almost 9 years. His breed has a preference for being the sole focus of attention. She just doesn’t completely understand the cat world. She has learned to play – as opposed to being terrified of strings and catnip mice. She has learned to interpret the exact moment when Blu has had enough play, and she scurries away.
I know Blu doesn’t like sharing. I know Nala-Mia wanted back out for several months. She’s not pursuing that as much. With hope, I interpret that as she is comfortable rather than defeated. I also know that the pre-yawn snap of her isn’t a real reflection of joy.
It is however, a real reflection of my joy. It is a comfort that she is safe – not hungry, not frozen, and bot likely to get run-over by a car.
I’ve mentioned before, COVID gave me the time to be patient with her. Afforded me hours of adjustment while working from home. So, I was particularly excited to see a call for Pandemic Pet Adoption stories. Our short-story appeared in Michigan Medicine Headlines this week. In fact, that brief (very brief), 223-word, 2 paragraph “caption,” turned into a more concise 165 word account.
So, maybe it may not have had to take as many words to summarize.
The struggle to reduce is still real. I’m still all for details, and, maybe, mildly less distrustful of edits.
My big-picture presentation will always be a gloriously detailed meal. Though, I concede, an edit is admirable as a taste-tempting appetizer.
HBlu received his second steroid shot today, and if it looks like it can be eaten HBlu is zealously pursuing it. The calming meds are working well. He’s so calm that every once-in-a-while I check to make sure he’s still breathing.
And, lastly, Sir Harley of Perpetual surprise has a thyroid problem and supposedly ‘flea dirt.’ He didn’t have any flea-related anything last week at our regular vets.
Odd and absolutely fantasmic, there were no actual fleas or eggs found on him, just residue. And only on his right side. Theoretically, because he can turn his head to the left to groom but cannot turn his head to the right.
Since the chair incident last week, I’m much more hesitant to believe any suppositions.
In any case, I’m about to Zoom my first dinner, on Thanksgiving Day. I’ve got my own hilariously not-so-little feast prepared and delivered by Bob Evans and DoorDash. Seriously, when my new Foodsaver (which is replacing my 8-year-old, now sucking-less model) arrives on Friday, it’s going to get quite a work-out.
Speaking of work-outs, I exceeded my 4-day exercise goal this week by completing 5 days. Under the scrutiny of cats and with cats underfoot, I have cause to be pleased with myself.
Speaking of pleased with myself, I bought that FoodSaver with my well-developed Knabble Layering skills.
You can do it, too.
(Watch for tomorrow night’s post – I’ll show you how.)
While I was struggling to figure tonight out, he plopped in front of my keyboard. Knowing this, I let it go for a bit.
Watching his quietness turn into sleepy eyes broke my heart a bit. He’s always tired. Yeah, I know he’s 9, but 9 isn’t old enough to be old.
About two weeks now, he’s been over-grooming, sporadic about eating, still showing me he’s peeved about Nala. I keep thinking about that part, hoping and worrying about it, too. Was it really the right thing to do? Disrupt HBlu’s one-cat, one-human breed-preference world? Force Nala-Lilly to adapt to my vision of a new indoor world where I knew she’d be safe?
Anyway, Harley Blu has an appointment on Thursday afternoon. You see, when I scratch his lower back (ok, the top of his butt) something goes wrong. He presents like he expects it to be an enjoyable languid stretch, but it’s not. I doubt whatever is happening is not enjoyable to him.
A backward stroke behaves as if I am tugging an invisible string, invoking a jerky head movement. If I stop the stroking, he stops the bobbing. If I keep going, he’ll start with licking and then attempt to bite his own chest. I’m not too concerned he’ll do any self- damage with one canine and 5 tiny teeth, total. It’s still disturbing, though, and obviously quite not right.
I’ve also noticed his tongue slides out to the right when he eats or grooms or occasionally licks Nala after a not-so-playful tackling bite.
She still wants to be his friend and imitates him lovingly. I’m thankful for this because she’s never even attempted to jump a counter or my breakfront. HBlu doesn’t jump.
Amusingly, when he was a one-year old kitten I arrived home to an interesting scene. I didn’t really forget it, but a FB reminder popped up this past and startled the shit out of me.
Trust me, it’s worth the swear. You see, just the Friday the 13th night before, (night at 5:30 sucks, btw.) I heard a small ‘eek’ and a thud and nothing else. I peered through the pass-through and couldn’t see anything amiss. Still the silence was concerning, so I rounded the wall and blinked.
I knew they were sparring, likely not lovingly on HBlu’s part judging by the missing meow voice Nala-Mia was throwing. The octave she lost this summer is more like a breathy “keh-keh,” now.
The over-turned real-retro orange arm-chair reminded me of that time I came home from work and found the exact same scene. Only that was when Miss Fred was Blu’s companion. She didn’t want much to do with him, but he still wanted to be her friend.
Trust me, I’ve reminded Sir Harley of that and admonished him he’s being crotchety like Freddie. I do understand there’s no talking reason to a cat, but I try anyway.
My theory about that day had been the Blu was behaving badly, trying to make the jump from the chair back to the counter. He’s had a few a-little-too-short experiences, which I strongly suspect is why he doesn’t leap much. He’ll do the desk top, if I’m already sitting there. Hasn’t curled up on the dry sink for a while now, though.
Anyway, my 11-14-2012 theory might have been knocked out of the water by the knocked over 11-13-2020 scenario.
Maybe they were playing, too. Blu might have been playing. Miss Fred the Misread likely was not.
I jumped up for a glass of water just now and found another semi-eerie situation. When Freddie’s health was failing, Harley would wait until she fell asleep and then crawl close to snooze near her.
Tonight, Blu was sleeping and Nala was nearby. I don’t like the comparison.
The song that lullabye-d Blu tonight: Hallelujah covered by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, of which I could unfortunately not locate a viable share for you.
However, Enjoy this Week’s New Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.)
It’s been bizarre, as well, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
How do we stay sane? Let’s try love. And good news.
So, this happened Sunday.
Not for the first time, but for the first extended time.
Harley Blu was lap-side first, a little bit lazy, because that’s where the sun was. Nala-lilly anti-spoke up with that octave-crack she acquired when ambushed last summer.
Sleeping so sweetly, on the porch, she screamed so loud she lost a section of voice that night. I shouldn’t laugh, but, dang. It’s just cartoon-funny when she looks at me so earnestly about to ask a question and only oil-deprived, rusted hinge noises come out of her petite little mouth. Trust me, she has plenty of other inflections and she uses them just fine.
Anyway, I invited her up. Patted the chair; showed her it was solid.
She was tentatively talkative using her audible “I’m here” announcement way she does when she’s behind Blu. Such a considerate sweetie. She also rolls when she’s in front. I’d say he’s getting more tolerant, but I really think it’d be more accurate to say he’s somewhat less irked.
She’ll roll, he’ll bite her tummy (ineffective due to his lack of chompers), then, immediately lick the same spot right away. Copy-cat routine with the ear: bite, lick. Weird but also wonderful when compared to the previous hissing and moaning, warning caterwauling.
HBlu huffed and snorted a little when she slid in beside him, but didn’t budge. Sweet Nala-Lilly (who btw is now more often referred to as Nala-Mia) parked herself shoulder-to-shoulder, eventually, laying her sweet chin on his front paw-arm.
Sir Harley of Perpetual Surprise’s first pleading looks are pretty priceless. I have to admit I was really just hoping I wouldn’t get shredded in a melee.
20 solid minutes and a painfully sleepy foot for me later, the end result was pretty priceless, too.