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11 Weeks: We Have Flowers and A Cat Update #flowers #cat #nature

First, let me talk about flowers. As some of you know, I’ve developed an interest in photography, an interest I hope to indulge a lot more in about 11 weeks. Macro-photography fascinates me, and a few weeks ago I bought flowering plants to challenge my photographic skills. Following are photos of an Purple Aster, bought before it started to bloom. These photos were taken over four days.

It’s fun watching flowers bloom on your own back deck, trying to find the right light and the right moment. During the work week, that isn’t as easy as I’d like, even though I do work from home. Blame it on meetings.

And now, a Raji update:

For those of you who missed the excitement of my last post, you can read it here. In the week since I wrote that post, we managed to get Raji confined to our garage. Poor little guy had hurt his right front leg jumping down from the roof of our shed. We didn’t want him gallivanting around, making it worse so we coaxed him in with food (of course!) one evening and shut the cat door.

Oh, was he pissed about that! I had never heard a cat complain so much. He has quite the repertoire as well. Not just the usual meows for Raji, but howls, trills, pips and peeps. And he kept us busy playing hide-and-seek, except he was the one always hiding. One of his favorite hiding places is our canoe which hangs against a wall. Watching him climb boxes and books and then slip into the gap is much like watching a kid climbing the stairs to his room, loudly complaining the whole way.

We had arranged to take him to our vet, but the appointment was a few days off. We were worried about his leg, the fact that we were expecting heavy rain, and the lack of sunshine and fresh air in the garage. So more or less spontaneously, we took him up to a spay/neuter clinic and got his pom-poms snipped. He also got his rabies and distemper shots, tested for HIV and feline leukemia (both negative), and his claws clipped. His leg wasn’t swollen and the clinic vet said the pain meds would probably help with that. After we brought him home, he wanted absolutely nothing to do with us.

Then our worries changed to whether he would eat (and through eating, take his pain medication), whether he would use the litter box, or whether he would just curl up in the canoe and die.

Happily, within 24 hours, his appetite was back and he had peed in the litter box. I’m sure you can imagine my delight when, another day later, I found an impressive pile of poop in the box too. And so we go. He has a great appetite, and the more I study him, the younger I think he is, perhaps not yet a year old. He still does not like us to touch him, but he tolerates our furtive pets and strokes while he eats. Although he insists on social distancing, he’s become comfortable enough with us to groom and play while we watch like doting parents.

We want to keep him confined at least until he sees our favorite vet at the end of this month. Because of his apparent youth, however, I’m loath to release him to the wilds of our neighborhood … ever. To make his current confinement tolerable (at least to our conscience), we bought him a playpen and fastened it to the side entrance into our garage.

We have this luxurious penthouse set up so when the side door is opened, he can go in and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while still being held prisoner. No surprise that he has a lot of complaints about this.

Raji has inspected every possible flaw in this setup, searching for any gap big enough to squeeze through, and giving us a piece of his mind while he does it. We’ve bolted, strapped, and twist-tied the pen in place, and secured wood panels where a kitty’s head might stick through. We were not only afraid of Raji getting away, but of him getting stuck. So this is a daytime playpen, to be used only when we are up and about and available to check on him frequently.

I guess you could say the adventure has begun in earnest now. The slow, thoughtful and patient process of getting Raji used to us, comfortable with us, and then (fingers crossed) integrated into the household.

For now our three indoor kids are in denial. They do hear Raji chattering away in the garage, but pretend not to. Their ears, however, give them away. In the meantime, Junior still claims my sandals.

Thank you for reading! If the news is getting you down, find a good distraction, like adopting a semi-feral stray cat. Believe me, it helps ๐Ÿ™‚

Categories: Cats Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

30 replies

  1. Based on those photos of Raji, he does indeed look young. He reminds me of Sassy another orange tabby companion of friends of mine here (back when she was younger; she’s as old as dirt now).

    How cute Junior looks relaxing on your sandals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Linda, yes, we think Raji is pretty young. I know our vet won’t be able to pinpoint his age, but it’ll be interesting to hear if she thinks he’s less than a year old. We found some old cat toys and have been playing with him. He has the clumsiness that you see with kittens. He can be quite entertaining ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Ha ha, Donna. Junior might draw the line at my shoes ๐Ÿ˜‰ Raji is cute. We’ve been playing with him and he has that clumsiness that you see with young cats, which really makes me think he’s probably less than a year old. I wish I knew his story.


  2. Maybe Raji will never be the ‘snugly’ type of adopted kitty, but I bet you guys are forging a strong relationship based on trust and respect! Cats are good at maintaining bonds while social distancing. They seem to come by it naturally, so take heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Laura. We’ve been spoiled by our indoor kitties’ desire for affection and laps. Raji is a different sort and we are doing our best to respect his boundaries. He’s definitely not afraid to let us know when he’s hungry ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Iโ€™m impressed with your tenacity! We have a feral cat that comes to eat and disappears for 24 hours. Iโ€™ve had visions of taking action but just not ready to do that. Keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful photos as always! So vibrant. And I know things will work out with Raji. He’ll start to realize how lucky he is to have such wonderful pet parents, but of course he’s a cat, so he won’t admit it. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Merril. We hope so too. We’ll have to have a honest talk with our vet. Maybe Raj is a “catch-and-release” cat, although really I think he’s too young for that. The way he grooms and plays makes us think that he was at least socialized by other cats, or an attentive mama. Baby steps ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if he’s that young, you might be right. Our cat Mickey (the white one who died in April) was about 4 or 5 months old when we got him from the shelter. The people there called him “demon cat.” He growled and hissed at people and in situations where he was scared. We think he was a street kitten or maybe abused. He definitely mellowed with time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Raji is starting to mellow … we think ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’ll eat dry food from my hand, and, lately, while he’s eating wet food, he’ll tolerate his forehead being stroked. He’s starting to use the pen more, although that could be the weather. Anyway. Baby steps. Greg says that we just need him to associate us with good things like food and shelter so if he has to go outside, he won’t go far. I’ll never give up on making him an indoor cat, though ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve certainly found a way to distract yourself from the news and it’s wonderful. Raj is part pussy cat, part lion ready to pounce. I rather like that about him. He’s going to keep things fresh for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha, yes, he’s definitely keeping things fresh. We dug up some old cat toys (the indoor kitties are so beyond playing with toys) and now we can play with Raji! Gives him some exercise too although he burns quite a few calories with his yowling ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, that lucky good looking guy! Itโ€™s so much fun, isnโ€™t it?!
    I didnโ€™t feel well so I turned off comments on my last blog post. Then I figured out that I wouldnโ€™t be able to respond to existing comments. I would love to share with you about Perry. If you didnโ€™t get enough from the blog posts about our first months together feel free to email me and Iโ€™ll let you know what worked and what didnโ€™t for us if you like. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marie, your shots of the aster are beautiful. And your images of Raji and his new digs off the garage are delightful. Give Raji time and everything will seem to come together. It will likely never be like living with the other three. Our feral-stray cat we “adopted” still prefers the outdoors to being inside but he knows where to find food, potty box, and where he wants to lay his head for a good long nap. Iggy also has a large array of mystic sounds and “words” in his vocabulary. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sherrey! I appreciate your support ๐Ÿ™‚ We feel that Raji has “settled in” for the most part. He’ll probably always prefer the outside, at least as long as he’s young enough to enjoy it. Our oldest cats were strays too and they’re very content to stay indoors now. Of course they sleep 21 out of 24 hours a day anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰


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