4 years with Tinycat, and glad he’s still with us

Four years ago today, we were working in our downtown garden when a homeless friend named Justin walked up holding an impossibly tiny, impossibly flea-covered kitten. “I just found him,” he said, “and I can’t take care of him and don’t want him to be a hobo cat. Can you take him?” I took one look at the tiny furball and knew I had to help him find a home.

I took him home, gave him a bath, picked hundreds of fleas off of him, and promptly fell in love.  I didn’t want to fall in love, though. We called him Tinycat because we weren’t giving him a name because we were. not. keeping. him. That resolve lasted until the night before he was supposed to go to a new home, and Jon and I both cried and realized we couldn’t bear to part with him.

By the end of that summer, I got pregnant and promptly began spending a lot of time in bed. Tinycat was always by my side. He was my buddy through a difficult pregnancy, and even after the girls were born, he has been amazing with them, always choosing to be near them, allowing them to love him, however rough, and gently training them in how to handle him.

Over the last few months, Tiny has been very sick. It started as a bladder infection, but then either nausea or just distaste for his prescription bladder food caused him to just stop eating. He had been fairly obese, but then he suddenly got scary-skinny, and super sick. He had starved himself into liver failure. Apparently fatty liver syndrome is common when fat cats lose a lot of weight suddenly. At one point, I was pretty sure he was going to die. For the last two months he’s been getting medications and syringe feedings, and it’s been rough on all of us. Now he’s finally starting to gain weight, eat a little food (but still refusing the prescription bladder food), and even act like his old playful, affectionate self again. It’s been like watching him rise from the dead. It finally feels like he’s actually decided he wants to live, and we are so happy.


Happy fourth anniversary, Tinycat. I’m glad you won over this family of “dog people.” Don’t tell Bessie and Olive, but you’re my favorite. Even when you’re being The Worst.

Advertisements

recent developments

Because my reading list is massive…

just a portion of my masters reading list, scored at a used book sale

And because I’m apparently an old fogey at the ripe old age of 26… I now have these:

Luckily my reading buddy looks like this:

Tinycat.

DIY cat bed

Now that Tinycat is staying, I decided he needed a nicer bed than a folded up beach towel. To the folks wondering, “how do you get your cat to sleep on a designated bed in the first place?” the answer is, he sleeps locked in the bathroom off of our bedroom, so he basically sleeps on the softest thing in there.

I started looking at cat beds online, but they were all kind of boring, slightly ugly, and $20-$30.

I wanted something cuter, and with my rudimentary sewing skills, figured I could make something decent for less than $30. I went to Hobby Lobby and assembled the following supplies:

Foam square: $4.89 (on sale, regularly $6.99), 1 yard of fabric: $8.99, 1 spool of matching thread: $.99, zipper: $2.29. Grand total: $17.16.

Then I basically laid the foam down on the fabric and cut around it, leaving about half an inch on each side as a seam allowance. I did this for each side of the cushion. For one of the long sides, I cut double the seam allowance to allow for the zipper to be installed, because I wanted the cover to be removable so I can wash it. I installed a zipper in the middle of the long sides, sewed the sides together end to end, leaving one side unsewn, and then started attaching the sides to the top, working my way around until all the sides were sewn on, and then sewing the last corner. Then I sewed the bottom on, turned it right side out (thanks to the zipper, this was possible), and put it on the cushion. I made sure to finish all my seams nicely so that they won’t unravel in the wash.

This is the final result (related: it’s hard to photograph a cat on his cute new bed when all he wants to do is eat the bed):

Crazy cat in action.

View of the zipper side.

It’s not perfect at the corners, and the fit could be slightly tighter, but overall I’m pretty proud. Also, notice how it matches those pillows on our bed? When it’s not eleventy billion degrees, that’s also what our duvet cover looks like, so Tinycat’s bed looks like a mini version of ours. So cute I could die.

I could be convinced to make one of these again for someone I loved for compensation or a Christmas gift, and if that happens, I’ll try to take some step by step photos so this post is more helpful.

tinycat meets the stray

So…Tinycat still lives here. We got a new home all lined up and then, while I was all “trying to be strong and do the right thing,” Jon decided we just couldn’t part with him.

The other morning, we were doing our usual morning routine, which involves me internetting and drinking coffee while Tinycat hangs out on the back of the couch/on the windowsill. He likes to bask in the sun like so:

While he was basking, a stray cat outside (our neighborhood is full of strays and semi-strays that seem to have owners who don’t keep them inside, ever) spotted him and popped up on the window ledge to say “hi.”

And then this ensued:

I think he really wanted to go out and play! A friend wondered if they were related, but that’s probably pretty unlikely as Tinycat was found way downtown and this cat lives around here. Now if only our dogs were as calmly curious and playful as that stray cat, we’d be getting somewhere!

kit happens

So yeah. This happened:

While working at our church’s community garden on Saturday, a homeless friend came up with a tiny, flea-covered kitten in need of a home. He said, hilariously, that he would have liked to keep him himself, but he didn’t want him to be a “hobo kitty.” Of course, I’m a sucker for any and all animals, and I agreed to take him home and de-flea him and find him a family to adopt him. Guess who hasn’t been adopted yet… We’re keeping him on a “trial basis” to see if he can get along with our dogs, or, phrased more accurately, if the dogs can get along with him. So far they’re not allowed in the same room. We’re not naming him til we’re sure we’re keeping him, but we’re enjoying his cuteness and playfulness for now, and referring to him as Tinycat. The dogs, on the other hand, are referring to him as “that dastardly intruder who wants to steal our snacks.”

guess she hadn’t heard of ceiling cat

Since I have many cat-loving friends and readers, I thought I’d share this poem I read for today’s 18th Century Women Writers class.

Anne Francis, “An Elegy on a Favourite Cat” (1790)

When cats like him submit to fate,
And seek the Stygian strand,
In silent woe and mimic state
Should mourn the feline band.

For me–full oft at eventide,
Enrapt in thought profound,
I hear his solemn footsteps glide,
And startle at the sound!

Oft as the murmuring gale draws near
(To fancy’s rule consigned),
His tuneful purr salutes my ear,
Soft-floating on the wind.

Among the aerial train, perchance,
My Bully now resides,
Or with the nymphs leads up the dance–
Or skims the argent tides.

Ye rapid Muses, haste away,
His wandering shade attend,
Hunt him through bush and fallow grey,
And up the hill ascend;

O’er russet heath extend your view,
And through th’ embrowning wood;
On the brisk gale his form pursue,
Or trace him o’er the flood:

If he a lucid Sylph should fly,
With various hues bedight,
The Muse’s keen pervading eye
Shall catch the streaming light…