Thursday, January 17, 2013

You Can't Be Too Careful... Lenny's motto.

Most of you know I have numerous cat companions to round out the myriad wild critters and wild mustangs living on the property and Sanctuary. Lenny was adopted after his stray mom and siblings were found 'forever' homes and Len was left behind. It was just a matter of time before I told Excy that Lenny had a home, and it was with us. He was named after the character 'Lenny' on the original Law&Order, whose quips we had always enjoyed. We have never given animals Christian names, but for some reason, it seemed appropriate to me, and it fits his personality.

Lenny is the most spoiled cat in our household (that's saying something), and a real 'mama's boy.' He, unfortunately, would also ride 'the short bus.' Lenny's special. But he's also, well, special. He talks -- a lot -- and his constant chattering and then real conversations with us always lifts my spirits. He is good natured. When he wants attention -- and also 'butt beats' (patting his behind is quite the fetish of his, and a bit embarrassing when he also insists on it from close friends he trusts who visit the house), he will do 'Lenny rolls,' unprompted, but also on command: rolling on the floor from side to side...I will tell him he's on a 'Lenny roll' when he surpasses four side-by-sides. His record so far has been 20 in a row.

For all his sociability with us, however, he is quite the introvert. Most cats prefer a quiet life of routine and stability, and Len is no exception. He dislikes strangers in his home, loud noises, door bells, sudden moves...the list goes on. But there is more to introversion and extroversion than quiet people and loud people. Psychobiology decides how we interact with others - and the key is in our central nervous systems. According to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, introverts have a much higher and active nervous system, and extroverts have a high threshold for stimulation.

 A few years ago, for almost a week, Lenny went from  being my best little pal to freaking out when I walked into the room -- to the point he was afraid to sleep with me, sleep on the bed, or be near me, and when Excy held him and walked up to me in an attempt to show him it was 'just mama,' he leapt from Excy's arms, drawing blood. It tore me up, especially because my other 'mama's boy,' had died a few days before, and I was grieving and also wondering if he somehow made a connection with Scat's death in that pea brain of his.

 It took me four days to figure out what I had done, and then it slowly occurred to me I had used a fly swatter close to him as he was gazing unawares out a window. By the fifth day of Lenny's meltdown, as I was on the phone to our vet, tearfully consulting on how to bring Lenny around and discussing forms of 'kitty Xanax,' Lenny walked into the library and seemed a bit sheepish, said he was sorry, and presented his butt to me to be 'beaten.'

It was fortunately been quite a few years since Lenny has been traumatized by me, but last Friday he has decided to be terrified of my new shoes. I bought a pair of Oxfords and love them. Not being able to walk easily, their almost one-inch heel is slightly higher than what I am used to wearing, and I clomp around in them more than usual. My making more noise than usual has been enough to send 'Leonard' (sorry, he has a dozen nick-names, like every cat in the house), over the edge.

I am hoping in time he will get over it, as I am not giving up the Oxfords. We shall see.

In the meantime, I'm doubling up the dose of homeopathic remedies I put in their water.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We Was Skunked!! *

*more fun than proper grammar...

We had a severe ice and snowstorm that began Christmas day, leaving us without power for 22 hours, beginning at 2 a.m. the took four days to plow out the drive and use the 4 WD to get to my parents, who stayed here until their power was turned back on. By Monday,  New Year's Eve, they were back in their house, and we were tired, but getting ready to leave for Emory in ATL the next day for my drs appts...

Around 5 p.m., Excy was outside doing chores and noticed as he reached the front porch we had a visitor. He texted me to carefully crack the front door and see the skunk on the porch nosing around for food we keep out for the stray cats...the poor thing was super cold and his tail was encrusted with ice. Raccoons had cleaned out the bowl of cat food, so I threw out some more, but the skunk didn't appear interested...I shut the door. When it was safe, Excy made his way inside.

Around 10 p.m. we heard a knock on the front door but no one was around. I peeked out the window and saw the skunk on the front stoop...dude wanted inside!

I was inside my closet 30 minutes later getting my clothes ready for the trip when my boy kitty, Lenny, started sniffing the heating vent...and then I heard it -- two (at least) skunks going at it: either fighten' or fucken' under the house -- and then POOF! A bomb of eu Pepe la Pew enveloped the entire house -- and Excy yelled to come to the front -- the skunks had bombed the entire perimeter of the house! Two Lampe bergers and several candles didn't take care of the smell.

Guess they were pissed off we didn't let them inside.

The next day we took off in our rolling Pole Cat-mobile, trying to ignore the fact everything, including the suitcase and our clothes, smelled really really strong...

We got home last night. Fortunately, things have finally aired out.