Over the holidays we catsat for a friend of ours who has wonderfully taken in two cats with feline HIV. These cats were unadoptable and could not be kept at the city shelter, but the city employees didn't want to euthanize them as they were very attractive cats with warm, friendly personalities. Thankfully my friend M. stepped up and took them home, where she has taken painstaking care of them. A local cat lady has donated a life subscription to her raw foods for these cats, and M. can take them in to get veterinary care for free, which relieves the financial burden on her of taking two cats with a serious condition.
These cats don't look sick. They are beautiful, fluffy, and energetic, but they must be kept indoors and can't mingle with other cats. Their raw food diet is kept refrigerated and needs to be served to them twice a day. Although M's temporary housemate was willing to feed them, he is not a cat person and was not about to provide the hours of attention these cats normally receive from their doting owner. So we were enlisted, to come by and play with the cats and give them some love (and also check on their litterbox).
M's housemate obviously fed the cats, but he didn't tend to their litterbox noticeably. He also didn't play with them very much. Every time I arrived, always with the stalwart Lola at my side and normally with Iris as well, the cats were ready for endless playtime.
One of them had a rash on her chin which she picked at, so she had to wear a cone of shame. The children dubbed them "Coney and NotConey." They loved ridiculing Coney when she tried to groom herself with her cone on, licking the inside of her cone and putting her paw up to it.
The children devoted themselves to photography of Coney and Notconey, trying to get pictures of them airborne as the children whipped them up to a frenzy with the cat toys. The frustrations of nature photography were all too apparent, as the best shots seemed elusive. They filled my iPhone up with over a hundred pictures of those cats in no time.
Driving over to M's place one day, we passed near her place of employment. I had a thought. "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if we went to M's salon? You know she is always showing everyone all these pictures of her cats on her phone. Now they have a break from looking at pictures of those cats, and we could take my phone in and make them look at pictures of M's cats on my phone while she's away!" The children thought this was hilarious and were definitely up for it, but I was too lazy to inflict this prank on M's colleagues.
Since M's return, Coney's skin has recovered to the point where she no longer needs to wear the cone of shame. I shared this with the children, who were disapproving.
"Coney isn't that cute; she needs to wear the cone to be cute!"
"What will we call them now, if they can't be Coney and Notconey?"
The sentiment among the children was that if M. expects any more high quality catsitting, she'd better put that cone back on. The children's love is not unconditional.
You should bring cuppy along for a visit.
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