The Cast of Characters

I am the only human that lives in my house, but there are a few furry creatures running around.  I share a home with a cranky, middle-aged guinea pig called Sir Peanut Butter Fluffy Butt (he wasn’t cooperating for photos today) and two cats, Severus and Lucius. All three keep me on my toes.

PB is the elder statesman of the bunch at 3 years old, and has hit the stage where he is happy with his food, and his own space.  PB never has been the most social creature, he doesn’t mind being handled but tires of it pretty quickly, and when an attempt was made to get him a friend it didn’t go well.  PB is the poster child for cranky introverts.  We socialize a bit every day when I fill his feeders and water bottle.  To some extent, I feel like a failure with him when I see other guinea pigs interacting with their humans, but also realize that PB’s personality dictates his level of comfort with interaction too.  As long as he seems content, I’m content.

Then there are the much more interactive creatures in the house…

Severus and Lucius, AKA Sev and Lu, AKA Mini Panther and Little Lion…

Severus walked into the door a little over two and a half years ago.  He literally walked into the house like he owned it.  I had just came home from a work trip, and met this little 6-7 week old kitten hanging out on my porch.  The neighborhood is full of quasi-feral cats, so he was born of that stock.  He mewed at me a few times, and I thought I would bring him out some water because it was a hot day and this little black kitten looked a little uncomfortable.  As I opened the door and was dragging in some luggage a shadow walked right past me.  I got everything inside and this kitten sat in the middle of the living room.  He got a bowl of water and a bit of sandwich meat out of the fridge and I tried to put him back outside.  I shut the door and he started screaming.  Opened the door; he stops and looks at me.  Shut the door; the screaming began again.  Open the door; he stops screaming and makes this cute little mew.  Okay fine.  Open the door some more, he walked right back in, went to the center of the living room and sat down.

I thought I would be able to find him a home, the no-kill shelters were full, the rescues were full, no friends were interested.  It was the peak of kitten season.  I asked friends online to name him and Severus was the clear winner.  He went from pauper to prince in one day.  Sev is now a large cat with a laid back personality.  He’s sociable with most visitors, except children, he will hide from the little humans.  He spends most of the day watching birds at the window.

Then there is the new kid, whom came home as a bit of a surprise after a trip to see family at Thanksgiving this past fall.  My family has an avocado grove and coffee farm in southern California, with a few cats wandering around.  These cats are loved but spend most of their time outdoors to help keep the smaller critters down around the farm.  They have shelter and are loved but life on the farm means there is a job to do.   The female cats are allowed to have a litter and then are spayed.  Sadly, this is done to help ensure there are cats on the farm, there are several predators that will hunt the cats that aren’t wise enough to stay hidden, and the family has figured out lighter colored cats stand out too much and are found homes off of the farm as quickly as possible.  They try to reduce the number of cats snatched by predators.  On my visit, there was a sand colored tabby kitten.

He was offered to me.  I was reluctant at first not knowing how Sev would react.  Then my uncle kept referencing how the little guy would probably be picked off once he began exploring the spaces away from the house.  Crap.  Crap.  Crap.  The family paid his travel fee to fly home with me.   With his light hair and then green eyes (they’ve since turned amber) I kept with the Harry Potter/Slytherin Theme and named him Lucius.

Sev was annoyed for a whole day but then took to his younger brother and began grooming and curling up with him when they slept.  They play together constantly.  Lu has been growing quickly and I would call him aggressively cuddly.  He really likes to be as close as possible to Sev or me, well really anything breathing that walks in the door.  I’ve never heard a cat purr so loudly, when that engine starts it can be heard across the room.

Lu has given me a few scares though.  He hadn’t been vaccinated yet before he came homeimg_0544 with me, surprisingly the airline said it was fine to travel without the shots  because of his age. He was just old enough to fly but too young for a rabies vaccine, and they weren’t concerned with the others.   Getting his vaccines was on the schedule to be done about a week after he arrived in Georgia, but he had other plans.  Lu has had a viral sinus issue since he’s been here.  Thankfully Sev never caught it, or his own vaccinations protected him.  Poor Lu was so congested he had periods where it was hard for him to breathe.  After months of treatment and veterinary care he’s finally clearing it.   Thankfully, the family has paid his vet bills as they have hit, I don’t know what I would have done without their help.  No one planned on something like this hitting so hard and so quickly.  He’s still a bit stuffy in the mornings now and then but it’s gotten so much better.  Lu never seemed to realize he has been ill though, he’s played and ran like nothing has been wrong the whole time, even on his most congested days.

Lu has what I hope will be his last follow-up appointment later on this morning.  Because of his illness he still hasn’t been vaccinated or neutered.  Which makes me more nervous by the day.  Could he be exposed to something else?  And with a young male, unaltered cat, I fear the scent marking could begin anytime.  So I’m really, really, hoping for him to be cleared for shots today and get him scheduled for surgery very soon.

So that’s the cast of characters that may be referenced now and then here.  Cross your fingers for me that Lu is deemed healthy enough to take the next steps in being a happy, healthy, house cat.  At least he won’t ever be owl food.

Update: Lucius was deemed healthy enough to vaccinate and has his surgery scheduled for the first week of March.