Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Double Vertebrate Blogging

picture taken through closed glass door

bonsai the hunter tries to bring his new toy into the house. we learned by chasing mice around the house to keep the door closed so we could see if mr. cat had been a successful hunter before he got in. i don't think that we would have had to chase this particular mouse.

our cat has several physical limitations that we thought might preclude any success at hunting. shows what we know. his front claws don't properly retract, so that he gets caught in the carpet quite often. his back claws won't extend, so he can't climb; unfortunate for him, okay by us. he can jump up onto a bed or chair, but nothing higher, and when he jumps down he often does a front roll. his rear legs seem to push harder than needed. he can run in a straight line ok, but doesn't corner so well. when he runs after something and tries to stop quickly he often flips heel over head.

he, of course, to himself is just who he is. he behaves "accordingly" in that he's a very wary cat, but how could he know that he isn't a "fully-abled" cat? oh yeah. he also has incredibly violent whole body spasms when he sleeps. he thrashes about so much that he sometimes throws himself off the bed where he sleeps right on the edge. it also means that we keep blanket covers on our couch and upholstered chair because his unretracted front claws catch on fabric and tear out threads. the opinion from vets is that he may have survived a bout of distemper or even some physical trauma.

we have considered and rejected the idea of drugging him to stop the seizures and i clip and file his front claws at irregular intervals. he dislikes having his feet touched so i have to do one or two claws when he is sleeping. he wakes very slowly and walks unsteadily for several minutes.

RD and i in our separate and combined lives have had many cats. we agree that bonsai is the most distinctive character of them all. he comes when called, at least outside, and will follow us around the yard. he also responds when we beckon him to follow and say "c'mon bonsai," even inside. he won't eat unless petted first, but clearly communicates "don't touch me" at most other times.

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