Ode To My Foster Cat – Care Blair

Long story short, I always thought about fostering cats in the off camping season so decided to start last November. I had 3 cats of varying type and age from November 27 – December 30th. They were all quickly adopted. On December 30th, Mr. Blair came to me. He is a 2 year old male tuxedo cat. He is mostly black with white chest and white paws along with being polydactyl aka extra toes. His resting face could be construed to being grumpy. I have had him for almost 9 weeks. He has stolen my heart.

At first, he was shy and discerning. He was NOT happy to see Cali. He remained upstairs for the first 48 hours and slowly day by day, he would make an appearance somewhere near Cali and I. He didn’t mind being picked up and he loved to have his ears rubbed. This was due to the debris he had in both ears. He came to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) as a stray through their partnership with Calgary Animal Services. I needed to schedule him for an ear lavage under sedation. He had been in lockdown for 30 days due to contracting ringworm, so I wanted to get him settled and comfortable at my house before I took him back for the procedure. He started out hiding up on top of the sauna in my guest room.

I fed him 2 x a day upstairs and had his litter in the guest room as well. I put the cat tree I purchased in that room in front of the window and he moved to that perch for a good week. He ended up having diarrhea and vomiting. We think it was from the anti-fungal sulphuric bath he had before coming to me. This is when, not being able to smell, comes in handy. I got him through that and finally booked his procedure. By this time it was 12 days into January. He was venturing downstairs and cautiously accepting Cali. I was able to bring his food down to the main level.

So the procedure went ok. He had a lot of debris in his ears and still required ear drops 2x a day to be administered for a week and then do a recheck. So we did the recheck and decided to do 10 more days of ear drops along with cleaning. This is not an easy job but he’s taken it like a champ. So we go for the recheck and he still has debris deep down so they decided to keep him for another ear lavage. In this time frame, he has become super social and has taken it upon himself to steal Cali’s beds throughout the house. Cali has been very gracious letting him enjoy her kingdom. In fact, Cali has been absolutely amazing with all the cats. She has been so patient and gentle. She likes them…to a point.

So after his last ear recheck, post lavage, I thought he would be ready to go up for adoption. But…he still has debris in one of his ears so we are back to cleaning and antibiotics for another week. I think he’s trying to do whatever he can to stay with me. I totally understand why, I would love to be one of my pets.

Well in these 9 weeks, this cat has captured my heart. He is funny, curious, super chill, easily pleased, a good eater, uses the litter box always and has taken a liking to Cali. On several occasions he has attempted to sleep beside Cali but Cali is having none of it. Granted she has been an only child, so I get it. Blair has been sleeping at the end of the bed for a good month now.

This is the first time CareBlair finds the spy cat cam!

He has a few things that he does on a schedule. With the cameras I have set up, I’ve been able to record some of those things. he jumps off the bed about 6 am, he heads upstairs to get a drink of water. Note: Cats do NOT like their water near their food. I had a bowl of water in my primary bath for Cali and he took it to be his. So camera #1 was set up at his water dish. After the drink he heads to Cali’s bed in the front window and remains there until Cali and I get up at 9am. It also helps that the window faces directly east so he gets the sunrise in all it’s glory. He’s not dumb.

Cat Cam Action

Once I get up, I feed them both and he goes upstairs for water and to use the litter box and then the FRAPies begin aka Zoomies. FRAP is the scientific name for zoomies. Frenetic Random Activity Period. He literally runs the entire length and width of the house. All I hear while I am doing my meds is running, crashing, and meowing. Every once in awhile I hear a thud. Usually a book crashing off my desk. Camera#2 has captured so many hilarious “parties for 1”. As I am typing this he is doing the same thing at 9 pm. Everyday.

He loves the laser light. We do a round of it every night once Cali goes to bed. He has started playing peek-a-boo with me once I close my bedroom curtain/door. I will add a photo so you can see what I mean. It’s hysterical.

He always follows me to the bathroom. This is when he talks to me about his day. Cats only meow in order to communicate with humans. So I ask him how he’s doing, what are his plans for the day, did he like his breakfast…He tells me. He loves CAT TV. Will sit in front of my computer until I turn it on.

It’s a touch screen so I am always having to reset it. He has started coming to sit with me for a brief period of time. His hesitation is because Cali is giving the “eff off” vibes. He uses the cat tree for scratching. He used the couch once and I squirted him and he’s not done it since. He doesn’t like to seek out trouble. He prefers to chill. He has a perch in every room in my house and he will make the rounds to all of them. He is absolutely fine with Cali kicking him off of her beds. He used to swat at her but now lets her, literally, get nose to nose. They will nap together with a foot of space between each other.

The things I find fascinating about cats and him in particular is the ability to move around the house in utter silence. I never know what he’s doing except when he starts the zoomies. I will be on my computer and suddenly he’s hopped up. Scares the bejeezus out of me. It’s a bit disconcerting. At a hefty 15lbs, I would think he would make a bit of a sound. He did knock down an entire bookshelf- I heard that of course and feared he was under all the books. He was not. He just left the scene of the crime.

Also interesting to me is the cat tail language dictionary. Dogs have about 3 types of wags that mean either happy, scared or on alert. Cats have an entire book dedicated to the language of their tail. The swishing tail, close to the ground means that a pounce is about to happen. The upright tail, like an elephant trunk, means that he is content and interested. The rapid twitch of the end of the tail tells me he is annoyed. Wrapping his tail around my leg, he is making me his property. The vibrating tail shows me he is happy. As you can see, if you are tuned in, you can read a lot about a cat’s behaviour. As a 2-year old cat I think he is pretty confident in who he is.

The petting of a cat is by far the biggest difference between cats and dogs. Dogs want to be pet anywhere and everywhere. Cats have a ‘no-go’ zone or zones, a ‘tolerated’ zone, a ‘don’t stop’ zone, an “I might actually bite you hard’ zone. Finding these zones changes day to day. The ever loving tummy rub that a dog will die for, is almost always a “death to you” zone followed by a Rambo-like attack of your entire hand, bleeding optional, stitches possible. I think the unpredictability of cats is what prevents many people to just say NO to ever getting a cat. No one wants to be killed in their sleep by their pet and honestly, they aren’t wrong.

Now the 2 cons of cat enslavement is, cleaning the litter box and washing out the wet food bowl. A good litter is key to your health and sanity. I use the Clump and seal. No dust. As for the wet food, not only is it disgusting to look at, it is impossible to clean out. It adheres itself to the bowl like a gorilla glue soup. I think a glue company should spend some time in research and development with dried out cat food. I’m sure it could stick down tiles for life. My water bill has gone up trying to soak off this blend of guts and goo. So that being said, having a cat is pretty fun. The only reason I am not keeping him is because he is affecting my bad lungs, making breathing without my oxygen very difficult. It breaks my heart but breathing is kind of important.

The cat is the epitome of the phrase “Go away, come close”. My spirit animal on many levels. Hahaha. I will be quite sad when he goes to his forever home but for now I will enjoy every waking moment with him and give him a taste of the good life, he so tragically did not have for the first 2 years of his life. “It gets better from here my little CareBlair, and I am so happy to be your mom.”

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