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This is my old blog, which I no longer update. Feel free to browse around old posts and such, but the much more recent version of my ramblings are to be found at MarilynAnneCampbell.com

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Additions, Part Two: The Mythical Beast On Our Couch

When I called Friday's post "New Addtitions, Part One" the plan was for Part Two to be an equally light post, featuring pictures of the happy feline friends we were going to adopt from the Humane Society on Saturday. It would have looked, perhaps, like this:

While those are indeed pictures of our newly adopted family members, not everyone is still as happy:

In the shelter, that big orange boy (and he is VERY big) was the outgoing one who drew our eye. Meowing and purring and coming to see us as soon as we spoke to him, we thought he seemed like a fine choice, but we weren't so sure about the companion he'd been surrendered with. The naturally tuxedo-clad fellow was buried under a blanket and no amount of coaxing could convince him to have anything to do with us, so we almost had nothing to do with either of them.

One of our ideas going into the shelter however was to adopt an older pair who would likely have trouble finding a home. The profiles on these boys claimed they were both very friendly once they got to know you, so we took the plunge.

All was well for the first few hours. The Orange Boy remained outgoing and quickly took to exploring the apartment. Tuxedo Boy stuck mostly to the quiet room we'd set up, periodically poking his head out the door before scurrying back under the couch. Situation as expected - for the first few hours.

It turns out The Orange Boy doesn't handle stress well. And while moving to the Humane Society in the first place was stressful enough, moving again a month later was too much to take. His reaction?

He bit his own tail.

A lot.



Yes, after a trip back to the shelter's vets to have his nipped-at tail bandaged and his head coned, he still got past all that and got back at the tail badly enough that we had to bundle him up in the night and take him to an emergency clinic where, in the waiting room, he managed to nearly sever the tip.

So now he's back home, the damaged bit of tail surgically amputated overnight by a very kind and competent vet, who has also provided an anxiety medication to try to keep the tail-attacks under control until everyone has settled in. Speaking of which, Tuxedo Boy is already out of his shell and is proving to be a wonderfully loving and well-adjusted beast.

You know T.S. Eliot's notion on the naming of cats? We're going to call them by the names they came with to avoid confusing them, but for the Orange Boy's "name that's peculiar" Ouroboros has come under serious consideration.


  1. Anonymous9:57 pm

    Oh, poor Orange Boy, getting all stressed out and biting his tail. I'm glad he has you, and I'm glad you have such a good vet. The anti-anxiety meds sound like a good idea to help him with the transition, too.

    And how purr-ecious how Tuxedo Boy has blossomed! They are both beautiful kitty boys. :)

    Hee, I love T. S. Eliot's cat poems. Our four cats have Eliotesque cat names along with their real names and their nicknames, as follows:

    Calamity Jane (20 pound, orange fluffy alpha cat): nickname is Brainball, Eliotesque name is Doodidimous

    Dora the Explorer: (fiesty little slick black girl): nickname is Dorydoo or Blackball, Eliotesque name is Shenkaseia

    Marilyn MonREOW: (cuddly, older glamourpuss white cat): nickname is Powderpuff Cottonball Cat or Eyeball, Eliotesque name is Duollipot

    Chairman Mao T'se Tung: (brave and super-friendly young Siamese boy): nickname is Maoknocker or Maoball, Eliotesque name is Chang Lao

  2. How is Orange Boy adjusting?
    Poor thing needs lots of love and tummy rubs.
    Glad to read Tuxedo Boy is happy.

    I tells ya, if my husband wasn't allergic we'd have a house full of 'em ourselves.

  3. I do love your cats' names, Thomma Lyn! Yours is the second cat I know of named after Dora the Explorer - understandable since it's a fitting description for so many felines. :)

    That's a shame about your husband's allergies, Leah. I hope you have some other opportunities to spend time with four-legged friends.

    Our big Orange Boy is adjusting slowly, but he is getting better. These days he's more angry about the Elizabethan Collar than anything else. He did have a bandage change with his new non-emergency vet and apparently the tail is healing well, so hopefully the sitches and the collar will come off soon and we can see what his personality's like when he's "unadorned".

  4. Anonymous9:31 pm

    Good luck with your sweet Big Orange Boy, Marilyn! :) He's lucky to have a wonderful home with you.

  5. Nutty cat tales (or tails)...first time I've heard that one.

    Good luck with it. First one I got from shelter a couple years ago was older and went into shell almost immediately. Was diagnosed with some liver disease and was put down three weeks later. Next tabby much better and is still around. Next kitten ended up getting some kidney infection after about a year and was put down as well. Latest kitten seems fine.