Not too long ago we moved to a new apartment. Ace had a sheltered place outside where she could sleep comfortably. And for a about ten days she was happy. So happy, in fact, that she started climbing trees again and enjoying the new out-of-the-city quietness.
But one morning we found her lying dead. Presumably, she was attacked by stray dogs.
Ace has always had access to the outside and could always take care of herself. Throughout the years I had a few scares with her when I heard cats fighting outside or when she came back home bleeding and I rushed her to animal hospital. But I learned to count on her instincts and preferred to let her live freely – going outside as she pleased.
I picked Ace up from the street about ten and a half years ago. She was just over a month old at the time and she was a part of my life since. I can’t even find the words to describe how I feel about her being gone. Sometimes I still imagine that I hear her outside.
This post was initially supposed to be called “Sorry For The Lack Of Updates”, but instead I decided to write about what’s currently going on in my life so that it’ll be apparent why I haven’t been updating as much as before.
I moved to a new apartment a few days ago. In four days I managed to pack all my stuff and move out. The move itself was OK, but naturally the movers sucked (it was the first time I didn’t tip the movers). Then I had to close every door and window in the apartment because I feared Ace would run away. When I finally brought her into the apartment, I took her in my car without a cage. It was actually a funny experience – she looked out the closed windows like dogs do and people were staring at the car with a lot of bewilderment.
After four days in the closed (yet air conditioned) apartment, I took Ace outside with a leash. She didn’t seem to be scared and didn’t try to run, so I let her go free. She did a lot of sniffing, and then (using some Tuna) I lured her in through the window so that she could see the connection between the inside and the outside of the apartment, which is on the ground floor. Being the smart cat that she is, that was enough for Ace. She is now a happy, free cat. She goes in and out a lot, and it seems as if she thinks the outside is an extension of the apartment.
I don’t have an Internet connection in the apartment yet. I will have on in three days. Not having an Internet connection at home isn’t nice, but isn’t too bad also – I wasn’t doing much surfing during weekdays at home anyway. But I couldn’t update the blog from home, as well.
At work I’m doing integration work for a few weeks. It’s not something that I enjoy too much – I prefer programming much more – but it’s part of the job. Doing integration has some positive side – you learn about parts of the system you didn’t know too much about before. One of the negative sides is that I don’t manage to catch up on my RSS feeds. I mean, I do read some (Internet-related) news, but not as much as I do when I’m programming. And naturally – I don’t have time to update this blog.
Today, though, I decided to take a few minutes and write this post. I’m not going to even proof-read it. So there you go.
Once I had Ace spayed, I couldn’t resist letting her go outside and enjoy some freedom. On many websites it says that cats feel perfectly fine being at home and there is no need to let them out, but Ace, being a domestic short-haired cat (Wikipedia definition) has always been interested in the outside and I can tell she likes going out.
On the last Thursday and Friday nights, when I got back home, Ace was outside. She either jumped from or fell off the edge of the window, where she likes to walk around and monitor what’s going on in the street. This has happened before, and when it happens, she is always happy to follow me back home (probably being tired, thirsty and hungry). This is very unlike the times when I let her out – then I’d have to either tempt her to come to me with treats or simply chase her and take her home myself.
On Saturday, though, she made me really proud – I let her outside and she came back herself and started meowing near the door until I heard her and let her in. This goes to show, again, that she’s a very smart cat. Her vet told me that when he heard about some of her behavior even when she was a few months old.
And by the way, according to her estimated age, Ace will soon turn 1. I’ll probably post some pictures.
On Friday I took Ace to the vet. She was very quiet on the way there. She’s always quiet and sleepy in car rides… just like me, actually :) Anyway, she was pretty calm on the table when we got her out of her carrying box. The vet was supposed to give her a shot first and then use sleeping gas. Since Ace behaved so well, he decided not to use a restraining cage, being a very unpleasant experience to the cat.
When the vet touched Ace with the needle, the tiger inside of her woke up. She forced herself out of his lock and scratched him and me (I was standing close). Then she ran away to a corner, while creating a big mess on her way. I was scratched and proud. Luckily, some of the stuff in the shot did get into her system and she became dizzy enough after 10 minutes for us to grab hold of her. He still needed to use the restraining cage for the rest of the shot.
I took Ace home after the surgery. She was still wobbly and confused. Seeing her like this was really painful to me. She tried to climb onto her favorite places like the bed and the table, but failed to do so as it probably hurt too much and she didn’t get her strength back yet. So I helped her a few times but that too seemed painful to her. By evening time she started eating again and looked much better. On Saturday she was still recuperating but I could see that she regained her vitality and even tried to play a little (I didn’t cooperate – she must rest for a week).
Ace (my cat) is in heat. I previously didn’t want to have her spayed because I really didn’t want to have her go through an operation. Also, all the pro-spaying reasons are to spare us, humans, from pain, not cats. But now that she’s in heat I think I’ll actually spare her some agony if I do get her spayed. It’s amazing to see how primal her behavior is during this period. She’s constantly howling in hope to attract male cats and she’s also overly friendly – rolling on the floor and begging for attention – something which she usually only does when I come back home after a day’s work.
Most of the time I feel sorry for her because she seems so miserable. I even tried to look for ways to calm her down and make this experience less painful for her. Some things, like petting her and giving her a lot of attention, I happily do. I actually like the very friendly version of Ace. But some things, like this advice on how to calm a cat in heat by inducing an orgasm with a Q-tip I won’t do. Thinking about it makes me nauseous. I can handle the howling and being woken up 3 times every night to calm her down.
I noticed that distracting Ace sometimes works, even if it is for short periods. If I give her some of her treats or play her favorite game of chasing plastic bottle caps then she forgets about the howling and later on she might actually take a nap and give me one or two hours of peace and quiet.
I already talked with the vet and once Ace is after this period I’ll get her spayed. Apart from being the responsible thing to do, I think it will really make her life better.