Saturday, November 19, 2011

An ode to my apartment and kitties

I moved from a studio apartment (think: 1 bedroom/kitchen/living room combo and a bathroom) to a nice, bigger basement apartment about 2 months ago. Today I finally got around to putting up some of my artwork and doing a little more unpacking. I'm being lazy, I know.

It's amazing how just a little bit of decorating can make the place feel so much more homey and comfortable! It took awhile for me to get around to decorating because when I moved in I only had bedroom furniture and kitchen supplies and money was too tight to buy anything else. Over the past two months I've found a nice darker wood slat futon for the living room, an inexpensive metal sewing desk and a few other odds and ends to make the space more "Brie".

This is part of my living room in progress!

This is my sewing area that I hope to move by the bigger living room window in the next month or two!

I told myself I wasn't going to get a futon again because futons remind me of college and parties. They make me think of the guy who drank too much and crashed on the saggy, dirty, beer soaked mattress and that doesn't make me feel too grown up. I love being a kid sometimes but I still aspire to having semi-adult furniture one day! I made an exception for this futon though because it's a nice wooden one, the mattress is really comfy and if family or friends come to stay there will be room for them to sleep. I'm keeping the drunk guys off of it though!

The mattress cover is a nice tan color and soft but I put my light blue down comforter over top because I think it looks better. Until I can get some pillows the duvet cover is the way to go! My kitties seem to appreciate it!

Usually they don't all sleep together like that except for on my bed so it was pretty awesome to find them snuggled up. I know 3 cats is a bit excessive but I'm going to be the crazy cat lady some day so I figured I better start sometime! My cats names are Chickpea, Falafel and Tahini. Chickpea is the super long haired light orange/cream one, Falafel is the tortie and Tahini is the long haired snowshoe Siamese mix. She doesn't really look anything like a Siamese but she does have blue eyes and the pretty seal point markings.

Tahini was a stray who was brought into the Humane Society when she was about 7-9 months old. She was surprising very mellow when I first met her and it turns out she just had a really bad upper respiratory infection. Once she was off the antibiotics she became really cautious and jumpy. She would sleep near me but always about an arms length away. If you tried to walk up to her to pet her she would run away or cower down and it made me wonder just who gave up such a beautiful kitty and what kind of life she was living. The good thing is she instantly bonded with Chickpea and that helped put her at ease a bit.

I've had her for 2 years now this November, and moving into this new apartment has made such a huge difference in her behaviour. I'm sure the extra room has made all my kitties happier, but Tahini probably doesn't feel as trapped or cornered anymore. She spends hours sitting on the smaller windows in the living room looking into the back or side yard. Her and Chickpea will sleep on the windowsill until midnight or so and then come sleep on my bed. The past couple weeks Tahini has been so chill that she's even let me approach her without running away. She also sleeps right next to me some nights and seeing her be affectionate makes me happy. I'm not sure if she'll ever be calmer around guests, but one step at a time!

Chickpea is the 'middle child' of my kitties. After Corban and I broke up and I moved into the awesome 1bdrm house off Alberta in October of 2008, I adopted her from the Humane Society too. I don't really want to play favourites but she was such a sweet, affectionate and therapeutic kitten that it's hard not to think she's the best cat ever. She was darn cute too!

She's always been a little lady and crosses her paws. It's pretty adorable!

Chickpea is the kind of cat that can fall asleep so soundly that she won't notice when you wake up and get out of bed. She'll come up and sleep under the covers or curl up right by my chest or head at night and I'll wake up to a purring happy kitty. She has become obsessed with eating whatever I'm eating. I don't want to breed a begger cat but it's pretty adorable watching her eat kiwi's and strawberries!

The quality of the video isn't great (and the first few seconds kind of spaz out) but I caught the end of the strawberry eating on my camera phone.

Chickpea also is the most playful kitty. Her baby toy was this little red fleece squid, in this picture. I lost it in the move. Sorry Chickpea!

Falafel is the oldest kitty out of the bunch. She is the most loyal: always sleeping on my bed when I'm there and spending the most time with me and less time off on her own. While Chickpea is the most social kitty, and also the peacemaker, Falafel is the most steadfast and non-flexible one. She's a sweetheart but if you upset one of her routines or move her from her spot on the bed she'll whine at you.

I found Falafel from a Craigslist ad. A feral kitty had a litter of kittens and I rescued Falafel when she was about 8 weeks old. She was a super adorable kitten, with big buggy eyes and a curious nature.

Falafel has been in my life since 2005 and her and I are probably the most in sync. She's the smartest kitty and always comes when I call her name. I have about 3 nicknames for her too (snotface, pistou, and Falaf) and she answers to all of them! I swear she is so happy sometimes she smiles.

When I introduced Tahini to the house she gave both Chickpea and Falafel her horrible respiratory infection and Falafel fell really ill. Cats rely on their sense of smell to tell them that they are hungry and Falafel stopped eating because she was so stuffed up and felt cruddy. If cats don't eat for a few days their body starts to metabolize the fat as an energy source (as it does with any animal), but a cats liver can't process the fat so it builds up. As time goes on this can cause fatty liver disease and the kitty becomes super nauseous, jaundiced, dehydrated and looses a lot of weight. Falafel was always a bigger cat, about 11lbs but she dropped to under 8lbs when she got sick. I couldn't afford to hospitalize her or even have them put in a feeding tube and I was terrified I was going to lose her.

It was two long weeks of treatment. I decided to do everything myself and I got 4 different medications filled for her, two bags of electrolytes, an IV and a bag of needles, two syringes, and a lot of high calorie wet food. I had to mix 1/4 of a can of wet food with warm water, wrap her in a towel like a burrito and force feed her 3 times a day. I gave her fluids after I fed her between the layers of skin on the back of her neck. After about 12 days her jaundice was paling out and she finally started to come out from under the bed to sleep next to me again. A day later she licked some baby food off of my fingers and I cried because I knew that we had beat it. I'll never forget that moment and I'm so glad that my kitty made it. It was worth coming home at lunchtime to feed her and shower her with love because the thought of losing my devoted sweet girl broke my heart. I know that everyone says you should have an emergency pet fund but this emergency was estimated to cost over $3500. I paid about $750 when all was said and done.

Falafel is now up to about 12lbs and healthy. Some people have made remarks about how she's chunky and I always say that I would much rather have her healthy and with a few pounds rather than not here! I remember pleading to her when she was sick and wouldn't eat to get better. I would hold her and tell her that if she got better I would spoil her every chance that I got. And I do.

She's recently taken to coming up to me and giving me a love bite or tapping me on the arm when she wants to be petted. It's too freaking cute.

It all sounds pretty dramatic and emotional (and a lot to write about cats!) but my kitties are just super awesome creatures. They're my buddies and their unconditional love and affection always perks me up on a bad day. In fact, right now they're luring me into bed for some snuggles, so I best be off to doing that!

1 comment:

  1. The apartment looks great and thanks for sharing photos of the cats. It makes me so sad that I'm allergic to cats (and we think maybe Cliff is too a little bit) because they are so adorable.