BAXTER, Entry for May 25-29, 2007
May 25- I was so looking forward to seeing Baxter today. Baxter is doing fine and it was like we had never missed a day. He led me right into our normal routine. After I took off my jacket and set my bag down, he was up on the island in the kitchen for the usual. He plopped down and I nuzzled my nose into his stomach while using both hands to give him profuse scratchies about the head and shoulders. He rolled around for more. Then it was time for his wet food. He moved over to the kitchen counter to provide his usual supervision and to see and smell what was next. I turned on the water to run for a while and popped the lid off the can. He loomed over the can while I put a spoon or so into the dish. He gobbled a few morsels for his obligatory taste test before I could set it on the floor by his dry food. Then it was on the way to the litter inspection in the bathroom. I scooped the litter, shook the towel into the litter pan and swept the floor under his approving eyes and an occasional paw. He followed me back to the kitchen to inspect the opening of the dry food bag and followed me back to the bathroom to sample the new addition to his dry food bowl. After replenishing the bowl in the kitchen, picking up any crumbs I rinsed and filled the water bowls in the kitchen and the bathroom. The only thing left was a little TV and some play time and treats. I got the cat dancer out and he positioned himself in his tent. I grabbed some bags of treats and settled on the ottoman. He likes to stalk the cat dancer bug from his tent, dashing out when it gets too far across the floor and then he runs back to his tent for more, occasionally knocking over or launching his tent several inches. He really had a collection of toys in his tent today. I laid out some treats on the edge of the rug, which he ignored for a while, but he eventually stopped for his snack. When it was time to go and I had turned off the TV, before I got up from the ottoman, Baxter had gone over by the front door and laid down in front of it. This is something that he has never done before. He wouldn't move when I called him and I had to unroll the cat dancer to entice him to come back. After a minute I started packing and said good bye, reassuring him that I would be back tomorrow. As I looked back he was wagging his tail but with less enthusiasm. I knelt down and gave him a little scratchie and he gave me a gentle nip on my hand as his punishment for my leaving
May 26 - Baxter is doing well. We had another good time today. First we had to have our snuggles on the island in the kitchen. As you know, Baxter jumps up on the island and starts to roll on his side and back which is my clue to "get over here" and give me my snuggles. I went to prepare his wet food today, but he wasn't done with his snuggling session, so I had to go back and continue for a little while longer before he was ready to give it up and move on the next thing.
I noticed yesterday when I put the cat food can in the fridge that there were other cans there, so I chose one from the fridge for his spoon or so of wet food. I moistened it with a little water and put it down on the floor by his dry food, but he sniffed it and wasn't interested. I will try tomorrow to first put it on a plate and nuke it for a couple of seconds. I use the microwave on kitty leftovers at home to bring the food to room temperature and bring out the flavor. This works well on my cats, although I have known a number of cats where cold remainders don't seem to matter. I know that microwaves vary and I will test the food to make sure that it is only warm and not hot before I serve it to Baxter.
I forgot to bring my cat dancer out with me today, so I chose out of the basket the wand with the little fuzzy man on the end of it. I treated it like a puppet and walked him around. Baxter would rush at him when he would travel too far away but seemed to like it most when I would have the little man jump through the portal in front of the tent, where he was waiting to pounce on him. We did this for a while and I put out a mixed line of treats on the edge of the rug which he enjoyed eating one by one. When it was time to go, Baxter retreated under the stools to watch in silence as I put my jacket on and prepared to leave. I knelt down and gave him a little scratchie and again assured him that I would be back tomorrow
May 27- Baxter was doing well as usual today. He met me in the living room with his "where were you, it's about time you got here, I've been waiting all day," meows. He got over that quickly and was up rolling around on the island with my nose buried in his belly. I tried the tuna that was in the refrigerator today. I put it in the measuring cup and heated it for 10 seconds in the microwave. I stuck my finger into the tuna to check its temperature and he was eating it as I was transferring it to the blue plastic bowl. He seems to be more interested in wet food right when its offered, but once he stops he doesn't seem to go back to it. I think yesterdays food went untouched because he found it initially unappetizing offered cold and never went to it later. Today Baxter had to have more snuggles in the bathroom on the counter. He usually goes up on the counter at some point during the scooping and plops down directly over my head and grabs my head on occasion with his paws. Today I stopped as he was playing with my head and nuzzled into his tummy and wrapped my arms around him to secure him from launching himself off of the counter as he rolled around pushing with his feet.
I usually try to move him from place to place when he is up on a counter as his legs sometimes give out a little bit when he jumps up and down from high places. I am aware of his problem with his legs and worry that he will hurt himself constantly jumping up and down from counters in his exuberance to get to his next experience. He uses the stools to get to the island and I usually pick him up and put him on the counter when I do his wet food or he will jump down and up to it on his own. Its hard to anticipate when or if he will jump up to the counter in the bathroom and sometimes he uses the toilette to accomplish this.
Today I brought the cat dancer and we had a nice play session. Toward the end he went over by the entry way and laid down and put his feet up on the wall and looked at me staying in his walking the wall position. I got down on all fours and cat walked my way over to him and laid down on the floor next to him. We had a romp on the floor. He likes to grab my head with his paws over or at my ears, however he always keeps his claws in when he does this and likes to sometimes nip my hair gently. I am aware of his body language when he gets too excited and might want to nip a hand and I move my hands to the back of his head and shoulders safely out of reach until the idea passes. We had a good time today and he ate his line of treats that I placed on the edge of the rug, except for three which he was saving for later to nibble and reflect on my earlier presence
May 28 - Baxter greeted me with his usual complaints again today and then we started my chores. He wasn't as thrilled at his warmed up remainder of his wet food today as he was of his tuna yesterday. Oh well. I will start a new can tomorrow. When I put his water bowl down at the end of the island he had some and then proceeded to play with it, spilling half of it onto his new clean towel. He was so proud of himself. After cleaning that up, I decided to distract him before replacing the water at the end of the island later, leaving the newly filled water bowl on the counter for the time being. We moved on to the bathroom. After scooping I initially pulled out the cone (dust buster) but decided against it as Baxter doesn't like the noise. I used my little whisk broom and dust pan, moving Baxter out of the way every six inches as I proceeded across the bathroom floor. Baxter likes to lounge right in front of me on the floor when I sweep because he knows that I will pull or push him across the floor which he enjoys while he gets an up close and personal view of my progress. So even this mundane task becomes a great game. I can increase my progress as I go by throwing his toys, rings and small mice in the direction of the hall which he will sometimes chase. Baxter eats most of his dry food and drinks most of his water in the bathroom and is eager to taste test the dry food as I fill his bathroom bowl. He also takes great delight at trying to head butt the water bowl as I try to place it unmolested onto the towel.
After our TV/play session today Baxter had a long session with the brushes. He loved his brushing and would have rolled around forever showing me every spot that he would like brushed. As I had covered every spot multiple times it was eventually time to start to pack up, to Baxter's dismay. As I left, I knelt down to give Baxter some scratchies, as he was lying in my path in the middle of the living room floor. I told him that I would be back tomorrow and then his family would be home. I looked back at him as he watched me walk toward the door.
May 29 - Well, this was my last visit with Baxter for a while. He was his usual delightful self. We started our routine with some snuggles and scratchies on the island. I carried him over to the kitchen counter for the ritual of "opening up the cat food can." He had his face in the little blue bowl before I could put it down on the floor with the rest of his food. He really likes being offered a fresh can of food, although he only wants a taste. Maybe we could convince the cat food companies to make a small, individual creamer size, container of cat food. We could have them call the small containers "Baxter's" or "Baxter's snack size wet food." Just a thought. We moved on to the bathroom where Baxter tried his best to head butt the scoops full of dry food just as they were about to be deposited into his bowl. Then it was on to being "road block kitty" as I tried to sweep the floor. Baxter is a cat of many talents. We had our TV/Play session which ended with a nice brushing with some treats for both of us. I packed up quickly, as I don't like long good bye's and I assured him that his Mom would be home later in the day to assume the delightful burden of all of the traditions involved in caring for The Baxter.