A Day of Thanks

Well, here we are, on this fourth Thursday of November – the day Americans celebrate as their national day to give thanks. If you guys are celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!

Cat Daddy and I are very thankful that Newt is here for his third Thanksgiving with us. We did not expect he would see his first Thanksgiving, so this is a very special day for us!

We are also thankful for each owner of a cat or kitten with a liver shunt who has contacted Newt, or joined his support group. Thank you for sharing your kitty’s stories with other owners around the globe, and providing Hope. Big hugs!

As with everything in Newtopia, today is uncertain. Even on this happy day of celebrating, there is a minor undercurrent of worry, and a bit of an imbalance in the Force.  For quite a while, Newt was on a merry-go-round of intermittent drooling one day, hen fine, the next. The last couple of weeks, he’s been perfectly normal, but, for the last couple of days, he’s been mildly drooling and slightly off his food.

Back to normal last night, but this morning, more very mild drool.

That certainly has not interfered with his appetite or enjoyment of the day so far! He was sunning himself in one of his favorite spots before breakfast, and began eating with gusto. Alas, because he is mildly symptomatic, we will likely not be preparing his customary four-course Thanksgiving feast, scattered throughout the day. Instead, we will stick with the basics (and his favorite – chicken!) Should his appetite diminish, we will, of course, be offering the tried and true tidbits to tempt his palate.

These very mild episodes seem to last less than six hours, so it is quite likely that later today, when Cat Daddy is in full Chef Mode, that Newt will be dining on hand-fed morselettes from mum’s plate. But for now, we are again reminded of just how MUCH we have to be thankful for, with our darling little liver shunt cat.

Each day is a gift for which we are thankful, and that the good days far outweigh the bad. His quality of life remains paramount, and on days like today, even while showing a bit of drool, he is happily sunning, eating with gusto, and reminding us that every day of Hope is a day to give thanks.

Newt’s Latest Box Adventures

We often end up with the oddest assortments of randomness when bulk buying auction items. Everything usable is either re-auctioned, or donated to the thrift store.

I had this tattered and worn, vintage fur coat. Falling apart at the seams and reeking to high heaven. It was a sort of unearthly combination of moldy basement and stinky old lady perfume. I was intrigued by the thought of returning the fur to the animals by donating it to a wildlife program, but was afraid this was in too bad a shape to be useful. Besides, if *I* could smell the rankness of it, surely the wildlife, with their delicate noses, would not appreciate it, no matter how well intentioned the thought?

Enter Newt – he of the perpetually heat-seeking drive, commandeering all of the warmest places in the house. Compound that with the strangest tolerance for awful aromas known to man. He’s the one who had carrion breath for so long; perhaps the smell wouldn’t bother him? And if Newt liked it, perhaps I could figure out how to remove the smell enough to share bits of the leftovers with some of our other shunt cat friends?

Sounded like a good plan at the time.

I removed the lining from the coat, and then left it enticingly arranged in various places – attempting to coax Newt into its comforting and luxurious folds. No luck. After a week of playing musical muskrat, placing him on the coat, only to have him jump disdainfully off of it, and even cutting a piece of it to line a brand-new box and placing it in his lunchroom, only to have him repeatedly reject his stinky new winter nest, I gave up.

I moved the fur-lined box into the middle of the living room floor, and removed the binder clips securing the sides. I went into the other room to collect the rest of the coat, intending to take it all downstairs for desperate fumigation attempts using baking soda and ground coffee. Figured I would try again in a couple of weeks, and hopefully if it smelled better, I could take it to the local wildlife rescue center and maybe they could use it.


I got back to the living room to discover Newt – gleefully enthroned, with his bright copper eyes and little pink nose peeking out at me from the pile of ratty tatty, stinky fur. Well, of course, I HAD to leave it there for him, right?

He spent the better part of the cool grey day happily burrowed amongst the box o’ stinky fur, named Moldy Old Lady Stinky Fur Box – MOLSFB. Happy that he had finally adopted the bedding (in spite of it smelling of stinky moldy old lady), I decided to revert back to plan A, which was to place it in his lunchroom – where he only has three beds, as opposed to the other few dozen he has in the rest of the house.

I snuck the MOLSFB, while he was foraging for leftovers (he was NOT in it at the time, so I did NOT take it
AWAY from him), and put it on the kitchen counter to replace the binder clips keeping the fur lined up on the sides. He came charging into the kitchen, leapt upon the counter and into the box, and then, sat there glaring at me for daring to touch his throne. I carried the MOLSFB (with him in it, still sitting and glaring) back into his lunchroom as per the original plan.

This did not last very long, as he immediately launched a guilt campaign, perching pathetically and shivery in the living room floor, in the spot where the MOLSFB had previously been, while awaiting its removal downstairs for fumigation. Cat Daddy took pity on him, and went back into his lunchroom to fetch the MOLSFB, followed by a happily scampering Newt. He came back down the hall, bearing Newt IN the box, regally surveying his domain as though being transported in some sort of fur-lined Popemobile, and placed it not quite in the exact spot, but next to the TV where Newt could perch in his furry throne and easily view his subjects.


Much giggling and teasing ensued, as I chastised Cat Daddy about “NOW do you understand why Newt has 417 boxes!?!” Obviously, Newt’s Box Accumulation Super Power works as well on Cat Daddy, as it does on my own inferior resistance levels!

The newly-repositioned MOLSFB was so well received that we actually had a dinner without Newt demanding his tribute of hand-fed morsels. He slept right through dinner, comfortably and warmly pretzelfied and snoring in his MOLSFB – now dubbed TV 1, so as to differentiate it from the Annex Box series – known by the acronym AB.

And yes, I made an auxiliary MOLSFB, designated as TV 2, to be situated NOT next to the TV, but IN his lunchroom, as per the original plan. Newt, of course, refused to use it last night, preferring instead to snuggle under the downie next to me.

Just how do you know when your cat has a box addiction (or that perhaps YOU have an addiction to creating boxes for your cat). Is it when one has to resort to various acronyms to differentiate between the types of box within each series? And once you have admitted that your cat (or YOU) has a problem, what do you do to address it?