Friday, April 23, 2010

Animals and Instincts

I think I used to be a mama cat or something, because I know at a glance when one of the animals is 'off'. We've had a long streak of good health lately, so I guess someone was due to get sick...this morning it was Cappuchina.

I knew as soon as I saw her on the chair this morning that she wasn't feeling well. Her fur looked fluffed out and her face had a preoccupied look. She didn't get off the chair and try to get in the front door like she usually does - that was a major clue. And she didn't accompany Loco and I down the road when I took him out for his potty break - second clue. The last clue was that she wasn't interested in the food I put down for her, she just stayed in her chair.

So I left her there to recuperate herself (animals have an amazing way of knowing how to get better). When I swept the side passage I found a wad of feathers, so I bet she ate a dove and was feeling full, or it made her sick. My instincts were proven correct a few moments later, because Cappuchina went off into the garden, dug a hole, and proceeded to pass a lot of gas and liquid stool. I was hoping it was just from whatever she ate, not an infection. By midday, Cappuchina was almost fully recovered, and now she seems back to normal. Probably something she ate. Like a dove...

Speaking of doves, I saved the life of one the other day. I was lying on the bed in the downstairs bedroom when I heard the dog's dish on the front terrace get knocked over, and then a fluttering of wings. I wondered if Cappuchina had ambushed a bird stealing the dog's food, but knew that if that were the case, there wouldn't be anything I could do to save it. The fact that there weren't any bird noises made me think the bird got away.

But as I laid there I heard fluttering and rustling in the plants. So I got up to check. Cappuchina wasn't around, so I looked in the side passage, and there she was, sitting and pondering a bird. I watched as she stuck out her paw and took a swat to make it move. As I got closer I saw that it was a baby dove, sitting with its back pressed against the wall, and no hope of escape. For some reason Cappuchina came when I called her - maybe she was bored with the bird. I put her in the house and went back to check on the bird. It seemed ok other than its feathers were all ruffled and it looked terrified.

I decided to give the bird time to recover from the shock of being caught so I swept the floor. As I headed out to feed the neighbor's cats, I took a peek at the bird and it was still sitting in the same spot, but it looked less ruffled. When I got back from the neighbor's, I got a shoe box and a small towel and went to get the bird, thinking I would relocate it to a safer area (even though all my cats were safely out of the way, there are other stray cats around). The bird was not there, but I heard a rustle behind some boards at the end of the passage. As I approached, I was thrilled to see the dove take off and fly away. So happy it had survived and hoping it would have learned its lesson about cats. The feathers I saw this morning make me wonder though.

Today I cleaned Loco's ears with a solution intended for pet's ears. Then I put him out on the back terrace so he could soak up some sun. As soon as he laid down, two cats were upon him - Maya at the back of him, sniffing his tail and feet, and Minina at his head. Minina was going crazy over the smell of Loco's ears - she kept rubbing her body against his face and then poked her head into his ear and licked. She licked his mouth, his face, but mostly the inside of his ears.

Something about the smell of the cleaning liquid stimulated Minina's instincts. She thought Loco was pretty sexy and she was doing her best to put on a show and gain his attention. She rolled around beside him, she licked him, she raised her back end for him, she stretched and preened. Remember, Minina is spayed. And Loco is a DOG, hardly interested in a sexy cat. And besides, he already has Maya, he's HER dog.


Ann said...

I love all your pet stories...and there are lots of them--I can see my cats doing many of the same things! They make the day more interesting!

Jonna said...

Glad Cappuccino is better, I wonder if they ever learn to put these events together. I saw Raui bat a huge wasp yesterday, then shake her foot and lick at it. She went after it again though, almost as if she was mad. Well, a few minutes later one of her paws was twice the size of the other. She walked on it and didn't seem in much pain although she was licking it often. By night, it was back to normal size. So, this morning what do I see? Raui going after another one of those giant wasps.