Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Terra Nova (update)

Terra is settling in like a queen. Here is an assortment of photos Matthew has taken over the past two weeks.

Terra loves the top of the sofa. There is a baseboard heater directly behind the sofa, so this is the warmest spot in the apartment.

Sussing out the printer. How interesting.

Getting comfy on the bed. She is so on the bed. *sigh*

Matthew was brushing his teeth and this happened.

This is what we see when the alarm goes off in the morning.

"My cat likes to hide in boxes". Classic.

This is a photo Rachael sent me of Terra and her bonding over a cuppa and a novel. Natch.

Glorious stomach fur. This is the most relaxed she has gotten so far.

I tried to have a sleep in on the weekend. This happened.

I may have included this one in the previous cat-related blog post. But whatever, I like this photo.

More hilarious sleeping postures.

Sussing out the dishwasher. Terra has no fear of machines and appliances. Only curiosity.

We went Christmas shopping and she dived nose-first into she shopping bag. Since then, the bag has been her number 2 favourite toy (shoelace is number 1). Look at those flashy eyes!

On a rare sunny morning, Terra was taking advantage of the view from the bay window in our bedroom.

Me and Terra chillin' on the couch

Regrettably, Terra has decided to own Matthew's favourite green woolen sweater. This is her kneading it; she subsequently slept on it for half the day.

More ZB + TN qual couch time.
Cute story: we have no cat toys, and so we found a spare shoelace for her to play with. It is a real hit. However Terra now associates all shoelaces with play. So every morning when I am trying to put my sneakers on at 5:50am in the dark, Terra thinks it is party time. Likewise, when Matthew is getting out the door to work, Terra is right there at the front door, biting his ankles. It's still early enough in the cat ownership that we find this charming and hilarious, but I can see it wearing off pretty soon.

On the Festive Season

I am writing this from under a blanket. Blogging is the last thing I will do before going to bed at 9pm this evening. It's the Tuesday before Christmas and I have bailed out of most Christmas activities so far. The first couple of times I had to say no to a festive commitment, I was wracked with shame. And after that it got easier.

Aunty Lorraine taught me to make dark fruit cake. Rachael helped me to make some panforte for a work cookie exchange. I went to Matthew's work Christmas party (fully Bacchanalian). We sent some packages to overseas family and friends. And the rest is just gym, work, home, cat, sleep.

I complained to Matthew that I don't know how we did it all last year - cookie exchanges, Christmas parties, shopping, and a pretty heavy workload. And Matthew reminded me that I drank every day last December, and by the time I got to January I couldn't remember the last time I went to bed sober. So although I may be a bit checked out this Christmas, at least I'm not a drunk.

With a tone of desperation in my voice, I really hope that I can recharge during the week between Christmas and back-to-work. I thought that I was cracking the whip pretty hard in 2014 when I was finishing my thesis and working full time. I now understand that that was nothing compared to the vast volume of work I have done this year.

There are 2 workdays to go. We can do it.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Terra Nova

On Saturday we got the best Christmas present ever.* Terra is a 4-year old female domestic longhair stray from Richmond Animal Protection Society. She was found wandering Terra Nova Park in Richmond, which is how she got her name. She has been with the shelter since 2012, and has been adopted and returned twice before. Poor thing! She is glossy, grey, and gorgeous.

We went to RAPS last Saturday and looked at all the cats. It was hard to decide between her, a young ginger boy named Parry, and an enormous tabby named Ruca (with a very loud purr). Honestly, I chose Terra because she is very pretty, she was affectionate, and seemed low-energy. She let both of us give her pats. She was a furry puddle who refused to move off her perch.

We filled out an application form, got a call back on Monday saying we were approved (sooo happpyyy!!!!), on Wednesday we hit up a pet store for all the necessary accessories... and after such a long week, we finally picked her up yesterday.

She howled pitifully in the car, especially over the bridge. But once she got home, she popped out of her cage very confidently, and commenced a very strategic 'splore around the apartment. Within 15 minutes she was lolling in the living room and receiving much pats from Matthew and me.

We retreated to the sofa to see how she would go with other surfaces. She understood the concept of lap time with crystal clarity.

We are not allowing her to go outside but we let her sit in front of the door open with the screen. She was intrigued. We live on a fairly busy street, and we are two floors up. No place for cats!

Last night we had a rough one. After a whole day of being adorable, mellow, napping, affectionate, she suddenly got all playful at 10pm, just when we were winding down. She took a bauble off the Christmas tree and batted it up and down the hall. And when we went to bed at about 11 she could not accept the closed bedroom door. ...She howled all night, scratched and hurled herself against the bedroom door with loud thumps. When we got up to go to the bathroom, she shot into the bedroom and had to by picked up and carried out. At about 3am Matthew took pity and went and kept her company in the living room for a couple of hours. Lucky she's so pretty, we forgave her immediately. At 7:30ish I let her in, and she hopped up and settled at our feet, and we all finally slept until about 10 this morning.

So. Experiment failed. Tonight we're just going to let her sleep on the bed, hygiene and privacy be damned.

Today while I was at a champagne brunch and a massage appointment (yes, I am an intolerable yuppie), Matthew bought Terra a tower perch. When I got home, she was ensconced. 

Richmond Animal Protection Society is an amazing place with literally dozens of cats for adoption. There were three rooms full of cats when we visited last weekend. They also have a cat sanctuary for unadoptable cats. It has a wonderful and heartwarming blog, which I highly recommend you read for some warm and fuzzies.

We love Terra. And I can't wait to share more pictures of her on this blog!

P.S. Thanks to two amazing ladies, flatmate Rachael and friend Maddie, for decorating our beautiful Christmas tree last week!

(*When I was about 10, we got a cat for Christmas, called Jasmine. She was the best cat who ever lived. Terra is a close second.)