Sunday, December 25, 2011

The End of My Christmas Story

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Van Gogh's wound is all but closed. There is a tiny opening left on his head, which I expect to be sealed by tomorrow. He has a white scar about three inches long across the top of his head. I would never have believed that such an ugly wound could heal so beautifully.

The other amazing thing is how quickly an essentially feral cat could settle down into a loving companion. Whenever Bob is outside, I let Van Gogh roam the house. He's learned to come running when I call his name. He leaps into my arms and purrs up a storm. When he's back in the bathroom, all I have to do is open the door for him to begin purring and rubbing against me. I now shower and dress in that bathroom so he has company each morning. He hops up on the counter and watches while I get ready for the day.

To celebrate the holiday, I removed the Elizabethan collar that he' been wearing. After three weeks in that collar, he deserved to enjoy Christmas, too.

In honor of the day, I split a can of Bumble Bee tuna between the two cats. Bob licked the juice and left the tuna. Van Gogh inhaled the tuna.

Our next challenge is to see if I can integrate Van Gogh into our little household. The two males are testing my ingenuity and stamina. Van Gogh has an appointment with Tim to be neutered on January 5. I'm hoping that will help.

Bob is clearly more aggressive, but it's his home he's protecting.

Right now, they are two-for-two on outwitting me. Bob continues to try the bathroom door to see if he can get inside at Van Gogh. Fortunately, both times he's pulled it off, I was in the room and chased him out.

Van Gogh periodically tests the door from his side as well. He, too, has succeeded twice. Both times he's gone looking for Bob. He didn't attack either time; just stood and stared at Bob, who snarled and hissed. I heard the ruckus and intervened. While dragging Van Gogh away, I flicked my index finger against his forehead and scolded him.

I've had a few wins myself. I've put knots in knee socks and left them on the floor under the bathroom door with one knot on each side. The cats have shredded the sox while playing with them.

Whenever I let Bob back into the house, I'm holding Van Gogh. At first, Bob wouldn't enter the house. Now he just walks past us to check out his food dish.

I've tried holding Van Gogh on my chest on the bed while Bob is in the room. Since Van Gogh's the more unpredictable party, I've chosen to control him.

Bob always jumps up on the bed, too. The first time, he howled and growled at us. To my relief, Van Gogh didn't respond. Bob finally settled down and curled up in the opposite corner of the bed.

These days when Bob jumps up, he walks over to within a foot or so of us. I hold Van Gogh firmly, and the two cats just look at each other. Then Bob turns his back and curls up nearby.

I've been unsuccessful in finding a screen door to put in the bathroom doorway to allow them to see each other without disaster. My new plan is to purchase two baby gates and try putting them, one above the other, in the doorway so the cats can see each other without actually attacking. Not sure how that plan will work. I may have to secure a screen either above or between the two gates.

Bob weighs 17 pounds; Van Gogh has done from about 9 to about 13 pounds over the three weeks. If I can't get them to declare a truce, I'll find Van Gogh a good home.

At any rate, I've enjoyed telling the tale of Van Gogh. Today, on this holy day, I feel truly blessed. I'm grateful for my family and friends and also grateful that the Lord brought Van Gogh to my door when I could be of service.

God bless us, everyone.

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