Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ten Years After

It was ten years ago today that Her Emilyness went over the rainbow bridge.

Three tigers and a tuxedo moggie all got their ears rubbed by me this morning.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Billy & Whitey, Elderstates Cats


Billy in His Younger Days, High On a Laundry Room Cabinet
The Catzilla Brothers turned 12 this past February, and that's not young.

Several months ago, Whitey seemed less limber than he has traditionally shown, and after consulting with our friends at +Kenmore Veterinary Hospital, we put him on a daily supplement for possible arthritis.  He seems a little more limber and comfortable with it.

Now Billy is troubled. In particular, the Mighty Hunter of Kitty Treats is showing real signs of slowing down. I noticed sometime ago that he doesn't get as many treats on the fly as he once did, but that's subjective. What's not subjective is that in the past week he has shown diminished confidence in his trademark leap from the kitchen counter to cabinet tops in pursuit of traits. A treat tossed up on a cabinet causes him to put his paws up on the cabinet, measure the distance ... and then puts his paws back down.

Then while Billy reconsiders the problem, Penwiper, at less than half the age, goes up and gets it.

Billy is not completely hindered; he's still chasing treats on the floor, and getting on the counter when he wants. However, but he usually goes up via the kitchen trash can conveniently located at the end of the counter as an intermediate step. (That's always been a good route, but his bias has changed to use it almost exclusively.)

It could just be Billy has a cold; he's been sneezing. But we're also seeing loose stools in the litter box (we don't know from who) -- a vet visit is in order after the holiday.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Better Purring Through Technology

While the original Summerhill Kitten Farm (built in 1890) was transformed into an electronic cottage before we had cats, these days many of the technological advances at the Kitten Farm West are actually driven by the Feline Overlords.

For example:
  • The main reason we own a an HP CP2025dn LaserJet is not because it's a fast networked duplexing color printer, and that it uses powdered toner which doesn't dry out. No, we bought it because by combining the function of a color inkjet and a B&W Laserjet, we have a single taller printer that leaves more space in my office for cats and makes a better launch pad for Whitey or Penwiper to do a spider-cat worthy jump to the top of the library bookshelf.
  • Recently, we adjusted the shelving in the living room entertainment center so that the receiver, a smarter brother of the Big Black Kitty Warmer in my office, now has the shelf clearance to be used by a feline for its true purpose of keeping a cat toasty. They haven't discovered it yet, but they will.
  • Back at Christmas, we replaced +Katherine Derbyshire's aged iPad 2 with a iPad Mini 4, which is faster and smaller. With the recent addition of a Zagg keyboard and an iOS beta of her favorite writing tool, that means more futon time in place of sitting at her desktop, with more room for a feline in her lap.
Alas, our work is never done.

Yesterday, Katherine pinged me from her office to ask me to print a document that she'd put on the cloud. I found this odd, but complied. While I printed it and fetched the result, she explained that she was on her futon with her iPad -- and the cat on her lap had decreed she didn't need to get up just then. She had already searched for how to print directly from her iPad and found something called AirPrint, but our monster of a printer, released in 2009, has never heard of it. Fortunately, Google search has.

After I chatted with our local server, the Chief Kitten Valet can now print from her iPad. I don't know how she'll retrieve the result, though.
p.s. We interrupted writing this post after the word "complied" to worship the just-arrived-on-my-desk Penwiper. He was petted, and settled on a desk pillow to groom himself. 
We then returned to our previously scheduled blog post ...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Spider-cat: The Next Generation

Those who have followed our cats for any length of time knows that Whitey is the Spider-cat: he loves heights, and generally never falls off his chosen perch once ascended.  (We've chosen to ignore a certain unfortunate incident in 2014 -- at least he did execute a good landing that day.)

However, the younger generation does have its own spider-cat talents, doing something even Whitey has never tried:

Coach Penwiper ready to ride the exercise bike with me
My coach checks me on almost everyday I ride.  A few times when he's seemed interested I've boosted him up there, but usually only to where his hind paws are on the reading ledge of the front side of the console.  But I didn't help him today -- I wasn't even near the bike when he hoisted himself.

If that looks hard, it's because it is; that console is about an inch wide, and curved.  Without the paw on the handle bar, even he would tip over.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Self-Storing Nap Kitten

Last night, when I was putting clothes away before bed, Billy jumped up into the drawer for my Land's End shorts, and after poking at the drawer above it (it used to hold kitty treats, years ago), he settled in for a nap. I warned Katherine not to walk into the drawer when she came to bed, and crashed myself. He was still quietly curled up in the drawer at 2:30 AM when I got up to check why his brother Whitey was meowing (for no reason, it seems). At least one brother was cute overnight.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Best Toy Ever! (at least for 2016)

For years in the original Summer Kitten Farm, we had a Van Gogh reproduction hanging in our bedroom. After we moved to Kenmore in 2008, we meant to get it promptly unpacked and rehung.  Honest.

Today we got it unpacked:

Our finally unpacked Van Gogh reproduction
The boys don't care if we hang it, but they think it should have been unwrapped years ago, because the inner wrapping paper is fun!

Whitey checking out the Van Gogh reproduction wrapping paper, AKA his new blanket.
Whitey and his new blankie
And where is Billy in all this?  Very happy, thank you.

Billy nestled deep in the folds of the blankie.

Billy is actually nestled deeper than it appears in the photo -- the flash lit up his comfty cave.

Penwiper has also visited the paper, but Whitey reclaimed his ownership of it before I could get a picture.

We'll get the print hung later today.  I'm not exactly sure where the valets are sleeping tonight, since the boys do love their new present . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kage, The Grey Mouser, Has Gone Over the Rainbow Bridge

We have sad news from +Erika Rice Scherpelz, valet to Kage, the Grey Mouser:
You and Katherine should know that Kage passed last week. We found out a few months ago that he was starting to have kidney issues, but we could not be very aggressive in treating it because the medication options conflicted with his heart medication. A couple weeks ago, we took him to the vet again because he had stopped eating. They kept him over the weekend, but when he came home, it was clear that he was failing. He died a couple of days later, with mommy cuddles.

We're still processing the loss. He's been such a good kitty, and we're so glad that you passed his care to us.
I had not seen The Grey Mouser since we delivered a cat tower to him at his new valets, and we were unaware of his heart condition. Yet even with the years having passed, I find myself sad at his passing.  As Erika said, he was such a good kitty, and he was still relatively young.

All four of our current overlords have been petted.