Friday, December 31, 2004

Whitey is sad

New Year's marks the end of the holiday season, which means we won't be getting nearly as many interesting boxes for him to climb in.

Whitey-box-2004-12-31-thumb.jpg

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Laser Safety

We love playing with the laser pointers with the cats, but we love healthy cats more.

So some laser safety information for you. Note especially the comments on how you may not think something damages your eye but that it does.

Do not pointer a laser pointer directly at your cat, nor at an object which can reflect into your cat's eyes. This includes not letting a cat look up at your weapon hand while you're teasing herding it with laser pointer.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Fountains of Joy

The new cat fountain locations seem to be working nicely.

Both fountains are being used in their new location, so we have balance.

Both bowls are staying cleaner than the original location of the first fountain.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Food vs. Sleep

I've decided cats don't really sleep 16 hours a day; they just intently listen for can openers with their eyes closed 16 hours a day.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Daily Stench (Christmas Edition)

Emily (I think) had a partial miss this evening while using her suite litter box. No big deal, I used a dead business card to flip the offending item off the overflow newspaper back into the box as I cleaned it.

Upon reflection, the real news is how after six month the cats have settled in and leave very few problems around the house. Our biggest problem is overzealous burial details sending kitty litter over the edge of the boxes, but their hearts and paws are in the right place.

We'll take it.

Kittens' First Christmas

Yesterday, we had a repeat of printer stand cliff diving, only this time Billy fell off without help from his brother (or anyone else). Clearly, the wheels on that stand make it unsuitable for catnaps.

But Santa loves our kids.

The boys got a new condo, an adult height one that at 78 inches required the help of a Santa's elf (a PetCo junior manager and his truck) to get it to the kitten farm. Tiger Tower now owns the official condo site in the hall. After shuffling other condos around, the shortest condo (which is about the height of the printer stand, but catnap approved) has moved into my office.

In addition, Emily got a new fountain for her suite; this lets us move the original fountain downstairs and hopefully away from the high traffic and litter box which causes endless grit ending up in the bowl as soon we clean it.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Photo Friday - Our Motto

When visiting Syracuse at Thanksgiving, Bluegrass Sister, Millie's Lady in Waiting, gave us this lovely stained glass reminder of our mission statement.

comfort-2004-12.jpg

My sister pointed out it should read "cats" (plural), but then again each cat thinks even the other cats are there merely to add ambiance and entertainment.

Photo Friday Extra - Bluegrass Millie

Here's a photo Friday extra, cousin Millie, as she waits for Christmas.

p.s. Millie dear, that fur does make you look fat.

Emily'sTummy

This morning, Emily got her breakfast served, ate for a minute or two, begged to let out of her suite to get a drink of water ... and promptly threw up in the middle of the hall by the fountain.

The Return of the Dawn Patrol

The boys are back into Cat Fu at six am. This morning was the second day in a row they decided pounce on each other amidst the sleeping humans.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Winter Wonderland

My office, which gets the morning sun and a direct (overwhelming) feed from our steam heating plant, is toasty warm even in winter.

This has let me open my office window for a few minutes the last few nice days, allowing the cats to hear and smell winter better. I'm not saying they like the gesture, but I darn near had to pull Billy's head out of the ever shrinking opening while trying to gently close the window this morning.

Okay, maybe they like it. Spring in three months, kids.

Monday, December 20, 2004

They're all grown up

Our last weigh-in was back in early October, so the boys are definitely slowing down as they mature.

Billy weighed 13 pounds today, up just one since October. Whitey, at 11 pounds, up two, is gaining on his brother. Emily retains her girlish figure, stable at 7 pounds.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The End of a Purrfect nap

This just in ... The nap was Purrfect, the end was not.

Whitey was napping on the printer stand in my office this morning, complete with sun beam. Warm, soft, gentle, happy.

Then Billy showed up. He decides Whitey is too asleep or dirty or both, and starts power washing his brother. Well, this is not what Whitey wanted, but it got worse fast -- that printer stand is on wheels, and Billy somehow pushed Whitey to the wall, and the printer stand basically rolled out from under Whitey.

Nothing like dropping 20 inches to make sure you're awake.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Photo Friday - A Lost Kitten

This little guy looks like a relative of the ferocious tigger cub I posted last week. But this guy looks a little lost. I hope he has found a happy warm home now that winter is here.

Whitey-Searching-2004-06.jpg

[Later -- normally, the cats don't comment on our journaling of their existence, but Whitey says that the kitten inside him is warm, well fed, and safe.]

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Extended Buffet Hours

Whoops.

I left the boys food down all day.

No wonder they didn't rush to greet me at the door, they were already quite happy with me.

This did not prevent anyone from enjoying dinner, which is when we serve the only wet (canned) food of the day.

We're Saved!

Katherine comes home late tonight.

This means the boys don't get half the bed (not that they use much of it).

This means Emily gets more attention and more insulation from the boys.

This means the boys don't get to eat dinner from 8 PM until 10 PM. (They like that actually -- Katherine only wants food down from 8:30 to 9).

This means fewer kitty treats all around.

This means I can stick Katherine with litter boxes tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cat Proof Pizza

How to cat proof a delivered pizza: Toss the box in the (cold) oven; retrieve single slices as needed.

How not to bake a frozen pizza: Preheat the oven before checking for a cat proofed delivery pizza box.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lovely to See You Again

With Katherine still gone, the house was dark when I got home at 7:30 or so.

As I came up the front porch I could just see inside. What I saw was the newel post, with an attentive Whitey perched on it. Also in attendance was the rest of the crew waiting for me; Billy was down on the floor and Emily up towards the landing of the stairs.

None of this was a surprise, as they do it regularly, but it was still nice on a dark cold night.

It was kitty treats all around for my loyal feline friends.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The Fluffy Tails Christmas Tree is both an inspiration and a warning to others.

We haven't decided if the boys get a tree for their first Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Emily Velvet Paws

Emily wants to make up with me. She came by my desk to be petted, including her usual head butts; she even reached up to my chin with a velvet paw to stroke my chin.

Of course, an hour later the little witch swung at me again when I petted her. At least I am trying to keep my face out of range.

She has picked up a habit from the boys, or maybe she had it all along but never uses it in the summer. In any case, she's become a burrower, I think for warmth. She doesn't tunnel like the boys, but lumps at the edge of the blanket should be checked before sitting on them.

Inmates Running the Asylum

Katherine jumped on a plane to San Francisco yesterday to attend IEDM for her day job (which is not, in fact, self-heating Emily cushion).
That leaves me in charge, although of course the cats do whatever they want to.


So far ...


  • Billy decided my side of the bed is warmer, and so tried to use me as a pillow.
  • I kicked at least three burrowers out from under the covers.
  • Whitey got lonely again. Alot. In the middle of the night (of course).
  • The boys asked for breakfast at 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM (on a Sunday morning). I held the line on that one for their usual 8 AM serving.
  • The boys climbed up to the optics shelf in the closet and dumped half the items off of it, including my camera. One pair of binoculars even landed in the closet litter box (which was reasonably clean).
  • We played with the teaser both last night and this morning.
  • After every teaser work out, everone got kitty treats.
  • I opened my sunny side office window for an hour (in 43 degree weather); all three cats took turns looking/sniffing out. Alas, there was some line cutting, in particular by Billy.
  • My office is like Grand Central Station. At one point, all three cats were in here. All three have at least considered naps on the printer stand.


... and Katherine has only been gone 17 hours.


They'll have me ordering take out sushi (I don't even like sushi) by the time Katherine gets back.

Living Dangerously

I petted Emily wrong this morning. I don't know if it was body language or just bad timing (she had just mixed it up with Catzilla again).

How I know it was wrong?

Because she almost [expletive] took the left side of my face off with her right hook, and no, it was not velvet paws. That's the third time in ~ 2 months she's swung for the fences when disturbed, and if she keeps it up she could nail my eye, even though I wear glasses.

For those of you who knew Bluegrass Sister's cat Radar, picture giving him a tummy rub ... with his usual response (which was to pounce on the hand out of the blue) being directed at the side of your face.

This is on top of the boys scratching various less important moving parts of both Katherine and I in the last few days. However, none of of those events were meant as attacks, but rather things like extended paws hooking fingers instead of a kitty treat (trust me, he wanted the treat), or silly humans accidently imposing their legs between a mighty hunter and the cat teaser.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Goodnight, John Boy

Billy has decided he likes being around me, I think.

In particular, if I watch TV for a little bit at the end of evening and then head up stairs, Billy doesn't so much follow me as come up stairs with me, hang a right into the master bedroom, and curl up on Katherine's side the bed. This is his routine even though usually I go elsewhere (like my office) for my own first upstairs stop.

He knows the humans are done downstairs, my next major stop is bed, I need all the space on my side of the bed, and that Katherine won't be in until much later. His positioning takes all this into account.

So before I am even in bed, he's on duty. He may get up after I am in bed, but he always comes back.

Good Catzilla!

Just A Trim

Katherine trimmed both Billy and Whitey claws today.

Talk about enlightened self-interest. :-)

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Photo Friday - A Tigger Cub from the archives

Looking through our photo archives, I found the picture of this intense little tiger cub who is hiding under a desk. Oddly enough, his stripes and his intensity both perfectly match our very own (but much larger) Catzilla.

Hmmmm.

Billy-DeskCave-2004-07.jpg

I'm so lonesome I could cry

Whitey decided to announce he was lonely by meowing. At 1 something awful AM. I called him, and he quieted.

He then got lonely again and again announced it by meowing. At 2 something awful AM. I called him and started to look for him, and he quieted.

By 6 AM, he had gotten a clue, and was snuggled with Billy and the humans on the big bed.

Try To Remember


Deep in December, it's nice to remember,


The fire of September that made us mellow.


Deep in December, our hearts should remember


And follow.

-- The Fantasticks


Every so often I notice that our Emily is in fact in the December of her life. While she can still make the dining room table leap when she thinks we're not looking, she just doesn't move like a kitten any more. Sometimes when the boys chase the cat teasers she'll come half way down the stairs, watching with an almost forlorn look of one who remembers a more active time for herself.

Given how she can be sensitive to how she is being petted, I worry she's in actual pain from her 15 years of feline existence. Snapping at her humans when she actively solicited being petted says there may not be a lot of physical comfort there.

And more generally, while Emily is not shy, she is skittish and hates surprises (especially of the male tiger kitten kind). If one only watches her at the wrong times, surprises make up too much of her existence.

However, my heart is warmed by two things.

I've directly noticed is that Emily fairly consistently likes to play with our new cats teasers if she doesn't have to complete with the boys. Seeing her actively stalking and pouncing objects two or three times a week says she can still lose herself like a kitten. And that's a good thing.

The second thing, that I less observed as have had stressed to me by Katherine, is that Emily consistently curls up with Katherine at work. Then Emily acts warm and relaxed and anything but forlorn or skittish.

Since we have previous posts that I linked to on both of those topics, none of this is a complete shock, but it is important to me that our elderstates-cat does find ongoing happiness at our little kitten farm during her remaining time (which hopefully will be several human years yet).

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Tease Me, Please Me

We are now loaded for bear (and cats) with teasers. We have three teaser rods, and numerous attachments:
  • 2 dual feathers
  • 2 Pom-poms
  • A feather boa like streamer
  • A cat-o-nine-tails (actually, 5-6 leather shoe laces all dangling)


All this gives variety, and in the case of the cat-o-nine-tails provides just enough less interest than a feather that The Mightly Hunter doesn't kill himself trying to chase the stupid thing. He's interested, for sure, but not crazed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Have a Drink on Me

All sorts of little feline things going on, none of which we've gotten to posting.

One item we bought at PetCo over the weekend was a little carton of cat friendly milk (grown cats are basically lactose intolerant). We haven't tested it yet.

Whitey especially still likes milk, and sometimes we'll let him lick the dregs out of an more or less empty milk glass. Hopefully, this stuff is nicer to him and the others as a treat.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Daily Stench

Hmmm ... another strange wet spot when we got home from dinner, this one on the foyer carpet at the base of the stairs. Someone toss kitty cookies again?

Friday, December 3, 2004

It's good to have a friend

One of the reasons for getting two kittens was so that they could keep each other company. It seems to have worked. (Click image for larger version.)

friends-2004-12-02-thumb.jpg

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Memory


Touch me, it's so easy to leave me


All alone with the memory


Of my days in the sun


If you touch me you'll understand what happiness is


Look, a new day has begun
-- Cats


The author of Cats never heard of PC100 memory, also known as SDRAM, also known as (static sensitive) computer memory. There is nothing quite like having a friendly cat snuggle up to you and rub its fur against you when your hands are full trying get a memory DIMM installed in a PC.

Happiness it ain't.

For those who skipped high school physics, a handy way to make static electricity is to rub animal fur against a (nylon?) rod.

In this case, the memory and cats both survived, mostly because Katherine appeared deploying cat treats and cat teasers to lure the curious static generators away.

Daily Stench

Emily threw up again (just spittle), this time downstairs in the dining room. It seems she mostly does that when she's hungry.