Monday, January 31, 2005

Kitty Cage Match

Several days into treating Emily's eyes, she still loves us. For example, within 30 minutes of pinning her to the bed and treating her Sunday morning, she was hopping up on my desk looking for sunbeams and wanting to be petted.

No doubt the really yummy kitty treat she gets after each treatment helps, but also we're learning to quickly pin, treat, and release. It's little things in that cycle that count, like pinning her on her right side (not a in crouch), both so she can't push off and so the left eye is up and accessible.

QOTD

"[Whitey] is awfully pouncy today."
-- Katherine, applying to have Whitey given the Mist of Doom in bed


Sunday, January 30, 2005

Be careful what you wish for ...

Back in in July, Katherine said:
Wake up with kitten curling up next to me. Think, wow, that's really cute. Could you come back in January? Roll over, go back to sleep.

It's January, and they're back...



The real problem is they are inconsistent about it. This means with the warm wooly blanket on the bed and me wearing a long sleeve shirt to sleep in, the tiger heaters show up at 2 AM and (just like in July) blow the calibration of the bed.

I don't want to boot the boys off (we like the company), but that seems to be the end result of my nudging them a safe distance away.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Spidercat III - Window on the World

As noted, we had snow again on Wednesday. I took care of the driveway while Katherine did the back porch.

Spidercat popped into his window to watch her. Unfortunately, the usual window in this case is over the sink (and thus over the kitchen counter). Katherine would mist our little observer, except she's on the wrong side of the glass out in 15 degree weather with her hands full. So he keeps getting a mulligan.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Photo Friday: The Kittens of Summer

Today's Photo Friday is a look back (and forward) from a record New England winter to warm summer days when cats lounge in open windows. (It's not much of a cat photo, but boy that grass is green.)

Summer-Windows-2004.jpg

As always, you can click on the thumbnail for the full sized photo.

Anytime is playtime

Billy thinks we don't let him chase feathers often enough or for long enough. So he took matters into his own paws.

I was in the kitchen making tea and heard a clattering noise from the dining room. Turns out that Billy knocked a feather and its associated rod off the bookshelf -- we didn't know he could reach that shelf! -- and was happily batting it around on the floor.

Time to find a more secure location. Noise aside, we don't want him swallowing the string at 3 AM some morning.

Tonight's Winning Numbers are ...

The not so monthly weigh-in is complete for January. (The previous one was in mid-December.)

Emily retains her girlish figure at 7 pounds.

Billy is also stable at 13 pounds.

Whitey officially has slipped a half pound to 10.5 pounds from 11, but given that we measure him on a scale with only half pound resolution, more likely it's a rounding error. He still gives as good as he gets in Cat Fu and other kitten pursuits.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Cat pause?

Emily walked on my keyboard at critical point during Tetris. Can I blame her for losing?

The return of the Mighty Hunters (and Huntress!)

I hit Pet Co Tuesday and got what may the boys' last bag of dry kitten food; they turn one year old on February 17th, and we will be migrating them to adult food around then.

While I was there, I got new two feathers for the cat teasers. The old ones were sufficiently beat up they had lost most of their fluttering motion.

The cats heartily approve. All three (yes, even Emily) were jumping for the fresh fluttering feathers in a manner not seen since ... well, since the last time I replaced them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Read the eye chart please ... M - E - O - W

Emily's left eye has had a mild discharge for at least a couple of weeks, like it is tearing excessively. I was home ducking a minor snow storm, which meant I actually thought of getting her looked at during business hours.

Net result is that we took Emily out in the storm to the vet.

It's probably conjunctivitis, there is no scratch or anything else obviously wrong with her eye. So we have been given an oinment to apply three times a day for a week.

And it only took Emily an hour to forgive us for the snow, the cat carrier, the car ride, and of course the vet poking at her. (Kitty treats helped.)

The vet also pointed out she has tartar build up -- does this mean we need to brush her fangs?

Recycling Day

We recycle milk rings (those little security tabs that hold on milk caps) into kitty toys. They are fairly inert, soft, and light enough to be batted around with great joy. We tend to toss them on the floor and leave them until they get batted under something, where they wait until retrieved by us.

Unfortunately, the boys tend to chew on the rings if they don't get batted under something. Last night Whitey threw up twice after he ate the remains of one. He's fine, and the messes were trivial to clean up. However, we need to start treating those rings more like the dangerous toys (strings), and putting them up when not in use.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Is It Safe?

My brother visited overnight, which showed a new side of the boys.

Background:When we first moved in nearly ten years ago, this was actually the Summerhill Puppy farm, named because of one Winnie the Paws. Alas, Winnie was the wrong dog, especially as we realized she would grow into a beautiful 80 pounds of German Shepard mix. After three weeks puppy Winnie went to my brother, who was a perfect match. He loves her and has trained her the way you need to train 80 pounds of loving teeth and muscle. However, even now Winnie remembers Katherine and I as family.

Fast forward nine years, it was interesting to see how the cats would greet family.

However, I use the word greet loosely. Whitey was calm with my brother, at least until Mist of Doom appeared to discourage the feline from walking on our guest at 3 AM. However, Emily and Billy were barely bribed to come out for kitty treats. But Emily is not easily social in general, and Billy was so skittish that he skipped part of dinner (his only wet food of the day) rather be one room away from my brother for any length of time.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Tubbo, The Mighty Hunter, skipped dinner in order to hide under Katherine's office futon.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

<s>Snow</s> Cats

I pointed out previously that cats like to hang out in open windows (even in winter).

It turns out this has limits. With the Blizzard of 2005 in full swing, I opened a window for moment to see the reminds of our yard better. Billy, on the floor, got a mere hint of the cold draft and immediately wandered off. That was just as well, had he hopped up to the sill I was still closing the window.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Photo Friday: Whitey Portrait

I originally didn't post this shot of Whitey on the newel post because I didn't think it was as good as our picture of Billy in the same spot, but it has kind of grown on me.

Whitey-Portrait-11-2004.jpg

Speaking of growing, when Katherine posts the boys weight we'll see that the boys are getting all grown up, and not gaining weight any more. They certainly look like handsome adults now.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Spider Cat II - Grilling the Spider Cat

Spider Cat has lived up to his name.

I went into the empty kitchen to rinse a glass, and after a moment at the sink I happened to look up. Lo and behold, there was Spider Cat sitting up in the nose bleed seats, specifically in the (fortunately never used) Weber grill briquette pans on top of a kitchen cabinet.

He had obviously gone from the floor to kitchen counter to refrigerator to cabinet top to his seat.

I obviously used the Mist Of Doom on him, although I had to switch firing angles when it appeared he was going to retreat via a eight foot swan dive directly to the floor instead of the safer path he took going up. (He still dove off the refrigerator directly, with no ill effects.)

We have put shake cans all about the kitchen, especially on the top of the refrigerator above the counter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Who was That Masked Cat?

Making tea in the kitchen recently, Katherine heard the landing thump of a cat jumping down behind her. She turned around, and Whitey magically had appeared on the counter next to the refrigerator.

A visit to any kitchen counter is a Mist of Doom offense. If it was indeed a jump down to the counter, someone has been exploring even higher (where they belong even less).

Ford Ranger 0, Kitten Farm 1

If you look carefully at photos with the exterior of the kitten farm, you can see:
  • We're at the intersection of Summer and Summerhill Streets, and
  • We have a two foot high retaining wall around the front and side of the kitten farm.


This evening a pickup truck barreled around the bend of Summer Street leading to our intersection, bounced off a car parked in the Summer Street driveway of 1 Summerhill Street, nailed a curbside trash barrel (also the property of 1 Summerhill), careened across Summerhill Street, and hit our stone wall.

I was on the sidewalk at the foot of our Summer Street driveway as this unfolded. Actually, when I first saw the truck I was at the foot of the driveway. Having seen the results of a previous accident which nailed 1 Summerhill's fence, with the truck on final approach I ran for my [expletive] life up the driveway past the continuation of the retaining wall.

(I didn't need to run, as it turned out. But as Katherine says, I was wise, and the original builders of the retaining wall were wiser.)

The pickup may have impacted at the wall at 25 miles an hour or more. The vehicle has serious front end damage; it is probably mortally wounded. We have very annoyed neighbors (the truck pushed their car into their garage door and ripped off the rear bumper), but the stone wall is barely scratched.

The cats were finishing dinner at the time, so of course they didn't do much more than have alarmed looks between bites.

[Later: I was wrong, the wall doesn't show any scratches. However, I will need to get out and clean up broken truck remains in daylight.]

Friday, January 14, 2005

Photo Friday: Our West Coast Staff

Katherine's day job gets office support from those helpful people at Paperwork Partners. This week's photo Friday introduces the Paperwork Partners feline counterpart to Emily, Miss Chi Matson.

Desk-Chi-2005.jpg

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

News You Don't Want to Use

We have another miss on the litterbox, this one in the closet. Two misses actually, and different texture. Two cats? We don't know.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Cat nap friendlier office

As a professional programmer, I type hard and long. I also like a consistent feel, so I only generally use descendants of the original heavy duty IBM PS/2 keyboard. Unfortunately, these mechanical devices have noisy keys, which disturbs my officemates.

So last night I swapped in quieter version of my keyboard. Maybe this way my officemates will hang around longer.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Clean Up in Aisle 4

A litterbox was missed, and when the containment crew headed by Katherine arrived, Whitey was trying to a dig a hole in the floor. Until CSI reports in (they never got back to us last time, in fact), we'll assume he was cleaning up after himself.

Friday, January 7, 2005

Photo Friday: Rubber Cat

While Emily can be a little high strung, but when she wants to, she relaxes completely.

Emily-Ball-Nap-2005.jpg

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Look What the Cat Dragged Up

Someone left the basement unlatched, and something with four paws and tiger stripes went exploring. (Emily wouldn't lower herself to go down in the basement).

The result when we got home was a black blob which had been dragged up from the basement and dropped in the front hall. Hopefully the care taker of it didn't eat it or other thing poisonous during their adventure...

Weekend Photo Extra: Meet the Family

The boys' Aunt Margaret sent along pictures of their cousins Izzy (on the left) and Maynard (on the right). Izzy has appeared here before, but Maynard was too shy to have his picture taken that day.

Maynard--Izzy-thumb.jpg

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Emily's Holiday Stench

Another weekend, another case of Emily throwing up water just before dinner.