Monday, January 9, 2023

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum (TNG edition)

Neither Katherine nor I have traveled much since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; I haven't been away at all, and Katherine's only trip was to provide aid & comfort to her only brother after he led with his shoulder into a tree while skiing a year ago. But yesterday I drove her down to SeaTac to put her on a plane for ASU Winter Intensive, which runs until Friday in Florida (lucky her!). 

The only problem is, she didn't tell Oscar, much less get his permission. This leaves the Assistant Cat Valet [Probationary] (that is me) picking up the pieces, including meals, litter box cleaning, and of course snuggles.  

Oscar has already demanded snuggle sessions twice, and who am I to argue?

(I've already cut my indoor walking exercise a bit for the week to leave slack for feline servitude.)

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Good Thing

I think we did a Good Thing.

During what turned out to be the final summer of the Brothers Catzilla, we acquired three short cat towers, mostly to encourage Billy to take incremental routes up to desks and counters that he had leaped onto in a single bound in his prime. He took some of the hints but not all of them.

Oscar may still look like the World's Cutest Kitten, but he now is 14 years old (the same age we adopted Emily). He doesn't act as spry as he used to. Oscar (harmlessly) missed the jump onto my desk a couple of weeks ago; now each time he looks up from the floor to my desk, he hesitates and measures the jump two or three times as if he is not sure he can make it. 

Over the weekend we put shortest Memorial Billy Tower at the corner of my desk; Oscar took one look at it and bounded up.  And better still, nearly every time he looks at my desk, he comes up via the tower without hesitation.

My desk and I are almost too popular now.

Oscar napping on the tower newly positioned for bounding up to my desk

Thursday, June 23, 2022

And Then There Were Two ...

 From my sister Catherine, Bootsie has been helped over the Rainbow Bridge:

Bootsies, 2006-2022. We are so sad to let her go, but she had a large tumor in her hind leg and had lost half her body weight. It was time.

Now Penwiper and Max (at my sister Margaret's in Syracuse) are only two remaining remaining family Tuxedo Kittens.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The March of Time for the Next Generation

With the fading and passing of the Brothers Catzilla in 2020, we are very aware of the limited lifespan of our feline overlords. We saw it coming of course. As the years passed, Billy no longer rushed up the stairs every time or conquered the cat tower as many times during one exercise period. Both cats didn't jump up onto counters and cabinets like they once did.

And now, Oscar & Penwiper, our younger set, are 12 1/2 and 11 1/2 years old. Simply put, they aren't really that young anymore either. 

Today, for the first time I saw Penwiper miss his usual jump from kitchen floor to the counter for treats. I thought he would make it; I think he just didn't get the back legs up far quite enough, and of course a formica counter doesn't offer four claw drive traction like wood does. His fall to the floor was harmless, thank goodness.

I guided Penwiper to the tower we bought Billy in 2022 for an easier climb to his reward. This may become policy for PW & Oscar.

This morning, Penwiper is still good for a happy cuddle and ear cleaning

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Smooth Operators

The cat weigh-in was smooth as silk again last night. Doing it weekly helps, as it gets them into a routine.

I realized the scale wasn't out while we were eating, so I popped up and grabbed it before Oscar showed up. This smooths things later, since equipment is not banging around.

When Oscar did show up, I popped up again and got the treats out, which promptly got his attention. 

As I headed around the kitchen island, Oscar, thinking I was headed for the stairs to deliver them to him, raced ahead. 

I was actually headed to Penwiper's room to let him in. When PW recognized this, he picked up his pace to a sprint, and dove off the counter for the door as I opened it for him. Then I headed back to the counter.

Oscar immediately got a clue (he knows PW let into his room means food), and came back into the kitchen. He hopped on the counter before I could get treats on the scale. Treats were offered to Oscar to get him off the scale (to reset it), then on the scale (to weigh him) and then off to the scale (to make room for Penwiper).

Lather, rinse, repeat with a released Penwiper.

Life was good.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Millie (2000-2021): Another Over the Rainbow Bridge

 From my sister in Kentucky:

Millie came into our lives on Oldham County Day in 2000 where a family at one of the booths had a litter of kittens available to good homes. 

In her younger days she was notorious for scaring small children with her angry sounds, but she never hurt a soul. While she was not thrilled with the addition of baby Bootsies in 2006, they eventually reached detente. And Millie formed a special bond with [our grandson], always accepting his pets and hugs. 

Her health had deteriorated to the point where we made the decision last night to take that final trip to the vet this morning. She was having none of that, and died on her own terms, peacefully lying down on a mat in the laundry room to take her last breath sometime in the night. 

RIP, sweet tabby.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Give Blood

Oscar is at the vet, a 90-day follow up his thyroid zap In August. (We can also toss his radioactive litter this week.)

Vet tech: "Oscar, we need a blood sample."
Oscar: "Nope. Nope. Nope. You want blood, take your own, human."

I left him there while they plan their next move.