Monday, February 28, 2005

The Not So Mighty Burrower

As we have previously recorded by his deeds if not in name, Whitey is also called the Mighty Burrower. He loves to get under any or all of the layers of covers, cruise like Bugs Bunny blowing through Albuquerque, and then maybe take a nap.

Emily, on the other hand, doesn't qualify for any Burrower Badges.

This evening, she snuggled under the folded down top of the sheet. When I came in the room, she went to stick her head out and could not because she was standing on the edge of the sheet. A plaintive mew came out from the sheet instead of Emily's head.

I untangled her, and then I petted her to tell the world still loves her even if the sheet doesn't.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Inmates Running the Asylum Redux

The inmates are running the joint again, which is another way of saying Katherine has (again) wandered off to the West Coast for the week. This would be a fine, except her travel curse is about to nail Boston. (She leaves, we get a storm. This makes me a one man clean up crew.)

The feather has come out, litterboxes cleaned and a fountain cleaned.

I'll get other fountain tonight after dinner.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Cats That Go Bump in the Night

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of Billy moving around and cleaning himself at the foot of the bed.

Oddly enough, this was a reassuring sound; it told me a cat is safe, warm, and calm.

(In case you haven't figured it out, I'm big on keeping the cats safe and warm.)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Photo Friday: Friends For Life

We already posted a picture of this particular kitten nap pile, but they looked even cuter before the photographer (almost) woke the boys up.


We need to keep both boys safe so they can grow old together; they're a team!

Do The Stroll

Over past month or more, we've been teaching the boys to ride on our shoulders from the launching pad of the Tiger Tower condo.

Okay, we think we're teaching them to ride on our shoulders. They think they have learned to climb across us long enough to grab a kitty treat out of a hand which is too far from the condo to reach directly, and maybe hang around long enough to see if they get seconds.

Whitey is pretty good, if he realizes a treat is ready for him he zips right across the shoulders to the treat. The primary problem with Whitey is he grabs the treat with a paw, and the paw is fully armed -- or more precisely, clawed. No velvet paws when you gotta balance on some stupid human several feet off the floor.

Billy, on the other hand, basically crawls only as far as he has to (he doesn't like the several feet off the floor either). The net result is less like a cat on the shoulder and more like a 12+ pound live feline stole reaching from elbow to elbow. And I do mean elbow, I have to hold up the trailing arm to support his rear paws and a good chunk of his weight.

And none of this happens with either of them without cash on the barrelhead, or more precisely treats in hand.

However, last night Billy was downstairs on the newel post unprompted, and I offered an arm for a ride. He came on board without a kitty treat in sight. With such good humor on his part, I viewed it well worth the trip to the pantry with kitty on board to find some treats before dropping him off.

A nice stroll was had by all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Daily Stench: The Return

Last night, Emily (who seems to prefer teetering on the edge of the litterbox to do her business, and thus requires lots of room around the box), managed to spray the area around the hall litterbox. Katherine cleaned it up, and moved the litterbox from the wall out a bit.

A couple of days ago, I commented to Katherine that the downstairs box had been moving closer the wall, and maybe this wasn't a good idea. I hate being right (especially when I am contributing to the problem).

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Cowardly Tiger

The truth is out about Billy.

Monday I answered the door for would be snow shovelers, and when I came back upstairs, Katherine was telling our supposed alpha cat that it was safe come out from under her office futon.

Since the top of the futon is Emily's daytime home, maybe he thinks his aged aunt will protect him from any evil visitors?

Some Mighty Hunter.

Was it something I ate?

The transition to adult food seems to have upset the boys' stomachs a little bit. At least one has a touch of diarrhea. This has sent Whitey, the Mighty Landscaper, into a frenzy of throwing litter around to make sure stinky things are covered up.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Photo Puppy Extra: Rory

As previously noted, before we were kitten farm we were a puppy farm.

Syracuse is a puppy farm too, with Blue (in residence some seven years), Winnie the Paws (an extended visitor last year), and now the lovely Rory.


Her full name is Aurora (or Rora, to become Rory as she gets accustomed to it). She will be 6 years old in May. A friend is getting married and moving and can't take the Aurora with her, so the Syracuse puppy farm adopted her. She is a giant malamute, all white and gentle as a lamb, which is a very good thing as she is 115 lbs!

Blue gets along pretty well with Rory, too.

p.s. Emily says so long as they don't visit here, we can post all the family dog pictures we want.

Michele's Cat Sent Me ...

This entry is for those of you (anyone?) who came over from Michele's blog to say hello to the kittens.

If you want a proper introduction to the kittens here at the farm, start with this entry. The log introduces our three felines within the first week of entries.

Weekend Stench: Too Much of a Good Thing?

While I was busy proofreading my previous post, Emily was busy throwing up on the floor in my office. (Can you say, priority interrupt?)

This was no spittle, this was her entire breakfast. Enough said (if not too much). Of course, the boys came charging to investigate -- we locked them in her suite while we sorted things out.

We are doing what we always do, which is clean up the mess, make a note here in the Lab Notebook, and ignore the source unless it becomes a pattern.

Added bonus: I should know better, but I used a paper towel roll as a traffic cone around the drying spot in my office. Billy, when released, promptly used it as a cat toy/practice prey. I rescued the roll before I had confetti all over the office, it's now replaced by a Hiss of Doom dispenser (can of compressed air).

Buffet Raid

As noted, the boys' buffet was open all night. I refreshed it with Emily's kibble when I did a new bowl for her this morning, meaning they now get 90% Active Maturity kibble. (In other words, when they finish the kitten kibble still left in their bowls, it's gone forever.)

One new breakfast detail is that I left Emily's dish down in her suite when I opened the door after she had eaten. Of course, the boys had to charge in and raid her bowl. Never mind it's the same kibble we now feed them, like any young male they think the food tastes better in the girls' cafeteria.

(There is plenty left for all concerned.)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Food for Thought

Several kitten diet milestones ...

We have been slowing moving the boys to eating Emily's dry food; this has been going for about week as we run out of kitten kibble.

The night of their birthday (Thursday), I cracked open an official can of IAMS adult cat food for the boys. Not kitten food, not Active Maturity, but honest adult food.

They hated it of course, and expressed their displeasure by wolfing it down like it was ... well ... kitten canned food. (Those two are a pair of Hoovers when eating wet food.) They may not notice, but I like knowing I can give them some variety.

And finally ...

No whoops this time.

With Emily and boys eating the same dry food, we've are now leaving the buffet (dry food) down 24 hours. Open all night and all that.

Maybe that will get us less meowing at 7 AM.

Photo Weekend: Winter Sun Deck

It is below freezing outside today, but sunny and calm. This allowed our Kittens of Summer to enjoy the indoor/outdoor winter sun deck in my office.


As an aside, the snowbank in the background is a third of its original size after the Blizzard of 2005 nearly a month ago.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

This Day in History

On this day in 2004, Billy and Whitey Derbyshire were born.

Kitty treats were cracked open at midnight for the boys and their lovely aunt Emily.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Just A Trim Redux

Billy got his nails trimmed today by Katherine.

Moonlight Meowing Madness

Billy was sad.
And meowed about it.
Gently but persistently.
At 11 PM.
When I was in bed.

I finally got up and played with him, which Katherine pointed out teaches him that meowing cures sadness. But I was going nuts, as shown by the tug of war I got into with Billy which destroyed a feather.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Photo Friday Extra: Snow Day in DC

Another Photo Friday extra via our fellow feline valets at the National Zoo; tiger cubs playing in the snow for the first time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

You realize that this means war...

One knows the cats just aren't leaving each other alone when I have to get out the Mist of Doom to spray the snarling Emily as she leans off the bed to swing at Billy.

(Billy was no choir kitty, I just didn't have a clear shot at him.)

Monday, February 7, 2005

The Cat-Fu Bowl

For all they sit and watch the world go by, the cats are not into spectator sports, even the Superbowl.

So instead, while the humans were watchng the Big Game, the three cats held the Cat-Fu (or maybe Frap-Fu) Bowl. Cats tearing up the stairs chasing other cats. Cats tearing down the stairs chasing other cats. Cats executing pick moves on cats chasing other cats on the stairs. Cats vaulting chairs in the dining room while being chased by other cats. Cats doing power slides under (and into) the living room futon while being chased by other cats.

How Emily ended up winning some of the stairs events, we still haven't figured out... we didn't even know she was entered.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Photo Friday Extra: Lions and tigers and cheetahs, oh my!

The National Zoo introduced their four cheetah cubs to the world today. At ten weeks, they weigh about ten pounds, a little less than Whitey. Mom weighs about a hundred pounds. Of course it wouldn't be Photo Friday without at least one link to gratuitous cuteness.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Photo Friday: Not the only one

The boys are very happy to share their distinctive fur pattern with Tigger. He bounces, so he's okay in their book. They do wish to point out that they (as a species) are the originals and he is the copy.


The Story in Your Eyes

This morning, Katherine and I argued a bit over who should call the vet to report on the status of Emily's eye after seven days of treatment.

The status is actually a boring "seems fine", which is why the call was not at the top of Katherine's list.

I was appointed, but I never served, because the vet called Katherine at the house while I was headed for work.

He told us to continue for a few more days, so we'll treat her through weekend when we can torture her the full three times a day. We had skipped the third mid-day treatment during the week, because I can't help torture her from 10 miles away. (According to the vet, skipping the middle treatment was no big deal.)

And Emily does still love us; we managed a nice smooth application this morning, and she was nuzzling me for attention within minutes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Cave Cats

We order most of our computer hardware, including systems and add-ons, via mail order; I just got a shipment with an external disk drive enclosure and several smaller items.

Whitey is quite pleased with our purchases, mostly because it's like Christmas all over again. In particular, he has a lovely carton in my office which must be 24" x 18" x 18", with the usual flaps on top to partially enclose it, and a smaller box inside which both partitions the space and provides a ledge.

Billy likes the box too, although lets just say when he's working down through the flaps and all you can see is his hind quarters, his nickname Tubbo ... presents itself.