Saturday, July 30, 2005

Internet's Best Friend

We're not in it, but the New York Times has an article on cats on the Internet. (Free registration required).

Friday, July 29, 2005

Photo Puppy Extra

We introduced our niece Rory back in February, but I didn't actually meet her until earlier this month. Pictures really don't quite capture her hugeness, but counting the rows of siding on the house behind her will give you some idea of scale.


I ran into a great malamute who was working as an assist dog a few days ago. I didn't ask, but I expect he's very good at pulling his human's wheelchair out of snowdrifts.

Photo Friday: Asleep on the job

Whitey doesn't always sleep on my bookshelf, especially if I am not around. Rather, he goes where the action is ... and sleeps there.

Last year, we captured Whitey was sleeping on the job. This year, he's doing it again (or still), but with improved form that takes up even more space on Katherine's desk.

Whitey on the Job

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Talking About The Weather

You'll notice a small change to our main index, namely we now have the current outside conditions over the calendar of recent posts on the right side of the page. Those are local conditions, as in our backyard.

Note that the wind speed and direction is suspect, because our mast is only ~ 13 feet high (standard observations are made at 10 meters, or ~ 33 feet), and in the lee of the hill the kitten farm is named for. However, given it has taken 19 months to get the mast up and the data recording, we're declaring victory here and now.

If you're a true friend of the Kitten Farm, contact us privately for the detailed weather page which also provides a summary of the interior conditions (which is what the cats actually care about).

update: You may not be able to see the weather sticker if you have ad blocking software running on your computer. However, you can still follow this link to our local conditions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Information Kibble

It's been too hot to sit at the desk and post. So we're sadly behind.

The cats are pretty much fine.

Emily had diarrhea over the weekend (I think), and someone had a small solid litterbox miss this morning. Otherwise, not much is happening.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Photo Friday: High Time for a Nap

Whitey continues to make himself at home on top of my office bookshelf. No launching pad needed, so long as the window sill isn't completely blocked by the drawn mini-blinds.

Whitey Napping on Shelf

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Kiss is Just a Kiss

The heat is back. (Bad) So is Katherine. (Good)

Also back is Emily's digestive adventures. (Not Good)

First, various cats wake me up at six AM on a Sunday morning by jumping on the bed and wandering about. Then Emily sees me awake and waltzes up to me to gives me the official Good Morning Nip of Hunger on my most accessible componenent, my lower lip.

I am not happy at this and yell at her as I grab the Mist of Doom. Her feelings are hurt and this is transmitted straight to her digestive tract -- she throws up in the door to Katherine's office.

Fast forward 14 hours, we return from dinner, and Katherine finds a solid accident next to the upstairs hall litterbox. I wander in the bedroom while she cleans it up, and discover more of the same problem. In other words, we have cat sh-t on the bed for the second time in a week.

Not sure what to do here other than to clean it up ...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Emily News Flash!

Emily is now a Category 5 hurricane. I didn't think she meowed THAT loud ...

(CNN) -- A hurricane warning was issued Friday for Jamaica as Category 4 Hurricane Emily churned closer to the Caribbean island and forecasters warned that some additional strengthening is possible before the storm makes landfall.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Second Verse of a Solo Piece

Day was mostly quiet as I continue to hold down the fort.

During the day, I left the upstairs windows open in the cooler clear weather; I am sure both the windows and the weather itself were improvements over Monday for the felines. Nothing interesting appeared to happen while I was working.

The evening was not as quiet. I found that a withdrawn Emily had left brown liquid goo on the closet floor. I think she threw up, a small chance it came out the other end. I think her lack of purring bothered me more.

Then at 4:30 AM, Billy wanted company. Again. Even phyiscally bringing him upstairs didn't quiet him. Finally Whitey wandered downstairs, and I think they played soccer for a while.

This morning Emily was more cheerful; I got some gentle purrs and a few head butts during breakfast.

I also got a minor litterbox miss downstairs and some spilled (clean) litter in the upstair hall, neither of which is worth thinking about it.

Now Whitey is meowing at the ceiling. Anyone got a copy of a Tiger <--> English dictionary?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Mostly Quiet on the Eastern Front

Emily's digestive processes have settled down.

When I got home yesterday, she seemed hot due to the weather, but with cooler weather overnight we have a cooler and more active Emily.

Now if Billy would not meow for a feather at 4 AM, I would be all set.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Daily stench: Double Ended Problems

I am in charge again, which as always means the inmates are actually running the place.

Dinner was an adventure with Emily.

I went up check on her. As soon I opened the door, I saw a piece of cat feces on the floor of the bedroom. (Fortunately, it was near but not in the path of the door.) I checked her litterbox, she missed that as well. From the location of and fur on the bedroom feces, it looks like she missed the box and had some get stuck to her to boot, which she cleaned off on the bed.

(Did I mention I need to wash the white blanket from the bed? Barely visible, so it should come clean.)

She also had thrown up in three places, no extra charge.

All of this raises several issues, most of which I can stall on while holding down the fort, but none of which are pleasant:

  1. The cat feces in the middle of the bedroom is new behavior, or at least something I have not seen in months and was rare when it did happen.
  2. This is the second time today she has thrown up

    (and yes, Katherine had been medicating her past few days after a break to get more cat friendly Tagamet)
  3. This is the third time in four days she has thrown up.
  4. She threw up with food in her.

    (Normally she only throws up after drinking lots of water when hungry).

My core concerns are she's starting to lose more control of her digestive tract and/or we're going to lose patience with her current problems.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Gaining weight?

A little bit of good news from the monthly weigh-in. Emily is back up to 6.5 pounds, from 6.0 pounds last month. Much as she hates it, I think the Tagamet is helping her appetite.

Billy and Whitey are both stable, at 15.5 and 13.5 pounds, respectively. Billy has been acting hungrier lately, so his diet may be starting to take effect. We'll see how July goes before we make more changes.

Photo Weekend: Stranger Redux

Through the wonders of modern software, you can now see a larger picture of Stranger.


And it should be duly noted that Stranger did get along with cats.

Photo Weekend Extra: Stranger

Also from the DVD chapter headings, a picture which does not do its subject justice. His name was Stranger, and a recent post by Bluegrass Mama has parts of his story.


Leash laws didn't apply to him, and he was too nice to get busted for it. Like the time a strange 3 year walked up to him and petted him by bopping him on the nose. He knew human puppies could be silly, and was kind to them.

He and I did a paper route for most of six years together.

He joined us when he was ~ 10 years old, and lived until he was 19. He actually passed away at end of my freshman year in college; this means I didn't have to see him go.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Photo Friday: Flashback 1970

The picture below is not very clear (and it's not a thumbnail, it's full size), but it is special.

The little tiger's name is Linus. The year was 1970, and he and Victoria (the not very visible calico) were our cattens.

You can just see Linus wearing a collar, for previously explained reasons.


(The reason for the poor quality is the photo is off a DVD, specifically a chapter heading. The DVD was transferred from analog VHS tape transferred from 8 MM film. I'm going to try to track down the original family 8 MM to get a cleaner video and stills.)

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Top This! (A Daily Stench Three-for-one)

~ 5:30 AM Billy raids the clothes racks in the bedroom closet. No damage, but we're both awake and Katherine stumbles out of bed to check on things (and to implicitly shoo Billy off the racks).

~ 5:40 AM Fall back asleep.

5:55 AM Wake up to Emily retching. Both Katherine and I struggle to step up to the plate and clean up the mess. I complete POST first and let a relieved Katherine collapse back into bed.

5:58 AM I warn Katherine before I turn on the main lights to seek visual clues to what we already got on audio.

6 AM While looking for current results of Emily's retching, I find an already dry one. Clean that up too.

6:02 AM Kill bedroom lights, close door while I clean up the main event in the hall.

6:05 AM Done cleaning; get morning paper, grab more paper towel for any upstairs messes to be named later, take morning paper into bathroom.

6:10 AM Exit bathroom.

6:11 AM Discover strong smell of cat urine in bedroom; discover lake buried in kitty litter which wasn't there at 5:58 AM.

6:13 AM Katherine chooses to not fight fashion and rises to clean this latest mess. I get her glasses and head downstairs to get spare litterbox rug and cleaning bucket.

6:15 AM While retrieving bucket, discover smell of cat dung in dining room. Trace to minor (but smelly) miss of litterbox.

6:18 AM Deliver upstairs cleaning supplies, open window to prevent choking on cat urine.

6:20 AM Reverse course to clean up dining room mess.

6:30 AM Katherine completes upstairs clean up, dumps dirty mat on back porch until she's awake.

~ 6:31 AM on Cats take turns meowing for morning attention. We let them live.

Comparing alternatives

Ever thought of adding a kitten to your household? As a public service, the Kitten Farm presents this product review for your enlightenment.

One morning at Galactic HQ

The boys woke us up with 5 AM kitten soccer, but it gets better.

From the system log of our mail server (and this web server):

Jul 7 07:46:34 diana apcupsd[367]: Power failure.
Jul 7 07:46:36 diana apcupsd[367]: Running on UPS batteries.

Katherine hears beeping, finds basement door open, UPS unplugged. She plugs UPS back in, secures door.

Jul 7 08:00:17 diana apcupsd[367]: Mains returned. No longer on UPS batteries.
Jul 7 08:00:17 diana apcupsd[367]: Power is back. UPS running on mains.

That particular UPS cord plugs into the ceiling and doesn't have much slack, which means a cat could trip over it and pull it out with his weight.

(The cord dropping out of the sky and the sudden beeping were no doubt their own negative feedback to the feline engineer who did this.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Behind Closed Doors

Last week we noted that Emily is definitely innocent of some litterbox misses because we found a lake by the downstairs litterbox when she was eating in her suite.

But the closed door works both ways.

Last night we determined she's definitely guilty of some accidents, because we found a lake by the litterbox in her suite when she was eating.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Happy Blog Day!

It was one year ago today that we first logged an entry for the Summerhill Kitten Farm.

Photo Friday: A Fitting Tribute

Last week's picture of Billy was a little unfair to him because he really does like to snuggle in the smaller carrier. This week we want to show Billy really does comfortably fit in one of the smaller cat carriers if he doesn't have company.


I think he would like us to go away with that flash camera, so he can finish his nap...

Daily Stench Double Feature

Not one but two litterboxes were missed with solid waste overnight.

The fun never ends around here.