Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tiger Punks on Dope

We return to the further adventures with my high office shelf.

Today Billy headed for the top of the shelf, which is not common but is a regular occurance. What wasn't normal is that he then tried to reach down two floors to the the shelf where I keep sealed kitty treats ...

... and had recently left the sealed spice jar with cat nip. Whoops.

I got the jar off the shelf before he killed himself trying to climb down to raid it. As a reward/distraction I put some cat nip on both the upstairs and downstairs hall cat condos.

Both boys found the treat within seconds. A fine time was had by all.

The sealed cat nip jar is now back safe in the kitchen spice cupboard.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Heading for the hills

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we're worried about what would happen to our feline friends if we had to evacuate the kitten farm. Turns out the Humane Society of the US has extensive disaster planning information. Are you prepared?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Scaling New Heights

Too busy for kitten posts over the weekend because we running errands and going to a minor league baseball game as a group outing for Katherine's school.

The errands did directly affect the cats, because we continued our reorganizing our shelf space to better accommodate the four footed mafia. Four new shelves were obtained, and two are already up.

Newly installed into Katherine's office is a new small but tall metal shelf tucked into formerly dead space, which gets work in progress off the floor. I'm waiting for Whitey to try scaling it, which should be interesting as it lacks claw holds.

We also replaced the low hall table for the printer with a taller wire rack which can now also handle a displaced printer from the soon to be defunct network pantry. Whitey did try scaling this rack after we left Emily's food on the top shelf for a few minutes. If we leave food up there again we expect Whitey to show up again, next time with his brother and a climbing rig worthy of Batman.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Photo Friday: A Different Kind of Cat

As previously noted, we went up to Nova Scotia last week. What we didn't mention is how we got from Maine to Nova Scotia, since going by land is 10 hours and the Miata doesn't swim well.

Specifically, we rode the fast Cat Ferry. I especially like how the ship's hull motif includes a nose, muzzle, and whiskers.

Muzzle of the Docked Cat Ferry

Thursday, August 25, 2005

All By Myself

Emily has been lonely this week, more so than usual.

If we leave her alone closed in the bedroom for dinner, a truly sad meow comes drifting out. A human has to step in and stroke her a couple of times to get her eating.

Help is on the way as I type though -- Katherine is off to write on her futon, Emily's favorite place to be snuggled.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pardon the Interruption, Redux

Did you miss us (again)?

This time, a web site outage got Billy and Whitey 3:30 AM cat teaser time. But it wasn't their fault I was up.

A solid power hit at 2:30 AM reminded us just how many UPS protected systems we own.

In our case, we have seven:

  1. Drew's office
  2. Katherine's office.
  3. Living room DVR
  4. Network pantry
  5. Production basement server
  6. Test basement server
  7. Basement network rack

The drill on a power hit in the kitten farm is count to some number larger than sixty and wait for things to return, since the systems aren't hurt by the temporary outage, but then shut things down before the batteries drain (mostly to silence the beeping alarms).

This time Katherine jumped up almost immediately and killed to the two feeping office units (which don't need to be on at night in the first place). I lay awake waiting for power to return, then gave up and trundled down stairs and on to the basement killing things as they went.

As soon as I got to sleep, power came back, and a cell phone woke me up by announcing it was charging again with a happy feep. So I trundled back down stairs and turned on the production systems again, and kicked off backups for good measure.

When all was said and done, I had awake cats who wondered if I cared about the important stuff, like playing with them, so I did. :-) They even got kitty treats for working hard.

Monday, August 22, 2005

End of an Era

If you check our legacy photo gallery, you'll see before we were a kitten farm or even a puppy farm, we were a plush bear farm.

One of our eldest and most revered bears, the rugby playing and networking Ping the Panda, is sad. He's been one of our supervisors in the network pantry (an alcove of the kitchen) for a decade or so, but we're slowing disassembling it in favor of moving the networking equipment into the cooler basement and elsewhere. Ping can't move down there, it's too dusty for a cuddly bear like him.

Worst of all, we're disassembling it so we can move cat supplies and the dining room litterbox into the pantry area. Not bear friendly at all.

Last night we set up new shelves in the basement, and we moved the core of the network down, including the network switch and cable modem. The router which sat between them was already in the basement, after it freaked out in hot weather a month ago or more ago. Now the kitchen only has a few patch cables to link the basement to our original office network ports, plus a couple of computers which are waiting for new homes.

(Data was entering the house via the basement as coax cable, up to the pantry where the modem converted the data to Ethernet, down to the basement router where network address translation (NAT) occurred, and back up to the pantry based network switch for distribution to the various computers in the house. Now all that gear is back on the same shelf.)

They say the living room is the new center for networking, we'll see if Ping is willing to move there.

Breakfast with Emily

Emily missed us. This is shown by all the attention she wants at meal time.

Emily misses her medication. This is shown by her throwing up most of her breakfast this morning. It wasn't pretty.

I saw it happen while I was getting dressed, but it was Katherine who cleaned up after Emily while I hopped around on one foot trying to put my other shoe on.

I did pet Emily. She seemed scared after she threw up, as if the humans would be mad at her. We're not mad, we're sad for her.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Pardon the Interruption

Our web site, including the blogs, was down for several days earlier in the week. While the site was updated multiple times, the world (both of you) couldn't read our lovely prose.

Normally this would have been fixed within hours, but while the server was up and the site was being updated, it was doing so on a timer (ala a certain other site, but we didn't get the idea there). We were in Nova Scotia while Jen the cat sitter watched over the crew. Alas, we didn't even know the server was off the net until Wednesday, and Jen's duties don't include extended computer troubleshooting -- I had her check one thing, and then dropped back ten and punted until we returned Friday.

Once we were back, I power cycled a number of items. I think the basement firewall router was confused, and the reset did clear our problems up.

(What? You don't have multiple routers in your kitten farm?)

At least we're back now. (testing 1 - 2 - 3)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Photo Friday Extra: Make My Day

Unlike dogs, cats do not appreciate being dressed up by their humans. Some humans do it anyway, but I figure our otherwise loving cats would kill us in our sleep. Which is clearly what Floortje is planning for his human.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Accept <b>No</b> Substitute

Our pom-pom cat teaser was dead, so rather then open the new (last spare) one, I tried to tease Billy with both the boa and the feather teasers. He didn't yawn, but I couldn't really engage him.

So I got out the new pom-pom. POW!

Rather like Hobbes greeting Cavin after the school day ...

Monday, August 15, 2005

No Son of Mine

Sadly enough, seeing Whitey sleeping (again) on the bookshelf, it's official that he is not really my long lost son.

I know this because I wouldn't be able to sleep with my left leg and tail dangling off a seven story cliff. (I am not afraid of heights per se, but I get vertigo.)

I realize the fur, the claws and the tail should have tipped me off before this, but hey, I love the kid anyway.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Furry

I've got the theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly cranked on the stereo. This is worth mentioning here because the speakers, high in the corners of the room, are pointed or or less exactly at Whitey asleep on the top of the bookshelf.

(If you look at the photo by following the link, you can see one of the speaker wires behind him.)

All I can say is loud music must not bother him ...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Play kitty

Random observation: When William is lying relaxed but still awake, the white ascot like neck fur framing his chin makes him look very urbane. Sort like Hef when still Hef actually got dressed for parties.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Photo Friday: Basket Case

Billy doesn't do the mountain naps like his brother; however, leave a laundry basket out and Billy is one happy napper.


Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Diet, exercise, and the monthly weigh-in

All three of the cats seem to have gotten used to the monthly weigh-in, and to being picked up and carried around in general. No clawing and very little squirming to escape.

Emily's weigh-in brings good news: she's up to 7.0 pounds, from 6.5 last month. Seven pounds is her pre-illness weight, though she could still stand to gain a little more. She was off the Tagamet for a couple of weeks, but is back on it now. As noted before, as much as she hates it, it does seem to help her digestion.

Whitey has lost a half pound, down to 13.0 from 13.5. Billy remains stable at a tubby 15.5. That's really a bit on the heavy side for him, so we'll need to think about the best way to further restrict his diet. My first idea is to pick up his food after 30 minutes or so. Emily eats at a sedate pace, and we've been leaving the boys' food down for the duration of her meal. Maybe that's not such a great idea.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Summer Daze

Our written output has certainly dropped off in the last month.

Part of this is summer itself, as I, the primary author, don't feel like typing in a hot office all that much when I have time. This especially is true can I can spend the same time stroking Emily or teasing the boys with a feather at their request.

But also, as we move into the second year with Emily fixed in her ways and the boys fully grown, writing down their actions seems repetitive and routine. This is not say they are boring to us, but trying blog the way Billy begged for playtime today versus last week is a little subtle for a blog which seemed more unique last year.

But no news is good mews -- our cats are happy.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Photo Friday: Lucky Cat Paws

This doesn't quite translate to a photograph, but it really is sort of funny to have Whitey in his high nap spot to disappear except for his paws and maybe a little furry tail.

It's like we're storing lucky cats' paws up there or something.


Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Dog Paddle

Most cats don't like water, but many dogs do. Including this dog that did a canine escape from Alcatraz