Friday, April 28, 2006

Photo Friday: Network Lunch

Cats are solo hunters, but when doing other things (like naps!), they work in groups. Some cats even network at lunch. Our Billy, on the other hand, wanted to have the network for lunch. (Yes, those are teeth marks on the antenna)


Our little Diva

So I'm doing the weigh-in last night. For the boys, this is easy. Zero the scale, wave a kitty treat under the nose of the cat you want, and make sure he has all four paws on the scale for the reading. The hardest part is keeping the other brother from helping.

Billy: 14 lb 6.5 oz
Whitey: 13 lb 5.5. oz.

Clearly neither suffered any ill effects from my absence.

Weighing Emily is a bit more involved. She's deeply suspicious of anything the humans want her to do, figuring it probably involves a trip to the vet, or medicine, or something else she's not going to like. To weigh her, you have to put her food on the scale, zero the scale, then studiously ignore her while she decides the coast is clear. (While being alert to chase off curious tiger kittens.)

So I do all of that, and the reading comes back: 5 lbs 11 oz.

Which is cause for panic. That's close to her lowest weight ever, when she was wasting away from her kidney problems. So we panic a little bit. Actually we panic a lot, since that represents more than a pound lost in just a few weeks.

And then we realize that she doesn't look or act like she's wasting away. She's had some stomach troubles recently, but her appetite seems normal, her coat is healthy, all that good stuff.

So I try weighing her again. And she must have had a paw off before, or maybe the scale wasn't level, because this time the winning number is: 7 lbs 4.5 oz, completely in line with her recent weights.


In retrospect, it's clear that she's been feeling unappreciated and used her feline powers of levitation to de-weight herself temporarily.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I Serve, Therefore I Wear

I have a personal motto, the kind in which the truth hurts:

I eat, therefore I wear.

Let's just say that any light colored shirt is at risk if on my body at meal time, and even the dark end of the wardrobe needs to worry about grease.

However, I have hit a new low.

The boys each get a 1/8 of can of IAMS canned food per meal. These cans have a pull tab, but I prefer to open neatly them with a can opener, including crank the opener a half turn and then reverse direction for a nice smooth rim with no overhang. This lets me then put the contents into a small Tupperware container without having to pry out the first couple of slices.

Often, I'll run a knife around the edge of the can to further smooth the exit of the food. But not this morning. No, I had to shake the open can, forgetting the food is packed in oil.

The result was one shirt smelling of fish oil. I changed before going to work.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Emily 1, Bed Quilt 0

I somehow got suckered into playing with Billy this morning. Someone (a human) told me that I owed him.

At least Katherine retrieved the laundry for me while I was busy. (She also retrieved Whitey, who went down to help her.)

In the midst of all this, I heard the semi-famous gurgling noise of Emily throwing up. I wasn't sure, but I adjourned playtime to the second floor so I could check the usual suspects, including my office, Katherine's office, litter box annex, and of course the bed. All clear, and Emily was sitting calmly on the bed, so Billy and I went back to playing.

Come to think of it, I found Emily sitting calmly the last time she threw up when I was around. Also like last time, she did throw up and I missed it. This time, she avoided immediate detection by hitting the far side of the bed, almost under (and on) clean clothes I had tossed on the bed to free up a laundry basket. She missed the clothes, but got both the bed quilt and top sheet.

As this is the fifth time she has thrown up in ten days, it is worrisome.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Late News on Emily ...

Emily threw up a couple of times this week, it turns out.

Unfortunately, our cat sitter didn't let me know me until she left a note with the bill for the week on Thursday.

This after I had specifically told her I was concerned about Emily.

Friday, April 21, 2006


We clean the litter boxes twice a day around here. We have huge boxes, but dirty boxes will lead cats to find other places to do their business.

One of the routine things I'm in charge of is throwing out the used kitty litter, which simply requires twice a week taking the bag from the dirty kitty litter bucket, taking it out to the trash, ansd putting a new bag in the bucket. This is done, not surprisingly, the night our trash goes the curb and more or less half way between trash nights.

Even with all the excitement this week, I remembered to do this Wednesday night, and even took some other unrelated trash out from the basement and the like. The result was a nice empty bucket.

However, when I opened it to clean the boxes Thursday night, I discovered my horror it was still empty. I had forgotten to clean the boxes Thursday morning. Not didn't want to, not didn't have time, just forgot in the midst of my other valet duties.

Fortunately, the cats had not declared the boxes dirty; no alternative venues had been used.

14 hours and counting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

38 Special

Yesterday was so quiet I didn't post.

Alas, this morning they blew their hitting streak.

There seemed to be more pre-dawn prowling than yesterday, which didn't let me sleep as late as either of the two previous days. At least it wasn't get the valet up at the crack of dawn. Minor, but noticed.

Less minor was a wet miss of the kitchen litter box. Without the head valet here, I got to clean it up end to end.

Good news: We're over the hump day, only 38 hours to go!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Brand New Day

Things have calmed down.

Once again, I fed Emily when up in the middle of the night, but this time she didn't reward me by throwing up.

I slept almost an hour longer today.

No one has landscaped any litter boxes.

I don't have to do the minor set up for our cleaning service today.

Only 86 hours to go!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Inmates and the One-armed Paper Hanger

Katherine is traveling. The inmates are (of course) running the place.

Emily started the fun by asking for breakfast after I woke up at 4:30 to run an errand. Not really a problem, she didn't wake me up, and the boys even stayed put in the bedroom so I could close the door and feed her in peace in Katherine's office.

Then 6:45 AM she woke me up again by throwing up in my office. Not just in my office, but on the sundeck, the floor by my desk, and my desk. And not just on my desk, but on my 12 year old heavy duty classic IBM PS/2 keyboard.

I clean up the sundeck and floor, go to the bathroom, unplug keyboard, wash it in shower, take it down to the basement to dry, get a spare IBM PS/2 keyboard (my supply mimics Linus's piano/Beethoven bust stockroom), take it up to computer, plug it in, boot computer, sit down ... and realize Emily also threw up on the floor opposite my desk.

So I clean that up, just in time to hear a cat landscaping litter out of the upstairs box. It's Whitey, bless him. Dry litter at least. I sweep it up and dump it back into the litter box.

Only 111 hours until Katherine is back.

(Seriously, I am worried that Emily has thrown up twice in two days.)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Who dunnit? (Solved ...)

At 7 AM, in-bed Cat Fu wakes me up. Katherine (without waking up) interrupts it by moving and nudging the wrestlers off her. I get up and fed Emily her pre-breakfast.

At 7:30 AM, I hear a cat throw up. I look for suspects/victims/patients. Emily sits calmly in in my office on the sundeck. The boys both sit calmly downstairs, but there is vomit with (used) kibble in it on the front hall rug. The kibble implies Emily, but I know she didn't have time to get to upstairs and settle in -- but one of the boys throwing up solid food 11 hours after eating dinner is a serious worry. I clean it up and get the Sunday paper.

By 8:30 AM, I am back upstairs. Katherine doing litterboxes upstairs reports a minor mess in there. I turn around, and realize someone threw up in my office. Maybe I missed this the first time, but it's almost certainly Emily. The place and kibble remains are right.

Poor Emily. At least it's a known a problem though.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cat of The Week: Molly

Since Molly is safe and sound, we can file this post under Cat Humor.

The article notes she had look which implied she thought "What's all the fuss about?" Actually, she was saying, "I meant to do that..."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Photo Friday: He ain't heavy

Remarkably, Whitey was still able to walk after he woke up from his nap. I know how he felt, though, since it's quite common for both boys to curl up against my hip at night.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Weighing in

The boys continue to lose weight and are now pretty much where we want them to be. Whitey weighed in at 13 lbs 0.5 oz, and Billy at 14 lbs 3 oz. We may want to up their food slightly now, but we'll wait a week or two to see if their current weights are stable.

Emily is getting positively chubby, for her, at 7 lbs 5 oz. She'll probably lose a little next week, though, as I'll be out of town and not available to feed her everytime she hops on my desk.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Turing's Cat

If you read a lot of blogs, you've probably encountered the anti-spam gizmo known as a "captcha." Captchas are those weirdly distorted combinations of letters and numbers that you have to deconvolute in order to convince the server that you are human, and thus entitled to comment on the hosting site.

They work, but they are ugly, annoying, and give users headaches. Why not replace them with, say, kitten pictures?