Monday, August 28, 2006

Photo Monday: Nothing Happening, and Proud of It

Another hot off the presses camera phone shot ... just to explain there is nothing to report on the boys today, for the best of reasons: Nap Time!

Nap time

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Not so Tubby Kittens

The boys' new diet seems to be working. They've both lost a few ounces since the last weigh-in. Billy is down to 14 lbs 12 oz, while Whitey is at 13 lbs 10.5 oz. They both have about a half-pound to go.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Extra! Extra!

We have new feline niece with photos down at Bluegrass Mama's house.

Update ... Millie is not happy with her new housemate.

(We'll leave further updates to Bluegrass Mama)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Someone To Meow Over Me

I think Whitey needs to change his meds. What meds, I don't know, as we don't give him any. But he must be on something. He spent a fair amount of time Sunday meowing and making affectionate rubbing gestures ... 7 feet in the air.

The height did not encourage actually petting him, which was okay because he doesn't want to be petted. He in fact tends to flee if you try to pet him to when he meows at less lofty heights.

At times we think his primary only waking purpose on the bookshelf is to make us think he's about to fall head first to the floor. This does however exclude sleeping, which is his true calling in general and main reason for climbing up there most days.

The flip side of this is that over the course of the Sunday Spidercat kept me in sight most of the day. He watched TV on the couch with me in the morning, and ascended the shelf in the office while I worked in in the afternoon. We did it all again in the evening with our respective places on the couch for some baseball in the early evening, and then back up to our places in the office for more work.

So I'll just have to smile knowing he likes me around, if not too close.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Opening the kitchen window on Saturday, the glass from Bluegrass Mama with the kitten farm motto fell down as it has several times before.

Unfortunately, unlike previous falls, this time it shattered in the sink! That's bad.

However, for all the time it hung with the sun shining through it, we enjoyed it far more than if we had tucked it away in a drawer where we had never seen it.

The glass is gone, but the kitten farm and its motto live on.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Photo Weekend: Repeat Offender

Fresh from the camara phone ...

Truly, Whitey has mastered the art of looking like he belongs where he doesn't. Yes, that pepper mill means it's the dining room table again; this time he's enjoying Katherine's placemat. (Last time he was across the table on my placemat.)

Whitey on Dining Room Table ... again

No doubt the lesson the Mist of Doom taught him was diluted by my stopping to take the picture, but oh well. He was too darn cute and comfortable.

His brother, it should be noted, was asleep on the wicker seat of my dining room chair. The chair and brother were both properly tucked under the table in approved fashion.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Power Meower

As previously noted, Billy and I have a good routine going with pom-pom hunting these days.

Billy has, unfortunately, learned an associated trick -- he invites me to the hunt by sitting in my office door and serenading me with catzilla sized meows. Then if (when) I get up, he leads me off to the pom-pom stash.

He'll occasionally meows to be fed too, with an alternative destination of downstairs. But he doesn't do this as often, and his timing is usually not far off the official schedule. So "feed me" meows don't stand out as much.

I think he could meow louder (for all their volume, these are calm almost happy meows), but for the sake of my hearing I don't want to find out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Slimming down

We cut back on the boys' food a little bit since the last weigh-in. Whitey gained a little bit anyway, coming in at 13 lbs 14 oz. Billy lost a little bit, at 14 lbs 13 oz.

They're more active now that the weather is cooler, which no doubt also helps.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Local Sad News: Puppies Die in Truck Fire

More sad news from the wire, a number of puppies were killed in a tractor trailer fire in Lowell, MA, which is about 25 minutes northeast of the kitten farm.

The Daily Stench: Tummy Trouble

Early Yesterday evening we found an unidentified mess in the upstairs hall. I though hairball, but Katherine said probably diarrhea. Since she got a closer look by cleaning it up, I'll let her decision take the election.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Emily At Rest

We mixed Emily's ashes with the soil for the climbing rose this afternoon. I hope it has enough sun to make her feel warm.

While we've mostly moved on, it was still a sad time for Katherine and me.

The boys did not attend, but immediately after coming in the house we we summoned them, fed them kitty treats, and petted them.

Rest in peace, our little calico.

The Cat In the Bed is Back

With the summer heat dropping off, the boys have been curling up around Katherine at night again.

Yesterday, Billy even nestled on the couch with Katherine and me as she rubbed my feet in front of the ballgame. Then he followed us upstairs to help us take naps. (Hey, all this plumbing supervision is tiring for man and beast.)

With last night almost cool, at some point Billy decided I was a good place to curl up next to for the first time this season. Of course, this resulted my first seasonal nudging him away when I woke up and was pinned under the cover ...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Once More, with Feeling Pounding

A legitimate source of the new leak was discovered by the plumber (father of the previous plumber). The earlier repair on the bathroom drain stack appears to have broken the tub drain trap, which makes more sense than the work damaging the tub caulking.

No additional charge, although now we have far more water damage in the kitchen and several holes in the kitchen ceiling to fix in addition to the original holes in the wall.

Photo Weekend: The Return of Millie

While on vacation at Bluegrass Mama's in June, we got a new picture of our feline niece Millie.

Bluegrass Millie

Hope Springs Eternal

Hope springs eternal, and so does our kitchen ceiling. Or at least our ceiling is like a spring.

Translated, the ceiling leak is still with us. And it's not what the plumber claimed it was, I tested with a pure tub draw and (re)flooded the kitchen.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Paw & Order Extra: Sad news from NY

We filed the original post about Fred the undercover kitten under Humor. Unfortunately, we can't use that for today's follow up.

CNN reports that Fred was killed in a traffic accident.

The DA's office has the official announcment.

Let It Flow

The plumbers came and went yesterday, leaving us with several new holes in the walls and a new drain pipe, not to mention a new small hole in the home equity line.

We blocked the door to Billy's favorite linen closet which has a floor level hole in the wall which is just too cat friendly. We also replaced some of the wallboard high in the kitchen wall and secured it with duct tape. This keeps a certain Spidercat from jumping to the cabinets over the stove and inspecting inside the wall. We've never seen him up there, which is not as accessible as the cabinets over the refrigerator, but we did it anyway -- he's a Spidercat.

We called our favorite general contractor to scope fixing the walls for real; he'll stop by on Tuesday.

And then we called the plumber again this morning when the kitchen ceiling sprung a leak during my shower. This problem was new (and freaked us out), but was traced by the plumber to the sealant around the tub spout breaking loose because of their other work. All fixed.

We hope.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Our Dainty Departed Emily

Another Emily quirk we don't miss (much): No one ever explained to her the difference between sinks and fountains.

Emily used to mostly hang around upstairs, an orbit for her final months that mostly consisted of the bed, Katherine's desk and futon, the sun deck in my office, the litter-box, and the bedroom water fountain. In particular, she tended for some reason to use the litter-box, and then head immediately for the fountain, wiping her paws on the edge before drinking.

No wonder the upstairs fountain always seemed dirtier.

I blew off washing the fountains over the past month, and when I got around to them, they were still cleaner than after a couple of weeks of Emily use.

(At the same time, while I wrote this my third monitor has had a picture of Emily asleep on the office futon. Pity I can't rub her ears for her...)

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Weekend Stench: Right on Schedule

After I got up this morning, I was thinking how it has been a week since the boys last left a mess, a considerable drop in frequency from our final months with Emily. I also wondered when the next event would be.

The next event, a hairball, was waiting for me downstairs by their food bowls.

Just like clockwork...

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Diet, what diet?

Since the last weigh-in Billy has leveled off and Whitey is gaining. Billy remains stable at 15 lbs 0.5 oz. Whitey comes in at 13 lbs 13 oz. Time to start cutting back.

We're Back and We're Bad

Our network now works not because of the heat breaking, but because I swapped our main SMC router for a LinkSys router which Bluegrass Mama surplussed when I fixed her wireless router. Those SMC routers have history of toasting on me, this may the third or fourth one that flaked out on me.

All this means I only have one spare working router, although I could change things around so that the WiFI router carries more than just our limited WiFi traffic. (What? You don't have a distinct WiFI network, or any spare routers?)

Friday, August 4, 2006

Photo Friday: It's a Bug Hunt

Both boys are pretty big. We've already mentioned Billy's 41 inch reach, and Whitey isn't much smaller. Still, they sometimes wish they were just a little bit taller, especially when small flying insects hover just out of reach.


Friday Fun Stuff

We realize that not all cat lovers have cat friendly household arrangements. Though not nearly as warm and cuddly as the real thing, electronic pets do have certain advantages. (Shockwave animation. Move mouse and see what happens.)

Rain In the Summertime

The heatwave has broken. Light rain this morning, coming straight down, so we can we leave all the windows open.

The boys have taken on new life with the heat gone. They both chased cat teasers not only last night but also this morning before breakfast. Air Whitey did some spectacular (or is that specatacular) vertical leaps going after a pom pom, and Billy certainly put in his effort up and down the stairs.

Of course, it also helps that we are more willing to play with them with the heat gone, even if they do most of the work.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Pardon the Interruption

If you could not connect to us recently ... a recent heatwave has affected our Internet connection, including the connectivity for this web site.

We thought it was our provider, but disconnecting most of the equipment in the Farm House from the network and plugging a computer directly into the cable-modem shows their stuff works fine. So I'll start swapping equipment when I get a chance to find out what works and what doesn't.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Canned Emily

Katherine picked up Emily's ashes from the Stoneham Animal Hospital. They were shipped in a boring brown box via UPS. Inside the boring box was a white six inch canister, with various sizes of black paw prints all over it, and a black label with Emily's name on the lid.

Rather than being depressed, the cute canister made me smile.

Katherine noted that this looks far nicer than what we saw on their web site for containers.

Katherine rolled her eyes when I weighted the actual remains (in a bag in the canister) and discovered that Emily now weighs 9 and 3/4 oz.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Cat Plumbing

The boys would like to point that if we were cats, we would have not this plumbing problem.

They are self cleaning, and they use nice dry litter boxes. Just give them clear fountains to drink from.

I'd argue with them (I've seen them kick litter around, never mind where we clean the fountains). but when was the last time anyone won an argument with a cat?

And Away Goes <strike>Troubles</strike> Money Down the Drain

The initial report from our new plumber is that the leak is from a cracked drain stack, and we may be replacing it from the bath tub all the way to the basement.

The rough translation for a home owner is, "kiss your three year old kitchen ceiling goodbye".

p.s. we have a new plumber because the old one didn't answer return our call. However, it may not be his fault, because Verizon's voice mail network broke.