Thursday, November 30, 2006

Photo Friday: Catzilla Conquers Desk

Her late Emilyness included in her royal realm Katherine's desk, and Whitey has been known to crash on on it too. This past summer, Billy decided it was good for a nap as well.

Billy Desktop Nap

He takes up real estate as only a pre-diet Catzilla can.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Maintaining target weight

Both boys are now more or less stable at their desired weights. Billy comes in at 13 lbs 10 oz, and Whitey at 13 lbs 4.5 oz, essentially unchanged since the last weigh-in. If anything, Billy is a shade on the thin side. We have nudged their portions up a little bit.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bluegrass Photo Extra: The Real Thing

Our niece Bootsies may be only be a kitten, but she knows how to be a cat.

Bugs and bugs and bugs, oh my!

Fuzzy caterpillars and feather dusters are fun, but there's only one Ultimate Cat Toy: live moths. They like to cluster around our porch light, so one or two often get inside when we open the door. Unfortunately, the boys play too rough, so moth hunting sessions tend to be brief.

It may be because the moths are sluggish from the cold weather outside, but they don't seem able to figure out that the ceiling would be safe. Instead they flutter around between three and five feet off the ground. This improves their entertainment value, but not their longevity.

Petco sells live crickets as food for frogs and reptiles. We have resisted the temptation to buy some for the boys. We're worried they would escape to the basement or into the walls, and then we'd have both cricket chirps and insane kittens to deal with. *shudder*

Monday, November 27, 2006

Over the (DST) Hump

The boys have settled nicely back into getting up with us, instead of getting us up with them.

Yesterday, they actually let us oversleep 8 AM kitten breakfast by 11 minutes. Today, they were both at Katherine's feet when I woke up just before 7 AM, quietly stretching and thinking about cleaning themselves.

Maybe we should move to Arizona so we don't go through the DST shift with them twice a year?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Once They've Seen Paris ...

The Fuzzy Caterpillar has a real downside. Billy won't play with me on the stairs any more. He believes me taking any toy out downstairs is a sign I'll go upstairs and get out the caterpillar out.

Us buying a Mac would be less shocking. (Oh, wait. We just did that.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Mighty Hunter Gets New Prey!

Last time we were in Petco, I randomly grabbed something called a "Monkey Tail" teaser. (Page down for a picture.) That's what its official name is, but it looks like a giant fuzzy caterpillar to me.

Billy loves it. He hasn't been this excited about a toy since he first discovered pom-poms. (Which he still loves, but not as much as his fuzzy caterpillar.) He growls, he hisses, he leaps tall cat towers in pursuit.

Even better for the humans, it's pretty durable and has so far survived the abuse more or less intact. We have a winner!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Further Adventures of Mr. Inscrutable

It's official, Whitey is messing with me.

Monday, he burrowed under the quilt as soon as I came bed, and basically stayed there until his periodic leaning on me caused me to nudge him sufficiently hard that he left in the pre-dawn hours.

He also appeared for bed promptly last night (sans the burrowing), and was still at Katherine's feet at 7 AM.

Fit and trim

The boys are still losing weight, but a little more slowly. Both are down about two ounces since the last weigh-in. Billy comes in at 13 lbs 11 oz, and Whitey is at 13 lbs, 5 oz. I think.... Billy decided he wanted to grab Whitey's treat, and so he shouldered his way onto the scale while I was weighing his brother.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Hacker's Little Helper

Every family oriented blogger has one fear, namely that their subjects (the family) will read the blog. I thought we were immune to that on this blog.

Now I'm wondering if Whitey is reading over my shoulder from the bookshelf.

After this my post about his aloofness, he spent half of Sunday in my office in very accessible spots. (The rest of the day he spent napping under the quilt in the bedroom, which is par for the course.)

In the morning, he did some office window sitting, and I rewarded him with an open window for a while.

The late afternoon was a warm nap on the stereo receiver. Cats love warmth, and my office is the warmest room in the house, since the radiator has close to a vertical run from the furnace. He napped in the warmest spot in the office. But that receiver Kitty Warmer has been in this office since he was a kitten and he jumps from it every trip up to the bookshelf; he's always done the aloof cat on the top shelf before.

The less aloof cat is noticed. But I need to remember to write nice things about him from now on.

And of course, pray cat fur doesn't short the receiver ...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mr. Inscrutable Goes To The Movies

Of our three cats, we always viewed Emily as the most social, Billy as the most active and extroverted, and Whitey as both the most agile and inscrutable.

This blog has shown those traits, and of course that both Billy and Emily demand more attention than Whitey.

Because his brother is both more demanding and a clearer communicator, sometimes I worry that we're neglecting our equal-but-junior feline. If true, we could be fostering that Whitey doesn't care if we exist or not so long as he gets fed, watered, and has a clean litter-box. That sometimes of late he choses to sleep overnight outside the bedroom doesn't help this feeling.

(Katherine notes that what actually happens is that Whitey dozes off in her office as she is winding down, which is quite sociable of him. That he doesn't come to bed at the same time as her is simply a function of it's comfy there. But *I* miss all this, I'm asleep already.)

However ...

Last night after dinner, Katherine and I watched Shall We Dance on DVD. We were crashed on the couch, with pillows and blankets. Into the midst of this jumble came a white faced tiger cat. He alternatively burrowed under my blanket and kept my feet warm, and then laid out over the blanket on my outstretched leg calm and relaxed for a while. He didn't stay the whole movie, but it was most certainly not a drive-by greeting.

Our Whitey may not be a movie buff, but he certainly wanted to share our company.

Thank you Whitey.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Photo Friday Extra: Team Napping

I lamented to Katherine that I never see the boys nap together any more. She says that they do, and proved it this afternoon with this camera phone shot.


Sleep well this afternoon, boys.

Wile E. Coyote vs. The Road Runner

I got up to use the little bloggers room at 5 AM, and this caused Billy to wake up, wander off the bed, and starting meowing for a playmate just often enough to keep waking we up.

Calling him back with kitty treats didn't work. Well, it did, as he was instantly standing on my chest, but he didn't stay bought.

It was time for the secret weapon. I got up, armed it, and returned to bed. I waited for him to meow. I reached for the remote control, which caused a small rattle . . .

... And discovered Billy had reappeared on the bed, and was using the antenna of the remote control as a cat toy. I got rid him at least, by ordering the car to turn its wheels. That made distinctive *click* sound, and he charged back into the hall to investigate it.

He didn't even meow any more.

Still, I need to check the RC MINI and see if it's made by Acme.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Photo Friday: Traveling Companions

Maybe mom will take the boys to Europe with her if they are willing to share a suitcase.

Packing for Europe

Wait until they find out that particular suitcase being big enough for them both means it is always checked baggage. Not to mention it would be pretty crowded if she could actually close it with both them and clothes in it.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Molly Revisited

The AP is carrying a follow up on Molly, the cat who got stuck in a wall in NYC six months ago.

Short version: She's doing fine.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Nice Try

Our loyal reader suggested yogurt for Whitey's digestion. It turns out this would be a great idea ... if the patient were Billy.

Billy loves the stuff, the way Whitey loves milk.

Whitey sniffs at yogurt and walks away, unless it has a kitty treat buried in it. And even then I'm not sure, since the kitty treat was as almost as big as the sample of yogurt I used.

Stable weight, more or less.

Since the last weigh-in, Billy has lost a little more, and is at 13 lbs 13 oz. Whitey is up an ounce, at 13 lbs 7 oz.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Angels of the Morning

I went to bed late last night, and Billy meowed enough that we closed the bedroom door until Katherine followed me to bed. Then Billy hopped up and settled down immediately.

From there on, however, it was smooth quiet sailing. Not a peep out of them until we all started waking up around 7:15 AM, when morning stretching became self-washing which became sibling power washing which made the usual transition into gentle cat fu.

What sweet little angels. Now if we could just get the same behavior for week ...

Photo Weekend: Our Secret Weapon

If you follow my personal blog, you know one of our cars is a British Racing Green MINI Cooper S. If you follow this blog, you know the Spider-Kitten once tried to fall off the second floor through a gap in the stair railing.

Those two items came together this past week. Our secret weapon is a new radio controlled MINI Cooper S positioned to drop shake cans on the first floor by pushing them off the ledge.

Our Secret Weapon

It met my requirements nicely: Cheap, locally obtained, too wide to fall through the gap itself, and can be controlled from the bedroom so the cats can't hear me preparing to launch. And of course, it's so cute Katherine doesn't object.

We have not actually used it yet to quiet a cat, but if even if we never do, we still have a car to match our die cast Miata model built in the same scale. The MINI is cheaper plastic, but the Miata is a static display (not self-propelled).

Friday, November 3, 2006

Amoxicillin is our friend

After visiting the litter box three times in fifteen minutes this morning, Whitey won himself a visit to the vet. Mew! Without his brother. Mew! The verdict is a possible bladder infection, calling for a course of amoxicillin. Fun fun fun.

The good news is that these things are apparently not very contagious, so Billy is unlikely to get it.

He apparently wasn't too traumatized, though. He is now napping in his carrier.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Man The Barricades

For our loyal readers only loyal reader, an explanation may be in order to why we don't just lock the meowers in the kitchen. There are actually several reasons:

  • The kitchen does not have a radiator, instead relying on other rooms, appliance heat, and people being dressed when in it.
  • The kitchen doesn't have door latch, or for that matter, a door. In fact, while the farm doesn't have an open floor plan, there are no interior doors in any doorway on our first floor. We just have exterior doors and the basement door.
  • The general heat flow of the house doesn't encourage putting doors in, as then first floor heat would not rise in the winter.
  • The boys (along with our departed Emily) were implicitly taught to sleep with us, in particular to snuggle Katherine.

So we need more subtle methods, like remote control depth charges.

Get The Party Started

Another day, another morning of early rising cats.

Unfortunately, what got them (in particular Whitey) up this morning was me getting up to plug in a cell phone which was feeping due to a low battery. So it's all my fault.

Whitey didn't meow that much, just enough to wake me multiple times. Every time I woke up enough to hear him, he would stop before I felt I should do anything.

"Anything" including test the new grenade launcher (actually, more of a depth charge launcher) I bought last night. (The hard part was finding a device which Katherine would approve of ... but I did!)

I'm sure Billy will give me a chance soon enough.