Monday, December 31, 2007

Photo Extra: A Cat A Day

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (even they call it the PI) has valet on the street cat photos coming out the ears. Their cheap-to-post content, our Photo Extra to end the year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

To protect and hunt

On the other side of the country from the New York deli cats, the Los Angeles police department is bringing in unadoptable feral cats to clean up stations with rodent problems.

Photo Friday: The Real Kitty, Warmed

Though we posted a picture of Billy on the kitten warmer before, that one was a little misleading. It showed an alert, eager Billy. A few minutes later, he looked more like this.

Billy-2007-12-23.jpg


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cozy Kitten

One small feature of the Kitten Farm West is a fireplace in the living room. Mostly we use the room for the television on the mantle, but the fireplace is a nice touch once in a while. It's especially nice because as a glass fronted gas fireplace, it's cat safe unless someone takes a nap leaning against the screen and does a slow roast.

Whitey was curled up in between the coffee table and the fireplace yesterday evening when I sat down to relax after flipping on the fireplace. I stayed around for an hour and watched some TV with the fireplace still going. When the program was over, I looked down at Whitey and realized he had recalibrated for a warmer climate, as per our cat thermometer diagram.

No pictures alas, as I woke up him up calling for the camera, but he enjoyed his evening.

Famous Photo Extra: Mountain Cats

The retirement of the current resident feline at Mount Washington Observatory gave the Boston Globe an excuse to showcase the current and former felines of the peak.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Photo Extra: Ready for presents?

Whitey says humans sleep much too late. He's been ready to open presents for hours. Meow!

Whitey-2007-Xmas.jpg


Holiday Photo Extra: Santa Paws?

Billy says he's been very good this year. (He was, too. He even held still for the slow flash-free photo.) Are there kitty treats for his stocking?

Billy-2007-Xmas.jpg


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Photo Weekend: Shhhhh

Whitey is napping.

Whitey-2007-12-23.jpg

Although actually you don't have to be that quiet. He's been known to sleep through Sarajevo (Bandwidth warning: video link.). And he didn't even flinch when the shutter clicked a few inches from his head.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Impending tubbinesss

Both boys are a bit heavier than we would prefer. Billy comes in at 13 lbs 14.5 oz, Whitey at 14 lbs 3 oz. If the trend continues, it may be time to cut their food a bit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And Then There was One ...

One Litter box, that is.

With low usage of the upstairs litter box (in part because we kept moving it between bathrooms), it was retired Sunday evening. Now the boys just have a litter box in the laundry room.

Which they seem to miss every other day. *sigh*

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hot (News) Flash

Whitey finally found the Big Black Kitty Warmer.

... and then promptly abandoned it.

*sigh*

Warmer Glitch

I've discovered a problem with Billly and the Big Black Kitty Warmer. Whitey used to always face out, leaving at most his paws hanging over the front. Whether because it's not in a corner anymore or it's simply Billy vs Whitey, Billy will sometimes hang his furry back over the front edge.

This can block the IR remote receiver, making volume adjustments problematic. But if it keeps Catzilla warm ...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

With the Kitten Farm West, we have both ~ 75% more space and a room (the library) that has a latching door that the boys can be locked out of without seriously disrupting them or us.

So this year, we're taking plunge and getting a Christmas tree for the first time since they came to run the place. A full sized artificial tree (a first for either of us), so the boys don't poison themselves with the tree water or needles, prewired with lights to reduce the dangling wires which can be attacked,and all plastic bulbs which are shatter resistant.

And of course, we have the library door in case they try mangle it anyway.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Photo Friday: Whitey's Happy Place

This was taken before Whitey's trip to the vet on Wednesday, but it could have been taken after as well. He seems to remember that the carrier brought him home from the evil vet, but forgets that it also took him there in the first place.
Whitey-2007-Carrier.jpg
He looks so alert because there are birds outside the window to the right of the photo. Oh boy!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Whitey's not so excellent adventure

Whitey spent the whole day at the vet yesterday, waiting for his kidneys to produce enough urine for a useful sample. Once they finally did, it turned out that he has no active infection and no crystals in his urine. Yay!

Thus, his on-again off-again litterbox troubles are attributed to interstitial cystitis, a recurring bladder inflammation. He's been given anti-anxiety medicine, and we've been given instructions to call the vet in a month and keep a log of how he feels.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Where's Whitey?

Whitey who continues to have comfortable days and not so comfortable days, needs to go to the veterinarian today for a follow-up visit on his bladder. A half-hour before she needed to leave with him, Katherine began searching for the Spider-cat. She searched high, she searched low, but she found no Spider-cat.

As panic began to set in, she searched one final location, and found him: lounging in a cat carrier with the door open. The door was closed and kitty treats were rewarded.

Update: Katherine is back without Whitey. They had to keep him until he can give them a urine sample. So much for lounging around the house today, poor Whitey.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Photo Friday: Kitchen-Spider-Kitten

Whitey looks guilty peeking into the front hall from high in the kitchen, but no worries -- he's allowed if he's willing to put the work into jumping up there.

2007-Whitey-Spider-Kitchen-Cat.jpg


Weight watching

We've been slow about posting weights for the boys, but we are definitely paying attention. We seem to have arrested their recent upward motion. We'll see whether they come back down or whether we'll need to further restrict their intake.

Billy tips the scales at 13 lbs 15 oz, his brother comes in at 13 lbs 15.5 oz.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Photo Friday: Laundry Day

I think we have a clue why even our clean clothes have cat fur on them.

Billy in Laundry on the Bed

Someone "helps" at the folding stage.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Go to the Source

As previously noted, Billy loves laundry baskets full of clean clothes. In the Kitten Farm East, he would hop in the laundry basket as soon as it hit the floor, set down by the valet as they came out of the basement.

In the kitten farm west, the laundry room is off the kitchen, and fully cat accessible -- it better be, since that's where their litter box lives.

Today, Billy showed up on our new shoulder high dryer in time to hop in the basket as I was still loading it. This left him buried in laundry, which isn't really a problem for the cat.

I turned around to handle one thing, and then I went verify my passenger was safe for the ride upstairs, when I realized he was completely missing. I looked around and then up, and saw him peering down at me. I discovered I had given him a better offer via an open overhead cabinet.

Truly a cat's meow of a morning for him.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Raiders of the Lost Kitty Treats

Last night, the boys decided to raid the treat supply cabinet. This didn't work, because it was rubberbanded shut, but they tried hard enough that Katherine set out a field of shake cans to deter them.

This morning, shake cans could be heard falling as the boys tried to move breakfast up by a half hour or so.

I disassembled the shake can field when I fed them breakfast, since it was in the way, and clearly happy fed cats wouldn't raid the supply cabinet.

What was I thinking?

Around noon, I went downstairs and found the rubberband from the kitten food cabinet broken, and a tall plastic jar of kitty treats fallen over on the floor with the lid off. Oddly enough, no loose kitty treats had fallen out when it went flying, and there were no kitty treats within a easy paw's reach of the top of the fallen jar. There were however, two innocent looking cats, both of whom are known for a) being feline neat freaks, and b) not leaving food behind.

You don't suppose there were spilled treats but that the boys vacuumed them up?

The door is now secured with double rubberbands, and a note has been filed with maintenance to get those magnetic latches up.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Photo Friday: View from Above (Library Edition)

Billy thinks it's hard to get on the library bookshelf from the near by cat tower. On the other hand, Whitey wants to know what the big deal is, rising once again to prove who the house Spider-Cat is.

Billy and Whitey high in the library


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Whew!

Good news!

Simply put, the power meowers seem to have shifted off Daylight Savings Time with us better than last year. They don't want us to sleep to 8 AM, but they haven't jumped forward an hour (relative to the clock) either.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Big Black Electric Kitty Warmer

Two shake cans, the initial deterrent to Whitey not hanging out on the little silver Kitty Warmer, didn't work. I'd placed them on the edge of the laptop, but spider-cat just squeezed by them to stand on the keyboard proper.

The cans have been moved on the keyboard proper; fortunately, they are light enough that they don't actually depress any keys.

But real news is that when Whitey chooses to visit, he can still find butt warming joy -- I moved The Big Black Electric Kitty Warmer from a middle shelf onto the waist high top shelf of the unit it lived in. (I've already pointed the new location out to him twice via kitty treats, but he hasn't hung around though.)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Photo Weekend Extra: Kitty Warmer

My west coast job includes regular off hours support of a couple of servers. I've set up my home office with a second dedicated desk for my work laptop and associated accessories, and I tend to leave the machine powered up in case I get paged.

Unfortunately, my office is also setup such that Whitey can't use the big black feline warmer that he loved back east, so with the nip of fall in the air he relaxes on the new little silver one instead.

Work portable at home with feline accessory    Whitey Relaxing between Pages

I need to make him a better offer before he fries the machine on me.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Photo Friday: Teddy Kitten Redux

We previously showed our boys cuddled in a warm nap together. Here's a even more snuggly view of them during their nap.

Cuddle Closeup


Circus Cats Redux

This morning we had a Circus Cat (The Mighty Hunter himself) wake us up.

He meowed.

He explored my nightstand.

He meowed.

He explored the master bath

He meowed.

He hopped up on the bed.

He me . . .

With daylight savings time ending this weekend, goodness knows when the show will start Sunday (and Monday and . . .)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Photo Friday: Just a Big Kitten

Our boys are just really big kittens at times. And of course, a kitten needs his naps.

Billy napping

(And yes, this looks similar to other nap pictures. But it is a a nice fresh nap from our content feline.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Whitey, bladder ...

Whitey left a puddle again, this time in the tub. He most assuredly is not comfortable with his bladder these days.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Photo Friday: ... Must Come Down

When we last saw Billy, he was high on a shelf. That has no place to take a proper nap, so he decided to get down (no fire department needed).

Billy Inflight


Friday, October 12, 2007

Photo Friday: What Goes Up ...

Billy decided Katherine's desk gave him a launching pad to investigate her upper bookshelf. We were amazed he dared jump up to such a small space -- a reminder that house cats only hint to us what they can really do.

Billy up on bookshelf


Friday, October 5, 2007

Photo Friday: A Pair of Solo Hunters

The boys surveyed their prey from the front windows in the upstairs library recently.

2007-Front-Window-Hunt-Closed.jpg

For cost or noise reasons, most of the windows in the library don't open. However, next week those front windows will be replaced. The new opening windows should provide better ventilation, and, of course, more entertainment for the boys.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Whitey's Bladder Redux

Since early this week, Whitey has acting like has he has trouble using the litter box again. This has included useless trips, and even urinating in the sink in his bathroom. This indicates litter box anxiety, but in our ever fastidious feline did at pick the easiest place in the house to clean up after.

So it was off to the new vet, and after they couldn't get a sample they sent home the required tools (a small litter box and fake kitty litter) for us to collect one.

Now the results are back, and at least he doesn't have any new infection. He may have irritation which the new food will help control, and which we could give him anti-depressions to act as anti-Litter box anxiety meds. However, we want to hold off on the latter as long as possible.

Update a week later; he seems to be settling down without drugs.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Photo Friday: Pet On a Pedestal

For almost a year, I used a flying monitor stand for my 12" Mac PowerBook to sit on. The PowerBook has been replaced by my work portable (which has its own desk and full sized monitor), but the stand is an occasional perch for Whitey.

Whitey on Monitor Stand


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Slimming down

The boys have both lost a little weight. Billy came in at 13 lbs 6.5 oz, Whitey at 13 lbs 7 oz. We've upped their food just a hair.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Mighty Mail Hunter


Background: I like toss to kitty treats to the mighty hunters for them to chase and eat.


An online conversation ...



K:
A kitty treat tosser was silly.
Someone landed one in one of the bins of the mail sorter on the hall table.


Needless to say, Billy was intrigued...


A:
how
loud
was
the
CRASH?


K:
Not too.


He was gently tossing one item at a time on the floor when I found him.


floppies, mail, CD...

Wholesale destruction might have allowed the prey to escape, so he was being relatively gentle.

Relatively.




Monday, September 10, 2007

Boring is good

No weight change for the boys this week. They both come in at 13 lbs, 7 oz.

We're gradually switching them over to c/d food for urinary tract health. The vet warned me that it has fairly high fat content, so we may need to cut back on portion sizes as we make the switch. All the more reason to be diligent with the weigh-ins.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Photo Friday: A New Era in Self Storing Cats

Katherine has said that we are lucky that the boys lack thumbs. My response is usually that since they each have four paws and fangs, it's mental more than physical -- their gifts lie in places other than tool use.

It sucks to be (mostly) right. Even lacking thumbs, they sometimes can play against type and figure out mechanical devices.

Because of this cleverness, we're in trouble. The boys have figured to how to open the standard model of the built in cabinets in the Kitten Farm West, and by standard I mean every kitchen and bathroom cabinet, from under the sinks to over the refrigerator. Which opens up the exploring of places with fragile glass, nasty chemicals, and kitty treats.

Rubber bands have been placed across the knobs of the most critical cabinets. Magnet latches have also been purchased. If the latches don't provide enough resistance, we'll go to child-proof latches.

Billy opening cabinet


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Weigh-in

We've been weighing the boys regularly, but have been somewhat inconsistent about actually posting the weights. We'll try to do better, honest!

In any case, they don't seem to have suffered too much in their recent digestive adventures. Billy came in at 13 lbs 7 oz, Whitey at 13 lbs 7.5 oz.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Found on the Net

Drew feels very bad when he bumps into one of the boys by mistake. So bad that he feels compelled to apologize with kitty treats. I've always suspected that the boys know this, and throw themselves in his path deliberately.

It turns out that this phenomenon is well-documented among those who study cat physics:
Henry’s Law of Refrigerator Observation: If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Revised Henry’s Law of Kitchen Appliance Observation: If a cat watches a refrigerator, a stove, a kitchen cupboard or a microwave oven long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Partington’s Addition to Revised Henry’s Laws of Kitchen Appliance Observation: If a cat stands directly behind a human in the kitchen, its tail will be trodden on; the human will then offer the cat something good to eat by way of apology.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Is our nightmare over?

Thursday, in the middle of Whitey's health crisis, Billy came down with vomiting and a nasty bout of diarrhea, then quit eating. Since, as previously documented, Billy will eat anything, this was worrisome. We guessed it was probably because we switched over to the c/d food too quickly. Whitey was unaffected because he wasn't eating at all in this period, but Billy was getting double portions.

We switched both boys back to Iams, figuring we'd start the switch over again once things stabilized. By yesterday, both were pretty much back to their normal selves, but we scheduled an appointment this morning just to double check. Both boys got clean bills of health, although with a touch of gingivitis. We'll worry about that some other time...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bootsies, the Mighty Hunter

It would appear the the boys understand windows better than their Bluegrass Niece Bootsies does, in particular as it applies to hunting.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Photo Friday: Welcome to the Neighborhood

Sometimes it takes time to get to know your neighbors. I hadn't seen this guy before tonight. He appeared in the yard around dusk, promptly caught and devoured a mouse, and stuck around long enough for me to not only dig out the camera but swap lenses.

This was taken with a long lens; I wasn't able to get as close as this picture suggests. Still, he's far too fat and comfortable around humans to be truly feral. I wonder where home is?

The boys, meanwhile, were fascinated but not distressed by our visitor. But then, he stayed "out there" and didn't get too close to their windows.

NewNeighbor2007-08-17web.jpg


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Somewhere, Emily is purring

Whitey still wasn't eating this morning, so back to the vet he went. They said he's becoming dehydrated (uh oh), gave him subcutaneous fluids, a prescription for Pepcid to settle his stomach, and instructions to come back again tomorrow if he still isn't eating.

On the way to the drugstore, I remembered that the vet suggested meat-flavored baby food as an alternative when Emily was sick. So I got some. Whitey rejected the portion that I spiked with Pepcid, but otherwise wolfed down almost the whole jar. Yay!

Of course, if he's really channeling his aunt, he will now refuse to eat anything other than baby food. Sigh...

As a side note, he is (not surprisingly) becoming extremely suspicious of his carrier. I had to get out the ShrimpNip to persuade him to get in it this morning. ShrimpNip is essentially crack for kittens: dried shrimp tossed with catnip. It stinks to high heaven, but overcomes almost all feline stubbornness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Picky, picky, picky!

Whitey doesn't want to eat his most recent IAMS wet food either, that is, what we were feeding him last week before switching to prescription food.

However, he did lower himself to eat most of a different (yummier?) flavor of IAMS wet food serverd to him this morning. He skipped the IAMS dry food in the same bowl (our standard presentation), but we still have progress.

Billy, by the way, will eat anything Whitey doesn't -- this week's menu, last week's menu, next week's menu, it doesn't matter. We've taken to providing Whitey's meals in at least semi-privacy so Billy doesn't get double portions.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just like Old Times

Things are not all roses with Whitey, he's mostly stopped eating as of yesterday evening. This could be the change in diet to prescription food, or the antibotic bothering him. We can't tell.

This morning, he threw up to boot. Katherine said that the vomit was the color of his antibotic.

In any case, it was off to vet again for him for a urine sample. Since his bladder was empty when he arrived, he got to be their guest the whole day.

The new good news: His tests came back clean, so we can drop the evil antiobotic.

The bad news: He'll only eat kitty treats (not even his old food), and we refuse to fill him on treats.

He's reminding us how fickle his aunt Emily could be, ages ago.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's all good

Nothing but good news from Whitey's ultrasound. No large stones. No sand grains. Some mucus and thickening of the bladder wall, both of which are consistent with an infection. He needs to go back for a urine sample in a week, but it looks like we'll get out of this without serious problems. Yay!

Whitey says his stomach is cold, as they had to shave his nice luxurious tummy fur. I reminded him that it will grow back.



Friday, August 10, 2007

Whitey's big adventure

Here we go again. Whitey couldn't stay out of the litterbox yesterday, and off we went to the vet to have his urinary tract examined. (I don't blame him for not enjoying this project. A catheter was involved.) They found some signs of an infection, and prescribed amoxicillin. More worrisome, though, they found a pretty high concentration of crystals in his urine. That's potentially life threatening in male cats, since the urethra takes a fairly convoluted path and is easily blocked. EEK!

He's off to the vet again this morning for an ultrasound to see if there are any large stones. Meanwhile, we're switching both boys over to prescription food for feline lower urinary tract disease: lower minerals, plus it's supposed to change the bladder pH to minimize crystal formation.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Photo Friday: Puppy Sitting

The now departed Winnie was our guest for a for a week in early 2004. She spent time in the same backyard she first saw as a puppy. We loved having her, although her visit helped lead us to the realization we're better equipped to be cat valets than dog walkers.

2004-Winnie-Yard.jpg

Monday, July 30, 2007

Requiem for Winnie the Paws

A dog of many talents and names (Winnie, WinTinTin, Win, Windawg Windoggie, Pysco Dog, That Damn Dog, Sweetie, My baby) has gone to the Great Puppy Farm in the Sky.

Traverse put Winnie to sleep at 11:30am Eastern time today. The vet said she had lost a lot of muscle mass in her hind quarters and that the time was right. Twelve years is a long life for breeds of her fine lineage. It was a great twelve years. She led a dogs life. Both Traverse and we will think of her often.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Photo Friday: Hunter's Roost

The Kitten Farm West kitchen has nearly three times the counter space of the old one. The boys are allowed on the otherwise unused counter which has an opening to the living room and is a natural perch to watch most of the downstairs from. However, we do use the cabinets over this counter. Normally, with the doors closed, there is no problem. However, with the door open today, Billy claimed one of them as an overhead extension of his counter.

Billy in Cabinet

Please reel your tail up Billy, so I can at least close the door again.


The Grim Purrer

CNN has an article on Oscar, a cat who knows when a nursing home's resident's time has come. When Oscar visits, it's time to call the family for the long goodbye.

The original article text is also available.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Photo Friday: But He's Wafer Thin!

Packing for her trip last week, Katherine could have sworn her briefcase was fully loaded before Billy wedged himself in.

Billy in Briefcase for SEMI 2007


Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Daily Stench, Asylum Edition

In honor of my first full day as the only valet of the asylum, the boys very carefully showed me they knew which bathroom that their litter box was moved to. Unfortunately this didn't show me that they actually know where the litter box itself is, as the sign they left was a solid mess on the bathmat. I don't know if it was a hairball or something from the other end. I do know the bathmat immediately went in the washer. No other damage was noted.

Catatouille

As noted elsewhere, Whitey is the less active of our two boys. Compared to Billy, he can act like a lazy bum, but in reality Katherine and I both realize that what Whitey is really doing is simply observing the world around him in a serene feline manner. If Billy wants to get up and run around and take an active part in that world, that's fine with his brother; he'll wait for the kitty treats.

The only problem with Whitey is and his Zen like attitude is that he chooses to exhibit this serenity even when observing the world from places where he should not be in the first place. On two trips into the kitchen last night about 20 minutes apart, both times I found him serenely lying on the main kitchen counter next to the sink with his paws folded under him like he had not a care in the world. (The Mist of Doom was deployed both times.)

Maybe he figures that if rats can be chefs, mighty feline hunters (and bums) can become chefs too, and he should hang around the kitchen until somebody teaches him. Then he can open those pesky cans.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Inmates and the Asylum, Summer 2007 Edition

It is time for that annual summer event, the running of the asylum by the inmates.

I tried make lemonade out of lemons this year, taking the opportunity with Katherine being gone to install a high-speed wired network in the new kitten farm, and make it truly our West Coast electronic cottage.

Having found a larger electrician who routinely works on Saturdays, I thought I had the perfect plan that would minimize both my time off and any interruption to Katherine. I even planned it out for the boys carefully. In particular, at my request Katherine moved the boys' litter box from their own upstairs bathroom back into the master suite, so they can have the self-contained master suite to themselves. (In other words, I was going to jail the boys while the electricians were running around.)

Alas, my glorious plan to avoid disturbing Katherine was foiled! The company I had chosen had sent an experienced low-voltage (network) person out to do the estimate, and we had carefully scheduled two weeks in advance to do the work. At the time of the estimate, the estimator had specifically said that they probably needed two people to do the work. However on the appointed day yesterday, they sent a single high-voltage person out who had no expertise with data wiring, and did not even have the parts required for a new light switch in the garage which was one of the few high voltage items that were part of the original estimate.

The end result is that the kitten farm is still not fully networked yet, and the work will have to be rescheduled in a couple of weeks when we can get the proper people with proper equipment in. For now, the boys litter box is relocated back to their dedicated bathroom. No doubt they view this as the bright side, as the migration caused me to distribute kitty treats in the bathroom to remind them where the litter box had come to a stop.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Accept NO substitute!

I got home late last night, so I ran Billy with the laser pointer but not the monkey tail for the second night in the row.

Did I mention that he meowed in the middle of night yesterday? He did the same thing last night (this morning).

Clearly, he needs a full bribe exercise routine in the evening to sleep through the night.

Monday, July 9, 2007

We Live Here!

CNN has an article on how six-toed cats are welcome at the former home of Ernest Hemingway, as they are permanent residents with a long linage, not some exhibited attraction.

Laser Tag and Other Fun

Billy was silent overnight. It was wonderful.

No doubt having him chase both a laser dot and a monkey tail yesterday evening helped him burn off some of that extra Mighty Hunter energy he might otherwise use at 3 AM.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

More Alarums And Excursions

Last night brought us more midnight joy from the boys.

We suspected that we were in trouble early, when Billy decided that things were too quiet and he needed to meow just as we were going to bed. Sometimes this is not an issue, other times, like last night, he has more patience for his meowing then I have for going to sleep. I managed to finally drift off.

By the middle of the night the boys had moved on to considering disassembling the fountain. This was attempted multiple times, despite my best efforts to convince them that they really did not want to be playing with it.

Also, in the middle of the night, the boys chose to explore the downstairs laundry room where I had stored spare InterMetro polls for building new shelves. I know they did this because I heard the poles crash to the floor. I investigated primarily to ensure that we still had two healthy cats after their misadventure. We did.

However, the crowning achievement of the night was more towards dawn, when Whitey decided check out what is normally Billy's department, namely the toilet roll dispenser. In his FRAP state he managed unwind to just enough toilet paper so it reached the floor. And like a true FRAP cat, he then took off with the T.P. attached to him so that it to unspooled halfway across our new spacious bathroom floor.

As in Friday's refrigerator incident, I was too stunned and amused to chastise him.

(Katherine later lectured Billy that Billy needs to learn how to do things like Whitey in so cute a manner that we don't chastise him for it. I, on the other hand, am not sure we want to hold up Whitey as an example to Billy.)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Photo Friday: Teddy Kitten

Nothing makes a nap like a brother to hug.



If you look carefully to the right, you'll notice the serene boys are on the futon in Katherine's new office with wall-to-wall carpeting and painted (not wallpapered) walls. For a comparison, you can look back at the boys on the futon in the original kitten farm. (The flashback is also a reminder that they don't always nap so well together.)

Alarums & Excursions

Sometimes, the boys quietly curl up with us when we go to bed, and are still there when we wake up in the morning. And then there's last night...

It all started innocently enough. I heard the unmistakable clatter of toenails on wood and went down to investigate. Billy was sitting next to the front door, Whitey was sitting in the living room. "Is there a problem officer?" Watching over the railing, though, I saw Whitey launch himself at his brother. Cat fu ensued.

Nothing wrong with midnight cat fu. But later we had the mournful meowing. And the toilet paper roll used as scratching post in the dead of night. And more mournful meowing after we closed the bathroom door. And then the exuberant door-dart when we opened the bathroom door sometime after dawn.

No doubt it will be morning naptime soon. Unfortunately the human staff has to earn our daily kibble and won't be joining them. YAWN.

Update: We just went downstairs and discovered Whitey (who had been mournfully meowing again) standing on top of the refrigerator. He stuck his head over the edge, chirped, and head-butted Drew's hand. He's not allowed up there, but we were both laughing too hard to chase him down. Perfect end to a perfect morning.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Quiet Hunter

Cats are not really nocturnal; they are naturally crepuscular, which is active during dawn and twilight. I was gently reminded of that this morning.

It was warm (for Seattle) last night, and so Katherine left various office windows open. This was an excellent idea. However, in July this far north, early daylight and the various bird calls that accompany it are in full swing by 4:30 AM. They woke me up, and I was cold to boot, so I decided to close some windows.

Katherine's office overlooks a small (~ acre?) protected wetlands, where most of the nature sound effects originate. I padded to Katherine's office, and stopped at the sight of Whitey, sitting quietly on the window sill. He wasn't up there for company, or warm sun. Nor was he meowing because his prey was on the far side of a screen. Instead, he just quietly surveyed the world as it was.

I switched to my own empty office, and closed my window. I then returned to Katherine's office, but decided not to disturb the hunter on his perch. Instead, I started to close the office door most of the way, and he jumped down ... I felt a little sorry I had interrupted him after all, he had been where he belonged.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Photo Friday: Desk Accessories

Before the move, both Billy and Whitey each paid a visit to the desk of Katherine to keep things running smoothly.

Billy at work   Whitey at work


Thursday, June 28, 2007

We Love Our Pets!

We're not into bumper stickers or other ornaments on our vehicles. This week's shiny new bumper sticker always makes the entire car look like a heap after a year of road dirt and car washes.

However, as we registered the cars for their new home today, we made a State of Washington approved exception for both cars to show what we think of our boys. We expect the flourishes to be quite durable, and avoid the POS label easily.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fountain 1; Billy 0

Poor Billy.

He was drinking from the fountain in the master bedroom. I was folding laundry. I snapped out a pair of blue jeans. He jumped straight up.

And landed in the fountain with a splash. Water went everywhere, including all over Billy. He took off down the hall. I would have gone after him with a conciliatory kitty treat, except I was laughing too hard.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sputter ...

After almost three years in loyal service, the pump for the largest PetMate water fountain decided to refuse to start consistently. We swapped in the compatible pump from the small one (which is almost as old) and off it went giving the boys their filtered waterfall.

Since I got a third fountain last month for use when the boys arrived from the east coast without most of their luggage, we're fine for now.

We did make a note to order two new pumps.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Return of the Power Meower

Back at the Kitten Farm East, Billy learned to recognize the sound of the garage door opening, and developed a particular meow for the interval between the door opening and Drew actually coming into the house: "I know Daddy's home, but where is he?? Meow!"

It took less than two weeks for the "Daddy's home!" meow to reappear. Last night he announced Drew's return in classic Mournful Billy style.

Unfortunately, the "Where's breakfast?" meow has also returned, and greeted us way too early this morning. Sigh...


Monday, June 11, 2007

The Daily Stench, Breakfast Edition

Whitey lost his breakfast all over my office rug. We think it was caused by the hair ball which was part of the larger package.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Once They've Seen Paris

The Kitten Farm West has an attached garage, entered by the laundry room off the kitchen. Fortunately, this room can also act as an air lock, since it has both kitchen and garage interior doors. We use this when retrieving items from the garage, for example.

Unfortunately, because of its tile floor, laundry room is also where the downstairs litter box lives, which means the boys know exactly where the room is. Nor can we use the airlock feature if actually leaving, since the inner door would cut off access to the litter box.

Of course, we NEVER leave both laundry room doors and the exterior garage door open at the same time.

The boys never met a closed door that they thought should stay closed.

Good news: We made it 10+ days before Whitey decided to visit the garage.

Bad news: Once he decided to visit it, he made it first try. We chased him down, but now that he's seen Paris ...









Friday, June 8, 2007

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

All Quiet on the Western Front

With the boys unleashed to the expanse of the Kitten Farm West, the 4 AM meowing we were getting in the temporary corporate housing has all but disappeared.

This could be influenced by any number of things, but Katherine and I both view the house itself as a primary reason. With two stories and (more than) the square of footage of the Kitten Farm East,the boys feel they have the full run of their domain again. Furthermore, the details make the place "whole". Katherine has an office upstairs, dinner is served in the dining room, Billy has an approved ledge to supervise from in the kitchen, and kitty treats (not to mention brothers) are chased on the stairs.

It doesn't also hurt that all of their possessions are here, including Katherine's often photographed futon, the other three cat towers, the other fountains, and of course Whitey's milk delivery platform, AKA the piano.

Over all, we are each headed back towards our traditional routines, and that includes the boys letting us sleep.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Photo Friday: The Summerhill Kitten Farm (West)

Our first photo Friday posted from the new kitten farm is ... the new kitten farm. This is the first photo we ever saw of it, from the real estate MLS Listing.

Kitten Farm West Front


Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Mighty Explorer

The boys and their valets moved into the new kitten farm Wednesday evening. After a mere 22 hours in the master bedroom, they were allowed to explore under loose supervision.

Moving Tip # 1, stolen from Bluegrass Millie's experience last Christmas: check who else is in the new walk-in pantry before closing the door.

Fortunately, Billy was missed at dinner and thus discovered in relatively short order.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Administrivia

While our new web server hasn't physically moved (it's somewhere in Texas), the Kitten Farm staff is now all on the West coast. So our time zone for this blog, including the historical posts, has been changed to US Pacific Time.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Circus Tigers

We're thinking the boys would make good circus tigers if they keep roaring at 4:30 AM. They sure make lousy housemates at that hour.

The Mighty Apartment Hunter

For Saturday night exercise, I lured Billy up the west coast replacement for Tiger Tower to hunt a pom-pom. He and I had not had serious pom-pom work together since before I left for California at the end of March, even though I tried every day to interest him since he got here.

The Mighty Hunter has still got it.

The original Tiger Tower, by the way, was left behind for friends to refurbish and use. As the boys most popular hang out and a favorite cat toy hunting ground for Billy, it was seriously showing its wear and tear, even though it was th last condo put into the service. The replacement is the same design, why mess with success?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

When's Breakfast?

Not all routine actions by the cats meet our approval. For example, Whitey's inability to read a clock and thus go by the sun as to when breakfast should be served, coupled with his power meow to announce this pending event. Thus, Katherine and I were both up by 7:30 AM on a Saturday morning. With no early appointments. After we both had a busy tiring week.

Where's a radio controlled MINI when you need it?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Photo Friday: Helping Mom Work

As the boys settle in to their new (temporary) home, they are discovering that it does have certain advantages. For instance, there's more space between the back of my computer and the edge of the table, making it much easier for the management team to supervise.

FCPnap-05-2007.jpg

How well are the boys adjusting? The photo yawns for itself.

(As always, click for a larger image.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

When's Dinner?

As noted, the boys sounded pretty healthy before we even saw them. And they were.

What was and is very good for all concerned is not only are they healthy, but that they have relatively adjusted already. They are, mostly, just being themselves -- which is what we want.

Billy was just exploring all over my desk (which he never saw before today). Whitey, meanwhile is exploring Katherine's temporary desk, the dining room table.

Both have been acting like dinner is overdue ... which they always do as the dinner bell approaches.

Happy trivia.


The Kittens Have Landed

The flight out was boring. That's a good thing. You never want flying to be an adventure, especially when you know there are two unhappy cats elsewhere on the plane.

Alaska Airlines gets points for making the whole experience as painless for the human escort as possible. They label each animal carrier with a tag that says, "Relax, we're on board, too." The ground crew pulls the tags when they load the carriers, and delivers them to the flight attendants. Then at the other end, they hand carry carriers back to the owners.

We were pretty sure the boys were okay when we heard them meowing outside the odd-sized luggage door. We figured if we could hear them through a closed metal door, over all the noise of baggage claim, there couldn't be anything too seriously wrong.



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Flying Tigers!

Katherine and the boys are in the air winging westward as I write this. They will land just before midnight East Coast time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Permanent Vacation

The Summerhill Kitten Farm, at least in the form of the 1890 Electronic Farmhouse, is but a memory.

The house still stands waiting for its new owner, but the boys have been sent on vacation in the local Residence Inn, and they will not return. Instead, the contents are being packed for shipping with them out of the way, the truck will leave Tuesday, and on Wednesday Katherine will bring the boys west.

Katherine is staying with them, of course, but they have done their share of mewing about the missing comforts of home.

We're doing the best we can for you, boys. Honest.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Photo Weekend Extra: Somebody to Love

My goal is for the boys feel at home when they get here, with everything from a water fountain, litter boxes, and food dishes to the bed quilt being what they expect. The bed quilt Katherine shipped to me last last week; the rest I can buy duplicates of.

The boys fly coast-to-coast this week, so it was time to visit the local Pet Co for those basics and more.

As a side note, Pet Co sells only supplies for cats and dogs; they doesn't actually sell the pets. Instead, they support pet adoptions. In Massachusetts the local agencies bring volunteers with adoption candidates to the stores during the weekend high traffic hours. Here in Washington, at least for adult cats, they do it differently with a few cats kenneled right at the store by the rescue organization.

Which is how I met Patty Cat last night. She really tugged at my heart strings; she is a Catzilla sized tiger about the same age as the boys, but with the color hues and affectionate gestures of our departed Emilyness.

She made me sad, because we can't take her. Our first responsibility is to the boys, and with all us in temporary housing for a couple of weeks and then adjusting to the permanent Kitten Farm West, we will not want to add a new cat to the mix for months. She's also the wrong age, as we would not want all three growing old (and all that entails) together.

Patty Cat

But please consider this a PSA for your local animal shelter, which always has the pefect sister or even canine cousin of Patty Cat for you.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tiger Punks on Dope Redux

As part of the boys pre-flight check up, the vet gave Katherine "Kitty Valium" to relax the boys during their flight. This is not a deep sedative, but something take the edge off of the scary nature of being trapped in their carriers in a noisy dark place.

The vet specifically said to test the dosage. Katherine started with a half dose a few days ago, which didn't affect them that much. They did sleep most of the dosage period (six hours), but then again those two have never exactly been insomniacs. They were relatively normal when awake.

So she upped the dose to almost a full dose. Billy most assuredly got knocked for a loop by this, he charged up the stairs at one point and a local observer worried for him. Katherine put him in a drunk tank (a cat carrier) and let him sleep it off.

So it looks a like a half dose if we use anything at all.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tiger Punks on Dope

To fly, the boys need a check up from the vet, and he issues health certificates for them. Part of this procedure is to check their stool samples.

Unfortunately, Whitey's sample came back positive for parasites. This means two weeks of daily doses of drugs for both boys, since they share litter boxes. Once the regimen is completed, they will need to be checked again by a vet in Washington.

It doesn't prevent issuing the health certificates, thank goodness, since that would prevent them flying on the appointed day.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Second Verse, Same as The First


This just in from the Kitten Farm east as Katherine and the boys negotiate on their travel conditions:
No collars for the boys. Whitey's escape time was about 10 minutes. It would be faster in a carrier, since he couldn't spend half the time running away from it. He also hid the collar. (Probably behind the tall bookshelf he sleeps on.)

Billy didn't escape, mostly because he may have been afraid to move for fear the collar would pounce on him.

I find the learning to hide the collar since we last attempted to give them collars a nice touch.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Photo Friday: First day of summer

I know the calendar says summer doesn't start until June. Billy says the calendar is wrong. He says summer is here, as documented in our handy guide to cat thermometers.

Billy-thermometer-05-2007.jpg

For those who haven't met him in person, this picture shows why we call him Catzilla. Those floor boards are 2.25" wide. He's a big boy.

Sorry about the poor image quality. The Nikon is on the wrong coast. More important, the Nikon's flash is on the wrong coast.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

On target

Whitey remains stable, at 13 lbs 8.5 oz. Billy is up a little since last time, at 13 lbs 6 oz. Which is good. He was getting a little too skinny for a few weeks there.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Photo Friday: We are NOT Amused

Someone was not happy with me taking photos back in mid-April. No wonder ... I was shooting pictures while inspecting his indoor empire as the new site for the Kitten Farm West, and he doesn't come with the house. So our nameless ruler has to move by late May to make room for the upstart Catzilla brothers.

The King

As an aside, we don't think he's been doing his job. With a house that size (nearly double the current kitten farm), he could burn off some of that kitten fat with a proper patrol of the premises more often.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weighing in

Billy comes in at 13 lbs 4.5 oz, up about an ounce and a half since last time. Whitey has lost an ounce, at 13 lbs 7 oz. I've increased Whitey's food slightly, too.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Photo Friday: Happiness is a Warm Kitten

A soft chair, a warm sunbeam, and a brother. What else could a kitten want?

KittenPile-2007-04.jpg


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

No kitty treats? Mew!

Billy clearly suffered from kitty treat deprivation while I was away. He's down to 13 lbs 3 oz. That's low, so I'll want to watch out to make sure he heads back up.

His brother, being too lazy to look for kitty treats, remained stable at 13 lbs 8.5 oz.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Photo Friday: Corporate Cats Redux

Thursday night we both hopped on a plane from California to Washington to look for a new site for the kitten farm But as I left, both Henry and Murphy wandered by in a feline goodbye.

Henry  Murphy


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Got Milk?

Henry the Corporate Cat stopped in tonight. In particular, in a move worthy of door darting Whitey, he slipped through the door of my apartment before I could close it. He looked around, determined I had no contraband he could take (or eat), and left.

The feline seems quite the suburban adventurer, I've also escorted him out of the parking garage under the apartments.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Photo Friday: Spider-Catzilla Caught!

I'm on the west coast, but Katherine sent this evidence of Billy perched where he shouldn't be high in the kitchen. A quite brazen act, I should add, since Katherine was in the next room eating dinner, where she heard him meow to announce the pending ascent.

Billy high on the Kitchen Cabinet

However, he does look cute up there ...

Sorry, camera phone with dirty lens, blah blah ...


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Photo Extra: Corporate Cats

I've gone west for the new job, but I am not completely cat deprived. Henry and Murphy (not shown) are quite friendly. Henry is so friendly that he wandered right into my company supplied apartment this evening when the door was open too long.

This shot is from last weekend, when I first saw him.

Henry

Sorry for the large photo size, I don't have editing tools on my company laptop.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Weighing in on target

How did that happen? For one brief shining moment, both boys landed at their ideal weight of 13 lbs 8 oz. (Actually 8.5, but I'm not sure our scale is really that accurate.) Yay!

The next challenge is to keep them there.



Friday, March 30, 2007

Be careful what you wish for

We've documented Whitey's enthusiastic hunt for his tail before.

Today, he caught it. And tugged. And fell on his furry butt. Repeatedly.

Yes. Our graceful and balanced Spider Cat was successfully thrown by his own tail.

Photo Extra: Spider-Kitten

From Bluegrass Mama comes the high climbing kitten Bootsie.

Read the comments, you'll realize the climb was done without a screen.

Photo Friday: CSI Kitten Farm

Cooking Thursday evening dinner for the valets required dipping chicken breasts in flour, some of which got spilled. By the end of dinner, the spill had spread across the counter in a pattern which looks suspiciously like the paw prints of a certain Spider Cat.

Counter paw prints


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Still stable

Billy remains stable at 13 lbs 6.5 oz, Whitey at 13 lbs 9.5 oz. We've nudged Billy's food up a hair, as we consider 13 lbs 8 oz his ideal weight.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Trip to our local pet store ...

After the pet food scare, we paid close attention at the local PetCo to the food. Or would have, if they hadn't saved us the effort by posting large signs advising us they had pulled all tainted food.

We expected as much of course, but nice to have our expectations met.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What's in your cat food?

This is just scary.

The latest news on the massive cat food recall is that the food may have been contaminated with rat poison. Now obviously, rat poison isn't something you want anywhere near anything intended for human or animal consumption, and in fact this particular stuff is apparently illegal in the US. The most likely source is reportedly wheat imported from China.

Survival rates for animals affected by the food appear to be about 50%. Our thoughts are with all the animals and their humans for whom this is a very personal crisis.

Spring Time for Kittens

The birds are singing, day by day the temperature is rising, and we're opening the windows more.

I've got two happy cats in the open sun deck window at 7:26 AM.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Seen One Wednesday at a Kitten Farm

I'm taking a few days off between jobs, that gives me a chance to watch the boys in action while Katherine works.

Or inaction, as the case may be.

At one point Wednesday, Whitey was throughly crashed on Katherine's office futon, with Billy napping on a sunlit chair in the bedroom. They were both happy comfortable cats that were not generating news to post, but except to say we are doing something right.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cat Food Recall

In frightening news, our IAMS wet food is subject to a product recall.

I checked, tonight's scheduled dinner is one of the affected products but is not one of the batch codes affected by the recall.

Fortunately, dry food is not covered by the recall. Whitey will be unhappy if we don't have any wet food not subject to the recall, but neither he nor his brother will starve.

(Updated ... originally, I thought we had a batch of the bad stuff, but the date code is not a match.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Who's in whose spot?

Emily used to curl up on my chest and nap while I was working on my futon. The boys don't do that, which is good because they are much bigger. I wouldn't be able to breathe.

Instead, they tend to crawl into the cave underneath my knees. Which is nice and toasty warm, so they relax and go to sleep. So far so good. The problem arises when I get up. Then, as happened today, a warm, relaxed kitten (Billy, in this case) stretches out into the nice warm spot I made. Ten minutes later, when I'm ready to sit down again, there are 13.5 pounds of completely relaxed cat in my spot. Maybe I needed to do a little more work on the computer after all...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Able to leap tall newel posts ...

Billy is able to leap tall newel posts in a single bound ... almost.

Actually he can hop up to the stairwell newel post if he takes his time. However, ever since we put the watchtower next to the newel post, Billy tend more or less leaps up the watch tower and then over to the newel post.

As an extension of this, Billy has picked up the habit of going up stairs via a running start down the hall next to the stairs to mount the watchtower, turning around on the newel post, and leaping almost to the landing on the stairs. All this at full speed, which means our nine inch high cat beats the 64 inch high human up the stairs easily.

Or did.

With the kitten farm now on the market, our realtor suggested we move the watchtower out of the front hall to avoid clutter, which we did.

The next time Billy tried his normal route up the stairs, he aimed for the newel post directly. But he didn't get the height he needed, so he bounced off the railing, and crashed to the carpeted floor. He picked himself up, then proceeded upstairs anyway, no worse for wear.

I think he may not try the newel post from the floor for a while.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

We've moved!

As previously noted, we moved our server to dedicated hardware off site from the kitten farm.

This took longer than I expected due to a number of things including a minor illness, one middle sized trip, and the major aftermath.

(How major? Because of an employment change, the Kitten Farm will be relocating this summer from the Boston area to outside Seattle.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mostly stable

Billy remains stable at 13 lbs 8.5 oz; Whitey has lost a little, at 13 lbs 10 oz.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Is it spring yet?

This afternoon, I opened the stairwell window to talk to Drew, who was out chopping ice in the driveway. I heard a hopeful kitten chirp and felt gentle paws on my hip. It was Whitey, asking me to move over so he could sit on his window sill. He hopped down pretty quickly, though. Clearly 35 degrees doesn't meet his standard for sunny window perches.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Photo Weekend: Happy Birthday Boys


Our Billy and Whitey are three years old today. I woke them up to take their picture, and Billy shows it.


Billy on his birthday  Whitey on his birthday

Friday, February 16, 2007

Whitey slims down

Whitey is down to 13 lbs 11 oz; Billy comes in at 13 lbs 7.5 oz.

Clean up on Floor 2

I don't remember the last time we assigned the "The Daily Stench" to an post, which speaks volumes about the boys maintenance versus Emily's.

However, Billy woke us up this morning with an official hairball. Just to keep us honest, no doubt.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Photo Friday: Whitey at Rest

When all else fails for Photo Friday, we can always find a cute nap photo. This one is from Whitey's first month with us back in 2004.

Whitey napping in summer 2004

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Administrivia

We're in the process of migrating our web server (and mail server and other not so public toys) to a dedicated remote server with superior bandwidth. However, since both I can't hack and compose witty cat commentary at the same time, the recent public output has been limited.

(This is on the heels of my personal PC aching for a reformat, which killed two weeks of spare time right there.)

This should clear up in a couple of weeks as the server migration is finished. Then we'll return to our regular witty commentary as prompted by the boys.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Bounce!

Whitey is still headed in the wrong direction. 13 lbs 14 oz. Billy is nice and stable at 13 lbs 8.5 oz.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Hey, wait, that was mine!

I had takeout sushi for dinner last night. Raw fish is not that common a visitor to the Kitten Farm, so we offered the boys a tiny bite of salmon each. (Carefully avoiding wasabi or soy sauce contamination.) Billy inhaled his and went looking for more. Whitey sniffed at his, looked at Drew as if to say, "Are you sure this stuff is food?" About the time he figured out it was, Billy nudged him out of the way and made it disappear. Mew!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Maintaining

Whitey hasn't gained any more, but 13 lbs 12 oz is still a little high for him. Billy is up a little, but right where he should be at 13 lbs 8 oz. We are attempting to cut Whitey's food while keeping Billy's the same. Wish us luck! Our best hope is that both boys eat their wet food so fast that Whitey won't have a chance to raid Billy's. We'll see how it works.

(Theoretically we could feed them in separate rooms. Since they've been eating together since they were kittens, though, we want to avoid changing the routine if we can.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Photo Friday: Some Disassembly Required

As noted, Billy loves not only drinking from the fountains, but disassembling them too. Normally he just steals the filter by popping the lid, but this week, after I velcroed the cord to keep it from being unplugged, he went for the gusto and attacked the new tape. The result was the cord provided leverage to disassemble most of the fountain.

Fountain Exploded

It's not visible from the picture, but the funny part was that Billy didn't actually get the filter out of its holding place in the superstructure (right of picture).

Bouncing around

The boys seem to be oscillating around our target weight, which is about 13.5 lbs. Billy came in at 13 lbs 7 oz, Whitey at 13 lbs 12 oz. Whitey is headed for Tubbo-ness if we aren't careful, while Billy remains a sleek Mighty Hunter.

Whitey has been more playful of late, though, which is good. He's especially been giving the turboball a real workout, after ignoring it for months.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dead Hardware

The SSSCAT is dead.

Bummer.

Actually it's not dead. Rather, it decided to start beeping every four seconds. We thought "low batteries" or "empty air can", but nothing helped.

As much it we love it's function, it's not a good implementation. Back to the vendor it goes.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Eat less, exercise more, lose weight

We've been weighing the boys right on schedule, but have been a bit lame about actually getting the information online. The news is that Whitey, who is a power napper, is threatening to outgain his brother, the Mighty Hunter. As with humans, the equation is pretty simple: calories consumed - calories burned = net gain (or loss).

So last week (January 7, to be exact), Whitey came in at 13 lbs 11 oz, his brother at 13 lbs 7.5 oz. We decided this was in part because Whitey is good at looking mournful and starving when we get the kitty treats out. Billy runs up and down Tiger Tower for 10 minutes, he gets a kitty treat. Whitey naps until he hears the lid on the container snap, he gets a kitty treat. What's wrong with this picture?

We've tried to be a little more strict, and are worrying less about Whitey's tendency to wander away from his food dish (which Billy then raids). The result, this week's weigh-in, Billy has gained a little, at 13 lbs 9.5 oz, while his brother has lost a little, at 13 lbs 9.5 oz.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Photo Friday: Self-storing Office Cats

We've previously noted the cats love storing themselves.

I cleared some space on my bookshelf a while back, and this made it our latest place for cat storage.

Mutli-cat Storage

Note: Due to the odd angle I shot this photograph at, and how that caused problems reducing it, I didn't post it at our usual 800x600 size, but instead a larger 1024x768 image. So the picture may load slower than usual.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Photo Friday: Powerwash Redux

As previously noted, sometimes we wonder why Whitey puts up with his brother cleaning him. Case in point, a different instance of cleaning up on the office stereo.

Stereo Powerwash