Friday, May 29, 2009

Photo Friday: Mouse Inspection

Here are the boys standing on the step ladder looking high and low for traces of rodent intruders Tuesday evening. No new mousies, but Billy did find another damaged package.


(The human exterminator comes Monday.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth?

The return of Whitey's Cat Carrier from storage has truly set him on a new nap path. He has slept in it virtually every day for past two weeks.

I was on an extended holiday weekend, and I missed him (he often uses my spare office chair to nap if I am around) so I moved his carrier into the corner of my office. (I left the other carrier in the library, in case it was the location and not the carrier itself.)

The result yesterday was two cats asleep in my office, one in his comfy carrier and the other atop his cat tower.

Life is good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Departed

I sent the post on our ad-hoc mousing team to the current valet for the retired mouser Kageneko, and she gave me a quick update on him. Since I didn't ask for permission to repeat her, I'll just give a summary:
A happy cat

The knowledge makes me smile, a year after we found him and eight months after we found his permanent valets.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Silent Sentries

I didn't call the pest people about the mouse yet, but I did let the in-house experts sweep the pantry regularly today while I checked that the sealed hole is not disturbed. They didn't think much of the place until our final sweep a few minutes ago, when they both went attentive and explored. Whitey wanted to go climbing again, so I actually grabbed a step ladder to help him get on the wired shelf (and then had to offer him a treat to use it, because placing the ladder scared him off.)

Now if I could only figure out Whitey's find of the evening, that an open Orville Redenbacher's box is half full of legumes. They sure didn't belong in there, and I didn't see a ruptured bag to cause it (but I didn't dig).

If I let him search tomorrow, maybe he'll locate our missing socks from the past ten years.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Uninvited

Prelude ... One year ago today, The Gray Mouser entered our lives. A few days later, he was invited into our house, making Whitey wonder what was behind the bathroom door.

It's summer again, which means one needs to watch for bread going moldy faster and all the other joys of a world that is awake again. This being trash night and some of the aforementioned bread having seriously expired, I grabbed it out of the walk-in pantry and tossed into the yard waste. This wasn't enough for Whitey it appeared, as a half-hour later he was crouched at the door (which incidentally is just out of the photo from last year) wondering what smell I stirred up.

So I opened the door to show him how boring the pantry is, and he starts climbing the wire shelves. (Knock yourself out kid.) I went across the kitchen get treats to lure him back down, but before I could, he crashed to the floor -- mouse in mouth!

Okay, not boring.

Thus began 10 minutes of motivated but inexperienced hunters chasing a live target and not quite able to finish him off. This was in no doubt partly because cats are solo hunters, and this wasn't exactly the time to form Team Catzilla. Billy wanted to take possession, and I was afraid the boys were going to seriously tangle with each other for the first time in their lives. However, Whitey accidentally dropped it and it scampered away, and making the point moot.

But given two healthy (if disorganized) hunters and a human willing to assist by lifting any objects the mouse can hide under (like a vacuum), the rodent was seriously out classed. He was accidentally herded into the relatively bare front hall, where Billy kept him from slipping under the closet door with The Fastest Paws in the West, and then I took over, slapping an upside-down wastebasket over the by now wounded mouse.

The boys were then ushered aside, and I booted the uninvited guest out the front door using the wastebasket. (I wasn't interested in saving him, but I neither wanted the boys fighting over his remains nor further handling him myself.) He was last seen running for his life off our porch.

I cleaned up various mouse blood stains, found the new bread the guest had gnawed on and tossed it, applied a temporary seal to the hole in the pantry that some network cables enter via (it may not keep out his friends, but we'll be able to tell if it is disturbed), and let the boys patrol all they wanted for a half hour to leave cat smell as a warning to others.

Tomorrow I'll call an exterminator to check the crawl space and set bait.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fastest Paws in the West

Billy will expend great energy to chase kitty treats, so much so that Whitey refuses to fight him for them.

However, it's the not just the chasing he does it for, it's for the eating. If he can skip the chase and cut to the chomping, he will.

In particular, if I try to throw a treat by him, he'll try fielding it. If it's at all in reach, he's got a good chance of knocking it down. This morning he did even better, I tossed one over him, but he put a paw up, snagged it, and ate it out of his paw.

A pity he can't bat, he's almost old enough for Little League.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Places, and the Annual Unhappy Place

In advance of the annual trip to the vet, Katherine pulled out the hard shell cat carriers out a couple of weeks ago. Whitey in particular was suspicious of the carrier, but once enticed in with the door open he decided it was a great nap spot, and he has used it almost every day. Billy also naps in a carrier, although not as often as his brother.

It's enough, as they were both in their cases when Katherine closed the doors yesterday and took the boys on their annual errand. The errand didn't go over well with them (as usual), but the vet was happy to see that both their weights are down -- he says any time a indoor cat doesn't gain weight, it's a win.

(He also says the boys need their teeth cleaned, and that going to pure dry food instead of 50% wet food would be better for the teeth. However, I am not sure they would have a reason to live then - they do love their wet food.)

Despite the Unhappy Place the carriers took the boys, at least Whitey is not holding it against his carrier -- he was napping in it again this morning.