Monday, November 30, 2009

More tummy trouble

Whitey lost his dinner last night, but seems okay now. A mitigating factor is that he had CatSip (milk for cats) before dinner last night, but that's never given him trouble in the past.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

End of Story

The most interesting thing about Whitey overnight is that he wanted to sleep where my feet go in the bed. This is MUCH better than last night, his tummy troubles appear over.

Tummy Trouble

If you think cats don't come when called, you've never seen me yell "Whitey, Dinner!" at supper time. The volume wakes him up, and the associated food preparation noises send him trotting down to the kitchen.

Alas, last night's normalcy ended with his arrival. Whitey sniffed at his bowl, and then he walked away, leaving it untouched. His next stop was the front hall, where he threw up a soft mustard yellow solid (not a hair ball), and then he settled in the living room looking tired and a little tense.

He never did have dinner, although later Katherine got him to take some cat nip both for the tummy settling effect and the happy cat effect.

This morning was better. When I found him in the living room, he got up and comfortably stretched. He later visited Katherine upstairs to tell her it was breakfast time. When breakfast was served, he at least sampled his food. An hour later, he stopped by at the kitchen sink where I was working and gently meowed for some more, which he received and made some more progress on.

He's not back to normal, but as Katherine notes, after stomach trouble she doesn't jump back to full meals either.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lead With the Nose

Someone scratched Oscar on the nose. Again.

And again, we suspect he deserved it.

We just wish he'd learn before someone gets seriously hurt.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Retreat to Pluto?

Oscar's behavior seems strange this morning.

First off, someone scratched his nose last night. We assume he deserved it, as the boys are not prone to stalking him unbidden. (They are more likely to power wash him!)

But Katherine thinks he acted normal after she saw the scratch.

The scratch did not stop him from pouncing on Billy on the bed in the middle of the night. I peeled him off multiple times, but didn't (I think) really chastise him.

(Side note ... the third time, he came up, and he started cleaning Billy, which he never does. I was considering intervening if it escalated when I was realized it was really Whitey, not Oscar. He curled up with his brother and they slept together nestled up to Katherine. Much better than prowling Oscars kicking Billy off the bed.)

This morning, the first we saw Oscar was that he crawled out from under the bed. He hasn't used that refuge in months.

He had to be coaxed into his suite for breakfast, which normally doesn't require more than a hint we're headed there around the proper time. And most of all, when he walked up the hall to his suite, it wasn't a happy gallop, but more a wary trot.

After breakfast, Oscar was capable of cuddled-lying-on-my-chest-purring mode, so hopefully he'll recover his general good cheer. (Hoping he'll lay off stalking the boys is wishful thinking.)

Update: Katherine came up with a good theory. We turned on the furnace last night, which mostly just runs after 6 AM in this weather, and he doesn't like it. This would be similar to how he was nervous about ceiling fans when he first moved in to the kitten farm.

Further update: Yep, it's the furnace. And even within 24 hours, he is noticeably less upset by it. He'll be fine.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We'll Never Forget What's His Name

It was a year ago today that The Grey Mouser retired as self-propelled cat toy for Billy and Whitey in order to take up his position as Kageneko, the most important kitty in the world. Our thanks to his new valets for providing the update on his status, not to mention the love and care they have showered on him in the past year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Four Up, Four Across

While moving furniture about in the bedroom, we put a night stand across the bathroom doorway from a moderately high wooden bookshelf. Whitey hopped up on the empty nightstand, looked at the top of the bookshelf ... and Clark Kitty transformed into the one true Spider-Cat.

Katherine and I watched, amazed, as Whitey's focus narrowed to the top of the shelf. He measured, coiled, relaxed, measured again, coiled ... and launched himself across the doorway to the shelf. He only made it by his front claws, but that's not issue for the Spider-Cat -- dangling from the side of the shelf, he pulled himself up to the top of his new conquest.

That was four feet horizontal, four feet vertical, or 68 inches straight line (5 feet 8 inches at a 45 degree angle) that he jumped. We measured.

We moved a cat tower next to the bookshelf to ease his descent, and moved the nightstand out of the room before Spider-Cat could stage an encore at 3 AM.

I wonder what the claw marks in the top of the shelf look like.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Day Without Cats? I think not.

If you're looking for a day without cats, keep looking.

Billy is in the seven foot tower in Katherine's office.
Whitey is a top the five foot cat tower in my office.
Oscar is a top the similar five foot tower in the library.

Three warm sleepy felines, each in a happy place.

Our departed Emily even has an made appearance, as this half hour's wall paper on my second monitor showing Her Emilyness eating on Katherine's desk.

A day with cats, for sure.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I did, I did taw a puddy tat!

A young cougar has been reported to be roaming Seattle's Discovery Park multiple times in the past week, and they caught him early this morning. The handsome fellow has been released to the wilds north of here.

View Larger Map

Sunday, August 30, 2009

QOTD: Trash Day

(Seeing me finally toss out the cardboard carrier that we brought Oscar home in ...)

Katherine: We're keeping him?
Me: Nah, but we can return him in one of the permanent carriers.

Actually, Oscar is pretty much signed on for the long haul.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dawn Patrol: When the People are Away ...

We took the weekend off and went up to Victoria, BC for two nights. Our car sitter was in of course to feed and play with the boys.

No doubt Oscar didn't get enough play time without round-the-clock attention, because he was pure FRAP last night, and this morning he was running at full volume by 5;30 AM.

I tried closing the bedroom door (putting the humans in protective custody as it were), but he sat outside and meowed. So I woke up the bailiff and she remanded him to jail.

He seems to do this every time we leave town, so I expect (hope for?) him to settle down.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo Extra: Kitten Pile!

While we still have some concerns about how well Oscar is fitting in, pictures like this are very encouraging.


That's Oscar in the foreground, Whitey in the background. Nothing close to this ever happened with the Gray Mouser. And while Emily occasionally pretended not to notice tigers intruding within a few feet, actual fur-to-fur contact was simply not acceptable.

So we're making progress. Yay!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One kitten wrecking crew

There's a pass through between our kitchen and living room, seen in the background in this picture. This morning, Drew found paint and drywall dust on the sill in the opening.

Drew called me down to look. He had his suspicions, which were confirmed when I explained that Billy did it. He was chasing a bug (I think), launched himself toward the top of the opening, and sank his claws into the wall ... Where he discovered that he couldn't quite get enough purchase to support his weight, so he slid back down with much claws-on-chalkboard squealing and a certain amount of dust.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dawn Patrol: Bench Warrant

After five days of peace, Oscar returned to his noisy morning ways.

The good news: He did it after 5:30 AM, not 3:30 AM.

The bad news: When Katherine decided to jail him, he didn't automatically follow her down the hall to his suite. Rather than hunt him down, she let him stay out, and he quieted down ~ 10 minutes later.

We can deal with this (more or less) if it's weekly, not every morning.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hunter in training?

I think Billy is trying to teach Oscar to hunt.

I shut Oscar in his suite to give Billy some private playtime. Once Billy was done, I let Oscar go after the pom-pom-on-string toy Billy had been chasing. He was perfectly happy to chase it around on the floor, and onto low objects like the library's futon. But if I tossed it up a cat tower he just sat on the floor twitching his tail.

While Oscar was wondering what to do, Billy walked up, climbed the tower, retrieved the toy, and dropped it at Oscar's feet. All very casually, with nothing like his usual energy. After this happened a couple of times, I decided Oscar's problem might be that I was tossing it up too high. (He can climb just fine, but his sight lines are lower.) So I flipped the pom-pom onto a lower shelf, and then a lower one. Billy sat and watched, Oscar sat and watched. Finally, Oscar looked at Billy, looked at the toy (on the lowest shelf, now), and pounced.

No idea what Billy thought of all this, but I told him he was being an excellent big brother and gave him extra kitty treats.

Dawn Patrol: Paroled

Katherine convinced me not to jail Oscar automatically every night.

The kid has managed to stay out of jail two nights in a row, he's been much quieter and less combative with the Catzillas in the wee hours. We think he may have had his schedule screwed up by our being gone last weekend, now he's settling back into the human schedule.

Photo Extra: Turbo time!

The day we adopted our first cats, we got a Turbo ball for them. Whitey and Billy have never given up on it, for example Whitey found it when he was a year old catten.


Five years after we got the Turbo ball to entertain the two kittens which would be someday be Catzillas, a new generation uses it.

Updated: I thought this was the same unit that Whitey was playing with above; the ball got replaced when we moved and the original ball got lost. However, it appears the original unit (with a bit of paper stuck in the middle) is in the library. (We also have a green one downstairs.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Five for Fighting

We have failed to update our loyal readers on Oscar. He's alive, here, reckless, and trying to take over the place. In particular, he has been left out most nights, with varying peace for us and the boys during the early morning hours. No more...

After a week of record hot weather, things have cooled off. This means that Billy has returned to his role of bedtime Kitten-in-Chief, snuggling up Katherine after she goes to bed. He's very good at it too, being reasonable about her moving and even me getting up in the middle of the night to use the little valet's room. He can acknowledge a gentle ear scritch and go back to sleep (the same would wind up Oscar like a top).

Yesterday morning, Oscar got bored at 4 AM and decided to visit the bed. After noisily poking around for a bit, he decided the most fun thing he could do was pounce on the sleeping Billy. Fun for him maybe, neither Billy nor I viewed this in a positive light. When distressed meowing started, I hissed at Oscar, but Billy took at the warning as directed at himself and bugged out. Oscar almost went to jail (the library with the door closed), but things immediately quieted down, so I left the parolee out.

This morning, Oscar again visited the bed and pounced on the Kitten-in-Chief. I immediately grabbed Oscar, and peeled him off. He didn't got the message, and so it was rinse and repeat twice more. After the third peel, Oscar was scooped up and sent to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect kitty treats.

Meanwhile Billy had jumped down, but I scooped him up (far more gently than I did Oscar), set him on the bed, and told him what a good boy he was. I then nudged him towards Katherine, and he padded over and returned to his duties.

The entire adventure woke me up and stressed me enough that I didn't get back to sleep for almost three hours. This is not good.

Oscar gets jail at night until we can figure out how to enforce the rules at 3 AM.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lemme show you how it's done, kid

I think Oscar wants to be like Billy when he grows up.

A little while ago, Billy led me to the Closet of Toys and particularly requested a long fuzzy monkey tail teaser. He ran up the cat tower after it once, but Oscar was lurking around the base of the tower and Billy seemed to lose interest. So I shooed Oscar out and played with Billy with the door closed for a little while.

But the fun part came after Billy was (apparently) done. I let Oscar chase the teaser while Billy was retrieving his traditional treats from the puzzle box. Only Oscar didn't seem quite sure what to do with it. So Billy stepped in and went another few rounds, this time with Oscar watching with big wide eyes from a safe and respectful distance.

I told Billy he was being a great role model for the kid and gave him extra kitty treats.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

To Go Boldy Where No Feline Has Gone Before

Oscar's quarantine is lifted, having been replaced by supervised releases.

That is, as much as humans can supervise a tiny cat (hey, we trained on Catzillas). Basically, the kid has the stealthy size and Brownian motion of a large kitten but the coordination and energy of an adult cat. He also has also a mini-turbo mode he saves for escaping grasping hands. Since we're not sure how much he can aggravate the Catzillas if truly left alone, this means we spend a lot of time and energy trailing him from floor to floor.

The kid is also quite fearless. If the Grey Mouser with his love of human affection and disdain for the Catzilla brothers seemed Emily reincarnated, Oscar is Emily's revenge for being stalked. Whitey still occasionally hangs out in front of Oscar's door, but he is shocked when Oscar actually comes prancing out and walks right up to Whitey, making Whitey deeply nervous and defensive. Billy is less perturbed, and is willing to sniff nose-to-nose with the new kid, but would prefer to be left to go about his business.

The new kid, meanwhile, isn't real good at boundaries.

Overall, Oscar spends a lot of time out of his suite acting like an mildly annoying groupie, trailing his uncles around the house and occasionally cornering them in a way that can cause a raised paw (which Oscar answers) or even a low hiss. Fortunately, there has been no contact -- the boys prefer to break off the engagement rather than give their nephew a somewhat deserved clocking. This morning, he came prancing up to Billy and basically pounced on him. (Keep in mind that Billy is twice his size.) A brief bout of shadow cat fu ensued. Billy wasn't sure whether to be annoyed or confused, and vacated the area with Oscar in hot pursuit.

As for catching Oscar to put him away, we may have a solution. Like the Catzillas as kittens, he's a sucker for a laser dot, including chasing it all the way from the living room to his suite.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Video Extra: Wake up call

Somewhere along the way in the past six weeks we've acquired not one but two gizmos capable of shooting video. Thus we can now publish our first moving pictures, featuring Whitey teetering more or less above Katherine.

Nothing gets valets moving like the thought of a flailing cat landing on you at 7:50 in the morning.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Winning Lottery Numbers

While Katherine carefully tracks the weight of the boys, we never seem to publish the numbers. However, in honor of Oscar's arrival, we 're here to announce:


12 lbs, 5 oz.

12 lbs, 10 oz


7 lbs, 10.5 oz.

We recently reduced rations of both Catzilla brothers to get their weight down, while for now the catten gets all he can eat.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Photo Extra: Made in the Shade

Oscar in his natural habitat, in the shade under the futon. Mostly, it's cooler there. He's happy to come out to be stroked, or be stroked in place.


Exploring With (and About) Oscar

Update on the new guy ...

Did I mention he purrs to wake the dead?

We did not pick his name. Oscar is the name on his adoption contract, and we don't seem to have a better one. He already has been referred to as Slinky, Grasshopper, Micro-mighty Hunter, Whitey Junior, and a few other sweet nicknames.

At three weeks old, Oscar was found with two siblings under a garbage can. His rescuer bottle fed them, and he seems wonderfully social (almost needy) and quite fearless.

He does somewhat resemble physically a small Whitey (Mini-Meow?), with the same white nose and a few white strands on his ears. But Oscar has white stretching all the way across his shoulders and dark rear flanks.

Personality wise, Oscar is more like Billy, with confidence to spare and a Happy Tail to show the world it. Oscar also shows a touch of our departed Emily and the retired Kageneko -- he loves affection more than either Catzilla.

He's not as strong as the larger Catzillas, but he jumps well for his size and is quite agile. There is none of the Grey Mouser's clawing his way up something that he can just hop onto.

Oscar has been here 16 hours, and he's already bored with only having a luxury suite so I let him explore the upstairs while the Catzilla brothers were down at breakfast. He trotted happily through all the rooms, and then camped under the bed when I tried to put him in a cat carrier to walk him back up the hall. I do mean camped as opposed to hid, because he wasn't scared -- he just doesn't like carriers. He purred when petted under there, and when he got bored he came out to climb the bedroom cat tower to look out the window at the bird feeder. (And sadly, he was catnapped back to his suite.)

Officially, we should probably quarantine him five days in case he has anything like a kitty cold that we don't want the boys to get. Pragmatically, we doubt it will last much longer than until his first vet visit in a day or so.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Photo Extra: Oscar

Don't let your eyes deceive you, this picture is not of Whitey. Rather, we have a new arrival, Oscar.


Katherine met Oscar last week at Petsmart's Adoption Center, and encouraged me to meet him today. The rest, as they say, is history.

Oscar is small (no Catzilla he) 11 month old neutered male. His adoption page lists him as shy, but we have no idea why -- he's already acting like a lap cat with Katherine, and playing with the other candidates at Petsmart he clearly thinks other cats are his friend.

He even handled the sounds of various legal and illegal fireworks drifting in the windows without too much trouble in his new strange home.

We hope he'll get long with the boys when we introduce them several days from now.

Photo Extra: In The Air Tonight

Whitey knows something is a foot, as the former Grey Mouser's suite has a closed door and a new smell.


Little does he know, we got him a minion! Details to follow...


Me: Can you ask Whitey why there is fur all over my keyboard?
Katherine: Uh, He's cleaning his paws and doesn't want to be disturbed.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photo Friday: Dinner Guests

Katherine had remote help eating earlier in the week. At one point, both boys were staring over her shoulders at me.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Mouse Inspection

The human mouse inspector came today, and found no signs of our departed visitor having brought the family. A few small possible entries into our crawl space will be sealed when he comes back in a couple of weeks to check some traps he left.

The boys were not allowed to help.

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.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome home!

We were on a business trip/vacation for seven days, and got home last night. The boys were happy to see us and our cabinet opening thumbs, even if the cat sitter looked after them well.

I made sure I played with Billy last night.

As a special gift, someone left us a hairball this morning just as I got up.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Billy Loves Me, Yes, I Know

My personal sleep pattern is all screwed up because of minor work and health issues.

Billy decided to help last night by sleeping on my side of the bed instead of behind Katherine's knees. It's a compliment, of course (and I mean that).

How do I explain to a well adjusted, confident, friendly, and most of all sleepy feline that no, having 13 pounds of cat blocking me doesn't actually help me move into a comfortable position and relax so I can sleep?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The New Adventures of Spider-Cat

We had another hair ball tonight, but that's not the big event of the night.

Our guest bathroom is off the hallway by the stairs, directly across from where Billy dove off head first a few months ago. We keep the upstairs cleaning supplies in there, and after cleaning up the hairball, I went in there to store the paper towel. Whitey darted in with me, and took up residence in the bathtub.

I got smart, and got a little water from the faucet to dribble on him.

Okay, maybe not smart.

He came out of the bathtub like he was catapulted, across the bathroom, across the hall, up the 30 inch high railing, and over, having forgotten the other side is a 7 foot drop. Since I've seen this before, I didn't fear (as much) for his life as I did when he was a kitten and fell off the second story.

I should have guessed the ending -- even though the railing is polished wood and not carpet, he somehow reversed his direction and hauled himself up onto the railing with mostly his front paws.

The Spider-Cat lives.

We're Still Here ...

We're still here, and so are the hairballs.

At 5:30 AM I was woken up by Whitey with "Meow, meow, hack, sputter, sputter..." out in the hall.

Not my best clean up job, but as Katherine said, any clean up which doesn't wake her up is nice work.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Farewell to Socks

Various news outlets are reporting that after a long and popular ride, Socks the Cat has gone to The Great Meadow in the sky. He was 19 or 20 years old, and moved into the White House with the Clintons in 1992. There is coverage at CNN and a longer article at one of our favorite cat blogs.

The Daily Stench: Double Feature

Whitey threw up spittle (an attempted hair ball?) fifteen minutes before breakfast at 8 AM. I was able to boot him off the living room rug onto hardwood front hall floor, which helped the clean up.

Not to be out done, Billy lost his breakfast a half-hour later. He saw me coming to shoo him to the front hall, and took off across the rug as he threw up, leaving a line of kibble and ... well, you get the idea. Clean up was not helped.

Both boys were otherwise acting normally, and both kept their dinner down without any issues.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Daily Stench: Solid Evidence

Whitey just left a deposit in the master bath. That is very odd, he's not prone to ignoring his litter box.

(There is occasionally a litter box in the master bath, but we last had one in there months ago.)

I hope he's okay. We'll keep an eye on our junior overlord.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Down But Not Out

Billy give us a nasty scare this evening, even worse than Whitey's problems after exercising a few weeks ago.

He was chasing a cat teaser up and down the waist high cat condo in the bedroom when he slipped and landed funny. It took him a moment to get up, and when he did he was heavily favoring his left rear leg. In five years of playing with The Mighty Hunter, I have never seem him with an obvious limp, no matter how high a jump or how awkward a landing.

Needless to say, playtime was over.

Katherine and I watched him, and over the next ten minutes he seemed to mostly recover, to our great relief. After fifteen minutes, he was jumping to the top of the dresser (not that we told him to) and back down.

We'll take it easy with him for a couple of days, although I doubt he'll be easy on himself.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tummy trouble, or just picky?

As mentioned, last week someone lost most of his dinner. Then we had a couple of hairballs over the last few days. Then yesterday, Billy didn't have much interest in his breakfast. So I sat up and took notice this morning, when he did the usual happy Billy breakfast routine, sniffed at his bowl, and trotted back to me. "Got anything else?" he seemed to be asking.

Lack of appetite is a big red flag for cats, so we called the vet. But his energy level was fine and his body language was fine. The vet suspected he was just looking for a better offer, like a different flavor of food. (Or maybe some of that cheese I had at lunch yesterday... Or treats!)

So we picked up a few cans of a different flavor. Sure enough, he attacked dinner with all his usual energy. So much so that he forgot to stage his usual raid on Whitey's bowl until after Whitey had finished.

We think the problem is solved, but we'll also be a bit more aggressive about washing the food bowls. It's possible that he smelled something off or something like that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Feeding the Mighty Hunter

According to the latest weigh-in, Billy is losing weight a little faster than Katherine would like. Playtime probably has something to do with that...

We'll up his dinner ration to 40 grams, 20 grams each of wet and dry food. Breakfast stays the same, at 20/15. Whitey stays the same, at 15/15 for both breakfast and dinner.

Tummy Trouble

My usual routine when home alone in the evenings is to feed the boys and then immediately cleanly the litter box in the laundry room next to kitchen.

When I finished cleaning the litter box tonight, I discovered that someone (I don't know who) had wolfed down his dinner and then thrown it up in the front hall.

Cleaning it up, I wasn't mad, just sad -- one of our boys isn't feeling well, and now he'll be hungry overnight to boot. (I'd cheerfully feed them both again if I thought they would keep it down.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dawn Patrol: T-I-M-B-E-R !!!

A normal morning ...

Until Whitey goes completely FRAP, charging from the hall through the bedroom to the back picture window and leaps onto the three foot cat tower at the window hard enough to make it slam into the window sill, which in turn causes Billy to leap from the tower to the bed to save his own furry self.

Billy then charges across the bed and out the door as Whitey reverses course and barrels out of the room after Billy, leaving the cat tower teetering from all the feline forces applied to it.

The tower slowly tips and falls to the bedroom floor with a boom.

Estimated elapsed time from entrance to exit, perhaps five seconds.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo Extra: The Mist of Clean

One reason Whitey likes my desk is not only it has the Silver Kitten Warmer, but the 30" flat panel also provides a nice toasty glow. (He must like it, for all the fur he sheds rubbing on it.)

As Whitey was exploring my desk this morning, the sun happened to hit the monitor when it was mostly black, and this pointed up how poorly I've cleaned it in the ten months I've had it. It was bad, really bad, immediately grab old soft t-shirt and spray bottle of water bad.

Which led to a lesson on how smart Whitey really is. The bottle I grabbed is normally referred to as the Mist of Doom, and when merely pointed at one of the boys can it send them fleeing from the scene of a crime. This morning however, parked on the Silver Kitten Warmer, Whitey clearly respected the Mist of Doom but was quite unafraid -- he probably read my body language and realized I wasn't hunting errant kittens today.

How comfortable was he? As soon as the monitor was clean and I started writing this post, he helped write. (That's the middle of this post on the screen above his head.)


Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Feline Workout

Last night, headed upstairs for the evening, I decided to grab a few extra wanded cat teasers hiding in the front hall closet and take them upstairs. It wasn't a mistake, but we had serious scope creep.

In particular, we didn't have a extra "few" teasers, we had 10 of them. Sorting them evolved into pulling them out of the closet, untangling them, and tossing them into sorted piles on the floor, where the quality assurance team (Billy and Whitey) checked them out.

Whitey in particular was interested in the feathered wands, and after a basic play test I handed a wand to Katherine for Whitey to hunt on the stairs, while I chose a pom-pom ended wand for Billy to hunt on a cat tower. The end result was for the first time since we moved west, we had both boys seriously engaged in extended play in the same room.

It really only wound down when it seemed that Whitey was favoring his left rear leg. We had Whitey run several short sprints (kitty treats are quite useful for this), but the results were inconclusive. An hour later he was chasing his brother at full tilt, so we don't think he did anything serious.

Katherine and I agree, a good plan is more feather teasers for our resident bird watcher so he can work on his conditioning.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Photo Friday: Tigers roasting by an open fire

The boys approve of the Kitten Farm West. It has many features that were lacking in the original Summerhill Kitten Farm. Carpet, big windows for birdwatching (and a wide variety of birds to watch), even a fireplace. They don't think we use the kitty roaster nearly enough, so Christmas morning was a special treat for them.


(That's the hearth off to the left. We have a picture that shows the actual fire, but thought it was misleading because the boys appear to be awake.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Stench for a New Year

Billy reminded me this morning that I should have posted that on Monday night there was a hairball found at the border of the living room rug and the Christmas tree apron (soiling both, I might add).

How did he remind me? By leaving another hairball in front of the bedroom door at 4:40 AM this morning.

Thoughtful, that cat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


While we were out yesterday evening, the boys found the bedroom kitty treats.

We found an empty bottle.

We don't know if I left the drawer open or not. We're hoping I did, the alternative is too scary to consider.

Oddly enough, the boys were not nearly as excited as they normally are at dinner.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Photo Friday: A Cute Little Devil

For the return of Photo Friday, we present the boys' newest cousin, Maverick. Maverick and his sister May were found abandoned as new borns north of Boston in August. Our favorite veterinary tech adopted them and hand nursed them.

Alas, May didn't make it. Maverick, however, makes enough trouble for two; our friend describes him as Satan in fur. A really cute one, at that.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Heights (not!)

The recent changes to Katherine's office did not include access to the new speaker shelves themselves. Today Whitey sat on the scanner next to Katherine's desk, glazed up at the new shelf some five feet up ... and meowed, sadly.

Sorry, Whitey, even if it was low enough there's not room for you and the speaker too.