Monday, November 29, 2010

Catzilla-in-Training Indeed

As has been previously noted on these pages, we play with the boys regularly in the evening, especially having Billy chase wanded toys up cat towers. Oscar and Whitey will join in, but both pretty much stay on the floor or the bed, and don't focus on the prey nearly as well.

But last night, while I'm flicking a feather up a cat tower, who should appear but ... Oscar. And not just awkward clamber up the tree, but a bound from floor to crow's nest so fast I thought it was Billy. And he was focused enough to chomp down the the cat toy and try to take it with him. He succeeded taking the prey down to the floor at least a couple of times, just like a big boy.


Someone has clearly been studying how Billy hunts (and likes feathers in the manner that Billy prefers pom-pom prey.)

We need to encourage this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How Cats Drink

From the New York Times...

It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Almost The Next Best Thing

Whitey was back on his pillow this morning, but after the mid-afternoon kitty treat break, Oscar took a shift. This made Whitey sad when he hopped up on my desk and saw his pillow in use.

However, we made him happy. I cleared off the other end of the desk, and Katherine fetched the mate to the desk pillow from where it normally lives in the library as a window pillow. Now, at both of the extreme left and right edges of my desk, I have a relaxing serene cat each on his own pillow.

And to round it all out, Billy is on the Black Kitty Warmer behind me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What was Old is New Again

The blue office chair that Whitey prefers for his office naps has been loaned out to help with a temporary housing issue.

Whitey will survive. In fact, as Uber Napper (AKA chief bum), he has exercised his rights and reclaimed the desk pillow that Oscar also takes shifts on.

Looking to my left, this morning's shift is ALL Whitey's. Sleep well, oh Uber Napper.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Laundry Day

Once again, Billy inspected the laundry as it come out of the dryer. Only he got bored, jumped up on the dryer ... and fell off the back of it.

Being the brother of the Spider-cat, he recovered, not that he didn't look panicked doing it.

He did settle down and invoke his right for a ride upstairs in the laundry basket.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Good kitty!

A quick pointer to Christopher, a cat who watches over the feline patients of a clinic in Redwood CA

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cause and effect

Billy appears to have figured out how the dryer works. More precisely, he appears to have figured out the correlation between "dryer stopped running" and "warm fresh laundry available."

He was meowing mournfully downstairs this afternoon. Sometimes, that means he wants me to work in the living room so that he can curl up on the sofa with me. So I took a pad of paper and the article I was working on, and took them downstairs.

Nope, still sad. Inconsolable, even. Maybe there's a problem with the litter box? No, I checked and it was fine, but while I was in the laundry room -- where the litter box sits -- Billy pranced around in front of the dryer, Happy Tail held high. I'd run a load a little earlier that must have finished within the last 30 minutes or so.

So I unloaded the clothes into a basket. Billy climbed in, happily rode in the basket to the foot of the stairs, and promptly fell asleep. He was still there when I left, three hours later.

This is the cat who shoves objects off my office table when he wants to play, and who figured out how to disassemble a water fountain. I guess I shouldn't be surprised...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hurt Feelings

I bad.

Oscar was being especially rambunctious this morning while we were folding laundry, and so I sent him to "jail" -- trapping him under a flipped laundry basket . (I've previously done this to Billy once in a while -- he would explore and then bust out with a cazilla paw under the edge.)

Billy then promptly hopped up on the basket, which meant Oscar wasn't getting out any time soon, or at least until Billy got bored (which wasn't long). Photos were taken.

But after Billy had jumped down, Oscar meowed. A very quiet and sad meow from shelter kitten who lives in a cage.

Oscar was immediately released from detention, and he hopped down and scooted under the bed, away from the evil cage. I left him there to calm down, now that it's been awhile I'll go see if he wants an ear scritched. But no forced retrieval, and certainly no more cages today for our junior tiger.

Update: The trauma has faded, Oscar was last seen asleep in the library cat tower.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photo Weekend: Kitten pile on Mom

So I was stretched out on the sofa doing some editing, when along came Billy and curled up at my feet. (Actually, walked across my stomach and then curled up at my feet. Whatever...) Then Whitey came along, sniffed around the edges of the blanket, and curled up along my legs, just north of Billy. Then Oscar came by, stood on my chest, thought about wrestling with Whitey for his space, and finally snuggled down next to my shoulders. That's his back paws in the foreground:

All very warm and snuggly. Too warm, actually, and I got up a few minutes later. Which may have been the goal, since all three boys stayed in the warm spot for a while.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Whitey has a fresh scratch on his nose, dead in the middle. Good thing he's not going to the prom this year, it would be the talk of the ball.

Oscar, as usual, is suspected.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Back in the High Life Again

Just like when the furnace threw Oscar off his pace and he recovered in a day or so, he is back to normal (for him). Even though he ate at an odd time last night (so the valets could go out to dinner), he chowed down. He also wanted to snuggle at 3 AM when I accidently woke him up, and this morning was a happy breakfast consumer.

The Catzillas? They woke up yesterday happy, and for all we know their example helped show Oscar that yes, life remains good as an Feline Overlord of the Kitten Farm.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Day Spa from Hell

We were organized enough to do an errands two-fer yesterday, and the boys are still recovering.

Errand # 1 was to get the boys teeth cleaned and be given their annual shots. This meant they all went to the vet without breakfast, got general anesthetic, and generally thrown for a loop.

Errand # 2 was to get the carpets cleaned. This meant when the groggy disoriented boys came home, their Kitten Farm was rearranged and smelled funny. Billy and Oscar both were demanding more personal space than normal, with some growling and hissing going on.

Even after we got the furniture put back in place, they were sufficiently disoriented and generally unhappy with the state of things that Whitey was both late for dinner and didn't finish it, and Oscar barely had anything.

Whitey also asked to burrow under the covers overnight (which is often his happy place during the day, but not normal at night), which Katherine blessed. Oscar didn't sleep on the bed at all. Billy found his normal spot, chest high between his valets.

They all seem more like their normal selves this morning, I'm off to feed them breakfast and see how they are doing.


The Catzilla brothers are only dismayed by that their breakfast treat (some wet food, in case their teeth hurt) was only half of breakfast.

Oscar, on the other hand, needed to be catered to upstairs and then only took a few bites. Since he ate something, we're monitoring him but not panicked ... yet.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo Friday: Extra from Down Under

My employer held Take Your Child to Work Day, and our administrative assistent brought in the marsupial overlord-in-training of a friend.

From Picnik Photos

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just Like a Big Boy

Oscar has eaten his last three meals in the dining room with the boys. Our little kitten is almost all grown up.

He actually eats the far end of of the room, because for going on six years the Catzillas have been naturally eaten with Whitey on the right and Billy on the left, and Billy moving to the right to raid Whitey's dish when he got bored. This means Oscar really can't be right, left, or right of left (i.e. middle). :-)

But we're impressed with all three boys for co-existing with food in the room.

Monday, April 5, 2010


(or, this post has no English title)

The above title is brought to you by Oscar, who is sprawled on my desk waiting for breakfast.

He has now returned to the regularly scheduled mournful meowing in the hall, leaving my desk clear.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Administrivia - Site Blog Software Upgraded

We've been seeing too much comment SPAM lately, so for the first time in too long a time (3 years), we've upgraded the Movable Type software which drives our blogs.

With Movable Type 5.01, we are now able to require commenters to sign-in order to reduce SPAM. We will not be collecting your login information, but rather relying on your choice of another web site (Google, Yahoo, AIM, Live Journal etc.) to verify you exist. (We won't see your password for that other site, they'll just us tell your name and maybe email address.)

The leap in software releases required us to change the look of the blogs; we're not done with Katherine's TFM blog yet. In addition, we MAY have broken some links.

Please notify of us any problems you have reading or commenting on the blogs.

QOTD: King of the Mountain

After Billy and the Spider-Clutz face-off on the hall railing:

Katherine: Oscar, if you want to play king of the mountain with Billy, you'll lose.
Drew: If Oscar wants to play king of the mountain with himself up there, he'll lose.

Katherine then scooped Oscar off the railing before he could fall off ... again.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Photo Friday: We'll Sing Sleep in the Sunshine

The good weather is coming, and an early sunny day has our boys sharing the warmth of my office heated by central forced air, computers and, of course, solar.

From Picnik Photos

(Oscar was originally to the left of the file cabinet and Whitey was on it, but like Billy, they follow the sun.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Further Adventures of the Spider-Clutz

Attaining new heights aside, Oscar remains the Spider-clutz.

This evening, we fed dinner Oscar in my office (working closer to the stairs, with the ultimate goal of feeding him downstairs). Billy showed up, causing Oscar to abandon his dinner for the monorail (aka the straight wide flat railing for the stairs), and Katherine started to take Oscar's remaining food in its bowl into the library.

Oscar followed along on the railing, watching Katherine as he went. Or tried. He made it three feet, didn't watch where he was putting his feet, and fell to the deep stairwell side of the railing. After much clawing and a gouge in the stairwell wall, he made it back onto the top of the railing, to our relief.

Of course, the one true Spider-cat has recovered from worse mistakes, but somehow I suspect Whitey would not have made this mistake in the first place.

At last!

Google Translate for Animals has been announced.

Finally, maybe we can get an explanation of all those audibles that Oscar calls at 6 AM.

(We still can't hear the meows in his or Whitey's head.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photo (Almost) Friday: Helpful Billy

He doesn't do it often, but Billy does sometimes try to fill the void left by his late Aunt Emily, curling up with me while I sit on my futon and write.


I don't let him rest his whole weight on me -- which would make breathing difficult -- but he still manages to make himself the center of attention.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mmmm, cheese!

One of the classic motifs in cartoon shorts is the character who is spellbound by food. The smell of bacon cooking wafts past the nostrils of the sleeping character, causing him to levitate out of bed and sleepwalk after the source of the smell.

That's how it is with Billy and cheese. I was making chicken parmesan for dinner the other night. No sign of him while I sliced the chicken, diced the onions for the sauce, cooked the tomatoes .... but as soon as I got out the mozzarella and the parmesan, Billy materialized right next to my feet. "Hi Mom! Got any for me?" And yes, I do usually drop a few crumbs into his bowl.

I tell him he's very spoiled. Fresh mozzarella? Fresh grated parmesan? Some cats live with humans who stock Velveeta and Cheez Whiz. He meows and asks for more cheese.

Photo Weekend Extra: Mind Your Manners

Background: Since Oscar is on the same diet as the Catzilla brothers, we would like to feed all of them in the kitchen together, allowing our upstairs library to lose the litter-box and food bowl.

But today's photograph is quite startling to me, because as the Alpha cat, Billy is not known for letting others chow down while he waits patiently. But there we have it, Billy quietly watching Oscar eat up in the library this morning.


Of course, it has taken several days of valets shooing Billy away when he attempted to take over Oscar's bowl to get this far. We're also helped by Oscar having the confidence to give Billy push back with a paw on the nose as well, which was required today along with a couple strong hints from me. But some progress has been made towards getting the boys to eat together.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Photo Weekend Extra: Sunny Copy Cat

Oscar is not nearly the sunbeam chaser that Billy is, but after seeing Billy's photo spread, Oscar found a nice sunbeam for himself this morning.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Friday Extra: I'll follow the sun

Billy isn't quite as accurate as a sundial, but he does like his sunbeams. Here he follows one across the library floor, and then searches for it on the stairs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oscar's Big Leap

Whitey likes to sit in the laundry room window, probably because it gives a nice view of the neighborhood, including the small playground next door. It's the highest accessible window in the house, too, which means he gets to show off his Spider Cat skills.

Then along comes Oscar. He sat on the floor, meowed, checked the distance a couple of times... and Leaped. While Whitey lands gracefully on the sill, Oscar almost didn't make it and had to scramble with his hind legs a little bit, but he got there.

Whitey looked somewhat dismayed. "What's the little punk doing here? My ledge!" At least Oscar had the sense to behave himself, as I'm sure Whitey would have dumped him off the ledge given the least excuse.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dawn Patrol: Good Morning to You Too

We don't write much any more about feline alarm clocks, random litterbox misses or hairballs, because well, they are random and known.

This morning was a tad unique, as Oscar jumped the gun shortly after 5 AM. While he normally waits until I am awake to come by and purr at me, this first thought I had this morning was that Oscar had arrived. Maybe he saw me move in my sleep and decided I was awake. He was sweet about it though -- there are way worse things to wake up than the full throated purr of a gently affectionate cat.

This morning was also odd, because I have a cough which kept scaring him off. However, he kept coming back, and got his fur stroked each time. Not I got much sleep for during this cycle, which lasted ~ 45 minutes.

All finally went quiet however, and I drifted back to sleep ... until I heard Billy cough up a hairball down in the living room.

A loyal valet's work is never done, even if we don't post every occurrence of each task.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Photo Friday: New! Improved!

We have two identical cat towers which reside in my office and the library, both obtained when we moved to the Kitten Farm West. Since my office tower gets somewhat more use (and abuse), we decided to swap the towers to even the wear. Moving them provided just enough excitement to make all three boys curious. and so they checked one out in transit while we were carting the other one to my office.

Tower Inspection
Checking out the new vantage point

Hey, anything that entertains our feline overlords.

(Click on the photo for a clear large image...)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photo Friday: Peace In Our Time

Oscar can co-exist with the Catzillas, when he wants to, especially when there are reserved spots for two cats.

Billy and Oscar resting in the tower

Or at least we get a truce between bouts of Oscar looking for playzillas, as was the case here. Now if we could just get him to observe truces between midnight and breakfast...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Spider-clutz

As Katherine noted recently, Oscar has discovered his vertical side. He has not only done the top of her bookshelf, but also my bookshelf, the top of the living room entertainment center and the upstairs hall railing.

There are two slight problems with this new found dimension, especially with the hall railing.

The hall railing was (and is) a favorite vertical escape route from Oscar for the Catzillas, because while no higher than the kitchen counter (a common visit for all three boys), Oscar didn't go up there. Now its utility is lessened, because while Oscar doesn't actively pursue up there, he will visit.

The second problem is that ... well, Oscar is a clutz. Almost every time I've seen him on the railing, a load bearing paw will slip off to the side once as he strolls or turns, and only four paw drive saves him (no claws needed). I swear I've seen him slip more times in a month than I have seen the Catzillas slip in the nearly three years we've lived in the Kitten Farm West. I don't know why Oscar doesn't know where his paws are, but I hope it's youth and lack of practice more than a lack of Spider-cat genes. I also hope he doesn't fall off completely -- an unexpected six foot drop to the stairs, even with them carpeted, would not be fun.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Billy's Soul Lttermate

If Billy had a brother he never had met, this guy would be it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo Friday: The Next Best Thing

Previously, Whitey has been seen encamped on the silver kitty warmer both with the cover open and the cover closed. To go with my new larger desk, I got both a cat resistant laptop stand and the next best thing for a cat to nap on.


To be honest, Oscar uses the pillow more than Whitey (who has his own Herman-Miller Reaction Chair in my office), but it's nice to know Whitey still feels welcome on the desk.

(Well, it is the thing next to Whitey's best thing to nap on ...)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who was that masked cat?

Oscar just charged into my office, ran up the cat tower to the top of my bookshelf -- in which he has shown no previous interest -- and ran across the bookshelf to the corner. He then knocked an umbrella off the second shelf, ran back down to the floor, sniffed at the umbrella once, and left. He is now stretched out at the top of the stairs.

Billy and Whitey didn't seem to hear the instructions from Great Basement Cat, but clearly Oscar did. Or something.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Oscar Presentations

Every cat we have owned served as valets for found one or more methods to announce it is, in his or her opinion, meal time. All the boys meow.

  • Emily had the hop on Katherine's desk,
  • Whitey has the current evening desk visit duty and the morning (occasional) death from above,
  • Billy has the cavalry charge downstairs to dinner, along with supervising in the kitchen looking very interested in whatever is being prepared for any species,
  • Oscar has the cavalry charge upstairs, and has recently developed the morning visit to me in bed, which turns into a gentle request to cuddle him.

But none of these match the show Oscar puts on if he thinks he has your attention in the upstairs hall. It starts with his happy trot into the library where he's fed. If you appear to follow, his routine morphs into a full twirl with a purring chirp, and climaxes in an ecstatic cat rolling on the floor as he awaits feeding.

Unfortunately, he can't tell time worth beans. He'll do this before breakfast, an hour after breakfast, and basically all through the day. It gets him petted, but not fed.

Sorry, kid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo Friday: Emily Would be Proud

Katherine had a parade of snuggly tigers large and (almost) small yesterday as she worked and read on her futon.

Katherine-Futon-Oscar-2010.JPG Billy burrowed Katherine

Emily would approve ... if she didn't want Katherine all to herself.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Dinner Parade

I was home alone yesterday evening, and over the course of 30 minutes, I had parade across my desk:

  • Oscar
  • Billy
  • Oscar
  • Whitey

Amazing enough, this was the 30 minutes before kitten dinner time, and yes, they were trying to tell me something ...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Photo Friday: Where Do We Store The Toys?

Yes, the cats still know how to store themselves. However, in THIS case, Billy is merely resting while he searches the closet of toys for you-know-what.


Sorry Billy, we're not going to let you pick your own toys out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kenmore The Cat

The Kenmore in the title refers to Kenmore station on Boston, not the City of Kenmore (by the lake) northeast of Seattle. More precisely, it refers to a cat rescued from the station.

p.s. Yes, we're still here, litter box misses, hairballs, midnight commando assaults on Billy by Oscar, happy meal times, and all.