Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Friday: What Are You Looking At? (redux)

Whitey Commandeering the Desk
Billy isn't the only one who thinks he is more important than a monitor.  Whitey, above, clearly thinks I need to take a break, even if he maintains a softer expression than his brother.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Better offer for Billy

Lately, we've been monitoring Billy at mealtime to make sure he doesn't raid anyone's bowl after he finishes his own. He can be very sneaky about it: turn your back for a few seconds, and you'll find him up to his ears in Penwiper's food, while Penwiper sadly looks on.

But tonight we learned that he does have other priorities. I was slicing some leftover roast beef from Christmas dinner. As soon as Billy finished his own dinner, there he was on the floor next to me, looking up hopefully.

"Kibble? Who needs more kibble? There's FOOD here!"

Whitey even joined him, which was very unusual. Our Spidercat doesn't usually show much interest in people food.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fat Cats (and Dogs)

I'm delighted to say an article on fat cats and dogs doesn't apply to our feline overlords.   We listen to our vets, we know what the boys weigh to the ounce, we know where they should be, and we measure their meals to the gram.   

(Okay, kitty treats are unmetered.  But we try to be generally consistent day-to-day.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feline Web Return Codes

http://httpcats.herokuapp.com/ provides some LOLCat memes for HTTP (web) response codes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Penwiper On Top

Much to his housemates' chagrin, Penwiper seems all better, and has been for several days.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekend Video Extra: Remaining Billy

This morning I was telling my aikido class about the importance of "remaining mind," or zanshin in Japanese. That's the idea that you don't abandon your focus just because a technique is "done," you stay alert and aware for whatever comes next. 

And then this afternoon, to my delight, our Mighty Hunter provided an excellent demonstration. Maybe he's caught one treat, but there could be more! 


Friday, December 2, 2011

Photo Friday: As Cute As Ever

Penwiper Modeling in Drew's Office Tower
Lest anyone think Penwiper has lost any thing since his glamour shot when he arrived, we have the above picture from early November to show he's still got it, now in the friendly young adult size.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Penwiper on the mend

As of yesterday morning, Penwiper's recovery seemed to have plateaued. Better than Saturday, but still not back to normal. So off to the vet we went.

Fever 104 F. Normal for cats is about 101 F. The vet's comment was, "That explains why he's lethargic." Otherwise nothing obviously wrong: no swelling or anything like that. So they decided it was probably some sort of infection, took some blood, and prescribed an antibiotic.

Less than 36 hours later, he's almost completely back to normal. Appetite back, energy level and sociability much better. (Much to Oscar's chagrin, as he was enjoying the peace and quiet.) The vet says his blood chemistry is fine, but his white cell count was a bit depressed. Since that would tend to indicate a virus, which the antibiotic wouldn't fix, we still aren't sure what the problem was but are very happy that he's (almost) his old self again.

Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be contagious. The Tiger Trio are all fine.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Penwiper update

Our fluffy ninja is better, but still not completely back to normal. He finished dinner last night and breakfast this morning, but needed two passes in both cases. He was also content to curl up by my feet last night, instead of his usual assertive demands for snuggles.

He's now quietly napping on my office floor. Feel better soon, kitten!

Photo Extra: The Many Faces of Butterscotch

From our siblings in Syracuse NY, comes The Many Faces of Butterscotch and Harlowe, the resident feline overlords.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Penwiper Under the Weather

Penwiper seems a little ill.

Yesterday morning (Saturday), P.W. didn't finish his breakfast, a fact which was partially distracted from by Oscar also being fickle about his.

However, by dinner the difference was obvious -- Oscar ate at a normal pace, and Penwiper only had ~ 2 grams out of 19.  Penwiper was, in retrospect, also quiet all day and into the evening.

This morning he came downstairs under his own power, had a little breakfast (~4 grams), drank a little, and used the litter box, so he is functioning.  Since then he has been up and down the stairs and climbed a tall cat tower to nap, so he has some energy, just not much.

We'll keep the usual eye on our catten and call the vet if he doesn't improve.

Update:  Just before noon Penwiper followed me downstairs, and we were all alone so I got his breakfast back out.  He ate another ~ 10 grams, much to our delight.

Of course, the other boys all sensed food may be in the air and showed up, leading to P.W. eating in the middle of the living room while Katherine and I played zone defense around him.  The others were reasonably polite, and all were rewarded with kitty treats after the main course.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Friday: What Are You Looking At?

This popped up as the random desktop background on my second monitor, and it had to be shared.

"Don't look at the monitor, look at me" - Billy
Click on the picture for the proper effect at full size.

p.s. As soon as I post this. I'll give each of the cats in relaxing in my office an ear scritch, since clearly, attention is wanted (and deserved).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo Friday: Office Catpacity

Oscar and Whitey on Desk Pillows Old and New
As we noted last week, Whitey approves of the new cat carrier pillow.  Here he is on it in his newly reserved spot on my desk, while Oscar mans the older pillow.

(Click on the photo for full screen.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yes, That Fur Does Make You Look Fat

Penwiper got his first annual check up today.

As we suspected, he's a tad over weight at ~10+ lbs, and should lose about a pound.  So his meals will be reduced a gram each, to 19.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Friday: Added Catpacity

Billy & Whitey on Kitchen Pillows Old and New
In preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse, we picked up a fourth cat carrier for Penwiper.  We also bought a pad for it, which can't seem to make it into the carrier because Whitey likes it so much.

Before the pad even got out of kitchen, both Billy and Whitey tested it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Neatness Counts

We now return to that topic of old, The Daily Stench.

Penwiper, it seems, has a minor problem.   While he is to be a neat cat, cleaning his long fur regularly, always using the litter box, and usually burying his waste promptly, his long fur seems to cause him to occasionally take small ... souvenirs ... away from the litter box with him.

Last night, he tried to bury a small stool in the middle of the kitchen floor, and this morning I found one each in the bedroom and in the downstairs front hall.  Aside from trimming his posterior hair, I'm not sure there is much we can do.

(Someone also left a hairball in my office overnight, but that's a different accounting, not to mention both more common and less gross.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo Friday: The Prince and the Pea

His Royal Highness Penwiper, and a
court jester
This needs no comment.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spawn of Basement Cat

Penwiper sometimes growls in his sleep.

Penwiper, being mostly black, is almost invisible in the dark.

This made for a somewhat unnerving 2 AM wakeup the other night. Picture waking up in a dark room, hearing a low growl somewhere near your head, but being unable to spot the source.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Photo Extra: Ready for Our Closeups




I had a new professional portrait done recently. Billy and Whitey decided the photographer needed close supervision. Or maybe they just thought they weren't famous enough already.

Oscar and Penwiper hid. Their loss!

(Images by Christopher Nelson.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo Friday: Laundry Day!

Billy's (old favorite) Nap Location 
No further comment needed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Photo Weekend Extra: Self Storing Cats Redux

From our friend Steph comes the oldie but goodie topic of cat pictures, self-storing cats:

Hurley, top; Danielle, bottom
It's so nice when they organize themselves neatly.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Friday: Billy Batting Cleanup

Billy in His Tower
Billy didn't exactly cooperate when I zipped about with the camera, but he was in one of his usual haunts, my office tower.

Hey, he was happy and natural, and so our leave our Über cat to clean up at the close of our series.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No Mews is Good Mews

The update on Penwiper eating in the dining room is ... there is none.  It's been so smooth with him eating in the dining room, there is little to say.

Penwiper has had his serving size trimmed to what he normally actually eats, and we tend to grab anything he occasionally leaves behind to avoid having Billy thinking it's part of the Catzilla buffet.   (For historical reasons, while Billy and Whitey always start with their own bowls with Whitey to the right of Billy, they are allowed to swap off with each other.)

We already have decommissioned the library water fountain, and the (under used) library litter box probably goes away this weekend.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Photo Friday: I Wanna Be Like Billy When I Grow Up


Billy, helpful feline that he is, curled up in my lap to help me work. Which was fine, except then Penwiper decided that he wanted to be wherever his Uncle Billy was. All work promptly ceased, in favor of important things like breathing.

(Update: The One Fine Day of Felines will back next week to finish with Billy solo, if we can keep Mr. Personal Space from hijacking it again ...)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Like a Big Boy Redux

After Oscar had been with us a few months and eating in the library, we screwed up our courage to teach him to eat just like a big boy with his uncles.   It took easing him into it (we started at the top of the stairs, then most of the way down), but now he has had his personal spot in the dining room for over a year.

Penwiper, on the other hand ... as his birthday passed, we migrated him to a mix of kitten and adult kibble for him.  Knowing his confidence around the others, last night we simply set out four bowls and explained to PW where his was (in the fourth corner of the dining room).  He was a little confused by me working on the additional bowls, but he settled down nicely.

Nomming occurred, just like a big boy, and his fellow overlords likewise all accepted the new guy into the feeding fold.

This morning was even smoother.  I went downstairs, all four boys followed, and Penwiper took his place as soon as his bowl was down.  Life is good.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Photo Friday: One Fine Quiet Hunter

Whitey napping in my office cat carrier
During my feline photo expedition, Whitey was in one of favorite his spots ... napping in a cat carrier.  This one happens to live in my office for his snoozing pleasure.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

(Almost) Photo Friday: One Fine Birthday Kitten

Penwiper taking over Katherine's desk
We rejoin our one-day photo montage of the feline overlords with Penwiper.

Of course, he's not the first to take over Katherine's desk.  After Her Emilyness squeezed onto the side of the desk a few times, she taught Katherine to leave the keyboard area clear for lounging.

Normally, I would override the date to Friday to make this appear on time, but today (July 23rd) is Penwiper's first Birthday.  Our youngest is now a catten!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Penwiper, the Fluffy Pickpocket?

Flash drives have gotten too small for their own good. I negligently left one of the pockets of my briefcase unzipped. Next thing I know, Penwiper has fished one out and is playing with it. It's about the size of three or four kitten kibbles: maybe too big for a cat, but certainly not for a dog or a human toddler.

This was just a minute or two after he pulled a pack of Kleenex out of a different pocket. Maybe we should have named him Fagin?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

obit: Composer Meows Her Last

From the NY Tines: A Noted Composer Meows Her Last

Ketzel, who won a prize for piano composition in 1997 and went on to be featured in a book, “The World of Women in Classical Music,” died Wednesday in Manhattan. She was 19 and lived on the Upper West Side

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photo Friday: One Fine Day (Oscar)

Oscar, Relaxing

And where do we find our kittens when not gathered for food?  Each enjoying the day their own way.   First, Oscar.

Roll Call

A morning checklist at the Kitten Farm:
  • Before breakfast, Oscar charges into Penwiper's room (where months ago Oscar himself was fed) and has to be led out so I can feed the new kid first.  Then it's downstairs to feed all three tigers.
  • After breakfast, a paroled Penwiper needs his morning snuggle.  One overly cuddled fluffy Ninja.
  • While I am brushing my teeth, Billy hops up on the bathroom shower ledge.  An understated petting of our alpha cat results in a gentle but strong purr from the Mighty Hunter.
  • While petting Billy, I feel a firm friendly brush against my legs, and without looking I know it's Whitey.  Rather than chase him down or pick him up, I stroll out to the bed and lift the quilt.  One leap later, the Spidercat is burrowing for a warm safe nap under the covers.
Happy boys.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Growing Up

Penwiper's birthday is July 23rd.

We normally transition from kitten food to adult cat food around their first birthday, and to ease this, this morning Penwiper's kibble mix was made ~ 1/3 adult food.

Our Fluffy Ninja is growing up ...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

(Almost) Photo Friday: Librarian Overlords

Billy & Whitey High in the Library
This week's photo, taken this very morning, catches the Catzilla  Brothers hanging in the Library.  Click it for a better view at full size.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Support Your Local Kentucky Kitten and Vote!

From my sister Catherine ...
To all you Bootsies fans: she is in the running for Pet of the Week at the Louisville Courier-Journal! You can vote for her at http://php.courier-journal.com/pets/mypetrocks1.php/pets/mypetrocks1.php.
Voting is through Friday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Photo Friday: Cuteness Smackdown

Bootsies: Aren't I the cutest?
(photo credit: Catherine Detweiler)
Penwiper: Why yes, I do know I'm cute!
... A Photo Friday in which we point out certain felines seem to have a high opinion of themselves. That, and a lot of fur. And some common genes, although Aunt Bootsies is no more related to Penwiper than the Catzilla brothers are related to their nephew Oscar.

All of you are cute felines, and we'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Photo Friday: Turbo Ball, TNG

Penwiper playing with the Turboball
Yes, it's the newest generation playing with the Turboball, still fun after seven years.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photo Friday: Hunting Season!

Whitey on Duty in an Open Library Window

Proof this Photo Friday that yes, we still are the valets to three photogenic tigers, not just a frolicking tuxedo catten.

It's been a cool spring in the Pacific Northwet, so our windows have not been open as early as usual. However, it's edged warmer in June. Above, we have our quiet hunter taking in the sights and (finally!) smells on one of the first real nice days of the spring.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Photo Friday: Weigh-In


We've previously mentioned the scale, also known as the Magic Kitty Treat Dispenser. It helps us keep our hunters trim and sleek. However, they have figured out its treat-dispensing properties. This can make it challenging to weigh only one of them at a time...

Don't worry, Penwiper isn't being ignored. He's out of the frame for this picture, but very much involved in the hunt for treats.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Big Kitten

When I mentioned the contract for welcome home treats, I noted that sometimes only some of the cats attend.  What I didn't note was that if a cat is missing, it's likely Whitey (who will be napping under a quilt),  Oscar, or maybe Penwiper.   Billy shows up.  Period.  Our one true alpha cat has his duties, and he takes them seriously.

Many things make me fret about our boys, but after seven years, very little scares me.   Oscar did scare me a little as the Saturday passed after his poor vet visit.  

Billy didn't show up when I got home tonight.  This gave me a scare immediately.  Hearing a soft sad mew as I started looking round for him didn't help, as Billy doesn't merely helplessly mew, ever.  I started opening downstairs doors, and then headed upstairs to check closets.   I felt better as soon as I hit the landing -- I could see the master bedroom door, and it had blown shut.   Upon my opening it,  a safe and relieved Billy trotted out.

I am reminded just how much our kittens depend on us to keep the Kitten Farm safe for them.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Kitten Contract

At 6:31 this morning, I woke up, looked at the clock, scanned the bed for cats, and made eye contact with Oscar at the foot of the bed.  I patted my shoulder, and Oscar responded by rising silently, strolling around my feet, up my right side, and joining me for our good morning snuggle.

I wasn't sure I wanted one this morning, but I made sure I asked Oscar any way.    Since Oscar has been sort of the ignored middle child lately, I wanted to be sure that he had his special time with me.

More generally, when any of our overlords keeps his part of a contract, it's important I keep mine.  

That's how, for example, the boys know they are welcome on the kitten desk pillow but not a foot closer if I have the Hiss of Doom in hand.   (The Hiss of Doom will enforce any whim; the contract is that the pillow is always safe, so they don't feel the need to flee the office.)

It's how also have we have four felines in the kitchen when we arrive home, because everybody knows that it's treat time!  (Okay, sometimes, three.   But we get four enough to trust that they all know the contract, even if someone wants to sleep through it.)

Now, if we could teach Penwiper how to snuggle as gently as Oscar in the morning ...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

To the Great Ice Floe In The Sky

Our long time associates know that before we were cat valets, we were valets for various plush creatures, especially bears.  Snuffles, the Plush Plump Programming Platinum Polar Bear was (and is) our patron bear of networking.

Thus it is with sadness we note that Ida, the Central Park Zoo Polar Bear, has passed on.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Photo Friday: Laundry Diver

Yes, it's the return of Photo Friday.

Some time in the past few months, Penwiper decided a great place to explore was our laundry hamper, which is a mesh bag velcroed to a metal frame.  The whole assembly has seen better days, and having a cat jumping in and out of it (sometimes tipping it over in the process) didn't help matters.

Penwiper in the Laundry Bag

Between the general wear and tear and the fear that Penwiper would get tangled up in a tipping laundry bag, we decided his fun had to end.  We now have a lovely new laundry hamper now, all wood, with a lid.  But it was cute while it lasted.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Love My Job

Being a cat valet has its perks sometimes.

Like Oscar arriving in the bedroom just about every morning of late, not too soon to disturb my rest, and hopping up on the bed to rest his head and shoulders on my shoulder.   What follows is me giving a gentle rub of his ears and chin, which triggers the official morning Oscar purr.

He's gently letting me know it's time to wake up without being intrusive (he won't lay down without my shoulder in position), and I'm letting him know his presence is appreciated.  And yes, implied is that his loving valets will feed him ... but no rush.

Purr.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Office Assistant Kitty Redux

The office assistant strikes again, from Katherine:
"He managed to delete about 10 emails with one stroll across my keyboard. Fortunately, I saw him do it."
He could start using up his nine lives with those keyboard forays if he's not careful. I am reminded why I have both the kitten pillow for good felines and the Hiss of Doom for silly felines on my own desk. Balancing positive and negative reinforcement works wonders ...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Administrivia: Oh, bother

It would appear the software I used to move to the blog posts from MovableType to Blogger lost the author and used me as the writer for everything.  Annoying, but Katherine doesn't care much and I'm annoyed, not frantic about it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Administrivia: A new place, new look, a new RSS feed?

For those of you (both of you) actually subscribed to this blog, please that note we've switched blog software and gone to a new address for it: http://kitten.kew.com.   As side effect of the move and/or new software, we may have broken any RSS feed you had, in which case you will need to resubscribe using the new address.

The good news is the software is easier for us to use to post (note how we actually posted today!), faster for both us and our readers, and less maintenance for us as well.

(Not that it will be perfect, for example the service we are now using had a major outage in early May.  But I won't have to fix any issues.)

As always, report any problems to me, ahd@kew.com.

p.s. This is actually a the most visible part of a major change for us, but I'll save the detailed description for posting in another blog on another day.

Photo Weekend Extra: The Flat Blue Kitty Warmer?

Whitey thought he found a new kitty warmer.


I don't have the heart to tell him that it is sitting unplugged on my desk because it's broken and it needs to be shipped out for service.

Office assistant kitty

Penwiper is a very helpful kitten. By sitting on my keyboard just once, he opened a search window and typed in new search terms for me. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't know how to spell "catnip" and got "ssssszzzzz" instead.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oscar's Annual Vet Visit

Oscar really didn't enjoy his annual physical this year, which was on Friday.

In particular, his annual shots left him sore in both in both hips, every time he stood it was like watching him trying to get up with nearly paralyzed hind quarters.  Nor did we see him even try to move much for the first 24 hours.  Mostly, he hid under the bed, especially after Penwiper hopped up on the bed where Oscar was resting and tried to play.  Penwiper was told in no uncertain terms to go away.  (As was I when I later went to examine his feet.  That was one generally unhappy cat.)

Oscar's ghost routine included skipping two meals completely, even with room service.

Needless to say, we were relieved when he appeared for Saturday dinner, and by Sunday morning was hopping on the bed for the morning snuggle on my shoulder.

He's okay now, but it was a little scary.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lost in the Noise?

Poor Oscar.

First, this new kitten shows up and takes over the new cat (his!) suite.

Then the new guy takes most of our attention, not to mention he has the gall to chase Oscar around the house as an equal.

Now late this past week, Oscar has partially lost his voice. His piercing cry is now more a "waa" than a proper cat meow. We don't know why, but the vet says so long he's eating and drinking normally, don't worry about it. (I suspect he's been talking more than normal, quite a feat for him...)

Finally, this morning, Oscar jumped up on the bed to say good morning to me, and yup, that new guy was in Oscar's spot on my shoulder. Oscar slinked off like a jilted boyfriend. He did come back a few minutes later when the coast was clear, and get his wakeup head scratch then.

We're trying to keep all the feline overlords in mind here. However, it may be time to turn it up a notch for Oscar, who is the least secure of them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo Extra: When a plan comes together

The new guy fits right in. He's been taking afternoon naps with Billy. Apparently being reasonably polite, too, since Billy has neither swatted him into next week nor gotten up and left.


Billy & Penwiper Napping Together.
We're very happy, since this is more or less exactly the outcome we hoped for.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Penwiper Joins the Swing Shift

Penwiper has joined the the overnight shift of bedroom cats smoothly. He'll stop by when I go to bed and wake up, but after the first night (Friday), he has had the good sense to leave me alone in the middle of the night.

Now, he is only in his suite for his meals, which will be kitten kibble for another six months.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paroled Panther

Penwiper is still sneezing once in a while as we're coming to the end of his official quarantine. So, I called the vet to ask if he could still come out. They said if he's eating and drinking normally, he could. (And yes, he eats like a hungry kitten, unless the other feline overlords have learned how to open the door to Penwiper's suite and sneak in without letting the kitten out while they raid his dish.)

So this morning, for nearly an hour our Tuxedo kitten was unleashed again to roam as he chose. I kept a loose on eye on him upstairs while Katherine presided over downstairs. He and Oscar did their mutual orbit again, he occasionally chased Billy, and he sampled every cat toy he could find. We only shut it down when Penwiper was getting tired and Oscar finally hissed displeasure with Penwiper's 247th invasion of Oscar's personal space.

We suspect P.W. will require a nice long nap after he eats and settles down.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Panther Is Loose

A Panther is Loose in the Kitten Farm! Well, not really.

Penwiper continues to appears to have a bit of a cold, sneezing a few times a day, but is otherwise quite healthy. The cold does mean he's still under a loose quarantine. In particular, we don't panic when he escapes as we go in and out of his suite, but do gently go after him and corral him. Usually, these impromptu excursions mean he gets a chance for a quick hello to the senior overlords, but not hang out with them.

When Penwiper appears, the Catzilla brothers generally look startled but calm, not surprising given both their age and that their littermates, Emily, The Grey Mouser, and Oscar have all been part of their lives at various times. It also helps that they are nearly twice the size of Penwiper, and that he's not aggressive. Highly curious, but not agressive.

Oscar is less sure about this Panther on the loose. Oscar as a kiitten was not socialized as well as the Catzillas, and he isn't actually that much bigger than Penwiper (although Oscar is reasonably filled out and Penwiper is still a skinny teen with fluffy fur). Oscar is coming around though. When Penwiper was first here, Oscar would hiss, run, and hide whenever his Penwiper radar when off. Now he doesn't want P.W. too close, but they'll follow each other around and Oscar doesn't hiss ... much. Progress.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Busting Loose

Snapshot of the last 24 hours...

I was in Penwiper's Suite (AKA the library) and saw that we had spare X-mats, spiked mats to keep cats away from an area.

Penwiper had already tried exploring with a paw under the door, so I decided to discourage him by putting an X-Mat under the door when I left. Presto! No more paws under door.

Uh, no.

Within seconds of my leaving, P.W. had his paws under door as he meowed, and then we saw the X-Mats being shoved out of the way by unseen forces.

We won't even talk about how good he is at escaping when we open the library door. Suffice to say on his latest escapade, he made it past all three senior felines and all the way down to the dining room before I caught him. Proof, fortunately, that they can mostly co-exist.

(It should be noted that Oscar is stressed by Penwiper. This morning in the hall, Oscar heard P.W. meowing in the library as Billy walked by, so he hissed at Billy. Clearly, that needs work.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Introduction to Penwiper

Seeing that Oscar still needs burn off excess energy without tormenting Whitey, we finally decided to get Oscar a young minion.

The resulting search at local shelters turned up a five month old (born July 23rd) medium hair tuxedo at Meow Cat Rescue. They called him Henry.

We call him Penwiper (or Pen, Penny, P.W., or Pea-Dub). The name comes from the science fiction novel To Say Nothing of the Dog, which has a tuxedo kitten named after the Victorian device used to clean fountain pens.

His free spirit reminds of us of the Catzilla brothers as kittens.

His size (~6+ pounds) at this tender age reminds us that he could grow to up be another Catzilla.

His newly learned ability to dart out the door of his room reminds us of Whitey. (It's time to be more careful with the exterior door protocols at the kitten farm).

His hop on your lap to snuggle while purring loudly reminds us of Oscar.

His meowing when locked up also reminds of Oscar.

His kneading while purring reminds us of Kee Kee, the affectionate feline overlord of Katherine's graduate school days at UCSB.

His silky fur reminds us of The Grey Mouser.

His brother Playful, whom we don't have room for, reminds us that many deserving cats are still waiting for homes. Consider adopting one today.


Photo Weekend Extra: Penwiper

Our newest Feline Overlord is Penwiper, and I put some photos on Facebook

Still the Mouser ...

Getting new cat towers required us find what to do with the old ones. The Feline Overlords all agreed when we left two in the downstairs front hall: Keep Them!

We did keep the least abused of the three, but we still needed to dispose of the others. Just as we started to get organized, Kage's valet posted on Facebook that she should have bought two cat towers (instead of one) for Kage and Jasper at Christmas. After having warned her that the old towers are well loved, she was happy to take our surplus, and so with the help a third friend, we delivered them today.

Jasper (Kage's co-overloard) greeted us in the dining room and promptly hopped into one of the newly arrived cat condos.

Kage, true to his days as the Grey Mouser, hid upstairs. We were led to his lair by his valet, but he didn't want to greet us, prefering to retreat under a desk. Oh, well, we got to see him, and he's still a beautiful healthy feline.

And I'm sure he'll like his new furniture, even if it came from those boys.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kittens' Christmas (2010 edition)

A few holiday notes from here at the Kitten Farm:

  • Oscar saw his first (artificial) Christmas Tree this year. We put it up and let it sit unadorned for a few days so he could get used to it, and then we decorated it. He occasionally hangs out under it, but he has left otherwise left it alone, to our great relief.
  • Oscar also got his first real exposure to our glass enclosed gas fireplace actually running. The warmth made him so happy he was rolling around like we had fed him catnip.
  • My big present was a Ar Drone, which the cats are not fans of but seem to be able to live with it if it keeps its distance. The pilot (me) has no intention of getting too close with it.
  • The big present for the feline overlords was three replacement cat towers, two tall and one short, exactly replacing three current ones. The interesting part of this is that two of the older worn towers were moved to the downstairs front hall, where they were promptly popular with Whitey and Oscar. Maybe if one of the old towers is not too worn, we can keep at least one down there.