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.