Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kage, The Grey Mouser, Has Gone Over the Rainbow Bridge

We have sad news from +Erika Rice Scherpelz, valet to Kage, the Grey Mouser:
You and Katherine should know that Kage passed last week. We found out a few months ago that he was starting to have kidney issues, but we could not be very aggressive in treating it because the medication options conflicted with his heart medication. A couple weeks ago, we took him to the vet again because he had stopped eating. They kept him over the weekend, but when he came home, it was clear that he was failing. He died a couple of days later, with mommy cuddles.

We're still processing the loss. He's been such a good kitty, and we're so glad that you passed his care to us.
I had not seen The Grey Mouser since we delivered a cat tower to him at his new valets, and we were unaware of his heart condition. Yet even with the years having passed, I find myself sad at his passing.  As Erika said, he was such a good kitty, and he was still relatively young.

All four of our current overlords have been petted.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Return of the Master to the Big Black Kitty Warmer

While Whitey has always loved warm spots around the house, but for some reason after we moved to the Kitten Farm West he gave up on using the Big Black Kitty Warmer.  For years, it's been of the domain of Billy, Penwiper, and Oscar, but never Whitey. 

Whitey on the Big Black Kitty Warmer (Mark I) in Stoneham, December 2006
Until today, that is.

I'm delighted to see Whitey reclaim his rightful spot this evening.   (This delight included misting Penwiper when he tried to commandeer it!)

And yes, through the years, Whitey has slept through AC/DC.

Whitey On the Big Black Kitty Warmer (Mark II), November 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Menu Changes at Le Cafe Matou

Whitey has been fickle about eating off and on all summer, and after the vet visit early this month he went turbo fickle mode, eating little or none of his kibble for multiple meals in a row.  So we tried to wake up his appetite by:
All this worked in varying degrees, and after several false starts for now he seems happy on a full diet of all wet food. This is not as good for his teeth, but we'd rather have a properly fed cat needing his teeth cleaned than a hungry cat with clean teeth.

However, all this wet food flying around has a spillover effect.  In particular, we need to also give consideration to the others in varying degrees:
  • Oscar has never liked wet food, he'll walk away from kibble any where near wet food.  So we can and do feed him kibble as always.
  • Penwiper wolfs wet food down mixed with his kibble, and clean up Whitey's bowl when allowed to after everyone else is done. So he needs a little reasonable restraint (to avoid premature clean up) to be a happy diner.
  • Billy is now making us shake our heads:
    • Traditionally, he likes wet food ...
    • ... The smell excites him as we serve up the meal ...
    • ... Once eating, the smell will drive him to abandon his own kibble meal half way through. Never mind that he is locked in the bathroom, he still has the nose of a cat ...
    • ... but if we give Billy wet food, he doesn't eat it. This is a new development in the past week.
The solution to Billy (for this morning at least) was let him eat his chosen meal (kibble) with everyone else for the dining room.  He was a gentleman to Penwiper and Whitey (Oscar started and finished early enough to not be an issue), no one left more than crumbs, and everyone was happy.

Suffice to say it's all a fluid situation with the regulars at Le Cafe Matou.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Fickle Felines Of Fate

An entire summer's worth of updates in one post ...

The Big Trip

We took to the road for 27 days drive across the country and back.   (Pictures and various other updates are over on if you care, but you'll have to friend +Katherine Derbyshire or I to see them.)

+Margaret Derbyshire and her son Ian were able substitute cat valets in our absence.   Oscar never did fully adjust to them, but he did chill enough to eat well.

Penwiper, love monger that he his, had Marg and Ian wanting to take him home to Syracuse with them.  Against our better judgement, we kept him.

Spa Day for Whitey and Oscar

All the cats have been to the vet over the summer, with Oscar & Whitey making a second visit on September second for teeth cleaning.

During the visit, Whitey also got a blood draw, and the results came back that his kidney and thyroid functions are both "high normal".   That means our quiet hunter doesn't need any treatment, but we need to keep a close on his drinking and litter box use, and of course annoy him next year with more blood work.

The sedation associated with the visit knocked them for a loop, as always, and PW hissed at the strange smelling cats as they staggered about the house.  But they bother recovered faster than previous visits.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Cafe Matou Food Ballet

What we do for our cats ...

This video shows part of the morning food ballet, from after putting PW away to as I dish up Billy:

 Penwiper Wanting to Eat on the Terrace Video

Penwiper, who of course is always dressed formally for breakfast, seems to like to break his fast on the terrace lately.

The normal sequence:

  • Escort PW to his waiting room
  • Collect bowls for Oscar and PW
  • Dish up Oscar and PW (and save two kibbles for Billy & Whitey)
  • Put down Oscar's bowl under phone
  • Put down PW's bowl by back door
  • Shoo Billy away from PW's bowl, point him towards the private dining area
  • Open door to the waiting room, allowing Penwiper to scoot to his bowl ...
  • ... as Billy scoots into the waiting room ...
  • ... because Billy knows I'm going to throw a kibble into it!
  • Also throw a kibble to Whitey (keeps him out of PW's bowl until PW can get to it)
  • Get bowls for Whitey and Billy
  • Dish up Whitey, put bowl down
  • Dish up Billy, put bowl in his private dining room (so he doesn't raid other bowls)
  • After everyone finishes, let Billy out.

This went awry this morning at the "PW scoots to his bowl while I take of Whitey" sequence. He checked his bowl and immediately wandered away, swatting at Whitey to boot. (The swatting before he eats is why he waits in isolation for food).

Putting Penwiper's food on the terrace caused him to hop up and become a happy focused diner. We don't know why.   (He's also the only one allowed to join us for dinner, since he's the only one with the interest to visit and enough manners to mostly stay off the table.)

p.s. Boy do I look stiff in this video.   I need to put thought into moving with more energy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Up, Up, and Away ...

Penwiper, at the tender young age of 10 and one-half years, decided the top of the dining room hutch needed inspecting yesterday. This of course was not a new journey for PW, he first made the top of the hutch when he was three years old. Seeing him up there again was wonderful, as it shows PW still has his inner spider-cat. He beats Whitey's record, who as I recall last did it when he was 9 or so.