Monday, September 25, 2023

A Kitten in His Natural Habitat

Since the early days of the Summerhill Kitten Farm, the Brothers Catzilla loved diving into luggage, including each one stretching out in half of Katherine's Tumi suit bag (AKA the big Tumi). The boys are gone but not forgotten. Meanwhile the big Tumi lives on, but it's mostly in retirement; these days Katherine mostly uses a small Tumi which can be carried on.

Alas, because the small Tumi has gotten used more (and sometimes been checked on the way home), after one too many encounters with evil baggage handlers it has died. Katherine replaced it this week; as the current Senior Prince, Penwiper knew his ancient duty and checked it out the first time she opened it:

Penwiper Checking Out the New Tumi Carry-on

All is right with the world.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Mellow Mealtime

It has been seven weeks since Oscar went over the Rainbow Bridge, leaving Penwiper as the sole Feline Overlord in residence at the Kitten Farm PNW. One could think we now have no cats; we just have Katherine, myself, and Penwiper, nine pounds of a tuxedo-clad, self confident, happy, sociable person with four paws.

For example, things are more relaxed at mealtime. Penwiper appears for breakfast & dinner, but (unlike Oscar) he doesn't make a production of it; he knows the people-with-thumbs will look after him reasonably promptly. At dawn, he'll quietly appear, make his presence known by a quiet snuggle of a valet, and move on. Oscar used to loudly meow indignantly at the perceived slow service, which resulted in him regularly being booted out of the bedroom and the door shut behind him. Penwiper will occasionally quietly meow in the morning, but the door hasn't been shut on him yet.

It doesn't hurt that with only one Feline Overlord, we still measure his kibble, but we now leave his dish down; when he doesn't finish promptly he can graze at will.

And he is his sociable self, gently expanding his love mongering to fill the void of his departed housemates. 

Life is quietly good.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Requiem for the World's Cutest Kitten

Oscar in his last sunbeam on hIs last day
Oscar in His Final Sunbeam on His Last Day

I realized some time ago that Oscar (like Billy before him) no longer bounded up the stairs like a limber cat in his prime. Simply put, he was no longer a young kitten. Blood work in past year said he was declining; it said he had both kidney disease and lymphoma. His behavior changed as well; he was a suspect in a number of urine stains around the house in past few months.

Life went on, until this week.

Monday morning, Oscar stopped eating; he left most of his breakfast. Mid-morning I called Kenmore Veterinary Hospital to have him checked; their first appointment available was this afternoon (Wednesday).

Tuesday, he did eat half his breakfast, and at noon he stomped into my office demanding lunch. He actually killed half the food left over from breakfast, his most solid meals in a day and half.

That was all he ate before going to Vet this afternoon.

When he was examined, his heart & lungs were normal. However, he was slightly dehydrated and virtually all his lymph nodes were swelled. Based on that and the previous bloodwork, the diagnosis was metastatic lymphoma. Knowing how badly Oscar would take any treatment, we made the sad choice to cut short his suffering.
Thus with great sadness we announce that Oscar, age 15 and a half, was put to sleep today shortly after 4 PM at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital. He is survived by his sole remaining housemate, Penwiper.

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum (TNG edition)

Neither Katherine nor I have traveled much since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; I haven't been away at all, and Katherine's only trip was to provide aid & comfort to her only brother after he led with his shoulder into a tree while skiing a year ago. But yesterday I drove her down to SeaTac to put her on a plane for ASU Winter Intensive, which runs until Friday in Florida (lucky her!). 

The only problem is, she didn't tell Oscar, much less get his permission. This leaves the Assistant Cat Valet [Probationary] (that is me) picking up the pieces, including meals, litter box cleaning, and of course snuggles.  

Oscar has already demanded snuggle sessions twice, and who am I to argue?

(I've already cut my indoor walking exercise a bit for the week to leave slack for feline servitude.)