Jun 142012

Nora with the chestburster.
After the Alien movie marathon was over, the facehugger and chestburster stuffies became cat toys. Here, Nora is up close and personal with our chestburster on the ottoman. I bet Ripley would have preferred that Jones be as fierce as our Nora.
The facehugger toy, while less cat-cuddly, is the generally preferred toy because of all the tentacle/fingers that wiggle easily.

Friday, napping.
The cream kitties are completely settled and comfy in their home. Friday was being playful on the couch, then simply fell asleep like this. She a demanding and naughty cat, like The Captain. Both are champion nappers and mischievous! Friday also chitters the same way Moxie does, it is terribly cute.

Moxie, Friday and The Captain examine their freshly killed moth.
For those readers who don’t live in or are not familiar with Cheyenne, we are on the migratory flight path for millers (moths) each year, around late May or June. Right now we’re ending the swarm and we seem to have been minimally affected at The Arches. The few moths which do make it inside the house are quickly dispatched by anywhere from two to eight or more sets of claws. Here, Moxie, Friday and The Captain examine their freshly killed moth. Slick texted me this picture with the caption, “poor thing never stood a chance”.

Moxie partially wakes for her close up.
Slick has sent me close up face shots of all the kittens today while I was at work. This last one, with a sleepy Moxie bothering to open only one eye to see what he was about, is my favorite. Moxie has an abundance of personality.

And if you recall Huck (aka Big Cat) who we fostered for a week, here is a shot of him in his home. Huck reportedly “sleeps on the cat tower constantly”, so I think he’s fairly comfortable in his home, too.

There is a nice little cat update for you guys. I am a crazy cat lady.

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Jun 072012

Friday and The Captain are our two most mischievous, curious and clever kitties. They are always into something, doing something or pulling something off a table. Here, Friday is trying to get into our top pantry drawer. This is where we keep the bags of cat treats, next to the spices.
Friday, balancing on the cat scratcher post, trying to get her paws into a pantry drawer.

Both The Captain and Friday will balance on their back paws atop the scratcher post to reach the interesting pantry openings. Friday also tries to work doorknobs, so far unsuccessfully. If you hear the door knob rattle, but not open, that is her. The Captain simply throws himself at the doors, hoping the knob hasn’t latched and he can push it open. He makes a soft but solid thump sound. They are both into everything, all the time. I need to figure out a good way to show you their latest game – trying to knock the foam ball down the hole in the floor. They’re devious little things.

May 082012

Big cat news at The Arches.
You may recall that there were four kittens in the litter our two gray kittens came from. The other two kittens were cream colored kittens with gray ears, feet and tails which looked more similar to the mother cat. Well, due to life circumstances like moving house, the cream kittens needed a new place to live and that place is The Arches!!
Our four cats.
Yeah, we have all the kittens now! All four siblings are living, playing, napping, romping and being cute at The Arches together. They got along amazingly fast. Within three days they were napping together on the love seat. I suspect it is because of their sibling similarities, but who can know for sure. The Captain is the only boy cat, the other three are girls. In the above photo, the upper right cream kitty is now named Friday. She and The Captain are big time play buddies. They get along best. The lower left cream kitty doesn’t quite have a name yet. She doesn’t exactly fit any names we’ve tried. She has a personality as complex as Moxie’s, but we’re trying to live with her a little bit before we find what we’re going to call her.

When we do have her name, I’ll post another photo with labels so you know exactly who I’m talking about. Because you know that with four lovable cats in the house, this crazy cat lady is going to be talking about her cats.

Apr 222012

Weekends are lazy affairs here at The Arches. Dmitri Shostakovich and I have a particular routine, which differs from our weekday habits when I go to work. On the weekends I exit the bedroom and immediately sit on the loveseat in the living room. The kittens stumble sleepily out from wherever they’ve been snoozing. Moxie jumps to the back of the fat chair and sets her paws on the window sill to watch the birds, squirrels and whatever might be happening outside. The Captain jumps onto me, kneads me a bit, then proceeds to have a love fit. There is a flurry of air-kneading paws, loud purring, long blinks and much stretching so I can rub his tummy with one hand while petting his head with the other. At some point, the fit ends and The Captain departs to my feet to lay about. This means it is Moxie’s turn. Within a minute or two, Moxie snuggles up on my chest, as close to my face as possible. Thank goodness for allergy medications.

When Slick gets up, later than me, the kittens go through the whole process again.
Moxie, snuggled on a weekend morning.
They’ll drink our coffee, if we let them. We’ve been too afraid of caffeinated kittens to give them more than a lap or two.

The Captain, snuggled on a weekend morning.
The Captain is a lower leg layabout. He’s getting big, especially now that he has a favorite food available to him at all times.

There’s a kitten fix for you addicts.

Mar 202012

Sometimes the kittens annoy the hell out of me. They get on my desk, step on my keyboard, eat my mail. They are into every cupboard, bag, box and drawer left even a little bit available. They are fickle, demanding, naughty, and cause extra house cleaning.

Dmitri Shostakovich, napping in their favorite chair.

They are also adorable and I love them. They curl up on my neck, purr in my ear, lick my nose to say “hello”. They nap on my lap, miss me when I’m gone, and like to be even in the same room with us. They bring me their toys, talk to us when they’re excited or lonely, and make life overall better and more enjoyable.

Mar 052012

The Captain and Moxie in the sunlight.
It was very windy on Saturday, but there was a lot of sunlight to be enjoyed on Sunday. I didn’t take this picture yesterday, but minus the snow, it was the same picture to be had.

The kittens are not quite ready to be allowed into the bedroom at night. They’re good for about half the night, but then it becomes playtime. This would be fine if they’d leave the room to play. Instead we end up with kittens pouncing on our heads or eating my hair at 0200. Not cool. They’re much better at movie time. We sit on the couch and get our pillows and blankets adjusted for television viewing and they curl up on our laps, falling asleep with a gentle purr.

Cats make life better.

Feb 242012

We’ve had some destruction at The Arches lately.
The window where our plants used to be
If you’ve been to our house, you know this window used to be packed with plants.
Since Big Cat came to the house, the kittens have increased their misbehavior significantly. In addition to getting up on the counters and in the sink, they started attacking the houseplants that filled our kitchen window. Yesterday, Slick came home to what you see in this photo. There used to be four potted plants there and one in the big window, but now our kitchen is bare of plant life. (Unless you count any stray molds or such that may be hiding somewhere.) After cleaning up the dirt and mud off the kitchen floor, Slick moved the surviving plants to the bathroom shower and shut the shower door. So, this Saturday I’ll making up some macrame hangers or something for the plants that remain.

The cats are all getting along much better. Big Cat is still attempting to play with the kittens, although they’re not always up for it. He is twice the size they are, but he is also gentle with his play. He mostly tackles them the ground and holds them down with one paw while they hiss, freak out, and generally lose their shit. The play is becoming more two-sided though, the kittens occasionally take swats at Big Cat or do some mild stalking around corners.

Out of all of this, I’m mostly concerned with the kittens teaching Big Cat bad behaviors.

Feb 202012

This is the summary of how I feel today:
Quick sketch of how I feel the three cat situation is going.
Add in a lingering case of sniffles with headache and you have my feelings.

This morning when we got all three cats together again, there was some hope. There was sniffing and close quarters. This is good. New Cat (aka Big Cat, no name yet) is a people-friendly cat. He took to Slick and me without pause and even spent an hour napping on my lap during movie time. Big Cat takes to hissing kittens not so well. This morning, that meant slinking away from kitten hisses and making wide circles out of their paths. This made me feel bad for Big Cat. In the afternoon, this meant Big Cat took offense to the kittens, whether they were hissing or not. He double smacked Moxie in the face when they met noses and later took an attitude of chasing them down when he saw them. I couldn’t tell if he wanted to play with them or eat them. This made me feel bad for the kittens.

New, Big Cat.
Big Cat is well-behaved, otherwise. He enjoys playing with cat toys, purring like a locomotive, and being near people.

New, Big Cat.
He is a charming cat. Please, keep this in mind for the future in case he won’t cohabitate peacefully with the kittens and we have to relocate him.

Feb 192012

Earlier this week, a person at work announced his friend had a cat who needed a new home, due to no fault of the cat. After some emails, we agreed to give this cat a home. It was a big decision for us, but we’ve always said we’d like multiple cats, if Spooky hadn’t been opposed. So, on Saturday, with Slick recovering from his cough and sniffle and me almost over my cough and sniffles, we went out and picked up the new cat. We were told it was a year old or just under, so we expected that. What we got was an 11 pound adult cat! There is no telling age accurately once they are adult, and he might really be one year old, but we didn’t expect 11 pounds of cat. We took him straight to the vet for Feline Luekemia and AIDS testing, and his vaccines. With a clean bill of health, we brought him home. After a few hours adjustment time for him, we opened the door and let him and the kittens meet.

It was, as expected, a rough start.
The new/big cat greets The Captain with a paw to the face.
The Captain is infinitely brave/foolish, as young boy cats can be, and continued to get closer to satisfy his curiosity, despite New Cat’s hissing. He was met with a paw to the face.

The kittens retreat up the stairs from the new/big cat.
After that and some more hissing, the kittens took to the stairs for a fast retreat path.

Moxie stays well up the stairs from the new/big cat.
Moxie, who was described as “very suspicious” by the vet, kept the most distance away from New Cat.

New Cat explored the basement and eventually came up the stairs to the main floor. We all spent the evening with frayed nerves as much hissing ensued. We kept New Cat in the basement for the night so we all could sleep easy.

I know that cats have to get used to each other, but I am emotionally wrought over this introduction and all the hissing. We want to give New Cat a good home, but I don’t want Dmitri Shostakovich to be unhappy because of this. Days are not enough; weeks will tell.

Feb 182012

Moxie and The Captain, enjoying the sunlight.
With the inconstant winter weather, you have to enjoy the sunshine every chance you get. Dmitri Shostakovich are good at this. I think most medium to light colored cats are.

Moxie and The Captain, enjoying the sunlight.
They like to bat at the sheer curtains and the threads pull when they catch on claws. I’d be irritated by this if a quick snap of the fabric didn’t clear out the snags.

I know I show a lot of pictures of the kittens in this corner, but it is lit by three windows and thus, makes an excellent kitten photo area.

We should have some big cat news very soon. Stay tuned for more cats!

Feb 172012

Quick kitten update.
Moxie, sleepy in the sunlight.
Moxie, sleepy in the sunlight. She likes to sit between the curtains and the window, warming her fur and watching the outside world.

Moxie, sleepy in the sunlight.
And she loves to stretch. Her favorite place to be pet is her neck and chest, but you have to earn her relaxing and stretching out on you first before she’ll let you pet her fully.

Captain, cleaning in the sunlight.
The Captain has grown tall and slim. His jowl has lengthened and shaped up rather masculine and classic cat-like. He’s becoming a handsome cat.

Captain, cleaning in the sunlight.
But, he’s still a kitten, too. He’s a wonderful weirdo; playful and endlessly curious. Here he’s being a goofball in the box tower we made for them when they were tiny. They barely fit through it now.

It’s hard to think back to when they were so small and fluffy that it was difficult to tell them apart, even though it was only four months ago.

Feb 152012

Ymabean informed me that I should share some of the kittens stories I have. While I try not to be an obnoxious cat lady, I do have kitten tales to share. On the blog, you can ignore them or read them as you want – no reasonable danger of being obnoxious! Yea.

I’ve already told you about the kitten’s love of the air vents in our house. This is a complication in the bathroom. Besides being obsessed with the shower when it’s running, they like to sit on any clothes that may end up on the floor in the bathroom. When there are no clothes on the floor, they try to pull down our towels from the rack so they can have their bedding. At first I thought the air vent was directing the heat at the towels when it came on, making the ends flap and the kittens catch them. Then Slick explained the kittens were making themselves more comfortable with towels in front of the vent. We have started double folding the towels on the bar to make them harder to reach and pull down.

A previous picture:
The kittens at the heating grate.
Look at those fuzzy, round things! Here’s a more recent shot:
The kittens in front of the heating vent.
They push their paws through the grate spokes as if they’re trying to catch the air or find a restart button. Occasionally they try to bite the spokes and I now have a reason to be concerned about old lead paint when I never cared before.

We’ve since got them a fuzzy pad to lay on and placed in front of the kitchen grate. When they haven’t batted it down the stairs or into the corner, I find them (especially The Captain) curled up on it, waiting for the hot air to blow through their fur again. Moxie likes to find her warmth in recently vacated seats. Invariably, when you get up from your seat, Moxie will suddenly appear where your butt was, her paws tucked neatly together while she looks at you with her little inexplicable expression.

Another continuing pastime for the kittens is basket snuggling.
Kittens snuggled in their basket.
I bought this basket the day we got the kittens, put the electric warming pad in the bottom and folded a towel on top for their comfort. Thankfully, they took to the basket immediately and it stays at the top of the location list when looking for kittens.
The kittens snuggled in their basket.
They still like to snuggle together in the basket. I love that they get along so well. Even though getting along includes Moxie’s rough treatment of her brother. One of her preferred sibling affections is to sit on or near the sleeping Captain, give his face a lick or two and then open her jaws as wide as she can against the top of his head and start biting. I don’t know why exactly she does this, but The Captain puts up with it for a while before complaining and then finally getting free of her. The Captain is a sweetheart and tries to look out for his sister. If she cries, he comes running. The other day, she jumped up on the kitchen trash can, where she is not supposed to be. Unfortunately, I’d just thrown away a milk carton which stuck against the top, making the lid not close the last inch or two. When Moxie jumped to the lid of the can, her tail curled around and went inside the lid edge. As she sat down, her weight pushed the lid down and onto her tail, pinching it! She immediately began hissing and spitting as she scrambled off the trash can lid. The Captain had been sitting in the sun at the time and came running into the kitchen at the sounds of her distress. Moxie was already down and The Captain couldn’t find any source of danger, so he began licking her face and neck while watching for danger with wide eyes. They’re pretty fucking cute, I tell you.

I’ll show you some more, newer kitten favorites tomorrow. I guess this will simply have to be a cat blog for now.

Feb 142012

To recap, my half of the basement needs work. When I pulled off the carpet and paneling, we found that whoever put it up didn’t do a proper job and the walls were in poor shape. We scraped off the crumbling plaster, which had been closed up without ventilation, but cannot refinish them until we do some more work, which we can’t do until spring. So, we had the wood floors refinished in the meantime. It took months to get the appointment and their service was poor, but the floor is done!
This past weekend, we removed the barrier across the door and let the kittens into my half of the basement for the first time in their lives.
The Captain in the basement, recently refinished floors.
They loved it. Even though it is cold, because we have the vents shut off since it is empty, they go down to visit the room often. They bat their toys across the floor and then do sliding tackles after them. The Captain especially likes running full speed into the room from the stairs.

The kittens in my half of the basement, recently refinished floors.
Here is a good shot showing the differences in their body shapes. When they starting changing from kittens to cats, Moxie got thick and stocky while The Captain got tall and skinny.

The kittens in my half of the basement, recently refinished floors.
The under-stairs closet hasn’t been cleaned since we moved in, so it is layered with the rubble dust. The kittens have made a full investigation of the space, as evidenced by their pawprints.

My workshop has a floor now. It is very nice to go down there and just sit on the gleaming wood, anticipating my workshop. I still can’t do much down there, but at least I can reasonably put a few things in the space for now. Gretchen is sitting there along with my iron and half ironing board. I think I can set up one workbench and probably one set of shelves for the winter, which will help while we’re working on the walls and furniture building to come.

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