anghara: (crosscat)
Catnip, see. I have two crackheads living with me when it comes to catnip. If I TOUCH the little plastic pot that the catnip lives in, with both cats asleep three rooms away, there'll be two pairs of big round eyes staring at me by the time I turn around.

I occasionally give them a sniff of the dried stuff, and a few mouthfuls - used to be more often but they hissed and spat and fought after and I figured less was more in this sense. So, anyway. This evening.

I reach out and my fingertip touches the plastic pot.

Cat 1 (the REALLY addicted addict): CAAATNIIIIIIP!
(and he's right there, at my feet, his eyes the size of saucers.

Cat 2, 1's more sedate sister, follows around the corner and sits down expectantly.

Now, the way this works is that I have to distract 1 so that 2 has a snowflake's chance in hell of actually getting any catnip at all. So I toss the lid of the catnip pot down on the floor and let 1 chase it down and flirt with it - and by the time he's done 2 has had her fill of the good stuff.

Not today.

1 sniffed at the lid, rubbed his head against it, and then turned around just as I was reaching out to offer the pot to his sister, snaked out a paw, and smacked the pot right out of my hand.

Catnip went EVERYWHERE. The cats dived in with glee.

I was obliged to hold 1 down by the scruff of his neck while he was making frustrated mewling noises while I scooped up as much of it as I could with the free hand, and then I had to let him go while I went downstairs to fetch the dustbuster to scoop up the remainder. By the time I came back Cat 1 was on his back in the corner where the spill took place, with catnip all over his long fur, his face a mask of goofy ecstasy. Even after I vacuumed the corner free of any residual physical catnip flakes he spent the next half an hour there with first his butt and then his head wedged into the corner like a complete loony-tunes, and then he disappeared.

I found him sleeping off the fix downstairs, half hanging out of his window hammock with one back paw and his tail dangling down the side and his head at such a twisted angle that I was afraid for him - but he was out like a light, asleep, dead to the world. He didn't even stir when I poked him. Not an ear twitch. Nothing. I had to lean in close to find out if the idiot was still BREATHING.

Cat 2, who had a smaller amount, is lying next to him in the cradle right now, looking at me in an accusing manner. I'm nor sure whether her beef is that I gave her brother too much and now look at what I did!... or that I gave her brother too much and her not nearly enough..

I am REALLY looking forward to when this wears off at three o'clock this morning...

Update -

Aug. 25th, 2008 09:31 pm
anghara: (book and glasses)
- make that FOUR chapters of Part the Second, just finished tweaking another chapter, I wrote and polished up a WHOLE CHAPTER today, damn near 5500 words. And it's a pretty pivotal chapter, and it works.

Am pleased.

Can sleep well tonight. Did a good day's worth of work.

(Oh, and apropos of nothing my pair of kittehs just double-teamed, cornered, and *ate* a very large spider which had found its way into my study. Good cats. Treats and rewards upstairs in a moment, both of you.)
anghara: (Default)
Murphy the Magnificent came home a diagnosed diabetic (and in a fit of gallows humour promptly acquired the new nickname Sweetie) - he has been receiving daily insulin injections, and a couple of antibiotics to try and clear up that persistent infection in his ear.

He staggered around like a drunk when he got home from his near-death experience at the vets, his fur looks dingy and I swear to God the cat has dandruff. For a while there he was even docile - letting everyone who cared to pick him up...

...no longer.

He's starting to get a little bit of the feisty back. He's got an appetite. Although we've been kind of warned that diabetic cats don't like to jump any more - and he's been awfully weak anyway, he's lost half his body weight and his flanks cave into his sides in a manner that the smoothly rounded body of the Murphy that we once knew never did in his life before - but he's managed to get up onto the bed where he always sleeps, and also on his little observation platform shelf fixed to the windowsill.

And today... today he played.

It's back to it being only me who is allowed to pick up His Excellency - he was mine first and I guess he is used to this, he got trained into it early, I cup one hand underneath his front paws and on his chest and put the other hand behind him and he sort of climbs into it himself with the back feet and allows himself to be picked up. He nestles, with me - he crosses his paws in a suitably benevolently dictatorial fashion and just purrs gently (and let anyone else try this maneuver and it's HISSSS! SPIT! GERRAWAYFROMME!) Well, today I did that - picked him up, cuddled him, babytalked him a little, and then he squirmed a little to let me know that I should now put him down, please, thank you very much. So I did, and while I let him down on the couch with one hand I tried to get a pair of old trackpants with a drawcord waist out of his way.

And he saw the draw cord end bobble, the thing they put on to prevent the thing from migrating into the waistband, slide past him.

And my beloved geriatric diabetic cat with his poor shaved paws where the IVs used to be... reached out and batted at the cord. And then did it again. And then I pulled it past him once more, and he did it again. He played with that thing, PLAYED with it like a kitten for several minutes, and I was laughing and crying and all set to grab him up again no matter WHAT he thought of the idea and hug him tight. That cat has more heart and fighting spirit than any ten others of his kind.

We have no idea how long the reprieve will last. But for now... for now... he *played*.
anghara: (crosscat)
Who knew! [grin] But here it is, in, um, black and white.

My tux is a Jellilcle. The other cat's apparently a classic "mask and mantle" coloration.

Off to re-read T S Elliot now...
anghara: (Default)
1. Bring in UPS box from outside and place on the floor.

2. Watch with amusement while cats A and B immediately gather around the box and poke noses into same.

3. Gather up accoutrements necessary for wrapping present.

4. Remove cat A from top of box.

5. Cut piece of wrapping paper, trying to avoid stabbing cat's nose or slicing off whiskers.

6. Place piece of paper flat on the floor.

7. Remove cat A from top of box.

8. Remove cat B from the middle of wrapping paper.

9. Remove cat A from on top of the box.

10. Place box in middle of wrapping paper.

11. Persuade cat B that I don't need assistance in paper folding.

12. Remove Cat A's head from the tape dispenser in order to avoid glueing whiskers to package.

13. Remove cat B from the far side of the box where he is still trying to help me fold wrapping paper.

14. Due to optical illusions given by position of cat A on box, wrapping paper is too small for purpose. Cut additional piece of wrapping paper to complete job, repeating steps 5 - 13.

13. Place wrapped package under tree.

14. Watch in amused resignation as Cat A takes up position on top of wrapped package.

Merry Christmas to all...
anghara: (Default)
They're three, Boboko and Laptop. They came to me ten weeks old, two tiny kittens, two balls of fluff, and they're three today.

First the formal portraits... )

...and then the silly pictures. )

Happy birthday, kids. You're all grown up now, but you'll ALWAYS be my baby cats.
anghara: (Default)
Back when I first came to the United States my then-not-yet-husband took me down to Key West to show me a bit of old Florida. One of my clearest memories from that trip was the visit to the Hemingway house and museum - quite aside from the intrinsic interest that I had for the place as and of itself, there were the Hemingway cats. They were famous. They were the descendants of Papa Hemingway's own cats, fully half of them were polydactyls (the "mitten cats" with the extra "thumb" on their paws), and they were... just... well, let's put it this way. It's a tad disconcerting but utterly delightful to walk up to the booth which is selling tickets to enter the museum and be greeted by a lounging calico cat spread out over the counter instead of the human being who should have been there but who had popped out for a moment. The cat motif continued inside the house and the grounds - cats stalked majestically through the garden, lay dozing in dappled shade, festooned themselves on lips of fountains, lay blinking at visitors from various armchairs, desks and windowsills, and one - obviously with a racial memory that stretched longer than some of the others - thought that [livejournal.com profile] rdeck looked rather a lot like Papa himself, and followed the two of us from room to room keeping close to [livejournal.com profile] rdeck's heels all the way. They were an utter delight, they were part of the place and always had been, they *lived* there. This was their home.

Enter the busybodies.

Full story here.

WHy oh why can't people leave beautiful things alone? Those cats are not shoved into a single room in a single house with a single litterbox between them, by some horrid mad old lady who wants to collect them. The cats are contented, well cared for, living comfortably in their own space. An exhibit? Give me a BREAK.

All I can say to those idiots proposing this godawful thing is, if you want to see miserable cats cofined behind bars, go visit your local pound.

Leave Hemingway's cats alone.
anghara: (Default)
...and perhaps good for a giggle for people who don't...

http://www.bitboost.com/pawsense/

I particlularly love the claim that it can detect and block "Cat typing" ... (http://www.bitboost.com/pawsense/pawsense-faq.html)
anghara: (Default)
I left the carrier in the Cat Room, open, after we got back from the vet so that the cats could kind of wander around it and sniff it and associate it with home as well as with being taken off in it to be tortured in a sterile bright place by people who show no regard for their dignity and carry them around by the scruffs of their necks (seriously, you should have SEEN the outrage on my little queen's face! [grin])

So what happens?

Remember the story about how I couldn't get either one of them in there for five seconds before they wanted out?... Well, would you care to guess where Cat B has taken to napping now...?

Cats.
anghara: (Default)
So Cat A and Cat B have an appointment to go to the vet for their yearly checkup and vaccines - they only go once a year, okay? It's not as though I torture them through feline Munchausen syndrome - and their appointment is at 3:40 pm.

I took out their carrier two days ago and left it in plain sight, just so that they don't freak out when they notice it. They seem pretty laid back about its presence.

At 2:30 this afternoon I see that Cat A is in the upsteirs office (fondly known as The Cats' Room) and I shut the door to KEEP her in there. She promptly starts yowling at the door like she's being strangled. I get out of the room to find Cat B sitting right outside, looking like his interest has been piqued. I pick him up and throw him into the room, and then go and get some of their favourite treats from the kitchen.

Back in the room, both cats know that Something Is Up. The eyes are round and green and suspicious. I dribble some treats into the carrier; Cat B goes in to investigate. I pull the zipper half-closed, pour our some treats on the floor beside the thing for Cat A who comes to sniff at them. I pick her up and try and stuff her into the carrier. SHe develops four wooden legs and attaches them stiffly to the sides of the carrier, begging to differ. While I'm struggling with her, Cat B oozes out beside her and escapes. I stuff Cat A into the carrier and give chase to Cat B; by the time I have HIM in hand, Cat A is out. I stuff Cat B into the carrier, and watch him eel out of the side entrance where the zipper wasn't quite closed up tight. Cat A is under the desk. Cat B is on the windowsill. I grab Cat B and stuff him back in - making sure that the zippers are all tight - and chase after Cat A, who is making noises of outrage and leaving marks on my wrists which look like I've just tried and failed to commit suicide. I finally grab Cat A and hold both sets of paws and stuff her into the carrier upside down, only releasing her when she is fully inside. Meanwhile the carrier is now between [livejournal.com profile] rdeck's feet and he is holding down the furry head of Cat B like a police officer packing a perp into a patrol car. I release Cat A and we both grab for the top zippers. There is a "NYOOOOOOOOOOw!" sound from the carrier where two cats are not both complaining vociferously about the whole affair. Well, but they're both in, and I'm pretty much ready for a cup of tea now - if going to the vet is stressful for THEM, it's four times as stressful for me because I have to GET them there...

They caterwaul their way to the vet from the back seat (translation: "OOOOOH, woe is me, they are taking me in to be made into a muff...") and we finally get to the vet, whereupon both cats SHUT UP and go catatonic. Cat B won't even consider going out of the carrier now, holding on with all possible appendages (he'd hang on with his tail if he had any to speak of). They are weighed (Cat A is a little lardass, but Cat B is losing weight a little - he was 9.2 pounds the last time he was at the vet's and now he's 9 - doesn't seem huge but you know, I worry. It's what I do.

The vet comes in and looks at their teeth ("perfect teeth! you don't even have to come in for a cleaning!"), their ears, their eyes, their butts, listens to their hearts, stuffs a vaccine into their haunches, and tells me they're looking good and goodbye until next year. This time we have absolutely no PROBLEM getting them into the carrier - they can't scramble in fast enough. DO you suppose it would help, at home, if I wore green scrubs when I try to stuff them in there in the first place...?

Not a peep of them in the car on the way back, quiet as the grave, maybe they're afraid we'll take them back if they protest. We get them home. I'm told to look for signs of lethargy or difficulty breathing if there is a really bad vaccine reaction but otherwise they should just take a nap and then carry on as normal.

The whole thing took a little over an hour. I'm KNACKERED.

Cats.

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