Posts Tagged 'cats'


We keep hoping things will get better, while we try to make things better. Double exertion/double exhaustion. I just have to remember that I can only influence what I touch, and cannot stop everything in the world to fix it.

Rose blooming in a yard.
Oh Texas rose, you are so thorny… you tower, queen of the yard.

Work has been busy (a good but exhausting thing), so I haven’t been online as much. And, we’ve made a few urgent visits due to older friends and family not doing as well as hoped. Although, other younger family members are improving their lives, or growing into adults step by step. So there’s this weird balance.

The garden is a source of delight — black headed vultures in the driveway eating their takeaway, hummingbird nest in one of the cedars, butterflies everywhere. A church nearby has created a monarch butterfly garden, and they’ve also been visiting the yard, along with the swallowtails.

Our two cats are sorting things out after 3 years (3 years, really?) of anger. The younger cat still has the crazies at specific times of day, and we just have to be prepared with a feather toy or a willow stick with leaves on it to distract her from scaling curtains and destroying the woodbound trunk in the living room.

Cats and photography


His Most Serene Fluffybutt enjoying the sun porch

No videos to show here. I haven’t quite worked out what platform I’d want the videos to be on…. But I have videos and photos of horse jumping contests, sheepdog contests, races I’ve attended, and video after video of my cats (kittenhood to old age). Does anyone else do it too?

I spent a few minutes hunting up videos from when Malkin was still with us, and when he and Leia were best buddies. Those were amazing days for both cats: Leia would lie near him and hope he would wash her ears. I only got video once. But it’s proof that before Malkin got sick, he was a sweet, thoughtful cat.


I think if he hadn’t been so calm and placid, we wouldn’t have Leia now, because she never would have calmed down enough to be pet (or be A pet). Our rescue princess is 15 years old…. and I feel we’ve all reached an amazing milestone.

March comes in like a kitten

… a #kitten whose every waking moment is filled with a search for the best toy/object to bite/inappropriate place to climb ever.


I receive “help” as I put away some candles.

I think you can sum up the mood of the humans in the house as: “exhausted, amused, and semi-bitten”. She zooms from sleep, to waking, to frightened of snow shovels with snow on them, to biting the older cats. All of which explains lack of knitting content, lack of reading content, languishing blog, etc. Pretty much it’s all kitten time, except when she’s sleeping on our feet.

When you are a cat of a certain size, it’s important to stay on top

… of your mail.


Ember, looking like she’s perusing Pensey’s Spices catalog (ooh, cinnamon). She’s actually being soulful about ham soup, and looking small to intensify her chances of morsels (didn’t work). Her favorite teething pillow (which was chosen for decor, not her convenience) is on its side behind her. Gardening books live behind the Morris chair. So… kitten status done. No time now for discussions of the Autumn Fire Festival. Once I’ve looked at my photos of the Raku firing and the fire baton twirlers, I’ll be able to describe. October = a month chock full of farm festivals, local fundraisers, and baking opportunities.

Precious little knitting, or blogging is getting done

It's not behind me, is it?

It’s not behind me, is it?

We’re all adjusting a bit to kitten time (rhymes with “bitten time”). I’m not sure this isn’t hardest on the elder cats. So, things that can be put down fast for intervention (books, mostly) have started getting more attention. I’m in the middle of a pretty good biography of Martha Washington. More on that later, perhaps. Excellently researched, I think, and also: easily put down when I have to throw a towel over the little terror.

So, any good books out there? Some chaser for Americana, perhaps (knee deep in founding fathers and powdered wigs these days, so maybe sci-fi)?

Cat rodeo

Poor Malkin. Below is from the days of leisure, when he was able to fend off the other cat for hours of time on the sun porch. Now, he’s the innocent bystander/hapless pony (or gazelle) being ridden by the kitten/cowboy/small tiger. It’s most undignified for a 14 year old cat.

His Most Serene Fluffybutt enjoying the sun porch

His Most Serene Fluffybutt enjoying the sun porch

Meanwhile, Leia is having none of it (she wasn’t named after a princess for nothing).


As for us, we’re protecting cheese sandwiches as best we can, intervening between cat and kitten when we must, and considering a run to the store for more bactine. We keep reminding ourselves that for Malkin, this is a little bit of payback after he tortured the older cat when he was introduced 14 years ago (when the elder one was in an Elizabethan collar after a procedure). So, has anyone had great success introducing a new blissful bundle of tooth and claw into your house?

Have you noticed that the older cat that’s getting the worst of it will go out and seek his small oppressor when he feels a little dull?

Kitten wrangling



“We have a runner…” This is almost always said with amusement, partly because the kitten (Ember) is so small. Not so funny when the little screaming mimi is hanging from the back of the needlepoint rocker from my grandmother, or hurtling her tiny 6-week old body towards the staircase and the elder cats (who are very much not amused). Right now we have the door closed and a box blocking the base of the door, because she’s so very small that she can squeeze out of spaces like something from a sci-fi movie.

Yesterday the first visitors came over to look at the kitten (and be cautioned that we don’t want her to think of fingers as “prey”). The older cats have needed a lot of reassurance, and quiet time away from all the fuss.

Mostly the kitten has the zoomies, and is unable to stay still. But today I enjoyed a rare second when she wanted to sit on a lap and take the briefest of cat naps.

Cat news, of varying sizes

Five kittens were born (very early, apparently) underneath the porch at the corner of Church and Graveyard. The Gardener has been posting their pictures over here. It was quite a relief to have something nice to look at last week, other than depressing news about the inhumanity of man. The kittens have now either gone to friends, or gone to the kitten adoption group. Yes, we will bring one home a bit later — and then I’ll go bonkers with the phone camera.

The amount of nursing these little guys got was somewhat amazing. One of the local (fixed) male cats sat in front of the porch, and retrieved them when they strayed into the street overnight. We started feeding them the minute we realized that their mother probably had abandoned them. Friends came over. Even Leia, the disaffected Himalayan-Persian mix looked at them, and instead of saying “why”, she tried to get closer as though they were the most interesting things she wasn’t allowed to get near. She’s been semi-regal lately. A far cry from when we first brought her home. Remember this one?

The Eyes of Reproach

The Eyes of Reproach

She’s still thinking outside the box of course. Not everything can be roses and catnip.

It’s been a complicated few weeks


Malkin, unusually pensive

Everyone’s feeling the cold on the east coast. I’m going back and forth to work with the heat on in the car, a silk layer, a turtleneck, corduroys, one sweater with a hood, an alpaca long sweater, 2 scarves, a cowl, a knit hat, a coat with a hood, leg warmers, boots, and a pair of wool socks. I’m lucky. With the “power of wool”, I think I’ll be OK until the cold gets a little less fierce (it’s dipping down to -17°C or 1°F tonight).

Meanwhile, last Sunday we lost a very dear cat — after years of being the younger cats’ nemesis, and terrorizing the mouse population, X gradually lost his spark, and then eventually his ability to get up and get around. At the pet ER, we made the hard decision to let him go peacefully to Valhalla where the mice jump up alive every evening so they can be chased again.

When he was first brought home as a very young kitten, Malkin met X, a domestic longhair rescue cat that we called a “Germantown Hunter”.  After mistaking the older cat for a mom cat with milk, Malkin’s relationship with him soured immediately (X would sometimes stare pointedly, as though saying, “rid me of this meddlesome beast”). Early in their days together, we would hear a noise like a basketball, and realize X had hooked one paw in Malkin’s kitten collar and was “helping” him take it off. We think Leia is expecting X to come out from underneath a desk like a cloud of malevolence, since she sits and stares into the Gardener’s office as though the older cat is hiding there. But Malkin really misses him. As does the Gardener. As do I.

Confuse a cat, January 2015

In a fit of New Year’s cleaning, we decided to donate a table and a few chairs to a charity. Today, the nice people in their truck came to take them all away. The cat cave disappeared while Leia was asleep. The Gardener and I wonder when she will wreak her vengeance. The other cats just think we’re moving again, and they’re lying low.

There has been a disturbance in The Force

There has been a disturbance in The Force