Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend Away

We were away for the weekend because niece 3 graduated from high school cume laude. We’re all so proud of her! And we had a very nice weekend. Hot, but nice.
Before we got Leo, whenever we’d go away, even for just a day, Star would punish us by acting like we were perfect strangers coming into her home. "Who are you people? Be gone with you! I don’t know you and I don’t like you." And the length of time we had been gone determined how long we would be shunned. At the most it would take two days to get her to come around and acknowledge our existence. We were used to this. We expected this.
Leo was an unknown factor. He does run when people show up at the door, though usually he will be back to see who or what it was within a few minutes. He’s not a huge scaredy cat like someone else I could name.. *coughStarcough* Still we didn’t know how he’d be when we got home. When we walked in, we did not see him anywhere.
I don’t know about you, but when I get home after a long car ride, there is one place I always head, (no pun intended), and there was no exception this trip. I was barely there when I started hearing a certain familiar ‘hello!’ meow. I didn’t even have time to answer before the door (which is really a curtain) was flung open and Leo was running circles around the room, purrs echoing.
Now, with that kind of greeting, I hurried out to the living room and he raced me to the Royal Footstool where he danced and meowed while I pet him. He was so excited that he could not stand still, he kept throwing himself down, rolling over, then jumping up and kneading while walking in circles.
He was totally going nuts so I scooped him up and flung him over my shoulder, letting him be Leo Scarf so he could calm down. He purred so loud leaning into my ear that I couldn’t hear anything else. Still, he couldn’t sit still that long and kept trying to roll around, giving me a face full of fur. My Leo was one excited baby! It’s so nice to be missed! And then enthusiastically welcomed home!
I assumed we’d eventually at least see Star so she could pretend she didn’t recognize us. But no, nothing. Greg was up and down stairs several times and didn’t see her anywhere up there. I started to get worried that we hadn’t seen so much as her tiny gray nose or the tip of her fuzzy tail.
While we were gone niece twin 2 stayed at the house and took care of the kitties. So I called her up and asked if she knew where Star baby was and when was the last time she’d seen her. At first she was thinking she hadn’t seen her, but then she remembered that she’d come out for snacks, so at least she was alive! I was sure we’d see her by bedtime anyway, as I was pretty sure she was in the closet up there.
But we saw her earlier than that! We were having dinner when we looked over and she was sitting on the stairs landing! She smelled food, it must be snack time! We made a fuss over her, "Oh Hi Star!" "Come here baby girl!" "Pretty girl!" but she just sat and looked at us... "I don’t know you people, but I would accept a bowl of chicken if you had one.."
Of course they got snacks! Star got her favorite Fancy Feast Appetizers white meat chicken. And Leo got a can of Friskies Seafood buffet, one he adores. Leo is easy to please though! He likes just about everything and anything. I’ve only seen him turn his nose up at one can, and he eventually went back for that, probably afraid that Star would eat it if he didn’t.. Star is fussy, if she doesn’t like it, she will try to bury it with whatever is within reach.
Anyway, she had her snack, then turned her back and went upstairs away from the strangers who were in her home. Sigh. We should have expected that I suppose, but I was hoping she’d take a page from Leo’s book and actually be glad to see us.
She surprised us again later, however. When we were getting ready for bed, she was right there, begging for pets and scritches like she usually does when Greg’s getting ready for work! She got all the cuddles and snuggles she would accept. It was nice to see that she forgave us for leaving so quickly! She slept for hours on my tummy too, purring and very happy to be there.
This morning, she’s back to her old self. I pet her, and when she was done, I got bit. It’s good to be home!

Is Leo outgrowing the folding chair??
 I’s just hangin’ out.. Or off...
Star looking all demure..
Don’t be fooled!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Leo the Redecorator

 Leo is taking an interest in his surroundings. And apparently he’s finding them lacking. He’s taken to moving things around. Not just little things either. Ok, sure, any cat worth his salt can totally destroy a pile of papers set aside for recycling. I’m not sure every cat can scatter them quite as far as Leo seems to be able to.. He seems to delight in separating every single paper from every other paper thus generating the largest field of recyclables possible!
He also has started to tip over small trash cans. Not that he wants anything that’s in them. He just sits up on his butt, uses both paws to grab the edge of the can and gives it a little tug. As soon as it’s on it’s side, he gives it a cursory sniff, then with a smug look, lifts his magnificent tail in the air and trots off to wreak more mayhem elsewhere.
There are little off white towels on the arms of one of my couches because the material is looking a little shoddy. Granted they are not always in place, people always seem to knock them down with pillows. But Leo used his smug look again as he sat on the arm with the towel almost neatly moved aside. Now, I don’t have proof that he moved it.. But see for yourself..
That face just seems a little TOO innocent to me..
There wasn’t anything here when I sat down, I swear..
Oh of course not, it was moved first.
I wouldn’t know anything about that mom.. I’s all innocent.
You see, the reason I don’t put the towel moving beyond Leo is the other thing he’s been moving.. And it’s a great deal heavier than a little towel. You see, my other couch sags in the middle and we keep a semi-flat bed pillow on it. This pillow keeps winding up on the floor in front of the couch. It’s not walking there on it’s own. And as I’ve noted in previous posts, Star spends the night upstairs, so I know it’s not her.
Aside from the fact that I caught him in the act of moving it. Sort of... I’ve come down to find Leo laying behind the pillow, feet pressed into it, and pillow hanging a little over the edge. He turns innocent eyes up at me, gives me a morning meow hello and leaps over onto the Royal Footstool where he receives his hellos and pets and snorgles and general lovin’s.
The funny thing is, when the pillow is all the way on the floor, he’s not on the couch at all. He’s not in sight at all. Does he feel guilty for tossing the pillow? No small feat, you’d think he’d stick around to gloat.. Or has he just finished his work and has no reason to stay there?
Whatever it is, I’m glad he’s comfortable enough to rearrange his living space to suit himself. Now where did he lose the mail...
I finally got a good close up picture of Leo’s odd claw.
It does not retract and appears to have two points. It’s always visible like that. The one on his other front paw isn’t quite that odd. It doesn’t retract either, but it lays neatly on the bottom of his paw, partially covering his center foot pad. It doesn’t seem to bother him, neither of them do. And he doesn’t mind at all if I play with those adorable toes! The front ones that is, he’d prefer the back ones be left alone thank you very much.

Hey! She’s on my Royal footstool!
Poor Leo, it was hers first!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Experiment Update

The pheromone plug test is officially a bust. Actually, about half bust.. It seems to have given Leo enough comfort to assert himself, but that wasn’t the effect we were looking for. Star spends most of the day upstairs because when she comes down, he thinks it’s time to pounce on her. I think he’s trying to play. I hope so anyway. But Star is not taking it well.
And then she was sick last week and every time she did come down, she was scooped up and medicated. She’s still wary of Greg since he’s the scooper uper. Even though I’m the one who dosed her, she isn’t quite as wary of me, probably because she knows I’m not going to do anything mean to her unless she’s being held by someone else. Can’t really... she has no qualms about biting me.
Anyway, we’re going to move the pheromone plug upstairs so Star gets the benefit of it and maybe Leo will stop being so pouncey on the poor old girl. I really don’t want her staying upstairs all day when she’s used to being down. I want her to be comfortable in her own home. And I want Leo to be as well. I have hopes that he’ll be allowed upstairs someday. Star guards the upstairs pretty well, and now that twin 1 is in Alaska and that room is closed up, he’s got no where to go up there. I know it’ll happen someday, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Ok, on to pictures! Poor Leo, between vacation projects, cable installation, and sorta-semi-spring cleaning, his area’s have been disrupted.

Getting pretty hard to fit on The Chair with all your stuff here.. Hint hint..

Even my Royal Footstool isn’t safe from your clutter?
(doesn't he just look disgusted? poor baby...)

Fine, I’ll chew it up then...
Gimme an hour and you’ll never see this bag again..
Ooo straps are like strings! PLAY TIME!

Ah, Star’s spot is still open, I’ll just take that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Feather Confusion

Last time I posted, and yikes, been longer than I intended.. I was talking about the kitty’s toys. I did happen to run across Star’s butterfly so I quick took pictures of it.

I would love to get her another, but it seems like they aren’t making it any more. I wish I could have gotten a picture of her with it, but she’s a little gun shy of us at the moment. Every time we go near her, she thinks she’s going to get medicine and she runs. She’ll come around soon I’m sure since she’s all done with meds now. And looking so much better! She seems to be fine now, no drippy eye, no puffiness. And back to her normal sassy self.
Don’t think she’s going without attention though. She’s fine with us when she figures no meds are in sight. Take tonight for instance, she just got done with a huge cuddle session. Normally when I’m laying down, she sits on me and I get the rear view.. Cat people know what I’m talking about.. However tonight she faced me and practically rolled all over trying to get scritches on her cheeks, chin and ears!
Leo has had a ball lately with his feather toys. He tried to steal three more from the pack and I had to put them away. I think two are enough at one time.. Actually, he wasn’t sure what to do with two at once! He didn’t seem to know which way to swat! Silly thing.

Don't fall feather!

One feather, two feather
Yellow feather, um... purple feather?
Mom! I needs a blue feather!
The cable guy was here today and Leo was all over the place. Every time the door opened he’d run, but then he’d be back and sniffing anything that seemed new or in a different place. We had to move The Chair to get access to the wall and this totally flipped Leo out. He had to sniff everything behind the chair, even though he’s been under and back there a zillion times. Then he had to climb all over The Chair to make sure it was still THE Chair even though it was in the middle of the room.

Something is off here.. I just can't put my paw on it..
Who moved window?
Cable guy kept wanting to pet him, he’d talk sweet to him and reach out a finger for Leo to sniff, but as soon as he was within 10 inches, Leo would bolt! No strange mens is gonna touch him! He is not fond of other people at all. He has started to let Greg pet him on occasion now. Mostly if he’s sleepy, never when he’s playful. And twin 2's boyfriend is ok to play with. Other than that, he’s fine with just me as his special friend.
Although tonight twin 2 was sitting on the Royal Footstool when he wanted on it, so he just got on it anyway! She even got to pet him for a few moments before he decided to abdicate. For the moment. I think he was willing her to get off it because the second she moved, he was back on it, claiming his rightful throne!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Toy Time

Amy at the House of Cats wrote that she has a mysterious toy destroyer in her house. I can relate. Except that my toy destroyer is not a mystery. Star has been here for nearly 10 years, has had tons of toys, and very rarely have any of them been destroyed. Most of the time, when they were destroyed it was in inherent design flaw (one wicker ring with feathers on it came apart the first time I tossed it, she still likes it, but it’s a long thing with feathers now) or human error (stepped on, sucked up in the vacuum). (Amy, I try to comment, but it almost never seems to go through.. I don’t know why)
But now, I can watch toys being actively, deliberately, joyously destroyed almost on a daily basis. The sparkle ball on a stick with feathers.. Star had that for several years and it held up. Leo, here less than two months now, ate the blue and yellow feathers off the bottom of it. Those feathers, I have never seen again. There are also several ball type toys with feathers stuck on them, at least half have been de-feathered. However those feathers, mostly browns and black, are scattered all over the house.
Leo will pick up the broken, ex-toy feathers and carry them around in his mouth. He will pick them up in his large paws and swat them around. I haven’t the heart to toss them out even though they appear to be just scrap now, he loves them so.
I am so very glad that Star’s favorite toy doesn’t have feathers at all. Her butterfly has a body stuffed with catnip and wings lined with something crinkly. Over the years she has lost it and found it again. It turns up in odd places like under the dining room table. I know... it doesn’t seem like something could get lost under a dining room table.. But remember that the table is my computer center, the top is covered with all my periferials and under it is assorted other hardware and the odd old computer or two. Really, the only place for feet to get under it is, well, where my feet go. So her toy turning up there after a once-a-millennium cleaning was indeed odd.
Star doesn’t bat her butterfly around much, or play with it in a traditional cat like way. No, what she does is hold it between her paws and rub it around on her face. Sometimes she will hold it down with her arms and just lick lick lick lick it for the longest time. The rasp of her tongue slowly going over that material is oddly loud and sometimes feel like when nails run over a blackboard.. *shudder*
Amy also mentioned about Trixie liking pink toys. I can understand that. I once read an article about how cats tend to favor certain colors. So I put Star to the test. Whenever we go to a cat show, I go nuts at the sellers tables. I always buy a bunch of little fur mice. I always got mostly white ones with one or two black or gray ones. When I tested Star to see which color she liked, she showed a marked preference to black mice. Now I buy mostly black mice with one or two white or gray ones. Her butterfly? It’s black. Several of those ball toys with feathers are leopard skin patterned, with black on them of course.

I will have to test Leo one of these days and see if he prefers any color over another. We already know he prefers feathers to anything else! The yellow feather turned back up, and afer cleaning day it was in a pile of toys in a cat bed I made that no one uses for a cat bed.. It was buried under several things and Leo sat next to the bed and slowly, painstakingly, pulled that feather out from under everything else. Does this mean that he prefers the yellow to the purple?
This picture shows some of the toys in a pile by the myriad of scratchies. That blue thing stuffed under the chair? That’s the bed I made. Most of the time it’s just a boat for toys, when it doesn’t get shoved around.
Leo likes to lay where he wants to lay. He doesn’t care what is in his spot or what’s covering it.
The Royal Footstool is almost always under the card table when it’s up for dinner. And Leo is almost always on the Royal Footstool under that table.
Leo likes to sleep on The Chair, even when it’s being used as a catch all. Even when a tray table is covering it. (He tried to steal the folded towels from on top of that table.. Silly cat, go find a feather!)

As I’ve said before, and have a million pictures of, Leo wants to sit on the hidiously uncomfortable folding chairs whenever they are up. Sitting on one yourself? Don’t stand up, because even before your posterior has completely cleared the chair’s air space, he will be on it! Heaven forbid you should sit back down without looking...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Leo sleeps oddly..

 Feeling crowded

 Guess what he found!

Star is not feeling very photogenic just yet, so this is old.

Star is much better, but not totally recovered.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tootsie Tuesday

We’ll get to adorable tootsie’s in a moment, but first..  
You might have noticed something new on our site here.. The Banner! I’ve been thinking about making one for quite a while and I’m kinda pleased at how it came out. I’ve seen so many cool banners in the kitty blogs I read regularly so I wanted one too. I really wanted it to reflect why I went with the name "Celestial Kitties." Both of my kitties, neither named by me, have heavenly names.
In fact, "Heavenly Kitties" was my first thought for a blog title, but my niece said it sounded like my kitties had died.. So I went with Celestial and you know what? I think I like it so much better anyway. I do think my kitties are heavenly, and I’m glad they are with me!
I almost feel like Star got to roll back her age this past week. We are always trying to remember how old she is and I finally decided that it had to be 14, and so we were going to leave it at that. But as you know, she got sick this week and went to the vet. They had her records so we took a peek and guess what? She’s only going on 12! Still just a youngster! Ok ok, I know that’s still getting up there, but she’s also, aside from her current respiratory infection, in great health.
Speaking of her infection, she was back to the vet and declared on the mend. Her eye looks very much better although she’s still squinty. She HATES her medicine.. She seems to know when it’s coming and avoids us like mad. We give her the antibiotic just before snack time, so she knows to come downstairs, but she avoids being picked up as best she can. Today she ran from her Temptations before she was done because Greg moved.. He actually had to go upstairs after her this time. But after the antibiotic and eye cream she got extra Temptations, so she seemed pretty ok with it.
I must remember to NEVER get her liquid medicine again.. She’s almost a dream to give pills to, and we had a choice, but we choose poorly.. A little braunschweiger around it and she will swallow anything! It’s been so long since she’s needed any medication that we forgot about that. Hopefully we won’t need to use that information though..
Anyway! On to the Tootsies! I love kitty tootsies! So cute and furry with sweet little pads and fur between the toes! Ok, I could live without the claws.. But even so, kitty paws are amazingly cute little things! And Leo’s polydactyl paws! Even cuter! Extra toes on each foot means extra adorableness!

First, Star's Pretty Paws

I've had this picture for a long time, I love how all stretched out Star is!

Grainy cell picture... but she's got her paws crossed!
Ignore the stink-eye she's giving me.. She doesn't like her naps being disturbed.

Pawing the Kong Kickaroo!
Seriously... isn't this a great toy!

Just lounging with danglin' paws.

Another real grainy cell pic,
but look! She's using her paw as a pillow!

Really blurry... The sun was hitting her and she was moving,
 but two adorable things! Paws and tongue! She's so cute!

Leo's Precious Paws

I've been trying to get a picture of this wonky claw..
Still don't have a very good picture

This is one of his back paws. For a while I wasn't sure those were polydactyl.
As you can see, they are!

This is the paw pads on one of the back paws.
Love the tufts of fur between the toes!

Blury.. yes. Cell pic?.. yes. Look like he only has three legs.. yes.
He was moving pretty fast.
Look at those feet though! This is another one from that series where
he was pushing on the Kingdom of the Footstool while playing.
Too cute!! (even if it is blurry..)

No, he's not licking there, he's licking his leg..
Too cute when they forget to put the leg down when they're done!

And here's all his paws as he lays twisted up in The Chair.
You can see most of the extra toes, just too cute!!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you got lots of furry tootsie's to tickle!

Monday, May 16, 2011

End of Vacation Randomness

Star would prefer it if I did not write a post today.. She has decided that she should be my ‘laptop’ rather than my nieces laptop.
Here she is laying between me and the laptop.. I can't get anything done..
I disapprove
She’s been very attention hoggish at night this past week. I’m not complaining! I have always wanted her to be my cuddly kitty. But as you know, she’s chosen Greg to be hers, not me. But at night, when he’s sleeping, and I’m the only one up, tapping away on the laptop, she wants pets. She gives me the most pathetic looks, so I have to shove the laptop out of the way and let her sit on me. Then she grumbles if I pet her wrong..
I think part of her extra cuddliness is that she doesn’t feel good yet. She’s really gonna hate it when she goes back to the vet this afternoon. She is doing somewhat better, her eye is not as swollen or sore looking. But it’s still drippy. Yeah, I know, yuck. What I find interesting, is that she lets me wipe it. She doesn’t want me to just grab her head and wipe her ‘tears’ but if I hold a tissue to her head, she will rub against it, wiping it dry by herself. Is she a smart kitty or what??
Windows have been very popular this weekend. It got chilly out again, so the big door has not been open as much, but Greg repaired the screens so we can open the windows upstairs farther than a few inches. The following pictures are before the fixing, so the windows are not open fully, but I love seeing kitties sitting in windows, so I’m sharing them!
Leo likes the living room window.
Come on nighttime bugs.. I will swat you from the screen!
Star loves the bedroom window and sitting on my jewelry chest.
There is one of those uncomfortable folding chairs in front of it to aid her jump
to the top, otherwise she skids and puts scratches in the wood.
Stop looking at me, I'm trying to keep an eye on the yard..
Can anyone tell me what it is about what I think is arguably the most uncomfortable folding chairs in the world.. Star has always loved them, and not just because we would set them in the doorway so she could look out the screen before we got the new door. And Leo just goes nuts for them! He plays with the rungs and lays on them whenever one is set up. Which is most days because, as I think I’ve said before, we eat in the living room because the dining room table is my computer table.
I took these last night because I thought it was just too silly. All the pictures today are cell phone pictures.. Sorry they’re so dark..
Sitting on the comfy chair, paws on the hard one..
I will sit like this for a good long time,
mostly because mommy keeps calling me a weird kitty.
Is this the silliest kitty? Peering through the back of the folding chair.
What is that over there?
Another angle, he sat like that for quite a while.
 Is that my missing yellow feather?
Probably not.. I think I ate it..
And finally, he sprawls out on it. With a soft comfy chair right behind him.. I just don’t get that boy!
Ah, the comfort of uncomfortability..

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sickness and Vacation

I had my post all ready to go yesterday, but blogger was down and I couldn’t sign in. I don’t know what was going on. So I will post what I had from yesterday. But first I wanted to tell you about Star. Last night Greg called to me from upstairs to ask if cats can cry. I thought he meant she was meowing whining or something. But he said her eye had an actual tear in it.
No, I said, that’s a cold. Odd that she had it now because she almost always gets a cold for like two days when we turn on the air conditioners for the summer, and again in the fall when we turn on the heat. I think she doesn’t handle the change in temperature and it takes a few days to adjust.
But this was not a cold. When she came down and I looked, her eye was doing more than tearing, it was soaked. And the area around it was puffy and swollen. She wasn’t opening it all the way. It was late at night, after 11, when we discovered this. It came on suddenly. I had noticed a little drippy eye the other day, but it seemed to go away right away. I debated rushing her to an emergency animal clinic, I really did. But if it was just a cold, even a bad one, that would be overreacting. But I didn’t want to under-react too. I called the emergency clinic, and they were no help. Typical.. All they can tell you is to come in and they’ll tell you if it’s an emergency. And charge you a premium regardless of if it was an actual emergency.
We decided to wait til morning. And I worried all night. Especially when I heard her seeming to wheeze, but it wasn’t wheezing.. It was snoring. She snores, I hear it all the time, but in my worried state, I wanted to make it something more than it was. Yes, I’m a panic-er!
This morning, the vet saw her right away. And he said it’s an upper respiratory infection.. But her lungs are clear. Has anyone ever heard of a respiratory infection where it’s all in the eye?? Because it seems crazy to me.. But he gave her an antibiotic and a cream for the eye. So we’ll see how she does on it. She goes back on Monday, hopefully she’s all better by then!
Ok, now onto the post I wrote yesterday:
Our vacation has been busy with so many little things, that I haven’t had time to blog or even visit around the blogs I usually read (even if I am bad at making comments often!) So I was so distressed to see what Chrystal has been going through over on Daily Dose of Dogs. Please send her love and prayers at the losses she’s suffered this week. And while you visit her blog, look at the kitties up for adoption and seriously think about taking one into your home!!
One of the little things that we’ve been busy with is installing a new door. I’m sure you noticed in a few pictures that ours was... well a mess! The bottom had been kicked out, bent back, then because it didn’t sit right in it’s slot, it would catch the backs of shoes and get bent all out of shape again.. So we got a new storm door! OH it’s a beauty! Thick and heavy, not likely to need replacing any time soon at all! And, best of all, it has glass ALL the way to the bottom!
I really really wanted that. For the kitties of course! Those doors tend to be expensive, especially the ones that self store the screens, which I also really wanted. Those ones really were out of our price range, so we settled for having to replace the glass/screen at the change of seasons. Can’t have everything I suppose.
It’s still a great door. But don’t take my word for it! Leo and Star loved it, even before we put the screen in!
First, Leo wanted to help with the installation.
I guard the tools!
It was night by the time it was finished. It came with the glass in, and it was too late, and a little cool, so we left it that way overnight.
Oh lookie! A bug walking past!

I just realized.. This door goes all the way to the bottom..
Buggy can’t come in.. No snack for me tonight :(
Then Star got a turn to look out.
Oh I like this. Definitely like this.
Today we put the screen in. Lots to sniff at this big door!
Birdie! Squirrel! Bug! Oooo I like..
He does not notice Star watching out the door behind him.
Watchin’ the squirrels..

Still doesn’t. 
Watchin’ the birdies..
Now he does!
Oh.. Hi... Looking for something?
(ignore the crack in the foundation.. we do..) 
(don't mind the dirt either.. tracked in while working. I'll get to it, eventually lol)

Then Star got a turn to sniff and look.

Marvelous. I approve.
And Leo got another turn.
This my new spot..
Yup, I might give up the Kingdom of the Footstool for this spot..
My mother came over earlier in the week to pick up her Mother’s Day present. I brought it in so she wouldn’t see it until she came inside. Leo thought that was pretty nifty.. He kept sniffing the dirt, then he saw the leaves..
Hibiscus hmm? Smells tasty...
*whap whap.. Whappity whap!* Punching bag!
Oh, and that yellow feather from a previous post? Gone.. Don’t know where.. Just gone.
Oh purple feather, you is my new bestest toy..
Have fun Leo, but please stop trying to get all the feathers from the bag at once.. I think it would send you into such a state of hyper-excitement that we would never calm you down again!