Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beds and Boxes

A few years ago I made a bed for Star. It’s blue flannel with kitties and stars on it. Soft and cosy sounding right? She slept in it maybe once or twice. Since then it’s been more of a toy box than a bed.

Since Leo has been here, the ‘toy box’ gets emptied a lot. He loves to toss his toys around, that boy does. I didn’t think anything of it, we just pick up after him once in a while and refill the box/bed.

But after what I saw the other day, I suspect that play is not the only reason he’s been removing all the toys! That’s right, he used it as a bed! Finally! Someone is enjoying the fruits of my labors!

Since that first time I saw him sleeping in it, I’ve seen him in there several more times. And today, I actually watched him empty the bed before using it. He acts like he’s litter box digging, using one foot to dig dig dig until the offending obstacles are removed from where he wants to be. It was beyond cute!

Now I just want to put the toys away to see him remove them! One of these times, I’m gonna try to get it on video! Too adorable.

All curled up

Don’t ya just love his pillow too?

The flashy thingie disturbed his nappy, poor baby

I just remembered that today is international box day! I had been meaning to get a box to see if Leo would be enticed by it but I haven’t gotten around to it.. Well, that bed is sorta kinda boxy.. Mostly in that it’s square. Doesn’t count? Hmm..

Star doesn’t get IN boxes, but one of her favorite sleepy places is a box in the closet. She’s got a beanbag chair in there too, but lately she’s been a box baby. I think it which one she lays on depends on the temperature in the room. Of course as soon as I swear to that, she’ll flip it on me.

Star’s box
I know I'm next to the alarm clock, how else do you think I know when it's time for daddy to get up and pet me?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vet Visit

Leo went to the vet today. He was such a good boy! And he’s just fine, I’ll get that out of the way right off. Know what surprised me? He meowed all the way there (a whole 7 minutes). He rode home from Chrystal’s, an 8 hour drive, and never once made a peep. Poor little guy. He calmed when I put my fingers through the bars on the door.

Last week I noticed something odd on one of his front paws. When I played with his toes, there was something odd between them. It took a while, and the help of Greg, but I finally got a look at it. There was something sticking out of a tiny toe pad that I hadn’t noticed before. It was hidden behind the two extra toes, they kind of overlapped it. I thought it was a thorn, but where would he get a thorn? Surely it hadn’t been there since he was a feral kitten outdoors.

I gave it a gentle little tug, but it was not moving. But Leo was, and he was not happy. We decided to let him go and call the vet. I wanted to make sure it was still there over the weekend, because if it wasn’t he probably didn’t need the vet. So Greg held him again, and yup, it was still there. He got a look at it that time and thought it was something embedded too. I looked closer and wondered if it wasn’t a growth. Well, best to leave it to the vet we decided and didn’t fuss with it since he was not happy about having it looked at.

So today we took him in, and after his fussing in the car, he behaved very well. At first it didn’t look like he wanted to come out of the cage, but just as the nurse was going to reach in, he came out like a good boy. She got a quick peek at the thing and thought it might be a growth, but he wasn’t cooperating with her so she didn’t get a good look.

Leo suffered the indignities of the vets examination quietly, without a peep or struggle until they got to the paw. He tried to squirm away but after a moment he let him get a good look. The verdict. This was yet another spare claw. It looks like a little stick, there is no claw shape to it, it’s just straight, not even a vein.

The problem is, being buried under the other spare toes, it can grow unnoticed and poke into soft tissue and cause problems. We’ll need to keep it, and the wonky claw that doesn’t retract, clipped well so they don’t injure him. The new stick like claw can be trimmed back completely to the pad, and the vet did that for us, you can’t even see it now. He also said that if it became a problem he could surgically remove it from the pad so it wouldn’t grow back again. For now, we’re going to see how keeping it trimmed goes.

I watched carefully how he trimmed the wonky claw because I’m afraid of that one and worry when I trim it. He trimmed it a lot shorter than I usually do, and guess what? No two points on it now! If I keep it trimmed short enough and often enough, it might not have two points again. It was starting to look like a little lobster claw!

Here’s how the wonky claw used to look.

Here’s how it is after the trim.

The vet trimmed all his claws, and even his back feet which I have not done at all yet. He struggles and I don’t want to upset him.. They weren’t horribly long yet, so I was giving it time. But it’s nice that he’s all trimmed up, and pronounced perfectly healthy! Vet said that for being a former feral, he was remarkably healthy. I know that is entirely due to Chrystal and the wonderful care she gave my baby boy when she rescued him!

I cannot thank Chrystal and her family enough for the care and time they put into Leo, not to mention his sisters and all the other kitties she’s rescued. They are just the most amazing people. If you read her blog, then you know how many kittens she’s rescued in recent weeks, so many, and so sick. The chip in donation thing is still up, and I know for a fact that she can sure as heck use every dime given. So please, consider sending something, every little bit helps. And while you’re there, consider adopting! See how healthy her kitties are before she lets them go to their forever homes!! Every adoption makes room for another rescued kitten, so you’d be helping out more than just one kitty!!

None the worse for wear.
If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not go back there, even though they did give me treats.. And even sent extras home to share with Star.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


We got an award!
 Bryan's Cats gave us The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award! Thank you Bryan's Cats! If you haven't seen his blog, it's very inspiring, he cares for his own clowder (I love that word too!) of kitties as well as many in the neighborhood!

I'm suppose to tell you seven unknown facts then pass on the award, so here goes!

1. Leo has an overbite. Just a tiny one, but it's oh so cute! I keep trying to get a good profile shot of him, but he won't stop looking at me! He can hear that camera open every time..
Here's my attempt at a profile shot of him..

This isnt a  profile shot, but you can kind of see the overbite..

2. Star has a fused tail. Just the last two or three bones. We think she must have gotten it slammed in a door just before we got her. When we adopted her, she would have these fits where she would spin in a circle and act like she was in pain. We kept checking, thinking it was her leg, but could find nothing wrong. She never once licked or bit at her tail so we didn't think to check there and the fits would pass as quickly as they came on her. I can't tell you how many times she'd have those spin fits while sitting on me, and having her claw stuck in my skin would not, could not stop her from spinning. I still have scars.. Anyway, it wasn't until much later that we discovered the stiff end of her tail and put two and two together and came up with poor baby must have had a broken tail! I still feel awful about it, though I don't know what the vet could have done for her. Can you even cast a tail? It doesn't bother her in the least now.

3. I suffer from terminal shyness. It's worse than painfully shy, it's excruciating. Of course, when I get to know someone, I can talk their ear off until they scream for mercy! But it's also the reason that I had been reading kitty blogs for years before I got the nerve up to comment on one. Let me tell you, I almost had a heart attack before I pressed the 'post comment' button with all the anxiety I was feeling! But I'm really glad I did. And I'm really glad I got up the nerve to ask Chrystal about adopting Leo. And I'm really really glad I started this blog and met all of you!

4. Star was almost exactly like Leo is now when we first got her. She was two, and we had three other cats, all senior kitties. Her playful, exuberant attitude nearly drove them all completely nuts. She just wanted to play, and she pounced on everyone the moment they moved. She was the bouncy, playful, annoying intruder back then! Poor kitty, getting a taste of her own medicine after all this time.
I was reading this to twin 1 in Alaska and she insists on my telling about one particular day with Star when she was still new to us. I had a rule about doing homework right after school, (snack, then homework, then playtime), so she, twin 1, was sitting next to me as we were going over her work when Star, having one of her run and pounce fits, ran up the girl and bounced off of me to land in the window behind us. She used the girl as a running board and me as a trampoline to get to where she wanted!

5. Greg is a cat whisperer. He can pick up Star, I cannot. Star is one of those cats that when you start to pick her up, if she can't get away, she goes pointy on five of her six ends to discourage you. If you can brave claw and fang and actually get her up, then you have to deal with the fact that she will wiggle and squirm and fight tooth and nail until she gets her way, which is down. Greg, however, can pick her up, she doesn't growl, hiss or scratch. She never bites him. He can hold her and pet her and not have to have a death grip to keep her from jumping away. She isn't always thrilled perhaps, but she stays until he lets her down. And surprise surprise, she does not run from him when she gets down! She will even rub up against him, like thanking him for picking her up.
Greg has this effect on babies too. When the twins were infants, and one would start crying, setting the other off, sometimes there was just nothing you could do to settle them down. And they were the kind of screamers that would cry so hard they'd stop breathing and turn blue! Scary! (There are tricks to stopping that, aside from the fact that once they pass out, they start breathing again, still not fun to deal with!) There were day's I'd be beyond frazzled and I'd call him and he'd come to where I was, (their house or ours) and all he had to do was pick one of them up and they shut up! I don't know if it was his calm manner, which I didn't have after hours of crying babies, or what. He always says it's his giant mechanic's mitts that make them feel safe and comfortable. Once he got one baby calm, usually in about three minutes.. He'd get the second one and do the same. Occasionally he'd hold them both at once, but really, it was so fast that he could do one at a time. Still frustrates me that he could do what I, a former day care teacher, could not do.. Babies and cats love him. To my mind, that's a very telling thing and after nearly 24 years, I'm still positive I made a wonderful choice in him.

 Being held by daddy!
She's purring even though she's giving me the hairy eyeball for taking her picture.

6. We're... oh dear, this is a horrible confession... We're kinda.. nerds.. We are really into Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate.. Greg even went to a party as a Klingon once, and I made his mask (horrible paper-mache), starfleet uniform, and all the insignia including his rank pips and commbadge. I went as a bajorian tourist.. I made a bumpy nose thingie and wore a Star Trek tshirt that had Deep Space nine on it. (someone went to Deep Space 9 and all I got was a lousy tshirt) Oh, I also made a whole big garbage bag full of tribbles.. I won't mention the food, but it was very Star Trek. *deep sigh* ok, now the truth is out there.. feel free to call me a wacko.

Wow, seven... I don't know what else to say.. Leo is kind of an open book since I started blogging about him almost from the minute we got him. Star is still probably a bit of an unknown, so I'll stick to a fact about her for the last one.

7. Star really is a sweet kitty. I know she seems like a big ol' crank, and she is. But that's not all she is. She is an attention hound, just on her terms. She's cuddly, just not pick me up cuddly. She waits for Greg to wake up in the morning so he can pet her. He's her personal property, you know, she has claimed him totally. She loves to get attention upstairs, and that's not just since Leo arrived. I think she thinks we're undivided up there or something. Whatever it is, she will roll around acting all cute just to get pets. When she's done with that, she wants to sleep on my hip or back depending on how I'm sleeping, and on my tummy when I'm watching TV or trying to work on the laptop.
When Greg wakes up, and she's sure he's not going to put the snooze on again, she will pester him. And he will darn near be late to give her the attention she craves. I heard him one morning, telling her that he had to go to work now or he wouldn't be able to keep her in chicken treats. I'm pretty sure she let him go then..
And tummy rubs! Goodness, she demands them! She will flop over and kick at my arm until she gets into the correct tummy rubbing position, then will just bliss out while I stroke her curly tummy furs. if I rub in front of her ears while I'm rubbing her tummy, well that much the better, she will almost go catatonic with pure joy! That's her other best spot, the front of her ears. She will lean into my hand so hard! And if my knuckle goes into her ear, oh yeah, that's the good stuff!

Star the sweetheart

So there you go, 7 little known facts about us. Thank you again Bryan's Cats for the award!

Now I want to pass it on to:


Love and Hisses

for the sweet and funny voice they give their kitties in their blogs!

Friday, June 24, 2011


First thing I want to thank everyone for their good wishes, prayers, and purrs for my friends kitty, Mexi. He’s doing well now, no more seizures. All tests came back negative. Right now they’re in a wait and watch mode, hoping he doesn’t have another seizure. The thought is that he might have gotten into something. He does go outside a little bit. If he did get into something, I hope it was just an accident, not someone deliberately trying to hurt animals.

Second, we received an award! Tomorrow I will post it, because I have to give some thought to what I want to say. But today, I’m sorry, I’m just too tired.

The kitties here love scratchies. The newest one looks like a bench and they haven’t been too sure about it, only giving it the occasional courtesy scratch. They must be deciding that it’s ok because Leo at least lays on it. And now that Star is spending a little more time downstairs, she’s taken to sitting on it too.

Oh! I think I have figured out what’s making Star stay down longer in the evenings. It’s her daddy. She loves, I mean LOVES him, and I think she’s figured out that he’s on her side as far as the infidel goes. Greg doesn’t let him chase her. He follows them around when Star is downstairs and Leo’s trying to stalk her. So when Greg is home, Star is down.

Leo looks like he’s trying to will the white mousie to come closer so he doesn’t have to get up from the bench scratchy.
Come to me... come....
He gave up... sounds like a bird in the window. Now he has to decide if that’s worth getting off the benchy.
Hmm, sounds like.. A robin.. female.. In the roses.. No, gone already. Guess I’ll stay here..

Star thought it was a good place to relax after she had her snacky tonight.
I approve, it’s a good place to keep an eye on the infidel.
Then she had to survey the devastation left by Leo the Destroyer
Broken feathers, denuded toys, feather bits from those denuded toys, squished mousies, scratchy torn from it’s box, other scratchy flipped.. That boy has to much energy..

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We got tagged!

We got tagged by Random Felines!
(that was actually a few days ago... but because of a busy week, I just found it today!)
Do you think you are hot?

Leo: Hey, I’m a good looking teen-age boy... Who DOESN’T think I’m hot??

Star: Yeah, when the air conditioner is off.

Upload a picture of the wallpaper you are using at the moment.

(Well.. It was just father’s day... otherwise I’d have a kitty!)

The song you've listened to the most recently.
We aren’t addicted to radio/ipod/mp3 players around here. So the last song we heard was probably Pat Benatar’s Bad Reputation because it’s the theme song for American Choppers!

What were you thinking about when you were doing this?
Leo: ...the yelling on American Chopper is disturbing my nap..
Star: Don’t make me look like too much of a crank or I’ll shred your laptop...
Andrea: Who can I nominate when I get to the bottom of this...

Do you have any nicknames? Oh yeah
Leo The Chinese Lion, that’s my full name. Leo the Chinese Parrot. Goofball. Klutzyboy. Ol’ Feather Tail. Leo Scarf. Wonky Toes. Mmhmm Hrrmm thppp (usually called that when he’s laying across my mouth and nose thinking that’s the best place for a nap..) Infidel. Barbarian. (The last two given by Star..)
Star: StarBaby. TarBaby. Baby Girl. Pretty Girl. Fuzzy Britches. Cranky Pants. Ornery Butt. Fastest Paws In The West. Princess HissyFace. Your Highness.   

Tag 8 bloggers:
1. Daily Dose of Dogs
8. Look What The Storm Dragged In

Who is listed at #1? Chrystal’s kitties! Leo came from there, he’s a Winnie’s Wish kitten! (Seriously, if you want a great cat, go to her site and adopt! We did and we couldn’t be happier!) 

Say something special about #5. The FIRST Winnie’s Wish kitty! Her Jimmy was adopted from the cat house first! She set the precedence!

How did you get to know #3? Oh! That’s my niece! Twin 1 who lived with us until she went to Alaska for the summer for the sole purpose of killing me. I was there the day she was born and helped raise her, her twin, and their older brother. Them’s muh babies!

How about #4? Amy’s got Leo’s sister, Trixie! How can you not love your kitty’s sibling’s people?

Leave a message for #6. The latest one to get a Winnie’s Wish Kitty. Way to go!! And welcome to the club! 

*feel free to do this or not.....but it was kind of fun!!

I know the thingie didn’t say to, but I want to say something about the numbers that didn’t get a mention!

#2: Fostering older kitties, sometimes with issues, is a special calling, and they are wonderful with them!

#7: Absolutely love the personality in the writing and that she gives to the pictures!

#8: Another new blogger with a new kitty. This time the kitty came from Love and Hisses. Yay!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goofy Day (pictures added!)

It’s been very hot and humid here. Earlier I got a bottle of water from the fridge and it was frozen solid. I thought what the heck, I can drink it as it melts, it’ll be cold anyway. It wasn’t sitting on the try table more than three minutes when Leo launched himself out of the window, jumped up onto the Royal Footstool, put a paw on the table and started licking the condensation off the bottle. What the heck was that about? Did the ice call him?  
It started storming and the wind picked up quickly. Leo jumped out of the window, probably because he was getting wet. He stood in The Chair as he contemplated his next move. Something caught his eye on the sewing cabinet that sits next to The Chair. Cautiously, he crept toward it. His head did that bobbing and weaving thing where they try to get a good look at something. He reached a paw out, but couldn’t bring himself to touch it. He drew back. He reached out again, then drew back. Once more, the same thing. Then finally that paw slowly, oh so slowly reached out and touched the scary object... he jumped back immediately. Then, with more confidence, he stepped back closer and gave it a few more taps before abandoning it.

What was it? Just a black mousie toy that had one layer of it’s tail stripped back so that it was flapping in the breeze.

Star spent most of the evening downstairs. At one point Leo was on one of the folding chairs and she was walking past on the floor. She launched herself at him and with her lightening quick paws, struck! The chair.. Three times in a row, with profound hissing. Whap Whap Whap Hisssssssssssssss! She didn’t come close to touching him. I don’t think she was trying that hard.. She made her point I guess, not that Leo did much more than blink at her. But she apparently was telling him that she was staying downstairs and she didn’t care what he thought about it.

Yup, my babies had a goofy day.

Speaking of goofy...
I had a couple pictures of Leo sleeping in a very weird way, but I can't seem to get blogger to load them.. guess I'll have to post them later. I'll try to edit later today, but if not, I'll put them up tomorrow.
Pictures finally loaded! whoo hoo!

He’s sleeping here. I don’t know if you can tell in this picture, but his chin is on the Royal Footstool.

I just missed the best shot here, both legs were stretched out on the Royal Footstool. As I was getting the camera he drew back, but didn’t really seem to wake up all that much.

Before I forget, please purr and pray for my friend’s cat, Mexi, he started having seizures yesterday. You can see him in my blog roll in the Adorkably cute blog. She hasn’t written anything, just posted her kitties pictures so far. They are waiting on test results.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Toy Tuesday

I was going to write a nice longish post today. Star had other plans for me. I know I showed pictures previously of her trying to keep me from my laptop.. Well today she nudged the lid closed and laid on it for over three hours. Ok, she did take one break to get a drink out of my glass... but before I could fire up the ol’ wordperfect she was back, nudging until she got her way and took another nap on the laptop.

I guess she was entitled to be sleepy. She’d spent quite a bit of time downstairs today grumbling. We decided that she can grumble all she wants as long as she’s down stairs. And Leo can stare at her all he wants, as long as he doesn’t pounce or stay in the kitty attack posture. Aside from the grumbles, it was a pretty peaceful evening! Star did smack the air in front of him once, but I think he might have insulted her mother.. Or perhaps her taste in snackies. Whatever it was, no contact was made, and everyone went back to guarded tolerance before we could react.

Anyway, by the time I just couldn’t stay still any longer and had to get out from under both the laptop and Star, I was just too tired to write much. So I will leave you with pictures of the new toy bonanza that daddy Greg treated them to last week. We’re still working our way through the attachments to the wand toy. So far most of them are a hit.

Here’s the set along with a very strange large crinkly ball that they absolutely do not know what to do with and a brush that was supposed to be for Leo, but he hates. I think we need a softer bristles.. He only lets me use this one on his tail floof as long as I don’t try to brush to the base of the hairs. Missing from the picture is the long stick with feathers on the end, no string. Forgot about it when I was doing the picture.

Star got a turn! She loved the feathers, but didn’t play too long. I’m still counting it a win that she was relaxed enough downstairs to play at all!
Mmm this is dandy...
Leo loves all the attachments, but I think he likes the boa the best. He just wants to gnaw on it, too bad it keeps moving on him!
Om nom nom nom
Just look at that smug baby!
I’m gonna get you, Mr. Feathers, and your little friends too! Bwahahaha!
Do you know how hard it is to take pictures while teasing with the toys? His head may be missing, but he sure looks excited doesn’t he?
Those tissues on the floor in the background.. He stole them from the box..
My boy.. is a thief..

So intent!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sleepy Saturday

As different as they are, Leo and Star seem to like one thing the same. Sleeping on the back of the couch.
It feels like such a sleepy weekend that I thought I'd just share some sleepy pictures in the hopes of spreading around the happy sleepy mood.

Star on the couch

Leo on the couch

Star no longer resents the laptop... now she thinks it's there just for her to nap on.
In fact, if I don't close it, she will nudge the lid down so she can lay on it!

Leo sleeps in the most contorted positions.. Still he always seems comfy!

Have a good weekend, and have a nap!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feather Friday

I’ve discovered a new kitty expression on the cat blogosphere, "Oh my cod!" And I can totally see Leo saying that! Yesterday, in fact, when he had this look of utter crazy cat joy on his face. You see, daddy Greg went on a little shopping spree.. Star was out of her favorite treats (gasp!! The horror!) and we were wanting to get Leo a Da Bird toy.  
Unfortunately they didn’t have Da Bird. They did have Star’s treat (oh the relief!) so she’s set. But he could not come home without something for Leo, (aside from new cans of some of his favorite stinky goodness, not that he’s fussy in the least!) So he got some substitute feather toys to hold him over until we find the good one.
We had Da Bird before, and many many replacement feather heads, and all the kitties loved it. Loved it! It sounds like a bird as it spins in the air, they can hear those feathers flap and they go on instant alert. Ok, not all the kitties.. Star did not like it much at all. The bird is an air toy, and Star prefers ground toys. Which really surprises me considering her obsession with the birds in the eves outside the bathroom window.. But there you go, she never cared for Da Bird.
When we were down to just Star, (we had three other kitties when she arrived), we put Da Bird in the closet because she didn’t care for it much and played with other toys with her. One day it fell over and got slammed in the door and broke in half. They are guaranteed and have a replacement policy, but she didn’t like it so we just got rid of it. With Leo, I wish we still had it. I know I probably have a few replacement heads in a cupboard somewhere.. But if I get them out without the stick, he’ll just eat them. The silly feather face..
So back to the new haul of toys. Goodness, daddy spoils them! He got this one stick that has 5 or 6 different ends from a feather boa type thingie to feathers, with and without sparkle ball, to some kind of chenille stringy thingies, to mylar ribbons, to more feathers!. Oh Leo’s going to love it!
Here’s a few pictures of him getting to know his new toys!

Here's the reason he needs new toys already..
nom nom nom...

Ooo what dat??

Oh my cod! It’s... it’s... NEW FEDDERS! I loves fedders!

Ooo purpley fedders too!?! Nummy!

Long stringy fedders? Oh boy! Nom-a-licious!

All worn out

Just a note about the feather boa attachment.. Leo stole it when I wasn't watching and dragged it around the room. We laughed and thought it was cute. Up until we realized that he bit clean through the string... Little goof ball.. We tied it back together, but now it's shorter. What a silly kitty.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The barbarians have breached the gate! Hide the women and children! Or rather, hide the crinkle butterfly and the feathered wicker ring!
The funny thing is, that while the barbarian had invaded, there was no battle! I’m relieved, trust me, I just don’t know what it all means. It’s either Star has decided to stop being such a growler hisser, or she was too intimidated to make a fuss. I hope it’s an ease of tensions, not her retreating more. I want them to share space, I just want it to be good for both of them.
First thing yesterday morning, (afternoon) Leo came up to the bedroom to say hello. He always talks to me when I come downstairs, all excited to see me. But as he was coming into enemy territory, he came in semi-stealth mode. Semi because while he didn’t make a peep that would draw attention to the fact that he was in the room his long tail was straight up like a flag announcing his presence. Luckily the bed is high enough that, tall as he is and long as that floofy tail is, it comes to just below the height of the bed.
At first Star was oblivious to the invasion as she lay on the bed. I was petting Leo with my toes as he wandered around. I didn’t want to discourage him from being in there, but I also wasn’t sure it was a good idea to make him so welcome in Star’s refuge.
Suddenly, she became aware that she was not alone. While still not able to see him, she went on alert, her nose twitching as she sensed that he was near. He kept wandering, but she never looked in the right direction. Her eyes were on the door, guarding the castle gates. Oblivious to the fact that the invader was already within her boarders. By the time she did catch sight of him, he was on his way out. She barely got out one little grumble of protest.
I reassured her that she was still queen of the castle as I headed out for my morning ablutions. I was not to be alone. Low and behold, Leo came bounding in, this time, vocalizing his greetings. I pet him and was going to pick him up to set him on the counter so he could look out the window (bad jumper) and watch the birdies. But as suddenly as he’d appeared, he rushed out and thundered down the stairs.
Eventually I headed back to the bedroom and was surprised to see Star laying by Greg’s pillow. She normally lays near the foot of the bed. That wasn’t the only unusual thing though, her tail was hanging off the bed, and she was stretched out, not her normal sleep mode. All of this went through my brain in just a few seconds before I realized, as I’m sure you’re all ahead of me.. that this was NOT Star.

Leo was laying there, this was his usual position, if he has one.. Close to the edge so klutzy boy can fall off at any given moment... Tail spread out. Chin down. Definitely Leo. As I approached, I noticed that while he looked like he was sleeping, totally relaxed, his eyes were open. They were the only alert things on him. The reason his eyes were alert became clear when I entered the room. Star was still in her spot at the foot of the bed.
There was not one sound coming from either of them. Star’s modus operandi is generally to grow grumble or hiss whenever she is in proximity to the barbarian just so everyone knows she’s not pleased with the situation. But here she was, quiet, if not exactly calm, and.. seemingly accepting.
Leo looked up as I came closer, giving me a happy silly look. I swear one of the best words to describe him, besides klutzy, is bouncy! He bounces in and out of rooms when he’s excited. Bounces after toys. Bounces when he’s doing something brave (like invading Star’s space when she doesn’t know it). Bounces bounces bounces all the time! I don’t know how a cat that’s sitting still can be described as bouncy, but let me tell you, that when he looked up at me, he had a total bouncy attitude. If he were able to talk, he’d have been saying "Mom! Mom! Look where I am! See! See me! Look at me mom!!" Bouncy.
As soon as I sat down, Leo jumped down and ran from the room. Ok, I thought, maybe he was just proving a point? But within seconds he was bouncing back into the room. He jumped back onto the bed and laid back down, just as relaxed and spread out as he had been. Silly bug. Still, no word from Star even though she was watching him closely.
Leo rolled over onto his back and basically acted so cute that I had to pet him as he squirmed and rolled around. I was aware of Star observing this and I didn’t want her to think I was giving him all the attention, so I reached over to pet her too. This, she grumbled at. Of course. My Leo-contaminated hand had touched her immaculate Highness.
The phone rang, so Leo bounded out of the room. I don’t know if it scared him, or if he was done but he was finished laying on the bed. I made a few calls and didn’t see Leo again until I was almost done. He bolted in, bouncy, and jumped on the chair that sits in front of my jewelry chest to aid Star in getting up there and thus to the window.
This raised a growl from Princess HissyFace. Which I find funny, since she didn’t make a peep about him being ON THE BED WITH HER. Goofy girl. He ignored her, as is his wont, and jumped up to the jewelry chest to peer out the window. Star watched him, but didn’t say anything else about it.
By the time I realized I should take a picture or two of this, Leo was lounging, and Star had pretty much given up watching him, and just gave me a baleful look or two to show she was trying to be tolerant of the invading infidel. She’ll be rewarded with her favorite snacky later.

This was not the end of their surprises for me yesterday though! I think Star felt that if he was on the jewelry chest, then she was free to do as she pleased downstairs, so off she went. Good, I thought, she can eat and use the litter without having to look over her shoulder. Unfortunately she was only gone maybe five minutes or less before he decided he had to go see what she was doing. *sigh*
Star came back not too long after that and decided to take possession of the jewelry chest herself. As she sat there looking out the window, guess who came back... Is he doing this to be near me as I was being slow to come down or is he trying to be near her? I honestly don’t know. But it wasn’t me he was focused on this time.. He laid on the bed and watched her in the window.
I know this picture look pretty much like the last ones, but they’ve switched positions. Glare from the sun is making her look almost headless..

Finally, I was ready to head downstairs, so with a little reservation, I left them both in my room. I wasn’t sure if the peace would reign if I left, but I held my breath and took the chance. I needn’t have worried, Leo followed me so fast that he almost beat me down!
And talk about cuddly! He was all over me for cuddles and hugs all day! He took a longer nap on me than he ever has before, purring in my ear as he tried to wrap his long body around my neck. That made it a little tough to breath, so I kept moving him.. Not that he cared that much, he stayed no mater what. He only really left me alone when he was bird watching.
Another miracle, when Greg got home, Leo let him pet him for a long time on the Royal Footstool! After our bad weekend, things seem to be looking up! I can only hope they continue in this direction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bug Whisperer

Leo says hello to me every morning. Something he started from the first day we had him. It’s not so much a sedate, peaceful "good morning" but rather a "Hi! Hi! Hi mommy! Pet me! Pet me! HI HI!!" But for the rest of the day, he’s almost silent. He never makes a noise at Star no matter how much she may hiss or grumble or growl. He never says hello to Greg, either in the morning or when he gets home from work. He never says hello to anyone else, but that’s mostly because he has usually run off until they are safely inside.
There is apparently only one other thing that makes him become vocal. Bugs. Yes, bugs. I’m not sure if I should be insulted or what, to be, apparently, in the same category as bugs..
I started putting things together the other night when I heard an odd meow from behind my shoulder. I turned and sitting on the back of the couch, in one of his favorite spots, was Leo. But he wasn’t talking to me, he was looking straight up and making a soft little ‘meh meh meh mehOwOw’ I looked up to where he was looking and there was a bug on the ceiling. He kept talking to it in that same soft half meow. I wonder if he was asking it to come down lower so he could play with it. It declined this invitation, much to my dismay.
I know I’m not the only person who doesn’t like bugs. I SERIOUSLY don’t like bugs. I’ve woken my husband up in the middle of the night to kill spiders on the ceiling. I have a very good reason for doing so, and it’s not just because I’m too short to reach the ceiling even if I stand on the bed.. We have rough ceilings. Spiders are clumsy. The rough ceilings make them clumsier. And I sleep with my mouth open.
Leo does not share my aversion to bugs. He can spot them anywhere. We had some kind of beetle get in a few days ago. He was in bug heaven! I thought he was playing with one of his feather bits until I heard his odd little bug whisperer voice and saw what he really had.
He had the beetle on The Chair and it must have been dead because it never moved even though he kept batting at it with his big ol’ mitts. Being polydactyl gave him some kind of super bug grip or something because he would give it a swipe and then look at his paw where it was held with all those extra toes. He lost track of it for a moment and Greg swooped in and removed it from the toy collection.
I had heard this odd little way Leo has of talking to bugs before but never put two and two together to realize that he only does it for bugs. Mostly he talks to them when sitting in the window or at the door at night when they are attracted to the inside lights. Thankfully most of them are outside and thwart his efforts to ‘get to know them.’

Tonight he was nearly climbing the screen door because some bug was perched up higher than he could reach.

I see you up there bug!

I'm comin' ta get ya!

Yer days are numbered..

 ...As soon as I figure out this force field that is..

Can you tell that that is her paw over her nose? Do you think she smelled something?
I'm sleeping with one eye open..

      mawiesner said...
I had been watching the new show Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, and I got a few good ideas from that.
I also purchased a new cat toy for Sunny... it's called Cat Claws Feline Flyer.
We just got cable and started watching that show too! He does have some great ideas and we plan on trying a few.
That toy sounds very much like ‘da bird’ which my cat’s had always loved until Star. She has never been interested in toys that fly or wave around in the air. But if you drag something along the ground, she’s instantly alert. I figure if she were a hunter, she’d not be hunting birds, but would be a great mouser. Anyway, our da bird got broke a few years ago and since she never liked it and was an only cat then, we never replaced it. I will now as soon as possible because Leo loves loves loves when I make the kitty teaser fly!
      Random Felines said...
I like the idea of the harnesses - it keeps everyone safe but allows them to use the same space.
I haven't use the feliway diffuser, but I have heard good things about it - something to consider.
That is my hope for the harness idea, they’ll see each other, and know that there will be no attacking, that they are safe even if they are close.
I did use the diffuser, you can see my update on how that went in my archives on May 26th. I credit the diffuser with bringing Leo out of his shell and becoming bold enough to stand up to Star. Though that did lead to him being more aggressive so I can’t say I’m entirely pleased.. It had no effect on Star.
      mrsnmo said...
I tried the Feliway defuser and it didn't seem to help, but I've heard in some situations it can. And play with Leo as much as possible.

Same here, as I said above, the diffuser didn’t help things at all for us. I do play with Leo, and he plays by himself with his toys and bugs, but I do plan on getting more teaser type toys. He’s chewed the feathers off the sparkle ball on a string and I don’t think just the long fleecey one is enough of a challenge.
Thank you all for the advice. At this point with the kitties, I can use all the help I can get! I feel kind of helpless with this situation even though I’ve had kitties nearly all my life and you’d think I should know what I need to by now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not so great weekend

We had a bit of a bad weekend kitty-wise. Well, not the whole weekend I suppose, but Sunday was rough. I’m not really sure I should share about it, but I figure if anyone can understand, it’s other cat people. I just want my babies to get along!
I think the worst part about it is that we’d had some progress last week. Star even took a nap downstairs on the back of the couch, something she hadn’t done in a while. Then Sunday she got scared off when she was on her way to the litter box. She came back upstairs where I was and stared digging at the bed. I thought she was looking to play.. One of her favorite games is to attack lumps in the sheets and dig them into a pile that she can wrap her paws around and bunny kick.
I didn’t have time to play with her though, (our Sunday’s are kind of busy), so I headed down and she went with me. Greg was already down, and said that he’d seen her heading for the box, but between him being in the kitchen and Leo, she’d turned around and ran. I told him to go into the living room so she’d be free to go out there. We have one box in the corner of the kitchen and one in the laundry/cat room, which is right off the kitchen.
It didn’t work though. From where Greg sat, he could see Star at the bottom of the stairs. Leo was on the Royal Footstool, so he wasn’t blocking her from going out there either. Still, rather than go to the box.. she went on the landing.. She was not tinkling either.
Greg was shocked. In the 10 years we’ve had Star, she’s been the most fastidious about using the box of any cat we’ve had. I was shocked. I’d made sure she had a clear run to the boxes and made sure she knew it. Greg thinks it was a protest, I’m not sure. But whatever the reason, we couldn’t just let it go, right?
When Leo won’t stop jumping her, he gets closed into the cat room as punishment. So that’s where Star went. After an hour of hiding under the couch that is... Finally, we got her in there. And I honestly think that was the best place for her for a while. She had free access to the box and to food and water with no chance of being jumped on by an over exuberant Leo. Greg even opened the window in there for her. Not very punishing... but she still didn’t want to be in there.
We decided to leave her in there while we were at church. That’s a few hours of no stress of being attacked. That was the hope anyway. Leo did apparently move one of the boxes put in front to keep him from trying to get in. Strong boy.. Or ornery boy.
When we got home, Greg closed the upstairs doors so she couldn’t just run up and hide. I’m not sure still if that was smart or not. Anyway, he didn’t just let her out, he picked her up and pet her, brought her to me and let me pet her, and held her until she seemed calm. She ran upstairs immediately, but came right back down when there was no where to go. She went behind the couch and didn’t come out. Not even for snack time. Greg put her dish back there with her so she wouldn’t miss out on it. I don’t want her missing any meals or snacks as I think she could still stand to gain a few ounces, maybe a pound, that she lost while sick.
We opened the doors upstairs but she still wouldn’t come out. I wasn’t sure she would forgive us for locking her in the cat room. I guess I needn’t have worried, because as soon as we started going up, I called her and she came out and ran up ahead of us.
She was extra cuddly, running from one of us to the other for attention. She’s been coming and closing my laptop and laying on it as I’ve been trying to write this. So I’m assuming she’s trying to make up to us?
All of this has made us realize that we cannot go on just letting them decide when to get together. At the moment, our idea is to put Star in her harness and leash, get another and put Leo in it and make them stay in the same room, in sight of each other, at least once a day. When Star is in her harness, she becomes a different cat. She’s all humble and shy. I can only hope Leo reacts the same way. Then they might be more tolerant of each other. That’s the idea anyway.
Star does not care for the day’s news apparently.
I disapprove.. Of everything
Leo keeps his mouth shut
Hee hee, I not talking..
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