Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where Is The Hall Troll?

AYLA: Where IS Iza? That Hall Troll is just waiting ta pounce me from SOMEWHERE!

Even my tail is a question mark!

Jeez I gotta watch my back alla time. She's watchin me from somewhere, I jus KNOW it...

Of course, I do the same at her... MOL!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Activity on the Condo

AYLA:  We get along most of the time.  For example, we were both nappin together an The Big Thing got up ta take a picture.  But just then, Iza suddenly stood up an disturbed me (an ruined the picture)...
She had seen somethin out on the deck.  I glanced over and saw a little birdie hoppin around...
Not even worth gettin up for.  Ive learned that there is no way we can get TBT ta open the door wifout the birdie flyin away.  I went back ta my nap while Iza stared as if she hadnt eaten all day (hah, like THAT would ever happen)...
IZA:  Nappy-brain Ayla dint see the skwerrel!  It was sittin right on the deck makin faces at us...  I ran over at it, but it ran down, so I ran inta the basement ta watch it from below.  It was long-gone...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

4 Cats, Part 4

THE BIG THING: 

Today is the individual story of Famine:

You know Famine’s initial story with War from yesterday (the garlic production line and all that).  Here is her individual story...
Famine was precious, and she knew it.  She was their "Nermal, the world's cutest kitten."  She weighed 8 ounces the first time the vet saw her.  When they bottle fed her and War, she would finish off the formula and quickly became quite rotund (hence the name).  She got up to 14 pounds eventually.  They figured she was getting ready for the next famine.  When she ran, she looked like a fuzzy black bowling ball with legs.  But cute.  Always cute.  Unlike the other cats, she would have been happy in a fourth storey apartment, never going outside. 

She was a natural indoor cat.  She did catch a mouse.  Once.  And let it go again (Ann had to catch it).  But they used to say she couldn't catch a mouse in a bathtub.  She hated water.  If Ann snapped her hands after washing, Famine would cry if a drop got on her. 

She hated to be picked up, but would hop in your lap if you sat down. While the other cats were wary of strangers, Famine was convinced anyone who came to visit came to visit her

When Ann and Dan made their king sized bed, Famine would "help."  At the end, she would hop up on the bed.  One of them would wiggle their fingers and she would come to them.  That person would pet her.  Then, on the other side of the bed, the other person would wiggle their fingers and Famine would run across the bed to get pet by them.  Back and forth, back and forth.  They got tired of it before she did.  It was the most exercise she ever got.  Then would put a towel on the bed for her to sleep on.  Like many cats, she'd sleep on anything on the bed.  Ann and Dan used to tease each other by moving the towel to the other person's side of the bed!

She loved to lick Ann’s hands--it drove Ann crazy--and wiggled if Ann pet her.  They decided she was a puppy in a previous life. 

On one Friday, Famine hopped up on Ann’s chair as usual.  Sadly, on Saturday morning she was walking like a drunken sailor.  Ann took her to the vet's when she went to pick up the deceased War, who had been kept overnight. 

Her nicknames were “Precious” and “Paperweight”.

Famine died Monday, July 12, 2010, a little less than 24 hours after her brother War. 

Losing both in 2 days was very hard for Ann and Dan, but appropriate in a way.  War and Famine came into the world at the same time, went through the same garlic line production tribulations as young kittens, lived together in their Forever Home together, and went over The Bridge almost together.  Their threads of life were spun together and cut together.  They were together from beginning to end for 16+ years...

AYLA and IZA:  We wanna add a total “Paws Up” for Plague, Pestilence, War, and Famine for their great lives.  And for Ann and Dan for giving them such a good Forever Home.  We jus KNOW that when annykitty meets them over The Rainbow Bridge that they will all be romping around together!  Find one and you'll find them all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

4 Cats, Part 3

THE BIG THING:  


As Plague and Pestilence came as a team, so did War and Famine...  As their names suggest, they go together like death and taxes.  They are so connected that it is hard to tell their stories separately.  So I will basically tell their mutual story and War’s here and give Famine her own tomorrow.
War and Famine: Dan worked graveyard shift at an onion and garlic drying mill.  In the middle of November, 1993, he relieved the swing shift supervisor who told him about the box with the two kittens that had come though the garlic line.

Now, you have to understand about garlic processing.  It is a very mechanical process with lots of machinery involved.  The garlic is kept in a huge warehouse in long mounds about 5 feet high.  A bulldozer scoops up a couple of tons of garlic bulbs and drops them into a machine called a tipplehopper (love the name).  This machine shakes the garlic bulbs down onto a wire mesh that shakes dirt, small rocks, other small junk, while a huge hooded vacuum sucks up the chaff (called "shook") and dust. 

The garlic shakes its way across to another machine, called a star separator, which is like a rotating wheel over a long, narrow slit, where long sticks can drop through.  Then onto a conveyor belt where, the last thing before going into a quick hot bath to take off the skin, real, live humans pick over the garlic to remove larger rocks, coke cans, and the occasional critter (ahem).  The line worker picked up the first kitten, then dropped it, thinking it was a rat.  Realized it was a baby kitten and removed it.  Pretty soon, along came another one.  It is absolutely amazing that they survived with all their appendages intact.


Their origin was utterly unknown...

The kittens were put in a box, the day shift supervisor promised to look for someone to take them, and Dan went home.  He was getting a cold and went to bed.  Just before the end of the day shift (another eight hours), he called to find out if they had found a home for the kittens.  Nope.  Dan got out of his sick bed and went to rescue the kittens.  Ann and Dan met at the vet's office.  Each kitten had one eye open, and the vet said they were about two weeks old.  They decided the kittens should have a Halloween birthday.  The male weighed less than 6 ounces, and the vet wasn't sure he'd make it.  They got shots, and Ann and Dan took home medicine and kitten formula.

WAR:  They named the little male kitty War cuz “he looked like he'd been through the wars”.
War was really an average cat.  He always walked with his tail held high, and was a happy cat.  He eventually got up to about 17 pounds.  His head was bigger than he was when they first got him.  He was nothing special until they moved to the country and let the cats go outside (they had been strictly indoor cats until then.  He could triangulate the exact spot on the floor where he would most be in the way (reminds me of Iza’s talent for that).  And one day Ann was making dinner.  She turned around and War was sitting there with a gopher at his feet! 
We have all read that a cat won't learn to make a kill if it doesn't learn it from its mother.  Well, we all know it ain't so.  War was a champion gopher getter and no one taught him. Ann and Dan learned more about the local rodentia than they ever wanted to know!  They learned to trade the rodents for canned kitty treats (everybody got some, no matter who brought in the not-always-dead prey).  He was easy-going and undemanding, with no real peculiarities.

His nicknames were “Mr. Tail”, “Beeg Boy”, “Handsome”, and “Speed Bump”.

He died July 11, 2010 at 16 years old.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

4 Cats, Part 2

THE BIG THING:  Keep in mind this is not about us doing these posts, but about "them" for their lives.  And about the loss Ann and Dan feel for the kitties that were part of their lives for so many years... 
  
Pestilence...
 
Pestilence was born along with Plague in March, 1993, and came to the same Ann and Dan Forever Home with her. Pestilence started out as "Donder."  Pestilence and Donder have related meanings.  Ann is a linguist, so I’m not surprised at these connections.
Pestilence had a hard life.  For the first four months of her life, she was the sweetest, most laid-back cat ever.  Then they found her unconscious on the floor near an outside door. 
 
They called the vet late in the day.  He wanted to put it off, but they told him they were seriously worried about the cat.  She swelled up all over.  That's why her ears are wrinkled.  She had a furless ring on her tail.  She survived, but it changed her body chemistry.  Her fur was always rough after that.  

She went into heat at four months and became very territorial and aggressive.  Once she pushed out a screen to go after a dog that was trotting along the sidewalk, minding his own business.  After they moved to the country, she had a stroke.  When she came back from the vet's they had to keep her separated from the other cats.  They did "jump and pounce" exercises with her every day.  They called the vet each day to report on her progress.  Finally she got to the point where no one would ask  "What's wrong with your cat?" 
Nothing was wrong, finally...

Their favorite story about Pestilence is that one night Ann went to bed early because she had to get up early the next morning.  Pestilence had a fuzzy multi-colored ball that was HER ball.  She was playing with it on the bed, keeping Ann awake.  She threw it off the bed and composed herself for sleep.  Feeling a soft pat, pat, pat, Ann opened her eyes to see Pesty was sitting about six inches from her face with the ball at her feet.  She threw the ball again.  Pesty went after it.  Composed herself for sleep again.  Pat, pat again.  Ann thought, "This is worth waking up for!"  She threw that ball for Pesty for about 15 minutes.  Dan didn't believe it until she did it for him too.  Unfortunately, when they moved, that ball was lost, and Pesty never really got into fetching another ball.  But up until just before she died, they could get her going by saying, "Where's your ball?  Go get your ball!"  And she'd look around for it.
Pestilence loved to get up in trees.

Her nicknames were “Baby” and “Doorstop”.

Pestilence died June 3, 2010 after a slow decline with a sudden worsening.  She was 17 years old.

Monday, July 26, 2010

4 Cats, Part 1


THE BIG THING:  I want to take this week to acknowledge 4 fine kitties of a friend.  Ayla and Iza are in full agreement.  My friend Ann and her husband Dan lost the last of them recently and have reached their own “end of an era”.  They don’t have a blog, so I am using ours to celebrate their lives.  Every kitty deserves its day in the spotlight, and I want to give them theirs...

Their original names were Donner, Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid as kittens  But they soon became Plague, Pestilence, War, and Famine.  As unusual as those names seem for good kitties (and they were good kitties), the names were well deserved.  They were all adopted to their Forever Home in 1993.


I do want to mention that this is not about us mentioning them, but about the 4 kitties and the love that Ann and Dan had for them.  Don't praise us for mentioning them, please.  Focus on the kitties and the Beins that loved them...

Each day this week, I will mention one of them.
Plague was born March, 1993.  She came to her Forever Home on Mother's Day that year. Plague had a zig-zag streak across her brow, so she became "Blitzen".  Dan teasingly referred to her as "Plague” after one of the Four Horsemen.  Blitzen and Plague are related words.

Plague disappeared a number of years ago.  They always hoped against hope that she would come back.  Many of us know how that feels.  By the time they knew she wasn't coming back, it was really too late to grieve.  When The Ceiling Cat handed out mischief, Plague got back in line for a second helping.  She had more curiosity in her left paw than the other three cats put together.  She was the funniest cat they ever knew.  The picture is of Plague investigating wildflowers on the property.

Their favorite stories about Plague: Dan brought his boss home for lunch.  He told the boss about the cats doing tricks.  Boss didn't believe it.  Dan said, "Hey, Plague!  Come'ere!"  Plague popped in.  "Stand up!"  She stood on her hind legs to be pet.  "Roll over!"  She tucked her head under her and flopped on her back.  Dan rubbed her belly.  Boss was impressed.  Another time a niece, a dog person, was visiting.  Plague came over and looked at Ann.  Ann signaled and Plague hopped up on the niece’s lap.  The niece was amazed. 

Plague’s nicknames were “Sweetie” and “Laptop”. 

Plague disappeared in the Summer of 2001 at age 7...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Easy Like Sunday

Just nappin an gettin along...
And enjoying the afternoon sunlight puddling in through the winder...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Poor Nip Plant

Ooh:  SOMEONE tore up the poor Nip Plant real good.  But we aint tellin...

Cuz we were BOTH Nipped out...  Heh-heh-heh

Friday, July 23, 2010

Almost Jumped In!

Ayla:  That Iza!  She keeps tryin ta trick me.  This time, she almost got me ta hop into a lovely smelly bag...

An I almos DID.  I spose it is MY fault fer bein such an Explorer, but she doesnt haf ta be so advantageous (I looked that werd up) about it! 

Fortunately, The Big Thing came by an warned me about goin in there.  He says I would have been a solid charcoalate point meezer iffen I had...  An then there would haf been a BATH!  OMC, a BATH?

Like real water an soap an stuff.  I dont think I could survive that...

Im gonna GET that girl...  Guarantee that she wont find a toy mice fer a WEEK!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Garden Thursday

IZA:  Well, its Thursday an time fer another tour of the garden!  Its been pretty dry here, but The Big Thing has been waterin the special stuff.  So I haf some nice things ta show this week!

First, there is a nice clump of Black Eyed Susans.  These are volunteers.  Thank goodness cuz all the original ones died last year!

Then we gots some very pretty Salvias.  They are annuals unlike most of the flowers here, but TBT likes ta have a differnt border color each year.  Last year it was yeller Marigolds...

These Coneflowers are usally nicer, but they dont get special watering.

Its hot, so time fer a break.  Lets all have a drink at the pond next to the Skeeter and LC Memorial spot...
That was good.  Now to the vegable garden.  The tomatoes are ripe now.  Heres one on the plant waiting.  There are a bunch inside too. 
Over here are the sweet peppers  These are still green but will ripen ta red or orange.

The big news is these purple ones.  Today is the first time we saw them ripe...
Thank you for comin along on todays tour!  Im gonna hafta look hard fer somethin new fer next week.  Maybe the asters will start bloomin...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hmmm...

IZA:  Ayla dint fall for the dryer ride!  It dint occur ta me that she would ask you guys for advice...

But this looks promising!  She likes ta explore inta places.  I wonder if I can talk her inta taking a bag dive.
She might just go for that...  Heh-heh!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Standing Tall

AYLA:  While I love ta be up high, I love ta stand too.  Its about my favrit way of watchin things.  This one was 2 months ago when the door could be left open fer the cool weather.  I couldnt get out cuz of that screen thing.
Its really mean, cuz I cant see it.  I bump my head onit.  I mean, one time The Big Thing opened the door, forgetting the screen was closed and I even bounced off it.  Screens is EVIL!

Here I am again, looking out the door.  TBT says I am the longest skinniest healthy cat he ever saw.  He says my dad must have been a snake.
I think thats a compliment of some sort, but you never know with him.  But if Iza said it, it definitely wouldnt be.

Iza says she can stand like this, but Ive nefer seen her do it.  She makes up kinds of stories.  Like ridin in the dryer an walkin on the ceiling.  All I can say is that I haf proof and SHE doesnt.  So THERE...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Up High!

AYLA:  I love gettin up high!  I got up on the top of the closet door this time...  It is SO much fun.  Iza can barely make it to a table top with the help of a chair, but I just float to places way higher than she dreams of...
Reachin fer the top shelf of the closet here.  But I would have hadda go both sideways AND up at the same time.  I havent figured out THAT move yet, but I will.
Heh-heh, I head-faked the camera on this one.  I was lookin for the best way down...
How high up am I?  See here...
I can paw the ceiling!  TBT didnt catch that on camera cuz he was too slow I did it too fast, but I really dided it...  The best thing is that, jumpin down, I land on the watery soft bed...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Easy Like Sunday

AYLA:  I almos OWN Sleepy Sunday aroun here.  I am about the best sleeper ever...
I have all sorts of nappin positions...
It helps ta have a pretty bloo towel...
An a pretty colory box...
Sometimes I jus sit there.  The Big Thing promises he will let me know when he washes an dries the bloo towel so I can get back in there when it is still nice an warm!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Decorations

IZA:  I am hoomiliated.  But I lost a bet, so I gotta post the pictures.  Geez, The Big Thing is so sneaky sometimes...

It started with dinnertime las night.  TBT tosses me mousies and squiggles while he eats.  I LOVE that.  Then he said, "I bet you you can't catch the next one and if you can't, you have to wear a squiggly".  Well, I KNOW I am good at catchin stuff, so I agreed.

I am so stoopid trusting.  You know what he did?  DO ya?  Bet ya dont...

He tossed the mousie up in the air an caught it wif his OWN hand!  I feel like a stoopid mousie...

But a deal is a deal.  Here is the resulting pictures...

I efen hadda POSE for this one.  Oh the shame...
At least Ayla was nappin in the bedroom an dint get ta see this...

[AYLA]  I saw it, heh, heh!

Iza:  Oh mouse-droppings...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Robin Nest

We saw the most mazin thing out the front winder!  A Robin built a nest we can look down at!  Birdies right in view all day!!!  We have been at that winder a lot lately...


The Big Thing got a better picture from outside on the front lawn (where we are not allowed ta go).  It seems the birdie just sits there.
Then we were amazed efen more!  There were baby birdies in the nest.  The nest GROWS baby birdies!!!    Sadly, we The Big Thing lost that picture.  (*sigh*).  But trust us, there were yummy baby birdies there at one point.  Mebbe thats why we arent allowed in the front yard...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden Thursday

IZA:  Welcome to another Garden Thursday Tour!  Today, I will show the garden failures...  Its not pretty, but it gotta be done sometimes...  Come along an I'll show ya the sad spots this time...

This was the kohlrabi spot.  2 little weak plants that never grew...
An the beets!  TBT grown beets fine fer years.  Not this year.  Theyre just SITTIN there...
 The chinese cabbage was a flop this year too.  No leafs and then bolted to flower early!
 Parsnips.  Ya see any?  I don't...
 Carrots were nearly "no-shows".  There is one strugglin at the lower left corner.  See it?  Way down low and left.  Fuzzy top.
These poor flats of seeds were left to die by TBT.  Shame shame!   It happens, but he cheated these poor seedlings out of their chance to bloom wunnerfly.



I bug him and bug him, but I cant get him ta do everything he should...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Joy Ride?

AYLA:  The Big Thing left the dryer machiney door open taday.  I went an took a look at it.  Iza says it is a fun place ta be ta be rollin round with warm clothes an she has done it many times...
Im not sure.  I mean, I DO like warm clothes, but I dont know what happens inside.  It makes noises, ya know.  Should I take Iza up on the offer?  She DID say she has done it many times herself...

I think I will wait fer yer advice on this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ring Toy Fun

AYLA: I allus have fun wif my ring toy.  I still haven't figured out the bigger track one (sadness) but I know the ring one real good!  Sorry fer the blurry picture.  I WAS moving kinna fast...
This one is better.  I was poised, ready ta pounce.  Someday, Im gonna get that thing out of there.  I saw The Big Thing pop the ball out, an he added 2 back in once, so I know it can be done.  But he is awful strong, so I'll hafta werk at it a lot...
Thats OK, I love werkin at it...