Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011


TBT:  Today is a grand holiday of fun and mischief, and I hope all of you have a wonderful time with little kids in costumes coming around tonight.  They don't come through this neighborhood anymore.  Mostly, for me, it is a day of remembrance.  You see, today is the 19th anniversary of Skeeter's Gotcha Day and the 18th anniversary of LC's Gotcha Day. 

I got Skeeter on this day in 1992 on a whim.  There was an old fashioned pet store on the back street of my town, and I stopped by on the way home from work.  The place was a renovator's nightmare.  The same day in 1993, I got LC.  at the same place.  It was a lot calmer then.

When I started cat-blogging in 2006, both of them were elderly, but it was a new exciting adventure for us.  Skeeter went over the Bridge in December 2008.  LC followed him in January 2010.  But I kept a cat diary many years of them and before them.  Please recall that this is what was written  In a diary, before I blogged. though it IS what I blogged later.  I hope that makes sense.

I think I will copy the first Halloween days of our blog to remember this date...

(From The Big Thing's Cat Diary, 1992)

Having heard of the enjoyment that some other cats have gotten from having a playmate, I decided to get a playmate for my adult cat Tinkerbelle in Fall 1992. I had in mind finding a female Siamese (my family had female Siamese cats when I was young, and I seem to get along better with female cats than males), but I ended up with an orange male kitten!

On Halloween Day, I passed a pet store I hadn't noticed previously. Upon entering, I was assailed by commotion, noise, and a multitude of workers busily engaged in renovating the entire shop. As I turned to leave, the owner told me they were quite open for business and asked what I was looking for. It turned out that the only kitten available was an orange tabby male. What a sight! The poor thing had been alone in a small cage and engulfed in dust, noise, and strange people for over a week. He clung to me and cried; my heart went out to him and I brought him home.

How purr-fect! My Halloween cat was orange and was born (as near as can be determined) on the 4th of July. It took two days before he would come anywhere near me, but by getting down on hands and knees (closer to eye level), I eventually got to scratch him on the head. Talk about a complete change! After that, I couldn't get him away from me for weeks! I learned that any approach from above panicked him, especially combined with a reaching out (and down) of hands. I concluded that he was abused by humans as a kitten and feared hands! The noise and dust from the pet shop renovation seemed to have him permanently afraid of sudden noises. It seems that, even when I buy a kitten, it has been psychologically harmed. From that rough beginning, we have become inseparable.

His name took some time to discover. I worked on his orange/white color, his Halloween adoption date and his 4th of July birthdate. I finally decided that he hung around me like a mosquito, so I named him Skeeter.

Unfortunately, Tinkerbelle did not take to Skeeter as I did. Poor little Skeeter wanted nothing more than to become friends with Tinker, but she would bat him and drive him away. He put up with that for months before he gave up trying to curl up next to her or eat out of the same food bowl. He was happiest when draped over my shoulder like a bag of sugar, purring away. While Tinker was my companion from our times of troubles, Skeeter became my favorite cat. He is so friendly and affectionate. When we are outside together, he wants to stay nearby.

Skeeter became a dedicated lap cat!  If I sit down for a minute, he is there to hop up and curl up on my lap. He will even leave a heated waterbed in preference for my lap and some scratching. Sometimes his eyes roll up from the pleasure of being scratched around the head. One time, I think he actually passed out from it.

There’s a little bit of a saber-tooth cat gene in Skeeter. His upper fangs extend beyond his lower jaw! It is so cool to rub my finger along his jaw and feel the tooth points. It’s a good thing he’s not a “biter”! He has got to be the friendliest, easy-going, person-oriented cat ever. And so handsome with his symmetrical white boots and chest. Too bad he is so afraid of strangers and noise; he’d have been a non-purebred ribbon-winner at any show.

(From The Big Thing's Cat Diary, 1993)

LC came to me on Halloween 1993. I decided that the reason Tinkerbelle and Skeeter didn't play together was because of Tinker's age and solitary habits. I took a chance and decided to get a playmate for Skeeter since he was still young. Going back to the same pet store where I got Skeeter, I found two kittens in a cage: One was an utterly cute and friendly calico, while the other was aloof and tried to hide. You guessed it, I ended up with the aloof one! It took two of us to unhook her claws from the screen cage and get her into a box (the calico was already promised to another customer). LC is a “tuxedo” female. As with Skeeter, it took 2 days to get her to come near me, but she is not as oriented to me as Skeeter is. Partly, that's because she fulfilled expectations of being a playmate to Skeeter!

LC is a cat's cat! She and Skeeter hit it off at once and have become nearly inseparable. Skeeter is her "big brother". They play together constantly; he lets her bunnykick to her heart's content (she doesn't seem to hurt him very much) and she is just feisty enough to make up for his advantage in size and weight. She doesn't care to be held like Skeeter does, but she has learned that I have magic fingers that please her greatly.

Her name comes from her black/white markings. She has a strong resemblance to a cow (so I thought of Elsie from Borden's).  From "Elsie", came the letters "LC", which in turn stands for "Little Cow".

I had to do quite a lot for her health those first few months. Her black cowl extends below her eyes, so I didn't suspect at first that the beautiful black color inside her ears was the result of a serious ear mite infestation. It took several visits to the vet and drops/cleaning by me twice a day for weeks before that cleared up. Possibly as a result, she then developed an infection in both eyes. Her eyelids would seal shut from dried "stuff" every time she slept. I didn't notice that until I realized she was moving around uncertainly and finding her food by smell rather than sight (her black face and very dark eyes make it hard to tell when her eyes are open). The poor little thing was going around blind until I got home each evening and dabbed her eyelids clean with water each day. It took over a week of antibiotics before the problem cleared up! After that, she turned out to have worms, which meant that Tinker and Skeeter certainly had gotten them as well. I had to dose the bunch of them!

Not a good start for a pretty kitty, but she got over it all. The vet receptionist calls her "Lucky Cat" because the vet said that most people would have returned her to the pet store, which would have been the end of her!

LC is a frog-hunter, for some odd reason. She loves them as toys and as food. Skeeter will go sniff one of her frogs sometimes, but they aren’t warm-blooded and he can’t seem to see them as alive if they don’t move. LC knows, though. She loves live baitfish, too. She didn’t learn it from another cat; it’s all her own discovery!

LC has a weakness for being scratched under the chin. She’s quite affectionate as long as she is not being held, which she will not tolerate! 


The present...   That's the original stories of Skeeter and LC, my original blogging cats.  I think of them many days, but mostly this day.  They each had their own Bridge Days, but Halloween was their common Gotcha Day and I always try to remember THIS day for that reason.  
 Skeeter was "the cat of my life".  I couldn't imagine him dying...  But he did.  To this day almost 3 years later, I cannot read of any cat going over the Bridge and not cry for him.  He wasn't my first cat, and I cherished the ones who came before.  I loved LC, but she was HIS cat by my deliberate actions.  It was months after Skeeter left us that she came on my lap for the first times.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Easy Like Sunday

Ayla:  "Hey Marley, can I join ya in there"?
Marley:  "Does it LOOK like theres room fer two in here"?
Marley:  "Is there room on the upper platform"?
Ayla:  "No, Iza is using it, an she says theres no room there either".
Ayla:  "So Ill curl up on this one to be close to you"...

ALL:  "We hope evryone finds a good nappin spot today"!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Skwerl TV

AYLA:  I love ta watch skwerl TV from my bafroom windersill.  Im the only one who can get up there, so its all mine!
This one wasnt doing very much.
Just kinna sitting there...
But that gave me plenty of time to study him.
I sure would like ta have that fluffy tail ta play with!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Undercover Kitty

IZA:    It wasnt easy gettin UNDER the towel on the otto-man...
Ya gotta get unner the bottom edge an do a LOT of wiggling!

And THEN hope TBT doesnt put his feets up without lookin...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Garden Tour Thursday

IZA:  Well, we almost dint have a tour today cuz of the rain, but it stopped.  The grass is still wet, but we can walk along the stone border an stay dry...

Sadly, the garden is startin ta fade out fer the year, so mostly there is just a little left.

First, lets go visit the veggie garden.  We havent shown that often (it wasnt a real success this year).  The tamaters had trouble all season, but there are a few ripening now..
The zuckinizoochini, green squash is FINALLY startin ta produce.  TBT only got 1 earlier, back in July!  It looks like there are 6 or 7 of them now.
The basil is still growin.  But not fer long; they die fast in cold weather.
The bell peppers did "OK" this year.  There are 2 in the fridge now, and 3 more ripening.
These red lettuces look gorgeous, dont they?  But they been growin all year.  They got ate down ta the ground by some critter and grew back in hot weather.  TBT says it tastes like leathery grass.  He'll leave them grow fer the appearance...
This is celery on the left and then carrots.  The celery never grew stalks and the carrots never grew roots.  TBT says he will use the celery leafs inna salad and leave the carrots ta bloom next year fer the butterflies.
Now fer the flower part of the garden...  The marigolds are still doing well, but ya can see the flowers are startin ta die.  I dont see any new blossoms.
Here is 1 lone coneflower that bloomed this week.  I dont know what got IT going, but its nice ta see.
The sedum is about as deep red as it will get.  The next color change is... brown.
An speaking of last blooms, here is the last petunia flower.  There IS a blossom, but it may get too cold tonite for it ta survive an open.
In place of the petunias, there will be some pansies with BIG flowers on them.  But he will wait fer the last petunia flower ta die before planting them.
Since it is kinna chilly out, Ayla has chosen warm chicken juice, warm milk, and salmon crunchie treats as snacks today.  Thanks fer comin on our garden tour today in spite of all the wet...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Afternoon Nappng

Marley:  After the otto-man fuss, we all made up on the bed.  Iza was on the corner OOP *.  Allus gotta say, "OK, forget yesserday"...
Ayla does love "comforting closeness".  Its usally OK.
She IS a bit "needy" though...

Sigh, I do what I can...

* "Out Of Picture"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Bed

AYLA:  OK, OK, I tried the NEW BED! 
Its actally pretty comfy, (especially with toys around it).

But I/it could use some warmth...
"Hey Marley, get yer warm furry body over here..."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Not Enough Room

MARLEY:  TBT finally sat down fer a while last night.  Ayla got right up on his lap, so me an Iza curled up on the otto-man. 

Then Ayla got up to go look at somethin on the TV.  I couldnt see what was on, but I heard some birdie sounds.  I was too comfortable ta turn around an look.
The TV dint hold Ayla's attention fer long, an she decided ta come an squeeze in between us.  That dint really werk very well.  There isnt enough  room fer all 3 of us there. Iza turned an told Ayla ta stop sittin on her.  Ayla replied that if Iza wasnt so fat there WOULD be enough room. 

I decided that leaving the scene was a wise idea, especially cuz TBT's lap was available.
I hadda nice peaceful hour, though Ayla an Iza fussed an muttered at each other off an on...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Easy Like Sunday

We are spending Easy Sunday nappin together again.
TBT is actally watchin a football game, but he is up doin stuff while it is on, so we cant lapnap.  Thats OK, he'll have ta sit down eventually!  Meanwhile, the bed is soft an the company is good...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Occupy The Litterbox Movement!

We are 4-paw in favor of this!  It IS time ta Take Litter Over!  The best picture we have is Skeeter.  We know he is no longer with us, but he is the BEST picture for the Movement...  No kitty could use a litterbox like he could...


Friday, October 21, 2011

Marley Tock-Tent

MARLEY: I decided ta combine a stay in my chair tent with Tocktober!
Tock-Tent picture..
Regular tent picture...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Garden Tour Thursday

IZA:  Not much left in the garden, the asters an mums flopped all down in the rain again.  But I'll show ya what we have...

The sedums are at their best right now.  It looks nice an deep red from back a bit.
But nicer closer up...
The marigolds are holding up well!  They have done so well ALL summer long that we will give them more space (in more colors) next year.  They are easy to grow from seeds too, an that helps get a lot of them.  An ya can see there are still a few red salvia bloomin in the back.  More of THEM next year too.
The amazing summer-growin pansies are still hangin on.  Fewer then before, but the pretty little fellers are still smilin at us!
Today's refreshment bar is out on the lawn today cuz I arranged it.  Not that Ayla an Marley havent done SPECTACULAR all year, but I wanted a turn.  So we have a natural-growin catmint plant over HERE, pond water over THERE, an I have scatterred several kinds of treats (salmon, dairy, an chicken) all over the (newly cleaned) warm cement patio fer yer huntin (an rollin) pleasure... 

We jus thought it would be a nice change of pace.  :)

Tour an treats all day, don't worry if yer late!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Afternoon Solon

AYLA: TBT was readin ta me (he on his chair an I on his lap) from a book about old France.  Important female Beins used ta lounge around an discuss IMPORTANT topics of the day from places showin their HIGH RANK.

And I AM, after all, a princess...

I decided ta give that a try with Marley.  He DOES seem unusally bright for a male, and it dint seem right ta bestow my wisdom on Iza (who, between us, can be a real guttersnipe who's only innerest is on food an TBT's lap).  So I invited him to my sleeping quarters (supervised, of course by TBT).

I posed philosofical questions to him and we discussed his answers.  Like:

"Are butterflies made of real butter,
And why do they have wings?
Do hummingbirds actally hum
Or does they secretly sing?"

We discussed that fer a while.  He said he thought butter might melt in Summer and hummers probly sang like other birds.  I proclaimed that they had to be butter or they wouldnt have that name, and "of course hummers hum" (name thing again).
He was subdued an awed by my edicated an suttle answers, as you can plainly see here with his head bowed!
Then he got ta ask a question.  "Why does a mouse when it spins?"

I said: "Spins?  Hmm...  And 'why?', um, well you see they um..."

I dont think Ill have another solon with Marley!!!  Next thing you know, he will be asking other silly questions, like why apples fall from trees (answer; cuz they dont fall UP, do they?).  HMMPH!

Mebbe I SHOULD give Iza a try...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Food Bowl Confusion

ALL:  We allus eat in the same positions.  Iza on the left, Ayla on the right, an "Marley-In-The-Middle".  Its jus the same as before Marley arrived, but no middle position then.  Meaning that We ate far apart so there was no OTHER place for (new) Marley's bowl ecept between us.  We hope that makes sense...

So it is ALLUS like this (old picture from early August):
Ecept when it isnt!  It ALL went wrong at breakfast this mornin.  We arent even sure ezactly what happened, but ONE of us got at the wrong position and ANOTHER of us moved ta a differnt bowl.  Iza was SO UPSET she walked away all unhappy-like.
Then Ayla tried ta find the "right" bowl an nudged Marley away (no easy feat)!
She ate from the MOST wrong bowl (Iza's, but Marley was at that one first annyway).
But that was cuz someone ate from HER bowl...  All in all, it is thunk that Marley ended up eatin MOST of the breakfast, but HE complained about feelin hungry too.  So none of us know quite what went on ecept we are PRETTY sure TBT dint eat anny of it.

TBT:  Connected to this odd incident, perhaps, is their latest weight measurements.  A few months ago, it was (something like) Ayla 6 lbs, Iza 12 lbs, Marley 11 lbs.  Last month, it was Ayla 7.5 lbs, Marley 12 lbs, Iza 12.5 lbs...

Well today, it was Ayla 9 lbs, Iza 12.5 lbs, Marley 11.5 lbs!

Ayla has really been catching up to adult Meezer female weight since her successful spay operation.  And, while having a tiny 5.5 kitty was nice on the lap, I am happier to see her seem to get to a healthier size and weight.  Some of you Kitties and People may have noticed in recent pictures that she is more alike in size to Iza and Marley lately...

My goal (expectations?) is that Ayla will settle at 10 lbs, Iza at 13 lbs, and Marley at 14-16 lbs for their middle years.  Its hard to control the weights of individual kitties when they all eat together and none will leave food in the collective bowls, but I try.

But with Ayla's recent weight gain, I think we can guess who made the most of the food bowl confusion this morning...  LOL!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Something New

AYLA:  We got a new bed!  TBT went off hunting an came back with this thing. Marley hopped in but hopped right back out.

Its BIG.  We arent sure about it, an had to talk it over a bit.
We looked it over pretty thoroughly...

But no one wanted ta be the first one ta curl up in it...
TBT said he got it cuz we HAVE been nappin together lately and he thinks this could fit all 3 of us.
But its got a stuffed bone "pillow" an WE think it is really a doggie bed!!!  Do you think it is safe fer us ta sleep in?  I mean, like, will it change us somehow?  It DOES look pretty comfy...