Sunday, July 25, 2010

Issey's Favorite Things

Actually, Issey's most favorite thing to do may be eating. His appetite is so good that I worry a bit over his keeping his runway model figure. It's interesting that both Issey and Santino who are the thinnest eat a good twice (if not more) than heftig Rudy and Sophie do.

Me bite you! Argggghhhhhhhh! The silk plant has limited appeal as it doesn't bite back.

Me bite you! Argggghhhhhhhh!

Me bite you! Argggghhhhhhhh!

Stretching is the BEST!

Stretching is the BEST!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In Servitude

This morning I came into the kitchen followed by Issey singing at the top of his voice. "Ah, are we practicing our beautiful voice this morning?" I asked as I put fresh crunchies into the kitty dishes. I petted him over and over and over, but he did not stop "singing".

Santino came in and joined in. The duet was not as pleasurable....or, maybe I, still without my coffee, was simply getting irritated. And, then I got it!

They were insisting on wet food! I have been putting down a dish of wet food when toothless Rudy gets up. This morning, Issey spearheaded the change. No waiting on Rudy. (Sure enough, Rudy appeared when I was opening the can.)

I think the test of a cat's intelligence is how well he can train Mom to serve him amicably, quickly, and completely to his satisfaction.

Rudy trained me to give him water the way HE wanted a drink years ago. It didn't take long before I came to dislike what I had previously considered cute.

I solved the issue by buying a cat fountain and thereafter playing dumb when he would ask me to turn on the faucet.

But, I wasn't vigilant enough. The Red Prince wins. I have been showering him with loving attention since I came back from California, found him in pain, and most especially after his dental surgery. My return to servitude to his highness came about so naturally that I was not aware of it until I saw this photo I had taken!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How Smart Are They REALLY?

Only a couple of days ago I was telling a friend how extraordinarily smart my cats are, especially Issey whose bloodlines, I was certain, should have been passed on, and, perhaps, a terrible injustice, if not crime, had been committed by having had him neutered.

I still remember how my children never failed to prove me wrong after I had bragged on them! I am also aware of how I have been punished by the Universe when I have bragged about myself! Apparently, things work the same way with fur kids.

Today I came home in a rental car. I entered the house through the garage and cried out "Hi, kids!" the way I always do. Rudy backed off a few feet, but Issey and Santino bolted in the opposite direction. Even when I opened their food cans, I had to coax them out. Did I smell like the tow truck in which I had ridden?.....picked up bad juju from the body shop or the rental car place? No......They didn't recognize the car and weren't about to be tricked by some stranger pretending to be ME!

And, of course, we all know how smart I am attempting to figure out what cats think!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Imagining Things?

My two Balinese say "Oh, wow, wow, wow!" very clearly when I give them chicken. Oh...not just any kind of chicken, of course! Here is the recipe:

1 oven cooking bag (which you will put in a bakng dish
1 whole Organic baking chicken...4#- 5#
1 large beet, cut in halves
coarse salt, black pepper, and Herb Provance mixed spices

Remove all the icky parts...giblets, fat...and throw away
Rinse chicken under cold water and dry with paper towels
Place in cooking bag
Rub liberally with all the spices
Add the washed beet halves
Close bag and bake at 400 degrees.....Wait an hour and a half and it's done!

The cats will be going crazy from the aroma! See if you can get them to do any work before dinner.....while the chicken cools. (I have not yet succeeded with this. ) The beet and your favorite parts of the chicken are for you.....The rest is for the cats.

Wait until cool enough, but still warm.....Hand down only one piece to each and you will hear a very clearly said "Oh wow, wow, wow!"
It may, of course, be only a Balinese trait!

This is Rudy's "The Look". It works! I put a portion of wet food in his own dish and deliver it to him on his high perch where he can eat it in peace.

My FaceBook friends did not see "The Look" at all in the same way! Does he really not look depressed?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Subtle Changes

This black chair in my studio is always occupied and I happily give up the chair if this will keep them traipsing through the stuff on my work table. Issey has a bead fetish. He wants them ALL. He has learned that he is not to touch the strings of beads, so he sneaks them. He's got them off the table and on the floor by the time I notice. And, I know how spoiled he is when I catch myself thinking "Oh, he is SO cute!"

Sometimes changes in cats (and people, too, I think) are so subtle that one can't be certain......But, now I know that Santino was upset about Miki. He is now back to the Santino of old. He is the most affectionate kitty I have ever had. And...lucky me...He loves to be held. He is the only one who does. I hold him with one hand, snuggled to my chest, while I stroke him with my other hand. Bliss! He also lays himself over my shoulder like a baby. More bliss! And, then there are the head butts and nose kisses! I am very lucky.

Sophie has lost a bit of weight, although it doesn't show in this pose. Come to think of it, maybe it's only her winter coat she has lost.

The best sculptor couldn't do any better!

Rudy is coming along, but he is not the same kitty. The changes are subtle. Perhaps, it's too soon after his surgery....yes, only the 4 incisors are have his joy back.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nora, the Pianist

I try to not be arrogant about the intelligence of my cats. But, let's face it, they ARE exceptionally bright. At the vet's office they cannot fathom that mine are so good at reading body language that there's simply NOTHING I can get past them. Obviously, they have never encountered animals as intelligent as mine.

This morning I discovered that I have been holding them back by not providing them with a piano. Just look at what they could do if they weren't so deprived!

This is Nora who, with her 6 siblings, lives in Lithuania and who, thanks to her artist parents, has become a concert pianist. (Nora swats her siblings off the piano, claiming it as her own.) In fact, her dad wrote a concerto just for her, and now she is more famous than he is.

See this most amazing video!

P.S. After thinking about it, I've decided to not buy a piano.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Though Rudy is looking a bit pensive here but he is doing great. He had his dental yesterday and gave up more of his teeth. He must have lost a few on his own because his dental chart now shows only the incisors remaining. I will check when his mouth is no longer sore.

I took in a growling kitty early yesterday morning. Had "words" with the dental tech who insisted the dental could not, and would not be done without a rabies shot. (Just because Rudy was growling, I'll bet!:-) I told him I would take Rudy back to our former vet, but first I wanted to speak to Dr. Whitehill (our present vet, and the tech's boss). For 15 minutes I stroked growling Rudy while I was kept waiting. Through the small window in the door to the hospital, I could see and hear Dr. Whitehill in conversation with another vet. The tech never asked him.....but came back to tell me "fine....Dr. W. said we'll do it.". I do NOT like lying.

What an arrogant young man! It was later in the day when I picked Rudy up and saw Dr. W. that I found out that it's this particular vet tech that administers the anesthesia! Dr. W. said he would have been fired if he did not excel at anesthesia. At t least I understood that the tech was scared! I mean what kind of a crazy person while petting her 10#plus growling, hissing cat says....oh, he won't bite!? Still, I would not want to deal with this tech if Rudy DID bite! I mean, I wanted to bite him myself....Rudy might do it FOR me.

Rudy was visibly happy to see me! He rubbed against the front of the carrier, and kissed my hands. He has not uttered one single growl!!! No, not even when Issey attempted to shove him from the food dish. Not when Santino smelled his butt. Poor Rudy! He was in pain much too long.

I was instructed to feed 1/4 of his usual amount of water and wet food last night, but Rudy made a b-line for the dry food immediately and started inhaling it. I grabbed it from him and barely managed to put wet food down when that was gone! I looked on in amazement and did not have the heart to take it away. Instead of eating 1/4, he ate 4 times his normal amount. He kept it all down, and slept better than a baby.

This morning, it took me 2 hours to convince him that I had no evil intent....Yes, he reads my body language! TWO full hours! Wrestling him into position, took 30 seconds, and squirting the pain medication into his mouth 3 seconds...if that long. The second dose tonight will be harder.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Missing Cats

Thank God, it's only photos which are mising and not cats!

This is Santino's relative (same fathers, Santino Sr.), Velcro. He was one of the candidates to come live with us, but he wasn't all that crazy about me. I would also have had some difficulty lugging his 10# plus sweetness through airports.

I have many photos of Virginia and Paul's fabulous cats to share, only I can't find them! When I worked with them in creating the cat scrapbook, I apparently allowed the files to go under something other than "photos". I'm sure I will locate them, yet!
I pray I might learn patience from Sophie...the most patient kitty I have ever known. She is not, however, quite as patient with Issey as she was with Santino when he was little. Still, she is very sweet and very kind. I think Issey may be a bit naughtier than Santino ever was.:-) and as a full grown cat now, Sophie may not be as easily amused by kitten antics.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

They sleep and sleep and sleep. And then, sometimes, I wish they did! But, I am only joking because I find everything my cats do fascinating. And, THAT is what makes me a crazy cat lady, not the (measly small) number of cats I have.

In order to choose a mix of beads to create a custom necklace, I needed to lay them out. No sooner had I done that, when Issey appeared to critique the project. I think he's taking his name a little bit too seriously.

He was intent on one particular string of small blue beads, and no matter how I mixed it up in the bunch of others, and no matter how many strands that I did not intend to use and shoved near him, he searched and found his favorite once again. He finally picked it up and ran away with it. Unfortunately, he has hidden it! Do you think he is telling me those small blue beads don't belong in the necklace?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Poopy Incident

Issey had a weird adventure today, and, I guess, so did I. He hopped up on my computer table and as stroked him my hand hit a damp spot on his tail. I grabbed a paper towel and wiped...feces. None of it on his actual behind.

And, then I saw it. The top of his head was smeared with it. I did a quick towel wipe and then rushed into the bathroom with him. There was no time to wait for the slowest faucet in the world outside of Peru to deliver warm water. He was struggling, and unlike other cats, he has a tiny, delicate scruff, very short hair....nothing much to hold onto.

First, I leave him for a week, then I take him to the vet for neutering, and now I do THIS to him. I used what was closest, the soap I use to wash my face. Holding Issey with one hand, soaping and wiping with a washcloth (mine, of course) in the other hand, I used my elbow to keep Santino and Rudy away. They were protesting loudly what I was doing to Santino.....or, perhaps, they were cheering, not sure. I did not have a container nearby or I could have used that to rinse his head. I stuck poor Issey's head under the faucet and managed to give him a fair rinse. Used my face towel to dry for a few seconds, and then he was gone. He sat under the bench in my bedroom looking stunned. He made no attempt to shake the water off....nothing. I felt terrible.

But, he did not hold a grudge. An hour later, he had forgiven me. Of course, I would love to know how this happened...Then again, I'm almost afraid to.
I have cleaned up enough poop in my life that it does not gag me, but I do have full respect for the bacteria it harbors.

Rudy is feeling better, but is avoiding chewing and not wanting the other kitties to come very close. I am hoping he will be sufficiently infection free to do the dental this coming week.