Chillin’

Summer’s coming to a close. We’re taking advantage of every hot day. Gotta keep an eye on all the goings-on.

Image shows Misha lying at the edge of the porch, watching the lawn below.

Watchin’ the world

 

And then stretch out for a good relaxin’.

Misha's in the same spot, but has turned a bit and stretched out her front paws.

Chillaxin’

 

She surely loves her sunbeams. She especially loves them when she can get the in-your-face sunbeam action going. I was working my arse off in the chair beside her, while she blissed out very pointedly. Yes, Misha, you’re right. I do sometimes wish I was a cat.

The days get hot, but the nights cool fast, and the sun goes down earlier. Soon, the leaves will begin turning their glorious colors. The air will be crisp with a hint of smoke. And another summer will be past. She’s had a good one. With luck, we’ll get one or a few more.

She’ll probably manage to make it to 25 just to keep me from fostering kittens.

Sunset from My Office

This was my background as I researched the South Napa quake:

Image shows a streak of orange and pink cloud diving into fir tree silhouettes.

Sunset over the trees.

Yes, you’re allowed to be jealous. Especially when I tell you what we had for dinner.

Image shows Misha licking a bit of chicken.

Yay chicken!

Yes, that is a bit of Ezell’s Famous Chicken. I was too busy to cook and had to get supplies for an upcoming trip, so I splurged. It doesn’t take a lot of persuasion – this is the best chicken in Seattle, as far as I’m concerned.

Misha loves it, too.

Misha has finished her chicken and is staring at the spot where it used to be as if she can't believe there's no more.

Noooo where are the chicken?!

I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d started chewing on that wee white paw, thinking it was some delicious chicken, but she figured out she’d eaten all hers and purred vigorously at me in hopes of getting more. She’s not much of a people-food cat, but she will take a bit of Ezell’s with the breading off. Oh, and never take your attention away from your cereal bowl when she’s around, especially if it’s got soy milk in it. She will climb right in so she can get to the milk.

Anyway, pretty sunset and cute kitteh by way of apologies. No, I didn’t get the follow-up earthquake post done as quickly as I expected. They kept finding out moar things, and so I kept reading, and also, I had to go get Ezell’s. And eat it. A lot. When you come to Seattle, and if you’re not a vegetarian, you also may eat Ezell’s, and then you’ll understand.

I’m making myself hungry again…

Nefarious Whisker

Misha’s plotting something evil. I have absolute proof of this. I mean, beside the fact she’s a cat.

Image shows Misha's face. One of her white whiskers is cocked upward, looking like the beginning of a cartoon villain's moustache.

Nefarious Whisker

See it? SEE IT??? She’s trying to grow a supervillain ‘stache!

She now has her head turned to the side in a very villainy pose.

Villainy is afoot!

My gods, she’ll be twirling it next!

Anyway. You’re getting Misha because we didn’t get sea mammals today – B wasn’t feeling well. So I stayed home and caught up on some reading and housework. Sea mammals will hopefully be in the near future.

IF SHE DOESN’T DESTROY THE WORLD FIRST. Damn cat.

La Bête Noire de la Véranda

Or, potentially, la pesadilla de la terraza.

Image shows Misha on the porch, biting a clear plastic strip I'm wriggling around for her.

Vicious wee beastie murtilates a plastic sheath.

Okay, she’s not actually the bane of my existence or a literal nightmare, but she likes to believe she is. And she spends most of her time on the porch these days.

I brought home a new chair for it yesterday, and as soon as I started removing the plastic wrapper bits guarding the legs, she zipped over and started doing battle with them. This is part of the reason we were late getting going – when you’re elderly felid is in a feisty mood, it’s necessary to humor her.

Since I’ve been home, she’s gotten more curious and playful. She’s also much more sociable and demanding – we ended the night outside, because she’s been getting really vocal about me joining her there. When I’m in the bedroom,  she’ll come back in and yowl from the doorway for a minute, giving me an impatient look. I think that meow traslates as, “You bloody fool, it’s effing hot, what are you doing in there? Get your ass out here!” Then she stalks out, occasionally coming back to repeat the demand. It was warm enough to acquiesce to her request, so I figured why not. We’ll have to do it more often. She likes having me out there.

She also likes to steal my cushion.

Misha is lying atop the cushion on my lounge chair, looking up beatifically.

The beast has got my lounge chair.

She’s definitely a beastie that likes comfort. And yelling at Mom. And occasionally viciously attacking. Her unpredictability is what makes her so much fun.

Caption Kirby!

This is a true Captain Derp moment:

Image shows Kirby on the couch, hunched over with one hind leg sticking straight out, and a very startled, derpy look on his face.

Yer Werdz Heer

You know how adorable cats can be when they’re washing – all those limbs sticking out at odd angles, and the rather impressive contortion and so forth. So Kirby was being extra-adorbs, and I was snapping away, and then this moment happened. Great moments in cat derp, oy.

This photo begs to be turned into a meme. Meme-ify, my darlings!

Spring Life with Kitties

Easing my way back from spring break. This week shall be a little light fare, in which I will share fun and pretty pictures with you, and link to other people’s hard work in order to provide a bit of substance. Sort of like taking you out for dinner, but serving dessert at home. I hope you’re in the mood for sweet, because I have definitely got it.

Spring’s finally arrived. There are dandelions blooming all over the place, and Luna’s enjoying her first spring with them.

Image shows Luna sniffing a dandelion seed head

She was a bit flummoxed by it at first, but really got in to it after the initial WTF.

Image shows Luna mellowing out with the seed head

On nice days, both kitties spend a lot of time in B’s back yard. There are trees and rhodies and other sorts of bushes ringing it, and a nice expanse of wild grass around the deck. We spent a barefoot bit of time out there, watching the kitties play. It strikes me that this is the first time I’ve really run around barefoot in Washington.

I didn’t have to worry about stepping on bees. Luna was on the job, chasing them around.

Luna on her hind legs, trying to catch a bumblebee I don’t think she really understood what she was dealing with. It was bloody adorable – although probably not so much from the bee’s perspective.

Whilst Luna sniffed seed heads, fled the dandelion seeds I blew at her, and chased bees, Kirby inspected the perimeter.

Kirby pacing atop the garden divider.

He’s become the Responsible Adult™. When Luna’s outside, he’s usually nearby, ensuring she doesn’t get in to trouble. He might shop himself out to the neighbors, hoping that laying on the cute nice and thick will result in treats, and he loves a good ramble round the neighborhood, but Luna doesn’t get to enjoy these things. He hovers. He worries. He’s hilarious.

He also doesn’t know how to sniff a dandelion.

Kirby sniffing my fingers instead of the dandelion I'm holding out.

I’m certain he was looking for treats in them thar fingers. Then I tapped him with the flower, and he was all like, “What? What am I supposed to do? WHERE ARE THE TREATS???”

Kirby turning his head away from the dandelion, which is not a treat.

Finally, he posed properly, in hopes that this would earn him a treat.

Kirby finally sniffs the dandelionHe’s only ever about the treats these days. He’s learned how to snooker the household, going to each resident and guest individually, and claiming he has had no treats that day. He works the cute and sweet until he gets what he wants. It’s obvious it’s worked, as he has gained about 5,000 pounds. His kitty daddies are now restricting his treat intake, which means he’s resorted to waking B up by scratching and howling at the door, in hopes that sleep deprivation will break his will.

Meanwhile, Luna was busy stalking the dog next door.

Luna standing on the lower branches of a large rhodie, watching the neighbor's dog from concealment.

She took a few moments out to wonder what on earth I expected her to do with the large yellow tickly thingy on a long stem.

Luna giving the dandelion I'm holding a funny look.

She’s going to look ginormous when she finishes growing, but she’ll vanish if we get her wet. She’s all whisper-soft fluff. It makes her head, which is mostly short-haired (aside from her ears), look ridiculously tiny.

The B household has a new laser pointer kitty toy, which drives Kirby batshit. He can’t understand why he can’t catch the thing. Here he thinks he’s pinned it down on his trackball cat thingy.

Kirby trying to pin down the laser light atop his ball-inna-circle toy.

I drove Misha nuts with the reflection from a Kindle screen on the porch last year. I love how kitties respond to moving light.

Speaking of Misha, she is well. A bit skinny and stiff in her old age, but still able to gallop madly through the house at times, fight, occasionally play with string, and definitely loves getting high.

Misha standing half-under a chair, with very wide eyes.

This was right after she ate a lot of catnip and was staring around the place like there were all sorts of new and bizarre things in it.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time as a cat-bed lately.

Misha lying atop me with her legs stretched out and eyes closed, looking very smug

It’s nice, most of the time. I catch up on reading or sewing or suchlike, and she purrs away, and we are very snug. She even lets me beep her nose without undue violence.

Misha lying atop me, getting her nose beeped.

And she watches Buffy with me whilst I work on the scarves I’ll be selling as part of my home-based business scheme. Sometimes, Buffy even watches her.

Misha lying atop me while Buffy plays on the computer next to the bed. Buffy, Willow and Zander appear to be staring at her in horror.

Mind you, this isn’t always our lives. Sometimes, I have to get up to pee. Sometimes, she does. Sometimes, I go round catching up on the housecleaning, and she follows me around yowling, wondering WTF has gotten in to me. She’s been very curious of late, exploring more than she has in years, willing to try new things. I like this. It’s nice to know her brain’s still ticking over nicely.

We’ve done things other than pal around with cats, but not much. Cats are great for helping soothe away the cares of the world, and assist in the mental recharge that is spring break. I expect the lazy hangout times will continue well into summer. It’s part of what makes life worthwhile.

This Never Happens

I had B over Friday night to cook up stuff for a work potluck, and we watched some animated Tick afterward. Misha’s usual thing is to come sit in my lap for a bit, which she did. She’d been in a good mood all day, so we decided to do an experiment: after she’d had enough, I gave B the chair and took the sofa. She refuses to sit on the sofa with me, so I wondered if she’d settle for someone else. Keep in mind, she’s not sat with another person since her daddy moved out back when she was about two or three. She bloody hates people. But she doesn’t hate B quite as much as she does others.

So after a bit, when she’d had a wander and wanted some warm, she returned to the living room, and saw B where she expected me. She stared at him for a bit. He put a hand down, and she fought with it, doing her yowl-hiss routine, but you could tell she was playing because she’d go just out of reach and then stop, waiting for him to lean down and grab her tail so she could swat him again. Then she did a circuit of the house, came back, eyeballed his lap uncertainly for a bit, while we patted his legs and did the “Come on up” routine that usually gets her to make up her mind when she’s considering cuddles with mommy.

I thought we’d need a few more sessions with him sitting in the chair before she’d go for it, but she jumped up and settled in, sweet and content as anything. First time in nearly two decades she’s played lap cat with anyone else.

Misha's lying in B's lap, eyes slitted nearly shut, happy as can be.

Sleepy eyes.

She stayed up there for almost half an hour, until I booped her nose. She comes unglued when other people touch her, but usually lets me touch the fuzzy part of her nose and give her a rub between the eyes. She generally finds it relaxing. Not, however, when she’s on other laps. She jolted awake, hissed, jumped down, and promptly shunned me.

Misha's under a chair in the living room, lying with her back to me and her tail flicking.

Shun the unbeliever! Shuuunnn!!!!

When she’s down on that bit of tissue, she’s generally facing one of us, or the teevee. She never lays down like this, with her face resolutely planted in the bookshelves. So I know she was pissed. Some treats soon set her little world right. She’s on her pillow in bed with me now, content as can be.

I wonder if she’ll stay this happy if we get a hedgehog? For some reason, hedgehogs came up during training. We watched this video:

And we looked at about a million adorable hedgehog photos, and by the end of the night, the entire team had decided we needed a team hedgehog. It would have to come home with one of us on the weekends. I bring one of those home, I’m probably dead. Misha loves being an only child, and lets me know in no uncertain terms that this happy state of affairs is not to change. On the other hand, she may view the thing as a mobile hairbrush and be just fine with it.

I guess we’ll see, if the team goes through with it.

Misha also did us the courtesy of posing adorably with the hand lens that George Wiman just sent me.

Image shows Misha lying on the letter that accompanied the hand lens. The lens is at her feet.

Misha approves of our new hand lens. Thank you, George!

I bloody love this hand lens, and plan to put it to vigorous and excellent use this summer. Thanks, George!

And, bonus Kirby with a Harry Potter hat. He’s so adorable.

Kirby is sitting on the ledge, with the Harry Potter hat in front of him, its point nearly touching his nose.

I think he dreams of being a wizard.

Right. Just wanted to mark this moment in history. I still cannot believe that my homicidal felid has decided another human being is worthy of being used as a kitty warmer. Perhaps she’s had a mini-stroke…

Certified Heart-Thief Wilson. Plus, Misha Gets High

Brace yerselves. If you’re prone to screaming with incoherent adoration upon seeing a kitten, please let all pets, small children, people with fragile ears and/or states of being, and unsuspecting significant others know that noise is about to happen. Move breakable things away from the portions of the area around your computer or other device which may be clutched in a convulsive ecstasy. By clicking through to this post, you agree to hold ETEV harmless from any and all damages resulting from your viewing of this kitten.

Ready? Go meet Shelli’s new bebbe, Wilson.

Wilson strikes a pose for his debut.

Wilson strikes a pose for his debut.

I forget what he is. I don’t even care about the breed. All I know is he’s soo cute and I want one!!! But he comes from a kind and reputable breeder who carefully selects appropriate homes, and she’d take one look at the homicidal felid currently running my home and tell me I could leave the premises immediately. Sigh.

He’ll be coming home to live with my supervisor in just over a week. Expect to be flooded with Wilson, which should nicely compliment all of the Luna pics.

In other news, Starspider made a big ball o’ felted wool filled with catnip. It’s got Misha’s name all over it. It’s also now got her slobber, because catnip. I love getting my kitty high. Enjoy the following video, which has a very fun song from BJ Block and Dawn Pemberton.

As for substantive content, it’ll have to wait, I’m afraid. The last few days have been a whirl of social activity, and I’m off to recover by watching my cat get thoroughly stoned. Gotta rest up before the onslaught of Apple fans makes my life a misery. Oy.

You can contribute to our happiness by sharing your own cute kitty photos. Other cute animals, insects, plants, and even babies accepted. Links to independent artists who have happy fun times songs you adore would be a plus.

I Return Bearing Cats

Well, that break lasted longer than expected. Pockets. You can never have too many pockets. And zippers. Still working on it, but it’s time to get back to writing. Thank you for waiting patiently. In return, I have brought you kittehs.

One of the crafty little projects I’ve engaged in this week is kitty toys. I combined feathers and string and bells into creations certain to delight felids of all ages. Well, except for 18 year-old esplode-a-kitties who look upon your efforts with utmost disdain. Misha isn’t a fan of bells, it would seem. No matter. Luna is. Luna leapt upon the couch as I sat down to begin, dove into the feathers, batted the string, rang a few bells, and generally went into contortions of excitement. She could hardly believe her evening had been filled with delights beyond the fondest kittenhood dreams. Eventually, she settled beside the bag of feathers, watching rapt as I finished her new toy. Then we wrapped the string around a chair arm and let her have her way with it.

Luna with her fabulous new toy.

Luna with her fabulous new toy.

That expression is so worth the less than ten minutes of effort it takes to make one of these. And so far, Kirby hasn’t destroyed it, which is a new record for cat toys with feathers. Perhaps he appreciates hand-made things.

(These are super-easy to make. If you want to learn how, I’ll have B shoot a video next time I’m doing it. We have lots of kittehs to make toys for, and Starspider has just discovered the joys of felting, which means we’ll soon have catnip-filled felt toys to attach. I figure Misha will get over her disdain for bells if we give her enough kitty crack.)

Later, we’d gone downstairs to finish off some fights. Kirby was apparently conked after a long day’s adventuring. He took a long nap in his kitty bed, then made it about four feet before falling asleep in his Superman pose.

Super-sleeping.

Super-sleeping.

Now, of course, sleeping in the same house as a kitten is fraught with danger. Luna crept up on him from behind and woke him up rather rudely by pouncing in a vampiric fashion.

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

Poor Kirby. His life has gotten a lot less cushy since his sister came home.

But you’d forgive her anything, of course, because she’s a kitten and therefore bloody adorable. She’s taken to running all over the house with another of her new toys.

Luna pushing her orange-feather-toy-onna-stick.

Luna pushing her orange-feather-toy-onna-stick.

She drags it around for ages, sometimes pulling, sometimes pushing, and of course the stick never does what she wants it to, but she’s very determined to take it places.

I wish I could be with them always. But Misha’s got her own moments. She’s been rather vocal about her displeasure regarding food and water dishes lately, so I got her a gravity feeder and ordered a cat fountain. I’d heard it could be difficult to get older cats to accept fountains, so I had the camera handy in case she did something interesting.

At first, she was unclear on the concept of which water thingy she was supposed to drink out of.

Misha enjoying the novelty that is the water pitcher.

Misha enjoying the novelty that is the water pitcher.

Eventually, I managed to wrest the pitcher away from her and fill the fountain with water. I thought she’d not be thirsty enough to continue drinking, but she decided that she must have water from this new and novel thing. So I let her drink for a bit, and then turned the fountain on.

She was utterly disgusted with me for a bit there. You could practically hear her demanding to know what this outrage was. Eventually, though, curiosity got the better of her and she circled back to it. When it didn’t splash her, she decided it was a little bit of all right, and furthermore probably something she wasn’t supposed to drink out of, so she settled in for a good long slurp.

Fountain makes kitteh happeh.

Fountain makes kitteh happeh.

I was afraid she’d drink herself to death that first night. She loves this thing. And I have succeeded in acquiring the appropriate feeding accessories, apparently, because she’s stopped nagging me.

I’ve got another kitteh to show you, but it’ll have to wait until I have the chance to send the picture from work. My supervisor is getting a kitten, and the current owner sent a photo, and all I can say is, you’re gonna squee. Our lives are full of adorable kitties, my darlings. That much, at least, is right with the world.

Sooooo Tired…. A Kitten-Photo Essay

Don’t get the wrong impression from the following photos. Yes, there was much sleeping. But there was also quite a bit of playing. It’s just that after all the playing (and a bit o’ research), I’m with Luna: sooooo tired. So we are exploring that theme.

You know how kittens are. Little packets of energy moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light one minute, dead to the universe the next. She’d been playing before I got there today, and was thus passed out upon my arrival. Adorably, of course!

Asleep atop the fortress.

Asleep atop the fortress.

And she remained snoozing until we’d got some Doctor Who and a nice walk in. I have to say, I rather envy her. Today was one of those days when you never really do quite wake all the way up. Heat, humidity, lots o’ exercise the previous day… you know how it is. But we all did manage to revive enough to go play in the back yard. Kirby came home to join us, and a good time was had by all.

Then, unconsciousness again. I wandered downstairs after another episode, and found Luna once again sleeping adorably. Of course, she woke up when I fetched the camera, and gave me this look:

What? Whadda want? Trying to sleep here!

What? Whadda want? Trying to sleep here!

And then she put her little chin on the parapet of the fortress and contemplated whether further snoozing or getting up for five minutes would be most rewarding.

To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question...

To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question…

I think we all know the answer to that one.

Definitely to sleep. No question.

Definitely to sleep. No question.

After a good long snooze, she was ready for her brother when he came back, and they engaged in a little MMA-inspired battle. Then there was chasing-feathers-onna-string-onna-stick. All this activity! Only one thing to do after physical exertion like that:

I just wanna go back to sleep...

I just wanna go back to sleep…

I agree, Luna. It’s clearly time to crash. Good thinking, that cat. Shall certainly follow her example in a few minutes.

I love how her markings are developing, all of the colors deepening and clarifying and becoming so much more vivid. And that ear hair just kills me. I’ve never seen such wild hair in a cat’s ears before. Her tail is becoming a bottle-brush, and she uses it for emphasis to great effect. Such a sweet little girl! I love my bundle of homicidal energy, but I hope the next one is a little more like Luna. It would be nice to live with a felid who didn’t regularly attempt murder, and yet managed to be outrageously cute anyway.

But all is peaceful in the Hunter household just at the moment. Misha and I had happy fun play times earlier, she “helped” me with the final bits of research for our next installment of the Mount St. Helens field trip guide (coming soon!), and she is now reminding me that us old farts need our sleep, too. Suppose I’d better join the kitties in somnolent bliss.