Sunday, April 30, 2006

Home Again

No, I did not pose him. I came up the stairs and there he was, lounging in my lazy girl.

Driving home from Portland.

Brendan "Cool, I get to sit up front."
Ramona," Nap, why not,yawn."
Harper, " I need to use the bathroom! I can't ride in the carrier! I want to look out the window! The window is scary! Are we there yet? I want to look out the window! No, the window is scary! I want to sit up front! Are we there yet? This time I really do need to use the bathroom! Let me look out the window! Why can't I ride up front? Are we there yet?

For forty five minutes he kept it up and then he fell asleep on my lap. Ramona and Brendan slept through the drive.

Last night we were sitting in the living room with the kittens when Brendan in the bedroom sneezed three times. Ramona looked up anxiously from Olof's lap and dashed into the bedroom to check on Brendan. She is really something, I tell you. We are blessed.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

We Raise a Little Heck

You may remember that this position was also Fergus's favorite place in Portland. They look angelic at the moment but that is because they just got here and it is a big strange house.

The drive to Portland went well, though Harper yelled "Are we there yet?" most of the way. (Thanks to Magoo, Smudge, Bella and Dolce for the translation).

Ramona, The Queen of Cool, slept in the car carrier with the door open. (I have come to the conclusion that she is the brains of this duo.) Harper, of course, had to be held and watch everything going by. On the way there is a turn where one way you are going to the V-E-T and the other way you are going to Portland to visit Uncle Sid. Brendan knows which is which and he sat up ....

"I really hope it's Portland and not the vet."

We made the turn.

"Good," says himself and sits back down. He was happy since his car seat was in front and he got to ride shotgun with Olof. He likes to navigate.

The kittens are having a grand time. They discovered going up the down staircase and that Uncle Sid gets to dine on Fancy Feast and they have to suffer with Wellness Kitten Formula. And yes, the crash I just heard was "the vase that was commonly thought to be Ming." No kidding. It didn't break thought. Good thing my in-laws find kitten antics amusing.

At the moment the kittens are using the couches as trampolines.

We'll be heading home today. Spring is busting out all over at Caturday so there is a lot of spring cleaning and gardening and landscaping to work on. Not to mention video projects.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Places to go, Things to do

Ramona is so pretty when she moves, she is like a tiny ballet dancer. And she does this stretch thing we haven't been able to catch on camera yet. She has a tiny rear end and it is wicked cute.

It’s Feline Friday at The Modulator

They are both tail up kids and they run around the house like wind up toys.

We are going over to Portland for the night. First visit there to the big house with two staircases and Uncle Sid. Uncle Sid won't know what's hit him.

I hope Harper doesn't yell all the way to Portland.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Divine Miss R

Need we say more?

And her is her side kick, Pork Chop. It does make for a funny rock band, Ramona and the Pork Chop. ( As noted by Edsel/The Pooch )

This morning he ate his breakfast and then her leftovers. He is convinced that whatever is in her bowl is better than what is in his. And he has The Belly to prove it.

The light was extraordinary yesterday morning in the sunroom. Olof also used a strobe and his Canon Digital Rebel for these shots. He says he also sometimes uses a bounced speed light. Never ever use the on camera flash except for fill flash outdoors. Me, I just point and shoot and sometimes I get lucky. I guess I should try to learn this stuff.

The kittens are a great joy and comfort. They are both very affectionate and loving. Harper is sitting on me as I write and Ramona is cuddled up close. They are learning the comforts of the family rhythms. Morning, breakfast is served downstairs. Then the beans drink hot stuff and get on the machines. Then commotion as beans get up, do that really weird thing where they get wet. Then there is the day of naptime and playtime then everyone gathers in front of that picture thing and the kitten toy collection for lap sitting and games. Then the whole pride settles down together for a long sleep until it starts again. As Brendan says, Lord, let all my days be normal.

In the end, it is all about the light, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mona Lisa Eyes

Look how much better she is looking. She's got Mona Lisa eyes.


We want to say thank you to everyone who has sent comments, cards and emails. Silas was such a shy, unassuming guy he would be surprised to hear how much he is missed. There are some lovely tributes on other blogs and I will try to find them all and post links.

We have just felt very very tired here. Sunday we filmed at the shelter and that was comforting, being with lots of other animals and hearing that many had been adopted. I like to think that taking good photos of them and putting them on tv helps. The shelter had rescued 21 dogs scheduled for killing in Kentucky and they were rapidly being placed in good homes. This also helps to stop puppy mills, as people become more aware and adopt their animals from shelters rather than buying them from pet stores.

It was a huge shock to lose Silas the way we did. I never, ever thought that he would run out on the road so something caused him to do it. His territory was always the back yard, lately he had been spending his days by the pond, catching frogs and bringing them in unhurt into the house (one was found swimming in the water bowl). The place where he was hit was way down the driveway and up the hill. It makes no sense that he was up there. The road is above our house, we have our own little valley below it and a good border of trees between us and it. Our driveway is quite long and goes uphill, only meeting the road at the end. So for a cautious cat, there is plenty of safe space to be out. And Silas had always been a very cautious cat. Especially without Fergus, he could always be found either in the back yard or down the hill in front of the house, which is a wet forest and very safe in the daytime. So we don't know what was happening.

I don't think Silas ever accepted losing Fergus. For days after Fergus died, he would sit on the back porch looking out waiting for him to come back. It was very hard for him. I think he really loved Fergus and Fergus was the leader in everything they did, so Silas was kind of lost without him. If you imagine an unlikely friendship between the star athlete guy in high school that all the girls are crazy over and a the big, quiet, kind of awkward guy who has a killer stamp collection, well that would be Fergus and Silas.

Everyone who knows cats knows that they see and hear and sense things that are beyond us. We believe that Fergus came back and got his buddy. We started looking for Silas on Thursday and I was out in the yard when I am positive I saw a cat face under our tea house. I ran up to it and there was nothing there. I looked over the bank down to the brook believing it was Jakey the Barn Cat but there was no one there. And my mother in law dreamed that Fergus came back to get Silas.

Silas had gotten closer to accepting the kittens. There was no more hissing and a few games of Paw Over Paw were played in each other's vicinity. In time, I believe they would have been friends. But when you have had a Fergus for a best friend, maybe there is just no consolation. Silas was always a quiet guy our Mr. No Trouble to Anybody. He liked a few head pats and some chin scratches and once in a while I would wake up to find him sleeping on my stomach but he was not a lap cat and he was not a cuddler. He had his own gentle way of being part of the family. He took on the job of head Mousekeeper and did it well.

So his passing leaves us sadder and mystified and regretful. He was a truly innocent, gentle soul who didn't ask for much in this world. He leaves a big hole in this animal family and we miss him. Every creature has a part in the family psyche and his part was to be the quiet guy, asking little and giving much. We truly hope he is with Fergus again and someday we will all be together.

Here on earth, Brendan has truly accepted the kittens to an amazing extent, he has been downright parental. He brought them a mouse one night to show them how it is done and he has actually licked Ramona and lets her climb all over him and sleep next to him. We think he is sweet on her, but then, who wouldn't be. She is full of energy too and races around the house like a tornado. They are a great comfort as they are both very loving and rush to be with us and entertain us every night with their wild games. They have all the toys set up in the living room and it is wonderful to see Ramona go through all of them, playing with each. We think Fergus guided me to find them, not so much for Harper, but for Ramona, who needed us to take care of her. I will post new photos soon, that eye is wide open now and has lost the redness.

Thank you all for your kindness and comfort.

The Caturday Clan

Monday, April 24, 2006


We are not blood brothers

We are both adopted

We grew up together

as close as can be

the games we played,

the exploring we did.

We were always distressed when apart.

I liked food a lot,

My brother loved climbing

he taught me how

he helped me down more than once.

One day my brother went on a trip and did not return,

a sadness I did not understand seeped into our house.

I heard my brother from time to time

and caught a glimpse of him now and then

but I could never catch up with him after that day.

Early one spring morning I saw him by the pond

under the tea-house.

I ran out in joy.

This time we met and greeted each other,

he was different somehow

wiser and lighter but still with that twinkle in his eye

as he challenged me to a race down the driveway.

It was still a little dark

I ran after him at full speed

he was always faster

as we got to the top of the driveway

I felt I could catch up with him

I always had more endurance,

as we crossed the road

I did catch up with him.

All of a sudden there was a tremendous LIGHT

and a ROAR.

Then my brother and I were flying

together again into the dawns early light.

Last Photo of Silas


Thursday, April 20, 2006

My Ramona and Little Pork Chop

Here's a close up shot of Ramona's eyes/ I haven't posted one like this before because she is a lady and wouldn't want people to see her not looking her best. We have been treating her for upper respiratory, coccidia and roundworm. Today we went back to the vet. The coccidia and roundworm are gone and we have switched medication to an antibiotic just to treat the URI. It is Clavamox and the results have been spectacular. We started it last night along with some kitty vitamin formula and tonight she is bouncing off the walls with Harper. She has been wrassling with him too.

The cloudiness in her right eye is an ulcer. It could heal up and we sure hope so, because if it doesn't she could lose the eye. In which case, Olof says, we will make her a little eye patch and she will be our pirate girl. But we are hoping it will heal. She actually looks better tonight then she did this morning.

Someday I hope she will fill this bed.

Just like Brendan does.

I took this fellow along to the vet figuring he would howl if he couldn't find his sister for a few minutes and he could help console her on the trip. Hah. He howled most of the way there. The vet tech put him on the scale, held him up and exclaimed, "You're a little pork chop, aren't you!"

So Little Pork Chop he remains.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's a Cat's Life

If I have a choice then in my next life I am coming back as one of my cats. I work all day, clean house, make dinner, empty litter boxes, go to the vet's for vitamins and medication and what do these guys do?

Play with their toys.

Nap in the sun.

Relax, take it easy. Wake up for a game of Paw over Paw in the evening.

And cuddle up to baby sister.

I ask you, how much better can it get?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Making Friends

Harper has been so funny as he tries to make friend with Brendan. One morning Brendan came in the window from his morning patrol and he greeted Harper nose to nose in a dignified way. Harper was so thrilled. " He acknowledged me! Did you see that!" Then of course he forgot himself and got too familiar and got The Paw.

But he has been treating Brendan with respect and lately has been accepted as a co-napper in the big room.

Along with Ramona who all the guys adore. But then, who wouldn't?

Harper is a week older, a lot bigger and his character is coming out. Tonight when I called him his tail went right up and he came running. I think I got myself a good companion puppy cat. We played Paw Over Paw and enticed Silas to come upstairs ( he can not resist a game) The two of them got pretty close without hissing and I am hoping that a shared interest in sports and collections will make them buds.

And of course, Harper adores Ramona.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Safe and Happy Life

A kitten or puppy comes into this world, like people, with a chance of landing anywhere. The cats I know and the cats in the blogging world I know have landed in safe, happy homes. At this moment I hear the thunder of little paws upstairs and chortling and squealing as Harper bats his toys around. Last night he got introduced to the kitty go crazy toy, you know, the plastic ring with the ball in the perimeter that spins around. He liked that a lot. And they have both learned to climb the cat trees, though Ramona had to show Harper how to back down. I think she might be the brains of this pair.

Brendan did dawn patrol checking for signs of Jakey the Barn Cat and Silas was up all night doing Mousekeeping. They lead contented lives, though Silas is still afraid of the kittens. And their lives will continue to be as safe and healthy and happy as we can make them. And in return they give us their love and comfort. A good arrangement all around.

But I keep thinking about the forty cats euthanized last week at a shelter in New York as written about by Mandy in Tales and Tails of New York. They did not land in safe homes, or if they once did, were disposed of at the shelter often for flimsy reasons. Their lives took a sudden and tragic turn when second homes and second chances were not available. And all over the country the story is repeated. Millions of healthy, loving animals are killed in this country every year, simply because their are not enough homes.

And yet, in the back of Cat Fancy magazine as I was leafing through it while sitting at the vets, I saw pages and pages of ads for people selling kittens. And I know it is the same for puppies.

One of the most heartening signs I see in this country though is the no-kill movement and a growing awareness of the injustice faced by these creatures whose only crime is being unwanted or a burden to their owners. I was in a mall a while ago in the southern part of our state and I was startled to see puppies for sale in a pet store. I remember there was a store here in our local mall which sold puppies and kittens. At the time, not too long ago, I didn't think about it.

But now I do and I think we need strong laws against selling cats and dogs for money. We need a bigger understanding of the rights of animals to live and be cared for and not treated as something we own. I don't know anything of the laws that concern people breeding cats and dogs so there isn't much I can say about it except what I feel.

Some people would say there are far more important things to be worried about in the world and our efforts should go to taking care of people first. I would like to see a more caring, humane society all around. But I think that if you teach children to have empathy for animals, they will have more empathy for other children and when they grow up they will be better, kinder adults.

And that would give us a better world all around.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Caturday Morning

A nice rainy Caturday morning after a beautiful warm sunny Friday. It was Olof's birthday and we had a delicious rich chocolate mousse cake decorated with paw prints large and small. I will post a photo of the cake soon too.

Brendan and Silas went on dawn patrol early and Jakey the Barn Cat must have been out there because Silas came flying in the cat door with a fluffy tail. Brendan doesn't back down for anyone, he just gives them that regal stare. He chased a fox out of the yard last week. I had to run after him and bring him in. And the fox was leaving.

I gave the little guys breakfast in their room and left the door open so they could join us on their own, which they did. Ramona also ran for the breakfast plate and has been back for refills at least four times by now, ten am. She is very perky this morning, scampering around with Harper. Her right eye is still red but she is obviously feeling much better. She is sitting here next to me and I don't see any nasty yellow stuff in her eyes, just clear liquid. And she is purring.

Harper just joined us on my left side and he is purring too. Brendan is at my feet.

When Brendan came in this morning Harper went over and got a friendly nose to nose greeting. He is so thrilled to be greeted by Brendan. I missed the shot but will try again tomorrow morning. Harper has to be careful not to overstep the personal space boundary and he is careful and respectful with the big guy.

Ramona doesn't seem to have to do this so I guess it is a guy thing.

How do you think Harper would fare in the Kitten Wars?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Buddha Belly

Here's Harper in a typical position. He made it down the stairs this morning. Oh oh. Now I will have to keep an eye on the cat door. Brendan and Silas love their outside privileges. I will have to set the door to in only and then let them out when they ask.

Ramona is sleeping on a pillow next to me and Harper is raising heck. When he is worried he squeals. When he is excited he chortles.

Olof played the song "Mona Lisa" for Ramona and she really liked it. She is quiet this morning, that left eye is still red and I could hear that little popping sound cats make when their nose is stuffed up. But yesterday she was eating like a champ. Still, she is thin and you can feel her spine. Maybe I will try some other foods. They are on kitten Wellness and have gone through a case in little more than a week.

Harper got a friendly greeting from Brendan this morning and he was so excited about it he got over eager and got The Paw. Then Brendan demonstrated that a proper cat cleans his rear end thoroughly. That is something Harper could use a few lessons in.

We played Mona Lisa again. She perks up as soon as the music starts and then she sat up. Never think a cat doesn't understand something.

I'll do some more photos later. We have a series of Buddha Belly shots and some nice ones of Silas being Lord of the Frogs at the pond.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kittens Happen

There is a lot going on here at Caturday so there is plenty to post this week. And it's Feline Friday at the Modulator.

In the News.
Ramona is feeling better. After two days of her not eating nearly enough and me giving her water and food by medicine dropper, this morning there were two kittens waiting at the door for breakfast and she chowed down with gusto. Then I let them both into our room where she cuddled with Olof and Brendan joined us. There were no hissy fits or Halloween kittens though Harper did get the Gentle Paw once. That is how Brendan announces, Stay Out Of My Space Youngun.

I have explained to Brendan that we had nothing to do with it, kittens come into the world and it is our job to take care of them. He seems to have accepted this. He is a wise soul.

Silas and Harper eyed each other from each end of the stairs. Harper from the top and Silas from the bottom. It will work out. Once again no Halloween kitten on Harper's part and no running on Silas's part. Did I tell you that Silas is afraid of the kittens?

The frogs have risen in the pond and Silas has appointed himself Frog Master. There have been four so far in the house, completely unharmed and this morning's offering was in the food bowl. Alive and well.

Last night we let the kittens out to run around and I got out the Bizzy Box. That was a major hit and I promise to get out the video camera because the action is wild and the sound effects too funny. Harper squeals and growls when he gets something he really likes, like a fuzzy ball or a feather. And those paws in action are really something.

There is also a new PawPrints which I will post later. And I must update my links so if I am missing any kitty blogs, please let me know. I am working on it.

So stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ramona Says

She is tired of feeling crappy but it was a little better after I ran the shower this morning to steam up the bathroom and ease up her breathing. And I took a damp washcloth and got some stuff out of her eyes. Then she ate a little and ran around a little. She is s a spunky tiny girl but enough is enough she says. I hope she will turn the corner soon. And I hope her eyes will be fine. She is such a delicate thing and her appetite is off right now, not like her brother, whom I have dubbed "Buddha Belly" for obvious reasons. He is doing great, eyes are clear and a lovely shade of green. Like Chinese porcelain. Actually, they are just about the color of the Caturday outer border but a bit darker, it is hard to get a photo that shows it but I will.

Just what we need, a cat with an opposing thumb. He is already using it to hold things.

The Paw.

And a side view of The Belly.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ramona's Day

Harper looks around the doorway as Ramona explores the big room.

Ramona explores the big room.

And she figures out the cat tree. Clever little girl.

This afternoon I went to their room when they were waking up from afternoon naps. Ramona's eyes looked red and had some stuff in them so I washed them gently as the vet said I could and then put some ointment on them. She climbed up onto my shoulder as I lay on the bed and fell asleep. Harper cuddled up next to me and fell asleep. So I was stuck.

I heard Ramona having a hard time breathing and she would open her mouth. So I got up and took her into the bathroom and turned on the shower hot and held her on my lap on the floor as the steam filled the room. It relaxed her breathing and the amazing thing was she got it that I was doing it to make her feel better. She looked up at me and purred and then she said she wanted to go back to her room so we did and she was ready to eat.

Good food, medicine, warmth and love. It will take time but we'll look after her.

Harper seems to be in good shape, but his eyes sometimes leak too.