What?

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I went upstairs to turn on the fans so the bedroom will be a bearable temperature by bedtime.

I found this.

Obi was watching a new show called Strangers in the Alley. And no, I was not invited to join him.

Ceiling Cat

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I was sitting on the couch, wondering what to blog about, when The Boy came up from the basement. The brown kitten was up in the ceiling and neither one of them knew how he was going to get out. Since Obi is a trusting kitten, I went down to see if he would let me get him.

I thought I had a better picture than this one, which I took as he was poking his head out that hole. Once he was out and I was looking at the pictures, it was too late to shove him back in for a retake.

It was not easy to get him out. Luckily he WANTED out, so he was kind of working with me. But when I took his weight in my hands he would just go limp and catch his hips on wires. And do nothing about it because he was putting himself in my hands. So I’d have to shove him back up in the ceiling. And he would glare at me.

He did finally walk over to the other side of the hole, out of the picture to the left, and come down from that direction. He let me just grab him by the armpits and ease him out of the hole head first, then hung – upside down – in my arm while I climbed off the chair.

Then he put up with some ear kisses.

Hopefully he:
a) doesn’t remember how he got into the ceiling, or
b) remembers that he didn’t like it.

Cheyenne Frontier Mornings

It is Cheyenne Frontier Days and Oliver could not be more happy. The Boy has to get up at ridiculous times in the morning – like 6 a.m. on Saturday, 6:30 a.m. yesterday and so early that I refused to set my alarm and made The Boy set his own this morning. This means, of course, the Oliver gets breakfast before he even has to ask for it. AND his Girl is still in bed when he finishes so extra special snuggles with a full belly!

Sure, smell-o-vision on the main floor of the house has to be turned off to block out the concert noise, but it’s a small price to pay.

Kitten Thunder Workout, Revisited

Very shortly after starting this blog, I wrote instructions on how to work out. I realized that it needed updating. After all, the cats…and I…are three years older. Updates will be noted in red.

Step 1: Cardio
Get a glass of water, fiddle with your hair and do all the stuff one must do to put off actually starting cardio. Sit at the recumbent bike. Find a properly distracting movie on Netflix. Sigh. Actually begin cardio. After about five minutes, Obi will arrive in the basement to see what you are doing. Try to maintain smooth pedaling motions AND try not to kick Obi in the head as he attempts to sniff your feet.

Step 2: Squats
After approximately thirty minutes on the bike, or until Obi has stuck his face in your water glass and forced you to run up to the kitchen for a fresh glass, run through your squats routine. This involves four types of squat of varying difficulty, using different muscle groups. The most important move is the pick up the brown kitten weaving between your feet. Use him as extra weight and kiss his ears until he insists on being set down. Repeat this move five more times as every time you set him down, Obi will ask to be picked up again.

Step 3: Sit Ups
Find space on the floor for sit ups and weight training. Make sure you are using good form for your sit ups with your lower back pressed firmly to the floor. Try not to lift with your neck while Oliver, who followed you down from the second trip to the kitchen, lends his 14 pounds to resistance by sitting on your chest. Continue repetitions until Oliver bites you on the nose or lunges from your chest with enough force to pop your sternum. If you feel you can continue after he leaves, try a couple of repetitions of twisting sit ups.

Step 4: Weights
Select a set of dumbbells that are heavy enough to make you wonder whether they will actually break your skull if you drop them on your head. I find ten pound weights work well for this. Start with dumbbell flys – with your palms facing together in front of your face, lower the weights slowly out to your sides. Attempt to keep the weights at even heights even though Obi is now laying under one arm and grabbing at your wrist whenever it comes near. Repeat until he actually catches your arm. Try not to drop the ten pound weight on the ten pound cat as he bunny kicks your hand.

Stop working out to rub Obi’s belly to see if that will get him to behave. Refuse his demand to go up to the belly rubbing quilt. Insist that the carper is FINE for a belly rub. Suggest he go find The Boy.

Move on to presses. If Oliver’s return to your chest still allows movement, you can lift your shoulders off the ground to engage your core muscles. Repeat until chin becomes raw from being licked by Oliver, or until a Thunder originates at your point on the floor. If you can anticipate the Thunder, it is advisable to get off the floor quickly. This movement can be counted toward your cardio.

Step 5: Planks
Braced on your toes and forearms, hold your body rigid with your back and legs flat. Kiss the kitten who crawls between your face and the floor. Start to tremble. Remember to breathe. Kiss the kitten as he crawls back the way he came. Tremble uncontrollably and release your pose to the floor for a ten second break. Feel two cats climb onto your back. Decide this is nicer than planking.

Step 6: You’ve done enough, right?
At this point, you are ready to give up on the workout. Rationalize that you’ve been in the basement for an hour, which is how long you planned to exercise.

Call it good.

***

Cats and videos go together like peas and honey. Or peanut butter and pickles. Or…something. Check out these videos from people who can relate to my exercise routine.

By the way, “skullcrushers” is a little bit too apt a name for that move.

Thunder Thunder

Behold! ‘Tis Obi, lord of the layout.

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This picture was taken shortly after Oliver stomped across the layout and broke a train. The Boy was not too happy. As he was picking up the pieces, I snapped this picture and told the kittehs to come upstairs with me. Obi wanted to know why he had to go – he didn’t break anything.

***

Cheyenne is having some weather, as I’ve mentioned. Yesterday, at around 3 p.m., it started raining. It stopped long enough for me to go to a party for a friend and convince us that we could all sit out on the deck. Then a huge bolt of lightning struck, followed immediately by deafening thunder that sent us scurrying indoors.

And it rained.

And rained.

And rained.

And rained.

It’s still raining.

In the middle of the night, due to the sound of rain rain rain, I had to get up to use the bathroom. Just as I returned and settled in, the house was shaken by thunder. BIG THUNDER. The Boy jumped two inches off the mattress and was jolted awake. Holy cusswords were uttered. And he was asleep again.

And then I heard more thunder. A different thunder. The thunder of two kittens coming to “protect” me from the storm. I let Oliver under the covers with me and kissed his ears until he fell asleep. Obi was okay just tucking himself, forcefully, into my knee pits.

I felt so safe.

And it rained.

Weathering the Storm

If you’ve been following the laundry room saga, you know that things didn’t turn out as simple as just popping a door in the wall so we could have a hallway directly from the bottom of the stairs to the spare room. The Boy is an engineer and he can not close his eyes to things done poorly.

So walls came out.

Plumbing has been changed out.

Electricity has been rerun.

This past week, The Boy put in insulation and framed in a new wall. We’re going to gain about six inches in that room by doing things right. BUT. Kitten Thunder does not like all the noise. They are completely over this bit of renovation.

Since they weren’t going to help The Boy, the kittehs were helping me take a nap this afternoon. I’d drifted off on the couch with a grey kitten in my arms and a brown kitten enjoying his own nap on the loveseat. And then…ALARMS!!! I woke up to my phone, The Boy’s work phone, and his personal phone screaming from less than three feet from my head. I managed to read “tornado warning,” grabbed Obi off the loveseat and told Oli to follow me. Which he did. To the top of the stairs.

The Boy was working in the laundry room and they wanted NO part of that.

Their refusal to go downstairs with me gave me enough time to realize that the alarm is not a siren. No need to go to the basement anyway. So I set Obi down and went upstairs to put in my contacts and brush my teeth. And then, SIREN.

Kitten Thunder was in The Boy’s office. I grabbed Oliver and told Obi to follow me. Nope. The Boy was walking up the stairs and I told him that the brown kitten had run into the living room. I heard them arguing about whether everyone had to go into the basement. The Boy won and appeared at the top of the stairs with a mad kitten in his arms.

The cats are both Cheyenne natives. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before – Cheyennites are weather fanatics. After the 2011 storm that wrecked my car, Facebook was full of pictures of cuts and bruises from people that were out looking at the sky when the hail started. And so…

TornadoTV. Obi watched the lower Jeff Channel.

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Oliver watched from the lower Lilac Bush Channel, where they generally watch Doves Eating Seeds.

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After there was no tornado to be seen, Oliver decided to inspect The Boy’s building abilities by using this water tower as a chin scratcher.

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The sirens stopped and the warning expired just as The Boy ran out of things to keep his interest and went back to the laundry room. I set Kitten Thunder free and went to check out the damage.

There was some high powered, horizontal precipitation. The puddle in our bathroom  came all the way to the hall.

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We got several inches of marble-sized hail at our house. The tomatoes were on the right side of the house for once. I’m giving up on ever growing zucchini.

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20140713_140947As I was taking this picture, a big pit bull came running up the walk toward me. She was very excited about being free. I talked to her for a couple minutes until her frantic owner, whose fence blew over, came down the alley.

Oh! And then this happened.

EMT

Because whenever our tornado siren goes off, we immediately also get a flash flood warning…thunderstorms, you know. A local posted this picture of EMT Brian Mills pulling a raccoon out of the flood water. After this, he wrapped it up in a towel and held it for a while – which is a step past what even I would do for a wild critter. What a guy.

Oliver just walked in to my office. Weren’t we taking a nap?

Butt Head

I confess. On July 1, I did something very foolish. I said – out loud – that it has been a pretty comfortable summer so far.

The Boy and I have a pretty comfortable house but our bedroom is in the attic extension. For about ten days a year, it gets really hot and hard to sleep up there. Those days started three days ago. Last night it was roughly 9,000 degrees upstairs and my back hurt. Sleep wasn’t going to happen.

Kitten Thunder and I came downstairs and sat on the couch for a while. I dozed on and off. At about 3 a.m., I woke up and we went upstairs and managed to fall asleep.

When the alarm went of at 6 a.m., I fed the cats and returned to the couch. I fell asleep almost immediately, sitting curled up against the back of the couch with my face in the breeze from the window.

When I woke up, Oliver was enjoying the smell-o-vision. His nose was against the screen and he stretched across the back of the couch. This his butt on top of my head and his tail resting along my neck. I was too tired to care and fell back asleep.

Later, when The Boy came through to tell us all goodbye, he mentioned to Oliver that he was wasting good smell-o-vision – at this point the grey kitten was turned with his back against the screen and his paws on my head.

I told The Boy that this was better. Much better.