Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sunday Snapshots: CFD Edition

Cheyenne Frontier Days is over. This makes me both happy and sad. Same goes, I imagine, for pretty much every resident of Cheyenne. Except for those that just hate it and leave town for ten days.

If you were to ask Oliver what his favorite part of CFD was, he would say Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Boy has to work at the free pancake breakfast downtown so he was getting up at 4:30 a.m. Oliver is more than happy to eat breakfast that early. Obi wasn’t sure at first but he ate anyway in defense of his portions.

If you ask Oli was his least favorite part was, he would probably say it was getting in trouble on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for trying to get me out of bed for breakfast at 4:30 a.m.

Obi’s favorite part of the week was the excellent programming on OutTV. Much like sweeps week, we had a wide variety of guest stars including drunk cussing guy, the WOO girls, horses, and the new bird feeder he got for his birthday.

Obi’s least favorite part was how much we were gone. His belly was seriously under rubbed. Between the personal errands and visitor schmoozing I had to do for work I don’t think I made it home for many lunches. Honestly, I don’t remember; it is a long week.

***

I was out in the garage today going through some boxes and I found this picture. This is Poco and I on her first night at our house.

Kids and kittens are so cute at that age...

Nothing to say about it really, just got a kick out of it.

OutTV: Lonesome Dove

This evening, while The Boy was cooking our dinner, Obi and I were watching OutTV. In the alley by our house there were about 30 sparrows. They were all taking a dust bath. I guess the Thunder Cafe is now part of a spa/resort.

As we watched, a dove strolled from where he was picking at seed underneath Thunder Cafe. He walked down the alley. Between the sparrows. Once in a while he would stop and look at one of them. Eventually he got through the group and turned to walk, alone, down the sidewalk.

Lonesome dove.

***

My head is kind of a whirlwind right now. The new roof on my old house was destroyed by the hail storm. I had the insurance company come out and they gave me a check which had to be mailed to a special branch of my bank in Ohio so they could sign it over to me. This was two days before my house was supposed to sell. But now it isn’t selling until next Friday so I had time to find a roofer. He starts tomorrow. The check from my first new roof hasn’t even been cashed yet.

Meanwhile, my car was also totaled. So this week I had to go find out if there’s a new car that I don’t hate. Found some options. And so I agreed to the settlement from my insurance – now would be a great time to point out that I was planning to switch to liability only in September so EXCELLENT timing!

And here’s where it gets complicated: I don’t want to buy a new car until my house is sold, to get my check for the car I have to mail them the keys, the people coming to get my car aren’t coming until after next Friday and the paperwork all has the mileage from four days ago and every day I drive I add another ten miles. At some point I’m going to either have two cars (if I use my roof check to buy a car and then my car check to buy a roof) or no car.

Any of these things is complicated enough, without doing them all at the same time. On top of this logistical trickiness, I am now feeling guilt. Irrational guilt about hurting the feelings of my house and my car by getting rid of them. It would make me so sad to have to drive past my beloved Saturn in a new car. It would hurt his feelings, I know it would!

***

And now that I’ve proven myself insane: it is Thunder Thursday! Today we bring you Tommy, the king of crabby. Tommy is my grandparents’ cat and these pictures were taken by my aunt while she was in town in June. And here’s the thing about Crabby Tommy – we, the people he is mean to, are the people who picked him out and gave him to my grandpa for Father’s Day. He was the sweetest kitten ever – he even kissed my uncle’s nose and purred.

Boy, did he have us fooled.

I guess as long as he’s nice to my grandparents, that is all that matters.

"Bags are for the birds. Unless they have birds on them."

"Be sure to get my good side."

"You didn't think you were leaving without me, did you?"

Happy Birthday, Kitten Thunder

Happy birthday to you,
You’re eight; and you’re two
Happy birthday, Kitten Thunder
Happy birthday toooooo yooooooou!

That’s right, Oli and Obi have the same birthday. And it’s tomorrow. I didn’t even plan it that way. In fact, I didn’t notice until I took Obi in for his one-year appointment back in April. But how convenient is that?

I’m not really the type to get all celebratory about my pets’ birthdays. Heck, we barely get celebratory when The Boy or I has a birthday. So Kitten Thunder might get a can of tuna in the middle of the day. That’s about it.

And, since I was in the store and have been planning to get one anyway…

"We'll call this new program on OutTV...Thunder Cafe."

The new bird feeder is a big hit. We’ve had sparrows and wrens galore at an already wonderful window. Two windows, actually, because you can see the feeder from the breakfast nook and the dining room. It also hangs low enough that doves can sit on the fence and eat from it.

It might be low enough for squirrels to sit on the fence and eat from it. Which may be why there is a LOT of birdseed on the ground.

"Thunder Cafe is a big success! In one day, the customers have almost cleaned out the inventory!"

Hopefully the birds take better care of their things than the squirrels do.

"The easiest route is a straight line - right through the lid of the box."

There is a new squirrel in the neighborhood and boy is he ever stupid. He chewed this giant hole in the box in one day. While sitting on it. The bright side is that when the peanut level is low he has to climb all the way into the box. So we get little squirrel legs kicking in the air as he goes in. Very cute. And we get squirrel face peeking out once he gets a nut. Very very cute.

But I still hope we don’t have any stupid sparrows.

OutTV: Frontier Nights

Kitten Thunder is enjoying special OutTV programming this week: Cheyenne Frontier Days. It’s ten days of rodeo, concerts, parades and other events. At the old house we were only part of the Air Force Thunderbirds, flattening my cats to the ground every time a plane zoomed overhead.

The new house, though, is only blocks from the park. So OutTV has featured cars in search of free parking, the drunken Kid Rock concert goer who couldn’t find his car afterward at though his friend on the phone should be more help, and lots of sirens going by for various reasons.

It is only day three so I offer you the most interesting fact of OutTV so far: Charlie Daniels Band? WAY louder than Jason Aldean AND Kid Rock. Go figure. Seriously, I can understand the words. So… FREE CONCERT!

Oh, how he suffers.

The Boy is gone on a trip right now. It has been 36 hours since Obi has had a proper belly rubbing. And, oh, how he suffers.

And thus, how we all suffer.

This morning Oliver and I were laying on the couch like we always do in the morning. About the time The Boy should have been making my coffee, Obi walked to the middle of the room and plopped down.

“ME!” He yelled.

You see, usually my coffee delivery is postponed because Obi convinces The Boy it is time for the belly rub. Obi runs out to the rug and gets into position, belly exposed, and The Boy comes in and works his magic. They pet and roll and brush and purr. Then I get my coffee.

This morning there was no Boy. There was also no coffee but you don’t see me throwing myself to the ground in a tizzy, now do you? Of course…how would you know if I had? But I DIDN’T.

I’ve done my best to fill in. The problem is that I am The Girl. And The Girl is good for playing and comforting. Those are my jobs. So when I rub the belly it turns into The Claw with biting and scratching and kicking (and kisses to assure me that we’re still playing).

We did manage to get one brush full of hair removed from his coat. We feel pretty good about that.

Tomorrow, though, The Boy will be coming home to three happy mammals. Obi will get his belly rubber back. I will no longer be in charge of the belly rubbing. And Oliver’s snuggles will not be interrupted again.

Zensai, as always, really couldn’t be convinced to care less.

***

It’s Thunder Thursday! On Tuesday, Cousin Puck’s girl sent me a picture of her poor, miserable fuzzy. Puck is a prime example of Feline Heat Index: Too Hot.

"Set the A/C on frosty, please."

The Feline Heat Index

“Hey.” I sit up in bed. Two kittens, serenading me from the shelf where our toothbrushes are plugged in, stop singing and look over at me. The jump down and run to the bed. Four front paws – two snowy white and two stripey brown – come up on the edge of the bed and two adorable kitten faces pop up behind them.

“Shut.” I say, pointing to Oliver.

“Up.” I say, pointing to Obi.

They look disappointed. I noticed that as I plopped back down to the pillow. But last night was the first night in a week that it had cooled down enough to sleep comfortably. See, in Cheyenne there’s only five days out of the year where you really need air conditioning. And this? This is day eight.

The humans are not pleased. And this morning, Kitten Thunder decided that they wanted to be fed early. Like before it was light out early. And they launched a dedicated, widely varied effort of Girl annoyance.

The kittens are suffering too. They do, after all, have heavy fur coats and it doesn’t much matter if they’re naked underneath.

How do I know they’re uncomfortable? I’m trained to read the Feline Heat Index:

Generally seen in Wyoming winter - October through April - the Cold FHI keeps the core compact for heat conservation.

As temperatures rise, the core of the cat expands both for optimum heat exchange - solar in, hair out.

When the FHI reaches hot, cats will stretch to full length to make it easier for heat to escape. This does not negate their need for a sunbeam.

At too hot FHI levels, your cat's spine will start to pop in the effort to stretch beyond capacity. Be nice and put some ice in the water dish. Ice cream would be lovely, thank you. And - hey! - has that ceiling fan always been there?

As I sat in the living room, dripping, The Boy came in a turned on the ceiling fan. Hey…we have a ceiling fan! Honestly, I’d forgotten. So had Oliver. Over and over and over. And over.

And over.

The first night we had it on he walked into the room and hit the deck. “What is that thing!?!” He jumped up on the couch with me and flinched as he looked up. “What is that thing!?!” He dozed off. Then woke with a start. “What is that thing!?!” He took a bath and stopped in a panic, mid-lick. “What is that thing!?!” He Thundered and was toppled by Obi when he stopped short at the rug. “What is that thing!?!”

Whatever that thing is, it feels great to lay under. Nice breeze. Favorite show on OutRadio. And The Girl is just about to – “What is that thing!?!”

How to Build a Fort, Part 2

There are numerous ways to build a fort and endless design possibilities.

This alternative fort features many benefits such as maximum floor monster space for protecting the fort.

Positioning near the couch and loveseat allow for easy protection against brothers with laser eyes.

Three sides with exits, plus the floor monster chute, make a quick getaway easy when The Girl gets out the camera.

Battle! Obi vs. the Wolf Spider

Laying on the floor. Stretch.

The Girl walks in. “Obi, you want to help me get my pajamas on?”

Sure. Stretch. Follow The Girl down the stairs.

The Girl stops and puts finger near wall. “Look, Obi Wan, a big ol’ wolf spider.”

Look at finger. Look at finger. Look at finger as The Girl taps the wall. Hey! There’s a spider on the wall!

Jump at the spider, fall to the floor. Jump at the spider, fall to the floor. Jump at the spider, fall to the floor. Jump at the spider and grab him on the way down to the floor.

He runs away! He turns and comes back! Aaaaaaaah! Jump out of the way.

Smack the spider. Look at paw. See spider on the floor. Smack the spider.

Where’s the spider? Jump back.

Where’s the Spider! Jump to side.

WHERE’S THE SPIDER!?! Jump three times in a circle.

The spider is on the floor, rolled into a ball. Smack the spider.

Declare victory and strut down the hall. Come on, Girl, let’s get those pajamas.

*****

It’s Thunder Thursday! I have some really good options for guest fuzzy this week, but I just have to show you this video. This cat, Sadie, is a hero. She is calm in the face of imminent threat. And her boy is very lucky to have her. Watch her eyes when he coos – that is the look of suppressed panic.

Real Thunder. And Kitten Thunder.

I’ve been planning a blog post all day in my head. Then this happened.

It took me twice as long as usual to drive home. For one thing, I could barely see. For another, people were making questionable shelter choices. Like the idiot who decided to wait out the storm in an underpass – next to an already flooded drainage – because he didn’t want hail to hit his precious Hummer. And a whole bunch of people parking under our 100 year old cottonwood trees that drop branches on a sunny day. Um, no. I kept going.

The result of the storm was about 100 dimples (Divots? Dents? Horrific canyons?) in my hood and on the roof of my car. And three places where pieces of my car are actually missing. Sigh. But it makes a good story.

After arriving home and sitting in the driveway waiting for the hail to at least get smaller than ping pong balls, I finally made it into the house. Kitten Thunder met me at the door. Oliver was fuh-reaking out. He wanted to be held. Obi wanted to show me what was happening on OutTV.

The storm passed and The Boy got home so we ventured out to see the damage. There’s a lot, but other than our cars there’s nothing valuable that is lost. I was a week away from peas and tomatoes…not so much any more. Oliver was NOT happy that we were in the Out. To calm him, I went inside and turned on the TV.

That’s when the TV flashed a tornado warning. I tried to get The Boy, but he was down the block. I sent him a text. Not too worried – the funnel clouds were to the east – I turned and looked at Kitten Thunder. “You want to go downstairs, boys?”

Yes. They did.

Faster, please.

Once I was settled in a chair and watching, coincidentally, a program on the Weather Channel about storm chasers in Wyoming, Oliver paced between me and the bottom of the stairs. The Boy arrived. Oli was content.

For the next 20 minutes, Kitten Thunder tried to convince us they needed to be airbrushed. Of course my camera was upstairs so I don’t have the very cute picture of them sitting together in the paint station. I’m pretty sure that’s why they did it.

The TV continued to beep in with warnings of flash flooding, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The watches and warnings are pretty common here on the high plains and most people I know were probably outside looking at the weather. But Oli doesn’t know that. So he did what the TV said and went to take shelter in his windowless box in an interior room. I also don’t have a picture of that.

Things are calm now. We have occasional big rain. Obi caught a miller moth. The Boy is reading in the living room. And Oliver is passed out from the effort of being a nervous grey kitten who is in charge of keeping the household safe.

Good job, grey kitten. Sleep well.

I ran off Rendezvous Mountain…

So this was totally supposed to be what my post was about today.

I was going to be way off topic, but on Wednesday I found out that I was going to get to go parasailing in the Tetons for work. And off topic is one thing. Getting to do something awesome and tell you guys about it – with video from our helmet cam, no less – is way off topic in a sooooooo awesome way.

But…

There were 30 mph winds at the peak and evidently the argument “wind schmind” is not good enough to talk the professionals into taking us anyway. Sheesh.

So instead I watched my friends try out the new mountain bike park (that’s why we were there, after all), took a billion pictures (why I was there, in particular), watched kids learn about mountain climbing, ate a ton of great food, took a tram to Rendezvous Mountain’s top (yep, windy), ate some more great food, hiked to Phelps Lake, and passed out every night from splendid exhaustion.

We also went to cool places and hiked a little more on the way to and from Teton Village, but I’m too tired to tell you about it. So I leave you with this: trust your vacation to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Even a couch potato like me can have a fantastic weekend in their hands.

And, to get back on topic, I bring you two sleepy kitties. These are from the archives…I’m ready to plop onto the evil couch and let it easy my tired body.

"I just need to catch about 40 winks to get ready for bed..."

"I need to catch up on my cute-y sleep."