Monthly Archives: January 2014

BrokEN or BrokIN?

I would love to be delivering the CEK’s State of the Household Address to you tonight, but Oliver was SO tired. Being the Chief Executive Kitten is hard work. After dinner, The Boy stood up to put his dishes in the sink and Oliver immediately left my lap to take over the warm spot in the recliner. The Boy returned, made a comment, and tucked the TARDIS blanket around the grey kitten. And that is where he is, still.

Luckily, a big controversy is brewing in the hall. The pundits have been talking about it all night – in between mentions of how Cathy McMorris Rodgers is relevant to me as an American woman because she is a MOTHER of THREE CHILDREN. That, by the way, is not picking on the Republican party but on the news folk who only feel the need to list family as a qualification IF the politician has/has had ovaries. I’M LOOKING AT YOU NBC.

But I digress. Back to the real controversy.

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This box came home with us from our holiday travels. Kitten Thunder loves it. Someone is laying in it almost constantly.

The Boy says it is broken.

Obi? He says it is broken in.

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***

In other news, we made chicken masala last night. I prepared a lot so we would have leftovers. And today I made spaghetti squash to go with it instead of rice. The Boy saw me working on pulling the “noodles” into a huge pile and mentioned he wasn’t super hungry. I told him that was fine but that I was making it anyway for two reasons:

1. You can’t really control how MUCH spaghetti squash you make. That is controlled by the squash.

2. It takes two hours to make spaghetti squash so I can’t really wait until he comes home to find out if he is super hungry because then we wouldn’t eat until 9 p.m.

I told him he could eat just noodles, just masala, or noodles and masala. I also told him he could have a sandwich if he wanted and my feelings wouldn’t be hurt. More noodles and masala for me tomorrow!

But none of this is as important as the fact that I was cooking. And windows had to be opened. The brown kitten approved.

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I swear to you, the pan started smoking before there was food anywhere near it. I think that may be why it was shoved way into the back.

Drawing the Line

A couple months ago, I bought some organizers for our kitchen cabinet to help with the leaning towers of pots. The organizers went, promptly, into my office. There they sat until last week…when I put the bag in front of the cabinet to inspire action. The Boy was inspired to sweep the kitchen and moved the bag into the breakfast nook. Where it stayed.

But, for some reason, I am inspired to get more done on a Sunday afternoon than the rest of the week combined. I work out. I go to the grocery store. I do dishes. And today I put the organizers in the cupboard. Honestly, I don’t think it helped at all.

But I did learn some things:

1. The Boy will keep anything that is well made, even if we never use it or we’re missing a piece. Turns out, we have a pressure cooker. That doesn’t work.

2. I don’t care enough to throw things away just because I think it is silly that The Boy keeps them*. We still have a nonfunctional pressure cooker.

3. I also noticed that we have the toaster oven, for which I have bought two replacements, stored in a cabinet. It is true that I replaced it mostly because it was ugly. But that one, and the little red one that proved to be more style than function, could really go. Unless someone wants to come over for a toast party. TOAST FOR 15!

3. We also have a strainer that nests into the big pot we make spaghetti with so that all you have to do is lift it out and voila! Strained pasta.

4. Obi will help organize a cupboard.

5. Obi is not particularly helpful when he helps organize a cupboard.

6. The fastest way to get Obi out of the cupboard he is helping to organize is to ask The Boy to hand you your camera.

Kitten gone. Cabinet organized…ish.

Nothing toasted, pressurized or strained in the process.

 

* It is worth noting that I also don’t throw things away. I am working on paring my wardrobe down to one closet (plus the sweater closet, of course). Much of my wardrobe doesn’t fit or is no longer appropriate for my age. Those items conceal items that DO fit and that I SHOULD be wearing. Such as, for example, the jeans I am wearing right now. I found them on Thursday and a) am amazed by how perfectly they fit and b) have no recollection of buying them or owning them in the past.

Meanwhile, on the farm…

 

We had steak last night. Obviously, we didn’t give Oliver any because of his tendency to explode. But after The Boy left for train club, Oli went upstairs. Obi and I were in the living room alone. So I set my plate down for him to lick up the delicious cow juice.

I underestimated Oliver’s super sonic food receptors. Before I knew what was happening, he was downstairs and licking the plate.

Then he was exploding. Immediately. Violently. Abundantly.

Meanwhile, downstairs on the farm. The farmer’s life is continuing to get more and more peculiar. One of the soldiers that is hanging around the farm – no one is quite sure whether they are there to protect the farm from the world or the world from the farm – is about to have a bad day.

And the polar bear with soon have his own bad day. I think that giraffe is carnivorous.

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The cows are surprisingly healthy this week.

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A train car has been left in the middle of the field. The giant pig is happy for some his-sized shade for once. Did you know that pigs get sunburned?

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The farmer is so busy with his critters, he’s completely forgotten to keep an eye on his daughter. She’s been sneaking off with the local giant; they hide behind the barn and talk about their future. And Vonnegut.

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Box of the Month

Oliver and Obi were signed up for the box of the month club for Christmas. Another box came today. They would like it better if the boxes didn’t come filled with beer, but something is needed to hold the box down if UPS comes when The Girl isn’t home.

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***

Yesterday was a holiday. I didn’t realize this until dinner time on Sunday night, in spite of the fact that I mentioned it on numerous client Facebook pages. But it was a nice surprise.

On three day weekends, I kind of split the difference between working and not working because there’s really not a day that I don’t work a little bit. I did a little bit of client work. Then I started to clean my office.

I haven’t worked in my office for about two months. At least. Part of the problem is that it is colder in that room than any other in the house. Another part of the problem is that there were shelves that kept my chair from rolling around freely, making it hard to back up far enough to access the power strip for plugging things in – things like my laptop and a space heater. So, yesterday, I fixed it.

I moved the shelves from behind my chair to under the window. I thought they would be slightly too tall, but they fit perfectly. And they are just right for Obi to stalk vicious leaves that blow up onto the outside sill.

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Oliver walked into the office, sniffed the sewing machine, scratched his chin on a box, and left. Obi had to bring him back in to show him the new shelves.

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After I moved the condo out, I put this box on my desk. It is the perfect size for a kitten.

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Or two.

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Russian Foodlette

Oliver hates pate.

Obi hates pate.

Don’t get me wrong; they’ll eat it. But they won’t be happy about it. And, because I love to make my kittehs happy, I don’t buy it. It is also a benefit to me because the chunky stuff comes out of the can easier. This is important because I feed the cats before I’m fully awake.

So imagine my surprise on Saturday when I opened a can and the food didn’t slide easily onto the plates. Pate. The dread pate.

I struggled to get the food on the plate and headed back upstairs to bed.

Then I realized…

There would be more.

The last time I went shopping for cat food, I bought a lot. Like, at least five cans of each flavor. So…there could be four more cans of the dread pate. Or there could have been one stray can of pate mixed into the good stuff.

So each morning we’ll pick a can…

We’ll pull the tab…

And time will tell…

***

A kittaiku from Obi:

The Girl serves breakfast
The food plops down, texture free
Eat it anyway

It is ON!

This morning, the trap was set. And, about an hour ago, Oliver started crying. Just that easy, the little black kitty was caught and I took him off to jail. The nice folks are, right now, evaluating him and getting some food and water.

 

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Of course, immediately after I caught him, I started feeling guilty. He was sweet and scared inside the cage. And he didn’t even get to eat the tuna that lured him into the cage because the plate goes underneath.

As soon as I dropped him off, I went to my car and cried. I cried for the poor black kitty who is a victim of his circumstances. I cried for his owners who, maybe tonight, will notice he is missing and will have to search…or wonder. And I cried in relief that this is over, at least for now. I won’t get to know the rest of the black kitty’s story but I hope he finds a home where he is loved and kept safe. Inside.

A train crossing the road gave me plenty of time to recover, so by the time I got home I was ready to give Kitten Thunder some good news. OutTV is ON.

It is on in my office.

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It is on on the cat shelf.

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And they’ll watch it. As soon as they are done eating the celebratory tuna that I didn’t need for the trap.

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Surfaces

A short update on the black cat situation: the jerk came back and looked in OVER the sheet, and yelled until he got Oliver’s attention. Luckily, Obi was downstairs so I locked him in the office and went to deal with the intruder. Oliver and I kept him busy on the roof until I could call animal control and see if they could come get him if we managed to keep him interested for ten minutes. But no. So I went outside and followed the black cat to see if I could figure out where he lived.

While I did this, I called the people I was supposed to be meeting and left a lunatic message about tracking a cat through the alley. I felt a little like the agents in That Darn Cat.

Anyhow, I think I know where he lives. And I bought a trap – and then it snowed. So tomorrow, my pretty…

***

I’ve mentioned, in the past, that Obi does not approve of things on his flat surfaces. The rug under the coffee table is hardly visible, some days, because he’s knocked so many things off the table.

Much like these cats.

Obi has taken this to a master level. He doesn’t even use his paws. Tail can knock things off the table when Obi isn’t even looking. For instance, The Boy set his bottle of beer on the coffee table while he played his turn at WordFeud. Obi walked by. Tail wrapped itself around the bottle, flicked, and the beer went down to the floor.

No one was more surprised than Obi.

Contrary

A short update on the black cat situation: Oliver and Obi were locked in the spare room all day on Thursday. On Friday, while I was in Rock Springs, The Boy was unable to con Oliver into going to the basement so Obi was locked in the basement and Oli had the rest of the house. On the four hour drive home, I thought and thought and thought about what else we could do to not ruin their lives until this is resolved. Hours later, at 2 a.m., it came to me.

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The cats really only need to be blocked from a window where they’ll see the black cat at the same time. So I closed the drapes in my office and put a sheet up across the bottom of the cat shelf windows. And this only has to be like this when the boys are home alone and The Boy or I won’t be able to intervene.

Kitten Thunder says their lives are ruined.

***

It’s Sunday, salmon day. Oliver and Obi have a new strategy that they rolled out today. It’s called over-the-shoulder coveting. Er, NOT coveting. After all, if they aren’t LOOKING at the food, how could they be coveting, right?

IMG_20140112_191123_931This was supposed to be a picture of Obi not looking at The Boy. And it is. But it was better when Obi was also not looking at me. He was feeling contrary tonight. So contrary, in fact, that he photobombed his brother’s picture.

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As you can see, Oliver was also working the over-the-should technique.

Eventually, Kitten Thunder got their salmon juice and Obi settled in for a post dinner nap. But not before penning a new Kittaiku:

I’m not coveting
I am not looking at you
Reward with fish juice

 

Escalation

This week has been full of drama. As I’ve mentioned before, the little black cat in the neighborhood has caused some hate and discontent with Kitten Thunder by coming into our driveway. When the condo was in the office, the boys would be sleeping together and one of them would see the black cat and growl. The other sleeping brother would wake up thinking he was being attacked and a fight would happen between my cats.

And so the condo was moved out of the office.

This irritated me, that my cats were punished because some jerks think their cat wants to live outside. Yes, people who leave their cats outside are jerks – there, I said it. Outdoor cats live in fear. Their lives, on average, are cut in half. And their deaths are terrifying and painful if they run into a coyote, a car, a fox, a disease or a neighbor with a gun. If you don’t want a cat in your house, DON’T GET A CAT. I know some of my friends disagree, but this week? I don’t care. And this is why:

On Wednesday, the black cat climbed onto my roof and picked a fight with my cats through the window as they were napping on the cat shelf. I was working downstairs and ran up to find out what the screaming was about. When I saw the black cat outside, I slapped the glass. He LUNGED at the glass and stood, claws in the screen, screaming at me.

When I realized he wasn’t going to leave, I went outside and threw a stick at him. I yelled and threw things at him until he climbed down the neighbor’s tree and crossed out of their yard. Then I returned to Kitten Thunder.

Obi and Oliver were not calmed by the black cat leaving. Oli’s anger fed Obi’s, one growl met with a hiss an the hiss met with an arched back. I turned to one, then the other, trying to talk them down. It got worse and worse and worse.

Finally, I picked up Obi to move him away from Oliver to see if that would help. The stressed out brown kitten hissed as a reflex. And Oli LOST IT. “DON’T SAY THAT TO MY GIRL!” he screamed and launched off the cat shelf toward Obi, still in my arms. I backed up quickly and Oli missed us, landing on my foot and tearing flesh. Then he backed up to jump again.

Quickly, I sat down. I tried to get them to see that they were fighting each other, not the threatening black cat. Obi screamed, punched Oli in the face and ran for the stairs. They got downstairs much faster than me, obviously, and I found them in battle under the dining room table. This, of course, meant I had to reach into the fray blindly and grab whatever I could. More flesh tore. I got Oliver and locked him in my office.

Separated, my sweet kittens had a chance to catch their breath and regain their senses. I got Obi calmed down. My heart was still pounding. Oh yeah, and I was bleeding. A lot.

Foot

 

If you’re a Whovian, you can hear the voices of Gallifrey calling a certain question from the rip in my foot…and time.

Anyway, I needed to leave my house shortly after this incident. So what to do? I locked Obi in the basement with food, water and a litter box and let Oliver out of the office. Immediately, they were upset to be separated. I’m certain they sat together, on either side of the kitchen door, the entire time I was gone.

And while I was gone, I called animal control. I was surprised when they said they’d go try to find the black cat. Possibly, I think, because he lunged at me and people aggression is worse than pet aggression. I told the gentleman that, should he not be able to catch the cat (because seriously, he’s a cat) that I would borrow a humane trap and set it out. And if I have to I’ll catch that cat and turn it in daily until his owners get tired of paying $40 in bail.

I haven’t heard back from him about whether he had any luck. In the meantime, Kitten Thunder has to be locked in the Thunder Sanctuary (a.k.a the spare room) in the basement whenever we aren’t home during the day. I can’t even imagine if they’d had this big confrontation when I wasn’t home to intervene. I can imagine the huge vet bill, though.

It really isn’t fair to my cats that they can’t live in peace in their own home.

I have nothing funny to say about this. It’s horrible. Horrible for Oli and Obi. Horrible for the black cat who will be caught and evaluated and may not have a happy outcome if his owners’ bad decision has made his dangerous. And horrible for the owners who think they were doing a nice thing for their cat by letting it roam free.

But at least I’ll have the ultimate Whovian scar.

Fleet-o-vision

For dinner tonight, we had dark cherry pork loin that I made in the crock pot. We also made the last of our Japanese yams. I sliced them thin so I could saute them quickly. And, as happens when I am near the white cooking box, there was smoke.

Obi did not approve.

The Boy proactively pulled the smoke alarm off the wall.

Yeah.

So, as The Boy was finishing up the salad, I opened a window in the breakfast nook and the window in the powder room to clear out some of the smoke. Then we went to the living room to eat.

Obi and Oli were very consciously NOT coveting The Boy’s meal. Obi was on the back of the chair. Oli was on the arm of the chair.

I ate in peace.

When dinner was over, I closed the windows. “No!” Obi cried. He was watching that! But, while it is warmer in Wyoming than the rest of the country for some reason, it was still only 40 degrees and smell-o-vision was indeed turned off.

There was nothing for Kitten Thunder to do but retire to the condo and glare at girl-o-vision.

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