Category Archives: Jedi Skills

Teach Me, Obi Wan

Every time I make the bed in my office, it gets unmade. A brown kitten burrows and shoves and digs until the sheets are piled in the middle. It is mostly annoying.

But this? This is impressive.

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Obi wrapped himself up in the blankets; this is what we called a burrito baby when I was a kid.

Oh, wise Obi Wan Kittenobi, tell me the ways of The Force…

There is No Pope and Bears are Hibernating…

…so how is Obi supposed to say that yes, he does want his belly rubbed?

Sure, the next Pope will be Catholic. Sure, bears, in general, do pee in the woods. But what about right now? What smart alecky comment can he come back with right now?

***

When The Boy is downstairs for a long time, Obi will go down and tell him about the great boredom. The problem is that The Boy and Obi have this great fetching game…upstairs. And that is what Obi wants to play. They go up to the belly rubbing rug and find the flat mousie. He’s usually under the couch. The Boy will throw the mousie into the hallway and Obi will go and get it. He brings it back to the rug (sometimes the mousie puts up a fight and it takes a while) and The Boy will throw it again. It’s not exactly “fetch” so much as a deeply held belief by the brown kitten that mousies belong on the rug.

Almost all of his toys are in the living room, near the rug.

Last night, The Boy decided that Obi needed a basement mousie. We happen to have two flat mousies so he chose the other one – not Obi’s favorite mousie in all the world – for the basement relegation. He threw the mousie from the rug, into the hall, and Obi chased it. The Boy got it from Obi before he got back to the rug and threw the mousie into the kitchen. From there he threw it down the stairs. From there he threw it down the downstairs hallway. Thinking he had made it, he threw the mousie the length of the train layout and waited for Obi to bring it back to him.

Obi brought it back…

To the rug in the living room.

Mousies belong on the belly rubbing rug.

The Boy took the mousie back downstairs with him and it has remained downstairs for 24 hours. We’ll see what happens the first time they play with it.

 

Kitten Circus

The Boy started building the structure for his model train layout this week. Kitten Thunder thinks it is perfect for tightrope walking. They hope the trains never come.

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The Amazing Ninja Tail Spin

Oliver is feeling better. For a while his newly found allergies were slowing him down and he wasn’t as active as he usually is. Poor Obi. But, while still a little goopy around the eyes and nose, Oliver is now better.

He is instigating Thunders.

When Obi wants to thunder, he’ll do the things a normal cat will do. He’ll sneak. He’ll pounce. He’ll tease and run. Oliver…well…did I mention that I was the one who taught Oli how to be a cat? Chalk this up to another failure on my part.

When Oli wants to thunder, he’ll walk up to Obi and poke him in the face with his paw. There’s a possibility he’s trying to give Obi The Claw. The Claw is slightly less effective when you have tiny paws nowhere near big enough to encompass a cat’s head.

But then! Then we have Oliver’s signature move: The Amazing Ninja Tail Spin!

Once Obi is standing, Oliver spins around so he is facing away from Obi. He looks back over his shoulder to make sure his brother is impressed by his awesome move. And Obi is…confused. We think that Oliver means to smack Obi with his tail, but Oli holds his tail straight up at all times. So no tail smacking. Or twacking. Just…butt.

In all fairness, this move does have a pretty good consequence depending on the goal. Once he has spun around, Obi usually bites him. The Girl or The Boy generally responds with “Obi! Don’t bite your brother’s butt.” So…Obi is in trouble. Oli wins.

Hmmm…sneaky little ninja.

You do NOT talk about Fight Club

1st Rule: You do not talk about Fight Club.

2nd Rule: You DO NOT talk about Fight Club.

3rd Rule: If someone hisses or hides in a box the fight is over.

4th Rule: Only two kittens to a fight.

5th Rule: One fight at a time.

6th Rule: No shirts, no shoes. We’re nudists.

7th Rule: Fights will go on as long as they have to. Or until The Girl or The Boy thinks we’re getting too rough.

8th Rule: Since there are only two kittens in Fight Club, you have to fight.

"In answer to your question about what happened, please refer to rules number one and two."

Oliver has a black eye. And two scratches. He doesn’t want to talk about it. I can only guess this is because Kitten Thunder has founded a fight club and he’s following the rules about not talking about it.

That…or he kicked himself in the eye with his back claws, which don’t retract.

Yeah, one of those.

“I just don’t want to die without a few scars.”  ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

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.

Obi, the Amazing Circus Cat!

"I feel like I'm walking a fine line..."

Our very first week in the new house was educational. In the guest room’s closet there are shelves on one side and one day, while I was holding him, Oliver wanted to get on those shelves. I didn’t think too much about it. I just set him on the top shelf and went back to unpacking.

And then…he was gone.

It didn’t take me too long to figure out that Oliver had climbed up into the ceiling. Luckily, he climbed up between two beams and there wasn’t anything but a long path to the foundation with a couple nails sticking up. I didn’t have to worry too much about his safety. I got up on a chair and talked to him until he was ready for me to help him down.

Since then, Kitten Thunder has been obsessed with the ceiling in the basement.

New rule: that side of the closet must remain closed at all times lest a kitten decide to get acrobatic.

A few days later The Boy  came up with a brilliant idea to make the shelves in another closet more shallow  so I would a) have more room to hang clothes and b) have a shelf that was the exact width of a sweater. I have an EXTENSIVE sweater collection. Have I mentioned that I live in Wyoming? And that winter is my favorite season?

Anyway, the shelves were made of two pieces of wood each so all we had to do was take the front piece off of the supports. The bottom shelf is still two pieces wide so there’s a nice platform. Obi was sitting on the platform as The Boy and I sat, huffing and puffing (I made the process sound much easier than it was), on the floor in the hall.

And then he did it. Obi had been looking at the open ceiling but I wasn’t worried about it – he’s not much of a jumper and it was a good six feet up. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was Obi’s amazing circus cat abilities. He used those shelf supports like the rungs of a ladder and zipped right up the wall.

This is where I discovered that I, too, have a special ability. When faced with the possibility of a cat going into the space between two floors of my house, I can move at the speed of light and snatch him back from the abyss at the nick of time! Ta da!

So…new rule. No kittens in the hallway closet, either.

A couple weeks ago, the clothes bar in the guest room closet broke. I maintain this is because of the cheap plastic fixtures and not because I have a ridiculous wardrobe. Stop! Don’t think back to the last paragraphs about me using the hallway closet! Don’t add that to the guest room closet! Cheap…plastic…fixture…no…such…thing…as…too…many…skirts…

While I was waiting for The Boy to fix my closet – the bar needed to be shortened and while I AM a metalsmith, I don’t do hacksaws – I moved those clothes to a spare clothing rack. Did I mention that when we moved to this house I gave away three closets of clothing to charity?

All of this part of the story is leading up to this: the other day, Obi was walking on the rack like a tightrope to get closer to a miller on the ceiling.

New rule: Don’t put the clothes rack near any open parts of the ceiling.

"Whatever you do, don't look down."

Cling On, Cats. Not to be confused with Klingon Cats.

I’m pretty sure this is one of only a few funny parts of HOP:
     Easter Bunny: The EGG of DESTINY can only be wielded by a bunny.
     Evil Chick: Look, I’m wielding it. I’m wielding it AGAIN!

The Boy wielded the magic toy making stick this evening and produced two flat leopard skin mousies, the teddy bear mouse, a milk ring, and $3 toy designed to act like a milk rink, a squeaky ball…and enough cat hair to knit ourselves a kitten. Obi was very excited. Then he was overstimulated. He ended up piling them all together so he could just lay on them.

Then The Boy threw them all over the living room. Obi went back to playing with the tiny fuzzy that has been out all week. It’s about the size of a dime but don’t underestimate it. That fuzzy is wily. It requires vertical pounces of at least a foot and a half (while fluttering your feet like a ballerina, for some reason).

"Any minute, a tuna will come by and I will pounce. What does a tuna look like, anyway?"

The world of Facebook confirms that cats from everywhere have been especially clingy this week. Kitten Thunder was no exception. When I sat, someone sat with me. On me. By my head on the back of the couch. With their wet nose in my ear. Or up against my nose for some EYE CONTACT.

When I went down to my work bench there was Thunder. But small scale Thunder that never went where they couldn’t see me. For a while, they were gone. Then I glanced into the spare room and saw the reflection of eyes watching from the bed. At one point Oliver came walking purposefully to where I sat in the banana chair, climbed into my lap and about broke my nose with the hug-headbutt he delivered. The Boy came down shortly after to make sure I’d been found – Oli had been upstairs wailing because I was lost.

For the past few nights, shortly after lights out, Oliver has started the “where did everyone go? Why am I alone?” cry on the main floor. I usually break down and call him. And remind him we’re where we are EVERY night. The ecstatic purr I get when he finds me just adds to how ridiculous this is.

Last night there was no yowling. Because Obi and Oli followed me upstairs to read.

And now? I left two cats on the love seat in the living room when I came in to blog. Obi is in the condo. He’s looking the other way, but I can feel him watching me with his flipped around ears. And Oli has moved four feet so he can see me by putting his head on the armrest of the couch.

I guess I should be grateful for the attention. I’ll miss it some day when Kitten Thunder doesn’t need their mama.

**A side note: Did you know the world’s largest bar made of solid jade is in Medicine Bow, Wyoming? SO smelling a road trip this weekend!

**A second side note: Since I said the word “Klingon” in my title I really wanted to say “Obi hates zebra cows” in that language. Why? Well, because it would be funny. And because Obi kept throwing a little plastic cow – don’t ask ME why he has stripes – off The Boy’s workbench this weekend. No translator will tell me how to say “Obi hates zebra cows.” So instead, I give you what he said to me when I paused in my metal working to tell him to get off The Boy’s bench: “mupwI’ yI’uchtaH!”

Spell check? Thinks I misspelled that.

The Claw!

I believe most cat owners are familiar with the claw: a hand held, claw-like, then fitted over the face of a cat. Kitten Thunder has numerous uses for the claw.

My dad and I firmly believe that grey kittens, universally, love the claw. They’ll walk across the room for it. My theory is that their brains are a little fluffy and they like the feeling of having it tamped down a little bit. It is a favorite kind of pet. Even Gracie, my parents’ tiny cat who only allows you to pet the aura of her aura with the very tip of your aura when she’s feeling VERY lonely, will allow you to give her the claw.

Obi likes the claw as well. The fluffy brain theory would also apply to him. Though he always refluffs his brain with a head shake as he pulls away from the claw. And comes back for another round.

Kitten Thunder also enjoys claw fights. If one of them is feeling feisty but can’t get their brother to play, a good battle of the claw is very satisfying. I can set up several feet away and display a claw. With a fierce look a possibly a butt wriggle, a kitten face is thrust into the claw. The goal of course is to attack the claw off center so he can bite the soft spot between thumb and index finger while dragging the claw to the ground for kicking. There is growling on both sides. Then we break off.

The attack is repeated. And repeated. And repeated.

I love the claw.


I had totally forgotten about this until I saw it on someone’s Facebook today. If you have cats, you will love http://www.simonscat.com/

Today’s guest star  for Thunder Thursday is cousin Spade. The grandpeople brought Spade to Cheyenne with them a couple years ago when he was too young to stay home by himself. Unfortunately he stayed just long enough for he and Oliver to get to the “I hit you but I think it is supposed to be fun” phase.

"You can't have a full house without a Spade."

Things you should know about Spade:

1. He looks like he is solid black but when he’s in the sun you can see he is actually black with black stripes. No joke.

2. His nickname is Spadosaurus because he’s basically a bowling ball on tiny feet and he is the LOUDEST WALKER ever.

3. His favorite toy? Rubber bouncy balls. Favorite game? Carrying them to the top of the basement stairs and throwing them down so he can watch. Them. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce all the way down.

4. He adores kids. You need someone to play cars or with your dolls or a video game? He’s in.

The Girl, Kittened Out

First, a definition: You know when you see a kitten stalking something and it’s concentrating really hard? It has its head low to the ground, moving one…step…forward. Then…one…more…step. Butt wriggles. About to pounce…and…ooh, look something shiny! And suddenly the kitten is off doing something else, its prey forgotten? That is kittening out. Prepare yourself for some random, unrelated topics.

First, I bought ugli fruit today. And boy is it ever ugly. It is the cross between a grapefruit, and orange and a tangerine. If it turns out pretty they call it a tangelo. If it looks like this, well, they’ve decided to try to sell them anyway.

"Super nose says this is safe to eat. Super eyes say...eew."

The guy at the store who saw me laugh says they are actually quite tasty.

Did you know that raw peanuts lead to mangy looking squirrels? I found that out on a website for squirrel lovers that happened to be on a website for exterminators in Florida. The top picture is a gnarly looking dude holding a raccoon and a opposum. But he likes squirrels.

I was reading about peanuts because when I was home for lunch the squirrel feeder had grown a tail. A squirrel was all the way in the box trying to dig out the last of the peanuts. I was trying to find out where to buy more. I found some at Murdoch’s but I couldn’t tell if they were roasted (thus safe) so I bought HUGE sunflower seeds and “backyard buffet” that has a little bit of everything. That should take them a while to eat.

Also at Murdoch’s…baby birds! Chicks, ducklings, tiny quail and turkeys. So cute. For a moment I tried to picture Oli and Obi with a chick. I’m pretty sure the chick would win.

Oliver has been bringing his favorite toy to bed with him. He brings it up to my pillow, tucks it under the sheet and tries to lay down. But, to his great disappointment, I will not allow the toy in bed. It’s not like his favorite toy is the teddy bear mousie. Or even Mr. Cow. It’s a milk ring. Um, no.

Obi has been with us for almost a year. Tomorrow morning I take him in for his annual check up. Will he weigh more than ten pounds? Will he be charming? Will the girls ooh and aah over his glorious beauty? Will there be little kids who will be THRILLED to find out his name is Obi Wan Kittenobi? Will he still be terrified of the kitty carrier?

And now, for Thunder Thursday, I bring you Kitten Thunder’s future kitty-cousins. The Boy’s mom’s kitties. This is NOT an announcement of any sort; this is merely an assumption that some day in the future I will become Mrs. Boy. 

"Touch the belly...if you dare."

Lacey is quite discerning about her humans. I didn’t get to interact with her much when we visited. But she’s a pretty princess. But check out this glamour shot of Chuck:

"It is hard to contain this much handsome in one face."