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Snapshots of Spring

Kitten Thunder had reached various levels of acceptance when it comes to Squeak. But Tail initiated him into the tribe this week. I was sitting on the couch, a baby and a grey kitten in my lap, with Obi watching the goldfinch show on OutTV. Tail gently stroked Squeak’s head. 
With an occasional thwap when a bird landed on the sill.

***

We’ve installed jail doors throughout the house and Oliver is not pleased. Obi wasn’t either, but when Squeak grew bigger than the cats I made a magic portal to the basement. The other door is upstairs where Obi has always walked along the half wall over the stairs (much to The Girl’s chagrin). 

Oliver, luckily, has never tried to jump up on that wall. He would almost certainly jump over the wall by mistake and take the express route to the main floor.

The magic portal is tricky enough.

***

The upstairs jail door is only closed when Squeak is upstairs. He mastered going up stairs quickly, but down was trickier. And learning to stop before crawling off the landing was trickier still, as The Boy learned after an incident on the porch steps.

Upstairs, there is much for Squeak to explore, like these cabinets.

When he first opened them, Oliver was napping on the cat shelf. He looked over the edge, incredulous. Was he the only one in the whole house who can’t open doors?!?

Yes, grey kitten, you are.

Since then he had rediscovered the basket inside the cabinet and all is forgiven… Until the baby disturbs his in a basket nap.

***

Squeak still has a long ways to go in becoming a master scritcher, but he’s making progress. He’s an enthusiastic learner. We say “gentle, gentle, that’s NOT gentle!” a lot.

But he always brings a gift to make amends.

The Circle of Life

Hello, People of the Internets, Obi here.

Oliver would be mad if he knew I was telling you this story, but I think you should know what a great Chief Executive Kitten he is.

I think we’ve mentioned that we named Squeak to hastily. His name should have been Scream. He screams all the time. All. The. Time.

Usually it’s a happy scream and The Girl encourages the behavior by laughing and screaming back. It’s a very noisy house we live in. I sit through it because it’s my job to supervise. Oliver goes upstairs when Squeak is awake, unless they’re training – Oli says the pets are coming along. But the screaming hurts our ears.

There’s also the hungry screams at night. This scream makes our tummies rumble. Oliver always makes sure to tell The Girl that we are also hungry. Sometimes we get fed. Sometimes it is too early, like if The Girl and The Boy are still reading when Squeak cries. Then it makes The Girl crabby when Oliver tells her we could also go for breakfast. Particularly if she doesn’t seem to hear him so he gets up near the almost asleep baby and yells it.

Then there’s the worst cry. The frustrated, I’m all alone in the world, sad cry. We all hate this cry. Luckily it doesn’t happen too much. I try to CAT scan him to determine if there’s anything I can do to help.

Sometimes Oliver steps in.

Like a couple weeks ago when he knocked Squeak over. Actually, there’s some debate over this. Oli thinks it was his fault. The Girl says the baby shouldn’t have let go of the wall to grab his kitten. Either way, Squeak fell and hit his head on the wall. 

Oliver ran out of the room.

At first I thought he was running because we were going to get in trouble. But he was back in an instant. The Girl was on the floor with the baby and Oli came in and tucked one of his milk rings between them. In case you don’t know, there is no greater gift from my brother.

Squeak is also a fan of milk rings. He was soon consoled and distracted.

Oliver has tried this technique a couple more times and it always works. Unlike my piano playing which is sometimes appreciated and sometimes not.

This morning, Squeak was having a my-world-is-ending cry over his diaper change. He really hates first thing in the morning diaper changes and The Girl tries to give him a little time to wake up before she does them. But let me tell you, today’s was what they call “a doozy.” I could smell it from the living room. 

So, as I was saying, Squeak was screaming. A lot. There were tears and a red face and no way was I going in because there was nothing I could do. The Girl was on her own. Except… Then The Boy also headed in. But that was not enough.

Oliver rushed past me with a milk ring. He tossed the ring into the waiting clean diaper, tucked his ears down as he made eye contact with The Girl, and rushed back out.

The Boy and Squeak played with the milk ring. There was still crying. Some shuddering gulps. A swiftly diapering Girl.

But that horrible screaming stopped.

Oliver has the golden ticket, folks. And it’s a blue plastic ring.

Later, peoples,

Obi me-out

Framed

The baby was napping and I was eating ice cream so yes, I just watched this happen:

Squeak summarily rejected his father’s lunchtime offerings of pork and broccoli. After all, his parents were having leftover Chinese food. After lunch I scooped the food from his tray into a bowl to save – he loves pork and broccoli so I thought he might eat it for dinner.

Then I got distracted putting Squeak in his swing for a nap.

As I sat on the couch eating ice cream I noticed Obi on the table. He was picking some pork out of the bowl. Once he had a piece he jumped down to the floor.

Because he has manners and cats aren’t allowed to eat on the table.

A minute later, Obi was back at the bowl. This time, though, he took a piece of broccoli. And jumped down.

Because manners.

He returned for pork. Then another piece of broccoli. Broccoli. Pork. Pork. Pork. Broccoli. Pork.

Finally I sat up in a way that I could see better. Just in time to see Obi tucking a piece of broccoli under the high chair. Right next to all the others.

Obviously he needed to get it out of the way so he could get to the pork, but leaving it on the table would be rude.

Better to frame the baby – his manners are abysmal anyway.

Food

Squeak is very good at sharing his food.

Though sometimes the kittehs don’t like his delivery system.

Oliver prefers his treats on the floor.

Especially after The Girl yelled at him the other day. She’d been fairly okay with Squeak feeding the grey kitten turkey from his high chair when it was one piece at a time, dropped to the floor. She drew the line when Oliver stood up against the chair and started gnawing on the baby’s fingers. But they were SO tasty 

The Girl also objected to Obi getting up on the dining room table and eating turkey out of Squeak’s outstretched hand. To be fair, Squeak DID call him (Obi has learned to come to OhEE! as I have learned to respond to AhAA! We’re working on it).

What The Girl would NOT object to, is Kitten Thunder eating salmon off the floor. I realize they aren’t dogs. I’m not asking them to eat everything on the floor. But it’s salmon. Fish.

Seriously.

It’s this really too much to ask?

Well… Yes.

Hidden Treasure

The Boy had to move Squeaks mattress down in the crib. At first, Obi did not approve. Then he noticed two things: he can CAT scan from outside the crib, and the dust ruffle goes all the way to the floor now. This means several surprise attacks from the crib monster every day.

So now Oliver does not approve.

***

Neither cat approves of the baby gate that keeps everyone out of the basement. It’s a door they can see through, but it’s still a door.

They hate doors.

***

Squeak shared his roast beef with Obi the other night.

What you probably can’t tell from the picture is that he kept sharing as Obi was eating. Tiny bites of roast beef fell from the sky and nestled down into Obi’s fur.

I tried to pick it out but Obi walked away, irritated that I just couldn’t leave him alone while he was eating.

Hopefully he enjoyed the bonus snack. Maybe his brother lucked out and decided to bathe the brown kitten, earning a nice treat.

Or maybe there’s a less pleasant surprise… For me… 

Somewhere…

A Kitten and His Kid

Obi is always a little relieved when the morning comes and the long stretch of nighttime boredom ends. If Squeak wakes up before dawn, all the better.

After trying to share my suitcase on our Christmas road trip, I’ve come to realize Squeak needed his own Best Box. He and Obi roll it back and forth. It’s the Best Box Game.

It’s an exhausting game. Eventually obi will take to higher ground to rest… But he’s always watching.

Always watching.

Midnight Not So Helpful

After all the praise he received for helping with the fitful diaper change the other night, Obi was a little miffed by my response to his playing of the piano last night.

At 2:30 a.m.

Just as Squeak had dozed off.

After being shushed and nudged gently with a toe, the brown kitten stomped off. Tail flicked at me, also insulted. I mean, he WAS playing a lullaby, after all.