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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.

The Midnight Helper

Squeak started sleeping through the night when he was just a couple months old. Lately, and much to Oliver’s joy, he’s been waking up a couple times a night with a sudden case of starvation.

If it’s after 2 a.m., Kitten Thunder gets breakfast.

Usually, though, one of the nighttime feedings happens before I go to bed. Like tonight.

I walked into Squeak’s room and immediately smelled dirty diaper. Sigh… He was not going to be happy about the delay in his meal.

And so he cried.

And shrieked.

And screamed.

It wasn’t long until Obi came in to do a CAT scan. He sniffed the baby’s head. He sat down next to the changing pad on the floor and watched me struggle with kicking feet. He repeated his scan.

Then he walked over to Levi’s piano and pawed a key. The baby went silent.

Obi pawed another note. The baby stilled and turned to look.

Three more notes played in the dark room. I finished putting on the diaper. “Thanks, Obi. What a good helper you are!”

And the brown kitten strolled out of the room. Squeak: tested, diagnosed, and cured by Doctor Obi.


Peoples of the internet, Obi here. Oliver suggested that I should give you an update on Squeak’s training.

I suspect Oli is just trying to distract me so he can take a nap. But whatever.

Squeak is getting to be more useful. 

Oliver has been teaching him to pet. He’s actually pretty good, says The Girl. She says he’s a natural. He has the scritchy motion down and rarely grabs. Once he grabbed Oliver’s ear, after several minutes of scritchying his head. He was NOT happy but he waited patiently while The Girl pulled the baby’s fingers open. But that did end the lesson for the day.
Oliver says I need to be patient with training if I’m going to be Chief Executive Kitten when he’s gone. I say he can stay for forever because that kid isn’t touching me until he’s fully trained.

I mean yes, this is super cute. But it’s also an invasion of personal space.

I’ll keep supervising his play skills.

From a safe distance.

He coming along. He holds things in his hands and rolls all over the place. Any day now he’ll figure out that crawling thing and I’m going to see if he can Thunder. Maybe he’ll actually do what he’s supposed to, unlike Oli, and travel past my clever ambushes.

Yesterday, though, I realized I’d underestimated the value of my people kitten. I mean, I like him and all. But I’ve been skeptical of all these promises of fun and usefulness.

Then it happened. The Girl used the magic toy making stick to find my yarn balls and one of Squeak’s stuffed animals. He was unimpressed by the reappearance of his missing toy.

Like Excalibur, the stick called to him. Is he the chosen one? Is he the hope for us all and bringer of new pieces?

I’m suddenly hopeful for the future.

Later peoples,

Obi me-out!

Toy Ring

We took Squeak on a road trip to see family for Christmas. Kitten Thunder, though not asked, opted to stay home and let Bestest Kittehsitter in the World, Lori, take care of them.

And boy did she ever. Obi kind of wants us to go away again because he was getting brushed every day, plus a belly rub, AND she brought him a Christmas stocking full of toys.

Squeak also brought toys with him when he came home. Our three little one have decided to share.

Kind of.

Oliver is now in the habit of storing milk rings on the rug with the baby toys, but he gets rather upset when Squeak picks one up and starts chewing on it.

Fortunately, The Girl agrees.

She also thinks the baby is too young for catnip pillows. No matter how many times Obi throws it to him.

And Obi sighs. That kid is not very good at catching things anyway.

Division of Duties

When Squeak first arrived in our home, we decided he needed to sleep in his own room with the door closed because we didn’t know how Kitten Thunder would react. We weren’t concerned that they would hurt him. We were mostly concerned that Oliver would love him and lay on his face, as the grey kitten does with me.

But nearly six months has gone by and another issue has come up: Squeak’s room is icy cold if we shut the door at night.

Luckily, Oliver’s interest in the baby seems to be limited to how the two of them can be with The Girl at the same time. All the better if Squeak is with The Boy so Oli can have The Girl all to himself.

Obi is heavily invested in his baby but is no more interested snuggling with a little human than the big ones. He’ll lie in the crib with Squeak but with only their auras touching – and he’s quick to leave at the first sign of a wiggle.

So we’ve started leaving the door open at night.

This has changed, once again, the division of labor in our house. Kitten Thunder has taken turns supervising the household in the night. But Squeak started sleeping through the night even if a grey kitten called to him from under the door, asking him to wake The Girl so they could all have a 4 a.m. snack (seriously, he did this). And the nights have grown colder. Oliver decided that night supervision of the baby and greater household could be handled by a Specialist. The Chief Executive Kitten would supervise The Girl, up close and from under the blankets. And he’d lift his head to check on The Boy once or twice.

Obi had no problem with the new arrangement because he is up anyway.


Everyone is asleep during his night shift. All night. Everyone. For hours.

It gets boring.

Last night, Obi couldn’t take the boredom. He started walking around the house singing his “I’m bored” song. Oliver and I listened to the song as the brown kitten walked through our room. We appreciated the stereophonic sound spectacular as he walked down the stairs and we could hear the song live AND through the baby monitor. Then it got quieter as he walked around the living room. Then louder as Obi returned to the baby’s room.

He approached the crib. He put two paws up on the mattress and gazed at the baby.

“I’M BORED!” He sang at Squeak. “PLAY WITH ME!”

I watched. Oliver watched. Obi waited.

But Squeak’s eyes stayed closed.

So Oliver closed his eyes. And I closed my eyes. And Obi, stomping up the stairs and plunking down in the headboard, closed his eyes.

Boring people and their boring nighttime ways.


Happy birthday, next week, to Squeak’s cousins Lexi and Elizabeth. Your presents are on their way!

Mirror Mirror

Mirror mirror in baby’s hands,

Upon the wall throws lighted bands.

The cat will chase them to and fro,

Though you’ve no idea where they will go.

Lesson Three: Snow

We’re more than halfway through November and winter has finally come for a day or two. I was excited to show Squeak snow. 

He wasn’t too interested, held in my arms with the flakes piling up on his head. Tomorrow I’ll bundle him up in his snowsuit and get him down on the ground.

Kitten Thunder was more interested in showing them what snow means to them: Bonus blanket Girl snuggles.

She’s good for napping on, Obi showed him. Oliver then demonstrated that she’s a warm, soft place for socializing well.

They were pleased with the lesson. The kid learns fast.


It would be rude not to.



Lesson One Continues

Oliver started training his people kitten early but was disappointed at first. It seemed that Squeak was not going to be the talented petter that The Girl is.

But he has not given up. Slowly, Squeak is gaining the dexterity and strength it takes to become an excellent scritcher.

Last night I sat on the floor in the kitchen with Squeak while The Boy fixed dinner. Oliver decided this was a good time for another lesson. He approached an outstretched hand carefully and rubbed his chin over it. 

Then, having encountered none of the resistance or fingernails needed to make a good chin scritch, he tried something different. He shoved his head under the outstretched hand.

And it happened. The fingers flexed. A light squeeze occurred.

A pleased grey kitten walked under the outstretched hand.

And it happened. The fingers flexed. A light squeeze occurred. The tiny hand tightened to a fist… And came away with a tuft of soft grey fur.

Oliver was less pleased.

The lesson was over.

Obi came by for his pet from the people kitten. He shoved his head under the outstretched hand and started walking.

And it happened. Fingers flexed. A light squeeze occurred. And a brown kitten sidestepped out of reached.

He’s already learned that lesson.


Obi is coming off his Prozac and it’s making him more playful than ever. Unfortunately, he and Squeak still don’t agree on how to play with toys.

So, later in the day, we were hopeful that Oliver would play with his brother. We asked him to go be unsuspecting.

Oliver agreed and went to lie down. And he just laid there.

No matter what Obi did.

“There’s a difference,” The Boy told Oli, “between unsuspecting and oblivious.”