Tag Archives: dogs

Weathering the Storm

If you’ve been following the laundry room saga, you know that things didn’t turn out as simple as just popping a door in the wall so we could have a hallway directly from the bottom of the stairs to the spare room. The Boy is an engineer and he can not close his eyes to things done poorly.

So walls came out.

Plumbing has been changed out.

Electricity has been rerun.

This past week, The Boy put in insulation and framed in a new wall. We’re going to gain about six inches in that room by doing things right. BUT. Kitten Thunder does not like all the noise. They are completely over this bit of renovation.

Since they weren’t going to help The Boy, the kittehs were helping me take a nap this afternoon. I’d drifted off on the couch with a grey kitten in my arms and a brown kitten enjoying his own nap on the loveseat. And then…ALARMS!!! I woke up to my phone, The Boy’s work phone, and his personal phone screaming from less than three feet from my head. I managed to read “tornado warning,” grabbed Obi off the loveseat and told Oli to follow me. Which he did. To the top of the stairs.

The Boy was working in the laundry room and they wanted NO part of that.

Their refusal to go downstairs with me gave me enough time to realize that the alarm is not a siren. No need to go to the basement anyway. So I set Obi down and went upstairs to put in my contacts and brush my teeth. And then, SIREN.

Kitten Thunder was in The Boy’s office. I grabbed Oliver and told Obi to follow me. Nope. The Boy was walking up the stairs and I told him that the brown kitten had run into the living room. I heard them arguing about whether everyone had to go into the basement. The Boy won and appeared at the top of the stairs with a mad kitten in his arms.

The cats are both Cheyenne natives. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before – Cheyennites are weather fanatics. After the 2011 storm that wrecked my car, Facebook was full of pictures of cuts and bruises from people that were out looking at the sky when the hail started. And so…

TornadoTV. Obi watched the lower Jeff Channel.

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Oliver watched from the lower Lilac Bush Channel, where they generally watch Doves Eating Seeds.

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After there was no tornado to be seen, Oliver decided to inspect The Boy’s building abilities by using this water tower as a chin scratcher.

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The sirens stopped and the warning expired just as The Boy ran out of things to keep his interest and went back to the laundry room. I set Kitten Thunder free and went to check out the damage.

There was some high powered, horizontal precipitation. The puddle in our bathroom  came all the way to the hall.

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We got several inches of marble-sized hail at our house. The tomatoes were on the right side of the house for once. I’m giving up on ever growing zucchini.

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20140713_140947As I was taking this picture, a big pit bull came running up the walk toward me. She was very excited about being free. I talked to her for a couple minutes until her frantic owner, whose fence blew over, came down the alley.

Oh! And then this happened.

EMT

Because whenever our tornado siren goes off, we immediately also get a flash flood warning…thunderstorms, you know. A local posted this picture of EMT Brian Mills pulling a raccoon out of the flood water. After this, he wrapped it up in a towel and held it for a while – which is a step past what even I would do for a wild critter. What a guy.

Oliver just walked in to my office. Weren’t we taking a nap?

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Dog People

How were you at algebra? If the grandpeople leave Rock Springs at 1 p.m., traveling 75 mph, and The Boy and Girl leave Cheyenne at 1:30 p.m., also travelling 75 mph, when should we start looking for each other in order to wave as we pass?

My mom asked for tickets to an Avalanche game and someone to go with her to said game for Christmas. So, this weekend, my brother’s family and my parents were in Denver. The Boy and I agreed to Jigger-sit.  At first, Jigger was going to come to Cheyenne. Then we decided it would be easier on everyone if The Boy and I went to Rock Springs for the weekend.

The first thing we did when we got there was take Jigger for his afternoon walk. The dog was not sure The Boy and I knew his route. He was not sure The Boy was certified in leash management. Somehow, we managed to walk the dog and get back to the house without incident.

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We kept Jigger up way past his bedtime. There was a little bit of concern that he wouldn’t sleep well up in my room, but that was unfounded. He was so tired that he tried to climb into his bed while I was carrying it upstairs. As soon as it hit the floor, he was in it and unconscious.

In the morning – way too early in the morning – Jigger needed to go outside. I let him out, fed Spade and Gracie, gave the dog breakfast, and went back to bed. A moment later, Jigger made it clear that it was not okay for me to go back to bed. I went downstairs to sleep on the couch.

Jigger convinced me that I should let him sleep on my belly on the couch. He said that’s what Mom does.

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I texted this photo to my mother. She called the dog a con artist.

We took Jigger with us to Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. He loves birds and walks so we figured he’d have a great time. At our first stop, he led the way down a trail for about half a mile. Once in a while, he would have to stop because the trail was hard to see. As soon as The Boy would step down the trail, the dog would rush in front to continue leading the way.

He jumped over logs. He walked through a bog. At one point we lost The Boy who went through some wetland that Jigger and I couldn’t manage (sharp sticks at dog-eye level). Jigger was VERY concerned that he was out in the middle of nowhere with just The Girl.

By the time we got back to the car, Jigger was ready to get back in the car. At the next stop, up the road, he jumped down onto the floor of the car and refused to come out. He was done. We asked him at each stop and he refused to get out.

He slept through six swans, two bald eagles, several hawks, and a moose. He also slept through ice cream cones in Farson.

We texted my mother to tell her we wore out her dog.

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When we returned to the house, exhausted, the dog was well rested and ready to play. We sent him to the back yard to run around while we plopped down on the couch.

Luckily, I had three critters to care for and Spade was ready for a nap.

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Inroads

It was state hockey weekend again and that meant lots of visitors for Kitten Thunder. My parents, along with Cousin Jigger, stayed at our house. And, since my nephew’s games were at way-too-early a.m., my niece also stayed with us.

The biggest issue Oliver and Obi has is that Lexi didn’t bring Barbi with her. What good is a little girl without a doll? So she bought one on Saturday – both cats helped get her out of the packaging and tried out her hands for chin scritching.

Meanwhile, on the dog front, things went a little more smoothly. No one got punched in the nose. Kitten Thunder spent most of their time in the living room with us…watching. It started out a little tense. But as the weekend went by, everyone calmed down.

Then, everyone discovered they have an interest in common.

CommonGroundWho doesn’t like squirrel watching?

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An hour after everyone left yesterday, the squirrel came to the window sill and looked in at me on the couch. He wanted to know where his audience was.

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This morning, I was glad that the audience was gone: spring has arrived an OutTV is a tiny bit pornographic. I’m thinking about piping mood music out to the front porch.

Not that they seem to need music.

 

Snapshots of Jigger

Ah, the holidays. Full of fun, food, and relatives. Kitten Thunder has always been pleased to see the grandparents come to visit. But this year they brought Cousin Jigger. And Kitten Thunder was mostly pleased to see HIM go.

It started with the “relatives are coming” cleaning of the house, which they can live with. But it included some weird cleaning. Like putting their food bowl on the table. And hiding all their toys.

Then Jigger arrived. Oliver mostly wanted to know WHY. Why does that thing move so funny? Why is it in the living room? WHY DOES IT JINGLE?!? Oli sat, calm but curious, on a shelf in the living room and watched.

Obi, my mellow boy, was not calm. And he never got calm. Maybe if he’d had four more days, he could have brought himself to interact with the dog and they could have been friends.

Maybe next time.

***

On Thanksgiving, we took Jigger to the dog park. He had a fantastic time. And it was a learning experience for me – the cats never want to go so I’ve never actually been IN the park. When we arrived, there was a couple with two puppies wrapping up their visit. Shortly after we arrived, a guy with three big dogs arrived. I was nervous. But I was nervous for nothing.

It seems that dogs who are allowed to go to dog parks have the same conversation, which goes:

“I’m at the dog park!”
“I’M AT THE DOG PARK TOO!!”
“I love the dog park!”
“I LOVE THE DOG PARK TOO!!”
“I have to run at top speed!”
“ME TOO!”

It doesn’t matter that Jigger is a tiny hamster dog. But he did get to try out the agility course.

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My mom had to drag him up the ramp the first time. The second time he had no interest in getting close enough to grab so she picked him up and put him here for a photo.

This may be his last brush with the agility course.

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As we were finishing the loop around the dog park, a couple with a boxer puppy arrived. The big dogs ran up to him at full speed and started the conversation. Then they ran up to Jigger:

“There’s a new dog!”
“COOL!”
“He loves the dog park!”
“I LOVE THE DOG PARK!”

Then the puppy bounded up. He and Jigger exchanged the standard butt-related greeting and discussed their love of the dog park. Unfortunately, the boxer puppy – well taller than Jigger already – was bouncing up and down. He bounced on his new friend.

And it was on.

Jigger became a ball of fluff and flashing teeth. The puppy became a brindle flash of fur and teeth. There was a tremendous commotion as they went from friend to mortal enemies in a split second.

And then casual acquaintances as their leashes were reapplied.

No one was hurt – I don’t think there was any intention of violence from either of them, it was just a yelling match. But Jigger’s time in the big park was over. We moved him into the section for small dogs so we could all get back to happy and end the visit on a high note.

Jigger three friends came to the fence and tilted their heads. Why was their tiny friend in doggy jail? Jigger muttered something rude under his breath. My mom suggested to him that he didn’t have enough size to back up the big attitude he was developing.

By then the sun was setting and our dinner was settled. Maybe it was time to go home.

***

Oliver spent most of the weekend drunk with power. While he is not Jigger’s biggest feline cousin, he is definitely the tallest. And he discovered quickly that he was intimidating to the dog. And he liked that.

He also found that Obi needed to be defended. He like that, too.

But then a plot was hatched. Kitten Thunder spent a lot of time under the dining room table where they could watch in relative safety. With our coats hanging over chairs, it was a nice cave.

At one point, Obi crept into the living room. He waited until he was seen by Jigger, then ran full speed back to the table. Jigger, being wired to chase running things, followed. Right into an impressive right hook from Oliver.

I don’t buy for a second that this wasn’t planned.

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By Saturday, we were all tired from the three days of fun and food and family. The Boy headed to Denver for a train show. My parents, with Cousin Jigger, headed back to Rock Springs. And Kitten Thunder and I headed to the couch for a well earned nap.

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The New Digs

Hi! So, how do you like the new digs? Kind of look just like the old ones, right?

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I am actually in Rock Springs right now, on the last leg of the great Christmas shopping extravaganza. I can’t wait to get home tomorrow. Not that Cousin Spade didn’t do his part as a host. On Thursday night he dutifully slept on my feet.

And right this moment, Cousin Gracie is laying next to me on the couch.

Cousin Jigger hasn’t done anything cat-like, but he has been super cute. My mom bought him a hedgehog chewy toy – meant to clean his teeth – on the way home from Salt Lake City today. Jigger liked it. No, Jigger LOVED it. He chewed it nonstop from the moment he got it. We didn’t realize when we bought it that it was something that was consumable. But after an hour, the hedgehog was headless.

The next time I checked on him, Jigger had a headless hedgehog and a pile of nubs on the floor next to him. It seems the spikes on the hedgehog are the best part and he was saving them until last.

Last wasn’t far away. The hedgehog is gone.

Nubs and all.

Welcome Home

So we got home from our camping trip on Monday. Our original plan was to come home on Sunday night, but we were really tired the week before when we got home at midnight…we thought a good night’s sleep and a drive home Monday was a better plan. We slept. We had breakfast. We rubbed Cousin Jigger’s belly.

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And then, four hours later, we were home.

Oliver was starving to death. It had been A YEAR since Lori, bestest kitteh sitter in the world, had fed them. Or 18 hours. One of those. Regardless, food was his top priority.

After their meal, Kitten Thunder set to punishing us for being gone. Oliver settled on the dining room table where he could fix me with a hard glare. Obi, though, does not have such restraint. He needed his belly rubbed. And he really needed a good brushing. He danced around The Boy, trying to get his face brushed while The Boy tried to brush the back and belly.

Then Obi decided to do a little camping of his own in a pillow tent.

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About an hour later, I was still being punished. Obi came to forgive me. Oliver saw this and ran across the house to shove the brown kitten out of the way – if I was to be forgiven, the grey kitten needed a snuggle.

Today I worked mostly from home. Mostly with a cat draped over my forearms. As I type this, there is a grey kitten on my arms and I can’t see the keyboard. Obi has taken his turns as well.

And if I have to get up to use the facilities (and oh, how I appreciate facilities after three days of unimproved wilderness)? Obi has that covered as well.

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Rugcats

Kitten Thunder has done in our living room rug. It has stains from everything that ails them and discolored spots where the stains were removed. A decision was made: it had to go.

The process of picking a new rug was complicated and involved many stores. And then, when I found a rug I liked…I found four that I liked. After about ten minutes I narrowed it down to two. After five more minutes of struggle, I called in the focus group – I texted family and friends and asked them to vote. And even though I asked an odd number of people I ended up with a tie.

The Boy was riding back from training in Denver so I was able to get him to cast a tie breaking vote.

And I immediately second guessed the decision. When I walked back to the rugs, the selected one seemed like it would clash with our sage green sofas. But, since I actually asked The Boy for his opinion, I bought the rug to at least put up against the couch to be sure. I was fairly certain I’d be driving back to get the other one.

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I set the rolled up rug against the couch. “Does this blue clash with the green, Obi?”

“Who cares,” his look said. “Does it go with brown fur?”

I unrolled the rug.

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Verdict: the rug does clash with the couch in certain light. In other light it looks great. Also, Obi doesn’t want his belly rubbed on it.

Maybe, he says, its not too late for the old one.

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***
It’s Thunder Thursday! We haven’t had a lot of guest pictures to post lately, but there is a new member in our extended family. Cousins Spade and Gracie have a new brother.

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Meet Jigger! He is a little bit smaller than Spade. So far everyone seems to be getting along fine.

Just fine.

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