Tag Archives: family

A Plea From Obi

Dear people of the world,

We’ve had a very disturbing day. The Boy continues his efforts to ruin the laundry room. I even hid up in the ceiling to show him how valuable the space was in case there were ever intruders. But, after he closed up the ceiling with me in it, he seemed more irritated by my hiding than impressed. He took the piece of ceiling out and took me up to The Girl. I was held captive until he finished closing up all my hidey holes.

Rude.

Then The Girl started cleaning. And not normal cleaning. It’s Company is Coming cleaning. But even worse than usual. She went crazy and started throwing out things we need.

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Oliver and I tried to talk some sense into her. Yes, we have not used the giant bag of tissue paper for several months. Yes, someone peed in it. But we got this bag as part of the celebration when we officially adopted The Boy. We got his last name and this awesome bag. Why would you ever throw this out? I mean, have you seen our last name? That was NOT the best part of the deal – it takes The Girl three minutes to scold us by our full names now.

She also downgraded our fortress to two boxes and one piece of packing paper. Then she took the two shopping bags out of my fort and folded the sheet so it only takes up half as much room.

Ultra rude.

She posted the evidence of her wrongdoing, the above picture, on Facebook. Our Aunt Staci tried to make light of our plight by assuring us that they would be doing lots of shopping while they are here next weekend. They will bring us new bags.

This is stupid. Why would we settle for new bags when we could have MORE bags? It’s not like we’re running out of room.

But then it hit me. Aunt Staci actually believes this was a reasonable statement on her part. My poor cousins! While I have never met Cousins Puck and Bo, they deserve better than a family that limits their access to boxes and bags.

It really makes you think. No matter how bad your life is, things can always be worse.

Back to the plea. As soon as The Girl sat down, I jumped into her lap as a delaying tactic.

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I can’t hold out forever. Bring tuna.

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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?

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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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Grandpeoplepalooza

If I haven’t responded to your comment on a post this week it is because our six-months-after-we-got-married reception was this weekend. Operation: Don’t Let The World Know We’re Slobs went into high gear and we cleaned all week.

Kitten Thunder was not pleased. Cleaning is seldom good news.

But then the first grandperson arrived and they relaxed.

Grandpeople are good.

And then more grandpeople came. And then more grandpeople. And then More Grandpeople – this More is capitalized because my grandparents aren’t great-grandparents to my niece and nephew, they are more-grandparents. Thus, More Grandpeople.

Grandpeople are good.

For the party, Kitten Thunder was locked in the Thunder Sanctuary in the basement. Oliver loudly objected, but eventually he calmed down. A few visitors were guided in to meet the kittehs because one can’t hear so much about them and then go to their house and NOT meet them, right? They were good hosts to all who visited them.

As the evening wound down, Grandperson Cate liberated them from their sanctuary. They socialized with the remaining family members. Oliver let my grandpa rub his belly and put him in the claw. And then the grey kitten made More Grandperson bleed. But my family shrugs this sort of thing off – you play rough and a little injury is to be expected.

And then this kittehs noticed something even better than grandpeople. Presents.

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First, a bag big enough for all 25 pounds of Kitten Thunder. Not that both of them are willing to be in there at once. I barely got the present out of this bag before Oli climbed in.

And then…

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Tissue!

Kitten Thunder would like to thank everyone for their gifts. The Girl and Boy, of course, are more concerned about the stuff that was wrapped in the tissue and in the bags. And even though they weren’t expecting gifts, they are appreciative of the ones that appeared anyway.

Today was a slower day and only one grandperson remains. We had a quiet afternoon, watching a movie and turning a pair of jeans into a skirt. Obi, of course, was there to help.

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Barbies are the Bomb

We had family in town this weekend for State Hockey. My parents stayed here at the house. And, for the convenience of those that had to be at the tournament early, we had my niece, Lexi, with us too.

The Boy and I brought her home with us after dinner with my brother’s family on Friday. We watched some Nickelodeon. It turns out that all three of us would have liked The History Channel more. Lessons learned.

Yesterday, Lexi went to the store and bought what every eight year old girl does when they have extra money: Barbie. She also got a Barbie wardrobe/closet/case thing. As soon as she brought it out and my house, I knew she was going to have help.

Something told me Oliver would be all about the Barbie. And indeed he was.

For one thing, the case was the perfect height for chin scratching. He sat next to Lexi on the floor for an hour, scratching his chin and picking out the next outfit for Barbie when Lexi held up his choices.

Obi came through a couple times and picked out some outfits as well. Of course you’d wear a short silver disco dress to go to the grocery store! What other option could there be? But once Barbie was dressed for the store, Obi left to check out the other people that were here to visit.

Lexi also threw flat mousie for Obi. She scratched Oliver’s head. She generally delighted the fuzzy kittehs. When we came back without her, they were disappointed.

But then I made it up to them: nap time. After a weekend of being good hosts, Oliver was ready to lay on the couch for a serious snuggle. For hours. Now he is upstairs to catch up on his afternoon nap that he missed while he was sleeping on the couch with me. Obi is snoozing at my feet.

And they are both, I think, dreaming of Barbie.

The Three Days of Lexi

So, as I mentioned in a very quick blog post on Sunday, my parents and niece were in town for Cheyenne Frontier Days. First, I’ll share with you what happens when you ask Kitten Thunder to make up their bed for Grandpa:

“Trust us, the nest is way more comfortable than having the sheets flat like you insist on.”

I did eventually make the bed myself. Oliver was less than pleased.

It was super hot while everyone was here but that didn’t stop us from doing lots of things. We walked. We visited the botanic gardens. We petting zooed. We rodeoed. We went to a park. We saw a parade. We went on a horse-drawn carriage. We ate a whole bunch of processed sugar. We drank water like it was going out of style because sweat was pouring down our backs like a waterfall.

And Lexi played with the cats.

Aside from believing that Obi is a girl and that his name is Odie, Lexi got along well with the brown kitten. They played with a bunch of toys. He supervised her closely. It gave him something to focus on other than the horrible sounds of Cheyenne Frontier Days – fireworks, canons, concerts, etc.

And Oliver finally got his pets. It turns out that Lexi thought he was complaining when he meowed at her and that’s why she would suddenly leave. The other cats in her life meow when they have had enough. So the answer was simply to explain that he is making conversation with her. And to assure her that Oliver doesn’t bite.

That, and I gave him a pill for his allergies – a little bit of the talking was to tell her his eyes were itchy and his nose was stuffed up.

The family left this afternoon and recovery has begun. It started with a nap under the ceiling fan. Then, to counteract the processed sugar, we had chard and beets for dinner and I met my friend Sarah for a fruit smoothie. Tonight, those of us that remain will move back into the guest room in the basement. I predict sound sleeping by all.

Tomorrow we will suffer a minor setback when I finish off the doughnuts. But we’ll have a salad for lunch.

And, while we do very much love when the family comes to visit us, tomorrow we will enjoy a simpler pleasure. We will sit, the two cats and I, at the desk. Inside. Cooled by a fan. And we will not walk. Or rodeo. Or drink water like it is going out of style.

But there will be ear kisses for all.

***

I made the mistake of telling Obi we needed to blog tonight. He beat me to the office. And the chair.

“My chair.”

We provide our own siren.

Just like parents, it is hard for a cat’s people to hear him/her in pain or discomfort. Poco had asthma for over 20 years, but every attack made me stop and listen. I hoped it would be short. I hoped it would pass without too much pain. I hoped it would be only one attack.

Oliver has inverted sneeze, which sounds even worse than asthma when an attack comes. And since he can go months between them you can tell that Oliver is unsure what is happening. They are horrible. But they pass quickly.

Usually, they pass quickly.

"This is the face of discomfort."

On Sunday, Oliver had an inverted sneeze. It didn’t last long. A while later he was in the condo and I went to take his picture. I noticed he was a little wheezy. Then, later that night, he started to cough.

The coughing came in spurts – one cough every 40 seconds or so for several minutes. Then he’s put his head back down and nap. By bedtime he was still coughing but between he was having trouble swallowing. Neither of us slept well.

I did the math and realized it’s been several months since we’ve been to the vet.

So we were due.

Oliver wanted to eat on Monday morning. This is a good sign. When he doesn’t want to eat we throw him in the carrier and call the vet on the way there. The grey kitten loves his food. Unfortunately, his throat hurt so bad that when I went back to the kitchen to check on him he was just licking the gravy off the food.

I dialed the phone. The vet had an appointment at 2:30 p.m., which I took and I thought in relief about how much cheaper that was going to be that squeezing him in on a “same day” visit.

I hung up.

I saw Oli gag.

I called back and told them we were on our way in. Oliver wasn’t so sick that he couldn’t scream his fool head off the entire way there.

They have another new doctor – he’s tall and seems to “get” cats. Oliver would have liked him had the new doctor not been trying to pry open his mouth to examine his throat. Next time, maybe.

And the verdict? Allergies.

Good grief, kid.

He’s on his way back to fine. Prednisone, our drug of choice, for the allergies. An antibiotic just in case because he had a mild fever.

"Beware the dragon, for you are tasty and about to disturb the kitten's nap."

Why this picture? Because no blog is complete without Obi, right?