Tag Archives: kittehs

Four Alarm Furor

Oliver is like a fun house mirror; he reflects what he sees only bigger or distorted. If I love him, he loves me more. If I cry, he MOURNS. If I yell at him for being bad, he hates me for ruining his life. If I take a nap, he becomes comatose. And if you yell at his Girl, he will END you.

Thus, day three of Operation: Calm the %$&# Down.

Soon after I wrote my early morning post on Sunday, Oliver and Obi fought again. They got a time out. They fought again. They got a time out. They fought again. They got a time out.

It was confusing because they cried at the door for each other the moment they were separated. When they were reunited, they’d bathe each other. They even thundered once. Then, in an instant, the anger and hatred returned.

Watching closely, I figured out the pattern. Obi flinched and hissed if Oliver approached him head on. One hiss is all it takes for Oliver to go full on fighty.

And so began a 48 hour brother detox program. Why? The particular movement that makes Obi hiss is a stress trigger. I read that most stress triggers can be forgotten, or recovered from, in 48 hours. Easy enough.

But the one big problem with Operation: Calm the $%&# Down is… We had to close a door.

Kitten Thunder can not handle a closed door.

I’ve got a pheromone ball plugged in and gave them calming treats, but the trauma of a closed door is real. By Monday at noon is gotten prescription happy pills (we’re not to Prozac, yet). They still sit at the door and yowl for an hour at a time, but they are stopping for a nap. The first day, they probably only got four hours of sleep in ten minute stretches. Not healthy for cats. By the time Oliver and I went to bed, in the basement, on Sunday night, he barely staggered into my arms before passing out. He still got up several times in the night to lament the closed door and lost brother.

They cry about the door. They cry for each other.

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So today, the 48 very long hours was up and I was hopeful.

They met. They licked. They ate treats together. They wrestled. They ate more treats when The Girl thought they might be getting a little too rough. But there was no fighting. Once in a while Obi would cower, but he kept his hiss to himself.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then Oliver walked up to Obi in just a way. The brown kitten hit the floor and hissed. Oliver turned his ears back. I shook the treat bag in his face and happily chirped “who wants more snackums?”

Nope. I caught up to the brawl in The Boy’s office, where he was eating lunch. He grabbed a grey kitten and went to the living room. I held a nasty tempered brown kitten in my lap (his reflection is more measured, but he’ll give what he gets as well). The Boy let Oliver go and the grey kitten came right back in for another round.

Operation: Calm the $%&# Down continues with another day of separation. Maybe some short visits. I saw progress today.

In the meantime, our spare room bed is REALLY comfortable.

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Reenfortress

I’m a big believer in shopping locally, but that doesn’t always translate into buying locally. Like when I can save $120 for a nonprofit client by avoiding Office Depot’s crazy markup.

Or when the regional metalworking store estimates the equipment I need to TRY a new technique will cost me $70 and I can find it online for less than half that – this, I suspect, was a communications/inventory issue and I will continue to check with them first.

Or when I can’t find a pair of high waisted, tight exercise pants in town at all. Until I found one ugly pair, finally, for about a mortgage payment ON CLEARANCE.

Anyway, The Boy and I have gotten some packages lately. And Kitteh Thunder has added on to the fortress.

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And, since the weather is nicer today, I added to the cave.

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But when The Girl giveth, she must also taketh away. While refreshing the tissue paper and packing paper I discovered some peed on paper.

No, Obi doesn’t know why his brother confused the watch tower with the water closet.

Compromise

An update on the kneeling chair: Kitten Thunder does not approve.

The reason a kneeling chair is good for your back is that your legs slant downward, pulling your back into a more natural position. But that means no lap.

Or at least a greatly reduced lap.

This morning, Obi wanted some lap time. I’d just gotten back from the gym and was going to check my email real quick before showering. Obi climbed onto my slanty lap and slid down my slick exercise pants.

I rescued him. And adapted my lap.

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By resting my feet on the knee pads, I gave the brown kitten a place to nap.

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Sure, I have to hold onto the desk to keep my balance. And I have to stretch to reach the keyboard. And, after a killer workout, my back was really sore.

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But a Girl has to do what a Girl has to do.

Woman’s Work

I have horrible posture. Horrible.

I can try to remember to stand up straight and sit straight at the beer or dinner table, but at my desk… Horrible.

Not wanting to be hunchbacked by 50, I decided a kneeling chair was worth trying. It’s really hard to slouch on a kneeling chair.

It arrived this afternoon. The Boy is at work.

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Obi inspected the elements as I went to find a screwdriver. Tools? Maybe we should wait for The Boy, the brown kitten suggested. This looks like man’s work.

Pish, I said. I mentioned that I owned a home before The Boy. I lived alone. I built my last desk. Oliver flipped his ears back, remembering the cussing, crying and bloodshed of that night.

If I was going through with this, they would supervise… From a distance.

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All I had to do was bolt the pads onto the frame and put on the casters. It took ten minutes and I only mushed my fingers once. Okay, twice.

Once I left the room, they inspected my work.

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We’ll see, they said. But maybe The Boy should check it when he gets home.

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In case you’re wondering, I’ve been sitting in the chair while I wrote this blog. And I’m sore already, but it’s the sore of a person who doesn’t use her back muscles to sit up straight. I’m optimistic.

Why I Have Such a Big Data Plan

Oliver has been sleeping on the cat shelf, enjoying smell-o-vision, all day. So when he came down at 5:04 p.m. and I told him I was still working, he let me know in certain terms that he did not approve. In fact, he was desperate for a snuggle.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at my desk, working from my phone.

That is what technology is for.

Diagnosis

Dr. Tiffany and Laura came for Obi’s annual veterinary visit yesterday. There wasn’t too much drama since Obi had always been healthy so his experience with doctors is pretty positive.

She did jam her fingers in his mouth to show me how to brush his teeth – he’s got some raging red gums and is headed for a teeth cleaning next week. He didn’t like that much. Maybe the cat teeth brushing will be The Boy’s job.

Oliver got an allergy shot. Aside from his Fight Club face, covered in cuts and bruises from kicking himself to scratch, his allergies haven’t gotten too bad. She didn’t have to clean out his ears or anything.

The highlight for him was getting weighed. He has lost two pounds since October – possibly, hopefully, because his nose has been stuffy. But the fact is that he was right when he told us he was wasting away (not that I could tell from the morning stompings). He hopes to reopen the discussion about kitty supper.

The most important diagnosis came at the end of the visit when Obi showed the doctor the latest addition to his belly rubbing area. Her diagnosis?

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Yes, this is a very nice box.

Mixed Messages

After a week of sitting on the couch with a cold, there were dishes to be done and garbage bags to be taken out. I decided to catch up a little bit while The Boy was cooking our dinner.

The garbage can was so full that this morning’s cat food can had rolled out and leaked food all over the floor. I pointed it out to Obi as he nibbled on kitty crunchies.

Moments later, The Boy said “hey! Don’t eat that!”

Obi looked confused. He looked at The Boy. He looked at me.

“It’s only twelve hours old,” I said. “I just told him to eat it.”

A quick conversation cleared up the issue: The Boy thought it was vomit. Nope. Cat food.

Eat on, brown kitten. Eat on.