Tag Archives: squirrels

A Kitten’s Work is Never Done…

Oliver was laying in the condo in deep nap yesterday afternoon.  He was upside down, exposing his belly to the sunbeam coming in the window. A slight breeze teased the hair on that belly.

Then a squirrel came to the window sill and started eating the corn I’d put out there.

Oliver opened an eye. He rolled and lifted his head. He looked at the squirrel. He looked at the desk. He looked at the bed. He looked out the office door into the living room.

No Obi.

Seeing no alternative, Oliver stood up and slapped the window to scare the squirrel away.

You can’t get good help these days.


It’s Thunder Thursday! This week I was kittensitting Goblin for my friend Lori. She’d told me that I mostly had to keep his water bowl filled because he’s spending a lot of time outdoors. And he’s been dragging baby bunnies in. Each day I’ve dreaded the idea of finding something dead inside the house. Or…not dead.

I found nothing.

Yesterday, I was putting canned food in Goblin’s bowl when he showed up. “Hey Gobbles,” I said. “You want to see what I’m giving you for lunch?”

“No,” he said. “You want to see what I caught for lunch?”

He took me outside and showed me the dead house wren in the driveway. I know it was a wren because it wasn’t moving so I had plenty of time to identify it. Goblin rolled on it. He looked meaningfully at me. “Rub my belly!”

I draw the line at rubbing the belly of a cat who is rolling on something dead.

I moved four feet away and waited for him to come over to me before I rubbed his belly. Today we sat on the couch and had a purr-fest. This is one lovey kitten.

“I approve of your scritching technique. Your kittens have taught you well.”



Last week The Boy and I paid $800 for some special OutTV programming. I thought a great blog post would come from “Tree Trimmers in the Front Yard.” Well, I’ve really got to stop thinking.

Kitten Thunder didn’t look out the window at all. They napped through the whole thing.

Today, as one might expect with cats, we had great OutTV for free today. It started with our normal squirrel on the window sill. Obi was doing a great job staying calm. He just watched. No leaping or lunging at the window.

Then something started cawing outside the office this afternoon. It would caw. I would grab the binoculars and go outside. Nothing. Caw. Out. Nothing. Caw. Out. Nothing. Then I took one more step than usual and discovered the source of the caw. A blue jay on the window. Looking into my office. Two feet from where I’d been sitting at my desk.

And then…it happened.

Oliver arched his back. Obi let out a low growl. Both cats grew to twice their size as each of their three-inch hairs stood on end. A lady strolling down the alley was cooing and talking softly.

She turned into our driveway.

She walked to our window..

She disappeared.

When she stood back up she was holding a black cat. She turned and carried him back to their yard.

Kerfuffle over. Fur down. Eventually.


As I started this post, The Boy opened the window in the living room. Jeff TV with smell-o-vision. It’s Oliver’s favorite show.

My cats are not spoiled.

In fact, Kitten Thunder endures a life of hardship.

Exhibit A.

What? You think he should lick soup out of a bowl on the floor or something?

Exhibit B.

We ARE working. This is very important for my clients.

And just in case you think only my cats have it rough, I bring you Tubbo. The most neglected of all squirrels.
Exhibit C.

As you can see he is struggling to survive the winter.

Every cloud has a beige, rubbery lining

Okay, well maybe not clouds. But our cabinets came with a brand new set of brown, rubber linings when we moved in. I don’t really get the point of this stuff. We had it at the coffee shop where I worked in high school. It feels gross; it always looks dirty. At least in the coffee shop it made sense because it kept the wet dishes from trapping moisture underneath. But why is it in our cabinets?

Regardless, we have theses linings. And it has turned into a game for Obi.

In previous posts I told you about Obi’s habit of pulling the cabinet door in the upstairs bathroom open and letting it bump bump bump shut. I’ve also told the tale of Oliver and Obi getting into said cupboard and then finding their way into the wall through a hole in the back. And how this resulted in baby locks on the doors.

The baby locks don’t keep the doors from going bump bump bump in the night. Obi can still get the doors open far enough for this. And now, he’s found a new challenge for the activity: the lining.

Lately, each morning, we have found the beige rubber lining hanging out the cabinet door. I can’t imagine how long it takes Obi to manage to get ahold of the lining and work it out of the crack allowed by the baby locks.  Keep in mind that he has no thumbs so the initial grip would be a challenge on its own. Then he has to keep working it out. By the time we come along, the whole right side of the cabinet is unlined.

Every morning, The Boy relines the cabinet. He thinks it would be funny to put something heavy on that side of the cabinet to see if Obi could still tease the lining out. That bit of torture hasn’t been instituted as of yet.


I saw Jeff, star of the Jeff Channel on OutTV, at a party last night. They tell me the Tubbo the Squirrel runs up and down their roof. Loudly. We compared notes on where he lives (in the tree across the street), what his preferred meal is (anything), and how big we think he’ll get (he’ll explode any day).


And on a final note, Iron Chef has tilapia as the secret ingredient. I’m glad I’m not a judge. As mentioned before, eating tilapia is like licking a fish tank. Nothing can fix that. Though I would like to try the tequila and lime sorbet. Yummo!

Weekend snapshots: Baby, it’s cold outside

It was a great weekend to stay in the house, and so I did until this afternoon when I had to go out for food and some Christmas shopping. I was greeted upon my return as if I’d been gone for days rather than under two hours.

Or maybe it was the fried chicken that came home with me.


After dinner The Boy and I were laying on the couch together. Oliver arrived to lay on my chest. Seconds later we were joined by Obi. With Zensai in his tank a couple feet away, the entire family was snuggled together in four square feet of house.


I also bought a draft stopper at the store tonight. While The Boy warmed up some mashed potatoes for dinner I installed it on our drafty back door. I was trimming the foam rolls down to size and the first one popped off and smacked Obi in the face. It bounced of his face and tumbled down the stairs with Obi flying after. I gave the other one to Oli. New toys!


Obi has succeeded in knocking two ornaments off the tree so far. They aren’t nearly as much fun on the floor as they are on the tree. Not for him and certainly not for me.

Obi is super cute with the tree. It is a tall, slender tree that fits really well with our living room. The added benefit is that Obi can’t climb into the tree because the branches aren’t long enough. What he can do, though, is reach through the tree to play with ornaments on the other side of the tree.

He also can’t reach the tree from the mantle. Gee, that’s a shame.


The Boy stepped on the big catnip ball this weekend and crushed it to powder. We were impressed – it must have had a side which was licked flat to break like that. Now the catnip ball is a bowl of catnip in my office.

A bowl of nip is far less likely to roll away when a kitten gets a little buzzy.


The squirrel I thought was going to have kittens, it turns out, is just fat. And no wonder. My pumpkin is now just a top and a bottom. I was going to throw it in the yard waste container, but now I want to wait and see if he’ll eat it all.

On the Jeff channel of OutTV we’ve been watching the same squirrel eat his pumpkin from the top down. Now he sits in the middle and just turns as he eats. It is fascinating.

Tubbo the squirrel also sat on the window sill and ate two whole slices of bread I’d put out in one sitting. Obi about lost his mind.


There was a rip roaring Thunder going on in the basement while I was working out yesterday. They were racing around the house and through the paper at break neck speeds. Paper was flying into the air with every pass. At one point both Oliver and Obi were under their own tents of paper. They were inches apart with no idea how close they were. They fell asleep that way.


And now, as the weekend and this post draw to an end, Kitten Thunder is snuggled up on the evil couch taking a nap before bedtime.

Tough work, being a cat.

Photos with my phone

First, a pumpkin update. At Kelly’s urging, I went out to turn the pumpkin so Ms. Squirrel could reach more of the rind. But when I got to the porch I found that she had finally broken through to the middle. And she likes pumpkin seeds. A lot.

I’ve mentioned that the women of my family are coming this weekend for shopping. I’ve been trying to clean. What WILL be cleaned up before they get here? Shoemageddon.

Some of those are The Boy’s shoes. It’s NOT just me.

What will NOT be thrown away, as planned, by the time the girls get here? Paper Playland. It is just too cute.

We’ll at least move it out of the hallway. Maybe there’s a nice box somewhere…

Sunday evening snapshots

The Boy’s birthday is coming up. His mom sent him the cutest little food processor you ever did see. After we tried it out for the first time, Kitten Thunder has definite opinions. They do not like the zoomy thing on the counter in the kitchen. They do, however, continue to love the

piece of

packing paper

that came with it. The box is also lovely.


After dinner, Oliver approached me for a snuggle. I burrowed down into the blanket on the couch. I tried to entice him under the blanket. I repositioned and offered to let him lay on top of me. I begged. I pleaded. 

Ten minutes later, I still didn’t have a kitten snuggling with me. Eventually Obi came and aura snuggled at my feet. Oli settled on the armrest to aura snuggle my head. Two aura snuggles are not as good as a real snuggle, in my opinion.


A couple weeks ago we bought a shelf unit at IKEA. Obi loves it. He spends all of our time in the basement trying out the different shelves. He also enjoys the view when I’m working at my bench – he gets to see what I am doing without being told I don’t want his “help.”

Weeks later, it is still cute. Weeks later, the packing paper that has been spread around the basement by thunders is still fun…but it is nearing time for that to go.


Unrelated to cats: do you watch The Next Iron Chef? What ballpark has the stuff they just got from this one. Tilapia?


This weekend we finally saw the squirrel that is eating our pumpkin. She is quite heavy with kittens. And she prefers the rind to the inside so the hole is getting bigger but only slightly deeper. So much for my hopes that she would break through and climb inside to eat. If I was really nice, I would go out and turn the pumpkin for her.


Tilapia corndog? No. No sir, I say.


Winter is here and Obi is sleeping on the bed again. With him wedged up against feet and Oliver on the pillows there is little room for tossing or turning.


And that sums it up for the weekend snapshots. I leave you with this parting thought: NO TILAPIA IN THE BALLPARK! 

Weekend Snapshots: The Grandpeople

My parents both have their birthday in August so we had ice cream cake. We don’t know why, but this afternoon Kitten Thunder decided my dad was the soft target. They both sat at his feet, watching and waiting for him to share, while three of us ate without a mooch. Perhaps they thought he should get to share since today is his birthday.


I hurt Oliver’s feelings this morning. He pestered and pestered in the early morning until I broke down and fed him. But then he kept on pestering. When I finally got up he was excitedly leading me toward the stairs. I snapped:

“I am perfectly aware that I fed you already, young man, and you’ve probably conned your grandmother into feeding you as well.”

Oli looked stricken. He dropped his tail and went back to the chair to lay down. Then I got downstairs and found out he hadn’t been down to see my mom at all. No conning.

I went up and got him. He’s quick to forgive.


Oliver is in a decorative box on the bed in my office right now. Obi is scratching his chin on the outside of the box. A white paw darts out of the box and whaps him in the face. Obi returns the whap. And scratches his chin again.


The grandpeople agree that Thunder Cafe provides some good OutTV.

While watching a squirrel eating seeds on the window sill, my parents suddenly found themselves starring on InTV when the squirrel turned to look in at us.


My dad was fishing for cat-fish, using a leather string to play with Kitten Thunder, when the grey cat-fish showed him why you should keep your feet on the couch while fishing. That cat has claws and thinks toes are tasty.


Oliver has won the battle of the decorative box.


A message to Barb: Operation Buy Something Pretty was successful. Operation Buy a Back-To-School-Outfit was, um, less successful.

Happy Birthday, Kitten Thunder

Happy birthday to you,
You’re eight; and you’re two
Happy birthday, Kitten Thunder
Happy birthday toooooo yooooooou!

That’s right, Oli and Obi have the same birthday. And it’s tomorrow. I didn’t even plan it that way. In fact, I didn’t notice until I took Obi in for his one-year appointment back in April. But how convenient is that?

I’m not really the type to get all celebratory about my pets’ birthdays. Heck, we barely get celebratory when The Boy or I has a birthday. So Kitten Thunder might get a can of tuna in the middle of the day. That’s about it.

And, since I was in the store and have been planning to get one anyway…

"We'll call this new program on OutTV...Thunder Cafe."

The new bird feeder is a big hit. We’ve had sparrows and wrens galore at an already wonderful window. Two windows, actually, because you can see the feeder from the breakfast nook and the dining room. It also hangs low enough that doves can sit on the fence and eat from it.

It might be low enough for squirrels to sit on the fence and eat from it. Which may be why there is a LOT of birdseed on the ground.

"Thunder Cafe is a big success! In one day, the customers have almost cleaned out the inventory!"

Hopefully the birds take better care of their things than the squirrels do.

"The easiest route is a straight line - right through the lid of the box."

There is a new squirrel in the neighborhood and boy is he ever stupid. He chewed this giant hole in the box in one day. While sitting on it. The bright side is that when the peanut level is low he has to climb all the way into the box. So we get little squirrel legs kicking in the air as he goes in. Very cute. And we get squirrel face peeking out once he gets a nut. Very very cute.

But I still hope we don’t have any stupid sparrows.

On this very special episode of OutTV…


And I mean, wow.

The Boy came home from his business trip and you would not believe what happened. I, of course, was happy to see him. Oliver jumped out of my lap and onto the back of the couch to welcome him. Obi…not so much. I’d have never pegged Obi as a punisher, but he is. He ignored The Boy all night. And BARELY let him rub his belly the next morning. Who knew?

The other day, Obi and I were watching the porch while I ate my sandwich. A very pregnant squirrel came to the feeder. She barely made it up and only ate one peanut. She was considering whether it was worth it to try to get up there again when a very VERY pregnant squirrel chased her off. This one had no chance.

She stretched and stretched and streeeeeeetched to try to reach the feeder. The profile of her tiny hands, small head, HUGE belly, and tiny feet was cute. And pathetic. Once she gave up I went out and arranged a buffet for my girls – piles of peanuts and lines of sunflower seeds across all three ledges of our porch.

Now if we can just figure out some way to convince the boy squirrels that they should ignore the easy food and still use the feeder.

We’ve had so much squirrel action on OutTV that Kitten Thunder is losing a little bit of interest. Luckily, we have a whole lot of birds. I can hear a blue jay, right now, calling his girlfriend across the street. There are robins and finches and sparrows and doves and wrens. Last night there was a little woodpecker tap-tap-tapping on the phone pole. And somewhere out there is an owl. I can’t see him, but he’s on OutFM in the morning.

I was watching a robin in the yard with Obi. I was asking about the bird: what was it? What is he doing? Finally Obi turned and looked me square in the eye. I’m pretty sure the look said, “if you’ll shut up and watch, you could figure all this out.” Sorry. I left him to his bird watching and came in here to blog.

Usually I have help when I blog. Lots of “help.” But today we have ten programs going on on OutTV, with smell-o-vision, and that’s an opportunity not to be wasted in May in Wyoming.

And now, back to our program…