Bad table manners!

Posted by tirial on February 22, 2012 with No Comments as ,
Thought for the day
Even for a cat, that’s bad manners…

I’m nt sure whether he thinks the food will escape or what, but Stephen seems to have decided that his food bowl requries pinning down…
Stephen, standing on his food plate.

I’ve seen kittens do this before, because they can’t quite get to the food. In Stephen’s case he weighs more than the plate does, resulting – when he puts a paw wrong – in the effect we have dubbed the Food-a-pult. Luckily he’s standing right where the food goes, so it goes all over him, not the room. I sincerely hope this is not his new version of the catfood takeaway.

He’s bopped himself on the head with the plate a couple of times doing this, so we’re looking into ways to fasten it down. Otherwise we’ll have to switch to paper plates until this phase passes or accept a concussed cat.

Snow and cats and cold weather…

Posted by tirial on February 9, 2012 with No Comments as , ,
Thought for the day
It’s cold…

On the first day the white flakes started drifting down, much to to consternation of the cats. Stephen remembered this from last christmas, and he remembered he didn’t like it. After failed attempts to persuade me to change the weather and turn the thermostat on the world outside up, he sulked. Matilda took one look, decided it was a) cold and b) wet and went to sleep by a radiator.

The second day. Stephen stared out of the window all day, ears flat back. He is going a bit crazy being cooped up, but runs away when the door is opened. Matilda, being sensible, migrated to her nest under the bed, determinedly dragging her food bowl behind her.

The third day. Matilda is setting up a holiday home under there. All you can usually see are two wide green eyes looking out.

Stephen? He was brave enough to step outside, although you have to admire his determination not to walk on snow –

– and that was where he ran out of snowfree bits to tread on, paused turned and headed back in.

This morning is shaping up to be similar. It’s stopped snowing but it froze overnight, so the road is like an icerink. The cats took one look and Stephen and Matilda are now curled up together.

Considering who had been out the previous day enjoying the snow, I’m quite glad the cats hate it:

Lucky Black Cats?

Posted by tirial on February 3, 2012 with No Comments
in Cat
A pair of elderly gents currently in the Caterham Cats Protection have been brought to my attention. At 11 and thirteen they’ve got years ahead of them (cats can live to over twenty) and are sadly with CP because their owner died.

Tommy, age 11, who loves the outdoors, catnip and tickles, and Panther, age 13, a little on the shy side who would like a garden and sun.

These two charming black cats are looking for somewhere to spend their retirement.

I was surprised to hear people overlook black cats. Growing up in a fishing area of Britain black cats were considered lucky. A friend’s black cat would vanish round the neighbourhood when the weather was bad as the crews’ families tempted him in with food at each house to bring luck to the fishermen and the boats back safely.

Musical floorboards

Posted by tirial on February 2, 2012 with No Comments as ,
Dear Matilda,

We are aware of the loose floorboard in the bathroom (after you hid prawns under it) and have filled in the gap under it. This should mean that it is of no further interest to you.

Instead, it means that throughout the day we are intermittently treated to thwap-wappawappawappa as you try out your new musical instrument. Sitting on one end, hooking your claws over the other and pulling up until the claws slip and the floorboard snaps downwards and vibrates must be fun, from the number of times you do it a day.

However, one of these days you are going to shut your tail under it or the board will break. Worse, it will catapult you into a wall, or even the BATH. So shutting you out is in your own best interests, and we are not torturing you.

The staff

P.S. Stephen, that door is closed to keep your sister out, not because there is anything interesting behind it. Please stop opening it and letting her back in.

Kibble Ball part 2

Posted by tirial on January 30, 2012 with No Comments as ,
Dear Stephen,

We went to the trouble of getting you a kibble ball for “environmental enrichment” and, let’s be blunt, exercise. The idea is that we put kibble in it and you roll it to get the kibble. You weren’t supposed to look at the kibble that fell out, trot across to your empty kibble dish and raise a furry eyebrow at us.

Attempt two with catnip treats worked well. However, pushing it slowly with your nose while holding your mouth open so the food just drops in is rather reminscent of Garfield, and does rather defeat the “exercise” part of the plan. Working out how to eat and avoid excercise at the same time is very clever but unless you want to turn back into the couch-kitty you were when you came to us, you’re going to have to get some exercise.

Your staff

Maisie and Monty – Adopt your own terrible two?

Posted by tirial on January 27, 2012 with No Comments
in Cat
I could blog about Stephen and Matilda, but after this week, the Koosh ball solution, and the catnip emergency I don’t want to think about it. Those stories are coming up soon.

Menahwile, if anyone’s interested in their own pair of moggies, the local CPS has two in.

Maisie and Monty are currently looking for a new home. Just like Stephen and Matilda, one is outgoing while the other is quiet and shy. Maise is a beautiful outgoing Tuxedo cat aged 4, while her companion Monty is a tabby-and-white 3 year old.

If you’ve got space, a garden and a spare lap, could these two fill it?

Help Cats Protection win £5000

Posted by tirial on January 23, 2012 with No Comments
in Cat
One of our local Cats Protection charities has been selected for a possible £5,000 prize (that’s about $7,750 at the current exchange rate). As a small branch entirely run by volunteers, the prize would make a real difference to them.

The competition is run by “Animal Friends”, a pet insurance company on Facebook. If you are a Facebook user, please vote for them – more details are available here Cats Protection Caterham.

or just go straight to the competition at FeelGoodPark:

As this was the branch our two meowing residents came from, any clicks will merit purrs.

World of Felix – a disappointment

Posted by tirial on January 22, 2012 with No Comments
in Cat
Back in August I mentioned a World of Felix offer to donate to Cats Protection in exchange for tokens. I duly sent off my 120 tokens the day I placed the order, glued neatly to the order form so it could go as standard letter.

Two months later and they were still “Waiting for tokens”. Oh well, I thought, they must have got lost in the post, and in September (on 10/3/2011 at 10:11:27 AM) placed another order and sent off my next 168 tokens, glued neatly in place…

Well, it’s been three months. Both orders are still “Waiting for tokens”. While I may believe that one set of tokens was lost in the post, to believe both were is a stretch. Since it wouldn’t be the first time a company has failed to come through for a charity donation, I find myself thinking the worst. After all, this mess certainly has the predictable effect that I won’t be submitting any more tokens to World of Felix.

If anyone has more luck with this offer let me know. I’ve another two hundred odd tokens saved, but I don’t trust the company very much right now.


Posted by tirial on January 13, 2012 with No Comments as , ,
I’m beginning to think to cats think the roomba is another round, rather thick, not furry, cat.

It broke a while back, right as the warranty ran out, so we went back to hoovering. The cats hated it: hiding, attacking the vacuum, hissing at it, attacking the person using it…it was not pleasant. Then I found this little place that specialises in out of warranty roomba repairs, and when we contacted them it was surprisingly affordable (we certainly couldn’t afford to buy a replacement!). So we sent it off and got it back before christmas – fully repaired and working wonderfully.

The first clue the cats were glad to see it was when I started it up, and Stephen proceeded to feed it. He scooped kibble up in his mouth, sat down, and proceeded to drop it directly in front of the roomba. When it had hoovered that bit up, he went and got another. He has also taken to sitting in doorways or by the top of the stairs and smacking the front bumper with a paw if it gets too close.

I had no clue Matilda felt the same. She normally runs away from it. And then, this afternoon, she came in and raised a ruckus. She was running back and forth, yowling, wapping my ankles with a paw, running to the door and back, so I got up to follow her. I rather assumed Stephen was in trouble (again). Instead there’s Matilda standing in front of a table meowing frantically as the roomba bumps back and forth underneath it, having got stuck.It chose that moment to make it’s soft despondent “lost” noise and stop moving. Matilda froze, staring at it and gave me a look I can only interpret as “It’s died!”. I fished it out, started it up again and told her it was going to be fine. I don’t think she believes me – right now she’s sitting next to it, intently watching it charge.

Not quite roomba-driving but having two cats roomba-mothering is still funny.

Then again, since they have discovered that the alternative is the evil hoover, I think they want to ensure it stays in good health for a long time to come.

A tale of two cat toys

Posted by tirial on January 8, 2012 with No Comments as , ,
One bad, one good. Since we had to get some essentials for the cats from a specialist shop (since Stephen killed the litter scoop and the fountain was choking), we also picked up two new toys.

The mouse with whiskers half through.
The open seam and stuffing coming out

We were very disappointed with the catnip mice. They were a new make, but once I got them out of the bag:
– One had an open seam
– The whiskers, made of fine thread, could be pulled entirely through one side and out the other – dangerous if a cat eats it
– the stuffing was coming out through a single mesh out layer.
– I had to use modelling tweezers to retrieve bits of plastic tie from inside it

We won’t be giving those to the cats, for obvious reasons. There will be a complaint going in.

The other toy was a plastic ball with holes in. We tried filling it with kibble, and Stephen gave us a distainful look and went to the kibble bowl. So we put a few catnip drops in it.

He rolled it disdainfully, and then one of the drops came out. He scooped it up in a paw and examined it curiously. Then he sniffed it. Then whatever he’d picked up was subjected to a furious licking, munching and chewing. Suddenly they got the idea. Stephen was rolling it along the floor with his nose for a while, while Matilda licked his head. When he got tired she took over “driving”.

Now they are both flat out on the floor, guarding their little ball in case it dispenses more treats.

The blue ball that is their new favourite toy