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Pets: 2011


 

I continue to have temporary custody of Fred's cat, Bobbie Lee Maxine, who has been with me for over two years now, when Fred brought her down here while we were on our cruise in 2008. Then we acquired Lucky from Fred's mom's house in April of 2009, so he has been here for almost two years now as well. And this year, there will be a new addition, so you can look forward to that. I'm going to put most of the pet pictures onto this page, regardless of when they were taken or whether or not they were in conjunction with some other event or trip.

 

 

February 2: The Lion in Winter

 
Well, we had a big snow last night, and it occurred while Fred had Lucky up at his house during the week. When Fred was outside taking pictures of the snow, he let Lucky come out to join him. Fred said Lucky didn't quite know what to make of the snow and how it felt on his paws, and he said Lucky was jumping around in it. He took some cute pictures, and you can have a look at them if you click on the thumbnails at left.

 

 

March 21: Lucky's a Basket Case

 
One of Lucky's favorite places to sleep, and one of the first places I look if I can't find him, is up in the master bathroom in the basket of towels that sits on the granite counter next to the mirror. Usually, he is all curled up on the towels, or underneath one that might happen to be draped over the top. That's where I found him this morning. He was totally asleep when I got up there, but by the time I'd returned with my camera, he'd at least partially awakened. In any event, the pictures I got were pretty cute, and you can have a look at them by clicking on the thumbnails below:

 

 

 

March 28: Comfortable Attire

 
One of Lucky's most endearing habits is that if he has a choice on where to curl up for a nap, his first preference is to sleep on or among any clothes I might have just been wearing. I suppose it is all about the smells.

But he will pass up the basket in the bathroom or any of the comfortable chairs in the house to snuggle up in recently-used clothing.

 

 

April 24: Scene of the Crime

 
As Lucky is the only cat who seems to have figured out both the drawer-pull principle and the door-open principle, I can only assume that it was he who was trying to get at last night's chicken bones.

I just hope I don't find one somewhere else in the house (and that if he DID manage to get one that he chose wisely).

 

 

April 29: Iron Chef America

 
This afternoon, Fred is making sourdough bread, using some starter that he has been patiently feeding and growing for a couple of weeks now. It's turning out better and better, I might add.

I was surprised to find Lucky in the kitchen, perched on the counter above the workarea- just watching. He was, I guess, intrigued by all the goings-on. It made for some interesting pictures. Just click on the thumbnails at right to have a look at them.

 

 

May 14: I'm Ready For My Bath, Mr. DeMille!

 
Fred had the right idea when we started giving Lucky baths and showers very early in his kitten career. This got him used to the water, and now, as a two-year-old, he has no problem with getting a good scrubbing every so often. And with all that fur, it's a good idea to keep him as clean as possible.

In fact, he seems to actually like the water now; he is always sticking his head under the faucet to get a drink and he often tries to push the shower door open to get in when he sees the water running. And if he is anywhere near the bathroom, we can count on him to come right in after we've finished and squeegeed the bench so he can jump up and lie down on it.

 

 

May 27: Some Rare Pictures of Bobbie Lee Maxine

 
The other cat that lives here is Bobbie Lee Maxine. Fred brought her down from his house just before our 2008 cruise, and she has simply never left. (Kind of like a coyote bring illegals across the border who simply never leave.) I don't get many pictures of her; because she was almost feral when Fred brought her to his house from his mother's, she never really acclimatized to people- except for Fred and myself. And since I see here much more often than anyone, she has gotten especially familiar with me.

When anyone but Fred and I are here, Bobbie Lee is nowhere to be found (unless you really look for her); Mario and Steve only rarely see her when they come to check on the cats when we are gone. But especially when I am here by myself, Bobbie Lee spends a lot of time in the den with me- usually just curled up on the floor near my chair like she is today.

Today, I happened to have my camera handy, so I thought I'd snap a couple of pictures of the elusive Bobbie Lee.

 

 

May 29: Surfin' Safari

 
Lucky is a lot more gregarious than is Bobbie Lee; he can always be counted on to be nearby no matter how many people might be in the house. When it's just Fred and I, then he is usually in the study with us. His favorite place is right in front of the large monitor. This is not so much of a problem if he chooses to lie down, but when he walks back and forth it is impossible to see much of anything.

If he is playing with his toy drawer, he is also off to the side, but one of his favorite places is to sit on top of the scanner and look out at what's going on (which is usually Fred surfing and me working on my laptop). Fred got Lucky very early, so for a long as he can remember (I suppose) there have been people around, so he is not put off or scared by them. He is moderately inquisitive about other house visitors, but unlike some other cats, doesn't usually make a nuisance of himself. It is nice to have him nearby, and nicer still when he isn't in the way.

 

 

June 4: You DO Bring Me Flowers

 
This weekend, Fred brought some Gladiolas down from his garden; they were the result of some plants that Steve gave him last year and which he was able to overwinter and plant this year. Lucky was particularly attracted to them (as he seems to be to most foliage we bring into the house). Fred usually has to put any cuttings he wants to save in the master bath shower and close the heavy glass door. This allows them to get some light while keeping both cats away from them.

In any event, when he first brought these in today, Lucky sniffed around at them and then just laid down on the table. Here are thumbnails for a couple of the other pictures Fred took; click on them to view:

Lucky wasn't content just to nose around them; for the next few days I would occasionally find one of the stalks on the floor; he was taking them out of the vase when I wasn't looking.

 

 

June 18: A New Arrival

Today was election day, so Fred rode with me over to my polling place. When we were done, I thought we might ride up by the veternarian that we use for the cats- just to take a look at the board where people post notices of kittens that they have. Fred has been thinking about another kitten, and I thought we might just begin keeping our eyes open for one that we liked. Unfortunately, the vet was already closed so, on a whim, we drove downtown to the SPCA where our friends Jay and Ron had gotten their three Russian Blue kittens a year or two ago. Big mistake.

We would like to introduce the newest member of our little cat clan:

Senor Sierra Tyger

There were only two kittens at the SPCA this afternoon- a solid gray one, which was personable enough, and this one. As soon as we entered this one's enclosure, he was all over us, climbing into our laps with a little meow and a loud purr. All kittens are cute, of course, (except for those ugly Sphinx cats with no fur) but this one was cuter than any I'd seen in a while. And he was certainly endearing. Although Fred has been wanting another orange tabby like Tanner, the markings on this one were so interesting that we decided to go ahead and adopt.

My niece, Jeffie Davis, had given me a certificate for a kitten from the SPCA some years ago, and I'd been carrying it in my glove compartment for many years. Costs have gone up, but the certificate was a welcome application to the total, and an hour later we were on our way home with the adoptee.

Rather than throw the kitten onto the tender mercies of Lucky (who is huge and can be intimidating) and Bobbie Lee, we kept Sierra in the study for a while, letting him roam around and get used to us. The SPCA had named him "Sierra" because he was found in their own parking lot on the wheel axle of a GMC Sierra truck parked there. (Someone had left a box of kittens on their doorstep, but they'd gotten out and were roaming around.) They told us the little kitten was greasy and dirty, but they got him cleaned up and presentable pretty quick. He'd only been adoptable for a day or so after his shots, medical checkup and neutering; we were among the first potential adopters he'd seen.

We gave him some cat food and water right away, and let him climb around for a while. Pretty soon, he climbed in my lap for a short nap and a bit later curled up in one of the armchairs for another. After a while, we decided it was time to introduce him to Lucky and Bobbie Lee and show him where the litter box, scratching post and food and water were.

We brought Lucky into the room (he'd been attentively sitting right outside the door all the while), and I was able to get a photo of their first meeting. It went pretty well, although after touching noses and sniffing briefly, Lucky did spew a bit and retreat underneath one of the study chairs. It was a good sign that there was no hostility- just an encounter with something unfamiliar. Sierra wasn't deterred; he followed Lucky under the chair to investigate further. When he got too close, Lucky spewed again, and the kitten retreated.

 
We kept Lucky in the room as the kitten explored, and eventually Lucky came out from underneath the chair and the two got fairly close for a while. Then we opened up the door and let them go off on their own. Lucky went somewhere else (enough new stuff for a while) and we watched the kitten explore. Bobbie Lee was in the living room under another chair, perhaps wondering what was going one. Sierra got very close to her under the chair but even though there was no reaction from Bobbie Lee, something told Sierra not to press his luck.

Actually, towards the end of the afternoon when Fred and I were going to head off to the gym for a while, I found the two of them on the stairs; neither was running from the other and there wasn't any spewing evident from Lucky. So I had Fred get his camera while I sat on the stairs with Lucky and Sierra.

When we returned, we found Lucky napping upstairs and Sierra curled up on the living room sofa. Even Bobbie Lee was wandering around. It seemed as if the first day's introductions had gone well. Our biggest problem was what to name the kitten. His name from the SPCA didn't seem to fit; Sierra struck me as a girl's name. So at first we tacked a "Mr." on front of it, but since Sierra is Spanish, we changed the "Mr." to "Senor." "Senor Sierra" was also more alliterative. Fred likes his cats to have three names, even if they aren't all used routinely, and so the kitten's markings led us to "Tyger," although from the photos we see on the Internet, the markings are more similar to those of an ocelot. Anyway, unless we find some reason to change it, he will be "Senor Sierra Tyger," or perhaps just "tiger" for short.

 

 

June 19: Acclimatization Continues

 
Well, this is the second day that Senor Sierra Tyger (just "Tyger" from now on) has been with us, and already both Lucky and Bobbie Lee seem to be getting used to him. After spewing some yesterday, Lucky seems to have gotten used to the kitten already; about the only thing he does is leave the room if he doesn't want to play or if the kitten is giving him a hard time. As far as Bobbie Lee goes, she still spews a little if the kitten gets too close, but she is more than willing to play with the laser mouse along with the kitten. All three of the cats seem comfortable to be in the study at the same time (although Bobbie Lee usually takes up residence under one of the chairs).

Below are a few thumbnails for some of the pictures we took of the cats today; click on them to have a look:



Like all kittens, Tyger loves attention and play, and he'll play with just about anything. In this movie, admittedly not terrificly exciting, he is playing with a section of rope.

 

 

June 20: Lucky's Found a Playmate

Well, this will be the three cats third day together, and they are all to the point where they are getting along, and indeed Lucky and Tyger are doing what we hoped they'd do- play together. Bobbie Lee never liked to play much with Lucky, which was a little unfair for him, but if today is any indication, he'll be able to chase someone around now, and be chased in return. So let's begin with some movies of Lucky and Tyger at play:


Lucky and Tyger in the Den Chair

Lucky often sleeps in the chair to the right of my laptop, and the kitten likes to look out the window in front of it. This brought them close together and the kitten couldn't resist playing with Lucky's tail- until Lucky turned around and started playing with him.


Lucky and Tyger in the Den Chair (Part 2)

This time, the kitten, unable to engage Luck from the front, went under the chair for a stealth attack from the rear.


Lucky and Tyger in the Den Chair (Part 3)

When the rear attack didn't really work, Tyger realized that Lucky wasn't going to hurt him, so he came back around the front of the chair to have a boxing match with Lucky.

 
While I was taking the movies of Lucky and the kitten playing in the chair, Fred was snapping some still shots, and you can have a look at the three best of these by clicking on the thumbnails at left. Typical for a kitten (or any cat) are short bursts of activity followed by a nap. Lucky and Bobbie Lee have their favorite places for naps (depending on who is in the house), but Tyger seems to have, as yet, not selected such a place. He is as likely to stretch out in the middle of the floor as he is to partially curl up on the floor nearby. But also like most cats, kittens like to be up high occasionally, so Tyger will sometimes occupy a chair nearby or, it what may be becoming one of his preferred spots (until he gets to be too large for it) is on the table right behind my laptop:

 
Eating is another shared activity, although it's been tricky to give the kitten the food he needs without giving it to Bobbie Lee and Lucky as well. The SPCA sent us home with some kitten food, but I can't just put it in a bowl on the floor or the other two will eat it up as well. So I've been feeding Tyger up on the counter, and staying nearby while he eats to make sure the other cats leave him alone. I've also been feeding all of them some canned food.


Bobbie Lee and Tyger Eating in the Kitchen

At first, I put down three portions of canned food, but Lucky doesn't seem to care much for it anymore, so now it is just Bobbie Lee and Tyger to eat it (while I give Lucky a cat treat so he doesn't feel left out). Bobbie Lee is still skittish, even while she is eating, but her love of food overcomes her desire to be off by herself. While I was making this movie, Fred took a still shot of Tyger and Bobbie Lee eating.

 

 

June 21: The Excitement of Having a New Kitten

 
 

 

June 22: Knowledge Transfer

As you've undoubtedly learned earlier, Lucky quickly became quite adept at opening the drawer where we keep the cat toys- particularly the catnip mousies. We often find mice throughout the house- mice we didn't get out of the drawer for him. I suppose it was just a matter of time before Lucky happened to get a mouse out that the kitten then played with, but I wasn't quite prepared for what actually happened. Watch the two movies below and you'll see what I mean:

Lucky Gets a Mouse for Tyger

This movie is fairly self-explanatory; I just wish I had had the presence of mind to turn around earlier and film the actual cooperation between the two cats.

Tyger and the Mouse

In this follow-up movie, Lucky is enjoying watching Tyger play with the mouse that he got out of the toy drawer for him.

 

 

June 23: Everything's a Cat Toy


Some Gentle Play

Both cats came to join me in the study a few minutes ago; actually, the kitten chased Lucky in here. Lucky jumped up on the desk and the kitten climbed up on the back of the nearby chair to bat at him. Unfortunately, I missed all of that action, and ended up with this movie of Tyger making a cat toy out of Lucky's tail.
 

 

 

June 24: An Endearing Portrait

Fred returned from visiting his Mom today and while I was working on my laptop, Tyger was in one of his favorite spots. Fred got what I think is a very good picture of him lying there:

 
 

 

June 25: All Together Now...

Today, we've just taken a few pictures of the cats playing around in the study while Fred and I listen to Ed Wallace on KLIF and wait for Mario and Steve to get here for lunch. He probably should have used his flash, but Fred was able to capture a picture of all three cats in close proximity. What got them together was the laser mouse, which Bobbie Lee just loves to chase around endlessly. It is one of the few things that actually gets her moving like a young cat again. And in a rather disturbing demonstration, Lucky showed us that he is capable of actually getting up onto the first shelf above the bookcase work surface; he can only do that because the shelf is inset and he has a place to stand to get up onto it. The higher shelves aren't inset any further, so I doubt he could climb higher. When he got up there, Tyger jumped up onto the work surface, and I got a picture of both of them.


Tyger Occupies the Mouse Drawer

Lucky opened the mouse drawer again, we think to get a mouse out to play with, but Tyger quickly jumped into the drawer and Lucky was frustrated in his efforts. I grabbed my camera to film the efforts Lucky made to dislodge the kitten from the drawer.
 

 

 

June 26: All Together Now...(redux)

 
Building on yesterday's success in getting all three cats in the same place at the same time, today, just before we were going out to lunch with some friends, we again got all three cats together. I was sitting in the chair in the living room corner and, as she often does when I am by myself, Bobbie Lee joined me and sat on the footstool to have her head rubbed. Then Lucky came in and was nice enough to leave her alone and climb up on the chair next to me. Finally, not wanting to be left out, Tyger came in to play with his cat toy (instead of Lucky or Bobbie Lee), and Fred snapped the picture at left and a few other shots as well. You can have a look at these by clicking on the thumbnail images below:


 

 

July 15: Cats at Play/Cats at Rest

Today, I had an opportunity to take a couple of good movies of all three of the cats.

Tyger and Lucky at Play

Here is a good movie of Lucky and Tyger tussling around in the doorway to the study. Tyger has been one of the best things to happen to Lucky in a long time- he finally has a playmate with almost inexhaustible energy.

Tyger and Bobbie Lee

Tyger does, eventually, run out of energy and has to replenish his batteries, which he is doing in the chair beside me. I am by myself at the moment, and so Bobbie Lee felt secure enough to come into the study as well and sit beside me on the floor.

 

 

July 16: Cats at Rest/Cats at Play

It's a Saturday morning, and Fred and I are in the study listening to Inside Automotive with Ed Wallace- a Saturday morning tradition. As usual, the cats were in and out, sometimes playing and sometimes not. During the morning, Fred kept his camera handy, and got some really nice, representative pictures of Lucky and Tyger, at least. Bobbie Lee was in and out- mostly out- but when she was in the room she was in her accustomed place far underneath one of the chairs. At any rate, if you'll click on the thumbnail images below, you can see the best of the many pictures Fred took this morning:

And, click on the thumbnails below to see the best of the pictures that I took:

 

 

 

July 17: The Tussling Continues....


Before, During and After

Here is an interesting sequence. The episode began with Lucky and Tyger playing under the chair. Then, they got into full-out play mode as this movie shows. But just a few minutes after they'd run out of the room, Tyger was back for a nap in the chair beside me.
 

 

 

July 23: Aiding and Abetting

We had a chance this morning to watch Lucky and Tyger working together to achieve their goals. The morning started out with both of them in sleep mode, together in one of the reading chairs in the study. When they awoke, Lucky took Tyger over to the desk and actually opened the toy drawer for him so he could get out a mouse and his favorite string. However, the collaborators must have had a disagreement on division of labor or spoils, and their partnership fell apart and they started squabbling. You can see this sequence of events if you click on the thumbnails below:

 

The Perpetrators Arguing

I don't know what brought the perpetrators to blows, but somebody thought the operation wasn't going his way. So they started arguing right there at the scene of the crime.
 

 

 

July 27: A Little Downtime


Desk Jockeys

This was a real interesting pose, with both Lucky and Tyger up on the desk, stretched out and sleepy at the same time. I'll pan back and forth so you can see what I mean. A bit later, though, they were both in the chair..
 

 

 

July 31: Becoming Best Friends


Lucky and Tyger seem to really have bonded, which is, of course, what we hoped they would do. From the first weeks when they just tolerated each other and were rarely together, they have become the best of playmates, and are together much more often than not. Tyger, being a kitten, still loves to play and Lucky, to his credit, it young enough at heart to participate wholeheartedly. In the two pictures Fred took of them this morning, you can see them all balled up in the chair next to me; just click on the thumbnails at left to view.


Work or Play?

Cats do a lot of grooming, and one way you can tell whether one cat is comfortable with another is if that cat grooms the other or allows itself to be groomed. In this movie, you can see Lucky trying to help Tyger out with the places he can't reach. Tyger, though, is not quite sure if this is play or not.
 

 

 

August 5: Take Sominex... and Sleep


There was no particular reason for me to take this picture of Tyger this morning, except that he looked so darned cute sleeping there in the chair, legs all akimbo. If you want to see all of him, just click here.

 

 

August 14: Let Them Eat Cake

It's another weekend, and as usual the cats are giving Fred and I some excellent photo opportunities.


You might remember from our trip to Florida with Tyger that he never got used to the carrier- and meowed continually when put in it (so loudly and for so long that we eventually had to take him out of it). I happened to walk into the kitchen this morning where the carrier was sitting on the floor, and it looked to me as if Tyger had asked Lucky about this "cage thing," and Lucky got inside to show him that it was no big deal. (Lucky is quite used to the carrier and Fred tells me that when he uses it to take Lucky up to Van Alstyne, the cat just goes right into it, curls up and dozes all the way.)

A little later on in the day, Fred got a piece of cake from the fridge and brought it into the study to eat. This very much interested the cats, and their efforts to get at the cake to check it out gave me a number of good photo ops. Click on the thumbnails below to see some of the pictures I took:

 

 

 

August 21: More Cats

I really wish we had more pictures and movies of Bobbie Lee, but she is so standoffish that catching her with our cameras is a rare occurrence.


What we get instead are lots of pictures of Lucky and Tyger, now almost inseperable. Sometimes, it seems as if Lucky is "showing Tyger the ropes," as when he opens the toy drawer or observes while Tyger attempts some feat that Lucky has already accomplished. For example, Lucky has already gotten to the second shelf above the desktop in the study (how, I am not quite sure, since Fred only found him on the shelf when he walked into the room). Getting to the first shelf is relatively easy, since it is narrower than the desktop below it and there is a place for a cat to stand when climbing. But getting to the next shelf is more difficult, and the only way I can see it being accomplished is if the cat jumps up to it from the desktop. All the shelves have lots of knicknacks or books on them, so there isn't much landing space. This morning, Lucky is resting on top of the scanner while Tyger explores the shelf above him. Click on the two thumbnails below to see the pictures I took:

 

And Fred took a couple of pictures of the two in a chair together; click on the thumbnails below to view:



Lucky Grooming Tyger

Here is a movie of Lucky again grooming Tyger; I think Tyger is getting quite used to it, and in this movie appears to be enjoying it.
 

 

 

September 9: Togetherness


In the picture at left, you can see Lucky nosing his way up onto the first shelf above the desk. I may have told you earlier in these cat pictures that Lucky has actually (how, I am still not sure) gotten up onto the shelf above the one he has his paws on. This would seem impossible, but I did see it. Here, Lucky seems to be looking for himself and Tyger to see what trouble they can get into.

At other times, they can both be in relaxation mode, as when they get up into the chair together. This has been a few months coming, that they can just sit quietly together in a chair. Up until recently, when one jumped into a chair with the other, it signalled play mode. But now, they can just be resting, as they are here. I was glad I had my camera handy to capture what the two did next.


Lucky Grooming Tyger

Here is an even better movie than the one you saw earlier of Lucky grooming Tyger. The look of pure pleasure on Tyger's face is really neat.

 

 

September 18: Turn, Turn, Turn

As the Byrds sang in 1965, there is a time for everything, and that goes for cats, too. There is a time for resting...(click here).


...and a time for playing

(Although in this case, it was right in front of Fred at the computer while he was trying to get something done.)
 

 

 

October 2: A Lazy Sunday Morning


Well, it's Sunday, and the four of us (Fred, myself, Tyger and Lucky) are just hanging around, not doing much of anything.

Click on the thumbnails below to see a couple more pictures of the cats in a mellow mood:


 

 

October 7: Cats at Rest

Today there are just a few cute pictures of the cats, so we'll just look at them:


Bobbie Lee in Her Usual Spot


Tyger and Lucky Curl Up Together

And here is a really cute picture of Tyger just letting it all hang out:

 

 

October 31: Reaching New Heights

I came into the study this morning to find that Tyger had conquered his fear of heights (who knew?).


I would very much like to have captured his ascent in a movie; the shelf he is on must have been hard to get up to, for he'd half to both duck his head as he jumped and stop quickly once he got up there (since the shelf isn't very deep). Add to that the fact that the shelf has lots of knicknacks and stuff on it, and there wasn't much place for him to land. But now that he is there, he is going to survey the rest of the room from this new vantage point.

A bit later in the day, Tyger practiced his new skill once again, this time getting up to a different shelf, and one that had even less space for him to land on. And this time, Lucky was there to cheer him on. You can see both the cats here.

 

 

November 10: Tyger's New Perch


Lately, Tyger has taken to laying on the top of the back of my chair when I am using the laptop in the study. I can only suppose he is comfortable there, but until Fred happened to be in the room with his camera, I had no way to record Tyger's behavior. He will stay there for a short while- maybe a half hour at the most- and then climb around and get into my lap. It is nice to have a cat that is fond of sleeping in your lap and is small enough so that you can let him do so and still do what you are doing.

Fred took some other pictures this morning of Tyger and I, and you can click on the thumbnails below to have a look at them:


 

 

December 3: A Typical Cat Day

It's a lazy morning here; Fred is on the computer and I am sorting through some of the material that our departing Townhome Association secretary/treasurer (see the Miscellaneous photo album page) left for me when I took over her duties.


I'd been bringing in the boxes to the study one at a time so I could have the company of the cats and Fred. Lucky, being only a bit over two years old, is still an inquisitive, active cat, and every time I brought in a new box, he just had to get in it. Pretty endearing, but he did get in the way.

A bit later on, Tyger came in and he and Lucky settled in for a snooze in the chair next to me. Two or three of their positions were cute, and so Fred took some pictures. If you'll click on the thumbnails below, you can have a look at them:

Lucky left for a while when naptime was over, and Tyger stretched out on the chair. I think the picture at left shows off his markings in good detail; he certainly seems interestingly-patterned, even for a tabby.

A little while later, Lucky came back and got up onto the chair again, and the two cats demonstrated that they have really bonded when Lucky let Tyger groom some of the places he can't reach himself. This went on for some time but soon their kitten qualities took over and the practical activity turned into just another opportunity for play.

 

 

December 24: Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve (afternoon, actually) and I wanted to give the cats a treat, so I opened a fresh can of cat food and put out three plates, hoping to get all three cats in the same place at the same time so Fred and I could get pictures. We each got good ones, and in each of the pictures below we see (left to right) Lucky, Bobbie Lee and Tyger:


 

 

December 30: The Cats' Christmas Gift


This year, Jeffie sent a really neat gift to the kitties. It's a hanging mouse. There's a big clip-like thing at the top that grabs on to both sides of the top of a standard door frame, and hanging from that is a flexible cord, kind of like a thin bungee cord. There's a little adjustment doohickey so you can adjust the height of the mouse that dangles from the end of the cord, maybe a couple feet above the floor. The cats can bat it around, and if they pull down on the mouse with their paws and let go, the bungee string makes it jump way up and then fall back down.

They have been having quite a time with it the last few days. We wanted to get some good pictures of the toy in action, but it was really difficult to capture them at just the right moment. Plus it's kind of hard to see the black furry mouse that is at the end of the cord. But I think you can make it out in the best of the pictures that Fred took; that's the picture at left. Unfortunately, the picture that was best of the cats didn't show the mouse, which actually bounced so high that it went over the door itself and is hanging down the back side between it and the wall. The cats are wondering where it went.

This turns out to be a common situation requiring user intervention, and I find myself doing it frequently. Below are thumbnails for four other pictures that Fred took, and in some of them you can see the mouse. Click on the thumbnails to view the pictures:


That was the last entry for the pet pictures for this year, but I am sure there will be more next year. For now, you can use the link below to return to the photo album index for 2011.


Return to Index for 2011