Tuesday, 7 September 2010

SAS cat strikes again

Seriously I do despair of Red! He is genuinely the sweetest natured cat I have ever known but he is nonetheless still insane. You recall how I was really pleased that his new house apart for washing...? Well, it seems that the bold boy has already tested this out. He no longer chooses to come and go by the huge space at the front. Oh, no that is far too easy. what he prefers is to shove his face into the small gap where the zip meets under the roof then force the rest of his body through the gap he opens up. Neat, eh!!!

I came through to the living room to find his head poking out from under the roof, seemingly jammed, but when I got closer he did some major wriggling to escape and show me his latest trick. I thought I'd perhaps left the zip open a little when I had been looking at the house so I put it all back together securely. However, later on I found him doing the same thing, so I filmed him using the alternative exit.

Friday, 3 September 2010

I am One Year Old and have a new house

Well, after all of his mad antics, daredevil stunts and uncoordinated growing little Red has made it to his first birthday. I had intended this blog to be a record of his first year and it is nice to look back of some of the little events that have happened that I've forgotten about. I have not managed to write it up as often as I'd have liked but such is life that sometimes other bigger things get priority.

We were supposed to be away on holiday over his birthday but due to it only being a week's break the whole hassle of holiday packing, cat storage, booking, driving, shutting up the house etc just didn't seem worth it. So we holidayed at home, or should we call it by its trendy title and say that we 'staycationed'. This meant we were able to sing happy birthday to him on the day much to his bewilderment as neither of us are ever going to win singer of the year!

It probably overstates the case to say there was a party. There was cake and there were juicy prawns but that rather sums it up. The humans did step up to the mark and assist with the cake devouring and some of the prawns found their way between two slices of bread with some seafood sauce and lettuce. Of course we could have bought him a cake made from Felix and other cat friendly ingredients but as Marks dont sell them we went with the more standard option! For him the prawns, sans bread, sauce and greenery, went down a treat. The only spectre at the feast was poor Magic. She doesnt eat cake, she doesn't like prawns or human food, rarely plays with toys and she is definitely not keen on Red.

There was a present too which you can see him sleeping in, in the picture at the top of the entry. You will also note the white bag handle which he doesn't go anywhere without and what looks like a bit of shredded hankie which is another obsession we are trying to wean him from.

In fact when I saw the little house a couple of weeks ago I spent ages in the shop trying to think up a good reason for buying it. Then the birthday came to mind-ideal! So with total purpose in my step I dragged it off to the till. It is a lovely little Magic Roundabout House. It all totally unzips so it can be bunged in the washing machine and seems pretty well made. The only down side is that Dougal is a different colour to what I recall and Florence has been totally revamped. In fact I'd go so far as to say she has been replaced without a word to any of us oldies who remember what she really looked like. Now she is all coy, thin and trendy. Can you believe it, a botoxed Florence who's had a makeover after a spell at fit camp. I really am getting old as I am sounding like a Grumpy Old Woman.

Although the little house has Magic in the title little Red adores it. He has done a full structural survey by tipping it on its side and having a decent chew of the walls. He also rather likes sleeping in it sideways as it is longer that way and he can stretch out his big long legs. Although he is hanging out of it in the picture he does actually fit in it when he chooses to curl up when the house is up the right way. Magic has slept in it a couple of times too and when Red finds her in it an almightly hissy battle ensues.

I am hoping that come the winter this will prove to be a lovely little nook in addition to the radiator bed and the little pop up tent so that hopefully both of them can find their own nice wee place for a cozy dozy. However, would anyone like to put a bet on the odds of them both wanting to sleep in the same place...?

The Legend of Hairy Paws

Many years ago we lived in an area not known for its gentility or exemplary teenage parenting. One day whilst out shopping my Mother saw a young woman roaring at her dozy toddler to "move!" and follow her out of the shop. When her increasing demands to the child were ignored she brought out the ultimate inducement. She turned to the toddler and told him that "If you don't move, HAIRY PAWS will get you". At this, the young boy squealed in terror and rushed to his mother.

Needless to say my mother was horrified at this and I suppose in retrospect she should have intervened. However, the locals had an interesting attitude to parenting and were less than receptive to advice or shared wisdom!

The tale of HAIRY PAWS became a family legend and joke. We often used it in jest e.g.
Mum -"If you dont get up for school now I'm sending Hairy Paws in..."
My Sis and I - "Great, we're getting a pet...!"
Anyway, back to the point of this blog story. As Red gets ever bigger, so too have his paws grown, or more worryingly, the hair between his toes. Men with hairy feet are an absolute turn off but in the bold boy's case they are very cute except they do remind us of the legendary Hairy Paws. See what you think...

So the moral of the story is, be careful of referring to the legend of Hairy Paws because you might eventually find he comes to live with you...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Just Chillin' and Domestic Chores

I am sure you if you have read any of this blog you will have worked out that I am somone who goes to great lengths to look after and care about their cats. So when the other human shouted through to say "did you put the cat in the freezer...?" a week or so ago I was concerned. Quite apart from the ridiculous nature of the question I felt I had to go through and check what was going on as I had been defrosting the freezer. There I found Magic happily ensconced on a warm towel inside the open freezer and toasting herself on the little fan heater which I was using to speed up the process. Who said cats are daft?
Magic has never been interested in open domestic applicances normally but Red is fascinated. Therefore since he came we always ensure the washing machine, dishwasher, cupboards etc are shut to ensure he doesnt crawl in or come to harm. Yet, even though in both of the pictures above I was standing beside him doing the housework he still managed to wrap himself in a toilet roll packet and sneak in the dishwasher just as I was emptying it. You can still see the dinner knife in the cutlery holder and the plate above as I hadn't even finished.
Never mind him using up his nine lives he is frightening me out of mine....

Changing Faces

As I am rifling through all my pictures of Red and Magic over the last few months it is clear how much the little one has changed. Magic stays the same but Red's little features have become more adult as the time has gone on from little scaredy curious kitten to a cat. So I thought I'd show some comparison shots of him changing and a couple of Magic as she deserves to be displayed beside him too. The picture with both of them is a bit of a con as neither can see each other over the folded over duvet. This means Red can get close to Magic but Magic does not have to see him- ideal!
One shot I havent got yet is of him under my study chair at the desk he is sitting at in the last shots. Because of his colouring when he peeps out he looks for all the world like a little barn owl. I'll work on getting this for the blog.

Christmas Presents

I admit it I am one of those soppy owners who buy their animals christmas presents. I excuse it as just coincidence as they were obviously needing the item/s in question and they just happen to be in the shops, but I think that is stretching the truth.

Magic is a dead loss to buy for. She likes her radiator seat and paper carrier bag handles and that is it. Here favourite thing is just to chill out or cuddle upThis is not much fun for a willling owner but she is so lovely and comforting to be with.
Red on the other hand loves toy mice, bag handles, bouncey toys, crinkly toys...you name it he likes it. He even loves the washing airer despite many stern tellings off adn fall from it. Anyway, with this in mind I bought him a snakey game where a ball rolls around a tube with holes in it. You can see it peeping out from under his crinkle tunnel in piccie two and in the end picture although it is a little fuzzy. And OMG (how teenage is that!) he loves it. Even now 6months on he will play with it for ages. He can hear it from any room in the house even if you accidentally kick it he comes racing in to see who is playingwith his best toy. The other human in the house often play with it with him and I dont know who is the maddest as they both try to out do each other!!! Exasperatedly, I often say "Dear goodness human, you know how this game works...you will not get the ball out...!" but I am told to shut up as they are both having fun. Well, that's me told!

Magic got a cat spa from the same company and neither of them like it. You can see it in the fuzzy picture. It has been nothing but an obstruction on the floor. I am going to donate it to the local cat and dog home for their play area that they let the cats into as hopefully somone will find a use for it.

They also got a drinking water fountain. I havent used it much as I hate having to take it apart to clean it out and I need to switch it off at night as the burbling bothers me. This is a little ironic as I've bought relaxation cds in the past that made exactly the same noise! Anyway within a few hrs Red had got the point and used it but Magic still looks at it like the work of the devil. I'll unearth it and try it again over the summer as the fresh, filtered water might be more to their taste in the hot weather.

Christmas Catch-Up

I know it is very late to do a Christmas catch up but better late than never. I havent even managed to see one of my oldest friends as Christmas was so busy we put our meeting off till the new year and still havent managed to see each other.

Red's first Christmas was a hoot. We delayed putting up the Christmas tree as he was very intent on exploring at that age and reluctant to give up on any kind of challenge. So we reckoned, rightly as it turned out, that the tree would be a victim. There were many instances of the tree wobbling and looking like it was having a seizure as he shinned up it. All attempts to drag him out or teach him not to do it were pointless. So we got used to the tree doing the salsa as we watched tv. For extra fun the shiny baubles became fab footballs to be dribbled up and down the house and the tinsel was some kind of festive monster needing killed. The pictures seem to tell it all.

Back again with the 'Tail' of the Cat

I cannot believe it has been so long since I last blogged. So much of my little furball's life has happened in a cacophony of everyday life beating at the walls and the humans. Suffice to say we have survived and so has little Red, who is getting decidedly not so little.

As I write he is here by my side playing with a bag handle. He is a joy to play with as his enormous tiger paws are velvet soft and he is always so gentle. You can lift up his paw and play with it and he never scratches or used his claws. Sometimes, if he is caught up in the game, he will take a little gentle bite but a soft "no bitey" warning does it and he immidiately begins apologetic licking.

So what has changed in all these months. Well, he hasnt got as enormous as we anticipated but he is certainly getting very tall and long limbed. So if he fills in his light little frame then he is on target to become a fairly substantial boy. His tail on the other hand seems to belong to another breed of cat, it is long, lustrous and about the same size as his torso. it is soft and silky with the exception of the end which is like the softest cotton wool ball you could imagine. This has earned him a new nickname of the 'Cottonwool Kid'. He still eats like a horace and tries to eat all of Magic's food to save his own for later as she never touches his bowl. He has also learned to come into the bedroom when I get dressed as this means he gets a share of Magic's sweet treat before I leave the house.

In terms of losses, his cutie tootie baby face has now gone to be replaced by a little grown up boy's face. I was really sad when I realised this as he was a truly adorable kitten. As an adult he will be no less special but I do miss the little face.

The other losses were his little 'ginger nuts' when he was 8months old. He will always be a house cat and we had no intention of breeding from him so it was planned he would be neutered. We were also wary of him becoming an adult cat and attempting to 'exercise his urges' on Magic as there was a fair to middling chance she'd rip them off without anaesthetic. As it was, we had to be away for various commitments and the cattery wouldn't take him as an unneutered adult so the time was upon us before we knew it.

He was a star at the vet's and charmed them all. Our vet is a very good one but it is unfortunately the most expensive in the area. At Red's pre-op booking they asked me if I wanted him fed post-op. I was a little surprised as normally making sure an animal, and a human, are ok post-op involves them resuming normal diet and fluids. Aside from this he had been starved for 14hrs and I wasnt coming back until after work. Of course I wanted him fed!!! I was then told in sombre tones it would cost 68p for his food...! I wanted to say that at home he eats his way through far more than that...but instead I said of course I want him fed as he will be hungry and it would be unfair to leave him.

When I came back for him he was terribly sheepish looking but delighted to see me which was nice. He is such an independent little soul that it is hard to know how connected he is sometimes as he seems entirely happy to toddle off and play by himself, or wind Magic up for entertainment. As the vet nurse was giving me all the post-op instructions she told me they had given him a couple of teaspoons of plain chicken and rice food which he seemed to have 'enjoyed'. She also said this should continue every few hours until tomorrow when he could resume a light normal diet. As I headed home, babbling sweet words to him till he fell asleep on the short journey, I thought I'd probably have to go out to either get him special food or buy chicken for our dinner to share. However, that was solved when I went home as he rocketed into Magic's room and cleared her food dish. So normal diet was well and truly resumed and his recovery went without incident. Some things never change.