Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We've just gotten home from Christmas...

I've been negligent in posting because I've been out-of-town for the holidays--without internet access. And without pet access.

La Doof Kitton, El Gato the Splendiferious and Dawg stayed at home with a pet sitter while we traipsed about with family on the other side of the country (we had fun but it was an exhausting few weeks and we're glad to be home). I think we've all been forgiven for leaving them...El Gato may hold a grudge for a few more days.
(Dawg let us know how happy she was to have us home by throwing up at 3 am so we could have the joy of cleaning up after her)

The pet sitter claims (and I've no reason to doubt the claims) that La Doof Kitton has developed the ability to climb the Christmas tree. This would explain why, in spite of everyone replacing ornaments, the bottom 1/3 of the tree has gone from 'sparsely decorated w/ unbreakable ornaments' to 'naked'.

But we did learn that he made it onto Sandy Paws' list of "naughty kittehs" by trying, once again, to steal Dawg's biscuits.
We left an unopened bag of treats and made sure to tell the pet sitter that once they were opened, they had to be left out of kitteh reach--but we assumed (I know, I know. I always assume incorrectly) they'd be fine until the bag was opened.
When we got home, this is what I found locked outside of kitteh reach in the laundry room:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

If you hide your toys TO well, you don't get them for a year...

Last year, for Christmas, the kittehs got home-made catnip toys (a felt mouse I sewed and filled with catnip and cotton).

Being kittehs, they took their toys and put them in inaccessible places...El Gato usually puts hers underneath a rug and lays on top of the rug pretending she doesn't know how to get to it. La Doof Kitton prefers to put his in boxes or bags and lay outside them, reaching one arm all the way in to tease the toy.

Apparently, last Christmas, La Doof Kitton put his toy in one of the gift bags I had out to transport gifts from here to there...because when I went to fill it this year, I found his catnip mouse, a pom pom and part of a ribbon. They've been packed up for the last year--maybe he won't hide them quite as well THIS year.
(he's off playing with them right now)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The bugger can (kinda) open drawers.

Since I've had some health issues in the last year, I keep some handy-dandy personal items in the nightstand drawer--info that I input onto my various spreadsheets to track my health (I might not be healthy but I'm a nerdy sort of not healthy), hair clips , a book, etc.

For each of the last 3 nights, I have gone into the bedroom to look up my info, closed the drawer *most* of the way, and come in to the office to enter my data.

For each of the last 3 nights, I have been interrupted in my data entry by odd noises; upon investigation the noises turn out to be hair clips in the jaws of La Doof Kitton.

For each of the last 3 nights, I chase him around the house, retrieve my items, and return to the bedroom to find the drawer standing open.

Apparently, a wee paw can fit in there and push it open farther so he can get to the buried treasure of small plastic choking hazards (which have the added benefit of blending into the carpet and causing great amounts of pain and swearing and hopping on one foot when the humans of the house find them, barefoot, at 2 am)

Since he's smart, the first time he tried to play with the clip in the bedroom--close enough I heard it immediately. The second time, he took it farther away, into the hallway--farther away and harder to hear. This time, he took it into the living room and I probably wouldn't have heard it if Dawg hadn't been busily trying to steal this new choking hazard toy from La Doof Kitton (Dawg lacks an understanding of subtlty; I think her quietest form of communication is "loud stage whisper)--La Doof Kitton would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that meddling mutt!

To busy to post mcuh, but holiday decorating pics

Yes, he is covered w/ bits of Styrofoam from the boxes and his own static-attraction. (And yes, the plant behind him has tinfoil over the soil so he'd quit digging it up)
He was fairly tolerant of the jingle-Christmas collar..he figured out how to move quietly in spite of all 5 bells; although the first 20 minutes he spent trying to pinpoint where the noise came from was hilarious.

"Hmm? NO, didn't steal this from the tree--musta been the dog. And I have nothing to do with the 4 feet of garland that were removed from the tree and spread across the kitchen floor this morning."
(Our ornaments are migrating upward. We no longer have any on the bottom 3 feet of the tree. Same with the garland. Before we take the tree down I'll post before and after pictures :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reason # 51 to use reusable shopping bags...

This is what happens when I forget and have to use a grocery bag (which I threw away):

There is a knocked over trash can, escaping trash, and a suffocation risk.

This is what happens when I use a re-usable bag:

I get to make puns about letting the cat out of the bag (what can I say, I'm my father's daughter) and I get to carry around a cat in the bag until he decides that it interferes with his stalking.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I mentioned how much El Gato loves being under the Christmas tree, right?

Just to illustrate her great love for being under the tree, I present...The 'taking down the Christmas tree' yearly tradition. With last year's tree-take-down phots

1) Remove ornaments and lights

2) Remove tree bits, starting from the top

3) Get 95% done and take pity on El Gato's clinging to her last vestige of tree-loving-ness and leave the stump up for a few hours for her to enjoy:

4) Take down tree and deal with El Gato's ire.

5) Vacuum the fur/dust bison off the tree skirt in order to further create kitteh ire.

6)repeat next year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And more like the tree is decorated

I *was* able to recover some of the file; this was what was to be posted at 8 AM today and I'm finally finishing now...

Being as it's Saturday morning, the only reason I'm out of bed right now is that I have a work meeting to leave for in 15 minutes. Actually, that's a fib, I'd still be in bed groaning about having to get up on a weekend (after working more than 40 hours this week) if the pets weren't being collectively obnoxious.

Dawg, as I've said, is trapped with us at night by a baby gate. If she, for some reason, wants to go out, she "knocks" loudly on the baby-gate. This fine early Saturday, as I was snoozing the alarm clock, this knocking pulled me out of bed to investigate. (I do usually ignore this but she was *very* insistent in a way that usually means she needs to go outside.)

I take down the baby gate and rub the sleep from my eyes and...then move to grab Dawg as she heads past a pile of cat-puke-stained plastic fake pine needles (these are a gift from La Doof Kitton; I know this because El Gato only throws up on a designated puke rug. Yes, there are reasons she's the "good kid"--she makes cleanup easy. Of course she also has bad personal hygiene, it's a trade of).

Dawg moves past the pile of ickyness without stopping to eat it.
I start to stretch and conclude my wake up routine again...and I dive for Dawg as she heads past a slew of Christmas tree ornaments that are littering the floor (these are also a gift from La Doof Kitton; Dawg didn't have access to the tree and El Gato doesn't have enough ambition to remove ornaments. Our decorations are, very gradually, being moved higher and higher up the tree; I'm guessing that, eventually it's going to not be decorated at all).

Dawg moves past the ornaments without signs of eating them and hurries to the side of the refrigerator.
There, on the floor, is a pile of Dawg biscuits--next to my blender, some more ornaments, and a slightly chewed bag.
Apparently La Doof Kitton was only very temporarily foiled by moving the biscuits to the top of the fridge and making sure th bag was sealed. I can only guess how this process happened...La Doof Kitton would have had to move from the kitchen chairs to the kitchen table, from the kitchen table to the top of the microwave (which is covered w/ mixers, blender, a toaster, etc--in part to make it a bad landing place for kittehs)--in the process knocking the blender to the floor (which I apparently slept through), and from the top of the microwave to the top of the fridge.

From there, it was easy--shove bag over the edge, chew hole in bag, remove biscuits, tease Dawg all night.

I shoved biscuits into the bag as quickly as I could; Dawg shoved biscuits into her mouth as quickly as SHE could. I won (she got 4 or 5 biscuits--quite enough for 8 am, TYVM) and I'm now looking for a cat-proof Dawg biscuit container--right now they're in tupperware.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

which is why the adventures of the pets revolve around Christmas trees and dog biscuits (I have no idea why the dog biscuits have recently become fascinating. I have stories that occurred several days apart but La Doof Kitton turned off the computer (really) and lost them so I'm finally getting around to re-typing them.

To start with, the weekend after Thanksgiving, we put up the Christmas tree but did NOT decorate it. Last year, the tree (artificial) was up before we brought La Doof Kitton home and, since he lived for the first week in a separate room (PSA: slow introductions are key in cats co-existing), he had limited access to the tree (although he did have some access...see the included picture in which one can barely see La Doof Kitton)
La Doof Kitton had especially limited access since under the Christmas Tree is El Gato's favorite place to be...

We wanted to see if a tree would remain standing before we tested it farther to see if a tree covered with brekable shiny bits that operated as a giant toy dispenser would remain standing.) El Gato and La Doof Kitton fought over who got to lay on the tree skirt before we even finished putting the tree together and it nearly tumbled over, but it was up and we all survived. (Although Dawg needed to be reminded that she can't still fit under the tree...she could when she was 4 months old and sometimes fails to realize that 50 lb doesn't fit in the same space.)

The next morning, I looked and was thrilled the tree was still standing. I let Dawg out past the baby gate (Dawg, as you may know, is trapped with us at night by a baby gate. This is because if she can see out the back door-wall at night, she barks at imaginary creatures of the darkness that are invading her yard--they have glowing eyes and dripping fangs and are all around bad. A baby gate gives her the run of the bedroom and hallways and office, a view of the living room and no view of the kitchen/door-wall--and if she cant' see the creatures of darkness, she doesn't feel the need to shoot a magic missle into the darknes. *ahem* I mean bark at them). Dawg had been asking to be allowed out past the gate for quite some time--I usually ignore these requests because they are usually for frivolous reasons like "I can see a stuffed squirrel that I need to eat" or "La Doof Kitton gets to go there, why don't I?" or "Because it's a barrier, therefore, I need to be on the other side of it."

That morning, Dawg had, for the first time in ages, a good reason to beg to get out...I moved the gate and she made a bee-line for the tree. Upon reaching the tree, (please listen to the music in your head, it should be playing the "Mission Impossible" theme song by now) she shoved her head under as far as it would go and whimpered. I assumed for a moment that she was trying to tease La Doof Kitton or El Gato until I saw that the kittehs were sitting on cushions (yes, they have their own cushions) waiting for their morning treats. I looked under the tree and saw a dog biscuit shoved under the *exact* center of the tree stand. Where Dawg's nose/tongue couldn't quite reach it and a paw wouldn't fit.

I got it out, gave it to Dawg and assumed that, when giving bedtime treats, we had thrown one poorly and it had gone there and Dawg had been pining for her treat all night.
I, of course, ASSumed wrong. Over the next several hours, no fewer than FIVE times that I witnessed, Dawg went to the tree, stuck her head underneath, and made the distinctive crunching sound of a Dawg who has found a biscuit/kibble--always preceded by a La Doof Kitton going under the tree.
I know those weren't treats misplaced by the humans of the house and I was forced to concede that, once again, La Doof Kitton was smarter than me--and using his powers for evil as he teased Dawg with nearly-inaccessible biscuits. Somewhere, in the house, he has access to treats/kibble. I thought it was possibly a super secret stash until, several days later, I witnessed him manage to get into the 'not quite sealed' bag of treats on top of the microwave, get out a biscuit, and take it out of Dawggie reach to play with it.

Poor Dawg. I have no idea how long this has been going on (and, yes, I gave her the biscuit/toy that La Doof Kitton had). We've made a concerted effort to ensure the treat container is sealed and we've moved it to the top of the fridge...time will tell; as soon as we make something La Doof Kitton proof, someone makes a better La Doof Kitton brain synapse.