Tag: cat pictures (page 1 of 5)

Keeping kitty warm this winter: How to build a Cat Cooker

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Dear Wendy,

I know it’s been stormy on your side of the Pond lately—we’ve been getting news stories of floods, high winds, and the like—but in between battening down the hatches and bailing water, please spare a moment for those of us in the eastern half of North America.

The last several winters have been mild by Canadian standards, so I was completely unprepared for this year’s chilly blasts, as warming in the Arctic drove the polar vortex southward, where it most definitely does not belong. The result? Months of unrelenting cold, punctuated by giant snow dumps.

We humans are coping reasonably well, as we have access to massive amounts of woollen garments (See? I told you there was a reason I knit obsessively!). And the dog doesn’t seem to mind the cold. In fact, I think this is her favourite time of year.

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“Cold? This is FAN-TASTIC!!”

The cats, however, are deeply offended.

Sure, they’re indoor cats, but they’re sensitive, you see. And at the first sign of a draft, they start prowling around looking for warm(er) places to hide.

Ralph, in particular, seems to feel the cold more bitterly than any of the rest of us. And since he is a Siamese, when he feels unhappy, everyone feels unhappy. He has the typical Siamese yowl, and he doesn’t hesitate to share his dissatisfaction.

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Human. Sit still so I can warm up.

Last year we dug out a small electric space heater to help keep our family room warm of an evening. We quickly discovered that if we put Ralph’s sleeping mat in front of it, he’d shut the f*ck up and go to sleep, instead of wandering about the house doing a very realistic impression of a banshee.

But that was last year. This year, with its epic temperature drops, the heater alone just wasn’t cutting it. So to solve our Insane Howling Cat problem, we turned to science.

Physics, to be specific. We decided to use the principle of convection to create a small, warm space, big enough to accommodate Ralph (and Stella, if she chose to join him).

Thus was born the CatCooker5000™.

Essentially, it’s a cardboard box with a chimney hole cut in the back, which draws the hot air. The first version worked pretty well, but the only box we had on hand was a little cramped for two kitties.

alt="IMAGE-two-cats-sharing-warm-spot-cold-winter-polar-vortex-ottawa"

“Move over. You’re hogging the heat.”

But when we bought a new set of stereo speakers this weekend, we realized that the box they came in would be much more satisfactory.

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It might not be elegant, but it’s warm. And it shuts him up.

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Clearly, this was meant to be.

I don’t think it would pass the Martha Stewart Beautiful Homes test, but we don’t care. Because listening to a Siamese cat yowl about the cold is a bit like banging your head against a brick wall: it feels really good when it stops.

Love,

Karen

I love the smell of wet wool in the morning

Dear Wendy,

There’s just something wonderful about the smell of raw wool right off the sheep, don’t you think? Continue reading

True Blue: her first anniversary

Dear Karen,

Can you believe it’s been a year today since Blue entered our lives? I hate to see time fly by so quickly, but it’s a fact that she’s 17 months old now, which practically makes her a teenager by human standards.

Why did we get her in the first place?  We had the lovely Lyra, who was objecting to being left alone each time Lars and I went away.  Non-cat people don’t believe this, but cats are incredibly social, loving creatures.  Lyra and I bonded the minute she moved in, almost 3 years ago and with Ragdoll devotion, she follows me around from room to room, pats me when she wants attention and sit beside me, wanting to know what I’m eating, writing or reading. At all times.

To be without me, alas, was too painful for Lyra so we decided she needed a furry, feline friend.  Enter:  Blue, the insane kitten with unending energy and a capacity for trouble you wouldn’t believe.

Lyra, being a genteel puss, hated Blue on sight.  Blue, being over-confident in her ability to win friends, loved Lyra with a pash hitherto unknown in kittydom.

Rather than tell you about their squabbles and escapades through the last 12 months, I’d like to show you how Blue has grown up from a little scalawag to a, well…a large scalawag.

We begin in November, 2012, the night she came home with me.

She didn’t have a moment of fear in her, or if she did, her curiosity overcame it.

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My Blue Heaven

December: Blue is introduced to Christmas chez us.

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All I want for Christmas is Blue.

January:  Blue is the messiest, sloppiest, most delightfully uncaring kitten in the world.  She is in constant need of bathing and luckily, she seems to enjoy being in the water.  She even likes being held afterwards, to get warm and dry.  The snarly look on her face?  It’s all just a pretence.

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I never felt more like singin’ the Blues…

February:  Blue discovers how warm and comfy folded napkins can be.

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Blue on Blue…

March:  After some intense quarrelling, Lyra and Blue decide it’s better to be warm than it is to fight.

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“It’s cold outside and in, let’s pretend we like each other and keep warm, okay?”

A week before you arrived in London, we decided it was a good time to get Blue spayed.  How were we to know she’d wreak havoc at the vet’s (she yanked out her IV), the journey home (she leapt out of her carrier and tried to make a run for it) and at home, where she disobeyed every rule about not jumping, staying quiet and resting.  Her satellite dish was a hindrance, as she kept banging into walls and doors with it.  It lasted about 5 minutes, just long enough to take this photo.

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Am I Blue…you would be too…

April:  Blue discovers the bathroom sink.  It’s a perfect fit for her and she enjoys playing with the tap.

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Oh, Blue water, keep on rollin’/ London moon won’t you keep on shinin’ on me…

May:  We started to notice how her fur was growing at a rapid rate.  It also came to our attention that she wasn’t overly fond of grooming herself.  A plan began to form in my mind.

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Blue, unsuspecting, being regal and stuff.

June: 

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If you touch one hair on my head, I’ll…I’ll…I’ll boycott purring for a whole minute tomorrow! I will, see if I don’t!!

July:  I booked Steve, The Evil Groomer Guy, to come deal with the mess that was known as Blue.  After an hour’s worth of wailing, hissing and sulking, she was shorn.  She wasn’t impressed.

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No one knows what it’s like/to be the bad kitty/ to be the sad kitty/ behind Blue eyes.

August:  Once she forgave me, she realised how freeing is it to have short hair.  She started to enjoy grooming herself and has become a lot more conscientious about keeping herself to a high standard.  After all, as I tell her, “if you don’t look after yourself, no one else will”.

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Blue posing for PlayKitty, a magazine for discerning, mature kittens.

September:  Blue is such a part of the household now, she claims everything as her own, until Lyra comes along and explains quietly but firmly, that if she doesn’t am-scray, Lyra will op-bay her on the ead-hay.  Blue retreats under the china cabinet and sits on the Naughty Chair.

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Blue, on her divan. Made of cardboard.

October:  Peace breaks out all over, at least in our house.

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Blue, wanting some privacy, please.

November:  One year.  We made it.  Lyra wasn’t sure we’d make it through The Year of Blue alive, but we did.  Blue has taken over the house, biting toes, swinging from trees, attacking wild kitties in mirrors, annoying Lyra and being her constant true companion.

alt="IMAGE-lyra-blue-wendy"

Tangled Up in Blue

Do we adore Blue?  Yup.  Glad we brought her home?  Yup.  Does Lyra feel the same way?  That’s a little more complicated but I look at it this way:  if it weren’t for Blue, Lyra’s life would be an endless routine of eating, playing with me, napping and sleeping.  (Lyra would like to interject here and say that eating, playing, napping and sleeping kinda sounds like heaven to her.  But, hey, whatevs) Blue adds some spice to that routine, for better and yes, sometimes for worse.

But usually for better.

Love,

Wendy

After 500 posts, we’ve learned a thing or three

Dear Readers,

We’re flabbergasted awestruck gobsmacked to announce that you are reading our 500th post!

Yep, this is it. We feel like we should throw a party or something, but we did that last month with the whole Not BlogHer Party thing, so it feels a bit old-hat.

Then we thought we’d hold some kind of giveaway, but it turned out that no one wanted Sheldon the Sheep with the Shit-eating Smile, so we put that one on hold.

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Plus, Sheldon is currently recovering from a leg injury. We thought it would be cruel to ditch him while he’s still in recovery.

In the end, we decided that the best way to celebrate would be to share some of the astounding insights we’ve achieved during this year-and-a-bit of sisterly blogging. So here goes.

Are you ready? Ahem.

Things we’ve learned from blogging

Writing isn’t really that hard.

Getting ideas, however, is a pain in the tuches. Most of the time we spend “blogging” is really spent “desperately searching for things to write about.”

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Karen ponders what to write about today.

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Wendy wonders how she let herself get talked into this.

(Unless it involves taking silly pictures of ourselves. We’re dead brilliant at that.)

Our writing motto

When all else fails, do a cat post. We do a lot of cat posts.

Our other writing motto

Pictures really are worth 1,000 words. And good captions are worth 10,000.

So really, our average post is about 33,000 words long. Do you have any idea what kind of bargain you’re getting? Seriously. This is a great deal.

And speaking of pictures, here’s a pro blogging tip: always have a camera handy. You never know when you’ll need it.

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For instance, without a camera, this great moment would have been lost to posterity.

Be yourself. Whoever that is.

At first we thought we were a blog about “women at midlife.” Then we thought: if this really is the middle of our lives, does that mean we’ll live to 112? While that sounds like a blast, we’re not sure it’s realistic.

And then we realized: we aren’t even all that interested in writing about our age. In fact, age is kind of boring. Let’s not talk about that any more.

These days, we think of ourselves more as a humour/opinion/WTF? kind of blog, with bits of advice and moments of demented wackiness thrown in. Because that’s really more like us.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your beaver

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Buckminster K. Beaver, our official mascot and not-at-all-creepy faithful companion.

We’re not afraid to talk about our beaver, though Wendy has paranoid delusions doubts about his sincerity.

However, we still don’t do updates on our menopausal symptoms (or lack thereof). Also, we don’t write much about sex toys. Except when we’re giving Awesome Advice. One must be open-minded, after all.

No blog is an island

Get this: we’re not the only blog on the planet! Seriously. We know, it shocked us, too. But it’s true.

There’s a massive world of bloggery out there, and somehow we’ve managed to insinuate ourselves make friends with a whole community of cool, talented, funny, compassionate, and just generally awesome people, many of whom have blogs of their own, which you should go and read…as soon as you’re done here.

We think you’re pretty neat

Probably the biggest, most important thing we’ve learned is this: you’re the ones who make it all worthwhile. Yes, you! You’re giving us your time and attention, and for that we thank you.

So here’s your chance to tell us what you’d like to see more (Buck-ee! Buck-ee!) and maybe what you’d like to see less (Buck-ee! Buck-ee!).

We promise to take every suggestion into consideration, and then go ahead and do whatever the hell we want. But still, your comment will live in blog-posterity for all time, and that’s pretty cool.

At least, we think so!

Y’all come back now, hear?

Love,

Karen and Wendy

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What? A cake for Wendy too! This Google Hangout is super-awesome, dudes!

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It’s not our birthday, but it’s still worthy of cake. Special Google Hangout cake, that is.

My kitten has a scary haircut

Dear Karen,

You know I’ve been rattling on about getting Blue groomed lately? Well, I did it. Not for cosmetic reasons, but because the ratio between fur and tongue is all out of whack and she can’t clean herself properly with miles and miles o’ fur impeding her progress.

alt="IMAGE-blue-hygiene-cat"

This is not Blue yawning, this is Blue trying to clean her ruff. Poor Blue!

Lyra, our wonder cat, watches as Blue makes a total hash of feline washing; they’re the same breed but Lyra has no problems taming her fur. Sadly, Blue can’t make the same boast.

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Blue thinking about, but not actually cleaning her back leg.

Without going into too many personal details, things would hang off Blue’s matted fur. Things which would be better suited to lying in a litter box, for example. There’s nothing quite so fun as waking up in the morning to Blue’s hind quarters displaying their latest “acquisition” in one’s face.

She’s a sweet little girl, but she was becoming complacent and slatternly in her personal habits, so I thought it was time to bring out the big guns: a professional cat groomer who makes house calls.

His name is Steve.

He used to breed Persians and as part of getting them show-ready, he had to learn how to groom them. Eventually, he got so good at the grooming aspect, his friends and co-breeders would ask him to “do” their cats as well, and thus, was a business born.

Steve came in on Friday morning, armed with some surgical gloves, felted gauntlets which he wore on his forearms, and a scary-looking falcon’s mask, which, once he had Blue seated on his knee, he put on her head so she couldn’t see what was going on.

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You didn’t think I’d actually have a photo of her in the mask, did you?

It seemed cruel to limit her vision but it calmed her down slightly and in his capable hands, she was done in no time. Well, sort of. It took well over an hour to do this one little kitten’s haircut.

She howled. She hissed. She cried and growled. But she put up with the low hum of the electric shaver and when Steve removed the mask from her head, she was a brand new kitty!

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Hello world, I am Blue, and I am brave! See how I cut that bad man’s gloves to ribbons? See how I kind of peed on his knee? He’s not going to forget me in a hurry.

As soon as he released her, Blue jumped down to the floor, found her bally and started to play, as if the past 90 minutes had never happened.

Once she’d had a little play, she sat down and actually gave herself a thorough wash. That’s when I knew I’d done the right thing. She cleans herself like a regular, proud kitten now. No more odd things dangling off her legs, no more dead flies stuck in her chest ruff, she can now hold her head high in the world of kittendom and say “I, too, am a fastidious kitty who cleans obsessively!”

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Blue, all furry and looking beautiful, before Steve came along to ruin everything.

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Blue, minutes after the cut, test-driving her new ‘do. She looks just a tad disgruntled.

Steve, whose company motto is, “When your Pussy’s in the mood, have it trimmed and then shampooed”, was calm, soothing and gentle at all times with Blue. I admit there were some moments when I thought, “okay, that’s enough, poor baby, she can’t take anymore of this and neither can I”, but he reassured me and we got through it all together.

Blue probably thinks she’ll never have to go through this again.

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Her most recent photo, you can see she’s all sleek and gorgeous again.

Little does she know, I’ve already booked a slot for her in 3 months’ time.

Love,

Wendy

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