Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winston: Treasures from Afar

Our human has friends all over. It’s sort of strange, not to have met nose-to-nose, and yet one feels a close friendship with someone from a distant place, even from the other side of the world. However, since my brother and I claim friends from many lands, we can relate to such friendships.

Today, Mom brought home two packages from the office. She said something about “a gift-sharing Facebook thing” with her friends. Being friendly sorts ourselves, and always enjoying a good prezzie or two, we were both totally on board with that idea!

We have the philosophy – adopted in kittenhood – that any parcel within the house is ours. We care not whose name is on the address label, we know to whom it really belongs! So we proceeded with our usual thorough inspection of the puffy envelope and an intriguing double-component crate set, just as we had as kittens.

The first item Mom picked up was the puffy envelope. “Don’t worry about the contents, just hand us the packaging and we’ll make short order of it,” said my brother. Mom declined our assistance. But when Frank discovered the boxes inside were tied with the type of ribbon for which he has a strange fascination, he was completely enraptured and he moved in, as if hypnotized. 

“Oh no you don’t!” warned Mom. “Last time you got your paws on a piece of that gauzy ribbon, you mangled it beyond recognition AND left me with a pool of kitty spit to clean up!”

Franklin then pretended disinterest with the ribbon (yeah, sure!) but gazed with rapt appreciation at the contents of the package: a necklace and earring set with pictures of… US! 

Seriously, folks, we had no idea we had ever posed for works of art, but then, Mom says we ARE works of art, so… ^^ The other box in that envelope held a beautiful item that perfectly addresses Mom’s Halloween obsession. To be tucked away carefully and only to be revealed at the proper season, she states, we are sure she will be the envy of all at her fall parties when she sports that adornment. And, she said, it's Guild Wars perfect!

 The second package came in two parts. The first contained some sort of paper object. Mom was so pleased she positively gasped when she saw it. “A drawing of my character” she squealed. Amidst murmurs of “I’m going to frame that” and “Oh cute, a painting from a little one, too” we put a bored paw to mouth and said, “Move on. Move on. Enough with the art -- that second box is tinkling, ringing, making sounds of a MOST intriguing kind!”

Mom opened the box, and inside was a selection of deluxe chocolates for her (meh, we say, but she was ecstatic) and most importantly, IMPORTED KITTY TOYS pour nous!

Mom started talking to us about “down under,” but all we really wanted was to get down under the toys. We knew what to do, and we moved into the proper mode, as Play Tester Win and Play Tester Frank.

First, we noted a catnip mouse! But we did not hurry, for as testers, we knew that before downloading the software a virus check was... I mean, before play testing, the sniff test was required. ^^

The rodent, having passed the inspection with flying colours, was then investigated for The Play Factor.


Next up -- a metal ball with a jingling plushie inside! Again, a cautious, distant inspection was in order at the start.

Then actual gameplay was researched.  

5 out of 5!

Finally, the dangling ball-bell-fluffy-on-a-stick thing was ready to go.

It flew past our heads, slowly at first, then faster and faster. We went from intrigued to frenzied in about 4.3 nanoseconds! 

We tried a paw tap.

And eventually did the full leap into the air.

 (Note: My ears are back because I'm not even close to forgiving the last time he launched-and-landed -- on my tum!)

End of the day, Brother Franklin learned how to hook the metal ball with his paw and toss the ball across the room. (Well, fine, toss it about 18 inches, but it was impressive still!) I learned how to pounce and silence the wiggly stick thingie. And we rated all toys two paws up -- way up!

After a heavy evening of testing, I found a spot and settled down for...err... a closer inspection of the one toy and perhaps... *yawn*... a wee nap.

Thank you, kind friends, from all of our family! ^^

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Franklin: Dishevelment

Dishevel: to cause untidiness and disarray. Example: “The wind disheveled the papers on the desk.”

My brother and I are proud of our highly refined skills in the Art and Science of Catly Dishevelment. In assessing the above definition, it’s important to note that the wind, the sea, nay in fact all the forces of nature combined have nothing on us!

Have you recently remodeled? Be sure to see Special Consultant Winston at Interior Designs by Franklin for a feng shui review.

Visiting the nursery? We’ll be happy to “quality test” your plants.

Positioning a throw rug? Count on our teamwork to hook claws into corners, roll over a time or two, pounce thrice and then toss it into the air. It is a throw rug, after all.

Those who collect plushies—and let me tell you this home seems full of them—should know that either of us will be happy to pull down a selected beast, wrestle it into submission, and personalize it with random kitty spit and mangled body parts.

 If you're decorating your indoor tree, do remember that no matter how cunningly you place those fragile ornaments on the topmost branches, we can reposition them at will. Some ornaments have been discovered lying on the floor, occasionally even unbroken, after an “unexplained fall” of more than 10 feet. As a special gift, we'll happily inspect your packages and randomly ingest yarn and ribbon in an effort to add a hint of seasonal colour to the litter box.

Your paltry “Keep things away from the kitties” measures are doomed if you think placement on the eight-foot curio is the way to go. We’ll simply sally to the edge of a chair, judge the trajectory, align our sensors, use the hanging plate on the wall as a way-point, and land soundlessly on top of the cabinet, after which we can enjoy a leisurely afternoon of tossing the Christmas tree, angel, plush bear, and wreath over the edge. Come on, you didn’t really think that angel committed suicide by hanging herself off the side of the cabinet, did you?

Oh, and if you believe your paper products are safe, think again.

Tonight Mom learned that her $200 stereo cables were broken. We have no idea how that happened, but we were relieved to hear Mom say “It wasn’t the cats – the connectors broke off, and they couldn’t have done something like that!” Paw on heart, it’s true: we’re innocent of breaking the connectors. 

The happy news is that Mom learned the cables have a lifetime warranty. The not-so-happy news is that she’s now faced with a challenge of explaining the hundreds of tiny chew marks that surround said connectors…

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Winston: Snow Time Like the Present!

What week is better for a kitty than this week the human’s call “Thanksgiving?” Frank and I are very grateful for all that fills our lives: a warm home that hosts a comfy kitty tree with 2 (!) plush-lined baskets (customized as a pair of buckets rather than the standard one, to prevent feline friction), a plethora of kitty toys, delicious victuals, an electronic cat tray, our own special “end of the bed” blanket (although quite frankly one wonders if Mom needed to select a Tinkerbell print!), abundant attention by our loving humans, a new human in the family (future pets and kisses are surely in the offing from this one!), a plump turkey roasting in the oven with morsels sure to be shared, and so much more.

And this year, there is something extra to fill our hearts, for this year there is SNOW!

Mom opened the deck door to take a photograph of an icicle suspended perilously from the edge of the roof. I wasted not a nanosecond taking advantage of the open door, slipping outside to experience this frozen water for myself.

I leap the white stuff, sure to leave no trace of my presence.
I am invisible. I am Stealth Kitty!

This looks intriguing!

Shall I? Shall I not?

Dear heavens! I had no idea this stuff was so C-O-L-D!

And now -- how do I make my escape?

I look to the left.

I look to the right.

I think this may be a bad choice in pathing.

There is nothing to do but bravely set course and move forward.

I feel my Stealth Mode may be slipping away.

Drat! Evidence!

What am I doing, Mom?
Oh, just a bit of personal grooming.

{The white flakes between my pawpads are a mere figment of your imagination.}

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where The Wild Things Are

My humans were talking the other day about how the neighborhood has changed. Mom mourned the loss of the local livestock and what she called “the blight of stacked housing developments.” (Frankly, I don’t know why she objects to stacked housing – our five-tier stacked kitty tree is excellent!) She said that once a drive to the store meant “passing farmers on tractors and fields of contented cows.” (I wonder: are cows always contented, or is that simply a human myth?) Anyway, to hear her tell it, the drive these days is more likely to involve construction signs and backed-up traffic.

But perhaps she mourned too soon. For in fact, the truth is out there—outside our back door. The area is not fully urbanized yet!

You know of Little Buddy, and his frequent visits to our home, in part to play, in part to consume the morsels and tidbits that our dutiful humans put outside for him. It appears we now have a Big Buddy, too.

It all started last night. I was napping in the kitty hammock; Win was curled up near Mom on the sofa. The television was on. (She’s watching another bloomin’ British mystery series? Good grief!) Suddenly, we heard a loud “thump” outside the house. Mom looked outside the downstairs drapes but saw nothing. Then, murmuring that the sound seemed to have come from somewhere above, she went upstairs and looked out on the deck.

“Hey,” Mom said, when she came back downstairs, “it’s a raccoon, boys. Come look!”

We hurried to the curtains and slowly, clumsily making his way down the post of the deck was a large quadrapedal creature—grey and black—with black-tipped ears and a dashing facial feature covering his eyes. Said feature was not unlike my own, though he lacked the full facial coverage—eyes and snoot—that makes my breed so extraordinarily handsome.

Win and I did a little window pawing, and the creature responded by doing a bit of seeming-friendly window action of his own. Mom hurried for a camera and snapped one shot, but she says it’s hardly worth my including it here, as it wasn’t “flash” (whatever that means) and “it’s pretty blurry.”

Franklin, Winston, and their new friend

The point is, though, that with the raucous crows in the alders, with squirrels that taunt us from the hemlocks, and now with Big Buddy, we’re closer to where the wild things are than we had ever thought!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Joy: 2009

From distant memories of kittenhood, I recall this thing called Christmas. Trees, lights, ornaments – it was all rather overwhelming for wee kits just a few months of age. Franklin and I had our fun, but we also engaged in an Escalating Nap Program™ to avoid seasonal excess and to keep ourselves in our usual calm state. *ahem*

Last year -- oh the memories!

This year, brother and I are fully engaged in all the season offers: From batting ornaments down the stairwell to inspecting packages for random bits of ribbons to nibbling the wreath to burning a few whiskers on the scented candleswe’re on board! There’s no need for an ENP this year... unless it’s for our humans. ^^

We swung into Christmas Mode even before Mom carried the first of her 14 boxes of decorations down the attic stairs. You see, someone foolishly left the bathroom door open prior to decking the halls, and this allowed Frank to (again) express his undying love for The Tiger plush toy.

Innocent Frank; he just "happened" upon the scene.

I, of course, remained uninterested. Or at least put on a show of being bored by the whole prospect.

Not Interested. Probably.

As our people clambered in the door one bright afternoon, we could not fail to notice they’d accidentally dragged in an enormous piece of vegetation behind them. We understand they tromped miles through a thing called a Christmas Tree Farm to select the tree; it towers to the height of at least 20 cats standing paw on shoulder! Mom was immediately on phone and Facebook, inviting friends to a tree decorating party. Much fun ensued.

The Tree, After Decorating Party

We are pleased that there is copious room beneath the Fraser Fir, for that is most important. There's no better a place for kitties than under a tree, sipping at the water in the tree stand, batting at one of the gazillion ornaments bedecking its boughs, giving a tug to a loose light strand, naughtily tinkling the glass bell Mom put up as her "Cat Alarm."

The View From Below

Mom. friends, and family members hung stockings and placed decorations over every surface in the house—even the top of cabinets and above the people box! They strung lights in the windows, across the mantel, around mirrors, and along the stairway banister. Tha last placement is special. The garland has tempting vegetation all its own. Said vegetation has proved nearly as irresistible to my brother as stuffed tigers! Daily, Mom awakes to find a trail of poinsettias down the stairs and Frank's proud announcement that he’s taken care of all the pruning needs for the day.

Tasty -- and Fir and Poinsettia are low-cal, so I can
preserve my male model figure!

Both Frank and I enjoy watching the world go by through our window. The holiday spirit fills the air. We have a cat's eye view both day...

Winston Stands Watch

and night.

Watch-Kitty Pas de Deux

There are extra attractions in the yard this time of year, even visiting wildlife! We have stared at those white creatures below the window for hours and have yet to see them move, so great are their stealth abilities!

Motionless Moose -- Amazing!

We proudly display a large flashing decoration on the roof. I enjoy sitting in the darkened window, watching its lights and motion. Sometimes, late at night, I hear the distant hoot of a train crossing the valley below our home while I’m viewing the rooftop decoration, and that makes it even more special.

Rooftop Deco

We have a lighted pathway, as well. While we've no real snow this year, we've plasticine snowmen to join us in welcoming visitors.

The Pathway

All and all, it has been a splendid holiday. We received many gifts of a cat-toy nature, and supped on a delicious turkey dinner, as well.

But I've one word of caution for those who share our abode: Rumour has it that New Year's Eve is coming. If you guys blast off those bloomin’ Party Poppers again this year, the new slippers get it!

Winter Dreams