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A few people have (very kindly) enquired as to how Igpuss is doing on his new regime and, to tell the truth, we don’t know.

He was doing absolutely great on the two injections a week for his arthritis, and then as soon as we dropped him to one a week, as directed, it all seemed to go bad again. Also, it didn’t help that he decided that he’d really not have the jabs after all, thankyouverymuch, which means he has to be stalked and stabbed while he’s asleep.

We’ve settled on one every five days for now, which seems to be helping him, and see if we can stretch it out over time.

In other news, Henry has a cold, and is spluttering and sneezing all over the place, but he’s still eating, so I don’t worry too much.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We were just settling down to sleep last night – indeed, I had almost drifted off – when there came an unseemly scrabbling from under the bed. For various reasons (mostly lack of space) we have a number of Things stowed under the bed, and the scrabbling indicated at least one cat doing … Something.

We switched on a light, and Pete peered underneath, to find Lilith and Henry; they do interact from time to time those two, so we hoped that was all it was, but no: a small rodent was involved too. And then Ron joined in too.

The rodent took refuge under something that the cats couldn’t extract him from, it quietened down, and I’m afraid we went back to sleep. So in a moment, Pete will have to go and see where the remains of it are …

When we lived in our North Somerset village, we used to get a lot of corpses; I was frequently heard to remark that it was like the Cambodian Killing Fields, and that Lilith had wrecked the local ecosystem. But they don’t catch much here – too urban, and too much feline competition. So I suppose we should say “well done”, because they’re only doing what cats do.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We have wanted an aquarium for ever, but have never had the space to fit one in. And when we were doing the work for the kitchen, it seemed like a really good time to knock out the fireplace, and then we realised that made a gap for a teeny tiny fishtank. I looked on eBay, and picked up a 25 litre one (really is tiny – 30cm cubed) for £12.50 from Beverley, just 5m up the road from us.

We bore it home, but we had to wait till the decorating was finished before we could start it off, and then it was another five weeks, nearly, before we could put fish in it. The day dawned on Sunday, and we sallied forth to our local aquatic emporium and spent the huge sum of four quid on a singleton Siamese fighting fish (just the one, Mrs Wembley, for another week or so).

The Tribe have taken *no interest whatsoever* in the tank since it went in. Not the light, not the waving plants, not a thing. But once that SFF went in, Henry in particularly was transfixed. He has spent hours sitting in front of the tank, dabbiting at the glass and trying to get at George (the fish). We have had to put a couple of bricks on the lid, because it looked dangerously close to coming off. The fish, thankfully, is unpeturbed. As far as we can tell. Inscrutable chap, Johnny Fish.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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lieblingLily is having a hard-ish time of it right now – Henry has been bullying her for a few months. Not constantly, but enough to make her life uncomfortable from time to time, and now Ron is starting to join in now and again.

However, Lilith is a stalwart, and takes it  pretty much all in her stride most of the time. Here you can see her being very stressed, on my desk. For some reason, I called her “mein leibling”, and it appears to be sticking.

I have had serious words with EnRon but, as you might imagine, they just ignored me (apart from a “purr” from Henry, which is his response to most things).

In other news, we picked up a cat tree this morning from our friend Samantha, who bought it at an auction for us. It has been placed in front of the living room window, but obviously nocat is going to sit on it for some time. I have seeded* it with catnip, so we shall see if that lures them. It’s quite a whizzy one, as it has not only a platform, but a rather fine tunnel, so I imagine they’ll have some fun with it when we’re not looking.

* Not literally.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Suzanne was kind enough to enquire after Lily, and I realised I had been remiss in not updating her fans. She is pretty much restored to full health now, thank you, but first she shared her cold with Henry and Ron.

Being rude mechanicals rather than pedigrees, they shook it off within the week, whereas she suffered for the best part of a fortnight, but all three of them are back to what passes for normal now.

Henry developed a nasty scabby rash along his spine, which I assumed was a flea allergy, so I washed and sprayed all their blankets and so forth, and thought I’d take him to the vet yesterday when his cold had cleared up. And lo and behold! – he appears to be a self-healing cat because, somehow, the rash was pretty much all gone overnight. What a fine chap he is.

Hopefully we’ve now seen the back of this infection, whatever it is, because the household budget can’t take the strain of feeding the whole lot on fresh roast chickie!

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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[just like buses - you get no posts for ages, then three come along at once]

We were away at the weekend – not for long, just a flying visit to Yorkshire to inspect our new home.  We left at 7 a.m. on Friday and were home by 5 p.m. on Saturday, and Rob the Catsitter popped in on Friday night so the beasts were not unattended.

But Henry really likes his  Blobs to stay where they’re put; as soon as I put my key in the lock on Saturday there he was, bounding down the stairs, squeaking away, and he’s been quite clingy ever since; watching out for us when we go out of the house and so forth.

Today he’s been sleeping on the bed, which he rarely does, but I think he wants to be upstairs to keep an eye on us.  Ron has today taken to sleeping on the laundry basket – a bit disconcerting when I tried to lift the lid to put some stuff in there (it’s under some shirts on a clothes rail).

Perhaps it’s just the autumnal weather, but I think they need a bit of reassurance, bless them.  Their house is being slowly dismantled round them, and they’re unsettled.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Autumn has arrived here in Somerset all of a sudden; the evenings are drawing in, and there’s a lovely nip in the air.

This seasonal change is confirmed by the Tribe; Mustrum is often indoors when I get up, cats are sharing the bed with us, more food is being eaten at home as the neighbours’ doors are shut.

And the final sign last night was Henry chasing his tail in the kitchen; to be more precise, he chases the shadow of his tail.  He did this a lot when he was a kitten, and then stopped – we assumed he’d grown out of it, but I think it was just because the light wasn’t on in the kitchen when we were cooking supper.  And now it is, and he is again, which is just ace – he’s a joy to watch :)

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Our weekend was bracketed by death.

Friday night, maybe midnight or thereabouts, we were woken by mad scrabbling on the landing. Investigation revealed Ron with a new toy: another mouse was moments away from its end.

There was a degree of oh-buggrit-we-want-to-sleep-clean-up-the-bits-in-the-morning and we subsided; until, that is, Ron brought his prize into the bedroom. No way I wanted to risk the rodent being deposited in several bits on (or worse, in) the bed, so up I got and chased the PoD downstairs to grab hold of him at the foot of the stairs. For a brief moment.

Ron does not like to be thwarted.

He emitted his bloodfreezing scream of fury and slipped away (I wasn’t going to try and hold on anyways), but the scream necessitated the opening of the Maw, and the Fangs Therein, and thus the now dead and still miraculously intact rodent was left behind for me to grab - quickly! - to enbag and, given the hour and my naked body, be hurled outside the front door for attention come the dreadful light of day.

This was not the end of the story, for on Saturday Mac went out onto the patio, and lying there, still in its (admittedly slightly punctured) baggie was the mouse. How it got from front to back, given our home is mid-terrace, is left as an exercise for the reader.

Oh, and I promised death after: that came at around 6am this morning. Mac got up to go bathroomward and discovered a cloud of feathers, an observant Henry, and a Ron, who was whacking the very ex blackbird in his jaws against the banister rails. That murdered sleep (as well as the bird) quite effectively for both of us. By the time I got to gathering up the remains, the part-chewed, feather-denuded bird was in Henry’s jaws in the kitchen, being whacked against the floor and the fridge as H. leaped and swivelled in the air. I added the Bits to the bagged mouse from before, still awaiting final disposal, and vacuumed up feathers from the kitchen, hallway, stairs and landing.

Ron and Henry, or maybe Ron and Reggie, or possibly Doug and Dinsdale: I expect they were good to their mum

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Dear Ron

We know that you like to go hunting at night - we don’t like it, but we understand.  And we understand that you want to bring your kills home, although you don’t bring them to us to show them off.

However, the chirps and other general noise that ensues is starting to get us down.  Pete didn’t appreciate getting up at midnight on Saturday night to rescue a mouse - OK, rescue is the wrong word, as it was entirely deceased, but you and your brother seemed to be having some sort of party to celebrate, so Pete had to remove the unfortunate rodent.  He put it in a plastic bag outside the front door, and thus we were quite taken aback to find it, still in its bag, outside the *back* door on Sunday morning.

We had a word with you, and I thought you understood that this sort of behaviour is not encouraged. You may thus see why, when I was woken at 6 this morning by more shouts and chirps and growls to find the landing covered in feathers, and you tossing the body of an ex-blackbird around the stairs, closely watched by Henry; he clearly wanted to play too.

Please - no more of this.  There can’t be much wildlife left to kill, and I fully expect you to be dragging a buffalo in any day …

your devoted (and exhausted) Blobs

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Apr. 8th, 2009 12:10 pm
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We have a fish pond, and a stream at the bottom of the garden. It is thus somewhat of a rite of passage for cats in this household that they at some point come home very wet indeed. With Bada, we had to hose her down with jugfuls of warm water at 1 a.m. Iggy and Mustrum have often come in very moist, where clearly one of their full and frank exchanges of views has taken them into the stream. Here's Drumknott in a fairly soggy state.

Henry is very interested in the fish in the pond, but he is also obsessed with chasing insects, and dances across the garden in pursuit; I said to Pete the other day that he would probably end up in the pond. And so it was this morning.

He didn't seem remotely bothered, and Ron helped him clean up. The fish, however, were huddled at the bottom of their pond, and seemed unimpressed.

Originally published at the Tribe.


Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:59 pm
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This afternoon I found Henry and Ron busily investigating a bumble bee which had somehow fallen into their clutches. They were fascinated by the sound it made, and had batted it about enough for it to be not very well at all. Pete removed it, as what we really don't need is a kitten with a stung mouth.

However, I fear this may be inevitable, as they are sproinging round the garden chasing anything that flies. Or buzzes.

Originally published at the Tribe.

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Henry likes porridge!

Originally published at the Tribe.

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We bought a cheap little camera in town yesterday, a Pentax M50, to keep downstairs - this is the first video, which didn't come out too bad at all.

Henry likes to chase the shadow of his tail - he does this a lot, for a very long time usually. Except, it seems, when there's a camera about. But there's some nice footage of Mustrum, who is a very fine cat indeed, and some of Iggy too.

The "red or green" question, incidentally, was to do with what colour of chilli was wanted for the tomato sauce for supper.

Originally published at the Tribe.

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I just went downstairs to fetch the washing in from the line (and how nice to be able to dry it outside!), and passed four cats snoozing peacefully in the living room; Mustrum was up here in the study.

I can't tell you how nice it was, as last evening we were worried enough about Henry to phone the VetLine that came with his insurance. He had been extremely sick during the afternoon - the entire contents of his fat little tummy - and then a little later, again, but just bile that time.

We weren't too bothered at that - he'd had a trying couple of days, anaesthetic, pain killers, car journey, operation, NO FOOD for several hours. He's not a sicky cat, though - we're not aware of him having ever vomited before. No, what caused us real worry is that he refused his waffer thin chickie - that was enough to make us concerned.

So, as we had the phone helpline, I thought I'd give them a try. And they were great - the very first question they asked was the phone number, so they could phone us back if we got cut off. It was an 0800 number, and I had a vet nurse on the phone for about 20 minutes - can't fault the service.

She agreed with us in the end that it was just All Too Much, and that Tuesday's rather overenthusiastic troughing upon his return from the vet had quite a lot to do with it. But she was very thorough, and logged it all.

Not just pet insurance - this is Marks and Spencer pet insurance. Well impressed.

And Henry has eaten like a small grey furry hog today, so clearly he's OK again :)

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Ron and Henry were conveyed to the vet today, to be neutered. As is the way of things these days, this can no longer be done at the little surgery in Hotwells; instead, we had to drag them all the way over to Zetland Road for 8-8.30 a.m. The traffic in our village is appalling from about 7.30 a.m., so we were up early, enboxed the chaps and drove across Bristol.

Neither they nor the other cats had had anything to eat since about 7.45 last night, and so there was a deal of plaintive mewing en route, but we arrived safely without them actually consuming the cat box, and delivered them in plenty of time.

Within an hour or so, the vet hospital phoned and said that Ron's (it would be Ron, wouldn't it?) second testicle had not descended, and thus his op would be a little more serious. And expensive. They have to "go in and get it".

We collected them at 14:00 and brought them home to, on the vet's recommendation, "a light meal and rest and quiet". The mewing in the car was rather more urgent on the return journey, which was - I think - due to hunger.

I'm not joking here: within 10 minutes of getting home, they'd consumed an entire chicken breast (boiled and chopped), a pouch of Whiskas, and half a can of Whiskas. They're now roaming the house to see if there's anything else nice to eat. Ron has killed a cardboard, and Henry has seen to a piece of plastic coated wire. Nobody's told *them* they're supposed to be resting.

I have a second chicken breast, which is supposed to be for the three big cats - what do you think the chances are?

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Pete and I were reading in bed last night, and there was a sort of scrabbling from under the bed. Kittins do scrabble, of course, but there seemed somehow to be a more concentrated aspect to this than usual.

So Pete got out and had a look. And found a rat. Dead, thankfully, but not for long, as it hadn't stiffened up. Also thankfully, it was intact, despite Ron and Henry's best efforts to open it. Pete has disposed of it.

A rat in February seems quite odd, and they certainly didn't catch it themselves. We can only surmise that Aunt Lilith brought it in for them, as she is the only cat we have now who rats (as far as we know, of course). Perhaps she has commenced some sort of training regime.

Originally published at the Tribe.

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Ron and Henry got a postcard!

It was only to tell them that their next worming treatment was due, and I have the pills here to do it (I expect it will hurt - us, not them).

But I bet they wouldn't have told us if I hadn' t picked up the post ...

Originally published at the Tribe.

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Mustrum and Henry

Mustrum used to have an unfortunate tendency to, er, press his affections on our late and much lamented Moo. Although she wasn't keen, she never stopped him, and he has never really come to understand that he's been neutered.

He appears to have transferred his affections to Henry now, who seems equally submissive, if a tad wild-eyed, as can bee seen in the photograph. It's all very odd, really

Originally published at the Tribe.

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We caught Ron this morning, spraying the door curtain. From the smell of it, it's not the first time.

So the curtain is in the washing machine, and Ron and Henry are booked in for the snip on 3rd March.

Originally published at the Tribe.


Feb. 16th, 2009 06:50 pm
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We decided to let Ron and Henry out into the garden yesterday - it's been getting more and more difficult for us to get in and out, as they were so anxious to make their acquaintance with the great outdoors.

Interestingly, Henry (who seems far more mature and sensible than his twin brother) was quite cautious, and remained in the doorway for a while, but Ron just went for it. "Out!", you could see his little brain think, and he was off - in between the pots, under the table, chomping at things. But neither of them went further than the patio yesterday, and when we went indoors and left them to it, they would come rushing up to the door and chirp, to make sure that we were still there.

This morning things were a bit different; Ron hurtled down to the end of the garden, and seemed totally unphased by it all. Lovely to watch them in all that new sensory experience :)

Originally published at the Tribe.


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