Sunday, November 29, 2020

Movie-night with Kittens

Sometimes, the Felons tire themselves out. After an hour or so of chasing and wrestling each other, and of trying to see what I was eating (it was popcorn) and other not-too-distracting activities, Oleo and Bisto let me watch my Saturday night movie in peace.

In fact, it was quite nice having the kittens snooze on or against me. They will definitely be lap-cats as they mature; they are starting now, and will enjoy cuddling with their humans in the future, I believe. I tried specifically to cultivate an interest in physical attention from the start. Most cats, I think, like it, but if they aren’t encouraged in it when young, it may not exist or be strong when they are older. As may be seen, Oleo and Bisto have taken to snuggling.

As the film neared its climax, though, they showed an interest in the events on the television screen. Along with laps, I may have prompted a fascination for old movies, too…

Saturday, November 28, 2020

In the Exercise Yard

The Felons are growing, and becoming stronger and more confident. When I let Oleo and Bisto out into the exercise yard (the sitting room) now, the nylon tunnel is still a great deal of fun, but they are climbing the cat-trees now. They don’t bother with platforms – one stops there to taunt one’s brother – they climb straight up the post. I imagine this will change as they gain weight. To descend, they leap from platforms to lower cat-trees or to chairs; climbing down one foot at a time is boring: they fly three or four feet at a time. That’s like a human child routinely jumping from thirty foot heights. And, recalling the ancient days of my youth, I think that’s what children do, if they can get away with it. Kittens certainly do.

When they are loose in the bedroom, however, the Felons live up to their nickname and cause trouble among my computer cords. One evening, to re-connect whatever they disconnected, I placed my chair on the bed so that I could crawl under my desk. (Once again, remembering my childhood, I think I could do that with the suppleness of a snake; now I do it like one of those three hundred year old tortoises from the Galapagos Islands.)

When I looked, Oleo and Bisto had, naturally, made a plaything of my furniture, the skunky-nosed Bisto leading, as he does any physical activity. I apparently re-invented the Jungle Gym.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Felons Turn to Vandalism - or Is It Murder?

The Felons continue their rampages through the house. I hope to have another video published of their activities soon. In the meantime, though, I need to lay this charge at their feet.

Some time ago, a friend sent my cats a number of toys. Among them was this representation of a fox; he turned out to be the most popular of the gifts. So it would appear with the kittens, as well. Their interaction with the fox was, alas, not as civilised as, say, Tucker’s. Oleo or Bisto, or both (though I suspect Bisto, as he was the more drawn to it) not only killed the fox but mutilated his corpse.

First the moustache was torn off, and then he was beheaded, though not, as you may see, completely. The horrid remains were left behind the couch in the library, perhaps in the hopes that I would not find them. I did, however: they were next to one of my books, a corner of the cover of which featured newly made tiny-teeth holes…

R.I.P. little fox toy.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Tunnelling Out of Captivity

The Felons were given a day-release on Sunday, and put out into the sitting room for some exercise. They certainly took advantage of the opportunity. They explored every corner of it, became confused in the kitchen, ran back to the sitting room and had plenty of fun.

They discovered the nylon tunnel. This was of immense delight to them. They zoomed in and out, out and in, popped through the side holes, came out the ends, turned and shot back in. They jumped on it and bounced. I think they liked that the nylon had some spring but still supported them. Oleo and Bisto didn’t wrestle or fight in the tunnel, which is interesting. They ran past each other and even managed to leap over each other in its confines.

I’d left Tucker and Neville out with them, putting Renn and Josie in the bedroom. I won’t do that again. Tucker wasn’t bothered; he was up on a dining table chair, and the Felons didn’t discover him there. Neville almost had a nervous breakdown. The kittens were quite respectful of the Nevsky, but he was agitated nonetheless. He will stay safely in the bedroom the next time the babies are on the loose.

But the youngsters had their fun, lots of it. I have been able to place two videos of their antics on Facebook. The one featuring them in the tunnel was initially upside down on Facebook, but that has been corrected. Viewers may derive some enjoyment from the images, though probably not as much as the Felons did making them. (

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Fierce, the Daring and the Playful

The Felons’ characters continue to emerge. The most noticeable aspect is that Bisto is the more daring one, while Oleo is the – slightly – more cuddly one. Bisto will take chances that his brother won’t, at least not until he observes Bisto try it first. In the library, Bisto climbed the back of the couch and up onto the shelves of the bookcases. In the bedroom, he made it to the top of the saddle-seated cat-tree. And then there was this.

A leap of more than three feet to the bed from the taller cat-tree, made while I watched and attempted to talk him out of it.

A friend generously gave us a floppy fish – a soft, ‘kicker’ toy that moves on its own. The kittens didn’t know what to make of it, though Bisto approached it and eventually started whapping it repeatedly. Oleo may be seen viewing the strange creature from the edge of the bed.

Bisto is rather more confident in playing with me, though he enjoys his quiet times, too. His brother, however, is slightly more ready to lie still for affection. Oleo has a very loud purr, and it starts easily. It can be heard across the room. Bisto’s is much quieter, but is certainly used. They were both purring when I came into the bathroom this morning and found them like this. Note the bar of soap on the tub’s floor; not where I had left it.

When it comes to playing with each other, the brothers are equals, fighting and wrestling with similar strength and assertiveness. I wonder, though, if one would immediately submit if the fight were for real.

Something I have noticed while watching the Felons play is that their pretend-brawls may be enactments of instinctive hunting or fighting methods. Both of them will go principally for the under rear side of his opponent, the soft under-belly, the genital region, damage to which in real life would incapacitate prey or a rival. They also latch on to each other’s throat, and grab at the lower rear legs, as if attempting to hamstring an enemy. It shows me that, if protected by their mother or father, it would take young predators in the wild little time to become efficient in survival. Unfortunately, the wilderness that mankind has created, and in which too many cats, old and young, are dumped, is not what nature equipped them for, and many perish.

But Oleo and Bisto are thriving. They are now over a kilogram (2.2 pounds) each in weight. Three weeks ago, they were half as heavy. They are eating hard-food now, brittle little kitten-size kernels that are crunched up easily by hard and sharp little teeth. Their diet remains mostly soft-food, supplemented by liquid kitten milk-replacement poured over it. Every day the Felons grow and change; soon they will make their first veterinary visit, and then these fierce little pretend-killers, these real snugglers, will be ready for their permanent family.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Narrow Outdoors

The Felons continue to explore and expand their world. Last night, they discovered the outdoors.

Well, the scent of the outdoors, anyway. I opened the bedroom window a small amount. It was quite cold out, and, generally, I open the window a bit at bedtime for the fresh air while I sleep, but not always before. The kittens were exploring the upper reaches of the bedroom cat-trees, to which they can now climb. They did not react immediately when I opened the window, but then they caught the smells coming in and the hunt was on for the source. Oleo found it first.

They had been but two or three weeks old when they last sniffed the outdoors and, to judge by the sounds they made being transported through it in a carrier to my apartment building, they didn’t much care for the wider world. But now, they are approaching their two-month age, and are ever so much more grown up than they were. The world may be frightening at times, but it is always an object of curiosity.

As well, Oleo and Bisto have graduated to an adult litter-box. It may be considered too big for them - after all, they have to lift a leg quite a bit in order to lift a leg in it, the door’s lip being several inches up - but that doesn’t bother them. When I first placed them in the library, they found the litter-box there and left their business in it. I started providing them with a smaller adult box, and they scrabble in and out without a complaint. This assists me since the new box is not only bigger, so there is less spillage, but hooded. Half the labour with kittens is cleaning up after them, and this is now reduced. Though the Felons are quite clean little thugs as it is, there is nonetheless a bit of relief in the new litter-box for me, as much as for the little criminals.

Onwards and upwards - literally - for the kittens.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Aging Gracefully

In between the continuing news about the kittens, I wanted to mention my old lady, Josie. She is doing rather well these days (if I can write that without jinxing her). She is eating a little more than before; not that her food consumption was at a dangerously low level but I always like to see a cat with a healthy appetite, especially if she is elderly. She even has started coming out of the bedroom to demand her meals, especially breakfast, as she used to do.

Except for that, my Chubs spends most of her days and nights in the bedroom, where she tolerates the Felons when they are on the loose. She has given them what-for more than once, and they have so far respected her admonitions. I keep an eye on their behaviour, as I would rather they be put out than Josie be anxious. So far, though, she has maintained her equanimity.

Her joints appear to be bothering her less than previously. This may or may not be due to the subcutaneous fluids that she is receiving twice a week. (She loathes the procedure, but I think it is helping her.) She even climbed to the top of a bookcase in the library on one of her rare outings.

Josie sleeps much of the time, of course, but nonetheless takes an interest in the outdoors, as seen through the bedroom window, and enjoys a good face-rubbing session, for which she sometimes asks. She still likes to spend some of the night on the bed with me, as in her youth. She has no difficulty making a trip once or twice a day to the litter-boxes, and her vomiting, which used to be almost frequent, is rarer now, perhaps due to her more select intake of nutrition.

So the Great White spends her days and nights simply and, I think, contentedly. It may be a dull life for us humans, though I like to believe that it is an enjoyable one for an old cat. I hope, and will do all I can, to keep it so.