Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

When I was asking a few friends about ways to make little Fiona's growth a positive and healthy one, what with her not being around cats except for the first hours of her life, I kept hearing was that she would learn quickly from Trevor and Aslan. This gave me high hopes. Trevor is very devoted and loving and has a great sense of humor, and Aslan is extremely loyal and dignified and wise and well-behaved. Still, I didn't really envision things quite right.

She seems to have mastered Aslan's .... um.... fuzziness?
And Trevor's sense of adventure.

(the poor dog was doing his required sit-stay while I prepare his food. The kitten is not very good at sit-stays, but is good at helping herself to someone else's food.)

(please note the dog walked in just a step before me, and wasn't actually boogy-ing down with the "Guilty Party" going on here)

(playing in the dog bed with one of her favorite toys - a small stuffed bulldog)

(the large hungry bulldog is unamused.)

And here, a wrestling match, complete with occasional (waggy) referee. Aslan was in the box seats, purring away behind me, probably enjoying that Trevor has someone else to play with now!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Becoming a cat

Another week of Fiona growing and she's getting bigger and stronger every day. I've had several kittens in my life (who all grew to happy, perfectly neurotic cats) but never started with one as young as Fiona (who came to me at six weeks) so its been fascinating to watch her progress from silly little escape artist into someone with cat-like qualities.

Yesterday she weaved in and out between my feet for the first time. It's a vaguely affectionate act (it's actually designed as feline marking, rubbing all the gland-points on the person's legs, so strange cats know whose person this is in case it gets lost) but she hadn't done it yet. Apparently that behavior develops at nine weeks!

Oscar is training her (really) not to go near the door. She enjoys playing with shoelaces, which tend to hand out by the front door, and she plays hard. So she'll be throwing her tiny body all around and thump into the door accidentally, and it sounds like a knock. And Oscar barks. And the kitten gets scared and runs away from the door. So now she hangs out by the front door slightly less. Conditioned response and all.

She's also becoming a little more vocal, probably learned from the great orator Trevor, who likes to narrate that he's walking down the hall, or especially to perform original compositions on the subject of "everyone else has gone to bed and I'm in the living room all aloooooone." Aslan is a talker, too, but he tends to only want to discuss things of importance, whereas Trevor is more a "shoot the breeze" kinda guy. We'll have to see how much of a gossip Fiona turns into.

So here's the weekly shot of her with the pompom toy at 9 weeks:

and here is how the dog bed you saw in last week's video is getting used all too often:

(here is how it should be used:

sometimes you have to stretch all the way out to get full benefit)

(pardon all the cords, I'm rearranging furniture, and there are cords everywhere)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More kitty-cam

Baby Fiona
(here at about five weeks)

turned two months old yesterday!

She celebrated her new found maturity by abusing the pit bull

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So I was doing dishes ...

...and I stepped away from the sink for a moment...
(One of the nicknames for a Turkish Van Cat is "Swimmercat")

And here a quick lesson on proper toy-mousing technique.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Attempts to keep Fiona contained and secluded from the boys failed, because of this:

So they've all met her, with careful introductions. Trevor likes her and plays with her very well, Aslan doesn't mind her as long as she stays on the other side of the room, and Oscar is so smitten with her it's a little embarrassing. The other night I couldn't get him to go to bed, he wanted to stay and play with the baby. For the two of them, playing means he stands or lies still (aside from the ever wagging tail) while she attacks him, jumps on his head, chews on his lips, wraps herself around his legs, kills his tail, bounces off his side and so on.

Until I get video of that, you'll have to make due with today's kitten cam:

Fiona is fitting into her home quite nicely, and keeping to the calico reputation with pride. (Yes, Catherine, I do think she's a Turkish Van - a breed noted for being white all over the body with color on the head and tail only. I admit it took me a bit to get used to the look, but she's pretty darn cute, even with the unusual coloring.)

To track her growth, here's the picture of her at 5 weeks old again:

And here she is now at 7 weeks:
Please note the only way to guarantee she'd play with that toy while I was pointing the camera at her was to move it near the dog. Please also note that now that I am no longer pointing the camera at her, she is dragging that toy around the room by its pom-pon.

And Oscar has a little upset tummy today, and wants to be babied like the kitten is. So he's sitting in a cat hammock until he gets his way.
(the hand-vac doesn't live there, I was cleaning this weekend)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

And baby makes 4 (...or 4) (...or 2)

Do you ever get into ruts? I've fallen into them in nearly every area of my life at one time or another, but I must confess that "color ruts" are most common with me. The worst part is that I seldom notice them until it's too late.

A few weeks back, I felt like I was bored of my purse, so I switched to my lightweight summer purse. As I was transferring stuff, I grabbed a ball of yarn I've had for years (even started a sock on it about two years ago) and just never finished anything. I thought just a simple stocking stitch sock would be easy and simple, and would fit the yarn, so it would make for nice purse knitting.

And then the other day while I was out and about, waiting somewhere for something (who knows what at this point) I glanced down and realized the color rut had hit me again, only this time it was far more detailed.

I have been knitting my purse. (It's Lorna's Laces, in a colorway called Daffodil which should clearly be called Mojito instead)

Anyway, possibly in an attempt to get rid of the ruts in my life, it was a busy weekend in the Rose Garden.

A long-time love came home where he belongs

as the amazingly saintly Lisa from Spinners Hill forgave a great many miscommunications and packed the wheel into her already full truck. (I also bought this roving from her, to make a sweater on the wheel...)

(and one hank of this lambswool/alpaca from Brooks Farm, my only purchases of the weekend)

... And most exciting and disruptive to the household, our family grew by just a little tiny bit.

I had decided it was time to start looking for another calico in my life, even though I still miss the first one, and found Feline Rescue Association on This little girl was taken from a date with the needle when she was just a few days old (her birthdate is estimated at about March 17, so she's about six weeks now). She was put into a foster home with an amazing young woman who bottle fed her and nursed her back to health (she had an ulcer that may have left her blind in one eye). Foster mom said they'd considered keeping the kitten, but her current dog didn't really like her, and they were really looking for a second dog. Her breed of choice? Pit bull. Sometimes I think God doesn't think I'm very smart, throwing such glaring signals at me. (I've already put her in contact with a few friends who do rescue, so she may have a new family member herself before long).

(one week ago, at 5 weeks of age)

(yesterday, at 6 weeks of age, same toy)

She has not yet officially met any of her big brothers, but I did find out that if you weigh less than two pounds and move into a hovel that's a little off-kilter (physically and cosmic-ly) you can fit under the door. Girlfriend has busted out of her prison by sliding underneath a closed door no fewer than three times, and fortunately I was right there every time Oscar found her. He's tickled pink we have a kitten, but has a tendency to play rough and will need very strong supervision until some of the thrill is gone and he can be calm around her.

*true story*
A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with Oscar about kitten potentials. I explained to him that some terriers don't like any small animals at all, but I could see that he loves his cats, so I knew he wasn't one of those. I told him that some terriers only like their own cats, and some terriers don't mind any cats at all, and I didn't know which one of those terriers he was. As is typical of Oscar, he wagged at me happily, but didn't really respond further.

A few hours later, I took him out to potty. In an extremely unusual move, he pulled the leash out of my hand and ran across our lot. Before I could catch up with him, I saw him run up onto a neighbor's deck. When I found him, he was sitting there next to their cat. He looked at me, licked the ever lovin' cat, and walked off the deck to come home with me.

Sometimes I think Oscar doesn't think I'm very smart, throwing such glaring signals at me.

So indeed Oscar is a terrier that likes cats, and that means for the first time on the RoseByAny blog, I give you....

Kitten Cam!

This weekend brings the current tally is four spinning wheels (Lendrum upright, Mecchia Norwegian, antique castle, and the new-to-me Norm Hall saxony), four animals (Aslan, Trevor, Oscar and wee Fiona) and two Fiona's (those who remember that the Lendrum is named after the character in Shrek, because she looks like an ogre but spins like a princess, will be tickled to find out that the woman who bottle-fed the kitten named her Fiona because of that same princess - she felt the wee one would need a spunky name to help her overcome her challenges.)

Welcome to our family, Fiona! You're going to be very loved (I may have a lot of flaws, but I am one hell of a pet parent)

Marriage is love.