kitten “ornithologists”

I have an interest in birds, and am, in fact, a life member of Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union.

I like birds. They are cheerful, often brightly colored bits of fluff that decorate our trees year around. Many migrate, so there is anticipation of their return each year that adds to the excitement of seeing them again on the bird bath or on a tree or feeder.

There is a fir just outside my computer desk window that is a reliable bird tree year around, a detail quickly learned by Andy and Dougy, my two smoke Persian kittens. For you who’ve followed their story, parenthetically, I note they turn nine months old April 1st, but back to the main thought: The kitten brothers are avid bird watchers!

I have no intention of letting the boys become outside or partly outside cats because of the dangers there of injury from animal or human encounters. Mosquitoes and other cats are potential disease hazards to the boys, too. They had a rough start in life as kittens, so I’m a bit over-protective of their health and safety. An ounce of prevention…!

The kittens aren’t without their window on the world. They are too small yet, possibly ever to look out the back door screen. (I have no idea how big they’ll grow.) That is a prime place, however, to view the outside world in relative safety. To that end, I set up a children’s chair that they can sit and stand on to view birds flying in to use a bird bath just outside the door. It has been a huge success!

View the video by clicking on the link below.
The kitten brothers like to watch birds.

This kitten brothers have a fan club that covers the world, yet their world is only as big as my apartment. I know they will live longer, happier lives as inside cats, getting their bird watching done looking out the windows and back door!

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It is my brother’s birthday today, March 23rd! Happy Birthday, Richard!

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spring has…almost…sprung!

I am a spring time person. I love the cold nights and the cool days, the soft rains and the raging thunderstorms, the smell of loam after a storm, the plants sending out new shoots of life I will enjoy into autumn. It’s hard to be cynical and sour when everything comes together, new.

Those who read this blog from time to time know that last year at this time I did a series of walks with my handsome ginger tabby, Louie. Louie and I had small adventures each time I followed him on his walks. They always were concerned with, from Louie’s perspective, “What’s new in my territory?!” Then, August 1, 2011, Louie died suddenly of lymphoma. I didn’t know until the very night he died that he was ill. To this day, I grieve that fact because I had medical insurance on Louie. He could have had a couple more years if we’d caught it in time. Yeah.

But it is spring time, time to put away the sorrows and travails of the previous years, and enjoy the resurgence of life.

This year I have Louie’s successors, the kitten brothers. Full of life and the dickens, Andy and Dougy aren’t Louie, but they are a new adventure for me. Louie I rescued from the pound when the veterinarian estimated him to be five. The kitten brothers come to me when they were a bit older than two months, last September.

The kitten brothers. Cynical Andy, just now starting to accept things as they are and enjoying them a little. He was the sicker of the two kittens, and had to put up with more than a life time of baths to wash the diarrhea out of his fur. Ugh! Goofy Dougy, always ready for a good time. He and Andy play well together, and I think Andy benefits from Andy’s goofiness, his “come on, Andy, let’s chase each other all over the apartment and hunt each other down” way of keeping Andy occupied with what’s necessary for kittens: A good time, all the time, thank you!

Spring. The kittens are eight months old, as of March 1st. They make me laugh. They make me look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. They behave badly but are good, little kittens by and large. Explorers of their realm, little predators learning how to do it by hunting each other -and me sometimes – they are spring spirits, young, reckless, adventuresome, rough around the edges, but holding the full promise of a renewal of the cat presence I liked about Louie in my life. They enter spring as kitten teenagers. That should be interesting!

I’m in a spring mood today. The remains of last year remind me of the cycle of life that ends in death for all living things, but there always is that little sprout poking up through the dead leaves, impossibly small now, but just waiting to spring forth as rhubarb, the first chives for a light oniony touch in an omelette, or maybe mint for some tea.

Spring. My season!