Post 484: a dreaded anniversary

Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the death of Louie the ginger cat.

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This is how he slept by my computer desk when I was on the computer. He was an affectionate cat, a cat happy to be with me, near me. He was a rescue cat his veterinarian estimated to be five years old when I got him. My only regret with Louie is I didn’t get to know him as a kitten. I bet he was a hoot! And exceptionally cute. I just know that.

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When he couldn’t be outside, he liked to look out the back door, in this way. As a big cat, the settee was right sized for perching on the arm.

Louie came into my life because he was picked up in the northwest part of town by the animal control officer: Louie had a record! Two things came out of that period in his life: He liked to go outdoors and he became extremely stressed when I took him in the car to the veterinarian’s for care and shots. I don’t think his experience being caught by the animal control officer was pleasant.

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Louie inspired me. This photo, for example, became one of several Louie photos that ended up on coffee mugs I still use.

grumpy coffee =mug

Yeah, Louie hated TACO the tuxedo cat, a unclaimed cat still in the neighborhood by some miracle. (Andy and Dougy find him fascinating but scary.)

TACO came in and sampled Louie's food. Louie was spitting mad.

TACO came in and sampled Louie’s food. Louie was spitting mad.

My favorite photo of Louie, though, is one you’ve probably seen before if you pay attention to backgrounds in videos of the boys: Louie as Captain Me-Ow!

New Louies Cape_Complete

That photo’s on mugs, shopping totes, and a poster hanging on the wall behind my computer. That way Louie is always in my thoughts. He was good cat. A great cat.

Louie died on August 1, 2011. When I made the memorial video on the second anniversary of Louie’s death last year…well, here is the memorial video from last year:

It still makes me cry.

Post 483: “No! I don’t want my medicine!”

I never know. Today was one of those difficult days to catch Andy. He became suspicious the moment I walked toward him, and ran under my computer desk. (The beat up backless chair on the left becomes important later on…!)

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Under the desk, Andy has several escape routes, but mostly has the advantage that I have to bend over and reach some distance to catch him there: It can’t happen!

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Couldn’t catch the now-wary cat, so I decided to look at what was new on Facebook. Yes, I know, it’s always the same old stuff: righties bashing lefties, lefties bashing righties, people exposing the most personal details of their lives to total strangers because they haven’t figured out the privacy settings yet or just don’t care, and lots of cat and dog photos among the cute babies.

Besides, Andy’d hopped up on the blue carrier. If I’m stealthy enough, I can sometimes walk right over and grab him!

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So far, looking good for a capture…!

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Oops! The little rascal caught a glimpse of me. Their peripheral vision is greater than ours, you know. Yeah, I know that, too!

Andy hopped off the carrier, ran under the table…!

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This is the single best place to run to avoid capture. Well, under the beds in the guest bedroom are pretty good,too, but the table gambit is a reliable one for a fugitive kitty. Don’t think Andy isn’t well aware of that!

Believe me. I’m not a patient person by nature. You can — I can! — learn from my cats, though. Patience is one thing they “help” me practice with some regularity, particularly Mr. Andrew. So back to my computer I went to look for more cute kitty pictures on Facebook.

Andy wanted his post-medicine “good kitty” treat. He came over to the beat up backless chair I pointed out in the first photo. It’s my old computer chair, something I’d toss if the cats didn’t love to lounge on it! Andy especially likes this chair. He hopped up on it, reminded me about his treats. I ignored him, he stretched out to pout. I let him ponder the mystery of the missing treats a bit, then reached over and grabbed him by the nape.

Victory was mine! Yeah, ha!

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I wrapped Andy in the bath towel. He looked up at me, knowing the next thing to come was icky medicine!

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Of course, I can’t show you how I stick the little syringe full of medicine in his mouth and squirt it because they amputated my extra arm, and I needed the remaining arm not holding Andy to operate the camera. (Just kidding!) The photo shows how he resists by moving his head around and away from the syringe till I finally immobilize him enough to get the job done.

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Here is Andy in his “hell, might as well take it like a good boy” face. And he did. And he got his treats, pronto! Cats can learn from their humans, too: patience!

Post 482: ‘nipped

Andy put up a valiant effort today to avoid getting his daily dose of blood pressure medicine. The process began a bit after 3 AM, but took till 6:45 AM to complete: He didn’t want to take his medicine today! No way!

Around 6:30, I tossed out the treats I usually give Andy after he takes his medicine. “Maybe Andy’ll come over for the treats”, I thought. “Then I can nab him.”

Secret weapon? My cats think it stinks.

Secret weapon? My cats think it stinks.

Have I mentioned Andy has genius level cat intelligence when it comes to escape and evasion skills? No? Well, he does, and he was wary of the treats. I finally caught him when I used my cane to block him into a spot by the front door where his escape routes were cut off.

Captured and medicated, I stroked Andy’s head and rubbed his nose. “What a good boy you are, Andy!” I told him over and over, because he is, then I let him down.

I decided to reward Andy with fresh catnip since the “good boy” treats were already out. I grow catnip in the window by my kitchen sink. I was delighted to see my neglected catnip plant — it’s a weed and doesn’t require much skill to grow — managed to put out flowers!

Dougy tenses up in anticipation of the assault of catnip on his nose...!

Dougy tenses up in anticipation of the assault of catnip on his nose…!

I picked a small amount with flowers for Andy. He and Dougy cringed and dropped back when I approached them. Fresh catnip is nauseatingly minty-musk scented and over-powering to me, so I can understand their reaction! Dougy rarely gets close to it, yet Andy likes to eat the leaves once the scent settles down a little.

They both ran away as soon as the catnip stench hit their noses. “So much for cats go crazy with pleasure on catnip,” I thought as I followed Dougy, the easier one to catch most days. “Maybe he can be persuaded to try it.”

"Icky! I don't want any of that stuff," Dougy said. Well, he would have were he not a cat!

“Icky! I don’t want any of that stuff,” Dougy said. Well, he would have were he not a cat!

Dougy tried to avoid the catnip in my hand when I slowly brought it up to his nose. He appeared to be distressed more than amused, so I backed away.

In the meantime, Andy’d climbed on his favorite perch, the top of the blue carrier. I decided I’d photograph him reacting to the catnip, but he ran away from the nasty leaves.

Today is not the day I get Andy and Dougy to react to catnip for your amusement and mine, I decided. I ripped the leaves and blossoms off the stem and tossed them on the floor by the cardboard castle by the utility closet. More likely than not, Andy’ll sample a leaf or two later. Dougy…not so much.

Post 481: a new favorite toy

Andy tried to get may attention, but I’d just begun reading today’s comics online. (“Dang! Can’t the cat wait a moment?” I wondered.)

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I tried to ignore Andy a bit longer, but he knew I had something on my computer desk that he wanted.

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Yes, I had the boys’ new favorite toy! And I wasn’t letting them play with it.

Dougy tried to hop up on my computer desk from the wrong side, knocking down my keyboard and scratching me in the process. I said some words and recovered my keyboard. Dougy ran into the kitchen to hide. He knew he was temporarily the bad boy! (No real harm done, however, and I noted the incident removed one cat from the play for a few minutes more.)

But it didn’t eliminate Andy! He hopped on top of my computer and gave me “The Look.”

andy at night

“Yes, master,” I told him, and we played with the new favorite toy for several minutes. Dougy came back, too, and we had a play party.

Post 480: Andy and the travelling toy

The travelling toy was by my bed this morning when I got up. Earlier, I stumbled on it in the dark in the bathroom. Yesterday, when I took this photo of Andy, it showed up by the boys’ water fountain, in the kitchen, and my bedroom.

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Oddly enough, I rarely see either of the boys carrying it. I’m not moving it though, and I don’t believe in ghosts. It has to be — it better be — getting moved by the cats!

Post 479: My best bud is a bad boy today!

A big pile of magazines and newspapers accumulated during the five weeks of family visits. I made a 50%-60% dent in the pile since the last of my family returned home, but I still have a lot of reading to go.

Here's the pile. Yep! That's Dougy in the background, being a bad boy by walking on the table!

Here’s the pile. Yep! That’s Dougy in the background, being a bad boy by walking on the table!

I had to excuse Dougy, though. I’d put the cat toy on the table instead of up high where I usually do after the boys tire out. It seems one of the boys still had some play left in him!

Andy decided to rest in his favorite place by the front door....

Andy decided to rest in his favorite place by the front door….

I heard a thump behind me when I took Andy’s photo. This is what I found:

The toy the boys played with moments before  and my partially read TIME magazine were on the floor. Dougy was on top of the magazine, ripping it up!

The toy the boys played with moments before and my partially read TIME magazine were on the floor. Dougy was on top of the magazine, ripping it up!

“Ohhhh! Grrrr! I’ll show you, Dougy! I’m making a video about how naughty you are! Bad boy! What a bad kitty!”

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I’ve mentioned another toy the boys fixate on. It ends up all over the house. One or the other cat will carry it, taunting the other with this favorite toy. Today, one of them dropped it on the floor between their water fountain and their feeding station. Most mornings, I find it on the floor by my bed, evidence I’ve had a visitor or two in the night and didn’t know it!

This toy is out all the time. I never know where I'll find it each day or during the day. Andy and Dougy carry it around like a trophy, taunting each other with it!

This toy is out all the time. I never know where I’ll find it each day or during the day. Andy and Dougy carry it around like a trophy, taunting each other with it!

Post 478: Andy’s fine play!

Today is Andy’s day to have fun with one of the boys’ favorite toys.

Post 477: Dougy’s my best bud!

Ever since Dougy was a kitten, one thing stuck out: He adores me.

My arm is a perfect head rest for Dougy...it seems!

My arm is a perfect head rest for Dougy…it seems!

I can count on it. When Dougy stops by my computer desk to snooze, he likes to put his head on my wrist – the wrist attached to the hand that operates the mouse.

Ahem! Mind if I move my hand, Douglas?

Ahem! Mind if I move my hand, Douglas?

Of course, when Dougy was a kitten, he didn’t take up much room on my desk. Now he does. The problem is he doesn’t understand why he can’t squeeze into the same space he loved to sleep in as a kitten.

Whether it's comfortable or not, Dougy holds his ground!

Whether it’s comfortable or not, Dougy holds his ground!

Also, there are some indications Dougy thinks I’m his “Mommy”. If I don’t stop him, he tries to find the “nipple” he thinks is buried in my beard. It’s just plain creepy, but Dougy’s still my best bud!

Post 476: what happened before the camera battery crashed

Both Andy and Dougy are wound up today, wanting to play, play, play…!

Ok, I decided, we’ll play, but I’ll make a video at the same time since I rarely get them both playing together with the same toy.

(Dougy’s telling me to hurry up, incidentally, because he still wants to play! He’s a whiner, so I will pay attention or endure his fuss. Now, he’s adding some “soft claws” to his appeal. Next, full claws: Dougy doesn’t play around…when it comes to play!)

Gotta go now. Dougy’s eyes are glowing!

Post 475: “We wait…!”

Andy and Dougy have their priorities. Sorry, but this post interferes with kitty play time some days, and the boys don’t get it.

Andy waits.

Andy waits.

Andy watches and watches. Something, something might just happen, and he wants to be ready!

Dougy waits.

Dougy waits.

Dougy choses the “whiney kitten” mode, sighing, pacing, positioning himself in play zones in broad hints about what he wants and expects from me…NOW!

I better close this early, and get back to my primary purpose in life, amusing my cats! See ya!