bad boy

Today, Andy pinned Dougy down and bit him till Dougy let out a serious yelp. This is the second time this week. Though the boys usually play well together, this occurrence is troublesome. I hope it isn’t a change in their relationship. I know cats work out territorial differences. The boys do this all day long every day long, just not so noisily or with any pain inflicted.

The other day, the boys had their first really confrontational disagreement, which I broke up with a loud hand clap after Andy tore into Dougy till he yelped in pain. They stopped and stared at me. I clapped one more time, and they scattered in opposite directions. They played well together the rest of the day.

I hope these incidents are products of enthusiasm, not something dark. I’d hate it if they stopped being best buddies, if only because they are brothers. In the meantime, I probably need to wear off that energy by playing more with my cats.

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seasonal miscellany

The coming of warm weather doesn’t appeal to me. I have difficulty with heat, perhaps a side effect of the Wegener’s granulomatosis, this disease I have that affects the small and medium size blood vessels. The how and why don’t make much difference: I hate heat!

The coming of warm weather has salubrious results if you are a member of the plant kingdom, however. This is the iris season where I live. We just went through the flowering crab apple (and other apple varieties) season a couple weeks ago. A bit earlier than that, to my delight, the rhubarb I planted last year made a small appearance. I think I planted eight plants, of which only two came up. From the two, I might yet get some rhubarb from the relatively larger one.

There it is! My little rhubarb! Actually, my little big one.

I’ve planted a couple of heirloom tomatoes, a Brandywine and another the name of which escapes me. Somewhere around the end of August, I should start to have too many tomatoes to deal with. The varieties I chose both are of the beefsteak style: one slice’ll do you because one slice covers the hamburger, BLT sandwich, whatever you have it on.

In past, when I had more consumers of tomatoes available, I planted up to eight plants. I’d make a delicious tomato plate with vinegrette and herb dressing (nasturtium, marigold petal, several varieties of basel, and two varieties of mint). Whew! That was garden eating!

Now, for the latest cat news!

Have I mentioned Louie can be willful and just plain obnoxious when he’s in a mood? My brother and my Seattle sister both have cats. They proclaimed Louie a sweet cat, but I testify to this: a sweet cat is still a cat! That’s my breakfast, my coffee, my juice, my chair. Yeah, like that!

The warming weather makes Louie, my ginger cat, restless to get outside and be a cat. This goes against my will for him. I live too close to busy roads to just turn him out. When Louie looked out the back door and found a visitor, keeping him in became harder yet. I call this familiar neighborhood cat “J. Doe”. Louie called it several names of his own before it fled, stage right. After this visit, Louie became much, much more interested in getting out on his own.

Even when the late spring snow came, and I let Louie experience wet paws, his wishes were delayed, not ended. J. Doe would have to wait for another day.

Louie’s behavior outside is reasonably good. I walk alongside or behind him. If you’ve ever “walked” a cat, you know they piddle around much more than most dogs. Sniff, rub, roll around in the loose dirt, just sit there, dig a potty hole (I approve, sort of- less litterbox waste to deal with, but an outside booby trap for an unsuspecting gardener.). When I’m ready to go in, usually when Louie starts to wander farther than I want to carry a 20 lb. (9kg) cat, I pick him up and take him back home. Yeah, he gets pissy about it, whining, threatening, ears folded back.

“Save it for your little cat friends, Louie.” Which, in this last photo, he demonstrates he did.