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Posts Tagged ‘kitties’

In Memorium

February 25th, 2011 No comments

Vic holds up Hobbes for his very first photo. Sometime in 1995.

We actually went to the shelter for an entirely different cat. We’d more or less decided on one we wanted to adopt when I noticed the Maine Coon kitten sitting in a nearby cage. Vic had read about how wonderful Maine Coons were supposed to be; the article had referred to them as “the Gentle Giants.” I said, “what about that one?” Vic was instantly smitten, and very soon Macbeth (really? Macbeth?)–renamed Hobbes–came home to stay.

Big kitten.

At five months of age or thereabouts, Hobbes was already as big as our other cats. And he was still growing into his body. He was remarkably clumsy, failing to land his jumps and even tumbling off the edge of the bed for no apparent reason.

Streaky the Supercat.

He got better, though.

The spray bottle was no deterrent.

The boy was always trouble. He took a dim view of (our) sleeping in on weekends. For a time, he had a thing for bread; he once stole an entire loaf off the kitchen counter, dragged it down the hallway and squashed it. Another time, he chewed up a roll of toilet paper and made himself a nest of the remains. And once he was tall enough to grab onto door handles, you had to lock a room to keep him out. We always had to warn visitors to be careful when using our bathroom.


It was not without just cause that among his many nicknames was “El Vomito.” Long hair = many hairballs = rude awakenings at 2:30 am.

Despite the photo, he was never any good at braiding hair.

We called him a “dog in a cat suit.” That seems to be a thing with Maine Coons: they love people. They come to the door to greet guests. And they will sit on the lap of whomever is the least comfortable with them.

Excuse me, Tonya, but you have a growth on your neck.

Hobbes especially liked the ladies. We could never really be sure why, but he seemed especially fond of the female friend who was his frequent catsitter. He goosed her on at least one occasion.

To date, we’ve had four cats, and of them Hobbes was the one to whom we’ve been closest. Which actually wasn’t surprising, since he wanted to be wherever we were, whether we wanted him there or not. He was fifteen pounds of unconditional snuggle.

Admittedly, I would have preferred it if he hadn’t always insisted on sleeping between Vic and myself. But it was pretty hard to say no. In part, this was because it was so nice to feel that warm, purring lump in the small of your back. It was also because he never would have let us rest otherwise.

Hobbes senses something, a presence he's not felt since--

Being the size of a small dog–or, when he was jumping onto your stomach in the middle of the the night, a large bowling ball–he was easy to dress up.

Another in a long series of indignities.

He didn’t get along quite so well with our other cats, though the animosity was mostly directed at him. For a time we had a triangle of dominance: Hobbes bossed around Tigger, who bullied Cupid, who in turn smacked around Hobbes whenever he tried to get “frisky.”

Laundry Day just got longer.

However, things were different with our most recent cat, Boomer. I don’t know, maybe it was the wide age gap, or maybe it was because Boomer didn’t know any better. But it was not at all an infrequent occurrence to find the two of them huddled up.

Our final photo of Hobbes. February, 2011.

Hobbes had been sick for the past couple of years. He had the kidney problems so often associated with older cats. He lost a lot of weight, dropping from nearly sixteen pounds to a mere nine by the end. We had to do a lot of work encouraging him to eat, but he took it pretty well.

He was part of our life–a very big, very lovable part–for more than fifteen years. As hard as it’s been to let go of him, we wouldn’t have traded our time with him for anything. The other day, Vic commented about the people who had left “Macbeth” at the Humane Society. She said that they missed out on the greatest cat ever.

Goodbye, Hobbes. We love you so much. Good kitty.

Categories: General Tags: ,

Furry Christmas!

December 24th, 2009 No comments

This is Boomer’s first Christmas, and she has been enjoying the artificial tree a little too much. She figured out that she could climb up the center, spiraling around the pole. The only thing that’s stopped her from being a tree-topper is that the uppermost section is a single piece.

It was cute the first time, not so much the fiftieth time. At this point, she’s practically living inside the Christmas tree. We’ve kinda given up trying to shag her out of there. While most of the ornaments are still hanging, some of them have migrated and the tree is looking bare in spots.

Something similar happened the first year we had Hobbes, except that he was too heavy and actually broke off the branches of that tree. He also destoyed a lot of glass ornaments. That year we tore the tree down as soon as Christmas was over, and it’s looking like the same will happen this time as well.

Hopefully by next December Boomer will be a little less Extreme! Kitten!

Happy holidays to you, my dozen of readers! I hope that you will have many gifts and (if you’re into that sort of thing) a more-or-less intact Christmas tree!

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Number Of Days It Took Boomer To Climb Into The Christmas Tree

December 14th, 2009 No comments


It was cute the first time.

Now she won’t stop.

Christmas is still eleven days away.

Here endeth the tale.

Categories: Weird Tags: , ,

Sheer Pandering

March 30th, 2009 No comments

And now…kitty photos!

Categories: General Tags: ,


March 12th, 2009 No comments
New Kitty emerges from the carrier for the first time.

New Kitty emerges from the carrier for the first time.

So far, so good. Old Kitty and New Kitty may not be best buds yet, but so far there’s been a lot less hissing than Vic and I feared. We had been concerned because Hobbes has never been Old Kitty before, but he seems to be settling in to the new normal. Still, the first overnight will be the real test, I think.

Hobbes adopts a vulture stance as he sniffs the New Kitty.

Hobbes adopts a vulture stance as he sniffs New Kitty.

As for naming the newest member of the family, we seem to have settled on Boomer. Yes, it’s a Galactica callback, but oddly enough it was Vic’s suggestion. We tossed around a bunch of ideas–Zippy, Streaky, Brangelina–but Boomer kept floating to the top. 

When Hairy met Sally.

When Hairy met Sally.

One of the things we realized a bit late was that our new cat bears an uncomfortable resemblence to our old girl, Cupid, albeit brown instead of grey. We’d intended to avoid choosing a kitty that looked too much like our late and still lamented friends, but somehow managed to do it anyway. Must’ve been the lighting at PetSmart.

On the other hand, it made “Boomer” that much more appropriate, as her Cylon namesake is one of many nearly-identical models. So, Boomer it is.

"There are many copies. And they have a plan."

"There are many copies. And they have a plan."

And, as I sit here in the basement blogging, I can hear Boomer booming around the living room.

Already a lap cat.

Already a lap cat.

So, Boomer? How are you liking the new home?


Hmm. I’ll pretend I didn’t see that.

Categories: General Tags:

Here Kitty, Kitty

March 12th, 2009 No comments

We are getting a new kitty today. We’re excited, but concerned that it’s all going to come to tears, especially after Hobbes meets his new best friend.

And we still haven’t settled on what to name our new family member. We had dozens of potential boy names, but this is a girl kitty. We tend to go the pop-culture route in naming pets, and what I’m finding is that while television provides plenty of goofy, cat-appropriate male monikers (“Sheldon” was one of our top choices), female characters tend to have bland, girly names.

Photos, and perhaps even a name, later tonight!

Categories: General Tags:

In Memorium

October 27th, 2008 No comments

Tiny cat explores big, new world. Our first photo of Tigger. Early 1993.

Soon after we got our first cat, Cupid, we began to feel guilty. It was heartbreaking to leave for work in the morning and know that she’d be alone all day, and it did not help that she always came to the apartment window to watch us go. It was time, we felt, that Cupid had a playmate.

When we went to the local humane society, we noticed a cute, tortoise-shell kitty hanging near the back of the cage. She seemed so tiny and timid, and we were afraid that she would be constantly overlooked in comparison to her more gregarious cellmates. And so we decided to bring her home with us.

Face to face.

Despite her looking nothing like her namesake, we dubbed our new family member Tigger. Partially, this was because we considered her “bouncy,” and partially it was because we were woefully uninspired when choosing cat names back then.

To our dismay, Cupid did not like Tigger AT ALL. She’d walk up to the new kitten and bop her on the noggin with a paw. These early encounters set the two on a path of mild antagonism over the years, though it was later Tigger being the bully.

Tig’s first Christmas.

One day, Tiggy began to exhibit some bizarre behavior. She sat at the window, making a chattering sound with her mouth strangely unhinged. Vic was convinced she was having a seizure, but it turned out to be some manner of hunting instinct brought on by the presence of the birds outside.

Tig’s eating habits were equally odd. It seemed that no food was beyond consideration, and she soon developed a fondness for broccoli. She frequently begged for treats, and also enjoyed the ice chips which fell from the freezer compartment, batting them around the tiled kitchen floor.

Kitten in the sink.

Once we moved to our first house, we discovered that Tig was fiercely territorial. If another cat came near the place, she’d throw herself against the window screens in a rage. It was pretty disconcerting in the middle of the night.

Somehow, she managed to curb this when our third cat, Hobbes, entered our lives a couple of years later. The three had a complicated relationship: Hobbes dominated Tigger, Tigger dominated Cupid, yet Cupid took no shit from Hobbes.

Hobbes finds Tiggy to be a comfy pillow.

Tig was not an especially friendly cat. If she did come to sit on your lap, it was a fairly momentous occasion. She did, however, have the loudest purr we’ve ever heard, and all it took was a stroke or two to rev up her motor. Even in the middle of the night, it was easy to identify when Tig walked into a room.

While we’ve always made frequent use of nicknames when referring to our cats, Tigger accumulated the largest collection, including Tig, Tiggy, Wigger, Wig, Wigs, Wiggy, Wigster and The Purrmeister.

Tiggy wears a wiggy.

Sadly, Tigger had more than her share of health problems. She developed some mysterious lumps which ultimately turned out to be allergy based.

More frightening was the evening back in December 2003 when Vic called to tell me that Tig was having serious issues, breathing heavily and in obvious distress. We rushed her to the emergency vet and found that she had cardiomyopathy.

We were sad to be told that she probably only had six months to live. Even though she’d never been the friendliest cat–we’d gotten Hobbes in part because Tig WAS so standoffish–we realized in that moment how much she meant to us.

“I has a box for sitn.”

Yet Tig surprised everyone by beating the odds, ultimately living more than four years beyond that initial, grim estimate. She had to take more daily pills than the two of us combined, but she proved to be a strong kitty. And she was pretty good about the twice-daily pilling sessions, even if she did occasionally try to hide out atop the kitchen cabinets.

“They’ll never see me up here.”

Unlike the situation when Cupid died last year, we had plenty of warning that things were turning for the worse. We tried everything reasonable that we could to keep her with us, but it became clear this weekend that she was fading fast.

We’d hoped to wait until this morning to have our vet make a home visit, but Tig couldn’t wait that long. And unfortunately, she began to die even as the emergency vets were trying to insert the catheter. Our final moments with her were hasty and traumatic. It wasn’t at all what we’d wanted.

And yet, we have to look at it this way: unlike Cupid, she spent her last days at home with us. And while it’ll never be enough time, we did at least have plenty of opportunity to sit with her while she was alert, and to let her know how much we loved her.

The last picture we took. March, 2008.

Tigger was a part of our family for more than 15 years, nearly five years more than we thought we’d have together. She never quite escaped being the shy kitty at the back of the cage, but we never stopped caring for her.

Goodbye, Tiggy.

Categories: General Tags: ,

Hang On Tiggy

October 22nd, 2008 No comments

A little over a year ago we lost our first cat, Cupid. Now our second cat, Tigger, appears to be having health problems.

It’s unfortunately nothing new for her; she’s been living on borrowed time ever since we discovered that she had a bad ticker back in December 2003. She’s been getting up to seven pills daily and has far outlived her original six-month prognosis. Tiggy’s had a good run; she’s more than fifteen years old.

Really, her current condition is hard to pin down. For the past week or so we’ve noticed that she’s been lethargic and lacking appetite. Other than that, she’s had no outward signs of illness.

We took her to the vet yesterday for a battery of tests, and everything turned out negative. That’s not really a good thing, though, since it likely means that it’s something not easily treatable. She’s a bit anemic and a bit dehydrated, and she’s lost about a pound.

The doctor suspects cancer, but the only way to tell that would be additional tests that we’d rather not put her through. It’s not as if they could really do anything for her given her age and pre-existing health conditions.

So, for now, we watch and wait and hope, though we’ve resigned ourselves to the likelihood that she may not be with us much longer. Still, she’s previously proven to be much more resilient than anyone believed. In any case, she doesn’t seem to have any obvious distress, and at least she’s at home where she can be comfortable and loved.

Categories: General Tags:

Box Of Delights

August 29th, 2007 No comments

No time for blogging this week, so instead you get kittens playing with a box:

Categories: General Tags:

More Random Access

March 7th, 2005 No comments

Haven’t had much time to post lately, as last week was fairly hectic. First, there was the Meeting from Hell: a two-and-a-half day Strategic Planning Session for the WILL stations. As meetings go, it was actually productive and worthwhile, but two-and-a-half days of anything is too much.

Thankfully, I got out of the final day because it was time for Vicky’s annual heart check-up. Even more thankfully, everything looked good under the hood and the clock has been reset for another year!

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending about every waking moment not at work painting nuns. No, it’s not what you’re thinking, though come to think of it, I don’t know what you’re thinking. Rather, I’ve been painting my Sisters of Battle miniatures for the Warhammer 40K game. I’ve had these flying nuns for about five years now, and they’ve been half(-assed) painted for an embarrassingly long time. I finally decided that enough was enough, and that by my next Warhammer gaming weekend, I would field a fully-painted army of armor-plated, ass-kicking nuns.

My efforts have been hampered by two things: 1) I suck at painting (impatience and shaky hands), and 2) my ability to be diverted by side projects. For instance, I took entirely too much time converting a non-Games Workshop miniature of Lady Galadriel from Lord of the Rings into an Imperial Priestess. However, I’ve been making great progress, and all I have left to complete are about 15 backpacks.

Here are photos of my Canoness, complete with customized backpack made from an robot action figure’s foot and a flame made of Sculpey.

More photos once I’m done! May it be soon!

Still testing out the new digital camera, which naturally means more cat photos. Here are some images (suitable for the desktop) of Hobbes.

And here’s one of Vicky with Cupid and Hobbes.

WILL-TV’s spring pledge drive started last Friday, and as of this morning we were at $29,675. Wish us luck!

Categories: General Tags: ,