Monday, April 28, 2008


Merlin has a New Thing.

When I do not dispense with the cuddles in a timely fashion (like, say, 'cause I'm ASLEEP), he pokes me in the eye. Repeatedly.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I may or may not have mentioned the kittens' Number One Fan (outside of their nuclear family, of course). Her name is Justine and she's currently in first grade.

First, the setting: our townhouse is set a couple feet off the ground, so steps to the front door, that kind of thing. We also have floor-to-almost-ceiling windows in every room (before you think we're overly posh, let me tell you that the windows are also very Dry Rotted and our landlord can't afford to replace them, so we are currently looking into ways to keep the outside out, so to speak. Does anyone know if there's a kind of caulk or caulk-like substance that will work on windowsills?).

Our kitchen window is on the communal yard side of our house, which means that the kits can -- without having to jump to a windowsill -- watch all sorts of kids playing. And vice versa.

So when we got the kittens last year (already? Wow.) and I'd set up a little corral-fence in the kitchen right next to the window, a certain five-year-old (at the time) girl got to watch the kittens grow up from tiny puffballs to the sleek cats they are now. We couldn't bring them outside until they'd had their shots, however, and the one time we managed to get the cats out before it got too cold, she was at a friend's house. And modern adult/child neighbor relations being what they are, we couldn't very well invite her inside. So she made a habit of coming to our kitchen window after school every day. She kept a small stick near the window and would lightly scratch at the screen and the cats would come running and flirt shamelessly with her. (Molly especially would Pose Like A Supermodel at her. I have no idea where she got that from.) She'd put her hands against the screen and the cats would rub up against her hands. Cue the violins.

Until this past Sunday. We took the cats out, and Justine was home! She got to pat them silly and was the giggliest, happiest little girl in the world. Especially since the cats recognized her scent and were incredibly friendly with her. She drew us a picture of herself at school (everyone: awwww) and has been stopping by the window for a chat/play with the cats every day. Yesterday, her mom let her come inside for a visit. Mom can see into our kitchen from her front step (where she was sitting, watching her older son play catch), so every once in a while Justine would stand in the window and tell her mom she wasn't coming home ever.

Plus, she wore the cats out pretty good. She even got Molly to chase her up and down the hallway -- that cat hardly ever wears out. We managed to get Kermit out of bed for a midnight (for him) snack.

Kids are such fun.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Spring!

We took the cats out on leashes two days ago ... I wrestled Merlin and Miri into their harnesses, handed them off to Husband and Brother-in-law, respectively, then set to work on Molly, who was being A Challenge (suffice it to say that when the time comes to put a screaming toddler into a snowsuit, it will Not Be A Problem. Toddlers don't have 16 claws.). As soon as Molly and I stepped outside, Miri saw the open door and dragged poor Jonathan back inside (all, what, 8? pounds of her), saying She Will Not Go. She spent the rest of the time watching from the kitchen window. All of our windows are floor-to-ceiling and it didn't take Merlin too long to find out that if he stood on the air-conditioning unit, he could be nose-to-nose with Miri. All 3 of them hung out by the window for a while until Interesting Smells called the outdoor cats away.

Merlin did especially well outside and it didn't take him long at all before his tail was up and he was swaggering around like he owned the neighborhood. Odd thing: he loved rolling in the grass, dirt, sidewalk, whatever, and got his leash good and thoroughly wound around himself until he couldn't move anymore. It reminded me of Scratchy, who used to head straight for the biggest patch of dirt in our backyard in Santa Fe and roll around until his normally pristine white fur was the shade of a well-groomed Irish Setter. Fortunately for Merlin, he has sisters to help him out in getting clean so he wasn't subjected to the post-walk bath that became a regular with Scratchy.

Molly started to like the outdoors as well, following everywhere Merlin went (after allowing for a suitable time lapse to make sure the bushes Didn't Kill Him) and doing pretty much everything he did -- except for the rolling part. That's entirely too dirty for the little MollyDolly (but would've been right up Miri's alley, were she to have been there).