Potluck kitteh

Freya is a Gastropod. A stomach on legs. There’s not much else in her whenever she spots even the remotest possibility of food to be had, but the burning all-consuming desire to consume whatever edibles can be grabbed, bit and swallowed. Her obsession about food is so overwhelming that, whenever she hears someone being occupied in the Kitchen of Chaos, she will drop whatever she has been doing (taking a nap, stalking Hrimnir, teaching her kitten to lose a fight) in order to dash madly over to the kitchen counter, jump on it, and steal whatever the Simian in question had been trying to prepare. She will grab it from under the knife, try to fish it out of the frying pan, pry it from between your clenched lips, open the waste bin and take out what you had just thrown in it… everything in the pursuit of food -glorious food- to be had.

Undoubtedly she must have known starvation during the time before she entered the House of Chaos and she was wandering outside without a forever home and trying to raise her kitten. Her obsessive feeding habit clearly shows that she has been in serious nutritional want. During her first days as a Denizen of the House of Chaos she even would display aggression towards any other kitty that would try and eat from the same bowl she was emptying. And the rate with which she shoveled the grub inside that weird black hole she calls “stomach” was truly astonishing. But now she knows better, and dares even to disdain the Crunchy Goodness and demand a pouch of Stinky Goodness to be opened just for her. Nevertheless she will eat whatever she can get and many is the time when our ears are delighted with the sound of a happy kitty contentedly munching away.
Or better yet: the blissful snores of a thoroughly stuffed kitty At Peace With The World And Her Bulging Stomach.

The main problem is however that she will try and steal anything edible, even if that means she has to reach out and grab it from our forks. Eating has become quite the adventure at the House of Chaos, what with that lithe feline urging us on to give her a morsel. She is wont to grab our attention with both paws, hindpaws, all of her whiskers and her tail to boot, undulating all over the place with desperate mute pleas for succour. It is real hard to concentrate on eating when there’s this splendid mime show being enacted right before your eyes. And when you are paying attention to said show, Freya is paying attention to your food. In a heart-beat she will pounce and if you are not swift enough you’ll find the kitty in your plate. And your dinner in her bottomless pit.

But if you remain steadfast and keep pushing her away she will push even harder back. Clearly she knows the Power of Kjoot and will mercilessly put it to good use. You try and push, you even pick her up and deposit her on the floor time and time again. But before you have had to chance to pick up your fork again she’s back, lying all over the place, preferably over your plate, and trying to push her way into your dinner. Or milk mug. Whatever.

Yet she doesn’t scream, yell or even moan. There’s not even the slightest whimper to be heard. All her begging and pleading is doggedly and persistently done in utter, total and complete silence. And she doesn’t do the “Pleading Paw on your Knee” either. That’s just not effective enough if you want her opinion. Oh no, she does the “Entire Body Spread Next to your Dinner Plate”. And she has the “Huge Imploring Eyes” rehearsed to perfection. It’s almost a shame that both Grumpy Man and The Mistress are immune to such pleas and will never be moved by the force of it. When you’ve had an eternally-hungry Alsatian Woofie for 11 years you tend to acquire some degree of immunity where begging is concerned. There’s little more effective than a begging Alsatian.

But Freya gives her best shot at it anyway.

All in all, she’s a potluck kitty. The day she decided to investigate our Garden of Chaos she hit the jackpot big time. First thing we did was feed her. That sort of sealed our fates really. Freya must have decided there and then that the Garden -and subsequently the House- of Chaos would be ideally suited for her continuous existence and would improve matters in the feeding department greatly. Ever since that day has she not lived through a single day in want (except when I had her neutered… she had to go into surgery empty-stomached and she did not like that one bit ! Nor did the other feline denizens who are used to the usual cornucopia of Crunchy Goodness…).

I dare to think she is happy here. It’s currently 3° Celcius outside, the sleet has just stopped, but in the House of Chaos it’s a balmy 20.5°Celcius and Freya just came in wet and cold, making a happy beeline towards my keyboard so that I can pet her.

She’s purring on my lap.

Picture below: all 6 Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos doing what they love best… shoveling the grub. And as you can see, we never did away with the woofie’s water bowl. Not with so many thirsty little throats purring around…
From left to right: Freya, Loup-Garou, Bean Sidhe, Hrimnir, Isegrim and Frankette.

potluck

It’s weekend again and this means we are dining out ! First to the Friday Ark, then to the Carnival of the Cats hosted by Nikita’s Place, before stopping by over at the Weekend Cat Blogging done by Diamond’s Lair, and finally for a nightcap at the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos which happens at the House of the (Mostly) Black Cats.

A Carious Life

Picture this.
You are a lovely ginger tabby tomkitty. You have come to live in a lovely Den, with Simians who caressed you and cuddled you and fed you the good grub. It was cozy there, and warm all the time, and full of snuggling-places and friendly hands. You were happy.
But then you were put into a box, and the box put into the Box-That-Growls and the strange movements made you sick and scared. You howled your misery out and angry voices hissed at you to be quiet. You can’t remember how long this strange journey lasted but suddenly the movements stopped, the Box-That-Growls didn’t growl anymore and your box was taken out and brought into a strange Den and you were let out. Strange smells, strange place, but your Simians acted as if they were completely at home and you reasoned that -just as  Mama Cat would bring her kitlings to a new and safer spot from time to time- the Simians must have done the same for their kitlings.
But after a few days they started putting the stuff they hang around themselves in boxes again and all got into the Box-That-Growls. The Simian kitlings were mewing but the Papa Simian said:”He’ll be fine here. He’s a hunter, he has plenty of prey and plenty of space, this is the perfect place for him to live, and when we come back next vacation he will be here for you to play with. He’ll no longer wreck our house this way. So stop sniveling !” And they went away.
And you were alone.
Outside of the Den. Outside of the warmth and the cuddles and the good grub.

The other kitty-cats didn’t like you, you are a stranger. The few Simians who remained didn’t like you either, you may carry vermin and disease, like the other feral felines. You grew hungry. You grew cold. Prey was scarce with so many feral kitty-cats around. Other prey was simply too big (ever seen a cat trying to kill a boar ? you won’t, because cats are smart enough to realize that anything with that kind of tusks is deadly) and some even hunt YOU.

You miss the cuddles. You miss the Simian hands gently stroking your pelt. You are alone and very very miserable. Even the sole Simian who insists on feeding the Carious Tribes will not cuddle you because he knows that you are full with vermin and possibly carrying a disease. That Simian tries to give more than food, he also gives medication. He tries to give the females special medication that stops them from having more kittens. He is not liked by the other few resident Simians of that Vacation Village because he keeps the feral population alive. But he insists he loves animals and even though the Animal Welfare Society has spat him out like the human-hating stubborn recluse he is, he goes on with his meager means and manages to drag the Carious Tribes through the long hard winter every year again. But you will get no cuddles from him.

Then there is the Abode of Plenty. The other kitty-cats have whispered amongst themselves that when one Box-That-Growls stands in front of it you may sometimes expect some food to be thrown outside. But when there are 2 of those strange things then the Good Life starts. Because 2 Simians that come in it are always calling them with food in their hands and generously throw so much at you that your belly is soon bursting and you are sated. They also try to approach you, the ferals whisper with awed voices, but the feral felines don’t trust that. They keep their distance. It is safer that way. Too many Simians have seemed friendly, only to attack you when you were within their reach. No, stay away from the dangers…

But you, you know what that means. You remember the snugglings and the cuddles and the play. And so you approach the Abode of Plenty, sit at the entrance of that Den, and meow your heart out: “Let me in !! Feed me !! Stroke my back and make me happy again !!!” Food is suddenly offered, and OH GLORIOUS a hand gently strokes your back. You wallow in that most pleasant of sensations and you purr your little heart out. But they will not let you in, because they know you are teeming with vermin and you may carry the disease that has eliminated the Carious Tribes so many times before. After a few days they go away again, but not before stuffing your tummy with as much good grub as they can. They come and they go. But they always carry food and they always will greet you with soft voices and gentle hands.

So, every time these 2 Simians are there again, you will faithfully lie down at the entrance of their Den and wait patiently for a bit of food and a bit of friendship to come your way. Because it is the only way you know now. It is all you’ve got.

This is the story of Brass Balls, as far as The Mistress can guess what happened to him. The most frank of all feral members of the Carious Tribes, and possibly their youngest member because he showed up for the first time at the end of last Summer. He exhibits the behaviour of a cat who has known humans all of his short life, and who has possibly been thrown out of his home and his family. Clearly he misses his Simians and clearly he is distraught with having to fend for himself. But he is learning fast and has made his way already into the Carious Tribes. He teamed up with One-Eye (possibly is a member of her Grey Tribe now) and when we were at the Abode of Plenty again last week they both showed up in order to receive their due share of what we brought with us.
We must leave them time and time again, but every time we have to go back home to the House of Chaos we first make sure that they get as much calories as we can give them. Because One-Eye is so lovely.
Because Brass Balls is so lovable.

Picture below: Oh how happy Brass Balls is… nom AND a cuddle
the feral Brass Balls is happy
Rarely has the elusive One-Eye ventured this close. But the lure of food…
the feral One-Eye coming REAL close

Ow… weekend already ? Gee, almost gone too. My my. Better hurry over to the Friday Ark before it’s sailed away. And when you’re about it, stop by the Carnival of the Cats hosted by Artsy Catsy, Weekend Cat Blogging done by Cats in Maryland, and the Bad Kitty Festival of Chaos held over at Mind of Mog.

PS: it started snowing today. And the kitties of the House of Chaos go.. NOT YAY !!! For some reason it eludes the Simians that the Felines abhor the white wet cold stuff…

Motherly love

To watch Freya busying herself with her kitten is to watch Motherly Love in action. With little Isegrim she is so patient, so enduring, so endlessly concerned, it is simply a joy to behold. Until Isegrim is big and strong enough to fend for himself will she be his provider, his protector, his… mother.

She is the warm cushion he snuggles against when he is drowsy. She is the seemingly endless fountain of that sweet-tasting nourishing milk only mothers can provide. She is the ever-ready playmate who is teaching him all the hunting skills and self-defense techniques he will need for the rest of his life. She protects him against strange tomcats who have not-so-honourable designs with that nubile female who is so obviously fertile but has this cute kitten that is him not sired by them standing in the way. She is the eternal patient parent who will groom him with tender care and infinite love.
Well… that’s the theory.

In reality that endless fountain of free food is rapidly drying up, now that Freya is weaning Isegrim. And her patience with that rambunctious son of hers rapidly vanishes when he keeps insisting on suckling with those fine needle-sharp teeth of his. She also makes clear that she does need her sleep and when her wayward son does keep on trying to play with her he will know soon her wrath. With swift and well-aimed punishment to follow.

She is teaching him to hunt and fight all right, but the tender motherly love can not be spotted even remotely in the vicinity whenever she is busy doing so. Freya clearly is a fervent adherent of the School of Tough Love. Isegrim just has to prove that kittens are made of über-elastic materials and do bounce when thrown up and coming down. I get the picture that she is teaching him to accept loss with dignity, and to expect attack at unexpected times and in unexpected places. Even from the ones you love and trust.

But the protecting bit Freya has got down to pat, that I must admit. Whenever Bean Sidhe ambles over with a hopeful expression on that big face of his, all of her defenses come up in full kitten-protection mode. It does not matter that this big softy has been neutered, or that he is the most lazy feline ever found, and it certainly does not matter that all he has in mind is some innocent and fun playing. What matters is size, and that he has in outrageous abundance. So, you can observe the interesting scene of a heart-broken white-and-orange teddy-bear forlornly staring at this cute little dark-grey fluff-ball of a kitten, whilst a grey ghost of a mother hoovers protectively nearby, with the promise of murder in her eyes should said giant try to move even one hair’s width closer to her precious offspring.

This special treatment, however, is wont to pass soon. With little Isegrim growing real fast his mother will have to wean him of more than just suckling. In wild nature she would soon be pregnant again and chase her son away with angry hisses and menacing claws in order to make place for the newcomer(s). But here in the House of Chaos he will not be expelled and banned from the premises. No. Freya will be spayed soon, so a new litter will never ensue. And Isegrim too, when he’s old enough, will be relieved of a certain hormones factory. Mother and son will both be “neutral” and may live together forever in relative peace from then on.

Yet instinct cannot be easily denied. It is not uncommon for Freya already to leave her son more and more to fend for his own. He must become independent for his own good and learn not to hide behind his mother’s skirts forever. And besides, after so many busy months of taking care of her offspring, Freya is due for some rest and leisure time of her own. She is barely adult herself you know, and the way she plays with Hrimnir clearly shows that this little mother has not forgetten how to be a child herself !

Picture below: a picture of happy times indeed. Could we all be so care-free…

Izzy nursing

The Mistress and Grumpy Man are away for a well-deserved vacation over at the Abode of Plenty where the Strong Woman of Flanders lives and internet-time is precious there. Therefore we hope you won’t be angry when we only direct direct you towards The Friday Ark, but there you will find who is hosting the Carnival of the Cats, Weekend Cat Blogging and the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos this weekend !!

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Remember remember the 1st of November

It’s All Hallows today, or rather the original Holiday… Samhain. The Mistress and Grumpy Man have celebrated Samhain the way any self-respecting kitty would do… we went to bed early. That glorious luxurious big Nest with the flannel sheets and the huge eiderdown with real feathers. We just snuggled down, with a few of our feline babies, and snuggled and read and snuggled and slept. No, we aren’t into Halloween. We are not really interested in commercially inflated festivities, and physically no longer able to do “haunted walkabouts” or “witch-mazes”. We don’t have children of the Simian kind who would need some guidance in trick-and-treating (besides, that is not really done here in Belgium), and in our street live only immigrants who are mostly Muslim and certainly not interested in either a Christian Holiday or a Heathen Holiday. No reason at all to celebrate Halloween.

But we do remember our beloved ones who have gone over The Rainbow Bridge. We do have fond memories of our furred friends and now is the time to remember… Now is the time to open up our memories and let them walk once more in front of our eyes…

Grumpy Man fondly remembers Sheba. A lovely tabby she was, and even in her old age of 16 quite capable to climb on a roof fast when a woofie she didn’t know visited her house.
That woofie was Critter, the first dog of The Mistress. Critter was a huge but extremely gently German Shepherd and lived to a nice 11,5 years. We sorely miss her enormous eternal appetite, her rather boisterous way of greeting people, and the endearing “wwrrrooof” she would greet us with.
Critter was the Best Friend Forever of Zorro, the Grumpy Cat. Zorro passed away two months ago. Despite the fact that he was not lovable at all we do miss him. The absence of his presence is felt, yet he is not really mourned by either his brother or the other Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos. After all, he was Trouble.
Grumpy Man also remembers Twiggy, who was his uncle’s dog. A feisty little mix she was, black with a bit of white, floppy ears… and a hell of an attitude.  Where she walked in other woofies would cower and hide away. Cats made a detour around their house. She wasn’t mean really, she was just… dominant.

And next we go back further in time and think of other furry companions who have graced our lives with their friendship and love but who are no longer here… we remember Misj Masj, although she didn’t stay long with us. We remember Rataplan Frankenstein The Mobile Disaster Area, Horsehunter, Master Barfer, Walking Cesspit And Bloody Awkward Nuisance On Paws who had an unfortunate and fatal encounter with Mister Electricity Outlet before his 3rd birthday. And then we come to Ragnar and Rabauw, who lived with The Mistress in her former house, The Moist Shambles. Likewise there have been Rhuarhir and Rhuarhuss – who was murdered by foul geese- and poor little Bar-Choc. These were the first feline companions of The Mistress when she left her parental homes.

The Strong Woman of Flanders has more furry friends to miss and fondly remember… the woofies Fenris, Spock, Imboua, Thor, Kaffer, Cora, Sandy, Wodanowitch… and the kitties Pinoccio, Poesie, Loup-Garou the First, and way way long way ago Monsieur Balthasar, and before them other dogs and cats I don’t remember the names from.

Each and every one of these 4-footers have enriched our lives, have given us the best of themselves, and have brought warmth to our homes. They have shown us that Simians and Felines and Canines can live together in peace and harmony, and that they can understand each other well enough to develop strong and lasting friendships. We sleep together, we eat together, we spend a lot of time together. And when their short lives have reached the end they teach us compassion, gentle care, and above all to have faith that one day we will all be reunited in that Big Playground in the Sky.

Picture below: Who could forget the indomitable Rataplan Frankenstein The Mobile Disaster Area, Horsehunter, Master Barfer, Walking Cesspit And Bloody Awkward Nuisance On Paws ?

Rataplan

And so we hail our remembered friends with a salute of horns…

hornblowers

Oof, weekend again ? That means visiting our furriends over at the Friday Ark, the Carnival of the Cats hosted this Sunday by Chey’s Place, Weekend Cat Blogging done by Mind of Mog, and the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos happening at Kashim @ the BKCFoC home.

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