My secret weapon

I really don’t understand these simians. You cuddle up with them, undergo the many pettings and scritches that are your just due, you settle in for a nice and quiet session of purrfect bliss… The Mistress’ nimble small appendages start gently massaging your neck… and then she calls over Grumpy Man and he starts plucking at your fur !!!

Now, I know all about grooming. I can confidently state that I’m kind of an expert in this department. After all, I’m 3 years already. Given the fact that it’s not as if I am under-endowed in the fur-department – me being a proud specimen of the Maine Coon persuasion and all – and despite a few burn spots that are healing nicely thankyouohsoverymuchfornotasking, I do cut a dashing figure if I may say so. My raspy tongue has been put to good use ever since Mama Katischka taught me how to do so, even if I hadn’t been that good a student in my younger days so The Mistress had to maim my beautiful bushy-tail and luscious belly-fur by cutting out matted tufts, but I do know how to deal with loose hair and frankly, when you got strange squiggly lumps that won’t budge, well, that’s exactly what claws were invented for. But simians have their uses.

It’s just that their appendages are blunt and lack the finesse and precision of a well-honed claw-tip. So, picture the scene: there’s poor little me, having a few (A few ??? He had 15 of ’em !!! /The Mistress) little lumps around my neck and throat -did I mention that that horrible chafing collar has maimed my glorious mane ?- and she just freaked out and made Grumpy Man hurt me. Whatever he plucked from my poor hurting neck -along with most of my pelt for sure- was thrown into the almost always empty huge water bowl and then they dumped lots of water on it. “Tick-Magnet” they call me now. Harumpf ! Besides, I can’t count. I’m a cat, I don’t need to.

And hence The Mistress has developed this unwanted and uncalled-for new habit of picking up my august being, dumping me on a handy surface high enough so she wouldn’t need to bend over, and searching me all over. I mean, the humiliation ! Not a single private spot is sacred ! She’s crazy ! And when she does find something, despite my furious protests and vigourous wiggling, she calls over her lumbering henchman and makes him pluck at me again. I tell you, it’s that they provide me with edible grub and adequate scritches or this House of Chaos would have seen the last of my majestic backside long ago. But… I would miss the jumpy toy. And the catnip banana. And the Red Dot. And the radiator which inlet/outlet is so conveniently spaced just so, right above the floor, that an enterprising and warmth-loving kitty just needs to wrap himself around it and… oh, well, you get the drift.

But now I have had an epif… epipfy… revelation.

The last time The Mistress picked me up and dumped me on the small fridge I accidently let go of some air. Little did I know that simians, usually enormously underdeveloped in the olifactory department, are actually quite sensitive to one specific type of smell. The type that -aha !- comes out of your backside. I do admit that this time it did have a rather unique bouquet: maybe a bit heavy on the sulfur, but nicely complex and satisfyingly dense molecule-wise. In any case The Mistress’ reaction was priceless, I still treasure it in the deep folds of my heart, just makes me warm and tingly all over and such whenever I think of it: she immediately let go of me so I jumped away and from a safe distance comfortabely observed at leisure her gagging and sputtering and startled exclamations. What a great secret weapon a well-placed fart makes.

Yours truly,
Chateau Beau of Purrpuss, Malodourous Magnificence

Picture below: my selfie. You like ?


I suppose I should mention my buddies over at The Friday Ark. They’re all right. Go say hello for me.


Goodbye old friend

There’s an empty place in the House of Chaos, a Loup-Garou shaped place. Our eldest feline denizen, who has been residing here for 15,5 years, has passed away in the night of 26 to 27 October 2013.

It wasn’t unexpected. Any cat who regularly goes outdoors and faces the dangers en perils thereof doesn’t have the life-expectancy of your average indoor-kitty which can go up to 30 revolutions around the Sun. Yet the Man In White has noticed in the recent past that our senior kitizen has a rather healthy ticker and adequate bellows working inside of him so we weren’t too worried about his imminent demise. Until October 19th that was.

On that day he had his first seizure.

Now, we have had instances in the past year or two when our Lou-Lou would crash into the House of Chaos in real big panic, screaming at the top of his aforementioned still healthy lungs, and panting like crazy. Immediate trips to the MIW resolved in nothing more than “he must have been spooked real hard by something” and some tranquillizers. His tiny heart fluttering like mad, the poor kitty hyperventilating… all because he’s been beaten by a bigger neighbourhood housetiger or a similar scary occurrence. Poor Lou. Growing older wasn’t easy, was it ?

Likewise the deteriorating state of his dentistry did cause the poor dearheart some concerns as he was no longer capable of chewing or biting his way out of a prickly problem, which was how we discovered claw marks on his… tonsils. You read it: way back in his throat he sported an impressive collection of claw marks. And subsequently he had come home in the throes of a panic attack which caused us to race to the MIW again, and of course the marks had gotten inflamed and medicine had to be administered. He must have been in a fight, thinking to bite his opponent’s paw real good an’ hard, and had forgotten his lack of tools to do the biting with. A situation which, when his at that point really happy opponent realized it, quickly turned nasty. Yet he was coping. The good news as far as he was concerned was that with his lack of teeth The Mistress was obliged to dish out the Stinky Goodness for him – much to the chagrin, annoyance and right-out jealousy of the other feline denizens of course !

But yes, he was getting older and the signs were there. He couldn’t jump as well as he used to anymore, having given up to scale the kitchen tops in one go after a few painful missed jumps and now resorting to props like kitchen chairs in order to reach the coveted heights. He could start to walk one direction, stand still suddenly and seeming to reflect on something, then go into another direction as if he had forgotten his original purpose. He could walk over to the food bowl which I had just filled with his special kibbles and then sit there staring at the food as if he had forgotten the use of it (when I would point out to him that it was food by rubbing a piece of it into his nose it would suddenly dawn upon him what to do next and he started to tuck in). We also noticed that Loup-Garou had been getting shockingly thin lately, despite his still vigorous appetite, normal thirst and feisty appearance. His grooming had to be assisted with by the use of brush and nail-clipper. But despite all that he would also still take a walk outside, checking out the latest news, terrorizing the neighbourhood birds and bugs, taking a leak. The dump however was since recently utterly reserved for the litterbox, which has become a permanent fixture near the cat-flap in Grumpy Man’s Den of Chaos ever since we have welcomed the two Coonies in our midst who are still unused to -and still refusing to accept- the concept of the Great Outdoors as the Great Litterbox.

Until that fateful Saturday afternoon when everything suddenly changed. Loup-Garou was lying sleepily on one of the couches when he suddenly sprang down to the floor, circled a few times whilst batting with his right paw against the right side of his face, started panting, laid down on the floor, panted real hard with lots of drool, and then shook. He continued to shake for a minute, during which he didn’t respond to any stimulus, like The Mistress gently prodding him or Rikishi trying out a sneaky swipe (much to his surprise and delight getting away with it without any swift and sharp retribution). But then slowly the panting got less, our old kitty started reacting again to what was happening around him, and his first conscious reaction was to start howling like a banshee. He was really really scared and frightened, his heart racing like mad… like his old scaredy-spells in fact (which causes The Mistress to suspect that he might have been having smaller seizures before – and we had never understood it !). It took 5 minutes of gentle hugging, soothingly muttered endearments and overall petting before he was more or less calm again, but he was apathetic and listless for hours afterwards. Poor baby.

When it happened again the next day The Mistress was ready to film it. We did miss the part of the circling and batting with the paw to the face but got the full shaking/drooling scene, followed by the waking up and howling part. Later that night he had another seizure as well and we decided a trip to the MIW was in order which was the first thing we did on the next morning. The MIW praised the modern convenience of tablets which can record and show things he would else only have had a confused narrated description of – it helps a LOT with diagnosing and is therefore absolutely recommended !!! At watching the images the MIW muttered “a classical brain tumor seizure that one…”. When he subsequently shone a pen-light in Loup-Garou’s eyes he got a confirmation: the right eye dilated a bit, but the left eye not at all. When you add this up with the pawing at the right side of his head it was deducted that he must have a brain tumor in the right hemisphere. And given his age it was untreatable.

Much to our surprise our senior kitizen also suffered from upper respiratory inflammation (the “sniffles” for us simians) which could cause problems given the heavy panting during the seizures. He was prescribed cortizone pills (against swelling of both the airways and the tumor) and antibacteria nosedrops (against his sniffles). His listlessness after a seizure is due to sore muscles from the spasms and shaking. But apart from all that his ticker was still tick-tocking fine, his lungs were still in prime working order, and his appetite was still as good as ever.

During the next week he was given dutifully his meds and suffered from no new seizures at all. The nosedrops were a problem at first: he had to get used to them. But his recent weight loss had also made him a lot weaker so he had no choice and no recourse but the accept the nose drops like a, well, like a fine upstanding senior kitizen should. (Chucky also had to undergo the nose drops but that’s another story entirely.) The pills were administered as part of a chunk of Stinky Goodness, kindly proffered to His Nibs from the very hand of The Mistress Herself. He kept eating well, drinking normally, and going to the litterbox for all his ablutions now – making sure to pee over the border, aiming for the floor. *sigh*

Saturday the 26th the cortisone pills had to be halved in dose. The entire afternoon he spent on the lap of The Mistress, who was reading and meanwhile cuddling the blissfully purring kitty for hours on end until evening set in and she had to get up for dinner and then to bed. That evening Loup-Garou had a new seizure. Later that night he had another one, even losing control over his bladder during it.
And the next morning he was found in the after-kitchen, seemingly in gentle repose on the floor but it was the Eternal one. He was buried by Grumpy Man next to Frankinneke. And that’s the story of Loup-Garou.

Say hello to Critter from us when you meet her over the Rainbow Bridge old friend… and to your brother Zorro, and Misj-Masj, Franky, Frankette, Frankinneke, Frankeminneke, Frankendrolleke, Frankenschwartz and Gorgor… yes, your tribe awaits her leader.

Picture below: No, I’m not going to show the movie of his seizure. I prefer to remember him as he was in his splendour at the age of 9. Read the rest of this entry »

Gentle Giant Doofuses

The Maine Coon is commonly described as a “Gentle Giant”. His placid and unperturbed demeanour has endeared many to this feline breed but methinks the two specimens who are currently residing at the House of Chaos must be the exceptions that prove the rule. Now, don’t be alarmed, our two newcomers are not aggressive or mean -at least not now that they have overcome their initial hostility towards strangers and have become acquainted to the other Feline and Simian Denizens of this House. But they ar far from calm and certainly seldom unperturbed. They exhibit a behaviour that seems foolish, mad, even stupid at times. They are, as Grumpy Man fondly describes them: “schrikkepuiten”. That’s literally: “scared frogs”. They’re scared of anything anytime anywhere. Anyhow.

You might observe a typical scene at the House of Chaos: in the living room various Feline Residents are strewn about immersed in gentle repose. The feral “Bliksem” ( = Lightning) can be found sleeping belly-up in his little hammock which he knows is the one single spot in the House where the Simians won’t ever approach him, the elder Loup-Garou (= Werewolf) is curled up softly snoring on his cushion on the windowsill, our gracious girl Freya has given in to a bout of napping on the cupboard… and the two long-haired punksters are lounging on the two sofas (the other 4 Felines are out somewhere, undoubtedly wreaking havoc amongst the feathered and furry neighbourhood). The scene appears to be of bliss and utter peace. But then a key turns in the front-door, or the mailman knocks, or a loud vehicle revs up in the street and WHAM! the two big babies freak out and vanish as one, through the hallway and up the stairs. Leaving the 3 others awake and puzzled. What brought that about ?

Beauregard has in the past weeks gathered his courage and girdled his loins and ventured out into the Garden of Chaos. He has even strolled as far as the neighbour’s garden and climbed on top of the kitchen roof, but since his first encounter with Mister Downpour he now stays closer to home. Chuck sNorris on the other hand does not move far from the back door and bolts back inside at the least sound or movement (to the delight of the few surviving birds in the area I must admit). It is maybe better this way, as we don’t want these lovelies to be stolen or lost when they venture out too far – micro-chipped and with identified collars notwithstanding.

But their fear of the Great Outdoors does leave us with an unexpected problem. Now that the litter box has been gradually banished from the House of Chaos the timid twain have to conduct their business in the Garden of Chaos like all other Feline Denizens are wont to do, but rain adds to their reluctance and so do strangers; we have already had to clean up several urgent reminders relaying the message that rain and Maine Coons are not meant to be good friends and don’t mix well. Then, when Grumpy Man received a neighbour and stood talking with him in the garden, Chucky decided that the situation was simply too fraught with possible danger and took the (in his august view) less risky step: he dropped a big one in the hallway, on the Welcome-mat. Who says cats can’t talk to humans ?

Yet once the habit is formed it is not easy to break it: Chuck has now taken to drop/piddle his waste products in Grumpy Man’s working den and also managed -so far- to ignore the copious amounts of pepper strewn on the floor for just this reason and -perhaps to make a point ?- produced both number 1s and 2s straight IN the pepper patches. The discussion that has now ensued between Grumpy Man and the hapless kitty is still ongoing but I’m going to enlist the mediation services of Mister Feliway tomorrow. Besides, it’s not as if there isn’t a big, beautiful and serviceable sandy corner in the Garden of Chaos, kept loose with a rake and free of older debris by The Mistress on a regular basis, with a few plant pots providing some privacy. It’s also that perhaps The Mistress must add a lean-to. Our giants manifestly don’t like getting wet.

They do like treats and scritches though. Any new person who enters the House of Chaos is initially observed from afar by the wary twain who remain ever alert for the slightest reason that makes them bolt and dash upstairs. When after a while said person has not attacked them both Beau and Chucky will venture closer and inspect whether he or she may be carrying treats. When treats are forthcoming, which for instance has made The Strong Woman Of Flanders the timid twain’s instant Favourite Grandmother, all fear and shyness are thrown out of the window by the two begging harridans (who have by that time to deal with serious competition from the other Feline Denizens who know all too well from who the good grub comes). When treats are alas not forthcoming but scritches do ensue the visiting person may be treated to 6 kilos of purring affection. They are not lap-cats however. The 6 kilos remain firmly away from your lap. It’s the scritches they crave, not the Simian giving them.

Both Beauregard and Chuck sNorris are slowly adapting to their new lives in our House of Chaos. They’re keeping fit and trim with their rigid regime of fleeing up the stairs at the slightest provocation, like when we ascend the stairs at evening. But when you grab a toy all caution is forgotten and the twain launch themselves gleefully into the game. At that point the other Feline Denizens usually pitch in but the big boys don’t make a fuss about that: during play they all get along nicely, forgetting to be wary and cautious. Truly, in the House of Chaos toys are the ultimate peacemakers.

So is food when you come down to it. When The Mistress, or the Strong Woman of Flanders, doles out the Stinky Goodness she usually has a meowling posse circling around her legs. They all vie for her attention, expecting perhaps to have the good stuff scooped directly into their gaping maws but having to settle for gathering around the food bowls and pushing and shoving the others out of the way in order to sample the contents. There’s no fighting though, there’s just the scrummage for the scrumptious grub, and it’s not the heaviest kitty that wins the best spot either. It’s all about cunning and slyness and a well-placed paw at the right moment. Loup-Garou usually wins.

Picture below: Beauregard regally reclining in the couch

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Chuck sNorris on a cushion

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The Grub Scrummage (with the Strong Woman Of Flanders, Freya (you see her paws in the top left corner), Bean Sidhe, Hrimnir, Loup-Garou, Beau, Rikishi, Chuck and even Bliksem in the background)

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We have lots of feline friends at the Friday Ark and the Cat Blogoshpere. Why not visit them ? It’s a treat !!


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Coonie Craziness

A few weeks ago, June 29th 2013 to be precise, the House of Chaos was entertaining Simian visitors. As the Feline denizens busied themselves being cuddly and sweet around the visitors a lot of things were being discussed and done (Grumpy Man and The Mistress are Roboteers: we build fighting robots). At one point however did the discussion turn to Maine Coons. The lady of a fellow Roboteer had her eye on a Coonie that was available to her but our friend didn’t want more cats in their house than the queen and kitten they already had (and two woofies…). An understandable point, as Grumpy Man himself had already made clear the the current 6 feline denizens are the absolute maximum, although he couldn’t stop number 7 from walking in and make himself at home here. The lady proceeded to say that apart from “her” candidate another Coonie was to be had, and that both had a pedigree and would go for a negligible sum of money, but could she find a home for the two and then convince her life-mate to relent for one of them… Grumpy Man didn’t even ask The Mistress as he knew what her answer would be.

And so the next day we undertook the expedition (it’s a 1,5 hour drive) to our friend’s home in order to collect the twain which the lady had already fetched for us. Her life-mate still did not relent but we didn’t care anyway. We now have two Maine Coons !!!

Enter Chucky van Droomwereld and Chateau Beau van Spinnepoes. Alias Chuck sNorris and Beauregard.

Both were perfectly at ease in their travelling cages. Both were more than perfectly at ease travelling in a car (and were absolutely quiet during the entire trip !). But when they were released inide the House of Chaos both turned out to be perfect scaredy-kitties and went immediately into hiding. Beauregard ended up on top of the stairs to the attic, Chuck hid in our Nesting Room under a clothes rack behind a convenient laundry basket full of dirty bed linen (which The Mistress couldn’t find the heart to remove until two weeks later).

Both were immediately taken to the Man In White the next day, for a check-up and in order to inspect and register the chips. Yes, they are both chipped and both have a pedigree of a meter long. Chuck is 3,5 years old, Beau only 2 years. Chuck is already castrated, but Beau not and in this House we do strictly adhere to the principle to not procreate: the Simians won’t have offspring, and neither will the Felines. Hence an appointment was made for Beauregard to lose his conkers two days later. This meant keeping him in isolation for one night and half a day as he was not to eat. In order to avoid him becoming lonesome we decided to corral both him and Chucky in the spare nesting room. I’ve never seen cats jump that high when these two realized there was no escape from that room… And hissing and angry… But once in the tender arms of the Man In White Beauregard was as sweet and well -behaved as any owner could desire. Weird beast ! He did recover well from the surgery though. He just didn’t allow me to approach him for three days afterwards. ^^

The first week both kept themselves hidden away. When Beau was lying on the attic stairs he would hiss impressively to any Simian crazy enough to venture close. Sometimes he would hide elsewhere, not to be found. Chuck would just cower more deeply into his hiding place, yet after a night of two he would cautiously venture forth and inspect the snoring Simian(s) in the Nest, eventually settling himself in a basket next to The Mistress’ side of the Nest (we had acquired the basket from an auntie and no cat had ever slept in it before !). At the first sound or movement, however, he would scramble back into his hiding spot. But as the days passed both felines gradually ratcheted up their courage and started venturing out into the House of Chaos and its weird and wacky denizens. The need to eat and to relieve themselves certainly forced them to undertake a daily trip downstairs anyway. But then, so did the need for social contact. And the sheer irresistible lure of curiosity. We are now two weeks since their entry and, although still skittish, they come over for cuddles and scritchies readily enough and clearly recognize their respective names. We have also discovered that both would commit murder for a treat. They love treats. Did I mention that they adore treats ? They really like treats. Really.

Chucky, being the oldest, is also the more adventurous of the twain. He has already inspected Grumpy Man’s Work Den and even went so far as to gaze out into the Garden of Chaos (but refrained from actually stepping outside). Beau prefers to remain in the living room although he has to come over to the kitchen for food and the litter box from time to time. They have also discovered the joys of watching out of the window. As it is quite hot right now they prefer to repose in the hallway and on the stairs. However, both come out from time to time to say hello and have a few scritchies. It is clear that they crave contact.

But it is also clear that they have never had much contact with Simians before. Needing two weeks before allowing a Simian to pet you is rather long really. And they remain too alert for noise and movement, ready to bolt at the least provocation. Play seems also a bit of a strange pastime for them. On the other hand, both are endearingly happy with attention and are discovering with relish that petting is sensuously fun.

The other feline denizens of the House of Chaos have been on their best behaviour ever since the introduction of these newcomers. From the very first contact they proceeded with caution and a tact I had never suspected they possessed. Instead of mobbing the intruders they just… ignored them. It was the newcomers who had the hissing fits really. And the old hands were being laconic about it. That they were disturbed by the changes was evident when we saw them all sleeping in the Work Den. Freya even took up residence in the roof of the Work Den ! It was also clear to see at feeding time: when Chuck would move about there was this Chuck-shaped space the others didn’t intrude in. They would also pointedly ignore both Chuck and Beau when the latter would try and sniff at the others’ tails. All very polite and quiet like. Loup-Garou, ever on the lookout for potential nap-mates to cuddle up with, was the first to execute an actual nosey-nosey (greeting nose-to-nose). We are now breathlessly awaiting the overtures for a change from a détente-by-ignoring to the development of a warm friendship from the others. It’s still too early to tell.

Of course, after Grumpy Man had stated with vigour that “6 cats is more than enough, and well, maybe 7 could still be handled but no more than that !” it was he himself who had decided to take in numbers 8 and 9. And The Mistress ? She sits here typing this text with a huge huge grin on her face, gloating. We have Coonies !!!!

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Chuck sNorris

Faster than his Shadow

A few months ago, in March 2013, The Mistress was quietly having a Moment Of Bliss in the Reading Couch with a nice cuppa tea and a very good book, as she heard the cat-flap in the kitchen door flapping. As she looked up, having an unimpeded view through the living room, the computer room and the kitchen, she noticed Rikishi coming in, followed by what did look like Freya but was… eh… smaller. Intrigued, The Mistress forgot all about her book and kept watching the scene.

Rikishi was proudly strolling through the kitchen, now and then looking backwards as if to ensure that his companion was still following him, and made a beeline for the feeding bowls. His body language could be deciphered as being: “and here is food, it is yummy.” He then strolled over to the water bowls, saying “and here we have water, you can drink it”. Then, after his companion had finished his careful inspection of the offered victuals, he proceeded to cross the computer room with a “here you can sleep real well” glance to the couch there, and then he entered the living room where the smaller of the 2 scratching posts is located. He pointed to the scratching post and said “here you can strop your nails” and did exactly that, as if to show how it’s done. His bewildered companion looked on with awe. Then Riki stepped into the living room proper and announced “and here have toys and lots and lots of room to play. Let’s play !!”

At which point his mysterious companion, who did look like a smaller and darker version of Freya, spotted the Simian in the room, said “YIKES !” and … kind of vanished. I could just discern the tip of his tail flipping through the cat-flap in the kitchen door. So that took care of his name too.

Bliksem (Lightning Bolt) is a fine feral tomcat who had already been noticed during the past weeks before that first real encounter. We had been spotting some fast movements from the corners of our eyes but never really saw who caused it. But now that Rikishi had formally introduced his playmate to the House of Chaos he was welcomed, albeit with a large reluctance from his part. All right, he was immediately enthusiast about the hammock on the central heating unit in the living room (which is his designated “safe place”, the only place where we Simians won’t try to approach him, ever, so that he has one place where he can feel totally and completely at ease) as it was still freezing and turned out to be the coldest spring in decades. And he did learn really quickly when the Stinky Goodness was being doled out (every morning when The Mistress rises from her Nest, and every afternoon when The Mistress comes home from her job). But the presence of Simians made the House of Chaos a house of peril as far as this newcomer was concerned. And it took us 3 months before we could even touch him.

Cue forward a few months and our Bliksem is still shy and nervous around Simians. But he has struck up a close bond with Loup-Garou, who adores anyone who would snuggle up with him for a nap on the sun-kissed windowsill. He plays ferocious games of tag with Rikishi. And he terrorizes Freya with relish. The other kitties don’t even look at him. The French have this apt expression for that: “quantité négligable”, literally “ignorable amount” but it really means simply not important enough to be noticed. That’s the attitude of Hrimnir, Bean Sidhe and Isegrim towards the newcomer. Unless he stalks and pounces them. Then he is being noticed all right. And thoroughly trounced.

But one day The Mistress came home from her job and noticed that someone had been lining up some toys on the floor in the living room. As she sat down to check her emails she saw from the corner of her eye some movement and turned out to be Bliksem ! He gently placed another toy, a grey mousey, next to the others, all in a perfect line. As The Mistress slowly and cautiously (so as not to spook the tyke) reached for her camera, Bliksem actually proceeded to sit behind this work and… pose.

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It may take lots more of time. It may require immensely lots more of patience. But in time we expect him to become a full-fledged member of the Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos. And so, now there are 7. *sigh*

Gruesome grooming facts

Loup-Garou is slowly discovering one of the major drawbacks of growing old for a kitty: he’s having more and more difficulty grooming himself. For a cat, this is disaster ! From his earliest days, when Momma Cat spent hours and hours grooming her tiny tykes to immaculate perfection whilst they were doing anything they could to become immaculate, then during his prime, when he would wash and scratch and shake himself into a masterpiece of feline sartorial splendour, he has now entered his waning years and finds himself stymied by his ageing bones and shrinking tendons. And so his once lustrous and glorious pelt has become more dishevelled by the day, losing the usual glimmer and costing him his glamour. With ugly tufts of hair sticking out at random and quickly threatening to felt up he’s not a happy kitty.

Enter The Brush.

Despite his initial misgivings, that this strange contraption wielded by The Mistress would actually harm his most prized looks, our black-and-slightly-white feline companion didn’t waste much time in starting to fall in love with The Brush. The first strokes were… well… tolerated. Then, sensuous pleasure jumped in.
You should understand that a cat is a most sensitive animal, with oodles and oodles of nerve-endings scattered generously all over his body. And likewise that the act of grooming which was first begun by his dam and spoke of comfort, warmth, a loving home, will during the rest of his life ever remain the most effective way of calming himself down and at the same time allowing him to just luxuriate in the sheer pleasure of rasping tongue over soon-to-be clean pelt.
The stiff hairs of The Brush have the same effect. Loup-Garou was initially intending to undulate his way around me for treats, as usual, but soon learned that just standing still would allow The Mistress to reach all of the difficult spots and relieve the pressures of all this down and hairs which had started to clot together.

When a cat can’t groom his pelt it becomes a serious problem. For one thing, the down under the upper layer of hair can entangle. Strands of hair that have for some reason become loose can add to these entanglements. As this process goes on in the end the poor animal is covered with ugly threads of matted fibres and this is called “felt”. There are some breeds of dogs where this is actually a desired feature as the matted fur is quite waterproof and insulating which for a working dog in some climates can be a great boon. There are even some simians who regard it as a certain statement in human grooming or even don this kind of fur-feature because of religious feelings. Go figure.
But for the average domesticated feline it’s plain bad for their health and for the feral feline even a death sentence.

Because the entanglements also contain hair that is still firmly stuck to the skin this can cause a constant tugging feeling which can be rather unpleasant. All kinds of parasites will find these matted regions nice and comfortable because the tongue and claws of the kitty can’t reach the deepest spots there. Likewise a seemingly innocuous irritation or scratch can cause infection. Add a generous sprinkling of dirt, moisture, all kinds of organic matter like twigs and decaying leaves, and couple this with the poor animal’s natural body heat and you have the prefect breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. In the end our poor feline friend may harbour all kinds of nasty health-threatening conditions under all that felted fur and succumb to the effects.

Luckily Loup-Garou has The Mistress and The Brush to help avoid this grisly fate. And now that he has grown to know and love The Brush grooming him has become a real pleasure indeed ! You can see the expression on his little furry face just starting at joy, going from sensuous pleasure to sheer bliss, and then soaring straight into all-out Nirvana. The unseemly tufts slowly disappear and once again his shiny pelt is a sight to behold and adore. There reclines a distinguished ageing gentleman, and don’t you know it !

Picture below:
Loup-Garou in Halloween mode. He just loves the attention…
You can clearly see the tufts on his hindquarters. He’s in need of The Brush again !!

Loup-Garou in Halloween mode, clearly he's enjoying the attention !!!

PS. We must however impart some very sad news… since the latest posting our gorgeous sweet little Gorgor has disappeared and never been seen again. As some other lovely cats have disappeared in the neighbourhood around the same period I fear he has been taken by strangers for some reason. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. We miss you, Gorgor !!

#Wijvenweek 6 and 7: Multitasking Superbroad

Since it is Wijvenweek this week The Mistress will try to blog the entire week. Not with the goal of putting the simian Lady of the House in the spotlight, oh no, but the feline Lady of the House ! Because face it, although this week is for simian women our furry sisters need some attention too…

This day’s theme is: Multitasking Superbroad.

I didn’t post yesterday because we had a celebration going on, I -The Mistress- have finally managed to acquire an Infinite Term Contract as Associate Accounts Payable. After 10 years of illness, unemployment, contractor employment and limited employment I finally have the security of a more permanent employment (albeit part-time because of my still lingering illness). YAY ! Kibbles and Tuna Cocktails for all ! And fortunately the last day of Wijvenweek did allow for a kind of catch-up day on Sunday. Which is today. And it’s all about being the kind of Superwoman that everyone takes for granted and nobody ever recognizes… the Supberbroad.

Freya truly excels at multitasking. For one thing, a Queen must needs keep a wary and weary eye out for any possible attackers whilst nursing her young ones. Freya, though immensely enjoying the close contact with her offspring, never truly relaxed whenever Isegrim was nursing with her. Not even at then end when he had already grown bigger than herself. Ever vigilant, ever ready to explode into the kind of multi-limbed multi-clawed meat grinder that is the hallmark of Felis Cattus Queens when defending her kitten.

When Isegrim was finally completely on solids the next hard task fell to her of teaching him the fine art of stalking and pouncing, passing on her knowledge of hunting and scavenging. But even during those days, despite the numerous times her boisterous kitten would try to attract her attention, her eyes would still rove and wander, some part of her attention always set aside for the ambush, the sudden danger. We simians may have immortalized a Queens care for her kits in many sayings and expressions, all fade in the presence of the real thing. And even when teaching and simultaneously defending her son our Freya would also be on the constant look-out for food. Add to that the constant keeping up of a perfectly groomed appearance…

Now that Isegrim is more than weaned, and despite having her new charges Gorgor and Rikishi to care for, it is time for Freya to finally let her hair and guard down a bit and relax, you’d think. But oh no !  Even when soaking up the first Spring Sun rays which will provide her with much needed Vitamins-D afterwards our Feline Lady of the House cannot help but multi-task even here… sun-bathing, yes, but also an exercise in Yoga, and an exhibition of herself at her most lovely and cute.

Freya multitasking, Sunbathing, yoga AND exhibitionism ? Yep, multitasking !

Look how cute I am. How lovely. How… hungry… see the paw at the brow ? I’m fainting from starvation !
Uh… Freykins, that’s usually done with a front paw…
Front ? Schmont ! Feed me NOW.

#Wijvenweek 5: We are not amused

Since it is Wijvenweek this week The Mistress will try to blog the entire week. Not with the goal of putting the simian Lady of the House in the spotlight, oh no, but the feline Lady of the House ! Because face it, although this week is for simian women our furry sisters need some attention too…

This day’s theme is: Self Censure

Freya is usual very open about herself, coming up at you with a questioning chirrup whenever she wants something or simply butting her adorable little head against your legs in silent entreaty for a treat or just a cuddle. She will not hesitate to claim your lap and your attention. The keyboard in front of your computer is fair game really, when it comes to attention-grabbing.

Then there are her young ones. Freya has never been shy about nursing her son Isegrim, even when he had grown bigger than herself and positively loomed over her prone form with his muzzle snugly tucked against her lovely belly. Having been neutered in the meantime doesn’t keep her from mothering the two orange kittens ever since they came to live in the House of Chaos to within an inch of their tiny lives… and I really mean that because mothering also involves teaching the youngsters the fine art of battle and hunting which is not always done with gentleness and consideration for their feelings or their health.

Freya has a secret though. The one thing she really hates and would rather NOT have her sensitive paws in is… snow. But she won’t ever admit it openly. Because you never know with the kittens you’re doing such a terrific job raising… they might just find out your one little weakness and exploit it unmercifully. Like ambushing you with a wicked gleam in their eyes and the evil intention to push you into that cold wet white stuff !

Freya in the snow

Yuck. Cold. Wet. Can I go now ?

#Wijvenweek 4: Dreaming Diva

Since it is Wijvenweek this week The Mistress willl try to blog the entire week. Not with the goal of putting the simian Lady of the House in the spotlight, oh no, but the feline Lady of the House ! Because face it, although this week is for simian women our furry sisters need some attention too…

This day’s theme is: Dreamday

Scientists often scold us for our habit to anthropomorphise our furred friends: we are wont to ascribe to them the same feelings and emotions that we possess ourselves, and the scientists feel that animals don’t have these. Anyone who ever caught a dog red-pawed with his nose in the cookie-jar or who came home to a shredded settee and the very innocent-looking feline sitting next to it pointedly ignoring said settee would certainly disagree. As would anyone who has ever scolded a canine friend or cried hot tears in the vicinity of a cat. I can assure you that our feline friend Zorro mourned the passing of woofie Critter for 6 months. Nothing else could explain his sudden sad demeanour, his sudden lack of appetite, the hair loss (tummy and buttocks almost completely bald in the middle of winter !) and the uncharacteristic displays of affection towards his simian housemates. Animals do have feelings.

Another bone of contention with the scientists is whether animals could dream, or have an idea of what is awaiting them in the future. Do our 4-pawed companions dream ? I’m not talking about the kind of dream one experiences when in deep slumber, but about expectations, hopes, ambition perhaps…

Was Freya simply following her instincts when she reared her offspring Isegrim ? Is she doing this again now that she has 2 feisty kittens to take care of ? Or does she have the ambition to turn them into expert hunters – like she has done with Isegrim, the only fat yet successful hunter I know ? Is she anticipating no further than the next occasion for food ? Or is she actively planning to ambush Loup-Garou the next time I pour him his special food, or planning an attack on Gorgor the next time he receives his extra food of cooked carrots and chicken livers ? Does she expect to have a quality moment with me tonight after dinner ? I’m not sure.

I am sure however that whenever she is lying in the health-giving rays of the Spring sun in the Garden of Chaos she is closing her eyes not just in boundless bliss, but may even be dreaming some wacky grandiose dream in which she -of course, that goes without saying- plays the lead role…


Freya going back to her first home, ambushing the feckless creature who had so cruelly banished her from this home and towards the horrible fate of starvation. Attacking this person with grim ferocity. Punishing the doer for the cruel deed. Leaving a shivering bleeding wreck behind as she returns in triumph to the House of Chaos, with just the one or two artfully left specks of tell-tale blood on her immaculately groomed pelt…

Freya sitting in the Kitchen of Chaos, ogling the enormous slab of Côte-à-l’Os (T-bone beefsteak) and suddenly snatching it from under the Mistress’ flashing kitchen knife, then dashing off with her prize to that spot under the antique cupboard where The Mistress can’t reach her.

Freya taking a much needed sun-bath and her simians coming out towards her august prone form bearing trays of yummy tidbits and tasty morsels, offering her bit after bit of gastronomical delight, whilst the other feline members of the tribe of the House of Chaos drag their freshly caught preys over to her so she can have a bite were she feeling peckish.

Freya sitting in the middle of the road, the cars stopping with their drivers getting out and continuing to stare at her with hapless admiration and abject veneration. Heh, Bean-Sidhe tried that and he got hit by that white car didn’t he ?

I could go on and on trying to imagine my female feline friend’s dreams and ambitions, but I can be fairly sure of one thing…She’s the Number 1 Queen at the House of Chaos because there is none other !

Freya op de freesmachine

Ehrm… no… I don’t think she dreams of becoming a metalworker like Grumpy Man but she sure loves the swarf coming from the machines !

#Wijvenweek 3: Opiniated Kitty

Since it is Wijvenweek this week The Mistress willl try to blog the entire week. Not with the goal of putting the simian Lady of the House in the spotlight, oh no, but the feline Lady of the House ! Because face it, although this week is for simian women our furry sisters need some attention too…

This day’s theme is: Moh lookatitnow… we have an opinion

Freya, as should now be well and truly known, is a very straightforward Feline Lady. She also maintains daily and high standards of perfect grooming, she has raised a monster of a son (Isegrim, the 5.5 kg kitty) and as far as she is concerned  the two kittens that recently joined the Feline Tribe of the House of Chaos are simply delightful and sweet. Except when Rikishi ambushes her agian that is, but frankly such is the wont of kittens anyway.

There is however one item on which Freya has an absolute and unwavering opinion: it’s food. And it should be hers. All hers.

Understand this, dear reader, Freya has known hunger. Forced to fend for herself and her (at that time) tiny kitten Isegrim she roamed gardens and backyards in desperate search of sustenance for both herself and her offspring who was being weaned at that time. We don’t know which cruel simian had so ruthlessly thrown her and her little family (did she have more kittens, who didn’t survive the feral time ?) out of their household, but that despicable creature has certainly caused our delightful little Lady to starve.

Woefully she stared at the well-fed simian puttering about in his garden, but with a spark of interest in her brilliant green eyes she observed how this simian gently patted an equally well-fed feline. Was there a possibility ? Was the rumour true that the day before a fellow feline member of that community had sadly passed away ? Should she risk it ? And her kitten ?

As the kitten was cowering in a corner of the Garden of Chaos, softly mewing his distress that his Mommy would dare and approach those fearsome giants, she cautiously approached the towering simian and… butted her head against his legs. As the simian bowed and reached down he immediately noticed the emaciated form of the cat and bellowed to his life-mate to bring some food and hurry about it. Said life-mate happily obliged and the rest is history.

But ever since that fateful day Freya has always been at the forefront whenever our feline friends beg for food. She is always trying to be the first to reach us when the lovely sound of a tin can being opened is heard. And despite her petite frame even her monster-son will back away when he finds himself between his dam and food. There is simply no stopping Freya when there is food to be had. Even if it means she has to snatch it out from a frying-pan, or from under my knife. Freya-who-eats is a force of nature, immovable, solid as a rock. And if you dare disturb her at her meal she will… look at you imploringly with those huge moist brilliant green eyes, which so captivated my husband 4 years ago. Move over Puss-In-Boots… here is the true Mistress of the Art !

Freya the very first time she came to us...

Freya, the very first time we met her… so hungry, so weary, so in need of a loving home…