Strange dangers and bedfellows

When you’re small and terribly, overwhelmingly, all-consumingly curious, the world is fraught with dangers unknown and strange happenings abound that could spell your doom were you not careful. Alas, “careful” is not on the kitten-curriculum and so it is up to Mama Cat, or in her absence the hapless simian caretaker, to try and protect you -the tyke in question- onto the periled path of painful experience.

Now, consider the dangers that could befell any curious kitten, and which you in specific are wont to attract like a megawatt magnet:

– You can fall off a tree or any other high object you endeavoured to climb, like cupboards, chairs, garden walls and the trash can. When the trash can falls with you there is the added bonus of opened tin cans with razor-sharp edges and enticing bits of food in/on them.

– You can be found happily munching on some cord or whatever, usually black, white or grey plastic, and the simians start to panic. Little do you know that Mr. Electricity is not a nice person, and is waiting just under the surface of said cord for you to reach him so he can give you the most gawd-almighty! kick of your lifetime. The latter which can be subsequently measured in nanoseconds.

– You can climb into a big white cupboard in search for that perfect place to nap, suddenly get company from all kinds of snuggly cloths, and then get to enjoy the wildest ride of your life. If you survive. Either you get very very wet, or you get very very hot. You will not, however, be very very happy.

– You jump onto the couch, knowing it is very soft and comfy for a nap, and snuggle close against something furry and warm. You do not distinguish between a snoring Zorro who is extremely dangerous and a fake snake who is not.

– Grumpy Man has a lathe in the House of Chaos which produces lovely metal, aluminium and HDPE chips for you to play with. Can your stomach handle them ?

– The spindle of that lathe turns real fast which looks most exciting. Just the thing to try and catch…

– It is early morning. Much to your towering surprise Bouncing Psycho is up and moving. He is making a beeline towards the coffee machine. You are standing in his way. Who will win ? Let me give you a hint: you’ll get an intimate acquaintance with Mister Floor, and -truth to tell- Bouncing Psycho will not have noticed this until after his third cuppa.

– The Mistress is in the Kitchen of Chaos, involved with something that smells heavenly and which you absolutely MUST sample. You decide that the fastest way up is by her legs. She is, however, not wearing long trousers today. And the shiny thing she is holding in her paws is sharp.

-The front door of the House of Chaos is left open by an careless visitor. The wide, unknown, but doubtless exciting, world beckons ! You take a giant leap towards freedom and land on something black you’ve never seen before. You suddenly look up in bewilderment as a roaring dragon approaches out of nowhere with a speed you can’t judge.

– Grumpy Man lies snoring in The Nest. His face-fur bristles, mesmerizing you. You can’t help but pounce.

– There is this white porcelain thingy in the Bathroom and you suddenly see water rushing in it. You jump, and then discover there’s a tube at the bottom of the thingy and the water is rushing you towards it…

Come to think of it, it will be a miracle if you grow into cat-hood at all: eleven very real dangers.. nine proverbial lives… care to find out how statistics work ?

Picture below:
Choose your bedfellows wisely me-lad.

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There are several sites that contain phunny photographs with wacky captions. The most popular at the moment is I can has cheezburger, but there is also MacroCats and Meme Cats.

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Tummy Tuesday

Glorious baby tummy or what ? So young, and already such star quality…

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Hrimnir certainly knows how to display his stuff. 😉

More delicious tummies can be admired every Tuesday at Lisaviolet’s Diary

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David and Goliath

Bean Sidhe has taken to his newest sibling with glee. Finally a playmate, a bosom-friend, a partner in crime ! Finally someone with whom he can romp all over the House of Chaos all the time without the other one suddenly complaining about old age and infirmity limiting his energy. It doesn’t matter to the Maine Coon mix that he has grown into a monster compared to the kitten he now plays with, it matters that said kitten has that near-mythical kittenish purrclear-reactor-in-a-pocket-dimension somewhere stashed about his tiny purrson and all of its energies at his disposal. Ever since Hrimnir started viewing the much larger kitten with speculation in his eyes rather than downright hostility Bean Sidhe has approached him slowly and cautiously with play in mind.

Ach, it is a marvel to behold the two kittens at play. Despite his size and his 13 months of age Bean Sidhe is technically still a kitten and the two elder feline denizens of the House of Chaos have become rather grumpy lately about his incessant efforts to incite them to enter in some frolic with him. Hrimnir doesn’t complain, he happily welcomes the attention and answers it with a vengeance. So much in fact that Bean Sidhe himself found the need to become grumpy at times when the tyke wouldn’t stop attacking his tail. But that is a minor inconvenience. Much to his pleasure however came the discovery that his size meant he wouldn’t have to move too much during their pursuit of happiness: Hrimnir would do the attacking, Bean Sidhe merely has to keep to swatting the tyke off his august purrson from time to time. No need for him to go off stalking and pouncing, since Hrimnir is all over the place anyway. For the hedonist that every feline is at heart, and Bean Sidhe is a budding one for sure, this is the ultimate game-play… merely lying in style somewhere and fending off with lazy swats and cheerful chomping on the culprit, whilst not moving one paw or whisker too many. “Lazy butt” won’t come close to describe this, and Bean Sidhe himself prefers to refer to this novel fighting style as “languishing menace” anyway.

However, when he does get to moving more than a paw when dealing with Hrimnir’s energetic attacks, Bean Sidhe is not loath to use all of his mass to his best advantage. It’s impressive to observe his 4,3 kilos romping about with 1 kilo of Hrimnir without fatally flattening the tyke, and yet he manages to perfectly convey the image of a ferocious fighting frenzy with a hapless opponent destined to doom. The bear-hug embrace of his mighty fore-paws and the sight of his well-muscled thews powering the catastrophic kicks of his massive hind-paws would plunge any onlooker into a towering and frantic worry for Hrimnir’s well-being but… mind you… without any sign of his strong and razor-sharp claws at all. The orange-and-white giant is surprisingly gentle with his 4-times smaller adversary, who would erupt in indignant and ear-shattering protests the moment he goes too far and inflict some discomfort on the tyke at all. Hrimnir is anything if not out-spoken and most vociferous when it comes to expressing his displeasure at anything. He won’t let 4,3 kilos of frolicky feline deter his righteous wrath anyway, but then he’s been seen -and heard- chiding The Mistress.
And lives to tell.

Observe then, the two kittens at play:
Bean Sidhe simply lies there, residing regally in the lush green splendour of the Garden of Chaos, a perfect portrait of “Cat, Languishing”. A small black-grey-white furry shape slowly makes its way through the grass, making a bee-line towards the hulking giant who is clearly ignorant of any imminent danger to his august purrson. The small shape stops, not in hesitation, but with the muscle-quivering intent to crouch and pounce, tiny tail rigidly stuck out like a horizontal flag-pole, tiny buttocks wiggling in happy anticipation of the oncoming action.
Then he pounces.
SWAT !
A huge paw was lifted and then descended with lightning-speed on the little kitten. Bean Sidhe didn’t even have to exert himself overly, the force of gravity alone doing the trick well enough thank you very much. Well enough to keep pinning a squirming tyke to the ground too. Said tyke, however, immediately turns on his back and sets with claws and fangs to attacking the offending appendage, but to no avail. Bean Sidhe is, by legacy of his mother’s breed, quite well-endowed in the furry department and all little Hrimnir can get is a mouthful and clawful of pelt and nothing else. Which wouldn’t discourage the little one in the least since any bite and scratch dealt out is a point scored. What matters is the game, not the results !

After a while Bean Sidhe grows bored of this and sets to chomping on the little one’s head, starting with the ears. The problem is that Bannikin’s mouth is a tad large in size when compared with Hrimnir’s furry little head and so one has the impression of seeing a cavernous set of maws opening up around the tyke and then swallowing it up entirely. One wonders whether he’s suffocating the youngster, since the little legs start a frantic kicking against whatever they can touch, but as the minutes drag by said frantic kicking doesn’t in the least diminish in force or quantity, and one can be assured that these are no death-throes at all.

Yet, a worried Mistress couldn’t resist calling on Bean Sidhe and the disgusted look two offended kitties subsequently gave her bespoke volumes. Killjoy !

Picture below:
Aaw MOM !! And we were having such fun !!
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Maybe we should hop over to the Carnival of the Cats and watch some real clowns in action there…

The brave… the bold… the wet

In the past countless (and no doubt extremely amusing) volumes have been filled with descriptions of all the antics kittens are wont to perform and the trouble they can get themselves into, but I must confess yesterday’s antic-du-jour was a beaut: Hrimnir not only set new records on amazing stupidity, sheer crazyness and plain lunacy, but he also displayed a disturbing tendency towards autodarwination ! Clearly this kitten has a death-wish. We’ve gotten used to him trying to pounce on Zorro, but we’ve never suspected him to be so audacious as to actively court certain death in the following manner.

Barely awake the Mistress performed her morning ablutions and honoured the porcelain throne with a visit, whilst a certain kitten, who shall henceforth be known as “toilet-plunger”, was staring in rapt fascination at her activities. The moment the Mistress flushed the toilet she barely had time to notice a black-grey-white streak flashing past her and into the raging wet torrent of the bowl. She didn’t stare helplessly at this daring plunge though, but -with the lighting-quick reflexes she used to be famous for in her heydays- reached out and grabbed the hindquarters of an already vanishing kitten before he would end up in the sewers. Subsequently a very wet, very bedraggled, very angry Hrimnir was dragged spluttering out of the humid toilet bowl depths and subjected to the tender mercies of The Towel.
He was protesting too, the scamp.

He was small enough to have been flushed away ! I can tell you my heart stopped for a moment there and my mind exploded into a turmoil of frantic thoughts and worries. What on earth possessed him to do that ? But the answer was not found wanting for too long, for I know very well what enticed Hrimnir to make the Death-Plunge: something moved… in fact, a lot of somethings moved. Several liters of it. And he found all that movement overwhelmingly irresistible. It’s programmed into the species. There’s simply no way a kitten will sit still when something in his vicinity moves. He must pounce it, such is The Way. And he will do so with the complete, total and absolute disregard for personal safety we all have come to cherish and dread.

Yes, we cherish it because it makes for so many of those perfect home-video moments and award-winning funny snapshots. But we also dread it because far too often for our peace of mind relatives and friends have regaled us with tales of how a certain kitten of their acquaintance had perished whilst too busy undertaking something too incredibly exciting for it to notice that there is -in fact- such a thing as mortal danger. “Curiosity killed the cat” isn’t just a quaint proverb or a typical example of the rhyming technique known as alliteration. It’s fact.

And you can’t stop it. You can’t spend 25 hours a day trying to protect that precious purrty-kitty of yours whilst it is trying to get to know the world and to explore its dangers. The kitten’s schedule is simply too busy for you to keep track of every little detail. He has so much to learn, so much to see, so much to do… He actually needs to, while his body is still in that typical kitten-stage when it is most flexible, supple and practically un-breakable. It is for exactly that reason that Mother Nature has endowed kittens with an elasticity acrobats can only dream of. And it is the stuff of nightmares.

Busily ambling through the kitchen, pre-occupied by the myriad duties of being a typical kitchen-princess, you won’t notice the tyke having managed to place himself just so that in the next moment you feel your foot landing onto something squishy and your ears are assaulted by a terrified and indignant “IEEEW”. You quickly lift the offending limb with a terrified exclamation and something explodes away, then stops after a few paces and furiously starts to wash itself whilst throwing dirty accusing looks in your general direction. And you find yourself abundantly apologizing to the tyke for not having had the 100 or so eyes needed to be able to perceive its every movements. Hrimnir has been subjected to this painful ritual already, more times than I deign to count, and these days he’s a tad wary about where I put my feet. All part of the learning process I guess.

In the end the learning process taught the simian denizens of the House of Chaos to keep the lid on the porcelain throne. Especially when flushing.

Picture below:
*SPLUTTER* Lookie ! A wet kittie !

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He’s wearing a flea-collar that makes him smell nicely of citronella, in order to chase the fleas away. Maybe he thought a bath would help him get rid of ’em faster…

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Want more wet feet ? Let’s all get aboard the Friday Ark for some splishy-splashy fun !

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Tummy Tuesday

2 tummies for the price of 1 !!!

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Albeit Hrimnir is a tad more enthusiast about it that Bean Sidhe… But what can you expect from an almost-adult ? Gravitas…

More Tummy Tuesdays can be spotted here !!

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Blackbird’s Bane

The elder feline denizens of the House of Chaos have certainly taken to the newcomer. In fact, Zorro is uncharacteristically congenial towards the little tyke and both Lou-Garou and Bean Sidhe have developed a downright maternal behaviour towards Hrimnir. They have taken him under their paws so to speak, and that has some unexpected consequences.

For one thing Bean Sidhe finally has the playmate he has been looking for, although being so big and hulky he is remarkably gentle with Hrimnir. It is a delight to observe their antics when you see a cat 4 times the size of the kitten rolling all over the place with said kitten, kicking and biting the tyke, and yet not harming it. Bean Sidhe is huge but we forget that technically he is still a kitten: barely a year old and being partly Maine Coon (who need 3 years to become adult). One can clearly see that he is happy with Hrimnir, but he also tends to be disgustingly lazy. When the kitten stalks him he just lies there, tail-tip idly flicking to and fro, the very image of a Cat At Peace With The World and certainly not apprehensive of imminent attack by an 18-needled tiny buzz-saw. When the trap springs and Hrimnir gleefully pounces he simply… swats. One huge paw and gravity being quite enough to flatten the tyke and keeping him happily occupied with something to squirm under and munch on. When the kitten wriggles himself free from under the monster-paw and attacks him full-on he envelops the little one with his august rump and starts giving it some kicks and performing a few formidable chomps. One wonders whether Hrimnir would survive this, but even when the huge white-orange blob covers the entire kitten, and only a forlorn tail or hapless paw sticks out from under the mass, he will certainly not smother it. And when he goes too far by accident, which does happen from time to time, Hrimnir will let his displeasure be known by a literally ear-shattering but at the same time quite indignant wail.

Hence, Grumpy Man and Bouncing Psycho were mightily surprised last week when a different kind of wail erupted from the Kitchen of Chaos: shrieks they were not accustomed to, more like a bird’s. Homing in on the source of the sound they discovered that Hrimnir was well and thriving, thank you very much, but that someone else wasn’t. And it wasn’t feline either. It was a blackbird chick. One of the elder cats must have brought it in, a live specimen for the kitten to experiment his budding hunting prowess with. It took Hrimnir 3 hours though to end off the chick and Bouncing Psycho had ample time to grab the All-Seeing Eye and take pictures at his leisure.
The kitchen had just been cleaned that day. The kitchen was now full with tiny black feathers, one very thoroughly dead chick, and one extremely proud kitten.
Hrimnir – Blackbird population: 1-0.

Would it surprise you that this score changed in the following days ?
Because the next day, and I was home to witness it, Hrimnir was seen in the kitchen with yet another victim. Same species, same age, probably same nest. Again, one of the older felines must have brought it in and presented it to the happily murderous kitten, who promptly proceeded to try and trample it to death. Again, he needed some time for these proceedings to take place but again, in the end success was his and the body was left for The Mistress to dispose of. This time he had eaten from it as well. Or the older cats did.
Hrimnir – Blackbird population: 2-0

The next day Bean Sidhe brought in a mouse. But it wasn’t such a big success with the tyke. I guess a profound lack of feathers may have been the cause. Hrimnir has a thing with feathers.

Then, last Friday, we heard the by-now familiar shrieks from the garden, accompanied by the sound of a pair of very frantic birds being extremely upset and angry about something. It turned out Hrimnir was in the Garden of Chaos, entertaining himself with yet another Blackbird chick and this time supervised by all 3 cats ! The reason for the latter was immediately clear as 2 Blackbirds were swooping down towards the happily hunting kitten in defense of what must have been their offspring. Zorro, Loup-Garou and Bean Sidhe clearly were fascinated by the entire thing and had placed themselves strategically around the kitten in order to have some aerial fun themselves. The adult Blackbirds soon enough understood the danger of continuing their defense of the certainly doomed chick and retired to the branches of the nearby trees with angry mutters. And the 3 adult cats subsequently transferred their gazes and attention towards Hrimnir and his third chick. Hrimnir was having the time of his life, surely, but the chick soon grew exhausted and stopped moving. This was bad for the kitten’s attention span, as he would wander off in pursuit of better-moving prey, but equally bad for the chick’s chances of survival because the elder cats would then close in on it and have some fun themselves. They didn’t kill it though. They still left that to Hrimnir who would from time to time come back and have some more hunting experience. Which took up 2 days in the end, especially because the chick became quite adept at hiding himself. Such perseverance must be rewarded, and we threw him out of the garden and into the reach of his parents who promptly hid him, much to the chagrin of our felines. At this moment I hear its insistent calls for food. He’d better learn to shut up because the older cats are homing in.
Hrimnir – Blackbird population: 2-1

Now, you might think me cruel. You might be repulsed by the matter-of-factness of this report full of horrendous torture and heinous murder. But try to understand that this is simply Nature happening and a little kitten growing up. We simians tend to forget that our cuddly coddled pets are in fact descendants of fierce predators and that the instinct to hunt and kill is still strong in the felines. I do pity the chicks but I can’t help admire how the older cats instruct the little one and bring him live specimens to try out on, and he manages to learn his skills and grow more and more proficient at them each time. He’s only 10 weeks old now, but already a killer.

Picture below:
“Chomp chomp… give the neck-bitey…”

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“whaddoyoumean ‘wrong end’ ?”

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Don’t forget to visit the Friday Ark today and the Carnival of the Cats this Sunday ! There’ll be more peace and quiet there I guess…

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