WORDLESS WEDNESDAY, the site where it all began.
WORDLESS WEDNESDAY, the site where it all began.
The days are growing short and dark and the blazing summer sun is quickly becoming a hazy memory. So… let’s have this splendid exposure of Caramel’s tummy-and-sunburn out for your entertainment and emotional vitamins!
Of course there is only one and true Tummy Tuesday and that is at LisaViolet’s Dairy ! All go there and have a marvellous time…
Cats have this strange but utterly compelling fascination with enclosed spaces. I have yet to encounter the feline who is not mesmerized by the presence of a cardboard box or a sack. A hole leading to somewhere forces their attention towards it and the snugger the place the more irresistible it becomes. They must explore it, they must stuff their not-too-insubstantial furry forms into it, they must fill it up. No matter how small, if a cat can stuff any part of his body into it he will do so. And will look up with great pride when you greet him as if he wants to show off his prowess at space-filling. Or maybe he’s just immensely satisfied at his latest acquisition ? For what a cat touches is his, you know.
Amongst the feline denizens of the House of Chaos is not a single feline who does not like to cram his furry self into an enclosure. All love boxes, all adore baskets, all crave crates. The smaller the better even. Often has the Mistress come home after an arduous bout of shopping, delivered her boxes and crates to the Kitchen of Chaos before closing the door and upon returning to the Kitchen found one or several felines already firmly ensconced in one of the receptacles. Never mind that said receptacle is filled to the brim with purchases. The cat simply tops it off.
Size does not matter. In the picture below you can behold a very proud Bean Sidhe having tried to enter Grumpy Man’s slipper. He loved it. He didn’t mind the obnoxious odour emanating from it, maybe he even relished it for all I know, but he surely loved the snug fit. Zorro has been found crawling into Grumpy Man’s footwear as well but he is wont to stuff his head inside them, not his paws. But boxes and crates are their favourites. Be it a low box or a high box, a plastic crate or a wooden one, they have no real preferences but the requirements are: having at least 4 walls and a bottom. A top is optional and if it moves even makes for greater fun.
Once a box has been possessed, though, company is not appreciated. A respectful and admiring audience can be tolerated, enjoyed even, but the presence of a potential contender must needs be objected to. Firmly. Hence the presence of an empty box has in the past sparked some memorable cat-fights and we are looking forward to the sequels. Our furry friends are quite territorial and whenever something nice has been taken into ownership their instincts kick in and the paws lash out. It’s automatic, you can be assured that it will happen. And the ferocity employed is by no means any less than that of the wild lion defending his turf. For the hapless visitor who has entered the House of Chaos for the first time such fights can look horrible and utterly menacing but for the resident denizens it’s a source of great entertainment. Simians and felines alike line up for a good view and some even cheer on the fighters.
But once the dispute over ownership has been settled to satisfaction the victor can enjoy the comfort of his box and engage into whatever he was planning to do with it. Most of the time this involves a serious bout of napping. Often has Grumpy Man picked up a box, meaning to place it outside for the trash-collectors to haul away, and found to his surprise that the supposedly empty box had -in fact- a substantial weight. And content. Which would subsequently yawn and emit a soft growling meow in response to its rude awakening. Or it would spring up like a Jack-in-the-box and startle poor Grumpy Man to within an inch of cardiac failure.
Other activities that can take place with a box or crate are playing Jack-in-the-box, ambush, and Venus fly-trap. The first speaks for itself and was a favourite passtime between Zorro and the late woofie Fenris. The Venus fly-trap is a beaut and related to the Jack-in-the-box, involving a cat being as silent as he can and waiting for another cat who thinks the box is empty and can be claimed by simply jumping in. Need I say more ? The ambush is more straightforward: the other cats are not interested in the box but fall prey to a sudden attack from it when passing by.
The cardboard box itself can be the subject of attack too. Zorro especially loves scratching entire bits out of it while Bean Sidhe is more wont to bite little chunks out of it. One can also jump on it, over it, scramble underneath it, push it all over the floor, trample it (which makes a funny noise) and demolish it. Sadly for our furry friends the plastic crates are more resilient and have failed to be destroyed to this date. But the cardboard boxes, oh boy !, come and go and the supply is as endless as the Mistress’ shopping runs.
Fortunately the cats don’t apply the destruction part to our slippers and shoes. They only toy with them. Sometimes even when said footwear is still firmly wrapped around our feet… “This slipper ain’t big enough for cat and foot boyo, one of you has to go…”
Picture below: Ain’t he the cutest about it ? But now Grumpy Man complains his slipper smells of cat.
And a new Friday is arriving and again the Friday Ark is sailing off to vistas unknown and adventure anticipated… Are you coming too ?
Judging from LisaViolet’s Dairy, where Tummy Tuesday has its cozy home, it’s “white&ginger day” today. A good reason to tear open the memory box and show you a piccie of a very young Bean Sidhe and his lovely fluffy tummy…
So young, and already so coy when a camera appears.
It is a radiant but early Sunday Morning. Outside, in the wide wild world, a late Fall -finally unleashed- is wreaking its majestic havoc on the hapless trees and inside, in the House of Chaos, the simian denizens try to fight off the lingering embrace of Morpheus in a desperate effort to get some decent breakfast before cruel starvation sets in. Needless to say the feline denizens await the same gruesome fate and follow the actions of the Mistress with unwavering scrutiny. Their well-being depends on it.
Our furry friends are very sensitive to changes in the simians’ daily routine and the elder ones have already learned to anticipate the joys of the breaking of said routine: they know their simians are wont to help themselves to a more copious breakfast at such days. Thus they eagerly await the Coming Of Good Times when the Mistress lurches over to the fridge and takes out the bacon. And equally thus the youngest feline, Hrimnir, ever eager to follow the good example of his elders, sets about in a frantic display of emotional distress fearing to be left out of the feast before it even had the chance to begin.
It’s not as if the feline denizens of the House of Chaos aren’t fed on a regular basis. In fact, their bowls are almost always at least partially filled with the yummy crunchies they so love. In the past the Mistress has gone through a painstaking process of offering her furry friends different brands of food and the elder cats have unanimously decided on a certain brand (named after cats’ whiskers). They also have stated their preference for stinky goodness, but since yummy crunchies are better for their porcelain cutlery they only rarely are treated to this delicacy. Besides, crunchies are less expensive and keep longer fresh in the bowl.
Now you should understand that as former predators cats are wont to place the accumulation of food at the top of their priorities. When they were still living the wild life daily existence meant there was great insecurity as to where food would come from and whether it would be willing to be eaten anyway. Hence the offending sight of an empty bowl is anathema to our poor feline companions and we must strive to keep the bowls topped up in order to protect their faint sensibilities. And when the unthinkable does happen we horrible negligent minions will bear the full brunt and force of feline wrath, which will be terrible and loud.
Hrimnir still has to master the finer points of this procedure though. The tyke obviously thinks that the louder would be the better and the yowls, howls and shrieks that accompany every move of the Mistress in the Kitchen of Chaos are a wonder to hear. He’s becoming more and more vocal with each day too, certainly honing the use of his voicebox to perfection, and the demanding force of his yelling grows equally daily. Not that the Mistress is impressed though. But I must admit that Hrimnir’s high sweet thrill is preferable to the growls and groans of the elder cats or Bean Sidhe’s holler. It is when their voices blend to form a feline cacophony of titanic proportions that we fear for the windows to fall from their cases.
Just try to imagine: at first you hear the high thrilling “me-a-ow miew mwew-a-ow” coming from the kitten. Then Bean Sidhe sets in with his trademark “meew mee-aaw aa-aa-aaaw”. Enter Loup-Garou’s falsetto “mew mew mew” (instead of his usual pathetically piping “iew”) and finally Zorro adds his throaty “mow moooow mA-ow”. Now, imagine further that the tyke will get louder and louder and the voices of the elder cats more and more insisting, demanding and ordering. There’s no set rhythm to it, crescendo and diminuendo clash, piano and fortissimo are having a fist-fight, and polyphony has taken the day off.
And all of that just for the Mistress taking the bacon out of the fridge.
Next I proceed to process the bacon. Grumpy Man likes his bacon without the crunchy white bits and these must be cut out before throwing the rest into the frying pan. This is exactly what Hrimnir has been waiting for. He is absolutely mad about these crunchy white bits and usually the elder cats get no chance at all to have a bite at it because the tyke so frantically attacks the bits when I throw them into the general direction of where I suspect the cats to be there’s simply no room left for the others to get their teeth in. He does leave the bowl in which I scrambled the eggs for the others though, you can’t accuse him of being a hog.
With the distribution of morsels and titbits finally commenced the noise gradually ceases and the Mistress can henceforth peacefully be about her domestic duties. And enjoy an uninterrupted breakfast herself later on. Because that is one of the Cardinal Rules in the House of Chaos: feed the felines first, then eat at peace.
Picture below: Houston we have a problem !! 4 felines… 3 bowls… THE HORROR !!!!
Another horror… a picture taken with an inferior camera. Once you’re used at nearly the best (Canon EOS 350D – 8 megapixels) having to use a lesser one (Fuji FinePix 1300 – 1,3 megapixels) sort of… hurts.
Three days ago Hrimnir had an… eummm… “surgery”. Yup, the kind of surgery that leaves a tomcat walking rather wide-legged for a few days and which leaves him with the faint yet fast fleeting impression that he’s missing something. In polite company we prefer to refer to the procedure as “he has underwent an *ahem*-ectomy” or “he’s said goodbye to his Glockenspiel” (German for a “carillon”, a musical instrument composed of at least 23 cup-shaped bells played from a baton keyboard using fists and feet). But, in other words, it is called: a castration, an orchiectomy, a neutering, a spaying, a fixing. Weird that so many names exist to name the removal of feline unmentionables. But I found only one word for the victim: Wikipedia has informed me that from now on Hrimnir is a “gib”. A castrated tomcat.
All feline denizens of the House of Chaos are -as a rule- subjected to castration. I have several reasons for this and only one of them is purely egoistical (number 4 in fact). All others are about saving my beloved furry friends’ lives, and making said lives much more comfortable to boot.
1.) A virile tomcat will most likely try to establish the largest territory possible. He needs to patrol this territory on a regular basis and leave his messages about property ownership accordingly. It means he’s forced to go wandering a lot and many dangers abound in the wide wild world.
2.) A virile tomcat must needs establish a harem of nubile queens, whom he must service when they are in heat. A queen in heat emanates a scent that is utterly irresistible to the tom and he will go to great lengths, often travelling for many kilometers, in order to track down the source of this tantalizing smell and make it his. Again, he’ll be forced to wander a lot. And the pheromones do so terribly addle his brain and faculties that he may become careless and fall easier prey to the dangers of the road. Literally.
3.) A queen in heat will attract many virile tomcats and they must need fight each other in order to vie for her favour. Cats in fight is a terrible sight, but the wounds are worse. Feline scratches and bites carry many ugly bacteria deep into the wounds and these will subsequently fester. If you’ve never found your tom shredded to pieces you can count yourself lucky. But I’ve found one shredded to pieces and infected like hell. Trust me, you don’t want to know the rest of that story.
4.) A virile tom will advertise his manly status by “spraying”. Bluntly said: he will pee against walls, objects, in corners, anywhere inside and outside your abode. And the urine will carry an extra scent that will make you gag with revulsion but leaves a passing queen swooning in adoration. What makes it even worse is that it is very hard to remove the stink. Having your tomcat castrated young enough, before he begins spraying, can avoid the onset of this behaviour. Some still will commence though, but most of the time it works. The House of Chaos hosts 4 feline denizens and none of them spray.
5.) Spraying has one other extremely dangerous side-effect and sadly the House of Chaos has been the scene of such: if the cat sprays against an electrical outlet or an extension cord he risks electrocution. The late Rataplan Frankenstein The Mobile Disaster Area, who had not been castrated, has had such an unfortunate encounter with Mister Electricity and his tragic demise followed soon after.
So you see, I had to make a stone of my heart and turn over little Hrimmikins to The Man In White. He was delighted with the health of our tyke, calling him “a small but well-muscled bloke” and fondly handling the subject of his examination before giving him back to me. I was to position Hrimnir in front of the travel-basket, when TMIW gave the sleep-shot the kitten would be startled and dash for the safety of the box. Hrimnir hates the travel-basket though, and after the shot I had to force him inside, leaving TMIW staring at us in wonder. Rarely does a kitten prefer the safety of his mistress’ arms above that of the box. And when I closed the door the tyke was feisty and trying simultaneously to claw his way out of the box and punish me for his incarceration.
90 minutes later I was to pick him up. Hrimnir had been operated together with another little tomcat so when he woke up he was not alone. He was awake yet drowsy but all was well. What a relief ! The Man In White admonished me not to feed him until the evening for he might become sick. Needless to say the first thing he did when he came home was trying to find a bite to eat. (Because Hrimnir was not allowed to eat prior to the surgery I had taken away all of the cats’ food the evening before. When in the morning I came downstairs all of the cats were sitting around their empty bowls and staring furiously at me, then at the offending bowls. As if they knew the reason for this bleak situation all 3 of the adult cats next harrowed the kitten.)
When I opened up the travel-basket and added a warm comfy towel for his pleasure, Hrimnir insisted to go into the Garden, regardless of the fact that TMIW had admonished me to keep him warm and comfy, oh no, he had to go out into the Garden of Chaos and eat some grass there, then proceeded to lie down there on the cold ground and have a nap. What could I do ? I took him back inside and he would crawl out of the basket and back through the cat-flaps and into the Garden again. I had to go to my art class and leave him for a few hours, but Grumpy Man was home so it wouldn’t be a problem.
When I came home again the tyke was nowhere to be seen, but when I called him he came stumbling over from the neighbour’s garden ! He had gone for a stroll, of all things, still dazed by the anesthesia and everything. But he did spend most of the day and the next day sleeping a lot, curled up in a tiny ball of kittenish misery. Only today did he run around again, jumping and dashing with his old exuberance and none the worse for wear. He’s already forgotten his ordeal.
It’s only when he tries to groom his behiney that he notices something is still wrong. But that, too, will pass. He’s safe now.
Dazed and drowsy, and wanting desperately to get out of that darned basket. I removed the top for his convenience but he still insisted to get out.
Out in the garden, still dazed and drowsy, and determined to stay there. Fortunately it was a sunny Fall day, 18° Celcius, which is unusually warm for the time of the year. Hmmmm…. that grass is yummy when you’ve got an empty tummy !
It’s the end of the week and that means all kitties and other furry or feathered (or whatever) furriends gather to board the Friday Ark. Are you coming too ?
Again, Bean Sidhe is hogging the spotlight. But can you fault him ? With such a glorious tummy ? Methinks, though, he has let it all go to his head. Why, he’s yawning… or was that “showing off his perforator set” ?
Oh, and don’t forget to visit LisaViolet’s Dairy for other cute fluffy tummies !
We ask your fond sympathy for Hrimnir who had his *ahem*-ectomy today. My, he’s soooooo pathetic right now… But come on, he’s the one who is participating in the following contest, so please have a heart for him hey ? Give him some consolation !