Ze Vite Schtuff

It has been snowing real hard around the House of Chaos and of course the feline denizens stayed indoors as much as they could. Unfortunately for the youngest of them The Mistress wanted to record their reactions to the first introduction with copious amounts of that white cold stuff.

Little Frankendrolleke was unceremoniously picked up and thrown out into the Garden of Chaos with one hand, whilst the other would handle the All Seeing Eye and proceed to record some fascinating pictures for posterity. Frankendrolleke was not so fast on his feet as Bean Sidhe (of whose first introduction to snow we only have a picture of a rapidly retreating fluffy tail through the back door) and we had ample leisure to see how the tyke would tackle the white stuff.

His first reaction was shock. COLD ! Wet ! MAMA !
His second reaction was trying to find high ground from which he could oversee the problem and try to find a way to cope with it. A cart would do, were it not for the unhappy fact that the white cold wet stuff was everywhere – including on the cart. But from there Frankendrolleke would tentatively venture forth in search of drier and preferably more snow-less grounds, which he quickly found in the leeway of a garden tools box. No matter that a huge awning (soon to become Grumpy Man’s new den) was close at paw, he stubbornly stayed where he was and watched from the precarious safety of his leeway how the other feline denizens were handling this new and confusing situation.

For Isegrim too this was a new experience. Oh, yes, a year ago he had seen snow, but it was a light dusting, a half-hearted sprinkling of some haphazard flakes, not the white and cold onslaught we were experiencing now. We’re talking 10 to 15 centimeters of snow here, which for Belgium (Europe) is an Olympic amount of truly enormous proportions. At first our intrepid greycoat was filled with unbelieving wonder, and he would jump into the stuff and frolic and try to chase his dam and Hrimnir, and tumble with them in the snow and have some legendary fun. Then he calmed down a bit and settled for some grooming, ignoring the wetness and coldness of the stuff he was wallowing in. Happily and proudly sporting a glorious winterpelt he wouldn’t care less. And little Frankendrolleke, small, thick-bellied, sparsely furred…. just sat there, shivering, and wondering how in the name of Bastet that big brute could find this experience… fun.

The Mistress wonders whether Freya has had previous experience with snow in her unknown past, but our lithe grey-striped tigress seemed uncharacteristically frolicky and romped about with her offspring in a wanton display of energy-consumption we are not accustomed to. Of course, the spent calories were immediately replenished by a quick foray to the Bowls of Food. But clearly she too was in the spirit of the season and had massive fun. And it became a threesome when Hrimnir joined up to the fun and stared stalking both dam and offspring, tossing snow yonder and thither. Due to his own dam’s legacy ( a Norwegian Forest Cat she was) he had been perfectly outfitted for this kind of weather and has taken on the appearance of a veritable fluffy teddy-bear. Fortunately he has the disposition of one too, which suits the Cleaning Scourge just fine as she is wont to cuddle our Hrimmikins into oblivion.

Even Frankette, lured out by the strange white stuff and the enthusiastic romping of the others, tentatively joined into the fray and performed a stalk or two on Isegrim, the only feline denizen of the House (apart from the kitten) that she is not afraid of. But after two aborted tries -aborted because Isegrim spoilt it by looking at her when she was about to pounce, forcing her to feign indifference- she turned around and went in search of quieter environs.

Bean Sidhe considered the presence of snow a nuisance, clearly designed to spoil his magnificent pelt and forcing the lazy feline into extra grooming. He showed us all what he thought of the snow and promptly deposited his opinion for all to see right into the obnoxious stuff. Apparently the only good thing to be told about snow was that it came in very handy to cover up stuff, but boy is it cold !

Loup-Garou and Frankinneke declined to come out. The former because he needed some sleep, the latter because she does not want to be remembered to a life outdoors, thank you very much and can I have some Stinky Goodness now ?

Picture below: Frankendrolleke’s first steps in the snow, after having been thrown into the stuff…

Frankendrolleke in da snowwww

Of course the weekend is approaching and thus we will vist the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by When Cats Attack), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Tabbylicious), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by TBD), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.

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Felis Catus, the opportunistic hedonist

Cats are the ultimate hedonists’ hedonists. The word has been invented for them. They brought the hedo into hedonist. And what -pray tell- does “hedo” mean ?

It means: “heartily enjoying deliberate opulence”. Yes, that’s right. The cat’s very existence is devoted to the pursuit of extreme happiness, showing him off as a most natural American, and as such is wondering why a silly bird has been chosen as that nation’s national emblem instead of the far more worthy feline that he himself is such an august example of. Think of it ! Have you ever seen an American citizen content with not pursuing happiness and the subsequent manifestations thereof like money, luxury, the best food, a big house, an even bigger car, and the most garish status symbols humanity has ever been able to foist upon itself ? Not to mention the constant drive to groom oneself. Or the wounded pride when some foreigner finds his attire funny.

I have nothing against Americans (with which I mean the Homo USA-us), but some of their more weird quirks strongly remind me of my cats’. Indeed. If you leave it up to the feline residents of the House of Chaos “supersize me” is the Eleventh Commandment, not a funny advertisement meme and bane of dieticians. Their idea of bigger and better translates into a wish for large food bowls and larger couches with -of course- larger cushions. And of course they have a penchant for the wide prairies, one of such you’d preferably have as a backyard. Then, the mouse they have caught last night becomes a huge monstrous rodent by day when they try to convince you of their prowess as fearsome hunters and can I have a kibble now ?

But most of all it’s the pursuit of happiness that our feline companions devote so much of their daily activities to. Or rather the lack of activities. And in that I guess they deviate from the more energetic kind of pursuit of happiness our fellow simians of the USA are wont to exhibit. Because for Felis Catus nothing but the best will do, and certainly nothing but the most relaxing pose on the most comfy cushion in the most warm house.

Yet, fanatic individualists as they are, the feline denizens of the House of Chaos are wont to display their hedonism each in their own unique way. Let us go down the list by age:

– every evening Loup-Garou silently coerces us simians into retreating to the Nest as soon as possible after dinner. He cajoles and goads us until we crawl under the duvet and he can then haughtily take up his customary place between our pillows and our heads. From time to time we get a sharp reminder of our duties to pet him into purring submission. Too bad he wakes us up doing so. Too bad Grumpy Man’s customary behaviour when that happens is to hurl said kitty out of the Nest. Still, he never gives up. And he can be so happy….

– Bean Sidhe is usually found napping on our desk chairs, on the cupboard between our computers, on our feet in the Nest. Once in napping mode it’s impossible to dislodge him, save by copious application of brute force and hardening of our hearts. Bannekins tends to complain loudly and plaintively.

– Hrimnir has a spot at the window. He also has a spot anywhere on the Nest that’s not being occupied by anyone else. He also has a spot on my arm when I’m typing. He’s heavy.

– Frankette usually goes into hiding, and usually behind the painting I’m working on in the Kitchen of Chaos. That she tends to displace and crash my painting stuff is of no consequence. Very rarely does she venture upon a simian lap. Very rarely does she venture into the Nest. But when she does so her purring becomes thunderous. An alternative spot is the dirty or the clean laundry, whichever hasn’t been occupied by the others at the moment.

– Freya has this thing with boxes. Not only does she reduce them to bits, she also loves to sleep in them. Occasionally you can find her on the cupboard between the computers (when Banneman is not occupying it), on the dirty laundry (when Frankinneke isn’t residing on it) or on the windowsill (when Hrimnir isn’t there). When she sleeps she has this most endearing content look on her furry little face.

– Isegrim can be found anywhere napping. Usually though, he sleeps on the windowsill and on the clean clothes in our bedroom.

– Frankinneke is partial to the dirty laundry. Don’t ask me why. She also tends to sleep in one of the cupboards behind Grumpy Man’s drill collection. We are fortunate the drills are sorted by number. Occurrence of having to pick them up from the floor: twice a week. And the platform on the scratching pole too does hold some attraction to her because we have found her napping on it as well.

– Frankendrolleke is the most opportunistic of the meowing lot. You can find him in the couch, on the cupboard between the computers (and sometimes on top of the kitty that’s sleeping on that cupboard), on Freya, on Loup-Garou and on a simian’s shoulder or lap. He’s also the only feline resident to sleep in the lovely basket I have bought for that purpose. But so far he hasn’t dared to come up to the Nest. I wonder whether the menacing presence of 4 adult tom-cats has something to do with it.

In any case, at any given moment, you will find a peacefully reposing feline in the House of Chaos. And the only place where you won’t find them is in the bathroom (but not for lack of trying… Freya, Isegrim and Hrimnir tend to consider the sink as a most appealing bed) because that door is usually locked. Other than that, any reasonably stable spot in any reasonably peaceful area is fair game.

Picture below: yeah, he’s almost drowning in that space, but then, he’s got space to grow into hasn’t he ?

Frankendrolleke in his basket

Pfff… time flies… it’s almost weekend again, and that means visiting our furriends over at Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Mind of Mog), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by The Sour Dough), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by -oops- there’s still a host needed !), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.

Mistress The Nurse

A kitten in the house is a joy. Or so it should be. But when said kitten starts emitting all kinds of foul substances in the house one tends to wonder. Never ever would we ponder to do away with the obnoxious polluter, but we did have to stage one surprise visit to the Man In White and hear the verdict: “yup, worms”. Of course the tell-tale signs were there: bloated belly, rapidly fouling behind which even the kitten himself stopped cleaning because it just became too much work, a very listless and increasingly lethargic kitten… persistent worms and turbo-transit to match. Yech.

What is a Mistress to do ? You can’t really discipline a sad huge-eyed kitty who just can’t help it when his lunch squirts out without any control ? But what you can do is to apply the warm wet washcloth and give the tyke a thorough scrubbing. Then comes the anti-worm paste. Then come the anti-ear mite drops, then you start cooking lunch.

Yep. Cooking.

The Mistress was forced to head to the market and score a bag of chickens’ stomachs and some carrots. Said stomachs and carrots were then chopped up into tiny bits, cooked, and sprinkled with an anti-diarrhea medication. The result was given to the ravenous kitten who had to be locked up when the other cats were given their food. Food which had to be locked up lest the little one tried to sample it. In order to get the problem under control we had to turn our hearts into stone and endure the pitiful sight of 7 adult cats staring forlornly at their empty bowls. And the pathetic shrieks of one tiny kitten who had to be locked up in the travel cage when the adults were fed. Poor Frankendrolleke !

He’s doing better now, after 5 days of relentless medicating and grooming. Back to his old rambunctious energize-bunny-esque lively self. Right now he’s lying on my shoulder purring his little head off. The simian shoulder is his favourite spot, which does not exactly endear him to the simians when his behiney is filthy. But it’s nice to have this little furry ball of heat purring away on your shoulder and against your neck when it’s a cold rainy November day. He still weighs next to nothing, which is an added bonus.

And just when you think you have everything under control, another patient turns up.

Bouncing Psycho nearly stumbled over a listless Freya, lying just outside the inner cat-flap. (We have 2 cat-flaps: one giving entrance from the Garden of Chaos to the Verandah of Chaos, the second one giving access from the Verandah of Chaos to the Kitchen of Chaos.) When I picked her up she just went limp. She also felt rather chilly and gritty, nose cold and dry, fur full with sand and staying upright when you pinch part of it, the inside of the mouth pale and dry. NOT GOOD.

When I deposited her next to the water bowl she drank a bit, then scurried under the couch and hid there. Shivering. NOT GOOD AT ALL.

But what can you do ? Wait until the Man In White is receiving, that’s all. And so I positioned myself at my computer to while the time away. Until I noticed a grey shape mounting the cupboard on the left of my desk and beheld Freya installing herself into a lethargic yet shivering puddle of misery in search of some love and cuddles. I grabbed two towels to wrap her in, then offered a small bowl of warm water – which she started to inhale. She needed heat ! And went looking for it, because the cupboard slides under the large desk on which two computers and a printer reside, plus the large rack filled with tons of books. But behind the cupboard is a radiator. The heat it emits can only go three ways… from under my desk, from under Grumpy Man’s desk, and past the cupboard. It’s practically the warmest spot in the House of Chaos ! And Freya, following her instinct to battle the hypothermia, knew what to do.

Fortunately I had some pocket-warmers, little bags with a kind of jelly that hardens and heats when you crease a metal disk that’s in it (chemical reaction). I swiftly slid one of those under Freya’s belly, tucked her a bit more snugly into the towels, and waited. After a while she accepted some stinky goodness and more warm water. She started to purr. The visit to the Man In White was cancelled. And then, crowning achievement, I put little Frankendrolleke next to her and -oh joy oh wonder- instead of growling the tyke into a fleeing panic Freya accepted the extra warmth and let him be.
A situation of which he immediately took the most outrageous advantage by spreading his purring little body all over the adult she-kitty. Kittens….

But what had caused this hypothermia and dehydration ? Judging from the dirt in her pelt and under her chin she must have gotten stuck somewhere, and that for a long time, until she could free herself. She hadn’t been home for a day, that we know. Fortunately it had been unseasonably warm for November, but it had also been dry outside so she couldn’t get any liquids. And now Freya is back to being her old head-butting self… and the CPU gets a head-butt, and my glass of water gets a head-butt, and the new book of Jeremy Clarkson gets a head-butt (and subsequently slides off the cupboard… sigh…)… even Frankendrolleke got a head-butt. See the pile of envelops, booklets and disk cases she’s lying on ? All that got a head-butt and crashed to the floor…

Ach… All is well that ends well.

Picture below:

purrrrrr… what a comfy bed this she-cat makes….. *snuggle*

Frankendrolleke and Freya

Yay, weekend again… so it’s time to stop by at the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Catsynth), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Tabbylicious), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by Kashim, Othello and Salome), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.