#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…

Imagine…

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…

#Wijvenweek 2: guilty pleasures

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: Guilty Pleasures

It’s really difficult to be a cat. The simians you live with have so many and dumb expectations of you, it’s become a day’s work to try and live up to them… really really difficult !

Freya knows this well. From the earliest stirrings of her simian caretakers in the morning to late in the evening when the last of them finally succumbs to the beckoning arms of Morpheus she has to make sure that we never, ever, look strangely at her because she’s doing something unexpected and weird. She is well aware that we expect her to groom herself to pristine feline perfection, to lounge about lazily yet regally in a random ray of sunlight, to playfully yet elegantly chase after the hapless mouse that has somehow escaped Isegrim or any other of the House of Chaos’ regular hunters, to sit at the empty food bowls and meow imploringly to us…

But now and then she surprises us with her wacky little guilty pleasure and leaves us wondering what had happened to Her Impeccably-Mannered Ladyness…

She is the Typing Machine-Cardboard Muncher.

Freya chomp

Nomnomnomnom *TCHING* Nomnomnomnom *TCHING*

#Wijvenweek 1: the Lady of the Feline Tribe ruffled

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 …“Beauty queen in the deepest of my thoughts” !

Freya is always spotless. Always at her best. No matter how hard it rains outside, or how terrible the little ones have been romping about with her, she always has her lovely pelt firmly in order, every hair in place. Her pelt is always pristine and groomed to perfection. She is truly beautiful and knows it.

Cats are very fastidious animals. They have a nifty little tool to help them with the daily task of grooming their luscious pelts: the tongue. It’s covered with little stubs that work like barbs. When they are licking themselves they are actually going over everything with a tiny flexible rasp. All kinds of impurities and dirt are removed, as well as loose hairs, and in the meantime the body itself is given a wholesome massage. Moreover, when the feline furr-ball is lying in the sun, the pelt somehow creates vitamin D and this is licked up later by the grooming kitty. So there you have it: comb, washing cloth, vitamin pill – all in one !

Their extreme agility allows them to reach nearly every possible spot on their bodies. Yet the spots that they can’t reach by twisting themselves into purring pretzels must be dealt with by using a tool… the paw. It is moistened and then brushed over the neck, head and ears. Not as thorough as the tongue perhaps, but certainly a useful substitute. And the best substitute of all is of course another kitty’s tongue. If your kitty were to accept another one that close to her august being that is. Which Freya does. She is not adverse to asking either Hrimnir or the kittens for a little extra attention, but the product of her loins Isegrim is no longer welcome. He has become so big that his own mommy is now afraid of him.

When there are simians about in the House of Chaos it’s not unusual for our 7 feline friends to vie for these simians’ attention. Freya is a past mistress of the artful begging and will contort her lovely shape into something akin to a starving wreck whenever there’s the possibility of food to be had. An immaculately groomed starving wreck of course ! One should never lower one’s standards you know !

Except when the first Spring Sun is discovered and she couldn’t wait to dash out into the garden to be the first to sample it…

Freya

*GASP* Le horror ! Ruffled pelt !

Tiny terrors

With the arrival of 2 kittens the adult feline denizens of the House of Chaos have experienced a rude awakening, it seems, from a sedate life of idleness. They certainly have started to become a bit more active again since the auspicious evening when two tiny furballs tentatively emerged from the travel-cage, but before that moment it seemed that having reached an adult age is the sign for any kitteh to slow down and heralds the beginning of an Age of Perpetual Drowsing, a fate that has befallen all adult feline denizens here. Loup-Garou is the only one who’s entitled to, in The Mistress’ opinion, as his accumulated 13 years must certainly be wearying on the old bones, but that the other kittehs had succumbed to a certain daily routine of sleeping, eating, grooming, begging for food, eating, begging for some cuddles, sleeping… and the oldest not even 6 years old – shameful !!!

But now, ah now… Finding a more or less unassailable spot (unassailable that is for two enterprising little climbers who have yet to master the art) where one can enjoy an unperturbed nap has become a daily chore for the adults. Except for Loup-Garou, who has ever been the undisputed Tyrant of Napping Spots and generally the tykes recognise him for what he is (an enraged meat-grinding machine when he’s suddenly roused from his slumber) and just cuddle up against him (for he does make for a great -though bony- pillow). The other adults however are fair game. The Mistress has discovered that Isegrim has taken up sleeping in the dirty laundry pile in the hind-kitchen because the kittens have not yet discovered the trick of passing through the cat-flap. Hrimnir and Freya have taken to sleeping high. Bean Sidhe has a hiding spot no-one else knows about.

Picture if you will, the blissfully snoring feline. Happily curled up on some prime napping real estate he had found not yet occupied. Then, enter the pitter-patter of tiny paws on the tiles. And the pitter-patter suddenly stops. Inquisitive little ears are pricked towards the hapless napper. Mischievous little eyes sparkle with sudden delight. A prey ! Two little furry behineys are simultaneously trust into the air, twitching with strain and happy anticipation, tensed muscles ready for the pounce… and Hrimnir finds himself adruptly awakened and beset by two tiny terrors. Can you fault him for lashing out in sudden panicked fury and making a dash for the safety of beyond-the-cat-flap territory ?

Not that it would deter the tykes from doing it again though. As the luckless victim of their latest prank leaves a small dust cloud behind his rapidly disappearing self the kittens sit back and proudly preen their ruffled pelts. Another job well done ! And then they start romping with each other again. Much to the relieve of Freya who has been watching the drama unfolding from the lofty safety of the top of a cupboard. She’s been a mum. She knows.

Interestingly it is Freya who had been the first to start entering the little ones’ play. One would have expected the youngest -Isegrim- or even Hrimnir The Peacemaker to have been the first adult playmates for Gorgor and Rikishi. But no, some deeply-buried motherly instinct must have been awakened and Freya has taken upon herself the dreadful burden of teaching the tykes to hunt, prowl, stalk, pounce and generally making a nuisance of themselves if you can believe the opinions of the local rodent and feathered populace who are already suffering from an overdose of very competent Isegrim (Freya’s son). These lessons would automatically draw the young ones to pounce on her of course, but she is cunning and manages to somehow sic them onto the big boys, cherished son included.

Yet it shouldn’t be said that Loup-Garou is an aloof and child-hating old grumpy one, no, he too has entered the children’s play from time to time. But mainly to take away their toys and hog those with a growl, a menacing look at the little ones, and a possessive paw around said toys. The tykes are subtly invited to come and try to take them back, and the one who does succeed gets… an affectionate nose-butt. Clearly it’s all bark and no bite, but don’t tell that to the old geezer. You see… he did intend to punish the stupid kitten who would try to take the toys back from him, but by the time either Gorgor or Rikishi has mustered the courage to do so Loup-Garou has forgotten that he took the toys in the first place and simply assumed the tyke came over for some affection. Mèh, the joys of encroaching dementia !

And then Isegrim proudly enters the House of Chaos with a freshly-caught and expertly-killed dove and the tykes’ attention swivels over to him. The poor dear has already discovered his mother doesn’t take kindly to her get clouting them kittens. He drops his prey before he’s attacked and looks on forlornly as the kittens tear into it, feather by feather, before proudly waltzing of with their prizes and expecting to be praised for being such good hunters. It just ain’t fair !!!

Picture below: Loup-Garou with the world under his paw… it’s Hiss.

Photobucket

Don’t forget to visit our other friends this weekend on the Friday Ark, the Carnival of the Cats and Weekend Cat Blogging. They all have fascinating stories to share !

Audacious arrivals

Two small orange kittens were all set for a life amongst the feral population in a town near a busy road. One was a typical orange-white tabby, the other is orange too but must have had Maine Coon or Forest Cat in his ancestry for he had a luscious and plush fur like some other adults in the group. It is possible they are litter-mates, as they look alike well enough. They had the usual feral kitten’s fear for humans and ferocity for food. Their lives seemed already condemned, short, awful.

Enter some nice Simians from Kat Zoekt Thuis (Cat Seeks Home).

They caught the two kittens and the almost adult black lady who was taking care of them. The lady was called Merel (Blackbird, although the sweet Caretaker really wanted to call her Heksemieke or Witchygirl but that name was deemed too negative for adoption chances). The larger and more fluffy of the boys was called Rambo. The smallest (the orange tabby) was called Rösti (Potato Cookie). And while staying in the house of the Caretaker they were put up for adoption. Preferably all 3 of them together…

In the House of Chaos Grumpy Man had noticed that The Mistress was very much taken by the new kitten of The Cleaning Scourge. And so he decided that for Mistress’ birthday a new kitten should be sought. After some seeking, and some contacts, it was decided to go and take a look at the 3-some from Kat Zoekt Thuis. And off the Simians drove, more than an hour away, to seek out a sweet little kitty to join the 5 existing Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos.

The first contact was promising. The Mistress had brought that most fabulous of bribing instruments for furtive feral kittens: a feather wand. Blackbird was not interested in the ruckus, but the 2 boys launched themselves wholeheartedly into the game – albeit keeping a wary eye out for the Simians. After a while, and some talks with the Caregiver who secretly had hoped nobody would take Blackbird, it was decided to take both boys back to the House of Chaos. They were the most sweet, well-behaving and -most importantly- silent kitties we ever have transported by car !

New names were decided on, as Potato Cookie is just ridiculous-sounding and Rambo is a moniker more befitting a Bulldog. The fluffy one is therefore now known as Gorgor (fans of Lord Of The Rings might recognize it: Cirith Gorgor or the Haunted Tower, but there is a European Comic book -Chronicles of the Black Moon- with a main Character who is called Gorgor Bey and is a veritable fighting, feeding and feasting mountain of a … well… man… of sorts…) and the small tabby is learning to listen to the name of Rikishi (Strong Man in Japanese, the less-known designation of the Sumotori or Sumo-wrestlers).

As both boys are feral-born they still need to adapt to the presence of Simians. But their first introduction to the other Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos went more or less flawlessly… After cautiously exiting the Travel Cage both tykes made a straight beeline towards the feeding bowls and went exploring the -to them- most appealing feature of the house: food !! The Mistress had deducted -and rightfully so- that a Stinky Goodness feast would be the fastest way to cement a hearty friendship between the arrivals and the residents. And while they were munching happily away the contents of two tin cans a cat litter box was strategically placed under the couch, so as to keep the adult residents from availing themselves of it and having it overflow in the blink of an eye, and because the tykes have yet to master the cat-flap.

At first the adult feline residents felt resentment. Who are these interlopers ? Hissing and slaps were the order of the day. But the tykes have learned at very young age to cooperate so as to stand stronger and have developed this strategy to perfection. They bunch together, no matter what happens. That forced the adults to keep them in their sights from a safe and high vantage-point (the table, cupboards…). Even the youngest, Isegrim, is taken aback by the little ones’ energy and tries to avoid them. Alas, after having explored the House of Chaos thoroughly the little ones are now most interested in the inhabitants, starting with the smaller furry ones. And so they have set to stalking the adults.

Loup-Garou has made a point of establishing his authority with a few slaps and hisses, and will watch the tykes bemusedly when they push him away from the feeding bowls. Clearly he feels that terrorizing them would be beneath his dignity. But when they were playing with a toy world globe he took it away from them and played a bit with it – demonstratively. So, who’s your daddy then ?

Bean Sidhe is simply too big and lazy to be bothered much by the tykes. As long as they don’t pester him he won’t bat them. And a bat from his big paw is akin to a kick from a mule, as far as Gorgor and Rikishi are concerned. They leave him be.

Hrimnir is confused. They hissed and growled at him ? The Peacemaker Himself ? A bit more time is needed here, methinks…

Freya has her priorities straight: anyone who comes between her and food is ENEMY. The tykes, however, have learned at the earliest opportunity that her growls are all show and no substance. After 5 days she was seen cuddled up with Gorgor.

Isegrim has understood his days of the cute youngest one are over and he is looking for a new role. The first days he’s frantically brought in some very dead and very fat doves. But he’s still not decided as to what the tiny intruders could mean to him: playmates or boxing bags ?

After a few days of hiding and scurrying away at first movement Gorgor was the first to allow himself to be petted and cuddled on laps by the Simians. Rikishi, having the assurance from his “older brother” that there is no danger involved, is slowly following suit. But they must be daily cared for which doesn’t really help to reassure them: each has an inflamed eye which needs a medication to be put into it. They allow the ministrations though. As long as there is food to be had…

Picture: Gorgor and Rikishi… brofurs forevvur ! !

Gorgor and Rikishi

Don’t forget to visit our other friends on the Friday Ark, the Carnival of the Cats and Weekend Cat Blogging.

Extra Mews: The Mistress has had a motorbike accident on Friday October 14th 2011. Fortunately nothing serious, but enough to keep her home a few days. She’s cuddling up with the old ànd new kitties full-time. The bike has less damage than its driver though. Sturdy bike. The Mistress’ face is not so sturdy and required bandaging. The right side of her body is bruised and she’s walking -well, hobbling- on crutches.

The Feline Denizens wish to report that they are happy she is spending more time at home, and no, they didn’t bribe the car driver who so stupidly swerved his car to the left without using his signalling lights in order to see what had caused the traffic jam he was in when she was driving by. Causing a whole new traffic jam of his own. Blèh.

Anyways, The Mistress wishes to thank the driver who was kind enough to immediately call the ambulance, the nice person who put her motorbike safely out of the way and chained it to a sturdy fence for Grumpy Man to find later that night, the kind lady who warmed The Mistress with her own coat which has now blood splatters all over it… The Mistress also wishes to wholeheartedly curse the lorry driver who insisted on driving past, passing with his biiig wheels just two centimeters from The Mistress’ head. While everybody else was angrily yelling at him to at least wait for the ambulance to pick her up first. There are bloody insensitive and uncaring idiots everywhere. One of them is driving a white truck.