Archive for the 'Cats' Category

Darn Cats!!!!!!!

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Darn Cat!!!!!!!

I was so sad to see this sight at the doorstep yesterday morning!  One of our cats killed this cute little chipmunk!!!

Hard to say which cat is was – both seem to have been on a late-summer killing rampage.  In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been receiving our first ‘presents’ of the summer – several mice and a bird.  :(   But killing a chipmunk seems to be taking it to the next, more cruel level, somehow… 

And I had only recently been so delighted to have the chance to watch a cute little chipmunk sit and chew on a nut on a rock in our garden.

Luckily, today (the day after I took this picture), I DID see a very much alive and apparently cheerful little chipmunk scampering about in our garden.  So it’s good to know that our cats haven’t decimated the local chimpmunk population altogether.

Still, I’m sorry that they even got this one…

Should Have Thrown a Penny

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

So our cats, Jimmy and Minnie, have been enjoying the great outdoors again this summer.  Only this year, they’re doing it in our new neighborhood. 

So far so good – they are very well behaved about coming back into the house without too much calling.  Heck, they even usually beg to be let in before we even think about calling them.

And unfortuneately, Jim has taken to, um, well, relieving himself in the neighbor’s yard.  And not discretely, up under the bushes, all delicate like.  Nope, as the neighbor told me, he just goes in the lawn.  Leaves cat nuggets right in the middle of the lawn.  

So that’s bad for the neighbor, and causes me some embarrassment (and I’ll admit it, I’m also a tiny bit amused in a guilty way), but mostly, everything’s OK.

Except for that black cat.  There’s another (I am presuming male) cat that roams these here parts, and the neighborhood’s not big enough for the two of them.   Black Kitty and Jim have had some noisy standoffs, and even some nasty rumbles – with definite physical contact.

I have always been anxious when cats fight because there’s no good way to break them up without getting all scratched up, yourself….  that is until Paul threw a penny at them one night.

Whew knew.  A penny.  So small.  So practically valueless, in currency terms.  And so potent as a non-violent tool for dispersing angry cats.

So for a while there, Paul was throwing pennies at the Jimmy and Black Kitty  whenever they got into a standoff or a fight.  Black Kitty would instantly run away, and Jim would usually come inside.

But we haven’t been doing that for awhile.

And now, Jim has developed some kind of strange problem on his back.  It’s a clump of fur that feels sticky.  I thought maybe the other Kitty bit him a little, and that it was saliva in the fur.  But now the sticky spot is getty bigger, and I’m afraid there might be a wound hiding under there and draining. 

He won’t really let us look at it, and I suspect there may be a vet visit in his future.

Poor Jim is a REALLY bad vet patient – so bad that they have to gas him to knock him out in order to examine him.  And that will probably be the only way to get to the root of whatever this is. 

I’ll keep you posted.

Googling Bob Barker

Friday, June 27th, 2008

So part of having a baby (for all women and for some lucky men) is parental leave from work for some amount of time.  April 30 was my last day at the office, and I’ll return twelve weeks after that – on July 24.

Since Sarah’s birth was induced (four days before her due date due to concerns that she would be a large baby, and that labor was very near anyway), I was able to ‘schedule’ one free day off for myself before her May 2nd birth.  That May 1 was a quiet, neat day.  I just took it easy, decompressed a bit from the rush to wrap up/transition all of my projects at work, checked the hospital bags for all the necessaries, took myself out to lunch, and just tried to enjoy the last day as a mother of one child.

On May 2, well, we all know what happened that day.

And since then, I’ve been temporarily at home, caring for the special new little sweetheart in our lives. 

But another part of being on leave is getting to experience weekdays at home – a novelty for a full-time employed person like me.

One of the first things that struck me was that on the Soap Operas that I have loosely followed for years (going back to my high school and some college free days), most of the main characters turned up inexplicably married to different main characters than they were married to when I watched during the last maternity leave, about three years ago.  Not only that, but the children of the main characters, who were still tiny tots three years ago, have been rapidly aged by much more than three years and are, in various cases, now teenagers or young adults running businesses.  In the case of Victor Newman on the Young and the Restless (which is supposed to be set in Wisconsin, by the way), he has one whole new, adult son who’s turned up that I never knew about before.

Not only that, I have watched a little bit of the “new” Price is Right, with Drew Carey, instead of Bob Barker, as host.  As I first watched, I wondered how old Bob was doing.  Is he still alive?  Is he ill?  I thought about Googling him.  Then realized how ridiculous that would be.  But then realized that ‘Googling Bob Barker’ would make a spiffy blog post title.

The next thing that struck me was how bad daytime TV is.  One highlight is that a local independent station plays German-language Deutsche Welle for much of the day, so I can brush up on my German when the mood strikes.  Also, in the early days, I watched and got hooked on a few Lifetime Movie Network movies, but after the first few days, I’ve tried to stay away from the TV for the most part.

It’s more interesting, when I’m not doing dishes or laundry, and when I’m just hanging out with a sleeping baby on me, to simply pay attention to what goes on in the neighborhood, and even in our own house, during the day.

One of the greatest sources of amusements has been our cats, whose secret weekday daytime lives I am now privileged to observe.  Mostly they just sleep alot.  But Jim also makes a point of sleeping on, or in, every single baby-item in the house.  I’ve finally given up on removing him.  He just goes right back, anyway. 

The Secret Lives of Cats Darn that Jim... Darn that Jim!  I've given up on keeping him off the baby's things That Jim sits on ALL the baby's things!And the cats are enjoying having me home.  They get to go outside and come inside throughout the day now, which has led to a new hobbie for Minnie: sitting on the outside window ledges of the house and looking in.

Minnie - Inside Out Our cats Minnie's new hobby is to hang out on the outside window ledges

All this fun is going to come to an end of four weeks (minus one day).   

It’s almost a shame that a nice break of time like this isn’t built into the work year (or every other year or two or three) for every American.  It’s a healthy thing to do to just have the mental break and to refresh from the usual work routine.  Oh, well.  For me, four weeks is still a nice amount of time to enjoy, and that’s what I plan on doing.  Right along with the baby, the cats, the bad tv, the computer, and the errands and (decaf) Starbucks runs. 

With a baby who is reluctant to sleep anywhere else other than right on Mom, I know I’ll get in a lot of rest before this gig is up.

Getting Ready for Baby

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Getty Ready for the Baby


The whole family is getting ready for the new arrival.  Here’s Minnie dozing in one of her new favorite spots – the diaper changing part of the bassinet in the living room.

Jim often joins in by napping in the bassinet portion, itself.

I’m not concerned about the cats continuing this behavior once we bring Baby home.

They’ve both proven themselves to be pretty baby-averse.  So once we’re using this set-up for its proper purpose, I’m sure they’ll make themselves scarce.

Cats Who Love Too Much

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Handsome, purring Jim

Originally uploaded by Koog Family

If anyone out there has the time and the inclination to write a book with the above title, please contact me about my cat, Jim.

This cat loves me too much. (Can’t you just see that dewey spark in his eye?). And sometimes, it’s a little hard to take.

Like on those nights, such as last night, on which he chooses to express his devotion by errupting in endless mad purring sessions, while walking all around my pillow as I’m trying to sleep.

It’s hard enough, as a very pregnant lady, to get adequate sleep at night without this little guy robbing me of my Zs.

Before Emma was born, I worried that between newborn care and Jim’s nighttime antics, I wouldn’t sleep all night.  It turns out though, that Jim keeps his distance when there’s a baby in our bed – he’s afraid of little people.  So at least I won’t have to worry about the midnight purring mania while the baby-on-the-way is very little. 

When Jim was younger, he would often startle me awake, usually around dawn, by biting my sleeping, unsuspecting ear.  Luckily, those days are mostly behind us. 

I can’t help it that both of our cats love me so much.

I really am their favorite of the household. I try to tell myself that this is some kind of cosmic proof that I am a good and sincere person.

But sometimes, when I wake up in my bed, and really need to turn over to the other side, and I find myself in the middle of a cat “sandwich” – one cat snuggled tightly against either side of me – I wonder if maybe it would be better if the little guy and gal were just a little less fond of their old ‘cat mama.’

The Feline Lost a Canine!

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Jim Lost A Tooth!, originally uploaded by Koog Family.

I’ve been noticing for a few days – although it took a while to register, that when Jim looks at me and meows, I see more of his lower lip than usual.

Yesterday, it occured to me that there might be a tooth issue. Not thinking too carefully about it, I managed to grab him and get a look at his upper teeth.

All there. But I mentioned it to Paul.

And this morning, Paul checked the bottom teeth and confirmed that Jim lost one of his large, lower canine teeth!

I’m pretty proud of the fact that I both held Jim AND took the large picture here all by myself.

And there’s no doubt. Our 10-year-old little buddy is now down one (pretty important) tooth.

My guess is that he lost it trying to eat the harder parts of one of his many recent bird or mouse victims.

The area where the tooth was doesn’t seem infected or irritated.

So I guess we wont’ do anything in particular about it. Except maybe give him soft food a little more often.

Missing Tooth!

Wednesday Night Kitchen Help

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Mommy’s Little Helper

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

I got a lot of help in the kitchen tonight. First, Emma helped inventory the food supply while I prepared her dinner.


Snacks – for Baby and Cat

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

Next, Jim helped to tidy the floor after the incident I think of as the “meat chunk rebellion.”

Kindred-Spirit Kitty

Friday, August 18th, 2006

Minnie wearing a Cheesehead Hat

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


I posted previously about successfully submitting this picture of Minnie to She appeared on that website in March.

Today, in need of some frivolity therapy after spending far too much time and energy giving public presentations on various legal topics, I was happy to visit that site and to find a new posting of another Cheesehead cat (named Big Kitty) there!

Not only have I learned that another cat owner and packer fan likes to put “stuff” on his or her cat,¬†an¬†observant commenter on that site¬†referenced, and directed viewers to, the picture¬†my very own Minnie!

So let’s here it for cats! And for Big Kitty!

Jimmy’s Little Secret

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Cat in the Cradle

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

I guess Jim does have a secret daytime hobby, after all. I caught him relaxing in Emma’s crib this morning as I was leaving for work.

From now on, I’ll have to be sure to keep the anti-cat defense shield zipped up at all times.

Two Firsts Today

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Ball Popper Bonanza

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


It was a big day today for Emma.

At daycare, she had her first time out!

I feel very guilty about it. You see, she has learned, at our house, how to pull up to the TV and push the buttons. She thinks it’s great fun to see that her actions (pushing buttons) cause results (TV goes on/off, channels change, etc).

So, today, at daycare, she started pushing the TV buttons there while the other kids were trying to watch Sesame Street. They fussed, and Julie had to act.

Turns out TV-button pushing is not allowed at her house.  (So I feel like a slacker Mom.  I should have anticipated this and not allowed button-play at home.  Paul is of the mind that Emma will learn that some activities are OK at home, but not away from home.  Will have to see how this plays out). 

For her time-out, Julie put Emma in the Excersaucer for a minute.

But either Emma didn’t know she was in trouble, or she didn’t care. She flashed Julie a big smile from the ‘saucer.


Mesmerized Minnie

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


Later in the evening, we had a visit from Paul‚Äôs uncle and cousin. Cousin Vicki brought a birthday present for Emma, since she won‚Äôt be around on the actual birthday.¬† It was Emma’s first one-year birthday toy gift, and her first time actually helping to unwrap a present.

The gift was a ball popper machine, and we’ve never seen or heard Emma bounce and squeal with so much delight at a toy, as she did when she first saw the balls popping out the top of that thing. This is going to be a lot of fun in our house.

Curiously, our skittish cat, Minnie (who has recovered from the raspy meow), was fascinated by the toy. She braved the visitors and stayed close to the machine to watch the action.

I couldn’t tell if she was irritated or excited and intrigued. But she kept her eye on that toy. She might be plotting to steal the cat-toy sized balls that pop out the top of it. In fact, she might even be wise to the fact that one of the balls popping out of it IS one of her cat toys.