By Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief and Mother of Mousie
This week we are sharing a few of our favourite photo collages... while Grammy is taking a break to knit frenetically. She finished a toddler sweater... thought it would fit a 2 year old. Nope! More like a 12 - 18 month size. Now she's working on one for a girl about the same size... possibly 18 - 24 months. The old girl needs a size chart to work from. I tell you.... we have to get her organized and it isn't easy. You may like to visit her knitting page to see what she's been up to.
Meantime, here come the promised collages... and by the way... do you see the resemblance between that regal lion and me. Yes, I may be a girl but still I think the likeness is pretty amazing. So, I'll post 4 photos of how each of the others see themselves, as well as some others we think you'll enjoy.
Hope you can see the last batch of photos in the Gallery.... this is the first time we've used that format. Click on them to see the full photo. Hover over them for captions.
Enjoy. Comments would be welcome as always.
by Whiskers, matriarch of mischief
Good morning, friends.
I don't know what started me down this road but... Well, actually, I do.
Grammy and I were having a quiet chat and a china mug of Tazo's Wild Sweet Orange tea while the rest of the family napped. It was lovely and peaceful; soft classical music in the background, snow muffling the outdoor sounds, Grammy with heating pad at her back and me snuggled and purring in her lap one paw on her tummy, one balancing my teacup.
Yes, yes, I know... Sitting where I am I promise I'm being careful not to spill my hot brew in her lap. That would not be clever and I'm a clever girl so... enough said. Oh, that's funny... me sitting in her lap lapping up my tea. *giggles* Okay, that was weak but then so was my tea. Grammy makes it medium strength and I like it a wee bit stronger but she's the one with the opposable thumbs so I don't complain. On days when she's preoccupied and it sets longer I get it my way.
Okay, I know I'm mind wandering here but remember we tend to do that in our 'middle years'. What are middle years, you say? Those times between being and raising little 'uns and becoming old timers. A time when responsibilities ease up and we can just sit, relax and reflect on our lives, a time when we still have our faculties before they become faulty or frail.
As you know, Grammy was a foster mom and Mousie and I were her first fosters. A long line of fosters came soon after... some older, some youngish and one in particular was very young, barely out of kitten-hood herself, skinny with a bulging belly. Today we'll talk a bit about life around here with Miss Fidelia, her brood and the activities that we all got into while she was living here.
Fidelia was a beauty. Cute face. Full of mischief... just our kind of kitty. On arrival she was about 3 weeks into her pregnancy, barely more than 1/2 her estimated adult weight with 5 wiggling lumps squirming and bulging her otherwise skinny body.
Grammy had a mission... get this kitten nourished and her weight up to give her babies a chance. As usual, she went to work... feeding her, putting together a bed for the pending birth and planning a playpen for babies to roll around in as they nursed, slept, scrapped and gained their sight. AND all went well until the little bundles of joy decided to leave the warmth of mother's womb and enter the big bad world.
Since this isn't something Grammy can dwell on let it be said that Grammy called the vet then they took a frantic taxi ride once she'd seen Fidelia's struggles and heard her screams of pain.
Trusting the cat-whisperer vet implicitly Grammy returned home to await the outcome. It was an all-day struggle for mom and vet to get those babies out of such a wee girl alive. Sadly, the first one was lost. Later that evening Mom and four feisty, miniscule but scrappy, hungry balls of pending mischief were delivered and settled into the nursery.
Then began the adventure of a lifetime. Daily scraps over one teat. Of course, the other seven milking stations were viable and on standby but all four floundered and fought for the same one. Grammy intervened and moved them to other spigits but cries and flailing ensued as they fought their way back to the choicest meal. Eventually all got fed and once satisfied the former scrappers curled up together and napped until the next feeding when the feuding began once more.
Within a few days Etude, still blind for another week, was crawling up the blanket of the nest seeking out his as yet, invisible world. To protect him Grammy placed pillows on the floor outside the nesting basket so when he flopped over the edge he'd be cushioned. He and his sister, Musetta were intrepid explorers, though blind, and otherwise helpless. Determined, they were on the move. Grammy got a workout keeping an eye on those two.
She imagined that was bad enough but once the eyes of all four opened all H-e-double hockey sticks broke out. Those scraps of fur were on the move. The legs were wobbly but there was no stopping them. Out of the nesting box, onto the pillows they flopped. Then a scramble/flop/crawl to the bed where they dug in their wee claws and climbed the sheer cliff to view their new world.
Such exhilaration. All four would climb one behind the other then torpedo off the bed like flying squirrels. Unlike those fliers they would belly-flop onto more pillows that Grammy had fortuitously scattered around the bed. Repeat and repeat once more before flopping into a comatose nap-heap.
And she thought this was chaotic … these continuous rounds of climb, fly, flop, scramble, repeat. At least they were contained to the nursery room. They were nothing compared to what was to follow.
For the next 5 months the household, Fidelia, Mousie and I withstood the onslaught … more fights over the teat of preference, wrestling matches in milked-down food saucers, tiny pawprints tracked throughout the condo, and marathons around the condo with scrambles up and over upholstery, across Grammy's softer bits. lap or occasionally through her hair if she got in the way.
Fidelia tolerated their mischief well... giving them smacky-paws when necessary but otherwise left them to explore their new world. Mousie and I retreated to our favourite shearling-lined chair (pre-Moth Day) out of the line of fire. And Grammy was kept busy mopping floors, washing dishes, bathing food-caked kittens and herself, changing bedding in the nursery and doing the never-ending laundry.
Just as suddenly as they arrived sister and brother pair, Musetta and Scherzo, were spayed/neutered and adopted together followed soon after by Fidelia. All to good homes. Grammy has kept in touch with the 'purrents' and all three are thriving, happy. The household settled down into a less frenzied state of two mischievous boys, Mousie and me. But that was just the calm before the storm, so to speak.
Stay tuned next week for further musings....
Comments are always welcomed.
by Sweetie, teller of mischievous tails and phantasmagorical ideas.
Our Aunty M. (yes, another Aunty M) posted an interesting photo on her page a few days ago and it got me thinking. As you've read in our previous posts the boys are sometimes a little rough on Whiskers, Mouse and me. They like to pounce on our backs, clamp their jaws on our necks and hold us down for a while. Now, you have to know, they don't usually hurt us as long as we remember to just stay still until they tire of the game. For that is what it is to them.
On the other hand sometimes we squeal or squirm to get away because it isn't a game to us and that makes them clamp down a little harder... and Grammy has to intervene. That means the old girl has to set down her knitting, shift to the edge of the chair, propel herself up onto her feet, lumber over to us and separate the perpetrator from the perpetrated on.
Etude has perfected his timing and lets go just seconds before Grammy reaches for him and runs for cover snickering and giggling. It has become a game for him. Another thing they both do is creep up behind us to sniff our butts. If we ignore them they will nip our haunches so of course, we squeal to get Grammy's attention which means another knitting down/scooch to edge of chair/push up/lumber routine and more snickers from Etude. Rondo on the other hand will release as soon as Grammy yells, 'Rondo!!!' with a shame-on-you voice. The yell elicits no reaction from Etude. He prefers to see Grammy in motion. Those incidents where Rondo pounces are usually between the two boys though Etude has been known to return the favour as well. They are both scamps.
Mousie scoots away and escapes to the safety of the bedroom, I squeal then scamper away too but Whiskers won't put up with it, stands her ground, hisses and gives them a half dozen smacky-paws to the face. This only incites the boys to return the smacky-paw routine until it becomes an all out battle and Grammy has get up once more to put Whiskers in the bedroom. Poor old girl gets punished for their naughty behaviour.
Now you might think that the boys don't like us and vice versa but that isn't so because five minutes later we are often curled up together on the sofa or split off into pairs or threesomes. Other times we might not snuggle up at all and each of us will find our favourite spot and hunker down separately for a nap but not because we don't like each other, rather because we want some space.
In my wise opinion I think the boys are either bored or hungry and this is how they entertain and/or distract themselves... and if you wonder about the hunger part read our previous blog. Of course, me teasing them to get them moving and exercising wouldn't have ANYTHING to do with it! No, don't even think it. Not at all my doing!
Well, now to the topic of the blog. After reading Aunty M's post I have determined we should get cat armour. If Henry VIII can armour his cat why not us? So I have researched neck to butt covers for the three feminine felines. My thought is to find something that is tough as leather but tastes like broccoli. That should work. None of us are fond of broccoli. Not even Grammy. She'll eat it but seldom will cook it. (Aside) Not that we think we have to protect our necks and butts from Grammy. *giggles*
And so, here we have our first prototype.... What do you think? Just wait, boys.... until you bite into this! *rolls around on floor giggling uproariously*
Comments are welcomed... and most especially if they are funny.
by Mousie, Reporter of terrible, horrible stuffs
Happy Monday, friends. I have to tell you about our terrible horrible day. It was terrible and horrible. Really it was.
Okay you need a little background first.
It all started a gazillion days ago... like in the middle of winter when we had lots of snow. Do you all remember we reported on Facebook that Grammy had a leak where melted snow seeped in from the balcony under the new kitchen floor tiles and into the diningroom lifting the newly finished hardwood floor? Well, the maintenance superintendent was worried. So worried he investigated immediately. Long story short, he identified where the water was seeping in. He advised Grammy to keep that side of the balcony shoveled and came back with his spade to clear the area that night. Yes, he's a super super! Teehee.
Next morning he returned to make sure everything was drying up. On inspecting the balcony further he noticed where the caulking had come loose and said he'd arrange for someone to come in spring to recaulk the balcony floor where the leak was.
In the meantime in the diningroom Grammy put down towels and weighed them down with tool boxes and anything else that would keep the hardwood from warping. By morning the worst of the wet had dried and fresh towels put down remained dry. Phew! The new floor was saved.
Well, next day Grammy went out and bought the same shovel (seeing as how it was super too, just like the super super) and kept the balcony clear for the rest of the winter and spring - right up to the last snowfall a month ago. CRAZY right? Almost the end of April and we had more snow. True to his word, Bill, the superintendent arranged for the caulking repair for early May. So that is the background and brings me to the terrible horrible day.
Grammy was advised that the repair work would be done Wednesday and/or Thursday and to be sure that we were safe in the bedroom. The workmen would not do the work if we were loose in the hoose. *Giggle*
Well, Grammy got up, had her shower and got ready to go to her volunteer work after feeding us. THEN when she was ready to go she put out a big bowl of water on a boot tray IN THE BEDROOM. Something she never does because the boys splash the water all over the floor. Woohoo! Something new to entertain us! AND she set up a large bowl of kibble in there too.
Now, you know normally we are separated during meal times... boys in the kitchen and diningroom and the girls in the bedroom. This joint meal was going to be a bonus for the boys since they aren't normally free fed while we are. That's because we girls aren't gluttons. Woohoo! The boys were dancing for joy!
And how does she manage this separation? With a cat flap in the bedroom door. We girls are allowed to come and go as we please but the boys are too chubby to get through the door flap. The boys were dancing for joy as I just said. Free feeding. Woohoo! Little did we know what was coming. Oh... a little aside here.....
Etude tried to go through the cat flap once and got stuck. Grammy had to rescue him as he straddled head and front paws hanging on the bedroom side while butt, hind legs and tail hung on the hall side. It was too funny! Just picture Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit's hole. That was our Etude. Bulging in the middle of his tummy. Teehee. Luckily we didn't need to leave him there until he lost weight like Pooh.
No! Grammy braced his hind feet and pushed his butt through to the bedroom side with a sluuurp, kerplunk. Embarrassed, he slunk into the diningroom after Grammy opened the door and headed straight for his feed bowl. Yep! That's our Etude. But he's never tried to go through the cat flap again and Rondo, quick learner that he is, decided he wouldn't bother embarrassing himself. Teehee.
So back to our terrible horrible day...
Once Grammy put out the food we all gathered around for a chow and she sneaked out of the bedroom and closed the door trapping us inside. She'd even latched the flap so we girls couldn't escape. NASTY GRAMMY! We rattled the door and called to her to let us out, sang the song of our people to alert the neighbours of the abuse, but she ignored us, the neighbours ignored us and Grammy left for her volunteer work with our plaintive howls in her ears. To no avail! We were ignored! Boohoo!
THEN the noisy man arrived, let himself in, tromped to the balcony and proceeded to scrape and bump around out there. We could hear him and called to him that we were trapped. We rattled the cat flap and meowed as loud as we could. Please let us out! PLEASE! But he ignored our thrashing and wailing while he worked. When he was done though, he did open our door. Grammy had left a note to ask him to release us. Phew. Finally we were free. What a terrible, horrible day! But there's more.
Grammy arrived home and we were scattered around the livingroom enjoying our freedom. NASTY Grammy for locking us up. The good thing is that the balcony floor against the wall is recaulked and should be leak free next winter. Yahoo.
No, that's not the end of or Terrible Horrible Day. Grammy ignored us, didn't give us any treats or special food and wouldn't pet us when she arrived home. She said she was exhausted, needed a nap and proceeded to stretch out on her bed for a gazillion hours. No play time for us. That's just mean, abusive, don't you think?
THEN!!!! At bedtime Grammy closed the balcony doors so we couldn't enjoy the fresh night air. She said there were raccoons fighting in the courtyard and it wasn't safe because they could climb walls and might come onto our balcony and screens could be torn.
Well, we thought we could have a party with them since we'd had such a terrible, horrible day but she said, NO PARTY!!! Yes, with three exclamation marks. Party pooper!!! We can do three exclamation marks too. So there!
She said if they were fighting it was probably mating season or they had babies and they would be aggressive. And we fluffballs were no match for a bunch of masked marauders. Harrumph! *giggle* Etude says the harrumph sounds funny coming from a little mousie girl. Harrumph, Etude! *giggles again*
So we were trapped all day, no playtime with Grammy and then suffocated all night. She's so mean. Maybe we need to search for a new Can Opener/Pooper Scooper/Wand Wielder. Any takers? We pay well!
What, Sweetie? CO/PS/WW pays us? Oh! So friends, you would pay us with treats. Yes, treats! Oh! That sounds great. Bring treats if you want the job.
Oh, and when Grammy was napping, we inspected her knitting. Teehee... someone, name not disclosed but starts with a squiggly capital letter, SHE nibbled through an exposed bit of yarn.... on a seamless, supposedly one ball, single strand sweater that then required a join... But that's a story for another time. Yikes!
Maybe things were not so terribly horrible after-all - at least not as terribly horrible as when Grammy sees the sweater, that is. Yikes. What do you think?
Friends, comments are welcomed. AND the site is supposedly fixed. So please leave comments, we love to hear from you, our readers. Keep it light and fun.
By Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief
Have you ever lost a kitty in the house? Well, I should say, condo ... nowhere to hide and yet there are occasions when a cat goes missing. Disappears! Totally! Not an iota of said cat to be seen. Nary a jot, nary a dot nor even a smidgeon. And Grammy goes into panic mode.... KITTEN WHISKERS!
I say condo because that’s where we, the M&M crew, live. The M&M crew, in case you don’t know, is a team of 5 mischievous kitties.... Yes, that’s us. We are the M&M crew at Mischief & Mayhem Central. Now, we, the M&M crew... oh, and Grammy too, we all live together in a condo in a big metropolis. We might be considered cosmopolitan kitties living in the downtown core of a large cosmopolitan metropolis but in Grammy’s head that metropolis becomes a veritable jungle for housecats – and she may be right. We’ve never been allowed to find out for ourselves.
Well onward with the story.... We are solely indoor kitties – well, except when forced to visit the lady whitecoat OR when dumped unceremoniously on a balcony while the MOTH MAN does his MOTH TERMINATOR thing. (You might want to read MOTH DAY! That was the day we were unceremoniously dumped...well, you read it...and you’ll understand!)
We are NEVER allowed outside of the unit unless secured securely in our carriers. Well, we think we must be securely secured! Firstly, that is what secured means and secondly, because try as we might, howl as loud as we do and shake the bars till the plaster falls from the ceiling and we are still securely secured inside those unyielding carriers. Bounce up and down, run at the bars... doesn’t make a difference. There’s no way out of those formerly benign sleeping abodes which at a snap of a latch turn into inescapable prisons. Suffice it to say we are securely secured before leaving home.
Grammy knows that “outside” is a dangerous place for kitties on the loose. Altogether too easy to get lost, frightened, hurt... and these are issues that Grammy worries about. For indoor only, gentle-cats suddenly facing the wide open places it would be disastrous. Hiding wouldn’t be a problem outside of the condo as there are a gazillion places for frightened kitties to hide. Grammy has explored these remote places just to be aware of all their nooks and crannies, in the event... you know - other people’s condos, stairwells, elevators, the garbage & recycle room, balconies, especially balconies.... all dangerous for frightened kitties who, to begin with, are housecats, never allowed outside of said condo except when securely secured in their carriers.
To compensate and feel secure – (note: not securely secured... but secure in her mind that we are all safe) she developed a routine - count paws before leaving home! ... and what a time consuming job that used to be. Every time she planned to go out to work, to the garbage chute, to pick up the mail, even to the balcony... wherever! It was the same thing...2, 4, 6, 8, 10, .... 18, 20 divided by 4 = 5, okay... all accounted for... and off she’d go. Yes, that’s right... 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, ...18, 20 divide by 4 and 5 kitties safely in the nest.... well, not the nest but might as well be. We were all secure in the condo. That’s great until one disappears inside the condo. Then it’s 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 divide by 4 = 4... someone’s missing! AAAAAGGGGHHHH!
So back to the question... How can can a kitty disappear in a condo where there are no exposed rafters to climb into, no open heat vents and no cold air returns? No, cannot hide under the bed... it sits on a frame solidly set on the floor. No, not under the dresser. No-one has been able to fit under there since they were kittens. In the closets? No, they are securely latched. Kitchen cupboards? – magneted closed! Laundry room? – closed tighter than a drum. Living room furniture? - all too low to the floor. So, the question is... where do they go?
Before we go further let me tell you... there are only two that disappear like wisps of smoke through a crack – Rondo and Sweetie. Now while Sweetie is a mere 9 pounds of wiry mischief Rondo is a ginormous 15 pounder – not a size to easily slip between the cracks in the parquet and yet, these two take turns to disappear on a regular basis. As I said before – like wisps of smoke through a crack. KITTEN WHISKERS!
This has been happening too frequently around Mischief & Mayhem Central and it is wreaking havoc on Grammy’s sanity putting her into panic mode ... and Grammy in a panic is not a pretty sight... No, it isn’t. It hasn’t been in the past and we doubt it’ll be a pretty sight in the future.... because Grammies are pretty consistent when in panic mode. Heart rate escalating, eyes leaking, voice croaking out the name of the missing miscreant she’s searching for all the while counting to ensure the others are still there. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 divide by 4. One still missing. And on it goes.
So as stated above, the routine before Grammy leaves the condo... Count paws and divide by 4. Then out the door and when one is missing... you can imagine how time-consuming it gets over and over again, until the 5th suddenly reappears – Poof!
If you remember from past blogs, Grammy is not the lightest bulb in the lamp... and silly to boot. KITTEN WHISKERS! Truly, a goofball. Count feet, then divide by 4... Talk about a whack-job! What would she do should one of us should lose a limb? She’d never be able to leave the condo. Just picture it! 19 legs divided by 4 = 4 ¾. She’d be frantically searching for that quarter cat searching high and low. No matter how you do it... the answer would never be 5.
Thankfully she never thought to count toes! KITTEN WHISKERS... that’s too frightening... count toes and divide by 18....still wouldn’t come back to 5 with a limb loss and the answer would vary depending on whether the missing limb was front 85 toes divided by 18 = 4.72 or rear - 86 divided by 18 = 4.78. Either way... she wouldn’t have her requisite 5 cats and the search for the missing cat portion would be on.... Too much to even contemplate!
Imagine the ramifications.... counting and counting and never reaching the requisite 5 - unable to leave home to work. No money for food and litter. Garbage piling up in-house, sorry I mean, in-condo! Isolation! AND the consequences for us.... no rest – she’d be constantly looking for the missing quarter kitty – picking us up one at a time and counting those toes.
Now you say that’s ridiculous, why would she be looking for a quarter kitty... there’s no such thing... but we say...there are quarter horses, so why not quarter kitties? Logical? Well, I’m sure it is to Grammy!
The thought of these long-term consequences was exhausting us so we had to come up with a solution. We, the M&M crew at Mischief & Mayhem Central, put our 5 heads together and did some major brainstorming and as quick as one-two-three we came up with a retraining plan and so here it is... so simple – Count heads! Teach the old dear to count heads. And it only took 5 training sessions for Grammy to get it. KITTEN WHISKERS!
But it still doesn’t help with the problem of the missing cats. Two of the cats in our household regularly take turns to disappear within the condo and it’s driving Grammy crazy. At least the trip is quicker...1,2,3,4 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief
Let me introduce you to our family. We are a family of six – a bi-ped and five fuzzy, feline mischief-makers – thus the title of our blog. Yes, we are the M&M crew at Mischief and Mayhem Central. Oh, not the bi-ped. Please! Pul-eeease! Let’s be serious for a moment here! She’d have to grow another pair of legs or at least a tail to be a bona fida crew member.... and that’s not going to happen at this late date. No, it isn’t. Nary a chance of her doing that. Anyhow, her mission and duties are of the non-mischief sort. Non-mischiefy definitely, definitively speaking she’s non-mischievous! So, now you understand... bi-peds are not permitted into the inner sanctum of M&M Central – especially those of the non-mischievous, tail-less kind. No siree bob! Absolutely not!
Well, you might assume the bi-pedal member of this family is Grammy. Yes, you might and you would be correct. Does she ride a bicycle, you ask? No! She’s not a cyclist... a bicycle rider. No. No. She’s bi-pedal - she walks on two feet. Yes, she does. She’s a two footed walker, an upright, upstanding sort and one with a soft-pedaling heart. Grammy is a bi-ped with a mission ... and simply put, that mission is to keep fuzzy feline mischief-makers healthy, happy and well cared for... Yes... and an important mission that is. Let me emphasize that... Keeping us healthy, happy and well cared for is a mission of the utmost importance! How else will M&M Central run smoothly?
Now you might know that Grammy was in rescue for a short while... yes, she was a foster mom. But foster parenting is not for the tender-hearted and the soft-in-the-headed combined. That is a fatal combination for fostering. Let me be very clear about this... Grammy is a softy. In case you missed that let me state it once more for good measure... Grammy has a gentle heart, Yes, Grammy’s heart might be as big as the moon but it is made of mush, you might say slush because it melts when it sees a kitty in need. Oh, yes! And where that soft heart goes, the soft head soon follows. They are inseparable and a dangerous combination.
Well, Grammy's intent when fostering was to take in one or two cats, socialize them and find them loving homes, take on another pair, find them homes and on and on... Somewhere in there was the hope of having a litter to raise as well and to be sure, cats came and went through the revolving doors of Mischief & Mayhem Central. But then, there were also those special ones who came, went but left an indelible mark on the heart, and those who came, didn’t leave... Yes, that would be us. We are the ones who stayed and with each new kitty that entered through that door it was increasingly harder to let it go but, that may be a story for another time. Back to our story...
Now! Enough about Grammy, the bi-pedal, soft-hearted, soft-in-the-headed and let’s move on to the four-footed, fully-tailed crew... the larger portion of this family aka the Mischief and Mayhem crew. In order of arrival and, in my eyes, starting with the most important... let me name the team members and then I’ll give you a little background.... First on the scene were wee Mouse and me (Whiskers) – the trail blazers you might say, followed by those rambunctious rowdies, Etude & Rondo and finally our little Sweetie who brought up the rear. All of us arrived under diverse circumstances and situations. Yes, very different. As different as night and day, or milk and honey. As different as.... Oh, get on with it, Whiskers, my girl...
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.