Kitten Nighttime Antics

I should know better, but somehow, last night after I opened the treat drawer in my kitchen to get out more greenies, I neglected to close it (at least that’s what I hope happened because if Ghost and Emmett have learned how to open drawers I’m in big trouble!). The result of my inattention was that I woke up this morning to find several storage bags chewed open and my entire backup supply of Little Pink Socks scattered around my home.

For those of you who may not know, the Little Pink Sock is a trademark of Mutts Comics and their catnip filled little pink socks are about the best cat toy I’ve found. So at the last sale, I stocked up, but I thought I’d hidden the spares away so I could bring out them out one at a time. I now have a house seemingly filled with Little Pink Socks, but I’m thinking that’s a good thing. My cats carry them everywhere, and right now there are older pink socks outside in several of the catios and tunnels.

One thing is certain. Life with kittens is never dull!

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Solar Eclipse

Today I witnessed the solar eclipse which had a path of totality across the United States. I did not travel to that path, but in the Seattle area we still got a 92% eclipse. It has been an incredible experience and I managed to take a few photos using a pinhole in a piece of heavy paper which projected the image onto my house or another darker piece of paper. 

It was a bit tricky to hold the pinhole paper with one hand and the camera with the other, but I was pleased with my efforts.

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Above is the photo I got at the point of the greatest eclipse. I tutored a student this morning, and we felt the effects of the eclipse as the sunlight dimmed. It was truly amazing.

I also noticed that my fur friends were definitely noticing the dimming of the sunlight. Emmett and Ghost, my kittens, started running around outside as if it was late afternoon.

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At the point of greatest eclipse I saw Emmett (on the right) staring at the sun. Ghost also was staring towards the sun until he heard me come out. Hopefully they had enough sense not to get their eyes damaged.

My dogs just paced and paced and went outside and then back inside, back and forth, in and out, as they seemed to be wondering what was going on. Of course, my behavior might have been influencing them.

I got two final photos as the eclipse was ending. The last one I actually took inside, from the sunlight streaming through the skylight and I think it came out really well. Should I ever get a chance to do this again, I’ll remember that!

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Cat Helpers

I am a quilter and I donate many of my quilts to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. At the moment I’m working on three more quilts and as usual, I get a lot of help. Quilting with kittens is always exciting. Yesterday I cut the flannel for the three backs, but I was too tired to sew the pieces together. I left the flannel on my large ironing table, planning to sew the three backs today.

When I got up this morning I discovered that Emmett and Ghost had been busy, very helpfully rearranging things for me.

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It is so wonderful to have such admirable help. I have now sewed the pieces together and the three backs are currently being washed. The flannel needs to be washed not because of the kittens but because flannel shrinks at a different rate and so can’t be quilted with the front until it has been washed. My three tops are nearly done as well and soon, thanks to my helpful assistants, I will have three more quilts ready to wing their way to brighten the days of patients at Children’s.

Cat Playground

Friday saw the completion of an eight month project to build four catios with connecting tunnels for my four cats. I estimate that I’ve added about 300 square feet in floor space and nearly 100 feet of tunnels. All of my cats are really enjoying the entire safe outdoor experience and I enjoy not only watching them play but also the added color in my yard. Here are several photos of the project.

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Catio Constructions

The final catio in my cat paradise is under construction. My four cats are already enjoying three catios, one very large (8’x 10′ x 9.5′) and two smaller (4′ x 4′) catios all connected by tunnels, one of which is 70′ long and runs around the north end of my home from front to back.

The final piece of the construction is now underway, a fourth catio (6′ x 6′ x 9.5′) which will be connected to the third catio. It will match the design of the first large catio, giving symmetry to the project. I will have two catios in the back and two in the front, so my cats will always be able to find sunny, comfy, outdoor spots where they can sleep or run safely.

And my sweet calico cat, Calliope, is taking the construction in stride. There is an advantage to being mostly deaf as she is happily sleeping in the sun in her favorite spot as the panels are raised on the neighboring platform. The catio will be finished on Friday, and the final building will be filmed by a company from California, so I’m sure it will be a hectic day. But after that, my cats will have lots of room to roam and play, both inside and out.

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Morning Shower

My life has really changed with the addition of catios (safe outdoor enclosures for my four cats), and one of the most obvious changes has been instigated by my sweet Foxy, an 8 year old black female. She has decided that she wants to spend most of her time outside, but she also wants to snuggle with me and get lots of pets. 

To this end, she makes sure that I stop by the big catio (the one with a people door and a chair for me) first thing each morning as I go to and from my outdoor shower. She meows a greeting that I simply can’t resist. So I stop both before and after my shower for some quality time with her. It makes for a lovely start to my day and I hope also to hers. I suspect that I won’t be able to continue this when the weather turns (it would be definitely nippy to be outside, especially wet, in the winter), but for now, it’s quite wonderful.

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Good Friends

Yesterday I was surprised by good friends with a new mailbox. It is absolutely magnificent and I smile every time I see it. I’m sure it will serve me with much joy for many years.

This all began when I had become frustrated with a leaking mailbox several years ago. At that point, another friend built a “house” cover over it using scraps of painted wood left over from my home remodel. That solution worked reasonably well, but over the intervening years what was meant to be a temporary solution weathered and began looking very sad.

I then asked my very dear friends, Paul and Anja, if they could come up with a solution, something that would be practical but also whimsical, serving as a landmark for my home. But little did I ever imagine what a wonderful solution they would come up with. They really went way above and beyond anything I could have envisioned. Paul installed it yesterday and it is just perfect! Many thanks and I’m so very fortunate to have such wonderful friends!

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