Sunday, April 30, 2006

How'd He Do That?

This morning when I woke up and went downstairs the door to the main level bathroom was closed. I was a bit surprised since I don't close that door unless I'm using the bathroom. This would have made some sense since Theo has a habit of closing doors or at least trying to but since I had already seen all three cats wandering around, none of them could have been behind the closed door.

I opened it up and saw a towel lying on the floor another indication that it was Theo responsible for this mystery since he's the one that has to pull towels down off the rack for some reason. How the door ended up closed with Theo free to roam the house is something I may never figure out.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Trouble in Mind

Theo loves to get into trouble but I'm not so sure he's very good at it. Often when he knows he's about to do something he knows I don't like him doing- say pulling towels down from the rack on to the floor, or jumping up and knocking down CDs, or closing a door behind him- he'll let out his high pitched shrill trill. Thus no matter where I am in the house I can usually tell when Theo is about to get into something he shouldn't.

I'm not sure why he does this- if he's just craving my attention or there's a switch in his brain that simultaneously says that it's time to get into trouble and alert the world to this fact.

A Grudge Holder

I tried cutting Thompson's back claws last night because they were getting talon length. He doesn't like his claws clipped mostly, I think, because he doesn't like being held down or held in my lap.

I try cutting his claws when he is lying around relaxed and that was what happened last night.

Unfortunately I could only get one or two clipped before he became agitated, growling at me and getting up and running away. After I finally got most of them clipped, Thompson showed his displeasure with me the rest of the evening, staying just within eye range but if I got up and approached him he'd run away. I once read something on the Internet that said you shouldn't clip a three legged cat's claws for "obvious reasons." I guess those reasons aren't so obvious to me unless they meant all three legged cats really despise the process.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just Thinking Right Now

It isn't really an original thought but I imagine one of the appealing things of being a cat is the ability to live in the moment at all times. Diego demonstrates this constantly. He likes to perch himself up high where he has a good observational vantage point. He'll watch things for a while and then spring into action where need be. If he sees me move something like a sock, he'll immediately go check the sock to see why I moved it and if it has changed. Life isn't about what was, but figuring out why what was now is. Or something like that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Where Am I Now?

Theo has lived in this house just over a year. I think he is still sometimes perplexed by all the goings on inside these walls. One of the many inside jokes Thompson, Diego, and I have shared over the years (well at least one of us) is when I walk in the front door and only one cat greets me. If it's Diego that comes to the door and Thompson doesn't I'll ask Diego, "Where's Thompson? Did you eat him?" Or vice versa if Diego is missing.

I swear those two boyz either moan or snarl when they hear this joke one more time. Theo's reaction is also always the same. He'll look at me with that big blank look on his face as if he doesn't understand the joke. Or it's always brand new to him.

Our bedtime routine also seems to catch him by surprise even though it rarely changes. As I'm getting ready for bed I'll usually watch a TV show, brush Diego and give Thompson a pat on the noggin. For the past few weeks Theo has taken this window of time to get all riled up, chasing imaginary bunnies and causing Thompson and Diego to watch him wearily and warily.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Concept

With another winter seemingly behind us and warm weather upon us, all three boyz are really shedding their winter coats. Diego and Thompson both love getting combed. Theo on the other hand doesn't quite know what to make of the process. He thinks I'm playing with him and will try and claw at or bite the comb. If he isn't successful he'll ultimately jump up and run up and down the length of the upper wing. And that's why of the three boyz, he's the one looking the most ragged these days.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Let's Get Ready to RUMMMMBLE

Thompson and Diego-san share a nearly life long bond. They ended up together in the same foster home. Thompson rescued from the wild, Diego joining him as a kitten.

I think Diego was very helpful to Thompson after Thompson had to learn to get around again after his accident. Thompson watches Diego closely and there are places Diego goes, like on the rim of the sink to get a drink, or on top of the piano or ledge to the staircase- that Thompson wouldn't go for a long time until he figured out a way to safely get to what comes so naturally to the ever curious Diego-san.

The boyz often wrestle. The best wrestling manuever I've ever witnessed was the time they were staring each other down when suddenly Diego knocked Thompson's lone front leg out from under him. Thompson's defense is often to sit on his hind legs and raise his front paw high in the air eventually swatting Diego on the top of the head. RAP! Diego has picked up on this technique and the other night I saw him whapping Theo continuously on the noggin.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Theo's Time

Diego-san's time is last thing before bed. Thompson's time is first thing in the morning. Theo's time, is well every moment in between those two times. Theo is the boy who likes to spend the most time with me. If he isn't hounding one of the other boyz he likely is following me around.

His favorite time to spend with me however is when I'm on my computer. I'll let him in the office (if I close the door he'll try to claw his way in and when he gets frustrated with his lack of progress he'll meow until I open the door). He gets down right at my feet, hesitates for a moment and then launches himself into my lap with his front two paws going over my shoulder. He'll sit in my lap for a while but inevitably nothing I do on the computer interests him enough so he'll want to get down only to want to get back up moments later.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Thompson's Time

Thompson's special time of the day is early in the morning. For the first year of living together Thompson would not only not sleep in bed with me but would rarely sleep in the same room. I think somebody taught him early on he was not allowed to go on the bed and being the obedient boy he is, he didn't stray from that rule no matter if Diego-san had no problem whatsoever of jumping up into the bed. (Diego was likely taught the same lesson only he chose not to obey it.)

So during this time when I would roll out of bed and hop into the shower I would inevitably find Thompson right out side the bathroom door waiting for me, waiting for a pat on the head and a face rub. Even though Thompson will now often sleep at the end of the bed this morning routine has continued. As I'm getting dressed Thompson will scamper over to my feet and roll around craving attention for the one time during the day. This is his rule and I feel obligated to obey.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Diego-san's Time

At the risk of sounding like one of those crazy cat people whose life revolves around all things feline- living with three boyz means when I'm home there is a lot of action constantly going on.

Thus I really try to spend some individual quality time every day, if only briefly with Thompson, Theo and Diego-san.

Diego-san's time comes right before bed time. He'll come upstairs with me and as I'm brushing my teeth he'll jump up on the vanity look in the mirror and then drink some water out of the tap. As I check my emails one last time Diego will come sit by me, roll around and let out his roar. This is a signal to pay him some attention and I do so by brushing his long black fur. He loves this ritual and even lets me comb his belly. Most nights he'll hop into bed with me, purring deeply, sit on my stomach for a bit and then find a comfortable spot to sleep at the end of the bed.

A Great Big Giant Popsicle

Ever since he moved into the humble little faux brick abode in St. Paul Theo has demonstrated himself to be a consistent, if not constant, licker. When he's sitting in my lap and my hand is near his face he inevitably will lick it. The soft non cottony edge of a pink blanket will get licked if exposed. He likes to lick Thompson (who's the official cleaner of the trio) and Diego.

In the past month or so Theo has taken to finishing off my shower for me. I'll get out of the bathroom and start getting dressed and Theo will meander over and start licking my legs. It's like I'm a great big old popsicle. I think it's a sign of affection but maybe it's just some type of nervous tic. I'm just glad his lick uses mostly the sandpaper portion of his tongue and not the fluid producing portion.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I was driving home from work this afternoon and was at a stoplight a couple miles up the same road that last month my Honda Civic was totaled when a jeep rammed into me. Ever since that accident I've tensed up when I'm stopped at a light or a stop sign and I notice a car approaching me from behind going what I consider to be too fast.

Today at that light a Chevy Impala was causing me anxiety and sure enough, whap- it hit my shiny red Mini Cooper. I was not hurt, but I was quite miffed. I got out of my car and started screaming at the driver (a middle aged gentleman). "What the hell were you doing?" I shouted. "I guess I spaced out," the man said. He apologized, gave me his name, number and insurance information. The Mini doesn't show any visible damage but I was rather wound up by the time I got home.

Thank god for the boyz calming abilities. I told the three attentive souls what just happened and they all looked at me with their big round eyes and suddenly I wasn't so mad at the world anymore. It may not be a safe place but living with Thompson, Theo, and Diego-san makes it feel just a little bit safer if only for a moment.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Where's D?

Diego-san freaked me out a little last night. I got home from the Twins game and was greeted at the door by Theo and Thompson. Usually all three boyz are right there standing in the doorway waiting for me (which always makes me feel just a little bit better no matter how bad a day it was) but this time Diego was nowhere in sight. As I was getting ready for bed I kept looking for the big guy to appear but nope- he wasn't anywhere to be seen.

As I fed Thompson and Theo the last meal of the day, I figured the food incentive would surely motivate Diego to appear but that wasn't the case. As I went upstairs to get ready for bed, I began to get worried. The other boyz were acting as normal as can be so that eased my mind a bit. I figured that if something had happened to Diego, Thompson at least would be acting a little worried. So I began a search of the house and as I descended the stairs into the basement a big black fur ball flew on by me. I don't know what he was up to but was relieved to see him.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Great Way to Spend an Afternoon

Yesterday's adventures must have worn the boyz out. Diego-san spent most of the afternoon huddled underneath the bed. I took a quick scooter ride and when I got back home, Thompson, Theo, and I took a late afternoon nap while listening to a taped legislative session. My back was to the boyz and every now and again I'd feel Theo's paw on my back. I turned around and he was out like a light and Thompson too was somewhere far off in dreamland.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Check Up

Diego-san and Thompson had their annual physicals today. Both are fine, weighing in at 13 pounds. The vet said that Diego is about the right weight (his frame is so big) but that Thompson is overweight. That boy loves his meals.

The trip to the vet was full of unhappy vocal theatrics from both boyz even though it was the first time they got to ride in the new Mini Cooper. Getting Thompson in his carrier is always a challenge because he really dislikes being held down in any manner. Once both boyz were packed up, Theo of course had to check out what was going on as he circled both carriers. It was the first time he's ever had the whole house to himself.

The vet's assistant was happy to see the boyz again. She took Thompson back to see Dr. Dan, the doctor that performed the surgery that saved his life, but cost him his leg. Everyone at the clinic seemed happy that Thompson and Diego are doing so well.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Where'd That Bunny Go?

The boyz were extra spunky today. Maybe it was because they saw the Easter Bunny early in the morning and spent the rest of the day wondering where that darn rabbit went. More likely it was all the fresh spring air coming in the windows. Theo was chasing Diego-san up and down the stairs, in and out of rooms. Diego was flying with abandon launching himself from the piano to the window ledge. Thompson attacked the scratching post with a frustration bordering on ferocity. No one was hurt, nothing was broken so all and all an entertaining way to spend the day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Settling Down

Theo's relentless mischievous behavior is subsiding a bit. Maybe his bout with spring fever has been calmed by the fresh warm spring air that open windows have afforded. Maybe he just needed to get something out of his system.

This is not to say that he still isn't extremely playful. We have a talking toy, a purple ball, that says, "OH OH there we go again..." every time it gets moved. The ball is stored with a bunch of other cat toys in a small box kept underneath the piano bench. Every time the box gets bumped the purple ball lets fly with its somewhat annoying quote. No matter where Theo is in the house he'll come flying over to grab a toy out of the box. He's nothing if not consistent.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

High IQ

I'm among the world's biggest feline sympathizers but I got to admit that my experience with cats has given me the impression that they aren't the world's brightest animals. God bless Theo but there isn't a whole lot of evidence to indicate that there is much going on upstairs. If a thought ever came into his head he'd probably have to take a nap due to exhaustion.

Diego-san on the other hand is probably the smartest cat I've ever been around. I'm always amazed that he'll immediately notice the slightest change to any room he strolls into. If I move a box from one spot to another as soon as Diego is in the room he'll immediately go check out the box. He knows my touchy spots so if he wants attention he'll give me a look and immediately begin the behavior that he knows will get me out of my chair.

Whenever Theo or Thompson are doing something that will lead to trouble or disaster, Diego will flash them a look indicating he knows better. Sometimes he comes across as smug but Diego has a very friendly personality and loves to strut his stuff to the uninitiated.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stephanie Jane Would've Luved This Boy

Of the three boyz, Thompson is the one that most enjoys sitting at an open window and observing the world outside. He spent the beginning of his life as an outdoor cat so I'm sure he misses all the adventures of life in the wild. Where Diego and Theo won't stay at a window for more than a few minutes, Thompson will sit there for hours.

His favorite window is the window of the bedroom on the main level of the house overlooking the back yard. That also happened to be the late great Mr. Max's favorite window to watch things from. There are no trees in the backyard, thus no squirrels but there are plenty of bunnies hopping around by the garden. The woman next door has a lot of wild flowers in her backyard so there are also plenty of birds to hear and see. There's also a good view of the alley so an occasional car or person will roll into sight every now and again.

I love it that when I come home and the back window is open a crack, I can see Thompson's little face trying to see (and smell) everything going on. I love it when I can hear his voice calling all the way across the yard and as I approach the window he'll start moving his head as if to confirm what he sees matches what he smells.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Spring Again

It was finally warm enough to open the windows. The boyz of course quite enjoyed the fresh air and new smells.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Home is Where I Want to Be

Got in last night around eight. The boyz seemed surprised to see me. Thompson hid under the chair most of the evening. Theo was his restless self. Diego was his calm and sometimes frisky self. He spent the night sleeping on my suitcase.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cynically Yours

The reason we're in Cleveland is to take an election administration class. Believe you me the irony of taking an election administration class in Ohio, the state that had the most election administration problems in 2004, isn't lost on me.

The professor opened the class today by saying what a big baseball fan he is but the greatest sport of all is the lawmaking process. I respectfully, with hand flailing away, disagreed with the premise. This isn't a game and I don't know if those who can decide such things see the folly in that. Those paying attention to our public policy making procedures should be cynical. Uninformed votes, partisan allegience, power hungry decision makers aren't a good thing for our democracy. If you care deeply about an issue I say stick by your guns no matter how obstinate or stubborn you appear. That just doesn't happen enough.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Twins Lose

Went to the Indians home opener. Fortunately it was against the Twins. Unfortunately the Indians won 11-6 mostly on a grand slam home run from former Twin, Casey Blake. It rained all morning but by game time it was just drizzling although the fog grew heavier during the middle innings.

I've now gone to three games at Jacobs Field in two years. Two of the three were played in the rain/drizzle making it seem like a dome stadium is a good idea. But baseball is a completely different game outdoors. It's the way the game is meant to be played.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rock and Roll

We're staying at the Ritz-Carlton. It's a nice hotel with friendly, courteous staff. It is unusual to be able to sleep through the night without having Theo or Diego try to climb under my covers, or Thompson hopping up the stairs talking up a storm. Still I miss the boyz.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Back to Cleveland

I flew to Cleveland today for a five day business trip. As soon as I pulled out the suitcase Diego and Thompson realized something was up. Theo soon did too and all three went from making sure there was food in their dishes to sitting on the suitcase to hiding underneath furniture. The past couple of times I've taken trips Thompson has had an anxiety attack- trembling as soon as I bring the packed suitcase downstairs.

My niece is coming over to feed them beginning tomorrow. I do wonder what the boyz do the rest of the day. I'm not sure they miss me for my company so much as for my ability to keep them entertained. I do a lot of yammering when I'm home and once in a while will break into a spontaneous dance or something they haven't seen before. I'll bet there's a whole lot of napping when I'm not there.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's the Sun... No Wait

I was sitting sideways on the edge of my bed, taking a midday break before heading off to an evening meeting. I could see Theo lying in the sun underneath the skylight. He was taking a break from chasing Diego-san up and down the stairs. All of a sudden he started leaping up into the sunlight. I thought to myself, "this is new..." Then I peaked around the corner further and saw that Thompson was sitting up on the ledge above the stairs and he was the one Theo was trying futilely to get at. So his quest wasn't impossible it was just a little out of his reach.

Monday, April 03, 2006

My Mini

This is my latest purchase. It drives like a dream. I haven't taken the boyz for a ride yet. Not sure they'd quite appreciate how much fun the car is.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Laundry Night

Laundry night is a mini-production night in our household. Diego-san loves to race on to the bed when I remove the old sheets and crawl underneath the fresh sheets. He'll paw at me from underneath. Theo loves to hop in the empty hamper and scratch at the wicker (wicker? I don't even know her!). Thompson sits on the side watching all this playful activity. I think he gets more wound up watching Theo and Diego then the other two do, doing their predictable thing.