Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Kneeder

Theo loves to knead. Whenever he's on a puffed up blanket or comforter or pillow he'll sit there mindlessly and endlessly kneading. Whenever he's on my stomach he'll also knead and I must admit I love when he does it because it feels good.

Diego-san will knead on occasion and Thompson tries but it's quite hard to do with only one paw without losing balance.

But it's Theo that needs to knead. And if his purring is any indication, it's an activity he does when he's feeling happy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Construction- Day 3

Well, the boyz are on their own today to face the sound of nail guns, saws, and pounding. I'm back at work after taking a vacation day Friday to clean out the basement.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Construction- Day Two

Last night I let the boyz go downstairs and see what all the noise was about.

Diego-san explored every inch of the basement. He sniffed at the wood, the saw dust, the tools, and I think would have spent hours down there if I had let him.

Today both Theo and Thompson weren't quite as frightened by the noise. They went upstairs when the construction began but eventually came down to the living room to join Diego and I. It looks like good progress has been made so hopefully the disruption to the boyz lives won't be too lengthy. And in the end, it looks like we'll have a pretty nifty space.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Knock on Wood

M-'s dad came over this morning to begin working on my basement. I hired him to finish off the basement- making it into a bedroom, a family area, and a room for my washing machine and dryer.

With all the hammering and sawing Diego-san wanted to go down to help with the project. He made a break for it the first chance the kitchen door that was blocking his way, was open. Unfortunately for him, the door to the basement was closed so he didn't get very far.

Theo and Thompson spent the entire morning hiding upstairs under my futon.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Two Buddies

This is the very first photo I saw of Diego and Thompson. This was the picture of the two that was posted on the web site of the shelter that I adopted them from.

I was looking for two cats that got along with each other well, and when I visited them in their foster home, it was clear the two of them did just that. Indeed looking back I was given a glimpse of their relationship from the moment I met them. Diego boldly came and greeted me, all but jumping up in my arms. Thompson stayed back, watching my interaction with Diego before he eventually hopped over to check me out.

I love how it seems that Thompson got a lot of his confidence back by watching and living with Diego. Diego seemingly has little fear and he'll explore whatever and wherever he is allowed to explore. Thompson is a bit more cautious and understandably so. It was his curiosity that cost him his leg- taking a step where he shouldn't have taken one.

There are good examples of how Thompson has learned by watching Diego. Since moving in Diego-san has always been a faucet drinker. He has a big ritual of hopping on the sink, and then clawing the bowl of the sink as if he has to dig down for the water. Thompson for a year and a half watched Diego, but didn't see the need to hop up on to the sink. Then one day he tried it and discovered the benefit of fresh water. He has since become fascinated by the sight of the water flowing from the tap and I think if I left it on he'd watch it for hours.

His most recent lesson learned from Diego is the pleasure of being combed. This is Diego's big moment of the night and Thompson for the longest time could tolerate being combed, but unlike Diego didn't seem to see the pleasure. The past month or so however after I'm finished combing Diego, Thompson will line up and then hop on over as if it is his turn. I think he's still not sure he enjoys the sensation of being combed but if it is important to Diego, it must be worth doing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Movie Recommendation

I watched Black Snake Moan last night. It was the best movie I've seen in a while.

Essentially the story is not so much about redemption and salvation, but rather about how some lost souls are able to connect and comfort each other and by the end of the movie, end up in a slightly better place, with slightly more hope.

The blues music in the movie is terrific. Samuel L. Jackson does a passable job as a down and out blues singer. The movie opens with an interview with one of my favorite blues singers, Son House, and by the end of the movie everything Son has said, is reinforced.

Black Snake Moan is more of an uplifting fable than a cautionary tale based in reality. On the other hand, it's gritty realism hits hard and it isn't a PG feel good movie you'd watch with the kids. But it's got an emotional wallop that's well earned and Christina Ricci's performance is as naked, daring, and true a performance as you're gonna see in a movie.

The boyz and I give it a hearty paws up.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Whoosh 2

Continuing my theme from yesterday... Most mornings I ride my scooter to work and on the way in I'll stop at a coffee place to get my morning latte. Today was no exception.

A few months back I found a coffee cup that does not spill or leak. That is if you actually close the top. This morning I arrived at work and pulled the cup out from underneath my seat and it seemed awfully light. Sure enough the top was open and my latte was giving a good soaking to everything stored underneath my seat.


I cleaned it up as best I could but with temperatures expected to get in the high 90's today, I think I may go back out and do even more cleaning. Milk tends to get a lil stinky when it sits in hot weather for any length of time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I've gotta admit I've been in a daze the past few weeks where I'll get to work or I'll go home and it's like I wasn't there for the drive. There's not a whole lot of thinking going on in the old noggin these days. I'm not sure the cause of this.

This picture of Thompson pretty much mirrors the look on my own face...

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Lil Monkey

I was watching the remake of Planet of the Apes last night. Theo joined me and took interest in the sounds the apes were making. His ears stood straight up and his eyes got as wide as nickels.

Theo's high pitched meow reminds me of the sound chimpanzee's make, so maybe the squeals of the apes spoke to him somehow.

I was surprised, but I actually got quite a kick out of the movie.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's Up, -d?

The boyz got me this morning.

I got out of my shower, opened up the bathroom door to the sight of all three boyz sitting under the open skylight, looking straight up. My first thought was that a bird had gotten trapped in between the open glass and the screen. I went to look and I didn't see anything unusual, just an open skylight. But all three boyz kept their places looking straight up. I looked again, this time more closely. I half expected one of the boyz to start giggling, knowing that their trick had worked. They had gotten daddy to look up at nothing.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hey Buddy, I'm Not a Tree

Diego-san must have had a rough day.

I went upstairs to watch TV and he followed me up the stairs quite enthusiastically. He cried until I combed him. He was squirming so much during his grooming that I stopped. I went to brush my teeth and he followed me into the bathroom. He leaped up on the vanity and then tried crawling on top of the towel rack.]

When I was done brushing my teeth he followed me back out to the bedroom where he cried again to be combed. I combed him again and he climbed up on me, arms draped over my shoulders, face right up close to mine. Then he continued climbing trying to sniff the top of my head.

The boy needed some serious lovin.

Friday, July 20, 2007

We All Have Our Days

Thompson was squirrely this morning. He woke me up around 4 a.m. talking, grousing, grumbling, mumbling about something. He was down the hall from my futon, and at first I thought it must be Theo bothering him. But I looked at my side and Theo was contently asleep. Diego too was sleeping at the end of the futon so I'm not sure what got up Thompson's craw.

Then after breakfast this morning he was tearing around the house like a cat possessed. This picture is Thompson mocking Theo's picture that was posted yesterday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Look Forward Not Up

It's been such a dry summer that whenever we get even a fraction of participation I look out the window and say to the boyz, "Hey guys... what is that stuff falling from the sky?" Then I chuckle.

The joke turned around on me yesterday. I had a late meeting at work and when I looked out the window it was pouring. This would be good news for those of us desperately hoping our lawns aren't completely dead, but since I had scooted to work I wasn't too pleased. Plus since I had worked late I had to go directly to the Twins game I had a ticket to, without stopping home.

It was like the whole city had shut down. You would think no one had ever seen rain before in their life. All the streets were snarled with traffic. It took me over 20 minutes to go about a mile knowing the baseball game was another 20 miles away and if I wanted to get there in time I had about an hour.

I arrived just as the first inning was beginning.

By the time I got home, it was very late. I was so tired I just fed the boyz and went straight to bed. They had none of that. Theo wanted attention. Diego wanted to be combed.

Oh, and the Twins lost.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Failed Experiment

I think it's time to admit that after a month of trying to get the boyz to eat a healthier brand of food, that when it comes to cat food, like people food, healthy doesn't always equate to tasty.

For the past month or so I've been feeding the boyz a half and half mixture of their old food and the new food. Each of the three picks out the old food morsals and leaves most of the new food remaining in their dish. Thompson has noticeably lost weight and I suspect Diego-san has as well.

I figured after a while they'd give in to any hunger and start eating the new food. I even put out an extra dish to fill with the new food that is leftover. Theo nibbles away but the other two want no part of a new diet.

I do find it sort of amusing that after nibbling at their own portion, the boyz will switch dishes as if what I'm feeding the others is better than their own share. Thus Theo often ends up at Diego's dish, Thompson ends up at Theo's dish, and Diego ends up at Thompson's dish. It's the grass is always greener method of eating a meal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ya F$%#ing Donkey!

I spent a quiet evening at home watching Hell's Kitchen. Diego spent the entire evening head and paws draped over the side of my computer desk. Once in a while he'd look up and over at me as if to say I really needed to do more to entertain him. Far be it for me to bore the boyz.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lots of Commotion

My friend M- came over yesterday to help me clean out my basement in preparation for her father sheet rocking the walls of the basement. I had a lot of junk that I threw down there when I moved into my house over a decade ago, mostly half filled boxes of books and newspapers and stuff I accumulated over the years and didn't have the energy to go through.

Of course with all the box destruction and moving stuff from the basement to my main level bedroom and office, the boyz got pretty riled up. Diego came downstairs and of course had to be right in the middle of wherever we were working. Thompson, who adores M-, showed his growing courage by exploring the basement much more thoroughly than I've ever seen him explore.

Theo remained mostly out of sight. When I did see him I could tell he was a bit frightened. When he gets that way he walks as low to the ground as he can and alternates between standing still in full observation mode and running away as soon as anything gets too close.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Most Exciting Laundry Day Ever

Laundry day is about as exciting as it gets around this house and today was no exception.

Diego-san took his usual place underneath the fresh new sheets on my futon. He was clawing and biting while trying to follow my finger which was drawing a circle around his clump underneath the sheets. Theo jumped up on the futon and situated himself right next to Diego's clump. Diego swirled with my circling hand trying to bite at it and the motion caused Theo to bounce up and down with each movement. He looked around as if he didn't quite know what to do, what was causing him to move as if he was floating on the ocean.

Eventually he decided he'd enough and he jumped off the futon and went to sit in the safety of the nearby empty laundry basket.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Different Week

I attended a conference all week. It was held at a hotel in a nearby suburb so I was able to wake up 15-20 minutes later than normal, and also had time to get a latte from the coffee place across the street from my house.

I think I threw the boyz's schedule off a bit especially the coffee part. I usually only get coffee from the place across the street on the weekends. And when I get back with my latte, I always give the boyz a treat (used to be Greenies, now are some healthier treat... I may have to try these Temptations that seem all the rage in the kitty community). So the boyz got a lot of treats this week.

It was nice having a week away from the office. I haven't had a day off (except for holidays) since I started my new job last January. Going to a work conference is probably as close to a vacation as I'm going to get this year- the busiest part of my job is now just gearing up.

Therefore the boyz deserved the extra treats this week because it's likely I'm not going to be home a lot in the coming months...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Kitty in the Mirror

What's the deal with cats and mirrors?

I used to amuse myself by holding the late great Mr. Max in front of a mirror. Max would do everything in his power to avoid looking at his reflection. He'd look up. He'd look down. He'd look left. He'd look right. He'd look at me and past himself. But no matter what, he would never look at that kitty in the mirror.

I've tried the same thing with the three boyz. Theo doesn't ever seem to be looking at anything in particular and like Max, when held in front of the mirror he certainly won't look at himself. Thompson seems to like looking at things in the mirror and he occasionally seems to take a glimpse at his reflection.

Diego-san on the other hand might be betraying his obvious vanity. He'll look directly at his reflection without flinching seemingly curious about how handsome that boy on the other side really is. I do suspect he might be far sighted, evidenced by his difficulty drinking water out of a bowl- so maybe he really isn't completely fascinated by how he looks but rather like me, it's a vision thing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Steadying Force

Thompson doesn't have much trouble keeping up with Diego or Theo when they are going full speed. His balance is much better when he is running. He struggles however when he is moseying along. Sometimes if he is moving really slow, he'll move forward by dipping his whole left front side down and pushing himself forward with his back legs. When he is trying to thwart an attack by Theo, Thompson will often resort to backing up or even standing on his hind legs.

None of this seems to phase him though. One of my all time favorite sights in this world is the sight of Thompson running towards me with his determination fully expressed in each and every step he takes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tag Team

This is my first posting from my iPhone. Woohoo.

I'm sitting here watching the Major League Baseball All Star game.

Equally entertaining is the nightly what started as cleaning turned into aggressive cleaning turned full fledged wrestling match between Thompson and Theo.

What made this particular match a little different was I was typing away on my iPhone's touch screen keyboard when I looked up to see the wrestling match had turned into a Theo versus Diego-san bout.

It was like Thompson opted out, tagged Diego and his faithful teammate dutifully took on the ever pesky Theo.

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Duties

I decided a couple of months back to deal with Theo's need to pull my towels off the rack and on to the floor by making him responsible for the towels being in the proper place when I get home. I told Theo I didn't care if he pulled the towels down, just that it was his job to make sure that they were hung on the racks by the time I got home.

Miraculously ever since I assigned him this specific duty I haven't found any towels on the ground when I get home. It's become a ritual that when I get home and go upstairs to change out of my work clothes, I walk by the bathroom and check on the towel status, and when I see the towels still hanging up, I pick Theo up (he always follows me up) and give him a great big hug with the proud proclamation, "THEO DID HIS JOB! YEAH THEO!"

I'm not sure if he understands any of this but as long as my towels remain off the ground, I'm perfectly willing to give him credit and praise for a job well done.

I've noticed the past few weeks that Thompson follows us up and looks at me with a wondrous look on his face as to why I give Theo this special attention. So I've decided to give Thompson a chore to do as well. Since both Diego and Theo hacked up hairballs on to my fairly new upstairs carpet this weekend- I've given Thompson the responsibility of making sure any hairballs are to be hacked up either downstairs- or in the upstairs bathroom where it's much easier to clean.

This morning the task was not successfully completed. I heard one of the boyz hack up a hair ball. I'm not entirely sure which one it was- I was too tired to get out of bed and look- but I think it might have been Thompson.

Oh well I blame myself for not fully training him on his new job duties.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Boom Boom

There were some late night weekend fireworks that went off last night. Theo's eyes got as big as saucers and he stood up on my bed, concerned look on his face. I tried to say something to calm him down but he looked right past me to the ceiling above.

His eyes said it all: Life is a mystery.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I finally got around to getting my summer hairdo. That is to say I completely shaved my head for the fourth or fifth straight year.

My hair usually is medium length so the new look tends to take co-workers and those that see me on a daily basis (the coffee shop people) by surprise.

The first one to see me with the summerdo was Thompson who I swear rolled his eyes as if to say, 'by gosh, what's next?'

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Right Culprit

Diego-san and I had a little bit of a rough evening last night.

I was busy fixing my dinner while watching Thompson enjoy his. I then saw Thompson stand up on his back legs to avoid getting hit by two flashing blurs of black fur running by. Theo was chasing Diego and they flew down the basement stairs. Later as I was eating my dinner I heard this big CRASH! coming from the basement.

So Thompson and I went down to investigate and saw that Diego had knocked some boxes off these old shelves I had built a long time ago. As is with all my handy work the shelves are rather shaky- not very stable and all they hold is the junk I've never had the energy to go through since the last time I moved (about 11 years ago).

Diego had hopped up on the top shelf to get away from Theo and I yelled at him because he very easily could have toppled the entire unit. He yowled back at me as I was yelling at him- letting me know he wasn't to blame, it was the little terror chasing him around the house that should be the one getting the lecture.

Later on I caught Diego licking dirty dishes in my kitchen sink. So he got yelled at again. The next time I saw him he was sulking, hanging his head over the edge of my computer desk as if to let me know he didn't appreciate the scoldings.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Theo and Diego-san got back at me last night/this morning for interrupting their normal schedule yesterday.

Both of them took turns waking me up periodically last night. Theo in particular wanted to rub his wet nose in my face and lick my arms and legs. Diego wanted to nudge as close to my side as he could. Then to top it off, early this morning Theo hacked up a hair ball.

Guess I'll have to warn the boyz in advance when our schedules change...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

I think I surprised the boyz by staying home during the middle of the week to "celebrate" the national holiday. Actually I just spent most of the day on the couch watching movies.

Theo in particular seemed unsure what to do. He alternated between chasing Diego-san, going to the toy box to play with a catnip toy, and hopping on my chest.

Thompson spent the most time with me napping at my feet.

231 years ago a group of pretty special people got together and started this country. I'm sure none of the group was envisioning freedom meant spending a hot summer day in the company of three cats. They were probably thinking about more noble pursuits. Truthfully I myself can't imagine what that might be.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Long Time, No Explanation

Ever since Diego-san has lived with me there is one daily activity he does that baffles me.

As I go downstairs to clean out the litter boxes Diego will go tearing down the stairs in front of me and then he'll roll around the cement floor near the litter boxes. I'll rub his belly sometimes but he'll usually try to bite my hand if I do this- as if I'm interrupting a ritual of some type.

At first this behavior fascinated Theo who would come down and watch, but now Diego does this with only my audience.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Lil Privacy Please

One of Theo's more annoying habits is the need for whatever reason to close doors behind him. He then cries and scratches because he has trapped himself inside a room and he isn't so good on the concept of opening a door.

To try to break him of this habit, I'm trying to leave him behind the closed door as long as I can take the crying and scratching. Yesterday he closed the main level bedroom door behind him. Unfortunately for Thompson, Thompson was in the room looking out his favorite window.

For about twenty minutes I heard Theo struggling to open the door. When I finally gave in and opened the door, Thompson (who hadn't uttered a peep) came tearing out. I felt bad he had been an involuntary part of trying to teach Theo a lesson.