Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Sky is Falling

We got a blizzard yesterday. Really strong winds and around 10 inches of snow. Alias was enthralled.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Typical Feline

I bought this banana bed because it looked like it was big enough to allow Alias and Norma to nap in it together. Turns out Alias prefers the box it came in.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Vertical Norma

This is as tall as she can be... ears fully extended, tippy toes.

Monday, December 21, 2020

My Hero

2020 has been the worst year of Theo’s life with me. He craves routine and predictability. There’s been none of that this year. It occurred to me that when he joined our house Thompson and Diego-San had lived two years together and formed a unique bond. Now he’s joined by Alias and Norma who are siblings from the same litter and have bonded from all their time together at the beginning of their lives. Thus Theo has always had to figure out how he fits into things. And he always has. The past few days he finally is showing signs of being himself again. 

I’m not sure I would have figured out 2020 without him. He’s my hero. I’m hoping 2021 is a much better year for my little buddy.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Brotherly Love

Alias is discovering the benefits of having a big brother who has your back.

Thursday, December 17, 2020


I bought a new bed while I was buying food for the three. Norma apparently has claimed it as hers.   

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Puddle of Joy

Just like every cat that’s ever walked the earth, Alias loves the sun. And the sun loves him back...

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


Everything is a toy. She even bobbled my Hank Williams bobblehead.

Monday, December 14, 2020

The Three

Theo’s sweetness has returned full force. I stopped having Norma and Alias sleep in the basement overnight and both Saturday and Sunday the three of them slept at the foot of my bed. Yesterday Theo played with Norma. She was in a box with a flap and he kept pushing the flap down on her. She would reach her paw back at him. Today Alias was on his back pawing at Theo and Theo playfully pawed back... This is fun to see. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Blah Blah Blah

I had to testify in a legislative hearing. Norma and Alias literally tried covering their ears while I was testifying.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020


I think he believes the box will save him from the whirling dervishes...

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Monday, December 07, 2020


Friday morning since Theo had stopped hissing at Norma and Alias for the past day, I finally let the two newcomers go upstairs to my bedroom for the first time. This had been Theo’s sanctuary since he has spent most of the summer napping up there. Norma and Alias immediately found the mouse in the ring toy that I’ve been playing along with Theo for the past month or so. He doesn’t really get that he’s supposed to swat the mouse around the ring but rather tries to pull it out with his claw. There’s a similar toy ring downstairs that Norma loves. She’ll play with it endlessly like it’s meditative. Alias sometimes joins in. Friday Norma and Alias swatted at the mouse and Theo kinda supervised the activity. Ever since that play date Theo has only hissed a couple of times at his siblings mostly when they surprised him by moving too quickly and getting in his face.

Later Friday morning I went upstairs to check on them and found Theo and Alias napping in my laundry bag, Theo’s latest favorite napping spot. It melted my 8>. I’m still having Norma and Alias sleep downstairs at night because I don’t want them to get into things unsupervised and I don’t think they’d let me sleep the entire night. But Saturday night the four of us were in the upstairs bedroom until bedtime and Alias made a point of joining his big brother for a nap.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Closer and Closer

Theo, Alias, and Norma spent their most time ever together in the same room- probably around 15 minutes. Theo now is curious enough to sniff his siblings. I have found one successful thing is to hold either Norma or Alias as Theo is checking out the other sibling. This way he doesn’t feel ganged up on. His hissing was minimal, but when he does, poor Norma in particular looks offended. Hopefully soon, all doors will be open to all housemates.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Family Ties

They’ve spent a lot of time in the basement where their food and water dishes are and there’s access to a couple of litter boxes. This means naps in the sun have been rare. Today they took one in the living room. And while they were napping, Theo came and sat on my lap as I was seated next to his new siblings. Eventually this led to Theo hissing at Norma in the kitchen, but for quite a while the four of us were together on the living room couch.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020


Theo’s always loved chin scritches and he’s getting plenty of those these days. It’s the surest way to get the purring motor going...

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

One Small Leap

Alias is a little stockier and shorter than his sister. From the start, she’s been able to leap up onto my IKEA TV stand and he has not. This weekend he was finally able to make the jump up. Getting bigger and stronger every day even though it’s not noticeable to the visible eye...

Monday, November 30, 2020

Sleepy Head

I love watching Norma wake up from a nap. She has a hard time opening her eyes all the way and then she yawns several times. Minutes later she’s bouncing off the walls chasing her brother at full speed.

Friday, November 27, 2020


Another tiny step forward. I was on a Thankgiving Zoom call with my sister’s family, nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces. For much of the call Theo and Alias were on opposite sides of a door that was slightly ajar. Theo hissed and growled but didn’t run away. When I wasn’t looking, Alias had managed to open the door enough to go upstairs. When I found out I went upstairs and Theo was drinking  from his favorite fountain, and Alias was exploring the room he had never had access to before. When he got too close to Theo, Theo hissed but at least he wasn’t running away.

I read an article that said the average time it takes to introduce cats to each other is 21 days. Sunday will mark the 21st day since Alias and Norma moved in. Theo seemed more himself today overall...


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

I celebrated a day early. For the first time in my life I baked a turkey. And since food poisoning didn’t ensue I must have made it right. There’s plenty of leftover to share with my housemates.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Who Are We?

About names... Both my new housemates were given names at their foster home (which happens to be my boss’ home). They were named by his young daughter. Norma was named Norma but Alias was named Billy. When I first thought about adopting a male and a female cat I wanted to name the female Billie after Billie Holiday. Theo is named after Thelonious Monk and Ms. Holiday is my favorite female jazz musician...

But it seemed extremely odd to rename her the same sounding name as her brother even though Billy fit him well. I kept the name Norma because she’s blonde and blue eyed just like the most famous Norma Jean. I decided to change Billy’s name to Alias in a nod to this whole difficult naming choice. It’s a reference to the character Bob Dylan played in the movie ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,’ where Kris Kristofferson’s Billy the Kid asks Bob’s character his name and Bob responds, ‘Alias.’ Billy the Kid asks, ‘Alias what?’ To which Mr. Dylan responds, ‘Alias anything you want....’ So there was a connection between a character already named Billy and a deference to my all time favorite artist.

There’s also a nod to a long lost love whose last name was Elias. So there’s that.

Norma is living up to her name by being curious about the images appearing on the large TV screen. Show biz was her namesake’s (Ms. Marilyn’s) salvation and downfall. Alias has already been scolded and responded when he got into places he shouldn’t get into... And he’s gained a middle name that I considered as his name, ‘Kenta’ the Japanese pitcher who shares the same last name as myself who happened to be acquired last year and had a great season this year with the hometown squad.

And Theo? He was the first cat I changed names in welcoming him home. His original name was ‘Dribble,’ for obvious reasons and that seemed to fit him well. His name got changed on the rescue website to ‘Stevie,’ when there was someone stalking him. I consider keeping that name because of Stevie Wonder and Theo has always been full of wonder, but I wanted him to be the first that I gave a name to (I kept Diego and Thompson’s foster names....) I briefly named Theo ‘Cecil,’ after the jazz pianist Cecil Taylor but Theo seemed to fit him better. 

And I did consider for a brief moment to keep Alias’ name ‘Billy’ and rename Norma ‘Billie’ but that would have caused problems when they, as they undoubtedly will, cause problems in this house....

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Sounds of Silence

Things haven’t progressed any further with Theo’s acceptance of his new roomies. I began to wonder today if one of the issues might be his hearing. I noticed over the summer that he often would seemed startled when I approached him from behind and then came into his line of vision.

I’ve noticed that Norma and Alias might be in another room making a racket between their buffalo herd chasing each other to knocking things over and crashing into walls. Theo doesn’t react to any of it. I don’t know if his hearing is really an issue- he’s always been a spacey cat in his own world. When I first adopted him I wondered if it was possible for a cat to be autistic. Still, if he has lost his hearing I could see why it would be even more stressful to have two strange cats in the house that can pounce/attack him with his defenses down.... Just a theory....

Monday, November 23, 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

Nose to Nose

We had a small breakthrough yesterday. Theo was in the living room at the same time as Norma and Alias. He walked by the sofa they were sleeping on and didn’t even notice they were there. We he turned around a walked by again, Norma got up and the two of them came close to touching noses. Then Alias got up and Theo ran away. This led to Norma following Theo to the kitchen but she moved too quickly and startled him. He hissed and growled. Today Theo was more curious about his new siblings sniffing areas they have played in but when he saw them he hissed and ran away. Baby steps.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Getting to Know You: Norma

Norma Jean is fascinated by the TV. She loves to paw at people on the screen. When chasing her brother, she has a tell... she wiggles her behind for about five seconds before she pounces. She has taken moments each day so far to sit on my lap and she loves sleeping on her back, belly side up. She has pretty blue eyes (I didn’t know cats had blue eyes). Norma is the first female cat in a house that’s been full of boyz and she’s already tripped me up... I’m used to entering a room and asking, “how are the guyzos doing?” I can’t do that anymore.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Getting to Know You: Alias

Still learning about my new housemates’ personalities. Alias Kenta definitely defers to his sister (just like me). So far I’ve learned he loves looking out the living room picture window. He also is a ferocious hunter of paper towels with an uncanny ability of finding those I’ve left laying around the house. So far, a semi-snuggler preferred napping place on my legs next to his sister. I love his striping and that the bottom of his legs are black. He’s a keeper.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


I’ve been spending as much extra time with Theo as I can over the past week. It’s been a little difficult however because his new favorite napping spot is underneath my bed in between a couple of boxes. He usually comes out when I make eye contact... My poor lil guy.

Monday, November 16, 2020


So far, Norma and Alias have demonstrated they only have two speeds: zero and 100.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

My Lil Buddy

Yesterday’s visual visit went a teeny bit better. Theo slowly slinked toward the carrier and got close enough to sniff. And then Norma reached out her paw and Theo ran away. So far there’s been no hissing, but Theo has never been much of a hisser (I think I may have heard him hiss less than a handful of times). Hopefully we continue to make small steps forward.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


Norma is a snuggler. She’s taken a couple of long naps on my lap and tonight I placed her on my chest underneath a blanket as I was watching TV. She purred the whole time.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Three Pound Monsters

Tried a slow visual introduction of Norma, and Alias to Theo. Theo had been sitting quietly on the sofa next to me so I put his siblings in their carrier and brought them into the room. Theo was having none of it. His tail got big and his eyes got bigger. Norma clearly was curious about her new brother, sticking out her paw through the door. Alias was a little more wary, moving to the back of the carrier. Theo spent the rest of the afternoon hiding under the bed. I’m going to keep slowly finding a way to get them used to each other.

Monday, November 09, 2020

The Pride

 Meet Alias (the dark tabby) and Norma (the blonde). It’s hard to get good pictures of either since they are constantly in motion. They had been fostering at my boss’ family’s home for the past three months. They were in a litter of six and were the last two to leave because Norma got an infection after her ‘surgery.’ My boss’ wife said she was glad I was adopting the two together since from the start they had bonded and were the closest of the siblings.

I’ve never lived with kittens before and they have crazy energy. I cleaned out a room that hadn’t been used for two years (Thompson peed on the carpet and I just threw boxes from my time in Minnetonka in there so it has been a big closet) for them to stay in the first few nights. While cleaning the room I found a toy my dad had bought the boyz several years ago. It’s a fuzzy ball attached to a wire. There’s a battery base so when it’s turned on the fuzzy ball moves in a random jerky fashion. The boyz would play with it for a minute or so and then grow bored. Alias played with it for 20 minutes straight without it even being turned on, let his sister have a turn and then resumed.... Theo’s freaked. I had many good years with the boyz. I hope to have just as many with the pride.

And it’s my birthday today. They might be the greatest birthday gift of all time.

Friday, November 06, 2020


Theo was on a Zoom call with me this morning. Afterward he had to take a breather...

P.S. He got to see his siblings who also made an appearance during the meeting.

Monday, November 02, 2020

On Time Boy

Theo didn’t get the memo that our clocks were turned back an hour. He was ready to go at 6 a.m. like always. Only it was 5 a.m. So I got up anyway.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Theo’s Haiku

I’m here in the dark

Don’t know where everyone went

Meow meow me... 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The New Normal

Truth be told, the driving reason behind my checking Theo’s vet visit status was I completed the adoption application process for Theo’s new siblings to join him.  I needed to provide proof he is up to date on his shots. The application process is now complete and approved. I had hoped to bring Theo’s new brother and sister home this week. Unfortunately, one of them developed an infection around the stitches following THE surgery. As a result, she won’t be ready to come home for 10-14 days.

I decided to keep them together and not bring the boy home alone because I’ve been planning the introduction process. And it involves leaving them in another room at night for the first few nights so as to acclimate them to the smells and sights of their new home while not disrupting Theo’s new normal routine too much. I’m posting this because I know those of you who read this blog probably can offer some advice about introducing cats into a new home with a cat who has lived here a long long time (16 years... I can’t believe it...) I don’t think Theo will need too much time adapting to his new siblings given he’s lived his whole life with other cats and he clearly struggled after Thompson died and now losing Diego-San too. But I’m not fooling myself there will be a period of adjustment for all of us...


Monday, October 26, 2020

Theo’s Big Day

Theo usually has his annual visit to the vet in March. I thought I had brought him in before the apocalypse began, but I looked for confirmation and couldn’t find any. So I called and the vet confirmed he hadn’t come in yet this year. So Theo had his visit on Saturday. All checked out well except some tartar on his teeth. He was pretty grumpy on the ride home. I told him the tech said he was really a friendly boy.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Happy Weekend

Theo has wide eyed expectations for a great weekend. He wishes you one too.