Thursday, January 6, 2005

Clarence and Tommy

We laughed quite a bit this morning at poor Clarence's expense.

I spent a few moments in the big cage with Tommy Boy and as I was coming out, Clarence came into the room--probably en route to the condo (aka the cat porch). I didn't see what exactly happened but I guess he must have finally noticed that there is a Strange Cat in the big cage, because when I turned back to him, his tail was expanded to a truly remarkable extent--I'd never seen such a perfect bottle-brush.

Clarence retreated with that studied decorum of cats--as if his tail wasn't completely giving him away--and preceded me upstairs.

"Denny, check this out!" I called as Clarence started down the hall.

I could hear Denny guffaw and ask what had happened.

Poor Clarence was trying to act nonchalant but with his tail all puffed out, it was impossible to pull it off. We must have laughed at the sight for a good five minutes or so.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005


Just patches of refrozen snow on the ground. The pine siskins have shown up in the past two days. They seems to have either absorbed or displaced the redpolls--the two species are so similar that from a mid-distance it is hard to tell them apart There must be over a hundred birds on the flocks around the house, so I put out a goodly amount of seeds for them every morning.

The cats are most appreciative of the distraction during these quiet winter days, especially Frannie, who--being deaf--is more visually-oriented than the other cats. She spends hours on the window sills watching the activity outside.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

New Year

I still haven't taken the tree down yet though I can't keep Lola penned up much longer. I had gathered the balls of yarn from yesterday and put them in a plastic bucket, but she had found enough balls of yarn to have another macrame surprise for me this morning. I recalled that Newt actually had kicked a couple of the yarn balls out of the crochet box but she only displaced what she needed to make a space to sleep. Newt had much more of a sense of decorum than Lola has--and more than any other cat, Newt seemed to strive to understand what it meant to be a "good kitty", what it was we wanted from her. Lola probably doesn't willfully try to misbehave--she is just too much energy in too small a package. Punkin, on the other hand, has never had *any* interest in being a good kitty. Any attention is better than no attention at all.

Anyway, I emptied the crochet box and sealed its contents in plastic litter pails so Lola will have to find another way to get into deviltry.

The redpolls have shown up en masse over the past week. I thought they were pine siskins until I got a closer look and spotted the distinctive red cap. One news story says they are showing up in town in great numbers because much of their usual wintering area burned this summer. I am keeping plenty of sunflower seed outside. The cats find this most entertaining.