The coon cats at home, late December

I have been remiss in sharing Mozart’s love of The Spa, which opens directly after one of us takes a shower, and the various scents of soap and shampoo ride the steam.  He’ll shoulder open the door the hallway and jump up on the hamper nearest the shower, sniff, sigh, and curl up, purring.  He’s in The Spa at the moment, savoring the fragrant aftermath of my orange-creme goatmilk soap shower.  I can hear him purring from the hallway.

In other news, and leaving aside Christmas Eve’s adventure as a completely unrelated incident to his general health, Socks is, since having acupuncture, much improved.  There’s been only a very small amount of sneezing, the chronic sinus difficulties have vanished, and he can breathe easily.  More than that — he can purr, which he hasn’t been able to do without setting off a explosive bout of sneezing.  He also has much more energy — who knew that he could bounce?  We’re just really delighted and hope very much (everybody knock wood) that this improvement is permanent.

I hope everyone is having a lovely last weekend of 2012.


Recap with storm warning

Oh, let’s see.

On Tuesday Monday, Steve and I went into town to do some minor grocery shopping and pick up a music stand.  We had noticed that Socks hadn’t asked for breakfast, but sometimes he, like me, doesn’t want to be bothered with breakfast, so we didn’t think much of it.

We were brought to a realization of our error when we returned home some hours later, groceries in arms.  Socks was clearly in distress and, it being Christmas Eve, our local vet was naturally closed.

So, we took a road trip down to Lewiston, to see the kind and competent folks at the Animal Emergency Clinic of Mid-Maine.  Five hours and one-hundred-thirty-odd miles later, and one-hundred-fifty-eight dollars lighter, we were back at the Cat Farm, Socks much improved, though of course worn out by his ordeal.

Socks sleeping off his adventure.
Socks sleeping off his adventure.

Yesterday, we took a half-day off to watch “Singing in the Rain,” and play the inaugural game on our new double-Scrabble.  Yes, we are slackers.

First Game on New Board, December 25, 2012
First Game on New Board, December 25, 2012

Today, we’re under a Winter Storm Warning as the Wicked Weather that’s been pacing up the coast finally reaches us, on the overnight.  We’re looking at up to sixteen inches of snow, over Thursday and early Friday, which suddenly takes the week down from four mailing days to um, today, so if I want to mail these things this year, I’d better get crackin’.

Hope those who celebrate had a lovely holiday, and that the weather where you are hasn’t been dreadful.

And when the stars threw down their spears, and watered heaven with their tears

Yesterday. . .was not a good day. It was dramatically brought to our attention Friday night that Hexapuma was very ill, after having shown some improvement earlier in the week. Our vet was out of the office, so Saturday morning we made the hour-run down to Lewiston and the Animal Emergency Clinic.

The diagnosis was acute kidney failure — lots of red numbers on the blood count graph. The vet gave Hex a “very short time” which he defined in a few weeks of degrading kidney function. It wasn’t something that was going to get better; and there was nothing we could do to ease his last days. All that being so, Steve and I made the decision to let him go, and stayed to see him safely across the Bridge.

May I just say that, if it ever comes a time when such a decision needs to made on my behalf, I would wish for the same gentle care and empathy Hex received from Dr. Braeuer and his staff.

Blueblaze Sphinxian Hexapuma 2006 - 2011

I was astonished to see that Hex had been with us for less than three years of his not-quite-five. It seems as if he’s been part of the Cat Farm forever.

…and so he shall be.

In which Rolanni is freed from the tyranny of the viewfinder

…and, boy, is that a hard habit to break.

Also?  Trying to “drive” the picture in the screen is going to take some practice.

Therefore, I did a little practicing, with what results you may see for yourselves:

Mozart's interested
Scrabble mugs for the camera
Hexapuma the Curious
Hex wants to know what all the excitement's about

Coon cat humor

Mozart and I have this thing that we do every morning.

We read the comics together.

Yeah, that’s right, the comics.  I’ll go into my office and start the serial download of the strips we follow, skim the New York Times, help Mozart to the top of the table (he’s reached the point in his career where the elevator is appreciated, especially since I insist on keeping stuff on the rolling file cabinet that he can, and sometimes still does, use as an intermediary jumping-on place), and together, like I said, we read the comics, and look Weather Underground, and sometimes the day-job email, though that’s a habit I’m trying to break.

It will surprise no one, I hope, to learn that Mozart has his favorites among the daily comic run. Girl Genius, of course, and Narbonic.  He’s a big fan of Didi’s, from Menage a 3 — yes, he does appear to have a thing for women with holdings.  This is fortunate.

…and please note that some of these comics are not always work-safe.

He likes to keep up with Ludwig in Arlo and Janis.   9 Chickweed Lane and Stone Soup pretty much leave him cold, but he has an avuncular interest in the characters residing within Questionable Content.  He likes Hannelore, despite her deficiency of holdings, and worries that she’ll never find a cat of her own.  Looking at pictures of pretty kittens on the internet just isn’t the same.

So, this morning, we’re looking at the comics, Mozart and me — it’s Tuesday, so “Menage a 3” has updated, and Mozart’s pretty interested in how the whole play thing is, um, going to play out and whether Gary will be able to make his case with Yuki, or be doomed to go home with the guy from the comics store.  I’m kinda interested in that outcome, myself, though I’m thinking more along the lines of a fight over Zii, Didi and the redhaired girl making a pair, and Gary going home with Dinah and Making Dillon Sorry. . .


Where was I?

Right.  Reading the comics.  Finished up; Mozart is lounging with his head on the edge of my keyboard.  I obliged him with some whisker-twizzling and ear-rubbing, then zipped over to Weather Underground to see exactly how wet I could expect to get today.  Mozart takes this opportunity to pitch a nap and a day at home.  I manage, just, to resist this.

It turns out that I can expect to get pretty comprehensively damp, and remain that way throughout the day.  Also?  There’s news!

“Look, Mozart!” I say, running the screen up so he can see the red letters.  “There’s a flood watch!”

Immediately, he sits up, and directs his attention at the screen.  A flood watch!  How exciting.  On the spot, he revises his plans for the day to include the viewing of floods.

Having taken this decision, Mozart is energized.  He makes a wide turn, making sure to brush his tail across the screen, and sits down with his back to me, and glances down to where there is a small stack of invoices awaiting disposition.

“Don’t you dare,” I say to him.

He glances over his shoulder at me.  Smiles.

And deliberately turns back, bending his head so that he can delicately nudge the entire pile off the table and onto the floor.  Some of the pages flutter before they hit.  Of course, the whole is now a disordered mess requiring somebody with thumbs to order.

That, would be me.

His work done, Mozart leaps from the table and strolls out, down the hall and to the kitchen, for a well-earned bite of breakfast.

Here’s a picture of Mozart at work, taken on March 1, his twelfth birthday:

picture of Mozart the Maine Coon cat
Coon cat at work