Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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On the twelfth day of donating…

And last but certainly not least in my twelve days of donating is the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue (VOKRA). VOKRA is a volunteer-run, no-kill rescue organization that helps about 1200 surrendered, abandoned, and feral kittens and cats per year by finding them permanent homes (or, for feral cats that aren’t adoptable, through their trap/neuter/return program). While cats are waiting to be adopted, they live in foster homes rather than a traditional shelter. And, of course, VOKRA is where I found my kitties!

Watson thinks the new garbage can is good place to hang out Crick

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Oh Christmas Trees!

Since knew I was going to be in Ontario for Christmas, we put up the Christmas tree in mid-November to allow me time to enjoy it before I left. But since I was crazy busy up until I left, I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it until now. Though the Christmas tree on its own probably isn’t worth blogging about, as it looks pretty much the same as every other year, except with new ornaments from Hawaii and Scotland. Which I appear not to have taken a photo of before I left. #fail

But then for Scott’s work Christmas party his office went to a ceramics place and painted little ceramic Christmas trees, so now we also have this tree to adorn the condo for the holidays:

Christmas tree

And here’s the big tree:Christmas tree

As per usual, Watson enjoys chewing on the branches, and Crick likes to map on the velvet tree skirt. Happily, Watson hasn’t been interested in knocking ornaments out of the tree or trying to eat light bulbs like he has in the past.

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Happy Birthday, Watson & Crick

It’s been another trip around the sun for my kitties, Watson and Crick – today they turn 71 Being cats, their lives aren’t that exciting, to be honest. But in the last year…

Watson has done some reading:

Watson doing some reading

Crick sat in the sink for the first time ever2:

Crick in the sink

And the two of them seem to be buddies more often – I seem to have more photos of them sitting together than in the past:

Watson & Crick on a pizza box

Cats in a box

 

Also, Crick has a new favourite spot to sit – Scott’s office chair:

IMG_8729

And Watson was a bit confused by this file holder:

Watson exploring a file holder

To celebrate their 7th birthday, they got a new cat tree, because their old one was getting pretty ratty3

Watson & Crick got a new cat tree for an early birthday

Happy birthday, Watson & Crick! We will celebrate with some tuna tonight!

  1. According to the internets, that’s 44 in people years. []
  2. Or at least, the first time I’ve seen it. []
  3. Plus I got my condo painted this summer and when I’d pulled the old cat tree away from the wall for the painters, I noticed that there were black marks on the wall where the cat tree was leaning against it (the old cat tree was black) and since I didn’t want that happening on my freshly painted walls, I figured that a lighter colour cat tree – and one that was more sturdily built than the old one – was in order. []

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Happy 4th Cativersary, Watson & Crick!

Can you believe I’ve had my kitties for FOUR YEARS? I totally thought it was just three, but when I went to get the link to the blog posting from when I got them, I saw that it was FOUR YEARS AGO! So I’ve had these little fuzzballs for more than half their lives. Well, if you count in conventional years. If you count in cat years, I’ve not had them that long, because according to the Internets, cat years work like this: their first two years of their life = 25 years, and every year after that = 4 years. When I got them, they were 2.25 people years, which is the equivalent of 26 years old in cat years. And in the 4 people years since then, they’ve only aged 16 cat years. Cat math is weird.

At any rate, every day I’ve had these cats has been the best. They are so loving and so funny, and even though Watson can be an asshole sometimes and Crick will claw the shit out of you if you piss her off, I wouldn’t change a thing about them. Best. Cats. Ever. I mean, look at these guys:

Watson & Crick in bed

Watson

Me & Crick

Watson & Crick

Crick

Watson

WatsonCrick

Crick

Crick

Cat line up

Watson & Crick on a pizza box

I love you, my little muffins!

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NaBloPoMo – Day 18 – Cat Toy Basket

So this is something that I did eleventy billion years ago and never got around to blogging about: I made a fabric basket for the cats’ toys! You may remember that back in the summer, Cath, Steph, and I took a sewing class and learned how to make tote bags. Well, we enjoyed it so much that we went back again the next month and took a class on how to make a fabric basket. I had decided that I wanted to use mine as a toy basket for the kitties’ toys – my cleaning lady always puts all the cat toys into one of the many cardboard boxes I have around the condo (because my condo is heaven for kitties and they love them some cardboard boxes), but I thought it would be nice to have the toys in something nicer than that. So when we got to the class, I originally picked out these fabrics:

Fabric
But then it turned out that the one with the kitties on it wasn’t the right kind of fabric for this project, so I chose a different kitty-based one:

Fabric

I saw that another woman in the class chose the same pink fabric with cat faces on it and I asked her, “Oh, are you making a basket for your cat’s toys too?” and she replied “I am now!”

Anyway, here’s my cat toy basket in all it’s finished glory:

Cat toy basket I made in sewing glass

Haven’t done any other sewing classes since then – I got busy with teaching this semester and Cath was busy with selling her house, buying a new house, and moving. But I really did enjoy it, so perhaps I’ll have a look at what classes are being offered once the course I’m teaching is over. I still really want to do the class to learn how to make zippered pouches.

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NaBloPoMo – Day 17 – Cat Photos!

Went to the gym after work today for the first time in more than two weeks – I’d put my membership on hold for two weeks as I was away for a week in Squamish doing data collection and then away for a week in Washington for a conference – and then I’ve spent most of my evening uploading photos to Flickr because I hadn’t uploaded photos for ages and I have ever so many. Anyway, now it’s nearly 11 pm and I’m still not done uploading photos and my brain is too tired from a hectic week of work to think of anything good to blog about, so instead I give you these pictures of my adorable cats!

Watson

Crick and I Snapchatting to Scott

This is what I see when I open the bathroom door

Watson on the fridge

Crick in a laundry basket

Me & Crick

Watson

Watson & Crick on a pizza box

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NaBloPoMo Day 5 – The Forgotten Suitcase

I’m heading out on a trip to Washington, DC for a conference and since I’ll be there for a week, I decided that I’ll need to take my comically large suitcase and not just my carry-on, because I don’t travel light and I like shoes. The suitcase in question is the purple suitcase that I bought when I was in Ireland to fit the painting that I bought in Ireland – so it’s pretty big. It’s so big that I often get comments on how damn big it is when I travel with it. Plus, if I actually fill it all the way up, it goes over the 50 lb weight limit, so it’s a bit impractical in that sense. Anyway, I went down to my storage locker to get said suitcase and discovered that there was a blue suitcase in my storage locker, in addition to my purple one. It’s a more reasonable sized suitcase and all I could think where, “Where the hell did this suitcase come from?” It had my luggage scale in the front pocket, which I typically bring with me to make sure I don’t go over the 50 lb limit, so that, combined with the fact that it was in my storage locker made me reasonably sure it was mine, but why could I not recall where this suitcase came from?

Then it hit me! I bought it for my trip to Australia last year because my flight between Sydney and Byron Bay had a restriction on the size of checked bags and my comically large purple suitcase wasn’t allowed. Leave it to me to entirely forget that I bought a suitcase – a suitcase, mind you, that I would have looked at every day of my 19 trip to Australia and Hong Kong!

Blue suitcase

Note: any would-be robbers who had designs on robbing my place while I’m away: my big strong boyfriend will be housesitting and cat-sitting. And he’ll be backed up by my two fierce kitties and my three vicious attack frogs!

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Happy 6th Birthday, Watson & Crick

In honour of the sixth birthday of my little fuzzballs, I give you this video of them chasing a laser pointer. I accidentally filmed it in slow motion, which means that the times when they sit and stare at the red dot seem even more absurdly long than in real life, but the parts where they chase and jump are hilarious – I especially love the sound!

The kitties were spoiled today with new toys and some special treats – though I’m not sure any toy can be more appreciated than a box!

IMG_5350

Crick enjoying the new box

Watson in a box

Happy birthday, fuzzballs!

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Stuff I’m Learning This Year: Growing potatoes on my balcony edition

Last year when I made my herb garden, I learned that one could grow potatoes on their balcony. I didn’t get to try it out last year due to travel and balcony power washing that happened, but decided I would do it this summer. Fast forward to the May long weekend – Scott and I set out to buy some seedlings to plant this year’s herb garden and while at the store, I remembered the potato thing! I hadn’t remembered early enough to actually sprout some potatoes on my own, but fortunately one can purchase “potato seeds” (which are little potatoes that have been sprouted).

Potato seeds

Basically, you cut a bit off of the potato, put some dirt in a bag, and bury the potato cut side down.

Potato seed

Cutting the potato seed before planting

Growing potatoes on my balcony

Growing potatoes on my balcony

After about a week, you see the plant sprouting above the surface, and then you dump more dirt on it to cover the sprouts and let it grow another four weeks. And then you have potatoes!

As you can see, my potato plants are sprouting quite nicely:

June 4:

Potato plants are growing!

June 10:

Potatoes

June 14:

IMG_5865

Also, the bag that I bought to grow the potatoes in has am opening, which I’m assuming is to make it easier to harvest the potatoes when they are ready. However, such a bag also doubles as an excellent astronaut costume (as long as it is before you put the dirt in it):

Potato growing bag doubles as a spacesuit!

Since I still had more potato seeds, so I decided to get myself another bag to grow a second batch. But since the space suit potato bag appeared to be made out of the same material as Ikea bags, we decided to just buy an Ikea bag for less than $1 and cut a hole in the bottom of it!

Planted on June 4:

Planting balcony potatoes - second batch

June 10:

Potatoes
June 14:

Potatoes
In addition to growing potatoes, also picked up a bunch of seedlings to make this year’s herb garden1. For the record, this year’s garden consists of:

  • chives
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • marjoram
  • mint
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • tarragon
  • thyme
  • tomatoes
  • jalapeño
  • strawberries

Balcony Herb Garden

First strawberry of the season

Strawberries

Balcony Herb GardenDoes anyone know why this tomato is called a “mortgage lifter?”

Also, while we were picking up seedlings, we discovered that the garden store was selling  cat grass seedlings. And seedlings of variegated cat grass. And cat nip seedlings. So guess who got their own little garden?

Watson & Crick love their new cat garden

You can’t see it in the photos, but the cats are wearing harnesses and leashes because I don’t want them falling off the balcony!

I also toyed with the idea of growing a hipster garden when I saw that you could buy kale, quinoa, and stevia seedlings, but decided that the cost in money, effort, and space on the balcony would outweigh the joke. Of course, if I had, I would have to have bought the “craft” compost:Hipster dirt

Anyhoo, like last year, I’m enjoying having fresh herbs to cook with, as well as enjoying watching the garden grow! And I’m really excited to get to harvest some potatoes!

  1. I didn’t find a way to bring last summer’s herb garden inside, given that my cats would eat it all and that I really don’t have anywhere to put it all, so I had to make a new garden from scratch. []

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Kitty Dentistry

When Watson & Crick went to the vet a few months ago (because Watson had an irritated eye), the vet noted that they both had a fair bit of tartar and some gingivitis, so she recommended a cleaning1, but noted that because February is pet dental health month, I’d get a discount if I brought them in this month. So yesterday we went off to the vet’s office for their first dental cleaning2. In order to do a dental cleaning, cats are put under general anesthetic3. Prior to this visit, I’d had to take Watson in for an ultrasound of his heart, as he has a heart murmur4, but the vet said he was OK to get the general anesthetic.

Happily, both kitties did just fine under the anesthetic, but while Watson just needed the cleaning, poor Crick needed some more extensive work. Apparently one of her front canine teeth5 was fractured! The vet said that it can happen from a cat running around and crashing into stuff or sometimes just from jumping and landing too hard. And Watson does like to chase Crick around, so I could totally see her knocking into something as she was running away from him6 She also had a resorptive lesion in one of her premolars – basically, there was a hole in the enamel that is just asking for bacteria to get in and cause an infection. The lesion was just below the gumline, so you wouldn’t be able to actually see it. Both of the bad teeth were on the same side and the vet said that you could see there was more tartar build up on the opposite side, meaning that she’s been eating her food on that side of her mouth because her bad teeth were probably hurting. So poor Cricky required an extraction of the canine and a crown amputation of the pre-molar.

Since the kitties had been under general anesthetic, they spent a few hours in the vet’s office to recover. Watson had his cleaning first and apparently once he woke up he was distraught and inconsolable until he saw Crick. I’m not sure if he was just scared to be alone in an unfamiliar place while he was feeling all weird from the anesthetic or if he was worried about his sister. He is a scaredy cat, so it was probably the former.

Watson says, "What up, girl?"The cats each had a different reaction to the anesthetic. Once Watson had calmed down because he could finally see his sister, he had the typical reaction of just wanting to sleep. Crick, on the other hand, was bouncing off the walls. Even when I picked them up, Watson was just chill in his cat carrier on the way home (he usually spends the whole time in his cat carrier crying about the injustice of being in a cat carrier), but Crick was super fidgety. When we got back to the condo, both cats were happy to home, but were very upset with me for not feeding them immediately. They hadn’t eaten since dinner the previous night (since you have to fast before you go under anesthetic because anesthetic can make you barfy) and they weren’t allowed to have food until 8 pm so that all the anesthetic would be out of their system, and we got home around 4 pm. The cats spent a lot of time standing around looking at their empty food dish and then going to the kitchen to stare at the cupboard where I keep their food.

CrickCrick also has drugs she has to take for the next few days. Buprenorphine (an opioid for pain) and metacam (an anti-inflammatory). Her first dose of metacam isn’t until tonight, but she has to take her opioid every 12 hours and she absolutely hates it! I have these little pre-filled syringes that I have to squirt in her mouth, but she tries to keep her mouth shut and hide her head in my lap. I try to tell her it will make her feel better, but she just wants to say no to drugs. Fortunately, I can just squirt the metacam onto her food and apparently it just has a little bit of a sweet taste, so it shouldn’t turn her off the food. The trick will be to watch her eat and make sure that Watson doesn’t try to steal her drugged food!

The good news we got at the vet was that both kitties have lost some weight! Both of them need to lose a few pounds – when we were at the vet a few months ago, Watson weighed 12 lbs and Crick was 14 lbs, so I’ve been making an effort to weigh their food so they aren’t getting too much, to take away leftovers (as Crick would feast on Watson’s leftovers – hence why she weighed 2 more pounds than him), and bring out the laser pointer at least once a day to get them running around. When Scott’s over, he plays with them several times a day with the laser pointer, so that’s helped for sure! Watson has lost more weight as he occasionally chooses to eat a bit less and he chases the laser pointer more. He’s down to 10.8 lbs and Crick is now 13.5 lbs.

Anyway, the kitties both seem to be doing well, so while I’m down $1300 (eep!), at least I know that everyone has a healthy mouth!

 

  1. And we know that dental health in humans is important to overall physical health, so why wouldn’t it be the same in cats? []
  2. At least their first one since I’ve had them. []
  3. There is one company in Vancouver called Meow Maids that will come to your house and clean your cats’ teeth without putting them under, but when I emailed them they very curtly told me that they don’t travel to New Westminster (because I suppose a 30 minute drive is just insurmountable). And then ignored my follow up email asking if they knew of any other companies that would provide such a service in my area. I know a lot of people love Meow Maids, but I have to say, I was not impressed with their rudeness! []
  4. I was told that Watson had a heart murmur when he had his two week-post adoption check up at a different vet, but at that time there was no need to further investigate it, as we weren’t doing anything else. This time they wanted to check it out before they put him under, but said it was just a few little abnormalities and he should be fine under anesthetic. I honestly have no idea if this kind of thing is just a cash grab, but I couldn’t put him under and not have done the ultrasound, because what if something happened while he was under and I hadn’t done the test first?? []
  5. Does it strike anyone else as funny to think that cats have canine teeth? []
  6. It also made me think of something Cath said about her cat having a messed up tooth: “She was probably trying to eat a brick or something.” []