Friday, March 30, 2012

A Nail-biting Time

Yesterday, when I clipped the kittens' claws I did so unscathed. The last two times I had done it I was bitten hard enough by Parsifal to draw blood and the two-fanged effect made me look as though I had had congress with a distracted vampire.

Yesterday I armed myself by putting on a wrist splint which comes up halfway to my elbow. I am not sure if he realised the uselessness of trying to bite through metal splints or if he has finally realised that it is an activity which is going to come up on a weekly basis for the rest of his life, but except for trying to see what I was actually doing, and thus blocking my view of his claws, he submitted without a protest.

A problem not so easily solved has been his determination to get out into the passage without his harness and lead on and a couple of evenings ago he managed it and headed off down the passage with his tail held high and with no intention of returning until he had seen what was at the end of the corridor. Luckily he was distracted by cooking smells from Apartment 702 and I grabbed him and carried him back.

Now I have a spray bottle filled with water just by the door and he doesn't like that one bit so hopefully that is another problem solved. The Selfs are coming over this afternoon and it will be a good test to see if he will ignore a bit of misting to his face for the joy of getting into the corridor or if he will decide that discretion is the better part of valour and that the apartment is more interesting than an empty stretch of carpet without a single wastepaper basket to upend and disembowel.

He sat himself onto my bathroom scales yesterday morning and they registered him as weighing 2.9 kilos. Poppy is not nearly as big and feels as light and fragile as a feather but she holds her own in their rough-and-tumble games, mostly by taking a defensive position on her back so that she can use all four paws to defend herself.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lead on, McDuff ...

I can see that training one kitten to walk on a lead could be quite simple; my two have no problem with their harnesses but attach the leads and take them out into the corridor and they each want to go in a different direction. Not that they could get lost unless someone came up in the lift and one of them hopped in. That is a rather unlikely event as only four of the apartments on this floor are occupied and I certainly wouldn't let them out when one of the other apartments is open for inspection.

The other problem I have with them is that if I let them run with their leads attached, one or other will attack the trailing leads and I end up with a tangle of lead and kitten. And Parsifal somehow manages to twist his harness around so that the lead springs from his tummy. I can't work out how he does it.

I have been pouring water down the master bathroom drain to try to stop the airlock which has been causing the 'plumber's symphony' whenever I have a shower and this morning the drains were as silent as the grave. I am not sure if it is a temporary lapse on their part or whether I have flushed down whatever was causing the blockage. I rather miss it ... but then the apartment is still under warranty and it is not my problem.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Tides are no longer surging

Yesterday morning when I had my shower I realised that the water was no longer pulsing. It had been better for the last couple of weeks but the flow would stop two or three times during my shower which was very annoying. Now it is, once again, uninterrupted.

The next thing I need to have fixed is the symphony played by the drains in the master bathroom. There is obviously an air lock somewhere and after my shower there is a continuous cacophony from the bath and the two vanity basins as the water tries to drain away. That will be a plumber's job and the best of British luck to him because I think that he is going to have to go into the crawl space under the bathroom to get to the problem.

The kittens take themselves off at night after a bit of trampoline practise on my bed; Poppy to the igloo in the bedroom and Parsifal, I think, sleeps in the igloo in the main room. They are both in bed with me in the morning, though, and now that the mornings are getting chilly they are lovely and warm against me ... until Parsifal decides that it is breakfast time and crawls out from under and gently pulls my hair.

He is much bigger than Poppy now and it worries me a bit when they tough each other up but she rolls onto her back and adopts a defensive position. He bites, though and has bitten me the last two times I have clipped his fingernails. I am going to have to cover my right arm because he has sharp teeth and has drawn blood. He knows that I am angry but does it anyway. I guess that we will sort it out when he realises the inevitability of the blunt claws.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Computers and cats

Today Himself and I spent an hour telling people about computers. This was sprung on us late last week, originally being allotted 20 minutes but that was extended to an hour when another speaker probably decided that she needed more than 20 minutes and postponed her talk. Himself did all the talking and I worked the computer, sort of on command.

I cranked up the Win7 laptop yesterday to check its battery and it promptly crashed. After doing an error check I found that the mouse buttons had reversed themselves so I fixed that once I realised why I could not get the computer to obey me, but didn't check further, assuming that everything was working properly.

It was only today when I was asked to open MS Word that I realised that most of the formatting and editing ribbon had disappeared but I didn't have time to investigate the problem so we struggled on regardless. It took a right click on the 'Home' tab to get the option to bring everything back. Hopefully it will be better next time because we have been given another hour to cover security in detail and perhaps, if we have time, to do filing in more detail.

The kittens love their mouse game but all they do is sit and watch it until the game turns itself off in disgust. However, the iPad must send out some sort of signal which they pick up because as soon as I turn it on to do anything (I am still coming to terms with the super-sensitive keyboard) first Poppy and then Parsifal come running. At least it stops them from walking all over my keyboard when I am trying to use the main computer. I have to check the keyboard because when they walk on it they invariably turn on the caps lock, turn off the numlock and somehow manage to turn off the sound - and it is not the sound dial at the side.

Poppy is becoming very demanding and she is going to have to be pulled back into line. Parsifal's passion for water caused him to get into the bath yesterday when there was a couple of centimetres of water in the bottom. After doing a one or two of paw flicks he simply settled down to watch the water go down the drain hole. He is hardwired for mischief and is a total clown; bless him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Today I bought myself an iPad2. The new one is coming out on a couple of days time and having researched it I decided that I would skip the new one and get the still current version. When I checked to find out when they would be reduced in price I found that they were already quite heavily discounted and I got the second-to-last one this morning. The store sold twelve yesterday!

I have set it up and am working through a how-to book called iPad for the Older and Wiser which is published by the University of the Third Age (U3A) which is easy to follow and seems very helpful. I have downloaded the app with the squeaky mouse running around the screen. Poppy is pretty nifty but Parsifal has a tendency to try to squash the mouse by lying on it.

They are growing up and I took the above picture this morning. Poppy is on the left of the picture, Parsifal on the right. Click on it to enlarge picture.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bird Calls

I am discovering why Bombay cats are advertised as good apartment cats; they are very quiet except when they are crashing and bouncing off the furniture. They have very soft little voices and when the babies want my attention they make a sound akin to a soft bird call - a sort of chirrup. The only time they go full throttle is when they think that I should be feeding them ... then Poppy shouts at me.

They are growing up now and Parsifal is noticeably bigger than Poppy. He is still determined to go out into the passage so I have started getting them used to wearing a harness. Parsifal doesn't think much of it and even if I carry him out into the corridor he simply rolls over. Poppy, on the other hand, walks with her lead on, but not far; it is all very new and scary out there.

But they are growing up true to their Burmese heritage and I wake up in the mornings these days to find one or both in bed with me. They have perfected the art of climbing in without waking me. It is nice - like old times but it is playing havoc with my gym attendance because it is much more fun to stay and play with them.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back to the Future

This morning I went back to the gym for almost the first time in two months. It is much more fun staying here and playing with the cats but I need to keep fit and lose weight so I will again make it a regular feature of my mornings. Of course, I enjoyed it once I had made the effort to get there but I will be stiff tomorrow. I managed the whole routine but the cross-trainer, as usual, was rather an effort.

I tried the babies in their harnesses again today - just for about five minutes and they were not impressed. Parsifal is determined to get out into the corridor so he is going to have to get used to wearing his harness. I managed to get him through the door but he lay down and wouldn't go any further. Perhaps if he associates the corridor with being in harness he won't be quite so keen on exploring past the limits of the apartment.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Water, Water Everytime! Yeah!

The water flow is working properly again. No more chasing the spray around the shower recess or waiting for the spray to return so that I can rinse off. It has taken almost four weeks to identify the problem, acquire and install a replacement part for the pump. It would be nice to think that they would keep some spares in case it happens again but big companies don't work that way.

Poppaea has had her stitches out. Astonishingly they all stayed in situ for the whole time but one was getting a bit inflamed and I had noticed that she had started licking at it a bit. She is becoming almost too much of a lap-cat and I am starting to have to be firm with her or I'd be sitting down all day cradling a cat in my arms; she likes to be cradled like a baby so it is not just a matter of putting her onto my lap and getting on with my book or whatever.

I think that they are going to be smaller cats than my last lot (which were very big for Burmese) but already Parsifal is noticeably bigger than Poppaea so with his size and his longer nose it is getting easier to tell them apart and I am finding that I quite subconsciously know which one is which. Parsifal is still into everything and I have to check all cupboards before I close them; the dishwasher is the latest thing to attract his attention. He likes to sit in it.