Love KittyNest!

We’ve lately been horribly busy (and computer has hated us!!) and haven’t updated – Sorry! The cats have a whole bunch of adventures to share (new kittens equals whole new lots of fun)!

But first things first, check this out – KittyNest

This is an adorable and wonderfully brilliant concept! All the cats love cardboard and this is an ingenious concept! And we think that these guys should be supported in their goal! 😀

More cat stuff soon!


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The Long Awaited Update!

Hi guys! 🙂

We apologise for not posting this long, but things have been wild for a while: between our fieldwork going nuts, and the shooting of a documentary, the writing of all the academic books and articles and arguing with the local government that still refuses to accord us the rights of EU citizens – breaking the EU law by doing that, btw… but the place has gone through radical changes and unfortunately, those changes have been to a rather extreme right, which, if you need any further explanation, thinks that the majority of the people on the planet should be killed and that Hitler was a really OK guy whose regime should be brought back… and we’re neither exaggerating or kidding, things have been crazy and we’ve really been too pressed for time to post anything. Plus, this place has a really lousy internet, meaning that we tend to have big problems looking for/posting any largish documents.

But enough about us, let’s talk about them. The cats, that is.
Well, as far as they are concerned, they couldn’t care less about the local politics. As long as there’s a pate or any kind of a cat treat at the end of the day, they feel that pesky human matters are and should be counted as so last Tuesday. Or something similar. You know that cat look of total, utter disdain, when they bring the whole matter (whatever that matter is) to a close with one look? Well, that’s the one.
They couldn’t care less. Plus, they are rather busy at the moment.

In fact, they have had a lot of their own cares… because we now have kittens! 🙂
Since we believe in not cutting people up for human commodity (and because, through my work especially, we have seen too many animals after operations that were actually necessary, which has left us with a great dislike for the idea – implants are better and if you think about it, women use a very similar thing as well!), none of our pets are ever castrated/sterilised, unless – as has happened in one sad case of a doggy illness, which thankfully ended up well in the end – their health demands it. We’ve been hoping to have kittens and so has Luna, and no matter how many people turn up their noses at the idea of non-pure bred animals (because we should, apparently, all be Nazi-style collaborators who think that purity is really “it”… or something), our wish has come true on 23rd July – mind, she had us fooled right up to the moment she started, because Luna is a big girl and the babies were small.

Anyhow, Luna and Mini, the happy parents, have actually managed to get to have babies! 🙂 They have tried to have babies before, and have managed one pregnancy, but the baby did not survive birth… This time, thankfully, when it seemed that there might be complications, we managed to get Lune-Lune to the vet.
Because she is so very narrow (too narrow for a cat!), Luna could not deliver her little boys the natural way and had to have a caesarean (c-section, if anyone’s unfamiliar with the whole term). Due to her problems, we have also taken the difficult decision that should never come lightly to anyone (we’re dealing with living beings here!) and have allowed the vet to sterilise her, since she was being operated on anyway.
We’ll miss her cute in heat behaviour terribly… I don’t know why people think that animals are tortured by having natural functions, such as we humans do*. I also don’t see what is so disturbing about animals showing sexual behaviour – we do! Read Cosmo if you don’t believe me.
Cutting short the rant about people being absolute dumb asses at best and murderous bastards at worse, back to the story of kitten cuteness (because we all know about the other stuff 🙂 ).

Luna was still very drugged when we got her back the same evening and with her were two little baby boys. She needed help for the entirety of the first night, because due to the drugs, she couldn’t respond properly when her babies needed her.
So we stayed up all night and took care of them.
We absolutely fell in love with the kitsies, as we call them… Luna is an amazing mother, in spite of the worries that she may not want to take care of them, due to the stress of the caesarean. If anything, she cares for them almost obsessively. She’s also lost weight now that she is breastfeeding (which is good, she was huge… on the same diet as the other cats, who are slim… go figure… 🙂 ).

The happy daddy was, at first, freaked out.
They were small, they were blind, they were squeaky and they were most definitely not a product of any of his body parts. At least, that was his initial statement. He actually ran for it, when he saw them.

Chocolate was intrigued.
Are they some kind of a freaky mouse? No, don’t seem to be… so what do you do with them? You must remember that Chocky is only now a year old. And kinda silly.

Luna, of course, still had to give us a rather bad fright. A day before her stitches were due to go out, we noticed that she is licking at something intently. At first we thought that she, or one of the babies, threw up… only to notice that she is in fact leaking large amounts of liquid from one of the stitches.
We rushed her to the vet, who discovered the following – Luna produces enough milk for a small army of kittens, but since there are only two, the pressure of the tits actually caused the stitch in question (at the bottom of her tummy) to be in less than pristine condition (because it was being pressed in and she couldn’t clean around it… the stitches she got were for lactating females, meaning no collar, but a way of stitching that cannot be torn out), meaning it got a little icky and then, thankfully, all the ick poured out. She got compatible antibiotics (compatible with her current activity, that is 🙂 ), which she ate without complaints, or without them having to be hidden in the food first. Wow.
I mean, really. Wow.
If only worming them was that easy.

The kittens went to the vet with their mommy. Mini, the hapless father, was panicked.
He was behaving kinda like this – oh, please, I’ll be good… I never ever meant it when I said they weren’t mine… I’ll do anything, please, please, just give me back my Luna and my babies… even if they scare me.
He actually refused to come out from under the top of the carrier cage for hours when they were brought back home.
Since then, he’s been trying to bond.
Cutely and cautiously, but still trying.

Luna went to have her stitches removed a week ago or so. By now, the boys, dubbed Elladan and Elrohir (smile, all ye Tolkien fans! 🙂 ), can see, but Elrohir had us a bit worried. He seemed not to respond to outside stimuli. While his brother definitely showed that he can see, even if he continued to doggedly walk with his head towards the thing that he could now see (his little legs were just too weak, and he still wanted to move lots), Elrohir would just sit there and do nothing.
So we had him checked, only to figure out that his vision is perfect… it’s just that he’s the kind of kitten that sits around and thinks a lot.
Since the last vet visit, the kittens have started exploring way more than before. They are still mainly in the big cage that they use as a den (Luna’s choice, and that cage is comfy and nice and can admit an adult human, guys… so a nice apartment, more than a cage! 🙂 ), but they have started to look decisively more like cats, they meow instead of peeping and they walk with their legs and not their paws.
They also appear to be incredibly healthy. The trouble with a lot of pure bred animals is the fact that, through selective breeding, they acquire a lot of health problems (try my adopted pup… she’s six and has to have tablets, because her thyroid is faulty… and the Eurasiers are supposed to be fairly healthy! We know a large Schnautzer that could pass for bionic any day!). With garden variety anything, from dogs to horses to cats, the only issues that can appear are those of the lack of the gene pool. There are limited amounts of them breeding, because they are unwanted by snooty humans. So we’re glad that Luna and Mini had babies… more garden variety cats around! 🙂
They are tremendously cute, the two of them. They have started, some time ago, to purr already (and hiss, as I discovered when I unwittingly woke poor little frightened Elrohir from deep slumbers… ok, so I thought he was choking at first, but no, it was actual hissing…), to do all the cleaning things that mommy does and to actually play.
As much as their bodies allow them, anyway.
We’ve documented the kittens’ progress day by day, so there’s going to be loads and loads of pictures (and there’s pics of the other cats as well, since there’s a backlog of a lot of weeks now).

That’s all for now. Hope you enjoy our garden variety kitten pictures and the pics of their parents and their… auntie?… Choc.
Cats rule! 🙂
(That last was added by Chocky, who seems to think that it is important for you all to know this.)


* (we can’t always get to sex when we’re needy, either, and we don’t get cut up and get everything removed! and responsible pet owners CAN take care of the animal and make sure it does not have unwanted pregnancies! and trust me, people who kill baby animals do so anyway, and they also don’t get their “pets”, if such people can be seen as owning pets, sterilised or castrated… I have seen that on terrain. The general issue is the nature/culture conflict… ie, according to my own filed research and vet informants, people think that the animal will become a robot that will do whatever they want, if the sexual parts of it are removed. That, dear readers, is fuckin’ SICK, and that’s what it is. Pets should be friends, not things. Also, the idea that a personality – the “nature” part, because humans are, apparently, all “culture”… which explains the huge amount of sexually incapable out there… I’m not even going to discuss the stupidity of this, but still, there you go – can be removed and should be removed this way is not only condemnable, but scientifically laughable.)

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When Chocolate first came into the household, she was very tiny, very cute, very friendly (all things which have not changed one bit – even the tiny thing…) and Luna had a major objection to getting a weird little furry thing for her birthday… Mini was freaked out, because it was odd… (Opinions which have very much changed – Luna and Mini both adore her!) So, as we weren’t sure if there might not be fights as she settled in, Chocky got babysat whenever we were away by… a rabbit and a guinea pig!

The rabbit, Tiger, was about the same size as Chocky and quite fond of her and very easy in temperament, which meant that when Chocolate was trying to chew on his ear and bound all over him, he just stood there and when it was too much, he moved away very calmly. The guinea pig, Sugar, didn’t mind either way and generally, Chocolate felt that Sugar was a lot of fun, if only she could figure out where his head was (long fur – looks like a walking carpet!).

Tiger and Sugar used to share a large cage with loads of space in all directions, so Chocolate would go in the cage when we went out and would play in the hay with the others and usually when we got home, she’d be curled up in a corner fast asleep, purring and the other two would have a face of “Could you do something about the purring carpet thing in the corner?”

As it became clear that the cats were all fine with each other, Chocolate didn’t get put in for kittensitting (where the kitten sits on the rabbit 😉 ) and she only got to play with the other two less often and when we were around. She got only slightly bigger than Tiger was, but big enough that she could accidentaly hurt him while playing rough.

Half a year ago or so, Tiger died of a sudden cancer and since then, Sugar’s been living firstly on his own and then later with a very ancient degu. Chocolate doesn’t have the option to play with him much, because she’s a bit too big at this point. Although last time Sugar’s cage base was changed, all three cats were playing with him and Sugar was happily chasing them back… Guinea pigs have a hell of a lot of guts… And he’s quite fond of the cats even if they get annoying…

Written by C.

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Spread the love… and dental sticks!

This happened recently, and we’ve been way too busy to post anything for a while, but now we’re back and will hopefully be able to post more often. 🙂

My dog, also a part of our little family, is an adorable female, who has very much accepted the cats when they slinked into our lives. In fact, she tends to be very gentle and friendly towards them… as the following story will show.

About a week or so ago, Narcissa (or Cisa, or Cheech for short) was given a really good dental stick to play with. Naturally, she took it over to the middle of the room, to the little bare square where we usually practice our yoga (the coolest place in the room for a longhaired dog at this time of year) and started to nibble on it.

This procedure usually takes ages, because Cisa is the type of the dog who really enjoys small meals. But this time, she bit it in half quite fast.

And then, who should come slinking along but Chocolate. She had that cute little “Whatcha doin’?” face on and was purring. And Cisa, bless her little cotton socks, being a good girl, showed her the dental stick.

Choc being Choc, she promptly decided to give it a try.

Which Cisa most happily indulged.

So the biggest animal in the room had one part of the dental stick, and the smallest had the other, and then they lay down, pretty much side by side, and in the SAME POSITION to enjoy their treat. It was hilarious.

Choc spent a while nibbling, but being more interested in play than actual eating, relinquished her bit of the treat to one of the other dogs of the household we’re currently inhabiting, who lost no time and ate it very quickly. I don’t think Choc was disappointed; she seems to like feeding dogs.

Yes, you heard right. She does tend to give stuff to other animal people. And then expects the same courtesy back, which, oddly enough, usually happens.

So Choc’s into spreading love… and dental sticks. It’s not the first time she’s been so absolutely loving and loved… she spent a lot of time as a kitten being babysat by other animals…. But that’s another story. 🙂

Written by A.

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I Spell Funkily

We just noticed that my spelling gets a little arbitrary… or otherwise weird. On account on being mainly French (born in France, raised in France, then moved to Britain… but of British heritage :)… so really more French in my approach to spelling…), my English has MOMENTS (yes, it deserves capitalisation… but it’s not as bad as those occasions when random Ancient Greek or Latin get involved due to my eccentric education!) and during those Moments, I am not responsible for what happens to an otherwise inoffensive and quite useful and kindly language. It’s up to A. to stop those Moments from getting published in any way or form, but sometimes, just sometimes, I jump the gun and publish before she can check what I just wrote and woe betide me then…. For the spelling is usually more eccentric and funky than normal and it means a whole lot of checking, editing, fixing, and confusion that everybody would love to avoid…

I promise that at some point I will actually remember to swallow the dictionary and use the spellcheck (cool that!) and then only the Latin and Greek will cause the problems and then A. will make the comment of ‘Ecce!* You did it again!’ and I will promptly provide the translation that I so often regret not finding in the academic texts that usually use said languages!

In the meantime, enjoy my posts, ignore the crazy Moments and remind me if I forget to translate something!

*Ecce! – Latin exclamation/imperative meaning ‘Look!’

Written by C.

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It’s Yellow and Black – Can I Eat It?

That was Chocky’s response to finding that a wasp had made its way into the house a few days ago…

To both A’s and my horror, she actually proceeded to catch it and was desperately trying to get it to hold still long enough to actually eat it. I rushed to the rescue being the closest and managed to grab Chocolate when she’d just dropped the wasp again and get her to another room so that I could close a door between her and the wasp… Only to turn around and have to rescue Luna and the wasp from each other, because Luna was going to try the dainty treat that Chocolate was missing out on. Luna let go of the wasp when I picked her up and sent her running off in another direction – easily done, because she’s got this aversion to being picked up and in any way fussed over, so if you pick her up and then put her down, she runs for it in case you change your mind and decide to catch her to kiss her or something equally terrible.

By this point, Mini, who’d been watching the proceedings curiously, decided that this wasn’t interesting and that there might be stuff to do elsewhere, and off he went to another room, leaving A. and me alone with the stunned wasp. The wasp was trying to get out the nearest window, which I promptly opened, and problem solved – it flew out, very likely only minimally injured and mainly stunned and confused by being picked up by two very unworried cats in such quick succession.

We checked Chocolate and Luna for any signs of either of them having been stung, worried that there would have to be a vet visit for them (something they hate), but thankfully both seemed perfectly fine, if a little put out on account of not having been able to eat that wasp.

Ironically, wasps weren’t previously included on our list of ‘what cats will eat’ and I don’t want to guess what might happen if a hornet gets into the house. You would have thought that the one occasion that Luna tried to eat an ant (she discovered that ants bite back) and the occasion that Choc caught a shrew (that also bit back) would have made them a little bit more cautious about potentially biting prey… Scarily, nope.

Written by C.

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Chocolate’s Guide To What Cats Will Eat…

1. Cat Food, in so far as it is expensive, not boring and in variety (both dry food and pates – the pates being the favourite of the two, dry food is better for snacking)
2. Mice – successfully self-caught and kept (Even if they’re bigger than your face, Chocolate)
3. Birds (not empirically proven as of yet, but definitely guessed at, even if the *nyanya* is … a hawk!)
4. Rats (also not empirically proven, and Chocolate has speculated that friendship is an acceptable option. As far as Mini’s concerned, rats are suspiciously like mice on steroids!)
5. Salad (because it could potentially have a mouse on it – it happened to Mini once)
6. Raw Meat – any!
7. Cooked Meat (potentially better than raw meat)
8. Carrot ends (we’re still not sure why, but Mini eats them – are they little orange mice?)
9. Zucchinis (Mini manages a whole one sometimes and rarely does he stop at one!) ?!?!
10. Cucumbers (Mini again)
11. Soup – when lukewarm (Mini yet again – it’s an obsession and he’ll knock the lids off pots to get to it)
12. Fresh Bread (all three, with gusto)
13. Cheese (this is about learning the mouse perspective)
14. Guinea and Rabbit Food (Luna mainly)
15. Iguana Feed (Luna mainly, but Chocolate too)
16. Dog Food (even the stuff the dogs won’t eat ???!)
17. Raw Egg (occasional)
18. Cookie Dough (Luna)
19. Cream
20. Chocolate Cream (which is a little odd or cannibalistic for someone called Chocolate… Would it sound terrible to mention that there was a guinea pig called Cream (who did NOT get eaten)?)
21. Milk (only if refrigerated – tried warm milk once and they went ewwww! They weren’t even sure about it once it cooled down!)
22. Any kind of cottage cheese
23. Yoghurt (before they realised that it was wronged milk!)
24. Apple Stems (weird – Chocolate!)
25. Tomato Stems (poisonous! CHOCOLATE! MINI! But so far so good…)
26. Cherry Stems (weird again – they attempted cherries but it wasn’t quite right)
27. Sugar (anytime, especially off strawberries – ask Luna all about it)
28. Lindt Chocolate (in licks and pieces… if they can get it, which we try to prevent cuz it’s ours! 😀 )
29. Whipped Cream (Luna mainly)
30. Sour Cream
31. Mayonnaise (Luna) (If it’s an actual food item and fatty, usually the cat eating is Luna; if it’s not an actual food and weird, it’s usually Chocolate)
32. Raffaello (even the pesky coconut bits) (Luna)
33. Chinese cooking (anytime, anything, especially prawns!)
34. Prawns (Only if well made)
35. Rice Noodles (all three cats staring at a rice noodle on the floor with expressions of what the hell? and what do you do to eat it? – it was an epic adventure, spearheaded by Luna the most adventurous food eater)
36. Grass
37. Pineapple leaves (or stalks, or whatever the shoot-thingies are called)
38. Pips and small fruit stones (any that are lying around) (big fruit stones are toys)
39. Anything food-ish that can be dug out of trash
40. Mashed potatoes (on rare occasions)
41. Butter (way to go Terry Pratchett)
42. Ice Cream (and it’s weird – it’s weird milk and it bites because it’s cold)
43. Jasmine Tea (cooled and non-sweetened) (Chocolate)
44. Chamomile Tea (cooled and non-sweetened – not as big an interest in that one though) (Chocolate)
45. Tissues (also a good toy – Chocolate)
46. Q-Tips (Chocolate – and we stopped her before anything bad happened)
47. Dental Floss (Chocolate – she actually succeeded in a small piece, scared us silly for a day and was absolutely fine. She actually sped up the eating process to finish it before I could grab the piece that was still dangling out! How she gets to all these things is a mystery.)
48. Cables (chewing mainly – Chocolate)
49. The Felt Streamer of Their Cat Toy (Luna managed to get 5cm approx. into her mouth!)
50. Bottle caps (toy or food? – good question)
51. Hair (can’t avoid that falling on the floor… Which means it gets stuck on the way out the other end)
52. Thread (Chocolate)
53. Catsan (a brand of kitty litter – Luna somehow had to…)
54. Cardboard (as mentioned elsewhere, cf. Mini’s Uses of A Cardboard Box)
55. Sellotape (Chocolate)
56. Shed Lizard’s Skin (technically protein, but still disgusting, and always, ALWAYS on the bed, Luna!)
57. Any Bits that stick off a Computer or anything else
58. Buttons (none successfully)
59. Dirt (fresh or dry)
60. Hay
61. Small and middle-sized stones or pebbles
62. Twigs
63. Pencils (Chocolate)
64. Pens (Chocolate)
65. Each Other’s Ears
66. Dog Fur
67. Occasional Passing Dogs…
68. Orange Peel
69. Potato Peels
70. Books (especially Ivanhoe for some reason)
71. The Horrible Unseemly Thing on the Lizard’s Neck (Luna, It’s meant to be attached… But It interferes with his cat-ness, like the spikes and the bit of the tail and all the scales and the claws; it’s all wrong – he’s really a cat, he’ll learn to like it…)
72. Wool (most cats only play with it, these guys try to eat it)
73. Flies (quite good at catching them too)
74. Stinkbugs (no success thus far, hence the continued pursuit!)
75. Fingers and Toes (especially at odd times of the night or morning)
76. Feathers (off anything, including dreamcatchers)
77. Pieces of Random toys
78. Anything that could cause suffocation and/or serious damage and in Mini’s case, the fox live rabies vaccine bait (a German one too).
79. Hair Ties (unsuccessfully, but brave attempts)
80. Guinea pig or Rabbit poo (where available!)

Written by C.

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