“My dear Green Lizard!” or Chocky’s friend circle

In the house we currently inhabit, as you will know if you’ve glanced at other posts, there lives a smallish green iguana, the property of the daughter of the house, who’s married and lives elsewhere with her husband and kid (soon to be kids). As she couldn’t take the iguana with her, the little dinosaur wannabe, affectionately known as Fluffy (which was apparently the only name he responded to… meaning he probably wished he was a mammal, seeing us cool beings with no trouble with cold weather and that…), remained in the house to be looked after by whoever was there.

We took the task over quite happily (and why not?). Then, we got our cats.

We were a bit worried at first, since Fluffy isn’t a very human-friendly iguana… that being probably the real reason why he’s not kept around a small child. On those occasions when he had to be given medicine, or (oh, horror!) I once had to operate an abscess on his tail myself (love the holidays when no one works, don’t you?), we both got pretty badly scratched, bitten, tail whipped and generally lizarded. Not to mention that, while I do have a lot of experience with plenty of animal species’ first aid and similar, I do not actually make it a habit to cut open random lizards on weekends or holidays, so that was, at least for me, quite a bad experience.

Anyhow, the cats soon discovered the free roaming iguana and decided that he was most definitely a cat. Ok, a strange cat. A cat that had, obviously, some kind of tremendous accident with his looks – scaly skin and spikes may attract iguana girls, but they only invoke pity with cats. So they decided to make friends with the poor abandoned cat (who’s got no friends because he’s got bad skin, furless and all…). They groom him, generally try to play with him and cause Mr. Lizard to either feel total bliss, when he feels like company, or blind, red rage when he doesn’t.

Abject horror does occur as well.

Only a week or so ago, Chocky came to sit with Mr. Lizard in the patch of sun.

She actually hugged him, like she hugs other cats (or people’s hands, the sweet little thing that she is) and their interaction can only be described thusly:

Choc: “My lizard! My lizard! My dear, green lizard!”

While the iguana, with a horrified expression, was trying to scrape the cat off with a hind foot, going: “Get the fuck off me, get the fuck off me!”

It brings tears to one’s eyes to watch this kind of interaction, especially when it ends with the cat happily curling up into a little ball next to the horrified mini dragon, who is eyeing it with the :”Oh good, it’s sleeping now!” expression on its green face.

Written by A.

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Mini’s Guide to the Proper Uses of A Cardboard Box

… With Add-ins from Chocolate and Luna!

1. Scratch it.
2. Sleep in it.
3. Sit on it.
4. Sit in it.
5. Hide in it.
6. Jump out from inside onto someone. (Chocolate and Mini)
7. Jump into it onto someone (preferably when they’re sleeping). (Chocolate)
8. Pee in it. (Mini)
9. Pee on it. (Mini)
10. Curl Up in it with someone. (Chocolate and Luna)
11. Lounge in it.
12. Live in it.
13. Be found in it.
14. Drag it around to reposition it. (Chocolate)
15. Drag it around as a game. (Chocolate)
16. Tear it into little shreds.
17. Eat the little shreds. (Luna and Chocolate)
18. Sit on it when someone is sleeping in it.
19. Sit on it when someone is in it.
20. Bat someone who’s in it.
21. Bat someone from within.
22. Lick yourself clean whilst in it.
23. Lick yourself clean whilst sitting on it.
24. Play in it.
25. Do the flip-curl-play move into it.
26. Jump from one box to another.
27. Jump from the box onto something else.
28. Jump from the box onto someone else.
29. Sit out of reach of the lizard and observe him from the top of the box.
30. Hide in it from the lizard.
31. Use it to freak out the lizard.
32. Use it to annoy the lizard.
33. Have it.
34. Protest when it’s stinky and has to be taken away, even if you don’t use it anymore at that point.
35. Disintegrate it into such small pieces that it’s not even there anymore.
36. Fight the broom that’s trying to take said small pieces away.
37. Have hay put in it.
38. Curl up in the hay in the box.
39. Pee in the hay in the box. (Mini)
40. Weird out someone else by peeing in the hay in their box. (Mini)
41. Try to markpee on the box and miss completely, hitting something else (such as random bits of clothing). (Mini)
42. Try to markpee on the box and succeed. (Mini)
43. Get hysterical and ‘maow’ into it. (Mini)
44. Echo-locate the box by maowing loudly at 2 am. (Mini)
45. Expect an echo and when it doesn’t happen, maow louder! (Mini)
46. Fight for the use of the box.
47. Affectionately molest someone to get them to go out of the box so that you can have it. (Chocolate)
48. Hang out of it in every which way.
49. Hang off it in every which way.
50. Avoid taking medication by hiding in the box.
51. Try to place the box into a location that it can’t possibly fit into.
52. Dig in it with the tail and/or rear sticking out.
53. Make a hole in the top so that you can dive in without using the main hole. (Chocolate)
54. Make a hole in it so that you can pounce out of that hole on to someone else.
55. Make a hole in it so you can pounce in onto someone else.
56. Make a hole in it and use it as a batting placement.
57. Drag things into it.
58. Drag things out of it.
59. Get annoyed at the person who’s dragged stuff out of it.
60. Rub against it.
61. Hide in it to avoid walks. (Luna)
62. Look out of it cutely during the day. (Chocolate)
63. Look out of it creepily during the night.
64. Dive in and disappear (because you blend in so well). (Chocolate)
65. Dive in and disappear, despite the fact that you really don’t blend in at all. (Mini and Luna)
66. Forget your toys in it.
67. Keep your toys in it.
68. Play in it with your toys.
69. Play in it with someone with your toys.
70. Lose the toys in it.
71. Hide in it and not allow anybody in.
72. Get the box stuck on top of you, so that the exit is under your feet…
73. Attack passing dogs from it.
74. Hide from said dogs in it.
75. Fall in the box off something.
76. Fall on the box off something.
77. Crawl under the box.
78. Sit in the box whilst someone is under it.
79. Sit on top of the box while someone is under it.
80. Sit on top of the box while someone’s in it and someone else is under it.
81. Play the bat-bat game in the above position.
82. Make a sour face whilst someone is batting you whilst you’re in the box. (Luna)
83. Try to stuff someone under it.
84. Try to stuff someone in it.
85. Try to push someone off it.
86. Try to pull someone down into it.
87. Try to pull someone down generally from it.
88. Try to pull someone from under it.
89. Do all this to acquire a toy.
90. Be fed in it.
91. Be fed on top of it.
92. Bury the food with the box.
93. Growl from the depths within it.
94. Make yourself look small within it.
95. Argue with someone because you’ve been pulled from the box.
96. Demand to be kissed whilst in it.
97. Heave a philosophical sigh whilst in it. (Luna)
98. Heave a philosophical sigh whilst on it. (Luna)
99. Be fussed over whilst in it.
100. Be fussed whilst sitting on it.
101. Seriously observe and get weirded out that humans can’t follow on or into the box.
102. Attack anyone carrying a box. (Chocolate)
103. Climb on anyone carrying the box. (Chocolate)
104. Purr loudly in it. (Chocolate)
105. Jump on the shoulder of the person who’s carrying the box. (Mini)
106. Be carried in the box.
107. Jump out of the box whilst someone’s carrying it.
108. Jump in the box whilst someone’s carrying it.
109. Be carried with someone in the box.
110. Start a fight with someone whilst being carried in the box.
111. Start a fight whilst being carried and then jump out of the box.
112. Wake someone who’s sleeping in the box.
113. Wake someone who’s sleeping on the box.
114. Be dragged around whilst in the box.
115. Drag the box around whilst someone is in it.
116. Tear the box apart whilst someone is in it.
117. Collect boxes.
118. Pull boxes into a pile.
119. Pull boxes out of a pile.
120. Love it!

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How far can I stuff you?

This happened a month or so after Mini and Luna were rescued/acquired/adopted/kidnapped (depending on whom you ask…). They were playing together on one of the beds. Incidentally, that bed is set close to the wall, creating that little nook between the bed and the wall in which so many items (such as hankies, books and even other items of yet more personal nature) are likely to end up sliding into. So Mini, then still firmly believed to be a Minette (well, he was so small it was almost impossible to tell… also, it’s been guessed that perhaps, he may have been even younger than we thought originally, because he was such a scrawny creature that nobody thought his tininess might have to do with being not just starved half to death, but also younger… and then, until, as Life of Brian has it, “things started to grow”, nobody even thought of re-checking…), anyway, Mini decided to make a little test.

The test was called “If I push you down and stuff you as far into the nook, how far can I stuff you?”

Insert Luna’s face of dismay and anger, not to mention indignation. Lunas are dignified creatures.

Really, we should’ve figured out then and there he was really a boy… ever read Tracy J. Butler’s Lackadaisy? That section about why Freckle is called Freckle? And the same sort of reasoning, ie, because I can, being applied? If you didn’t, go read it, because you’d be missing out if you didn’t… and it will make you understand Mini’s logic even more.

Written by A

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Nicknames

There are only three cats, but from the plethora of nicknames that are used, you would be easily led to believe that the house is overrun by a small army of furry, bewhiskered purring creatures… To clear up any confusion that may arise, here follows a full (at the moment) and simple (hopefully) list of nicknames and the corresponding cat. Anecdotes may ensue…

Minou – a.k.a. –
Mini
Mini-Mini (doubling up of names is one of those inevitable things…)
Mini-Minette (Mini was mistaken for a girl when he was very little because he was so scrawny when he was found)
Mr. Cat
Monsieur Cat (C. speaks French and has been known to do that to people…)
Ferret (Due to Mini adopting a ferret-like pose on occasions – there have been instances of calling Chocolate this also)
Mini-Miu
Puddy (Anybody seen Tweety lately?)
Puddy-Cat
Puddy-Puddy (sorry!!)
Puddy-Pooh (It gets worse! Poor man!)
Maow-Maow (usually when he makes the said noise!)

Luna – a.ka. –
Chibi (she was actually upset when she realised that initially only Mini had a nickname, so we had to come up with something quick!)
Lune
Luna-Chibi
Luna-chan (somehow Japanese fits with this cat, possibly because she has a sort of geisha face)
Chibi-chan
Cattess (better than ‘queen’, which has a default connotation of pregnancy and breeding; she’s more like a duchess and ‘cattess’ just happened from there…)
Loon (sound-effects happen)
Lune-Lune
Luna-Luna
Chibi-Chibi

Chocolate – a.k.a. –
Her full name is Chocolat Orange (yes, in French, this is not a misspelling), due to her fur colour reminding us of Lindt Chocolate…
Choc
Chocky
Chocky-Choc
Chocky-Chocky
Kitten (she’s tiny, and doesn’t seem to plan to grow up)
Baby (for a while, this was the only thing she responded to!)
Deru-chan (This nickname is to be blamed on her resemblance to a cat mentioned in a manga called Honjitsu no Neko by Iwamichi Sakura, believe it or not manga is research material. One of the cats in the manga resembles Chocky so much that we just had to!)
Deru-Deru
Deru-Deru-chan
Weasel (Someone saw Chocky on a walk in her little harness from a distance and thought she was a weasel… Which definitely shows that people don’t know the difference between ferrets and weasels, because only ferrets are kept as pets! If you own a weasel, we apologize!)
Miu-Miu! (A noise she responds to without question! And it’s also close to how cats call each other when really looking for someone. It’s our cats’ emergency call!)
Mischief
Mayhem (Both of these two well earned!)

Written by C.

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Missed. That. Mouse…

We live, at the moment, in an ecohouse (kindly provided as our abode for the duration of our research in the foreign climes that we are visiting) located closely to the edge of the forest. It’s quite a sight, the whole day through, as we’re pretty much in the wilderness, with nothing but a few villages close by (the nearest about half an hour’s walk, so about 15-20 minutes by bike, and about an hour of really slow cycling will bring us to the actual civilisation). There is a multitude of wildlife around, and the wildlife gets into the house on more than just some occasions. While cats are known hunters and eaters of mice, the cats that grew up fairly motherless, it seems (we had vets confirm that too), don’t really develop good hunting skills.

Although, that could be disputed. All the three cats, as it happens, can more or less hunt. So on those occasions that a mouse does venture inside, it faces the terror of three (3!) nosy cats trying to figure out where it went.

Generally, we try to avoid them catching, killing and eating mice, not just because mice are cute as anything, but also because cats face a danger of a poisoned mouse ending on their dinner plate whenever they eat a mouse that’s wandered in from the field where the farmers do spray their crops, and since the distance to such a field is minimal, and because mice do not generally carry a note informing people about their health (maybe if they did, they wouldn’t get eaten… so hear me, mice!), we do all we can to prevent mousing.

Today, after supper, with all the three cats prowling about generally being themselves, I looked towards the kitchen nook and saw a small grey streak of fur run up the oven and under the wok (finally a mouse with a sense of where to hide! although… dinner plate mouse, already covered for convenience…? depends whom you ask, I guess…). So I rushed over to make sure the mouse would not get in trouble.

But trouble was way ahead of me, since all the three cats saw, in the same moment, what I saw, and were making little furry beelines for the oven as well.

Well, the story ended well for the mouse. It stayed hidden, then streaked back down and under, and I hope that it’s little mousy brain told it to GO HIDE SOMEWHERE. Hopefully. As for the cats, they’re still prowling around, with that special Missed. That. Mouse. look on them.

Written by A.

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It’s not pate?!

Mini (the most common nickname for Minou) had a bit of a heartbreak a few days ago. We unexpectedly ran out of food and had to ask a friend to pick up some dry food from the nearest gas station. Unfortunately for Mini, the friend in question didn’t realise that Mini does not under any circumstances eat Kitekat dry food, but he will eat Kitekat pates very readily. The crux of the tragedy resided in the packaging – Kitekat packages both their pates and their dry food in green boxes, the only difference is the size. Mini saw a green box, taller than usual, but thinner, but it couldn’t be anything else than pate, surely? We all know that Mini doesn’t eat the dry food, right? Right?

Nope…

Mini was shocked that anybody could do this to him. The girls, Luna and Chocky, had a sniff of the food, had a little nibble, and left it. Mini, on the other hand, boycotted food altogether and was crying until Whiskas dry food was fetched and he was plied with a suitable amount of pates as well.

So now, we’ve had to hide the Kitekat box so that Mini stops wondering if there might not actually be a pate in there, and if not, why, oh why are we keeping that nasty stuff in his room? And he’s very happily having his Whiskas dry food for lunch…

Written by C.

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