nlbarber: (devil Fish)
Things got busy at Thanksgiving, then there was a family funeral, and a business trip, and then the Christmas rush really kicked in. And somehow I see that my last post was in November. So...there were lots of posts I meant to make in December, and some I may yet make, but for now, I'll just try to get back in the LJ habit. And I haven't read my flist in almost as long, so I've got lots of catching up to do there as well.

But this is a devil Fish post. Sort of. Fish has really become a good bit less devilish as he's gotten older, though we're still having problems about getting on the kitchen counter. Anyway, a couple of nights ago he wandering into the study, sat on the desk, and lifted a front paw as if he was going to wash it. And then put that paw down unlicked, and picked up the other front paw. Then put it down unlicked. When he repeated this dance, I went over and sniffed said paws--bingo. He had gotten into something that left a smelly residue on the paws. He wanted it off, but wasn't willing to wash them himself. So, I carried him off to the bathroom, and with some effort (ha!), soaped and rinsed the front paws and roughly dried 'em off. Fish was then willing to finish the job.

In case whatever this substance is poisonous to cats, I want to know what it was. The smell wasn't familiar--sort of perfumey, but not really. I walked through the house and garage (Fish is allowed to go in the closed garage and explore, if it's not too cold for me to leave the door ajar) and didn't see anything that looked like a possibility. It didn't smell like anything associated with the car. His paws were dry, though that doesn't mean he didn't step in something wet or damp and let it dry before I saw it. I'm still looking...

Devil cat

Apr. 13th, 2004 10:54 pm
nlbarber: (devil Fish)
Must try to Photoshop some devil horns onto a photo of Fish, for use on posts like this one.

This morning Fish surpassed himself. First, he managed to reach up to the dining table and hook a paw over the edge of my cereal bowl, tipping damp cereal and milk into my lap, onto the placemat, and on the table and floor. Once I had that cleaned up (during which time the cereal got to the "almost too soggy to eat" stage) and changed pants, I moved to the living room sofa, as the floor was still drying around the table. (OK, so there's only one spot at the dining table that is clear enough to eat at, and that's where the wet floor was. Shifting Stuff to eat elsewhere was beyond me.)

I settled down with the remnants of cereal, coffee, and a halved hard-boiled egg for the rest of breakfast, and went back to reading on the paper. I looked up in a minute, and Fish was licking the salt off the plate beside the egg--I'm sure he just hadn't gotten around to trying the egg itself. I yelled, he jumped, the egg plate went splat onto the carpet...and I abandoned the paper and spent another 10 minutes cleaning up.
nlbarber: (devil Fish)
Weekend before last was sunny and warm, and spring fever infected Fish. In the space of 3 hours, he settled in on the dining room table (forbidden surface); let himself out of the garage door while I was going in and out of the patio door working in the yard (he's not allowed outside unescorted, and usually on a harness and leash as he has no learned behaviors for dealing with cars, dogs, etc.--to be fair, after letting himself out, he came into the fenced back yard and then let himself be recaptured with no fuss); jumped repeatedly upon the kitchen counter (another forbidden surface) in an attempt to catch a horsefly that must have flown during the previous stunt; ate said horsefly in one bite when I knocked it down with a fly-swatter; and pulled down the curtains from a bedroom window.

Fish has also revived his old fun of dunking a small stuffed toy into water (usually a water dish, but he has used the toilet upon occasion) and then hauling the sodden result around the house. He usually leaves it on the hardwood floor somewhere, or else somewhere I can accidentally step on it barefoot.
nlbarber: (Default)
Fish, despite some occasional success, has not really mastered the skill of opening a door that has been left open a crack. I got to watch his current technique today.

I was outside with Agatha, letting her eat a little grass and enjoy the sunshine while I watered some stuff I planted on Friday. The door was left open a crack in case Agatha panicked from the water spray or the moving hose (SNAKE!) and wanted back into the safety of the house. But she was fine, plus she wanted to keep an eye on me since I'd been away for 2 nights, so she settled down in the sun on the doormat. After finishing the watering, I joined her and started some head skritches, provoking some steady purring.

Fish was inside, and wanted out to join the fun. He managed to widen the crack enough to get a paw out, but he just can't get the knack of then pulling to open the door further. So the paw would slide a couple of inches across the door, then slide back, trying to rake the door along its width. After several attempts at this, he gave up at getting outside, and decided to try to bedevil Agatha from where he was. So the full length of a looong white paw extended through the door, and waved around in the air over her back. Agatha remained oblivious--Fish never managed to touch her.
nlbarber: (devil Fish)
I arrived home this morning after my hour-long exercise class to a quiet house. Not uncommon, as the cats often settle down for their morning snooze and can't be bothered to come and greet me. I wandered into my bedroom to remove the aerobics shoes, and looked around for the cats. Not on the window shelf, not on the bed, not in the chair. Now I was curious, so I wandered to the living room--no cats. No cats in the study, nor in the guest bedroom. I came back toward my bedroom calling for them, but got no response. I was going to start checking places like closets, but decided to stop in my bathroom first--and there they were.

Agatha gets fed on my bathroom counter, and her food, for convenience, is kept in the cabinet over the toilet. Fish has been very interested in the cabinet for this reason, and if I open it, he will jump to the top of the toilet tank, stand on his hind legs, and try to reach out and around to the cabinet bottom shelf. He can manage that, but I've felt confident that because of the awkward angle, he would not be able to pop open the cabinet door by himself--it's held by a magnet latch. Well, either I left the cabinet door ajar, or my confidence was misplaced, because the cabinet had been opened, the plastic jug pulled out, and the food spilled. The jug lid and most of the food landed in the open toilet. The jug itself and the rest of the food landed on the floor, and both cats were busily stuffing their faces while I was wandering around the house looking for them.

The cat food has been moved to the pantry, which has a doorknob. I'm pretty sure Fish can't turn a doorknob. Yet.
nlbarber: (devil Fish)
I've been worried about how Fish the cat will deal with the Christmas tree. Fish is just barely a year old, very playful, and not real bright. I didn't get a tree until last weekend, and have been introducing it in stages. On Saturday, the tree came indoors. Fish investigated, removed a dead twig to play with and chew on, but then found the sheet on the floor around it of much more interest than the tree itself.

Sunday, I put the lights on the tree, and added 4 or 5 ornaments, all chosen to be non-breakable, and placed on the lower branches. Fish seemed mildly interested, but didn't seem to feel that all these items were new cat toys. Good progress, I thought. But I didn't do any more decorating, because I needed to wait for the assistance of my nieces and nephew and due to various problems, they didn't manage to come over.

So, here it is, Monday night, and I'm back in the study on the computer. And I hear the sound of something being dragged on the hardwood floor, coming closer to me. Now, this is usual--Fish has a couple of toys attached to a string and a pole, and he's prone to drag these through the house to wherever I am as a not-so-subtle hint that I should play with him. But this noise was louder. And there was lots of jingling from his collar tags. Something else was going on.

And then Fish shot into the room, trailing a tangled mess of Christmas tree lights, which had somehow gotten hooked around him and panicked him so that he ran:

(cue music)
He ran through the dining room,
he ran through the kitchen,
he ran down the hallway
up to the study door....

At about the study door, he got himself unhooked, and went to hide under the desk behind a footstool. My father and I picked up the light strings, now stretched along the full length of the aforementioned path, untangled them, and put them back on the tree (which was still standing, by the way). They aren't working so well, but given the risk that this might happen again, I think I'll just live with the stretches of unlighted bulbs for now.

In my Christmas joys list are the joy that only a few unbreakable ornaments were on the tree, that I string the lights in a zig-zag across the front of the tree and not in circles around it, and that I didn't plug the lights in when I came in from dinner....


nlbarber: (Default)

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