Today in the Garden

My flowerbeds, in general, are still a mess and overrun with weeds, but individuals are doing well!

The Birdbath-Shade Garden (in the location of the former “pondlette”) features heucheras, a Patriot hosta, liriope and impatiens:

The hostas on the back of the house:

The real treat this morning was watching dozens of Cabbage White butterflies on the “Pink Delight” butterfly bush and on the Agastache (Anise Hyssop) “Blue Fortune”:

I’m disappointed with the quality of this video clip on Photobucket, but at least it gives you an idea of the activity around the agastache:

I think the quality is better when it’s hosted on my website instead of on Photobucket. You can click on the image below to download the clip if you’d like to compare, but be forewarned that it’s about a 4 MB download and the clip is only 22 seconds in length:

Posted in Gardening | 1 Comment

New Skills & Lesson Reinforcement

Simon, Niko and Kian (male sealpoint) spent a long time on the porch on the evening of July 4th. While Niko and Kian are satisfied to just sit and watch Simon’s antics, I’m starting to wonder when this little kitten will be able to attain warp speed — he’s moving faster and faster every day!

One of his favorite toys is a crumpled up piece of paper, but he also enjoys playing with a fuzzy “ferret”:

Each time I’ve had him out on the porch, he’s tried to jump into one of the chairs. Showing incredible determination and concentration, he finally made it and was quite proud of himself!

He jumped into the chair and out several times, perfecting this new skill. And then, in what surely must have been an epiphany in a young cat’s mind, he seemed to realize that he was suddenly “bigger” than Niko:

With his new “top cat” status, the “submissive” behavior I’d seen a couple of nights ago flew out the window:

Which led to this:

Which, inevitably, led to this:

I never really saw him give in that much, but he finally ran out of steam. When he jumped into the chair again and started dozing off, I realized that it was time for school to be over for the evening. 😉

Posted in Pets | 3 Comments

Etiquette Training: Learning to be a Proper Cat

Friends involved in rescue work have told me that it’s very important for kittens — especially only/orphaned kittens — to be “socialized” by other cats. Based on the interactions between Simon and my lynxpoint male, Niko, I can see that lessons are most definitely being taught. On the first day of “school,” Simon was constantly wanting to play aggressively, but last night there was quite a difference. He still needed to be reprimanded, and Niko, when pushed to pin Simon down and bunny-kick him, was clearly not “angry” — he was very “controlled” and stopped the second that Simon seemed to yield. Perhaps this is a “respect your elders” type of lesson….

It’s actually pretty fascinating to watch the two of them. Niko seems to understand that he has a job to do, and last night Simon WAS generally calmer and more “mannerly.” In this clip, Simon is able to walk past Niko without launching an attack, and Niko responds by trying to groom him:

In this clip, Simon DOES decide to pounce on the big kitty. Niko knocks him down and Simon responds by retreating and then rolling on his back:

Later, Simon considers pouncing on Niko’s tail, but notice how he’s more cautious about doing so and how he looks at Niko to see how he’ll react. Niko gives him a gentle swat, as if to say, “We’ve already covered this, remember?” A bird flies past, capturing Niko’s attention and Simon follows him:

After an hour of play and “lessons,” Simon was obviously tired. He’s still not big enough to jump onto my lap, but that doesn’t stop him from trying:

Of course I scooped him up and cuddled him (which he was more tolerant of than usual), and once he was back in his room for a nap, I cuddled Niko (who purred and purred) and told him that I was very proud of him. Since I’m a teacher, it’s a little funny to acknowledge that one of my cats is now one, too! 🙂

Posted in Pets | 4 Comments

Got Siamese?

A friend of mine (hi, Michael 🙂 ) recently posted pictures on the SICC message board of a clock his parents had given him which features a tabby cat with a “ticking” tail. Quite cute, and he said that (according to the box) it also comes in Siamese.

Out of curiosity, I looked on to see if they carried these, and while they don’t, I discovered that they have an amazing number of Siamese cat-related items in their home & garden department.

You can find other cool cat-related products and accessories here:

The Siamese Store:
Proceeds benefit Siamese Rescue

As should be obvious by all my posts about Simon, I love all cats (and animals) and not just Siamese, and I’m concerned about their welfare. The following statement is on the Pet Pages of my website:

Too many wonderful–but unwanted–animals are dying in shelters. Rescue organizations do what they can, but there just aren’t enough adopters or foster homes to deal with the number of animals who are abandoned each year. PLEASE spay or neuter your pets, make arrangements for your pets’ continued care if they should survive you, and consider adopting a homeless cat or dog!





Posted in Pets | Comments Off on Got Siamese?

Simon Meets the (Fur)Family

This afternoon, I finally (purposefully) let Simon meet the other animals living here. Niko, my lynxpoint Siamese, had slipped through the door and over the baby gate a couple of times, but I usually hustled him out of the room pretty quickly. Today I allowed Niko to come in, but it was at a time when Simon was in full play mode. Of course “play” to Simon is very similar to something you might see in “Gladiator”…. And at times I felt like I was watching the old cartoons featuring the rooster, Foghorn Leghorn, and the feisty little Chicken Hawk: “Ah say, ah say, boy…yer botherin’ me!”

Niko was simply happy to be in the room (what is it about cats and closed doors?) and he was additionally happy to have the opportunity to snarf down some dry kitten food.

Simon had a totally different agenda in mind.

So sit back, fix some popcorn (and eat quickly, as this video clip is less than a minute long) and enjoy the following action-packed drama,

“The Adventures of Dining Cat and Ninja Kitten”

(I’ve heard that some people are having trouble viewing the “remixed” videos. If you’re one of them, please scroll down and click on the links at the bottom of the post which will take you to each separate video segment.)

Simon was relentless and Niko was incredibly tolerant, but after Simon had been (quite appropriately) bopped on the head repeatedly and occasionally knocked winding, I decided that a change of scenery might be in order. I took Simon out on the porch, where he was initially somewhat intimidated again, but I knew he was regaining his confidence — and that trouble was brewing — when I saw this:

I guess if you can’t whip the big cat, you go for a more reasonably-sized PART of the cat!

Supporting players this afternoon included Honey-dawg:

And my flamepoint, Kai (who preferred to sit on the table and merely watch the drama unfold):

When we finally came inside and Simon went back into “solitary,” all the cats were exhausted — and they slept for hours! 😉

For those who can’t see the remixes, try these links:

Dining Cat & Ninja Kitten, Part 1
Dining Cat & Ninja Kitten, Part 2
Simon & Niko’s Tail, Part 1
Simon & Niko’s Tail, Part 2

Posted in Pets | 2 Comments