Simon: June 22, 2007

Four weeks ago, Simon (known then as “little orange kitten”), was so tiny that he could fit in the palm of my son’s hand:

He’s certainly grown and changed a lot since then, with running, jumping and exploring being high on his list of fun things to do:

Even though I’ve tried to keep Simon separate from my other kitties until he’s been tested and vaccinated, my lynxpoint Siamese, Niko, has other ideas. In the past couple of days as I’ve tried to slip out of the “isolation room,” Niko has managed to fly over the gate and through the door — all to Simon’s utter delight.

The first time this happened, Simon was in full play mode near the door and as soon as Niko jumped in, Simon pounced on his head and started biting him! Niko responded by rolling over and gently hugging Simon. He started bathing him before I had the chance to grab him and escort him out, but these two really, really want to be friends.

Niko darted into the room again last night and he and Simon immediately went under the bed where I couldn’t reach them! While Niko looks “threatening” in this picture with his upraised paw, again he was really being quite gentle with Simon:

After taking a couple of quick pictures, I again escorted Niko out of the room. If all goes well after Simon’s vet appointment next week, I’ll let them have more of a chance to play and interact.

I know that my “kitten-sitting” days won’t last forever — soon Simon will be old enough to stay by himself while my son is working — but maybe it’s important for Simon to have the opportunity to be “socialized” by other cats, especially since he’s grown up without a mom-cat and siblings.

To see more of my special “furriends,” please click on the animation below to go to the pets pages on my website:

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Simon: Doing What Kitties Do, June 19, 2007

Simon is now approximately 6-1/2 weeks old and he’s doing great!

He’s eating well:

Using his litterbox (his expression tells me this is NOT something that needs to be shared with the world!):

Playing a LOT:

And — for the first time — drinking water out of a bowl. This is a major accomplishment because I think sometimes he still wants his bottle just because he’s thirsty. He still hasn’t really mastered the art of drinking like a big cat (funny, because he dips his nose in it too far and then has to lick, lick, lick!) but it’s definitely a milestone.

It’s hard work learning how to be a cat and he still gets very, very sleepy….

Sleep well, sweet boy!

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Simon Update: June 14, 2007

Our baby is turning into… well, I guess he’s turning into a cat! Yesterday for the first time I noticed him flattening his ears when he was in “stealth” mode while sneaking up on a toy and today I noticed that his tongue is now appropriately cat-tongue rough. His eyes are no longer blue. But will they be green or will they be amber?

Close up:

He’s really, really getting into playing with toys….

And he’s chewing on EVERYTHING, including my shorts!

This afternoon after he’d eaten, played, used the litterbox and played some more, I could tell he was getting tired. He walked over to his carrier and crawled inside and went to sleep. Funny, because I realized this was the time of day that my son (who’s attending an out-of-state music festival for the next few days) usually puts him in his carrier to bring him here! And so I decided to let him take his typically long afternoon nap in the carrier instead of putting him in the big, tall box that’s been his bed since May 25th.

I left to go to the grocery store and run some errands for my mom. When I got back I peeked in and didn’t see or hear anything and assumed he was still sleeping. I checked a couple of other times and again assumed he was in the carrier.

Um, what’s that line about “Assume nothing”?!

When I went in to wake him up and feed him, the first thing I noticed was a “deposit” in the litterbox. That made me realize that he’d woken up at some point — which meant he could be anywhere in the room. I’ve “kitten-proofed” as much as feasible, but immediately I was a little antsy about what he might have gotten in to…

To my complete and utter surprise, what he’d gotten IN to was his BOX! How on EARTH did he do this?! The picture below shows how tall the box is:

As I stood there, wondering if he’d sprouted wings to fly up into it, Simon looked up at me with sleepy eyes as if to say, “Well dis is where I’m S’POSED to take my nap!”

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Simon Update: June 12, 2007

When I talked with my son this morning, he said that Simon had woken him up at 5:00 a.m. — by biting his nose! Yep, the little boy finally figured out how to climb out of the very tall box he’s been sleeping in. He crawled up on my son’s bed, curled up next to him and they both fell asleep again.

He continues to grow and change and he’s now approximately 5-1/2 weeks old. He’s still drinking some KMR from his bottle, but he’s decided that canned kitten food is the best stuff ever. His litterbox habits are improving, though he hasn’t quite figured out that it’s better to step forward instead of backwards once you’ve finished. (We’re going through a lot of unscented, alcohol-free baby wipes!)

And playing? Oh my! It’s so much fun to watch our fierce little house-tiger!

Two weeks ago he would have fit into these shoes with room to spare!

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Taking Advantage of “Poor” Lighting

Sometimes it’s hard to get really good pictures of Simon in the room where he’s sequestered. I just have one floor lamp in the room and some pictures that I’ve taken using available light are blurred, especially now that Simon is so active! When I’ve used the flash in this dimly-lit room, however, sometimes the pictures just look too harsh and bright for the soft and fuzzy subject!

Last night I got a couple of pictures/portraits that I really, really like of my son & his kitty, using the natural light setting on my camera:

The camera I’m using is a Fuji Finepix S5200, which has some pretty amazing capabilities — especially for a camera in its price range. I’ve put together a page on my website that features a variety of images I’ve taken with it: Fuji Finepix S5200.

I can’t imagine being without a digital camera these days. I’ve taken literally thousands and thousands of pictures since I bought it in January 2006. I use it every day at school to photograph my students’ artwork and I also take various pictures for the yearbook. I especially enjoy close-up “nature” photography (flowers, insects, etc.) but it’s been so much fun to be able to document Simon’s growth and changes, too!

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