A couple of you commented on yesterday's post that Melly wasn't actually on the table: she was on a notebook. That made me laugh, and reminded me of when Melly was a kitten. This is from the May 22, 2010 post:
"I know I'm not supposed to be on the table, but you see, I'm on a notebook. Also, I'm obviously asleep, and you wouldn't kick a sleeping kitten off the table, would you?"
My biggest rules with the cats are that they're not allowed on the counters and they are not allowed on the kitchen table. Breaking either rule results in being squirted by either Justice or Discipline (Geoff named the squirt bottles).
So, when I walked into the kitchen and found this, I was not exactly thrilled.
But Melly was so cute that I had to take some pictures before evicting her.
It turned out that Sister was skyping with her boyfriend, a cat lover and one of Melly's newest admirers.
Thank you all for your kind comments for Scarlett yesterday. The last couple of days have been quiet here, and Scarlett has spent the evenings curled up on my lap, purring. (Melly has been on a path of destruction lately, so she has been too busy for such sedate activities.) Also, I do give the cats Rescue Remedy - it seems to keep their fights from getting too violent.
Scarlett is not a fan of all the changes around here: my sister's arrival and constant comings and goings, my sister's boyfriend visiting, Geoff being around less now that he's working again, etc. So Scarlett been quite grumpy, going so far as to take swipes at people who try to pet her - including me, which is extremely unusual for her. When there are fewer people around and she's more relaxed, though, she goes back to being her usual snuggly self.
Melly was curled up on the loveseat next to me when she suddenly shifted and rolled belly up. Geoff sloooowly handed me the camera so as not to disturb the sleeping Mellybean, and these are the pictures I got:
We had a warm sunny day not too long ago, and I took advantage of it by opening all the windows in the apartment (at least, all the ones not painted shut). The cats were beside themselves, and spent the day moving between window sills. Here they are enjoying the bedroom window:
Scarlett is an incredibly snuggly cat, and will hop into any available lap at the first opportunity. She purrs like a little engine and makes biscuits, but when she's truly happy, she pauses in her biscuit making, spreads her toes, and clamps on.
Here she is on my lap:
Look at those big round eyes. Irresistible!
And also, the cats went to the vet yesterday and got weighed. Scarlett is up to 12.2lbs (eek) and Melly is at 11.5lbs. Both cats could stand to lose some weight, so it's diet time!
When I make cupcakes, decorating them is usually one of my favorite parts. When I made these cupcakes, however, I had already spent several hours in the kitchen making soup and I had run out of patience. I even considered - gasp! - not frosting them. Of course, that didn't last (silly me) and I did make frosting.
And oh, what frosting it was. Light and frothy! Chocolaty! Orangey! The cupcakes I made were plain vanilla, but this frosting would be great with chocolate cupcakes, or even orange cupcakes. A half batch was plenty for the twelve cupcakes I made.
Orange Chocolate Buttercream Frosting From Epicurious
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 7 tablespoons (or more) water
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 4 cups powdered sugar, divided 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
Stir 8 ounces chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until smooth. Cool until barely lukewarm but still pourable. Mix cocoa powder and 7 tablespoons water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until smooth and thick but still pourable, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if necessary. Cool.
Beat butter, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and orange peel in large bowl to blend. Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth. Beat in cocoa mixture. Gradually add remaining 3 2/3 cups powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Mix in Grand Marnier.
I had just opened up the bedroom windows - a rare occurrence - and Melly wasn't quite sure what to make of it. So, she sat on the bed absorbing the smells for a while before eventually jumping up to the window sill.
I love how well you can see Melly's shape in this picture - her poofy little cheeks, narrow shoulders, and bell-shaped hips. When she was a fuzzy, round-bellied kitten, I half expected her to stay that way since a goofy appearance suited her so well, but she really has become quite elegant! Except when she's flopped on the couch exhibiting her belly floof, of course.
A couple of Fridays ago, the kitties and I rode up with Geoff to his house, which is about an hour's drive from mine. There was some miscommunication and it turned out that we had two lengthy stops to make before getting to Geoff's house, with the end result that we were in the car for over three hours. On both stops, I opened the doors of the cats' carriers so they could come out and stretch their legs. Despite how much she loathes her carrier, Scarlett had no interest in leaving its familiar confines, but Melly leaped right out of hers and commenced investigating every square inch of the inside of Geoff's car. She took a few breaks to crawl into Scarlett's carrier with her for some quick snuggles, and Scarlett only growled a little.
Here is Melly after her thorough investigation of the car was complete:
She is quite the little adventurer, this one.
And by the way, my sister got in last night. Melly has been the perfect little angel, only taking a couple little nibbles at my sister's fingers. (Scarlett mostly stayed away - sister's boyfriend came too and he is Unfamiliar.) When my sis was last here, Melly woke her up a couple of times at night by ferociously chomping on her nose, so one of the first things she asked when she decided to come for the summer was, "Melly isn't going to bite me at night, is she?" So far, so good. Although Melly is being so affectionate that I am beginning to suspect that she's just buttering my sister up!
These boxes were waiting by the door to go out to recycling, and Melly, who cannot resist sitting on everything, decided they'd make a great napping spot. Of course, as soon as I came by with the camera, Melly started mugging.
I have run out of Flashback Friday posts as the first four years of Scarlett's time with me were not nearly as well documented as the past one has been. I know that somewhere I have the pictures that Scarlett's first family sent me when I inquired about their Craigslist ad, but I haven't been able to locate them...
Anyway, I have a bit of news.
"What is going on?! Things are changing!"
My sister, whom you may remember from these posts, is coming to stay with me for the summer! She is arriving tomorrow - yay!
There has been quite a lot to do to get ready as my one-bedroom apartment isn't exactly set up for double occupancy (Geoff visits a lot, but doesn't really need his own space here). Naturally, Scarlett and Melly are very interested in all my organizing and rearranging. The air mattress behind the couch is a big hit, although I'm curious to see how long it lasts with all those sharp claws waltzing about on it.
All the furniture from the area behind the couch is now shoved against one wall to make more room for my sister's stuff and bed, and so far, Melly is really enjoying this new arrangement. Scarlett remains dubious.