Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Melly's New Spot

Melly has recently found a new spot from which to survey her domain. It's in the far corner of the living room, on top of my bookshelf and CD binders. I'm not sure what the appeal is, but every evening, Melly hops up to the printer, then up on top of the binders and sits for a while, just looking around.

I left this uncropped so you can sort of see how barren this corner is. Those are both exterior brick walls, so I can't hang anything on them, and there's hardly any light over there.

The flash did something weird here, but you can see Melly's adorable white chin streak.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sleepy Kitty

She really tried to stay awake...

But in the end, she just couldn't manage.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Staring Cat

The staring started this winter when Scarlett came home completely stoned from anesthesia after a teeth cleaning/dental surgery. The corner of the living room next to the TV suddenly became very fascinating.

I figured that once she sobered up, the staring would stop. Well, it has not.

To top it all off, she's found another spot to stare at.

The other day, she even had Melly doing it!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Geoff had a very productive fishing trip a while back, and we've been well supplied with frozen vacuum-packed halibut and salmon ever since. I baked a piece of salmon for dinner the other day and ended up having to eat it standing in the middle of the kitchen since a certain two felines were very interested.

First there was this little acrobatic maneuver...

And then Melly fell off the chair (and I turned off the flash)...

Then Scarlett joined in the action...

Then I took pity and put a nibble of fish in each of their bowls. However, they were not sated...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh, Scarlett

Yes, she has feline acne. And she's gained a pound. My poor dear appears to be going through puberty.

I'm not sure she'll forgive me for the vet trip.

Melly went with us to the vet so that she could be weighed (6.2lbs!). It was agreed that she is extremely adorable, and there was further discussion of what her hair length will be. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a giant plume of a tail.

And also: I have a very busy couple of weeks ahead, so I have written a whole slew of posts and have scheduled them to go up automatically. I've been working on them for a while, so if you notice that Melly is looking smaller, or you don't see the Soft Paws, it's because they're old photos :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Supporting the Dog-a-Thon

As many of you probably remember, the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee raised $23,000 for the Tacoma/ Pierce County Humane Society last year, which funded the cat quarantine rooms (The Butterbean Quarantine). Laurie and the IBKC are raising money for the Dog-a-Thon again this year - you can find more info here.

I know that many of us have been affected by the economic downturn, and that we all have specific causes that are very close to our hearts, so I certainly don't want to pressure you to donate. That said, every little bit counts, so if you can contribute just a few dollars to the Dog-a-Thon, I know those few dollars would be appreciated.

How Melly Has Grown

First of all, thank you to Anne Boleyn, who suggested that Scarlett might have feline acne, and to Rene, who agreed and offered some treatment advice. I did some research, and I am fairly sure they're right about the acne. I left a voicemail for the vet last night and am hoping she can squeeze Scarlett in later today. I also washed and disinfected Scarlett's chin last night, and will continue the regimen.

While the acne is probably pretty unpleasant for Scarlett, I am so relieved that she doesn't actually have Melly-inflicted wounds. The timing of the acne means it probably is Melly-related, so I'm feeling pretty guilty, but I'm glad it's not directly Melly's doing.

There have been some comments lately about how much Melly has grown, so I thought I'd do a little comparison shot. This photo of Melly and Scarlett eating, originally posted here on May 3rd, provided the perfect opportunity to see the size difference between them. Melly was still quite teeny, although I remember thinking at the time how big she was getting.

I've been stalking these two with the camera during their meals for a while, hoping to get the same shot. This one is reversed, but I think it's close enough. Melly has certainly grown! She doesn't quite have the leggy teenager look anymore - she just looks like a very small and slightly fluffy cat.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Soft Paws

Geoff and I put the Soft Paws on both kitties last night. We started with Scarlett, assuming that because she submits to nail trims so easily, Soft Paws would be a piece of cake. Well... not so much. She struggled a ton and made a horrible racket (my neighbors probably thought there was a massacre in progress or something). But, of course, 10lbs of cat do not stand a chance against a combined 385lbs of human, and we prevailed. After we were done applying the caps, I gave Scarlett some canned food so I could watch her for a few minutes to make sure that the Soft Paws glue had time to cure and that she didn't eat any off any caps.

Close-up shot of Scarlett's paws with caps.

Scarlett did quite a bit of paw grooming after application, and seemed especially annoyed by the caps on her dew claws. In this video you can also see some of the wounds on her chin. The poor thing has several sizeable bald patches that barely have time to scab over before they are reopened - it's heartbreaking. I'm really hoping that they are caused by Melly clawing and not biting, because I'm not sure what I can do about biting.

Melly, despite my fears, was pretty well-behaved during the cap application. She actually purred during the front claw part! Like Scarlett, Melly did a lot of grooming when the process was over (and after I'd observed her for a bit). She managed to get one of the caps off, but it was replaced quickly and without incident.

Close-up shot of Melly's paws with caps. I got the clear ones, so they're not too visible. They spread Melly's toes a bit, so her paws look very round and bubble-like, which is kind of cute.

I wasn't able to get a shot of Melly doing the excessive grooming, but here's a video of her chowing down while the glue cures.

My main hope for the Soft Paws is that they keep Melly from drawing too much blood, feline as well as human. Her teeth are pretty hazardous, but if we can keep her to one deadly weapon, I think everyone will be a lot happier.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cats Being Cats

(This post was supposed to go up yesterday - sorry!)

I had hoped for excitement when I started recording these videos, but what I got instead was pretty boring normal feline behavior. I wasn't originally going to post them, but I was reminded after Scarlett and Melly spent most of last night snuggled up to me that they are pretty darn cute even when they're doing nothing.

In the video below, Melly is intrigued by the fact that her feather toy is moving (it's due to a fan in the kitchen doorway pulling air through after a minor food-burning incident). The racket in the background is "Dirty Jobs" on the TV right behind me.

In this video, Scarlett and Melly do absolutely nothing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Up to Something?"

"What in the world would give you the idea that we are up to something? 
We are as innocent as can be."

In other news, the soft paws arrived yesterday! I had a flash of inspiration the other day and managed to get all of Melly's nails trimmed by wearing my big terrycloth bathrobe over my clothes for extra protection, but I am going to wait until Geoff next comes over to apply the soft paws. The directions say the cat is supposed to stay fairly still for a few minutes after application, so putting them on The Squirmy One will definitely be a two-person job. I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A few days ago, I sent a package to my parents and had a little bit of room left in the box, so "Melly" sent her fellow tuxie, Star, a gift.

Yesterday, my mom texted me this picture:

Looks like Star likes his mouse!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

5 Things You May Not Know About Scarlett

1. She loathes baths and the squirt bottle, but she will sit in a puddle in the bathtub with water dripping on her head for hours on end.

2. She comes when called. This I discovered once when she was still indoor/outdoor and she was outside one night, nowhere to be seen. Not thinking she'd actually come, I called her name and clicked my tongue a few times, and a minute later she hopped right over the back fence.

This isn't the most exciting video since most of it is footage of the kitchen floor while I call Scarlett, but I wanted to demonstrate.

3. She snores. But it's very quiet and ladylike.

4. She hates argyle sweaters.

Or maybe all sweaters...

5. She is incredibly affectionate, but mostly to me (she likes Geoff, but has very limited tolerance for most other people). Her most subtle request for attention is when she purrs while approaching me; the least is when she plunks herself down on whichever part of me happens to be horizontal and head butts me. If I stop petting her, she'll curl her paw around my hand and drag it back toward her.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


"I'm hiding from Melly. She has artichoke breath."

"Drat. Now she can see me."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Melly and the Tortilla Chips Bag

The other day, there was a partially folded-over chips bag on the kitchen table. Melly decided it would make an excellent tent.

It started here...

...and just kept getting more ridiculous.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Sunday!

I just got back from the Tacoma is for Lovers craft sale at King's bookstore, where I met Laurie of The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee fame. It was the IBKC that introduced me to the wide world of cat blogging, and I'm a big fan. I managed (I hope) to keep my squeeing in check, chatted with Laurie for a bit, and got a couple of kitten prints. I checked out the other wares - there was a lot of cool stuff - and got a copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which I've been wanting to read for a while. All in all, it was a fun quick outing.

And for the rest of this fine Sunday afternoon, I shall be joining my kitties in this activity:

Not the glaring grumpily part, the lounging part.

Advice: Trimming Claws

I'm guessing that most of you who read this blog have or have had cats. However, for those of you who have never owned a kitten, please consider the following advice.

If you get a kitten, you should get a pair of heavy leather gauntlets, like the ones falconers use. You should also consider body armor. And possibly a beekeeper hat. Something like this might work:
The reason for this is that kittens are pointy. You might think that they are all fluff and poof and purr, but their teeny claws become sharp after a trim much faster than those of adult cats, and their teeth are like little needles. The body armor will protect you when your kitten decides that you would make an excellent jungle gym, and the beekeeper hat will protect your hair from being eaten and your chin from being bitten in your sleep.

As for the gloves, well, let's just say that it would probably be easier to give the Tasmanian Devil a mani/pedi than it is to give one to Melly.

And so we come to the part where I ask the cat experts for advice.

Melly's claws, even when trimmed, are incredibly sharp. Her teeth are also extremely sharp. She normally uses these implements in what she probably perceives as self defense (mostly against me), but I'm concerned because Scarlett recently got some cuts on her chin that seem to be getting re-opened daily during her fights with Melly. I think they are from Melly's back paws doing bunny kicks. I've cleaned the cuts out, and have risked life and limb to give Melly very frequent claw trims, but obviously it would be better if Scarlett weren't getting wounded at all.


Edit: Based on the recommendations in the comments, I have ordered two sets of softpaws and shall be covering both kitties' front and back claws. Thank you for the idea!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Battle for the Lap

Lately, when I sit on the couch, both Melly and Scarlett want to be on my lap at the same time. They will both settle into loaf-cat position on my lap, only to discover that (of course) it is not nearly big enough to accommodate both of them and Scarlett's mandatory one-foot buffer zone. And so, after a tense stare down during which my legs fall asleep, one will kick the other off.

The one who was kicked off will usually make herself comfortable on the back of the couch or by my feet, but the other day, Melly discovered what is now her favorite spot.

Friday, June 11, 2010


"Breakfast? I don't know what you're talking about.
I'm innocently looking out the window."

I love breakfast. Not harried weekday ones in which one wolfs down a bowl of cereal - weekend breakfasts. French toast, waffles, pancakes, sticky buns, omelettes... I love them all. Willow Bird Baking has posted some amazing-looking waffles, but I, tragically, have no iron on which to make them. (My love for waffles goes way back: my parents have a tape of me when I was three singing a song entitled, "Special Waffles.") Luckily for me, WB recently posted a recipe for eggs in a french toast basket that is currently my favorite weekend breakfast. The best part is that it's very easy to make.

I used WB's recipe as a jumping-off point and have modified it differently the three times I've made it based on what I happened to have in my fridge. Here's a version of my modified recipe, with notes on how you can adapt it further.
Eggs in a French Toast Basket

2-3 tablespoon yogurt or milk (I've used skim milk and lowfat vanilla yogurt, but any yogurt, milk, or cream would work fine)
1 egg
1 teaspoon of honey, warmed in the microwave for about 20 seconds (Maple syrup would work too. Also, don't microwave it in the plastic bear - it will melt. Do not ask how I know this.)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (or whatever amount you like - I like it very cinnamony)
1 tablespoon nutmeg
small pinch of salt

1 egg
1 piece of bread (french bread, challah, brioche, etc. all make for amazing french toast, but I almost never have that on hand and therefore use whole wheat sandwich bread)

Preheat oven to 375F

Whisk everything but the bread and the second egg together in a bowl, then pour into a pie dish (if you have a roux whisk, you can skip the bowl step and do everything in the pie dish). If you used yogurt, there will be some lumps - don't worry about it.

Use a cookie cutter to cut a hole in the middle of the slice of bread (if you're like me and have only Christmas cookie cutters, a glass will work). Soak the bread and the cut-out in the pie dish, about 30 seconds on each side, or until as much liquid is absorbed as possible. The cut-out will be a mini french toast - just cook it along with the bread.

Heat butter or vegetable oil in a frying pan. If you like your egg yolk liquidy, put the pan on medium; if you like it firmer, put the pan on medium-low. Put the bread in the pan, then crack the other egg into the hole. Salt and pepper the egg, and cook the bread until it's golden brown on the bottom. Flip it (carefully!) and cook the other side until it's golden brown.

When the bread is golden brown on both sides, put it on the middle rack of the oven for about four minutes. Serve immediately with maple syrup. I have no pictures of this recipe because I followed the directions and served immediately :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Excuse Us."

"We are hungry. Please rectify the situation immediately."

The answers to yesterday's "Paws" post are, from top to bottom, Scarlett, Melly, Scarlett, Melly. Congrats to those who guessed correctly!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


*Game show announcer voice*

It's time for...

...guess whose paws!
Edit: both Scarlett's and Melly's are pictured - the idea is to guess whose paws are in each picture.

Answers will be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

5 Things You May Not Know About Melly

1. She has a clump of short white hairs near her left shoulder blade.

2. She likes to carry her toys around in her mouth and deposit them in strange places. I have awakened at night to find a catnip mouse on my head, and I frequently find glitter balls in the shower. Lately, she's been pulling the wand with the dangling feather toy up onto the bed.

3. She occasionally has digestive troubles that manifest in a silent-but-deadly manner. They are surprisingly pungent for one so teeny.

Yes, this is an old photo - this post has been in the works
for a while and I thought it went with #3 perfectly.

4. She likes to be where the people are. This is why I have so many photos of her on the couch next to me, and not on the kitchen table across from where I'm sitting.

5. After she is finished eating, she paws at the floor. She looks like a bull getting ready to charge. I have been stalking her for weeks trying to get video of this, but she has managed to evade the camera.