Monday, May 29, 2006

Nameless No More!!

My crazy little sister finally has a name... and we have a winner!!!! Sort of. First I need to thank everyone for all your suggestions. Some of you did quite a bit of research! And there were lots of names that Mom and Dad liked, but couldn't give her because for several there were already other puddins or dogs or even beans that they know or have known that shared that name (like Bella, Maxine, and Daisy to name a few) . It was hard work, but Mom and Dad decided on a name and checked it out with us. I thought it was good, and we tried it out with my sister for a few days, and she seems to like it.

We took one of Max's suggestions and tweaked it a little bit and found something that really works with her personality. So beans, puddins, and fluffies of all sorts, I would like to introduce you to my sister... HARLIE!

Harlie turn around and let everyone meet you face to face.

Ok, well I never said she was very bright did I? The name seems to suit her though. Her little engine is easy to get revved up and it is VERY LOUD!! Plus she races around everywhere. Mom has said since we got her that it looks like she's wearing a black helmet on her head. And the black spot on her chin looks like a little soul patch beard. It all seems to work. As much as Mom loved all the cow suggestions and thought that was the way to go, she realized that it just didn't suit Harlie's personality. Cows are gentle, with sweet eyes, take life slow, and are content with little activity. Harlie is wild, a little bit naughty, not at all like a goddess (though those were some very excellent suggestions), and likely the type to sneak out, get a tattoo, and date biker dudes.
So there it is. Even though Max didn't technically suggest the exact name, he suggested "Honda", and when Mom and Dad read that one, they looked at each other and said "Harlie". They just changed it up a bit to make it a bit girlier. But the name was certainly inspired by Max. Max wins a prize to be sent to his house, and a donation to the humane society or rescue association of his choice in his name. And because Mom and Dad were inspired by all the name suggestions and appreciated everyone's input, and donation will be made to Francis's Friends (the rescue society we got Harlie from) from "The Catblogging Community".

Now finally we can stop focusing on HER, and I can go back to making this blog about ME! I have so much to write about. The Catolympics are coming up, I still haven't blogged about my horrific experience when Mom and Dad went away for a week, tomorrow is my birthday, I now have an email address, and there are tons of fantastic pictures of me to show! I also have so many links I need to update the site with, and I haven't been able to make many decent comments in AGES. But unfortunately, there won't be much commenting and updating until Mom gets back on June 8th. It's that big meeting she has to go to in Japan. I doubt she'll even remember that tomorrow is my birthday even though she's the one that picked that day to be it (since I couldn't remember the exact date of my birth when they found me on the street). So once again it will be her fault that I can't blog. She promises to make it up to me when she gets back. We'll see.

Well thanks again for all your suggestions everyone!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Well it's about time

Mom has some pictures for us finally. Before I get to that, I want to thank everyone for all your great suggestions so far. (If you're just tuning in, I'm sponsoring a Name My Sister contest. Details here). You're giving us lots of great names to choose from. Keep them coming! Don't forget you have until Saturday night to make suggestions, so if you come up with other ideas, please share them!

Here are some last tidbits of info for you:
  • Her favorite toys seem to be ones that have bells in them or on them, and she loves anything that dangles.
  • Sometimes when we're playing, it looks like she's doing binkies. She knows she's a cat, right?
  • She doesn't like wet kitty food unless it's the chunky type with gravy... or unless it's in my bowl.
  • She LOVES plastic. Since I leave plastic bags alone, Mom didn't think to hide the plastic bags when the little one moved in. Wherever there is plastic, she finds it, and Mom has had to become much more diligent in finding and hiding plastic. But somehow the little sister is always one step ahead.
At the moment I can't think of any other little nuggets about her, so I'll move on to the pictures! As always, click the pictures to view them larger!

This is our first actual meal together. You may have a hard time seeing her because she blends with the floor. She's in front of the bowl on the left (she doesn't have her own kitty bowl yet). Mom would like to note that we do not stay in these positions for long and are both always moving to get into the other's bowl. Mom gently guides us back where we belong. Mom took this picture because she always liked the one of Buddah and Max when Buddah was a kitten.

She was actually sleeping in this position, not just stretching, but sleeping. And this picture doesn't show how she was sort of tilted at a downward angle.

Mom was able to walk around the couch and get the shot in another position without waking her.

So this was my favorite toy from Christmas, but I don't mind that she plays with it.

See? Crazy eyes. We have a bunch of pictures like this. They are always wide and insane-looking like this. Also they are brown, which Mom doesn't remember seeing in a cat before. Anyone else have brown eyes? Mom probably just doesn't know what she's talking about.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thanks to Mom, STILL no pictures

So I have to post again without pictures tonight. Please forgive me. Though really it's Mom you need to forgive since she's the one who keeps messing it up.

Here are some more details about my sister:
  • The rescue society gave her the name of Bonita. All of her siblings had spanish names like that (even though their litter was abandoned somewhere in Pennsylvania).
  • The girl can CLIMB! Climbing would be one of her events if she were to participate in the Catolympics.
  • She's pretty clumsy. Balance Beam would certainly not be one of her events. Nothing graceful about this one.
  • When she uses the litter box, she has to be sure to move EVERY SINGLE piece of litter in the box. She just digs and digs and digs and moves all around the box.
  • I find her grooming abilities to be unsatisfactory. Mom would like me to point out that I have very high standards for that and she actually manages to groom herself just fine. But I am constantly feeling the need to groom her. Maybe that's my issue and not hers.
  • Her nose is black, but only on the front. Inside it's pink. My nose is black all the way through. Mom thinks it looks like someone dabbed her nose on a black inkpad.
  • She has a small black spot right in the center of her chin (a little under). And a black spot on the back of each leg.
  • Her eyes seem extremely round to us.
  • She only sleeps half as much as me... don't kittens need more rest than this? It's like she's always loaded with caffeine or something.
Thanks for all the great suggestions so far. Keep them coming!! Mom says we'll get to come around and comment on other blogs tomorrow. She says we will post pictures too. But no one out there hold your breath waiting for those things.

As for how we are getting along, it seems we won't be able to be alone together for a few weeks. We are still on supervised visitation until she gets a bit bigger because I get so overexcited when we play. And also because she hasn't learned to recognize my warnings when I've decided I'm done playing and want to rest. But we have now had naps together, actually touching. And I groom her quite a bit. Mom and Dad are starting to feel a little left out now though. Dad misses when I would bat his feet around (no claws of course) when he laid on the couch, and Mom is missing her nightly facial. The fact is I have something (someone) to play with that is MUCH more fun that Dad's toes, and as I've said, my sister needs grooming MUCH MORE than my Mom does. But we're all happy the transition has gone so well. I'll settle back into my old habits when the excitement dies down I'm sure. But for now I need to go chase down the little cow-let and groom her!

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Name Game

Ok folks, my new sister has been with us almost two weeks now, and she still hasn't told us her name. It seems she is willing to allow us to select one for her, but Mom, Dad and I are all at a loss as to what to call her. We have to do something soon, because Kukka-Maria commented recently that the tabloids are after her to find out my sister's name. We can't have the tabloids involved! I pointed out to Mom and Dad that Oreo held a successful contest to name his cousin, and even Moses held a contest to name his pet fish. So we've decided to hold a contest to name my sister! You've seen some pictures, and Mom promises to put up more throughout the week so you can get to know her better as we all have been, and that may help you come up with ideas.

It's going to work like this: You can leave suggestions in the comments of any post I make this week. You can make as many suggestions as you like. You can make name suggestions up until (and including) Saturday. On Sunday, Mom will get all the names together, and she, Dad, and I will have a pow-wow (or pow-meow?) and announce the winner as soon as we decide. If you suggest the name we give her, you will receive a gift from our family in the mail, and my Mom and Dad will also make a donation to a shelter or rescue society of your choice, in your name. But we will get to those details when it's time. Throughout the week I'll post some pictures and any other tidbits of information that may be useful.

To start you off, here is some info about her:
  • She's a girl
  • She looks a bit like a little cow
  • In fact when Dad called her "Little Cowgirl" one night, Mom liked it
  • She's crazy, and her eyes make her look a little insane
  • She likes to play with everything and her new favorite toy is the laundry basket
  • She purrs the instant she is touched
Thanks in advance for all your help, and good luck!

Thanks Everyone!

You all said such nice things about my new big brothering skills. Even though I tried to help her during her clipping ordeal, I'm not sure if I was successful. I guess we'll see when it's time again. That's amazing that some of you just sit there and allow your beans to just clip your nails. I get held by my Mom and Dad does the clipping. We just started doing it that way because Mom and Dad had never clipped kitty nails before me. They talked to the vet about how to do it, but neither of them felt ready to just come at me with the clippers alone, so it's a team effort. It probably will be tricky with the new sister though because she doesn't even like having her paws played, and I don't mind that at all.

I also really need to thank Boni for her most very generous offer. But fortunately, Mom found an octopus! After going to three pet stores (because she is always shopping around to see who has deals on food, litter, and our favorite feather toys) she found it in the grocery store! Boni offered to send and octopus to both my sister and me! Those ladies in her family are so nice!

I'm behind on everyone's blogs because we've been so busy with the new sister and Mom has had lots and lots of work to do to get ready for her trip to Japan. She has a very very big presentation to make there to some very important people in her field. We don't have any new pictures because she keeps leaving the camera in her office. I also have to start training for the catolympics and I want to make updates to my links and everything. Hopefully soon.

I just wanted to use this post to thank everyone... now stay tuned for some exciting news in the next one!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Getting better every day!

So Mom and Dad are happy because the little one and I actually calmed down today. We even took a nap in the same room! We didn't sleep together, but it was the first time we weren't running around like crazy and wrestling. It even gave Dad a chance to fall asleep. I get told "NO" when I'm playing too hard, and then I back off. I don't mind though because I don't want to hurt her... so I'm glad for the reminder to be gentle.

Tonight was nail night. I didn't see the clippers come in the room, so I didn't get a chance to warn "her" about what it was like and to tell her not to worry. It was "her" first nail clipping here though, and she didn't like it at all. I didn't know what was going on and I got upset because she was mewing and crying. It made me run around the room meowing. Then I swatted at Mom's arm to tell her to stop making my little sister cry. But then I saw that Mom and Dad were just clipping her nails and that it wasn't a bad thing at all! So I made my cooing noises and touched noses with her and even licked her a little to tell her everything was ok. She didn't believe me though and still put up a big fuss. I was glad when it was over for her. I was a good boy as always for my nail clipping. I don't particularly enjoy it, but it's going to happen whether I want it to or not, and it goes easier if I don't struggle. That's William's Philosophy too. Plus I always get TWO treats afterward. I hope she learns it's not a bad thing soon!

Monday, May 15, 2006

More of "Her"

She still hasn't revealed her name. I think maybe based on her traits and characteristics it's something like "Purry McPurrsalot" or "Crazy Eyes" or "Wiggle Butt" or "Digger". We just don't know yet. But I think we'll know soon. If she doesn't reveal her true and secret name soon, Mom and Dad will choose one for her and see if she likes it. That's what they did with me. By the time I was ready to reveal it to them, they had already chosen "Mattingly". They let me try it out for a few days and I really liked it, so I kept it.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the purry, wiggly, climb-y one. Click any of the pictures to make them bigger.

Her first night here she was going crazy playing in the bathroom. This is before I got to meet her.

She got moved into the office because it's a bigger more comfortable space for her. She likes to nap on the pillow Mom uses at night.

One of our first meetings through the baby gate. I was mostly just curious. She was scared and defensive.

Before too long we were getting playful with each other.

We had guests over yesterday and they were happy to play with her. I was in my usual spot under the bed. That's where I go when there are guests.

Uh oh... think she'll be wanting her own blog soon?

So that's her. She's pretty cute isn't she? Mom wants to thank everyone for their advice and comments. Mom and Dad now just supervise our play, and break us up when I get a little too rough. I don't mean to be rough and Mom and Dad know it. Mom says I can't help it sometimes because I'm such a big strong boy. That's right! Pretty soon I'll have my first birthday even! Anyway, so now we are getting more play time, but are still kept separated when Mom and Dad aren't home, and even lots of times when they are. Mom and Dad say it's a lot of work when we play for them, so that's why there aren't any pictures of it yet. But as soon as there are I'll post them!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mom Here....

Hi Everyone. Thanks for all your comments about the new addition to our family. Already we are having so much fun. She doesn't have a name yet, but she is a beautiful, spunky little kitten. The interactions between the gate are going great and we have been moving the gate around the house so Mattingly can get used to her being in other rooms. We've introduced her a few times without the gate, but we aren't so sure how that is going. I've had cats in my family since I was 9, but I've never had an experience like this. Whenever we would bring a new cat or kitten home, we would just sort of plop them in the living room, everyone met, and then we were good. Any newcomers learned quickly that they needed to steer clear of the oldest cat in the family and then everything was fine. Maybe because Mattingly is such a different cat from any that I've had, or maybe because I have such a different relationship with him than I've had with any other pet, or maybe because he is truly a part of the family and not a "pet" like I grew up with, this transition is much harder. When they play through the gate, they bat at each other, purr, and show each other their bellies. We take that as a very good sign. But when they play face to face, it seems he might get too rough with her because she starts to growl and hiss and run away. But then she attacks him and starts it all right over again. She is always the first to present her belly, but then seems to get very agitated and tries to get away. Mattingly doesn't appear to be using any excessive force, and he's not showing any other signs of aggression toward her, so we don't know if maybe she is just sensitive or cranky. In any event, we don't know if we should allow this type of "play" to sort itself out, or break it up. Is this normal or is it unhealthy? When they are separated, they are constantly trying to get to each other, so I just don't know what this all means.

Finally, there is one particular toy that Mattingly loves among all his toys, and we are trying to keep that specifically for him right now. We have not let her near his hidey spot, or allowed her to play with this toy so that he can have these two comforts to himself. However tonight she snuck up on Mattingly and I playing, grabbed his toy, and then growled at us as we tried to take it away from her. She hissed at my husband later when the same thing happened. This is puppy behavior! Not kitty behavior! Have any of you out there experienced this before or do you have any tips you could offer? Our two main concerns are her toy aggression, and what we should do about their play face to face. Should we just let it work itself out and not be such nervous ninnies? I just can't help it though. Mattingly is our baby and we are growing to love this new little thing very quickly. We just want what's best for them.

Thank you! I promise some pictures tomorrow. The camera ran out of batteries today!

Friday, May 12, 2006

All I've got for now....

Well here she is folks! Mom has to work later than she thought tonight, so she probably won't get the new pictures off her camera until tomorrow. She's very sorry about that because we're all eager to show you my new sister! But since she promise promised to put up some pictures tonight, she's allowing me to put up her pictures. That's how Dad found the local rescue society. The pictures aren't the greatest because they were trying to take care of so many kitties and get them all listed. But we think her personality shows up just fine in these pictures. She's not one to sit back and relax much... she's a busy baby! We'll tell the story of exactly how she was chosen to come to our home later (after we tell my story of course!). Anyway, you can at least see her coloring, adorable face, and crazy little eyes. Click on any of the pictures to see them bigger.

So today we came even closer to being friends. Dad tried very hard to keep us separated by the gate this morning, but we wouldn't have any of it! I jumped the gate a few times to test the waters then decided to stay in and play with her. But Dad says I'm being a little overzealous. I keep playing a bit rough I guess and she hisses at me or tries to hide to tell me to settle down a bit. But I just can't even help it!!! I'm so excited to have a playmate now that when she goes to hide I just make my cooing noises and meow for her to come out, or I try to dig her out from under the couch. I don't mean to be rough, but she's so cute even when she arches her back and hisses that I just want to nibble on her! After all, that's what Mom does to me when I look particularly cute!

So stay tuned tomorrow for some pictures of her in her furrever home. I hope she tells us her name soon. She said she was waiting until she got to know me better. I guess she's not quite comfortable enough just yet. Maybe when she fully decides this place is her new home she'll let us know. I can't wait to know what to call her!

Quick Update

During our second gate time yesterday we played! A lot! We got the hissing out of the way, then we were poking at each other and rolling around and purring. She kept trying to get over the fence to come play with me, but Mom wouldn't let her yet. Then this morning I almost pushed my way into her room and we got to touch paws and noses before Mom put an end to the fun. All morning I've been telling Mom how much I want to go in there and play, but Mom says not quite yet. She wants to see that we can be good again between the gate. And Dad read that it's best to do this slow... but I don't want to wait anymore! I want to play with my sister!

There will be pictures tonight. Mom promise promised me that she would take care of it. And if Mom can figure it out, there might even be a video of us playing! I'm going to go back to her door and talk to her a bit. Hope you puddins have a great day!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Having a Sister...

... isn't easy. In fact, I'm finding it very confusing.

She came on Tuesday. I'm going to have to refer to her as "HER", "SHE", and "SISTER" because she hasn't told us her name yet. Anyway, she came on Tuesday, and I didn't see her at all. She was whisked immediately into the bathroom which is where she was supposed to stay. I was under the bed because Mom forgot her keys and had to ring the bell when she brought the baby home... and well... when the bell rings I go under the bed. It's what I do. So I didn't see her, but I knew she was here and I knew she was in the bathroom. Tuesday night Mom slept in the office with her so she wouldn't be lonely. I could hear her and I was a little interested in the office door, but Dad kept waving my feather toy around and I was seriously distracted.

Yesterday Mom was home and took turns being in the office with her and being out in the rest of the apartment with me, until Dad got home and then they took turns being in the office and out in the rest of the apartment with me. I'm telling you, Mom and Dad's need for play has been insatiable. They have been waving my feather stick around like CRAZY! I mean we play a little every day but I just can't satisfy them the past few days! A few times they put the sister into the carrier (or "Troll Box" as William likes to call it). I looked at her from a distance, then later, got up closer and hissed at her. I didn't see her again after that.

Today we did the troll box thing again, and this time she was sleeping. I got up real close and sniffed around but didn't hiss, and Mom said I was a very good boy. The rest of the time she was in there playing and talking I didn't pay her too much attention... I was really comfortable on the couch. Today we had dinner near each other (with the door separating us). It was fine except I found her a bit distracting. She's noisy. But we finished dinner without incident. Then Mom went out and came back with a baby gate. She put it up, and the sister and I looked at each other for a bit. Then I got closer and backed off, then she got closer... we went back and forth a bit, then we touched noses. Mom got excited, but then the sister started getting fresh with me! She arched her back up and puffed out and kept hopping around like that. So I had to show her who is boss and became a bit trollish again. I also thought I might try to swat her through the gate, but Mom put a stop to that and we are separated by the door again.

So I just don't know. She is small and quite cute. And sometimes when she cries, it makes me talk back to her in return. I know she's lonely and missing her litter mates, and that's why Mom keeps sleeping with her at night. I thought I might really start to like her, but then she got all aggressive with me, and I just don't think I like her attitude. I heard Mom talk to Dad on the phone and it sounds like we are going to have some more "gate time" tonight. I guess we'll see how that goes. I hope I like her soon. So do Mom and Dad. Anyone out there have any tips? I haven't been around to comment because I've been very busy keeping Mom and Dad occupied and smelling the door to the office. But hopefully you'll hear from me in a few days!

Friday, May 05, 2006

How special I am

Since I'm going to be a big brother soon, I thought I would post this picture of me from around Christmas time. Mom thinks I look like such a big boy in this picture. (You can click on any of my pictures to make them bigger). She loves when I sit like this for some reason. I like this picture because it shows off my sleek fur. I really work very hard to stay soft and shiny. That's why Dad calls me "Chinchilla Kitty". Not 'cause I look like one! But because I'm soft like one.

Anyway, I'm getting a little concerned about getting a little sister. I really like being the baby of the house and getting every last ounce of attention. So to make sure I don't fall by the wayside, I'm going to present here a new look on some of my past antics. While Mom and Dad may have looked at these things as "messes" I'm going to now chalk it up to "art". I've been inspired by George over at Crew's Views and his very brilliant masterpieces. Now I know I have a long way to go before I become an artist of George's caliber (if it is even possible for me to reach that level), but it is indeed something I aspire to.

I call this first one "Mid-day Snack". I tried to get a nice spread of the fish food over a wide spanse of carpet. I started out with the "dump approach" that George mentioned in some of his petal art, but I felt the look was too "heavy". So I took it upon myself to eat more than 3/4 of the container of fish food. I like this more light, airy, spread-out look. An extra bonus was that the fish food was extra tasty. Any future attempts at this type of art have been thwarted, as the fish food is now kept in the refrigerator (because it was not safe on the shelf, the fish tank stand, or in the cupboard). I enjoyed it while it lasted though.

Now this one I call "Latenight Kitchen Excitement". I know the names of my pieces are rather obvious. I need to work on that. Anyway, this was the scene I prepared for Mom to greet her in the kitchen one morning. Try to note not only the tipped over litterbox (also moved forward 6-8 inches from it's normal resting place), but the pink towl removed from the rack, the spread of mail on the table as well as the floor, and the white paper bag I brought out from the corner to help cut some of the pesky black diamonds from the floor. Now before you get too impressed with my ability to tip over a litter box, I must note that it was filled only with shredded newspaper, as advised by the vet for the week after my very own hoo-ha-ectomy. I still think it adds a nice touch though.

There. Hopefully Mom won't forget how talented and special I am. Oh! Maybe I can create something for her for Mother's day! William... there's an idea for you! Make your Mom some art for Mother's day. Let's all do it!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mom listened to William!

So I didn't really know what was going on tonight. Mom and Dad were here, then they left and came back and smelled funny. Then they left and came back again, only this time Mom was crying. So what does this have to do with William?

Well it appears that there is a cat rescue agency right here close to us in our neighborhood, and Mom and Dad went to see other cats tonight! First they saw some kittens, then they saw and older cat who is my age... which is still technically a kitten, but the first kittens they saw were really small kittens. I only know all of this because when Mom came home and was crying and playing with me, I thought it was strange that she was crying because she never cries while we play! She always giggles and says "nice jump" or something like that. So I tried to figure out what was going on (of course while wildly chasing my feathers) and listened to her phone conversation. Anyway, it seems that Mom and Dad went to dinner and discussed getting me the older cat to have as my brother, but when they went back to visit him again, he was showing some signs of aggression and it really concerned Mom and Dad that he might be rough with me. I really wouldn't want that. So they decided to get me a sister (like William suggested!)... one of the little kittens. But Mommy was crying because she felt so bad for the older cat, especially because he's been abused in the past and lived on the street for awhile, and little kittens always find homes faster than older cats. She really wanted to take him and give him a home (so did Dad), but he would have required a lot of work... getting him to trust and feel comfortable... and since the whole point was to get a friend for me, they were reluctant to bring him home... especially since he bit them three times. Mom said if they didn't have me it would have been different, but they have to look out for my best interests as well. He's with people right now who will care for him until he finds a home... it's a no kill organization and they really have the best interests of the cats at heart, but I guess Mom just wants to save everyone. That's what Dad says. She says if we lived in a house it would be different, but right now they are limited to what they can do. So she's still sad tonight.

I guess my new sister will come next week sometime. She's only 5 weeks old right now, but she really seemed to like my Dad. I'll post more about her then. I have a feeling I'll be posting even more now. I've always wanted a sister or a brother, but I'm starting to get a little unsure about it. I'll post about that later though. For now, if you have any comments or thoughts you could share with my Mom, I would appreciate it. I don't like it when she cries. It gives me so much more work to do when I give her nightly facial.