Monday, December 12, 2011

Partying like it's Mom's birthday

Back in September, I sent my sister, kitty mom to a certain orange tabby, a little something for her birthday. I wrapped it in tissue paper, placed it in a padded mailer -- the kind with built-in bubble wrap -- and sealed the whole works with packing tape.

The envelope reached its destination intact. But minutes after my sister got it through the door, Oliver had his claws and teeth in the paper. Utterly dismayed, Bev scolded him and took the gift away, placing it where she hoped it would be out of reach. Undeterred, Oliver snatched the quarry back and reattempted to unsheath its contents.

What had gotten into her naughty boy, Bev wondered, grabbing the tattered paper before he could do even more damage. And then it dawned on her ...

"That birthday present you sent me doesn't happen to contain catnip does it?" she asked by phone, persistent yowls echoing in the background.

Of course it did -- in the form of hand-sewn toys. All was forgiven (on both sides) once the goods came out of their wrappings. Here's the proof:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bed and breakfast

When we go on vacation, it seems Meow Meow does too.

At the beginning of this year, one of Dieter's colleagues at work, who also has a cat, found out that we usually boarded Meow Meow with a local facility whenever we had to be out of town. He offered to take her instead when we visited family back in May as he had plenty of room for her -- and he loved her so much that she's been his to spoil at every travel opportunity we've had since then.

We are thankful to have someone who dotes on Meow Meow (and his own cat) so much. She gets the run of his house and more human companionship than a boarding facility can provide. Meow Meow even gets along with the resident feline, Shanti, a beautiful male who shares his food and indoor territory quite graciously. (He spends a good part of the day outdoors too while Meow Meow does not.)

During our trip to spend Thanksgiving with Dieter's family, the host of the Hotel Shanti, as Shanti's dad likes to refer to this arrangement, has sent us updates on Meow Meow, which he was happy to let us post. Here are some video stills from a lazy morning on the couch:

Shanti's obviously the kitty in the foreground. Most recently, we've heard the cats have been touching noses when they meet, which we had not seen Meow Meow ever try with Lily. Perhaps a male foster should be our next guest chez Kittitas?

Monday, November 21, 2011

A very belated Halloween update

You know that window between the last trick-or-treater ringing your doorbell and a great big turkey suddenly taking up residence in your refrigerator? Yes, I have no idea why it vanishes so quickly every year, but I think it has something to do with the appearance of Christmas decorations in every retail store I've walked into in the last two and half weeks. Somebody hand me a noisemaker; it's practically New Year's.

We feted Halloween with Dieter's Aunt Chris, who came to visit for an extended weekend filled with ghoulish activities. Meow Meow enjoyed most of it, even with the extra bustle of small children alternately screaming in terror when Dieter opened the door (he painted his face quite scarily) and clamoring for candy.

When we weren't loading up the neighbors' kids with sugar, we were carving produce with vigor. Oh yes -- we don't just do pumpkins around here. Dieter decided to break out the power tools and do coconuts.

Inspired by some crafts we saw in Hawaii, Dieter adorned his scraped-out coconut with feathers and seashells. I thought the end result was properly creepy:

But Meow Meow was unfazed.

Note, however, that she preferred to sit in Aunt Chris's lap while she was working on her pumpkin with a knife rather than risk joining Dieter and his noisier drill ...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New habits

It's always interesting to see what Meow Meow learns from interacting with visitors, human or feline. From Lily, she definitely learned to look before leaping onto the couch, for fear of surprising her mid-snooze. Lily was always quick to shoo Meow Meow back to the floor with hiss and paw.

Lately, Meow Meow's taken to exploring some of Lily's old nap spots, one of which is the nook between the couch and end table. I wouldn't have thought to look for Meow Meow there -- in the past, she'd seemed to prefer the back of the couch, where she could keep an eye on both the living room and kitchen -- but the sun-path leading to this haven was what gave her away.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We're back!

But our little gray tabby is not. When I contacted the SHS to arrange a pick-up date last week after our return, we learned that Lily was no longer at the shelter -- though she hadn't been adopted either.

I've been waiting to get the full story on Lily and finally got word yesterday. So, sorry for the long silence. Here's the news.

While we were away, the SHS had the opportunity to work with N.O.A.H., another local animal rescue. Lily was chosen to be transferred to this organization's care in hopes that the facility's "cat colony" -- a more homelike environment that allows kitties to socialize or keep to themselves as they prefer -- would be beneficial to her while also providing her exposure to a different set of potential adopters. In our home, she was happy but getting no local visitors, despite our postering efforts. She wasn't having luck at the shelter either.

I think the move makes sense if it will increase Lily's chances at finding a permanent home. We hope she's settling in at N.O.A.H. From the new picture of her on their website, it looks like she's quite cozy.

So that's the story, or at least everything we know. We'll be holding off on giving Lily's suite to another foster for the remainder of the year, but Meow Meow is happy to provide blog material while she's the sole feline chez Kittitas. (I have quite the backlog of pictures too since I was trying to keep the focus primarily on Lily while she was staying here.)

Before Meow Meow gets this space back, though, here is a send-off portrait I managed to snap while Lily was enjoying some sun on our living room floor over the summer.

Best of luck to you, little lady.

Friday, September 30, 2011

More from the sun bath

We can tell Lily is most relaxed when she stretches her long legs in front of her as she basks in the rays from our living room windows. It hasn't been easy to capture a good shot of her in this position since she heads for shadier spots when we get too close with the camera, but here are a few. (Maybe she figured I was trying out her technique by wriggling on my stomach inch by inch to get near enough to put her in focus?)

The top view, before I got parallel to the floor:

As you can see, Lily's heat-seeking senses seem to be concentrated in her front paws, which she takes turns sunning. First, the right ...

And then the left ...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lily says hi

I managed to get a paw shot while she was taking a sun bath.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to the shelter

But only temporarily.

We'll be out of town for a few weeks, so Lily will board at the SHS until we return. We're hoping she'll get lots of potential adopter attention while we're gone and, with luck, find her very own home with ever-available laps.

With Lily, we'll be taking her little fortress that we'd set up earlier in the year, when she was still intimidated by the sheer size of her kitty suite. Needless to say, she's discovered the nap-worthiness of other nooks and crannies around the house, so it's time to offer this security hideaway to another pet in need.

Before it goes, though, here are some shots from Lily's first weeks with her own personal sundeck. I'd say she definitely likes haute cuisine, no?

P.S. We have a few posts saved up for our absence, so stay tuned! There will be Lily pictures aplenty even while all of us are away.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This is not what I envisioned ...

... when Lily offered to "help" with some file cleanup chez Kittitas.

But box lids in the sun are pretty irresistible.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Of course, there are days when Meow Meow gets to the couch first. Lily seems to think it's too much effort to force her off, so she'll saunter away, meowing her discontent rather mournfully.

One day, after Lily had abandoned the couch for a while, I couldn't find her in her usual spots -- behind the end table in the living room, next to the scratching post, in her own kitty suite. Where was she? I wondered.

In a new kitty bed she'd claimed for her own.

Meow Meow rarely ventures into the library, so I have a feeling this spot is safe from usurpers.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Some manners, please

In the months that Lily's made herself at home with us, Meow Meow's been quite tolerant of her. No attempts to prevent her from going where she pleases, no territorial stances (unless cornered), no aggression in general -- which we've been quite pleased about.

What Meow Meow can't bear, though, is being left out of a good snuggle on the couch. If Lily is in my lap, she'll jump up on the back of the sofa and perch there, tapping my shoulder for some attention too. She knows Lily won't share the seat cushions with her -- but once Lily falls asleep, she'll hop down and join us. Most of the time, this strategy works well.

Except when, in her enthusiasm for a belly rub, Meow Meow flicks her tail into Lily's face.

I don't have a picture of what happened about 15 seconds after I took this shot, but let's just say Lily won't be letting Meow Meow forget proper tail etiquette anytime soon ...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is that ...

... what I think it is?

It's got two legs and they're parallel to the floor. Might it be a lap?

Nope, decidedly not. I don't do knees, you know. They slope -- suboptimal for sitting on. I mean, really, how do you expect me to -- oh wait. Wait! I didn't mean for you to go away; where are you going?

The sofa? THE SOFA! Oh please, please sit down, please, please, please ...

Okay. Now no more walking around for the rest of the day. Lily says so.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The grass is always greener ...

Oh, wistful Lily. We've had our windows open to keep the house cool over the last few weeks, and she's been jonesing for a romp in the garden. At every chance she gets, she hops up on a sill and gazes longingly through the screens at those prime prowling grounds. (According to her paperwork, her previous owner of ten years allowed her to roam outdoors in summer.)

Unfortunately, we can't let Lily explore -- our neighborhood has some significant coyote traffic -- but she still dreams about the possibility.

Follow-up note: We figured out what's happened to Lily's profile on the SHS website. Because there are so many animals that need homes, their profiles are rotated on and off the site so as not to overwhelm potential adopters browsing for a furry friend. If you have questions about Lily for the folks at the Humane Society, we have direct contact information now posted in our sidebar.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All tucked in

Lily would like you to know that her favorite napping positions are very compact ones:

Which means she would take up very little space in your bed, if you were willing to share.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


If you remember, Meow Meow was a fiend for microfiber when we first brought her home, so she was having a field day with our couches until we took a trip to the fabric store and got her some microfiber she could scratch to her heart's content. Of course, then we discovered she liked corrugated cardboard even more, and the scratching post became significantly less interesting to her.

Well, the scratching post has a new best friend.

Lily loved it when we sprinkled catnip at the base, but she didn't really scratch so much as rub her head all over it. Out of curiosity, we decided to remove the microfiber wrapping last week, and now, it's her first stop on her morning rounds of the living room. See?

Okay, I admit, it's hard to pick her out in front of the fireplace. You could say Lily knows just how to blend in ... ?

Technical note: we've been alerted that Lily's profile on the Humane Society website has gone missing, but we're hoping to find out what's happened soon. If you're interested in meeting Lily or just have questions about her, you can still contact us directly at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why yes, I'd like to sleep on your tummy

Matt and Mary are friends of ours who passed through Seattle while on their honeymoon last month. They fell in love with both our kitty residents, but Lily especially benefited from their visit. Clearly, there cannot be too many laps chez Kittitas for our sweet gray girl.

I don't think Lily was quite ready for Matt and Mary to return to St. Louis when they had to leave again. (We don't blame her.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting closer ...

The rush of visitors is past for the moment, and life chez Kittitas is a little bit closer to normal again. Rather, new normal -- over the last month, Lily and Meow Meow have continued to establish a relationship of sorts (each more or less tolerating the other). They still hiss and growl when they come across each other unexpectedly, but most of the time, both cats coexist without drama.

I'm not sure exactly what shifted, but I suspect that the allure of this naptime spot has forced both kitties to learn how to share. (Though Lily clearly would prefer to have it all to herself.)

Don't let that disgruntled look fool you. Both cats were purring after I put down the camera.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Night and day

Lily's most active around 10 p.m., or so we've decided after observing her over the last few weeks. While the sun's up, she's usually curled into a tiny ball, happily sleeping away the hours in whatever corner suits her around the house.

In the evening, though, right around the same hour, we usually find her prowling the living room, making her rounds to the catnip -- we leave a generous sprinkling around the scratching post, which she likes to rub her head on -- and meowing for attention.

We are, of course, delighted to oblige her, especially now that she makes it so easy. Yep, she comes to us regularly now when she wants petting:

(Forgive the dim lighting; Lily's not a fan of the flash.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Turning a corner

In anticipation of a week's worth of visitors (two different sets, back to back!), Dieter moved the couches in our living room so that they'd be more conversation friendly -- face to face, rather than at right angles.

What does this have anything to do with Lily? Well, note her position:

Suddenly, the high-traffic walkway from the kitchen to the stairs and the garage is visible along its entire length from the safety of one spot on the floor (before, the couch was aligned parallel to the corridor, offering a more limited view). For Lily, this means more hanging out rather than having to change to "safer" observation points every time someone moves. Our guests arrived Sunday, and not only has Lily stayed close by, but she's also adjusted to these new presences very quickly. (Oh yes, she's even asked for kitty love from these total strangers.)

Amazing what a little change can do.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A few more anniversaries

We're home and so are the kitties! Both are glad to be back in our house. Lily's soaking up the sun from the big window in her room and Meow Meow is in her usual place -- waiting by my chair at the kitchen table as soon as she smells coffee.

Thursday was Meow Meow's one-year adoption anniversary, so in honor of her, we're devoting this post to some videos I've been saving for a while. There are innumerable reasons we love her; these are just a few:

Her daily greetings ...

Our morning routine ...

And, of course, the irresistible tap-tap-tap she offers when she wants love. It's the move that stole my heart and I've never regretted it.

The other special somebody who has a certain claim on my affections married me five years ago today, so we'll be celebrating that anniversary this weekend as well. Without further ado, then, we're off! Till next week, friends :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Plans afoot

Guess who hopped up here all by herself ...

... while a certain other kitty was hanging out on a favorite cushion? (Hint: it wasn't Meow Meow.)

There were no hisses, swats, or growls from either cat when Lily decided to claim a seat on the couch. And for a good part of the evening, this arrangement seemed to be quite agreeable.

I've been slow to post these shots, which I took on the last day of May -- an imminent visit from family had us scrambling to finish some home improvement projects for a bit. So my apologies. I'm happy to say, though, that intermittent exposure has offered us some real success in getting Lily and Meow Meow used to each other.

It will take more time until we're comfortable letting them hang out together unsupervised, but we'll keep at it. After we get back from our own visit to see family (D's side), that is. We leave in a week! Which means I need to start getting the kitties ready for our absence. At the moment, I don't think they suspect anything unusual in their schedule ...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And now, an update

Spaghetti and Meatball, the pair of kitties whom we fostered last spring, celebrated their one-year adoption anniversary in late May. Happiness and good wishes to you, girls!

In honor of our former fosters, we have an update with photos from their mom, Laura:

Spaghetti is WEIRD. She is our jittery not-that-little kitty, but she has lost 2 more pounds this year! She was resistant to extended affection/pets/attention for a long time, so we let her be until she told us she was ready for loves. Her and I have a morning routine that involves snuggles that makes my heart go all squishy. Her favorite places to hang out are on our bed in a cave of blankets (when the bed isn't made, she will burrow into the comforter), on top of the couch looking out the window to ensure no birds are in the neighborhood for long (I'm guessing -- I really have no idea what she's looking for) and in the enclosed penthouse of the kitty condo.

Meatball warmed up the fastest and has been granting tummy rubs for at least 11 months. She's a pretty little princess -- fastidiously grooming and adorably prancing around the house. Meatball runs to the door when Adam gets home (and maybe me, but I'm not inside to see it), even if she's in the middle of an extended affection or grooming session. It's very sweet and one of my favorite things she does. She still does the reach up for her meals, which is another one of my favorite Meatball tricks. :) Her favorite places to hang out are in the kitty bed on the window seat, the edge of our bed and on an office chair we have. Her least favorite part of the last year was her haircut; I think she is pretty vain. :)

Delighted to know all is well! Thanks, Laura, for the news.
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