Saturday, March 01, 2014

Unpredictable Cats on Film

At the time that I uploaded this video to Youtube, I couldn't remember why I had filmed it in the first place, but now I remember it clearly and the back story is hilarious to me. It had been a gorgeous Spring or Summer day, and I had been out and about getting a lot of shopping and things done. I had driven my scooter down that hill at least three times that same day, and the wind was blowing at just the right way that Diamond's ears would be tickled wildly and his ears would start flapping rapidly, almost as if he was trying to take flight and making me crack up in the process. Finally I knew I wouldn't be this direction again for the rest of the day, so I pulled out my camera, determined to get video of the phenomenon. Sure enough, as soon as I hit record, his ears became rock steady. *Sigh.* "Watch the Ears!"

The Return of the Service Cat

After a long hiatus of basically mental health recovery, Diamond and I are back. I'll be resuming regular posts very soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fresh Diamond Videos! Now with Scooter!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Diamond in the snow, 2008.

Those of you who read Heinlein know that cats believe we humans are directly in charge of the weather. Here's some video of Diamond inspecting my work and not finding it up to par.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Training a kitten to use a scratching post.

If your kitten still has claws, the scratching post is almost as important as the litter box. If you have room in the house, you should even consider having more than one of both.

Whenever the kitten goes to scratch somewhere else, pick him up, talk to him gently while carrying him over to his scratching post, and set him there. As SOON as he "gets it" and starts scratching it, overreact with joy and pet him and tell him how good he is. It'll cause him to experience endorphins that he'll associate with the scratching post. Give him a treat for extra measure.

If after a week he's still not getting it, take his front paws in your thumb and index finger, press them GENTLY, causing his claws to pop out, and very gently drag them along his scratching post in a top-to-bottom motion. Do this four or five times with each paw slowly and gently, talking soothingly to the kitty, then let go. Then, pretend you're a kitty and scratch the post yourself, and make it clear you think you're having the time of your life doing it.

Remember: You're Mommy now, and the kitten will watch you for clues on what to do to grow up into a proper cat. When in doubt, show the cat how to do something manually.

I didn't have this problem with Diamond; his previous owners had him declawed. I personally don't believe in de-clawing cats, but it wouldn't stop me from adopting a given cat.
Crossed Paws.

Does anyone else have cats who cross there paws when they're relaxed and hanging out? Diamond does this, I just haven't managed to capture it on camera before because he moves around a lot unless he's sleeping. I haven't posted a picture in a bit either, so it's about time. ;)

In which Diamond and I get our grooves on!

I don't have any extra money to actually buy this, but I'm very happy that this year we can actually purchase our creations if we want to!

A similar service, but I haven't been able to get Diamond's mouth to line up with the animated mouth properly yet:

Friday, December 12, 2008


I have Spina Bifida Occulta and am partially paralysed from the waist down. Additionally, I have arthritus which makes getting around in cold weather even more difficult.

I'm trying to raise money for a new mobility scooter, since my old one broke down last February. This won't be for a teeny little scooter to get me just around the house or the block, but a heavy-duty beauty that will break down less easily than a lighter one, will have knobby snow-resistant tires, will travel up to 10 m.p.h., and will travel 35 miles between charges! This will definitely be an upgrade for me: My old scooter, though beloved, went 25 miles per charge, and only 4 m.p.h.

We've been working on this since October, and are quite close to our goal. We need to raise $600 more to get this scooter, and it could come as quickly as 10 days from now, which would bring it before Christmas -- in time for me to do my holiday travelling in safety and greatly reduced stress!

I will NOT have any personal access to this money: this button goes straight to the medical supply company, Deacon's Medical of Colfax, Washington, that is custom-ordering the scooter for me, and will pay for the scooter itself. Any funds that go over the goal of $600 will be used for future upkeep of the scooter itself -- which can add up to quite a bit, too.

ALL donations are welcome! This began with a call for just 50 cents per person, and we're already over $1500!

Merry Christmas, and God bless you whether you have the ability to donate or not!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In which Diamond escapes the house

Originally written yesterday.

As I begin typing this, Diamond is proudly licking the rainwater and grass residue off of his paws and he is clearly enjoying it, much to my aggravation.

Then, I turned to him and pointed to his nose and started to chant my usual mantra when he misbehaves: "You're short, your belly sticks out, and you're a terrible burden on your mudder!" However before I could speak, he sniffed my finger, and then gently nommed on it, snuggled it, yawned, and walked away. Clearly, the effects of my disciplinary techniques upon him are waning.

The other night I was settling in to write some blog entries. It was about a quarter after midnight. In fact I was just about to start writing the first "how-to" entry of leash, harness, and lead-training a cat. Diamond started running band-and-forth from the bedroom windows to the dining room window that sits behind me, something he does with a fair amount of regularity; we have a lot of rabbits in the neighborhood. Sometimes I look outside to see who he's obsessing about and sometimes I don't. He was behind me in the window and began chattering softley, so I decided to take a look. To my vague surprise it was a cat and not a bunny.

I got up, opened the window, and talked to her a bit. She was a pretty grey and white little thing, and I was pleased and surprised when she responded to my voice, indeed she was more interested in me than she was in Diamond. I wanted to see if I could get her into the house to check her out and give her some food, so I opened the door slightly and started talking to her some more. Diamond jumped down from the window sill, but I didn't believe that he would actually run out. Meanwhile, the kitty was coming right up to the door, clearly happy at being about to get some loving. Suddenly, Diamond shot between my legs, out the door and after the kitty, who ran away to the front of my apartment.

I stood there in shock for several long moments, in part, listening for Diamond. I couldn't ask my next door neighbor for help; she's afraid of cats, and I couldn't get upstairs to my new upstairs neighbor. I have his phone number but in my shock I couldn't remember what his name was. I tried to call Dorrie, but she had turned her phone off. The terrain in the front of my apartment is such that I wouldn't be able to travel on it safely in my wheelchair, and I was at too much risk of slipping and falling in my crutches. Finally I ran across the parking lot to my one neighbor I could get to. I felt terrible for waking her up so late, but if Diamond got into the street and didn't hear a car coming up behind him, that would be worse. It took her a moment to wake up and get up to speed with me, but then she joined me within a couple of minutes. I turned on all of the lights in my apartment, hoping that the light would make Diamond more reflective. She went down to the street first. I went to my bedroom and opened the window, where we could talk to each other.

I suddenly spotted Diamond less than five feet away from my window, and my voice started the kitty, who ran away from my window and into the bushes. Diamond followed her more slowly, seeming to hesitate between following her and coming to me. I let my friend know where he was, and began pressing my hand against the window screen, making the stop-sign symbol that I had learned to train Diamond to recognise as "sit." The kitty seemed frightened by my friend, and ran away across the street. I was terrified that Diamnd would follow her, but it didn't happen. Diamond saw the hand, walked a couple of feet, chuffed in displeasure... and sat. Meanwhile, I guided my friend towards him. She was able to sneak up behind him and scoop him up. Diamond was surprised, but he also likes being carried by people who know how, and I clearly saw him make a contented face as she began to carry him around to the other side of the apartment.

She brought him in and we chatted a couple of minutes in which I thanked her profusely, and then she gratefully went back to bed. I posted briefly to LJ as you saw, ate some soup, and then crashed heavily in relief. Diamond doesn't appear to understand that he had done anything wrong at all. That'll be the last time for some time that I open the door to a strange animal without putting him on leash first, until he can show me that he isn't going to go gallavanting off without permission.

Sign language saves the day! ~Le flop.~
In which Diamond rocks the Crimson and Gray!

Oh man, I completely failed to add this during the football season, and for that I apologize.

Originally written November 25th, 2008:


About two years before I bought Diamond his cat-tower, I bought a decorative bird house and hung it up in my living room, largely because its red and goes with the living room decor.

Thank God Diamond doesn't realize what the bird house is supposed to be for. Moments go I just realized that the cat tower is about three feet below said bird house.

Picture forthcoming.
Originally written November 28th, 2008:

Genius Cat, Straaaange Cat, Part III

"Lack of thumbs be darned!!!" ~Yaggie Diamond Simon Rodovsky

o.O You know, sometimes I sit and I wonder exactly how my cat's gigantic brain FITS into that itty bitty skull. I would need a miner's helmet with a 24/7 camera attached to catch all of the abnormal stuff he does.

I just caught my 13 lb. cat trying to drag the 30 lb canister of cat litter over to his litter box. o.O Of course the moment I arrived he poofed up in surprise, then scrambled out of the way so I could take over, leaving no chance for video evidence.

Diamond, the Sleep Specialist.

You know, eight times, almost in a row, you'd think I'd learn. Every evening at 6 p.m., Diamond leads me into the bedroom, and I think he's going to beg for food, instead he gets me in bed for a cuddle. I lay down with him and every time I think, "Okay, just until he stops purring and falls asleep." Instead, *I* fall asleep first - and sleep through the night.

Most of the time I've been waking between 3-4 a.m., but for some reason this time I slept all of the way until 7:15 a.m. Either way, waking at 3:30 a.m. is MUCH better than not being able to sleep UNTIL 3:30 a.m. at the earliest!

Hmmm... now, how to bottle and package Diamond for other insomniacs. ;)

Friday, September 05, 2008

GOOD Kitty!

Diamond is notoriously afraid of dogs, so today he down-right startled me by being gentle, calm, and quiet around a small 7 week-old Pekinese puppy. It wasn't because the puppy was quiet, once Diamond smacked an 8 week-old pug puppy. It was one of the few times I was thankful that Diamond is declawed, other than that I'm very against animal declawing. He showed some concern about the puppy's presence, but he absolutely behaved himself and didn't growl at all.

Only good can come of this. :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Diamond's Youtube Debut

I'm sorry that I've been neglecting this journal for so long. I had really spotty access to an Internet connection for a long time. I finally have dedicated Internet once more, and even better, now I have access to creating VIDEO!

Therefore, to celebrate the grand-reopening as it were, I present to you video of Diamond enjoying a car ride in segments:

Diamond, his leash now on, begs with his facial expressions to go out:

Diamond takes his time crawling up into the car:

Diamond carefully supervises Flea, the wheelchair, bieng stowed away:

The main event; Diamond enjoys riding in a car on a sunny day:

Diamond shows off his comedic timing and unpredictability:

We hope you enjoyed this! I don't know if you can make the viewing windows any smaller, but the videos are clearer if they're smaller.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I apologize that I haven't been around in _forever._ No, I haven't closed or given up on this blog, I just didn't have consistent Internet access. I suggest you duck: LOTS and LOT of photos are coming this way! :D

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rumors my dissappearance have been greatly exaggerated.

I've totally been forgetting to post about this, though I've been meaning to write about it.

About a couple of weeks ago, another woman's service cat went missing. Her friends got an add in the paper for her, and a couple of days after that a woman came up to me and said, "Oh, I'm so glad you got your service cat back!"

Of course since Diamond's never been missing, I replied with the ever eloquent, "Huh?"

So I was very surprised to find out at all that Diamond wasn't the only service cat in Pullman in the first place.

I can imagine the woman's stress. You would seriously have to hospitalize me if Diamond went missing. And by the way, you can microscip your animals, here in Pullman it's a very economical $35 at Diamond's vetrinary office, Alpine Animal Hospital.

But I digress. So I located a copy of the woman's add, and I called her. She's a very nice lady but she isn't able to get out of the house to look for her cat for herself. I'm going to call her tomorrow and find out if her service cat, Rambo, is still missing. If he is, I'm going to go search for him myself.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

How to leash and harness train a cat. Part 1.

Here's a topic I've been meaning to write about for weeks.

I get a lot of people who come up to me and express their surprise that Diamond is so willing to stay calmly on his harness and lead. They often tell me that they tried to leash-train their cat, but that it didn't work.

Leash and harness training a cat isn't that much harder than training a dog, it just takes longer and more patience. Also, while it is possible to train a dog with both a positibve and negative rewards system, in my own experience cats only seem to accept training with the positive rewards system. You can put a collar and lead onto a dog and the dog will accept it more quickly, I believe dogs have been with us longer and have had more time to get aquainted with the lead -- I think -- and that's why cat's don't automatically aclimate to the lead. Most people put the lead on their cat and give up in dismay after the first or second time after their cat throws a tantrum.

Diamond was physically in a harness when I adopted him, and seemed oblivious to its presence. He was only nine months old, so I must assume that he had been harness-trained long before he'd been put up for adoption. But I have personally trained other cats to accept harnesses and leads before Diamond.

The first point is that if at all possible, it is important to begin harness training when the kitten is as young as possible. The second point is that a collar is okay for a cat if you don't intend to leash-train the cat at all, but if you are, a harness with the lead is better for the cat, ergonomically. If you have an older cat it's okay and it is still possible to train him or her to accept a harness and lead, it's just going to take longer.

First, put a collar on the kitten or cat, if you haven't done so already. It needs to be the non-breakaway kind, so that the cat will get used to bieng ina device it can't get out of any time it wants to. If your cat's already used to a collar, you're ready to begin the real fun. ;)

First, I highly recommend that you bring the cat with you to the pet store or vet's office when choosing his or her first harness. This way a professional can help you choose the precise right size for your cat, and show you exactly how the harness is supposed to go onto the cat's body. Remember: You should always be able to fit two fingers in between the neck strap and the body strap, to allow for comfortable breathing, movement, and of course growth.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Slayer of Evil Toilet paper Rolls!

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OH HI!!! There once was an Evil Roll of Toilet paper here, but I have destroyed it for you. No need to be afraid anymore. I'm so proud of myself. Aren't you proud of me too?

Got anymore TP for me to kill!?

Friday, April 20, 2007


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tap tap! Tap tap tap tap tap!

I've written before about how I learned from an Animal Planet BBC program called Barking Mad that I could teach Diamond sign language to better communicate with him.

Since I last wrote about that, I've taught Diamond through the use of the thumbs up signal and treats that if he politely taps me on the hand or arm, he'll get a treat. It's the sign language equivalent of "Please may I have a treat, Mommy?" and it works. It's MUCH more convenient for both of us than a random YOWL in a public place. X-D

He's also learned "sit." We're still working on "come," and he hasn't figured out "stay" yet.
It's almost the end of the semester, and we've had one the worst shooting in American history this week.

The "NO TOUCH THE CAT!" rule is suspended until the day after WSU's graduation day.

Snuggle away, Boogah.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I've been rather text intensive for the last couple of posts, so its time for a picture!

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Diamond says: "Stick with 'Natural Choice' cat food, mom! I'm not crazy about broccoli."

(Picture is an illusion created using tiny dots of wet food, LOL.)
Feeding Domestic Pets Raw Meat.

I want to highlight some more knowledgeable perspectives than mine, here are a couple of informative comments I recieved in my last entry:

trixiefirecat said...
the people i've read so far highly recommend wellness wet food as well [human grade meat & no grain filler]. i transitioned my cats off kibble with it, adding a little water, and their coats got softer, thicker & shinier in the first week.

another nice thing you can do for your cat is get some wild salmon oil in gel caps [bottles of it go rancid quickly with air exposure] and squeeze them into their food. they love the smell & flavor, and it's really good for them [something added to all raw food diets].

Curt said...
We have a pack of 6 farm dogs and they all mean the world to our family. And we have fed a raw food diet for years.

But there are so many products out there that are supposed to be raw that aren't. And this craze of "cooking for your pet" is going to hurt alot of animals. You should NEVER cook meat meant for a dog.

Another thing I see being tossed around that is so incorrect is the idea that bones are bad for dogs. Again, absolutely incorrect. CooCooked bones are bad dogs. Raw bones are an essential factor for thier health.

We only feed Oma's Pride meats b/c they come from the same processing plant that produces human consumption products and everything is USDA inspected. We are in Houston so we order from but there are quality raw suppliers all over the country.

And really b/c we feed so much less raw (2.5% of the body a day) versus kibble (easily twice that to keep weight) it isn't that much more expensive. It gets expensive when people go to Kroger or some other retail grocery store or when they order from a distant vendor.

We love our animals and the small amount of time and pennie is well worth thier health.

However, there are dangers to be considered. A friend of mine who is in Veterinary school told me;

Raw food diets are typically bad for your pets. For one thing, they usually lack essential nutrients, like calcium. For another thing, they also expose your pet to all sorts of food born diseases and parasites, like salmonella. And even if your pet doesn't get sick, it can still be a carrier for the disease and can spread it to other people. In my nutrtion class we learned about one family in Germany (I think it was Germany) that fed their cat a raw food diet and she ended up spreading e.coli to their daughter. The daughter got very sick and had to be hospitalized.

As I said before, I won't be making home-made meals for Diamond, because I know I don't have the knowledge, time, money, and skills necessary. Furthermore, I've had e. coli in my kidneys TWICE in my life already without my own assistance, and can't possibly afford to do that to myself again.

Its important to get as much information as possible if you're serious about home-making your pets' meals.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Food scare prompts pet owners to retreat to own kitchens.

Something someone posted in Live Journal:

hi, i feed my cats a raw meat diet. homemade cat & dog food is a great idea, i'm just here to tell you, there are things to know about their nutrition that make their diets a little more complicated than just cooking food at home. here's a good article about how cats need special supplements, please do a lot of research before starting your pets on homemade food. they have different needs than we do:

and this woman is an excellent resource for raw food & holistic pet health:

As anyone else with a pet, I've been watching this pet food recall closely, doing research, et cetera. Diamond means the world to me... you'd have to hospitalize me if Diamond died any time in the near future. ...Perhaps someday if I married I could cope with such a loss without a temporary stay in a rubber room, but not now.

Anyway, I read (and hear, etc.) that a lot of people are resorting to home-cooking meals for their pets. Personally I couldn't POSSIBLY afford to do it right, so I'm not even going to try. By asking a local pet store, I've found out that a brand called Natural Choice doesn't contain any wheat gluten, or other glutens, so I'll probably be switching to that. Diamond's vet told me last month that Diamond should have wet food about once a week for his kidney health, so I've already bought some, and Diamond's tried the "Venison and green pea," and liked it a lot. (Then again,it was GUSHY FOODS, so he could be just grateful. But he did eat it cheefully.)

I listened to some guest on CNN speak disnmissively about how "its just too hard" for people to home cook for their pets. Now, I disagree with her dismissiveness and I don't think it's THAT hard for anyone who is willing to make an honest effort at it.

At the same time, I hope people are bieng VERY cautious if they do decide to get into the home pet food hobby for their beloved animals, I agree that it IS more involved that it would seem.