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. ;)