The last couple of days have been perfectly warm and yet not humid, not hot. It has felt as though Toronto had been lunging between rain and attempts at heat. And maybe that pattern will reassert– we can’t know anything about what the weather will do now – but I feel as if summer did have cat days, this will be them. Long, perfect for napping, lazy but not fully languorous.
Besides that, our cats are filled with wonder and delight because their favorite reality show, Adolescent Squirrels Leave Home! (season two) is currently playing in our front yard.
Sadly, they don’t have access to Raccoons invade local record Shop, playing just down the road at Kop’s Records on Queen Street.
Because I am interested in and writing about things like rationing, food security and small scale economies, I’ve also been watching a bunch of UK quasi-reality shows called Wartime Farm, Edwardian Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm … well, you get the idea. It’s a shared universe proposition, featuring a trio of archaeologists and historians who don period clothes and go work historical farms within Britain, using the technologies and techniques of the era suggested by the show’s title.
The Farm shows are a bit of a drift from our usual fare, which leans heavily to British murder mystery and period drama interspersed with things like the latest incarnation of The Tick and Fleabag, but Kelly and I have found them wildly compelling. I think I could watch people build improvise and tend kilns, making bricks out in the middle of nowhere, every day for the rest of my life.
Another appeal of the farm shows, besides soft research, is they underline very strongly how much wood a person had to have access to, and burn, to achieve any measure of comfortable living. Making charcoal for kilns, then burning the charcoal. Boiling salt to refine it. Smelting, blacksmithing, keeping water hot… I get that trees can be big and weigh a lot, but it’s a sobering look at resource use, a reminder that we still use all that fire and more besides—we just don’t see where it comes from.
According to my app which counts all the things, it has been 1283 days since we adopted Lorenzo and Chinchilla, i.e. kidnapped them from their feral life in backyard Etobicoke and conveyed them to the lap of luxury. Here’s a pic of them from that day, snuggling on the bathroom rug.
The kids are a joy. Unlike our two previous cat pairs, they like each other. We’re very invested in this: this very morning Kelly shot video of them washing each others’ faces adorably. Buddha and Obiwan existed in a state of perpetual low-grade truce. Rumble bullied Minnow on a regular basis. These guys wash each others’ faces! Oh. Em. Whee!
And, as you may know, we spoil them heckin’ rotten. Sometimes Kelly and I refer to our lovely windows, which look out on our birch trees and the building courtyard, as CatTV. By this we mean she turns on CatTV every morning, before we leave for work, by setting out feed for sparrows. Generally speaking a good time is had by all.
Anyway. Today CatTV got tuned to the Holy Shit Orange Cat is Back Network.
The kids get excited and periodically stroppy about all sorts of the things on the fishbowl side of their universe. Squirrels. Our newest chipmunk friend. Raccoons. They have been known to fling themselves at the sparrows. They’ve even gotten into some through the glass growl-ups with orange cat before. No big, right? That’s entertainment.
Except today Orange Cat was hurling himself right back at them. All three cats ended up in the same square meter of space, with glass separating my babies from the interloper, and all three of them helicoptering each of their four limbs mightily. Which meant that Orange Cat bounced, and CinCin and Lozo got into a second’s worth of fur-flying hard-core yowling panic-driven battle. Three times, because Orange Cat bounces back.
Were they freaked out? Holy crap were they freaked.
Lozo peed. CinCin pooped. They both came away from the encounter 100% convinced that Orange Cat had got into the house, adopted the guise of their sibling, and was even now plotting the downfall of the regime. She growled. He yowled. Both of them with tails puffed out and an overall attitude of Kill, Kill, Kill.
Holy shit, Orange Cat, you broke my kids! I spent the afternoon trying to chill them the fuck out: keeping them separated, vaccuming (as a way of giving them a common enemy, which worked a little, for awhile) and eventually giving CinCin a huge-ass time-out in the bathroom.
So that was my day, complete with cleaning body fluids off the living room floor. It was better than their day, but not by much.
Urchin CheeChee Feathers, or sometimes Mrs. CheeChee Feathers.
Runt (though she weighs over 2 kilos now, CinCin was definitely the runt of her litter. She got weighed on Wednesday during her abortive spay attempt. We haven’t tried to weigh Lozo lately, but he’s at least a third bigger. And feels like warm, muscular concrete.)
Speaking of whom…
Michelin Man – because he’s muscular and taut as an overinflated tire.
Flip and Flop
Fric and Frac
Thing One and Thing Two
I know you all needed, desperately, to know this.
We also need to come up with an alto part for the Parry Gripp song “Weiner Dog,” because CinCin comes running whenever we play the video or sing it ourselves, and I think hearing it in two part harmony would blow her tiny little mind. She likes things with soprano notes, go figure.
Assuming their approximate birthdate at the beginning of April is correct, the babies are about twelve and a half weeks old now.
They’re getting noticeably into adolescence. Lorenzo is still bigger than Chinchilla, but she put on a recent growth spurt. Overnight, it seems, she grew the face and long legs of a teenager cat.
We are keeping them out of the bedroom at night. I’d like to get to a point where they might join us, but a good night’s rest is more precious than rubies. And right now they’re hitting the stroppy and disobedient phase of kittenhood, so there’s no way we want them cycloning around the bed in the wee hours.
I expect to be shouting “You’re not my supervisor!” on their behalf a lot in the next few months, by way of channeling their obvious response to our trying to introduce them to the laughable concepts of No, Bad Cat! and/or Geddown! I found Lorenzo sleeping on the dish-drying towel last night, having shoved all the glasses and other things aside to make room for his lanky body. CinCin dove through the hanging metal measuring cups this afternoon–clang, clang, dangle dangle!–and knocked the coffeemaker over on her way back to the floor. She’d probably been checking out what’s behind the microwave after a wander around the stove.
Even in naughtiness, they are adorable.
I had been keeping an eye on the various kabillions of photos I take of them, looking for something that might make the cut for Cats of Instagram, and when CinCin yawned in the face of the iPhone not long ago I got one that I knew was a great prospect. CoI put it up on Monday, and within 24 hours something like 60,000 people had liked it. Holy crap, eh? My baby’s a star!
Just now, to blow their little kitty minds, I put some ice cubes in their water fountain. They are staring at it in wonder and terror–you’d think it had grown tadpoles.
Miriam Williams at Inky Realms liked Child of a Hidden Sea to the tune of 4.5 out of five stars, praising it for having a racially diverse cast and gay characters, and even shipping Parrish/Bram. (Pramwell? Brammish?) She also felt the book needed a map, while acknowledging my earlier note about why this was challenging. (Short answer: too much ocean, not enough land.)
The review gave a nice lift to a peculiar weekend; I had an anaphylactic reaction at immunotherapy Friday. While it wasn’t serious, it wasn’t fun either. I was at the clinic for hours, in what turned out to be a real hip-wrecker of a chair, and was left creaky and wheezy all weekend. On Saturday we took the kitties in for their second round of immunizations–they are in perfect health, and have put on another half-pound or so each.
Though CinCin has a feather allergy–did I tell you this? I feel extra smug about having plucked her out of the wild given that she’d have sneezed constantly whenever hunting or eating birdkind.
July is busy time at K’s office, so we both worked a fair amount on Sunday.
Good things abounded: we made it to the edge of Pride in time for a Stonewall reenactment and the obligatory sighting of a well-built guy dancing in sandals and a posing pouch, the Met in HD rebroadcast of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte was delightful, and we followed that up with delicious, delicious sandwiches at Corned Beef House. We watched Austenland and I liked it–which wouldn’t have stopped me from rewriting it significantly if I was in charge of the universe–and tried out The West Wing on Netflix.