April 1 Brings More Cold and Snow (but warm and toasty kitties).
The air has been getting a bit milder and people have been getting a bounce in their step. Not only have they thinking of spring, the sidewalks haven't been all covered with frozen slush and ice. The dirty mounds of accumulated snow had almost melted, revealing the detritus of the winter -- piles of sanding grit, lost gloves, abandoned toys, and plenty of litter. But the grass, although sodden and matted, flattened by months of snow, was just beginning to show some signs of life. So when the forecast came for yet another bout of snow, "Winter storm warning in effect: high winds, snow, freezing rain, hazardous conditions", we hoped it would turn out to be an April Fool's joke. But, no. It was yet another dumping of snow, slippery and wet and heavy to shovel. A lot of us got depressed.
Here's the view out our front window yesterday morning, April 1st:
Not that it looked dismal and bleak all winter. To be fair, it can be pretty here.
Below are some shots of Tischer Creek park, the park I featured in posts this fall. The snowy shots were taken around Christmas and New Year's, after fresh snowfalls, on frigid clear days. My daughter, who was still here then, helped me not fall down the snow-clogged steps and trails. I have paired the winter shots with photos of the same places from the early fall, to show the difference a season makes.
We have had some sunshine and delight this winter, but it's from cats, not the weather. The cat fan readers of this journal will remember that we finally got our two new kittens on Christmas Day, just after they'd turned five months old. (Look here if you want to see that post.) In the meantime, they've grown to be almost eight months old.
Charles is still sneezy, though nothing like when he got here. In fact it may be a permanent condition, either from a herpes-like virus that keeps recurring, like cold sores in humans, or because of some unidentified allergy. But he's our happy little snuffle-nosed thug, always wanting to wrestle and leap out at anyone passing, be head-butted, dive into his food and have a cuddle-thon after. In for his rabies shot, the vet said he might grow out of it, but he might not. Otherwise, the vet called him a healthy cat in great shape.
Elsa went in for her pre-op check-up to be spayed in February, where we found out she had terrible gingivitis -- on her brand new gums and teeth! -- so we've been squirting a rinse on them three times a day and she seems almost completely over it. The vet said she didn't have Bartonella, a contagious cat disease of which gingivitis and mouth inflammation is a symptom, and she's way too young to have dirty teeth, so she thought Elsa might have an immune system that simply goes into overdrive in the presence of normal food debris and tartar. "Weak genes", my husband said, smiling, burrowing his face in ecstatically purring Elsa-belly. But it may be true; we've had so many health issues with our cats over the years. Perhaps Siamese cats are a weak breed. But they're so cute, so funny, and such lovable, noisy characters, we just can't resist them.
Angelo, our eight-year old, for whom we got the kittens so he wouldn't be so lonely after the deaths of his companions this summer, Pixie and Raoul, still is trying to bite their necks and pin them down every day, but not as much. He does love watching them, and sleeping with them, once they settle down. If one of them is stuck in a closet or out in the garage, he'll stand by the door and cry until someone comes to their rescue. It's a love-hate relationship, but more love than hate, we think.
Below are some photos of Elsa in her "post-surgical collar", to keep her from pulling out her sutures from the spaying. I thought it looked more like a cape, or a ballet skirt, as she trotted around the house in her tippy-toe way, the skirt-like collar bouncing like a dancer's tu-tu. But although she may have looked dainty, as can be seen from the second shot, it didn't keep her from launching into Charles.
Elsa in her "Eliza-soft" collar:
Elsa takes Charles down:
Just to show how they've grown, their bodies bigger and their points darker, below is a series of photos of the cats in their favourite basket. They were taken a little more than a week ago, March 23rd. They've grown quite a lot, Charles much bigger and beefier than tiny little Elsa. Still, they are little compared to Angelo, our former baby. Now Angelo seems like a huge cat to us, because of the comparison. He's still our darling boy, even if the coming of the kittens has changed him. I think he's happier than he was in his loneliness, but there is no doubt that they get on his nerves, with all their running around, pouncing on him and biting his ears and tail. He's becoming a very good sport, though, taking over the role of our previous "old guy" cat, Raoul.
Kitties in their basket: Angelo, Charles and Elsa, March 23, 2009: