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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

April 1 Brings More Cold and Snow (but warm and toasty kitties).

Posted on 2009.04.02 at 16:40
Tags: ,

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:







~ Mechtild


pearlette at 2009-04-02 22:33 (UTC) (Link)
Catpile! LOL.

Your cats are so beautiful! I want to reach through my computer screen and pet them. :)

And what intelligent faces they have.

Elsa tackling Charles is very funny. :D

I am grateful for the English spring, which arrived more than a week ago and is getting well under way now.

Going to bed now. *yawns* Night night!
mechtild at 2009-04-03 03:21 (UTC) (Link)
Go ahead and reach. They'd love it! *purr, purr, purr - especially Elsa - what a motor boat!*

I wish we had some spring -- English, French, Somalian or American. Alas, spring doesn't spring here until May or so. There might be daffodils in April, but tulips don't come until May. Lilacs are in June. Yes, it's a l-o-n-g winter up here. And we'll be living here for at least another seven or eight years. *huge sigh*
lame_pegasus at 2009-04-02 22:40 (UTC) (Link)
You have some lovely housemates there. *smiles*
mechtild at 2009-04-03 03:22 (UTC) (Link)
Kitties: "p-u-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r*
shirebound at 2009-04-02 22:57 (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh, they're gorgeous! Thank you so much for the kitty-update.

And the autumn colors in those pictures are so lovely.
mechtild at 2009-04-03 03:22 (UTC) (Link)
Mrrrrow, we thank you. :)
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2009-04-03 03:25 (UTC) (Link)
It is beautiful, Mews. Your comment reminds me to remember that. But it's so *danged* cold, and for so *danged* long.

*We are Si-a-meee-ese if you pleee-ease...* [Siamese cat song music] Yes, they're very Siamese, but are unaware of their elegance, at least in the way they act. Charles, especially, is notably clumsy for a cat. A great jumper and leaper in their playing, but also good at falling off things and *not* landing on his feet. Luckily, he's really durable.
maewyn_2 at 2009-04-02 23:12 (UTC) (Link)
What beautiful Autumn/Winter photos! I love seeing comparisons like this! Don't worry, Spring will eventually arrive!

It's a lovely contrast with the warm and cuddly kittens. They're gorgeous! I love the pile in the basket - shared warmth and company.

Oh, and what a dainty collar Elsa is wearing - it's far nicer than those plastic "buckets"!

mechtild at 2009-04-03 03:29 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Maewyn. See what you're missing, weather-wise, living in balmy, beautiful Perth?

*jealous face*

Yes, it is a nice collar. The vet sent her home with a see-through hard plastic cone affair with a velcro closing. It was terrible! The cone was so narrow she couldn't open her mouth to lick her lips and her ear tops were pressed down. That would never do. I had this other floppy collar in the drawer from when Pixie had her breast tumours removed in the spring. Because the surgery was higher up, I had never used the collar, making her a little t-shirt to wear instead. So I got out the unused collar for Elsa (spay surgery can't be covered up with a t-shirt; I'd have to make her cat trousers!).
primula_baggins at 2009-04-03 00:43 (UTC) (Link)
Well, if it was an April Fool's joke, I'd say they carried it to an extreme! :D The snow is pretty but I'm sure you're a bit tired of it by now.

My next door neighbor's dog had surgery, and he came home with a thing around his neck that resembled a small inner tube. It was so funny looking.

Your cats are sooo beautiful, even Elsa in her pretty, dancey collar. Thanks for sharing these.
mechtild at 2009-04-03 03:33 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, we're are pret-ty tired of snow. Luckily the temperatures were above freezing today so a lot of it melted. The grass is showing through on lawns were the wind spread the snow thin. If only it would be sunny, it would be gone in a trice. I would love to start getting the yard cleaned up for spring, as would a lot of people up here. Everything looks so bedraggled after the melt. There was an ice storm last week, not too bad where we live, but there are lots of twigs and little branches all over. I thought I'd go pick them up but then it snowed again!

Isn't that dancey collar cute? Elsa hated it, but it did the job and was much less intrusive than other designs we were offered.
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2009-04-03 03:39 (UTC) (Link)
Snow or no, that comfy chair by the pciture window looks so inviting. And with that pot of grass right there for the chewing, I know sitting on that pretty blanket must be a favorite spot of the pointy eared ones.

Pretty seasonal contrast pics!!

Awww, those meezers!!! Charles looks like he still has some growing to do into those ears he could fly with, so he might catch up with Angelo in size yet. it's interesting how Elsa's ears are so sharply pointed, while the boys' ears are rounded at the tips. Charles does have such a big sweet koala nose you want to kiss. What cuddlers! Angelo's life is definitely better for those buddies to cuddle with, no matter how annoyed he gets when they're up. After all, far more kitty life is spent sleeping, so it's the cuddling to sleep that counts most.
mechtild at 2009-04-03 12:28 (UTC) (Link)
Good morning, Lavender! My, you have a keen discerning eye. That is indeed a comfy chair for looking out the window (it swivels, to adjust the view, face the room, etc., typically covered in cat hair when it's facing the sunshine), and that is indeed one of the pots of oat grass I grow for the cats.

Charles looks like he still has some growing to do into those ears he could fly with, so he might catch up with Angelo in size yet. it's interesting how Elsa's ears are so sharply pointed, while the boys' ears are rounded at the tips. Charles does have such a big sweet koala nose you want to kiss.

Yes, Charles does have the sweetest big (boogery) koala nose. Glen (my husband) calls it a "schnoz", like Jimmy Durante's.

Elsa's ears actually have little lynx-like tufts of hair on the ends of each tip, accentuating the pointy shape. I sometimes wonder if that's why her colouration is called "lynx point", referring to the ears and the ticking in coat, rather than the British designation "tabby point", which best describes the pattern in the markings in this type's points.

Charles, we think, may grow up to be a pretty big cat for his type. Males are usually noticeably bigger than the females, and he is a lot bigger than Elsa, true. But Elsa, we are sure, is going to be particularly little. Her feet are quite tiny and she's just so lean. Charles has big feet for his size, which hints he has a lot more growing to do, adding to the dogginess of his gait, which is kind of loose and lax like a setter or retriever's. Hers is light and high stepping, like a dancer. Angelo has always kind of walked with a cheetah's long slouch. So maybe just as he hasn't grown into his feet, he truly hasn't yet grown into his ears!
illyria_novia at 2009-04-03 07:35 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, fantastic photos. I love how you contrast the colorful ones against the snow covered photos. And the snow's so clean and white. I thought it would be a bit muddy after people walk on it.

And kittens do have a knack for finding the most comfortable tangled-feet position to sleep, don't they?

Thank you for sharing these!
mechtild at 2009-04-03 12:31 (UTC) (Link)
And the snow's so clean and white. I thought it would be a bit muddy after people walk on it.

It is clean -- when it's new-fallen. When the snow's been around for a while, with no fresh stuff to blanket it, even if it isn't all dirty like the roadside snow, it's all tracked up where people have trudged, sledded or skiied.

Yes, the kitties love their basket snuggling. We always are saying one to another, "Awwww....! You have to come in here and look at them, their so cute!"
melyanna_65 at 2009-04-03 10:26 (UTC) (Link)
The place looks so different under the snow, but always amazing!

Awwww the kitties!! *melts* I'm glad they're growing up so nicely (despite some problems they had, especially poor Elsa) and it's so lovely to see them snuggling together! I guess Angelo now doesn't feel alone anymore, although he might miss some quiet moments now that the lively "babies" are always around.

*purrs and hugs and tons of cuddles for the kitties*
mechtild at 2009-04-03 12:33 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the seasons here make a radical difference. Winter is nice, but just way too long. I'm looking forward to spring down there (May?), to take new shots to see the difference. I've never bothered to do a seasonal comparison before.

The kitties accept your hugs and purrs and cuddles with pleasure. They loooooove all that stuff. Lucky us!
mole_caz at 2009-04-03 13:33 (UTC) (Link)
What beautiful cats and rather unusual. I've not seen cats like these before but then I'm rather ignorant about cats and dogs in general having never kept any as pets.

I just love your snow although I'm sure even I would be tired after several months of it. We just never get any proper snow in the centre of England any more. Pity! Our garden is a picture at the moment with all the daffodils and primroses. I had a wander before lunch just studying their beauty and scents.
mechtild at 2009-04-03 14:50 (UTC) (Link)
Stop! Stop! Your descriptions of spring are killing me! We'll have to wait another month or so for a daffodil or a primrose.

Yes, snow is tiresome after a while, especially when it's the dirty dregs of the season. But it is very pretty, in moderation. *g* I'm sorry you don't get any at all.

These are Siamese cats of the so-called "modern" type. We always had "traditionals" growing up, which I think must have been a lot more durable, health-wise. They were bigger, more sturdily built, rounder-headed, smaller-eared, and had thicker coats. They are making a come-back, but they almost stopped being available.

The newer type is more elongated, flat-haired and exotic-looking. In their looks, they remind me of those ancient Egyptian cat statues. But in personality, they're the same: very people-oriented; noisy talkers, loud and demanding, very affectionate and often naughty. "You bad cat!" we always are admonishing, as one of them again is found where they're not permitted (on kitchen counters and table tops), has again absconded with a glove from the mitten-and-scarf basket, come upstairs carrying folded clothes or towels from the laundry table, or is seen trotting off with toys and ornaments out of our daughter's room in their mouths. Even pencils and pens are not safe. Yes, they are baaaad: but that is just what we want in a cat. :)

Edited at 2009-04-03 02:52 pm (UTC)
maeglian at 2009-04-03 18:44 (UTC) (Link)
Oh my, I *love* to see the 3 of them cuddling like that! What a sight for sore eyes. They're so *cute* and gorgeous, and look so happy and safe and comfortable. I'm glad to hear they're (mostly) doing well. I think I've got a soft spot for Charles, from the pictures, but they're all 3 of them beautiful.

Good to know your house is filled with Siamese fun and games again. :-)

And thank you for the late-winter/early spring picture report. I do think your neighbourhood looks especially lovely, and the pictures of the wood paths and bridges in autumn and winter are beautiful, quiet, melancholy. I hope you plan to give us the same views once spring is in full force, the snow and ice are gone, and new green is spouting everywhere? I'd like to see that.

I hope you and your hubby and daughter are doing well. I've been wondering how the job hunt's been going, but I figured you'd let us know if there was any development.

But oh well: Spring!! It brightens the mood, no matter what. :-)
mechtild at 2009-04-03 21:35 (UTC) (Link)
Aw, Maeglian, what a lovely comment. Thanks for all the good wishes. No, no job. But it's just as well, with all the cat care and nursing I've been doing, getting Rachel ready to go to boot camp (for the Coast Guard), and then writing letters to her and getting our trip set up to see her graduate, family stuff, and, oh, lots of things.

Yes, I do plan to go down into the little park in the spring and do a spring session or two. That won't be until next month. This month is still in winter so far!

Because you seem like a sucker for kitties, I'm going to attach a few more images to this comment.

Here's Elsa being a sad but good little kitty while getting her nails trimmed a month ago, when she was wearing her cape. Awww....


Since Charles is your fave (he's such a love, and so doggy -- no wonder you like him best!), here are two of him with Angelo, during and after giving Angelo a face bath (which Angelo loved). They became better buddies while Elsa was convalescing. We couldn't allow Elsa to sleep with them at night, because we were to curtain her running and jumping -- a *hopeless* task when she's with Charles (I had to sleep with her; she destroyed the spare room when made to sleep by herself, she hates so much to be alone). During those two weeks Charles and Angelo became better bed buddies, and they still like to sleep together and groom each other more than they did before. Before Elsa's surgery, Angelo tended to be odd cat out most of the time, while the youngsters played. But now they pal around with him more, together or individually.



Ha ha! Charles say, "yum"!

Edited at 2009-04-03 09:35 pm (UTC)
whiteling at 2009-04-04 20:33 (UTC) (Link)
Aww, Mechtild, I think I would love to be a cat in your house. :-D
That would be such a wonderful life!! (And I could have my own tutu!)

*shovels bits of the German spring on in your corner of the world*
Spring has come with full force here, eventually. Very welcome to the soul, but not so to my hay-fever. Oh well. A few weeks with a runny nose won't kill me. :-)

mechtild at 2009-04-05 04:59 (UTC) (Link)
Spring is going like gang busters there, you say? Oh, that's wonderful. We'll have some spring, too, eventually. We just have to wait a month or two. :)

You can come and be a cat here any time! And Elsa will lend you her tutu. You can wear it on your ankle or wrist, no?
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2009-04-05 18:24 (UTC) (Link)
Melt 1. We had a deep snowfall last week-end and now it's all gone. Spring is here - Hooray!

Melt 2. What delightful cats!


mechtild at 2009-04-05 23:00 (UTC) (Link)
Spring is there? Hooray! Maybe some of it will waft over here. It was finally sunny today, for part of the day. It sent hopes soaring.

Smooches and purrs to you, Estë. :)
frodosweetstuff at 2009-04-07 09:32 (UTC) (Link)
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I was going to commiserate about the snow and say something about how the park looks like a LOTR sequel or prequel could be filmed there but then I saw the kitties and awwwww every other thought fled my brain. Oh, they are soooo cute - especially when they have their eyes closed. *wants to cuddle them so very much*

I'm glad that the snuffling isn't a serious condition and that they all seem to be getting along quite well. :)))

All three of them are sooo beautiful. It really makes me happy to see them all together in that basket. :)
mechtild at 2009-04-07 13:30 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, we think they're pretty darned cuuuuuuuuuuute. Can't keep our hands off them or faces out of their necks and tummies. Thanks for stopping in for a pet and cuddle, FSS!
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