Monday, August 24, 2009


Well I, for one, am glad the humidity has broken some. It was getting to be pretty standard to go into the bathroom and find both cats crashed asleep in the bathtub. Max has always loved the tub - it is cool and you can also play with water - and has past this love on to the Little.

I am on holiday right now - at the beginning of week two of three weeks off - and am just now feeling like I can decompress. I'm still having trouble actually falling asleep (thus the writing in the middle of the night), but once I'm there I can stay asleep like a champion. The cats are now used to getting fed in the middle of the morning when I finally stagger out of bed.

There is still a little too much whirring around in my brain. And too much of it is not nice. Like, don't say that in public if you ever want people to talk you again not nice. Vitriol. Hoorah.

But here, look! Cute!

It has been good to get to spend some quantity time with the Little over the last week or so. He's getting crazy big for someone who's still so young and his colour is changing as he gets bigger. He started out quite dark gray with some suggestions of tabby markings. Those are now becoming more pronounced as his body gets larger - the dark gray is fading to a light charcoal and you can see more of his tabby markings. I am still kind of amazed by his totally white belly. I am used to the Max - with his orange creamsicle swirls, boldly displayed as he sleeps, completely upside-down.

dead cat, with belly

The other thing I'm looking forward to with the lessening of the heat is using my oven again. This is the first apartment in a long while that didn't have a crazy powerful fan over the oven. Man - the fan two apartments ago was so powerful that I made an entire wedding cake in the middle of August humidity without raising the temperature in my apartment. The fan just sucked all the hot air up and out of the apartment. It was tres cool. My current apartment has a fan but it somehow missed getting all hooked up with electricity. And my landlord, while very nice, has yet to actually get around to hooking it all up. So I am baking-free right now as using the oven will overheat my poor little kitchen as well as the rest of the house.

I hadn't really realized how much I use the oven until I'm forced (forced!) to give it up. It helps that I visited Harbord Bakery today - with eyes bigger than my stomach - and came back with a bounty of baked goods. Empenadas, bagels & cream cheese and two different kinds of jam cookie. (I am completely unable to resist the jam cookie.)

So today dinner was homemade iced tea, bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. All chilled. I must wax lyrical about the iced tea for a minute - just look at that colour!

It's African Queen tea from the Tea Emporium. A fruit tea that is delicious both hot and cold. This was six cups of water and just less than half a cup of tea steeped for five or so minutes. I added a tiny bit of honey to the mix but I might skip it next time. It's pretty glorious all on it's own.

It makes me happy to have something that is not water to drink in my quest to avoid drinking juice. I mean, I actually kind of like water at this point but sometimes it's nice to have an option.

Possibly I should attempt to get some sleep now. I've spilled some of the words spinning around in my brain here. That should help. Yes?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

teachable moments

desperately in need of a caption

It's kind of amazing how the presence of a third being in the house has changed things. The little bug has very quickly incorporated himself into our lives chez Rosemount.

Things we have learned recently:
  • Orange cats are not automatically killed if they remain in the bathroom when the shower is running.
  • Little gray cats do not learn that when they fall into the shower when it is running that it will be too slippery to get back out themselves.
  • Max has a special meow that means "We are trapped in the bathroom because the door has closed".
  • The best cat food is Max's food - being especially delicious if you can eat it out from under Max's nose.
  • The best way to get a look at something high is to launch yourself at my leg and climb up - which is fine when I'm wearing jeans and not so fine when I'm wearing pajamas.
  • The best place to sleep is with your head murfed up against Max's tummy. Actually, if you can sleep with at least some part of yourself on top of Max - that is pretty good too.
I sure there's more... It's kind of nuts - the little bug is about twice as big as he was when he first arrived. It's noticeable when he's able to jump up on things that he couldn't before or when he tries to squish himself under the couch and he's getting just a little too big to do it. Ah, the passage of time.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


The Right Honourable Bentley Mortimer Russell. Approximately two handfuls of grey & white disaster-kitten. Who might turn out to be a girl-cat (in honour of my family's well known inability to name cats gender appropriately.)

After initial suspicion, the Max has decided that this kitten is very interesting. Which is good because the kitten has decided that Max is the most interesting thing in the house.

Max, of course, now appears to be about the size of a brontosaurus in comparison. My little cat - all growed up.

There is more - over here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

june, june where art thou?

Man. Yet another month that is slipping past with incredible speed. Ah, but soon it will be July 1 and the client project I'm working on will be live (it's alive!) and then I can go back to my slightly less than all consuming regular job.

The Max will be happy there is no more travel - I abandoned him to the care of my mother the past two weeks so I could gallivant off to the wilds of New Jersey and run client testing. He had much to tell me when I got home. Oh, and in recompense he would like me to spend the rest of my life pouring cups of water down the bathtub drain so he can play.

Is it wrong that this photo makes me think "Damn, it feels good to be a gangster"?

He is currently marauding around the dining room table trying to knock everything that isn't nailed down onto the floor.

Anyway. I am looking forward to things slowing down slightly. My apartment now has a deck, built while I was away this week, and I find I am suddenly in need of a chair to lounge on and limes for a gin and tonic. Priorities people.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

snacky snack

Mmm. Mid-afternoon snack: Rivita Sesame Rye crackers with smoked trout. Cats, I was informed, do not eat smoked trout (contrary to public opinion) but they would like some cracker. Of course they would.

He is a discerning culinarian, my snacky cat.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the view from here

So. April pretty much kicked my ass. I'd managed to fill it with too many things - both work and personal - that were all important and tightly scheduled. At one point, like the 21st, I looked up and decided I should fill in my timecard for work - I mean, I knew I was behind but... - and when I pulled it up the entire month was empty. Which says much about the previous 20 days.

looking into the living room

And while it has been a long haul to get here, I am finally settling into May and the new house. For all that I hate moving, there is pleasure in setting up house. Last weekend, while awaiting the Bell guy, I dug out the living room. Boxes of books put on the bookshelves, furniture assembled, one room finally felt done. Up until then Max and I had made the bedroom into our little cave. Stumbling in from various obligations and falling into bed. The Max has been very cuddly through all this - in need of much affection and entertainment with all the home-change.

I missed Bird fiercely the first night we were here. Too many boxes, too unsettled and Max beside himself after The Worst Day Ever. And I know I'm supposed to be the grown up here, but Bird was the force of calm with the three of us. Once he'd figured out what this moving business was about and knew that I wasn't going anywhere he was fine. And Max trailed after him - because after all nothing bad could happen if Birdy was there. He was our centre. And that first night with just the two of us it was hard.

But, we have adjusted. And as there are less and less boxes around Max has figured out that this house is his. (Even with noises from the neighbours upstairs.)

Oh, and I have a bookshelf with three shelves dedicated to purses - one for the brown one, one for the red ones and one for the others. It is hilarious.

Friday, April 10, 2009

origin stories

I started this a while ago - but didn't get around to finishing it. I was reminded it existed when I came across the Bird's original collar, still with the message my mother had put inside it when we were trying to find his original people.

"Hi, your beautiful cat visits us and our cats a lot. We wonder where his real home is.
Could you please call us at ### ###-####. Thank you."


To understand how the Bird came to live with me you first need to understand Rosemount. Rosemount is my parent's house - the ancestral homelands, if you will - and it attracts cats. There is something about the wide porch and riotous gardens that says that it is a good place to come visit and perhaps to stay awhile. My mom's cat Gumpy was such a stray - turned up sleeping on the couch and so clearly bedraggled that he needed a home. Another grey cat who stayed for just a while had feline leukemia and had his people come to get him before he needed his next set of meds.

The Bird turned up one morning on the porch. As he had a collar - with a bell - and was clearly well fed and taken care of there were the clear admonishments from my mother to not interact with him. "Don't pat that Jingley Cat! He has a home." At other houses you just didn't have to feed stray cats but my mother knew, from experience, that the first step was not the feeding; it is the conversing. Once you talked to the cat it was downhill from there.

But the Bird continued to come around for a couple of days - "that Jingley Cat" became somewhat of a fixture. We even tried to find his people - put up posters and an add in the classifieds. To no avail. His original people could not be found and Bird had decided that he had new people so what exactly was our problem?

Birdy was allow to stay, Cat #5 at the time, on the condition that he leave with me when I moved out in six months. Which was fine with the Bird - he had already decided that I was his person.

He knew that something was going on when the boxes started appearing. My mom said that he was being extra nice to her - but she knew he was a fraud and was just worried I was leaving. The final straw for him was finding his chair (!) on the porch. He sat in there as all the boxes and furniture went by being completely unimpressed.

He settled after the move, and even forgave bringing a dastardly orange cat into the house. Patience, they name was Bird.