Friday, January 23, 2015

door mod two

With Oliver opening the programmable cat door at will, I needed something else to try. So, I dispatched a team of experts to study hours and hours of video of Oliver escaping. What was learned from all of this research is that Oliver stands in front of the door and uses his claw to open the door enough for him to get his head under it.

Thus, a theory was postulated - if a solid barrier was placed in front of the cat door, it would prevent a cat from standing in front of the door and opening it. With the barrier in place, the cat's body would block the door from opening. This theory seems promising, so the fourwhitepaws' engineers got to work...


I happen to have an old window that fit fairly well in front of the door, so I placed it so that the cat door still swings open, but a cat can't be in front of the door and have it open at the same time. Cats entering come inside the door and immediately turn right to enter.

Oliver checks out his newest challenge
Will Oliver outwit this low-tech solution? Time will tell... stay tuned...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oliverize

Being away from home means Oliver must be secured in our junky small bedroom, also known as "Oliver's Room". For him, it's his dream come true, he gets to be a real inside kitty! But before he can be brought in, the room has to be Oliverized.


Sheets and towels are hung in all the "spray-zones" to speed the cleaning process when we get back home!


No doubt that Oliver loves being inside-kitty.

Oliver's konked out on the heating pad!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

twenty years!

Twenty years ago today, Laura and I celebrated our wedding with our family and friends!

the happy young couple - Thecatguy and Laura
We were married in Laura's home town church, in rural Indiana. Being creative and non-conformist people, we didn't want a traditional formal wedding. We wanted something that uniquely represented us, so we crafted the service to be a Christian worship service that had a rite of marriage in the midst of it.

We've never been much for formal, so we made sure the wedding was casual. Laura's cousin made her dress and my mom hand knitted my sweater. And you can't really tell in the faded photo, but I'm wearing jeans!


The tapestry in the background was handwoven by my mom. We gave her an idea of what we were wanting and she worked her magic on the loom! The candlestick holders were handcrafted by Laura's grandfather.

The theme of the three birds signifies the Holy Spirit leading us onward. Looking back, I love that we put a prayer from Saint Francis of Assisi on the cover of our program. He had such a love and respect for animals and the natural world at a time when such respect was not necessarily the norm.

I look back on the choice I made twenty years ago today, and I rejoice and celebrate as it was certainly the best choice I have ever made. Laura is an amazing woman, having her in my life is the greatest gift I could ever dream of.

And can you believe that I chose to marry Laura at a time when she didn't care for pets? At the time I was a crazy dog person and she could take or leave dogs, although she was more on the leave side. For years I tried to talk her into getting a little dog, but we never did. Now, as I look back, I'm thankful she stayed strong and resisted. Knowing us, if we had a dog, we wouldn't ever have gotten a cat, and then I would've missed out on the joy of cats!

Today, twenty years later, we are celebrating this awesome milestone with a lovely trip to Vermont! We both love Vermont, it's beauty, lack of industry, and history are good for the soul.

The Lyme Inn, Lyme, NH
Even though the temperature is quite chilly outside, we are staying toasty warm in the Lyme Inn, which is over 200 years old! My picture didn't turn out that great due to the sun, so take a look at the picture of this place from their website (they must have photoshopped out the electrical wires!)

Photo courtesy of The Lyme Inn website

The view of "downtown" Lyme from our window

It snowed on Monday as we were making our way here, but sun is forecast for our entire stay! The fresh coat of snow makes everything look fresh and pretty. What a blessing.


This is the sitting area of our gorgeous suite!
The suite we're staying in is huge! We both think the square footage of the suite is actually larger than the first floor of our house! The wide plank flooring, cozy fireplace and spaciousness of everything is delightful! And there are seven huge windows in our suite!

Breakfast is included and is served in the beautiful enclosed in front porch. Each table has fresh flowers, which is amazing as it seems we might be the only ones staying here at the moment. Amazing too how well insulated this place is. I figured a massive room with three walls of windows and the outside temperature hovering around 10°F (-12°C) would be cold, but it was perfectly warm.


I ordered the cinnamon roll french toast with berries and maple syrup made by the inn's owner! I so love real New England maple syrup - yum, yum, yum!!


I love that we are celebrating in such a lovely place and yet it's aways sad being away from the kitties. It does help to know they are being well cared for. We boarded Buddy so he could have people keeping a close eye on him in case his health turns for the worse and we also boarded Bert so Oliver could have the room he's been occupying.

My friend Kathleen, who takes care of the boarded animals, sent me these photos of Bert and Buddy.

 Bert            photo courtesy of Kathleen

Buddy          photo courtesy of Kathleen
Thanks for celebrating with us!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

mod fail

I'm sure you have all been waiting anxiously to find out if Oliver has managed to get around my modification to the SureFlap cat door. The answer should not come as any surprise!


Oliver!!!


a rare behind the scenes image of pawpurrazzi in action
Time to consult with the manufacturer to see if they have any bright ideas.

Friday, January 9, 2015

door mod

The battle to keep Oliver secure at night continues. My latest attempt involved making some modifications to the SureFlap programmable cat door.




I added two wooden bars in front of the door to try to keep him from getting his claws in the crack between the door, but the door can still swing freely.


Time will tell if he outwits my modification.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

rodent fun

Caught Pierre playing with a rodent. Sadly, it was a real one.



I thought about intervening to save the rodent's life, but before I could get very far, I noticed it was already limping pretty badly, and I figured it might be better in the long run to have Pierre dispatch it.





This activity is one of the elements of cat life that I have a hard time with. It's not so much that they hunt other critters, it's that they play with their prey before killing it. Cats have a good time while another critter suffers - seems intentionally cruel.



Pierre sure did have a good time. Thankfully he took his prize elsewhere for the final finish. Rest in peace little rodent.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

beauty in the sun

I couldn't decide if these look better in color or black and white...
Oliver and Pierre enjoying a moment together




I love how the sun really brings out Pierre's cinnamon-colored undercoat.





But the black and white look is so classic. I like them both! Which do you like better?