Friday, June 25, 2010

open season

The other day we had our warmest day of the year so far. The temperature reached 75 degrees! Yahoo!! And that means one thing, moth season is upon us!! Sure enough that same evening, the big hunt began. Opening day yielded four moths taken. Nahum chased down two average sized ones, and Willow bagged the big moth! Earlier in the night, Theo got himself a weenie one.

On the second night of moth season, the action was fast and furious. Nahum was working hard to land the giant-moth. Then out of nowhere came Willow! He never saw her coming - in super-fast action she knocked hin right off the desk and took over as frontrunner in the hunt. In the flurry of Nahum falling from the desk, the moth got away.

To console herself after losing the big one, Willow made short work of a few weenie moths on the front porch.

Meanwhile, the cats wait expectantly in their moth blinds - waiting to pounce on the next unsuspecting moth and I scheme ideas of how to stock the indoor moth population.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

puzzle

Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating my good friend Lisa's birthday at an open house social at her house in Seattle. Theo was also invited.

Theo has been over to Lisa's many times now and he seems pretty relaxed there, even with Gromit (Lisa's chocolate lab) running around. This night was a little more chaotic than prior visits. There were nine people there he hadn't met before, two of which were children who were eager to get their hands on him. Shortly before we left, a new dog showed up too.

Through it all Theo did great. He was alert but not at all freaked out. He spent most of the time curled up on the couch leaning against me. If only he could have been that easy going for his evaluation!

Visits like these do give me hope about possibly giving the eval another go. I think next, I want to take him to an unfamiliar house and see how he does.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

string

Nahum's string has returned to being his favorite toy. He loves to run through the house with one end in his mouth, the other trailing behind him. Theo has taken to chasing the trailing end! I keep trying to get pictures of this but they are so fast, all I get is a brown blur! 

Funny how the simplest of toys provides the most enjoyment.

Monday, June 21, 2010

tummy temptations

Willow has been more generous with tummy rubs lately. The best place to get a chance at Willow tummy rubs is the bathroom in the morning. She has been enjoying rolling around on the green bathroom rug and occasionally invites tummy rubs.





Sunday, June 20, 2010

change of plans

I was planning to be outside today, working on getting the house painted. The weather forecast had called for a slight chance of a shower but we get a full day of cold and rain.



So, plan B, involved making a lap for Nahum and Theo to enjoy. Yeah, I enjoyed it too!

A few minutes after this picture was taken, Nahum politely booted Theo out of his way. He does this by licking the offending cat, pretending to offer a loving bath. The other cat is more interested in sleep than bathing so relocates out of his reach. Having accomplished his goal, Nahum then stretches out and claims the entire lap!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Homer's Odyssey

There are many great dog books out there but finding a good cat book can be a real challenge. Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper, exceeds expectations. It's a definite read for any cat lover.

Homer's Odyssey is a delightful story about how adopting a blind kitten unexpectedly teaches Gwen about relationships and life.

Homer is a daring, bold cat who refuses to let his blindness hold him back from fully experiencing life. His endless energy for life inspires Gwen to never give up, even as she endures all sorts of challenges. One of those challenges was waking up to find a burglar standing in her bedroom in the middle of the night. Homer, a usually gentle, friendly cat, fiercely scared off the intruder.

Gwen's writing style is warm and witty. She is a gifted storyteller who in no time draws you into her life. Her sweet, tasteful humor is delightful.

For me one of the necessary ingredients in a good cat (or dog) book is that the main animal character must not die. It's not fun to get attached to the animal only to feel overwhelming sad when faced with it's death. There is enough death and grieving opportunities in life, I read animal stories to step out of that mess for a time. In the introduction to Jon Katz's The Dogs of Bedlam Farm he clearly states no dogs die in the book - a beautiful statement indicating the book is safe. Anyway, all that to say, that Homer's Odyssey is a safe book, no cats die.

Gwen has pictures and video of Homer on her website (www.gwencooper.com). Seeing him chase toys around and climb furniture is amazing! If I didn't already know he was blind, I would have not guess it.

With an amazing cat like Homer, he needs to be shared. Thankfully, Gwen is willing to do so.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

crash

The problem with trying to live into big dreams is that the heart can only handle so much pain.

This morning's evaluation was a disaster. Theo was freaked out and desperatly wanted to flee. After too many difficult minutes the evaluator mercifully ended it.

At best, the dream is on hold and at worst, it's time to move on. Being overwhelmed with disappointment at the moment,i'm inclined to go with the latter.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

practice

With only two days to go before our evaluation, I have been cramming - trying to get Theo as much exposure to different environments as possible.

The second trip to the office went better than the first. Seeing the birds out the window mesmerized him. The elevator was a little traumatic. Then tonight, I brought him over to Lisa's and he did marvelous. He relaxed fairly quickly. Now I'm feeling a little more hopeful.

One more day of practice to go then the real deal.

Monday, June 7, 2010

show time

After months of waiting, I received the confirmation today. Theo and I are to be evaluated on Saturday for the Delta Society's Pet Partners program.

I knew this day was coming, it has been on my calendar now for months and yet I'm quite nervous.

Last week I took Theo to my office for the first time. When visiting a place for the first time Theo generally happily explores the place thoroughly. This time he was scared and freaked out and immediately hid under the waiting room coffee table. There he stayed until I told him it was time to go.

On another day I carried Theo around the yard in my arms and he wanted none of that, constantly fighting to get down.

Can you see why I'm freaked? My previously easy-going cat has suddenly become much less easy-going and we are being tested this Saturday! Yikes!!

I took Theo to the park this evening. He did better but he still got freaked out after a few minutes. I plan to cram for the test by continuing to take him places all this week. Hopefully with rapid repeat exposure to unfamiliar places and soothing touch he will again return to his easy-going state.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

drought

Summer has been hi-jacked by a winter that will not relent! We have had cool temperatures (50's) and lots of rain over the past several weeks. One result of this crazy weather is that bug season is way late which means Willow is frequently disappointed.

Each night, she dutifully explores all the usual bug hangout places, hoping this night will be the night the bugs return. Occasionally she finds a rogue bug, but with the cool temperatures the bug doesn't have much energy for a good chase. It makes for a easy snack.

Here is to hoping for a bountiful bug season soon!