Bella

I’m in Boston this weekend finally celebrating Christmas with my family. I wasn’t able to make it out in December because there was no one in town to stay with the cats. So we scheduled a time this weekend to celebrate and Bella offered to stay with the cats.

It sounds like she has been having a bit of a challenging time between the cats, the apartment, and my computer. She’s such a trooper for helping me out this way. Check out her blog here. She’s got one more night with the cats, I hope they treat her well.

Getting to know Reilly

My lovely Reilly can be a handful. As I mentioned earlier, she had problems adjusting to litter box training as a young kitten. She’s gotten much better but there are still a number of mornings that I’m greeted with a ‘little mistake’ beside the litter box. But at least it has always been beside the box and she seems to be over her earlier bout with peeing beside the box (knock on wood). That was much harder to clean up. We haven’t figured out why she does this. We’ve experimented with a few things that seem to help for a bit. But nothing has worked 100%. Good thing she is so cute.

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She also has a fascination with tile and glass, especially as a kitten. Here are a couple of quick videos of her in the bathroom earlier in the year.

The tile isn’t too bad. What was painful was when she used to do the same thing on the living room windows. I was amazed she was able to put up with the high pitched sound. I know I couldn’t.

She’s also a big fan of the Roomba, unlike her brother. Unfortunately, her attempts to play with the device often shuts it off. And she’s a pretty smart kitty. She managed to change the language of the Roomba, first to German and then to French!  I had to Google for instructions on how to change it back to English.

Cats like beer?

Ever since they were young, my cats have shown an affinity for beer. Well specifically for beer bottles. I don’t know what it is – the shape of the bottle, the way the lip feels, or the smell of the beer. Now before you worry, they don’t actually drink the beer. One time I knocked over a bottle and was so worried that by the time I had run to get a towel they would be drunk from lapping it all up. But the spilled beer didn’t really interest them too much. Whew!

Of the two cats, Reilly is the one who is attracted by beer bottles the most. But Ryan has had his moments.

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Oh and you get a glimpse of my handy dandy bottle holder – aka duct tape. It also works well with glasses of diet coke. Of course when there’s nothing in it, Ryan takes great pleasure at batting it around and off the table. Well he is named after a hockey player after all.

A few hiccups along the way

Ryan had an eye infection early on so he didn’t always look his best. But he was always very curious. Back in the days before I moved my bike into the storage room he somehow managed to climb up it and plop himself in my bike helmet!

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Fortunately his eye condition cleared up pretty much. He still gets a bit of gunk each day, but the vet assures me it’s nothing to worry about.

Early videos

These weren’t always done under ideal conditions, but they’ll give you an idea of the kittens early days. Unfortunately I hadn’t yet gotten into the habit of turning my phone to landscape mode when shooting video.

I discovered an iPad game for cats that Ryan in particular liked in the early days. This first game involved chasing after butterflies. There’s another that I tried later that has fireworks. He likes that even more.

In the early days I wasn’t supposed to let Reilly roam out of the condo on her own. But I’d bring some litter into the bathroom and play with her there.

The final one is from Bella’s first visit to the kittens.  Sh made them two very nice toys that they quite enjoyed. Oh, and I finally remembered the proper way to hold the camera phone.

Lest you worry that this blog will always be a daily update, I can assure you that once I make it through this walk down memory lane it’s likely going to be weekly updates. There’s only so much you can say about cats who love to sleep. And I am looking into the error message some folks are getting about the redirects. This is the first time I’ve used my own url with WordPress so I need to do some digging to be sure I have the settings right.

A bit of history to start out

I’d been thinking about getting a cat for a while. A kitten to be precise. The only pet I ever had were fish and growing up I was a bit fearful of dogs and cats. I eventually got over it but really didn’t ever think of getting a cat until I went to a friend’s apartment and one of his very young sons greeted me at the door and thrust a kitten into my hands. While that was several years ago, it really was the start of this whole process.

Sometime in 2013 I decided I was ready to act. I planned out the best time and figured January, after all the holiday craziness was over, would be the best. And who else to ask for advice than the friend whose son first thrust that kitten at me. Keith put me in touch with the wonderful Cecile at Bronx Tails and eventually everything worked out.

In late January, Cecile brought four kittens over to my apartment. One thing I learned in the process is that unless you already have a cat, most places will only let you adopt a pair of kittens so they can socialize. One of the pairs was a couple of weeks older than the other. But I fell in love with these guys.

2014-01-26 12.26.42They are a brother sister pair who were found huddled under a car in a parking garage by a policeman in the Bronx. Ryan (the orange one) is the brother and his sister Reilly is obviously the darker one. The only problem was that Reilly had some litter box issues. But Cecile decided that I would be able to handle the remainder of the training and let me adopt them on the spot. It helped I’m sure that I got the recommendation from Keith who had used the same place to adopt their pair of kittens.

The process of training Reilly involved a giant kitty condo and several litter boxes. It was actually a bit comforting to know that they would be safe inside the condo when I couldn’t be with them. It’s a good thing I have a large apartment because this condo was big. Several levels and a hammock to sleep in.

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Over time we adjusted the litter in the bottom until she was accident free. Well, at least relatively speaking (more on that later). It didn’t take too long before the pair of them were roaming free in the apartment and just using the condo as a home base. I actually hung on to it for a few months, until after they had been spayed and neutered. There were a few times when it really came in handy. Can’t thank the folks at Bronx Tails enough for loaning it to me and for being so supportive with all my new owner questions – and believe me I had a ton.