New Kits on the Block

At the tail end of my last post I mentioned that we’d just welcomed two little brother cats to our family. These guys have brightened up our lives some considerable. There’s nothing like having little guys under foot… you know how cats love to race your foot to the exact spot you are about to touch down on the stairs…. 🙂

I thought I’d give them a proper introduction this time out. This is Murray:

Murray wrestles with a string rope.
When we brought the cat carrier in and set it down, I told Will he could open it up to see if they’d come out. Well, they did right off, only to make themselves scarce hiding behind big furniture.

However it quickly became clear that crinkling noises and a dangling string are irresistible to the smaller kitten. Willem decided that he should be called Murray, since he’s the clever little game playing addict. He’s a skinny little guy, much leaner over all and far more active than his brother. Murray is the more gregarious of the two, and the one most likely to dig his claws into you. He’s also prone to making the occasional finger chomp, so we’ll be working on that one. Murray also finds wiggling strings irresistible. And treats. Well, pretty much the world.

Although larger, Nick was the least in evidence on the first day.The bigger kitten hides under the furniture.

We had to stop trying to entice them out before we caught sight of Nick.

Cats at the window

By the second day Nick was willing to come out to watch the cat version of High Def: the window to squirrel land.

We like squirrels. And chipmunks, and bunnies amd birds. We feed them. And in fact our dog Cody sat outside to watch their antics with me. I don’t think it ever crossed his mind to eat any of them. Having had cats before, I doubt any similar arrangement can be arranged with cats.

Cats watch the squirrel in the snow through the window.
Nick and Murray enjoy the floor show.

But it should be alright, since we are firmly decided that our cats will be indoor cats. We’re intending to harness train them, and the only time they will be allowed out doors will be in cat carrier or on leash. This is not only because house cats are a major danger to urban wildlife, but also because the great outdoors can be equally lethal to these pampered critters.

A vet told me once that the average life expectancy of an indoor/outdoor cat is 3 years.

When I think about all the cats I know who’ve lived to their teens or twenties that is pretty grim. Having lost two cats to outdoor accidents, it is something I am determined not to have happen again.

Collage of Murray at play

Murray would come out to play, but mostly Nick would watch.

Walking along the back of the futon frame.
A rare sighting of the shy guy.

By the third day I guess Nick decided that we were trustworthy.
Nick and Murray

He ventured out to play.
Nick wrestling the feather wand

Murray plays with the feather stick

It’s interesting that they don’t play together, nor do they compete.

Murray is the play demon. He is all over the place jumping and leaping like Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Nick watches and waits, while Murray burns calories and wears down the prey. Until he tires.

Nick enters the fray.

Nick grabs and holds the feather stick.  Deploying brute strength Nick works to subdue and capture.

Grabbing the feather stick with his teeth he just clamps down on it, and then just calmly tries to walk away.

No hurry.

Just take hold and don’t let go. Almost works too.

Maybe lay down on the thing.

When Nick’s tactics don’t work he yields the floor to Murray.

Tag team kittens. Who’d a thought?

Murray fights the stick with feathers littering the floor all around

Of course today Nick isn’t speaking to me again. Murray forgave me by last night.

You see, I was a meanie. I stuffed them into the cat carrier… and it was a herculean struggle, I’ll tell you… and took them to the vet for their check up.

Kitten face laying on the floor inches grom the cameraIt would have been much easier to have them in separate boxes, but I thought it would be easier on them to travel together. Do you have any idea how tough it is to stuff a writhing clawing scratching kitten into a carry case when the one inside is trying to get out? Well, the verdict is that they’re healthy and now they’ve had their shots. But Nick is holding a grudge.

At least Murray is still speaking to me.

And Nick let me see him today. I figure he will have just about forgiven me by the time I have to take them in for surgery next week.


ONF NFB logo
I just found out that the National Film Board of Canada (the NFB) is making their films freely available online. That is simply awesome.

Actually, the only reason I found out about this is because Jesse Brown of TVO’s Search Engine was taking CBC to task for not making their material freely available to the citizens whose taxes have paid for that content. One of Jesse’s links mentioned was to Michael Geist’s Toronto Star column explaining the NFB is in fact doing it right.

This is how the internet works. Or rather, this is how the internet is supposed to work. I heard what Jesse said on Twitter which led me to his Search Engine article which gave me background sources including Michael Geist’s Toronto Star column which sent me to the NFB.

Canadian MoneyThe NFB is of course funded by taxpayer dollars, so in fact their content should be freely available to all citizens. But that isn’t always the way things are interpreted. I’m one of those radicals who thinks that crown copyright should not exist. Since Canadian tax dollars have paid for these excellent films, why shouldn’t they be freely available?

Having first watched one of my all time favorite films — NFB’s The Sweater I spent far too much time cruising for favorites… and I got this perfectly marvelous idea… since it’s supposed to be possible to embed NFB videos in blogs, the reason I’m talking about this in my “hello kitties” post is because I thought the coolest thing to do would be to place the funniest cat film of all time at the end of this post. Unfortunately I have been unable to figure out how to embed it, so I’ll just have to link to it the old fashioned way.
Title Frame from The Cat Came Back animated film
So now that you’ve met the new kits, lets take a look at one of the coolest cats to grace Canadian cinema, in the National Film Board of Canada’s animated classic The Cat Came Back


4 thoughts on “New Kits on the Block

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