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Frodo’s Feline Life Lessons: Look on the Warm Side of Winter

FRODO: Well this is my first winter and I gotta tell you I think it’s terrific! Now I know that Amarula hates Canadian winters but I think that’s just because–between you and me–she can be a bit of a nay-sayer! She tends not to look on the positive side of things. Since the temperature has dropped, mom has started using this indoor fire contraption that I think is just the cat’s pajamas! It’s like having your very own personal sunbeam in the house! Now I am new to this whole indoor, boxed sunbeam thingy, but I have learned a thing or two about how to get the most out of the clever contraption. It’s all about positioning…

  1. Firstly, before jumping into that comfy looking basket, I’ve found that it’s better to get started slowly…one body part at a time to be sure not to get overheated! First the back:

cat enjoyment fireplace 1

2. Then the toes:

cat enjoyment fireplace 2

3. Next the tummy (which gives you an excuse for a good stretch!):

cat enjoyment fireplace 3

4. Finally, just let it all hang loose…become one with the fire…

cat enjoyment fireplace 4

5. Now that you’ve got a good “base” warmth going on, it’s time to move to the basket. But don’t let the lure of the comfy cat bed distract you from your primary objective: keeping as much of your body by the fire as possible:

firesidesleep1

6. Don’t forget to lift up your arms to get your armpits in on the warmth:

firesidesleep2

7. Now comes my favorite part: invite a friend to join in on the fun!

switchplaces1

8. Not only does a friend make a fire more enjoyable, but they also provide additional body warmth:

enjoywithafriend

9. Sometimes if you’re really, really lucky, they’ll even give you a fireside bath!

bath

10. Yeah! I don’t know what Amarula is talking about, I love winter!

purebliss

 

 

Nemesis of the Month (part 2): Squirrels

Yes, yes I know, I know…I already said my nemesis of the month was the harness. And it is! It is! But there are just so many things to be vigilant about and so many annoyances to deal with when you are “Supreme Commander of the World” that some months I just have to do a double-bill. Which brings me to my long-time nemesis:  Squirrels. They have been one of my major adversaries since the Human catnapped me from South Africa and took me with her to Canada. Canadian squirrels have been taunting me since I arrived in this maple syrup-infested, snow-loving country. Lately, the creatures have been particularly pesky. Though they have never shown me the respect I deserve, they have become even more disrespectful since the Human got my new collar.

When I’m just sitting around minding my own business, they gang up on me.

gangup2

 

No matter where I try to hide relax, they find me.

hide1

Knowing that climbing is one of the few skills I have not yet mastered, they tempt me to chase them up a tree and then, just out of reach, they leave me there to be rescued by the Human.

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They have even taken it upon themselves to terrorize Zulu! That’s my job!

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To make matters worse, they found my secret stash of peanuts and amuse themselves by eating the delicious treats in front of me.

taunt2

 

And don’t even get me started about the squirrels’ cousin; that diminutive devil known as the chipmunk…

chippy

Curse those little fuzzy balls of fury! But fear not dear reader! I shall have my revenge. I have something planned….soon, very soon…they shall be banished from MY backyard! Oh yes! The last peanut shall be mine!

last peanut

 

Spring Has Come Again!?!

AMARULA: Thank goodness! No one explained to me that because winter had indeed returned so too would spring likewise make a welcome reappearance! That means I can leave the house and survey my domain!

best part of spring

You know what the best part of spring is? Not the fresh scent of the air, or mom’s tulips that need chewing but the site of the kittens staring at me jealously through the screen!! Hee Hee

screen

Wait a minute…does the return of spring mean that those nasty squirrels are back too??

amarula and sq

Winter Has Come Again!?

snow

AMARULA: What’s that you say? This winter thing happens EVERY year?! I wouldn’t have believed it until the snow hit the ground. The cold air and wet snow have relegated me to life indoors again and that means that I am forced to spend time with the kittens. And just as expected, I find them as engaging and intelligent as cardboard. I mean seriously, are we sure these two are even sentient?

I try to hide from them even in mom’s desk (being nincompoops, the kittens don’t like to be near objects associated with the exercise of intellect like desks, books and such)

hide in desk

But no matter where I hide…

ama in her happy place pre-zulu

They find me…

 

ama wacking zulu full claws

Nowhere is safe…

billyandama

Pray for me!

amapraying

 

 

Thank God Winter is Almost Over!

There are many reasons I don’t like winter—the snow, the ice, being trapped indoors, being forced to endure extra cuddle time with my human, and the slight chill to my morning Friskies pate. But by far the worst part of winter is the time indoors that I am forced to spend with the kittens, Zulu and Biltong. They are relentless in their pursuit of my attention. My hissy fits and tail slaps leave them unfazed.

Biltong has even taken to trying to wash me:

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My efforts to hide have been futile:

zulu and amarula1

We even eat together! Underlings should never eat with the Alpha!

catseating

They are EVERYWHERE.

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They have even begun to steal my sunbeams! Anyone want a couple of so-so kittens?

amiwith kitteen

 

What is this Thing You Call a Litter Box?

litterbox1AMARULA: You want me to do what in where???

 

Well, the indignities of life in Canada just keep piling up! The ground is frozen and covered in snow and with it my outdoor commode. So the human says I am now forced to use a litter box. In South Africa a feline could do their business outdoors any time of year! Not in this frozen feline wasteland! But what else could I do but give it a try? And wouldn’t you know it! The undynamic duo decided they too had to go at that exact moment! Is nothing sacred to those two big-eared boondoggles?

 

Oh how I will miss the soft feel of dirt beneath my paws! I know not if my dignity will survive.

Winter in Canada: I am in Hell

AMARULA: I am not enjoying winter thus far. I am looking into whether any airline will allow a feline to fly solo so I can get back to South Africa ASAP! There is no snow in Cape Town! Worse yet, I find that the cold seems to have frozen the kittens’ brains (though frankly, it was hard to detect any brain activity in the little fur balls even before we moved to this frozen tundra). They seem to be under the mistaken impression that my imposed time indoors means I actually want to spend time with them! Saints preserve me!

They attack me in my cat condo:

catcondo

And I wake up to find that, while I slumber, they use their kittenish stealthy ways to sneak into bed with me:

 

amanotsureaboutBilly

 

amarulaandzulu

What the heck!??? When will this madness end? I am not certain all three of us will make it to the end of winter…and I bet they would make comfy throw rugs!

Outdoor Life in Canada: Let me inside!!

AMARULA: Well, as the only outdoor cat in our feline trio (and the only one with looks and brains!) I was really excited to explore the Canadian great outdoors! Mom had warned me about this thing you call “snow” but I was incredulous. Well, I have been schooled:

It started off innocently enough. The temperature hovered dangerously near zero Celsius but I, being a rugged beast, could handle it. I will certainly not let Canadian cats show me up!

letmein

 

Though it started to get a little nippy, I made due and dealt with the cold by making fun of the kittens who aren’t allowed out (mom is a big believer in keeping cats indoors but because I was a stray she could not convert me to the indoor life–I thwarted all her efforts!!) Poor saps!

outside looking in2

But then a light dusting of snow fell:

amioputsidesnow

Things got ugly pretty quickly!

snowiseverywhere

 

Seriously!! How long does this white stuff last? Only a few days right? I can go outside again soon…yes?

ugly