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The Continuing Adventures of Ebony & Onyx
kitties
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Ebony & Onyx should be full grown by now since they are now 6 months old, and Onyx is so big I sure hope he is! They are still as cute as can be, and still plenty rambunctious. I heard a bang-crash in the kitchen a few weeks ago, and it was a cookie tin that was stored above the top kitchen cabinets, inches from the ceiling, now on the floor, with Onyx running away down the hall. They are definitely not staying out by themselves all day without me there to check on them! I wonder if I'll ever be able to feel they would be safe? Even when I'm in & out of the house doing projects, they do things like unroll an entire new roll of paper towels in the kitchen. They were able to bite through a bag of miniature chocolate candy rocks last weekend that I thought was safely put away, and it didn't look like many were eaten, but Onyx had some diarrhea later poor thing. At least he made it to the litter box! I'm glad it wasn't worse since I know chocolate is bad for kitties. Ebony probably didn't like them since she was okay, however you can see below that Onyx is much more gastronomically adventurous than she is! I have also had to take the CatGenie apart several times now since random toys or strings get stuck and don't allow it to drain properly. I can't figure out where the kitties find all this assortment of string! I know long strings are bad for cats to eat since they can tangle in their digestive tracts, so I hope they're just dropping toys into the litter box instead of being processed through the kitties, and I'm on the lookout now taking any long strings away. I am more afraid of them hurting themselves by doing something like that or breaking something that might hurt them than worried for my stuff's sake. Things have been broken already of course, but thankfully nothing expensive or sentimental...yet? I'm trying to be better about not leaving anything important or dangerous where kitties can find them, but I'm obviously still learning. ;)

I think Onyx understands that he's too heavy now to try sitting on my neck anymore, but Ebony still tries. She always wants on my lap, more than Onyx now, and if I'm sitting back enough, she'd rather climb up & sit on my chest. I guess my "pillows" are comfier than my lap? ;) I still have mornings when I wake up with a kitty trapping my shoulder & neck, but Onyx seems to favor my legs now, so I'm trapped on both ends! Isn't it awful to have to disturb kitties to get out of bed for work? I already have a hard time getting up in the morning, so I don't need extra disincentive! Ebony is another story, but I also haven't seen Onyx climb anymore, either my curtains or my bathrobe on the hook behind the door. Perhaps the night I came home and found my bedroom curtain rod on the floor was Onyx's last attempt? Ebony seems to relish her vertical exercise, and my bathrobes and curtains are both showing the strain with claw marks & loose threads everywhere. I have bought matching replacement curtains for later if she ever stops climbing! I think they need a tall cat tree, but I need to do research on the best buy & best format. The ones I saw at PetSmart weren't my preferred design for the $150 they cost. Something tall enough like up to the ceiling could go by the same bedroom window, then maybe that would be enough to make the curtain climbing not as attractive.

Cyd & I made a quick stop at BevMo last month, and I happened across this Schwartze Katte Riesling - in a black cat bottle! I had to buy two of course. Cyd was making fun of me buying two, sarcastically saying "of course the cats will know if you only bought one" but I said "_I_ would know I only bought one, and that's what matters." :) One is still unopened, and it's drinkable but not a $10 riesling in my opinion. At least the bottle is worth it. I couldn't get Onyx to pose, but Ebony cooperated nicely. :)


Ebony & Schwartze Katte Riesling



'inappropriate urination' progress
'Inappropriate urination' was the technical term the vet used on Ebony's chart for our checkup last month. Since Ebony was still peeing on the bed sometimes even though she was still using the litter box, I wanted to be sure she wasn't trying to show me a physical problem, even though it was normal color & barely any odor. Since they both needed a checkup anyway, we all went to the vet right by my house, highly recommended by Nathania. Very nice office and very nice vet. The kitties were both very well behaved! Onyx only has issues when the car is moving, otherwise they are both content to be in the carrier. They sniffed the exam room thoroughly but not in fear. They checked out fine, then Ebony needed a urine sample, which has to be done by needle. When the vet came back with her, she had high praise for Ebony! "I couldn't find her bladder by feel since it wasn't full enough, so I had to use the ultrasound. Ebony just sat back with her legs open showing her tummy and was such a good girl!" Even if she pees in the wrong place sometimes, I can be proud she cooperated with the vet. ;) The urinalysis came back the next day all clear, so the vet suggested enzyme treatment like I'd already been doing and maybe adding pheromone spray to calm her in case it was stress or confusion. I kept covering the bed in plastic as soon as I got up in the morning, and only taking if off when we went to bed at night. I would test each weekend when I was home to see if Ebony would have a successful day without peeing on the bed. Alas she kept peeing unless the plastic was there, sometimes right before bed which was a real pain when I just wanted to sleep!

I have now retired that down comforter to outside use only, since I'm sure even with multiple washings & multiple enzyme treatments each wash (my gallon of enzyme is already almost gone!), there is still some odor she can detect even though I can't, since I had seen her pawing at a place she peed on but after two washings later. Even with a different comforter and my sheets & mattress pad that had been copiously washed and treated multiple times with enzyme, after all day of being good, she peed right where I sleep this past Saturday evening - argh! At least she missed the comforter & the bedspread this time. I got out a different cheapo mattress pad plus my old sheets, both that she had never peed on, and doused everything with pheromone spray that I finally bought last week. So far so good, since Sunday through now still no accidents. I'm using the spray instead of the diffuser since the bathroom is right off the bedroom, and I don't want her confused if the diffused pheromones reach as far as the bathroom. I've sprayed the bed several times, and a couple spots on the floor that had pee issues have also been sprayed, plus I try to keep leaving toys there, which is a technique suggested in the cat behaviorist book I have. Let's hope this is a long-term solution! Too bad that means the bright teal sheets I finally found can never be used again, since I only found them just that one week in October on clearance at Target and have never seen them anywhere again. C'est la vie!



Onyx is a garbage disposal!
Onyx is a garbage disposal! He will eat just about anything! They are both always so excited when I give them something new to taste, Onyx scarfs his down, and Ebony tastes hers and usually spits it out. Then she looks at Onyx obviously enjoying his, so she has to go investigate what he has, since he couldn't possibly have the same icky thing she had! The funniest example of this so far is the Case of the Grooved Avocado.

I used half an avocado for my salad for dinner, but didn't put away the other half and left it on the counter cleanly cut, throwing the pit away. I had shooed various kitties off the counter over the course of the evening but hadn't seen what they were up to. Hmm...this avocado had a clean cut shape when I left it there, but now it had grooves and was a nice consistent curve! Well, I suspected it was Onyx since he's the cheese & cashew lover so far, with Ebony turning her nose up at those herself, but I cut it in half to give them both a chance. Yep, Onyx went to town scarfing every last bite he could, and Ebony kept sniffing, looking at Onyx, going to sniff his avocado like "if he likes it it must be something different than I have", several times over. She really didn't like it since she did the little paw scratch like she'd rather bury it! I was laughing out loud watching Onyx eat! I'll bet his coat will stay nice & shiny this way! ;)



Diet progress
I feel so bad that I have hungry kitties all the time now instead of letting them eat when they want to, but the vet said they were already getting overweight and so many health issues like diabetes are caused by obesity, so it's better to never get fat than to try to lose it later. Sounds familiar of course. She said the kitties will figure it out between them, so just give them no more than 1/2 cup each total for the day. I've been feeding them 1/4 cup morning & night, as close to 12 hours apart as I can, but I think Onyx is being a bully. Ebony has lost her Buddha belly now and she's not skinny but I can feel her ribs and not see them, which is proper weight range for cats, but Onyx is heavier than ever and I can't feel his ribs yet. He is a big boy now, bigger than Kylie ever was, but how can he not be losing weight when, even if he ate all of Ebony's food, which is not happening when I watch, that's still less food than he was eating when the food was available all day long...? No, they are not getting treats very often. Just some avocado rind licking when I happen to have it, and maybe a tiny scrap here & there, definitely not every day. Ebony did like the tiny scraps of smoked salmon I gave them and I let them lick the empty bag, but I don't buy that very often. Same with the empty crab cans from making crab puffs, it doesn't happen very often but they each had their own empty can to lick so they enjoyed those. I do need to find some more treats that Ebony likes, since I feel bad that she gets left out only because she doesn't happen to like the same things that Onyx likes. She seems so disappointed when Onyx scarfs down a treat that she doesn't like, even though I give some to both of them at the same time, just in case she changed her mind. Neither of them liked the lettuce I gave them when they begged in the kitchen, so I guess there are some things even Onyx doesn't like. :)



Where did the kitty go?
Ebony & Onyx are often fascinated by the TV or the computer but this one takes the cake. While I was trying to edit my kitten video clips in iMovie, Onyx came over to investigate, was intently watching himself and Ebony play on the screen, tried to bat at the toy moving on the screen, then he kept jumping around behind the laptop screen to find out where the rest of the toy went...then one of the clips was of them jumping in & out of boxes, and when the on-screen Onyx ran off screen to the left, Onyx jumped left to attack the kitty, but there was nothing there in the real world! He looked so confused! Hahaha!



Onyx's turn...
Tuesday night I decided to have another bath since I was still a little sore from my weekend yardwork. Both kitties are still intently fascinated by the water, but Ebony hasn't been jumping up on the edge of the tub since her fall in December, so maybe she learned her lesson. Onyx however wants to jump on the edge and go across to the far corner against the wall. He does this before I can stop him, so this time instead trying to lift an uncooperative cat with wet hands and risk getting scratched, I was trying to coax him to go across & back down to the floor. Well, I was starting to turn around, then I felt a claw in my back & heard a splash, as I pulled as far back as I could so I wouldn't be scratched worse! Somehow he kept his face dry, but his back half was absolutely soaked! He didn't even shake, but started creeping into my bedroom, leaving giant puddles behind him, then I grabbed a towel to try drying him off a bit. Poor kitty! He started licking himself dry, not bothered too much anymore, then I heard some playing going on in the corner I couldn't see. I went over to look and he was chasing his tail around in circles! He hasn't done that before, and he seemed to be mystified by this fun new toy. I thought maybe since his normally fluffy squirrel tail was now so skinny since it was drenched, maybe he didn't recognize it as his own tail! Either that or it was just a fun game. Ebony was watching him chase his tail, so she would pounce across the room to get in on the game, but then seemed disappointed it was only his tail. ;)



Fresh air & a view! See how much larger Onyx is than Ebony?


I've been ruthless about editing the kitty videos down to what I think are actually funny enough short segments to watch, but I think they need some music. Hopefully next week I can post those. Until then, you can check out the new photos in Ebony & Onyx's photo album for your dose of cuteness. ;)

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The kitty & bottles picture reminds me that you like Blavod vodka for Halloween and whatnot. I seem to recall you used to import it manually from the UK. However, it's now imported by a San Francisco company and sold at Bevmo. You probably knew that already, but I wanted to pass it along. :)

Yes, I saw Blavod at BevMo for the first time when we had just gotten back from our trip in 2005. Now I'm saving my bottle I bought in Scotland that does not say "imported" but I have a couple imported ones too. BevMo doesn't always have it in stock though, and around Halloween what they do stock goes quickly!

kitty update

(Anonymous)
Loved the kitty update! Wow Onyx is much bigger.
-Kevin C

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