Thursday, December 31, 2015

12/31/2015: Elf OFF the Shelf!

Remember that dancing elf that Clinch loves to play with?  If not, check out my Christmas post for pictures and a few videos then come back here.  I'll wait...
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne
All caught up?  Great!

I thought I'd get some work done before tonight's festivities (well, before the nap before the festivities).  I need to retake pictures from some free instructions on my jewelry/crafts blog to put into a regular document.  I'm going to demo the technique soon and want to print it out without using all of my cyan ink.

I got everything ready, turned my task lights on, which caused the elf to dance, and his "click click click" drove Clinch inexorably to my desk, right on top of my work surface:

"I've been here the whole time."

"Why do you sigh?"

Steve was able to get him off of my desk by calling him, but he came right back to play with the elf:

The elf looks at the kitten askance

Steve suggested I move the elf to the windowsill in the dining room.  He didn't stay there long:

Let's try that again:

Third time's a charm?

How about #4:


Despairing, I cried out, "He's too fast for me to take a picture!"  Steve recommended I shoot a video instead.  That worked much better.  I used my camera this time instead of my phone, so you shouldn't have to turn the sound up (although you may miss what Steve says at the end):

After I took the elf away for good, Clinch ran around the house chasing a milk jug ring like a lunatic. I threw it off of my desk, and he brought it back (he's a good fetcher!) at high speed, pushing things around on my desk.

He has finally tired himself out and is napping somewhere, and he's tired me out, too.  It would seem that the instructions will not get finished today.

Happy New Year!  Be safe and come back in 2016 for more of Clinchfield's antics!

Monday, December 28, 2015

12/28/2015: "No! You stay where it's warm!"

Today we've gotten the second snowfall of the season.  This one is nasty - snow mixed with icy rain.  The house was pelted all day long.  It has finally calmed down, so around 8:30 this evening Steve started changing clothes to clear the driveway and our very long sidewalk.  Here is what I dared to capture, stepping outside extremely briefly in my bare feet:

Yes, Mom, I know I shouldn't go outside without shoes in the middle of winter.  I was out there less than 30 seconds.

Any cat lover knows that cats are drawn to change.  Clear off a bookcase's shelf, and the cat will jump on the empty shelf.  Move the bookcase, and the cat will sit in the empty spot.  Put a closed box or bin in the middle of the floor, and the cat will jump on it.  An open box or bin is even better - the cat will jump in it.  Put a sweater on a bed, and that's the only place the cat wants to sleep.  If you've cleared off your desk but have just one pile of papers left, that's where the cat lies down.

Clinchfield is no exception.  Steve put on his long underwear and flung his jeans out to put on, and Clinch instantly noticed the change and took action:

"Don't go outside!  It's cold and yucky out there!"

"Mama, keep Papa inside!"

Clinch wouldn't budge, so Steve had to pull the jeans off of the floor so he could get dressed.

Now poor Steve is outside shoveling.  He tried using the snowblower, but it didn't sound like it was going too well.  There must be too much ice.  I hope it doesn't start snowing again!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

12/27/2015: Sweet Clinchfield with Papa (and Pixel, too)

Shortly after I got up from my nap this afternoon, Steve sat on the bed to pet Pixel, who had been lying on my legs while I slept, impeding my movements.  Clinchfield came up to investigate, Pixel left, Steve pulled the kitten on his lap for some petting, and the rarest thing happened:  Clinch stayed.

We've been trying to get him to cuddle and be a lap cat, but he's still so much of a kitten that moments like this are few and far between.  Yeah, he'll come up between our pillows after I've been up in the middle of the night, and I can hold him for a while, but it's always almost at arm's length.

While I was watching them, Steve said, "I really should get up and do something."  I replied, "This is the most important thing you can do right now."

I grabbed my phone and took a bunch of pictures to commemorate the occasion.  I was expecting Clinch to dash off when I stepped fully into the room, but he didn't.

He likes a lot of petting behind the ears
(but stomach scratching invites nipping)

Say cheese!

Constant petting is required to keep a lap kitten happy

Within a few minutes, Pixel came back and was jealous:

"Hey!  What's going on up there?"

Pixel claims the bedpost as his (for the 100th time)
while Steve strains his bad shoulder to pet him.

I apologize for the state of the covers.  Like I said, I had just gotten up from a nap.  If I had known there would be a photo shoot, I would have straightened up a bit.

Here's my favorite picture of the whole affair:

My three boys!

Shortly after this, Clinchfield got all bitey and scratchy and ran off.  It was very nice while it lasted, and I hope it won't be too long before it happens again!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

12/24/2015: Merry Chr... Oh, no - not again!

I was all set to do a quick "Merry Christmas" post from all three cats, but Clinchfield, as usual, had other plans.  He does like to make work for me.

I wish I had posted the archive reports of Clinch getting trapped inside our dining room table.  We can take care of that now.  If you're friends of mine on Facebook, you've probably seen my posts about Clinch being "in jail."  To refresh your memory, or if you missed my posts, here are a few pictures:

Picture taken 8/29/2015 by Steve

Picture taken 8/31/2015 - yes, he did it again two days later
(I got to get him out this time)

Here is what Clinch would have written in his diary if he could hold a pencil:
Dear Diary, I have found a perfect hiding place, one where I can see and hear everything but where no one can get at me, especially that pesky female the authorities call "Fe". I cannot get to my favorite toy, the large male called "Pixel", but that is a small price to pay for this perfect location. However, the authorities don't think I can get out of this "TAY-ble" just because I jumped down in here from up above, where the bars are farther apart. I'm sure I could jump back up there. Maybe. Possibly not. Either way, I never get the chance to try. The authorities have cathandled me out on my two attempts then pushed the chairs back so I cannot get back to the hideout's entrances. Why do I never get to have any fun?

We kept the chairs pushed back until my Mom and stepfather came for lunch late in September, then, figuring he wouldn't do it again, we pushed them back in.  How wrong we were:

Picture taken in the wee hours of 9/27/2015
(he was lucky I was up so I could extract him)

Again, we kept the chairs away from the table until we had company, which was this past Sunday when Dad, Barb (my stepmother), Uncle Howard, and Aunt Pat came for dinner.  Clinch showed no signs of jailing himself again until today.

Steve gave me this adorable solar-powered elf that dances:

The best sunlight was on the dining room table.  The elf danced away, and his "click click click" drew Clinch over to investigate:

I swear this table was clean just a few days ago

When he walked away, I could tell he still wanted to play with the elf, so I thought, "Oh!  I should shoot horizontal like everyone says you should," and turned the camera.  I started shooting, moved to turn the dining room light on so the video would hopefully be clearer, and realized that Clinch batting at the elf from underneath the table again was all he could do.

I did cut out most of the window's glare, but right before that, if you look carefully on the left side of the screen, you can see Clinch climbing in the table.  There is sound later in the video, but you'll have to turn your volume up a fair amount.  I should figure out how to fix that.

Sorry it's not all that clear and is a bit jumpy.

Now we have the chairs pushed back away from the table again and are likely to keep them pushed back indefinitely.

So, now I'm to where I thought I was going to be at the start of this post.

Merry Christmas from

Pixel, who didn't want to pose by the tree

Fe, who is making her first appearance on this blog

and, of course,

 Clinchfield, who has thankfully not tried to climb the Christmas tree (yet)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

12/10/2015: My poor (lace) heart

Sorry I haven't written in a long time.  I've not been feeling all that great, and Clinchfield has been a relatively good kitten.  He still has his crazy streaks, but usually they're short-lived and non-chaotic.

Then came today...

We have Cappuccino, my mother's dog, again for a few days.  I think Clinch is excited, because he kept trying to play tag with her when they first arrived yesterday.  This morning he was frisking around the pup trying to play as well as running all around the house.

When I took my shower, I decided to close Cappuccino in the bathroom with me.  I latched the door (which we usually don't do), so Clinch was reaching in under the door and playing under/with/around it.  A few times he got pretty loud, so I yelled out, "Clinch, knock it off!"

I guess he took me literally, because when I opened the door, this is what I found:

This is the stiff lace heart from the bathroom door.

"You did tell me to knock it off, Mama!"

Here's how the bathroom door is supposed to look:

See how high up the heart is?  Clinchfield is quite the jumper.  I have a video of him jumping that I'll have to show you soon.

"Honestly, I was just following directions."

And here is poor, beleaguered Cappuccino trying to hide in the bedroom:

It's quiet in the house now, so I'm hoping Clinch has gotten it all out of his system.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

11/03/2015: Cappuccino forced off of the couch

I have a very short report for you today.  Not much has been going on.  Cappuccino (my mother's dog - see previous posts here and here if you haven't read about her yet) has been very reluctant to eat or drink, but we think she's okay.  She's not starving or dehydrating.

Clinchfield has continued to be very interested in everything Cappuccino does, especially when we take her out.  He's been hanging around the door, and once yesterday he nearly darted out.  I screamed, "NO!" and half stepped on him in my (successful) attempt to keep him inside.  I'm hoping that will stop him from trying again.

I left Cappuccino on my couch to come into my studio, and after a while Steve called me back in there so he could Air Drop a video to my phone from his.  It seems that Clinchfield was batting at Cappuccino, and Steve got the tail end of it:

Clinch isn't being aggressive at all, but Cappuccino is having none of it, the poor dear.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

11/01/2015: Living Room Water

A few days ago I told you about Cappuccino's problem with drinking water on her own along with her difficulties with eating.  Here's a picture of Steve holding the bowl of water out for her:

Sometimes she needs to be on a lap before she'll finally drink, but this time we got lucky.  Do you see who's lurking there in the background next to the toy basket?

Clinchfield is very interested in everything the dog does, so Steve sometimes plays with him while watering Cappuccino so he won't interfere:

We have a leather string that is really supposed to be Fe's, but Clinch loves it, too.  He drags it around sometimes, and Fe trails along after.  I'll try to get better pictures of that for you.  In the above picture, Steve is moving the string around to distract Clinch from the oh-so-interesting drinking going on.

When we're not actively trying to get Cappuccino to drink, we leave the bowl on the floor.  Everyone likes to partake in the "living room water."  I don't know if it's because living room water tastes better or if they're just all too lazy to drag their feline butts to the kitchen.

Since this is Clinch's first experience with living room water, he is the most intrigued.

He drinks:

He sticks his right paw in:

He sticks his left paw in:

And he lays there just looking at the bowl, poised to attack it once again:

Most of the time after he dips his paw in the water he'll lick it off.  Sometimes, though, he just twitches his paw a few times, flinging droplets far and wide.  I've even felt drops while sitting on the couch a few feet away.

Update:  Steve just wrote a comment on this post: "So you're saying... he sticks his right paw in, he takes his right paw out, he sticks his left paw in, then he shakes it all about?"  I audibly groaned then said, "We should rename him to "Hokey Pokey."  Steve disagreed.

I hope he doesn't wander around looking for the bowl once Cappuccino goes home!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

10/31/2015: Happy Halloween!

There will be no Clinchfield Report today - everyone's pretty quiet, although Clinch has been very interested in our trick-or-treaters.  Or it might be that the front door is being opened a lot more than usual.

In my other blog I've just posted about the Minion pumpkins my husband painted.  Feel free to hop on over there to take a look.

I know, I know... you just can't go a day without a picture of Clinchfield.  I completely understand.  Here's a Halloween-specific bit of Clinchy naughtiness:

The details on that will be in an upcoming report.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2015

10/29/2015 - 10/30/2015: Cappuccino Days 1 and 2

Let me tell you about my mother's and stepfather's dog, Cappuccino.  She's a Shih Tzu, 13 years old, and a bit high maintenance.  By "a bit" I mean "a lot."

She was born with problems in her eyes, so I don't think she sees very well.  We have to put drops or goop in her eyes every night or they look really cloudy and red.

I don't know if it's because of her eyes or something else, but she has problems eating.  John feeds her out of his hand, but I refuse to do that.  I hold her and the bowl of food and wait until either she eats or falls asleep with her little head half in the bowl and half on my arm.  Yes, I know I should put the food down and just wait for her to eat when she gets hungry, but the cats will eat it.  So I sit on the couch with Cappuccino tucked under my arm and wait.

Last night was the first time Clinchfield witnessed this.  He was riveted:

I look really fat in this picture.  I'd like you to know that, while I am fat, I am not sitting up straight on the couch.  So please take that into consideration when you view the following video:

I trimmed some stuff out, but this will give you a really good idea how it went.  Oh - you'll have to turn the sound up a lot to hear her grunting and our comments.

I regret to inform you that as soon as Steve stopped filming Cappuccino promptly stopped eating and refused to eat the rest of the night.  She wouldn't eat this morning, either, even though Clinch pretty much left her alone.  She did finally eat early this afternoon after I switched her food out.

She also doesn't want to drink on her own.  We have to hold the water bowl up, and sometimes she won't even drink unless she's on a lap, too.  I'll try to get a picture of that to show you.

Sleeping last night was very interesting.  I got up around midnight, and when I came back to bed, Cappuccino refused to lie back down.  I thought she needed to go out, but I discovered the reason was that Clinch was in the bed.  I took her out anyway, and we eventually went back to sleep - Cappuccino at my legs and Clinch up by my head.  They both were in the bed all night long, leaving me with little room and not enough covers.

This morning I was able to get a few pictures of what was probably going on last night:

Cappuccino didn't like that very much.

After she finally ate this afternoon, I wrapped her up in my blanket so she would hopefully go to sleep and let me do my own thing:

Shih Tzu or ET?

Even though she didn't stay wrapped up, she did let me have peace.  I appreciated that, because everyone else wanted attention from time to time all afternoon.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Archive: 08/20/2015 - Bath mat destruction

(This archived Clinchfield Report was originally posted on Facebook on 08/20/2015.)

We can either have bath mats where they're supposed to be or a kitten, but not both. I don't know if you can see in this picture, but there are Q-tips on the floor as well. Walking further into the bathroom I saw that the garbage had been tipped over.

(Note: This is before we replaced the waste baskets that I mentioned in this report.)

Here's the culprit after I straightened the mats, planning his next move:

As I'm fond of saying, he's lucky he's cute!

After I posted this report, one of the comments that came in was, "Not up on all things cat, but can't you just close the bathroom door?"  I replied, "What's the fun in that?  :)  Yes, I could, but he'd probably bang on it trying to get the toy that he batted under the door. There's quite a gap there."

Steve and I staged this picture so we could post it as an example.  I said, "Picture this but with noise."

Then Steve commented, "This morning in the bathroom I tried to startle him out of my way by nudging the bathmat against his hind leg. If he were Pixel, he would have jumped three feet. But Clinchfield didn't even turn around, just lifted his leg like "meh." I realized: He's not Devil Cat, he's DAREDEVIL Cat, the Cat Without Fear!"

Tonight my mother and stepfather are bringing their dog, Cappuccino, for us to watch.  Goodness knows what kinds of things I'll be posting about tomorrow and for the next week or so!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

10/28/2015: Brand new evidence supporting chew toy theory!

(This is an addendum to yesterday's Companion or chew toy? report.  Also, this is the second post of the day.  If you missed the first one, click here.  Thanks!)

I was chatting with Steve during his lunch break, and he asked, "Going to nap this afternoon?"  I replied, "Cats willin' and the crik don't rise."  Well, the crik ain't rising, but the cats are not willing.

It took me a long time to lie down - Facebook has been particularly distracting today - but when I finally did and was getting settled, elephants started thundering around the bedroom hissing.  I thought that was odd, because elephants usually don't hiss.  It turned out to be our boys.  Pixel just wanted to come nap with me, but Clinch was having none of it.

Since I was also having none of my napping, I thought I'd turn on the light and shoot some footage for you.  Because I care.  And because the Clinchfield Report would not be complete without it.

As soon as I turned on the light, though, all elephant-like-thundering ceased.  It's like they were elephants in the dark and innocent kitties in the light.

However, it wasn't long until Clinch decided that Pixel's tail was too tempting a target:

Turn up the sound a lot if you want the full Pixel response.

I mean, really.  Pixel knows what's going to happen.  Clinch does this all the time!  But does he jump up on the bed?  No.  Does he leave the room?  No.  Does he beat the crap out of the kitten because he's ten times Clinch's size?  Baffingly, no.

They stayed in that position for a good four or five minutes.  I trimmed the video because you don't need to see all that.

You also don't need to see my shoes, so I stashed them in the closet, sat back on the bed, and waited.  I was not disappointed:

Again, you'll probably have to turn up the sound a lot to hear Pixel's whining and tail-thumping, which he should not be doing because it looks like he started it!

I was going to record more, but my phone decided that I had run out of video space.  I'll have to clean that up.  Just as well, because the video file was too big for the blog, so I had to trim it using Adobe Premiere Elements.  I don't use that much, so it took a while.  The things I do for science!

I really hope you can view both videos.  The first is an MOV, and the second is an MPG.

I know Pixel's belly looks funny - he has been over-grooming it.  I'm hoping it's not due to stress of kittens jumping and chewing on him for the past two years.  I have never seen him actually licking there, though.

Since I never did nap, I'd better go to bed early tonight!  Wish me luck!

Archive: 08/16/2015 - DIY bed and other random bathroom chaos

I don't know what it is about cats and bathrooms.  I suppose since we spend a lot of time in there they feel it's a very important room and want to spend a lot of time in there, too.  Or maybe it's because they want to be where we are, because most of Clinchfield's chaos happens when I'm in the room and usually unable to stop him.

Since that whole water incident after our first trip to the vet, I have to take my medicine very carefully.  I'll fill the water glass, put it on the counter (we have a long, low counter in the bathroom supposedly for putting makeup on), and gather my pills.  Clinch is fond of bounding into the bathroom and onto the counter when he hears my pills rattle around.  He'll stick his little face in my glass and sometimes a paw if I don't grab the glass quickly enough.  A few times I was really slow, and, with his paw in the glass, he pulled it toward himself, knocking it over.  That's probably his way of telling us that the counter needed to be washed.

Within a few weeks of his arrival, it was extremely apparent that we needed to purchase some new equipment for the bathroom.  The wrappers of various monthly supplies (ladies, you know what I mean) are very crinkly, and Clinch absolutely loves anything that makes a crinkly sound.  New ones placed in easy reach for me were also in easy reach for him, so they were being dragged around.  Fortunately, The Container Store just opened at our mall, so Steve and I went shopping there and at Target.  We bought new waste baskets with lids (because used crinkly wrappers of all kinds were fair game in an uncovered waste basket) for the bathroom, my studio, and the living room.  We were also able to find a white tin with a secure lid for me to use one week a month.

But I was able to get pictures of his DIY bed.  I was, er, indisposed, as one tends to be a number of times a day, and he pulled down my towel and plopped down:

He doesn't stay in one place for too long, so less than thirty seconds later he switched positions:

Shortly after I was able to shoo him away, shake my towel off, and hang it back up.

He hasn't done it again.  I find that very odd considering how comfortable he looks in those pictures.

Tomorrow I'll share more bathroom antics!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/27/2015: Companion or chew toy?

(This is another hybrid report from July through October.)

I don't know what it is about Pixel, but kittens like to wrestle, chew on, tail-chase, jump on, and jump over him.  I'm not sure if Pixel likes it or hates it - he makes weird whiny meows with some intermittent hissing, but when I look over, Clinch is on his back pawing up, and Pixel is sitting or standing over him, batting back.  When Pixel gets a chance, he'll hold Clinch's head down and lick his head or in his ears.  I call it "forcible grooming."  Occasionally there's also some cuddling.  It's a very odd relationship.

It's hard to catch some of it in pictures, but I've been partially successful.

Here's some tail chasing from 07/31/2015:

From another angle:

You know, if Pixel wouldn't twitch his tail, Clinchfield wouldn't try to catch and bite it.

I was able to catch actual wrestling on 10/22/2015, but it's a bit blurry:

We call this Neko-Koneko (kitten on cat):

I don't have any pictures yet of Pixel grooming Clinch, but I do have one of Clinch digging for gold in Pixel's ear:

Taken 08/19/2015

Pixel didn't seem to mind, so I let it continue.  Clinch did this for about five minutes until he started sneezing.

Every once in a while we catch them cuddling.  I really like that, so I take lots of pictures, and that's where we'll end today's report:

Taken 08/02/2015

Taken 08/29/2015

Taken 09/06/2015

And my personal favorite so far:

Taken 10/20/2015

Come back tomorrow for a really quick archive report on Clinch's DIY bed.