Archive for the ‘Beasties’ Category

Royalty in the House

June 6, 2015

The family has grown.

The catbeast and the kid do not get along.  Kid doesn’t know exactly what she did or when, but the catbeast decided at one point that they were not compatible.  This has made the kid very sad, not to mention pissed off.  She is not the most patient of humans, and her many unsuccessful tries to make friends with the feline have made her vent in frustration.  Especially since it was kid who saved the catbeast when she was a 2-week-old kitten abandoned on the street by her mother.

Kid has repeatedly bugged me to add another cat to the household.  I told her all the expenses and care would be on her, as opposed to me having to take over (which has happened with multiple rabbits, hamsters, and other beasts).

So when (now ex-) boyfriend’s cat had kittens, the kid decided to adopt one.  There was only one female in the litter, and a week or so ago, when the babies were old enough to leave mom, kid went out and bought supplies and settled the kitten in her room.


After much discussion about names, the kid, to my horror, chose to name the kitten “Princess”.  Gak.  Cliche, much?  I tried to persuade her to perhaps name the wee beastie after a princess, real or fictional – like Jasmine, or Tiger Lily – but that didn’t take.  Then I tried other characters that kid loves, like Luna.  Almost worked, but no.  Princess it is.

I have consoled myself with calling the babe “Prynne”, sometimes expanded to “Hester Prynne”, although kid objects to the Hester part.  I have told her that Hester Prynne was among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature, a truly fascinating character and a strong and defiant woman in a time period when women were meant to be totally subservient.  Kid is not impressed, and has told me that “Prynne” is fine, “Hester” isn’t.

Yeah.  Whatever.

Catbeast is not amused.  At all. She is quite angry about her territory being invaded.  I’m spending a lot of time cuddling her.


So far the solution has been to have separate areas for the two.  Baby catbeast has the kid’s room (with food, bed, and litter box there), and senior catbeast has my room and office (with food, bed, and litter box for her).  The rest of the house is joint territory, with alternating occupancy.  Although they are currently avoiding each other apart from the occasional growl or hiss, I’m really hoping that they will eventually become friends, or at least tolerate each other in the same space.

The babe is quite active, and is proving herself a great hunter of flies and other insects.  She is also very curious and must explore everything.


I have not yet tried to knit with the kitten around.  That will almost certainly happen at a later date.

And it’s never a dull moment in the neighbourhood.


Do mice have waists?

April 28, 2015

Our little Mousey has had an operation.  The catbeast managed to rip a big hole at her waist (or whatever that general area is called in mice) while trying to get at the catnip inside.  I discovered the patient after finding said catbeast attempting to lick a clump of stuffing.  Which was quite a sight in and of itself.  She desperately wanted to taste it but the stuffing evidently was very unpleasant on her tongue.  Which did seem to confuse her and left her tongue hanging in limbo while she tried to figure out her next move.  Sorry I didn’t manage to grab a photo of that.

The operation went well, although the stitches were not sewn with beauty in mind.  And our catnippy little household rodent will carry a scar.

mousey post op

Catbeast was quite anxious throughout the surgery, sitting facing me and not taking her eyes off of Mousey for even one second.  She was quite happy to immediately take over supervising Mousey’s post-op recovery.

mousey post op with catbeast

Let us hope that Mousey will not suffer any further injuries.

We didn’t go

November 25, 2014

Ever plan for something, work everything else around the plans, then not do it?

We planned to go to see a film today.  Partner saw it with friends, really liked it, wants me to see it, and although it’s almost unheard of she is willing to see it again.

So we settled on today.  Why?  Because on Tuesdays she gets a discount.  The film is at the end of its run, so it’s only showing once a day.  We’ve waited a pretty long time already, because there were other things happening on Tuesdays.  And the rest of the day was set up around the movie plans.

I was at the cinema on Sunday, came out of a meeting nearby and had some time to kill while kid had a meeting of her own, so I went and saw a different film.  Not the one we planned to see together, that wouldn’t be fair.  In hindsight, it may have been a wiser choice.

And then today it started to storm.  And the dog freaked out with the thunder, cowering and shivering and hiding.  Refusing to do her business outside, pulling away and running back upstairs instead.  We thought that we could still go, if kid would stay and soothe the pup while we’re gone.  But the dog was suffering so.  We don’t remember her reacting this way last winter.  She mostly hides in the bathroom, no idea why, and only comes out with a lot of encouragement (and a treat).

scared Kessem

And then kid started not feeling well.  We started waffling – go or not go?

We didn’t go.

Stayed home, all snuggled up in blankets, with the wind and the rain battering the windows.   Soothing both dog and kid.

Maybe the film will still be shown a little longer.  Maybe we’ll work out a different time to go.

Oh well.

Bubble Wrap Returns!!!

November 22, 2014

Let’s start the week with a laugh!

It seems not only humans are addicted….just watch:


bubble wrap


We’re goin’ to the zoo-zoo-zoo, How about you-you-you

November 20, 2014

You can come too-too-too, We’re goin’ to the zoo-zoo-zoo…

Kidlet had an appointment mid-day, and I promised to pick her up.   In the meantime, I wandered over to the park and into the zoo.

It was pretty quiet, children were still in school, or just out and home for lunch or rest-time.

The carousel outside the zoo gates was still.


Once I came inside,  I encountered birds wandering or wading or tending to their feathers.




There was a whole flock of white and brown birds in one area, and with them one lone flashy type over by the fence…  I wonder if the others play with it, or if it must keep to itself…



At one point kidlet joined me, and we wandered together.

In the midday heat many of the animals were sleeping.  I tried not to bother them, but couldn’t resist snapping a few napping creatures.

Like this magnificent white tiger


The leopard was half awake / half asleep but gave me a drowsy look before flopping back down to snooze…


The karakal was curled up in a corner.


One lioness was eating…something kind of bloody, don’t know what.  The other was watching warily.


Even most of the snakes were taking naps.


The meerkats were wide awake, and fighting over food/bugs.  And planning strategy…


Except for this one, playing king of the hill


The bears were funny.  They had all been for a swim, and some were resting.  One sat and made funny faces at us as we talked to it.


Another was tired and needed something to prop itself up.


We didn’t go into the petting zoo section, although this little one tried to persuade us otherwise.


Whatever your feelings and opinions about zoos, and I’m not even going to go there right now, we can all admire and respect the wide variety of the animal kingdom…




Channeling Rin-Tin-Tin

November 15, 2014

First goat is finished, doing the in-between bit before starting the second.  Horn is now all properly twisted.



Kessem is casting a noble shadow!  Wonder what she’s thinking?


Wednesday WIPpery

November 12, 2014



The back looks interesting too, it just doesn’t pop like the front.   🙂



I think once this scarf is done, I’m going to have to knit a brioche hat to match.  Without the cables, though…

Think Kessem is impressed?





Hitchcock Revisited… “Good Eeevening. And welcome to a Murder of Crows.”

December 2, 2013

On Saturday we had an odd little episode.  I was happily resting and knitting in the afternoon, when I heard a cacophony of cawing outside the window.  I went to the balcony to look.  Dozens of crows were swooping and circling between our building and the building across the street.  And making a whole  lot of noise.  They were also perched on the roof across the way, and on the street light posts.  But most were not being still, they were in frantic movement.  Some just metres away from us.  I grabbed my camera to catch just a few seconds of it.

This went on for easily 10 minutes.   I have no idea what set them off.  But they were obviously stirred up.

The cat was mesmerized.

watching the birds

After what seemed like an eternity, they finally settled down and flew to wherever it is they usually hang out.  And we settled down as well and I got back to knitting.

Very odd.  I didn’t see Tippi Hedron anywhere outside.  (Yeah, I looked.)

tippi hedron

Maybe someone bought a pair of lovebirds?  Anyone familiar with crow behaviour?

I suppose Alfred was just having a giggle.

Knitting endless rows of 3

April 11, 2013

Working on the last i-cord of my Laura Nelkin necklace.   And it’s going much more quickly than the other two.   The pattern instructions say to begin with the lace weight and move up in weight through fingering, etc.  I began with the fingering.  No special reason.  Just did.  It was probably not the wisest move.  Going back down to the lace, from thicker to thinner, not to mention going from the easy round beads to the triangular beads slowed me down.   Should have begun with the longest and most fiddly.  And most splitty.

And although I counted out the recommended  number of beads to string on the yarn in advance, the lace i-cord was still shorter than the first.  Luckily Kim sent extra beads.  So….I measured out how much more i-cord I had to do, counted the beads I’d need for that length.  18 more.  And then I calculated the amount of yarn I would need to knit those extra centimeters.     Left some spare.    Then cut it, so I  could string the beads from that end.    Except I miscalculated.  Managed to knit another 14 or 15 beads in when the yarn ran out.


It should work out, there won’t be that much of a difference.

And as I said,the last i-cord is going much more quickly.  Cast on this morning, and it’s really moving.

together 2

I don’t have many dpns, and what I have are not the right size for this project – so I’m using circs.  Short circs, but still more of a hassle.  Actually,  for the lace weight I didn’t have short circs, just a long cable…so that’s another reason it slowed me down.

(Do I sound like I’m making excuses??  I’m not, really….)

On another subject entirely, we gave Kessem her first taste of peanut butter today.  Her tongue got a real workout.  Then I put peanut butter inside the one toy she hasn’t chewed to bits yet – it has a hollow part to hide treats in and the vet suggested peanut butter.  First, she tried to get her tongue inside it.  Hard to do.  Then, when she wanted to rest, she hid it from us.    Finally, bedtime.  She took it out of hiding and kept it by her side, refusing to let her guard down.

kessem on guard

I wonder if she’s going to sleep with one eye open.

She has nothing to fear from me, I’m too busy knitting an i-cord…


Four-legged Magic

April 4, 2013

In January our family expanded.  Partner has been at loose ends since retiring last year, and kidlet had been pestering her non-stop to get a dog to keep her busy and active.  (With many promises of help, but every parent knows what that really means…)

So the week before partner’s birthday, we spent a day visiting the local shelters.  Partner wanted an older dog – one that didn’t need training – and preferably a small/lap dog.  We didn’t find any dogs available that met those requirements, most of the poor unwanted dogs in the shelters were pretty big.   We went home to think about it, but partner had really liked one of the medium-sized dogs we had seen, a very quiet and sweet girl.  So after deliberation, and a quick shopping trip for essentials, back we went to get her.

The shelter had rescued her from the pound and named her Kashmi.  Partner, wanting a Hebrew name, changed it to Kessem (“magic”).  She was 8 months old, undernourished, with parasites, a skin rash and a kennel cough, but she couldn’t stop wagging her tail and smiling at us.


We took her home and soon realised that she had never been inside a house before.  She reacted to everything with surprise, including the TV.  She jumped up on the bed, got a yelled “No!”, and she hasn’t done that again!  She was delighted not to have to fight other dogs to get food.  And her dog bed immediately became her refuge, where she ran immediately if unsure of something, and where she finally relaxed.  (For some reason, she didn’t like the mattress, though – we had to add a blanket for her to accept it…)


What breed is she?  Hard to tell.  The vet guessed maybe mostly Mitsubishi, with a little Mazda.  In other words, probably a little bit of everything.  We definitely see some pinscher, and maybe dachshund, others have suggested perhaps some shepherd.  Does it matter?   Nope.

Since Haifa is by the sea, the beach was one of the first places we took her to visit.  Well, we can say for certain that she isn’t a water dog.  Digging in the sand, however, can occupy her indefinitely.



It took a week before we heard her bark.  That happened when partner’s brother came to visit with his pekingese, and Kessem wanted to play.  Pecki, however, wasn’t interested, and kept trying to hide.  Disappointed puppy!

She’s very sociable, wanting to jump and play with every dog, person, and even cat that she meets.  She loves to walk and run, keeping kidlet on her toes as well.


In the weeks since coming home, she has been cured of her health issues, and has filled out, gaining over 10 pounds with her carefully measured puppy food.  She has also gained confidence, and guards the house, sounding the alarm if someone passes by on the stairs.  She is still amazingly sweet and loving, if sometimes a bit naughty, and shows great theatrical talent in acting totally miserable and pathetic if left alone for even a short while.

One problem is finding toys for her, since she shreds everything we give her to play with.  Tennis balls are totally demolished within 15 minutes, the thick rope toys take her a few hours.  She chews off bits of the heavy rubber toys until they’re also gone if we don’t take them away from her.  Rawhide bones are digested almost immediately.  And if she doesn’t have toys, she starts on the rugs, which isn’t good.   Now that the holiday is over, partner is planning on starting her with a trainer, so maybe he’ll have a solution to the toy dilemma.

Partner now has something to keep her busy 24/7,  not to mention getting a great more exercise.  And all our lives are just that much richer.

It’s magic.