Archive for the 'Cats' Category

Your twice-yearly update

Posted in Cats, Journal, Meta at 19:01

Kanoko and Susu together

Teasing with the title there. The pause hasn’t been intentional; more a collection of “later… later…” on my part. For nearly three months…!

The cats are doing great (the photo above was taken today), and I’ve been doing pretty well too. Paris holds more opportunities across the board, whether they be personal, interpersonal, career-related, cat-related. I’ve been making the most of it, so my blog has gone to the backburner in the meanwhile.

The biggest plus has definitely been for my career. I’ve finally been given long-requested promotions, ones for which work just wasn’t there in the southeast. The flip side is that, as a consultant with immediately-recognizable client companies, I’m not at liberty to talk about it in more than the most general terms. So, in the time I haven’t been writing here, I have been thinking about which direction to take my blog. I have some ideas, but they’re still fuzzy; my day job has been taking up most of my creative brainpower. Which is a wonderful thing! It’s great to have a job that asks creativity of me. I’ve always been an organic sort, so I know that when I say “we’ll see” for this blog, we actually will.

Kitty on a chair

Posted in Catnet at 23:31

Susu posing on a chair

Kanoko and I have been enjoying the sun lately. Spring has definitely arrived! Yesterday it was twenty degrees (cats use centigrade).

In the evenings I like to read blogs too. In my last post I shared our favorite music, but we also love art. One of my current favorites is Kitty In A Hut. If you like cats and have a darkly-quirky sense of humor, you’ll probably enjoy it too. My human says it’s drawn by one of her friends from when she was a kitten-human. The kitty looks just like hers! Kind of a grey version of Kanoko.

After music and reading, Kanoko and I have a nice rest together to get ready for plenty of jumpy-time fun just before sunrise.

Cat music on the Catnet

Posted in Catnet, Cats at 15:30

Susu selfie

I’ve been hanging out listening to music lately. Music for Cats, of course. My favorite there is “Spook’s Ditty.” On request of a commenter, I borrowed my human’s phone and took a selfie while pondering the meaning of life. As you can see, I am CLEARLY blue and black.

We’re all looking forward to the return of spring. A lot of humans have been tired this last month; mine says it’s a virus going around. I’ve never had a virus; I think it’s because I catch a lot of flies? Probably eating flies helps build resistance to that sort of thing. Humans should consider eating more of them. They are really crunchy.

Kanoko’s favorite song is still this one by Kraftwerk. He always purrs through the whole thing.

Feline photog

Posted in Catnet, Cats, Photography at 17:44

Susu the photographer

A chirpy hello to you! We had beautiful sunlight in Courbevoie today. After checking out the grass on our balcony and watching skylarks and crows, Kanoko and I came back inside to rest on the soft mattresses that our human also likes to use. I’ve been experimenting with photography thanks to our human. At first I thought she was just clicking a little black box with a big eye at us, but then I noticed it has pictures on a screen, like the other clicky-thing she uses to post these blog entries. She showed me that the small black box actually makes the photos on its screen!

For my first tries, I took a few shots of my best friend. This one is my favorite. Kanoko was paying a lot of attention to his fur, as usual, and the afternoon light was still nice.

Susu the photographer

New contributor

Posted in Catnet, Cats at 19:29

Susu Blogs

The end of 2014 marked my twentieth year blogging – as a human. Regular readers may also remember the Internet’s very first catblog: Malo’s, started back in 2002, with then-novel cat-captioned webcam pics. It is still around, just on a private server, because it got so many spam comments, and up until recently, blog spam filters were very hit and miss. Recently, another cat, Susu, has been telling me that she’d very much like to contribute. As if to give me a sign, today I learned that one of the early names of the Internet was “catenet“, pronounced “catnet” as a contraction of “concatenated network”. I had been looking for a category name to dub Susu’s contributions – now we have one!

Susu is a thoughtful, humorous, and expressive feline. As we all know, the Internet has contributed to the expansive growth of felis catus understanding, especially with the leaps and bounds made in cat-to-human translation. As such, I feel confident that Susu will be able to contribute a great deal here on her Catnet. For those of you wondering why Kanoko isn’t writing, he’s never much liked the spotlight. He does love watching Susu and helping her, though.

A brief look at Susu, full name Susuwatari Soot Sprite, and what she’ll be bringing us:
Birthdate: July 2011 (age 3 currently, nearing 4)
Notable personality trait as a kitten, according to her first human: “She’s a wild one!!! She never stops running around, I still haven’t been able to pick her up!”
Move-in date with Kanoko and fraise: 29 October 2011
Fun fact: It was the first time her original human had been able to pick her up.
First expression of interest in blogging: age 4 months
Tastes in wine: Susu prefers Fleurie
Design skills: A talented couturière, Susu often advises on pattern and fabric combinations.

Regarding the recent dinosaur controversy: Susu would like to state for the record that she is not, has never been, and will never be, a dinosaur. She was merely photographed at a sensitive time by a paparazzi at her vacation home on the French Riviera. While she is an obligate carnivore, she does not roar or go on rampages, and always sheaths her claws when swatting. She meows and dashes about while behaving responsibly: these are highly important distinctions that dinosaurs are incapable of making.

Happy cats in Paris

Posted in Cats, La France, Travel at 19:07

Susu and Kanoko sharing a chair on the balcony

At home on my lunch break, I took what is quite possibly my favorite photo of the cats to date. They had never shared the chair on our Courbevoie balcony before, but today they did, and my camera caught Kanoko in another of his quintessentially feline “I am happy” expressions.

I’ve now taken the TGV often enough to earn Grand Voyageur status. My new card came in the mail today; Susu seemed quite interested in it.

Grand Voyageur card and curious Susu

There are two higher levels: Grand Voyageur Plus and Grand Voyageur Le Club. It’s nostalgic for me, because I’m just old enough to remember when airline mile clubs were all the rage, and business travel with one added up to a lot of perqs. Now that those have all but disappeared, I’ve nonetheless gained a… train card that comes with perqs! I’ll hit Plus status in a month, and likely Le Club not too long afterwards. You can exchange points for train tickets and/or gifts, get hotel reductions, use the special travel salons in stations, exchange train tickets much more easily, and for the highest Club level, if you miss your train for whatever reason, you can even get on the next one without exchanging your ticket. For free. All you have to do is notify the train controller.

No matter which card you have, the Voyageur programme is pretty nice. It’s free, and means you don’t have to print out your ticket, since it’s linked to your card’s QR code – those square barcodes you see everywhere nowadays. Controllers have QR code readers and simply flash your card. Bienvenue au futur !

Paris in a day

Posted in Cats, La France, Photography, Travel at 19:17

 

Yesterday my employer sent me to our consulting company’s Paris offices for a client interview. The potential project would be with a client located in La Défense, which is a business sector in Neuilly, just outside of Paris. You can see La Grande Arche de la Défense from the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysées; it looks like a contemporary square white arch not much larger than the historical Arc. Once you’re actually in front of it, though, you realize that it is massive.

After the meeting finished, I had an hour of free time to see Paris. I took métro line 1 to the Tuileries, the large gardens in front of the Louvre. I found a tea shop nearby, with reasonable prices given it was set between the Conseil d’État and the Louvre. I sipped a delicious jasmine tea, then took the metro and RER back to Orly for my flight home. There are a few more photos in this set of the trip.

I thought the kitties would understand me getting home a couple hours later than usual. They seemed to yesterday evening, but not this morning. As I prepared to leave for work, Susu started mewing at me and circling my feet. When I went to get my purse, she said, “MEW?!” and jumped on it. She refused. To. Budge. “No! You are staying home today! No more purses taking you to offices! Mew!” She managed to jump back on it the three times I picked her up; eventually I had to pick up my purse with her on it, then put her on the floor. “Meeewwwwww…” she cried. Too smart for her own sweet good, that little kitty-girl.

Petite promenade

Posted in Cats, Cycling, Nice at 17:04

 
Prom, looking east

This morning I rode down to the Promenade, following two veteran cyclists. It wasn’t planned that I ride behind them, but it was nice to be able to watch experienced cyclists, since I was able to see how they managed traffic. They had a very similar approach to my own, namely assertiveness in the name of safety, as opposed to a more reckless aggressivity. Drivers have become much more aware of cyclists in Nice since the bikeshare programme began a few years ago; I have yet to run into any scary situations in traffic. So far drivers have always been more or less aware of my presence, and taken hand signals into account. I could hardly ask for better conditions to ease into road cycling.

I took these photos with my handheld Kodak, which isn’t as nice as my Nikon DSLR. However, the handheld fits into a back jersey pocket, where the Nikon definitely wouldn’t! I probably won’t take any photos on my weekday commutes, but do hope to enjoy some weekend rides with photo stops, like today’s.

Prom, looking west

Two weeks ago, Susu wanted to show off her matte black coat in front of my glossy bike. This one is with my Nikon, you can tell the difference in color range and quality!

Matte and gloss black

Fierce furry feline

Posted in Cats at 15:25

Meow everyone. My human has been engrossed in sewing something she calls a “cape” lately. I don’t quite understand why so much effort is put into something already deliciously warm and comfortable, I mean she’s just going to wrap herself in it anyway, but then humans are a mysterious lot.

Today she took some photos of me and asked if I would comment them. Apparently there’s a day called “Halloween” soon. On top of everything, not only do I get a human who takes perfectly good wool and cuts it up, she has to be interested in quaint pagan rituals that no one else even celebrates where she lives. But she’s very nice and snuggles whenever I want, so here you go.

Kanoko naps

I was having a lovely nap when miss human came up, snorfled my tummy, nommed my paws, and then turned the light on to take photos.

Kanoko yawns

“Aaaaaaarrr!” I told her, but she laughed at how cute my “yawn” was.

Be-fanged yawn

“Grrrr! See my fangs and claws!” I tried to insist.

Kanoko sighs

Alas, all for nought.

Fenced-In Foe of Flapping Pigeons

Posted in Cats at 20:32

 
Cats dozing
Two Sundays ago, Kanoko had climbed my patio fence to stalk a pigeon roosting in a tree on the opposite side. The pigeon, none too comfortable with the situation, flapped its wings, which surprised Kanoko, who took a bad fall and hurt his left hind leg. He limped inside, grumbling cantankerously, and sat at my feet, where he continued to groan and sigh. He wasn’t bleeding, and a careful evaluation of his leg seemed to show no broken bones. He remained alert, with no signs of shock, so I wrote my office a quick email to let them know I wouldn’t be coming to work the next day, since I needed to take my cat to the vet.

In the vet’s office the next morning, she had Kanoko walk a bit to show how he treated his leg. He put no weight on it, but was still relatively alert, although clearly fatigued and grumbly. The vet suggested putting him under general anesthesia so she could move his leg for x-rays without causing him unnecessary pain. That way we could be absolutely sure there were no broken bones. I agreed.

A few hours later, the x-rays were finished: no broken bones! Kanoko seemed to have a very bad sprained knee; the vet thought it most likely that he’d torn the knee tendons, considering how much abnormal movement was in the knee and how little weight he put on it. The exact details didn’t much matter in his case though, since cats have the peculiar ability to recover from sprained and even torn tendons on their own, without surgery or splints. She prescribed bed rest: absolutely no pigeon-chasing, and as little jumping as possible. I was to return in a week’s time to confirm that Kanoko was doing well enough that surgery wasn’t required – it can be used for torn tendons in cats, in rare cases where recovery doesn’t happen on its own.

Kanoko, being the intelligent feline he is (apart from chasing pigeons he can’t catch, anyhow), was very good about being careful with his leg over the week, and improved noticeably.

Yesterday we went for his return visit. Again the vet wanted to see him walk: I sat him on the floor and moved a few paces in front of him, kneeled and encouraged him to walk towards me. Kanoko crouched. He slowly, almost imperceptibly, slit his eyes and put his ears part way back. He did not move. “Allez mon grand, viens, marche un peu !” I asked him. The vet gently kneeled and reached out to him. As if in slow motion, Kanoko stood just enough to creep away… showing that he was indeed putting more weight on his leg. He crept, as surreptitiously as possible in a well-lit veterinarian’s office, to a corner with a radiator, where he stuck his head and pulled in his body until he imagined he was invisible, an immense brown tabby Coon “blending in” with the white radiator to his side and the two white walls of the corner.

The vet and I laughed. Kanoko flicked an ear back, then forward again, otherwise motionless. Since all was well, I carefully picked him up, and a few minutes later, we were on our way home.

Susu has been making sure that Kanoko’s been warm and well-licked.

Cats waking