Early Thanksgiving

I’ll make this the Thanksgiving post since most will see it on that day given my posting hour.  Davout is not thankful that the screen is keeping him from going outside.  There was a little too much stuff going on here for outside time.

Anna was thankful for her dinner, since that meant the rotten part of her day was over.  She was grumbling the entire afternoon, since her opening vet visit was at noon.  I was a bit surprised to have an opening that quickly, but off we went.

Getting picked up and put in the carrier was about Anna’s limit for contact.  She was good in the car again, and even seemed to relax.  In the vet waiting room I let her out of the carrier and she walked around calmly, and after that jumped up to sit next to me on a bench chair the office has.

The tech came in for the weighing and ear check and Anna was done.  She stared growling during the heart rate check which made it take longer.   Then the Vet came in and Anna sat on the bench for some of the conversation….but then it was exam time!

After that, Anna was TOTALLY DONE WITH THAT.

and then came time to clip the back claws and cut out a little knot on her belly…


Anna was actually very good with being pissed off.  She growled and complained and wiggled and did a few alligator snaps but was not frightened or wild.  But when she got home she spent most of the afternoon in her safest spots to chill out.

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Anna Comnena Has Arrived

If Davout had known what was up for today he might have been even more worried.  First came a checkup for the furnace, which meant a visitor and a lot of lumping and bumping. At first both cats made themselves scarce in the garage, but soon Rhea was back sniffing at the tech’s tablet computer when he was gathering his things.  By the time he was upstairs puttering around she had joined him and was climbing in his toolbag or peering around corners at him.

The other thing that was “up” for today was me adopting another cat.  Meet Anna Comnena, formerly Hanna and Matilda.

She’s an 8 and a half years old (born 5-14-06) and is a Persian Brown Tabby.  I adopted her from a rescue nearby, Spunky’s Rescue Ranch just down the road in the Malibu Mountains to the south.  She was surrendered by the owner after they had a kid who mistreated her.

The Ranch was a big change for her, lots of cats about and very different from her old life. And she has some trust issues about people after her mistreatment and abandonment. I watched her interaction with the other cats there.  You could she she wasn’t bonded with the others, but wasn’t afraid of them or trying to dominate them.  I think the kittens will not bully her, but I didn’t want her to bully them.

I decided to switch her name a little, because I’ve always liked the story of Anna Comnena. She was a Byzantine Greek Princess, Daughter of Emperor Alexius I, who was also a scholar, physician, hospital administrator and also wrote a full history of her father’s reign that happened to include the First Crusade from the view of the Byzantines.  The last name is pronounced Com-nee-na.

I’ve read her history myself – it is pretty good stuff.

She was very good in the car, even though the road through the mountains and hills is very twisty — part of the road is Mulholland Drive, which everyone knows from TV car chases or scenes where cars run off the road off cliffs.

When I got her inside I did put the carrier down in front of Rhea and they stared at each other for a beat or two.  There was no crisis, and Rhea only hissed when I lifted the box away.

One of the first things I did was give her some food.  She ate well, and even let me do some scratching on her back while she ate.

After dinner Anna went to the door rather pointedly….

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Outside Adventures

Rhea Rhelaxing

I’m off this week and by mid-afternoon the cats were getting bored with the novelty of having me hanging around.

Rhea Out Back

I had no further excuse to avoid letting them out back.  It was a nice day out, if a bit windy. A few doors down a neighbor was having some trees cut down and chipped with a wood chipper.  This made Davout reluctant to poke his nose out very far.  Rhea had it all to herself.

Wide Eyes

The winds have blown a lot of leaves from the tree out front into the yard, and pine needles too.

Another Yawn

Then Rhea started yawning…



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The Two Towers

Davout's Tree

I took another hike this afternoon.  This one is more ‘off-road’ – a trail that ascends 750 feet or so at once then follows a ridge line, then crosses a meadow up top and follows some power lines along the south face of the Simi Hills, ending up halfway or so up Simi Peak, the highest spot in the county.  There’s a couple of other trails you can use to get on top of that, but that’s another direction.  I needed the leather jacket I wore at times as there were some high winds up there with nothing to block them.  Perhaps I need to find a more breathable hiking jacket than my leather one.  Most times of year this isn’t a big deal, even today the thermometer in my staff said it was 80 or so in the sun.

Davout took over this cat tower…

Rhea's Tower

But Rhea didn’t care since she was in this one.  Three towers in the living room and just two cats means there’s something for everyone.

Look Down

The nice thing about this tower is that I can get even higher!

Round Basket

If you want an interesting comparison you can check out this picture: Circles.  Calla fills out the top of this tree a little bit more than Rhea does.

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Random Stuff

Rhea was scarred for life, or at least a few minutes early this morning.  It was still dark and I got up to use the bathroom but for some reason my head was sideways and I kept losing my balance and staggering about.  Finally I bumped against a cat tree Rhea was sitting on and she rocketed off downstairs.  Eventually I got my head vertical, but she didn’t come back.

With the short hours before sunset and my laziness n getting out to walk before afternoon I’ve been hunting out “open space” nearer home and today was noodling around in a little section of hills on the other side of the interstate highway higher up the ridge I live on.  Last time I went out I found an approved entrance to the open space area and explored part.  This time I went another way and found some trails that led to the back of a Christmas Tree Farm, a long area under some high tension towers.  Trails around here often use those, since they need a dirt trail for cars and trucks to get there for maintenance. I also managed to find a path that led to the lip of the highway cut about at the top of the ridge.  Then from there I went along the path under the wires to the hilltop in another place and there was a pretty cool looking swath cut for this power line leading straight along the ridge between subdivisions over to a hill I’ve hiked before coming from the other direction out from a park out there.  I doubt I could follow it the whole way but it was interesting to see how the land lays in that direction.  Then looking over that you could see down into other valleys beyond and the hills and mountains that border them.

I also played around with Picasa and its limited picture effects tabs.  I’ve used the HDR-ish a few times before because it always reminds me of a van Gogh painting when you get it high enough.

When I got back Davout was napping.

When it was time for pictures, he had moved to the cat tree.  I kept trying to catch him with his tongue out and missing, so I started sticking my tongue out to see if it would make him poke his out in sympathy.  I did get a great whisker shot.

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It is odd how things go into fashion.  This bed has been shunned by everyone since about 6 months after I got it.  I was even using it mostly to catch stuff I was tossing aside. Then suddenly  Rhea tossed out the stuff I’d thrown into it and started using it.

Lurkertype asked if I was going to make Zazzle pictures of the kittens.  I did try it once before a few months ago but did not finish.  It can’t quite get all the features of  Rhea quite right – there should be grey under the left ear and orange under the right ear above the eye.

Davout is a little easier.

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Moving Backwards

Davout was playing with a shoestring on the top of the cat tree….

And Rhea was watching from just below.

But before that…..

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Fun and Games

Davout on the top of the tree.

Rhea poses for the camera below.

Family Photo.  You can see all the points Rhea has gnawed on here and on the back.  She hasn’t been as bitey today as yesterday.

Trying to give Davout some fun is hard sometimes when he is in his ultra cautious moods.  I had just got him to think about jumping on the chair when Rhea dived in and got into the action.

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Odd Girl

Davout sits off to the side watching.

Rhea started doing something odd…gnawing on the tops of those white pillars on the tree. She’s pretty intense about it.  I’m not sure if I am more worried about her marring the tree or busting a tooth.

Time to distract her with a toy.

She grabbed it and carried it down to the ground.

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Snake Toy

Rhea will relax the evening away if there is nothing to do.

But all that goes out the window when the snake toy comes out!

“This snake is about as long as I am!”

Davout was content to watch for a while but finally got his licks in.  He managed to pull out the long dark feathers from the end.

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