Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Think Nigel Made Santa's (and Dave and Sharon's) "Naughty" List

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Here's the latest Nigel and Mimsey update from my mom...

I cannot get over how much the kittens have grown in the short time we have had them. Their bodies have become very sleek, especially Mimsey - no more baby bellies! It is harder to notice this with all of Nigel's fur. They are beginning to look a lot more like young cats, although they still have the cute baby faces that I love. Mimsey climbs! Nigel hides in strange places! I have had two moments of panic this week. First time was when Nigel ran out into the garage, when I opened the door. The garage door was closed, but it is very cold out there right now. Temperatures are single digits in the morning, with some snow on the ground. I literally ran out there in my pajamas and bare feet. Luckily, he ran back inside after a short time.

The second Nigel trick occurred last night. I am such a mother hen, and have to know where the kittens are every second. When we noticed that Nigel was missing, we started looking in his familiar places with no luck. Quite a bit of time went by, and we still could not find him. Luckily, Mimsey came to the rescue. We noticed that she kept laying on the floor right in front of the dishwasher, with her paws underneath. Sure enough, there was Nigel under the dishwasher, in a space so small and narrow, that we honestly don't know how he managed to squeeze into that spot. Dad keeps telling me that if we wait, they will come.

We have not tackled the Christmas tree yet, although I am getting anxious to put it up. I really love my Christmas decorations. I have a small decorated tree on the buffet. Mimsey loves to lay underneath it, as well as rearrange the tiny ornaments. I have a feeling that our big tree will not have ornaments on the bottom third of it. It should be interesting !

All the winter birds are hanging out at my feeders now, so this gives the kittens a lot of entertainment. They watch in front of the sliding glass door, their heads in constant motion. Today two squirrels got into my feeders, and fascinated the kittens for a long time.

Do you have any advice for getting them to sleep longer in the morning? I have tried playing with all their toys as late as I can stay awake, but they still wake up full of energy when it is barely day break. Then, they cry out in the kitchen as one of us makes coffee, until we open up a can of Science Diet Roasted Chicken with Gravy. Boy, they gobble down that stuff! I can't convince them that we are retired, and don't have to get up so early!

Petco and Petsmart have become one of our favorite places to shop. Yesterday Dad took some pictures of cat climbing furniture. I wonder if Santa knows about that stuff? I think this might help with the problem of Mimsey climbing up on so many things. Anyway, we are still amazed at their constant energy, and find them so entertaining just to watch.

Oh, by the way, right now there is a long kitten fun tunnel stretched across our living room floor. You dad bought that! We'll work the Christmas tree around it.

61 comments:

  1. Oh Nigel No frightening your new humans like that!!!

    Lovely pic of Nigel too - He such a handsome little guy isn't he...?

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  2. I imagine that Nigel and Mimsey are so close that if one of them gets trapped or lost somewhere, the other will act strangely and/or cry until help arrives. That may help reassure your mom. P.S. I always do a kitty headcount before leaving or going to bed or even if I just haven't seen one in a few hours. She's not the only mother hen!

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  3. You could tell your mom to try one of those treat balls that you can put food inside, and as the cats roll the ball, the food slowly falls out. She might be able to prepare it the night before and roll it out in the morning and sneak back to bed.

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  4. I feed my cats right before I go to bed. That way, they start gathering and bothering me an hour or two before bed time, rather than an hour or two before I get up in the morning.

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  5. Your Mom's emails are wonderful updates as well as hilarious. Nigel and Mimsey have a lot of work to do tutoring/training your parents...

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  6. My cats like to go in the garage too occasionally. It's a fun place to sniff around and climb on things. Plus it's NEW. What I do is leave the door to the garage open to remind me they are there. They usually come in on their own when I open the screen door (and eagerly too now that it's cold). Just as long as there isn't any oil or anti-freeze or other dangerous liquids around, I wouldn't be too worried.

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  7. This makes me remember what a mother hen my mom was. She was the one who started allowing her kitty to go outside, even though she adopted him as an adult and he had never had that experience. THEN she would worry until he came home. Sometimes she couldn't remember if he was in or out so I made a sign to put on the doorknob that said "IN" on one side and "OUT" on the other. In small print above IN it said, "We really think the cat is" and above OUT it said, "We're pretty sure the cat is".
    One day the cat showed up at the door asking to come in, when the sign said IN, and my father said, "Tell that cat we already have a cat in here and we're sorry but he'll have to find somewhere else to go". My mother was not amused.

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  8. well, that kittens-mom-dad bonding has gone very well, hasn't it?

    Xx, Christine H

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  9. My garage is super off limits (as is the outdoors). It took a certain amount of time for me to learn how to open and shut the door without certain furry ones trying to go into the forbidden zone....they do learn in time what is permitted though that curiosity factor never quite goes away entirely.

    Nigel's hiding ability is hilarious. I can't wait to hear how (if) the Christmas tree survives. One suggestion, though....if any ornament is particularly meaningful and fragile, this is the year to admire it then put it back in the box. Kittens just don't understand sentimental objects.

    Good luck to your mom trying to get the babies to sleep a bit later. I only have senior citizen cats now and they've yet to learn that time telling skill. Fortunately, I'm a morning person.

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  10. I love your mom's update! This was truly a match made in heaven for both Nigel and Mimsey and Dave and Sharon! Tell your mom to keep the updates coming!

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  11. It sounds like, even with the moments of worry and the exasperation of having kittens in the house, your parents are enjoying every second with their new sweeties. I'm so glad it all worked out for them.

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  12. Forget about sleeping in, Cats don't and neither should you. If you can stand the crying, screaming and knocking things over, they might let you sleep a little bit longer. As for the tree, try a playpen for the tree. We leave the bottom third of the tree with non-breakables for the 2 Maine Coons to bat at. Watch for them drinking the tree water, can cause tummy issues.

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  13. "Do you have any advice for getting them to sleep longer in the morning?" That really made me laugh! It's been 14 years with Mocha and I keep waiting for that to happen.

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  14. Your dad is smitten with his kittens!!!

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  15. "Oh, by the way, right now there is a long kitten fun tunnel stretched across our living room floor...We'll work the Christmas tree around it."

    Hee! They're working the tree around the kitten tunnel, instead of moving the tunnel! Sounds like Dave and Sharon are truly smitten. (And really, how could they not be?)

    Thanks so much to Sharon, Dave and Laurie for sharing this all with us. It is really wonderful to vicariously enjoy someone enjoying their first kittens!

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  16. LOVE your mom's updates. Also love the fact your dad is out buying them presents and toys already. I'm with Beth Ann, T Green, & Sam. There is no such thing as a snooze alarm for a hungry cat. As for the tree, your mom should look for plastic, felt or handmade ornaments with no sentimental value. These can be "rearranged" to a kitty's content and no damage done. I'm wondering, though, if Mimsy's a climber, if anyone's warned her about Xmas tree climbing cats and the havoc that brings.

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  17. I just love how every line of your mom's update radiates happiness and fun and awe over Mimsey and Nigel. Wondering if your dad will poke his head or maybe even his entire self into the "kitty fun tunnel" at some point -- he seems pretty game to amuse the kittens.

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  18. We put our cat climbing tree right by the big window in our sunroom and the cats hang out there all the time on the different levels watching the comings and goings of squirrels and birds etc in out back garden. If your mum has a spot in her house like that, I promise you it will be a big hit!! That is if Santa brings one which I'm sure he will :-)

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  19. We have a sister and brother cat, and if one is missing the other usually knows where he/she is.

    As for getting kitties to sleep in, first get them used to a regular feeding schedule. We feed them a little kibble in the morning, wet food when we're home from work, and a little kibble just before bed.

    Then, provide negative feedback for non-desired behavior. As kittens, we squirted them with a squirt bottle when they climbed on the kitchen counter, for instance. Now we can just point as if we have a squirt bottle make the squirt bottle noise "Pssst". We provided the same negative feedback for "c'mon, wake up and feed me" behaviors in the morning. So now they know that snuggling and purring are fine, but meows and licks are not. Such smart kitties!

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  20. Sounds like everybody is super happy with this new family arrangement--as they should be! ;)

    Some advice for Sharon: tie your Christmas tree to the ceiling. My parents had to do this when we had climber cats. Get some sturdy twine, and tie it to the tree under the first set of really sturdy branches. Then put two sturdy thumb-tacks or tiny hooks in the ceiling about 3 feet away. Tie. It's not the most elegant look, but it keeps the tree from tipping over so easily.

    Also, for the bottom part of the tree, why not get ornaments for kitties to play with? Felt ones, and other materials that can take batting around, make good impromptu "toys". And if they're new cheap things, you won't mind when they need to be replaced. Just avoid anything with a lot of glitter, unless you want a sparkly litter box.

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  21. An idea to help you sleep in is the Le Bistro Portion Control Feeder. It runs on batteries and you can program up to 3 meals a day any vary the size of the meal. Note that this is only for dry cat food but maybe you can feed them dry in the morning and canned at night?

    I love my automatic pet feeder. I hear the food drop into the bowl at 6am, the pitter patter of tiny feet scampering to see who can get to the bowl first, then I roll over and go back to sleep. :)

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  22. When Bac'was a baby kitten she found out she could slip under the oven -- I'd go lookign and there, from the cabinetry, would be a little tortie nose. Made it difficult to bake with peace of mind till she got too big to wedge under there!

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  23. A few notes on getting cats to sleep in:
    - a regular feeding schedule that is stuck to firmly will help. Be sure to feed right before lights out. I feed morning, evening, and a bit before bedtime.
    - My manager's kitten decided that good behavior in the morning was easier than a night in the bathroom. My cats generally get the message (for a while) when I kick them out, close the door and put on some noise to mask their complaints for a few mornings.
    - Always remember that cats can fit through holes that the human mind can't comprehend. My large adult girl got through about a two inch gap under the sink once.
    - The spray bottle is effective, but can be overused. The same girl cowers when I've used it on her fellow cats. Judicious use of a can of compressed air can be quite an effective way of sending a message. But only a little - it may not be good for cats.

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  24. Your mom is just the sweetest and I am so happy that she has Nigel & Mimsey. How can that little angelic face of his cause so much stress? But have you given her the bad news that kitties climb Christmas trees from the inside out and that NO ornament is ever safe?
    KitKat

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  25. The late, great Einstein got her name by wedging herself under the refrigerator on her second day in our house (and then howling for help to get out!) Several antics later, she never made it to Santa's naughty list, so sweet little Nigel should be safe.

    Love your mom's stories. Hope to see a photo of the Frosts in the Christmas tree soon...oops, I meant "under the Christmas tree" (really, I did!)

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  26. I'm just laughing and laughing.....

    Nah, they aren't spoiled a bit! ::snort::

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  27. Your cat is like a movie star.

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  28. Such fun with the babies! Well, they're not quite babies any more, but they're still beyond adorable, and your parents sound totally smitten.

    Not only do they need to fix their tree so that it won't tip over too easily (been there, done that!), they need to remember to NOT USE TINSEL. Cats like to eat it, and although it seems funny to see strands of it poking out of their bottom a couple of days later, it can actually be very, very dangerous (and even worse if you try to pull on it to pull it out -- it can really get their intestinal tract all snarled up, requiring surgery!). So if you have cats, leave the tinsel off the tree!

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  29. Once I tried using the spray bottle on a kitten that was harrassing his elderly sister. It worked, but only because he came over to drink from the stream. Thirteen years later and he still comes up and drinks from the squirt bottle.

    My way of getting cats to let you sleep in is to grab and cuddle them if they wake you up too early. Talk in a squeaky voice in their ear, too. Eventually they will stay out of grabbing range until you are awake.

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  30. Love hearing about the Frost adventures!
    Thanks for sharing :)

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  31. Good luck with sleeping in.. and just wait for the first morning when they DO sleep in and you wake up in a panic, wondering what's happened to them. My 14-year old cat is a night walker, sleeps all day... so it's been a very long battle. The two new ones have their hidey holes somewhere in the house that I've not found, but shaking a bag of kitty treats gets them out. And as far as the garage, mine have the run of it, since their litter boxes are out there. Now if anyone has any ideas about how to keep them out of the rafters and doing their tight-rope ballet across the tops of the worklights... well... I'm listening. :)

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  32. Love your mom's updates! Here are some tips for having a tree around kittens/cats

    It’s the time of year where many of us head out to a nearby farm or nursery to get a Christmas Tree. The safest tree for your cat is one that can fit out of the way on a table but what if you want to get the six footer? Follow these simple tips to cat-proof your tree:

    Place the tree in a corner for less access,

    secure the tree to a wall or the ceiling,

    use a tree skirt that comes off easily to shake out the needles frequently so they don't track them/eat them

    Hide all electrical cords with covers

    Skip the tinsel -- very important since they can become seriously ill from eating it.

    My cat is a free feeder. He came to me that way when he was 9 & 10.5 years later, he doesn't wake me up unless he wants under the covers. :-)

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  33. Just remind your parents that they went through this with you (and any siblings... sorry, can't remember if you have any) when you were a baby/toddler. It's just like riding a bike! ;p

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  34. Laurie: I adore your mom's stories of the Frosties! I can tell that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to regaling us with kitty tales!

    Meowy Hugs, Robin

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  35. Not sure Laurie ended up under the dishwasher even at the youngest age, Christie.

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  36. What a little rascal Nigel is! I hate to be an alarmist, but I worked for many years in the service department of an appliance company. If he has found a way to actually get behind the toekick of the dishwasher, it would be a good idea to improvise some way to block him out until he gets too big to squeeze in. There are a number of sharp edges, fans and electrical connections underneath there that could cause him injury or possibly catch on his collar.

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  37. I thought I had finally convinced my kitties (the former Betty June and Camille Suprenant) to let me sleep until I got up for work at 6:45. Then I boarded them for a few days at Thanksgiving...and now they give me headbutts and nose licks of love every morning at 5 on the dot. Even if there's food in their bowls already.

    (I shoo them out and close the door. I'm hoping that sooner or later (okay, probably later) the routine will sink in again.)

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  38. Try corporal cuddling to stop them from waking you up in the morning. I thought this was a joke. However, I tried it out of sheer desperation when my cat decided she wanted to wake me up at 4:00 AM every morning. It totally worked!

    http://www.youtube.com/watchv=mHXBL6bzAR4&feature=channel

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  39. Stop scaring your Mommy like that, Nigel! Though I'm sure you are always forgiven with lots of snuggles, you handsome boy.

    My 2 girls don't usually get up until I do. Though sometimes one will tap me on the shoulder and meow. And the other one will stick her tiny paw in my face and walk all over my pillow - and my hair! Ouch!

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  40. I may be accused of being a Scrooge, but since my own Iowan parents' house is so cluttered, they had to have a mini-tree instead. You see we had this artificial tree that cam in two parts. So my Dad took the top part and made a stand for it. Now our tree is about 2 feet tall.

    Maybe they can do that? It would make it harder for the kittens to knock it down. If they use a live tree, maybe someone will give them a discount on an otherwise unsellable tree if they just hack the top part off.

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  41. I have been eagerly awaiting another Frost update! I love that your Mum and Dad now list pet stores as their favourite place to shop! Can't wait to hear how the Frosts' and the Christmas tree get along ;P

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  42. Advice for your mom, you just have to try and ignore them in the mornings. My big fat cat doesn't whine as much in the mornings has he used to. I try to teach the cats that they will get fed when I decide to get up ;)

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  43. We always count 'tails' before bed, before we leave and many times throughout the day...you just never know with little ones. Ha! Love the reports...keep 'em coming!

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  44. We just LOVE to read these updates ~ thank yoor mom and dad so much for sending them.

    And we don't think the kittens need to worry about Santa ~ they are too cute to be left wiv no presents!

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  45. ROTFLMAO... this is a great post - could 'give' loads of 'advise' but I can't stop laughing.. and just who is 'Oldcat', is she Sharon (or is he Dave)? Back on the floor I went when I read THAT comment... Thanks for the morning (and many) chuckles!!

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  46. Love the kitten antics...most especially the fact the kittens are in someone ELSES house!

    Lovely fun kittens....

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  47. Want. Nigel. So. Bad. But. Have. Eight. Other. Kitties. At. Home. And. A. Stray. Female. Potentially. Pregnant. EEKS!

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  48. Many people have given the "feed them at night" tip. I want to second the "Buy an automatic pet feeder" tip. Once I so foolishly got my cat used to canned food in the morning, NOTHING broke her of the expectation of morning food, not the disappearance of the canned food from her diet, not switching to an evening feeding time. I have an auto pet feeder, and that gets her off my case in the mornings.

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  49. awwwww...Nigel..You are sooo handsome..You are a little charmer with that lovely cutie look you give in the pic..No wonder why your parents are sooo happy..So nice to hear news from the 2 little ones (growing fast apparently...)

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  50. he does 'look' a little naughty in this photo!

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  51. That photo of Nigel is precious!

    Your parents are so sweet with the kitties. Your mom is definitely not the only mother hen - I do a head count before bed too, and if I haven't seen one of the cats for a while, I mount a search. After all, my girls are not littermates and could not care less where the other one is - fortunately Mimsey will help keep an eye on Nigel!

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  52. No garage here, but our kittys do love the basement and I do a headcount before bed to make sure everyone is up where there is food and water and litter. Luckily the most senior cat, Buzz (6) has always followed my schedule and sleeps through most of the night on my bed.

    I free-feed them, so they don't harass me for food in the AM (or rarely do), usually its just for attention or concern because I've slept in! (Cats have no concept of weekends.)

    In regards to Christmas trees- I have a real tree with glass ornaments on it. And three active cats. I secure the tree to the windowsill behind it with fishing line and an eye hook, and wire the ornaments ONTO the branches rather than just hanging them. I also don't let anything dangle below the lowest branches. The cats are content to sit under the tree and have left the ornaments and lights alone so far this year.

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  53. Haha! I use the grab-and-cuddle technique too for morning kitties. Works great - better than spray bottles with the girls who love water. Fortunately, Sheba is nice about it - she just comes up to me in the morning and kneads my boobs and purrs in my ear. I can think of worse alarm clocks!

    Good to know I'm not the only one who does a periodic headcount, especially before leaving and before going to bed.

    My Sheba as a kitten didn't wait until the tree was anchored to start climbing it. Target makes these absolutely monstrous tree stands with eight screws instead of three or four. They take a lot longer to get the tree in, but it stands up to two kittens climbing in the tree and the tree doesn't so much as move. Very impressive.

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  54. My dear departed Yevgeny loved Christmas so much. We had all unbreakable ornaments because we knew sooner or later, they'd be off the tree and being carried around in Geny's teeth. His favorites were the little pine cones and fake apples. He loved to pounce on and roll around in wrapping paper, and no matter how big he got he'd manage to sleep halfway up the tree at least a couple of nights a season. His last Christmas, all he could manage was to bat some paper and bows around on the couch, but he knew it was Christmas. He knew. It's been seven years without him now, and it just doesn't seem like Christmas anymore.

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  55. Laurie, your mom is the cutest!!!! I just love her updates. She might need to start her OWN kitty blog!

    I have no advice on sleeping in: my Spike has discovered that by playing with things that are mildly dangerous (like scratching at electric sockets!) he can get me to wake up whenever he wants...smart little bugger.

    But I do have advice on finding those missing kits: shake the treat bag. Whenever I "lose" a cat, the sound of rattling treats brings them out of hiding.

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  56. (((Melissa)))

    My Gus LOVED the Christmas tree. He was the least mischievous cat that ever lived, but he was always getting into the tree & ornaments. His favorite thing though was just chilling out underneath it. I always figured it made him think he was outside. Once the tree was in the house, all his naps, meditations & meatloaf times were spent under the tree. This is our 3 Christmas without him; it's never the same with out Gus under the tree. :(

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  57. These updates make me so happy :) What a wonderful little family!

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  58. Sarah - we used to say the same thing about Geny - he was pretending to be outside!

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  59. Love the updates and everyone's advice! Definitely get the kitty condo aka carpeted climber. My cats love their condos and this Christmas I am going to get them a nice tall one (around 6 feet).

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  60. try giveing it a ealy birthday preasent

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  61. My Chihiro only gets about 1/6th a can of wet food a day (just enough to mix her crushed pills into) but she doesn't get it until 5:00 pm and/or when my roommate gets home from work if I'm not home, which can be 9:00. You'd think she was starving to death. She won't stop carrying on if she can see the bottom of her bowl of dry food, even if she's just nosed her way to the bottom and it's still half-full, and picking the bowl up and shaking it to cover the bottom again doesn't work. She knows you didn't put more food in it. She leaves me alone in the mornings, but only because she is shut out of my room at night- the first time she knocked one of my die-cast vintage Transformers on my head at two AM sealed her fate!

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