Allegra’s World

Allegra’s World: Meal Time

Allegra's World The Conscious Cat

I can’t believe I now have to compete with my sister Ruby for time to write on here!  Maybe I need to get my own catputer!

Even though I wasn’t sure at first what it was going to be like having a sister, and having to share Mom with her, I have to say that I really like having her here. She’s lots of fun to play with. I especially enjoy bopping her on the head.

Our favorite game is chasing each other, and I always win. Her little legs aren’t as fast as my long ones, but I pretend to let her win every once in a while so she doesn’t feel bad. That’s what big sisters do. Of course, she’s got a way to get me back for winning, and I haven’t figured out how to stop her from doing it. The little stinker vaults right over top of me! Sometimes, she does it when she’s on a mission to somewhere (don’t even ask what she’s so busy running around for, half the time, I think she forgets where she was going before she gets there!). Other times, she does it when we stalk each other. All of a sudden, it’s like she’s coming out of nowhere and there she is, jumping right over me! The nerve!

I have to say, though, she can be a little annoying when it comes to meal time. As soon as Mom goes into the kitchen, Ruby races in there after Mom and starts to scream her little head off! I know Mom always gets our meals ready as fast as she can, but it’s never fast enough for Ruby. The racket she makes! It hurts my poor  ears. Do they make ear plugs for cats? I’ve learned to just sit at a slight distance and watch her make a fool out of herself. Hasn’t she figured out yet that there’s always going to be enough food for both of us, and that it’s always served to us on time? And she’s not polite at all about waiting for Mom to put the dish down, she practically leaps at the dish before Mom even has a chance to put it on the floor. I’ve learned to accept that I get my dish second. I’m the big sister, so I guess I have to be okay with it.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn to eat faster than I used to. Ruby inhales her food, she’s just too immature to understand that savoring your meal is one of the great pleasures of a cat’s life. The first few days she was here, when she was done, she’d march right over to my dish, while I was still eating, mind you, and stick her head right underneath mine and start to eat my food! I was so fed up (hm – poor choice of words, because actually, I wasn’t full yet!). Anyway, I just walked away in disgust. Mom grabbed Ruby and held her so I could finish my dinner, but that wasn’t fun for anyone. So now I just eat fast.

We both sleep with Mom at night, and I really like that.  Ruby is respectful of my space, so we can both be snuggled up on opposite sides of Mom. It’s almost the best part of our day.

That’s all for today. I think I’ll go wake up my sister so we can play.

Allegra’s World: My New Little Sister

Allegra anniversary

Well! Do I have a lot to talk about today! There’s been some major excitement at our house. I know Mom couldn’t wait to tell you the news and she wrote about it yesterday. Yes, we have a new family member. And let me tell you, when Ruby first arrived here on Sunday morning, I was NOT thrilled, to put it mildly. Mom made me promise not to use swear words, so I’ll try to be good, but it’s not going to be easy!

Mom had been telling me for several days that I would get a new little sister. I didn’t really understand what that meant, I thought maybe she was buying me a new special toy. Then, on Friday, Mom put a second placemat on the floor in the kitchen across from mine. Hm. That was odd. Maybe Mom wanted me to have some variety in my dining experience? I could go for that! Oddly, food never appeared there, only a second water bowl. Since humans often do very strange things for no apparent reason, I didn’t give it much thought after taking a nice long drink from it.

When Mom set the cat carrier by the front door Sunday morning, I got a little worried. Surely she wasn’t taking me to the v-e-t? I was feeling just fine, so there really was no reason for that! When she picked up the empty carrier, I was starting to get a little suspicious. She told me that she would be back soon, and that she’d have my new little sister with her.

Ingrid with Ruby

She wasn’t kidding. I heard the little pipsqueak cry the minute Mom came in the house. At first, I was curious, and I immediately went to sniff the carrier after Mom set it on the floor. I’m a smart girl, so it didn’t take me long to figure out that this was not a new toy. There was another cat in the carrier! What was Mom thinking??? I hissed and growled – at the carrier, but even more, at Mom! I was mad! Why did she have to go and bring another cat into our house? I thought we were perfectly happy together, just the two of us!

Mom said my new little sister’s name was Ruby. Whatever! She let me sniff the carrier for a good long time, then she took it upstairs. Of course I followed. I watched from a distance as Mom opened the carrier door, and Ruby bounded right out. That little thing doesn’t have any manners at all! Didn’t she know that this was my house, and that she should have asked my permission before entering? As she started to explore the house, I watched from a wary distance. If she came within a few feet of me, I hissed at her. And what did the little stinker do? She growled right back at me! The nerve!

Mom kept a close eye on both of us, and kept reassuring me that it was going to be okay, that she loved me more than anything, and that I was going to learn to love Ruby. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I sure as heck wasn’t feeling the love right then!

I have to admit, though, as the day went on, staying mad at Mome was  getting a little old, and I even got tired of hissing at Ruby. By afternoon, I was exhausted, and the sunny loveseat was calling my name. It was time for a nap! I was so tired, I didn’t even care that Ruby stretched out for a nap of her own on the floor right below me.

When dinner time rolled around, I was starving. Being on guard all day is a lot of work! I inhaled my dinner and didn’t even pay attention to Ruby on the other side of the kitchen.

I was a little worried about bedtime. I love to sleep with Mom, I cuddle up against her back or her legs, and it’s the best feeling in the world. I was really hoping that Ruby the Intruder (ha! I crack myself up!) wasn’t going to mess that up for me. And this is why I love my Mom: I heard her explain to Ruby that it was time to go to bed, and that I was used to sleeping with Mom. She said Ruby would be welcome to join us, and that she hoped that eventually both of us would sleep in the bed with her, but that it might be a little too soon for me. She made sure that I was safely in bed, and left the bedroom door cracked open. She didn’t want Ruby to feel that she couldn’t come in if she wanted to. After all, it was Ruby’s first night in a strange new house. Much as I didn’t care about Ruby, I love that Mom was so concerned about her. That’s just how my Mom is!

Thankfully, Ruby didn’t come in the bedrom during the night. I fell into an exhausted sleep, feeling comforted and safe with Mom by my side. I know Mom didn’t get much sleep, she got up several times during the night and I heard her talk to Ruby in the living room, but I wasn’t going to budge from my safe and warm spot in Mom’s bed.

Ruby and Allegra

Monday morning, I woke up and thought maybe I had just dreamed the whole thing. Unfortunately, Ruby was still here. But I have to admit, she wasn’t quite as annoying as she was on Sunday. As the day went on, I hissed a little less, and mostly just watched her. By afternoon, we were hanging out on the loveseat together.

Yesterday, I relaxed even more. I still hissed and growled at her whenever she came too close for comfort, but it was getting kind of old. So a couple of times, when the little one came up real close to me, I decided not to hiss, and actually let her give me a nose tap. I also let her sit right next to me while Mom was brushing me. I love being brushed, and I wasn’t going to miss out on that just because Ruby has to have her nose in everything. Later in the day, I decided that maybe it was going to be fun to play with the little pipsqueak, and chased her without hissing at her. She chased me right back! This was actually kind of fun! We raced through the whole house a couple of times. Then I decided that I better hiss at her just a little bit, just to make sure she still remembered who was in charge. But I have to admit, it was fun!

And so it begins. I guess she’s here to stay. Mom keeps telling me that eventually I’ll love having a little sister, and that I’ll come to love Ruby. I guess I can already see that Mom might be right. As long as Ruby knows I’m in charge, it just might be okay.

New Family Member: Introducing Ruby

Ruby The Conscious Cat

The Conscious Cat has a new family member! Allegra and I are excited to welcome Ruby into our hearts and home. Well, right now, I might be a little more excited than Allegra, but considering that Ruby only came home yesterday morning, things have been going really well. Initially, Allegra was really mad at me for bringing this little intruder into her house, and she watched suspiciously as Ruby began to explore her new home. Whenever Ruby came too close for comfort, she made sure Ruby knew that Allegra was in charge!

By late afternoon, both cats were exhausted, and ready for a companionable nap in our sunny living room. I was amazed, and thrilled, that after less than six hours, they were that comfortable being in each others’ company. And yes, it’s almost uncanny how much alike they look. In the photo below, Ruby is on the floor, Allegra on the loveseat. On some of the photos I took yesterday, I actually had to look for identifying marks to tell them apart. Even though at eight pounds, Allegra is bigger than Ruby, depending on the camera angle, it was sometimes hard to tell!

Ruby and Allegra

I met Ruby on March 31 (coincidentally – or maybe no so coincidentally! – the same day I met Allegra a year ago). She was fostered through the SPCA of Northern Virginia, and lived with a lovely young couple and two big male cats. Her foster parents named her Cinnamon. The SPCA’s vet estimated her to be between six months and a year old – I’m leaning toward the lower end of that range, she’s tiny! She’s a total lovebug, in fact, her name in her initial vet record is Lovebug. She was found in someone’s backyard literally “asking” to be rescued. When the kind woman heard the little kitten crying, she opened the door and Ruby ran right up to her without any hesitation.

When I met her, her foster parents had just gotten home from work, so she was all wound up and eager to play. I spent about half an hour with her, and even though she was mostly focused on playing, she still occasionally jumped up on my lap. I just knew she was “the one.”

Everyone deals with loss at their own pace, and almost a year after losing Amber, I was finally ready to open my heart, and my home, to a new baby. I could have taken her home sooner, but wanted to wait until I had a few days in a row with few outside appointments so I could help Ruby settle into her new home and help her and Allegra adjust to each other.

Ruby is a very self-assured little kitten. She’s super affectionate – she likes to rub up against legs so affectionately that she tumbles over! I don’t think she knows how to play with other cats yet, the two big boys in her foster home were a little intimidating to her, but she’s able to endlessly entertain herself. Yesterday, she spent most of the day in my family room, which is really the kitty playroom. There’s no furniture, just cat trees, scratching posts, and toys everywhere. Allegra watched her every move, but didn’t participate in any play (although at times, it really seemed like she wanted to, but then she remembered that she was mad at me and the little intruder). After a while, they chased each other occasionally, and I’m hoping that as they get used to each other, they’ll learn to play with each other. In the meantime, I’m working on my hand-eye coordination so I can play with interactive toys with both of them at the same time!

She also had fun exploring stairs – her foster parents live in an apartment, so this was new territory for her. After the first few, somewhat klutzy, attempts, she now flies up and down both sets of stairs as if she had done it all her life.

Allegra is still withholding judgment as to whether all of this was really a good idea, but I’m sure you’ll hear from her in her own words in just a few days. And you never know, once Ruby settles in, you just might find her blogging here, too.

You can see wonderful “baby pictures” of Ruby (formerly Cinna), along with photos of her two foster “brothers,” on her foster parents’ photo blog.

Allegra’s World: First Adoption Anniversary

Allegra's adoption anniversary

Today is a very very big day for me! It’s my adoption anniversary! A year ago today, Mom brought me home to live with her and Amber! I thought it was the happiest day of my life then, but every day since then has been even happier. I’m such a lucky kitten!

I was a little nervous that day, when Mom came to get me at Great Falls Animal Hospital, where I was staying. Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering how it was possible that Mom was able to resist my considerable cuteness and wait six whole days after first meeting me to bring me home – well, I got myself in a little trouble at the animal hospital. When the foster mom I had lived with before brought me there so more people could see me and so I could find a home (and didn’t that work out just beautifully!), the nice people at the animal hospital wanted to give me a good exam. And let me tell you, when  the woman in the white coat tried to stick something up my rear end, I wasn’t having any of it. I whipped my head around and bit her! That’ll teach her to stick things up unsuspecting kittens’ rear ends!

Unfortunately, humans have a whole bunch of stupid laws, and one of them says that if a cat bites a human, she needs to be quarantined and watched for signs of rabies for 10 days. Even though I was current on my rabies vaccination, Mom couldn’t take me home until the end of that quarantine period.

But finally, the big day arrived. As I said, I was a little nervous, but mostly excited. Mom had already told me that I would have a big sister. I looked forward to meeting her! I don’t think Amber was as excited about me coming home as Mom was, she hissed at me a lot and ran from me that first day. I didn’t let that upset me, and instead, proceeded to explore every inch of my new home. There was so much to see! The best part was that there were these huge big windows to look out! I could see birds and trees and people walking by, it was so cool!

By the time it got dark that first day, I was pretty tired from all the exploring. Mom said that she and Amber were going to bed, and showed me where that was. She said I was welcome to join them. Amber added “but remember your place, you’re the new kid here. I always sleep in Mom’s arms, and that’s not going to change just because you’re here now!” At first, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to join them, but as the house got really quiet and dark, I jumped up on the bed with them. I wanted to be close to Mom, but I didn’t want to disturb Amber, so I crawled under the covers and wedged myself against the back of Mom’s legs. Oh, that was so nice! I felt warm and safe. I drifted off and dreamed happy kitten dreams that first night in my new home.

Amber and Allegra opening case of cat food

Things only got better. By the second day, Amber and I were already in cahoots, helping Mom unpack a case of cat food.

Amber teaching Allegra

By the third day, we were hanging out together. Amber taught me lots of stuff about how things are done in our new home.

Amber and Allegra birdwatching

I really came to love my big sister very quickly. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time together. She got really sick and died just a few short weeks after I came home. I still miss her, and I know Mom does, too.

I never thought I’d find such a wonderful Mom and such a wonderful home. Every day I think it’s the best day ever, and it just keeps getting better and better! I am the luckiest kitten on the planet!

Allegra’s World: Peacock Feathers and Q-Tips

Allegra with Q-tip

When I last wrote on here, I told you about this cool game called The Muffin Tin Game that Mom played with me. But that’s not the only game Mom and I play together. We play all the time! I love it when Mom plays with me!

I have so many toys, I sometimes don’t know what to play with. How lucky am I! But I also like playing with things that aren’t really toys. Sometimes, Mom doesn’t seem to like when I play with those things. I don’t understand why I can’t bat the crystals she has in her office around on the floor. They’re so pretty and they sparkle in the sun!  Pretty irresistable for a kitten like me if you ask me. Another thing she doesn’t like is when I sit in front of the computer screen and bat at the little thing that moves around on the screen. Mom says it’s called a cursor, and she says she can’t work when I sit in front of her like that. Um, duh! That’s kind of the point! Mom said the thing she uses to make the cursor thing move is called a mouse, but it sure doesn’t look like any mouse I’ve every seen.

There are plenty of games Mom approves of, though, and I love all of them. I like it best when Mom plays with me. One of our games we play is with a peacock feather. Mom waves it at me and I bat at it and try to take it from her. I can play that for a long time. Great fun – wee!!!

My current favorite is the Q-tip game. I discovered Q-tips when I first came here. At the time, Mom had them sitting on the bathroom counter in a pretty glass jar, and I would just help myself. You can watch me play with them in the video below. But then one day, I knocked the whole jar off the counter when I was trying to get them out of it, and it broke. Mom wasn’t very happy with me. Now she keeps them inside the bathroom cabinet and rations them out to me. At first I didn’t like that at all, but then I realized that it actually was more fun, because now Mom plays with me when she gives them to me. Mom tosses two or three Q-tips and I don’t know which one to chase first! I run and dart all over the place trying to catch them. When I get them, I bat them around some more for good measure. So fun! Wee!!!

What kinds of games do your kitties like to play?

Allegra the Q-tip Thief

httpv://youtu.be/mP6DTtDnuwc

Allegra’s World: The Muffin Tin Game

Allegra window perch

Mom has been kind of sad and upset a lot the last few days. I was really worried about her, she’s usually so calm and happy. I want her to be happy! I tried everything to make her smile! I couldn’t understand why she was so sad. Mom explained that something really bad happened in a place called Japan. She said lots of people and animals were hurt, and lots died, and lots more are still missing. When she explained it to me, I got sad, too. I asked Mom whether there was anything we could do to help, especially to help the animals there. Would they have food to eat? Who would pet them and play with them and hold them and love them if they were lost and scared?

Mom said she wrote about how people can help the animals, but I said want to help, too! I told Mom I’d only eat half of my breakfast and dinner, and we could send the rest to the lost and scared kitties in Japan! Mom said that was very generous of me, but that it doesn’t work that way. She said the best we can do right now, in addition to praying for everyone there, is to donate money to groups that are going there to help find the lost animals and reunite them with their families. Those poor animals! I can’t imagine being separated from Mom. They must be so scared!

Mom said it would be nice if I wrote one of my columns. She said it might cheer people up to read about something happy, since so much of what they read right now is bad news. I can do that! So here’s what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on my window perches in the sun since I last wrote, and it seems like it’s light out a lot longer than it used to be. I like it! Smart kitten that I am, I have now figured out exactly where the first sunny spot in the house shows up each day, and I follow the sunny spots around for much of the day. Well, that is when I’m not busy doing other things. And there’s always something to do – I’m a very busy kitten!

When I’m not writing here, I keep an eye on the backyard, patrol the house to make sure all my toys are still in the right places (and if they’re not, I make sure to move them around), and help Mom work. I also like to look out our front windows and watch people walk their dogs. I kind of pity the dogs – they all walk on these long rope-like things that are attached to their humans. It doesn’t look like much fun to me. I wonder whether they have to wear the ropes inside their houses, too? I couldn’t imagine that. like running all through the house, free like the wind! Wee!!!

Do you know that I have the coolest Mom ever? The other day, she created a new game for me! She got the idea from one of her colleages over on PetConnection.com whose dog played the game, and Mom thought I might enjoy it, too. She says it’s called The Muffin Tin Game. Huh?

Anyway, she dug around in the kitchen cabinets and pulled out something from way far in the back that looked like a metal square with a bunch of holes in it. Mom said it’s called a muffin tin, and it’s used for baking. I wouldn’t know what baking is, I sure haven’t ever seen Mom do it! Next thing I hear is the treat bag coming out of the fridge. Hmmm… this was getting interesting. But Mom didn’t give me any treats – what was up with that? Instead, she put them in the holes of the muffin tin. Then she took a bunch of my toys out of the toy  basked and covered the treats. What – did she think I wasn’t going to find them???

When she put the whole thing on the floor, I immediately went to check it out, and got to work. Unlike Archer the dog, who managed to empty the whole muffin tin in less than 30 seconds, I took my time. I planned my strategy. I deliberated. I did not act until I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I don’t have to tell you that we cats are way smarter than dogs!

You can watch me play the game here:

httpv://youtu.be/1q8KXz4Yvbc

And yes, I did get that last one out! I just had to take a nice long bath before I tackled it. What’s the hurry? I guess Mom got bored watching me, because she stopped filming.

And now you’ll have to excuse me, I need to practice my acceptance speech for the Acatemy Awards.

Allegra’s World: Waiting for Spring

Allegra waking from her morning nap

I’m learning lots of interesting things about this thing Mom calls weather! The last time I wrote on here, I told you about all that white stuff that was falling from the sky, and how I didn’t like it at all. I also don’t like days when my sunny spots don’t appear (and I still don’t get why Mom can’t just make them appear, she can do so many other amazing things!). But last week, we had a really cool thing happen: sunny spots, and open windows! It was so warm, Mom left the windows open all day, and I could sit on my perches and sniff the breeze. It was so nice!

I could also tell that Mom was really happy when it got warm. Like mother, like daughter, I guess – she loves sunny spots, and she doesn’t like the white stuff, either. She said the white stuff is called snow, but I’ve heard her use some other words when she talks about it that she says aren’t fit to mention here on my blog. Oops, I mean Mom’s blog.

We got some more of the white stuff the other day – not a lot, but enough to make Mom mad because it messed up one of her book signings. It also messed with my kitten head again, because I’d already forgotten that it changes how everything looks when I look outside, and it scared me a little bit when I woke up and saw that things were white again outside.

Mom said soon it will be warm all the time, and we can have the windows open a lot. She says it’s called spring. I like spring – not just because it’s warm, but because it was spring a year ago when I came to live with Mom!

The other thing that happened since I last wrote was that Mom went away again. This time, I knew it wasn’t good when the black box came out. Yup, Mom left me again. She went to a Pet Writing Conference. I think she should have taken me with her. I am a pet writer, aren’t I? I’m a pet, and I write! At least this time, it was only for one night, and I had plenty of company; both Ronnie and Renee came to visit a couple of times, and, more importantly, to feed me! And this time, I knew that just because Mom went away, it didn’t mean it was going to be forever. I’m a big girl now, and I’m not as afraid of being abandoned as I was when I was little.

That’s all my news. Now I’m going to see if I can entice Mom to play with me and my current favorite toy, the Neko Flies. You can see me play with it here:

httpv://youtu.be/7t2f0Bxl6lM

Allegra’s World: Losing Power

We’ve had some excitement around here since I last wrote!  I was just going about my business yesterday when all of a sudden, there was this loud noise against the windows, roof, and side of the house.  I know what heavy rain sounds like, and I don’t like it at all, but this was worse!  Mom said it was sleet, she said it’s what happens when it gets so cold that the rain freezes.  I don’t know what freezing is, but I do know that that noise scared me, and I hid under the sofa.  As if that wasn’t enough, there was thunder, too!

But that wasn’t all.  When I finally came out from under the sofa and looked out the window, there was white stuff falling from the sky!  A lot of it.  Mom said it’s called snow.  I watched it fall, and everything outside changed really fast.  All I could see was white!   Lots of big white flaky things swirling around!   I tried to catch them, but my paw kept bumping against the window, so after a while, it stopped being fun.

And then, all of a sudden, just after I had finished my dinner, our whole house went dark, and very very quiet.  It was really strange.  This was a different kind of dark from how it gets dark when Mom and I go to bed.  Mom brought out a flashlight.  Oh, it was a new game!  I love flashlights!  I love chasing the dot of light!  Wee!!!  But she didn’t seem in a mood to play with me at all.  I didn’t understand, and chased the flashlight dot anyway, but it wasn’t as much fun because Mom wasn’t having fun.

Mom said that we lost our power.  I don’t know what this power is, but it seemed to upset Mom that it was gone.  She said there was nothing else to do but go to bed.  Silly Mom.  It was too early to go to bed!  I went back into the living room to look out the big window.  It was getting whiter and whiter out there.  All of a sudden, there was a really loud crack that sent me running for cover.  It got Mom out of bed, too.  I was wondering whether she would come hide under the sofa with me, but after she looked out the window, she said it was just a pine branch that broke off the tree outside.  She said I shouldn’t worry, we were purrfectly safe inside.  I decided to stay under the sofa just a big longer anyway.  Just to make sure.

Meanwhile, the house was getting colder and colder, and I went to join Mom in bed.  I figured she was probably cold, too, and maybe I could help warm her up a little.  I know she loves when I sleep right next to her, so I snuggled up with her.

A few hours later, Mom and I woke up to the sound of the heat coming on.  I felt Mom relax, and we both went back to sleep.  Then a horrible scraping noise outside woke me up – it sounded like the big scary trucks that come by our house a lot, only a hundred times worse!  Mom said it was a snow plow, and that it was moving some of the white stuff out of the way, and that I didn’t need to be afraid, but I wasn’t having any of it and I hid under the bed for a while.

Eventually, I jumped back on the bed to be with Mom.  When it started getting light out, we got up, and everything looked different!  So much white!  It almost hurt my eyes, it was so bright.  Mom said she had to go outside and shovel so that she could go away in her car.  I don’t like when she goes away in her car, so I told her she should just stay inside with me, but she went outside anyway.  When she came back inside, she was really tired, and mumbled something about being so over winter.  I don’t know what that means, but I was glad she was back inside with me.

But the best part of this white stuff so far has been that there are way more birds at our birdfeeder than ever before.  I’m having so much fun watching them!  I wish I could figure out how to catch them!  But that would mean I’d have to go outside, and I’m too smart for that.  I know that I’m a lucky kitty because I don’t have to be out in the snow and cold like those birds.

So that’s what was happening at my house.  Did any of you get that white stuff at your house, too?

Allegra’s World: Helping Mom Wake up on Time

Things have been kind of quiet around here since I last wrote, but Mom said I could write something if I wanted to, so here I am.  To tell you the truth, I think she just couldn’t come up with something new and interesting herself, so I’m here to save the day!  That’s what a good little kitten daughter does, she helps her Mom.

One of the things I’ve been particularly helpful with lately is making sure that Mom gets up on time.  Sometimes I think Mom doesn’t really appreciate how nice it is to have a kitten like me who can tell time as well as I can.  If it wasn’t for me, she’d have to set what humans call an alarm clock.  I know Mom has one, but she rarely uses it (because she has me!).  The few times she’s used it, it scared me!  It makes awful noises, and Mom doesn’t seem very happy when it wakes her up.  So I’ve found much more effective ways to wake her up, and I’m pretty creative and always come up with new, fun ones.

For example, I like to attack the headboard of Mom’s bed.  It makes a very satisfying noise when it bangs against the wall.  Unfortunately, after a while, Mom got used to the sound, and it didn’t really bother her enough to fully wake up, so I had to come up with something else.

It didn’t take me long.  Mom has  picture frames made of clear plastic sitting on her nightstand.  One morning,  I decided it might be fun to chew on the edges of the frames.  Hmm, tasty.  And fun!  It made a very satisfying, crunchy noise – and sure enough, it woke Mom right up!  She told me “no,” and even gently shoved me away from the picture frames, but of course, that required her to wake up all the way.  Ha!  Mission accomplished!  However, instead of being grateful that I found another way to wake her up, she simply put the picture frames away in a drawer from then on.  Humans are such spoilsports!

Not to be deterred, I quickly thought of another way to wake her up, and promptly tested it on her the next morning.  I jumped up on top of the dresser, and launched myself off of it and onto the bed.  Wee!!!  Very satisfying bounce, especially when I landed right on top of Mom!  Excellent!  I’m thinking short of moving the dresser out of the bedroom, she’s not going to be able to stop me from doing that!  Mom keeps explaining to me that she really doesn’t need help waking up, and that she wishes I’d quietly wait for her to be ready, or go play somewhere else in the house, but I think secretely she’s happy that I’m so good at this important task.

Other than purrfecting my skills as a feline alarm clock, I’ve been settling into a nice daily routine.  After I finally get Mom out of bed, I eat breakfast, then Mom plays with me, and then I watch the birds at the feeder on our deck.  It gets really busy out there!  Then I help Mom work by settling in for a morning nap next to her desk.  At lunch time, I remind Mom that it’s time for me to be brushed and then I get treats for being such a good girl.  I love being brushed now, but when I first came here, I wouldn’t even let her touch me with the brush, so she started giving me treats after brushing me.  Hey, I’m a smart kitten – it didn’t take me long to catch on that brushing was a good thing.  And now, in addition to getting treats, I actually like how being brushed feels.

After lunch, it’s time for a little more birdwatching, and then another nap.  By that time, on sunny days, the sun is right on Mom’s bed, and I usually spend the rest of the afternoon taking my nap there.  It feels so good to lie in the sun.  I really don’t like days when the sun doesn’t come out.  I’ve complained to Mom, but she says there’s nothing she can do about it.  I don’t know if I really believe that, because Mom is so powerful and can do so many things to make my life so nice, but so far, she’s not budging on this one.

So that’s it from me.  Life is good.  And now, it’s time for another nap!

Mom says my wake up tactics remind her of a Simon’s Cat video, and she thought you all might enjoy it.  After watching this, all I can say is Mom should consider herself very very lucky…..

httpv://youtu.be/w0ffwDYo00Q

Allegra’s World: Allegra’s First Christmas

There’s been so much cool stuff happening around here, I don’t even know where to start!  For the past week, Mom has been bringing out lots of fun toys:  big rolls of paper, crinkly tissue paper, and, best of all, bows and ribbons!  I actually don’t think she brought them out for me, because she put them on the dining room table, and I don’t usually play up there.  And Mom doesn’t usually play unless it’s with me, but she started playing with those toys, so I, being the good kitten daughter that I am, had to go help her.  Mom said what she was doing is called wrapping gifts.  Whatever – it was great fun!  I grabbed some of the bows and took off with them, making Mom chase after me.   Things got even more interesting when Mom got ready to put some ribbon on one of the gifts she was wrapping.  I tried to help by batting at the ribbon and chewing on the ends, and I couldn’t understand why she kept telling me no (I also don’t think she was all that serious about the “no,” because she kept laughing).   I think eventually  Mom decided that her presents wouldn’t have any ribbons on them.   She said it’s called “the path of least resistence.”  I think those are just big words for spoiling my fun.

But the best thing happened this past weekend.  All of a sudden, there were all these packages under our Christmas tree.  Where did they come from?  Mom said Santa brought them.  I don’t know who this Santa is, but Mom explained that he brings presents to good little kittens, and that on Christmas, we’d be opening the packages together.  Wee!!!  That sounded like fun.  I like this Santa!  I helped Mom open the first package.   It was for me!  It was a really fun toy that looked like a giant piece of cheese.  I love cheese!  And there were little things inside the big cheese, so I had to immediately try to get them out.  I still haven’t quite figured out how yet, but I’ll  keep working at it.

But that wasn’t all.  There were so many other packages!  Since I was happily playing with my big cheese, Mom opened some of her packages without my help.  The stuff in them wasn’t very interesting, but the growing pile of wrapping paper was, so I stopped playing with my big cheese and went to check it out.  I crawled under the paper, rustled around in it, and pounced on it.  Way cool!  After letting me have some fun with the pile, Mom said there were more packages for me, so I helped her open them.  So many fun toys!  I didn’t even know what to play with first.  In fact, to be totally honest, I got a little overwhelmed with everything.  I didn’t know it was possible for a kitten to be so loved and to get so many gifts.  How lucky am I!

After we had opened all the packages, Mom started gathering the pile of paper and the bows and ribbons.  I asked her whether we could just keep them out since they were so much fun to play in, but she nixed that idea.  Humans – they can be such spoil sports.  But I didn’t mind too much since I have all these fun new toys to play with.

After all this excitement, I needed a long nap – and I took it in Mom’s lap, while she was sitting by the Christmas tree.  Mom listened to some music, and I slept.

I love Christmas!

Allegra’s World: Allegra Goes to the Vet’s

Since so much has happened around here in just the last week, Mom is letting me write here again so soon!  Yay!!!

Last Friday, there was a lot of commotion around our house.  Mom was moving some furniture around, and then she brought this big box up from the basement.  It was huge!  Much bigger than me!  It was a little scary, actually.  Then she took all these green things out of the box.  They looked like the branches on the tree right outside our window.  There were so many of them, I really felt outnumbered, so I did what any self-respecting cat would do:  I puffed myself up and hissed at them.  When that didn’t seem to bother them, I attacked!  But they just laid there, not doing much of anything, so I got bored and went to check out what Mom was doing.  She had put a little table in one corner of our living room, and it was covered with a red cloth that went all the way down to the floor.  Now this was interesting!  I went to investigate, and crawled under the table.  It was like my own private tent!  Very fun.   So I stayed under there for a while.

When I came out, the branches were no longer on the living room floor, but there was a tree on top of the little table.  Huh.  How’d that happen?  My Mom can make magic!  Then all of a sudden, there were all these twinkly lights on the tree.  More magic!  Then Mom hung things from it.  Some looked like little cats made out of wood, and glass, and plastic.  Interesting.  But I liked the little tent under the tree so much, I didn’t even bother to check out the tree all that much.  I sort of get a sense that Mom likes it that way, so I’m going to try and be a good girl.  But it is rather interesting…..hmm….  If I could just maybe bat at some of the little cats hanging from the tree…I wonder what would happen….

But that’s not all.  There was more excitement around here.  On Monday, I had just settled in for a nice long nap on my sunny window perch, when Mom gently woke me up, and picked me up.  She never does that, she always leaves me alone when I sleep, so I wasn’t sure what that was all about.  Next thing I know, I’m inside this big pink bag!  Hello!  How’d that happen?  Now, the pink bag had been sitting in our family room for a while, and I even nap in it sometimes, but this time, Mom zipped up the front, and I was kind of stuck in there.  Very odd.  I wasn’t sure what to think.

You know how I told you last time that when Mom leaves the house, she always takes a purple bag with her?  Well, this time she left the house with the pink bag, and me in it!  What was going on?  The only time I’d ever been outside the house was when Mom picked me up from the animal hospital where I lived for a while to bring me home.  Uh oh.  Animal hospital?

Yup.  Sure enough, after a short time in the car (I remembered the car from when Mom brought me home.  It was a little scary when it first started moving, but then, it was okay), Mom carried me into – oh yes, I remembered this place!  I remembered the smells, but I also remembered that the people there were really nice to me, so I started to get kind of curious about what this might be about.  A few minutes later, Mom unzipped the front of the bag.   I wasn’t sure about coming out, so Mom reached in and pulled me out.  I was a little scared, and I think Mom could tell, because she hugged me and held me close, and that felt really good.  Then a woman came in the room, and she petted me and told me I was beautiful.   Then she took out this weird looking stick thing and asked whether she could take my temperature.  I don’t know what this temperature is, but the woman was really nice, so I figured it would be okay.  Yikes!!!  It so was not okay!!!  I won’t tell you where she put that stick thing, but I will tell you that I didn’t know that woman nearly well enough to let her do that to me!

A short while later, another woman came into the room.  She was really nice, too.  She even took some treats out of her pocket and offered them to me, but after the incident with the stick thing, I wasn’t going to trust anyone there!  God knows what they were going to do next!   After talking to me softly and petting me, the second woman looked into mouth.  Hello?  What did she do that for?  Then she put her hands all over me and squeezed in places that shouldn’t be squeezed if you ask me, but then, nobody asked me!  Then she took this round disk thing and put it on my chest.  It was all very strange, but none of it hurt, so I didn’t put up too much of a fuss – but believe me, I thought about it!

The next part was so not fun!  One of the women held me down, while the other one came at me with something really sharp and poked a hole in my leg with it.  It hurt!  And I started bleeding!  I got really scared.  You’d think they would have panicked, too, but instead of doing something to stop the bleeding, the woman  collected my blood in this tube thing!   What was up with that?  Finally, after what seemed like forever, the woman pulled the sharp thing out of my leg.  What a relief!  Surely, they couldn’t possibly do anything else to me, right?  But oh, no!  Next, she came at me with another sharp thing, and she  stuck it in my hip!  Okay, enough was enough.  I whipped my head around, ready to show them with my sharp little teeth that the woman had admired earlier just what I thought of the way they were treating me!  But they were quicker than I was (which is pretty darn impressive, if you ask me, because I’m fast!).    Thankfully, just when I was getting really mad, the pink bag reappeared, and I ran into it.  I figured they wouldn’t drag me out a second time, and I was right.

Mom says what happened was my annual check up.  It’s to make sure that I’m healthy.  Whatever!  I don’t care how nice the people there were to me, this is not a place I want to have to go back to more than once a year (no offense, nice people).

So that’s all the excitement from me.  I think I’ll go take a nice long tap in my special tent now.