#WLAMF no. 21: Kitties I have loved and lost

One of the stops on the More Than Two book tour took us to Paonia, Colorado, a remote town of about 1,500 people in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We got there late at night, after traveling along windy mountain roads in the dark and very nearly hitting both a bear and a deer, each of whom had for some reason unknown to your humble narrator chosen to amble out in the middle of the road and just kind of sit there.

We spent some time exploring the town before our book event, and happened upon a small park more or less in the middle of town. While we were walking through the park, I caught the eye of a young calico cat who was trotting across the street some distance away, doing whatever it is cats do in Paonia, Colorado.

The cat decided she wanted to make friends, and immediately came running over to us, where she threw herself into my arms with some gusto.

After some petting and playing with, she decided she wanted Eve’s attention, too.

We met many cats on the book tour, but this adorable little calico is the one I remember the most. She was incredibly friendly (and I say this as a guy who owns Tonkinese kittens, animals known worldwide for how strongly they bond to their people), but also had some of the signs that somebody somewhere was mistreating her. She was hypervigilant, and took off at the slightest sign that anyone else was walking toward us.

I sincerely hope nobody was being mean to her. There’s a special place in hell for humans who abuse animals. I wonder about this kitten often, and hope that, wherever she is, she is happy and warm.

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OMG puppies!

As folks who casually read this journal, or anyone anywhere who’s seen my Twitter feed, is no doubt aware, shortly before Christmas we had a litter of standard poodle puppies. zaiah‘s dog Emma had seven teensy little puppies, three brown and four black…and by “teensy little” what I mean is “approximately the size of a monster truck.” To this day, it still boggles my mind, and creeps me out a bit, that she was able to store them all inside her body. (To be fair, though, there’s quite a lot about biology that I find somewhat disconcerting, the less said about that the better.)

I love kittens. I am very happy to have a life through which kittens pass on a regular basis. I do have to admit, however, that it is at least theoretically possible that tiny little puppies might–just possibly might–be even cuter than kittens.

The proud father found the whole thing quite fascinating. He’s actually been a pretty good dad so far, albeit in fairness the bar is set fairly low; in dogs, “being a good father” seems to stop at somewhere around “not eating your own young.”

Newborn puppies are quite possibly among the most helpless forms of multicellular life ever given birth to by this fantastic universe They come factory-equipped with only two abilities, “eating” and “sleeping.” And when I say those are the only two abilities they have from the start, I’m not kidding; “breathing” isn’t a capability installed at the factory (it takes a bit of work to get them to do that when they’re born,” and neither is “peeing” (the mother has to prompt them to do that after they feed–like I said, biology is disconcerting).

However, the sleeping is very sweet. The snuzzle up against whatever warm surface is available and go all limp, and when they sleep, they dream.

They turned out to be rather a lot of work; for the first several days of their lives, they needed to be tended to and to feed every two hours. Since I work from home, it fell largely on me to take care of them; for about three or four days, I set my alarm to go off every two hours on the spot, and slept only in snippets between. In the wild, of course, dogs don’t have human beings to look after them with this kind of diligence; but then again, in the wild, a dog might have a littler of eight or ten pups, two of which survive.

There are lots and lots more pictures and commentary below. Click here to see more pictures of puppies and go ‘Aww!’ a lot. Caution: Management not responsible for diabetic attack.

Kitteh adoption

We have three little teensy cute fuzzy teensy little adorable cute teensy fuzzy cute little kittens right now, which we’re trying to find homes for.

In the meantime, my cat Liam has adopted one of them. The kitten and Liam love each other and are almost inseparable–when I take the kittens out, he tends to go straight for Liam.

It’s heart-melting, really. I think Liam is going to miss him when we find a new home for him.


We have, through no fault of our own, kittens.

Six of them. All black. Five boys and one girl. One of the cats at zaiah‘s farm house got loose when she was in heat, and got knocked up almost instantly, so kittens! Six tiny fuzzy cute little tiny cute fuzzy little kittens!

They need homes. If you want one of these kittens, and you’re in or near Portland, let me know! My cat Liam, who is not included in this offer, loves them to death.


I spent the afternoon (well, part of it, anyway) playing with a gaggle of several-week-old Tonkinese kittens. These kittens tend to be social and gregarious, and like snuggling together in piles of cuteness which are called, I shit you not, “tonk piles”.

These guys are totally fearless and love crawling all over people, which is enough cute to drop a charging rhino in its tracks. They’re a cross-breed of Siamese and Burmese cats, without the Siamese neurosis.

Yes, they’re that cute. Yes, you’re jealous.

Nooo! The cute, it is too much!

Late last night, joreth arrived in town to visit my cat Liam.

Now, she might have thought she was in town for Frolicon this weekend, and I might have thought she was in town for Frolicon this weekend, but fortunately Liam was able to set us straight on that.

Liam is a benevolent overlord protector, and magnanimously consented to allow me to curl up with her when we went to bed, though he made it clear (in his unmistakeable feline way) that he had dibs.

The cat spent much of the night hugging joreth‘s hand. This morning, as I opened my eyes, I was whacked over the head with a stunning (stunning, I say!) amount of cute, cute that can drop a charging rhino in its tracks:

I’m not quite sure what the LD50 of cute is, but I’m thinking I’d best call a hazmat team to decontaminate the bedroom, because this has got to be a dangerous level of cute. You, Gentle Readers, might want to consider getting a squad to deal with your computers now as well.

Coping with the Cold

It’s been obnoxiously, brutally cold1 here the past few days.

David and I shut off the heater when we leave for work, to save money on the gas bill. Liam the kittycat stays home all day and gets into trouble, usually of the “knocking stuff off of shelves and rummaging around on the counter looking for shiny balls of aluminum foil to play with” variety.

I think even he’s been feeling a bit chilly lately, though. When I got home from work yesterday and logged on to WoW, Liam went to sleep next to me under the covers, with his nose buried beneath a pillow:

Poor li’l guy.

1 “Obnoxiously cold” meaning “in the 30s and 40s.” Yeah, I’m a Florida boy. Shut up.