Monday, December 23, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Just a few of Ray's old Christmas Videos to get you into the spirit for that final bit of Christmas shopping.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Ray was in the front hallway standing in front of Juno, his rawhide dangling from his doggy lips like a large stogie. His tail was swinging tentatively. I could tell that Juno was considering running but was awaiting developments. If the big dog came towards her, she would go, otherwise she would hold her ground
I laughed. I knew what Ray wanted. He wanted Juno to play keepaway with him.
"She's not going to play with you, Ray," I told my dog, "But I will. Gimme that bone, Ray."
At the familiar words, Ray started for the living room to do a loop around the coffee table. I scooped up Juno and followed him. As we neared his hind end, I bent a bit at the waist and held Juno in front of me within paws reach of Ray's swinging tail. The little cat drew back a bit but then, unable to resist the moving object, batted at the furry toy.
Excited that the cat was in on the game, Ray's tail picked up speed and so did his pace around the room. Juno and I followed, she batting, me laughing. Ray pranced into the hallway, turned, and did the classic butt-in-air doggy play pose. Juno, not quite as brave now that the massive dog-head was facing her, jumped from my hands and trotted to the safety of the Christmas tree to watch the end of the game. Ray and I took another couple of turns around the room but without the added excitement of Juno batting at his tail, the big dog soon lost interest and retired to the hallway for a chew.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I was in the bathroom getting dressed to take Ray for a walk. In the winter this involves multiple layers of clothing so Ray, who usually waits patiently, was bored. I heard a yell, then another. I dropped the wooly sock I was holding and ran for the noise; it was coming from the cat room.
As I entered the hallway, I saw that the cat room door was open. By the time I made the room, Ray had let loose with another couple of yells. Juno was on the top platform of the cat tree, Ray's front feet were on the bottom platform of tree, his neck stretched to maximum stretchiness and his nose even with the platform. His tail was wagging. He had finally treed the varmints that were running around making all the galloping noises that were driving him crazy.
Poor Harvey, who obviously had been on the windowsill next to the tree, and who had tried to jump to the platform with his sister, was dangling from the top platform by two little paws.
I ran to the tree, grabbed my miscreant dog by the scruff of the neck (he should know by now that he is NOT allowed to yell at his cats), and dragged him to the stairs.
"BAD DOG. DOWNSTAIRS," I said, outraged.
Ray, knowing that he had screwed up, went.
I went back into the cat room and picked up little Harvey who immediately started purring. Ray, who knows enough to go, but never seems to know enough to stay, re-entered the room. I waited for Harvey's purring to stop and for him to puff up, but he just snuggled down into my arms more and continued purring. Apparently there were no hard feelings.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ray's New Hobby

Mr. Jealous has a new hobby. He finds the places that the cats like to sleep and curls up in them. I can't decide if he's waiting for them to come and lay down with him, or if he thinks that their spots must be better than his. I feel a little sorry for Harvey. Every time he finds a place he likes, it is taken over by the monster dog. I don't feel sorry for Juno. I know if she really wanted the spot, she'd take it back.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


The kittens are starting to remind me of Ray when he was a puppy. It's amazing how much puppy-Ray and they have in common. One of Ray's early blogs listed everything he played with in a morning. Here is a similar list for the kittens, although this is more of a generic list of things that I've seen them play with up until now.

  • Christmas ornaments (I spend part of every day redecorating the Christmas tree)
  • Lip balm
  • Pens and pencils
  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • The sliding cellular shade that covers the sliding glass door
  • Crickets
  • My keys
  • The phone headset (a favorite of Ray's, he ate at least one of these and I was constantly taking them away from him)
  • The power cord to my laptop
  • Ray's eyedrops (up until quite recently these resided on the kitchen counter. After spending hours on two consecutive mornings looking for them, these three bottles now live in a cupboard)
  • A bottle containing a single de-wormer pill that we are supposed to give Harvey sometime in the near future (if we can find it)
  • My bathrobe belt (I'm seriously considering asking for one with a zipper for Christmas)
  • The little dangly thing that hangs off my sweatshirt zipper - (the reason I won't ask for a zippered robe for Christmas)
  • A seam-ripping tool without the lid on it. (I will be eternally grateful that Juno did not try to eat this)
  • A small, metal goat bell
  • A long, narrow piece of fleece (I could tell it was a grudge match. The fleece won)
  • Anything not nailed down that is small enough to bat around

Juno also finds Ray's treat ball fascinating. She watches him play with it, hears it rattle, and wants in on the action, but the thing is just too big for her to move. I have added to my list of Things to Do: find out if cat treat balls exist.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Oh no you are NOT

I had just finished assembling a box to send to my sister, Kathy, for Christmas. Included in the package were presents for her animals. I put the carton on the coffee table along with another package that needed to be mailed the next day. I sat on the couch and picked up my laptop. Ray wandered in.
I patted the couch next to me but Ray was sniffing around the box. He sniffed the side leaving wet nose prints along the cardboard, then put a paw on top of the coffee table and with the other pawed the top of the box. He stopped and sniffed some more. He climbed down, circled the table and tried to get into the box from the other side. He climbed down again, returned to the other side, and tried to chew off the tape. Not being able to get a good grip, Ray tried to gnaw through the corner of the box.

I watched, amused. I hadn't told him I was sending a couple of rawhides to his cousins. In fact, I had lifted a few while offering him one so that he wouldn't notice the light-fingering. Ray had done what he always does with his rawhide and buried it. Now, apparently, he wanted the other ones as well and he knew where they were.

"You're not getting them back," I said to the dog, "We're sending them to Louise and Shotzie for Christmas. They always send you something."

Ray shot me a look. He knew the two rawhides were from his stash and I hadn't even asked him for permission. But, it being the Christmas season, Ray decided to be magnanimous. He gave the box a few more halfhearted swipes then settled himself on top of my ankles. All was forgiven.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A New Pecking Order?

It was feeding time. I'd learned pretty quickly that if Ray is standing with the cats and waiting for his food, it's best to feed him first. Well, right after Harvey anyway. Our new Terminator Cat (defined as one who keeps jumping on the counter, no matter how many times you put him on the floor) must be first.

So with Harvey having been dispatched to the Feeding Station, and Juno casually strolling around the kitchen, I placed Ray's dog-dish full of breakfast on his placemat. Juno, thinking that she'd like to try the new delicacy, trotted over and stuck her head in the dish. Ray, who always approaches his food cautiously, as if he is about to be poisoned, slowly walked forward, his head lowered. His nose touched fur. Surprised, Ray raised his head and cocked it, a rather quizzical look on his face. He stood alertly next to the little cat, waiting. Juno, finding the new food not to her liking, sashayed away. Ray, not knowing that the cat had gone, waited patiently for her to finish.
"She's gone, Ray," I said, walking to the dish and tapping it with my fingernail.
Ray slowly lowered his head and nosed around. Then, satisfied that no-one else was eating his meal, he tucked into his food.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Breakfast Time

"The government is shut down," said my lovely husband as he walked into the bedroom carrying Juno.
He set our Little Pistol on the bed and crawled back in. It was just past 5:00 a.m. and he had gotten up to get ready for work but was instead getting ready to enjoy an impromptu holiday. Snow was a-comin' and, as usual, panic had set in, the schools had closed, and the government had shutdown. (People outside of Washington can't understand it, but everyone that lives here knows: NOBODY around here knows how to drive in the snow and when they are all on the road at the same time during rush hour, death and destruction reign.)
Juno raced across the foot of the bed and jumped up on the cat perch on the windowsill.
"Where was she last night?" I asked, "She didn't sleep here."
"She was with Ray," responded Gregg.
"WHAT?" I exclaimed in astonishment. "Where?"
"Well, not with Ray, but on the same couch. He was in his spot and she was at the other end."
"Do you think Ray knew?" I asked, curious.
"No, I don't," said Gregg.
Interesting development, I thought to myself. Juno hadn't been there when we went to bed, she must have joined the blind dog sometime in the night.
A few minutes later I dragged myself out of bed; might as well start the day since I was up anyway. Obviously thinking the same thing, Gregg followed.
I entered the kitchen trailed by the two kittens. We heard the jingle of dog tags and watched as the two cats moved to the edges of kitchen while Ray ambled through the middle wanting to go outside. As I washed the cat dishes, Harvey jumped up on the kitchen counter in anticipation of food. I took Harvey off the kitchen counter and put him on the floor, opened a can of cat food, took Harvey off the kitchen counter and put him on the floor, got a fork, took Harvey off the kitchen counter and put him on the floor, put a forkful of food in the bowl, took Harvey off the kitchen counter and put him on the floor, put another forkful of food in the bowl, picked up Harvey off the kitchen counter and pinned him under my armpit while one-handedly I tried to fill his bowl with food, then carried the one bowl and the little cat upstairs to the cat-feeding station. I deposited Harvey and went back downstairs to feed the patiently waiting Juno. I took her upstairs as well and watched as she licked her food and walked away. Juno is not as interested in the canned food. She likes her carbs.
I returned downstairs and sat on the couch to eat my breakfast and watch the morning entertainment unfold opposite me as Gregg tried to enjoy his breakfast of toast and ham. Juno wanted the toast. Ray wanted Juno or the ham, whichever came first.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Random Ray and Cat Photos

There's a dog chasing me. hee hee.
Hey, have you seen Juno?
Now where did she get to?
HEY RAY, I'm right here!
(Geez what is wrong with him?)

Getting an ear rub from dad

Hey Juno, did you hear that?
Bought at an estate sale shortly after the
"ride the lamp to the floor" incident
I'm hungry. What's for dinner?
Well, if dog food is all they have, guess it'll have to do...
I love that freshly laundered feeling…
(that's a fabric softener sheet he stole from the laundry room)
Living here isn't too bad even if they do have a dog...
…not too bad at all

I love you guys


zzzzzzzzzzz                                    zzzzzzzzzzz

Holy CRAP, what was that?

When did you say the pool was going to re-open?

It's hard to relax when I know they're here...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Awaiting Developments

I was sitting on the couch in the living room checking my email. Ray was in the adjacent family room curled in his usual spot, fast asleep. The kittens were racing around, playing with each other. It was evening and we were all waiting for a predicted snowstorm to roll in.
(In Northern Virginia, "storm" is a term used by weathermen when predicting any kind of weather event. Unlike real storms in other parts of the country, "storms" in NO VA can bring a sprinkle of rain,  a flurry of snow, or in this case, a whopping one to three inches of snow followed by ice then rain. The panic in the grocery stores was monumental.)
Harvey, who has been taken to multiple vets over the past two weeks trying to find a reason for his chronic diarrhea, ran out of steam in mid-chase and came to jump up on my lap. Finding it occupied by a laptop, the little guy wedged himself against the edge of the laptop and leaned into my chest. I crooned sweet nothings. Juno followed, but still being full of steam, walked along the back of the couch looking from side to side for something to get into. She jumped onto the end table and reached out a paw to touch the clock, trying to shove it off. I watched her and laughed. Siblings could not be more different.
As I continued to croon to my cats, the jingle of dog tags was heard. Harvey and Juno both looked alert but did not move. Ray ambled in, ears fully deployed in Dumbo mode. He sniffed along the couch and stopped at me, confused for a moment by the fact that I was crooning to my computer.
"He's right here, Ray," I said to my dog, giving away Harvey's position. "Be nice."
Ray reached out his neck a bit farther to touch the cat and give him a brief lick to show that there was  no need to worry, then sat, alertly "staring" at us.
I laughed. Ray was using his well-know tactic of "See, I'm just sitting here. You can jump down and run away now," to get the cat to move so that he could chase it.
Harvey was not fooled. Juno watched interestedly from the end table.
Ray, not really very comfortable in a sitting position, didn't stay that way long. He stood and jumped his front feet  up on the cushion in the small unoccupied space between me and the arm of the couch. Harvey still did not move and neither did Juno. I shook my head, ruefully. I knew what the hound wanted; he wanted my warm spot on the couch.
Still cradling Harvey, but having moved the computer, I slid along the couch to make room for the dog. Mister Jealous climbed slowly up and made himself somewhat comfortable, his back end tucked up but  his head raised alertly and his ears still actively deployed in Dumbo mode, waiting for kitten activity to commence so that he could join in.
Bored by the inaction of her brother, Juno left. Harvey draped himself across my lap and continued to purr, watching the dog sleepily.
I sat and basked in the warm glow of my own little peaceable kingdom.

Friday, December 6, 2013

VIDEO ALERT: Ray the Blind Dog in THE GAME

Mornings around here have gotten a lot more interesting since we adopted Harvey and Juno. Although Ray knows he isn't supposed to chase the kittens, he just can't help himself. And once I realized that the kittens are not afraid of Ray and he can't find them without that smell of fear in the air, I let him play. Some days it goes on and on and on.

Music: Smells Like Funk by the Black Eyed Peas

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Amazing Progress

Ray is being good. Despite the fact that he has rediscovered the joy of cat-box crunchies and stealing half full cat food cans off of the kitchen counter while his mom goes off to feed his new siblings, Ray has been pretty good.
Ray was good when Juno was playing with one of his dog-feet while Ray was stretched out on his side on the floor. While Ray snoozed, Juno batted at the big rubbery, black pad, boxing it with both of her little paws. He did nothing when she jumped up on the couch and accidentally landed on his side not realizing that she was standing on a dog, and did nothing when she came to sit next to me and flopped over against his back, again, not realizing that the warm solid wall she was leaning against was Ray.
Mornings and evenings during crazy hour are a bit tougher for Ray. Listening to the kittens race back and forth and up and down bring out Ray's hunting instincts. His tail curls over his back and he paces around trying to find those pesky varmints making all the noise. When he thinks he's found one, he lets me know which pretty effectively brings everything to a screeching halt. We are working on that and seem to have made some progress.
Today Ray chased the kittens for 15 minutes or so before climbing up on Gregg's chair and sitting alertly, listening to them play. As a treat for being so good, I let Ray give Juno a quick lick on the head. Juno didn't seem particularly happy about it, but Ray seemed pretty pleased.