The other day I took Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak outside for a little romp.
I let Rory go out offleash, but I had it with me just in case she decided to be naughty. She was happy to jump into the tall grass on the hill.
Meanwhile, Zak investigated the big tree.
Later on, we made two discoveries: Markis, and catmip growing in the grilling area! Not sure how we never noticed it before. Maybe it’s new.
I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t been for Markis.
Zak is so funny…he really wants to be friends with Markis.
We also ran into the neighbour boy who loves Freddy. Freddy was sweet enough to let the boy pick him up, and the boy was thrilled. He knows all their names and calls out to them, it’s so cute.
When we go outside with the cats, I do try to get Angel to come outside, too. But the last time we went out, Angel was happily ensconced on one of the chairs on the balcony. So, I let her be.
That didn’t stop her from joining us in her own way.
What was really adorable, though, was that Dashiell noticed her sitting on the railing watching us.
He was like, “Hey! Angel!”
Not sure if Angel is Juliet, Rapunzel, or Roxanne in this scenario.
Dash was the only cat who really noticed her. Alfred only saw her because he wanted to know what Dash was so interested in.
“Wait! No! Angel, come back!”
Good news, everyone! Last Wednesday, I got my first Covid vaccination (#teampfizer)! However, it also kicked my butt for a few days; today is the first day my arm doesn’t feel like I was hit by a stick. So, here: have some random Hipstasnaps taken around the house. First we have Alfred and Izaak cuddled up next to Jacoby on my leg.
It’s interesting to see the pair-ups that occur amongst the cats. Dashiell and Alfred hang out together quite a bit.
So do Angel and Zak. Sometimes, it’s Angel’s choice…
…other times, not so much.
I wonder if I should be concerned about what Dash and Freddy are plotting…
Not quite sure what’s going on here. Moving on…
Lorelai looking at me hopefully. She always wants to go outside to run.
This was taken today. Zak was looking particularly smexy this afternoon.
The other day, we took the cats out. I was trying to capture the differences in their gaits.
I kind of managed to capture it on “film.”
Went we went out, I took the big camera with the long lens, and I captured all of them walking and running outside.
Here they are outside. I know, it’s 18 minutes long…but it’s interesting if you want to see their different movements outside
As you may remember, Dashiell isn’t as confident about being outside.
But he does seem more comfortable when he’s with the other cats.
So when Alfred started to run down the hill, Dash kind of followed him.
I mean, okay…Dash walked down the hill, he didn’t run.
But the fact that he went on the hill at all is a huge step for him!
Yesterday, we had Alfred walking.
Today, he is running! When he wants to, he can go pretty fast.
Because Freddy’s a bit of a chonk, and because I suspect he has mild asthma, he tend to run with his mouth open.
I feel so fortunate to live where we do, in an area where it’s safe to let them run free, without worrying about cars or large predators or birds of prey to worry about. And I love that the cats are smart enough to know that if they don’t stay close, they get put on the leash and they don’t get to run.
Following up on Thursday’s post about about Izaak’s bouncy gait, here is Alfred casually walking across the grass.
Freddy saunters when he walks with very little bounce.
You can see it in the line of his back.
He keeps it fairly level with each step.
Freddy walks like a cat on a mission.
Even when he’s only leisurely strolling down our hill.
This is what Freddy walking looks like from the front. Look at the determination in his eyes. He’s so intelligent, and you can see that in his face.
Yesterday, I showed you our new neighbours, Randall and Beth, a pair of European Pied Flycatchers. They are very interesting little birds. And not only have we never seen them in our område before now, but we have had that little birdhouse up for three years and no bird has ever shown any interest in it until now.
But Beth and Randall have moved right in.
They appeared on Tuesday, so we named them after the characters on This is Us.
They rarely, if ever, land on the ground, so they are fairly safe from cats. But that didn’t stop Randall from doin’ a heckin’ concern when we went outside with the cats this afternoon.
The cats, however, were mostly oblivious to the bird couple above.
Izaak noticed their movement at some point whilst we were outside.
He watched them flying around for a bit.
But I think he knew there was no chance. We will have to be careful when we take them out after the fledglings emerge.
With Lorelai going in and out of heat, sometimes she needs to be on her leash when we go out.
Today was one of those days.
It was a really nice, summerlike day today: 20°C (70°F). Even though we still aren’t 100%, we couldn’t let this day pass without taking the cats out. So we took out some recycling.
Strangely, Izaak did not want to go with us today. So it was just Alfred and Rory.
But she is so good on her leash! I made a little video to show how fast she walks alongside me – I can actually walk at a normal pace most of the time. Keep an eye out for Freddy’s cameo!
Yesterday in one of my Facebook cat groups, someone posted about an app, Cat Scanner, that claims to identify what breed your cat is from a photograph. So of course I had to try it out.
It worked great with the Abyssinians.
It even identified Angel correctly.
And it got Markis pretty well, too.
I was disappointed with how it did with Tessie. I was expecting perhaps a Burmilla…but I guess at least it could tell she’s a tortie?
And then…there was Izaak. Complete and utter fail. I was expecting a Singapura to be a fairly easy ID…at worst, maybe a Burmese or Aby…but a Bengal!? Seriously? Well, you know I clicked that “Am I right?” link to tell them they weren’t. And the explanation was…the app only really works with FIFe-recognised breeds.
Um….what!? Singas have been recognised in FIFe since 2014…SEVEN YEARS!
Which, naturally, I felt the need to tell them. Haven’t gotten a response yet, but I can’t wait to see what they say.
Last weekend, we watched an amazing movie called Isle of Dogs. It’s a Wes Anderson film, which I find rather hit-or-miss, but I did like his first stop-motion animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it looked intriguing, so we gave it a shot. And, oh, was it worth it!
For a movie with the word “dog” in the title, it was actually, surprisingly, quite focused on cats. It’s an interesting Japanese pastiche in which the cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi has banished all dogs to Trash Island. In the introduction to the film this is all explained with some beautiful illustrations and scenes. My favourite, which is only seen for a minute or so, is the incredibly elaborate Cat Temple (seriously, look at that link; they did an incredible amount of work to create something that’s basically only one scene)! Of course, I instantly noticed the five cat statues to the right of the temple doors…one large, one tiny, two medium-sized and one small. I had to pause it and point out how the five cats matched our own five!
And then…I had to draw it. This is the sketch…
And here’s the ink. Covid aftereffects have really been kicking my butt this week, so it took me a while. I know where I want to go with this, and how I want the colouring to look, but it’s taking me longer to actually do it than I planned.
If you want to see the time lapse video of the work in progress, click the image to open it in another window.
I added the cats to the Cheetas at Boräs Djurparken. Of course, Lorelai running in their enclosure was a no-brainer.
Of course, when we saw the Cheetahs, they weren’t running at all…they were mostly just lounging around. Which Alfred, in particular, excels at.
Today it was a balmy 10°C (50°F), so I thought I would take the cats out. Lorelai was on a leash again, but I attached Alfred’s leash to hers, so it was twice as long.
I managed to get Dashiell to come out with us too. He’s gotten so little exposure to things: trains, buses, cat shows…and just being outside because of the pandemic. I do the best I can to get him outside, though.
Rory, of course, was eager to run down the hill, but the leash sort of put a damper on that plan.
Maybe next time I’ll attach a third leash so she can go farther.
Freddy came galloping down to join Rory.
Izaak came swaggering over, too.
Look at them. The Three Musketeers.
Dash did pretty well outside. At least, he had a happy tail.
Dash and Rory have a sort of bond, being the two youngest cats.
Freddy had an awesome time running around. At over 5 kg (11 lbs)…he needs to run a bit.
It’s nice to go outside with the cats. It’s kind of nice to go anywhere with them, to be honest.
As I mentioned , Lorelai’s most recent “boyfriend” has been neutered…but she’s in heat again. And we don’t have a new boy for her arranged yet.
So Rory has been accosting…erm…Alfred, for some reason. Björn captured this the other day.
Rory, who weighs 2.6 kg (barely six lbs), decided to tackle Freddy, who weighs 5.2 kg (11½ lbs of not entirely muscle).
And she got him in a pretty decent headlock, too. Do not underestimate the power of a female.
When he tried to escape, Rory bit him in the back leg.
Rory..? Maybe try hitting on the one boy who isn’t permanently castrated?
I barely caught these two photos of Alfred running when we went outside yesterday. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and caught him in the corner of the frame.
They turned out okay when I cropped them, but I thought that they worked better as Hipstamatic snaps. So here you have Freddy running for no particular reason.
I took the cats outside this afternoon because it was such a lovely day. I even dragged Dashiell out with us.
He stuck close to Alfred for a lot of the time he was out. It was sunset, so they cast some interesting shadows on the wall.
Izaak trotted up to join them.
Lorelai had to be on a leash today, because when we went out last week, she refused to come back in the house and ran laps around our building. Hopefully she’s learned her lesson.
I just wish Dash would enjoy going outside more…
Apparently, posting about the big cats at Borås Djurparken inspires me with Photoshop ideas. I woke up this morning with this idea, based on the time Alfred climbed up a tree. Because of course Freddy would fight a Lynx for food.