melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Okay, April-kitty just did something that was both frighteningly intelligent, worryingly ditzy, and hilarious. XD

I heard a cat-thumping-on-door noise from down the hall, and then April going "Mrraaaah? *chirp*" in the way she does to indicate "Something is wrong!" Figuring she'd been shut in the AV room or something, I got up and took a couple of steps away from my computer chair to go rescue her.

April then ZOOMS down the hall, into my study, leaps over my feet, smacks into the computer chair which spins 360o, hops down from the chair and goes to look in the biscuit bowl. I start laughing hysterically and go to relate it to the Handsome Hubby.

"...and now she's just sitting there looking at me like 'whaaaat?'!" I say, leaning around the door jamb to look at April. "Seriously, cat, did you do that to make me get up so you could do the chair trick?"

April looks at me, blinks, then suddenly goes "Mrraaaah! *chirp*" again, leaps out of the room, barrels down the hall and flips herself onto her side while still running, skidding to a stop in front of the AV room door, where she sticks a paw under the door and kicks it with her back feet, producing the thudding noise again.

"Oh. Oh! I think Holly's stuck in the AV room!" I go to check, and yes, Holly is indeed shut in and wanting to be rescued.

There is more laughing with the Handsome Hubby.

"So, what, she came to get me to save Holly, and forgot halfway through? 'Mummy, Mummy, Holly's stuck! Come save her! I'll lead you back-- ooh, bikkies!'?"

Hubby: "'Holly's in the well!'"
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
State of the writing: Continues apace! The dang plot bunnies can't decide which leg to chew, so three different chapters are about half-done right now.

State of the Mel: Doin' pretty good!

State of the Eldrich Abominations: Yuri's yabby NomNom sadly passed away from unidentified causes, before it grew big enough to encounter identified causes, namely Yuri, a frying pan, and some butter. He still holds out hope. YumYum is still alive, but far too small to become a victim. Yet. My yabbies Gozer and Scuttly have both moulted, coming out visibly bigger and different colours! Scuttly now has bright blue claws and legs, and his main shell is really dark, turning an awesome shade of blue under the right light. Gozer is dark brown and has regrown her left claw to nearly the same size as the right one.

State of the Cats: Plotting world domination and yabby-eating.
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Well, thanks to April (and the discovery of a good iPhone app that helps with posting pictures!) I've begun putting projects up on Ravelry!

...Starting with the one she used as a chew toy. ;P
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Are you required by some evil feline contract to be occasionally destructive... and only with my stuff? I dunno, you behave beautifully for about five weeks at a time and then BAM, you've lulled us into a false sense of security and I discover you sitting in the wreckage of something I care about. >:(

I opened my study door this morning and found April sitting outside it with a piece of yarn in her mouth. My train of thought went something like this:

"Uh-oh. That's yarn."
"That's my yarn."
"...that's my nice sock yarn that I'm using to knit a kind of complicated shawl thing that represents quite a lot of work for the amount of progress I've made so far damnit cat!!!"

I made sure she hadn't swallowed any first, because. Y'know. Cat owner. Required to be calm and make sure the beastie hasn't harmed herself before getting mad. And then I tracked the trail of massacred yarn bits around the house, leading from the disembowelled project bag in the lounge room (shawl in progress seems fine; very nice circular needle has been fanged just enough that I probably can't fix it), along the hallway, around several corners (yarn chewed into bits that aren't quite big enough to save for anything), to under the bed in the main bedroom (remaining ball of yarn has been divided into three chunks and scrag-kicked hard enough to tangle it into an unsalvageable mess).

I told the hubby that he needs to dock her allowance to buy me replacement yarn. He pointed out that she doesn't get an allowance. I told him he needs to start, so that he can dock it to buy me replacement yarn. :P

ETA: Here, have a link to Ravelry so you can see the project! :P
melredcap: (AARGH!)
I needed that hot water bottle. I don't appreciate finding it PUNCTURED. How the heck did you do that, anyway?! And why?!?!?!?!?

You're lucky you're cute. You still owe me a new hot water bottle.

- Sort-of love,
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
The mouse skin is back!

...You know, I don't remember if I ever posted here about the mouse skin.

Back when I first got the Holly-cat, I started making her a toy. I found a pattern for an adorable little stuffed mouse and got as far as knitting the main body. I did not, however, get as far as sewing the main body into a tube and stuffing it, or anything else. Holly stole the little scrap of fuzzy knitted fabric right off my needles and declared it the Best Toy Ever.

I know, I know, everything is the Best Toy Ever according to Holly. The thing is, other objects are the Best Toy Ever for a while, and then fall apart or get eaten or lose their attraction or... whatever. The mouse skin has been the Best Toy Ever repeatedly. It gets played with, chewed, dunked in her water bowl, left where a bare human foot can step on its cold sogginess in the middle of the night, played with some more, stuffed down the back of my neck when I'm trying to concentrate and Holly wants to play fetch, carried up onto the bunk bed and hidden under my pillow, and so on. After a few weeks of enjoyment, it gets lost somewhere. One to three months later, it gets excavated from wherever it was hidden, and the cycle begins again.

It's back.

I'm really quite proud of this thing, in a slightly defensive way. I mean, it's pretty disgusting now; it started out white with a yellow stripe around the middle (the pattern ends up with your stuffed mouse wearing a tutu, okay?) and is now an undistinguished beige-brown. One end is starting to unravel, and the yellow stripe - being made of a weaker yarn than the ex-white bits, I guess - is looking fairly moth-eaten. (Cat-eaten?) And yet, it's in good shape for something that's endured nearly two years of enthusiastic mugging from an energetic cat, and the sheer joy Holly shows every time it turns up again is awesome. Pick the thing up and show it to her and there's happy squeaky noises and bouncing as she watches to see where you're going to throw it. Then she brings it back and stuffs it down the neck of my shirt.

At the moment, Holly is combining the mouse skin and a small cardboard box into the combo Best Toy Ever. You drop the mouse skin into the box, you see, and then lie down next to it and flail madly with one paw, trying to hook it out without looking. When you do snag it with a claw and flick it into the air, that's your cue to tackle it into the wall, after which you carry it to the nearest human and demand that they throw it. Repeat until bored. (She never gets bored with this, so in practice it's "repeat until you miss the tackle and it lands somewhere you can't find it, then look for it all night while the humans are trying to sleep".)

Ah well. It's better than having her break my crockery. :P
melredcap: (AARGH!)
...Okay, okay, I take back ALL the disparaging things I've said about your IQ. Well, not the stuff about you head-butting the window while attacking your own reflection, but the other stuff? Gone. Wiped from my mind. Meowing with your mouth closed is actually a sign of great wit and charm. You're brilliant.

Now could you please start using your powers for good?

I should have realised it was a bad sign when you started doing Naughty Cat Things (charging out the study door when it's not your turn to have the run of the house) in order to get what you wanted (fun playtimes with humans chasing you around the furniture, and/or food bribes to get you back in the study). It was easy to ignore the potential developments when it was so easy to fix; if you don't get chased when you do that, you come right back and poke your head enquiringly into the room as if to say "uh, mom? Did you notice that I did that?" It was amusing and kinda cute.

You've escalated. More importantly, you've escalated to something that I cannot let stand.

You broke my mug. My cute, fairly expensive, Japanese mug with the silly cat on it, that I've had for several years and adore.

I did not smack you, or yell at you, because I thought it was an accident. There was a spoon in it, and you rattled it madly before yanking the mug down off the shelf, so I thought you were just going "Ooo! Jingly thing! It must be a toy!" I picked up the bits, and cleaned up, and fumed a bit, and told myself that I was just going to have to order a replacement. And, yes, I kind of ignored you, because the alternative was being grumpy at you, and it's not fair to do that to an animal that doesn't understand what it's done wrong.

Apparently that was not the reaction you were after, because five minutes later I heard a demanding meow from behind me.

"...Not now, Holly." *grump*
*sigh* "All right, Holly, what is it?"

I turned around. You were sitting on the bookshelf, next to the matching little teapot.

You looked at me, looked at the teapot, looked back at me, said "MEOW!", and deliberately pushed the teapot off the shelf.

You are damned lucky I managed to lunge and catch it in midair, cat. And I'm fairly sure that a spanking wasn't the reaction you hoped for, so I suggest you use those apparently-functioning braincells and devise a better way of getting my attention when you're bored and want to play fetch.

melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
...okay, one person. That's popular enough for me. :P

Before the promised how-Holly-nearly-concussed-herself story, though, I wanted to let people know that today I found out how she reacts to catmint. Badly. Oh, not in her opinion - she sees nothing wrong with her reaction and in fact seemed to be having fun! So I shall be giving her the occasional leaf of catmint in future. I'll just be saving it for occasions when I'm going to be out of the house for at least an hour.

One leaf of catmint, presented for her inspection, got a definitely interested reaction as she sniffed enthusiastically all along the edge of it. Then I moved my hand, and she thought I might be going to take it away again, and went for it like a shark. Sensibly, I let go, leaving her with a green frilly moustache and an expression of triumph. She had found the Best Herb Ever!

Holly proceeded to spit the leaf out onto the floor and do this... thing... where she stuck her bum up in the air, tail waving like a flag, planted her nose on the carpet in front of the leaf, and flailed madly with both front paws all around the leaf without actually touching it. Oh great, I thought, she's going to be hyper. Well, at least it should be funny. With that famous last thought, I left the room to tell Da Handsome Hubby that while Holly appeared to like catmint, we shouldn't give her access to a whole pot of it, because that would lead to chaos and vacuuming and needing to buy a new one.

Two minutes later I returned, to discover that she'd eaten the whole leaf. Well, that or hidden it really well. (It's not in my boots. I checked.) Despite all the evidence to the contrary I've gathered over the last nearly two years, I told her she was a good cat and reached down to pat her; she fell over sideways, squeaked adorably, looked cute, and then wrapped herself around my leg like an amorous purring octopus. An amorous purring octopus with claws.

Catmint, it turns out, activates two behaviours in Holly that you normally only get one at a time. 'Enthusiastically affectionate', which I get to see every day, and 'Bitey', which is thankfully much much rarer. Combine the two, and you get a happy purring cat who wants nothing more than to fling herself bodily upon you, wrap herself around your neck, nom on your ear, and turn into a flailing knot of Ginsu claws when you object to said nomming. Still purring, I should point out, and obviously delighted to have the opportunity to share love through the medium of minor flesh wounds.

At about this point Hubby asked if I wanted to go out to dinner, I accepted, we went, and that gave Holly time to come down. (He has such excellent timing. :3) She wasn't hanging from the ceiling fan when we got back, and doesn't even seem to have a hangover, so... yeah, she'll be getting more all right, on occasions when I'm not going to be around. ;P


Oh look, another cat story! It's two-for-one day here at Chez Mel, have fun.

I was sitting at my computer the other evening when Holly growled the growl of a cat who's seen another cat outside the window, committing the heinous crime of daring to exist. (Holly's not big on other cats. This may be due to her, um, fractious relationship with the only other cat in the house, or it may just be that she only sees them when they're in her front yard thinking of molesting her birds.)

Since it doesn't take long for Holly to go from growling at evil-cat-outside-window to lunging at evil-cat-outside-window, usually hitting the window with a horrendous crash and rattle of abused blinds, I looked up, intending to bang on the glass and shoo the intruder away.

At this point I need to tell you that we have roll-down security shutters on our front windows, suitable for use during a zombie apocalypse or some other equally plausible scenario that requires us to turn our house into Fort Knox. Given that the same previous owners who installed them also let the back fence disintegrate into a sagging mess that had to be pushed upright to get the gate open and - as I demonstrated when we had it replaced - could be knocked over with one kick from a fairly non-athletic woman, I can only conclude that they thought any and all zombie hordes and burglars would be polite enough to arrive at the front door. That, or they really didn't trust the neighbours across the street and figured they were too lazy to go around the block. Anyway, we have these shutters, and I've gotten into the habit of rolling mine down at night because they're way better at closing out the world than the frankly ratty vertical blinds. (The cat isn't helping the blinds.)

The shutters were down. There was no evil cat outside the window. There was, however, an angry cat inside the window, winding up for a charge at the horrible nasty intruder she could plainly see glaring back at her.

"Holly, whoa, that's not another cat, that's--"


"--your own reflection. Idiot."

Slightly dazed by her faceplant into the glass, Holly sat up, shook her ears straight, looked back at the window, saw the Evil Intruder still there!!!, bashed her paw on the glass twice and then lunged again, getting another nose-full of Ow. She wasn't willing to admit that there wasn't anything to attack until I switched on a different lamp, shedding more light on that spot and killing the reflection, at which point she wobbled off in triumph. She'd shown them! They ran away, didn't they? She'd won!

Twenty minutes later she discovered a small moth trapped between the glass and the shutters, and spent the next couple of hours happily trying to bite it through the glass. I gave up and let her get on with it. :P

I have mentioned that I doubt her brainpower, haven't I?
melredcap: (>:P)
Dear cat;

Congratulations. That was a wasabi pea. Now do you understand why I try to keep you out of my snack bowl?

Love and schadenfreudian giggles,
Me. XD
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Hubby's cat Titti is getting scary. O_o;;

We've known for a while that she can turn the TV on. She likes using remote controls as a headrest/chinscratcher, which occasionally leads her to change the channel while Hubby's watching something, and we've gotten up in the middle of the night to find the TV on and Titti contentedly watching cricket.

...Don't ask me why cricket, OK? It just seems like that's always what's on when she turns the TV on late at night, and when we go out to see what's up she's always sitting there with her head up watching the game. It may have something to do with the way cricket cameramen will randomly film birds on the pitch during a slow patch, I dunno. :P

*ahem* Getting back on track: we've gotten kind of used to the idea that the grouchy 18-year-old cat likes to watch cricket in the middle of the night. That's fine. What she did last night, however, proves that she wouldn't need opposable thumbs to conquer the world if she really decided she wanted to, just a suitably ergonomic remote control or two.

What did she do last night, you ask? Well...

She (1) turned on the TV,
(2) started up the DVR,
(3) started it recording the current program (a cricket match, of course),
(4) changed channels over to Foxtel,
and (5) when Hubby went out to see what was up, she was happily watching a documentary that Hubby helped produce.

Doing all that required hitting buttons on two, possibly three remote controls.

...That cat's SCARY.
melredcap: (Karma!)
If you somehow obtain a three-week-old kitten (were given it, bought it, stole it, whatever), what do you think is an appropriate thing to do?

A) OMG TINY KITTEN crap, poor thing is too young to be taken from its mother, I must whisk it away to someone who knows how to care for it!

B) YAY KITTEN I shall love it and squeeze it and subjugate it to my every whim and call it George!


A couple of idiot highschoolers picked "C" recently. Thankfully their admin staff saw them, got the kitten away from them (had to pay!) and picked "A", which is why my friend Ruth (she of the awesome kitten-fostering) is currently looking after said tiny fluffy creature. Kitten is doing quite well and has a guaranteed home waiting for her, because her rescuers have already put themselves down to adopt her.

Yay for happy endings; boo and expletives to the f*ckers who make them necessary.

Like, OW.

Jun. 4th, 2012 07:53 pm
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Dear Holly-cat:

If you try to attack Titti when she's eating, she will spank your ass.

If you run off and then turn around, charge back, and attack Titti from the rear as she's retreating to her Squishy Cave of Solitude, I will spank your ass.

And if you then whip around and do your best to fillet my hands as I'm attempting to remove you from the situation, well, you're in deep shit now little kitty. You are grounded!

...Dear gods, I swear cats are practice for raising teenagers. *le sigh*

- Mel
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Dear Cat,

When you literally try to climb over various bits of my anatomy trying to reach my plate, and I relent and give you a bit of lamb, I intend you to eat it. It is food. I did not give it to you so that you could bat it around the floor, drop it in your kitty litter, bat it around some more, and finally hide it in my boot. Food is to be eaten, not played with for three hours until you accidentally bite it and decide it tastes nice!

(And while we're on this topic, quit hiding your toys in my boots.)

Frustrated (and rather amused) love,
Your Human.

Dear Cat:

May. 5th, 2012 10:40 am
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
I'm sorry. I know, I know, the horrible man groped your tummy and looked at your teeth and gave you a jab and stuffed a pill down your throat and even - horror of horrors! - took your temperature! Also there was a barking dog, and a car drive, which is yucky, and it was all my fault.

I did it with the intention of having you around to snuggle with for a nice long healthy lifetime, though, so could you please stop refusing to look at me?

Your human.

P.S. Seriously, stop giving me the Offended Back View. If you keep it up for much longer I'm going to laugh at you, and then you won't forgive me for weeks. :P
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
I've been knitting a lot over the last few days, since Hubby and I got rear-ended. My shoulders and neck are fine so long as I keep my arms and hands down, but if I try to lean forward to type / game / whatever things get ouchy, so I've been knitting while watching anime on my computer. Multitasking at its finest, and I'm getting quite a lot done...

...except when the cat tries to 'help'.

Picture cut to save your friends list from CONCENTRATED CUTENESS )
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default) the vet can tell the difference between "fat cat with constipation" and "cancer".

No, really. Ruth (Awesome Friend of Awesomeness, kitten-fosterer and all-around cat doormat :P) has a beautiful tabby-and-white cat named Tabitha. Tabitha has been gaining weight lately, largely by snaffling the kitten food whenever the door to the kittenry is open. Recently, she got sick; acting like her stomach hurt, lethargic, not wanting to put up with the other cats. Being a responsible pet owner, Ruth whisked her off to the vet.

Being a loving pet owner, Ruth understandably just about had a heart attack when the vet informed her he could feel lumps and fluid and thought Tabitha might have cancer.

A tense day or two ensued, waiting for Tabitha to go in for more tests. The final result?

...After anaesthetic, two ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests, three hundred and sixty-six dollars and examinations by multiple vets: she's fat. The lumps? Fat. The fluid? Squishy fat. The other symptoms? Constipation, possibly partly because she's FAT. She weighs five and a quarter kilos, and should weigh four. FAAAAAT CAT. (With her tummy shaved after the ultrasounds etc, it really shows now. Pillsbury Doughboy style rolls.)

Guess who's now on an (expensive!) diet? :P
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
(crossposted to [ profile] knitting)

Recipe for a grouchy Mel:

1. Be ill. (This is always a good start. Some sort of icky crud that combines stuffed-up sinuses with an oogly stomach should work.)

2. Start knitting something small and complicated. (Socks, perhaps - so much for me not really liking handknit socks, hah - something toe-up in self-patterning yarn that you really like, trying out a simple pattern.)

3. Have the cat 'help' by stealing your wool, the sock toe in progress, the wool again, a different ball of wool, one end of the circular needle, the wool again. Complicate this by being in a bunk bed (my Fortress of Solitude in my study, used when hubby is snoring or I'm ill enough to be grumpy), so that the cat can leap down to the floor and get a minute of uninterrupted scragging time with your wool before you can retrieve it. This is a great game from the cat's point of view.

4. At some point during stage 3, you're not sure when, have the cat chew through some of your wool. Don't notice this until the chewed spot is four rows down in the pattern and you're about 1/4 of the way into the sock foot.

5. Notice the chewed spot. Poke at it cautiously with one finger. Have half the sock disintegrate into yarn ramen.

6. Swear.

Recipe for a cheered-up Mel:

1. Decide you wanted to change something about the sock anyway.

2. Unravel the ramen-ed sock toe and rewind the wool, while sternly eyeing the cat who is crouched at the end of the bed looking cute. Decide she looks really cute.

3. Remember this free pattern that you wanted to try out anyway.

4. Knit the Undeserved Cat Toy...

...which looks like this. )
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
I'm having fun with knitting. Lots of fun. Possibly too much fun. This includes fun thinking about patterns, plotting future projects, and looking at stuff online that I can't afford. (Don't worry, I'm not desperately trying to work out how to afford it; I'm enjoying drooling at things without feeling the need to fling money at 'em. Phew.)

Then I followed links to these: Yarn bowls and bells.


Since I haz cat, it would need to be a yarn bell. Multiple yarn bells. Pretty yarn bells. Or maybe a really big yarn bowl with a smaller one upside-down over the yarn. But as you may note from that website, she's really reluctant to ship overseas (not to mention oh my god that would COST) because, yeah, fragile. Further searching turns up nothing of the sort here in Australia.

...So I started plotting to visit the Canberra Potters' Society to buy a try-it-out session and make some of my own. And suddenly my brain started reeling off all these ideas about hey you were considering an Etsy store to sell quilts and quilt patterns anyway WHY NOT YARN BELLS AS WELL SURELY THERE ARE AUSTRALIAN KNITTERS THAT WOULD LOVE THESE YOU KNOW YOU LOVED POTTERY WHEN YOU MADE SOME IN JAPAN--

--yeah. This is... an idea. A fun idea. Possibly a crazy idea, but still fun! XD
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
With lots of big pictures, posted over here. (Warning: that's a very addictive LJ community if you knit! XD) Also contains two pictures of teh kitteh, investigating my work.
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
By the cat:
If you are on your favourite stack of boxes next to Mummy's computer chair, and you are sleepy and feeling happy so you stretch out and roll over to get closer to her... gravity does still apply when you roll right off the edge. (She sort of flowed off the edge and slid down, landed on my foot, went "Oh well, this is good enough" and went back to sleep. XD)

By me:
Hubby sometimes turns on the ceiling fan in his study. When you've just finished updating his WoW addons for him, don't yawn and stretch upwards... it's in range of your hands when you do that. (OW. Bruises and a couple of cuts, ahoy!)
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