vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
As some of you were interested in seeing more of our windows and views, here are some more photos taken today.

Plus added cats! )
vilakins: Vila dozing off at the teleport controls (alert)
... was probably yesterday in this time zone.

But hey, photos of all three taken since Friday here in the Oamaru midwinter.

Sebastian is unimpressed by snow
Sebastian is unimpressed by snow.

More )
vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))
... but surrounded by boxes and chaos. Items, whether breakable or extremely not, are wrapped in so many layers of paper, they're three times their size and unrecognisable. We were searching for the electric jug and things we thought were the same size were things like glasses. This means a very large number of boxes piled in almost every room. We slept here last night but I was awake for a while worrying about everything we have to do.

We've unpacked the kitchen stuff and have only just found the box with the electric jug and the cat biscuits - in the same box which didn't make sense as I used to keep their food in the laundry, but I was so relieved since we're picking the little guys up tomorrow morning. It doesn't feel like home yet but you know about cats and boxes.

The cats...
... arrive at Dunedin Airport tomorrow, and we'll take a day off unpacking to be with them. Ha, I was just typing here and saw a tabby approaching out of the corner of my eye and thought it was Ashley out of habit. I'd left the back door open and it was Noisel from next door!

Our old home...
... went on the market today! Doesn't it look amazing (and after all that painting and stripping back to wood etc, it should)! Of course photos always look better than reality, they know how to make rooms look huge with angles, and the staging makes the best of any place, but it really is a lovely private house and I did enjoy living there. I won't miss the humidity,  the traffic, and te ridiculous cost of living in Auckland though, and I have to say the weather here is gorgeous: blue skies and sunny and warm once the sun's up (but scarf and mitt time when it's not). I took some photos before the packers came and they're much more realistic.

... is friendly and quirky and has great cafes and restaurants. So far I've seen three men dressed in tweed outfits complete with waistcoats and tweed flat caps, a steampunk rifle mounted in the Steam Cafe, and a woman in the bank with short, spiky magenta hair with a huge paper flower in it, and bright gypsy-style clothes. Hey, I like this place! As for the steampunk, I already have a leather jacket and pilot's helmet; I just need the goggles, a fob watch, and a raygun to be pretty much ready for the November steampunk festival.

I need a new local icon instead of the Auckland one I used. It will probably be steampunk.
vilakins: (ashley art)
We're not sure when Ashley's birthday is, but we celebrate it on 1 May. She's the oldest of the three by a couple of months, though she seems the youngest, being so small (3kg), soft, playful, and kittenish.

Ashley standing on her tail on a windowsill. She's the only cat I've known who does that. She wraps her tail around herself and deliberately places first one front paw, then the other. I love the stripes between each toe.

Four more Ashley pics )
vilakins: (ashley)
We celebrated Ashley's observed birthday on Friday 1 May - she's now seven. She still seems like a teenager, with her smallness (she weighs just over 3kg) and her kitten squeak.

Three photos )
vilakins: (jasmin)
It's Jasmin's 6th birthday today; it really doesn't seem that long since we got her. It was also Ashley's 6th in May but I never got round to posting, so here are photos of them both, taken over the last few months.

There was tuna for all three. :-)

Photos )
vilakins: (sebastian)
Sebastian turned 3 last week (going by a guessed birth date) so here are some pics of him taken over the last year. Like most black cats I've known, he's very sweet-natured and loving.

Photos )
vilakins: (spring (kowhai))
Once again I've been slack posting, so here's various news.

Ashley's crystals have gone so now she, well, all of them, are on maintenance bladder-health biscuits which are in my opinion far too palatable as Ashley went right off her wet food. However a couple of weeks later she's eating it with her old gusto which is good as they get a lot of water that way and it's far better for them. She knew I was writing about her as she's just come and squeaked at me. :-)

It is spring and the weather is glorious after a very windy week, almost summer-like. The hammock's up, there's washing on the line, and I can hear a distant lawn-mower through all the open doors, the sound of a lazy Sunday.

We saw Planes last week, and because we booked online were given a free toy. I have El Chupacabra, a favourite character. Very cute film, esp for someone who pretended to be a plane (a Spitfire to be exact) as a kid, referring to arms and fingers as wings and ailerons, and coming in for a perfect three-point landing at mealtimes.

And last night at the late showing we saw Gravity. On the biggest screen in the southern hemisphere. Wow. Absolutely stunning graphics and a gripping story. It deserved its 5 stars in spades and we both had Gravity dreams all night.

And Sebastian turned 3 this week. I will do a special picspam in his honour but that will be later as I'm going to read in the hammock now.
vilakins: (ashley)
I am so encouraged by the response to my last post; there are a lot more of you still here than I'd feared.

In the latest cat news, Jasmin now has a small notch out of one ear, the result of a fight (though with one of the other two or an invading cat, I don't know). It gives her a certain toughness so we decided that her Mafia name was Jasmin "Notchy" Zampetta (her surname meaning "little paw"). It then struck me that "Notchy" sounds just like "noci", the Italian for "walnuts"--fans of The Sopranos will enjoy that one--so Jasmin's now Jazzy Walnuts.

On to Ashley.

Ashley started having difficulty peeing so I took her to the vet and they found her bladder was like a hard little, yes, walnut due to the pain making her think she had to pee all the time, which of course only made it worse. They put her on painkillers which made a huge difference, then did a test on her urine which had crystals in it. So she's now meant to eat a special dry food which will dissolve them, then go onto a maintenance diet.

Actually she should be eating a lot more wet food than she does, but she's always been a kibble-grazer which has probably caused the problem. Jasmin and Sebastian get almost all their nutrition and water from wet food, but finding one Ashley will eat is a major source of stress and frustration: what she'll like one day she won't touch the next--you'd think she was the pedigree, not a rescue cat. But she's already vastly improved, so much happier and more playful and even cuddlier than before. She's almost like a kitten again, full of joie de vivre (if not wet food).

Some photos )
vilakins: (jasmin)
Jasmin turned 5 last month. Yes, I've been slack about posting for a while now, but it occurs to me that failing to do so because there's hardly anyone around any more just adds to the problem.

So here are a few photos of Jasmin from her last year. )
vilakins: (ashley)
We don't know when Ashley was born, but we figured that 1 May is close enough, so yesterday was her fifth birthday. All three shared in the feast of tuna. :-)

Two almost black-and-white photos of the birthday girl )
vilakins: (jasmin)

Ewww. Putting my hand in the puke Jasmin left on my pillow last night is not a nice way to wake up. I'm glad the only thing in my shoe this morning was her fish toy.

Here are three much nicer stories about cats which made me happy.

A white rescue cat saves its new family from a fire on its first night.

A black cat was rescued by firefighters in Masterton (6 photos of a very Sebastian-looking cat).

And this one's from today: an Auckland cat called Molly turned up after being presumed drowned when she fell off a boat.

vilakins: (books with jasmin)

Yesterday morning I noticed that Jasmin looked as if she had one mump: a larger left cheek. I felt it and there was indeed a lump under the fur so I rang the vet immediately but the first appointment they had was this morning. When we got home last night the abscess had opened and she was curled up among the books looking miserable (see icon). It was obviously a cat-fight; several other cats invade our garden. I wish we'd been able to get her in; it looked worse this morning and they've kept her in for the day to drain it. I'm picking her up tonight and she'll have an Elizabethan collar and will have to be kept inside.

It's lucky it's a long weekend as we'll be around for three days (though previously cats have often waited till the vet was shut for a holiday before getting ill). It still won't be easy at night as none of the cats are used to being locked in and having to use litter. We can let Ashley and Sebastian in and out during the day, but maybe we'll have to lock them out of the top level at night. Last time I tried to get them used to being in at night, Sebastian crapped on the carpet rather than use the litter, even though he did so for his first 9 months. [rolls eyes] Maybe I'll sleep in the spare room so the other two have company.

Poor little Jasmin. She's a "terrified trembler" at the vet and burrows desperately into me (they all do) and I felt mean leaving her there. She'll have lots of attention this weekend though.

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (brian the spider)

I was going to post a companion quiz to my 50 things to have done as a kid one but it's late, so here are some linksm mainly to pics.

Curiosity has found life on Mars. ;-)


It's a hard life being a stormtrooper.

Star Wars toy concepts that failed. Hey, I'd have bought some of those! They'd go really well at ThinkGeek.

The cat Olympics. (Love the take on beach volleyball.)

And two stories to make cat lovers get a little misty-eyed:

The guy who rescued a street cat in Saudi Arabia.
Christchurch cat Missy rescued from a fire, resuscitated, and reunited with her owner.

vilakins: (fur balls)

We don't watch much live TV, usually just cricket, the Euro and World cups... and the Olympics. So of course the cats choose now to do some indefinable damage behind the entertainment complex (TV, DVD player, TiVo etc. They've probably disconnected wires. [rolls eyes] And this after a couple of weeks that have brought us vomit on a keyboard, worse on the hall carpet, and pee in a handbasin.

Smooching me and butting me and purring doesn't help, Ashley, but it does soften my heart.

[Edit] Greg found the loose wire. I suspect Jasmin who has carried on Tessa's tradition of disconnecting devices. Avon's exploits in Pets were based on Tessa's for good reason.

vilakins: (fur balls)

We don't watch much live TV, usually just cricket, the Euro and World cups... and the Olympics. So of course the cats choose now to do some indefinable damage behind the entertainment complex (TV, DVD player, TiVo etc. They've probably disconnected wires. [rolls eyes] And this after a couple of weeks that have brought us vomit on a keyboard, worse on the hall carpet, and pee in a handbasin.

Smooching me and butting me and purring doesn't help, Ashley, but it does soften my heart.

[Edit] Greg found the loose wire. I suspect Jasmin who has carried on Tessa's tradition of disconnecting devices. Avon's exploits in Pets were based on Tessa's for good reason.

vilakins: (sebastian art)

I seem to have got out of the habit of posting. I certainly avoided it last week when Sebastian went missing for two days because I couldn't handle talking about it, but he came back on Wednesday night. He was a nervous and hungry so I suspect he was locked in somewhere and that Jasmin knew where he was because she kept meowing at us. She didn't go so far as to lead us to him Lassie-like though.

So we have now decided to lock them in at night when we go to bed; they should be able to handle that and learn that they can't get out if we're asleep. We used to round Tessa and Claudia up in the evening when they were younger but we now have a smart cat door that will allow them out at daybreak if we sleep in in the weekend.

To reward those who read this far, have some links.

From xkcd: What If: answering your hypothetical questions with physics (and maths) every Tuesday. There are only two questions there so far; get in at the beginning! LJ's feed is [ profile] whatifxkcd and DW's is [syndicated profile] what_if_feed.

This cat feels that today's the day.

The debut display from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Farnborough Air Show 2012 just last week.

Princess Leia kissing Chewbacca 1977-83
: behind the scenes shots.

vilakins: (fur balls)

I do actually have some posts stored up. Here is one of them, pictures ganked from Facebook.

Those who don't watch The Big Bang Theory may not know the Soft Kitty song that Sheldon's mother sang to him when he was sick and which he taught Penny so that she could. This song has spawned plush Soft Kitties (and yes, I have one that sings to me when I press her paw) and various other merchandise I have so far resisted. Anyway, here are the lyrics, illustrated not with the Big Bang Theory soft kitty, but what reminds me of kitten-Jasmin.

Now here's one for people who like TBBT and Doctor Who.

Soft something else )

vilakins: (cool stuff)

And here are the links I mentioned, collected over the past weeks and presented in chronological order.

I'm all for the local campaign to stop kids smoking, but putting the messages on the back of school buses really didn't work that well.
One ad that misfired
And another

Some really cool yarn-bombing from a group of crocheters: the solar system.

Huge cats in tiny boxes - you know how they are. I have photos of Ashley in her birthday box, but in her case the sizes are reversed.

Snake on a plane! I love the last comment: "Until we find the snake, it's not good for business."

Self portraits in the Flemish style - an artist who whiles away long flights taking photos of herself in the loo with paper towels.

Cats imitating art - well, not really. I think they just looked for photos that matched a painting, but the three odalisques and the last two amuse the hell out of me.

South Miami Beach retirees 1982-85 - I love this: wonderful, wonderful characters enjoying life. The 4th one could be my grandfather complete with hat, and the woman blowing smoke out of her nostrils reminds me of my (now dead) keen smoker Aunt Joy; that's even her hairstyle.

Spitfires found in Burma! This is huge news for those of us who love old planes (and especially those so obsessed as a kid they were nicknamed Spitfire...)

And for the DW-fan crafters among you, a TARDIS shawl.

vilakins: (books with jasmin)

Remember the Itty-Bitty-Kitty Committee kitten who got adopted by Vorkosigan fans and renamed Miles (along with sister Cordelia)? There's a picture of him curled up beside the book Young Miles in this Itty-Bitty-Kitty Committee post. :-)

And I think I've either broken a toe or sprained it badly. OUCHIES! I did it at work when I slipped on some water in the kitchen and landed flat on my back (which I reported). I was OK but for that toe which must have hit the wall, I dunno. I suppose I'll have to go to A&E tomorrow and waste half a holiday-weekend Saturday getting it x-rayed only to be told to do what I've done and strap it to the next one. It's extremely painful to walk on though and I just want to check it's just the toe and I haven't damaged anything in the foot. :-P

vilakins: (avon silver anorak)

Awww, two of the Itty-Bitty-Kitty Committee kittens have been adopted by Vorkosigan fans: they named them Miles and Cordelia. :-D

Which reminds me of two people I met at Greg's work end-of-year dinner. They have a dog called Ziva and were delighted that I recognised the name and told me that they were exercising her in the park when someone with a dog called Abby heard them calling her and came up to introduce themselves.

And then there were Bodie and Doyle, the terriers I met at the vet's a while back.

vilakins: (ashley)
I haven't posted for a while, mainly because I haven't really had much to say. However, have some news about three cats.

Ashley )

Garfilly the No-Longer-So-Tiny Kitten )

Xena the Library Cat )
vilakins: (tabby cat)

Back in June I posted about the tiny kitten at the vet. She looked about 4-6 weeks old then, but was actually about three months old. The nurse who adopted her brings her to work and at that stage either had her on the desk or carried her round in her pocket.

I now know more about her due to an article in the vet practice's newsletter last week, with two photos.

Two photos and Garfilly's story )

vilakins: (ashley)

Ashley came home yesterday afternoon, complete with a bright pink bandage where the IV had been. She was delighted to be back and straight away ate some soft food which was very encouraging. Her mouth is still swollen and she has an incipient abscess under her chin which they thought might go away due to the antibiotics we're dosing her with, but I think I'll be taking her in tomorrow for them to look at it.

She was in our bedroom this morning eager to look out the window which showed how much better she was feeling. I took a photo of her last night in her pink bandage and two today to show how much better she's feeling.

Three photos )

vilakins: (sebastian)

Yesterday Greg called me into the kitchen with my camera because he could see Sebastian outside on the deck sitting by the sundial and the Roman and Best[et] statues as if posed. So I got a good photo of him through the window, and sure enough, when I went out the back door, he rushed straight over to me.

And because I took one of Ashley actually on the sundial a while back, here's that one too. :-)

Cats with sundial and statues )

I am horribly behind with photos, not just of cats but also some gorgeous ones taken on holiday (mosaic garden, art deco etc) and I must get round to resizing and posting them.


27 Jun 2011 04:48 pm
vilakins: (jasmin)

Greg came back last night to my relief (flying below the ash cloud). He and three other siblings managed to sort out their father's affairs and papers and to say goodbye. They also enjoyed seeing each other and spending time together as two are from Christchurch and one from Palmerston North and they aren't often in one place at the same time. Atanas still lingers and is his irascible complaining self so I doubt any of the past got resolved. They're giving him palliative care which is all they can do at this stage but he wants to go home to die (I suspect because he can get drunk there) and they may have to let him. At least Greg and the other three cleared a lot of the junk out and cleaned the place.

Re the junk, Greg was appalled and, a hoarder himself, swears he's going to stop now he can see where it leads. I hope this also means some of the junk around here (confined to certain areas but tending to overflow) will go.

Jasmin is also back. I had to take her to the vet two days ago because she was peeing copiously and incontinently on the furniture and me, plus salivating excessively. They thought she might have eaten something poisonous and kept her in for observation and tests. Her urine was very diluted and had high pH and protein which is often a sign of kidney damage, but they gave her two doses of atripine to "dry her up" and her urine was back to normal concentration today. They sent some for analysis and it was fine, so whatever she ate hasn't done any damage to my huge relief. She's delighted to be back home and keeps running to me crying for cuddles and purring with happiness when (of course) she gets them. :-).

And also the heating (aircon) is working again. It failed on Friday but Greg turned the main unit off and on again and that seems to have rebooted it. So yay, everything's right again (or as right as it can be anyway) and everyone's back home.

vilakins: (ashley)

I didn't see Ashley all day on Friday which bothered me as it wasn't like her, and when I went out and called her, she cried and came running to be picked up. She wasn't at all happy and I could see she'd been in a fight so we took her to the vet. She had several scratches, but the worst was inside her right ear which had healed over the injury and would have abscessed. The vet (who called her doll and said she was a pretty little thing) washed it out and gave her some pain-killer and antibiotic injections, and some pills we have to dose her with.

Then we went back out to reception and that was where the tiny kitten was: a ginger one sitting on the counter beside the receptionist who said she brings it to work every day and carries it around in her pocket when she's not at her desk. So how could I resist? I played with the little ginger girl for a while, and she was just adorable, grabbing my fingers and biting them gently. She's older then she looks: she has hypothyroidism and should be twice the size by now. Someone brought her in to have her put down, but the receptionist decided to keep her (as I would have) and apparently she's growing now she's on some new tablets.

I want to go back and play with her again.

As for Ashley, she was much happier after the cleaning and injection and stayed inside for several hours on the heatpad. Today she's her normal self again, running around outside and rolling over with joy for a scritch when she sees me. :-)

vilakins: (sebastian)

I suppose it's about time I made a post. So here's a mixture of stuff.

Sebastian is getting on really well with the girls. I've seen him curled up next to both of them (separately) and grooming them and being groomed. He loves them, and I think they like him a lot more than they do each other these days. I'd noticed they had little to do with each other since Vic died, so Sebastian has fitted in really well as a playmate and friend to them. And he now knows how to use the cat door. We had it held partially open with string but that was letting cold winter air in and I got tough and decided he needed to figure it out and took the string off; it only took him a day. Yay!

All the same, one of the three peed in the bath yesterday. And that's with the cat door and some litter available (which I'm removing soon). Sigh.

And yes, there will be photos at some point. When I get round to GIMPing them. My unwillingness to tackle a huge number of the bastards also explains why I haven't yet posted any of the gorgeous ones I took on my last holiday.

A new local supermarket opened yesterday, near my beloved Farro gourmet supermarket, and I went to check it out; it'll be great having a New World that near. It's all bright and new and full of the usual things except that as I went past the meats (with no intention of buying) I couldn't help but notice the selection in some chilled cabinets: crocodile, kangaroo, goat, quail, hare, rabbit, braaainsss... I've never seen most of those in a supermarket before (not that I'll be getting any), but it's nice that they cater for zombies.

Um, what else? Oh yeah, strangest spelling mistake seen last Friday while processing surveys done by council workers: "thoughs" for "those". Why go the hard route?


2 May 2011 04:14 pm
vilakins: (ashley)

I suppose I should post at some point, and this is it. So here's an assortment of things.

My sister Jenni came up from Hamilton for the day (also to look at some French doors she saw on TradeMe) and we had lunch with Greg at the local Mexican (as in run by Mexicans) cafe where I was greeted with a hug as we haven't been there for a while. Jenni gave me a scarf she bought in Israel, and Greg's present hasn't arrived yet (this week, I hope): a new computer. We also went out for dinner at a local Malaysian place (run by Malays, yay) and we will be back. NUM!

Cats (and another birthday)
Ashley is now three if you go by her notional have-a-stab-at-it birthday of 1 May. All three enjoyed tuna in celebration. She's asleep on our bed now but earlier she was dong her squeaky "chase me" act for Sebastian and they were rocketing all over the house. I do love the sound of little scampering paws. Sebastian fits in really well, playing with both cats. I have yet to see actual snuggling but this may yet happen. There will be photos of all three when I have my own computer again.
I wish he'd learn to use the cat door though. It has a magnet to stop it being blown open by the wind and he thinks it won't open when he feels the resistance. I've tied it open when I'm here, but that means he's effectively locked in at night and when I'm out which means I have to keep buying litter.

I am glad to see that China Mieville is with me on teleporting/beaming killing the person and copying them. Not that I choose to believe this happens in Star Trek or Blake's 7.

I'm sure there were other things but I can't think of them now.

vilakins: (fur balls)

The PC is definitely dead, probably a fried motherboard. It was 7 years old so it lasted pretty well. I'll be getting a small new one (all I really need) with Windows 7 (which is heaps better than that bloated monstrosity Vista; I've been on XP) and then we'll have to bring all my data and software across.

It's better news about the cats. Sebastian is much better and eats his probiotic mixed in with his breakfast with gusto, and enjoys yogurt too (another form of probiotic) so I now have two flag-tailed yogurt cats. It takes two of us to pill him but he doesn't bear a grudge; he's straight into his special soft food afterwards. I doubt he'll need any more treatment once this is finished.

He's a really friendly, happy, smoochy playful little guy, and Ashley liked him from the start. Jasmin, the cat who protested so (too?) much, is getting on well with him now. They were sitting in the sun upstairs before, and I just saw them both outside on the deck and managed to get a photo of Jasmin going for Sebastian's tail. :-) I think he's brought back some of the girls' kittenhood.

I have lots of cat-related photos to post once I have a PC. :-)

It's Saturday so I went down to Spotlight to buy the makings of a crocheted Totoro. While I was there I saw a nice selection of felt which I could use to make sewn plushies, but I'll have to cost it to see if knitted/crocheted ones are cheaper. I also saw a notice that next Saturday is a knitting day when they'll show off new yarns and patterns so I'll turn up for that; could be fun (and expensive). I resisted some beautiful thick-and-thin Italian yarn but if I think of something that would show it off well, I may go back and get it.

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