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: (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: Vila in cold-weather clothes looking unhappy (weather)
Whaddaya know - another post!

We had a company planning day yesterday, held down at Westhaven Marina. When I woke, I could hear howling wind and rain, and suspected it wouldn't be the pleasant seaside day we were hoping for. I'd intended to travel along the waterfront via Tamaki Drive but I could see the traffic heading that way wasn't moving so tried another route down toward the sea. That was blocked too so I had to take to the motorway. And that was scary enough in driving rain and 130kph winds that rocked the car. I took an hour to get to the marina; it should have been 20-25 minutes. The company directors however had started a lot earlier and actually made it to the waterfront, a mistake which made their journey two hours. Some of us spent the morning barefoot as we'd got soaked from the knees down just getting inside even though we'd parked right outside the building.

Yep, this was the sort of storm they predicted recently that was a bit of a fizzer. Where were the warnings this week?

What was happening on Tamaki Drive that caused traffic chaos?

This! )

The day started an hour late but we got everything done, then had dinner at Billfish; cajun spicy fish and salad for me; yum! I was exhausted after storm and full-on talk and presentations and was looking forward to bed, but when I got there, the almost solid smell in the kitchen/dining area (which I had to pass to get to the stairs) drove me back into the living room.

It was Jasmin's rat. She brought in a big one about three nights ago and released it in the kitchen and it promptly ran behind the dishwasher. We'd hoped it had got out the hole in the floor for the pipes but no. Greg had the dishwasher out, then the fridge, and finally found it behind the oven. Ugh.

Today is sunny and calm. I hope it stays that way; I know two lots of people who are camping out over the break.
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: (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: (fireworks)

Well done, GB! I was very impressed with the Olympics opening ceremony with its green idyllic land replaced by dark satanic mills (and matching dark satanic capitalists), Mr Bond and the Queen, Mr Bean and his Chariots of Fire dream, and that wonderful run down the Thames complete with Ratty, Mole, and Toad and a flying pig over Battersea Power Station, EastEnders (and probably lots of other references I missed).

The copper bowls for each team making up the Olympic cauldron was genius.

I have to say though, [livejournal.com profile] sallymn is right: far too many teams dress like flight attendants in boring blazers and ties or scarves, and what were the US team thinking with their little 50s air hostess hats? I do love seeing the smaller nations in their bright national dress but there wasn't much sartorial interest otherwise.

Anyway, well done, London!

Oh, and it's Jasmin's 4th birthday today which makes it much better than the opening day of the last summer Olympics on which our Tessa died. There was tuna for all three to their great pleasure.

Catch-up

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: (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.

vilakins: (fur balls)

Greg has gone off to the US for two weeks. [is bereft] He's going to Atlanta for a conference, then to New York to train some people. Of course as soon as he left the UPS starting making weird beeps; I think the battery needs replacing. Sigh.

However I am very encouraged by the cats: Ashley and Sebastian ate some treats right next to each other and have been playing (with the occasional Ashley hiss), and Jasmin, who had been glowering at Sebastian from high places, is happily asleep in her snuggler not far from him on the couch. Maybe it's one he hasn't yet sullied with his smell. :-P I'm going to let them all have the run of the house tonight.

vilakins: (jasmin)

Jasmin must have read one of the stories I uploaded onto my site yesterday, Rebels and Rats (in which Vila and Avon are reduced to the size of cats to infiltrate a Federation facility via the air conditioning ducts) because I was unnerved (to say the least) to hear scrabbling in the hot-air exhaust last night.

Photos of where she was )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (vic tux)

I haven't posted any cat photos for a while, so it's time for some picspam. These have been taken over the last three months.

Photos of all three )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (yin-yang cats (Jasmin and Ashley))

I meant to post these photos a lot earlier than this earlier, but today was a bit fraught: I had to study, take Jasmin to the vet with a slight ear infection, and found that some bastard in a 4WD, going by the position of the dent, bashed his door into my passenger one. Greg thinks it was when he took my car to get Indian takeaways last week because a 4WD was parked by the car when he came out; we always avoid parking by those things. I only found out now because I put the cat carrier in that side. Sigh.

Yesterday was a beautiful cloudless winter day and I decided to take photos of the winter flowers in our garden because I noticed some new pink ones I hadn't seen before. As usual, the girls followed me everywhere I went. :-)

Flowers and cats )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (yin-yang cats (Jasmin and Ashley))

Jasmin and Ashley have some strange little quirks. Jasmin likes to sleep on her back or all twisted, and Ashley stands on her own tail. It's very cute: she wraps her tail neatly around her, then deliberately lifts one paw then the other and places them on her tail. Her paws are cute in themselves, with dark fur between her toes as if she's been drawn, and the undersides are completely black.

Three photos )



I took some great photos today--one of those lovely cloudless winter days we don't get enough of--but I'll post those tomorrow. I need to draw a cat now.

vilakins: (jasmin)

It's Jasmin's birthday today, and she's two years old. It really doesn't seem that long since we got her at three months.

There's only a half-hour to go here so I suppose I should post the photos of her and Ashley which I took today while it's still actually her birthday.

Jasmin's day )



Good night!

vilakins: (joy)

YAY! Viva Espana! I'm very glad they won though I doubted they would for most of the game, they muffed so many attempts at goal. [dances] They're a lovely team who play a nice clean game, though this one wasn't. We will be having some of our chocolate World Cup tonight in celebration, though it seems a pity to break it.

Most of the game was very lack-lustre so I took pictures of the cats.

Two photos of unimpressed cats and a feline goalie )



[Edit] Iker Casillas got Golden Gloves as best goalie, David Villa got Silver Boot and Bronze Ball as striker and player, and the whole team got the Fair Play award. I'm very pleased with "my" team whom I've supported since they did so well in 2008.

vilakins: (ashley)

Ashley turned two in the weekend; at least 1st May is the day we chose for her official birthday.

Three photos taken on her birthday )



Seven assorted others taken in the last few weeks )

vilakins: (jasmin)

I have not yet got around to sorting out my holiday photos, but in the meantime, have some cats.

Pathos, cuteness, and a very louche cat )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (knitting)

I found Jasmin burrowed into my knitting last night, and called out to Greg to come and see something utterly adorable.

Jasmin in a scarf )

vilakins: (jasmin)

And here are some cat photos taken in the last couple of weeks

Cats in bag, mid-lick, and igloo )

vilakins: (books)

I didn't post about the annual "garage sale" in a local church hall. I didn't get anything terribly exciting, the biggest purchase being one of my canvas tote bags packed with books for $20. These included several Stanislaw Lems, some early Flashmans, which I'll read again, and assorted other stuff like a guy's description of hitch-hiking round Ireland with a small fridge and some weird stuff Greg chose, like an Austrian professor's opinion of England written in the 1930s.

Oh yes, and two ancient Jerrard Tickel books because Greg was amused at the title of one, Villa Mimosa. The other one's Appointment with Venus which I remember reading when I was about 13 and thinking it was both funny and exciting (kidnapping a pregnant cow in the wartime Channel Islands) but which turned out to be more serious than I remembered--and a lot more sexist and racist.

Apart from that, I got a green and blue "looking" cat which was displayed uncomfortably perched on its ends instead of over the edge of a shelf, a hand-painted Italian plate for 50 cents, and a yummy crepe with brown sugar and lemon, a welcome addition to the usual sausage sizzles they have at these things and which I avoid.

Looking cat with Vic, plate, and bonus cubs )

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

The Matrix Security guy came today to service our alarm system and had to check the control box in the harness room (a large cupboard in the carport called that because the previous owners hung their tack there). When he left, I thought I'd better check to make sure he hadn't shut a cat in there. There didn't seem to be anyone there and I was about to lock the door again when I saw a stripy face appear in the gloom below a pile of cartons. She refused to come out at first--and Jasmin was very worried and trying to get in after her--but I lured her out with a play tube (an old cable outer). They were both quite happy once they were running about on the deck chasing it. :-)

While out there I found my little pohutukawa potted tree has a flower! That seems very early for pohutukawa, but maybe the miniature varieties bloom early. Either that or it's going to be a killer summer!

Two cats and a flower )

vilakins: (jasmin)

It's Jasmin's first birthday today, and she gets a new icon which shows her much darker face. I like the four petal-like lobes of her mask. She's still very much a teenager though, all long legs and coltishness. :-) She, Ashley, and Vic get the traditional birthday tuna tonight.

Three pics )

vilakins: (p)

It's been a while since I posted any photos, so here are some of Claudia, Vic, Jasmin, and Ashley--and a weta one of the cubs brought in last week. The icon BTW is from a photo of Claudia, who often forgot to retract her tongue. I'm sure she doesn't mind being remembered this way. :-)

Four cats and a weta )

vilakins: (screen)

This is what Jasmin looks like now, at almost ten months, compared to what she was in early December when watching Spock on TV. Here she is looking at Sawyer in the Lost season finale last night. Told you she liked SF!

Actually it was quite funny: I took about five photos of her and kept getting Jack on the screen. DO NOT WANT!

Jasmin and Sawyer

As a bonus, here are two cuddly Jasmin and Ashley pictures. )

vilakins: (jasmin)

I thought I'd repost a photo of kitten Jasmin watching the first Star Trek trailer a few months ago.

Jasmin and Spock

She's now twice that height and obscures too much of the TV screen for us to leave her there long these days. She most enjoys SF and cricket (trying to catch the ball and the little players). She really enjoyed Back to the Future last weekend.

vilakins: (ashley)

We're not sure exactly how old Ashley is, but going by the vet's estimate she's now one year old, and rates a new grown-up icon. I did consider setting her birthday to be the same as mine, which would also make her exactly three months older than Jasmin (who was born on 28 July), but decided that was unfair as I'm usually out celebrating. So we picked 1 May, just as I decided Vic the millennium cat was born on 1 January 2000.

As with all cat birthdays, we treat them all to tuna until it's finished, which they love: cat chocolate! No prezzies though unless you count a new collar to replace the one she used to undo, which won't please her.

So Ashley is now officially no longer a kitten, but we'd started calling her and Jasmin "cubs" a while back anyway as they were too big to be kittens despite being extremely playful and mischievous, and anyway they look like a little white tiger and lion.

Photos of the three girls )

vilakins: (books)

I haven't been posting much lately. I haven't even reviewed the last two Pretender eps I watched a while back, which I'll try to get round to today. I've been feeling rather blah, with nothing much interesting to say about my life. I have a few hours of underpaid work a week which is so crap and boring I don't want to talk about it, and this is very discouraging when I once thought I'd never be out of proper work with my degree and other qualifications. :-(

So I've been taking refuge in the world of books, one of the best escapes I know. I've read the first in the Gentleman Bastard series, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and thoroughly enjoyed it, though it was a little slow to start. Great characters and world building, and Lynch does seasons and months on another planet right.

I've just finished Enigma by Robert Harris, another one I really enjoyed: code breaking and skulduggery at Bletchley Park, a fascinating place I visited in 2004. [livejournal.com profile] azdak, Turing was only in the book briefly, at King's College with his teddy bear Porgy, then he was off in the US and only mentioned in passing; he certainly wasn't misrepresented. I can hardly remember the film, but the book is definitely worth reading for the atmosphere and conditions at Bletchley. I've decided I wouldn't have wanted to be there with the sexism that relegated brilliant women to clerks while men got to be cryptanalysts.

I've just started The Truth by Terry Pratchett as I felt like something light. After that, it's back to Robert Harris andPompeii, then his other Roman books eventually.

What else? Oh yes, Jasmin went to the eye specialist yesterday for a final check-up (which is why it rained (it always rains when I go there) and she's healed up amazingly well. She and Ashley are getting quite big,and Ashey's a year old in a couple of weeks. They're both very cute and playful and extra cuddly now the weather's getting cooler. Right now all three girls are curled up in their fleecy snugglers in the TV room, and Vic's upstairs on the spare bed. :-)

vilakins: (books)

I haven't been posting much lately. I haven't even reviewed the last two Pretender eps I watched a while back, which I'll try to get round to today. I've been feeling rather blah, with nothing much interesting to say about my life. I have a few hours of underpaid work a week which is so crap and boring I don't want to talk about it, and this is very discouraging when I once thought I'd never be out of proper work with my degree and other qualifications. :-(

So I've been taking refuge in the world of books, one of the best escapes I know. I've read the first in the Gentleman Bastard series, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and thoroughly enjoyed it, though it was a little slow to start. Great characters and world building, and Lynch does seasons and months on another planet right.

I've just finished Enigma by Robert Harris, another one I really enjoyed: code breaking and skulduggery at Bletchley Park, a fascinating place I visited in 2004. [livejournal.com profile] azdak, Turing was only in the book briefly, at King's College with his teddy bear Porgy, then he was off in the US and only mentioned in passing; he certainly wasn't misrepresented. I can hardly remember the film, but the book is definitely worth reading for the atmosphere and conditions at Bletchley. I've decided I wouldn't have wanted to be there with the sexism that relegated brilliant women to clerks while men got to be cryptanalysts.

I've just started The Truth by Terry Pratchett as I felt like something light. After that, it's back to Robert Harris andPompeii, then his other Roman books eventually.

What else? Oh yes, Jasmin went to the eye specialist yesterday for a final check-up (which is why it rained (it always rains when I go there) and she's healed up amazingly well. She and Ashley are getting quite big,and Ashey's a year old in a couple of weeks. They're both very cute and playful and extra cuddly now the weather's getting cooler. Right now all three girls are curled up in their fleecy snugglers in the TV room, and Vic's upstairs on the spare bed. :-)

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