Tags: kittens

International Kittens of Mystery

First Contact Negotiations Go Horribly Wrong!

Kai the drenched kitten looks up in horror as the alien death ray device (aka the hair drier) looms in from above. Xena can't look - she has to hide her head in her paws.

Naturally there is a story behind this picture and naturally, it being Kitten Picture Wednesday, that story will be told. It all started last week when Xena commenced First Contact talks with large woolly aliens she later learned were called sheep. At first the talks went well - as can be seen below. Xena listens intently to the woolly delegate.

The talks go so well that, back on planet Kitten, there is dancing in the streets. Mouse tariffs will be lowered and kibbles will be free!

Then an over exuberant gang of young woolly aliens (aka a lamb gang) bursts upon the meeting, leaping over and off boulders and sending the Kitten delegation racing for the nearest tree. It's a large tree. Kai is the black shape in the lower circle and Xena is the camouflaged kitten in the trees troposphere. A large woolly alien looks on from below.

And, finally, an explanation about the first picture. Coming back from the negotiations Kai decided to celebrate his tree-climbing prowess by tucking into the specially prepared meal he found on top of the fridge. Unfortunately the sustenance found was neither specially prepared nor a meal. It was chicken fat cooling off in a foil container before being thrown out. Kai, a kitten of the messy eater persuasion, managed to coat his chest, stomach and front legs in gooey fat. First contact with the shower spray swiftly ensued - in which there was much struggling, much clawing, some spilt blood (all ours) and much water. Ten minutes with the hair drier restored Kai and his fur to his previous lustrous - and very dry - state.

International Kittens of Mystery

Kitten Dressage, and a Kitten Close Encounter With A Curious Ewe.

Yes, it's Kitten Picture Wednesday and first up we have Kai executing a perfect half-pass (the Dressage sideways walk thingy) across the top of a very large boulder.

And to prove just how large that boulder was (and that no safety nets were used) we let the camera pan back.

It's that boulder again. This time Xena is showing how useful boulders are when conducting First Contact negotiations with strange woolly aliens. Kai watches from a safer distance.

For the curious, the house in the background is our Little Sheep House on the Prairie (or house number three of our village) Originally - 16C - it was thatched. By the time we bought it in 1997 it was abandoned and roofed in rusty corrugated iron - we even found WWII British army ration packs in the attic. Then, in 1999, the Boxing Day Hurricane decided the corrugated iron and all the roof timbers looked much better on the ground. So we had to rebuild and re-roof it ourselves. To the right of the house and just above the sheep's ears is the ruin - house number four and the first house built on the site. It's incredibly small and built on top of small rocky tor - using the bedrock in the walls. The sheep now use it as a shelter. Out of sight and behind the house is our fontaine - pure spring water fed from the surrounding granite hills.

And this is Xena deciding that, with no boulders to hide behind, discretion and a swift retreat is the better part of valour when it comes to a curious juvenile woolly aliens.

Finally, we have Kai in his tree, as opposed to his normal state - out of it.

International Kittens of Mystery

Kitten Video Wednesday

Yes, for the first time on Kitten Picture Wednesday we have video. It's only a small one - a few seconds of the kittens playing - and it's not a big file (a 530kb QuickTime movie with 320x240 frame size) but it's a movie and it's got kittens in it.

The plot: Xena has to make a run for the house while Kai lies in wait across her path. Will Kai's leap from the rock stop Xena? Where's Gabrielle? And will there be a sequel?

For those interested in the setting. The two buildings in the background are both a couple of hundred years old. The stone cottage (or house number two of our village) we now use as a stable.

The movie can be seen here:

Now the pictures. First up we have those bowls again - it's the best way to keep the kittens still.

And talking of stills, here's one from yet another attempt by Kai to snag Xena as she runs past. Either that or he's practising his swimming stroke for next year's Kitten Olympics:

International Kittens of Mystery

Kitten Proofing

It's trying times at the fermette at the moment as Kai, our male kitten, has learned how to open cupboard doors. This is something that none of our previous pets mastered and is causing great consternation. Every morning we come down to find cupboard doors open and a cat upside down in a large bag of dog biscuits - with only his tail protruding. Gypsy is beside herself.

We tried placing a heavy weight in front of the doors. That worked for two days. Then Xena, his female accomplice kitten, found a way of prying and squeezing until she edged the weight aside. In went Kai with his extra-sensitive lock-picking kitten claws and the door flew open. Result: both kittens now have free access to our range of cupboards.

Until today. Because out came the tool belt, in went the drill, several screws and a stout latch. It's not something I wanted to do as the range of cupboards is also home to our stash of chocolate and, I don't know about you, but I like a fast route between me and my chocolate. You never know when you need that extra square. And a stout latch is a speed bump on my road to happiness.

International Kittens of Mystery

Reigning Cats and Dogs

Yes, it's Kitten Picture Wednesday and first up we have Xena showing off her gardening skills. She's weeding four holly seedlings she prepared earlier.

Next up we have Kai starting to look like a grown up cat. Note the sleek coat and bushy tail.

Next we have a still from this year's Kitten Judo Trials. Xena has Kai on the mat and there might be an element of illegal cheek biting. But Kai is about to turn Ga'ould (the eyes are a dead giveaway, not to mention the husky voice and the predilection for world domination)

Finally we have the largest kitten of them all - Gypsy - showing how a deerhound cross crocodile lurcher can easily fill the largest chair.

International Kittens of Mystery

Kittens and Lambscapes.

Yes, it's Kitten Picture Wednesday and first up we have Kai showing how a professional kitten model keeps his pose even when being attacked by a vampire kitten.

Next up we have Kai practising vampire kitten counter measures - aka boxing. Purists will note the perfection of Kai's guard - left paw tucked in to protect the chin, right paw preparing to jab. Yes, Kai's a southpaw.

Now, we have some outside shots as Xena discovers sheep. The sheep are amazed. For the curious, the ewe is called Scrappy- she's a 'mouton de la region' (i.e. unknown local breed) Her two lambs are Suffolk crosses. Our ram, not shown as he was probably flying F-14s over the Gulf at the time, is a pure Suffolk called Harmon Ramm - yes, we watched far too many JAG episodes.

Here's a lambscape showing First Contact - a nose sniff between Xena and the boldest of the lambs. Behind the lambs you can see one of our many granite boulders, two plum trees, and our sheep field sweeping up to the wooded Taille (centre and left). The Taille is a granite tor that was quarried for stone in medieval times.

First Contact was interrupted by Second Contact - the arrival of Saffron our 16.1 hands French Trotter who wanted to sniff noses with both Xena and the lambs. The latter pair took one look at the size of Saffron's nose and decided that that was a nostril too far and beat a hasty retreat. Here's a horsescape from a calmer time, showing Saffron and Rhiannon in the early morning haze. Our land is bounded by the curving lane to the right, the woods to the centre and the maize field to the left.

International Kittens of Mystery

The Same Kittens, Different Bowl

Yes, it's kitten picture Wednesday and if anyone's thinking of designing a kitten trap I have the answer - put a bowl on a table and they will come.

Once more here's the proof. And no glue, bribery or coercion was necessary. They like bowls.

And, apparently, even very small bowls as first Xena:

And then Kai demonstrate:

But when you're really tired you can't beat a larger bowl to snuggle into:

Even if, occasionally, you have to find somewhere to hang a leg.

But when you need to stretch out there's nothing like a blanket:

International Kittens of Mystery

Two Kittens in a Bowl

Yes, it's Kitten Picture Wednesday and after the success of last week's kitten in a bowl picture we go one step - and one kitten - further. Two kittens in a bowl.

First up we have Xena, not too sure where that other cat came from:

Then we have two kittens asleep:

One kitten asleep:

And even no kittens asleep:

And, ramping up the cuteness factor, the two-headed kitten:

Finally, some solo shots. First Xena:

Then Kai, the contortionist cat, practising for three cats in a bowl - a new Guinness World Record:

International Kittens of Mystery

Kitten Picture Wednesday

It's Kitten Picture Wednesday and first up we have Kai, our very own cave troll, lurking beneath his kitten-sized dolmen. Well actually it's a homemade stone seat - one of the advantages of living on top of ten acres of granite.

Next we have Kai experimenting with different ways to grasp hold of a small stone.

Followed by Xena relaxing on the step. For enquiring minds, the stone steps are the original hearthstones from the farmhouse floor. We dug them up when we excavated the old floor and laid a new one - the original had a two foot slope from one end of the room to the other and all our furniture was congregating at the bottom:)

And, finally, Kai about to pounce and showing that real concentration requires a lot of tongue.

And, even more finally, a bonus picture of Kai and Xena after they've emptied the fruit bowl and scattered peaches over the floor. Peaches was not amused.

International Kittens of Mystery

Horse Pictures!

There's nothing more dangerous than a man with a new camera. Except perhaps a man with a new camera and kittens. So, here's the promised horse pictures and a bonus kitten picture.

First up we have the blonde Arab - Jade - sadly no longer with us.

Next we have our new horse, Saffron, a 16.1 hands French Trotter.

And, finally, two kittens.