Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zen Zone

Kitties love to sleep, but even more than that, they love to be calm and relaxed. They love to know that they have a safe place. They love quiet. As we learned yesterday, they also love yoga. They are the masters of ZEN. I'm not sure what happens when a kitty meditates, but they are clearly transcending into a higher plane of existence.

Of course, I'm kidding. Sort of. I mean, look at Cheetah in the gif below. She's definitely in some sort of zen zone. Right?

Here are a few tweets about #zen cats:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Yoga

Cats love yoga, but without realizing it. They can do all sorts of amazing things with their bodies. They are amazingly flexible. Just take a look a Tippy in the gif below. Being the most slinky and refined-looking of all the cats, he shows us a perfect example of the Downward-Facing Cat:

Here are a few other #yoga cats:

X is for Xenon (OK, I Cheated)

This is a bit of a cheat, because cats don't exactly love xenon. The thing they do love is a glowing red dot. Xenon can be used for glowing items. Laser toys are not made from xenon (although they used to be used in a similar manner). That is the cheat. Nevertheless, I hope you can appreciate my jump from something that glows to a glowing red dot from a laser toy.

Not much more needs to be said, because all cat owners know The Secret of the Red Dot. That is, you can get most cats to go almost anywhere you want to go using the red dot. Unless they are one of those cats who doesn't care about the red dot. I have three of those types, but thankfully, they are the well-behaved ones.

Cheetah, who is normally enthusiastic about The Great Red Dot, is only mildly interested in it when it's only lightly visible (the sun is still out on the patio). Bob, however, freaks out at even a glimmer of the dot. He'll chase it until he's out of breath. I actually worried the first time he chased the dot around because he started wheezing after a while. Needless to say, I no longer allow it to get to that point.

Here is a tweet about the #RedDot, and a couple about #xenon:

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Wheel

OK, OK, kitties don't necessarily love exercise wheels, but I'm determined to get at least Bob to love it. When he first came to me, he was a bit on the chubby side. Since he was an indoor cat, he doesn't really like going out much. He'd rather run around and destroy things inside the house.

I've tried using toys to get him to use the wheel, but still no luck. I won't give up, however. I just got the wheel, so I'll keep working at it a little each day. For now, he loves the wheel for a whole different reason:

Here are a few tweets about the great exercise #wheel and cats:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

V is for Voguing

Remember Madonna's "Vogue"? It was a song, but also a new style of "dance," sort of. Or, at least, you could vogue while dancing, and it looked pretty cool. It consisted of making all sorts of fun shapes with your arms and hands. The shapes were meant to emulate modeling poses, but you could link them together in a fluid movement, sort of like a vain version of Tai Chi.

Well, guess what? Cats like to vogue too! Well, mostly just with their tails, but once in awhile with other body parts as well. Below, Tippy is the perfect cat to demonstrate the Cat-Tail Vogue, because of his white tippy tail. You can really see him work it on that backyard dirt-runway.

Here's a whole other type of kitty #vogue:
And some other types of #vogue:

U is for Underneath (Anything)

Kitties love to hide out during the day when it's time for bed. Where do they go? Well, all sorts of places. One of their favorite places is under the formal dining room table. Hence, the reason for chair covers. They also enjoy hiding in tall places so they feel safe from things on the ground, but closed in by the ceiling. Then there are the beds and chairs and tunnels. Oh, and the kitty tree, with all of its platforms and draped leaves, closing them in and providing safety.

Below is a gif of Bob sprawled out across several dining room chairs under the table. These chairs and the arm of the couch are his two favorite places to sleep. When it's hot, like today, he prefers the shade and coolness under the table.

Here are some other kitties #underneath things:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

T is for Tunnels and Trees [3 Gifs!!]

 T day is very special because I have three whole gifs to represent it! That's because the tunnels I have installed under the eaves of the the house are one of their favorite things. But so are trees... both real and fake.

Gracie loves the tunnels more than any of the other kitties because they are her favorite place to sleep and play. The other kitties like to play in them, but mostly use them to get from one place to the other.

The next gif is of Cheetah in a custom kitty tree I bought from A Fantasy Forest. I saved up a long time to get this thing, and it was totally worth it. I put it on the enclosed patio, and the cats spend most of their day and night in there.

The final gif is of Miss Kitty climbing down her favorite real tree in the back yard. Bob is there at the bottom waiting for her. It's a magnificent tree, and the kitties agree.

Here are some other kitties in #tunnels and #trees:

S is for Sill

Anyone who owns cats already knows exactly what this post is about. Kitties love window sills! Their favorite thing about a good window sill is the ability to look outside and survey their domain. The other thing they love is playing with whatever window blinds or curtains you have covering your window.

Luckily, I have thick vertical blinds throughout the house, and any disturbance can be easily fixed. Even more lucky is that the patio doesn't have anything at all in front of the windows, as you can see in the following gif. The funny thing is the fact that they like the patio sills at all, seeing as how small they are... but they all love them!

Here are some other cat on #windowsill photos:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

R is for Reclining

Kitties love to recline in a nice comfy place. Tippy is the king of reclining. He's the most laid back cat of the pack. He's the cool kid of the bunch. When he's not climbing -- everything -- he's slinking along, or reclining in his favorite chair. Just look at that handsome boy! He loves reclining so much, he's got to knead the blanket... which is exactly why the chair is covered with a blanket. It's a brand new chair, and we wouldn't want it to be destroyed.

Here are a couple more #reclining cats, plus a #reclining dog:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quilts

Kitties love soft squishy surfaces. The way to make a surface as squishy as possible is to include some sort of quilted blanket, either by itself or in a layer. I today's gif, Cheetah is relaxing on a blanket that is on top of a blue and white striped quilted blanket. She's lovin' the squish!

Here are a few tweets involving cats with a #quilt:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Platforms (and Patio and Paper and Purring)

Kitties love platforms! My kitties also love my patio, because that is where all of their platforms reside. I have a dual track vinyl and screen that encloses the patio when I need them to stay within the house and patio area, with a kitty door from the patio to my bedroom.

Of course, kitties also love to purr, although some cats purr more often and at a greater volume than others. Another thing I have found is that some of my kitties love plain old paper. Miss Kitty's favorite kind of paper is newspaper. I take about a 1-inch square piece of newspaper, crumple it in a ball (the more irregular the crumple, the better), and throw it on the floor. She will play with that thing for a half hour!

Below, Miss Kitty enjoys one of the patio platforms while Gracie steps down to the little outdoor fridge (where I keep all their opened wet food and raw food) from the window sill. There is another platform above and to the left of Miss Kitty, and a little lip at the top of the wall right above that. The lip leads to their kitty tree (which I'll cover on T-day). The kitties usually go up the tree, across the lip, and down the platforms to their favorite old upholstered chair (which we kept for them to scratch on the patio rather than tossing it out).

Here's a whole different kind of kitty #platform:
And some that are more like mine:

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Openness

Some cats love having a wide-open area in which to play... sometimes. When they sleep, they tend to prefer curling up in a small closed space. It's not the same for every cat, however. Cats have different personalities and different preferences.

Fortunately, I have a huge yard with lots of trees where the cats can play during the day. They love running from one end of the yard to the other, jumping, and climbing the trees. They also love their dirt baths. We recently completed a major overhaul of the yard, but not all of it is complete. We still have a lot of planting and weeding to do in some parts of the yard.

Here are a few tweets about #openness:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Nose Bump

Cats love nose-bumping, but only with family and friends. It's sort of like their way of saying, hey, what's up? It's not exactly like a handshake, since humans will shake hands with people they don't know. A cat would never nose-bump with another cat it doesn't know.

Below, Booty and Bob give each other a good morning nose bump. Nose bumps are also one of the cutest things cats do, don't you think?

Here are some other examples of a #nosebump between cats:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Manicure

Kitties love scratching, or as I like to call it, getting a manicures. They also can't really help themselves from getting one. For a cat, getting a manicure is instinctual and healthy. It improves the condition of their "nails" (claws), helps them stretch (kitties are the best at yoga), and helps them mark their territory.

Unfortunately, cats love to scratch furniture. I've given up on keeping them away from it, so I basically just cover anything they like to scratch until I have guests.

I also provide them with plenty of scratching posts. In fact, I have an old partial kitty tree (I used pieces of it for something else) which I never threw out because they loved scratching it so much. It's basically just sitting outside continuing to fall apart, and they still love it, as you can see in the gif below:

Here are some #manicure - related tweets involving cats:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Logs

Kitties love "loves," but they also love logs. A good log makes a perfect scratching post. When the kitties are free to roam the yard during what we like to call "the kitty show," they often run all around, then wind up jumping on the log in the gif below (or one of the other logs in the yard) for some scratching.

Unfortunately, I was a little late to the game. Gracie had just finished scratching when I began capturing the video, but you can still see how much she loves her favorite log.

Here are a few tweets of other cats with #logs:

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kneading

Cats love kneading because kneading indicates that they are content, and they love to be content. Kittens knead when they nurse, so it is thought that the kneading indicates they are happy because they are being reminded of the contentment and safety of nursing. Some cats even suckle the surface they are kneading.

Bob's favorite surface is in a lap. And this is what happens when he is in my lap:

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
View the entire video on YouTube

Here are some other #kneading cats on Twitter:

J is for Jumping

Every kitty loves to jump, but I think that my little Bob cat loves it more than the others. All of my cats jump up trees, jump to catch insects, and jump while play-fighting each other. But only Bob jumps just to jump. In the following gif, he is jumping up on the patio table for a bite to eat before I even have a chance to put the food in the bowl.

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post

Here are some #jumping cats on Twitter:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I is for Insects

Insects are a delicacy for discerning kitties. It's one of their favorite hors d'oeuvres. I have seen the kitties some incredible twists and turns and jumps to catch their favorite insects. Unfortunately, I've never gotten a good video of any of them. I was at least able to capture the gif below, of Booty catching something in the brush, scaring off Tippy and Bob in the process. I'm not sure whether it was an insect, but he was definitely after something.

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
You can view the full video on YouTube

Here are a few tweets of other cats with #insects:

Friday, April 10, 2015

H is for Hiding

Kitties love to hide. It doesn't even matter how comfortable they are with you or other kitties. When they aren't curled up in a lap, they love curling up in a good hiding place. It seems to me that they just need some alone time... from people and other cats. It's the best way to get some real rest, and you know how kitties love to sleep!

Below, Gracie is grabbing one of her favorite outdoor hiding spots in the shade of a nice bush. The kitties love hiding under trees and bushes. That's their favorite!

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
You can view the full video on YouTube

Here are some tweets about other #hiding cats:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

G is for Grooming

One thing every kitty loves is a good grooming. They love being groomed, and they also love to groom other kitties. Booty is the only kitty I have who tries to groom me as well. When I scratch his little chin, he begins licking my fingers and drooling.

In the gif below, Booty is grooming Tippy. When I went to bed at night, Miss Kitty was the only kitty in bed with me. When I woke up, they were almost all in be with me. That is very rare, but it was also very cute. Consider clicking the link to the full video under the gif if you want to see everyone but Bob and Gracie.

I just can't wait to leave the food out all night. Right now, I have to lock it in at night to keep out the stray cats. When all the tunnels I'm installing are finished, I'll be able to leave it all out on the patio.

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
You can view the entire video on YouTube

And here are some tweets about #grooming cats:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

F is for Flowers

One thing I love about the kitties is how much they enjoy being in nature. One of their favorite things to do is sniff flowers. Whenever the flowers come out in Spring, I can always count on adorable images of the kitties sniffing them. It's one of the cutest things that they do, but I don't often catch it with my camera. I got lucky this morning when Bob sniffed one of the orange weed flowers right when I needed a video for F day!

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
You can view the full video on YouTube

And here are a few other cats and #flowers in tweets:

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Eating

Sorry I'm a day late on A to Z -- I put my back out, and it's been difficult to get things done. Hopefully, I'll be able to do "F" today as well. Anyway, one of the kitties' favorite things in the world is EATING! Each kitty has different taste buds. Miss Kitty loves raw food more than anything else. I buy her a kit called Wild Kitty Cat Food that I mix with a pound of raw organic turkey. Everyone else likes a bit of raw supplemented with two flavors of Wilderness kibble... except Bob, who prefers everything EXCEPT raw food.

Here, Tippy enjoys a bit of Wilderness after eating his raw food hors d'oeuvres:

Here are some other eating kitties:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

D is Dirt Bath

One thing kitties love more than anything in the world is a good old fashioned dirt bath. I have found that nothing quite substitutes for a dirt bath, especially in the high desert. There are few if any parasites in the dirt here (and none in my yard, according to the periodic exams the kitties receive at the animal hospital).

Best of all, the desert dirt cleans much better than any bath. I think it must be the dryness of the dirt. Organisms usually prefer to live in moist places, so a good dirt bath and some cleansing sunlight (they also enjoy sun baths) keeps them much more clean than I could ever manage with a water bath.

Unfortunately, it was too windy for Booty to take a full dirt bath today, but he did take a partial one:

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
View the full video on YouTube

And here are a few other animals taking a #DirtBath:

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Curtains and Couches and Catchers

For my theme, "what kitties love, with animated gifs and quoted tweets," the letter C brings us multiple items... Curtains, Couches, and Catchers. Luckily, I don't have any new video of the cats climbing up curtains or scratching couches, but I have created a new video of Bob playing with a broken "catcher" (at least that's what I call it).

The catcher is called the Cat's Meow, and it's broken. The other cats don't seem to care about it anymore, but Bob still loves it, as you can see below:

This gif is also available on this Tumblr post
View the full video on YouTube