Archive for October 2010

Feral Kittens

October 31, 2010

My brother rescued some feral kittens two weeks ago. Beth and I were fortunately visiting for my Dad’s 58th birthday just 2 days after they were rescued, so we got to meet them.

The kitties hid inside the space under the dishwasher for some of their first 48 hours indoors. Apparently new kittens hiding inside a dishwasher is common enough that numerous people have posted questions about such a situation online.

My dad constructed a kitty scooping device using a candy cane lawn decoration, but it was not very successful.  I think leaving the kitties alone with the room quiet and a source of food, water and litter outside the dishwasher is the best approach.  They’ll want to come out eventually–and so they did; From the dishwasher they migrated to the under-space of the refrigerator. Here they’ve been blocked from getting back in there again, but they still liked hiding next to the fridge. They climbed around back there for a while, alternating which kitten was on top. I couldn’t tell whether they found it preferable to be on the bottom (and therefore protected by a feline shield), or on top and more mobile. After a while, I moved them to an alternate safe space—a pet taxi with food and water plates and a towel to lay on. They seemed to realize it was a preferable haven compared to the canyon next to the refrigerator. Here they are munching on some chicken in there:

I’m amazed that wild kittens can know how to use a litter box the first time they see one. They understood what it was for right away. After a meal, we put the orange tabby in the litter box, and he scratched around then stood up on two legs to relieve himself—a bizarre technique. I wish I’d captured it on video, although perhaps you will be glad that I didn’t. He’s quite good at standing. The calico cat liked to hide behind the litter box when she wasn’t in the pet taxi, as Kanye is pointing out here:


After all the offering of fingers to kitties, we made some mushroom/asparagus risotto. Kanye was not invited:

End of story.

Rogers-esqe Cardigan Progress

October 28, 2010

I’ve fallen behind in my series of planned Ireland vacation posts, but I’ll finish them up one of these days. In the meantime, I’ve been making surprisingly (to me anyway) rapid progress on my “Rogers-esque” golden curry cardigan. I swatched for the sweater on my birthday (August 28th). I had finished the back and half of the front by October 4th:

The most interesting thing about this pattern is the way the collar band goes together. Notice how it sticks up above the left front half? There will be an analogous tab on the right half of the front, and the ends of the two tabs will be grafted at the center-back of the neck to make for a seamless band.

I had the unexpected experience of seeing one of Mr. Rogers’ actual cardigans two weeks ago when I was walking through the Pittsburgh airport!

Here are some detail shots of the collar and pockets:

Do you think this sweater was hand knit?  The sleeves feature some ribs along the outside of the arm, which I think look kind of cool as they reach the raglan seam at the shoulder. For your sight singing pleasure, here’s a little ditty of a well known Mr. Rogers jingle that he included in his autograph:

This actual Rogers cardigan was a little bit tighter gauge than mine (but only a little), but I think that the slightly uneven texture of the Harrisville Orchid yarn is pretty similar to the texture of the genuine Rogers.  I’m glad that I am doing buttons (which I haven’t chosen yet) rather than a zipper, but I’m kind of jealous of the slit pockets that Fred had on his sweater.

Last night I finished the second half of the front, and there was much rejoicing by the feline contingent in our apartment.

Cats love wool for some reason; they love to walk on it, knead it, smell it, bury their faces in it. It’s pretty funny to watch, especially if you’re wearing the wool at the time. Unless I’m really slow, the sleeves may be done before we even get any snow.

Ireland Day 1.5, Ennis

October 12, 2010

Ennis (from Inis meaning “island”) is the “county town” of County Clare, with a population of around 25,000. The town started on an island in the river Fergus.Having checked into our B&B, we decided to quickly shower then check out the town. Taking jet lag into account, I think we made a wise choice in deciding to walk rather than jump right into biking on the left side of the road. We saw a funny Dr. Who themed mural (above), and the following pub sign:

On either side of Ciaran’s Bar, it says “ceol” and “craic.” (Sorry I cut off the end in the picture.) These mean “music” and “good times”, and are pronounced like “hyeeohl” and “crack.” The latter sounds especially funny to American ears since it is used as a loanword in Hiberno-English, e.g, “we had plenty of craic last night.” Ceol agus craic, meaning “music and good times” seems to be a common phrase in Irish.

Here’s a closeup of the sign, which features a hurling match between pint glasses, with Guinness winning and spilling the poor pint glass goalie:

We heard the first of many accordion playing buskers (although this guy was the only one playing a piano accordion, the others all played button accordions)And we saw a heron catch and eat an eel! This is on the bank of the Fergus.

Eel still wriggling around after being thwacked against the ground a few times by the heron.

Down it goes. Bye bye eel.

Despite being weighed down by his dinner, the heron easily flew away.

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