Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Impressively Smelly

This post may or may not be about how awful my apartment smells after Bailey takes a poop. Fair warning.

It's amazing, though. For such a small kitten, Bailey manages to produce a staggering stench capable of traveling from one end of the apartment to the other in under 30 seconds, gagging all along the way. Amazing, but not in a good way.

Maybe we need to switch the kind of litter we get. Interesting thought.

When she cleans herself after she poops, Bailey is forced to confront her own ability to produce these massive stenches. And she does NOT enjoy this. When she cleans herself, she literally has to come up for air. Otherwise, I think she would suffocate.

The expression she has when she comes up for air is absolutely hilarious, and I've been trying to get a picture of it for weeks. A couple days ago, I finally succeeded. To some extent. It's not half as hilarious as it is in real life, and you can bet I'm going to try and get a better picture. But see for yourself.

Her mouth is actually open. She is probably gasping for air.

Also, if you don't normally click on my pictures to zoom in on them, please, please do so on that one. It's worth it.

And this is what she does after she's done.

So as much as I complain about how horrible my apartment smells after Bailey poops, I suppose she has the much, much worse end of the deal.

She certainly thinks so.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sleep Deprived

I haven't gotten a full night's sleep for about a month now, since I started letting Bailey back in my room at night. This seems to be because Bailey is starved either for attention or her daily breakfast of wet food starting at about 4am, give or take a few minutes.

She starts by rolling around on my bed, in hopes of waking me up (which, 99% of the time, she does) by thrashing into my leg.

I've gotten mad at her for this. I've thrown her out of the room because of this. It's super annoying. So now after she realizes she's woken me up because of this, she tries to play it off cool, like she was just doing what kittens normally do.

At this point she just stops caring about how grumpy I am and starts getting really excited because she's on my bed.

And I imagine she's thinking this with the same enthusiasm as these guys:

Change "boat" to "bed," and you totally have Bailey. Although Bailey might have more swagger.

She'll keep all this up for a couple hours. When it fails to get me out of bed, she then takes initiative and gets out of bed herself. In order to stare up from the floor at me. And try to creep me out of bed, I guess.

It didn't take her long to learn that when she does this, I would either grumpily tell her to stop staring at me or just fall back asleep. So then she takes the staring up a notch and jumps back on the bed.

I just ignore her now. I'm hoping that if she doesn't get what she wants (attention and/or food) when she wakes me up, she'll eventually give up and just let me sleep. Here's to hoping that happens, because it hasn't yet.

Also, she has now taken to biting my thumb in the middle of the night, hard enough so that I wake up. It's like being pricked with tiny but very sharp needles. Whenever I wake up to this, I tap her on her nose as punishment, although I don't think she considers it punishment because she just purrs at me the entire time. Any ideas why she does this? Anyone? My thumb would like to know.  :-(

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Persistence and Failure

I don't let Bailey go into our kitchen. Granted, there isn't exactly a door to our kitchen, so this is kind of hard when we're not home, but if we are home, Bailey isn't allowed in the kitchen. Especially if I'm cooking.

Because of this, Bailey has taken to just staring at us when we're cooking from right outside the kitchen, where the hardwood floor meets the kitchen tiles. Sometimes she gets bold and walks just inside on the tile. Which I'm okay with, because her food and water bowls are right there, so that's allowed. Anywhere past the fridge and there's some yelling.

I find the staring a little creepy. Nick thinks I'm weird because of this, but I'm uncomfortable with any person/animal staring at me for long periods of time.

Anyway, Bailey will watch us for 10 minutes or so (the entire time, I believe, plotting how she'll get to the food), after which she gets bored or something, and wanders around. While she's wandering, I notice that she:
  1. Will go to the bathroom.
  2. Will eat some of her food.
  3. Will drink some water.
I note these things because then I know that she has done everything she needs to in the half of the apartment where the kitchen is, and that she has no reason for going there afterwards, when we leave our cooked food on the counter and go eat in our living room at the other end of the apartment.

But she always wants to go back to the kitchen. And she KNOWS she won't be allowed to go. I have yelled at her incessantly for it, but she's hooked. Our cooked food is like her forbidden fruit.

She'll start out all nice and behaved, like she's a little angel.

But then she starts wandering off...towards the kitchen.

And then I yell at her and tell her to get her butt back in the living room. And then she kind of looks at me, and slinks back just into the living room, all pouty. 

Then she'll sit right inside the living room, gazing into the kitchen, playing it cool.

And sometimes she'll even pretend she doesn't care one bit and go about her kitten ways. Psh, who cares about the kitchen? Where's the kitchen?

30 seconds later, she get ups and starts creeping towards the kitchen. Which is followed by a "BAILEY!!!" from me.

After she's been yelled at for a while, Bailey starts doing this thing where she crouches down, not quite laying down but not quite sitting. Like she's ready to run at any moment.

And would you believe it, 15 seconds later, she's creeping towards the kitchen again. And I yell again.

Finally, she admits defeat. At this point she just jumps onto this cushion-y chair we have and scowls. At me, mostly. Probably.

Whatever. I win!

Although she made it as far as halfway down the hall one time. I must have been unconscious or something, and didn't realize.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sleepy Faces of Bailey

Picture-heavy post coming. If you don't like pictures of kittens you should probably read something else.

And get yourself checked out, cause who doesn't like pictures of kittens?

Bailey likes to sleep. A lot. Well, more when she was younger, but still a decent amount now. And she sleeps in really strange positions. Sometimes I can't even imagine it's comfortable, but it seems to work for her.

For instance.

I don't know about this. If I slept like this, my head would probably explode. I can tell you that she genuinely stayed like this for about 40 minutes, until she woke up. And miraculously she was fine.

And then there were the strange but cute positions. That were still questionable in comfort level.

I was honestly wondering if she could breathe comfortably.

She squirmed around for about 10 minutes but eventually settled on this position.

I don't even know. But she was asleep.

We drove to Fargo last summer. It was a long car ride, but I love road trips. Random fact. We brought Bailey along, and she dealt with the car ride surprisingly well. Really well. She just basically slept the entire time. Her litter box took up maybe a fourth of the backseat, but otherwise she had the entire back half of the car to herself. And this is how she chose to sleep.

She chose to sleep with her head almost inside her litter box rather than her bed.

Litter box: 1. Bed: 0.

She did eventually slept on her bed, which was on my lap. Still not comfortably, based on my obvious expert opinion.

And yes, she was embarrassed about the pillow marks on her face when she woke up. At least I imagined there were pillow marks. And that she was embarassed.

I can't say Bailey slept in strange positions once in Fargo, but she did sleep in strange places.

Like ON THE DINING ROOM TABLE once. I don't have a picture of that, because I was too busy shooing her off the table.

Or the laundry basket.

She was in there for an entire movie before we realized where she was. I guess it's a good thing she was tired, because she has this really strange obsession with clothes tags. She probably would've ripped all the tags off with all of her 3 pounds of fury if she was hyped up.

Sometimes, she sleeps in ways that make me feel like she took a few sips of the wine I pour myself after work.

Maybe she did. I wouldn't put it past her to do something like that.

I try to make spots she sleeps in more comfortable. Like putting a blanket there or something, so she'd have something to snuggle up in. I guess she thinks differently than I do.

Complete aversion to intended comfort boost. Pfft. Whatever. I took that blanket back.

Because she clearly didn't appreciate it.

When Bailey was a baby, if she wasn't sleeping, she was hyper. Like, the happiest, bounciest kitten ever. Zest for life in general, you can say. If we accidentally woke her up from a nap, she'd be all

Now, at almost 1 year old, it's a different story. Now, if we ever, ever, disturb Princess Bailey during one of her naps, she's like

I swear, she made her ear like that all on her own. And passed out again with it just like that.

I guess I could say I'm happy she's mellowing out. She could be less of a grumper though.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Study Buddy

This past summer, I had to write my master's thesis. That meant a lot of time in front of a computer, a lot of note-taking, and a lot of reading. And thinking. Not quite the dream summer.

But then I got Bailey. She certainly made things interesting.

There was this game she liked to play. It involved leaping from the bed, which was about 3 feet behind where I sat at the desk, onto my back, and clinging on while trying to battle my hair. Because clearly it was a toy. She probably only weighed about 2 pounds at this point, but don't be fooled. She had claws like tiny little blades of fury.

I didn't enjoy this game as much as she did. In fact the game usually ended by me yelping in pain and then reprimanding her. She wasn't such a big fan of it afterwards. Princess Bailey hates being yelled at.

So then she decided to get my attention a little more subtly. She would walk all over the desk. Which I was fine with, because she was happy and she was cute and I was not in any physical pain this way. And sometimes when she saw me trying to think, she would help me.

Her thinking didn't really work out. Ever. Because this would inevitably end with her just passing out, on my desk. On my notes. And I guess because she didn't want to work anymore, she didn't want me to work anymore.

I guess she decided this wasn't enough of a distraction for me. Like I was getting a lot done anyway, with a kitten on my desk. Because after a while she decided to just use my notebook as more than just her pillow. It was like...a cushion. Kind of.

I didn't want to bother her by moving my notes out from under her. But it was okay. I didn't need my notes...I could just do other related work on my computer.

I underestimated Bailey's intelligence. She decided she'd limit my capability to work that way as well.

And I put up with that. Because I could just read some textbooks instead of looking at my notes or working on my computer. Fine. Whatever. However, Bailey had a solution for that as well.

I guess technically, I could have kept reading my book. But come on. Would you have kept working? At that point I would just give up. Save work for another day. But Bailey wanted to remind me of her cuteness. I guess as a warning for what was in store the next day.

She probably delayed me from finishing my thesis by about a week or so. Most likely because half the time I was running for the camera and taking these pictures.

The other half of the time I was running to get her treats to reward her for being cute.

P.S. Recently I found out the difference to following a blog vs. subscribing to a blog. If you're reading this, you should subscribe to my blog. There's a "Subscribe To" box on the right side of this page. Towards the top. How convenient. That way you can get email notifications of new posts! Yay!

But if you don't want to do that, you should follow it. You won't get email notifications but you will show up in the Followers box. How great.

Or you could be awesome and do both.

I'm sorry, doing neither is not an option.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bailey the Brave

Last summer, we went to visit Nick's parents in Fargo for a week. Bailey came with. Nick's parents had puppies, but we figured it would be okay for her.

One of the puppies, Benjamin, is...not really what you call brave. Actually he's the opposite of brave. I think he's afraid of air. That's the only explanation for his behavior, which is mostly just tremble in fear when anyone moves. Especially Nick. Actually, his fear of Nick is so ridiculous it's amusing. Sometimes so ridiculous it's annoying, because I'm usually tripping over him after he dives under my feet because Nick did something terrifying, such as turn a page in the book he's reading. Until I met other dachshunds, I didn't know they could be happy, because Benny was the only one I knew.

Anyway. Benny is about...5 times the size of Bailey? Roughly. Bailey was terrified of Benny at first. She was terrified of all the puppies. But it didn't take too long for Bailey to see who had the power in a hypothetical Bailey-Benny face-off.

One morning, I was sitting in the kitchen, and Benny was close by, staring intently out the window. Maybe Nick was outside. I'm not sure. Bailey walked up behind him, silently. Benny was not aware of any of this, having focused his single brain cell on whatever was going on outside the window. Not meaning any harm, Bailey stopped right behind him and barely sniffed his tail. From what I saw, it seemed like Benny must have had a firecracker lit under his butt. He shot forwards about 4 feet, which was probably the maximum distance his short little legs could carry him.

Benny scampered off, terrified. If kittens could talk, Bailey would've said "Are you kidding me?" as she gave Benny a look of amazement at his tremendous bravery and trotted over to the puppy couch, where she plopped down, probably in the spot that smelled most like Benny. Because clearly she owns Benny.

Go ahead. Call her a bully. I don't blame you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not the Bad Cop!

I spent most of my morning today being pampered at the spa.

It was a long week. There was the stove incident. There was an allergic reaction emergency that I'm not going to go into detail about. In short, I deserved this.

I came out feeling refreshed and in general super-awesome, as all spas should make you feel.

Bailey apparently did not have such a great morning. As I was leaving the spa, I saw this message from Nick (my boyfriend, in case you are someone I don't know and you're reading this) on my phone:

"I just closed Bay's tail in my door. She yelped so sadly. Now she hates me! SENT: 12:56PM"

Okay. Call me a meanie, but I found this amusing (read: hysterical) for two reasons:
  1. Nick adores Bailey. Like, loves her more than he loves food. Loves her more than he loves video games. Loves her more than he loves his right ear, and that's the only one he has hearing in. Loves her more than he loves me. Maybe. Hmph.

    He has basically never punished her, even when she does things like TRY TO CHEW ON ELECTRIC CORDS. Wait, that's a lie. He has punished her. He punishes her by saying "Bailey" in a voice slightly louder than normal talking volume and slightly quieter than if he was trying to tell me something and I was at the other end of the apartment.
  2. In a good cop/bad cop scenario if Bailey has just done something we don't want her to do (like jump onto the kitchen counter), I am ALWAYS the bad cop. I'm the one who yells at her. I'm the one who sprays her with a water bottle. Nick is the one who says "Aww don't do that anymore, she learned her lesson!" (Judging by how many times Bailey would repeat the offense, she most certainly did not learn her lesson.) Bailey probably associates all bad things happening to her with me. So finally, for once, I AM NOT THE BAD COP! I wasn't even there! Hurrah!
Needless to say, Nick was devastated. Probably on the verge of tears.

But everything was fine (in case you were all worried that we now have a broken kitten on our hands), because just below that text, there was another message from him:

"Well it took a few treats but I think she's forgiven me! SENT: 12:59PM"

So really, the only thing that came from this incident is the fact that Bailey probably thinks getting her tail slammed in a door results in multiple treats. Also, I'm glad that the first thing he reported back to me was that it's confirmed, Bailey does NOT hate him. No news about her tail. Who cares about that, as long as she doesn't hate him?

P.S. Bailey's tail was fine. It might look kind of strangely bent in this picture, but clearly she doesn't think anything is wrong. And that's what I'm going to choose to think too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Temper Tantrums

 When Bailey was a baby, she would sleep in my room at night. This was because as a baby, she:
  1. Wanted to sleep at least 20 hours every day
  2. Was easily amused, so it was a breeze to play with her and tire her out
I was home a lot during the first few months, and Bailey would spend most of the day like this:

When she wasn't sleeping, she was a ball of energy. But this was okay, because she wanted to play with anything and everything. It was easy to get her attention and then tire her out.

Thanks Katie for this pic!

Usually before we went to bed, we would play with Bailey until she was too exhausted to get up again, and she would just look at us with this expression:

 At this point we would go to bed ourselves and let Bailey wander freely. And by "wander freely" I mean "wander into the bedroom and pass out on the bed."

However, as she got older, it seemed like Bailey's mentality became "I'm too good for these strange objects you dangle in front of my face." She not only required less sleep during the day, it became harder to amuse her.

At first, I still let her in. This proved to be a mistake. I would wake up intermittently in the middle of the night because Bailey clearly did not get enough exercise while we were awake and was pouncing on my legs. Or pawing at my hair. Or chasing invisible mice on my bed.

I decided enough was enough. Bailey was banned from my room at night. For a while, she seemed okay with this new plan. I think it's because she was a little confused and kept expecting that eventually, she would be let back in at night.

But she wasn't...and she did not like that. She started walking between me and the door when I was going to bed, as if saying "HERE I AM, LET'S GO IN THE ROOM TOGETHER!"

But I held my ground and still didn't let her in.

She decided that because she could no longer directly wake me up in the middle of the night, she would make as much noise as possible and wake me up through my closed door by throwing temper tantrums. She crashed around in the living room. She sprinted from one end of the apartment to the other, it seemed, no less than 58 times per minute. Oh, and at around 6AM every single day (including weekends and holidays), she would mew and paw at my door for as long as it took me to give up on getting any more sleep and just get out of bed.

In summary, it sounded like the world was ending outside of my bedroom at night, and I still wasn't getting enough sleep.

So because of my decision to keep Bailey out, I was no longer waking up in the middle of the night to a happy kitten running around on my bed. I was waking up to a likely furious kitten determined to get her way by bringing about the apocalypse.

And so now Bailey is back in my room at night. Because I admit defeat.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not So Subtle Differences

I've realized that having a kitten is kind of like playing that game "What's different in these two pictures?" on a daily basis. This is that game where you look at two pictures of the same room and try to find 8 subtle differences. Having a kitten is the live version of this, except you never get to see the two pictures together at the same time. Here are some of the "subtle" differences I would notice in my apartment after getting up in the morning or getting home from work.

Exhibit A: The mail

This is one of Bailey's favorite games: sorting our mail for us. She likes jumping onto this table and batting at the letters (not magazines because those are too big) until they fall on the ground, where she bats at them more.

Once I had a couple of important letters about taxes up there. Bailey hid them behind the trash can. I guess you can say she put them where they belong.

Exhibit B: Netflix DVDs and video games

I'm not sure how she gets up there, but Bailey has jumped onto one of the shelves that has all our DVDs and video games and dragged down Wii Sports Resort and whatever Netflix movie we have.

This bookshelf is really rickety and I have a slight fear that it will collapse at any moment, but clearly Bailey's super-cat agility (and the fact she probably only weighs 4 lbs) isn't too much for the bookshelf to handle.

Exhibit C: The cabinets

Recently, Bailey learned that she can open all our kitchen cabinets at ground level. She had a blast with this. I did not. Her bag of dry food was in one of the cabinets, and instead of eating from her bowl (which is ALWAYS FULL: write that down, I do not starve my kitten), she would rip little pieces of paper off her bag of dry food while trying to pull it out.

We now have a 12-pack of Coke Zero sitting in front of that door along with a 10-lb weight ball blocking it so she can't open it. I used packing tape and taped the other doors shut. I bought baby-proof locks for the doors a week ago, I just haven't gotten around to installing them because my current solution is just so brilliant.

Exhibit D: The broom

Despite having what I thought must have been a traumatic incidence behind the stove (see previous post), Bailey still goes behind it. How she pushes over the broom is beyond me, but I came home to this today.

I'm hoping she just loses interest in that space because I threw out all the "toys" there. And it's gross. I wanted to give her a bath again tonight knowing she was back there. But I didn't, because I am merciful.

Usually when I find these things, I get a little annoyed and grumble to myself while putting everything back in its place. But then Bailey's all like

And then I'm all like "Ahhh TOO CUTE here have a treat! Have another treat! Have TEN MORE TREATS!"

Which probably just encourages mail sorting, bookshelf jumping, cabinet opening, and stove exploring.