Category Archives: Observations at the Institute

Do Kitty Cats Mourn?

One of the last photos of Big Fishy

The Directors of the Institute should have told you earlier about the demise of Little Fishy and Big Fishy, but each time we tried, we choked up and tears blocked our vision. Sigh.

Little Fishy passed away January 14, 2017. He was only half grown. We don’t know why he passed. He was fine the day before. On March 19, Big Fishy also swam under the Rainbow Bridge. He lived for over nine years, far longer than most goldfish. Since we understood that goldfish can live for up to 30 years, we expected he would live a long time. So we provided for him in our will. He died of dropsy, a common and difficult to treat ailment in goldfish.Perhaps, he also missed Little Fishy.

Zippy adored Big Fishy as you have read in this blog. After Big Fishy passed, Zippy seemed despondent and went up and down the sofa beside the aquarium looking for him. As her depression increased she began to sleep a lot. The other cats didn’t give a cat’s meow that Big Fishy was missing, but Zippy required lots of neck massages to lessen the pain of losing her companion.

We wanted to give Big Fishy the same proper burial that we gave Little Fishy—we carefully buried him in the garden near three kitties who passed before the Institute was founded. Now those beloved kitties can “swim with the fishies.”

Zippy being consoled

Introducing Little Fishy

The Directors at the Institute noticed that Big Fishy seemed lonely in his big aquatic mansion. We decided to get a companion for him. Little Fishy has doubled in size since we acquired him last spring. That’s good because at first, we were afraid Big Fishy would have the little speckled  goldfish for dinner. But we eyeballed Big Fishy’s mouth and figured it was too small for the new fish.  So, we plopped Little Fishy into the spa and he (or she) remained uneaten.

Both fishies like to circle their home side-by-side. Perhaps this is why Big Fishy has gained so much weight—he is content with his young companion.

The feline study subjects at the Institute now commune, often nose-to-nose, with both fishies.

Here is Big Fishy with his friend Little Fishy:

littlefishy

Here is a closeup of Little Fishy:

littlefishycloseup

Big Fishy Gets Bigger

The subjects at the Institute spend hours watching their favorite buddy Big Fishy who is now over 10 inches long. We have noticed that the big, golden boy is getting rotund after 9 years of dining on premium fish food twice a day. The directors have decided to limit feeding to just once a day.

Do subscribers to this blog think Big Fishy enjoys his din din too much?

Here is  Big Fishy as he was last winter.

ZippyWatchesFishyTankView

Here is Big Fishy as he is now.

Big Fishy left side view:

bigfishyleftside

Big Fishy rear view.

bigfishyrear

Trouble with Interpersonal Relationships

At the Institute the directors have noticed there is a pecking order. The subjects sometimes have trouble with their interpersonal relationships. Velvet is at the top of the pecking order and often instigates fusses with all the subjects of the Institute, even with her play buddy Socks. Zippy is next in the pecking order in that she often chases Rebecca and Citikitty, but she never gets into a real cat fight any subjects.

Fuss 1
Trouble brewing in the hallway as Velvet paws at Socks.

Poor Citikitty, the youngest at the Institute and the lowest on the pecking order, has mapped out hidey holes where she can get away from bully Velvet and irritant Zippy.

Citikitty hiding from her nemesis, Velvet.

 

 

 

 

Claws

The directors at the Institute have noticed that the study subjects have formidable  built-in weapons, some more impressive than others. Here Zippy displays her lovely claws which she uses to knead her favorite blankie. She has never clawed either the Director of Input nor the Director of Output in our passions of petting. We can’t say the same about lap kitty Velvet who will not allow us to touch her belly or her paws.

Zippy's Sharpies
Zippy uses her impressive sharpies only for kneading her blankie.

Here’s the tattoo Velvet administered when the Director of Input absent-mindedly touched the sacred belly.

Velvet’s response to an accidental belly touch. Looks bad but was superficial.

Zippy conferring with Big Fishy

Zippy is best friends with Big Fishy. They are often observed communicating in the evening.

ZippyWatchesFishy

Zippy is intensely interested in Big Fishy who always swims to where she is perched. I will try to get a picture of them “kissing” for you but this time it happened before I was ready.

ZippyWatchesFishy2

Here is the scene from the other side of the aquarium. Eight-year-old Big Fishy is nearly 10 inches long! We at the Institute expect him to live a full forty years and entertain a series of study subjects such as Zippy.

ZippyWatchesFishyTankView

Do cats snore?

We researchers at the Institute would like to document the fact that some kitty cats definitely snore. Turn your sound up and listen to 18-year-old Ruby snore like a pug.

Ruby snoring

Ruby visits her veterinarian every year and is healthy other than having a thyroid problem that is kept in check by the tuna-flavored medication she loves. Snoring can indicate a medical a problem for some kitties (search the Net for “snoring in cats”), but for our Ruby, it happens often when she is in deep sleep, especially when she is in a contorted position.

The importance of touching

The directors of the Institute have observed that the best kitty cat workbreaks
involve laptime. However we have also noticed that mere physical contact is also satisfying to our subjects.

Study subject Velvet likes neck contact, though at times she slips downward thus putting her full weight on the back of my neck which forces me to move her butt or shoulders back to the sofa.

Velvet on Shoulder

 

Study subject Ruby requires contact with the Director of Input’s leg as she takes a work break.

Ruby on leg

 

 

The Sock Drawer

I was tired of matching sock mates in my sock drawer.  So I decided to tidy up the messy pile of socks. It took me at least half an hour to match each sock with its mate and lay them neatly in the drawer. Whites, blacks, blues, patterns and hose went in separate piles.  Velvet and Socks watched from a distance. I was pleased they did not try to help as I was eager to get into bed. The next morning, I observed that one or more study subjects had been busy:

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