Posts Tagged ‘Cat’

Visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

I had a full day before the DITA Europe conference started, so I met with the Schengili ladies at my hotel and we headed off together to the Kunsthistorisches Museum down by Museum Platz. (A central place for museums! Heaven!) ;-)

The chief goal of visiting this museum was to visit its Ancient Egyptian collection, primarily to get a good look at and photograph one of the rare Reserve Heads from the Old Kingdom in its collection. Teresa and her daughters were very good-natured for putting up with me and my interest in this area, and am hoping I made it up to them somewhat by explaining what I knew about the context for the objects that we saw.

The first thing that greets the visitor to the wing of the museum is the mock-Ancient Egyptian facade done in marble by the entranceway, with a distainful looking Pharoah looking down upon would-be visitors to “his” gallery; definitely not the beatific look of a typical Thutmosid bust. He is flanked by a couple of snakes, though he has no Royal Uraeus on his head-dress — so definitely a Viennese confection. I was also told that the wording for the gallery above him is in an old form of German, which somehow seemed to fit with the grand imperial-era look of the museum itself. The entrance is flanked on one side by a life-sized figure of the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet, presumably one of the several hundred fashioned for the funerary complex of Amenhotep III, and consequently nearly ubiquitous in Ancient Egyptian collections world-wide (there were two more such statues inside the gallery).

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Keeping Kitten

Ever since we got “Dawn” last Saturday there’s been quite a bit of news relating to her.

First night there was a particularly stinky poop that a too-tired Vanessa woke up to and couldn’t find. It was in the catbox but she was too tired (she had been asleep) to look for it. It was disposed of quickly and the catbox soon moved to the kid’s third floor washroom.

Dawn has been exceedingly shy, primarily hiding under Vanessa’s bed or other bits of furniture providing cover.

In an attempt to coax her our Erika tried to pick up the cat from its hiding spot, and was bitten for her trouble. The area around the bite soon swelled, and by the evening she took herself to the local emergency to have the now-swollen hand looked to. Her hand was put in a splint and she was given antibiotics. Erika didn’t blame the kitten, but she began to wonder if it had been too attached to its foster “mom” and had too nervous a disposition. Thanks to the antibiotics by Thursday the swelling had gone down and Erika was able to take the splint off.

Vanessa hadn’t been having much luck with Dawn either, and was beginning to feel let down about having adopted a kitten who was too timid to come near her. There’s a seven-day return policy and we were all beginning to seriously consider the possibility of returning Dawn to her foster home.

On Wednesday night I managed to coax her out and take some pictures of her, using a piece of colourful yarn on a stick. Earlier in the day Erika had done the same thing (using her good hand) to get the kitten to appear, managing to get her to come close enough for a scratch behind the ears without incident. I tried the same and while I didn’t get her close enough to let me touch her, she certainly wanted to play.

Last night Vanessa did the same thing, her mother showing her how to lure the kitten out by being patient and gentle with her, while luring her with the piece of yarn. She let herself be petted by Vanessa, and by this point any talk about returning her came to an end.

Dawn is going to take some work in order to get her more comfortable around the family, but it seems as though we have started off in that direction.

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Another Addition to the Menagerie: Dawn the Kitten

One of the things that Vanessa has been constantly asking about has been about adopting a cat of her own. It is safe to say she is “cat mad”, constantly drawing pictures or making crafts involving “kitties”.

Finally, this last time that we had my Aunt Jane’s cat Nick over for cat-sitting we told Vanessa that if she looked after him (feeding and cleaning) we would seriously consider the prospect of getting her a kitten. Vanessa was successful at this, and a couple of weeks ago Erika managed to find a good candidate from a cat fostering group: a 5 month old tortoise-shell kitten named dawn. Erika called and made the arrangements and she and Vanessa went and picked her up today.

Apparently the foster mother was very sad to see her go, but was happy that she was going to a good home. Vanessa was beaming when she came through the door with the cat carrier in hand. She then took Dawn upstairs to her room and let her out of the cat carrier.

That was about the only time that I’ve had the chance to get a good look at her, as she has been hiding under various pieces of furniture ever since.

This isn’t too surprising really, as I remember stories about Erika’s late lamented cat Naomi that she was similarly exceedingly shy when she first got her, and turned out to be a very lovable, affectionate animal once she settled in.

Vanessa did manage to tease her out with a piece of colourful string on a small stick, a perfect kitten fishing rod. Got to see a playful paw extended from under a dresser at the proffered string, as well as a bright pair of eyes that looked straight at me when I came down to her level on the floor.

Vanessa told me around bedtime that she had found a nice hiding spot under her bed. She still hadn’t emerged, but there was a constant purring, so things are obviously not that bad from the kitten’s perspective.

A lucky little girl and an equally lucky kitten.

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R.I.P. “Black Cat”

Annie’s cat, which she named “black cat”, has now been absent for several days, and I suspect has found a quiet dark nook to hide herself away in. Given her state when we last saw her, I am pretty sure she must’ve expired.

Despite bouncing back after the initial vet visit last Sunday, she quickly sunk back to the way she was before. Still throwing up, with no substance, just watery green bile. Then a couple of days ago she stopped taking water, even when placed directly in front of her.

Our nanny let her out on Friday afternoon (after throwing up on her coat first) and hasn’t been seen since. I’ve looked in all of the usual places I’ve seen her hide away — under the back and front porches, hiding in the garden, between the houses and a few other places, but no sign.

I was planning on taking her to the vet that evening to have her put down, but she seems to have taken matters into her own hands (or paws, I guess).

The kids have been too excited about Halloween to notice the absence, or at least to talk about it openly, but they know she has been very sick and we have been preparing them both for the worst.

Our other cat, Blackberry, is the happiest I’ve seen him in ages. No longer grumpy, he is the de facto head cat again. Not exactly cuddly, but he is no longer hissing in anticipation of being playfully jumped on by Black Cat when let out the door.

Erika is talking about getting another kitten from the local pound, possibly on the weekend.

She was the dopiest female cat I’ve known, and certainly the most talkative (too much so sometimes), and I’ll miss her.

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