Can it be more simple than the pleasure of enjoying some new catnip toys? While this video is mainly of Grendel, note that Loki can be seen in the background and Kako gives us a drive-by cameo. This video was lightened due to the original being excessively dark.
[I have decided to drop support for the AVI format and raw footage. This is based entirely on size and bandwidth usage, and also in no small part due to very little use.]
Kako was having an eargasm in the living room when I grabbed the camera. As is always the case, she promptly stopped what she was doing and considered other options. She finally resolved to get up and move on; it took one rollover before she felt it was appropriate to stand. Odd little woman, that cat. Maybe she wanted to be certain she got up on the right side of the bed — or floor, in this case.
[the video is 16 seconds long and 812 KB in size; click on the photo for the WMV version; sorry, poppets, but I found almost three dozen videos that are only in Windows Media format; they come from a collection I put together for Derek shortly before he died, and I have no way to know where the originals are; I have them, mind you, but identifying them out of the hundreds I consolidated for that CD would be more effort than I’m willing to give; instead, I’m pulling them from the original collection I made for him and will post them in that format only; get over it]
Kako climbed atop the printer, scrunched up the dust cover to make a somewhat more comfortable bed, then proceeded to wash her face and hands before nodding off to sleep. In fact, watch her eyes at the end of the video and you’ll see how well it would have fit had I been sitting there saying “You’re getting very sleepy. Your eyelids are getting heavier and heavier…” until she finally zonked.
[video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format; length is 1:54 (one minute and fifty-four seconds) and size is 3.58 MB (so be prepared for the download if you’re using dial-up)]
There are times when just watching The Kids at play entails pure joy for me. This video captures just such a moment.
I recorded this a day before Christmas 2003. Derek had been in the hospital almost all year, was quite sick, and most distressing for him was how much he missed The Kids. Related conversations increasingly became the quickest path to his heartfelt lamentations. Nothing cut him quite as deeply as tears borne of missing them. Jenny and I both knew how much he was upset about his failing condition and how much he missed the simple yet magnificent delights to be found with the four furry rulers of the cosmos. More poignantly, he knew Christmas was always an over-the-top opportunity to spoil them, so the idea of missing it hurt him most.
Once it became clear he would not be home for Christmas and would have been away from The Kids for almost a full year, I decided one of his gifts from me would be a CD of photographs and videos of the feline members of our home. I began the project during the summer of 2003. It was a dedicated effort to capture as many digital moments as I could. By the time I put the CD together for him, it contained dozens of videos and hundreds of pictures. Luckily, it was ready just before Jenny and I spent December 25 at the hospital (we took with us an enormous and enjoyable Christmas meal and a plethora of gifts, wowing everyone including Derek).
Much later in time, after a brief and unsuccessful stint at home in spring of 2004, Derek lived his final months where he had spent so much of the last two years: in the hospital. His condition worsened, a three-year expedition to identify the limits of human existence by way of pain and suffering. Though he did see The Kids for a few weeks when he was allowed finally to leave the hospital before his health forced his return, he always looked to that CD for the emotional uplift he needed and knew The Kids could provide. Many of the nurses who cared for him regularly would speak about the cats as though they knew them. Ah, but they did know them; that familiarity came from Derek who spoke of them often and was always more than happy to give people the CD-of-The-Kids tour. Not only that, but he frequently mentioned visiting my blog to see whatever new pictures and stories about our holy eminencies I might have posted since his last visit. He likewise included returns time and again to enjoy his personal favorites.
I celebrated Christmas early in 2003: on December 24. I wanted to record for posterity the holiday most envied by cats around the world (or, at least, by the masters of my universe). Since we would be at the hospital for the holiday and the CD had to be included in the gifts we were taking to Derek, an early exploration of the goodies under the tree was necessary so I could include the enjoyment for the one person who most deserved to see it but would be unable to.
It starts with Loki playing with a new toy. Despite his appearance in the video, there is no death, no destruction, no mass hysteria, no bloody battles for the souls of humankind, no end to civilization as we know it, and no levitation. I’m sorry, but this was truly one of our simple moments. I guess Satan chose not to inundate this historic record with his usual disregard for life and decorum.
Soon after it begins, Kazon and Kako get involved, steal the toy from Loki, and then inadvertently pass it back and forth. He Who Should Not Be Named eventually finds a place to rest while watching the next generation act like fools.
Finally, it ends with Kazon collapsing with contentment. It is then you see Grendel lying in a box in the background watching all the shenanigans as they unfold. The Twins sure are silly, huh, Grendel?
This video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format. It’s 1:58 (one minute and fifty-eight seconds) in length and is about 5.27 MB (so be prepared for the download if you’re using dial-up). And I’m still interested in changing all of these to MPG format; I just need to get off my duff, evaluate the software options, and buy something. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Adobe Premiere Pro the best option for this (video editing)? Any other suggestions?
[Update] I originally concatenated three videos into a single WMV file. I’m now including all three as separate YouTube entries below.
Kazon has always been a little slower mentally than the other kids at the playground. Actually, Kazon is our household “dumb jock” — big, strong, as sweet as the day is long, and dumber than a sack of hair.
When he was a kitten I always thought Kazon would grow out of his dimwittedness. This was based on Loki having gone through the same thing — start out slow and dumb and pubert (I know it’s not a word but it gets the point across) into a dangerously intelligent cat (danger for me, that is!).
Sadly this was not to be the case with Kazon. He never grew out of his adolescent synaptic density. In layman’s terms, he stayed on the not-so-intelligent end of the IQ scale.
For instance, Kazon rarely remembers he has an ass. He’ll attempt to jump up on something and will end up with his front half successfully in the right place while his rear half dangles precariously over the edge which, eventually, either pulls him back to the floor or forces him to scramble to get to where he wanted to be. Sure, it’s funny because you always know it’s going to happen. He has yet to remember there’s a lot more Kazon back there.
Another example is Kazon’s tail — as in, he chases it. This is the most hysterical thing I’ve ever watched because he’s so intent on catching it and will spin in circles going speeds that make me dizzy by just watching him. He’ll chase it intently for quite some time before something else catches his attention and makes him forget about what he was doing.
And that brings me to another example. I can always and easily distract Kazon from anything without worrying about him remembering what he was doing. This is the best thing I can do so far as discipline is concerned. He’s too big and too muscular for anything to penetrate enough to make a difference. If you swat him on the ass for doing something, he just turns around and looks at you questioningly, as if to say, “What are you doing? Is this a new game?” Besides, any discipline that he might feel is lost by the fact that he won’t remember why he was disciplined by the time you do something. He’s just that simple-minded. The moment you speak up about what he’s doing, he thinks you’re just talking to him and will immediately come to you for some love and attention. This negates any attempt to discipline him.
As the baby of the house (pathetic baby, that is), Kazon is constantly in trouble. His curiosity is exacerbated by the fact that he doesn’t remember what he’s seen and hasn’t seen, so everything is always new to him every time he sees it.
Despite all of his mental shortcomings, though, Kazon has skills. Doors are one of his masterpieces. This is the dichotomy.
He’s always been fascinated by doors and has learned how to open them. All of them. Maybe it’s that typical feline curiosity that drives him, but, whatever it is, it pushed him to be inventive and to figure out how to get into places he really shouldn’t be.
If there’s a doorknob, he understands what it’s for and will try to use it. If there’s a handle, he’ll try to grab it and pull it down. If it’s a cupboard door, he knows to use his front paws to pull it open far enough to get his head inside — followed by the rest of him.
This skill is not lost on the rest of The Kids. They’ve all learned how to get into the cupboards because of Kazon. More importantly, his sister Kako has learned to always follow him when he’s investigating something because he’ll be her key to get into trouble.
The video below is a perfect example of both Kazon’s prowess with doors and his sister’s ability to remain hidden in the background until he gets into trouble — at which point she rushes in to get her piece of the pie.
In this video Kazon is trying to open the doors to the laundry room. They’re double-doors with the ball-and-groove latches at the top. Watch him to see how he tries to open the doors by reaching under them, how he reaches for the doorknobs but realizes they’re too high, tries the tiny space between the doors, and then eventually gets them open. Also watch for Kako’s surprise appearance from just outside of the camera’s range once the doors have opened (this is what she does — waits patiently out of the picture until he’s successful, then she rushes in).
This video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format. It’s 1:32 (one minute thirty-two seconds) in length and is about 4.13 MB (so be prepared for the download if you’re using dial-up).