Cats love boxes as much as they love bags and anything else they can get inside of to sleep or play. Better than even those options is one of them with a toy inside. Loki finds a toy in a box and promptly turns it into the kind of fun that only a cat could enjoy.
By the way, because of the quality of the original video (very dark), I can’t really tell whose head that is on the left side of the screen at the very beginning of the video. Also, I’ve had to lighten it tremendously to make it viewable. With Quicktime, I have more control over that process and can manipulate the contrast along with the brightness, so the MOV version is a bit better than the WMV (Microsoft only lets me lighten or darken the video, but there is no way to control the contrast). Nevertheless, both videos are the video is a bit washed out because of how much lightening I had to do to make them it usable. Sorry. This video was recorded in December 2003 when I was not very familiar with the new camera or its various settings, so that means a lot of the photos and videos from then were more experimental and of lower quality than what I’m able to do now. Live and learn.
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.]
Loki and Kazon are buddies (I call the two of them together The Buds). They hang out, they play, they explore, and they generally act like best of friends. Of course, Kazon gets along with everyone because he’s just a kid. But these two have always been close.
I was sitting at my desk one day and they both stopped by. After a drink of water from my glass, they sat next to me quietly. Loki began grooming Kazon, licking his ear and head and generally being very sweet. Don’t be fooled. Loki is not a sweet cat. He’s devious. He can be sweet, don’t get me wrong, yet more often than not, he’s up to something or will pull something to shatter your notion of him being pleasant. This is just such a moment.
Watch him gently grooming Kazon while Kazon is suspicious of the whole thing—still enjoying it, of course, but suspicious nonetheless. He was right to be. Near the end, Loki proves exactly why he can’t be trusted. Chomp!
[yes, the WMV file sucks as usual; both the audio and video are washed out, and that’s the “high quality” setting from MS; crap!; the MOV file is smaller and still is of a much higher quality; oh, and I think it’s extremely hysterical Stephen King’s Storm of the Century is playing in the background]
Just what I needed on a hot summer day: a glass of ice-cold water. Only, I assumed it was for me. Silly human… Instead, I get a bunch of tongue action in my glass.
Earlier today, I gave The Kids a treat. It was their favorite, and that worries me as it’s not exotic. Take two cans of the “wet” version of their normal food, prescription c/d, the dry mutation of which is always available to them, and add a seductive sprinkling of Kitty Kaviar, “an all-natural fish treat for cats of all ages … made from dried Bonito filets, carved paper thin, [with] no additives, preservatives, or by-products.” It’s that simple. And they love it. Odd little creatures… (They’ll abuse me for that remark.)
Tangent aside, they had their treat. Loki, his belly filled with scrumptious yumminess, sat on the desk beside me. Before the expected after-meal bath, is not a drink in order? Of course. A glass of ice water would be quite welcome, thank you. As luck would have it, Daddy just sat down with one.
And so he drinks from mine. But no panic. They all do the same thing. All the time. In fact, there’s somewhat of a competition about it when first I go to the refrigerator to fetch a fresh helping. Funny kids…
[I still haven’t a clue which video format to use; I like MOV for the versatility, but it’s not kept up to date automatically by Windoze and, as xocobra pointed out in his comment on the last video post, I’m using the latest version of Quicktime that requires an up-to-date version of the Quicktime player; using Microsoft’s WMV format at least means I hit a large market that has an updated player/set of codecs (at least I assume so); anyway, I’m still trying to figure out the best option…]
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.