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We have a new addition to our household. She's a just-over-three-months black-and-white female kitten whom we've named Orkid. We adopted her from an animal rescue organization, and we brought her home on Saturday, February 15, 2003. She's acclimating herself to the house and has found a few hiding places. She particularly likes behind the easy chair downstairs and her preferences upstairs are either under our bed or on top of the trundle that's under the daybed. It's a pretty small space, so we'll see how long she can fit in there.

She's more comfortable making her way around the house and is no longer confining herself to the floor that we're on. She's doing fine with the stairs, though she likes to take shortcuts, and she mostly races either up or down the stairs - no walking. She's also inclined to galloping around the house. You'd never think to guess that all that noise is being made by a little kitty running around by herself. We're happy to say that she's well aware of where her food and water dishes are as well as where the litter box is and what it's for. She has a few toys courtesy of a friend of ours, and she's being introduced to them one at a time, so the ones that are out are scattered around.

Since she's still fairly small, she can get into the darnedest places - I've had to block off her access to behind the refrigerator because she was becoming a dust mop since I can't vacuum behind there. She was liking it behind my computer desk as well, but that seems to have been a "first day here" thing. We've made a sort of stepladder access for her in the guest bedroom upstairs so she can sit on the windowsill and look out, but she's still too little to get to the top of the daybed ... for now. She is, however, learning daily to jump higher and farther and exploring more of the house.

Her first two nights home, she liked to take a few hours' nap and then pounce on our bed and us at about 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, wanting attention and to play. Her third night, she actually waited until 5:30, so it's getting better!

And yes, when she wants attention, she is very determined. If I'm reading a magazine, she paws at it.  If I'm playing a hand-held game, she paws at it and tries to bite it. She also seems interested in everything I eat. If my husband and I are both eating, she only pursues me. If my husband is eating, and I'm not, she doesn't care. If he's not eating, and I am, she is relentless in her pursuit. (I've wondered whether we shouldn't have named her "terminator" instead...) And yes, she has composed her first email. As I was typing an email to a friend, here was her contribution: "cdfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA". She has also recently discovered the mouse cursor and will chase it on the screen (blocking the whole monitor) as I move the mouse. She also seems to have a fascination for my feet (only mine), whether I have socks on or not, and she will pounce on them unprovoked. She also does that "going between your feet when you're walking" thing, so I have to be careful not to trip on or crush her.

She likes being held and pet, so we're happy about that. She also has a fairly loud motor that runs almost constantly, but she rarely uses her voice, and when she does, it's quite faint. She also seems to have this comfort move - she kneads, all the time, even when she's on her back and her paws are flailing in the air. It's the kind of kneading that cats do like when they're nursing. She does that when she's walking sometimes too.

Anyway, enough of that. Onto the good stuff - pictures!

Getting acquainted with Orkid at the adoption center.


Already, Orkid's penchant for climbing is evident.



Orkid exploring her new home.


First evidence of Orkid's fascination with my feet.


Orkid with one of her toys.


Orkid in one of her favorite spots - under my chair.



February 28, 2003 update

Orkid is becoming increasingly more comfortable and familiar with the house, which has its benefits and drawbacks. She mostly likes to nap upstairs, though she's started napping on the daybed itself and not the trundle. She also spends most of the night sleeping on our bed with us. It did take her a couple of days to get used to being home by herself during the day, but she seems to be getting used to it now. We come home to find telltale evidence of her new discoveries of the day. I figured out that she had discovered our stash of Chevron cars when I found the "dog in the shopping cart" figure in the middle of the living room floor rather than under the side table with the cars, where it's supposed to be. Last night, she discovered the bowl of dried roses we have sitting on the side table. She very much enjoyed stomping around inside and flinging some of the roses on the floor and then stomping on them to crush the petals. "Orkid, you're making a mess". The bowl is still there, but the flowers have been disposed of. Wonder if she'll find the other dried flowers in various places around the house...

She's also figured out that using her scratching post to get to a corner table gets her to one of the kitchen counters as well, so she's been exploring up there, including the plant I have sitting next to the window. She has also discovered a new favorite place to sit - on me. She'll climb on me and then make herself comfortable, whether it's because she wants attention, to be pet, or just as a place to perch and have a bath. With my husband, she's content to sit on his lap and relax. She's also discovered a new "toy" - the pendant on my necklace, and sometimes, the necklace itself, so I may have to remove those for a while. Sometimes, she's like a vampire, attacking my neck to get to those.

But, she does now attack my husband's feet, but that's only when he's moving them under the covers. When Orkid is in a frisky mood, she'll attack anything that moves, and with the protection of the comforter, her bite doesn't quite reach.

Look, more pictures!


Orkid's food and water bowls, on top of a kitty placemat.


Orkid about to nap on a chair by my computer desk.





Awake     . . .      asleep.


Orkid in front of my computer - I can see the screen over her when she's sitting.


They're heeeeeeeeere. (line courtesy of my husband)


Today's new electronic discovery - the printer.


Two of Orkid's current favorite toys.


Sometimes, she moves so fast...



Orkid cavorting with the coaster, the carrousel and R2.


Orkid on her scratching post.



June 3, 2003 update

Yes, finally an update! Orkid is now about seven months old. She doesn't look like a baby kitty anymore, but she's still very active and playful. She's gotten bigger, so we'll see how much bigger she grows. Her hair hasn't gotten much longer, though, so it appears that she is in fact a domestic short hair.

However, we're thinking she's also part dog as she periodically exhibits behaviours that are normally associated with dogs. For instance, she chews on stuff, a lot, more than I remember my cats doing. She'll lay on the floor with a bit of extra carpet we've left for her and she'll grab it with all four paws and try to rip bits off the ends and corners. She'll sometimes lay on the sofa and wrap herself around the remote and try to bite it as well. I usually take it away from her because I'm afraid she'll break it - she did crack the cover of my favorite Gameboy game, so no more chewing on electronic devices for her. The most dog-like behaviour she exhibits, though, is that she will occasionally pant. When we've been playing with her for a while where she's been running around a lot (whether she's chasing a toy or a stick or we're chasing after her), she'll then sit there with her mouth open. Very weird kitty.

As I mentioned, Orkid is still quite playful and has numerous toys, including ones that don't belong to her. She's managed to lose her favorite toy recently, the cloth ball. We've looked for it and haven't been able to find it, so we'll have to do a thorough scouring of the house at some point. She does still like her cloth mouse. She has also recently taken a liking to a toy that's two ping-pong balls connected by a piece of fluffy string. She rather likes chewing on that and chasing it around. We gave her a ping-pong ball recently, and she really liked that as well, but she's managed to lose that too. It's kind of small, and there are lots of places in the kitchen and living room for small things to roll under. She's also been tromping through some figurines that I have out, and we'll even periodically find one or two of them on the floor. She's broken or damaged a few of them so far.

One of the other things she seems to like are tea lights, the kind you put in candle votives. I have a few candles on the top shelf of my computer desk, including two flat glass star-shaped votives. I had tea lights in there that I had previously burned, so the wax in each was about 1/2 and 3/4 gone already. One morning, she was wandering around up there, and I could hear her batting at the tea light inside the votive. At one point, I looked up at her, and she had picked up the tea light by the wick and had picked her head up to look at me - so that the tea light ended up looking like a pacifier in her mouth. I laughed so hard because she looked so funny. No, unfortunately, I don't have pictures.

Orkid likes playing with us, which usually involves us chasing her around the house. Sometimes we chase her up the stairs or play with her on the stairs. After I've chased her up the stairs, she likes to poke her head out between the bars of the bannister and look down at me from upstairs. She also seems to like playing under the door. If there's a closed door between us, she'll lay down on the ground sideways so that she can kind of see under the door, and then she'll reach her paws under the door to get at us. She's fun to play with that way, but I learned the hard way that I need to play with the paw that has the claws facing down, not the one with the claws facing up.

We haven't been able to stop her from scratching the furniture, though she doesn't do it constantly. We'd been just chasing her away, but then we bought squirt bottles, and we squirt her with water to stop her. That usually seems to work - even though we then end up with a wet kitty. I also have a couple of plants on the floor that she likes to mess with, so I've been squirting her to keep her from killing them.

Orkid did find a few new favorite places. When we're sitting at our computer chairs, she likes to come up and sit behind us if we're not sitting all the way back in the seat. In my case, even if I am sitting back, she'll sometimes nudge me and make herself enough of a nuisance until I sit further up to make enough room for her to sit between me and the back of the chair. She also loves the windowsills - the one in our bedroom, the ones in the guest bedroom, the one in the den and the ones in my husband's office. She gets a different view out of each one. I think she especially likes the one in our bedroom, which gives her the best view of passing birds. She's also recently taken to sitting behind the open door to our bedroom, which is a fairly small space. She goes into the space and then has to use the wall to help her turn around to face outward - defensive position, I guess. She's also become a "sink kitty". When we're getting ready in the morning, she'll stand on the vanity area looking at us, and then she'll climb into one of the sinks and lay down to watch us. I'll try to get a picture of that sometime. Oh, and from the vanity, she has recently had her first glimpses of Fishie. (Yes, I've managed to keep Fishie and Fishie's plant alive for 15 months now!) When she sees Fishie moving, she'll stare at him. I've been trying to discourage that behaviour. I don't think she can reach him, even with her improved jumping abilities. Speaking of which, she managed to use the medicine cabinet as a stepping stone to get to a really high windowsill recently, and as a quick fix, we ended up using cardboard and duct tape to prevent her from doing it again. My husband then replaced the cardboard and duct tape with hard frosted plastic. We're finding ourselves doing all kinds of redecorating because of her.

Orkid usually spends the night sleeping on my pillow, though she's taking up more of the pillow then she used to. Lately, she's been sleeping on the bed itself, stretching herself out the long way and taking up lots of room. Bed hog! She also likes bringing some of her toys on top of the bed and chasing them there. Not a problem really if we're just lounging around watching TV. Not so much good when it's 3:00 in the morning and we're trying to sleep. Unlike her first few days with us, she has shown that she actually does have a voice. She will "mew" for various reasons, though she doesn't do it incessantly, and there have only been a few occasions when I've heard her be really loud. She has retained one thing - she still kneads. Not as often, maybe once a week or so, and only when it's late at night, and she's trying to get herself back to sleep, she'll come up to me and bury herself in my neck. It's very sweet - it also helps me to remember when it's time to trim her nails. Owww.

Orkid is generally a very good kitty, though she does get bitey at times. She's usually the most mellow to the first person who come home after she's been alone all day. She's usually very cuddly and clingy for a little while. She also seems to adapt fairly well. We've had to change her brand of litter a few times before we could find one that worked well but didn't have an overpowering scent that bothers me, since her litter box is by my computer. I've heard of cases where cats refuse to use the litter box when a different litter is being used, but she's been fine.

For those who are wondering about the origin of her name, we named her after one of our other favorite black and white animals - the killer whale. Orkid is the name of one of the female killer whales at Sea World San Diego. That Orkid was orphaned at a young age and was then pretty much adopted by one of the other female killer whales. That Orkid can also be mischievous and playful. I think we made an appropriate name choice for our kitty!


The original Orkid is much larger than our Orkid.


Pictures from April 5, 2003.


Orkid napping in our bedroom.


She's gotten long.


Orkid peacefully sleeping.



Orkid is such a pretty kitty.



Orkid likes playing and hanging around on our bed.


Pictures from May 19, 2003.


Orkid on the bricks in front of the fireplace.


Here kitty.


Our black and white.


Here's a comparison. The left picture is Orkid at 3 months. The right picture is Orkid at 6 months.



My, how you've grown!


January 28, 2004

Orkid turned one year old in October 2003. She's a regular-sized cat now, but she often still behaves like a little kitty. She often still kneeds us at night, and she is still quite playful and loves chasing her toys around the house. She also likes chasing us around the house, but she's still a bit more fascinated with using biting as a way to communicate than I'd prefer. She's also much more likely now to jump onto my computer desk in front of my computer monitor and stare at me or roll around on my desk, seeking attention.

She has unfortunately discovered the two big bowls of Disney-related and other antenna toppers that used to be on the dining room table, but after catching her with Santa Mickey in her mouth as she was lifting him out of the bowl and then catching her chewing on the KFC topper, we've moved both bowls to a place she can't reach.

She still loves to run around the house, whether it's up and down the stairs or from room to room upstairs for no apparent reason. She has rediscovered one of her old sleeping locations - on top of the trundle bed which is underneath the daybed in the guest room. It's a fairly tiny space, but we've found her sleeping there a lot again. She has to flatten herself quite a bit to fit there, but she apparently likes little hidey-holes. She liked sitting in the cubicles in my old bookcase in the master bedroom, but when we got rid of the bookcase, we got her a little one-story kitty cubby. It's round and nicely carpeted. She likes to crawl inside for a nap or rest, and she also likes laying on top of it. She has also in the past few months learned to leap under the comforter on the bed. Sometimes, she still goes feet chasing, which we discourage, but mostly, she just goes under there to sleep. Lumpy kitty, I call her at those times.

But enough of the boring talk. The following pictures are from the past several months.



Orkid sleeping in her chair near my computer desk.


Orkid using my laundry basket as a resting place.


Our "sink kitty" in one of her favorite resting spots.


A Disney bag serves as a good hiding place too.


Orkid resting oddly on the sofa - she's awake.


Fun ways you can pose a sleeping kitty.


Orkid rolling around on the floor.



Orkid with festive red Christmas ribbon and bow.


Orkid fancily dressed for her first Christmas with us.


June 2005


Orkid resting in one of her favorite chairs.


September 2005

Our kitty has recently found a new favorite place to nap, one where she has a buddy. BTW, the plush is of Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation that we got from the Star Trek shopping area at the Hilton in Las Vegas. Orkid loves Q, and Q seems fairly fond of her himself! ;)


Orkid peacefully sleeping as Q watches over her.


Orkid loves Q.


October 2005

Curious Orkid comes to investigate.


September 2006

Orkid doesn't change much anymore, and I don't have the camera strapped to my waist so we don't get a lot of pictures of her anymore, but I did recently get some cute/funny ones.

One of Orkid's favorite napping places (she has lots of them...) is the couch in the den. It's close to my computer, so she likes being there. She's got lots of cute sleeping poses.


Orkid sleeping with all her feet tangled.


Orkid curled up and hiding her face.


Orkid turned the other way, still curled up and still hiding her face.


Orkid has a fascination with my laundry basket. Thanks goodness, not as much when I've got clean clothes in there, but when I've got the basket on the bed and I'm putting clothes in to take downstairs to wash, she loves jumping in the basket. She loves being in the basket so much that she won't even jump out when I continue to throw clothes in. Oh, yes, she has a feeble "meow" protest each time I pile more in, but she stays and even settles in. In this case, I think she would have eventually just gone to sleep if I'd left her in there. Previously, that's just what she did.


Orkid in full laundry basket.


A closer view of her - apparently, she thinks she needs to stick her nose through a slot to breathe.


A side view where you can see her nose sticking out and one of her eyes.


November 14, 2006

Orkid hasn't done it in a long time, but she decided to climb onto my computer monitor. My computer sits on a desk, and there's a hutch on it which has some cabinet space. Orkid can jump onto the top of the hutch and walk amongst the collectibles up there. She climbed up there and then stepped down onto the back of the computer monitor and then decided to make herself comfortable as I browsed through various Disney-related websites.

Sweet little kitty - she's four years old now!


The "mouse" doesn't seem to have caught her attention yet.


Wait, now what are you looking at?


Yeah, there's glare, but look at her expression!


Are you done with the computer yet?


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