And she shall be called Paisley

Paisley’s first Christmas has been a season of learning about this Siberian Forest kitten

Patches of light grey have developed to break the snow-whiteness of her furry coat, so Paisley as her name has become more appropriate now. Even in her breeder’s baby pictures, Paisley already showed unique brownish grey markings on her face and her long bushy tail was ash-greyish, so we know she’ll keep those markings to adulthood. There’s a lot that we, or more accurately just me, are learning about this Siberian Forest kitten, and they have been pleasant surprises most of the time.

She has developed an interesting ritual. Promptly right after the alarm goes at 6:55 a.m. she jumps out from her cozy blanket at the foot of our bed as I wake up to get ready for work. She looks at me with her blue eyes from the bathroom doorway as I pace from the bathroom to my changeroom. She watches curiously as I brush my teeth and then comb my hair; she wants to be combed, too. As I mix my wake-up coffee and tea with a dose of ginger and lactose-free milk, she follows me to the kitchen. Her blue eyes beg for a taste of that milky goodness, so I give her a few drops of lactose-free milk (my wife’s kitten and I have developed lactose intolerance) on her saucer and that gets her preoccupied until she hears my footsteps down the stairs. She runs to the stairs in time to catch me step into the backroom, and with her little head between the metal balusters, she seems to smile at me as I wave good bye. I quickly close the door behind to prevent her from running past the door into our laundry room and then the back yard. She has always wanted to squeeze past that door to investigate what’s in the dark laundry room and basement bathroom and storage area. This back room has been off limits to her for now — it holds too many piled up junques, boxes of Christmas lights precariously piled on top of one another, and hiding crevices unsafe for a very curious, fragile kitten. According to my wife, right after the sounds of my car leave the garage, Paisley runs back to our bedroom and unceremoniously plunks herself onto my still-warm pillow, beside my wife. What a sneaky usurper of my space.

Paisley runs her own schedule. She sleeps long hours during the day as what kittens do, which is good for my wife Penny who works at home during this Covid pandemic’s work-at-home “new normal.” During her morning sleep, Paisley dozes off on a towel next to the keyboard, seemingly the click-clicking of the computer keys as her lullaby. When Penny holds Zoom meetings, Paisley transfers to the top of her cat tree, after a quick nail-sharpening against the roped trunk of the cat tree. I guess she does not like the staticky voices of people on Zoom.

Dreamily perched on that cat tree, Paisley watches the neighborhood cars drive by; or salivates at a bird or two pecking at the bird seed box that we hang next to her cat tree on the outside of the window. Over time all this no longer holds her focus, and she dozes off to another spell of slumber. She merely wakes up to eat the flesh and bones of carnivorous meal, grounded up by Penny’s special meat grinder. Whole morning that’s mostly what she does while Penny is busy working: Paisley eats, entertains herself with whatever views unfold outside the window, and sleeps — she follows a cyclical morning repertoire.

After a short game of fetch with Penny during her lunch break, Paisley seeks lala land again for the whole afternoon.

Paisley has created a cat-cave where she sleeps well through the afternoon, made of Penny’s knitwear in Penny’s closet. It’s dark, warm, and devoid of noises, and distractions.

She creeps out of her cave at about 6 p.m. as the kitchen comes alive with Penny’s cooking and baking and all that kerfuffle for our dinner. I do my marking, Facebooking, emails, writing or reading online on the dining table as Penny keeps herself busy in the adjacent kitchen. As if on cue, Paisley jumps onto my laptop’s keyboard, forcing me to lift her off and place her on a nearby toss cushion that I have placed for her beside my laptop. She hates that. She sprawls herself on my keyboard again. I lift her off again, and again. Each process brings her biting on my laptop’s corner or her cushion’s fluffy edges. She scratches my hand now and then. She’s sending me a message, and I pretend to ignore it: it’s play time, for her, not mine. Over time, I give in.

Siberian Forest cats are very attached to their owners, joining them in many household activities. Because Penny and I work much on our computers, Paisley has been interested with computers. She lies on our keyboards, she looks at videos that my wife watches, she listens to the sounds of the keys as we madly tap on our keyboards. She inquisitively looks at her photos that we enlarge on our computer screens, sometimes touching softly the photos as if to say “hello there, cutie pie.” She has seen enough of herself in our hallway and bathroom mirrors so I think she recognizes that’s her photo on the screen, and just walks away shortly. Understandably, she hates high-screeching sounds and sudden changes in volumes and light intensities and the barking of dogs on Netflix.

Play time is actually a much needed break from work, for me. Paisley enjoys playing fetch, learning quickly from Penny’s patient training. So I throw little furry balls or rubbery spheres for Paisley to fetch. I guess she thinks the balls are mice or rats as she paws them around, jumps on them, bites on them, nudges them down the stairs and pounces on them before they reach the stairs’ landing, then carries them in her mouth to be presented to me on the dining table where I’ve been typing or reading hastily in the little time that Paisley has been distracted. Over time, realizing my inattention and the repetition of the same distraction, she lazily sits on my keyboard again. Then we go through the cycle of moving her to that cushion, Paisley playfully biting my laptop corner or her cushion, and when I can no longer endure the scratches she makes on my arm and fingers, my hypertension revs up. Alarmingly, Paisley types dddddddddd33333wwwwaaaaaqqqqqq, and other nonsensical notes on my laptop. I actually have inadvertently sent emails with her nonsense included. Horribly embarrassing. Right now, she’s adding her nonsense to my write-up. Copy reading and editing become a protracted but necessary process. She is more persistent than me. I eventually give up. I just have to finish my writing and reading when she’s in bed at 9 p.m. We are back to kitten play.

This kitten play has produced a collection of toys for Paisley. The collection gets larger as Penny has repeatedly brought home from the dollar store or the more expensive pet store various cat toys during her grocery-shopping runs. There’s a circular merry-go-round toy; another circular plastic toy with a rolling ball with a bell inside that we push along the track on the perimeter; several sticks with a rubbery ball and a feather at each end; a Cat’s Meow toy (first seen on breeder Galina’s kitten videos) that mechanically spins a rubber tail of a mouse around and around a plastic disk; a mini parrot that glows as it’s hit, held around by a plastic handle; lots of bouncy rubbery balls covered with feathery bristles; silicone contraptions that mimic earthworms, mice, little birds, and rolling pins; a teepee with feathers tethered to one of the poles; a long rectangular toy with corrugated paper for her to scratch or push back and forth. But she hates toys that make sounds or light up. It’s amazing what contraptions toymakers have come up with for cats or pets in general. Many look like baby or toddler tactile toys, a few are useless crap, most are bells and whistles that do not amount to much, but others are worth the money.

The pet toy industry is a multi-million dollar industry just in this side of the world. It’s exploding as humans find comfort and company in animals in this Covid-induced seclusion, isolation, and depression.

Interestingly, Paisley’s favorite toys are my tape measure and Penny’s stringed ear plugs. I have now discovered new uses for these devices. I dangle the ends, she pounces on them. What great and cheap joy — for both of us!

Paisley thinks folding laundry is also a game. She snags the ends of the pieces that I am folding. She has managed to create holes on a few of my Nike and Golden Toes socks, my expensive Saxx, ends of the sleeves of my work clothes, Penny’s sweaters and exercise outfits. Yet, she knows better not to go after the Levi’s and Lee and other bulky denims — I suppose they still hurt when I gently swat her with them. My, this can sound like an unpaid ad for some clothing outfits. Paisley ought to get some unintended royalty. This “game” is proving to be the most costly.

Paisley might have a sense for timeliness. She learned not to bother — after some reinforced training — our Christmas tree when the kitten first came home from Galina, the breeder, in early December. Now, way past the Christmas season, our tree still stands sorrowfully at the corner of the living room complete with lights and decorations; even the cute now-unlit angel is trying to fly off from the top. Paisley finds the fake tree’s branches good somersault practice launches, and finds the dangling glittery apples and pomegranate as swatting toys. She’s smart not to be near the tree when we’re nearby. Yet when no human is in the living room, our attention gets caught by the rustling of the fake pine needles and the thud on the hardwood floor by the fallen fake fruits. She very well knows she’s been naughty since she hides behind the branches when we run to the living room. But we can still see her sad-looking, penitent blue eyes. Or she launches into a somersault and then scampers behind the bulky sofa.

Actually, maybe Paisley has a better sense than us that Christmas is over, way over.

Siberian Forest cats half-siblings Perseus, Reinhardt and Paisley sharing a cat tree for a snooze

Paisley, like her half-brothers Reinhardt and Perseus (my daughter’s pets, also from Galina) and most other Siberian Forest cats love looking at, maybe playing with water. Their majestic fur is waterproof. Paisley and Reinhardt (not so much Perseus) jump in to our bath tubs and stay for good length of time playing with the taps, and gazing at the rivulets of water dripping down from the faucets into the tub’s drain. I have seen Paisley and Reinhardt lick the water but they mostly paw at the rivulets and pooling liquid.

Paisley can be a diva. On my wife’s birthday in-between Christmas and New Year’s day, my wife and my daughter brought their three Siberian Forest cats to Cypress Mountain, hopefully for a little snowshoeing with a friend. No snowshoeing happened since the three felines, especially Paisley, simply wanted to be carried by the women and the friend in their cat backpacks. Must be the freezing wet snow that was on the forest trails going up the mountain resort. But they’re Siberian Forest cats from frigid Siberia, aren’t they? Maybe they’re feeling lazy and opportunistic. Halfway up the trek, the backpack-carriers turned back after barely enduring the weights of the cats. Siberian Forest cats are one of the largest and heaviest of the world’s domesticated cats.

Paisley in her elements, very briefly, at the foothills of Cypress Mountain

The Siberian Forest cats allegedly make for one of the most pawsome companion animals. These felines originating from Russia are very sociable, affectionate, friendly, and highly intelligent and playful. My daughter Hayley’s Reinhardt and Perseus have been awesome pets, and Paisley is on her way to being perhaps better than the famous half-brothers. She’s got the personality and the looks.

Patches of light grey have developed to break the snow-whiteness of her furry coat, so Paisley as her name has become more appropriate now. Even in her breeder’s baby pictures, Paisley already showed unique brownish grey markings on her face and her long bushy tail was ash-greyish, so we know she’ll keep those markings to […]

Paisley’s first Christmas has been a season of learning about this Siberian Forest kitten

Patches of light grey have developed to break the snow-whiteness of her furry coat, so Paisley as her name has become more appropriate now. Even in her breeder’s baby pictures, Paisley already showed unique brownish grey markings on her face and her long bushy tail was ash-greyish, so we know she’ll keep those markings to adulthood. There’s a lot that we, or more accurately just me, are learning about this Siberian Forest kitten, and they have been pleasant surprises most of the time.

She has developed an interesting ritual. Promptly right after the alarm goes at 6:55 a.m. she jumps out from her cozy blanket at the foot of our bed as I wake up to get ready for work. She looks at me with her blue eyes from the bathroom doorway as I pace from the bathroom to my changeroom. She watches curiously as I brush my teeth and then comb my hair; she wants to be combed, too. As I mix my wake-up coffee and tea with a dose of ginger and lactose-free milk, she follows me to the kitchen. Her blue eyes beg for a taste of that milky goodness, so I give her a few drops of lactose-free milk (my wife’s kitten and I have developed lactose intolerance) on her saucer and that gets her preoccupied until she hears my footsteps down the stairs. She runs to the stairs in time to catch me step into the backroom, and with her little head between the metal balusters, she seems to smile at me as I wave good bye. I quickly close the door behind to prevent her from running past the door into our laundry room and then the back yard. She has always wanted to squeeze past that door to investigate what’s in the dark laundry room and basement bathroom and storage area. This back room has been off limits to her for now — it holds too many piled up junques, boxes of Christmas lights precariously piled on top of one another, and hiding crevices unsafe for a very curious, fragile kitten. According to my wife, right after the sounds of my car leave the garage, Paisley runs back to our bedroom and unceremoniously plunks herself onto my still-warm pillow, beside my wife. What a sneaky usurper of my space.

Paisley runs her own schedule. She sleeps long hours during the day as what kittens do, which is good for my wife Penny who works at home during this Covid pandemic’s work-at-home “new normal.” During her morning sleep, Paisley dozes off on a towel next to the keyboard, seemingly the click-clicking of the computer keys as her lullaby. When Penny holds Zoom meetings, Paisley transfers to the top of her cat tree, after a quick nail-sharpening against the roped trunk of the cat tree. I guess she does not like the staticky voices of people on Zoom.

Dreamily perched on that cat tree, Paisley watches the neighborhood cars drive by; or salivates at a bird or two pecking at the bird seed box that we hang next to her cat tree on the outside of the window. Over time all this no longer holds her focus, and she dozes off to another spell of slumber. She merely wakes up to eat the flesh and bones of carnivorous meal, grounded up by Penny’s special meat grinder. Whole morning that’s mostly what she does while Penny is busy working: Paisley eats, entertains herself with whatever views unfold outside the window, and sleeps — she follows a cyclical morning repertoire.

After a short game of fetch with Penny during her lunch break, Paisley seeks lala land again for the whole afternoon.

Paisley has created a cat-cave where she sleeps well through the afternoon, made of Penny’s knitwear in Penny’s closet. It’s dark, warm, and devoid of noises, and distractions.

She creeps out of her cave at about 6 p.m. as the kitchen comes alive with Penny’s cooking and baking and all that kerfuffle for our dinner. I do my marking, Facebooking, emails, writing or reading online on the dining table as Penny keeps herself busy in the adjacent kitchen. As if on cue, Paisley jumps onto my laptop’s keyboard, forcing me to lift her off and place her on a nearby toss cushion that I have placed for her beside my laptop. She hates that. She sprawls herself on my keyboard again. I lift her off again, and again. Each process brings her biting on my laptop’s corner or her cushion’s fluffy edges. She scratches my hand now and then. She’s sending me a message, and I pretend to ignore it: it’s play time, for her, not mine. Over time, I give in.

Siberian Forest cats are very attached to their owners, joining them in many household activities. Because Penny and I work much on our computers, Paisley has been interested with computers. She lies on our keyboards, she looks at videos that my wife watches, she listens to the sounds of the keys as we madly tap on our keyboards. She inquisitively looks at her photos that we enlarge on our computer screens, sometimes touching softly the photos as if to say “hello there, cutie pie.” She has seen enough of herself in our hallway and bathroom mirrors so I think she recognizes that’s her photo on the screen, and just walks away shortly. Understandably, she hates high-screeching sounds and sudden changes in volumes and light intensities and the barking of dogs on Netflix.

Play time is actually a much needed break from work, for me. Paisley enjoys playing fetch, learning quickly from Penny’s patient training. So I throw little furry balls or rubbery spheres for Paisley to fetch. I guess she thinks the balls are mice or rats as she paws them around, jumps on them, bites on them, nudges them down the stairs and pounces on them before they reach the stairs’ landing, then carries them in her mouth to be presented to me on the dining table where I’ve been typing or reading hastily in the little time that Paisley has been distracted. Over time, realizing my inattention and the repetition of the same distraction, she lazily sits on my keyboard again. Then we go through the cycle of moving her to that cushion, Paisley playfully biting my laptop corner or her cushion, and when I can no longer endure the scratches she makes on my arm and fingers, my hypertension revs up. Alarmingly, Paisley types dddddddddd33333wwwwaaaaaqqqqqq, and other nonsensical notes on my laptop. I actually have inadvertently sent emails with her nonsense included. Horribly embarrassing. Right now, she’s adding her nonsense to my write-up. Copy reading and editing become a protracted but necessary process. She is more persistent than me. I eventually give up. I just have to finish my writing and reading when she’s in bed at 9 p.m. We are back to kitten play.

This kitten play has produced a collection of toys for Paisley. The collection gets larger as Penny has repeatedly brought home from the dollar store or the more expensive pet store various cat toys during her grocery-shopping runs. There’s a circular merry-go-round toy; another circular plastic toy with a rolling ball with a bell inside that we push along the track on the perimeter; several sticks with a rubbery ball and a feather at each end; a Cat’s Meow toy (first seen on breeder Galina’s kitten videos) that mechanically spins a rubber tail of a mouse around and around a plastic disk; a mini parrot that glows as it’s hit, held around by a plastic handle; lots of bouncy rubbery balls covered with feathery bristles; silicone contraptions that mimic earthworms, mice, little birds, and rolling pins; a teepee with feathers tethered to one of the poles; a long rectangular toy with corrugated paper for her to scratch or push back and forth. But she hates toys that make sounds or light up. It’s amazing what contraptions toymakers have come up with for cats or pets in general. Many look like baby or toddler tactile toys, a few are useless crap, most are bells and whistles that do not amount to much, but others are worth the money.

The pet toy industry is a multi-million dollar industry just in this side of the world. It’s exploding as humans find comfort and company in animals in this Covid-induced seclusion, isolation, and depression.

Interestingly, Paisley’s favorite toys are my tape measure and Penny’s stringed ear plugs. I have now discovered new uses for these devices. I dangle the ends, she pounces on them. What great and cheap joy — for both of us!

Paisley thinks folding laundry is also a game. She snags the ends of the pieces that I am folding. She has managed to create holes on a few of my Nike and Golden Toes socks, my expensive Saxx, ends of the sleeves of my work clothes, Penny’s sweaters and exercise outfits. Yet, she knows better not to go after the Levi’s and Lee and other bulky denims — I suppose they still hurt when I gently swat her with them. My, this can sound like an unpaid ad for some clothing outfits. Paisley ought to get some unintended royalty. This “game” is proving to be the most costly.

Paisley might have a sense for timeliness. She learned not to bother — after some reinforced training — our Christmas tree when the kitten first came home from Galina, the breeder, in early December. Now, way past the Christmas season, our tree still stands sorrowfully at the corner of the living room complete with lights and decorations; even the cute now-unlit angel is trying to fly off from the top. Paisley finds the fake tree’s branches good somersault practice launches, and finds the dangling glittery apples and pomegranate as swatting toys. She’s smart not to be near the tree when we’re nearby. Yet when no human is in the living room, our attention gets caught by the rustling of the fake pine needles and the thud on the hardwood floor by the fallen fake fruits. She very well knows she’s been naughty since she hides behind the branches when we run to the living room. But we can still see her sad-looking, penitent blue eyes. Or she launches into a somersault and then scampers behind the bulky sofa.

Actually, maybe Paisley has a better sense than us that Christmas is over, way over.

Siberian Forest cats half-siblings Perseus, Reinhardt and Paisley sharing a cat tree for a snooze

Paisley, like her half-brothers Reinhardt and Perseus (my daughter’s pets, also from Galina) and most other Siberian Forest cats love looking at, maybe playing with water. Their majestic fur is waterproof. Paisley and Reinhardt (not so much Perseus) jump in to our bath tubs and stay for good length of time playing with the taps, and gazing at the rivulets of water dripping down from the faucets into the tub’s drain. I have seen Paisley and Reinhardt lick the water but they mostly paw at the rivulets and pooling liquid.

Paisley can be a diva. On my wife’s birthday in-between Christmas and New Year’s day, my wife and my daughter brought their three Siberian Forest cats to Cypress Mountain, hopefully for a little snowshoeing with a friend. No snowshoeing happened since the three felines, especially Paisley, simply wanted to be carried by the women and the friend in their cat backpacks. Must be the freezing wet snow that was on the forest trails going up the mountain resort. But they’re Siberian Forest cats from frigid Siberia, aren’t they? Maybe they’re feeling lazy and opportunistic. Halfway up the trek, the backpack-carriers turned back after barely enduring the weights of the cats. Siberian Forest cats are one of the largest and heaviest of the world’s domesticated cats.

Paisley in her elements, very briefly, at the foothills of Cypress Mountain

The Siberian Forest cats allegedly make for one of the most pawsome companion animals. These felines originating from Russia are very sociable, affectionate, friendly, and highly intelligent and playful. My daughter Hayley’s Reinhardt and Perseus have been awesome pets, and Paisley is on her way to being perhaps better than the famous half-brothers. She’s got the personality and the looks.

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