The Adventures of Kate and Charlie

Part two: Attack of the halters, lots of work, and beautiful walks.

It feels like just last week that I wrote about these two little terrors – time is flying by in clumps of fur, tangles of halters, and mad dashes towards the door. But I see that almost one month has flown by since my first Cat Post. (These young cats eat up time like a spring hummingbird drinks up nectar.) So, here’s what’s happening in my house these days – halter/leash training, keeping cats off counters (please don’t laugh), late winter/early spring gardening, and prepping for travel later this year.

First up – halter/leash training. If ever there was an exercise in patience, diligence, and stifling a laugh (or dozens), it’s the first 3 – 10 times we’ve put halters on Kate and Charlie. The following pictures will give you an idea of their responses and our tenacity.

That’s Katie in purple and Charlie in red.

“I’ll bite my way out of this contraption!”

Short attention span.

Back to fighting the halter.

“Maybe if I hide they’ll go away.”

At this writing, we’ve succeeded in getting them haltered up and outside on leashes 4 times. Everyone is still in one piece, so we’re claiming success.

About kitchen counters – if anyone has successfully trained a cat to stay off a kitchen counter, I would love to hear your secret. We’ve tried foil, loud noises, distraction, diversion, and treats. So far, the foil became a toy, loud noises resulted in the feline equivalent of an eye-roll, distraction and diversion lasted 3 – 5 minutes tops, and treats brought the opposite response. (I did learn that Charlie loves butter. Katie, not so much.)

As for late winter clean-up, that happens as time allows. We have had 3 hard freezes this winter, resulting in the loss of a few prized succulents that were over-wintered in the shed – thoroughly wrapped and protected. This winter, also, brought the realization that our fish pond is on the way out. A raccoon punctured another hole in the thick, tough pond liner and caught at least 2 of the biggest and most colorful fish, leaving a mess in the process. As a result, Bill and I will give away the remaining fish and fill in the pond by summer. Sad, because we built this pond almost 30 years ago. But, I will be relieved to have one less big job to do during the spring/summer/autumn months (cleaning the pond gets harder each year). On a more positive note, we’ve started seeds, veggie starts, and planting some annuals for color this year. Winter has been cold, long, and dark and we’re looking forward to good gardening season.

Last, we are preparing for a late spring/early summer season filled with short hiking trips. You know, it will be nice to be away from our beautiful kittens for a while. But in the meantime, while the Katie and Charlie nap, I’ve been gardening and walking.

Iris reticulata – my rock garden.
I do love primroses – even those we can buy at a grocery store.
Crocus nestled among sedum – my garden.
Gaultheria in full berry – a bit winter-burned but no worse for the wear.
A beautiful Mahonia on one of my walking routes.
A secret neighborhood path that opens onto a beautiful view.
And the beautiful Olympic Mountains.

I hope winter is easing its way into a beautiful spring for you and all you love.

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