Monday, September 24, 2007

Beep. Beep. Beep.

This is a message from the emergency broad-cat-ing system. This is not a test.

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our video department.

Please stand by. . .

(Are you standing by? . . . Good)

Keep standing. . .

Yea!! Success!! The problem is resolved. The video is now functioning properly.

This was not a test. We repeat. This was not a test.

Beep. Beep. Beep. . .

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.


Alien Invasion - A Second Special Report

Riker Cat here, standing in for Socks, bringing you a LIVE Special Report. Socks didn't feel like reporting today because she is very upset about several incidents this weekend involving the kittens. The kittens were seen on multiple occasions climbing around on not only Mum Ashton, but on The Bearded One too! In my mother’s eyes this is profoundly unacceptable! We go now to Tashi who has obtained some photos of the situation.

Good morning Riker. Things escalated last night when Puddins climbed up to The Bearded One’s shoulder to take a quick sniff at Socks. Socks dealt with the situation quickly and efficiently by hissing and spitting at the youngster. Puddins understood that universal language very well and backed off. As we all know, Socks is very protective of the back of the gray chair, and Puddins probably had no clue as to the sacrilege she was committing by approaching that area. Of course, all of this comes on top of the kittens’ continued encampment in her Front Bathroom. We see here Socks’ delayed reaction.
I Can't Look

She was averting her eyes from scenes like this. You can see why she was so unsettled. It is hard to stay mad in the presence of such intense cuteness.
Annika and Puddins

Yes, it is Tashi. Thank you. We go now to Grace who has been working on a movie of the kittens for us. Grace how is it going?

Hello Riker. I am not only awake today, but I have completed the movie*! You can see it here. Be patient, it may take a few minutes to load. You could take a nap maybe. {Purrrrrr} {Yawn}

Thank you Grace, we'll try that. This is Riker Cat signing off.

* This home movie was set to the music of Gillbert and Sullivan's "With Cat Like Tread" from The Pirates of Penzance. Performed by The King's Singers.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Alien Invasion - Special Report

Socks Cat here bringing you a Special Report. The new Ashton Kittens visited the vet today and have just returned home. To get the story we join Tashi who is on location by the front bathroom.

Tashi: The kittens are back in the bathroom Socks. Apparently the vet visit went well. All tests for diseases and worms came back negative, however the doctor said that as they are probably only about five weeks old, and the tests are not really conclusive at this young an age. This is good news for the Ashton Cats because the kittens are to be quarantined for an additional two weeks at which point they will be tested again.

Socks: But Tashi, that means that the aliens will be remaining in MY front bathroom for two whole more long weeks!

Tashi: Yes Socks, but don't forget, that also means they will not be encroaching on other areas of prime real estate around the house such as the bedrooms or kitchen.

Freckles: ThemS tOok ttHe Ki10s 2 Da vEt In miNE bLuE bOx! ThEmS wiLL NeED 2 use MinE BOx aGin!

Socks: True on both counts. We go now to Riker who has some new information.

Riker: Yes mom. Grace and I have been keeping our ears open and it has come to our attention that the Ashtons have named the kittens! This is sure evidence that our days of being "the five" Ashton Cats, are soon to be over. We will soon be seven in number.

Socks: So Riker, what are the kitten's names?

Riker: Well mom, kitten #1, weighing in at 1.2 pounds (that's 0.544 kilograms for our friends overseas), has been named Puddins after Shtinky Puddin in the Mutts Comic Strip. She appears to be very adventureous and is a remarkable escape artist. Aside from being the slightly larger of the two she can also be distinguished by several pale orange calico markings.


Kitten #2, weighing in at 1 pound even (0.453 kilograms), has been named Annika. She gets her name from a Star Trek character who is more commonly known as Seven. The Ashtons figured it was appropriate since she was the seventh cat in the family. Annika is very playful, but is already showing a strong aptitude in the napping department. She seems to be rather proud of her purr-fect grey and white tabby markings.


Socks: Thank you Riker, that is most interesting. We go now to Grace who is working on a special project.

Grace: {Yawn} Morning Mum.

Socks: Grace, it's late afternoon. What do you have for us?

Grace: Right. Sorry. {Yawn} I have been compiling a video of the four kittens for our audience's viewing pleasure.

Socks: You do realize their are only two now don't you?

Grace: When did that happen?

Socks: Sunday.

Grace: Oh. Well, I'm doing the best I can. It's not my fault it has been perfect napping conditions the last few days. Hopefully I will be able to get the movie done by the end of next weekend. As you know this will have been my first attempt at such things so I'm not making any promises as to quality. After all naps are much more important.

Socks: Ok Grace, just do the best you can. Ok folks, join us next time when we explore the questions of the future assimilation of the kittens into the ranks of the Cats of Ashton Hall elite, specifically, how long will it be before they can type?! Until next time, I'm Socks Cat, signing off.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Alien Invasion - Weekend Report

Socks Cat here with your Weekend Report. Last night the living room was the scene of wild frivolity as the kittens were allowed to explore the sofa. We go now to Riker for a full report.

Riker: Thank you mom. Yes, last night the Ashton Living Room was transformed from a quiet, tranquil retreat into a furry blur of meowing, climbing, craziness. The four kittens were allowed to climb around on the sofa under heavy surveillance. Two of the Ashton peoples were required to keep the aliens under control. They scrambled around until they finally collapsed in an exhausted little pile.

Socks: Grace was also on scene. Grace, are you awake today?

Grace: {Yawn} Yes, I’m mostly awake today. {Yawn} The kittens certainly did show remarkable dexterity for being so very young, but I was most impressed by the rapidity with which they were able to achieve a napping state. One minute they would be careening around, and the next they were dropping off to sleep. Very impressive. All this talk of napping is making me very sleepy, back to you Mum.

Socks: Thank you Grace. For the big, shocking news of the weekend we now proceed to Freckles for our LIVE report.

Freckles: 4 ov tHems LEFt in a bOx. 2 uF thems coMeD back.

Socks: Freckles, are you saying that the Ashton’s took all four of the alien kittens somewhere, and came back with only two?

Freckles: tHemS diDunT taKe Mi bOx.

Socks: Yes, but Freckles, do you know where the other two alien kittens have gone?

Freckles: niCe lAdy gaVed tHem a HOme. ShE tOokeD 2 sO TheYd haVe aa fRiEnD.

Socks: This is incredible news. Apparently two of the kittens now have a good home with a very nice lady who will take care of both of them. This leaves us with the question of the two remaining alien felines. With more on this situation we go now to Tashi.

Tashi: Well Socks, I have been hiding in strategic locations around the house to get the real story. The situation is indeed grave. The Ashtons are apparently going to keep these two kittens and add them to our numbers. I repeat, The Cats of Ashton Hall are now seven in number!

Socks: Tashi, do you mean to tell me that we are going to have to accept these kittens as part of our number? This isn’t going to sit well with some of the cats. We all feel badly for the little, motherless, youngsters, but that doesn’t change the fact that our turf is being encroached upon!

Tashi: That’s true Socks. The battle lines will soon be drawn and only time will tell the outcome of this insurgence.

Socks: Well folks it appears that this is only the beginning. Knowing the extent of our personal jealousies towards outsiders interfering with the delicate equilibrium of human time-sharing we have developed, the naturalization of these alien kittens is sure to be, um, eventful. This is Socks Cat signing off.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Alien Invasion!!!

Socks Cat here with LIVE breaking news! Ashton Hall has been invaded by a currently unknown number of small furry balls which smell and sound remarkably like kittens. I have not been able to ascertain particulars due to the fact that the interlopers are presently under quarantine until a vet can check them out. The aliens have commandered the front bathroom, MY front bathroom! We took it in turns and stood guard outside the closed door all night and were successful in not allowing any of them to get out.

Where did these kittens come from and how long will they stay? For the answers we go to senior cat-correspondant Freckles.

Freckles: "tHems coMes in A box."

Socks: Um, yes, thank you Freckles. Prehaps Grace can help us.

Grace: {yawn} What?

Socks: Alright, let's see, Riker, do you have any further information on the kitten situation?

Riker: Yes mom, I do. I had a great vantage point from the front window. A call came in about 3:00 in the afternoon from a neighbor girl who claimed to be having some sort of feline emergency. Girlchild responded to the call and found four abandoned kittens in a neighbor's backyard. She in her turn put in a call to Ashton headquarters and requested backup. Mum Ashton arrived on the scene with a cat carrier. . .

Freckles: miNe BLue boX!

Riker: Yes, Freckles, with your box. Upon arriving at the scene Mum realized that there were actually 5 kittens, not four. A merry chase insued in which Mum banged her head several times, and everyone involved ended up sweaty and dusty. One kitten, a fiesty orange fellow, slipped past the rescue team and into another neighbor's yard. Twenty-four hours later, the orange one is still at large.

Socks: Thank you Riker, but I need to interupt you. We have some breaking news just in from our correspondant at the scene. Tashi, what do you have for us?

Tashi: Well Socks, I've been entrenched here outside the bathroom for the last hour and I managed to get our secret camera robot past the human blockade to snap this picture for us. As you can see there appear to be four gray tabby kittens sleeping peacefully in a cardboard box. Freckles, you will be glad to note that your carrier has been returned to you. Back to you Socks.

Socks: Thank you Tashi for your amazing bravery in the field. Well folks, that's what we know for now. Mum tells me the vet visit is scheduled for Tuesday. I wonder what lies ahead?! Stay tuned for the latest in breaking news. Socks out.