New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn. Plus, coming soon: e-books: Yvgenie, and books from Jane.



At Miscon 2013, around Memorial Day, Missoula MT, At SoonerCon, in OKC, around June 15, also Spokon in Spokane, in July/August, Beyond that, we aren't sure.
April 2014
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Fiendish Feline Intelligence…

Sei is not the brightest light in catdom…so he’d have you think. Shu is. And you should be afraid…be terribly afraid.

The morning and nightly routine involves the payoff: kitty treats. PM, I call Sei, who always ‘loses it’ [oh, look, a butterfly!] when trying to pass the hall door and Feliway dispenser, to get to my room. Shu will have had no trouble. Jane will have to call him, so I can get Sei to my room to shut the door and distribute dry food and kitty treats.

If I open the door during the night, Shu will hear it and come thumping down the hall at high speed trying to get in because he knows Sei will have saved some kibble for breakfast. He never makes it in, but he tries.

AM, Sei has his breakfast before I open the door. I open the door and Shu is lurking to run in and find any forgotten kibble. I get my coffee, and Shu and Sei OUGHT to show up for a measured 3 treats each. On many mornings, Sei has forgotten he is supposed to come back, so only Shu shows up. I do not exceed 3 treats. Jane gives him 3 treats out in the living room, where she has her work station. Give him credit: he will, at Jane’s call, return to the living room to have his treats, when in his kitty brain there IS a sure thing going on in the bedroom. In coming when called, Shu is our shining star. Sei just stands and looks at you as if to say, ‘Well? I’m here. I can see you. You can see me.’

If Sei comes in later looking for the 3 treats—if I so much as speak to him or (shudder) pop open the kibble can, as softly as a mouse in a pile of leaves—here comes Shu wanting another 3 treats. I will at most give him 1. But it’s the victory he’s after. Any day on which he ‘wins’ more treats is a good day, in his book.

Sei [oh, look, a butterfly!] is the one born with thumbs. I have not figured out whether they are doubleteaming us, or what. Possibly Sei is just easily confused and Shu runs things…but whatever it is, we definitely are being had.

19 comments to Fiendish Feline Intelligence…

  • paul

    You were obviously never properly introduced! :( They understood your first names were “Patsy”. ;)

  • tulrose

    On the weather front, we’ve got a layer of ice under snow with more of the same for the next 4-5 days. Yuck!

    Our felines don’t set paw outside. The best they manage is if someone leaves the garage door cracked and they make a run to investigate.

  • Hah, Sei likely has his ways of getting what he wants, and is more passive and subtle about it. (Aside from the…dare I call it the Butterfly Effect?)

    I’d suspect he lets Shu do the work and then he gets the benefits too. After all, as long as there’s food for him left, he’s getting treats plus regular food.

    Shu, on the other hand, er, paw, figures if he can work all the angles, he’ll get an extra treat or so from at least one of you, plus maybe nab some of Sei’s.

    In my house, Smokey, Shu’s virtual cousin, does likewise. Goober will ask, Smokey will ask, but Smokey will eat too much. He noses in on Goober’s food and Goober hardly ever fusses at him. (I wish Goober would swat him, but that’s beyond rare.)

    Goober got his name by being slightly klutzy but very lovable. — But Goober’s no fool. He learned how to open doors and cabinets by himself. Smokey learned it from him, but then Smokey discovered how to open *drawers*. I’ve had cats who could open doors or cabinets before, but drawers? That was a first. Fortunately, it was too much trouble and didn’t impress the human, and the stuff the human keeps in drawers is mostly very boring by feline standards, apparently.

    Cats are many things, but they are smarter than most people give them credit for.

    They’re smart enough to con the humans and work the system. Hah, that says something about them…and us….

    My two seem to have reached a better working relationship lately. Less jealousy and fussing. The human much appreciates this, as he loves both of them.

    • Sammy opened drawers. Her preference was the one with the kitchen towels: walk into the kitchen, discover dishtowels on the floor and the drawer open, look inside and see gold eyes in a mass of black. She also was capable of getting on top of the back door. (High places were her specialty: walking through the Russian olives, ten feet up, where the branches were about as wide as her paws. And I saw her trying to get on top of the cove lighting in the house.)

      • Raesean

        Funny, our Tango Foxtrot likes to open the kitchen dish towel drawer too, and strew them on the floor. So far, however, no glowing gold eyes from inside the drawer. He also likes to make his way up to the top of the bedroom door, where he wobbles precariously but successfully on it as we squawk from below. Generally the high door act is performed when we are still abed after Tango has determined it should be breakfast time for felines.

        Perhaps a reincarnation of Sammy?

  • Walt

    “So, how about that Amazon plan to include a cat toy with every delivery?” he droned.

    • But they already deliver — a box!

      Hah, still, a free cat toy with every delivery from Amazon (or Petco or Petsmart) that could work astonishingly well. Or a dog toy.

      Smokey is right beside me, trying to keep his head on my hand as I type. While cute as anything, it’s hard to type this way….

      Goober is curled up on my bed in the other room, where it’s cozy. They alternate between there and here.

      @ Chondrite: That children’s book you recommended, the Adventures of Dr. Katz, is due any day now. After reading tech manuals (SVG, etc.) and practicing same, a children’s book is about at my comprehension / brain activity level.

      (Currently, I’m trying to rotate a linear gradient in SVG. Why they aren’t declared with a radius and an angle to begin with, instead of a rectangle, I don’t understand.)

        • My cats already run to see what came in the mail slot. An “octocopter drone?” They’d either run the other way or… *pounce* *glomp* ! (“Hey, it’s like a big bird with a box we can play with!”) I can see a big Doberman or Great Dane doing that too. LOL.

          ….Say! They could have the drone cook the pizza in flight, and have a little cooler for the Cokes, and….

          I can see it now, a fleet of drones arrives, ready to serve you from the Chinese takeout menu!

          BCS, do you mean it’s a flying sushi bar?

          Hey, that just might work….

          Then there are the YouTube possibilities. Or not.

          Just imagine the cross-traffic as someone edits their cart, and the order gets jammed in flight!

          It all sounds very George Jetson, but it might work.

  • WOL

    Imaginary conversation:
    “What part of ‘out’ don’t you understand?” Said Thumbs irately. “Out!”
    “The part where it has anything to do with me,” Replied Splendid Whiskers, sitting calmly in the center of the closet Thumbs is trying to oust him out of, cooly licking his paw.

    Things that I’m embarassed to say that I say:
    “Like you’ve ever been hungry a day in your life!”

    Things that are life-threateningly important and require yowling, digging on things, and otherwise immediate attention: All the kibbles have been eaten from the center of the bowl, and only those around the sides remain. If the bowl isn’t shaken so the kibbles cover the bottom evenly again, the world will come to a disastrous end in fifteen seconds. Hurry! The clock is ticking!

    Things that totally bemuse Thumbs:
    Charging about the house, caroling away, with excessive striking of heroic poses and tail flourishing in riotous celebration of having pooped.

  • chondrite

    “I starve! O Hew-mon, give me noms immediately before I perish of the hungers! Not dry kibble, I want the wet smelly stuff! That’s better, hey where are you going? I ate, now it’s time to play, what do you mean you’re going into the little room with the many running waters? That is _not_ what you use a water dish for — oh. You two-leggers are so peculiar, but I like you anyhow. Hey, that flat fuzzy thing on the floor is back. It obviously doesn’t know its role in the scheme of things and must be taught a lesson. There, I have defeated it — treats now?”

  • weeble

    “OH! Closet! Must investigate, something interesting might be in there since this morning!”

    “Llaaap? lLLlllaaaap?? Lllallllalaaaaaaaaap? OH! nevermind, SPACEHEATER-IS-ON~!!”

    “goaway, SPACEHEATER_IS_On~!! wait, you’re actually going? Is there a spaceheater where you’re going? Must find out!”

    Can you tell its COLD here? The furrballs have been romancing the magic box with HEAT for days now.

  • Kreszentia

    My boy never knows when he’ll receive treats. He comes when called just in case. Usually he earns more playtime with his favorite feathery wand toy, which is great by him. Sometimes we’ll play tag, in which case he has playtime AND a treat at the end. Obviously, that’s his favorite. He still needs to drop a few. The fault is mine; we’re working on it.

  • NosenDove

    Your problem is that you think you have some cats living with you. Actually you are living with the cats. They are descended from the Egyptian Gods – you are merely authors.

  • tulrose

    Ours don’t receive treats on a regular basis. I’m talking cat treats here. However, 2 of the 4 show up for 1 tiny piece of whatever we’re eating. A bad habit, I know, but still …

  • mrgawe

    Kanji Shirohime, the White Princess: There is light leaking through the tiny holes in the blinds. I care not that you have only been asleep for four hours. Awaken, Human! and provide wet noms, then immediately sit down with the White Cover of Camoflage so I may resume my rest. The sun has set, O Human! I care not that at this latitude in winter it is merely 3:30. Provide wet noms, then throw a toy up and down the hall for my royal pleasure. No, not that toy. No, not that one either. I only have eleven currently scattered on the floor, why are you so dense as to always pick the wrong one? It is very dark, Useless Slave! Fetch the Kitty Treats you keep on that shelf I can’t reach and toss them up and down the hall for me to pounce upon and drive the dogs downstairs INSANE with the majestic thundering of my dainty white feet. Ah, I must rest! Remove that weird warm box with the moving teeny platforms from your lap FORTHWITH or I shall sit upon it, sending endless apostrophes through that ridiculous document you are constantly working on, and if chivvied off said warm box, you shall suffer the Song of Royal Peevishness at fortissimo!!

  • Treats in our house are just that – treats. Once in a while they get some, but it’s not a regular thing, because I’m concerned about the amount of sodium in those treats. Still, it’s always a fight when I put them out, because Sydney will try to bully the other two cats away from their treats, even when I put hers off to the side by several feet. Hers are gone with the speed of a vacuum cleaner, while Sophie is still “investigating” hers, and Maggie has probably only gotten one or two down. Each cat gets exactly 3 treats, unless one has been robbed by the aforementioned vacuum cat, er cleaner. Then I have to stand over the whole affair and not allow Sydney to steal again. I’m aware of the hierarchy in the house, of course, I’m at the bottom. Staff, you know. Still, I do try to inject some order and fairness into the affair.

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