Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dimitri Stories

Story number one: This first story takes me back to falafel night. As I was getting all the food prepared in the kitchen, I had lit a couple candles in the bathrooms, ya know, to make sure the place smells good for guests. Candles are nothing new to Dimitri. We have them around and light them often. He already should know to keep his distance from them since he singed the tips of his long eyebrow hairs a few weeks ago because he was curious and got too close to one. He usually likes to “help out” in the kitchen when I’m there, so at one point I picked him up for a cuddle and maybe a treat when I noticed his fur along one side felt oddly textured. I looked and there was nothing there. It was then that I noticed his front left paw was covered in *already dried* red candle wax. Immediately, I searched his body searching for burns or signs of trauma. His side fur felt slightly singed, but nothing was visible. He seemed fine, but he kept trying to shake off the wax from his paw. It was dried into his fur down to his skin! And he has long fur, as you know. Since the kitty was fine, I decided to check out the damage in the bathroom. Sure enough, the flame was out and there was dried red wax everywhere. He had obviously put his paw into the candle, and when it was too hot, he had tried to shake it off as he initiated an explosion of candle wax all over the mirror, counter, toilet and floor – which was now dried, and might I add, NOT coming off. At this point, I realize that I have about two hours until our guests arrive and a lot more to do than time to do it. I text Bryan and tell him that we have to do some damage control when he gets home in an hour. I slowly and meticulously cleaned the bathroom thinking it will be easier to deal with Dimitri with two people. That candle wax was tricky to get off the mirror, but little by little it came off. Dimitri was up next. I started to Google different ways to get candle wax off of pet hair. It turns out, this is a common issue with pet owners. I should have known! First suggestion: peanut butter. I think, “That’s great! I remember needing to use that when I was little to get gum out of my hair! It is surely to work.” Sure, it works. If you have peanut butter in your cupboard. Who doesn’t have peanut butter? What was I thinking – I had just gone to the store that day! Okay, what’s next. Second suggestion: baby oil. Hmm. Sure, that would work great on skin where it can be easily wiped off, but it’s probably not best for an animal who is likely to clean itself with its tongue later. Third suggestion: Vegetable oil or olive oil. DONE. Got plenty of that! Dimitri was chilling out in the second bathroom sink. Perfect, I think, so he can’t get away while I’m trying to peel off wax from his paw hair. He didn’t mind too much after all. I guess he wanted the wax off too! After about 45 minutes of rubbing the oil in and picking it out bit by bit, I had gotten most of it out. Now his paw was an oily mess! When I lifted him out of the sink, I realized that his hair whole underside was pretty much an oily mess from catching the oil that didn’t make it to his paw as he was laying in the sink – not good for traipsing around the house and jumping/lying on our bed and furniture. Bryan came home at this point, and laughed of course. I needed to get back in the kitchen, but it was clear that Dimitri needed a bath. Bryan was on it. Dimitri had one bath prior to this. He didn’t mind it too much, until he was cold and wet after the bath. He was a little more apprehensive this time. Bryan was quick and pretty soon, we had a clean wet kitty running around again. No more wax on him! He gets pretty exhausted after cleaning/drying himself, so he was a sleepy kitty in just a couple of hours. If you ever need to get candle wax off of a pet, and you DON’T have peanut butter, the oil works. Then give a bath. A tip on giving the bath – put the towel you’re going to use on your pet in the dryer while you’re giving the bath. Dimitri loved sitting all bundled up in the warm towel after being taken out of the tub!

Story number two: I remember being appalled the day when little tiny Dimitri, for the first time, jumped up onto the counter top. I knew he’d eventually be able to do this, and we were going to try to preemptively train him not to do this, but I so caught off guard when his little six inch tall body gained the UPS to jump that high! He had just gained the muscle strength to jump onto our bed not long before! I guess Siberians really are an athletic breed! Well, the other day, I was astonished again. Let me start this story by saying that Dimitri really likes to play with ice cubes. Whenever we are getting ice for a glass of water or even opening the freezer, he thinks we are getting him an ice cube to play with. And we generally give him one. It’s so cute. I digress. I went to the freezer to get an ice cube a couple of days ago, and there he was, right at my feet hoping I’d toss him an ice cube. Or so I thought. I looked down at him, and he leapt up ALL the way into the freezer. Mind you, it’s as tall as my chest on top of our refrigerator! I was astonished, and had him do it again so that Bryan could see that it was not a fluke! Wow buddy, you’ve got some UPS! At least we know that he can’t do that while we are gone.

Story number three: I remember researching the Siberian cat breed before we bought one and a lot of websites boasted that Siberians are the cats that are most like dogs for all sorts of reasons like being social, loyal, playful, cuddly, great with kids and other pets, and you can teach them things like games and fetch. I thought all these things were great, but was really thinking, okay, it’ll just be a pretty well rounded cat who is fun and cuddly. I have to admit, Dimitri is the most social, loving, playful, cuddly and fun cat that I’ve ever had and he certainly lives up to, and maybe even surpasses, all of the boasting I read on multiple websites. Yes, I said ALL of the characteristics. I realized yesterday morning, at about 6am, that Dimitri can play fetch. We didn’t even intentionally teach him! Bryan left early to vote at 6am before catching the 6:30am train, and I was going to get up around 6:30am. Usually when one of us gets up, Dimitri is up for good, so I am used to him jumping up and wanting to play or cuddle, but I’m usually able to fall back asleep. Not this time. He was playing with his little mousey toy on our bed, right by my face. Groggily, I threw it off the bed into the hallway so that he’d go play out there. It usually works. But, before I could even roll over, he was up at my head again, with his little mousey in his mouth and he dropped it on the bed and looked at me. I threw it into the hallway again. He brought it right up to my face again. This time, I got out of bed, walked into the hallway, and threw it down the hallway all the way under the kitchen table. There, that’ll keep him occupied, I thought. Before I could climb back into bed and lay down, guess who was right there, with his little mousey. That’s right, my fetch playing little Dimitri. What a funny little stinker! He sure does keep the surprises coming!

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