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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 01:56 pm:   

I picked out a sweet, feisty little three month old silver gray tabby from KittyKind today. Not sure I'll keep the name she was given (Belle)--I'll have to see what she develops into. So far, she explored a little, had a spitting fight with Dinah, and is snoozing, almost hidden in a corner in the bedroom.

I hope she'll come out again to explore (she checked out the "library" --that's where she and Dinah had their interaction. Photos when she comes out of hiding. Maybe tomorrow.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 04:07 pm:   

:-)

Lookin' forward to the pictures.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 04:16 pm:   

Me too!
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Lois Tilton
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 06:41 pm:   

Kitten!!!
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 09:37 pm:   

She's really cute. She's become enamored of the catnip carrot--usually I've found that kittens don't take to catnip right away so it might just be joy at attcking a toy.
She unfortunately changed my dvd to the tv by walking on the remote and it took me a hell of a time to change it back. She's now laying on my bed between the two pillows and seems to be snoozing again.

I don't want to scare her with the flash so will try to take photos of her tomorrow in the daytime.

I'm thinking of "Bella" rather than "Belle." Still not sure but there's no rush.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 07:31 am:   

She sounds adorable!
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 08:01 am:   

Ellen,

Two words: cardboard box. Cats *loooooove* cardboard boxes. :-)

Jason
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 08:34 am:   

Morning and I brought her out of her hidey hole to show her the food dishes and litter box. She ate and did finally use the litter box. She's currently playing with a little stuffed white mouse I've had forever that Lily and Dinah totally ignored. She keeps losing it (in the little box, under the cabinet) and alerts me so that I'll get it out for her. I haven't been able to get a good photo of her yet.

Dinah puked this morning--probably nerves at having to share the apt with another cat. Although she seems to have decided to ignore the little beast most of the time rather than attack her.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 09:37 am:   

I like "Bella." Nice ring to it. We need pictures! ;-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 09:59 am:   

And here are the first photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/35025258@N00/sets/843907/
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 10:22 am:   

Awww. I have a particular soft spot for gray stripey kittens. She's adorable! And lucky to have a home.
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MaryRobinette
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 11:54 am:   

What a cutie!
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ABV
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   

Oh, Ellen. She is such a sweetie. She looks a lot like my Shoshana. Congratulations and enjoy your wonderful new edition to the family.

Ann V.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 02:12 pm:   

She's adorable!
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 02:53 pm:   

Aww! What a cute little furball!
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Sheila Williams
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 05:22 pm:   

Ellen, she's adorable. She reminds me of Jimmie.
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Lois Tilton
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 06:50 pm:   

awww - a tabby!
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 08:25 pm:   

Bella appreciates your praise (I'm certain of it)!

I spent an hour coaxing her out from under the kitchen cabinet--she had been there since I'd gone out early afternoon and I was worried that she'd not eaten anything all day. Lucius suggested spraying her with water but that didn't seem the way to encourage her to trust me :-). Finally, after enticing her with stuffed mice and food she poked her head out and eventually came out totally. (Dinah was in the library so I guess Bella finally felt safe) And she ate and ate and ate.

The she started playing with her mice in the foyer. The big monster (Dinah) came to the kitchen doorway--now anyone who's every seen Dinah knows she's a very small cat but compared to Bella she's huge. I talked to Dinah and told her she'd better not attack or else. Usually when Dinah's pissed off she'll hiss and claw at me but she let me pet her while I talked to her. I went back and forth between the two to make sure nothing bad happened. Dinah got to about two feet away from Bella and stared ...and stared....and then left the room. So MAYBE this is progress.

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Anne S
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 09:10 pm:   

Ellen,

I have a middle-aged female cat who terrorises all the young cats in the street and beats up a young female cat called Pickle who is a friend of our young male cat Willy. Lizzie (the middle-aged cat) never used to be like this when our old male cat was alive. They loved each other and she appears to be loyal to his memory. Willy is respectful of Lizzie and she hisses if he takes liberties, but in general they tolerate each other and have never come to serious blows. When he was a tiny kitten she used to bring him baby live mice to play with despite being outraged by his existence in our house. Cat politics is fascinating to watch.

Good luck with integrating Bella and Dinah.
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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 03:44 am:   

I see that Lucius and I share an approach to cat care!

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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 07:18 am:   

I generally agree that squirt guns are useful, but I think Bella might be too new to the apt to scare her that way :-) She already has enough scary things going on. Although she and Dinah are currently lying less than five feet apart and ignoring each other.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 05:58 pm:   

I've always liked grey tabbies.

The first cat that I really loved and grew up with -- already pretty old, when I came around --was an orange tabby.

Tabbies overall, seem like friendly cats.
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2005 - 12:09 am:   

Glad to hear about the kitty!

l.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2005 - 07:06 am:   

Leslie,
She's very feisty! Just what's needed to take in Dinah.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, September 02, 2005 - 01:20 pm:   

More photos of Bella and some new ones of Dinah.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35025258@N00/
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Friday, September 02, 2005 - 10:39 pm:   

Dinah looks very classy in black and white.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 - 07:14 am:   

Pat Cadigan calls her the super model, although she's put on a little weight in the past year (which is good; she was way too thin).
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Liz W
Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 - 01:28 pm:   

Awww! :-)
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   

I love the pic where Bella is hissing. She looks like a little vampire, lol.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 - 03:26 pm:   

Well, if you go over to Lucius's topic --the thread about Lucius being away for awhile, you'll see that photo enlarged (accidentally) so you have THE KITTEN THAT ATE MANHATTAN!
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 - 07:38 pm:   

Ellen, thanks for sharing the photos. I love the black and white one of Bella hissing. We have two tabbies, a grey and an orange one.
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 04:01 am:   

Thanks for sharing the photos. Belle is adorable.

How're things going with the integration with Dinah? Any more interaction? Our new Sydney (now in the household for about 2 months) started playing with 9-year old Tigger fairly early on and now chases, wrestles with, and even grooms Toby (our fluffy medium-haired 10 year old).

Do you have separate rooms that you can lock them into overnight to make them feel more secure? We made a little kitty-apartment in our guest bedroom with some toys, water, and an extra food bowl. We'd try to switch stuff or cats from location to location to get them more used to eachothers smells without having to interact. Now everyone gets along unless Tigger is feeling sick in which case he hisses at the little twerp, who seems to just want to play.

Good luck getting your two together, and thanks for sharing.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 09:36 am:   

It's been a relief to think about something other than the disaster down south.

The two are not on good terms. Dinah is still attacking Bella when she can find her and I'm not visible. Bella has a lot of hiding places from the monster. It's only been 8 days so I have hopes they'll come to like each other. Bella feels safe at night, I think (I hope). Dinah's been sleeping with me part of the night so I think SHE feels a bit more secure that Bella isn't supplanting her.

Occasionally the two are less than a foot apart and Dinah ignores the little one...so I'm not sure what's going on there...
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 11:47 am:   

I'm no cat psychologist, but it sounds like Dinah really wants to be the dominant cat and Bella isn't having it.

I had a friend with the same trouble--two opiniated cats who both wanted to be dominant. They fought for a long time when the new cat was introduced, but eventually they worked it out. The new cat "owns" the bedroom, and the older cat has the rest of the apartment. The two cats don't interact at all except to stare at each other.

She told me the only way she could stop the fighting was to ignore the kitten when the two cats were in the same room, and pay lots of attention to the older cat. Eventually the older cat stopped picking on the kitten. Of course the kitten got lots of attention in private.

I have no idea if that's helpful at all.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 01:13 pm:   

I've been trying to give them both attention and keep a watch when Dinah heads for the kitchen when the little one is there.
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 03:05 pm:   

When I introduced a new kitten to my household, my grand old dame of a cat, Maggie, hated Marlowe so much that she would hiss at me if I touched him and then tried to pet her without washing my hands first. It took her about two weeks to stop hissing at me.

They get along fine now. They aren't best friends but they cohabit nicely.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 03:33 pm:   

Dinah is allowing me to pet her directly after petting Bella. A good thing, as when Dinah gets mad she can go psycho and really attack.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 04:58 pm:   

Maybe it's just a matter of time before they realize that both will be around and adapt...
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Monday, September 05, 2005 - 04:46 am:   

It probably took me over a year to get my wife's cat to accept ME, so I'm no expert either. It might help to give them treats while they're together or as rewards for positive interactions (if they ever have any).

I hope that you're having lots of fun with the new kitten in between bouts with the "monster". Our little Sydney has been a blast to have around. His latest favorite toy seems to be my socks. He'll carry them around, toss them into the air, etc. I suppose he'll eventually train me to start using the hamper.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, September 05, 2005 - 08:20 am:   

Leonard,
I speak very nicely to each of them when they do something good--and cuddle Dinah when she doesn't attack and they're in the same room :-)

Bella has stopped biting me and I think she's beginning to know her name.
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 02:47 am:   

Ellen,

In a quasi-related question, what do you do with the little fuzzballs when you're away? We've had great luck finding people to feed and even interact with them, but Tigger needs daily medication and NOBODY has been able to handle that, not even the tech from the vetrinary hostpital out in Westbury. The poor little thing either gets mad and bites or runs and hides. The last friend to try even re-arranged the furntiture to elimiate hiding spaces, but no luck. Have you had any? (I hope you've never needed to deal with this, but it doesn't hurt to ask)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 07:28 am:   

Leonard,
I live in a very desirable part of town (the west village) so usually don't have trouble finding someone to stay over to house and cat sit. When Lily was sick I had to hydrate her twice a day but luckily when I was at Readercon my house/cat sitter was able to do it for me. But Lily was always a sweet, placid girl and therefore easy to control. If Dinah gets sick I don't know what I'd do. Although I do have a friend who might be willing to help out.

Dinah gets a dropper of tincture every day but it's not crucial and after my house sitter tried once he gave up.

What kind of meds are they? the easiest to administer to a cat are those that just squirt into the mouth. Dinah will not take pills. No way no how. But the squirt dropper works just fine.
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 02:44 am:   

Ellen,

It's unfortunately a couple of pills that the poor little fuzzball needs a couple times a day for the rest of his life. We try to reward him when he takes them without fuss, but he's actually gotten quite good at cheeking them. I've actually had worse luck with squirt droppers, probably because the only thing we've had to give to him that way lately was an antibiotic with a nasty artificial cherry flavor. I'm not sure if I'd even be able to get my wife to swallow it, much less the cat.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 07:40 am:   

I tried to pill Dinah but it was a miserable failure. The first time I was able to trick her by sticking it inside a snack. That was the only time. And she's too raucous to do it manually. Lucky it was for a temporarly condition that eventually went away on its own.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 02:35 pm:   

Ellen, have you seen this site? I thought you might like it.

http://catsinsinks.com/

Indeed, the Internet has everything...
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 09:06 pm:   

I hadn't. That's great. I may try to get Bella to pose for me.

In the meantime, Dinah isn't well. She caught a cold from Bella, lost her voice, and isn't her normal self. I'm making a vet appt for Friday. I hope it's not the same think Lily died of. I'm trying not to worry too much.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 09:52 pm:   

Poor Dinah.

It's extremely unlikely that it's the same thing Lily had. I hope she feels better soon.
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 03:27 am:   

Ellen:

Good luck with Dinah. Tigger caught a cold from Sydney shortly after we got him from the shelter. It seems to be a very common thing. It broke my heart because poor little Tigger was already sick and we really didn't want to further torment him. Thankfully he's back to himself after a course of antibiotics (in liquid form). Then Toby caught the same thing and also lost his voice. It was so sad to hear him trying to meow with a sore throat.

Vylar:

Thanks for the link. That's very cute. One of ours (Toby) sometimes likes to curl up in the bathroom sink. Maybe I ought to upload a picture.
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Anne S
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 05:16 am:   

Cats when they are stressed, especially if they already carry a herpes virus (cat flu), are prone to come down with the sniffles. Our Lizzie is such a case. It passes (though if is severe may require antibiotics) and the cat is just as healthy as before. It does not appear to be contagious.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 08:28 am:   

Thanks for the positive thoughts. I'm hoping liquid antibiotics will be prescribed and cure her--it that's what it is. The vet did say that when a kitten has sniffles and gives them to an older cat, they can have worse symptoms. So I'm hoping that's what it is.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 10:58 am:   

Ack, sorry to hear that, Ellen. I hope she feels better soon.

Vylar, that's a great site.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 04:05 pm:   

The kitten just erased my post, so I'll start again...

I took Dinah to the vet today and she was put through a battery of blood tests and was given an Xray. Blood test results tomorrow. Now, she's alway had "elevated liver enzymes" which was a mystery to me and the vet I used to take her to. She was totally asymptomatic and in good health over the years, although slinky (aka thin). My vet now says her liver is very small, which might be a result of the chronic condition of those enzymes. He's put her on amoxacillin (liquid) and I'm to give her more of the tincture I've been giveng her for the past year. And I've got to hydrate her twice a day. We're hoping this will all perk her up. It's obviously a chronic condition that will eventually will go downhill. I just can hope what we're doing will get her back to normal for as long as possible. She's lost a little weight from the last time I brought her in (she had gained a bunch from the initial time I took her to this holistic vet).

So it's wait and see.
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 08:08 pm:   

Ah, Bella's a good little editor's cat. You must have misprelled something.

Years ago my vet recommended chicken broth for my cat. She was ancient at that point, but she responded really well to it. It got protein and liquid into her at a time when she had stopped being interested in food.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 09:29 pm:   

Well, Dinah is happy enough to eat baby food for now. Maybe chicken broth is the next step ;-)
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2005 - 07:59 am:   

Poor Dinah. Liver disease is no fun. Do cats get the same liver conditions as humans? I've got a similar problem from an autoimmune condition, and they treated it with Prednisone. Maybe that would help?

If it's specifically the alk-phos. that's elevated, my doctor told me that having had a broken bone at some point can cause that too.

Hope she feels better soon.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2005 - 08:53 am:   

The blood tests didn't come back today so I have to wait till Monday. I tried hydrating her this morning but she jumped out of my hands and was really pissed at me for a few hours, so I guess that won't work. She did wake up early and walk on the bed so maybe she's feeling better. I think I need to get her to eat more by gently offering her baby food and other goodies periodicaly during the day.

Her liver "enzymes" have always been elevated. I once tried looking up on the web what that meant but I couldn't find anything out.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2005 - 09:23 am:   

In people it can mean a lot of things, from hepatitis or cirrhosis to a random fluctuation. Some people get LFTs (liver function tests) for something else and find they're elevated and after a few weeks they go back to normal.

The small liver sounds like at one point she had inflammation and it turned to scarring. (at least that's what mine did.) The good news is it can still function that way.

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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2005 - 07:08 pm:   

Melissa,
Thanks for the encouragement.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Sunday, September 18, 2005 - 06:10 am:   

You're welcome. They might even be off because she has some kind of bug, and straighten out when she gets over it. That's happened to some people in my family.

I hope she's feeling better.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 - 08:06 pm:   

I called the vet today from the courthouse (I'm on jury duty and on a case)a few times and finally got the message indirectly that the blood tests came back and there's nothing too serious wrong with Dinah. She does seem depressed. I told her that if she didn't stop beating up on Bella she'd be sorry when Bella grew up. Well, perhaps because Dinah's not feeling very well, Bella has gotten bolder. Dinah still doesn't have her voice back. I was told to give her the amoxacillin till it's gone and her tincture 3-4 times a time.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 05:47 pm:   

Glad to hear it's not too serious, and hope she gets her voice back soon!
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 05:59 am:   

She's getting back to normal, I think. A little more active and eating. Still no voice. And mixed news: she attacked Bella when Bella started bothering her :-)
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

Good luck, Ellen. Our Tigger is less tolerant of the new little munchkin now that he's feeling better. I think it's finally gotten to the point that they'll play a little bit before hissing at eachother though. I think that part of the attacking might just be the difference in energy and activity levels between brand new kittens and fully grown cats. I find that they all do a little better if each one gets a little time to himself. In any event, best wishes.

--LSid
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Lou Antonelli
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 09:39 am:   

Speaking of felines...

Thought you might find this story interesting. I live on the same street as our animal shelter, and while this little guy was in stir my wife went over and rubbed his belly.

I did a story about him for my paper - but we don't have a web site.

http://www.texarkanagazette.com/articles/2005/09/16/local_news/news/news02.txt
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 09:03 pm:   

Lou,
What a cute baby :-) I have enough trouble with Bella's biting and scratching. Don't think I'd want to deal with a tiger cub...
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Lou Antonelli
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 10:04 am:   

My wife would love to have a cat - she thinks they're so pretty - but she's violently allergic to them and has never been able to keep one.

When I owned my own newspaper I had a cat at the office, and just the cat fur on my shirt would make her sick when I came home.

She wanted to pet the cat so bad she'd use a ruler - but she could never touch it.

Re: The Tiger Cub - Glad the little booger found his way home. Can you imagine, leaping out the back of a truck on the interstate halfway between Dallas and Little Rock!

Talk about landing on your feet!!!
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 11:50 am:   

Glad to hear Dinah is feeling better.

Lou, that's a crazy story. Who expects to see a tiger on the interstate?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 07:42 pm:   

New photos of Bella
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35025258@N00/sets/1031162/
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 01:09 pm:   

The fang pictures are great. I think you should call her Bella Lugosi.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 06:22 pm:   

Well, that IS her nickname :-) I'm sorry she didn't sit still for the photo. It's a bit blurred.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 06:28 pm:   

Still cute.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 07:14 pm:   

Pictures to brighten the day. Thanks as always for sharing.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 09:27 pm:   

You're very welcome.

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Michael Kelly
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 08:14 am:   

Ha! Bella waving. That's too cute. Almost looks like she is waving you away, hiding from the Paparazzi. ;-)
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Lou Antonelli
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 03:42 pm:   

In that one photo she looks like a sabre tooth tiger on the attack!

Pretty kitty, really.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 07:29 pm:   

As some of you might remember, I was worried about Dinah almost a month ago, after she caught a bad cold from kitten Bella, lost her voice, became listless, and not her usual active self. Well, she's finally back to normal --except no voice. She's been eating (although she'd prefer me to feed her by hand--the spoiled brat), marking my perimeter every night in bed --walking around me a few times before settling down; tapping me in the morning to wake me up, kneading my hair, and finally today--played--she was enjoying the laser light I got for Bella as much as Bella does.

I'm very relieved. She put back on a few need ounces too, according to the vet at her follow-up visit a couple of days ago.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 10:20 pm:   

Glad to hear Dinah is feeling better.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 08:54 am:   

Good news, Ellen! That's wonderful.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 10:43 am:   

Glad to know she's okay, Ellen! Hope her voice comes back soon, too.

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Nelissa Mead
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 02:26 pm:   

Hooray! Glad to know she's feeling better.
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Todd
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 01:05 pm:   

Hi Ellen and others. :-D I enjoyed reading your posts.

I have a new kitten, too. His name is morphing, so I'll just call him Monkey for now. I introduced him about a month ago to my senior citizen cat, Skeezer. I'm trying everything I can to get this to work, but I'm feeling like it may not. Monkey is about six months old, so he's not totally crazy, but he does go on "psycho patrol" a couple times/hour. Skeezer is very much a dominant cat, but has had successive buddies, the most recent of whom passed away in February. I got Monkey as a companion for Skeezer, though I was told specifically not to get a kitten, but it just worked out that way.

They have separate eating/sleeping areas; I've switched sleeping materials to share smells, I've put them in eachother's spaces for the same reason; I separate them when Monkey is being too pesky, or Skeezer is being to hostile. All Skeezer seems to do is hiss and occasionally throw a few upper cuts and left hooks. Most blogs I've read say don't allow any aggession, so I squirt Skeezer when he does that, or hisses just to be hissy. It seems to have calmed Skeezer somewhat to know there are limits, but he still hisses whenever the kitten is within five feet. I also separate them at different times during the day, and play/give affection to them separately.

I squirt the kitten when he eats out of Skeezer's food, or attacks Skeezer when Skeezer is doing his litter box business.

However, neither seem to be getting the point after a month and a half, which is the longest introduction period I've needed to have for Skeezer to adapt to a new cat. BTW, Monkey and Skeezer were totally separate for the first three weeks, because Monkey came with an upper respiratory tract infection from the shelter.

Skeezer is very smart, and very stubborn, so my thinking is he is just showing me how much he dislikes the shared attention/space and peskiness of the kitten to get me to ditch the the kitten. I'm not inclined to do that, but I don't want to have to be referee indefinitely, and I wouldn't be able to leave the house for more than a day at this point.

How do I convince Skeezer to be nice and accept the new kitten, and how do I convince the kitten that play-jumping on Skeezer is bad, but being social is fine?

Todd
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 05:51 pm:   

Todd, if it's just a bit of fighting without anyone getting hurt, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Mine are doing that too. I suspect once the kittens (yours and mine) grow up a bit, they won't go after the older cats and just hang around us (their humans). Unless there's real damage being done to Monkey or Skeezer, just let them duke it out. (anyway, that's what I'm doing). I also make sure they each get a lot of attention separately.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:54 pm:   

Yay! Glad to hear that Dinah is better.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:48 pm:   

I got salve for Dinah's ear. And today I caught the two of them laying next to each other on my bed, inches apart in the same exact position. Lily and Dinah used to always lay in the same positions, parallel to each other. Is this the standard for cats? It's so weird....
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 02:54 pm:   

Finder and Alias do that often.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 01:22 pm:   

Maggie and Marlowe do that too, but Maggie will act all huffy if Marlowe gets too close.
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Todd
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 08:59 pm:   

Thanks, Ellen..that's what I'm doing, except when Monkey starts to raise his haunches like he's really in for a fight...then I put him in time out. I am going to make sure that Monkey gets real roughhouse time with his toys each day, too. I don't remember Skeezer going through this stage at all when he was a kitten, but I know it is typical kitten behavior. On the other hand, Skeezer had no one to play fight with then, except me. My only concern, really, is that as Monkey gets bigger and Skeezer gets more feeble, Monkey will be able to kick Skeezer around, and if that happens, Monkey's gotta go. I'm still hoping to keep him.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 08:27 am:   

I may be generalizing but I don't believe a kitten or even young cat will kick around an older cat that doesn't react.

When Lily became sick, Dinah left her alone, even though they'd fight/play all the time when Lily was well.
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Lou Antonelli
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 02:54 pm:   

Help, cat-type people!

I've been adopted by a cat!

A little striped tabby stray was hanging out in the bushes in front of my house. When I came home, she mewled so pitifully that I went and got her a can of tuna fish.

Well, that's it. She's come to stay.

Problem is, I can't let her in the house. My wife is allergic to cats.

But she's set up housekeeping in the backyard and is snoozing in the patio set. She's even made pals with my big dog.

She's been here three days now.

Uhh, what do I do? I've never had a house cat. I've had cats at my office, but never at home.

Was I stupid to befriend the kitty? She is really sweet (and now my dog has a little buddy).

Any advice?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 05:17 pm:   

Lou,
Is she safe outside? If so, then keep taking care of her out there. If not, then perhaps you can find someone who can taker her.... good luck. She sounds adorable.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   

Got home late last night from WFC and Dinah greeted me at the door. I think my housesitter fed them most of the food that was in my cabinet because only two cans were left (they were the small cans but I was only gone four days!). I thought I left almost a case.

Dinah found her meow. Not all the time, but for the most part. I'm very happy for her. However, she beat up Bella last night a LOT and I had to yell at her and pick up Bella to let her know I'd protect her from the big bad monster.

Bella seemed happy to see me. Let me hold her, looked at me then lunged and bit my cheek! Jeez. She didn't break the skin or leave teeth marks but I was not happy about it.
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Lou Antonelli
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 07:02 pm:   

Goodness, we have a completely fenced back yard, and now she's chums with an 85-pound dog who's part Rottweiler. I'd say she's safe.

I guess when there's bad weather, we can let her in the storage shed out back. Actually, our patio is large and covered enough that she probably won't even get wet out there.

She certainly seems at home. I'm glad SOMEBODY is getting to use the patio furniture.

I named her Dreamer, BTW. When she started scooching up to me, I said "If you think I'm taking you in, little pussycat, you're dreaming."

Thankfully, when my dog was a little puppy he lived in a newspaper office with some cats, so he likes them. I think he actually enjoys the company now.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 08:06 pm:   

Lou,
So what kind of advice were you looking for? I had no idea where you lived and most people in big cities don't have fenced in yards. Glad to hear that you do, plus that you have a shed so she can get in out of bad weather should she want to.
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Lou Antonelli
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   

I didn't know whether a cat would mind living outside, but apparently she doesn't.

Our town is only 2,800 people, so it's pretty small.

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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 08:47 pm:   

Alice Turner has a male feral cat who lives on her outside patio. He's been roaming for several years now and she made him a warm place in the shed for when it gets very cold in NYC. He seems perfectly healthy and happy so yeah, it can happen.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 09:30 pm:   

Here's an odd-looking cat:

http://ifun.ru/content/a/AsCqjzVa0e.jpg
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Carole C
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 12:21 am:   

That's what happens when the male feral cat gets in with the pedigree Persian.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 06:56 am:   

Wow! That's really scary ;-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 05:57 am:   

Bella gets "edited, content deleted" (aka spayed) today. She doesn't seem to mind that she hasn't eaten since last night and has no water (not allowed this morning) as she plays with a giant rubber band. I figure, as long as she doesn't eat the rubber bands, there's no harm in her playing with them.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 12:07 pm:   

She's home and alert, if not active. She's got pink glop in her ears (for the ear mites that have been persistent)but seems ok. She's snoozing under the rocking chair.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 03:07 pm:   

Let's just hope she doesn't do what Finder did the last time he was sedated, and stagger about yowling. Maybe that's a tomcat thng.
(Not in pain yowling, just offering running commentary on everything,)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 04:50 pm:   

Nope. She's just lying around. She has a kind of meep-not a real meow.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 06:27 pm:   

Hope she perks up all right.
My sister had a cat who meeped. We have Alias, who trills and rings. When she was smaller, she sounded like a telephone.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 08:44 pm:   

She lay on my lap for a while and let me clean off some of the disgusting pink gook in her ears (medication against ear mites). She should be fine tomorror.
I'd LOVE to hear a cat that sounds like a telephone!
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 09:48 pm:   

And so, the SciFi channel notwithstanding, life goes on...

I, myself, am not greatly enamored of cats, though they do seem to like me, and many will even allow, on the briefest acquaintance, my stroking them under their chins.

Best of luck, Ellen. And the same to Bella.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 03:46 am:   

I wish I'd made a recording. As she's grown up it's become more of a trill. I don't know if it's a Maine Coon thing, or if she just has a cute voice.

Hope she's all back to normal today!
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:19 am:   

Matt,
I understand, and I will excuse you from this topic :-)

However, for those interested, Bella is being a little more needy today and won't get off my lap--making it difficult to do things other than work at my computer-preparing my breakfast was a problem. Getting up to prepare to go out is going to be a problem.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 11:47 am:   

I'd be needy too, if I were Bella. Poor little girl--not that content deleting isn't the right thing to do, but it's just got to be bewildering for them.

Melissa, my boy cat did the staggering around yowling thing too when he became a catstrato. Boys. They just can't take pain.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 02:33 pm:   

The funniest thing I saw was when my mom's cat got fixed. She wasn't in pain, but she was self-conscious about the bald spot and kept trying to hide it. If anyone tried to pet her and tell her she was a beautiful kitty, she'd give them a glare that clearly said "Yeah, right!"
(Ever see a cat trying to walk so that no one can see her stomach?)
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 05:42 pm:   

My cat also doesn't necessarily 'meow,' just sort of makes a 'rehr' sound, heh. Ah cats are endless fonts of amusement! Hope Bella's feelin' better.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 07:32 pm:   

Mahesh,
Thanks. She's back to normal today.

And Dinah has been in full vocal complaint.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 07:14 pm:   

Ellen,

I saw this and thought of you (and Bella, who looks like this cat).

http://www.zefrank.com/annie/navigation.html

Short video clips of a cat doing funny things. I like the one where the guy teaches his cat humility after beating her at chess. :-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 07:48 am:   

Wow! I'm impressed. She does look like Bella and she acts like her too :-) Thanks for that.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 11:27 am:   

Finder used to fetch, but he doesn't any more.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   

I had a fetching cat, once. I read somewhere that something like 30-40% of cats will fetch if given the opportunity.

I think "Stealth" was my favorite.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 04:42 pm:   

Bella's got me trained to throw her toys. Sometimes she'll bring them to me, but mostly she'll expect me to fetch and throw them again.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 05:34 pm:   

Has anybody else with more than 1 cat noticed this? Finder can be chasing toys or laser dots around the living room like a maniac, but as soon as he catches Alias watching he'll stop and wash, with an affronted look of "Me, playing? I'm too old for that foolish kitten nonsense!"
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 07:52 pm:   

Oh, absolutely! Well...my older cat does that, but the younger one doesn't have the sense that God gave a post. I think he's a black lab in disguise.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 07:49 am:   

He also refuses to be seen being affectionate to her. If we catch them snuggling and grooming, Finder will haul off and slug Alias.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 10:19 am:   

Bella has been much more affectionate after I returned from a six day holiday. OTOH Dinah beat the s... out of her last night and I had to break it up, but no damage was done.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 06:14 pm:   

I just made a short video of my cat, who wears a basket on his head. Voluntarily.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 09:14 am:   

Mary...I haven't had time to check it out yet. Will do when I get home later.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 11:49 am:   

It's cute and a little strange :-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 01:57 pm:   

Mary,
That's pretty funny!
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Bronwyn Elko
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 10:11 am:   

Mary,

Your cat's imitation of Hades is silly and surreal. :-) I wish my cat Grendel was that talented: all he does is bat at invisible insects. Which makes him appear mentally retarded (maybe he sustained brain damage from his previous owner, who was an abusive coward). Thanks for the laugh!
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 10:22 am:   

Bronwyn,

I'm glad you enjoyed Marlowe's performance. It's best when he runs frantically around the house with his Helmet of Invisibility on, but hard to catch on film.
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Bronwyn Elko
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 01:41 pm:   

Mary,
I love the way Marlowe snuggles up to his mask. Speaks volumes. I also thought you're cinematic style was funny, btw. You should stalk him with your camera until you catch his whole act. Priceless!

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