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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October Ordeal part 3

With Flora safely and I devoutly hoped securely in the carrier, the next question was, "Which cat to try for next? Who would be greedy enough to go for treats when fleeing would be the best option?"

"Are there treats in here?"
Actually, there were two choices:  Elmer and Ellen.  Elmer just happened to be closer.

As I drove to the vet's, I kept glancing in my rearview mirror to see if there was an emergency vehicle following me or if it was just Flora doing her imitation of a siren.

It was Flora.

I made it to Jones Animal Hospital and signed in.  They were sweet as always, apologizing because I would have to wait since I didn't have an appointment.  I figure that's the price I pay for not getting an appointment but since my ability to catch cats at one appointed time is iffy at best, I usually go the drop in route.  Besides, the one time I called for an appointment, Elmer apparently heard  his name mentioned and the cat I thought totally preoccupied with birdwatching bolted from the room and headed for parts unknown.

At least that taught me that Elmer does indeed know his name.  I had my doubts.

We settled in the waiting area, or rather I settled, Elmer cowered and Flora alternated between howls and growls.

I opened the carrier and tried to comfort them both.  I had no takers.

As usually happens, I saw someone I knew there.  We'll call him Mr. Smith.  He's a very nice gentleman who has been on our Library Board.  He ambled over to say hello, explained he was picking up something for his Goldens, and reached in to pet Flora who was making sounds like gravels grinding.

"Not happy, is she?"  he asked.

I think I answered in the affirmative.  I was too busy holding my breath, hoping she wouldn't slice and dice him.  She tends to be more sound and fury but cornered in a box, I wasn't sure.

Yes, more to come.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October Ordeal, continued

I dragged my carcase out of bed that fine (well, cold and blustery, but I didn't have to go to work so we'll stay with "fine") Friday morning, longing for a cup of coffee and for cats to stay out from under my feet long enough to get one.  After I distributed bowls of food indoors and outdoors, trying not to step on Ellen who turns into velcro-kitty when it appears anyone is close enough to the refrigerator to open the magic cold box and take out deli turkey, I realized Flora was deeply absorbed in chowing down.  I slipped downstairs and brought a cat carrier up to the kitchen, out of sight.  Then s l o w l y  but nonchalantly approached her, picked her up as if for a nice little cuddle and headed for the box.

Of course, she knew sometheing was amiss so she started to scrabble but I popped her in the box and locked the lid.

It was then I became aware of something that sounded like the rumble of a distant volcano due to erupt.

The carrier quivered.

I realized it was Flora, growling.

This did not bode well.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ordeal of October: Prologue

When I feel that first nip in the air, a sense of dread comes over me.  A sense of doom.  Yes, I hate the ice and snow and cold, but more than that it portends an annual event guaranteed to cause sleepless nights, tossing and turning, scheming and plotting.

It's time for Nuit and her kittens to go to the vet for annual shots and exams.

When Nuit brought her amazing exploding kittens to my doorstep, their four week old legs still tottering a bit, I didn't realize what I took for a phase would turn into a way of life for most of them. 

Flora especially.

Flora Belle Snicklefritz is that most dangerous of characters, a cat who is agile, strong, smart, and, above all, suspicious.
I once saw a painting by a Chinese artist which I was quite taken with and considering splurging for. It was a grey mother cat and her kittens under a willow tree.  The mother had slitted eyes and laid back ears, and other people said it looked like a demon cat.  I knew they were sort of right, because to me it looked very much like Flora.

In her defense, she isn't a demon.

She's just a cat who knows what she wants and, equally, knows what she does NOT want, and has no inhibitions or compunctions about making it so.

But I will admit that she does have a certain glint in her eyes....
Yes, those are real claws you see. And she knows how to use them.

Stay tuned for the Ordeal of October.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elmer: What's in a name?

This is young Elmer, about eight months old.
Full grown Elmer
As a young rascal, I thought perhaps Elmer should be named Arthur.  A bit more regal, or at least a bit more distinguished.  Mom, wise cat woman that she was, said he was more of an Elmer. And when he gets after poor Bonnie Kate, the tiny gentle fuzz ball,  his name is "ELMER-LEAVE-BONNIE-ALONE!"

Mom and were both wrong about his name, really.  I just was more wrong. He isn't any sort of dignified Arthur.

 Elmer is actually the feline incarnation of Jethro Bodine.  Handsome, well-built, and with a secret dream of bein' a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon or one of them double-ought spies. 

We need an Uncle Jed needs to have a long talk with that boy.

But I love him anyway.

 Most of the time, at least.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Speaking of art. . .

This is Bonnie as a stained glass figure.  I saw the pattern at a glass shop in town (now closed) and took photos of Bonnie for the older lady to work with.  I admit when I first saw it I was a bit disappointed:  they missed Bonnie's mask. But it's beautiful and elegant like my girl, so I'm happy.

Hmmm.... I may have to do a whole "art of my cats" series, even if some of the art isn't really of my cats.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why I Had to Buy This Tile

I have enough cat things.  I have enough things to hang on the wall.  So why did I buy this??

Chubby-cheeked grey cat (this photo looks more black).  Pretty ordinary.  So why did I buy it?

I don't know.  Maybe Ellen knows.

"I don't have the faintest idea."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bonnie--Kitty Cornered

"I' m a kitty and I'm in a corner.  Does that count?"

"Well, it's got corners, but that's not a kitty.  That's a book."
"Go 'way, Elmer!  This is my corner!"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Melon: Kitty Cornered

These cats better not be after my treats!
Be sure and get my good side!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Melon the -- um, well....

For the third time in two years, I've been stung by yellow jackets while mowing in the back yard.  Little devils nest in small holes in the ground where I don't see them until all at once I feel their stings.  The last two times they've ringed my ankles with stings.  This time I had small blisters around the stings as well as painful, itchy and badly swollen ankles.  I try to be a tolerant person but dagnabit, that hurts!!! And for a long time!  It takes about a week before all is near normal and the swelling goes down.  

So-- if a scarecrow will keep birds away, perhaps this will work for yellow jackets:

 Melon-crow?  Scare-melon?  The Melonbee?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Catch of the day

Is it the catch of the day?

No, just BeeGee, pretending to be a Key West kitty!
Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere!

(This is my cat fencing to try to keep Bonnie, Elmer, Melon & co. inside the fenced in back yard.  BeeGee obviously sees it as a good place to nap.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It isn't easy being green

Someday, my prince will come. . .
(And no doubt, he'll be a cat.)

I watched "The Muppets" movie and was utterly charmed. I didn't expect to be.  I hoped I'd like it.  Kudos to Jason Segal for knowing what tone to set and what buttons to push. Music was fun, too.  Yea, Kermie!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In Loving Memory

Mom & Rupert
My mother loved cats for as long as she could remember, but at that time and place cats weren't considered house pets.  Mom said she vowed that when she was grown, she would have cats in her house.  I'm not sure she envisioned the ten we had at one time. . . .

Mom & Melon

That's a skinny young Melon on her lap.  Note her beloved Freddie watching at the door. I think that may be one reason Fred doesn't care for Melon.

Mom died June 3, 2007.  Rupert died May 16, 2008. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

With apologies to Emmylou Harris...

"It's all right, 'cause it's midnight, and I got two more bottles of wine!"

(Just a plug for a local winery in Wise, Virginia.  Mountain Rose Vineyards is located on the site of an old strip mine and they produce some wonderful wines.  If you like muscadine grapes, by all means try their Sweet Mountain Rose wine! Elmer doesn't imbibe, but he likes to drink by putting his paw in the water dish and then licking the paw.  I thought the water bowl was leaking for awhile until I saw him one morning.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In Honor of Mother's Day...

"Where are you going, my little one?
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around, and you're two, turn around and you're four--
Turn around, and you're a big cat, going out of the door."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A rose by any other name. . .

"Is this all you get for winning the Kentucky Derby?  I was expecting caviar. . .  or at least tuna."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cats in the news

"Oh, look!  I have a lucky Mocha foot!" ~Bonnie

There are so many unhappy endings for animals, it's nice to have a few words of hope.  Here's the story of Corky, a kitten born with legs on backwards who won the hearts of rescuers.  He's undergone major surgery and is recovering.  He also looks like Fred.

Musetta's human, Clea Simon, is an author.  Living with her isn't all deli chicken and cream, though.  Musetta has a few choice comments to share:

Finally, Fred, Bonnie, Mocha & Rupert appear artistically in Susan Faye's blog.  I love her artwork and commissioned a family portrait.  You can see it here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Signs of Spring

"I can't believe my eyes...."

"It's a catterfly!"

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

"I trust there's a chocolate bunny for me in this."

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Rare Sighting

of the Rambunctious Ring Tailed Fred snoozing

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

"I'll pass on the green beer, but I'd love a saucer of Bailey's Irish cream!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Three Signs It's Going To Be A Long Day

3.  Ellen the grass fiend jumps up on the counter where the grass pot had been.  It's not there, mainly because Ellie has uprooted the grass so I had gotten more potting soil and seeds and resown.  The grass container is now down in the sun room where it can get sun. Unfortunately I had left some potting soil in a small dish.  When I come into the kitchen, Ellie is poking her nose in the dish and tossing dirt about, looking very puzzled.  She knows there has to be grass in there somewhere. . . .

2.  BeeGee has taken to dashing inside the house when I feed him. He runs in, startling the inside cats, but so far no real fights or bad interactions.  Everyone seems unsure.  BeeGee gives some little mews, which I think suggest submission but since he chases Fred off outside I am not sure.  Anyway, this morning he decides to take a tour of the house before I realize what he's doing.  I catch him and he's WET.  It's dry out, so that's a puzzlement.  Then I realize he's not only wet, he's MUDDY. I suspect he's had a set-to with another cat. I get him back outside but now I'm also wet and muddy.

1.  Bonnie hops onto my dresser, something she doesn't usually do but she is obsessed with these new PureBite treats, especially the shrimp.  She'd never shown much interest in seafood so that was a surprise. Bonnie is tiny and such a picky eater that I'm always so thrilled when she shows an interest in food that I indulge her in a way I don't the other cats.  One would think by now that I would learn that most of the time when Bonnie overeats it means she has an upset stomach.  I remembered that-- after I discovered she'd thrown up in my underwear drawer.
"I feel better now.  Can I have more shrimp?"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oscar Night: Waddling the Red Carpet

"Here we see Melon, the Plus-Sized Feline Supermodel rocking a pink. . . whatever that's supposed to be... with a daring slit down the front.  Or do you think the seams just gave way?"
(A friend sent this for Melon to try.  It's supposed to be pajamas, size feline large.)

Sunday, February 26, 2012


About five years ago, a little black cat started appearing in my section of the neighborhood. She was skittish, but lovely.  As a long haired cat, she reminded me of our late Nero, a black Persian with one of the sweetest, gentlest dispositions I've ever seen.  She started hanging around a bit, never letting us touch her, and never lingering too long.  She looked young, and I commented that if she continued to come we should have her spayed; she looked just old enough to be coming into her first heat.  She started eating voracious amounts. I had just decided we needed to trap her when I opened the front door and saw a tiny kitten on the porch.  It looked about 4 weeks old; toddling but not up trekking to my door.  Then I realized there was another one. And another.

Yep, that barn door had already been open, horses gone, hay stolen, and wood used to fill a fireplace. I tried to pick out up and it hissed, spat, shot out its legs and rolled out of my hands.  I called them The Amazing Exploding Kittens.  Long story short, that's how we ended up with Flora, Elmer, and Ellen the Runt-No-More.  Nuit-- the French word for "night"-- was a wonderful mother, and made no effort to wean the kittens even after they were three months old.  I took her on in to be spayed, and when she came home she let Elmer nurse around her pink sutures.

Now, THAT is one patient and loving mother.

Nuit and Flora

She's affectionate, puts up with a lot and is still basically a gentle soul.  The kittens are all much bigger than she is. She's almost as tiny as Bonnie.

And she IS tiny enough to fit between the wooden door and the storm door.  Imagine my surprise-- not to mention horror!-- yesterday to open the front door and find Nuit in a cloud of fur:  she'd been closed up between the two doors all night, apparently having slipped in between while I was shutting doors before going to bed.

She's none the worse for wear, but did want breakfast IMMEDIATELY if not sooner.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ellen and the Case of the Disappearing Grass

Ellen demolished the cat grass so I replanted and removed the container from the counter.

However, Ellen remembered where she'd found it and went back.   Oops!  I had leftover dirt in a bowl.
"This seems a bit different. . . ."

Being Ellen, she was not deterred.  That grass HAD to be in there somewhere!

She dug to the left.  She dug to the right. 

"WHAT did you do with my grass???"