Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays!








We will be taking Monday off from blogging, but we will be back on Wednesday. Blessings to you all!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Abbey and Natasha’s first Christmas

Hello! Abbey and Natasha here. We told Mama that we had to take over Mancat Monday. We needed a turn to talk to you too! 

Abbey
Last year was my first Christmas in a real home. There were so many new things to look at. A tree in the house. Red things called stockings that Mama hung up. And guess what? On Sunday morning, we found TOYS in the stockings!

The toys were fun. But I was already feeling so good at having a nice home with plenty of food to eat and a Mama and a Dad who hugged me and told me they loved me.

Natasha
Last year was my first Christmas in a real home, too. I was adopted on Dec. 3, so I hadn’t been at home for long when Christmas came along. But I was already liking the good food and the toys that we were given and the quiet and the way Mama and Dad talked to me in soft voices and scratched my chin.

Here are some pictures from our first Christmas:

Our tree.



Our stockings. Look, our names are on them!



Abbey poses under the stockings.



Natasha was trying to catch up on her sleep so she could try to catch Santa Paws. 



Abbey sniffing a gift in a box. Boxes galore at Christmas!



Natasha examining a ball that was in her stocking. It lights up when it moves.



Abbey and Natasha try to figure out why the motorized gray mouse is moving.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: With the kitties

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Abbey, Natasha, and Connor are all helping me.


1. My favorite Christmas Song(s) is/are___________________, but I could do without hearing __________________ever again.

2. My most meaningful Christmas ornament/decoration is ____________________, because________________________.

3. My favorite holiday treat is _______________.

4. A holiday tradition in my house is ______________.



Our little Christmas tree before we put ornaments on it.
We left it undecorated for a couple of days
to see how the kitties would react.



1. My favorite Christmas Song(s) is/are The First Noel, O Holy Night, Silent Night, and O Come All Ye Faithful, but I could do without hearing Walking in a Winter Wonderland ever again. (Natasha: I like The First Noel, too, because my middle name is Noelle. I don’t like that song that tells us “You better watch out” because Santa is coming to town. That’s scary.)

2. My most meaningful Christmas ornament/decoration are the ornament frames with photos of our kitties who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge, because I love seeing pictures of them. (Connor: All the ones on our little tree because none of them broke when I knocked the tree over.) Mama speaking: Yes, Connor knocked over the tree and nothing broke. That cemented the decision that we’re not putting up a big tree this year.

3. My favorite holiday treat is anything with cranberries. (Abbey: Just my regular food, but the bowls need to be full at all times.)

4. A holiday tradition in my house is eating a big breakfast Christmas morning after opening our gifts. (Natasha, Abbey, and Connor: Looking in our stockings before Mama and Dad open their gifts.)


Friday, December 9, 2016

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: With Abbey

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Abbey is helping me.




1. I love the following Christmas film(s): ___________________________.

2. I don’t care for the following Christmas film(s): ______________________.

3. At the holidays, I cannot resist __________.

4. A favorite holiday memory of mine is ___________.



Abbey




1. I love the following Christmas film(s): “A Dog Named Christmas,” “November Christmas,” “White Christmas,” and “Elf.” (Abbey: I liked that Elf movie, even though there weren’t any cats in it. I want to watch “A Dog Named Christmas,” though Mama says it makes her cry.)

2. I don’t care for the following Christmas film(s): I’m not a huge fan of “A Christmas Carol,” any version. (Abbey: I really haven’t seen many films. But I don’t like any film that takes Mama’s attention away from me.)


3. At the holidays, I cannot resist eating too much. (Abbey: At the holidays, I cannot resist sniffing and chewing on the tree.)

4. A favorite holiday memory of mine is having a Christmas meal at my uncle’s house each year. My dad’s side of the family would gather at Uncle Milton’s house. He worked for Dr. Pepper, so we were always offered bottles of Dr. Pepper to drink. (Abbey: A favorite holiday memory of mine is last Christmas, which was my first Christmas in a real home. I had a stocking with my name on it! I got presents! There were boxes to play with!)


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Keep your pets safe during the holidays


Natasha looking out of the window on Christmas morning, 2015


Getting ready for November and December holidays can be stressful, especially when we try to do too many things or we think only perfection counts. We can make the holiday preparations and celebrations a little less stressful by taking precautions to help keep our pets safe and healthy.

The ASPCA has a good article on its website with “Holiday Safety Tips.” And there are other resources online that give great advice on safety. The tips may or may not apply to you.

Below are some of the precautions we take during the holidays. I don’t advocate that this is the only way to decorate. I tend to be anxious, and I probably worry about things that I don’t need to worry about. But these precautions work for us.


*We use battery-powered candles. They have a warm glow without the danger of overturned candles with flames. And you can get all shapes and sizes now. 

*We don’t wrap any gifts until Christmas Eve. Ribbon, boxes covered in paper with corners to chew on, and handles on gift bags have just been too enticing to our kitties through the years. So we wrap all the gifts on Christmas Eve and stack them on the dining room table so it’s harder to get to any ribbon. Christmas morning, we put them under the tree, take a few pictures, and then open them.

*We choose tree decorations carefully. The long ribbons that some people attach to the top of their trees so that they stream down are beautiful. But they’re also easy for kitties to grab and pull and eat. 

We use only shatterproof ornaments and avoid using any with glitter.

*We keep human food out of reach. We cook more during the holidays than any other time of the year. Our kitchen is small, with no table, so we eat in the dining area, from where we can see only part of the counter space and stove. So while we aren’t in the room, hot dishes or foods they shouldn’t get into go on top of the refrigerator (we actually have a trivet on top), or we close the doors to the kitchen. 

*We don’t have live plants inside. No poinsettia, holly berries, mistletoe, lilies, or any plant that could be harmful if ingested. 


There are things we don’t do and things we don’t include in our holiday celebrations. But we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything. We just believe that we’re making choices that hopefully will help keep our cats safe.

What are some of the things you do during the holidays to help keep your pets safe?



Monday, December 5, 2016

A Prayer




There has been a lot of sadness in the blogging community and in the Facebook community because of friends making their journey to the Rainbow Bridge.

The pain is hard to bear, especially for those who have recently lost loved ones. And this time of year, with the holidays and the persistent messages of “be cheerful” and “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” can be hard for many of us. This time of year can remind us of the loved ones we’ve lost in the past or other hurts.

So today we thought we would share our favorite prayer, one that gives us hope even in the midst of despair.

Blessings to you all.



Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith; 
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood as to understand; 
to be loved as to love; 
For it is in giving that we receive; 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy Birthday and Gotcha Day, Natasha!




Today on the blog we’re celebrating Natasha’s first Gotcha Day and 5th birthday!

Her special day is officially tomorrow, Dec. 3, but we thought we’d celebrate a day early with our blogging friends.

We adopted Natasha from our county’s shelter. She was about 4 years old at the time, so we are really guessing at her current age. She had been surrendered with a different name. But one of the volunteers changed her name to Natasha because she thought she was like a Russian princess. We added Noelle as her middle name.

Natasha is quiet and reserved, but she loves to play. The three-deck track toy is her favorite—she will play with it by herself any time. Sometimes we hear her in the middle of the night batting the balls. She also likes to jump for Da Burd toy and chase jingle bell balls across the floor. Her regular perch in the mornings is on the cat tree, watching for the squirrels that come to visit.

It doesn’t seem like a year since Natasha became part of our family. Her gentle spirit and playful nature make our household brighter. 

We love you, Natasha Noelle!

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Week of Thanks: Natasha




Since Thanksgiving Day was this week in the U.S., we thought we would use the whole week to talk about what we are thankful for. We are blessed, and we don’t want to take any of those blessings for granted.

On Monday, Connor and I shared some things we are thankful for. Abbey and I shared on Wednesday. 

Today, Natasha will tell you what she’s thankful for. Then I will add to my list.


Natasha says, I am thankful for:

My perch on the cat tree where I can watch squirrels
The roller track toy
Chasing the yellow balls
Chin scratches from Dad
Giving head bonks to Mama
My home, which I didn’t have a year ago
Love




Some of the things I am thankful for:

Movies that make me laugh
Friends who do so much good for animals
Sunshine
Moonlight
A safe place to sleep each night


Thank you for coming along on our week of thanks. We thank you for your friendship.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Week of Thanks: Abbey




Since Thanksgiving Day is this week in the U.S., we thought we would use the whole week to talk about what we are thankful for. We are blessed, and we don’t want to take any of those blessings for granted.

On Monday, Connor and I shared some things we are thankful for. 

Today, Abbey will tell you what she’s thankful for. Then I will add to my list.


Abbey says, I am thankful for:
The fluff beds
The bird toy
Mama leaning close so we can touch noses
Giving head bonks to Dad
The company of Connor and Natasha
Love




Some of the things I am thankful for:
Books
Words, language
Music
Trees
Squirrels


What are some things in nature that you are thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate, and safe travels!



Monday, November 21, 2016

A Week of Thanks: Connor




Since Thanksgiving Day is this week in the U.S., we thought we would use the whole week to talk about what we are thankful for. We are blessed, and we don’t want to take any of those blessings for granted.

Today, Connor will tell you what he’s thankful for. Then I will add some of the things I’m thankful for.


Connor says, I am thankful for:
Treats
Our cat tree and the beds on it that are way up high
My Dad picking me up and rubbing his face against mine
Mama picking me up and saying I’m her little boy
Mama getting up at 4 a.m. to feed us
Plenty of places to climb
The love in our home


Some of the things I am thankful for:
My husband Larry
Connor, Natasha, and Abbey
The love and goodness that having cats has brought into my life
Never having to worry about where our next meal is coming from
A job I like


What are some of the things you are thankful for?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: With Connor

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Connor is helping me.


1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is ___________________.

2. Black Friday _______________________.

3. The best part about Thanksgiving Day is ______________.

4. One Thanksgiving, ___________________.




1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is that I don’t really have a tradition. It used to be meals with extended family, but things have changed over the years. For two of the last three Thanksgivings, Larry and I have traveled to other places in Virginia to eat. (Connor: This year I can start making a Thanksgiving tradition.)

2. Black Friday will find me at home. I don’t like to get in the crowds of Black Friday. (Connor: Black Friday will find me at home with Mama—she doesn’t have to work!)

3. The best part about Thanksgiving Day is being with Larry and the kitties and counting my blessings. (Connor: I’m going to find out all about Thanksgiving Day this year.)




4. One Thanksgiving, we ate at the Peaks of Otter in Virginia, and they had snow! We’re going again this year, and I’m hoping for snow again. (Connor: On the one Thanksgiving Day I’ve had, I hadn’t been adopted by Mama and Dad yet. I can’t tell you what last year was like. I’m just glad I have a good home now.)



Monday, November 14, 2016

Therapy Cat



Abbey, April 2016


None of my kitties have an official title of “therapy cat,” but I’m sure you understand me when I say that Abbey, Natasha, and Connor, and the kitties that came before, have provided therapy to me and to Larry through the years.

Sometimes that therapy is just staying close by when we don’t feel well.

I was under the weather yesterday. I don’t know if I ate something bad or had some kind of stomach bug, but I felt awful.

In the early afternoon, I lay down. Abbey got up on the bed with me and got under my quilt. She doesn’t usually stay there long, and she didn’t this time. But instead of jumping down from the bed and going elsewhere, she settled down in a kitty bed we have on the bed. Right beside me.

And she stayed there all afternoon. Whenever I turned over and whenever I woke up (once I got to sleep), she was there.

She was such a comfort. She didn’t snuggle with me. She didn’t purr. But she was there.

Thank you, sweet Abbey.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Veterans Day

Thank you to the veterans who have served the United States.

My late father served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He was a medic and was wounded in action on Sept. 30, 1944. 

He passed away on July 9, 1997.

This is a picture of him and his mother during a leave home.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Question for Our Readers


Sweet Natasha


I want to draw on the wisdom of all of you, dear readers, and ask for your opinion.

When I think about adopting another cat, I first think about saving another life because we would adopt from our local shelter. But I also think in terms of Natasha.

Abbey and Natasha get along pretty well. They sometimes run after each other and smack at each other. But they also lick each other’s heads and touch noses, and they usually hang out together in peace.

But Abbey and Connor are close. They hang out together and run and play with each other much more than they do with Natasha.

Larry and I make sure we give each one of the kitties individual attention. But I wonder if Natasha feels left out and lonely because of Abbey and Connor’s close friendship. Sometimes she’ll walk into a room where the two oranges are playing or just looking out the window together, and she looks like she wants to join in but is hesitant. 

Or maybe that’s an incorrect interpretation.

Do you think adding another cat to the mix could help? Perhaps a kitten who wouldn’t seem threatening to Natasha? 

Of course, the new kitten could end up bonding more with Abbey and Connor. And Natasha may not want anyone else around. She may not be lonely. I could be foisting my own fears onto Natasha.

What do you think? Have any of you ever had similar experiences? How have you handled “odd cat out” situations?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mancat Monday: How good do I have to be?





So, Mama came home from the big box store Saturday, and I heard her tell Dad that she saw a sweater that would be perfect for me if it came in my size. On the front of the sweater, it said, “Dear Santa. I can explain.”

Then Mama and Dad laughed. And I’m pretty sure I heard Abbey and Natasha laughing in the other room.

Now I’m worried. 

I don’t know anything about Christmas or Santa, but Abbey and Natasha filled me in a little bit. They had their first real Christmas last year, and they said it was really nice and special.

Supposedly, this Santa dude comes around at Christmas and gives gifts. And he knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Abbey said the naughty kitties get something called coal in the toe of their stockings. I don’t even know what a stocking is yet. I have so much to learn.

Anyway, Mama tells me all the time that I’m a good boy. She gets all mushy and says even though I get into some things I shouldn’t, I’m still a good boy.

But Abbey and Natasha are telling me things are a bit different this time of year. It’s only seven weeks until Christmas, and Santa and his elves – the ones who make the toys—are watching me. So I have to be extra good and lay off the naughtiness.

So how good do I have to be? Mama thinks I’m good even when I do the naughty stuff like climb on counters and on top of desks, rattle the window blinds, make the pictures on the wall swing back and forth—OK I’ve said too much. Let’s just say Mama says I’m good. 

But will Santa and his elves think I’m good? Do I have to start being nice like Natasha? Do I have to limit my engineering and scientific experiments and hold off on the wall picture swinging? Even though I’m nearing a break-through discovery?

So all my kitty and doggy and other pet friends out there: What advice can you give me. Just how good do I have to be for this Santa to visit me and give me toys?

Thank you for your help.

Love, 

Connor

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: With Abbey

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Abbey is helping me.


1. Peace____________________________.

2. I need to _______________________, but I keep procrastinating.

3. A friend is _______________.

4. I ________________ try to _______________.






1. Peace must begin within each one of us. If we don’t have peace, then we can’t expect anyone else to. (Abbey: Peace is when I am in my fluff bed in the den, warm and safe under the blanket.)

2. I need to do so many things, like clean out my closet and go through my clothes and take some to Goodwill, but I keep procrastinating. (Abbey: There’s not a thing in the world I need to do except be Abbey.)

3. A friend is someone who accepts me for who I am. (Abbey: A friend is someone like Mama or Dad, someone who loves me all the time.)

4. I am determined to try to complete a 50,000-word novel this month for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. Every morning I get up thinking I have nothing to write and what I’ve written so far is not good. But I keep writing. Four days down, 26 to go. (Abbey: I always try to get my beauty sleep each day.)



Have a great weekend, human and fur friends!





Friday, October 28, 2016

Top 50 Cat Bloggers

Abbey, Natasha, Connor, and I are happy to have been included in the Top 50 Cat Bloggers list on Thoroughly Reviewed

According to its website, Thoroughly Reviewed “is a free online resource that allows consumers to view our editorial rankings and product comparisons. Like our name states we thoroughly review products and rank them based on our set of criteria that we feel is important to consumers. In order to keep this a free service we receive affiliate commissions for the products and services listed on this website. This does not influence our rankings. All of our research is our own and is not biased towards any specific product or company.”

For the kitties and me, the best parts of blogging are the friends we’ve made and the awesome pet blogs we’ve found—and not just about cats! 

Please check out the entire list of the Top 50 Cat Bloggers. We were so glad to see some of our blogging friends included on the list.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Remembering Chase Bird




We’ve lost three of our kitties in the month of October. Chase Bird went to the Rainbow Bridge on Oct. 27, 2015.

The heart is forever changed when we lose one of our furbabies. Usually the hurt loses its sharpness after a while. 

But a year has gone by since we lost Chase Bird, and the hurt is still sharp. Maybe because we didn’t get the chance to say goodbye. His death was unexpected.

Any words I write about him now would never do justice to the wonderful cat he was, what a pure and sweet spirit he had. Here are some of my favorite photos of him.

We love you forever, Chase Bird.

Chase Bird on Larry's lap.


Chase Bird napping in the den.


A gift under the tree.



Chase Bird and Abbey playing with a paper bag.



Chase Bird and Abbey checking out a new toy.


Chase Bird sitting on my lap while I was knitting.



Chase Bird and Abbey reading a magazine article about Frosty the Frozen Kitten.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mancat Monday: A Proper Sunday




I got a lot done yesterday. 

I made sure Mama was up to give us our breakfast at a decent hour. 4 a.m. is decent, right? 

I tried to taste test the dry food in the bowl Natasha was eating from. I just wanted her to be safe, right? But I got shooed away. 

I did some sprints around the house. I heard Mama say something like, herd of elephants. But she couldn’t be talking about me, right?

I played guitar on the blinds in the den. A fellow has to express his creativity, right?

And all this activity calls for a long nap, right?

Yep, I had a proper Sunday.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: With Connor

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Connor is helping me.


1. One Halloween, I dressed as _____________________.

2. My favorite comedian is _________________________.

3. My scariest Halloween was ____________________.

4. _______________________ is my favorite Halloween treat.





1. One Halloween, I dressed as a princess. I wore a princess mask. I remember it was very hot and I could hear myself breath in it. (Connor: This is my first Halloween with my family, so I’ve never dressed up. Me and Mama are discussing costumes!)

2. My favorite comedian is Tina Fey. (Connor: My favorite comedian is Bucky in “Get Fuzzy.”)

3. My scariest Halloween was when I was 13 and had a Halloween party. My brother and his friend showed up at the windows wearing monster makeup and yelling. It was totally unexpected. And it was a torturous night for me. All I did was worry about whether or not people were having fun. (Connor: This year will be my first chance to have a scary Halloween. I might try to scare Natasha and Abbey! Shhhh, don’t tell them.)

4. Smarties candy is my favorite Halloween treat. (Connor: If it’s in a treat bag, I like it.)


Have a great weekend, human and fur friends!



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Abbey’s photo shoot

It’s Wordless Wednesday, but Abbey, Natasha, and Connor have one thing to say:



Happy Birthday to our Dad!! We love you!!























We're participating in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.