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! 

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.

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 ___________.


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!