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.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mancat Monday: Connor tells a story

I like following my Dad around when he’s in the house. He does lots of interesting things. But since I’m an inside cat, I don’t go on outside adventures with him. So Mama helped me make up a story and me and Dad:

One day, me and Dad decided to go out and take some pictures. We went to a river near where we live. It’s called the Staunton River.

Before we left, Mama made us a big lunch to take with us. She stuffed a basket full of good food like hamburgers and hotdogs.

Mama made me wear a hat, but Dad said it was a good idea to protect my ears from the sun.

Dad took his camera, and I took my big camera too.

We had lots of fun down by the river. Dad took pictures of the water and of the rocks across from us. I kind of forget to take any pictures because I kept thinking about that basket of food.

Finally, Dad finished what he was doing, and we sat and gobbled up all the food. Then we took a little nap. And then we went home. The end.

Did you like my story?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: With Natasha

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

1. It is good to have a spare __________________________.

2. I don’t understand why ____________________ is/are so popular.

3. The spookiest thing that ever happened to me was _________________.

4. My favorite Halloween tale is _______________________.

1. It is good to have a spare pair of reading glasses. I am forever searching for my reading glasses. Sometimes I find them sitting on top of my head. (Natasha: It is good to have a spare treat to hide in your pocket to eat later.)

2. I don’t understand why pumpkin spice is/are so popular. The grocery store has whole sections of things made with pumpkins spice. I like the taste, but not in everything. (Natasha: I don’t understand why catnip is so popular. Abbey seems to like it. But me and Connor just don’t get it.)

3. The spookiest thing that ever happened to me was thinking I heard someone come into the house, but no one was there in my house when I was growing up. (Natasha: The spookiest thing that ever happened to me was when Connor leaped out from the crinkly tunnel.)

4. My favorite Halloween tale is “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It’s the only one I could think of. I am reading a novel now that is not a Halloween tale, but it’s definitely scary: “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” by Ruth Ware. (Natasha: I don’t know any Halloween tales, but I’m reading that scary book with Mama. *shivers*)

Have a great weekend, human and fur friends!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Remembering Waddles

October is not an easy month. Of our four cats at the Rainbow Bridge, three made their journey in October. 

We lost our Waddles on Oct. 13, 2011.

Waddles was my first cat as an adult. I won’t go into all the details—it’s not a wonderful story—but my mother adopted Waddles after my father died. The story was that Waddles’ original person, a man, had died, and his wife was allergic to cats so gave her to a friend to find her a home. That’s how my mother got her.

I didn’t think I liked cats. But when I visited with my mother, and then lived with her a while, I fell in love with Waddles.

In March 2000, my mother surrendered Waddles at the county shelter without telling me. I found out that night. I fell apart and called Larry (this was before we were married). He asked, “Why don’t you adopt her?”

I had doubts that I would be a good cat mother, but Larry encouraged me, telling me, “Waddles will teach you what you need to know.”

So the next day I went to the shelter and adopted my baby. She recognized me and clung to me. The shelter staff had to put together my newly purchased carrier for her because I wasn’t going to let go of Waddles.

I took her home with me, and I promised her I would be her home forever.

Waddles usually didn't like being held, but we managed to get this picture taken.

It was a promise I kept. When Larry and I married, Waddles and I joined him and Sam and Thunder Cat. It was not easy integrating three adult cats, but we did it.

According to vet records that came with Waddles from her first home, she was born sometime in September 1990. We chose Sept. 8 as her birthday. She had just turned 21 when she died.

I am forever grateful to Waddles for teaching me so many things: the joy of taking care of another living being, the fact that responsibility was nothing to fear. She helped to open my heart and let my empathy and love show.

Waddles Scarlett, we miss you every day, and we look forward to the time when we will meet again. Love you forever.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mancat Monday: Connor tells you about a book

We’d like to say that all those still struggling from the effects of Hurricane Matthew are in our prayers.

Connor here for Mancat Monday. Today I’m going to tell you about a book me and Mama read. It had a cat in it! The cat wasn’t a main character, but he was definitely an important character.

It’s called “The War That Saved My Life,” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

We started reading it Friday night and stayed up past midnight into Sunday morning to finish it.

Mama cried in some places. But I sat near her feet at her reading chair, and that seemed to make her feel better. When I do that, she reaches down and pets me and tells me how much she loves me. *a little embarrassed*

In the book, these two kids, Ada and Jamie, are living in London in 1939. Their mother is very mean. She hits the children and says awful things to them. She never lets Ada leave their flat because she has what’s called a clubfoot and is ashamed of having a “cripple” for a daughter.

That’s terrible! Didn’t she know that differently abled people and animals need love? That all of us need love?

Mama says I’m digressing.

So Ada and Jamie are evacuated to the country in England to keep them safe from any bombs in London. They stay with a really nice lady named Susan.

Jamie is 6 years old, and one day he comes home with a raggedy looking cat and says he’s going to keep him. He’s already named him Bovril, which is a name of a drink Susan makes the kids drink every night. We had never heard of Bovril, so Mama looked it up and, according to Wikipedia, it’s a meaty substance that can be mixed with hot water or milk to make a drink. 

Susan says to put Bovril outside because he has fleas. But Jamie takes him upstairs and gives him a bath. 

Then this is the important part: Bovril sleeps with Jamie every night. Jamie had been having a hard time adjusting to a new place and new things and to being around a nice woman when he’s not used to it. With Bovril, he sleeps much better and feels better. He loves Bovril, and Bovril loves him.

Mama and me were not surprised, of course, that a cat can help people like that. 

So you don’t hear a lot about Bovril, but he is very, very important to Jamie. This made Mama cry but feel good at the same time. Is that strange?

If this book sounds interesting to you, be sure to read it. Have a great week!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Remembering Sam

Sam passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. She was 17 years old.

Larry had Sam before we even started dating. The first time I met her, Larry was holding her. I leaned over to talk to her and got too close. She smacked me on the forehead. Lesson learned. You could put your face close to Waddles, but not Sam.

She decided to let me be her Mama anyway.

Sam adored Larry above all others. She followed him around and liked to sleep beside him.

When she entered a room, she made an entrance. She would stop just inside the doorway and look around. “I’m here!” she seemed to be saying.

Instead of a meow, she made the funniest little sound that’s hard to describe. It was a throaty, almost coarse noise. And she would talk back and carry on a conversation with you.

Sam's Valentine to Larry in February 2011

It’s been three years, and it still hurts to think of that morning when we said goodbye. We remember you today and every day, Sam, and we love you forever.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Voice for Animals

Animals do have a voice. If you ignore their suffering, I will remind you of it. If you don’t understand them, I will translate. If you don’t hear them, I will be their voice. You may silence them, but you cannot silence me as long as I live.” Anita Mahdessian

Larry and I were talking about hunting, and I was getting upset. 

We live in an area of our state where wearing camouflage is a symbol of a way of life that includes viewing hunting as a sport. Where the weekly paper that I used to report for posts photos of hunters and their trophy deer, hunters old and young proudly posing while holding up the head of a dead animal.

I understand hunting when the meat from the hunt is needed for survival or will be a staple in a family’s meals. But hunting as a sport, taking pleasure in taking the life of another being—I cannot support.

Larry doesn’t either, though when he was a young man he went hunting with his cousins. 

“I liked that peaceful feeling of being out in the woods where it was so quiet,” he said.

“There’s nothing peaceful about hunting,” I said. And my voice was raised a bit, even though we were sitting in a restaurant at the time.

Larry said he just meant it was peaceful being out in nature. I was getting too upset in considering different viewpoints, he said.

“I will always get upset when it comes to animals,” I said.

I wasn’t angry with Larry. I understood what he was saying. But I was frustrated and angry with the community in which I live. 

With the indiscriminate killing of animals. 

With localities that don’t allocate the money and support to have no-kill shelters. 

The Campbell County (Virginia) Animal Shelter,
where dedicated staff and volunteers do the most for the animals
that they can with the resources they have.

With people who think cats are “just cats” or dogs are “just dogs.” Or any animal is “just an animal.”

With those who show how much they care about their dogs by chaining them up outside. 

With people who refuse to spay or neuter their pets.

With nominal ownership of pets.

And most of all, frustrated and angry with myself because I can’t save all the homeless and forgotten animals. 

Of course, I know intellectually that I can’t save them all. And I understand that there are different and valid perspectives on the importance of animals, and that the most important thing is that they are loved and cared for. Not everyone has to value them in the same way I do in order for the animals to live good lives.

So I try with my writing, with my interactions with co-workers and friends, with the things I share on social media, with my help and encouragement. With my small monetary gifts to animals in need. With the website administration for the volunteer group that works with Animal Control in my county. I try to be a voice for animals.

Sometimes I believe my voice falls on mostly deaf ears. But I have to keep on trying.

Please share some of the ways you are a voice for the animals.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mancat Monday: King of the Tree

Happy Monday and Happy October! Connor here with Mancat Monday. 

Recently, I enjoyed some time at the top—the very top—of the cat tree. I felt like I was King of the Tree. A lounging King, but still, a King.

I surveyed my kingdom.

Then I stepped down to a lower perch and made an announcement.

How would you caption that last photo? What do you imagine I’m saying?