Flashback Friday


Friendly Fill-Ins: Week #187

This Friday’s Fill-Ins again are Christmas-themed. Our hosts, Ellen (15 And Meowing) and Lorianne (Four-Legged Furballs), each selected two sentences for participants to complete. If you’d like to play along, click on the badge at the left. That will take you to Lorianne’s blog, where you can enter the link to your post.

The sentences to be completed can be found on both blogs each Thursday.

My fill-ins are in teal italics. Any explanatory information is in parentheses.

1. My holiday plans include starting physical therapy on December 26.

2. I can’t wait to see Kitties Blue open his/her their gift from me.

3. All I want for Christmas is for Sawyer to never have another seizure.

4. Smiling and saying, “Merry Christmas” to everyone you meet is the best way to spread holiday cheer. (Too many people are stressed and over-tired this time of year. I am no exception. It is important not to take one’s frustration out on family, friends, sales people and strangers.)

Feline Friday Christmas Flashback

Lisbeth was helping me de-decorate in January 2013 when this photo was taken. I shared it for the first time in 2017.



She is popping over to Comedy Plus to join in their Feline Friday blog hop. Click on the badge below to go there.



Friendly Fill-Ins: Week #186

Time for fill-ins again. Ellen (15 And Meowing) and Lorianne (Four-Legged Furballs) host this blog hop. Each Thursday they post four incomplete sentences for participants to fill-in. Hoppers post of Friday. To join in the fun, click on the badge at the left. It will take you to Four-Legged Furballs where you can enter your link.

Kitties Blue were not interested in helping this week. Not much causes them stress, they don’t watch movies and they keep their memories to themselves. As far as they are concerned the only thing that makes any day merry and bright is treats.

My fill-ins are in teal italics. Explanatory info is in parentheses.

1. Everything stresses me this time of year. (Too much to do and too little time, especially this year with Thanksgiving falling so late.)

2. My favorite holiday film is Love Actually followed by White Christmas.

3. If you ask me, giving and, of course, twinkling lights (the more the merrier) makes this season merry and bright.


Christmas 2015


4. Ornaments I have collected when visiting other countries brings back memories.

Feline Friday: Christmas Flashback


Christmas 2017


For the Feline Friday blog Hop at Comedy Plus, I am sharing another flashback. This photo was taken on Christmas Day 2017. It was both Cooper Murphy’s and Sawyer’s first Christmas with us. Cooper had been a member of Kitties Blue for 50 weeks, and Sawyer had been with us exactly one month. (You can see how little he was.) The two boys were already friends.

To join the blog hop at Comedy Plus, click the badge below.


Friendly Fill-Ins: Week #173

It’s Friday, so we are joining the Friendly Fill-Ins blog hop hosted by Ellen from 15 And Meowing and Lorianne from Four-Legged Furballs. On Thursdays they each select and post two sentences to be completed by filling in the blanks. On Fridays, those of us who participate, post our fill-ins on our blogs and join the hop with the Furballs. To go there now, click on the badge at the left.

Sawyer is becoming quite adept at completing the fill-ins, so today we have split the duties. He filled in #s 1 and 2, and I did #s 3 and 4.

We both used teal italics for our fill-ins. Information in parentheses is for clarification.

1. Sawyer: I joined Tabby Cat Club in order to hang out with Teddy, Raz, my big brother, Cooper Murphy, but especially Noelle. (Teddy – Two Spoiled Cats; Raz and Noelle – Friends Furever)

2. Sawyer: I wish I’d asked our humans about the number of cats already living with them before accepting an invitation to move in.

3. My paternal grandparents and Kitties Blue dad, Tom, had the biggest impact on who I am today.

4. Tortola, BVI, is the most beautiful place I have ever been. (I have been to many incredible and beautiful places around the world. Tortola probably isn’t the “most” beautiful one of those, but it is my “happy” place.)

Feline Flashback Friday

For our entry in this week’s Feline Friday blog hop at Comedy Plus, we have a flashback photo from October, 2011. As The Cat on My Head had not yet premiered, this photo has never been shared on the blog. This is baby Lisbeth in a photo taken about ten days after her and Astrid’s Gotcha Day.



To join Lisbeth at the blog hop, click on the badge below.


Friendly Fill-Ins: Week #154

As we do each Friday, Kitties Blue and I are joining the Friendly Fill-Ins blog hop. The hop is hosted by Ellen from 15 And Meowing and Lorianne from Four-Legged Furballs. Each Thursday, they post four sentences with blanks to be filled in by those of us who participate. On Friday, we post the completed sentences on our blogs. This week Misty May helped me. We both used teal italics for our completions.

To join in, click on that badge on the left. You’ll be transported to Four-Legged Furballs.

1. I got my first cell phone in the mid-90s. The Kitties dad got it for me. It was big and clunky. I didn’t want it and rarely used it.

2. I wish the word “boo,” as used to refer to one’s significant other or any random person could be removed from the English language.

3. I’ll never outgrow my enjoyment of coloring. Here is a kitty picture from the Happy Color app, which I “colored” on my iPad.


fill-ins - coloring


4. Misty May: Being deaf make(s) me feel old.

Feline Friday

For the Feline Friday blog hop at Comedy Plus, I decided to share a flashback photo from 15 years ago (April 6, 2004). Some of you might be thinking that is Fiona in the foreground, but it is actually our original grey cat, Louise, with Madison giving her a bath. If you don’t know these cats, who passed before the debut of The Cat on My Head, you can read about them on The Felines page.


fill-ins - flashback


To join the Feline Friday blog hop, click on the badge below.



Friendly Fill-Ins: Week #32



We are joining this week’s Christmas-themed Friendly Fill-Ins hosted by Ellen (15 And Meowing) and Annie (McGuffy’s Reader). The kitties asked me to complete all four fill-ins again this week, as they found them to be human-oriented. My completions are in teal italics.

1. My favorite Christmas Song(s) is/are “What Child is This,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” and “Mary, Did You Know.” but I could do without hearing _____________________ever again. I didn’t finish this fill-in as I really don’t have any Christmas songs I don’t like; though, I can get tired of some by the end of the season. (I have included videos of the three songs I listed, each by a different artist, at the conclusion of this post.)

2. My most meaningful Christmas ornament/decoration is now Fiona’s Star. The other is my Christmas stocking which my grandmother knit for me when I was an infant. It has my name and the year knitted into the pattern. The second part of this fill-in was “because.” I did not complete that as I think the reasons these are meaningful are self-evident. 

As I didn’t decorate this year, I had to dig into the photo archives to find a photo of the mantel with our stockings. This photo is from 2012. My stocking is the longest one with the striped toe.


Christmas stockings hanging from mantel.


3. My favourite holiday treat is the Oreo truffles my friend makes. 

4. A holiday tradition in my house is opening a bottle or two of wine and sitting down with Tom to write our annual Christmas letter. The more wine, the more amusing the letter. That’s on our schedule for this weekend.



This is a blog hop. To join, click on the link to Annie’s blog in the first paragraph.

We’ll see you tomorrow for Athena’s Caturday Art blog hop, featuring Giulietta.



Fiona in the Mirror

I hope you’ll forgive me for featuring my sweet and beautiful Fiona again today. Her dad found a camera card with an unbelievable number of forgotten photos. This one was taken in December 2010 when Fiona was nine months old. I imagine her wondering who that kitty was looking back at her. Of course she wasn’t seeing those reflective eyes produced by the flash. That probably would have freaked her out.




Normally I would save this photo for Caturday Art because of her eyes. But I found them so compelling, I had to use the photo in its original form. I am captivated by this photo and cannot stop looking at it.

I am certain some of you are curious about how Fiona’s doing. She continues to fight taking her medications. Giving her the subQ fluids is going slightly better. She usually whines and shakes while her dad tries to comfort her. Occasionally she tries to climb our of her PTU, which can cause the needle to become dislodged. I will not try to “stab” her again when this happens. Most days we manage to administer the full amount of fluid. She’s eating a bit more and not just treats; though, she continues to prefer those. We have more different brands of treats than I can count as it is impossible to predict which ones she will eat on any particular day.

Fiona sees Dr. Neel next week, and she will give you another report then.

Our Latest Book Giveaway

love in lower caseIf you have not left a comment for the opportunity to win a copy of Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles, you have until Sunday the 14th at 5 p.m. ET. Three copies will be given away. Click here to read the review post and leave your comment.

Visiting Friends

I subscribe to most of the blogs I read via e-mail. In the last several days I have not been getting e-mails notifying me of new posts on most of these blog. I have no idea what the problem is. I have a reader in WordPress that has many of your blogs listed. I will start adding URLs for those of you who are not currently listed. I will use that to visit and comment until I can straighten out the problem.



We are having a Flashback Friday this week, but it’s not of a long ago post. It is a flashback to some baby photos. We just got our paws on them after our foster mom, Xan, posted them on Facebook. These are just three of the bunch.


Astrid and Lisbeth baby photos


Did you recognize us? We were pretty cute, don’tcha think? Mom’s fairly certain the Astrid photo is the one she fell in love with on PetFinder. It was those little kissable lips that grabbed at her heart.

As y’all know, we are no longer friends. It makes our mom so sad. She’d like all of us Kitties Blue to like each other and be a nice little family. It ain’t gonna happen…EVER! She and Dad will have to content themselves with us loving them.

As Mom types this, six of us are hunkered down in bed with both Dad and her. By the time you read this, the snow that is coming probably will have started to bury our little city. We are in the center of the area where power is most likely to be lost. That means no heated floors or any other heat for that matter. That’s why we’ve staked out our places on the bed and only plan to get up for meals.

If you are in the path of Jonas (That’s the name of this monster storm.) we hope you have hunkered down as well. Tell your humans to stay indoors where they can remain safe and warm. It’s going to be a great day or two to curl up and cuddle with you.

Purrs and paw-pats, Astrid and Lisbeth

p.s. Fiona asked us to thank everyone for the continued purrs, prayers, POTP and good wishes. This is the most wonderful community of caring and loving individuals.

Snowflakes clipart strip


For Flashback Friday, I am sharing a post from December 20, 2012. It was titled, “Christmas: Day 6,” and received one comment. It is printed as it was then but for a few word changes, an added closing paragraph and different photos. Hope you enjoy it.

Getting ready for Christmas can be exhausting, especially if you are a kitty and self-appointed quality control inspector of all things Christmas.


Kitties Blue are Q.C. Inspectors for Christmas


These are eight Christmas duties for which Kitties Blue take personal responsibility:

1. Tasting the butter before it goes in the cookies to ensure it is fresh, pure and nommy. Leaving some fur on the stick of butter is also very important as the kitties don’t have any “inspected by” stickers to apply.

2. Playing tug-of-war with all garland to make sure it is strong enough to swing from once it has been hung.

3. Nosing a few ornaments off of angel “Twinkle‘s Tree” (the only one to which they have constant access) and shoving them under the rug to assure they won’t break and will be available for future play.

4. Nesting inside the wreaths prior to my hanging them as a check for symmetry and fluffiness.

5. Testing all light strings to make certain each bulb is securely inserted into its socket so no outages will occur when they attempt to remove the strings from trees, wreaths and garland.

6. Clawing and sniffing each package, chewing on bows and burrowing into gift bags in order to ascertain that gift wrappings will hold up until presents can be opened officially.

7. Shoving the glass, votive candle holders off the kitchen counter and watching them crash to the floor just because she (Lisbeth) can!

8. Excavating all Christmas stockings to ascertain if any treats or catnip may have been left behind last year, while making certain plenty of space is available for this year’s goodies.

What are your kitties responsible for during the holidays? Kitties Blue are inquiring in case they are neglecting any important, kitty-specific duties.







A slightly different and longer version of this post was published originally in December 2012, just a few months after Kitties Blue and I started blogging. Two readers commented on that post. Knowing most of you have never seen this, I thought it would be a fun way to start the holiday season. 

Skooter Christmas 1

Our very first kitty, Skooter, loved Christmas more than any of our other cats past or present. He enjoyed decorating, the thrill of unwrapping gifts and playing with the discarded paper and empty boxes as well as with his new toys.

His favorite pursuit, however, was sleeping beneath the Christmas tree. In those days, we still put a real tree in the foyer each year. Skooter had constant access and spent most of his days and evenings beneath the tree with lights warming his fur. As novice kitty caregivers, we never considered this could be a problem even when we were both away at work all day.

Look at that sweet and innocent face. Who would ever expect this adorable kitty to get into trouble? As Tom always says, “What could go wrong?”

Skooter Christmas 2The ornaments from the bottom of the tree were always on the floor, which I now know to expect. I didn’t have any expensive ornaments in those days, so ornaments were rarely broken. It was just a pain to continually pick up and put the ornaments back onto the tree.

And nothing did go wrong, until one fateful night as guests were coming up the front walk. They could hear us from within the house as we were in the midst of yelling at Skooter. The nine-foot-tall tree was teetering, and Tom and I were trying to prevent it from crashing down. Our big boy had caught his head in a string of lights as he was sprinting from beneath the tree. In his desperation to run upstairs prior to interlopers entering his house, he struggled to get away with those lights wrapped around his neck. As we tried to assist him, the tree was on the fast track toward the floor.*

Being younger, faster and nimbler in those days (1990, I think), Tom and I caught the tree just before it hit the rug.

Even after that near CATastrophe, the tree remained in the foyer and at least semi-upright for several more years. From then on, it was attached to the stair railings with bungee cords! This wasn’t a full-proof method for protecting tree and ornaments as the kitties were able to tip the tree and partially dislodge its base from the floor. But the tree never again came close to crashing!

As I collected more expensive and breakable ornaments (many as we have traveled in other countries), it was necessary to move the tree. It went to the living room behind closed doors. As I am capable of breaking the glass ornaments without any help, the tree-pouncing pusses no longer are required to provide their expertise. I also gave in and purchased an artificial tree. The opportunity to sharpen claws on the trunk was lost forever.

Please don’t feel too sorry for Kitties Blue, however, or turn me into N.U.C.A.T. We have an artificial tree with unbreakable ornaments in the dining room. They can whap, bat and jostle the ornaments to their heart’s content with no fear of reprisal. I just collect them off the floor before I go to bed each night and put them back on the tree in the morning. After all I can’t deprive them of their holiday fun!

* No cats or humans were harmed during the fiasco, but a few ornaments did not survive.



Just realized this hadn’t published when it was supposed to at midnight. Oops!

With our third blogoversary merely days away, I decided to participate in Flashback Friday and share one of our early posts with you. It received one comment from a personal friend, so I am relatively sure none of our current followers have seen it.

The post was originally published on September 1, 2012, and was entitled, “Naming Your Cat.” I have modified it slightly from a grammatical stand-point, but the content is unchanged. The post explains how several of our angels came by their names, so I believe you should find it interesting.

The asterisks in the post relate to a notes I have added at the end of today’s post.


Once you name a cat, it is no longer a stray. It is a member of your household. Friends have claimed they are feeding a cat that has been hanging around but haven’t named it. They just call it Cat or Kitty or some other generic moniker. Hey…that’s a name! My friend Tammy, who my Tom calls the pusher (she always calls me when she hears of cats that need homes) continues to have strays appear at her house. One of those, called Yellow Cat by her husband, Tom, was dropping by and they were feeding him. Tammy stated emphatically they were not claiming him or giving him a name. My Tom pointed out that Yellow Cat is a name. He’s now been around for a couple of years.

Poet T.S. Eliot (1888 – 1965) had advice about naming cats long before we started to care for cats, but we have our own list of “DOs” with regard to this: Number 1 on the list: Do give all your cats fancy names so when you’re outside screaming for them at the top of your lungs, your neighbors will think you’re classy. 

We haven’t used any of the imaginative and whimsical names, like Munkustrap, Bombalurina, or Jellylorum, Eliot suggested in “The Naming of Cats,” first published with other cat poems in 1939. To our minds, however, we have improved at this ritual as the years have progressed.

angelsNew to this important task with our first and second cats, our inexperience is evident. After days of debate with kitty #1, the best we could do was Skooter—a typical pet’s name or kid’s nickname. (He was not named after the Muppet, Scooter.) We made our guy’s name a little different by using a “K” instead of a “C” in the spelling. But, still, it was not unusual or imaginative. Scooter ranks very high on the list of popular cat names.

angelsOur second cat had an unusual name for a girl: Steamer. She was named after the brother of storyteller Ernest Randolph “Doc” McConnell (1928-2008): Cecil “Steamer” McConnell. We’d heard McConnell at a storytelling weekend at Mountain Lake, Pembroke, VA, and were delighted by a tale about Steamer and a Vienna (pronounced Vy-ee-nuh) Sausage tree. But this was yet another nickname.

angelsBy the time we got to our third cat, Daphne, we had decided human names were more sophisticated, developed our “DO” list and have not deviated from this system except when naming Twinkle. (However, I would like to have a Sparkle* someday, but probably will refrain as long as our neighbors have Sparky.) Daphne, according to Greek mythology, was a nymph pursued by the Olympian God, Apollo. Daphne prayed for help and was turned into a laurel. Though Daphne came into our lives in 1991, we did not know about the story of the laurel until 1994 when we visited Greece.

angelsUntil I began this post and re-read “The Naming of Cats” I hadn’t realized that we had used a derivative of one of Eliot’s “fancier” names. Chloë is another name for Demeter, the Greek Goddess of the Harvest. Chloë’s a very popular name on many pet naming web-sites as well. It’s the fifth most popular female cat name at cuteness.com and one of those listed at petrix.com along with Lily, Madison and MacKenzie. Dog lovers also must be partial to this name. The dog living across the street from us is a Chloë.


We showed great restraint when it came to our cat Madison. He hung out on the back deck for more than six months before we invited him in the house. And he did not get his name until he had become a permanent member of the household! Madison is not an unusual name. Human girls have been acquiring this name at an increasing rate during the past several years. Our Madison, however, was a male, and his name fit him purrfectly. With his white fur and blue eyes most visitors thought he was a female. It really didn’t bother him as he was secure in his masculinity.

For information on how some of our other kids came by their names, please read THE FELINES page.

Involving your children in the selection of a new kitty or in the naming process is always a good idea. But be prepared to live with their selections. Our previous neighbors’ large, female, tuxedo cat was named Jim!

I have lists of potential cat names for future felines that might come into our lives. At the top of all lists are the names Audrey and Jeanmarie. These ladies are both previous veterinarians to our kitties. Audrey was instrumental in saving Lily’s life, which you will be able to read about in a future post.* Both vets came to the house for annual check-ups and vaccinations and also picked up and dropped off various kitties when they needed care that required an office visit. We think naming a couple of our pusses for them would be the supreme compliment.

If you truly are at a loss for a cat name and decide to Google “Cat Names,” you will find 73 pages of web-sites with various lists and suggestions for names. Numerous books also can be found with lists of names. But be adventurous and use your imagination. We have found that it takes about four months for the average cat (and, of course, none are) to learn its name, so we felt secure in renaming three of our kitties: MacKenzie originally known as Cyrus, Lisbeth formerly Cary and Astrid (Tabitha). Madison also most likely had another name. He was about two years old when he adopted us and so well-mannered that he must have been someone else’s pet at one time.

But no matter what you name your puss, as long as something good awaits (treats, stinky goodness), she’ll come when you call…eventually.

* This post was written prior to our meeting Sparkle or her blog.

* This post has never been written. I’m putting it on my To Do List.