Cats in the Garden

ASTRID’S UNAUTHORIZED EXPLORATION

Thoroughly Poetic Thursday

It’s time again to get our “rhyme on.” This is one of our favorite days of the week, when we get to join Angel Sammy and Teddy with another poem. “G” is today’s prompt letter. I pondered all week about writing a poem for Giulietta, but finally decided to go with one of the prompt words for this week, based on Astrid’s antics of Tuesday evening. These are this week’s prompt words: (1) Garden (2) Giggle (3) Groceries (4) Grandma.

I’ve selected the subject of garden. I’m certain that has peaked your curiosity about the title of this post. Read on, and you will see the link between the two.

Astrid Takes Flight

Our garden was a thing of beauty in the spring,
With green grass and flowers bright as any bling.
The rains kept coming day after day,
And all of nature’s beauty was on display.
Everything now is dried up and brown.
Looking at it makes Mom and Dad frown.
In spite of this, Astrid felt the need to explore
And snuck right out the catio door.
She jumped and flew about ten feet to the ground,
Where she took off without making a sound.
For three hours she had her mom in a tizzy,
As Mom searched in the heat until she was dizzy.
Where that stinker was hiding is unknown.
We’re just thankful she decided to come home.
The garden is no place for a fraidy cat like her,
When skunks and groundhogs she might incur.
Though the garden may be turning to dust,
The critters still find scavenging flowers a must.
Gardens are fun places to explore and play,
But for most kitties this is not a place to stay.
This is especially true for our adventurous cat,
Who disappears into the shrubbery just like that!
She is tired today and acts quite ashamed,
When yesterday she thought it was the perfect game.
You can bet Mom won’t be letting her out of her sight,
In case Astrid once again decides to take flight.

© Janet Buickerood Blue 07/26/2017

I bet you expected to see Astrid here, but she is embarrassed to show herself after being a naughty girl. So in her place, I am sharing a collage of flowers, from when the yard was still thriving, and a photo of one of critters mentioned in the poem.

 

flowers in our garden

 

groundhog in the garden

To read Angel Sammy’s poem and find links to other poems, click on the badge below. You will also find the prompt words for next week if you’d like to pen a poem yourself. It isn’t all that hard, and it does not have to rhyme.

Thankful Thursday

We think it is pretty obvious for what we are thankful today. Of course, it is Astrid deciding to come home. Dad Tom, however, is not too happy or thankful for the two-inch gash Astrid put in his arm when he grabbed her. But that will heal. Had we lost Astrid, our hearts would not.

This also is our entry in Brian’s Thankful Thursday blog hop. To enter, click on the badge below.

 

Comment-a-thon Reminder

Have your entered our Comment-athon for an opportunity to win a donation to your favorite 501(c)(3) shelter or rescue? If you haven’t, you only have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to enter. Anyone leaving a comment on Mau and Allie’s anniversary post, “Allie & Mau’s 1st Anniversary,” will be entered in the drawing . For every comment made Kitties Blue will donate one dollar, with no cap on the amount. If you haven’t commented, please do. We want to donate bunches of green papers.

You can earn a second entry by leaving a comment on Allie’s Sunday Selfies post. In addition to the second entry in the Kitties Blue drawing, you will earn an entry into Allie’s drawing for an Amazon gift card. So, pop on over to Allie’s blog at Friends Furever right now, as her entries will also close tonight. Winners will be selected using Random.org.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…

try, try again! We believe we have found our new motto. Actually, it’s our first motto. We didn’t even know what a motto was before today. But this fits our current and future plans purrfectly.

We weren’t very successful with our purrfectly planned payback session thanks to Chris cleaning up after us. But she did miss the fact that Lily Olivia managed to get herself into the living room* and knock over several gifts Dad received when he was traveling. None were damaged, but Maggie ratted out Lily anyway. And one of us had gotten into the transom above the backdoor, which Mom left open so we could get some whiffies, and pulled out most of the weather stripping in an effort to escape. But those were mere triffles.

So we have been super busy ever since then getting back at the humans. One of us did leave that nice gooey vomit right next to bed so that Mom stepped in it when she got up to use the facilities a couple nights ago. And the fur balls have been flying. The humans can barely turn around without finding a hacked up present. We don’t know if they have found the one Austin (CATachresis) hid ’cause he didn’t even tell us where he put it.

An exhausted Fiona opens her eyes when Dad snaps her photo.

An exhausted Fiona opens her eyes when Dad snaps her photo.

But Astrid, with a little help from Fiona, has been the linchpin in our plan. She’s now done the Houdini routine three times. The first we already told you about in “Payback Foiled.”

Her second disappearing act occurred two days ago when Mom was letting one of the big kids in the front door. Astrid bolted out through the three-inch opening. She gave Mom a two-hour run-around in the yard. She finally decided she was hungry (kitty dinner time had come and gone) and so returned, but not until Mom was panting and super frustrated. We were all laughing our furs off.

Then it was Fiona’s turn. She refused to come in off the catio at bedtime two nights ago. She had both Mom and Dad chasing her up and down the stairs, both inside and out, from one level to the next.

The photo of Lisbeth Dad was taking before Astrid escaped out the window.

The photo of Lisbeth Dad was taking before Astrid escaped out the window.

But yesterday was the best…Dad left the screen up on the kitchen window in order to take a photo of Lisbeth on the catio. Astrid was out the window and gone before either of the humans could scream, “NO!” She didn’t even stop for a nano-second on the deck before she jumped to the yard. Mom knew she wasn’t going to be easy to get in so decided to finish her breakfast.

When she went out Astrid was nonchalantly exploring the yard and totally ignoring Mom’s pleas and promise of treats. (She’d just eaten breakfast and had no interest in treats.) So Mom decided to work in the garden until Astrid got tired or hungry. After two hours of cleaning flowerbeds, trimming trees and dragging branches to the curb, Mom was dirty and sweaty and decided to come in the house. She wanted to save some energy for biking later in the day.

She assumed (very, very misguided human) that Astrid was ready to return to the house as she had come looking for her. Of course, Astrid had no intention whatsoever of doing this.

As it was Wordless Wednesday, Mom decided to take the computer to the catio and do some hopping and commenting. That way she could check on Astrid frequently. She also took our treat jar, but only after dispensing some noms to those of us hanging around the kitchen. We had been forced to stay in the house so the outer catio door could be propped open.

The human’s frequent jiggling of the jar lid and trips through the yard shaking the treat pouch did nothing to convince Astrid that she should return to the house or catio. After circling the house a couple of times while using the special kitty call the humans have for us, either with no sighting of Astrid or Astrid running from her, Mom would return to the computer.

Astrid in her favorite napping spot shortly after coming back in the house.

Astrid in her favorite napping spot shortly after coming back in the house.

After two hours of alternating typing and house circling, Mom decided it was lunch time. As she was getting ready to pick up the treats and computer she looked down to see the darling, sweet, lovable, stinker Astrid sitting next to her.

As soon as Mom opened the backdoor, Astrid was off like a shot for either food, water, the litter box or a nap. We don’t know which, but as you can see, she was found napping a short time later. Finally, the remainder of us got to have our catio time.

Astrid figures that as long as our humans keep making mistakes when it comes to managing the doors and windows, she can keep this up until the cows come home; though, none of us knows exactly what this means. We didn’t have any cows to start with; though, there is a pony buried in the backyard. But that’s a story for another day.

* As the living room is generally a cat-free zone, it does not need cleaning each time Chris visits.

Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Misty May, Mauricio, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

 

TRANSGRESSIONS AND COMPLAINTS

We don’t want to complain. Who are we kidding, of course, we do. We are being neglected. Mom has chosen to spend time doing things other than catering to our every need. We’ll admit that she’s been playing laser-light tag with us two or three times a day, but she doesn’t even need to get out of her chair to do that. And sometimes she cheats and uses the laser to get us off the catio and in for the night.

Nor is she required to leave her chair to let us in or out whenever we ask. She doesn’t even turn to see who is at the door. If she hears one of us scratching or asking with a polite meow to enter or exit, she opens the door and holds it open for what she thinks is long enough for us to enter/exit. Then she closes it without looking. If we’re a little pokey, she’ll close the door before we ever get in or out. Once she even closed the door right on Astrid.

On Tuesday, she spent three and one-half hours in the garden. We think that is far too many hours in one day, especially as she spent two other days this week planting flowers. One of those days was in the pot garden on the upper deck. We were able to spend time with her, but she wasn’t paying any attention to us, except when she was telling Calista Jo not to eat the pepper plants and chives or grilling us on who dug half the dirt out of the pot of catnip. Did she honestly expect one of us to fess up? She can be so naive!

Then, of course, there’s the riding of the tandem bike. When that happens both the humans are away for at least two hours but sometimes even more if they stop somewhere for lunch.

All the hours she spends reading about cats on other blogs is a pure waste of time. We do have some personal favorite kitties in bloggy world, but we think the eight of us should be enough for her. Even worse, she demands that we write at least 90 percent of the comments on these other blogs, and that is eating into our nap and catio time.

And now she has started reading a book about another cat, The Cujo Cat Chronicles by Douglas Dunn and Cujo. We really find that to be incomprehensible. She’s reading his blog by the same name, and THAT should be enough.

Sewing Supervisor: Giulietta

Sewing Snoopervisor: Giulietta

Plus we read in her e-mail that she is going to make nip toys for Barn Cat Buddies Adoption Event on Saturday. We prayed she’d let us in on this activity but figured she’d shoo us to the catio; even though, it only seemed fair as Calista was adopted from one of these events and both Astrid and Lisbeth are BCBs. And usually if we get enough kitty spit on at least one toy, Mom will give it to us. As you can see from these photos we were able to find a way to get involved. If you click on the following link, you can see a video of Calista helping Mom: Quality Control Inspector #8: C.J.

Giulietta testing the strength of the thread.

Giulietta testing the strength of the thread.

And finally, last weekend Mom and Dad loaded up the tandem and left for almost four whole days. Mom refused our demands earlier in the week to write about this transgression as she hoped we would forget how miffed we were. NO way that ‘s going to happen. We may not be elephants, but we aren’t completely brain dead.

To their credit, they didn’t just fill our food and water bowls and leave us this time. We had our two favorite kitty sitters, Jeanmarie and Maggie. Jeanmarie used to be our vet (we like her anyway) until she moved away to pursue a dermatology specialty. When she comes home for visits, she always takes care of us if the humans are away.

Quality Control Inspector #6: Astrid

Quality Control Inspector #6: Astrid

Lisbeth made friends with Jeanmarie this time. She didn’t know Jeanmarie when she was our vet. And Lily Olivia gave Maggie kisses. We, as well as Maggie, almost dropped dead when that happened. Lily only gives kisses to Mom and Dad and only when she is feeling particularly generous. Lily caved only one night after they returned giving Mom 37 face kisses that night and 23 the next. Traitor!

Quality Control Inspectors 8, 7 & 6: C.J., Lisbeth, Astrid

Quality Control Inspectors 8, 7 & 6: C.J., Lisbeth, Astrid

Once again when the humans returned, they only stayed long enough to feed us and change their clothes. Then they went out to dinner and the symphony. We said we’d give them a symphony: a symphony of their transgressions and our complaints.

Mom said that Fiona could not complain or sign her name to this post as she got to leave the catio and spend a couple hours in the yard with Mom. She reported to us that she was a very good girl. She didn’t even fight or struggle when Dad picked her up and brought her in the house so he could mow the lawn. So that’s another thing that gripes us: Why does Fiona get to go in the garden and the remainder of us (except, of course, Lily, Mauricio and Misty May) are forced to stay in the house or catio? We’ll have to explore that conundrum in another post as we know we have rambled on way too long.

Purrs and hugs and complaints, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette 

FIONA FRIDAY: THE BEST DAY EVER

Lisbeth, Giulietta and Fiona enjoy a little nip and their new scratcher lounge.

Lisbeth, Giulietta and Fiona enjoy a little nip and their new scratcher lounge.

At least in my opinion!

Wild-eyed Astrid

Wild-eyed Astrid

The humans went out around lunch time yesterday. They were away for about two hours. Some of us decided to stay in the house and some out on our screened deck.

When Mom and Dad arrived home, they had presents for us. We got a new scratcher. It’s also a lounger. And it came with NIP. We have pretty well decimated our old cardboard scratcher. And Mom’s been complaining about all the itty-bitty pieces of cardboard all over the floor and stuck to Giulietta’s furs. So, this was probably more of a gift for her than us. But, heck, we’re not going to complain.

We also got two new crunchy balls. They are one of our favorite toys, but we can’t seem to keep our paws on them. We think Mom hides them from us, but she says we lose them under appliances, dressers and other furniture. We’re not buying that lame excuse for one minute.

That made for a pretty exciting day for all of us. But I got an even better surprise.

"What's that? Is that a worm? Hey mom, I think I see a worm."

“What’s that? Is that a worm? Hey mom, I think I see a worm.”

Mom decided to work in the garden in the afternoon after she noticed bunches of dandelions in the side yard. She hates dandelions and wild onions (not as much as English ivy and honeysuckle, but they’re right up there).

Anyway, she took me with her. Of the five youngsters, I am the only one who gets authorized outdoor privileges. I don’t get to go without supervision, but I am not complaining. Mom will let me accompany her a few times a year as I am almost always a good girl. I stay close by and report to her whenever she calls me. Well, at least most of the time.

The snooper-visor, Misty May.

The snoopervisor, Misty May.

Before MacKenzie went to the bridge he was Mom’s yard snoopervisor, following her and plopping down nearby. Misty May has taken over that position, so when I am in the garden I’m free to explore.

See what a good girl I am.

See what a good girl I am.

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Misty May tired out from snoopervising takes a nap.

 

 

Mommy was out for three hours. I only got to stay out for two, but again…not complaining. When I came in I had a nice nap on the new scratcher. Like I said, best day ever!

Purrs and hugs, Fiona

FIONA GETS SPECIAL TREATMENT

A Digression: After Christmas Bowl Games

After Christmas has passed I have more free time to relax. I spend lots of it sitting in the living room enjoying the tree while Dad Tom is watching Bowl game after Bowl game. When I was a teenager, four Bowl games (Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar) were contested. That was it…the end! This year when they continued to go on and on, I asked Tom how many bowls there are now. He said that he thought about 20.

Not wanting to be called out if this figure happened to be wrong, I decided to check Google to find the correct answer. So here it is: 35! (See note at the conclusion of this post with regard to the 2023-24 season.) I honestly can’t believe it. That’s a total of 70 teams, many of them unranked. The only reason I can think of for so many of these games is to line the sponsors’ pockets. Although, I am certain, participating in one of these games is quite a badge of honor for the players and their parents. I hope I have not offended anyone with my mini-rant. And anyway, I obviously am not writing a post about football.

Tree Watching

So back on topic: I watch the tree. Its lights and shining ornaments can be mesmerizing. When in the living room I am usually catless. Giulietta, however, and her sis, Fiona, sit on the other side of the door. Giulietta scratches on the door while Fiona whines. Unlike the other siblings, Mauricio and Misty May, they are nearly always together. I do sometimes separate them, as I am known for granting Fiona special privileges. She is such a good kitty and minds me quite well most of the time, so I will sneak her into the living room with me. Last night she hung out under the tree, but normally she is curled up next to or on top of me. And we nap!

Yesterday morning she joined me in bed, as I got up a little later than Dad Tom. After he fed the kitties, Fiona came back upstairs. She always sneaks up on me stealthily, and we have some alone time. Only occasionally, she sleeps on the bed so this is always a treat for both of us. She gets lots of one-on-one petting and rubbing without any of the other Kitties Blue butting in, and I get the warm fuzzies since she specifically sought me out.

In the spring and summer I occasionally let her off the screened porch and into the yard with me. You can read more about this in my post, “Cats in the Garden.”

Fiona & Thelma/Louise 

special treatment: grey cat on couch back

Fiona

Fiona resembles our previous cat, Louise. But, for some reason, I often call her by Louise’s sister’s name, Thelma. I can think of two possible reasons. Both names end in “a,” or because Thelma and Fiona share similar personalities and mannerisms. Fiona is only slightly more vocal than Thelma, who only talked at night after we went to bed. We would hear her downstairs in the foyer having conversations with toys or shadows or dust bunnies.We never really knew or discovered to whom she was speaking or what she was talking about!

And Thelma also was a stealth cat, having learned to approach without her bell making any sound. I miss both Thelma and Louise bunches and am glad Fiona often makes me think of them.

grey cat and black cat - special treatment

Louise and Thelma

In Conclusion

Last night was the Cotton Bowl. I spent the duration of the game in the living room alone, admiring the tree and doing a computer-generated puzzle of Mauricio. Fiona chose to nap on the dining room table with Giulietta.

But, as I finally finish this post (more server problems), Fiona is sitting on my lap purring and not even trying to touch the computer. Good kitty!

Note: For the 2023-24 Bowl Season, there were 60 bowl games: 43 in Division I, 4 in Division II and 13 in Division III. Yikes!