Flashback Friday


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.



We are taking the day off so our mom can post something super embarrassing. We have to blame our furiend, Spitty‘s, mom, Mary, as she’s the one who gave our mom the idea. Mom Mary posted an Easter photo of a friend and herself from their childhood.

Though this post is about our mom, we kitties agreed to do the writing.

Mom always says that she sees her life through photographs. The one she is sharing she sees everyday. It is in the family/friend photo gallery in our foyer.

When Mom was growing up, her paternal grandmother was the photographer for the family. If she didn’t attend an event, no photos were taken. Whenever Mom was staying with her grandparents, which was often everyday, she would spend hours looking at her grandma’s photo albums. If an event occurred for which there were no photos, Mom says that it seems as if it never really happened.

Without further blathering or setting the scene, here is the photo as it would have looked in Mom’s grandmother’s album.




This was Mom and her sister, Judy. The photo was taken on Easter in 1953 when Mom was four and her sister almost eleven. What do you think of those matching dresses? As far as our mom remembers, it was the only time they were ever dressed alike.

With their age difference, Mom and her sister were never very close until they were well into adulthood, and by that time Mom was living in Virginia while her sister remained in California. Judy died several years ago…so now Mom remembers their lives through photographs.

We are posting this today as we will be joining Athena and Marie‘s Caturday Art Blog Hop on Saturday and hosting our Sunday Selfies Blog Hop on Easter Sunday.

We also are joining Create With Joy’s Friendship Friday Blog Hop.

Friendship Friday at Create With Joy

Wishing everyone who celebrates this holiday a very Happy Easter.

Purrs and paw-pats, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo