This post will be short but sweet. We are here today to say Happy Birthday to our mom. This is the first time we have ever surprised her for her birthday. She thinks it is rather conceited to have a birthday post for herself. She has reported on her birthday after the fact a couple of times., and we know she will do that again this year. But in the meantime.



We know this is one of her very favorite photos so wanted to share it with you. It was not taken on one of her birthdays. It is from January 1952 (two months before her third birthday). She is sitting in her Grandpa Herman’s lap.


birthday mom


Mom has shared with us how she dearly loved her grandparents and how good they were to her. She spent lots and lots of time with them when she was growing up. She believes those times were the very best of her childhood.

We are hoping that she thinks the years with us (and our dad) are the best of her adult life.

Please join us in sending our mom best wishes on her birthday. Lisbeth has even agreed to share her tiara.

We love you Mom, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

hk hat birthday mom



So the frustration level at our house is at DEFCON 1. What does that mean? If our mom could drop a nuclear bomb on APPLE and her MacBook Air, we are pretty sure she would.

A couple months ago, she got a new MacBook Air. She had pretty much worn out her old one, and her Apple Care three-year contract had expired.

Mom has never been able to get some things to work correctly, like migrating her photos to the new computer. And the screen would act wonky sometimes, freezing the entire computer.

We could never get our outgoing mail for The Cat on My Head to work. For a while we were able to use one of our other servers to send it, then that stopped working. Then a few days ago all our outgoing mail stopped working. ARGH!

Mom had appointments all day Tuesday and set Wednesday aside to try to fix things—not expecting it to take the entire day.

APPLE got her AOL and Cox outgoing e-mail working, but The Cat on My Head still couldn’t send mail. The next call to our domain host company ended up shutting The Cat on My Head down completely—nothing in and nothing out. ARGH! ARGH!

Another call to APPLE and another Call to West Host and (how she isn’t sure) all ingoing and outgoing mail is working in all accounts. Yippee!

But APPLE released an update today (El Capitan), to fix bugs in their OS X Yosemite operating system. They suggested that installing that might help the glitches that were causing her computer to freeze up. So she installed!

All e-mail continued to work, so she was elated and, may we say, optimistic about getting on with some things she needed to do for Cat Scouts!

She went to piZap and started working on a photo and after about an hour, everything looked purrfect. Okay, pick save to computer, fill in a name for her creation, pick where it should be saved and hit SAVE. Boink! SAVE…Boink! No matter what she tried all she heard was Boink! Boink! Boink! Well you get the idea. Nothing was happening. Once again the computer was frozen! ARGH! ARGH! ARGH!

Okay, spend an hour trying to figure out why this didn’t work. Finally give up and try another photo editor: Create…save…freeze…Boink! And another photo editor:…freeze…Boink! Again, we think you get the idea!


We are pretty surprised we didn’t hear any HBO words. We think she didn’t have the energy to utter them. Or purrhaps she is saving them for her next call to APPLE!

Whatever…it’s now Thursday and none of us are feeling very thankful.

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

p.s. All of this is the reason we didn’t do any visiting yesterday. And we are not holding out hope for today. Purrlease forgive us.


Inventive & Sneaky

grey cat inside a dishwasher

Fiona almost disappears against the stainless steel interior of the dishwasher.

Every cat needs a good hiding place or two or three, especially when one of the humans is trying to take it to the vet or another kitty is hot on its tail. Over the years our kids have been inventive and sneaky; though, sometimes they have not completely hidden but merely gotten themselves into a space unreachable by human hands. Both Thelma and Louise liked to flatten themselves against the wall under the very center of the king-sized waterbed.

This was the perfect tactic since even with the bedroom door closed and a kitty caregiver on each side of the bed, they could jump to the window sill and escape across the top of the bed. It didn’t matter if they were unable to escape the room. They knew that when caught we’d never keep our grip on a squirming, flailing, claw-extended cat. When the door was opened the gyrations would begin. Soon we would be racing after a feline flying down and up and up and down the stairs and throughout the house.

Before the New Kitchen

calico cat in a basket

Lily secrets herself from the other felines in a basket.

Prior to our kitchen redo, another of Louise’s favorite hiding places, which she usually saved for what Dad Tom calls, “The Round-Up,” (when the vet comes to the house for annual check-ups and shots) was on top of an enclosed kitchen radiator camouflaged by a curtain. And Daphne used that as a point of entry to a corner cabinet where she wedged herself behind a lazy susan. It took a contortionist (me) to drag her from this niche.

Long-haired tuxedo cat in a green pot.

Daphne tucks herself into a pot in the previous breakfast room.

Also before the make-over, all of our felines, as kittens, would crawl through a tiny space between a base cabinet and the stove if we didn’t keep it covered with cardboard and duct tape. Once there, they could scamper around under the peninsula and behind the cabinets. Every once in a while we needed to pull out the stove to retrieve the toys, pencils, corks, coins, bag ties and other bright, shiny objects that had been batted into or taken through the hole.

And again while we were in the old-kitchen era, every kitten found the built-in wine rack at the end of the peninsula. Its compartments perfectly fit their little bodies. This hiding place gave them the opportunity to attack the ankles of unsuspecting passersby!


Long-haired, grey, tabby kitten hiding in a wine rack.

Alex, another kitten from one of Mom’s* litters, tucks himself into the wine rack. (The wine rack is now enclosed inside an upper cabinet.)


Tuxedo kitten hiding in a bookcase and being watched by a tortoise shell kitten sitting on kitchen counter.

In the new kitchen, Astrid discovers Lisbeth’s hiding place during a rousing game of Hide ‘n Seek.

Hiding Place Elimination

The kitchen remodel eliminated the previous four hiding places. A variety of others remain. We still have plenty of radiators for a flexible cat to secret itself under or behind. And, of course, shelves, drawers, closets, laundry hampers and suitcases work well, often hiding and trapping a feline whose only intention was to take a quick look around.

Update to this post: Lisbeth has found a place to hide that we have never discovered! She scared us terribly when we thought she had escaped the house during a delivery. We spent hours searching outside and inside. I had convinced myself she had jumped in the delivery truck and only escaped it after it arrived at its next destination. Dad Tom and I went to bed, and I cried myself to sleep. When I got up at 3 a.m. to use the bathroom, Lisbeth showed up in the hall. I have never discovered where she was hiding during those 12-plus hours!

Hiding Assistance

But the sneakiest cats of all are the ones who help hide other cats. If you look closely, you can see Giulietta’s face peeking out from behind Fiona.

Long-haired grey kitten hiding behind short-haired grey kitten in a cat tree cubby hole.


Once, much to our dismay, Louise hid herself in our neighbor’s basement for two weeks. But that is a long story for a another post.


Misty May hiding in Christmas wrappings.

Mauricio discovers Misty May hiding in a bag of used Christmas wrappings.


These photos of cats in baskets, cabinets, pots and a variety of other creative places are a small representation of those we have snapped of cats in hiding. In the future I definitely plan to share others as some are hysterical.


Black and white (tuxedo cat) hiding inside desk.

Mauricio wiggled his way onto a shelf of tablets to spy on Tom while he worked at his desk.


And, if you would like to see photos of cats in hiding already posted, please visit, “Cat in a Box” and “Cats in High Places.”

Speaking of “Cat in a Box”: With the holidays coming, carefully check all shipping boxes prior to sealing and mailing. This morning, Astrid, Giulietta and Mauricio were all in danger of being sent out-of-state to Meredith. (Her Comments you often can read here.) As the box was already heavy with books, I might not have noticed the extra weight!

Where do your cats like to hide? You can tell me about their favorite hiding places by leaving a Comment below. Maybe it will help us the next time one of our pusses pulls a disappearing act.

* Mom was a stray cat and the mother of our cats, Daphne, Thelma, Louise and Twinkle as well as many others for which we found homes.