Steamer

SCHEMER OR DREAMER

Thoroughly Poetic Thursday

 

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My plan for today had been to write a poem about one of the first two Kitties Blue, Skooter or Steamer, as the prompt letter for this week is “S.” After several false starts on a poem about Skooter, I settled on a limerick about Steamer.

There once was a cat named Steamer,
Who fancied herself a bit of a schemer.
But when she plotted and planned
To steal stuffed salmon from a pan,
She found she was only a dreamer.

It may not be good, but I did manage to STUFF it with esses.

 

angels - Hill's Pet Nutrition

 

If you’d like to know how Steamer and some of our other angel cats got there names, click here.

To read Angel Sammy and Teddy’s “S” poem and/or find links to other poems featuring the letter “S,” click on the badge above.

Thankful Thursday

On Tuesday evenings from 8 to 10 p.m. ET BlogPaws holds a Twitter chat. I try to take part as often as possible, as it is an excellent way to meet and connect with other bloggers as well as brand representatives. A few weeks ago the chat was about senior pets and a new Hill’s cat food especially for seniors. I shared this photo of Lily Olivia, stating she had been my constant companion for 18 years.

 

Hill's Pet Nutrition

 

A few days later I was contacted by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, whose representative (@HillsPet) was one of the “chatters.” I was asked for our address so that Hills could send Lily some swag. This is what Lily received.

 

Hill's Pet Nutrition swag

 

Lily Olivia and I are grateful to Hill’s Pet Nutrition for their thoughtfulness and generosity.

We are joining Brian’s Home for the Thankful Thursday blog hop with our “thanks” to Hill’s. Click on the badge below to go to Brian’s blog.

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RAINBOW BRIDGE REMEMBRANCE DAY WITH OUR ANGELS

RainbowBridge-Web

 

Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles have created a very special day, Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, to honor and remember “those cherished pets we have lost but not forgotten.”

Whether your beloved pet had fur or fins, scales or feathers, they had a special place in your heart of hearts.

Today we are honoring and remembering the nine angel kitties in our family as well as our honorary kitty angel, Nylablue.

 

Angel Skooter

Skooter

Angel Steamer

Steamer

 

Angel Daphne

Daphne

Angel Thelma

Thelma

 

Angel Louise

Louise

Angel Chloe

Chloe

 

Angel Twinkle

Twinkle

Angel Madison

Madison

 

Angel MacKenzie

MacKenzie

Honorary Sisfur Angel Nylablue

Nylablue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about them, you can visit our The Felines page.

We’d also like to remember and honor the two woofies who came before any of us, Smack and Poppy.

Please consider taking part in this first annual event. The hope is it will be the first of many to come. You are encouraged to post on your blog, your Facebook page, or any other social media of your choice in memory of your angel anipals.

This event is hosted by Purr Prints of the Heart. Although this was a day originally created in honor of  Zee and Zoey’s Mr. Jazz, it will now honor all those who have crossed their Rainbow Bridge.

Today, we are sending purrs and prayers to all the families and friends with angels who have crossed that Bridge.

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

FRIDAY FLASHBACK INTRODUCES SOME OF OUR ANGELS

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.

NAMING YOUR CAT

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.

angels

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.

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY: DAPHNE DOES CHRISTMAS

This post originally appeared on December 21, 2012, and was entitled “Christmas: Day 7.” As I received exactly ZERO comments, I expect it’s a pretty good bet that none of you have ever seen it. It features kitten Daphne (1991-2010), the third cat to join our family.

Daphne feigns disinterest.

Daphne feigns disinterest.

Daphne was another kitty crazy for Christmas. In her early years, I hung apple ornaments from the garland wound around the bannister. She could spend hours batting at and removing the apples so she could play with them on the hardwood floors. For a few years I would continually replace the apples after she removed them. And each year I would buy new apples as they inevitably cracked and lost their paint when they hit the floor. Eventually I gave up and threw them away (or so I thought *) as the whole process became exceedingly tedious.

Daphne caught in the act.

Daphne caught in the act.

 

 

 

 

It has been at least two decades since I’ve hung apples from the garland, but every year as I am decorating the stairs, Tom asks me if I am going to attach the apples. I know he does this to tease me, but I also know he enjoyed the game between human and cat and would love to watch a whole new caboodle of cats doing just as Daphne once had.

Daphne also enjoyed waiting for her holiday fan mail. She would take up residence in our Christmas mailbox, created by Tom’s sister, Bonnie, and wait to be swamped by her greetings of love and adoration. Of course, she wasn’t opposed to the fact that her nest was atop a nice warm radiator.

Daphne waiting for her fan mail.

Daphne waiting for her fan mail.

Daphne begins unwrapping gifts early while Steamer watches.

Daphne begins unwrapping gifts early while Steamer watches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meowy Christmas!

 

* 2014 Addendum: Just last week I found a box of those apples in the backroom of the basement when I was looking for another long-lost decoration. I didn’t tell Tom as I don’t want to be pestered to hang them!

Link to<br /><br /><br />               CatStuff

CATURDAY ART: STEAMER SQUARED

Steamer

Steamer was the second kitty we adopted. She was one of the offspring of a pregnant stray taken in by a friend. We originally selected a different kitten from the litter, but when we went back for a second visit, Steamer chose me. Her nickname was “Little Bit.” Steamer passed in 2006 at the age of 17. She came to me one morning after her breakfast and looked at me in a way that said, “good-bye.” She passed quietly shortly after.

Click here to see the original of this photo.

We are participating in Athena’s Caturday Art Blog Hop. To enter or view other entries, click on the badge.

This photo was created using Fotor.

See you tomorrow for and Easy Sunday with Mauricio.

MY CAT’S BETTER THAN YOUR CAT

Cats Are Predictably Unpredictable

Who am I kidding! My cats are no different than your cats, your neighbor’s cats or even cats in foreign countries. Though I have found those in other countries speak a different cat language than those in the U.S.

The din from all of you disagreeing whole-heartedly with me is deafening.

But admit it, all cats are predictably unpredictable, which is why I have selected that for this blog’s tag line.

If you have come to expect them to do something with regularity, they won’t. Just when you figure out what food she likes, she turns up her nose, tries to bury it and then turns and walks away in a huff. A few days later she is wolfing it down again.

If your cat is doing something silly or adorable, he will stop the minute he sees the camera. But, unexpectedly and on occasion a cat will come along who doesn’t do this. Our Mauricio is one of those. He is an attention “hound” and a chance to pose offers an opportunity for the ultimate amount of  “me” time.

 

Tuxedo cat lying on his back with paws on chest and mugging for the camera.

 

If your cat has been curling up to snooze in the same spot for the last couple of weeks, he will vacate it for a new one never to return to the original. But, if you try to guess where he will perch next…good luck!

If she constantly plays with the same toy, dragging it around the house, taking it to bed and attacking any person or kitty who picks it up, again she will abandon it for a different one.

In the same vein, when we ride our tandem bike I always count the kitties I see along our route. Some of these I will see day after day and year after year and then suddenly one will disappear. Of course, some do move away or pass away, but they are just as likely to reappear weeks, months or even years later. I hadn’t seen Emma, a neighborhood calico, in at least three years and now I am seeing her with regularity. (Sometimes I can make cats along the route reappear. If I disparage one for not being around for a ridiculous amount of time, it will show up on that exact day.) I am always excited when a new cat pops up, but the likelihood exists that years can go by before I see it again.

Reader Challenge

As much as they are capricious, however, all kitties will do much the same things at sometime during their lives. I challenge any readers who have cats to let me know if their cats have never done any of the following things:

 

Grey kitten and tuxedo cat sitting on newspapers.

Kitten Fiona was unable to obscure much of the Sunday funnies so she enlisted Mauricio’s help.

  • Blocked your view of whatever you were reading. Almost any one of our cats could serve as the poster puss in support of illiteracy.
  • Stripped the leaves and flowers off your house plants. We haven’t had a house plant since Steamer ate every last leaf off of a topiary teddy bear. In the picture below you can see how difficult it can be to have fresh flowers in our house.
  • Shoved everything off a table or countertop. I was fortunate that the vase pictured here was inexpensive and easily replaceable by a similar one. As a novice cat owner, I was devastated when Steamer knocked an antique, amethyst glass vase (an anniversary gift from Tom) off of a window sill. We had no idea that cats enjoyed sitting in the window and “reading the news.”

 

Vase smashed on the floor and floors strewn everywhere.

Not one of the kitties would confess to making this mess. I did crop Fiona out of the photo. (Note cat toy in upper right of photo.)

 

Tuxedo cat in box of styrofoam peanuts.

Mauricio discovers a treasure trove of styrofoam peanuts.

  • Shredded or chewed up the newspaper, wrapping paper, napkins, styrofoam peanuts or anything that leaves bunches of small pieces to clean up.

 

Grey kitten standing on hind legs with head in human'a water cup.

Fiona helps herself to my water.

  • Drunk out of the toilet, the sink faucet, your glass or any scummy puddle they could find.

 

Tuxedo cat sitting in front of computer screen with paws and nose on it.

Mauricio helped Tom when he was working from home.

  • Helped out while you were working on the computer.
  • Helped you make the bed or change the sheets.
  • Burrowed down into a basket of clean, warm laundry.

This is a short list of a cat’s quirks and foibles. If your cat hasn’t done any of these things, he will. And you can expect that it will be when you least expect it. After all, a cat’s main goals, if he actually has any, are to keep us guessing and to prove us wrong always!

 

NIP HEADS

Catnip Gift

Yesterday, Chris, our house cleaner, local catnip pusher and Kitties Blue caregiver brought the kitties a large zip-loc bag of dried catnip. She also brought six fresh cut stems each about three feet tall with lots of seeds for me to plant in my garden.

Tom immediately put the bag away. We learned our lesson years ago with regard to leaving catnip unattended. A friend had given the kitties a small bag of dried catnip for Christmas. On the afternoon of Christmas Day we went to a movie.

The nip was on a small end table in the living room when we left. When we returned, what was left of it was scattered all over the cats and living room rug. Daphne was in a stupor atop a new Cat Claws scratching pad. The effects eventually wore off as did those demonstrated by Skooter and Steamer.

 

nip heads catnip gifts: Long-haired Tuxedo cat is passed out atop cat scratcher after overindulging in catnip.

Daphne passes out after overindulging in catnip.

 

nip heads catnip gifts: White and brown tabby rolling around in catnip.

Skooter is all revved up after an afternoon of eating catnip.

 

nip heads catnip gifts: Brown tabby roles on catnip covered cat scratcher.

Steamer rolls in catnip sprinkled on cat scratcher.

Sharing the Nip

Not wanting to spread the seeds from the nip Chris brought throughout the house, we left the branches on the front porch. Mauricio and Misty May, with noses twitching, quickly zeroed in on the prize. By the time they finished, most of the seeds were on the porch and the kids were ready for naps.

That evening before dinner, Dad Tom and I were sitting on the front porch when Lily Olivia came home. She quickly discovered the seeds and started rolling and snorting. She soon mellowed out (not a small feat for our bi-polar calico) and came to sit with me on the dual rocker.

As we were enjoying some time together, the neighbor’s marmalade, mackerel tabby snuck onto the porch. Sparky spends quite a bit of time here. He often appears when he hears the call for breakfast or dinner. He knows that if one of our bunch refuses a meal, he sometimes scores the rejected food.

To my surprise Lily didn’t budge from my side or even hiss. She watched contently as he too rolled in the seeds. Catnip can elicit drunk and disorderly conduct, but, to my relief, none was displayed by either cat. When Sparky had enough he meandered home. When he stood up I noticed the puddles of drool he left behind.

Who is the Biggest Nip Head?

Madison was our biggest Nip Head. I make small catnip pillows for Barn Cat Buddies to sell in order to raise money for their organization. Whenever I work on the project, I am fighting off cats the entire time. Madison would pester me unceasingly. He would dance around my feet, jump into my lap and put his paws on the sewing machine. I could only keep him at bay by continually sprinkling catnip on the floor until I finally would have to give him one of the newly-sewn toys.

Lily is the current catnip frenzy champion. Unbeknownst to me, she was in the house the last time I began this project. When I sew these little pillows closed, I don’t cut the thread between the toys but let them accumulate in a long string until I am finished sewing. When Lily discovered me at the sewing machine, I already had a fairly long string of completed pillows.

She was on the sewing table batting these around before I could respond to her presence. She tangled up the threads and persisted in trying to pull toys off. No matter what I tried, I could not get rid of her. She finally was able to bite through the threads and take off with a pillow in her mouth and several trailing behind. When I caught up to her, I was able to cut one of the toys loose so she could have it. She batted it around once or twice, lost interest and left. Of course, she did. She loves catnip, but she loves making me crazy even more.

Christmas Catnip

This wasn’t the first time Chris brought catnip to the hoard. She also gave them a welcome gift of freshly-cut catnip at Christmas. You can see their response in the photos.

 

nip heads catnip gifts: Tuxedo cat and kitten standing at kitchen sink, eating fresh catnip.

Mauricio (Me) and Lisbeth (Mini-Me) inspect the Christmas catnip.

 

Not too long ago, I read that kittens usually are not attracted to catnip. I guess Lisbeth and Astrid, only four-months old at that time, hadn’t had the opportunity to read that article.

 

nip heads catnip gifts: Calico cat standing on hind legs to reach catnip hanging overhead.

Lily Olivia isn’t going to let a long reach keep her from the Christmas catnip.

If I had remembered one of dad Tom’s and my DOs from 1993, I would have anticipated the interest and behavior of Kitties Blue. DO buy every cat “how to” book on the market and read them from cover to cover so that you can precisely predict how your cat won’t act in any given situation. (And, by the way, these selections are located in the fiction section.)

P. S. Fiona, who has just been on the deck obviously rolling around in some seeds, is now sprawled on the kitchen rug acting wonky and chewing on her toes!

P.P.S. I just found out that Mauricio Lima, Brazilian indoor volleyball player and our Mauricio’s namesake, is being inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Our Mauricio will have to clean up his act if he ever expects to be inducted into the Feline Hall of Fame!