Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas to All and to all a Good Snooze!!

Bandito in a Christmas basket - what more could be cozier:

Unless everyone else is snoozing as well, check out The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Solstice

As the Winter Solstice approaches, and the temperatures dip down to very frigid levels (-17 Celsius here today), it is good to be warm and cozy inside, humans and cats alike. Even better, to be surrounded by blooms and greenery, a reminder of what the solstice heralds: the days will grow longer, and the promise of spring, though lying dormant beneath the snow, grows closer every day.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,'
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
Oliver Herford

See what’s going on at The Friday Ark and also at Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This Way or That?

Longfellow is such a sweetie. He is what one may say a "low-maintenance" cat. He doesn't ask for much: an open door whenever he asks, a pillow or soft human to knead, a bowl full of crunchies he can pick out one by one (he's on a diet, you know! wink-wink), and the possibility of having a bit of leftovers from your plate - he loves tomato sauce! Here we see Sir Longfellow taking the high ground, making sure the evil Timster isn't around to spook him.

Climb aboard The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Watched and the Watcher

Ah yes, Longfellow does love to lounge about, tummy up (everyone say "Awwww!"), in blissful oblivion to the ever watchful Timmy, ready to pounce when he least expects it. Actually, Timmy rarely attacks when Longfellow is sleeping, rather, ambushing him around corners and down hallways is more his style. Better still, wack him on the bum as he's trying to step off the porch.

Check out other antics at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is It Christmas Yet?

No, Timmy, it's not Christmas yet, but (as Bob Dylan says), "it's gettin' there"! Actually. this picture is from last year's holiday season: Timmy hopped onto the hall table to pose with the Christmas angel. Or so one would think. Truth be told, that clever cat knew darn well a pouch of catnip lay hidden in the drawer!

For those who don't know the story, Timmy was named after Tiny Tim, of the Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol. We saw this poor little guy hobbling on three legs one very cold Christmas, and so we saved him - that's the very short version of the story!

As always, there are more happy "tails" over at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Is this how it's done?

Having watched Longfellow many a time roll over and let it all hang out, Manitou decided to practice the move, and when he finally got it, he looked at me as if to say, "look, I can do it too, and notice how my paws are cutely tucked in!"

As always, there's more to see at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Ah yes, a question Manitou seems to be posing amid the empty pots and tables that were not too long ago overflowing with blooms and all manner of green things.

See how others are coping with the change of the seasons at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, October 31, 2008


It's Halloween again, and so of course I must post a picture of Angel, and also a picture of a rather extra-terrestrial looking Timmy.

Check out some more spooky felines at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The End of the Season

Quite late in the season, the fall colours have peaked and are slowly dissolving from view, soon to give way to the grayness of November.

But for now, we make the most of it: here we see Bandito making himself comfortable in a garden trug (cradle?) - I was praying I'd get the camera in time to catch him sitting in it; eventually he even lay down completely. Now it that cute or what?!

More cuties can be seen atThe Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Autumnal Scene

The nostalgia of the season is captured here I think, as Manitou finally reposes indoors after a summer of climbing trees, chasing squirrels, and basically seeing all there is to see and explore. He looked at me as if to say "well, that's it, I'm ready for a long winter's nap. But with his big snowshoe paws, I suspect he will be venturing outdoors a bit:

More felines in repose can be seen at The Friday Ark and then at the Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Autumn is Upon Us

Autumn is here with its steady rains, slowly but persistently dissolving and erasing the remaining colours from the garden. A few rudbeckias and dahlias are hanging on - but soon the killing frost will come, and the curtain will fall on the bright and joyful play that was summer. As the nights grow colder, the cats are spending more and more time indoors, and they each are starting to stake out their various winter sleeping spots. Bandito really enjoys the living room window area: cozy amongst the plants, reminding him perhaps of the great outdoors he loves so much in summer. Come the holidays, the annual amaryllis will brighten this space - gracing the window with their vivid colours and elegant blooms, especially radiant in their contrast to the wintry landscape just a glass pane away.

See more Friday cats at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - almost

Sir Reginald Townshend Longfellow III Esq., if you please, trying out the freshly upholstered hallway bench at the top of the stairs. "Just let those nasty cats sneak up on me now - ha!"

Friday, September 12, 2008

Whispering Pines Feline Spa Resort

Ah yes, even cats get stressed and need to get away from it all. The pressures of the week bearing down hard, it's time for some good old R & R. So here we have scenes from the Whispering Pines Feline Spa Resort, a secluded, private and very exclusive getaway spot where activities include:

Spot the decoy duck! Hey, what's the prize? Duck a l'Orange heh heh....

An all you can eat buffet -ahem -where's that damn buffet? Harumph! must not leave any tips this evening....

Guess That Song? Yes! Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay! Yeah yeah, it's a lake, whatever. By the way, where's the Sea Breeze I ordered - just can't get good service around here...

Anyway, these very lucky cats will surely enjoy more treats at the WPFSR. Now take a look at other spoiled felines The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Froggie Went a Courtin'...Uh-huh

Well, we all know that cute little song, and a long one it is actually. I just looked up the lyrics (I had no idea Bob Dylan covered it) and a little known stanza goes like this:

Next to come was the old gray cat, Uh-huh,
Next to come was the old gray cat, Uh-huh,
Next to come was the old gray cat.
Swallowed the mouse and ate up the rat, Uh-huh.

Anyway, as you can see, Froggie came a courtin' in my yard recently, and a handsome one he was. Actually, he was enjoying the feast of some sort of fly that was coming out of the ground by the hundreds it seemed - even seagulls appeared overhead coming to join in the flying buffet. Manitou, neither old, nor grey, was most puzzled by this critter, and had a lie-down right in front of him, as if to examine him real close before he...ahem...well, I didn't really want to see what came next, so I quickly scooped up Da Man, and brought him inside the house, so Froggie could enjoy his feast in peace.

"Come in the house my Manitou,
Froggie is not on your menu, nuh-uh, nuh-uh, nuh-uh!"

I am sure there are more courtin' critters over at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon

Well, what else can one do on a hot lazy August afternoon? Have a nap in the shade of course! Which is exactly what Angel was doing, keeping a wary eye on me, as she dislikes sudden movements or spontaneous shows of affection. She is the "I'll let you know when I want a pat or two" kind of cat - and the urge sometimes comes upon her at 3:00 a.m., waking me up with a gentle but insistent paw.

And this is where we were a week ago today, on the lake, peaceful and beautiful, a place we call "Whispering Pines". Although it wasn't that hot, a good swim was had, many dragonflies were spotted, and a good time was had by all, as the saying goes. Thank you Christina and Raymond!

Check out more lazy crazy cats at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Lovely Girl - Mishka's Lilies

Well, almost a year will have passed since my "Lovely Girl" passed over to the Rainbow Bridge. Here she is at her favourite spot in the sun - where I would often find her in the late afternoon - in the later years warming her old bones, eyes shut tight and deep in meditation. She was around 20 or 21 years old. Also, a picture of her at the picnic table - at this time she was at her prime I think.

Mishka was a feisty girl, and I would often recall a passage from a book I once read describing tortoiseshell cats as: "gretchen-like and only feign to be domesticated."

Mishka came as a very young cat from the alley-ways of Montreal when we would stay at a friend's house during the Jazz Festival. We fell in love with her and brought her home with us - a short 2 hour ride away. She ruled the house, and never forgave me for bringing in all the rest of the rabble - and she always taught the new-comers to walk backwards when coming upon her - I kid you not! They actually would walk backwards! I don't want to dwell on her short but tragic illness that finally took her - and I can say it was agonizing to let her go, but she was suffering so much. She was buried in a tranquil and isolated patch of garden which we dubbed the "Montreal Garden" because it is so small. My garden in total is huge, and the typical Montreal garden in the city centre is tiny - it is what she grew up with, so it was a propos. Before winter set in, I planted some lilies called "Lovely Girl" at her grave. They are in bloom right now, and here is a picture of one - I wanted to take a shot of more just now, as many blooms are open, but it's pouring buckets as it has been all summer. Rest in peace my Lovely Girl, Mishka.

Don't forget to visit The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Bandito Who Stole Our Hearts

The big Bandito (Dito most of the time) went to the vet last week. Since he is a senior boy, we think he could easily be 13 or 14, I was afraid to have him put under anesthesia for his bad teeth and gums. Thankfully he made it through just fine and seems much happier despite the nightly forced pill-popping sessions (only one more week to go for the antibiotic treatment, then it will be back to one small pill for his diabetes). Dito was rescued from the cold icy outdoors of Qu├ębec, but it took two years to actually get him inside. It was a slow and gradual process of gaining his trust. It took months before I was able to tough his nose while he sat shivering in our cat basket on our porch. We felt sorry to see him like that, but at least he was safe while he visited us – we had to focus on the positive and on the small progress that was being made weekly. To cut a very long story short (and some of you may have heard it before), he spent well over a year sleeping inside the screened-in porch which we made accessible via a small opening in the door. It broke our hearts to see him sleeping out there in -30 F weather, but at least he had shelter from the wind and was safe from other types of harm. He made the big leap into the main house just in time, as eventually all manner of visitors were coming in for snacks: neighborhood cats, stray and otherwise, a couple of fat raccoons (these guys visited nightly and we had no idea why the cat crunchies were disappearing so fast until we caught them in the act) and finally, even a baby skunk that luckily was too young to know to be scared! Some of the locals I am sure still talk about the good old days when the all-night diner was open year round.

Anyway, Dito was now secure in the main part of the house and the next step was to make that inevitable trip to the vet, where all newly rescued members of the household have to go. My goodness he was a very pungent fellow before he got fixed! I have never encountered that strong an odor with an unfixed male cat before. He needed the usual procedure and also ear treatment. The big leap of faith for Dito came after he returned. We were afraid to let him back outside again – afraid the experience was too traumatic and he might decide to never return. But – out he went and we said a little prayer for his safe return. I don’t recall exactly how long it took, but it seemed forever, as we went to the door a hundred times, and still, no Dito. Then, at last, there he was!! A little hesitant to come in (to this day he kind of charges in and out - as though summoning all his courage), but in he came and the rest, as they say, is history. He loves to roll on the floor and get big-time belly rubs – he can’t get enough of those, and he also insists on trying to kiss Timmy (the grey one), even though Timmy regularly tries to ambush and spook him. That’s our Dito-Sweeto!

Check out more sweeties at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Corner of Paradise

The recent weeks and days have been full of stress. Changes have been thrust upon us, and I thrive best on stability, and the predictability of the days as they unfold week after week. Family issues, cats issues and health issues - all at once. My solace and place of peace is my garden, where all is green and colorful, and cats can can be spied snoozing here and there. Here is a glimpse of my little corner of paradise.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Mad Squirrel-Chasing Tree-Hugging Manitou

This morning, Da Man (aka Manitou) spied a couple of frisky squirrels circling a nearby tree totally oblivious of the feline audience. Most of the gang couldn't care less, but Manitou - he means business. Much to my horror, one of the squirrels spirals down the tree and onto the lawn right in front of Manitou. OMG! He was a hair away from catching it, or at least doing some serious damage to the tail. Phew - another tree was nearby, but DaMan even went up that to pursue...luckily, there were no casualties. Of course there was no time to get the camera it all happened so fast, but here is what the MSCTHM looks like in action. He loooooooves trees! With those big thumpers of his, he can really give them a good hug, and as you can see, his fur is growing back nicely.

More feline antics can be found at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This Week's Excitement

Well, last Thursday was an event for sure, one I'd rather not have to repeat, but this Thursday proved to be something else entirely. At around 6:00 p.m., the sky darkened and the thunder and lightning show began, and then - the pelting pounding rain, buckets and buckets of it. And where did many of those buckets turn up? In my basement! Horrors!! All alone for this month with no help from S.O. or anyone else, the strange hole in the basement wall, which up until now only dribbled now and again, was gushing out into the large bucket and many many garden trugs were filled, and brought upstairs and poured out onto the lawn (it was still pelting and lightning by the way). OMG! At one point I couldn't keep up, and just stood there with feet in water and exclaiming various versions of unprintable language. The cats thought that I was doing some sort of new stair exercise, and seemed to hint that as long as their litter boxes were accessible, not to worry. Found out today in the local papers that many homes were flooded and lots of damage was done. But I must find out what that hole in the wall is, and why it seemed all the neighborhood's water was coming in. Today is still hot and muggy and I fear a repeat of yesterday. Thank God for garden trugs! Anyway, here is Manitou, how he probably looks right now awaiting his dinner - so off I go to feed the gang.

Check out other cuties at The Friday Ark and then Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.