Friday, December 31, 2010

Snifter Snoozer

(Snifter Snoozer)

It seems as though every time I have attempted to update my blog or write to friends or family (Joasia - if you reading this - sorry for my lateness!) - there is an interruption. Usually a good one to be sure, but an interruption nevertheless.

To recap a little: I decked the halls, made myself and others jolly, and I even donned some gay apparel (ha-ha). I sang joyous - by myself and with others, and I was most definitely heedless of the wind and weather - I stayed indoors! I am embarrassed to say (am I really?) the only fresh air I got was whilst letting the cats in and out and in and out - well - you get the idea. And yet, a whole week has flown by anyway - the time seem to fly, even when not doing much of anything.




Some helped me decorate...



Some kept active (unlike me)...


And still others refused to share any glad tidings whatsoever, and agreed to disagree, briefly, whilst facing opposite directions...



And there were Christmas visitors - three cats comprising of Picolo Angelo, who slept all Christmas Eve night in Angel's favourite spot by the tree - it felt as if Angel was actually with us - quite amazing he chose her very spot to sleep in...

And the two neighborhood scamps, Rascal (aka, Is-he-or-isn't he homeless - sorry no pic this time - he moves too fast!), and Sylvester (long-haired, black and white) slept overnight in the basement on some warm and comfy old comforters at Christmas, as it was bitterly cold and it was obvious they were locked out for the night. I must say I slept soundly and peacefully knowing that at least these three were warm and safe on what had been so far the coldest night of the holidays.



And of course a new box is always the best pressie...

Today, New Year's Eve, the temperature has risen, and it almost feels like spring. So much so, that several of the residents actually slept on the porch this afternoon.

I was very late decking my halls this year (the tree was decorated on Christmas Eve - this has never happened before - lack of time and Christmas spirit was to blame), so I won't be taking it all down any time soon.



We all love the way it looks - cozy and warm and dreamy. I am sure I am always amongst the very last to "de-Christmas" the house. I really don't look forward to that task as it always feels sad and depressing, so I try to enjoy it as long as possible.

And so, by the end of this evening it is possible I will resemble this little fellow at the top of the page, once again from a vintage 1960's card, entitled "Snifter Snoozer". However, it takes a lot less these days to reach the bottom of the glass! Happy New Year everyone - health above all, and happiness in equal amounts! Cheers! And Na zdrowie!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So This is Christmas...

"A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear". - John Lennon

So, I recently read these lines on someone's blog:

When in fear
and when in doubt.....
Run in circles............
Scream and shout!

It was a little poem he had read in school a long time ago, and today, it truly made me smile - out loud! Me, who worries so much about everything. What if this, what if that - I think it was Neil Young who wrote "all the things I worried about never happened anyway", or something like that. After all, worrying is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere. Anyway, there is this person I don't know (Hi John!) all the way in North Wales, who made me smile - all the way over here in snowy Quebec. James Taylor is singing "Auld Lang Syne" - it's the last day of work, the afternoon will fly by, and I say Merry Christmas to all, and thank you to John in Wales.

(Vintage Christmas card)

Friday, December 17, 2010



A closeup of neighbor's Mr. Poole look-alike. Taken with cell camera.


We have comfy waiting areas, and snacks too! He looks like a diminutive version of our Mr. Poole.


Black cat with white collar - word is out!


This guy maybe lives with "black cat with white collar" - not sure, but he loves to have long naps in our indoor baskets. Picture this – 3:00 in the morning, November 11th - Remembrance Day – everyone asleep – I am awoken by sounds on the dresser – light goes on to reveal what I think is Mr Poole, but wait – he is much smaller – and not fluffy – a sleek, miniature black panther, on the dresser in front of the mirror – who, unbeknownst to us, had been inside probably since dinnertime and fell asleep somewhere. And now, where does he make a beeline to? Angel’s old basket which is high on top of a chest of drawers. (we lost our little black Angel end of Sept.) Of all places! I tell you it was spooky – how did he know – I swear he went directly to it. He settled in and peered down at us contentedly – lights out. If he is homeless – we may just call him Angelo. Lately, we call him Piccolo Angelo - in remembrance of our sweet Angel that left us too soon this past fall.


Piccolo Angelo.


Sweet Angel, often called Angelina Jolie - Jolie petit (beautiful little Angelina) - who loved to sleep by the Christmas tree - I have never seen a cat that seemd to love the holiday season so much.




Resting now past the Rainbow Bridge...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Tristan rarely sits still, as he is too busy knocking things off any surface onto the floor. So this picture perhaps catches him contemplating his next act of vandalism? But he is a sweetie, and when he comes from the cold his nose is oh-so-pink!!

Yesterday we got walloped with lots of snow and blowing snow, and yet inside I have my flowering geraniums, and this white lily, which decided to set a bloom in late, late fall, and so brought it in, pot and all, before the frost arrived. For several weeks now we have enjoyed this pure white loveliness. There were 2 blooms in succession.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chaiyka Assists with Mail Call !

Hiya - wadya get ???

Let me help you open it!

Blech! Needs some sardine oil...

OK - I think I'm making progress... (nom...nom...)

Right - That corner's done - next corner!

(Ah - can't wait 'til Christmas unwrapping - I'm your cat for the job!)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Tiny Toad Lily

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This little gem was the very last bloom in the garden: the very small and delicate Toad Lily. It is so late to form buds, that only one flower managed to unfold before the severely killing frost zapped all the remaining greenery, and flowers.


Rudbeckia triloba is a "must-have" for me, as it always is the last to bloom, but well ahead of the frost and hence there is lots of time to enjoy it. Also, it is remarkable for its upright and well-branching habit - so it rarely needs staking. The stems are long, light and airy - in some light, at dusk, it appears the blooms are floating in mid-air, dancing in the early evening breeze. Just beautiful, and I don't know why more people don't have this cultivar. There will be more next year to enliven the fall garden.

But, frost has come, and it even snowed last weekend. The cats are grumpy that the weather has curtailed their activities, although secretly, I am happiest when I know all my babies are inside, as a blanket of snow deepens and curls around the house, keeping us all warm and safe.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Autumn Poem

Autumn hills lie purpled,
Barren are the fields,
Garnered is the harvest,
That the summer yields.

Autumn leaves are falling,
Skies are dull and gray;
Wild geese southward calling,
Howeward fly today.

Autumn winds are blowing,
Cold, and damp, and drear;
Winter is approaching,
Filling mean with fear.

Autumn snows are falling,
From the lowering sky,
Giving us a signal --
Winter's drawing nigh.


Painting by Claude Monet

Friday, October 15, 2010


I had meant to post this on my sister's birthday, as this vintage postcard reminds me of how she was as a little girl - especially from the old photos - always hugging a kitty. Then I meant to post it on Thanksgiving, but other things were (and still are) on my mind. But without more delay, here it is, in recognition of my gratitude that my sister is back in my life again, something which i probably don't say often enough (have I said it at all?)

Friday, October 08, 2010


Drying, dying - little hearts
Just hanging by a thread
Waiting for the final gust of wind.
Soon, soon...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Buckets of Rain

"Buckets of rain, buckets of tears..."

In this part of Quebec, the skies opened fully last Friday and even caused serious local flooding, but we were ok, and it was my day off, otherwise I would have been stranded at work. The weather matched my aching heart completely: and still I cannot understand why, and how, Angel was found on the side of the road: she was always in the garden, and I often thought what a good girl she was to stay on the property, unlike some of the others. We will never know who, or why...

As I sat on the edge of the bed after a bath recently, I was thinking how our little routine would never be again: upon exiting the bathroom, Angel would come to cuddle with me, sensing the warmth off my skin and inside my bathrobe. This time, as I sat there, sniffling quietly to myself, little white Tristan hopped onto the bed and nudged me, as though he sensed my pain. He looked at me briefly with that at once funny and sad little face and then quietly lay down beside me...

"Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must."
(Bob Dylan)

Monday, September 27, 2010


So, the cosmos decided to give me another birthday present this year: I just got news that Angel is dead – found by the side of the road. She never went out onto the road, she was always in the garden. Lately she was getting more and more affectionate – and we had a routine, after my bath, she’d hop out of her basket and cuddle with me. We never know when it’s going to be the last time. Last year at this time, Timmy was alive, but fading fast - a sudden illness, and was gone the day before the 29th, my birthday. Then Chesney in May. Three have now gone – in one year. Angel appeared as tiny kitten that fit in the palm of my hand - on my birthday - all those years ago. She would not, could not, ever be held - affection was on her own terms - when she chose.

Sometimes it seems like life is just one long misery. Teaches me to have the blues for no good reason...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fading of the green...into blue

[What is it?
Answer further down...]

While I do love the fall with its cooler, more humane temperatures and glowing foliage, I also get the blues big-time knowing what is waiting just around the corner. I hate not being able to dine in the solarium as it's too cold - the increasing darkening of the days - the fading blooms on even the stalwart rudbeckias and such. Today is the last day of summer, as the Autumn Equinox teams up with the full moon to officially end the season tomorrow. And of course all summer I have half expected to see Chesney wander back into the garden; his sudden disappearance in May certainly cast a shade of sadness over the summer.

But, we have had lots of good times: cat visitors, cat adventures, long evening dinners out on the porch, chilled rose wine at weekend brunches, and of course flowers, lots of flowers:

Answer: Water bead on Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta) - don't you just love that?!

Droopy and healf-dead all winter inside, Abutilon, or Flowering Maple, explodes with delicate blooms by mid-summer and continues until frost...
Tigridia, or Mexican Shellflower: a gorgeous but annoying flower as it can only be seen early in the day as I leave the house in haste on my way to work. I take a quick photo, because by the time I get back, it has already closed. Good grief, even the Daylily has the decency to remain open until I get home! I don't think I'll grow it again until I retire - so I can see it all day :)

More to come....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tristan Brings a Friend

Tristan is a little scrapper - albeit a sweet one. He often stays out all night, refusing to come in with the rest of the gang at the end of the evening. And sometime he'll come back with a slightly bloody ear, or a nick on his nose, or some grease mark on his pure white fur. Naughty boy! He is obviously going where he shouldn't be going. Early one morning he brought over this fellow - who looks a little bewildered...

Happily this rather serious looking visitor has a collar and and ID tube...
Bandito is hanging in there despite his diabetes. In summer it is sometimes hard to chase him down to give him his shots, but we do what we can....
The new patio furniture is so popular we had to buy another chair! And even so, sometimes we go in to the solarium to find all the "good" chairs occupado by the felines...
And Chaiyka demonstrates that clearly the new couch is only made for one - no room for anyone else - no sirree!

In other news, a small ginger cat was spotted up the street - I hope he's not homeless; a friend is feeding a grey cat that was abandoned after moving day - she cannot keep him; ((sigh)); and Rascal is still begging for food, at times looking totally desperate, at others turning his nose up, and SOMEONE is cutting out his mats - hmm....
Oh yes - that's him on our table - hmmm.....