Bath Time

My friend Tricia (who does not know cats) asked me recently if cats need to have regular baths like dogs. A fair question and I replied no, unless they become particularly dirty for some reason...

This reminded me of Casper’s adventure in the basement ceiling on Boxing Day 2008. We were off to spend the day in Hamilton with Robert’s family but before we left the house I could not find Casper anywhere. This is back when there was only Casper and Molly, so I was hard-pressed to lose a cat. Molly was in her room of course but Casper had vanished into thin air. I don’t like going out when I haven’t accounted for all the cats, because I never know if one of them has slipped into a closet when I wasn’t looking and become shut in. After ages of hunting for Casper we had to set off or we wouldn’t make it on time. When we returned late that evening, Casper had reemerged, but he was filthy! His snow white coat, his paws and even the tips of his ears were all grey. We could not figure out where he had been to get so sooty and dusty. We were exhausted after several days of Christmas activities, so we left him as he was and went to bed. First thing the next morning though we went out to buy the special cat shampoo and gave Casper his one and only bath (to date).

Casper the Grey
Robert held him in the kitchen sink and I worked fast to lather him up and rinse him off before he went crazy. But Casper is such a gentle soul, there was no “crazy” and he just stood quiet and still in the sink only letting out one plaintive meow when he first got wet. After the bath we toweled him off, and then we got out his brush and the hairdryer. He LOVED the warm air from the hairdryer and lay happily purring on his towel while he was brushed and styled. He looked great after his bath, he is already a handsome cat but his fur was amazingly soft and fluffy. Robert and I were pretty proud of ourselves that the bath had worked out so well (even though it was Casper’s good behaviour which made it easy) but we didn’t really want a repeat performance. That’s why the next day when Casper showed up grey AGAIN he did not get a second bath. I didn’t think another bath so soon would be good for his skin, so he just got a vigorous toweling and brushing to try and get the dust off him, but I did try to wipe his ears at least with damp tissues. It wasn’t until later that day when I saw Casper jump off the top of the furnace that we realized what had happened.

Fluff  'n Fold
We have a finished basement, but unfortunately the furnace and its piping cannot be closed off so they are exposed against one wall downstairs. While trying to rearrange the basement to get maximum space for Christmas guests, I had moved some storage boxes beside the furnace. This made a nice ladder for Casper to climb up to the top of the furnace then tightrope walk across a pipe to an access hole in the corner of the ceiling behind the water heater (I’m afraid I don’t dust up there so Casper’s footprints were left as evidence of his route). Then he hopped up into the space between the drywall ceiling and the exposed beams of the floor above. I cringe to think that he probably spent hours walking around exploring in the ceiling amid years of accumulated dust and yuck! Once we discovered his secret, we put an immediate stop to his fun. The boxes were moved elsewhere and chicken wire was wrapped around the water heater and the access hole. To this day Casper still stands in the basement hall and gazes up at the ceiling meowing longingly. I know he is reliving his Christmas adventure and would be back up there in a second if he could. When I see him doing this I usually walk up to him and point accusingly at him and make my angry face (what a dork). You must remember that Casper is deaf therefore saying a firm “no” or clapping hands to get him to stop an unwanted behaviour is useless. I have to improvise and find some other way to let him know I am unhappy so the reproachful pointing while making a stern face and trying to tower over him menacingly usually makes him skulk off with his tail down. That little monkey knows he shouldn’t have been in the ceiling in the first place but I can never stay mad at him for long  :-)

Beautiful Again


Thursday in the Garden

I thought I'd join in with the gardening kitties out there.  I'm afraid my garden is woefully neglected at the moment.  It's been too hot lately to do any serious work outdoors but I did manage to take a few pictures of things that have survived the heatwave.  So here is a cat's-eye view.
Casper and Ben Supervise
Day Lilies
Black Eyed Susan
I just love my Ferns
Pee Gee Hydrangea that I planted last year seems to be coming along
A valiant effort from my Asian Lily that was decimated this year by nasty red beetles
Purple Coneflower
Well that's it for my first garden post, just a few pictures until something else grows :-) We are supposed to have a few cooler days this weekend so hopefully I can give it some of the attention it so desperately needs.

Don't forget to pop over to Wendy's LOLSpot if you have a moment and see my kitties featured as LOL - CATS!


My cats are LOL - CATS

I'm so excited today! Wonderful Wendy at Wendy's LOLSpot has very kindly featured my kitties on the latest edition of her LOL - CATS! Yet another generous person in the Cat Blogsphere has made me and my kitties feel so welcome. Thank you very much Wendy :-)

Please pop over to Wendy's LOLSpot (if I did the link correctly) and visit Molly, Casper, Ben and Archie; who are now demanding their own trailer (as if the entire house isn't enough) and more treats and adoration than usual.


Tuesday Trio

After almost a week the Tower of Power is still a hit. We thought the novelty might wear off, but the boys are on it constantly and take turns on the top "bunk". In the mornings when the windows are open before the day gets too hot, they are perched on every available platform checking out the goings-on in all the gardens, and sniffing all the good scents that travel on the breeze.

Casper has also discovered that he can leap from the top bunk onto the top of a wardrobe that is across from the cat tower for an even higher vantage point!


Molly Monday

 Age has its perks!

Molly is the only one of my kitties who is allowed outside. She will be nineteen in a couple of months, and I know there is no danger of her hurdling the fence and escaping the garden. She just likes to amble around and sniff things but usually stays close to me and sleeps under my garden chair.


My Fantastic New Header

I am a blogging neophyte to put it mildly! After five months, my blog is still terribly boring and I have no idea how to add links and feeds, or videos, or html flashy things, or maps of visitors, or what labels and tags are for. I’m not certain about blogging etiquette and terminology and have probably made many inadvertent blunders. I would like to have gadgets running down both sides of my blog and a background colour but I don’t know how to do this; again, a complete blogging moron. But I love cats and cat people and cat pictures and reading about cat adventures and writing about my cats, so I didn’t want to give up. I would still have a blog, just a dull looking blog...

Then through the cat blogsphere I connected with amazing Ann at Zoolatry. Ann enjoys being creative with photo-art and out of the goodness of her heart made my FANTASTIC NEW HEADER. I would like to thank Ann for designing this for me, I think it is so beautiful. She put all my babies together, even my sweet angel Max. AND, not only did she make this beautiful header, she uploaded the template to my blog for me because I didn’t know how to and made everything pink (my favourite). But wait there’s more...Ann surprised me with two additional seasonal banners, one for Autumn and one for Christmas. Such generosity of time and effort!

Ann I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and creativity! I am so very grateful to you for making my blog look beautiful and a little more exciting :-)


Cat Cologne?

I love the way all my cat’s fur smells. I routinely bury my face in a flank or a tummy or a neck and inhale deeply.

So my question becomes “Does anyone else smell their cat”? or is it just me who is completely beyond hope…


Copy Cat

Today at the Katnip Lounge there was a fantastic post about cat collectibles! The kitties featured pictures of all their mum's beautiful cat memorabilia. I thought this was such a neat idea that I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures of my own cat treasures. I hope the Lounge kitties don't mind that I copied their post, after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :-)

Here are some of my favourites:

First off is a print by contemporary artist Linda Le Kinff, I particularly like her because she almost always paints a cat or two into her works. I was on a cruise somewhere between Tunisa and Spain when I bought this and four other items, at an onboard art auction after having been plied with champagne - LOL!

This sweet water colour came home with me from Maui, it is by a local artist named Eleykaa

I bought this cat sculpture locally because he is a little grey boy like Max

This mask is from New Orleans

This mask was handmade in Venice, I picked it out at a cool shop just off Piazza San Marco and my sister gave it to me for my birthday

These glass kitties are also from Venice, my mum bought them for me

I bought this sleeping cat at some junky store in Toronto about twenty years ago and I can't tell you how many people do a double-take to check if he is real

I picked up this print in Key West, by local artist Suzy Pena

Of course these cats are the most beloved of all


Tuxedo Tuesday

The nice folks over at the New Tuxedo Gang Hideout posted Ben’s picture today on their blog and welcomed him into their club. In light of this, Ben thought I should write a little about how he came to live with us…

We adopted Ben from Toronto Animal Services on Friday, March 13, 2009, and it was a very lucky day for us! His age was unknown but the shelter staff thought he was around five months old. Three evenings in a row we went back to the shelter and basically ignored him because we were looking for an older cat as a companion for Casper. Ben (or Kennedy as he was known then) would reach his paws outside his cage and try to catch us while dancing around on his hind legs and we thought isn’t he sweet as we walked on by and went to look at other cats. Finally Robert took him out and held him towards me saying “what about this guy”? I cradled him in my arms and he lay contentedly on his back and made happy paws in the air. Well I was hooked and we took him home immediately. After a year and four months together I constantly marvel at what a fantastic cat Ben is and how he knew that we were the right people for him and didn’t give up trying to tell us so!

And the moral of the story is: when the universe tries to tell you something, like putting a kitty in your path who is basically jumping up and down saying Pick Me, Pick Me, it’s a sign (duh) so pay attention and you will be joyfully rewarded EVERY SINGLE DAY!


Monday Memories

Here are a few pictures of the boys when they were young. I'm hunting around for my earliest photos of Molly from 1992 that I can scan, and I wonder how we coped before digital cameras!

Casper and his sister Fluffy

Wee Ben the first week we got him

Skinny Archie the second day we got him


Sneaky Sunday

I came across this old shot of Casper (when he was around nine months), trying to be clandestine about his whereabouts and it made me laugh. Oh yes there is a cat in this picture can you find him?


Tower of Power

Last night we brought home a new cat tower for the boys. 5 ½ feet of already assembled cat fun was able it fit in my Mini (with a little hanging out the hatchback) if you can believe it! We put it in our sunroom which looks out onto our deck (with twinkle lights) and back garden. I hope the boys will have hours of entertainment watching birds and squirrels and being garden overlords from their new perches!

Needs a good sniffing first

King Casper



About a week ago I signed up with the Toronto Cat Rescue to be a volunteer driver (aka cat-taxi) and yesterday evening was my very first drive. TCR is a no-kill, all volunteer group involved in many facets of helping cats in need.

Last night I met up with an amazing woman named Beth who writes House of the Discarded and works tirelessly for cats. We adopted our sweet angel Max through Beth and TCR in January 2009 and I have been a faithful follower of her blog ever since. Beth had with her a beautiful, big tuxedo girl named Cashmere who was on her way from one foster home to another and needed a lift. I had the privilege of driving her where she had to go! Cashmere’s new foster mum was awaiting her arrival and had her room and bed all ready.

I hope Cashmere finds her forever home and a family to love her. I am so thrilled to have played a small part in helping her!


The Name Game

Last week I saw a really neat post on House of Cats called The Name Game and I thought I would play too. So, here are the explanations of how my babies got their names:

Molly – I always just loved this name. I had an Aunt Molly who was very close to us and I asked her if she would mind if I called my new kitty her name and she said that would be fine.

Casper – was named after a cartoon that I remembered from childhood, Casper the Friendly Ghost (I know it’s a little banal) because he is all white and is such a sociable guy.

Max – I had a very hard time naming Max, it was a couple of weeks before we got something for him. Then we settled on Max short for Maximus because it means large or great in Latin and he had such a big personality for such a little cat. We only had to call him Max one time and we knew it was right.

Benjamin - was named very quickly. I was still devastated from Max’s unexpected death and I thought perhaps it was a bad omen that we had taken too long to name him. So on the way home in the car after we adopted Ben from the shelter, it simply came to me that this cat would be Benjamin and I blurted it out. Then some months later I was reading online about the name and learned that it means “child of my sorrows”, I just about fell off my chair. I should be quick to point out that even though Ben entered our lives at a very sad time, he has been a complete joy since the moment we got him!

Archie – means bold according to the website of Fun Cat Names and it was just so fitting for this fearless little guy that there could be no other name for him.

Cat – as for me, the nickname I was given by my family when I was a little girl is the first three letters of my name (Catrina) AND because I love cats!


Hot Cats in the City

It is summertime and we are having a typical Toronto heat wave. For the last three days it has been 43C with the humidex (that’s 109.4 for those of you who use Fahrenheit) and an extreme heat alert was issued. We have air conditioning in the house but the cats still feel the heat. Molly forsakes her beloved basket in favour of a cooler spot under the bed and the boys loll around on any hard surface they can find in order to stay cool. In the morning the boys usually zoom around the house chasing each other, but not when it is this hot. During the high temps, there is great economy of movement in order to stay cool; except of course if you are a young cat named Archie with more energy than brains. This morning he was rocketing around the house trying to interest Casper and Ben in a game of tag, but they would have none of it. He regularly gets himself so worked up that he starts panting. I have been online researching cat panting and it is not a good thing. It can be indicative of many serious health issues unless of course you are a goofy youngster who doesn’t know when to take it easy. “Panting can be a normal behavior if it occurs in a young cat after a period of rough play” was one of the quotes I found which describes the situation perfectly. Even though Archie is growing up, he is still a big ole kitten at heart and has not figured out yet to settle down before he gets overexcited. I wonder if he would have the good sense to come in out of the rain…that is if he were an outdoor cat! Btw, just to be on the safe side, I have contacted my vet to ask his opinion on cat panting.

Here's Archie flaked out after his morning activities


Swim Cat

I love this picture of Benners. Doesn’t it look like he is doing the front crawl? Let’s analyze his form shall we...

His body position is very streamlined and his front paws are in perfect position. You can see his left paw is in mid “pull” and has the perfect hang from the elbow. However that back paw is bent too much throwing off his stabilization which is going to cause some drag in the water and really affect his chances in the finals!


Cat Kissing

Many years ago I read a book called Catwatching by famed zoologist and ethologist Desmond Morris. In it he said that our feline friends view the humans they live with as sort of giant cats. A pretty cool theory…

However, if that is the case, I wonder if they think we are quite strange giant cats. Example: several times a day I will kiss my cats on the head while making a very loud smooching sound. As far as I know, this behaviour does not exist anywhere in the animal kingdom. Although my kitties have come to tolerate/accept this form of affection from their giant cat mum, they probably think it is totally bizarre!


Thank you

For she’s a jolly good feline, for she’s a jolly good feline, for she’s a jolly good fe-e-line (kitty voices rise to hold the high note), which nobody can deny!

Molly, Casper, Ben and Archie wanted to say a meow and purr to the generous and silky Huffle(puff) Mawson for sending so many of her nice friends to say hello. It’s been an exciting day here and we look forward to visiting with everyone who dropped by.