Happy New Year!

Hello Friends,  well here we are on the last day of 2010, I can't believe how quickly it has gone by.  There have been some significant cat changes in my life since this time last year. 

For one, I started this little blog and made a ton of fantastic new friends who have commiserated with me in the sad times and celebrated with me in the glad times.  I cannot begin to tell you how much this has touched my heart :-)

We welcomed Archie into the fold back on February 9, he was such a skinny kitten and now is a gigantic mancat!  He is so good-natured and I thank my lucky stars everyday that he is part of our family.
baby boy
My darling Molly went to the bridge on September 23, two months short of her nineteenth birthday.  This was my first Christmas without my long-time companion and it was a little tough. Our friends over at Cory Cat Blog have a wonderful tradition of hanging stockings for their bridge angels, these stockings are not filled with toys because they are already full of memories.  This is just about the nicest Christmas tradition that I have ever heard of and we are going to do it too.

And last but not least, Jimmy (aka Ash) came to live with us on October 30.  As I was telling Chrystal the other day he is a purring, cuddling ball of mischief and we love him.  Jimmy has settled in with the boys amazingly well, there is constant playing and galloping around the house and it is wonderful to watch - LOL! 

this lovely badge is the handiwork of Anne from Zoolatry

I hope that my cat population is now settled for many years to come :-)

I wish all kitties and their Mums and Dads a wonderful New Year filled with health and happiness, warmth and love!


Santa Jimmy

This was Jimmy's first Christmas
and he was a VERY good boy
Casper whispers "don't worry, it will be over soon".  Jimmy just smiled through it all.


A Christmas Message

My dear friends, I would like to extend my very best wishes to everyone for a warm and wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and health. 

I feel truly blessed to have made so many lovely new friends this year in the Cat Blogosphere and to find myself part of such an extraordinary community of caring individuals (two and four-legged alike)!


Wonderful Amy!

Yesterday the boys received a package from Amy at the House of Cats.  Amy truly has a heart of gold and embodies the spirit of giving!

Jimmy was the first one on the scene followed closely by Ben.
look at my picture on this pendant
Then Casper and Archie.
can you see Archie under the table?
The package was filled with cat treats and toys and a lovely pendant.  Amy had made the pendant  herself using the badge that Anne from Zoolatry had created to commemorate Jimmy's (formerly Ash) adoption from Winnie's Wish.
this picture is also on our sidebar :-)
The boys were so excited they took off with some of the toys before I even had a chance to cut the tags off!
I just whapped a turquoise mouse onto the floor
Jimmy still remembers going on a car ride with Amy and that she helped him on his way to live with us! 

Thank you auntie Amy!
Amy you are a very generous friend! Thank you for thinking of us and for sending such a thoughtful package of goodies for the boys!
Amy's Christmas card


Mancat (and a boycat) Monday

The other day all four cats were on the bed snoozing and it was the first time Jimmy had joined the boys.  Jimmy doesn't usually stay still for long so I was very excited and wanted to get a picture.  Only the bedside table lamp was on and that was not enough light, I thought I better turn on the overhead.  I grabbed the remote for the light but unfortunately turned on the ceiling fan by mistake.  The noise woke them from their slumber and they were all fascinated.  Except of course for sweet deaf Casper, he felt the disturbance on the bed by didn't know which way to look.
That's not supposed to be on this time of year!
Benjamin the brave (not really but lets go with it) rushed in for a closer look.  Casper still hasn't figured out which way to look and Archie has already lost interest and may lick his paw instead of listening to Ben show off for little Jimmy.
Stand back Jimmy I'll take care of this
By this time I've turned off the fan and it has slowed.  Although Ben is still giving me his best mighty mancat pose, Jimmy has lost interest.  Casper however has figured out there is something going on behind him.
Gee thanks for telling me guys
Regardless of the fan interruption, it was lovely to see them all snoozing together :-)


Foreign Friday

These are my brother Duncan's cats Oscar and Lucinda, they live in Sweden where it snows a lot.  However, they do not like the snow as it hampers their activities.

Would you look at that Luci... it's snowing again!
They live in a rural area and are very outdoorsy kitties.  Oscar has daily patrols to make and there are interlopers to be chased away.  But when winter comes, they are not so keen to be outdoors.

See my nose... a hazard of the job!

They go out every day just to confirm they hate the cold weather. The average "out" time is probably two minutes and then they want back in again.  This process repeats itself throughout the day.  If it is really cold the two minute out time decreases to about two seconds and they want back inside before the door has even shut behind them! 
Silly Oscar, I'll stay inside where its warm
Since Sweden sees more than 100 days of snow in any given winter, I'm thinking it would behoove them to find a way to enjoy the white stuff!


To Tree or Not to Tree...

That is the question that I had been asking myself all month! 

I think it is terribly unfair to put up all these sparkly, dangling decorations then not let the cats play with them so I was really stalling when it came to our tree (I had also written about my misgivings on December 1st post "Christmas with Cats").  Well of course we got a tree :-)  Last Thursday Robert and I went out an got a beautiful Fraser Fir.  As far as I am concerned they are the best trees ever and I've been getting one every year for well over ten years.  It is impossible to pick a bad one.  Our tree was bound up for transport and covered in snow.  It looked about the right height so we took it home, I knew when we cut the twine and let the branches fall it would be fine.  They grow in the most perfect Christmas tree shape, as if in a drawing and rarely drop any needles.  The needles are short, which I like, and rounded at the ends so they are soft and one never gets an uncomfortable poke while decorating...they are the ideal blank canvas to create your masterpiece.
My cat-proof tree
However, this year my masterpiece is a study in minimal.  For a few days now I have been living with just twinkle lights and a star at the top and it isn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Also, the boys have been surprisingly well behaved!  Casper has not paid any significant attention to the tree and Ben has chewed a few branches but that is it.  Archie camps out on the tree skirt and won't move and Jimmer is so overwhelmed by all the newness in the house that this is just one more thing to him and as a result nothing particularly special.  Since all my worrying may have been for naught, I might add some unbreakable decorations now and see if my luck holds!
Can you see Archie?
One special addition though is that Ben has placed a little catnip bouquet under the tree for his lovely Clemmie and asks if she would like to come over to play and maybe sing some Christmas carols with him :-)
for beautiful Clemmie


Jimmy has a diagnosis

Jimmy finally has a diagnosis.  His second culture results came in and he has a Methicillin-resistant Staph infection (MRS); this is responsible for the bald patches he had when we got him and also the continued skin problems he has been experiencing.  He is on a twenty-one day course of Baytril and hopefully that will fix him up. The vet said that Casper, Ben and Archie should be fine as they are all healthy and the only danger is if one of the cats, or us for that matter, had a compromised immune system or was recovering from surgery.  I am relieved to finally have a definitive answer and even though what I read on google was pretty scary, I am optimistic that the medication will be effective and we will soon have this all behind us. 

Beautiful boy

Jimmy is a lovely little fellow and I couldn't be happier with the way he is getting along with the boys.  He loves attention and to snuggle with us and this health situation does not in any way diminish what a wonderful addition he is too our family.
Ben with Jimmy (and my new snow boots)


One Lovely Blog Award

Yesterday we were surprised and honoured to receive an award from fellow blogger Miss Kitty, who along with her father Egmont writes A Cat's Golden Years.  Thank you Miss Kitty!!!

Miss Kitty selected three bloggers Ninifees DosiNews, Clooney's Num Num Fund (where a grown up version of Jimmy lives) and myself.  The rules are that I must now pass along the award to three more friends whom we admire.  I would like to name Rumblebum, Huffle Mawson and The Katnip Lounge.

Rumblebum; the fantastic adventures of D'Artagnan Rumblepurr and Inigo Flufflebum is a wonderful blog about two brothers in New Zealand.  Unfortunately, young Inigo became very ill and went to the Bridge last month.  Rumbles is trying his best to carry on without his beloved brother and many bloggers like myself are so grateful for his valiant effort!

Huffle Mawson, Explorer Cat is a very well known blogging kitty from Australia.  Huffle already has lots of awards, but we will always be grateful to her and would like to give her another.  Huffle was the first kitty who reached out to us and sent all her friends (and she has a lot!) over to meet us.  I had been blogging for several months at that time with nary a comment or follower until Huffle's generosity changed all that.

The Katnip Lounge is a super fun blog about a gang of kitties from Las Vegas, Nevada.  The lounge kitties live in a specially constructed Catio which is a playground extraordinaire!  Their mum and dad have such big hearts that they recently adopted kitty number THIRTEEN (a lovely big tuxedo boy) when they found out he had been languishing at their vet for two years!

I hope the three kitties I have chosen enjoy the Lovely Blog Award and will in turn recognize three more blogging friends :-)


Happy Jimmy

I spoke to Dr. D. on Wendesday and Jimmy's first set of test results came in (the second set are due on Saturday).  There was no presence of any significant fungus which is good news, but that still doesn't tell us what is worng and Dr. D isn't really convinced it's allergic or food related.  The next set of results will tell us if it is any kind of strange bacteria that may be resistent to the antibiotic injections that he has received.  Bottom line is at the moment we have no clue and it might even be something odd that is clearing up on its own (that would be fantastic but I'm not holding my breath).  I asked Dr. D. if Jimmy could come out of the bedroom because he is so unhappy being by himself and I really don't want to mess up his socialization with the other cats which had been going so well.  He said ok, so Jimmer has been sprung again and is delighted to put it mildly :-) 
snuggling mum's leg

In the meantime whether it is food related or not his ears are definitely looking better since he has changed to the venison and pea formula...but geez, did it have to be deer?  {{sigh}}
improving :-)

I'll keep you posted as I hear of any developments and hopefully have some fun pictures to post soon of Jimbo enjoying his renewed freedom.
enjoying the house


Dueling Cellos

I can't remember definitely, but it might have been the Katnip Lounge kitties' mum who said when the cats assume this pose they call it "playing the cello": brilliant!  Well I thought it hilarious the other day when Ben and Archie decided to Play the Cello at the same time.  Let's have a look at their form shall we...

They begin just about even

Then Archie seems to droop just a bit

Casper calls some encouragement from the sidelines

and he's back on track again and better than before!

However I think for consistency the medal has to go to Benjamin as his leg did not move a millimetre!


Tuxedo Tuesday

I haven't seen Ben play with his tail in AGES!

Having a bath, minding my own business...

Hey wait a minute....where did that thing come from?

It just moved!

It moved again, did you see it?
What the....gimme that!!!

It's getting away!!!

I don't know what you are talking about mum I did no such thing.


Mancat (and boycat) Monday

Casper and Jimmy nose to nose
This picture so warmed my heart!  Jimmy is getting along with the boys (even Archie) very well.  Unfortunately, he has had sort of a relapse concerning his odd skin condition.  On Saturday we returned to the vet (the amazing Dr. D. is back from his germ conference) because his head and ears had several small scabs again and the edges were bumpy and missing fur.  More scrapings were taken to send off for examinations and cultures.  We have changed his food to something that has no fillers and is just a venison and green peas combo, but Dr. D. does not think it is allergies.  He thinks it is some autoimmune thing, but I told him Jimmy has already tested negative for FIV/FeLV when he was with Chrystal.  The puzzle continues and in the meantime Jimmy is back in his bedroom until we get the results later this week.  Needless to say he is unhappy to be there.  Robert thinks we should just let him out because if the boys are going to catch something they probably already did, but the vet said not to...I don't know what to do.  I just hope these latest scrapings reveal something that can be easily treated so that Jimmy can join the family again!


Kitty cure-all

Well this is day four of the flu, I have not left the house since work on Monday.  I feel awful, not only sick, but behind schedule on everything; shopping, decorating, wrapping!  I'm usually finished my Christmas shopping by now and I've hardly even started...I don't know where November went!!!  Thank goodness we got the outdoor lights up last weekend or there would be nothing done.  Anyway enough of my complaining.  At least I can lie around with my laptop and do some blog visiting between bouts of sleeping...except of course for yesterday when Casper chewed through a cable in the basement so there was no internet for the entire day until Robert got home from work and was able to fix it.  I posted all of two comments from my iPhone then gave up because it was too difficult and the screen is so tiny.  Casper is a compulsive chewer and despite the fact that we cover cables and cords to the best of our abilities, occasionally he still gets to one. 
a healing circle :-)
The one good thing about being home sick is the kitty love.  They lie on the bed all day and keep me company.  Three big lumps of love sleeping, purring, stretching and frankly hogging all the space :-) However, today is different, there might be four.  Robert and I decided that things are going so well with Jimmy's integration that we will let him be out for the entire day and see how things go. 

There has been very little kitty love from anyone yet, just loads of galloping all over the house.  Jimmy has jumped up on the bed a few times to see me but running and playing with his bros seems to be much more fun at the moment.
during one of his "still" moments

a momentary snuggle :-)


When did your love of cats begin?

The other day Caren from Cat Chat wrote a post about when her love for cats started; she was fifteen. In my blog profile it says I have been an animal lover and a cat person in particular ever since I can remember. This is true but Caren’s post prompted me to try to figure out when “ever since I can remember” actually was!  We emigrated from Scotland when I was four. I have no real recollection of life before Canada but I do know we did not have any pets in the UK. The letters c-a-t are the letters that begin my name and I believe my brother Angus might have been the first one to coin the nickname “Cat”…this very well could have started me on the road I’m still on today.

When I was little I was cat crazy (still am) and had everything cat; cat books, cat posters, cat pjs, cat toys, cat Halloween costumes (every single year) and cat themed birthday parties. If anyone had a cat they were tops in my book. A woman lived across the street from us named Mrs. Watson and I used to call on her daily (I’m sure she was thrilled) so I could pet her Siamese cat, I couldn’t have been anymore than five. This of course was back in the day when children visited people in their neighbourhood, rode bikes without helmets, spontaneously played outside on the street, walked to school and all without parents thinking they would be abducted…but I digress.

One summer afternoon at school when I was about six a cat appeared on the window ledge of our classroom. I went to school in Toronto but it was very small sort of bungalow school, one class per grade up to grade eight and about twenty students in each class. The entire class was excited to see this ginger and white beauty, robust and vocal, walking back and forth on the ledge meowing at us. We were totally distracted and the teacher was forced to shoo him away in order for us to get any work done. Little did I know that when she shooed him off he just walked around to the other side of the school and visited some more classrooms where my older sister and brother saw him too. This cat appeared at school everyday for about a week.

When school let out that Friday, my two best friends, Cindy Head and Lynn Willams and myself went in search of this cat. We found him and decided to take him home, in the mind of a six year old, what else could possibly be done? He was a pretty big cat and heavy for youngsters like ourselves, so we took turns carrying him.  I can just picture the poor thing probably dangling precariously from our small arms for the twenty minute walk home, yet he never made a peep or squirmed to get away!  The first stop on our route was Cindy’s house. Her mum said no she couldn’t keep the orange cat because they already had a cat (named Christmas). Next stop was Lynn’s house where her mum said she couldn’t keep the cat either because they too had a cat (named Timothy). We had the wherewithal to take a couple of tins of cat food with us from Lynn’s house then it was off to our last stop, my house. We didn’t have a cat so I was hopeful. We snuck into the house with this cat and sequestered ourselves in the front hall where we gave him some food. We didn’t have a cat basket, so I dumped some of my dollies out of their bed and we used that. Now all we had to do was wait until my father got home. At some point my mum discovered us and Lynn was sent home for dinner and everything gets a little vague after that. We put an ad in the paper to see if anyone had lost a cat. I think two people came to our house and I remember those agonizing moments waiting to see if they would claim him as their own. They did not. We were allowed to keep the cat; our first family cat and he was called Doobie, short for Monsieur Dubois. Doobie was a great cat, tolerant and wise and if I wasn’t completely hooked on cats before him, I certainly was after he came into my life!
Digital cameras were not really the rage back in 1970 so I don't have any pictures of our first cat.  This picture was found online, and to the best of my recollection it is very close to what Doobie looked like right down to the orange "smudge" by the side of his nose :-)
I invite anyone who is so inclined to write a post about how their love of cats began and I look forward to reading your stories.


Christmas with Cats

I would never opt not to have cats in my life, but my gosh sometimes they are a challenge!  I was just wondering how Christmas will play out this year with both Archie AND Jimmy experiencing it for the first time.  We always have a real tree and it starts out beautifully decorated.  Then slowly as if by magic the decorations move to the top half of the tree leaving the bottom as unadorned as mother nature made it. In past years this magical migration was caused by my so called mature cats, Casper and Ben.  Who knows what will happen with a five and fourteen month old added to the mix. 
Casper is such a good sport!
A couple of weeks ago I lobbed the idea to Robert about maybe not having a tree this year. After all our little beach house gets very crowded when all the family is over and maybe no tree would be helpful for space management?  NOT...Robert wasn't having any of that.  So I am thinking that maybe this year I will just decorate our tree with twinkle lights and a star; sort of a minimalist theme.  Perhaps a beautiful, fat velvet ribbon wrapped around it for a pop of red and voila "kitten-proof Christmas"!  I'll let you know how it works out, but in the meantime I would welcome any suggestions :-)
But who will wear the santa coat this year?
I would like to thank Judi from Sammy and Andy's Place for making a beautiful Christmas card for my kitties to exchange with their friends.  This is our first Christmas in the CB and we would have felt terribly left out without her generous help.  You Rock Judi!!!  Please feel free to grab our card for your sidebar if you are exchanging ecards :-)