29 September, 2015


I love astronomy!  I get outside at night and stare at the stars whenever I get a chance.  Meteor showers, eclipses...you name it, I'm watching it!  

Therefore, I stood outside on Sunday night...watching.  The clouds had to mosey along first, but then!

iPhone image, early eclipse
Patty O'Malley joined me for a moment
Another rotten phone image
For really good photos of the eclipse, go to Mickey's Musings; they've got some great moon photos, and pretty kitties too!

25 September, 2015

The Story of Oogy

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love
by Larry Levin
ISBN-13: 9780446546300
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/18/2011

I love used book sales!  I scored $10 worth last weekend, which filled a shopping bag.  Of course, they are mostly cat books, but a few doggie books made it in as well.  One was about Oogy, skillfully written by Larry Levin.  Most books about animals end with someone dying, and this was no exception...except this time it's in the beginning of the book, and it's about Buzzy, the family cat.  As father and twin sons accompany their long-lived and loved cat to the veterinary clinic for that final goodbye, the boys are pounced upon by a small, white puppy.  The puppy was recovering from a horrible injury.  With all the twists and turns of a good spy novel, Larry Levin begins the tale of how the overwhelming love of his family brought Oogy into their lives.

I pretty much read this book cover to cover in one sitting; the story line drew me in and never let go! Oogy had been mauled by another dog, and he never outgrew his health problems, but he loved his humans and he loved the dog park.  Branded as a Pit Bull, the Levine family dealt with the mistaken opinion from a lot of people that their dog was vicious.  And yet, that was easy to overcome because Oogy did not care much for labels; he would make you his friend with his wagging tail and goofy looks (which include only one ear, and a misshapen jaw).

When the book is finished, Oogy is still very much alive, and the Levine twins are off to college. Such a fun read; I closed the book with a sigh and a smile on my face.  But I had a twinge of unhappiness too, so the next day I did a quick internet search to discover that Oogy had passed away this March.  And Oogy was not a Pit Bull; he was a breed called Dogo Argentino.

Okay, so now I've spoiled the ending, but I hope you'll find a copy of "Oogy, The Dog Only A Family Could Love", and read it because we all understand how our four-footed friends not only bring us love, but in the end they become our hearts.

23 September, 2015

In Honor of Grayce

Please visit Katnip Lounge, and leave kind words for their beloved Grayce, who has left for the Rainbow Bridge.

Farewell, Grayce!

22 September, 2015

"I'll build a stairway to Paradise, with a new step every day...!"

The 'O' Cats Stairway

Okay folks...it's ready!  The hubby, with very little assistance from me, measured and sawed, screwed and swore, and now I have what I have wanted for years!

My Cat Stairway!

Now...how the heck am I going to convince Patty and Sweetie to climb up to the second floor? Suggestions are welcome!

Step #1: Milk crate
Step #2: Shelf
Step #3: Wall Shelf
Step #4: Higher Wall Shelf
Step #5: Ramp
Step #6: Go up through hole!
Step #7: Walk through cat flap

Step #1: Milk Crate
Step #2: Shelf
Step #3: Wall Shelf
Step #4: Higher Wall Shelf

Step #5: Ramp

Cat Flap, from interior

Hole in balcony, for cat egress

Look down ramp from hole in balcony

So far, using kibble only, I've encouraged Patty O'Malley to Step #4. Sweetie has gone as far as Step #2.  If Patty has already jumped up to Step #2 or #3, Sweetie won't leave the deck at all.  So, we have a long way to go.  Almost every night, I turn on the outside light, step out on the balcony, and call to the cats.  Patty often jumps onto the feeding station, in his attempt to get closer to me.  Then, I go back inside, walk through the house and out the front door, to appear on the deck.  I coax Patty and Sweetie using kibble to jump up.  I cannot seem to show them the connection between the balcony and food...yet.  I may have to devise some kind of bowl on a string, and slide it up and down the ramp, to get them interested.  I feel that if I can get a cat on the ramp and moving upward, then I'm golden!  Again, any suggestions...?!?

Once they've navigated the stairway, and gone through the cat flap, the one-time kitchenette will become their sanctuary.  It will be closed off from the rest of the house, so inside and outside cats will ne'er meet.

P.S. Please excuse how messy things look.  The hubby made the stairs using found items around his workshop.  He does not believe I can coax the 'O' cats up the stairs, but is willing to let me try whatever I want to...because he knows I won't stop...never...until I've achieved my goal: Patty and Sweetie inside.  WHEN they are comfortable coming in and out, then we'll spruce everything up with paint and other niceties.

20 September, 2015

Saved From The Cricket: A Reenactment

Somehow a cricket got inside the house.  I did a quick search online to find a natural way (no toxic bug spray, please!) to get rid of the bug, since it would disappear into the crack between the floor and the wall any time I tried to approach.

So, I read about a bowls of molasses and water, and some sort of homemade fly-paper stuff.  And lots of noise about crickets left to multiply, to eat one's house up!  Then, the light bulb went off.  I have CATS!  They chase any moth or fly that comes along, and Angel loves to catch spiders (and eat the web...ugh).  So, I waited until Angel and Chuck awoke from their naps to investigate.

Chuck did not acknowledge any problem.  He heard the chirping but ignored it completely.  Hmm, must be management material.

Angel knew something was not right from the get-go, like the good worker bee she is.  She hunted and sniffed, and the cricket went silent when she finally found its location.  She walked away, and the cricket chirped.  She walked back again...silence.  The cricket slid into the crack where she could not get at it.

However, Mr. Cricket decided that a cat locating his presence could quickly become lethal, and he began his move.  He crawled along the edge, around a corner, and was within feet of the front door when Angel again found him, who pointed out the vile intruder's location to her humans, and without eating it first.  Since it was out in the open now, and could no longer hide in the gap, I grabbing a clean kitty litter scoop and I slipped it under the monster.  Managed to get it outside to freedom, without any human or cat or insect being injured in the process!  Hurrah!

The Reenactment:

Cricket inside, where it shouldn't be!

Close-up of vile intruder

Intruder near front door, ready to be
1) Eaten by Angel
2) Saved by human


Intruder cricket stunt double: cute elephant mini sculpture

Playing herself: Angel, my hero!

17 September, 2015

13 September, 2015

More Found Kitten Info

I visited my friend, the kind and sweet woman, who took in our found kitten.  I tried to take photos of the now fluffy and round kitty, but she wriggles and squirms and wants down, so many of them came out blurry.  I am told she is now transitioning to wet food, with kitten formula mixed in.  She is head-strong, this little beauty!

The last two photos were attempts to show her remarkable feet: each with white socks, but black pads.  Adorable!  May be some Persian in there; her face is broad and short-nosed.  A cutie little tuxedo sweetie!

10 September, 2015

Found Kitten Update

Just a quick note to tell you all that the cosmic tumblers clicked into place for the kitten yesterday, and a foster appeared as if by magic.  Consensus is that this baby is 3-1/2 to 4 weeks old, and too young to be without mama's milk.  Covered in fleas and mud, the kitten drank about three tablespoons of formula at first go.  The Hubby and I were very worried when the kitten ate no food, but neither of us have any experience with little, little kittens like this guy.  Or girl...I'm sure I'll learn a lot more soon.

I did not sleep last night, thinking of how everything transpired:

1) I drove down a road I rarely take for my morning commute
2) Had a fresh, clean carrier in the trunk
3) Had contacts around Metro Detroit that were galvanized to help out
4) The Hubby pitched in and helped me to help the kitten
5) A surprise foster appeared, when I was sure none would be found for another couple of days or even weeks

Thank you all for your good wishes; I'm sure I'll have updates on the kitten's progress!

P.S. I drove down the same street again today, with my eyes peeled for any mama cat or other kittens running around.  Saw nothing, but I'll continue to eye-ball the area at every chance I get!  Only a mile from my accident in January, and on the same road.  What is the cosmos trying to tell me?

09 September, 2015

Need Help! Found Kitten!

On my way to work, I took a road less traveled, and witnessed this kitten running across a three-lane highway!  Fortunately, the kitten was on the grass when I pulled my car over and chased her down. Because I had that extra carrier in my trunk, I put her inside and turned around and drove home.  This little baby is now in my garage, with one of my shirts as a bed and a bowl of canned food.

I am calling out to any rescue group in Metro Detroit...or anywhere...HALP!  The health problems we have with Chuck right now make this the most imperfect time to foster for my family.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reach out to help me find a place for this cutie!  I've contacted two rescue groups so far; they are full.  C'mon folks...please!

Thank you!

P.S. Don't know if it's a boy or girl, and my guess is 3-4 weeks old.  A bit of hissing, but both The Hubby and I can handle the kitten!

08 September, 2015

Fat Cat Art

Fat Cat Art: Famous Masterpieces Improved by a Ginger Cat with Attitude
by Svetlana Petrova

Oh boy, oh boy!  I won this book from Cat Chat With Caren and Cody a little while back, and it's the most fabulous book ever!  I minored in Art History while at college, so I am familiar with most of this artwork.  But the addition of Zarathustra the Cat...well, there is just nothing like it.  
Here are some of my favorite pages...
Doesn't she look happier with a kitty
in her lap?
Klimt...with cat
As I thumbed through the book for the first time, The Hubby got unnerved by my constant cackle of laughter, until he looked over my shoulder to see what I was enjoying.

Thanks so much, Caren and Cody!  This is a terrific book, for art and cat lovers, and anyone who enjoys tweaking the establishment just a little...

02 September, 2015

"The Cat Who..." Books

I am a huge fan of Lilian Jackson Braun, the author of "The Cat Who..." series, which began with "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards", published in 1966.  Lilian wrote for both of the two large newspapers in Metro Detroit: The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press.  In this first novel, one character's name is George Bonifield Mountclemens III.  When I discovered this one book, it was 2009 and I was living in Mount Clemens, Michigan.  Coincidence?  I think not!

So, I devoured the book, enjoying the imagery of the city (which most definitely the Detroit area and some Chicago too) and the interaction between Jim Qwilleran, a sort of down-on-his-luck newspaper writer, and a cat named Kao K'o-Kung - Koko for short.  It was not until I had finished that first book, when I discovered that there was a series which finally reached 29 published books, with a few short stories thrown in for good measure.

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (1966)
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (1967)
The Cat Who Turned On and Off (1968)
The Cat Who Saw Red (1986)
The Cat Who Played Brahms (1987)
The Cat Who Played Post Office (1987)
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (1988)
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (1988)
The Cat Who Went Underground (1989)
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (1990)
The Cat Who Lived High (1990)
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (1991)
The Cat Who Moved a Mountain (1992)
The Cat Who Wasn't There (1992)
The Cat Who Went into the Closet (1993)
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (1994)
The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (1995)
The Cat Who Said Cheese (1996)
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (1997)
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (1999)
The Cat Who Saw Stars (1999)
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (2000)
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (2001)
The Cat Who Went up the Creek (2002)
The Cat Who Brought Down the House (2003)
The Cat Who Talked Turkey (2004)
The Cat Who Went Bananas (2005)
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (2006)
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (2007)

I had the good fortune to have a friend who owned the entire series, and she loaned me her books!  I delightedly read each one in order, and it was a splendid way to get through the doldrums of that long-ago winter.

Time-traveling back to the present day, I found a audiobook while visiting the local library recently. 

"The Private Life of the Cat Who...", by Lilian Jackson Braun, published in 2003.  I immediately checked it out on my library card, and listened in my car.  My mind instantly traveled back to those wonderful stories, about Koko and Yum Yum, and the crazy people Jim Qwilleran met in his travels. What a delightful little oasis of cat-based shenanigans to wile away my commute; I listened while driving to and from the office for a few days.

If you have not yet dipped your toe into "The Cat Who..." ocean, please give it a try!  G-Rated, mostly, and the stories are easy enough to read, without starting at the beginning.  Unfortunately, Lilian passed away before her final book was completed in 2011, but I believe this series will live on for a very, very long time. 

P.S. My favorite book is "The Cat Who Saw Stars".  Without giving anything away, the author weaves a story about the probability that cats are from outer space.  Yep, you read that correctly!

P.S.S. I don't know why there is an white outline around my typing today; cannot make it disappear...goes to show that I'm better at blogging than being a computer geek!

01 September, 2015

Chin Scritches with Angel

I'm thinking that Angel enjoys a bit of chin scritchin'!  What do you think?
Love the way her bottom lip moves back and forth...teehee!

P.S. Thanks to all for your kind words about Chuck.  Such a roller coaster of emotions!  And the weird...and sometimes nasty...responses from a family member is astonishing, and disheartening.  But that's for another day; my cat friend community is so supportive and helpful, and I cannot thank you all enough.