Between Naps 2012
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December 25, 2011:
Merry Christmas! Next week we'll start our new blog, but you can always read this one in what Bobbi calls The Archives (I have no idea what that means). She often uses Big Words which I have to Look Up in The Dictionary. What a bother!
If you've been to my MEWSical Society page, you'll know that one of the Founding Members is a parrot named Mrs. Doyle. She was born the same week I was, and lives in Sooke, B.C. But we also have her Stand-In, a parrot who repeats everything you say. I don't play with it much, because I find it Annoying, but the children from across the street think it's Hilarious.
Bobbi took it out for their Piano Christmas Party, and I sat beside it on the Piano Bench, along with my new Glossy Mouse, a gift from Tyler.
December 16, 2011:
It's exactly One Week until Bobbi's birthday, and I still haven't bought her a Present. She already received a box of candy from her friend, Alberte, and a black and white cat mug which was obviously intended for My Mug Collection. If you have any ideas about what I could give her, please Let Me Know!
The first Simon Teakettle began a tradition of Strangers sending us Gifts. When Simon I and Simon II (Tiki) were on CBC radio, they received Mysterious Packages in the mail from humans they'd never met. Several were from a woman in Fergus, Ontario, who heard Simon's Twelve Days of Christmas on the program, Basic Black, and contacted host Arthur Black to obtain our address. She created several lovely gifts for us, including the stunning needlepoint wall hanging depicting Twelve Days of Christmas (shown at the right).
They also received two charming stuffed toys, Claude dePussycat, and Miss Mouse, from RSVP host David Lennick (whose cat, Natasha, is a member of our MEWSical Society). I'll get Bobbi to take photos of me with both of them at some point. David also sent us a Wonderful Parrot who repeats every sound he hears.
In recent years, I've received Christmas presents from Tyler, and from Cat Writers' Association friends Ginger Buck and Dusty Rainbolt.
December 10, 2011:
I was very Upset last night, because I lost my Jingles. You have to understand that for five years I've worn a collar with Jingles attached, that make a nice noise when I run or when they hit my metal water dish. Bobbi had to explain that she took them off to add the 2012 license, and will put them back on my collar later today. Jingling against the license is a little silver heart with my Name on it, and my microchip tag. I can't want to get them back!
Bobbi was out Thursday evening, returning with a Little Bag she place beside my Christmas stocking. I know what it is: it's a Present from my pal, Tyler! Can't wait to open it. My stocking is already Full, but I'm not allowed to touch anything in the Living Room without Permission. Rumor has it, however, that I'm going to get to open my Presents when the children come on Dec. 19 for their Piano Christmas Party. All three are learning to play Jingle Bells by ear, and they will play it together at the Party.
The latest addition to my Fan Club is Mewdy Blue, who lives in Nevada, Iowa. She's the muse for Andrea Dorn's delightful cat books. See Mewdy at the right, strolling through the vet's office, in front of a statue of a doctor holding a cat.
December 3, 2011:
We had snow overnight, and I got all excited, running from window to window to make sure it fell both in the Back and the Front. Just heard we had the warmest November on record this year. It makes no difference to me, as I wear my Handsome Fur Coat all year round!
Just heard about a neat way to help stray cats get adopted. Small Things is the first Cat Cafe in Canada. Located in Sudbury, Ontario, visitors serve themselves to juice, coffee, cookies and tarts, all made offsite to comply with health regulations. As many as 12 cats are in residence, all fixed and vaccinated. They're available for adoption, and sell for $15 to $75.
I don't know how much the Ottawa Humane Society charged Bobbi to adopt me, but it's clear I was worth Every Penny.
Our photo this week is of Willow, a member of our MEWSical Society who felt she could out-stare Sparkle. At Willow's home in Edmonton, Alberta, several Little Girls come to visit fairly often, and the youngest, Chloe, who is 15 months old, thinks Willow ought to be her playmate.
November 26, 2011:
Many of our fans have just returned from the Cat Writers' Conference, including several members of my MEWSical Society. The latest member of our fan club didn't attend the conference, but insisted on claiming all the Best Stuff for herself when she and her cat companion, Binga, saw the open suitcase. Here's Sparkle, staring down Binga and guarding The Loot. Conference sponsors and manufacturers of cat products donate items to conference attendees, and last year one of our Pals sent me a box of goodies she picked up. Allia is one of our favorite writers (her books are reviewed HERE), and I was sorry to hear she was launching her latest and couldn't get to the conference this year. We haven't received the full list of award-winners yet, but think The Lady Who Opens Cans for Sparkle probably won one. Check out Sparkle's website, where you'll see more photos of her and Binga investigating the open suitcase, read her Diary, and can even join her Fan Club.
November 19, 2011:
Guess what? In addition to my own 2012
calendar, I'm Mr. July in the Capital Cats calendar!
Capital Cats is just being sold locally this year, at book and craft fairs and in some stores, but Bobbi may be helping Aimee setup a website for her wonderful photography and artistic creations.
November 12, 2011:
The Fourth edition of The Wonderful World of Cats poster would make a great Christmas gift, along with my 2012 calendar. I've begun to work on my Letter to Santa. This always takes quite a while, as I have to research what's available, and find out from my MEWSical Society pals what new toys they've received. There's an architecture firm in Japan, Fauna Plus DeSIGN, which is known for designing a custom home for 16 cats. It features a cat-climbing tree that serves as a spiral staircase leading up to a catwalk on the second floor. This catwalk has a zigzag design and can also be reached by steps that stick out from the wall. Next to some of the steps are small holes leading to other rooms with cat beds, and a floor-to-ceiling scratching post column, wrapped in hemp rope. I'd put this in my Letter to Santa this year, except that I don't want to share with 15 other cats! So I have to find out if they make a smaller version.
November 5, 2011:
Geneva Jobateh, a member of our MEWSical Society, has a video on YouTube doing a special audition for Dance Captain in our current Virtual Productions. Watch it HERE. And the newest member of our Fan Club is having great fun discovering a mirror and a plastic water bottle HERE.
Our Hallowe'en was graced by two robots, a princess, and a bunny from across the street, as well as a Fascinating Creature who suddenly appeared in the living room. When Bobbi pushes the button on his paw, his eyes open and flash, his body wiggles, his tails waves, and he sings a very loud song. I am Mr. Fearless, so refused to be intimidated by this display, and the children just loved it.
We also received some great Hallowe'en photos from Our Pals. Bailey, a member of our MEWSical Society from Montana, is curled up on top of a pumpkin-decorated blanket.
October 29, 2011:
We're all set for Hallowe'en, although my leopard costume from last year barely fits. I love welcoming the little ones who come to the door to collect candy, and have been known to snitch a lollypop from the bowl, if Bobbi carelessly leaves it on the floor. I don't climb on tables! I deserve a treat, however, as last week was the 5th anniversary of my adoption!
The newest member of our Fan Club is, appropriately, a tiny all-black kitten. This is Midnight Louie III, who has taken over as newsletter editor and muse to Carole Nelson Douglas, author of 56 novels, including the popular Midnight Louie mystery series. Subscriptions to Midnight Louies Scratching Post Intelligencer newsletter are free. You can receive it via email, and read back issues on the website. Meanwhile, see Midnight Louis III on the Fan Club page.
October 22, 2011:
We have our Very First Fish members of the Fan Club! Bob and Tom are two beta fish who live in facing tanks in the boy's bedroom across the street. Also new in the Fan Club this week is Henry Safer, our first member from Newfoundland.
Two cats from Calgary will be joining us as well. Their Human found Bobbi's article on Training by searching the web, and asked for help with Klaxon, who follows him to the bus stop every day! He wants to train Klaxon to walk on a leash. Does that mean he's going to take the cat to work?
I don't have any suggestions for him, because I don't like to go outside, especially in the car. I have to go to the vet next week, for my annual Wellness Check-up and to have my teeth cleaned. I'm not looking forward to that, primarily because Bobbi has to leave me there for most of the day. That's no way to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of my adoption!
October 15, 2011:
Tomorrow is National Feral Cat Day. In Winnipeg, a group of feral cats and kittens quite literally stole the Prairie Feline Fanciers cat show. In the large and highly competitive class, a contingent of former alley cats rescued by Craig Street Cats took 29 of 100 ribbons available for household pets. In addition, three of ten judges selected one of these ferals as their choice for Best Household Pet.
We have a special love for ferals, because Simon II (Tiki) was brought to the Gatineau SPCA by a farmer who found a wild mother cat and her kittens in his barn. He was the only kitten who was all black (except for a tiny white locket). We have lots of info about ferals on our Cat Facts page, and so does our pal, Steve Dale, on his website, www.stevedalepetworld.com
October 8, 2011:
This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. It's a time for football games on TV (boring!) but I plan to watch carefully to see if I can catch the new TV commercial especially for dogs. It incorporates a high-pitched noise only they can hear. But if you've read my Cat Facts page, you'll know that cats's hearing is much better than that of dogs (or humans). So I expect a lot of cats will react to any commercial designed to appeal to dogs.
I enjoy watching all animals on TV. In the photo at the right, I'm watching my favorite cat commercial, the one with the black and white cat (who looks like a slimmer version of Yours Truly), racing from one yard to the other, running along a fence, and finally landing in front of the girl with the bag of Temptations. They're my favorite treat, too, and in the photo I'm showing my spider toy (see his green legs?) how the kitty jumps.
October 1, 2011:
My MEWSical Society has a professional actor and director who helps us with our Fight Scenes. John Koensgen, Artistic Director of New Theatre of Ottawa, has supported us in our Virtual Productions since we began, even as he worked steadily as an actor at the Stratford Festival, GCTC, and the National Arts Centre, as well as as an actor and director with other local companies. NTO's first play of the current season opens October 20 at Arts Court. John is acting in Dreams of Whales, a world premiere by Dean Hawes. John won the Audrey Ashley Award in 2010 for "his extensive, excellent and varied body of work." Last year at GCTC he was astounding in Facts and Heroes.
September 24, 2011:
This is Happy Cat Month, so I've been thinking about what makes me happy. Sitting on Bobbi's lap. Having a Full Food Dish. Finding a mouse I hid in the closet or under the guest bed. Having more fans join my Fan Club. The latest are a dog, three cats, and Four Hens! They all live together, and the dog, Huxley, evidently loves "the girls." The hens were named after old sit-com pairs: Lucy & Ethel, Laverne & Shirley. We'll have photos of them soon.
Did you read that archelologists found a clay pot in Britain with dozens of holes punched into it, which they now believe was used to keep live doormice. The mice were fed nuts and other treats to fatten them up before they were, in turn, roasted and fed to dinner guests. The jar contained little ramps that spiraled up the pot so the mice could climb around. I want one of those!
September 17, 2011:
Bobbi just wrote a chapter for a new book, Once Upon a Cat, by Franny Syufy, who writes the cat guide at cats.about.com. It tells the story of Simon Teakettle, ending with my adoption and how I am a PURRfect Companion. The first Simon was jet black, without a single white hair, and we've just discovered why they're so rare. It seems that The completely back cat is especially rare in the Northeast U.S., since black cats with at least one white hair were spared during the witch mania in the 18th century.
A famous all-black cat, Midnight Louie, Jr., dust-jacket cover boy for the popular mystery novels by Carole Nelson Douglas, has just died. His newsletter, however, lives on.
Meanwhile, my 2012 calendar has just been
launched. It contains photos by Bobbi, and was put together once
again by talented artist/photographer Iris Ten Holder, and is
September 10, 2011:
At the right you'll see just a sample of the extensive button collection that Tiki collected over his 19 years. These hang on the wall of our office, behind the door, where I can reach up to play with them, just as Tiki did.
There's no more room here, so the buttons have spilled over onto the wall behind the door from the hall, and that's where I've put the few I've added to the collection.
The latest one is from the 2011 Edmonton Fringe Festival, sent to me by my pal who lives in that city. Willow has been a member of my MEWSical Society since the beginning, and knows what a fan I am of all kinds of theatre.
In fact, I've just prepared a poster celebrating the start of the 2011-2012 season at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. We've been supporters for 33 of their 26 years, and Bobbi wrote an article for their summer Backstage newsletter about joining The Council of Great Canadians.
I have my own seat in the GCTC theatre, and my name is in the program every time.
This year the theme of the season is variety, and they're starting off with a musical about Amelia Earhart, and later on there will be a special Shakespeare spoof by The Company of Fools.
September 9, 2011:
My pal Tyler, a member of my MEWSical Society, also has his own page on our site. Here you can read his latest message, which he sent in response to my comments on Hating my carrier. You can also see a photo of him at the computer on his page.
September 3, 2011:
September is Pet Health Insurance Month. I'm insured with PetSecure but I don't know if it will cover my teeth-cleaning, which is what has to be done this year. I like Dr. Leduc, and don't mind his exams, but what I dread is going into my carrier and into the car. I HATE the car! My pal, Seren Shojai, sent me a photo of her carrier, and has reassured me that I'll survive another car trip, despite my apprehension.
Seren has just joined my Fan Club, and is auditioning for a party in Peter Pan. You can see her posing as a Singing Pirate on both the fan page and the cast page for our next two Virtual Musical Productions. The other show is Snow White. Fans can't take Leading Roles, but can audition for chorus parts.
August 27, 2011:
I didn't feel the earthquake that hit the east coast last week, but it's well know that animals can predict natural events. The National Zoo documented strange behavior in several of its animals five to 10 seconds before last week's quake. Many apes ditched their food and began climbing their tree-like structure. Flamingos also seemed to know it was coming, gathering into a group before the shaking began and remaining huddled throughout the quake. Most impressively, red ruffed lemurs let out an alarm call 15 minutes before the quake and then again just before it struck.
An article in Cat Fancy a few years ago cited the experience of Simon Teakettle II (Tiki) just before the huge tsunami which devastated southeast Asia, which was detected by seismographs on the other side of the world (including Canada's national capital, where we live). In the aftermath of that disaster, it was revealed that most coastal animals left for higher ground hours before the quake causing the tsunami hit.
August 20, 2011:
My birthday party was wonderful! All four children came from across the street with cards they made themselves, and individual gifts. You can see my "loot" in the photo at the right.
Since I've now attained the "mature" age of five, it's time to get serious. This is Take Your Cat to the Vet Week. Our pal, Chicago broadcaster Steve Dale, writes about it HERE. He points out that the average cat sees the veterinarian less than half as often as the average dog. One reason is that cats don't show obvious symptoms when they're sick. But the primary reason is transport. Most cats don't like their carriers, and many don't like riding in the car.
But that's no excuse! I already have an appointment for my annual "wellness check-up," and Bobbi says I'll go to the vet early in the day so I can have my teeth cleaned. I guess that's one of the sad facts about getting older...
August 16, 2011:
To the right you'll see Cuddles Russo, one of the first members of my MEWSical Society, at the computer helping to select an e-card to send me for my birthday.
August 14, 2011:
Tomorrow we celebrate my birthday! Bobbi tucked a tote bag under the coffee table yesterday, and as soon as I realized this contained My Presents, I couldn't resist. While she was asleep, I poked inside, Very Carefully, and found a little catnip toy to play with.
August 6, 2011:
This is a month of Big Celebrations. Matilda, the resident cat at New York's famous Algonquin Hotel, is having her debutante's ball on Aug 10. Tickets are in the form of a donation to North Shore Animal League. You can send your best wishes to Matilda at: email@example.com.
My 5th birthday is also this month. We're have a Birthday Party on August 15. All four children from across the street will come over to help me open my presents and play with them. I'm telling all of you well in advance in case you want to send cards, gifts, or e-cards.
August 1, 2011:
One of my favorite toys is the Feline Fisher. Watch Kathy Covey of the Cat Adoption Center demonstrate it use with the help of some furry friends, at: http://bit.ly/noKQyz.
I've been spending a lot of time stretched out on my shelf in the office window. From there I can watch birds and squirrels outside (and any humans foolish enough to go out in this heat) while I supervise what Bobbi is doing at her desk.
July 24, 2011:
The excessive heat which has blanketed all of North America is taking its toll. We're cool and comfortable here, but our friends in Sandy Lake have had to be evacuated, along with many other First Nations in Northwestern Ontario, because of forest fires. We've been able to get in touch with many of them, and find out where the extended family has scattered, as the gov't send plans to evacuate them and they're been dispersed to different cities and communities further south.
Meanwhile, Tuffous Hamilton, one of the members of our MEWSical Society in Montreal, cools off by lying on his back. I don't sleep on my back, but love to assume that position in order to get my tummy rubbed.
It's too hot to dress up, but that didn't discourage these cats who posed as characters from Shakespeare's plays: http://blog.thaeger.com/2011/07/02/shakespeare-cats/
July 16, 2011:
Animal artist and writer Bernadette E. Kazmarski has created Great Rescues, a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats she's been commissioned to paint in the 20 years as an animal portrait artist. Great Rescues is spiral-bound, and measures 8x8 to easily fit on your desk or in a purse, briefcase or backpack. It contains stories of these cats and the people who rescued them. Samantha, shown at the right, is on the cover. Go to:http://greatrescuescalendar.com/purchase-great-rescues/
July 9, 2011:
A kitten rescued by Alley Cat Rescue has bonded with a dog who seems to understand her disability. Tipsy came to ACR from a young woman who had found a litter of kittens living outside. She fostered them until they were eight weeks old, and found homes for the other two kittens. She could not find a home for Tipsy, and it was clear that Tipsy was not "normal". It turns out she has cerebellar hypoplasia, which causes her to be unsteady on her feet (hence the name). Tipsy has made friends with Bear, a rescued dog. One evening Kylie, ACR's excutive director, wasn't sure where Tipsy had gone, and she finally found her curled up under one of Bear's legs! In the photo at the right Tipsy is being groomed by Kylie. They're both curled up on a printed blanket, so you have to look closely to see the tiny kitten beside the big dog, a mix of Akita, German Shepherd, Chow and Shar Peia.
July 4, 2011:
Happy Fourth of July to all our American readers. Bobbi is a U.S. citizen, but has lived in Canada since 1967, and I was born in Canada, so we celebrate both holidays. On Saturday, she went to a Wonderful Birthday Party for one of our dear friends, Rosaleen Dickson, who was honored by about 100 of her friends and family.
Bobbi said there were two Huge Cakes (see one at the right) and lots of tributes to this Delightful Lady who turned 90 yesterday. Still extremely active as a volunteer and editor (several of her current clients paid tribute at the party), she will undoubtedly make it to 100 and beyond. Our card to her said: 90 is Nothing but a Number. In fact, it's just 18 in cat years.
June 25, 2011:
Bobbi is busy this weekend launching Prose to Go: Tales from a Private List. The book is being launched in different areas at different times by the 18 contributors, who live in 14 different locations across Canada. Last weekend it was New Brunswick; this weekend it's here in Ottawa.
Of course that means I have to devote some of this space to a book that has nothing to do with Yours Truly, or even with Cats! Yes, one of Bobbi's three first-person stories in the book refers to the cat, but not even by Name, which I find insulting. But she does fill my Food Dish, wash my Water Fountain, and Brush me, so I guess I have to promote Her Book.
Do go to the link to
read All About It. Meanwhile...here's a story from TheAnimalRescueSite.com:
June 18, 2011:
The Ottawa Humane Society, where Bobbi found me, is moving to a new facility which will have much more room for both animals and staff. Founded in 1888, the OHS is a favorite charity of Canada's Prime Minister and his wife, who often foster kittens, and just adopted a new grey tabby whom they named Stanley.
I was brought to the OHS in the fall of 2006 when I was just 8 weeks old. The resident vet pronounced me healthy enough for early neutering, and within two weeks I'd had all my shots, was neutered, and put in a cage in the lobby where Bobbi and I discovered each other. It was Love at First Sight. Adoption at the OHS includes micro-chipping and the first few months of pet insurance free.
Summer is a Great Time to adopt a pet. You might even consider a dog, perhaps even a Big One, like our pal, Sadie, pictured at right cooling off in her own little pool.
June 11, 2011:
This is the Year of the Rabbit, and since we have a rabbit pal who lives across the street and is in our Fan Club, it makes sense to feature one of the Humans whose cats are members of our MEWSical Society this week. Theresa Jobateh (who fills the Food Dish of Society member Geneva), has just released her first novel, The Year of the Rabbit. Read about it on our Books Recommended page.
One of our friends from the Cat Writers' Association designs and hand-builds unique cat jewelry, paints cat portraits and writes about cats. Wendy Christensen is the author of Outwitting Cats and other books, and shares her home on Bobcat Mountain with ten beautiful cats, all former shelter kittens. See her cat jewelry at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/wendycats.
June 4, 2011:
A couple of times a year we send out a MEWSletter to members of my MEWSical Society. We include current info about the Members (and the Humans they live with), such as Noel's 12th birthday and her horse, Fred, who was one of her gifts (and immediately joined our Fan Club.) This time there are many books to promote, written by the Humans, with considerably assistance from Society Members.
We've already mentioned a few of the pet-related books here, and a new one that's just gone into its second printing is The Complete Cat's Meow, written by Darlene Arden with expert assistance from Aimee. Another new release is Grab Life by the Tail: Activities for Bored Cats. I think this book is PURRfect to help bored cats Stay Out of Trouble, and of course I approve of the black and white coloring of the cover cat. Now, of course, I have to lobby for My Own Tree. It was written by Someone Who Should Know: Roberta Beach Jacobsen, who lives with dozens of cats on the Island of Karpathos in Greece.
We'll have information about that book along with a few others by Society Members, next week.
May 30, 2011:
I just heard about a cat lives in a tree and has trained her Manservant to climb up a ladder twice a day to feed her: http://www.tonic.com/article/cat-that-never-leaves-its-tree-has-found-a-good-home-and-owner/
Have you ever wondered what your cat gets up to when youre not around? Well the clever people at Friskies fitted some cats with video cameras and they are proud to present: Cat Diaries: The first ever motion movie filmed by Cats! To view the film online, go to the Friskies website: www.friskies.com/repurrters
I'll wait here, on the Piano Bench, with my mouse, until you come back.
May 21, 2011:
There's so much going on outside our living room window, that I can hardly contain myself. Of course the birds are keeping busy, building nests and calling to each other (some of them so loud I can hear them right through the closed window).
But the other day I peered way up (see photo at the right) to see two baby squirrels busily eating food their mom had brought them. That explains why one of the pots along our front walk had been emptied of the pine cones that winter there (before Bobbi plants petunias). Momma squirrel had evidently stashed some food in that one. Bobbi had heard scampering in the carport roof, so we knew she had built her nest below the roofline. Once she moves the babies, our handyman will fill the holes both front and back that she used to get in and out. But meanwhile, I have a great view of my two new little pals as they sit, protected from the rain, not afraid of me at all.
Bobbi has concluded that the squirrel families who have made their home here for many years pass on information to their babies that this is a Safe Place. Once they lost their nests (when the huge maple tree in our back yard was pruned last fall), the momma figured the carport was the safest spot. You can read about Tiki and the Squirrels HERE.
The second photo this week is of Stanley, one of the members of my MEWSical Society, practising for his role in our next Virtual Production. Based on this new photo, we're casting him as Gentleman Starkey, Captain Hook's first mate in Peter Pan.
Stanley lives with TV producer and host of Theatre Talk, which is aired on some PBS stations. Susan was a student of Bobbi's at The Latin School of Chicago four decades ago. (I don't even know what "a decade" means!)
This is a long weekend here (Victoria Day in Canada), a good time for us to tell you about the article Bobbi wrote about Songbirds and Cats. It was first published in the West Quebec Post, and is now online at Log Cabin Chronicles.
May 14, 2011:
We have our first equine member of the fan club! Fred was a gift for Noel's 12th birthday. We now have 44 cats, 20 dogs, 2 birds, 2 alpacas, a llama, a rabbit, and, at last, a horse. They come, like the members of the MEWSical Society, from all over the world. The dog and cat from Norway belong to a young woman who contacted Bobbi after she read Bobbi's Christmas Story in her high school textbook. They became Facebook friends.
Bobbi is giving her last presentation of the season on Monday to the Media Club of Ottawa, the former Canadian Women's Press Club. I was concerned when I saw her packing a small suitcase, afraid she might be going on a trip, until I noticed it didn't have any clothes, but was full of books!
May 7, 2011:
A special rescue organization in Tempe, Arizona, holds a Cinco de Meowo adoption special every year, where adoption fees are lowered, resulting in an increase in adoptions.
Mother's Day is also a time to remind everyone to get your cats and dogs spayed or neutered. We want to celebrate human mothers, but not add to the over-population of stray and feral cats and unwanted kittens and puppies at humane societies!
Next Friday is Friday the 13th. Both of my predecessors celebrated these because they were all black, but it really doesn't mean much to me. But if you're interested in excerpts from the Wikipedia entry, you'll find those on our Facts page.
May 1, 2011:
May Day began as a fertility festival, but became a celebration of the labor movement in Europe in the 1890s. It soon spread to the U.S. to lobby for the 8-hour work day (from Mark Zuehlke, award-winning novelist and historian).
This is National Pet Week.
The Canadian Tulip Festival is the largest in the world. It was founded in 1953 by photographer Malak Karsh (brother of Josef Karsh), whose photos of tulips are world-famous. Tulips belong to the lily family, originated in Turkey (where "tulip" means "turban") and is the world's most planted flower. Tulips have no scent, are edible, and always have three petals and three sepals, siux stamens and three stigmas. There are approximately 2600 varieties of tulips, and the Netherlands accounts for about 80% of all tulip production. And estimated 3 billion are produced there each year.
There are more than a million tulips on display in Ottawa each spring. 600,000 new ones are planted every year!
April 23, 2011:
Happy Easter (and Happy Passover as well).
This week marks several important occasions. April 26 is World Intellectual Propery Day, and although I don't really understand what that means, Bobbi tells me that Copyright is Very Important, especially to me, as I'm an Author. You can download a poster, postcard and bookmark from www.wipo.org, and use those all year long to help educate the public about copyright.
In the U.S. this week marks Free Feral Cat Spay Day, on April 27, 2011. Since Tiki was a feral, we are very concerned about these poor orphans, who just keep multiplying unless Kind Souls trap them, neuter them, and the return them to their colonies. This is called TNR, and is promoted by most rescue organizations.
On April 28, Bobbi is giving a Big Presentation to Ottawa Independent Writers. I'm not going, because it's about appearing on TV, but I can always call on her for help if I'm ever contacted by The Media.
April 16, 2011:
Kitty Bytes is the newsletter from The Cat Site, and this week's article is a hilarious look at the funny faces cats make. Check it out at: http://tinyurl.com/3huus9t
You also need to see the wonderful video interview with Catman Drew, which showcases his fabulouse watercolors of cats, and even has him teaching the interviewer how to create a cat painting. It's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MKZSa3RA98
Meanwhile, a border collie has been featured on TV and print because he understands so many word. Evidently, he's learned more than 1000 nouns and can connect these to specific toys. That took three years of training four to five hours a day! I know more than 100 words (Bobbi actually counted!) but I have Better Things to Do than spending my time learning words! If you want to see all the words I understand, click on the link at the top of this page: Terzo's Vocabulary
April 9, 2011:
Bobbi attended the season launch for the Great Canadian Theatre Company last week. She was, of course, representing Yours Truly, because Simon Teakettle Ink has been a supporter of GCTC for 35 of its 37 years! She brought home the brochure describing the 2011-2012 season for me to review, and I've decided to renew her subscription, so she can sit in the seat with my name on it. She reported that she had a nice conversation with John Koensgen and his wife Laurie. He's celebrating a Big Birthday this week, and she is GCTC's Education Coordinator. Their son, Jonathan is also an actor who has appeared in several GCTC productions. John, of course, is the Fight Director for our MEWSical Society.
You'll notice a new book at the right, written by Helen B. Needham, who has created a wonderful cat rescue sanctuary at her home. Read about the book on our Cat Book Favorites page, and visit Helen's site: www.thecatmagnetbook.com
April 3, 2011:
We have lots of Fascinating Facts on our Cat Facts page, but Darlene Arden (whose Adorable Aimee is a member of my MEWSical Society) revealed a few that were new to us in her PawNation column. I've added some of these to our page, but here are two you might find Interesting: A domestic cat can run about 31 mph. It is possible for every kitten in a litter to have a different father. Cats walk on their toes, which probably accounts for their graceful movements. In ballet there is a step called pas de chat -- the cat step. It's a little jump to the side, but in truth nearly every move your cat makes is lovely.
Darlene's new book, The Complete Cat's Meow: Everything You Need to Know about Caring for Your Cat, is on my Favorite Cat Books page.
Another new book that attracted my attention is The Cat Magnet, by Helen B. Needham, who lives in North Carolina with her husband and Helens Herd, an avid, private stray cat rescuer. This collection of her cat tales is designed to educate readers about the ongoing cat overpopulation crisis and the many ways anyone can help. Her book is also on our Favorite Cat Books page.
March 26, 2011:
This week we're featuring a few of our pals from the Cat Writers' Association.
Prowler Miller, a polydactyl (like Yours Truly) knows how to open the door to the pantry. She crawled into a box of sugar pops and got stuck. After she was finally free, several of her feline housemates helped groom her back to sanity while snacking on the golden tidbits still stuck in her fur along the way!
Laser Kucik has been a registered therapy cat for more than a dozen years. An adoptee from the Humane Society, he visits the Children's Hospital in Birmingham, where he's been given special permission to visit the Oncology unit. He has spent time with children who have just days to live, curled up beside a child who could then pet him.
Sparkle is an award-winning author and supermodel with a popular blog. She gives cat-to-cat advice, and has an online store featuring interactive cat toys and even things for humans. http://www.sparklecat.com
March 20, 2011:
(from the Wall St. Journal) After 13 years, Matilda II, (Tilly to her friends) the world-famous Ragdoll hostess of the Algonquin Hotel (in New York) retired to a new permanent home in Brooklyn. When asked about her future, Matilda said she wanted to quit while she was still young enough to enjoy it. Immediately following Tilly's retirement announcement, The Algonquin Hotel began searching for a successor. North Shore Animal League discovered the perfect cat for the job, Matilda III, a homeless Ragdoll, the same breed as Tilly. For continuity sake, Matilda III was installed as the"Algonqueen" the Goodwill Ambassador the day after Tilly vacated the position. When asked about the position, Matilda said she hoped it would give her an opportunity to occasionally rub whiskers with feline heart throb, Elvis, a Savannah cat known for his savage good looks and his way with the ladies, human and feline alike. Read about Matilda's retirement party HERE, and check out her Facebook page as well.
March 12, 2011:
Lily Fry, the darling of my MEWSical Society, is the calendar girl for March 15 in the 365 Cats Page a Day Calendar published by Workman. Lily is also on the back of the box of the 2011 calendar. See the three photos to the right, because the website is now promoting the 2012 calendars. Lily is also featured in a book by Matilija Press called Catscapades.
Not to be outdone, I'm featured on a popular blog
written by Amy Shojai, founder
of the Cat Writers' Association
and a recognized expert in cat and dog behavior. She's the author of
several respected books on dog and cat care and the editor of the
Chicken Soup cat book. Here's a link to her popular blog: http://www.redroom.com/blog/amy-d-shojai/monday-mentions-emotions-muses-and-more
The first photo on the blog show me when I was just a tiny kitten, trying to read Mewsings/Musings (written by my predecessor, the second Simon Teakettle). The second picture is of me inside my Wonderful Tent. I love to play in there, and often take favorite toys inside.
This leads me to a question about Territory. Although I own the company she works for (it's called Simon Teakettle Ink, after all!), and this website, Bobbi continues to maintain that there are Things in the house that don't belong to me. I made the Mistake of obeying these Rules when I first arrived, because I was trying to please her, and didn't want her to take me back to that Awful Cage at the Humane Society.
But I'm older now, and it seems to me that some of those Rules need to changed.
Why, for example, shouldn't I be allowed to jump on the dining room table to stretch out in a Sunny Spot there? The last time I did this, I was Very Careful not to disturb any of the decorations on the table, even though there was something in the middle with Dangly Bits that looked Very Tempting. But I was there to nap, not to play.
I was Not Pleased when Bobbi came in an shouted at me, clapping her hands and shooing me off the table. She also does that if I try to climb on her Favorite Chair in the living room. It's the one where she sits beside the piano when the children have their lessons, and I don't know why I'm not allowed to sit there, when no other chair is Off Limits.
And we often argue about stools. She thinks they belong to her, and I should get down if I happen to be perched on one when she decides she wants to sit there.
March 5, 2011:
Fans of my MEWSical Society have been busy! Poochini Pitt (aka Der Uberhund) has a new cousin, a puppy called Kryki, who thinks she's a cat. She's being raised by the barn cats, who treat her like just another one of the kittens. In the photo at the right, she looks as if she's wrestling with Yours Truly. Tux is one of her favorite playmates.
Kryki also catches mice in the fields, and brings them back to the cats in the barn.
February 25, 2011:
I wonder if other cats who read this blog have encountered what I witnessed this week. Bobbi was Hopping Mad at her coat! She scolded it in a Very Harsh Voice, sprayed it with the water bottle she only uses on me if I'm Extremely Naughty, and then kept slapping it with a cloth.
When I peeked around a corner to watch, she told me not to worry, that she was just tired of winter and the salt stains on her coat because her car is so dirty. I don't get it! I could easily have volunteered to wash both the coat and the car. But she Didn't Ask.
I think she's been too preoccupied with the book she's been working on. Read about Prose to Go HERE.
February 19, 2011:
It's been an exciting week. Right after I wrote last week's blog, I found out that Egypt was finally on its way to democracy. We have a special interest in this, because we have a member of the MEWSical Society who lives in Cairo. Miss Noha, an Egyptian Siamese, cowered at home while all the chaos was going on just outside her apartment.
We didn't want to write about it this until we were sure the Lady she lives with was safe. Heike was flown to Germany with other German journalists, and is now on her way back. She had made arrangements for Miss Noha, her Persian sister Sir Kimo, and their canine pal, Lucky "Woolsy" Syllwasschy, to be cared for in her absence.
Read about Heike and her pets on Amy Shojai's blog.
February 12, 2011:
Valentine's Day came early for me. Bobbi brought home a Fabulous Present. She told me it was from my pal, Tyler, and then left the little bag on the floor while she put other things away.
By the time she returned to the den, I had pulled out the tissue paper and found The Mouse! I played with it for a long time, even later, after I'd had my treats and took a little nap on her lap.
When she went to clean up later, she tried to throw the tissue paper away, but I wouldn't let her. I dragged it into My Tunnel with The Mouse, and played with it during the night.
I'll get Bobbi to take a photo of The Mouse soon, unless it Disappears (I have my Hiding Places, which I don't plan to reveal!).
February 5, 2011:
Next week is Freelance Writers' Appreciation Week. I hope somebody will appreciate me, preferably with cans of Fancy Feast (beef & liver pate), or a new furry mouse. I could also use some more fat plastic straws. Most of the ones Bobbi gave me are full of teeth-marks, although I still play with them.
Poochini Pitt (aka Der Uberhund), one of our Faithful Fans, thinks noticed we hadn't cast the Crocodile in our Virtual Production of Peter Pan, and has brought this big stick to show us how ferocious she is. She found it in her Big Back Yard. She also volunteered to understudy Dopey in Snow White.
You'll see a few blank spaces on the casting page. Those are awaiting photos from new cast members. We still need Pirates and Dwarfs!
January 29, 2011:
The Chinese Year of the Rabbit begins next week. I understand that our sole bunny fan, Bungie, hasn't been told yet. But I'm going to make sure he finds out, as I'll tell James Monday when he comes for his piano lesson.
Given the bad weather most of North America has suffered this winter, it's good to know that The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has an Indoor Pet Initiative. Their article about keeping cats happy indoors is at: http://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/
John Koensgen, the Special Advisor to my MEWSical Society, is taking time from choreographing the pirate fights in our Virtual Production of Peter Pan to appear in an award-winning comedy at Great Canadian Theatre Company. Strawberries in January is about four single adults trying to work out their relationships. John is one of those great actors who can play a variety of ages in everything from contemporary drama to Shakespeare. He's also the Artistic Director for New Theatre of Ottawa.
January 22, 2011:
Did you know that January 22 is Cat Appreciation Day? It's also National Answer Your Cat's Question Day, according to this neat site, which lists a variety of cat holidays. Our friend Nancy Marano maintains a great site which lists key holidays as well.
I think there are many other dates that should be
included. How about:
January 15, 2011:
We're having some real January weather, for a change. Light snow has been falling (nothing like the huge storms that have swept along the Great Lakes to hit the Maritimes and Northern New England) and it's cold enough to frost the windows. That means there's nothing to see outside, and I'm BORED. Bobbi stopped working to play with me a few times today, but she's working on a Big New Book (see the teaser announcement on our Home page), and keeps insisting this is Important.
Fortunately, I'm in touch with other Bored Cats. Prowler Miller, for example, is a polydactyl who knows how to open the door to the pantry. She crawled into a box of sugar pops and got stuck. After she was finally free, several of her feline housemates helped groom her back to sanity while snacking on the golden tidbits still stuck in her fur along the way!
And Sparkle is an award-winning author and supermodel with a popular blog. She gives cat-to-cat advice, and has an online store featuring interactive cat toys and even things for humans. http://www.sparklecat.com
January 7, 2011:
A new year, a new blog! If you missed my December entries, click on the 2010 blog above (or HERE).
Worth repeating: Bobbi won the Shojai Mentoring Award, presented at the international conference of the Cat Writers' Association in November. The award consists of a plaque and $500. I can attest to Bobbi's mentoring skills, as in just four years she's taught me how to read and write, how to communicate with members of my MEWSical Society, and how to do a bunch of neat tricks.
Her techniques for cajoling me into shaking one paw and then the other, sitting up (without holding on!), leaving a treat in the palm of her hand while I perform various actions, are describing in her award-winning article, How to Train Your Cat Like a Dog. It's here, on our website, and has just been reprinted in Dr. Phil Zeltman's excellent newsletter.
January 2, 2011:
Happy New Year! Here I am, sort of celebrating, although neither the catnip nor the toy mice made it into the photo. Last year's photo is a bit less staid, and it made it into the 2011 calendar (although not for December of January).
We received a few other calendars this year, including one from Barx Bros, that has wonderful drawings of cats and dogs. This company handles client communications for animal care professionals, but their catalogue contains some delightful fun stuff. There's a t-shirt showing a love cat sitting on top of a computer, with the words Original Laptop, and one which changes the nine lives saying around, so that it reads: Every life should have nine cats. Of course there are nine different cat portraits on the front.
Bobbi and I received a whole set of cat-themed note pads for Christmas, and she's teaching me how to hold a pen so I can use them. We also received a cat bookmark and she will soon be wearing a tiny black cat pendant her niece sent for her birthday.
Bobbi wanted me to climb into this Santa suit,
Willow watching carefully from her
ABOVE: Henry Safer, St. John's, Newfoundland
BELOW: Our pal, Der Uberhund, contemplates Life from the front seat of the car.
Our latest dog fan, Huxley Halperin
Seren entering her carrier
Protecting my dolphin from
Last year's favorite birthday gift:
Watching Bobbi work in our office
Simon Teakettle the First
Holding onto one of the
Terzo celebrating Easter
Terzo's funniest face is
I often admire myself in this mirror,
Terzo relaxing on
his own pillow
Kryki and Tux
Miss Noha, packed and ready to leave
Happy Valentine's Day
Poochino Spitt (aka Der Uberhund)
Here I am, hoarding my