Category Archives: cats

Baby It’s Cold Inside

I live in California- right on the dividing line between So Cal and Central Cal. It can get cold in the winter. It’ll be down in the 30′s tonight. But my house is fairly new (14 years old) and fairly well insulated. This fall, David and I decided to go as long as possible without turning on the heater. Just to see how long we could hold out and also as kind of a fun game to see how low the power bill would go. I think last night was the coldest night so far this season. But it hasn’t gotten below 60 degrees inside the house yet (at least not while I’ve been awake). But 60 degrees inside your house is pretty dang chilly! But we will not cave! At least not yet! January may get colder though.

I’m sitting here in yoga pants and a t-shirt. Accompanied by fleecy socks, fuzzy slippers, a big wrap sweater, and fingerless gloves (so I can type). And I’m covered up by a thick faux furry blanket. I’m pretty comfy, except my fingertips… ; )

A byproduct of this experiment is that I’ve become more mindful of just how much of a luxury having central heat inside a cozy home really is. With the flip of a switch I could have warm, toasty air circulating throughout my entire home. Not everyone has this luxury or can afford to run their heat even if they have it. I am grateful I have the option to play this ‘game’. Also, kittens really like to snuggle when it is cooler in the house. They may even sleep with you ALL night!

I wonder if we’ll want to experiment with how long we can go this summer without running the air conditioner? It gets up to 105+ degrees on the reg in these parts. We shall see. (I could go for a nice 85-90 degrees right about now. I’m kind of a warm weather person…)

I won’t feel like a failure if we decide to turn the heat on. I’ll just feel warm. : )

Cat Friends: Now Starrring David and Rocco!

Today’s Cat Friends is a guest post from my awesome Twitter friend, Madonna Monster! :) Let’s meet David and Rocco!

Shortly after my Yoda passed (http://madonna816.blogspot.com/2011/07/painful-journey.html), I found myself in my local PetSmart, looking for a gift for a friend’s pup. I couldn’t help but peek in on the kitties up for adoption. What a saw through the plexiglas instantly had me in tears. A tiny black kitten, all curled up. After a couple of minutes, he raised his head & I saw the white spot on his chest, just like my Yoda. I crumbled and all I could think of was holding that kitten. They were having open adoption hours later in the day so I called up my partner (who is now my wife) & asked her to meet me, because I knew I’d be a mess. Mind you, I was NOT ready to adopt. I was still grieving for my Yoda & crying several times a day. In my heart, I was looking for some kind of comfort from that kitten. Michelle, my wife, had other ideas.

So there we were. I was sitting on the floor, inside the cat room, holding that kitten & sobbing. I don’t remember much, beyond feeling pain. Then, Michelle piped up & said she wanted to take the kitten I was holding, along with the other tuxedo kitten that had been making a racket & zooming around the place. This seemed unacceptable to me. I felt like I was betraying Yoda. I was crying & pleading my case, but even the lady from the shelter was now trying to convince me, saying Yoda would want me to rescue them.

Baby Rocco and David

It’s now 4.5 years later &, as I type, the crazy, mouthy kitten, now a crazy, mouthy cat named David, is perched on my leg. The kitten I drenched with tears, now named Rocco, is curled up in his bed, just a few feet from me. At the time, the adoption definitely made my grieving process harder (I still find myself crying for my Yodie Bird), but I also can’t imagine life without David & Rocco.

BTW, when we adopted them, their names were Dave & Otto. Being a huge Madonna fan, their names were quickly changed to the names of Madonna’s sons.

Christmas 2011

Rocco, for the most part, is an angel. He sleeps about 22.5 hours a day (at least it seems that way). We make a huge deal of it when he walks into the room & we start cheering “Rocco’s awake! YAY!” He LOVES the home grown catnip that my best friend, Jay, sends us once or twice a year, along with the laser pointer, his chirping bird, and the strings on our hoodies. When we adopted him, he was the smaller of the 2, but he now dwarfs David. He tolerates being picked up & can’t wait to get down. However, he does love affection. We call him the stealth hugger, because he likes to sneak up on you, give you a head-butt & run away. He wants to be chased into the bathroom, where he flops on HIS mat (aka the bath mat) & rolls around, letting you pet, scratch & smooch him. Over the last year, he’s also started finding his voice, as small and high pitched as it is. It’s funny & heartwarming, all at once. He’s so big, thumps when he walks, is a loud jumper (like he’s going to crash through the floor), yet has the softest meow. He sounds like he’s straining to even make a noise. It tugs so hard on my heart.

Rocco, when awake, also runs to the door to greet me. The dog doesn’t even do that. The myth that cats are aloof is just that. Cat lovers know the truth. They are regal & want to be treated well, but they deserve it! They are also loving & sweet. 

Gorgeous Rocco

As for David, he is the exact opposite. I hardly know where to begin. He is definitely the boss (except for when Rocco has had enough of being pestered & kicks his butt. Thankfully it’s not daily & there has never been any blood *knock wood*). David is my shadow. My mouthy, bossy shadow. If I’m sitting, he’s either on me, or next to me. If I leave the room, he follows. He even yells at me the entire time I’m taking a shower.

David’s favorite toy is a polar fleece ‘string’ on the end of a plastic stick. He will drag it from room to room, demanding that we play with him. First we hear the plastic being dragged across the floor &, before we can say “oh crap,” the guttural meowing begins, with the toy still in his mouth. If you ignore him, it gets dropped in your lap & he’ll start pawing at your face.

Mouthy David

But the biggest frustration is the kitchen counter. I love to cook. Having 2 cats & a dog, it’s nearly impossible to avoid pet hair, but the idea of offering food that could be tainted is something that gives me anxiety every time I step foot into the kitchen. The cats are allowed everywhere, as they should be, except the kitchen counter. Rocco, God Bless Him, has figured it out. David, on the other hand, not so much. Daily, we do battle with the squirt bottle. The problem appears to be, not only does he feel entitled, he actually likes to be squirted. He’ll run away, but immediately return, & if he thinks I haven’t noticed his paws on the counter quickly enough, he yells at me, often with his tongue sticking out. I have never known a cat to stick their tongue out at you, while screaming at you, until David. We often call him The Punk, but he’s the cutest punk in the world!

Beyond our kitchen counter battle, I’m putty in his paws and he knows it. If I nap, he’s right there with me. If I bend over, he jumps on my back. The other day, while getting ready to go out, he made himself quite comfortable on my back. Being a “crazy cat lady,” I never want to disturb him, but it was starting to hurt (and I needed to leave) so I decided to start walking to see if he’d get down on his own. I need to mention that I have a bad hip & a pretty pronounced limp. Being bent over, the limp was even more pronounced so I thought for sure he’d jump down. The little bugger stayed on my back through three room & only jumped down when Michelle started to film us, because he didn’t like the bright light from the phone. http://youtu.be/yb67GjbnZ7A

Family!

I adore these two…so much so, it was painful to whittle down the amount of photos to submit. They bring us so much joy, we can’t imagine life without them. They are warm, safe, well fed, comfortable & endlessly loved so I can only imagine that they wouldn’t want life to be any other way, either.

omg!

The sad reality is that black cats are the hardest to adopt out. I don’t just know this as a statistic. I am a volunteer at a shelter in NH, that often has special, lower adoption fees for black/tuxedo cats (and dogs), because there still exists a stigma around them, in much the same way that there is a stigma around certain breeds of dog. I have personally shared my life with three tuxedos, spent time with black cats that lived with family members, and cared for them in the shelter. If anything, they have a tendency to be sweeter than any other type of cat. The stigma is silly & stems from mythology & superstitions. If you ever get the chance to adopt, and I hope that you do, because we’re overrun (spay & neuter, too…PLEASE), by all means adopt from your heart, but please don’t pass up black cats out of fear. Seriously, look at these faces!

Cutie David

Precious Rocco

Cat Friends! Now Starrrring: Nathan!

I think Nathan looks like a Na'vi from Pandora!

Please meet Nathan! Nathan is our playful, fun-loving baby kitty. We adopted him last February after falling in love with him at an adoption event at a pet supply store. He was under the care of The Cat People which is an amazing local cat rescue/support organization here in Bakersfield. He was about one year old then and had been in foster care since he was a kitten. Even though he is about the cutest, sweetest, friendliest, softest kitty in the world, he was overlooked because he is black and then continued to be overlooked because he was no longer a kitten. Adult black cats are the least ‘adoptable’ cats. For me they are the MOST desired!! It is my mission to help save as many grown up black kitties as I can!

I find Pepper and Nathan hanging out like this all the time!

Nathan adapted to our family quickly and easily. We only kept him separate for about a day. He was friendly to Bas and Pepper even though they weren’t so accepting of him. He wasn’t afraid and just said, “Hey, I’m here now- deal with it!” :) haha.

Nathan very wide eyed on his first day in his new home

On Nathan’s cage card at the adoption event it said, “Loves to be combed.” And boy does he! He is a super loud purr-er and when you comb him his purr-box goes crazy! He will let you comb him for hours if you wanted to!

Nathan loves to ‘stalk’ birds through the window and will crouch down and wiggle his little hind quarters and jump at the window. He also has the sweetest high pitched twilling voice. I can’t get enough of his meows! He can entertain himself playing with his various toys and loves to attack the scratching post. I hear him dragging his toys around the house at night, knocking into walls and generally having a blast!

Nathan's fangs are too big for his mouth! I swear I am not doing anything here other than scratching his chin!

Nathan was such a fun and special edition to our family. We just love this little life of the party!

Nathan loves Halloween!

2011- A Year in Cell Phone Photos

I take lots of pics on my phone- who doesn’t, right? So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane via phone photos! I tried not to overload you on FOOD pics and CAT pics… ;) Here we go:

In January I made vegan waffles!

in February we adopted Nathan!

in March I went to Washington, DC with two of my besties! this is bestie Joe

and this is bestie Anna- that's the White House behind us

In April we went on THE BEST vacay evarr! this is Joe and David in Philly!

in May we got new bicycles! mine has a basket, cup holder, and a bell!

In June I went to Denver for a really great conference. I love Denver!

in July it was HOT!

also in July, we went to a Dodger game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

in August I made 'sundried' tomatoes in the dehydrator- one of my better ideas!

in September I flew to Vegas for PhotoShop World in a private jet!! it ruled.

in October I blogged about vegan nachos for Vegan MOFO- it was a delicious month!

also in October, David and I were scary Halloween Clowns!!!!!

also in October I made pumpkin chocolate spider cupcakes!

aaaaaand in October I made these cute pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies!

in November I hosted the 2nd Annual Punkin' Partay! All pumpkin treats and drinks!

also in November David and I got new glasses and had beachy adventures!

in December these puppies escaped from the neighbor's yard and frolicked in my yard!

also in December I made these super cute (I mean scary) MONSTER cookies for my nephew's bday!

my nephew Jake turned NINE in December!

we lost our precious Bas in December but Nathan and Pepper are keeping his memory alive. here they are snuggling in Bas' tuffy bed

So there’s my year in review. It was hard to pick just one or two pics for each month. Looking back, I had a REALLY great year for the most part. It ended on a sad note with the loss of our kitty friend Bas, but it was nice to reflect on all the positive that did happen throughout the year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 with all kinds of fun adventures on the horizon! Cheers!

Cat Friends: Remembering Bas


Last week I lost my kitty bestie, Bas. He fell ill and was hospitalized for five days but his little body just couldn’t make it. He died on Monday afternoon, December 19. I’m devastated. Bas was only five years old and I was so unprepared for this kind of loss.

I’m trying to remember the sweet good times (which we had every single day!) but I’m just so sad right now. I know the pain will lessen somewhat over time, but I’m pretty sure it is always going to hurt my heart when I think of him.

Bas loved his tuffy (his bed) and it still holds its place of prominence in our living room. I’m hoping the other kitties will decide they want to sleep there now. I’m giving them that option rather than removing the tuffy. They’ve shown some curiosity about it.

We had one of our favorite photos of Bas enlarged and are having it framed to hang above his tuffy spot so that he will always be around when we’re enjoying company or just hanging out. We also opted for a private cremation so we can keep his ashes. We’re planning a little ceremony once we receive them.

Bas with his papa

My friends and family have been so wonderful in their offering of love and support. We’ve received flowers, a donation in Bas’ name to an animal rescue, a book about Cat Heaven, a beautiful necklace in his honor, money to help pay the vet bills, and countless messages offering condolences. Thank you everyone for your kindness!

Bas was so awesome. Rest in peace little bestie.