Posts Tagged ‘Cats



28
Oct
09

and the winner is…

Hello everybody,

The Bennie Award-72 I am pleased to announce that the Blog Comment Award has been won by non other than…Mr. Ordinary Mostly… for bravely going where no man or woman has gone before. He has written a candid and insightful, comment to my post, “Please leave a comment” (September 25, 2009). What a guy!! OM gets the Brave and Handsome Bennie Award for… yes… you guessed it: bravery in leaving a comment!!

So, anyone else out there want to try for the Baby Kitty Bella Award or the Grumpy Old Frank Award? (Neither baby talk nor grumpiness need be a prerequisite for winning.)  Yours truly, Called by Name

25
Sep
09

please leave a comment

So why don’t readers leave comments? Do they know that they can be anonymous or even use a pseudonym? I love to read what others have to say about my musings…and I often reply. One can contribute another point of view, add from one’s own experience or anything else, so long as it is appropriate and not end up in the Spam file. So what’s the problem? My dear friend OM has 300 comments on his blog. Called by Name is nowhere near that. I had hoped for an interactive blog. Maybe I should offer rewards for comments…

I could have the baby kitty, Bella award

Bella - 2 years old

Bella - 2 years old

or the brave and handsome, Bennie award

Ben - 2 years old

Ben - 2 years old

or the grumpy old, Frank award.

Frank - 18 years young

Frank - 18 years young

Or, I could just go on talking, and musing, and wondering who is reading the stuff.

03
Aug
09

one more for cats

While I am yet in a cheery mood, let me post another little kitty story for your feline pleasure:

Toulouse the Tabby Cat Saves Christmas, by Darling Daughter

Brown TabbyOnce upon a time there was a brown striped tabby cat named Toulouse.  Toulouse lived in a big old house in Chicago with his person, a nice girl who fed him well, and a big yard full of birds and leaves to chase, and if he was very lucky, and very quiet, a mouse or two at night.

Toulouse was happy in his house and yard.  His life was well ordered in cat-like fashion:  meals twice a day, sleep as needed – most of the day, in the spring and summer he hunted, in the fall he chased dried leaves and in the winter he curled up contentedly on the soft red couch in the living room and watched snowflakes fall or the flames lap up the fireplace walls.  “Birds, mice, squirrels, food, bed, what a nice life,” Toulouse thought as he purred himself to sleep.

Then one day, Toulouse’s world was turned upside down in a most uncat-like way: his person got a new cat.  The new cat was gray and white with silver tips where the sun hit the edges of his fur.  The new cat had long elegant whiskers and a way of striding around the house that gave no indication that he was going to be the second place cat.  The new cat was soon named Pablo and just as soon tried to take over.  “Yes, I’ll be king of this house,” he thought firmly.  “What a perfect setting the girl gave me to rule.”
Toulouse was focused on his orderly pursuits – hunting, sleeping, eating.

******

It was that time of year again, the time when the house began to smell of warm, nutty baked goods, when the snow began to pile up against the cat door and when the girl began to spend lots of time with the shiny strings and paper that Toulouse loved to play with.  “All those good smells, Pablo,” said Toulouse, “you know it means we’ll be getting salmon and turkey ourselves.”

“Yeah, especially when we steal them off the counter when the girl gets careless,” purred Pablo.”

All was cozy and content in the big house in Chicago until one day the girl and her friend brought home a fir tree.  Pablo and Toulouse stared wide eyed as the two humans lugged it in and set it up in the living room.  “A tree, a real live tree, just like the ones the birds live in!” thought Toulouse to himself.  “Maybe, if I’m real quiet and stay hidden under the couch I’ll catch one.”  But Pablo had other thoughts.

“Wow, my own climber!  How nice of them to get a tall one for me.  I’ll just wait ‘til the girl goes into the other room to try it.”  And when evening came, the tree glowed with lights and jangly, bobbly, twizly toys that cats love and the girl soon went to bed.  Pablo crouched low at the living room door, “a running start, that’s what I need,” he plotted.

“No!” Toulouse shouted, “you must not, Pablo.  You’ll ruin Christmas for the girl.”

“Out of my way, Toulouse,” Pablo growled, “try and stop me!”  And Toulouse did just that.  From under the couch he shot, tackling Pablo full on.  The two cats tousled, brown and gray balls of fur rolling and flopping and spitting at each other.  Until finally, Toulouse backed Pablo into a corner “say you won’t do it, say it!” he hissed at Pablo.  “No!” A quick swat of a brown paw and Pablo conceded, “I didn’t want to climb that stupid tree anyway,” he said licking himself.

And so it was that the next day the girl and her friend woke to a perfect Christmas morning and enjoyed a happy Christmas with Pablo and Toulouse, who got their extra turkey, plus what they managed to steal off the counters.

Finis

01
Aug
09

the gift of the magae

In my last post I told you all about Bennie and Bella and the joy they are to me and my family. As a child I loved cats, but my mother was frightened of all four-legged creatures. Despite that, my father brought one home once, when I was about 7 or 8. I had her for about a month, all the while knowing how much my mother actively hated her. One day, when I came home from school for lunch I couldn’t find her. My mother had given the kitty away, but claimed that she had run away. I was heart-sick about it—heart broken. I think it might have been my first such experience of loss. I knew my mother was not being truthful and the relationship between us suffered ever after because I could not trust her. I don’t think I could have responded any differently than I did as a child. The kitten had been my solace in a lonely world of blond, blue-eyed Americans. Once grown up, I filled my life with cats, to be sure, and even had a talk with my mother about the incident. She was sorry, I forgave her but we could not go backward in time. We both missed out on a trusting relationship between us.

When I learned that my friend’s family was going to welcome a cat into their home…an orange tabby no less…I was overjoyed for the children, especially the middle daughter who seems to yearn for her own place in the sun. (It’s hard to be a middle child.) I asked and received permission to post a drawing she had done of Jack the cat and he is below, at the very end of this post, watching over us all with grace and peace.

Also posted here is a little story called The Gift of the Magae, that my daughter wrote for me about 10 years ago.  She changed my childhood story to one with a happy ending. Although it is not quite biographical, it is a sweet little story and a sweet thing to do.

The Gift of the Magae, by Darling Daughter

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Merry, who grew up in Chicago during World War II. She lived in an old house with her parents, her two older sisters and a brother. During the summer, Merry and her family went to Lake Michigan to swim.  They took vacations in St. Joe Michigan and went to Armenian picnics in the park. Merry and her friends had lemonade stands and held scrap metal drives to raise money for the war effort. (Merry’s family were not Mennonites!) In the winter, she and her sisters listened to radio shows after school and went to the Saturday cinemas. But Christmas was the most magical time of all; Merry and her family would take the trolley downtown to see the decorations in the big department store windows, shop and have lunch in the Walnut Room at Marshall Field’s. She always looked forward to getting a new doll for Christmas. Sometimes, Merry and her sisters got to decorate the Armenian Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry, or even see the toy train set in the there.

Merry was happy except for one thing: she dearly wanted a pet, a warm, furry creature all her own to love and hug. Many times Merry had asked her mother for a cat, but she had said no each time. “Oh, Merry, what do you want that for? It’s dirty, it will scratch the furniture and scratch you too.”

“Please Ma I really want a kitty,” she said.

But the answer was always no. Merry tried her father, who looked at her as if she had lost her mind: “A WHAT! A cat, are you crazy? An animal in the house, no! Go do your homework,” he said.

“But Maureen Finley has a cat,” Merry begged her father. He gave her an annoyed look and sent her off to do her homework.

One day in the late fall, Merry’s sister came home with a small bundle for Merry. “Look what I found, Merry. It begged me to bring it home to you.”

“What is it…a kitten? Oh, thank you, thank you Faith,” Merry cried. “Ma, please can I keep it, please?” begged Merry, as the small bundle of brown tabby stripes nestled into her arms.

Merry’s parents grudgingly allowed her to keep the kitten. Merry was overjoyed with her kitty, which she named Mittens. She fed it every morning before school and in the afternoons when she came home. She brushed Mittens and played with her, and at night, the cat slept on her bed in a tight curl of fur. Merry and her kitty were very happy.

A few weeks later, Merry came home from school to find her tabby cat was gone. She called and called for it, she  looked in every nook and cranny but still could not find the cat. “Ma.,” she asked, “where’s my kitty? Have you seen her?”

“Oh, she ran away,” replied her mother casually.

“What, that’s not possible! You took her, you got rid of her, you know where  she is, you never wanted me to have it,” Merry wailed in helpless fury at her mother. She was inconsolable over the loss of  her furry friend and cried for days, but there was nothing she could do.

Christmas Eve came and the family prepared to decorate the tree and bake the paklava and lamb for the night’s dinner. Merry was helping her sister cut out paper chains for the tree garland when she heard a faint scratching noise at the  back door. She ignored it and bent her head back over the red paper, but…”scritch, scratch” there it was again. “I wonder what that is,” she thought and got up to look outside. At first, she saw nothing in the fading afternoon light and was  about to close the door again when she heard a tiny mew from behind the door. Merry stooped down and saw a cat. “No it couldn’t be,” she though… her kitty cat? She held out her hand and the kitten came close and rubbed against her hand. It was…it was her tabby cat! She had miraculously found her old home and came back from where ever she had been.

Merry picked up Mittens and brought her inside. She showed the cat to Faith who promised she would talk to their mom. Merry gave Mittens some food and she was soon purring happily in Merry’s arms again.

Faith was true to her word and convinced her parents to let Merry keep the cat. Her mother kept her promise and made Merry’s favorite desert to make up for the loss of her cat. Mittens lived with Merry and her family for many years, bringing warmth and fun into the old house. Merry grew up and had more cats in her life but she nevver forgot the wonderful Christmas and the cat who came to stay. The End.

This is Jack the cat, a lovely drawing by my dear friend’s middle daughter.  I think he is quite grand and will soon come out to play.

Jack by JillHe hopes middle daughter will understand his shyness and wait for him to get used to his new house and his new people.

01
Aug
09

the joy of four orange feet

My first year of cancer remission was not filled with joy and gladness. I had an oncologist without any bedside manner whatsoever and referrals to doctors whose characters resembled his own. In short, while the side effects lingered and I had no where to turn for help, I became very depressed. One day my partner (Big Dawg) and I drove by a Homes for Endangered and Lost Pets mobile and we decided to stop in for a breath of fresh joy. Well, how can you resist two darling little kitties with perfect markings and teeny, tiny meows, not to mention sweet tempers and loving dispositions? We couldn’t and I couldn’t and they brought me joy, plain and simple. They still bring me joy, especially the little girl kitty who is beautifully orange with pink paws and such, just like an orange Creamsicle?

I believed then, and I believe now that both kitties—Ben and Bella—were gifts of God for the Journey before me. No one who lays eyes on Bella can deny her charm. She brings out the idiot voice in me and my family. Bennie is a bit different…busy with his cat career of eating, sleeping and waiting for the day when he can get out and catch a bird or chipmunk. He is the one who walks across my desk with total assurance that he may. Bella jumps up with total expectation that I have been waiting and hoping she would do just that. And how can I say no? No one in this house says no. If Bella wants to lie across the keyboard, we just type with one finger until she decides her nap is over. We are blessed to have her warm, furry body close, warming the very cockles of our hearts.

Is this insane? To some it would be, but to me—an orange, four footed, gift of God is a gift to treasure. The memory of those dismal days, without adequate medical help is stored in my left brain, along with the more recent oppressive church events, and you already know that joy resides in the moment. Kitties are of the moment. We love them.

Ben&Bella Oct. 07

10
Jul
09

cats rule

Another grim and grainy day. My half empty glass is closer to half full  today because I have had a good idea for a project I’ve been asked to do, and this gives me a bit of a zing. So I’m going to bypass gray and dismal and introduce my cats to the blogoshpere. Cats definitely rule in our house. My partner, Big Dawg,  my friend, Adopted Daughter and I are unanimous in our commitment to completely spoil them with some degree of consistency.
Frank - 18 years young

Frank - 18 years young

Among the feline population I am considered the top cat, not because I purr better than they do, but because I am the magician who makes food appear from the refrigerator with regularity. None of us in this house is ashamed of our kowtowing to their every whim. We don’t have grandchildren, so we make do.

Ben - 2 years old

Ben - 2 years old

Bella - 2 years old

Bella - 2 years old

Our two young cats are siblings with markings and character suspiciously akin to the American Shorthair breed. They are very sweet with teeny tiny kittenish meows. What’s not to like about that?  Any of the three of us will set aside whatever we are doing whenever one of them decides to grace us with their soft, furry, napping selves.

Now Frank is another story. He is very old, senile, hard of hearing, has cataracts and meows loudly and insistently whenever he is confused or uncomfortable. Some would call it caterwauling. This is annoying, but what can we do? He is our senior citizen and deserves elder care, which we give knowing that one day we will help him along to his final sleep. We can do that compassionate thing for our animals…we humans are not so fortunate.

My friend, ordinary (mostly) has three daughters, all of whom love the cats. It is quite lovely to see them brighten up and make that human/animal bond that is so simple and rewarding. These little girls are naturals with animals. Last I heard, a guinea pig was being discussed as a first pet in their house. I think that is a good idea. Much better than worms!! Takes a bit of knowing to keep cats as they preferred to be kept. Cats rule…of course!




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