Archive for the 'Cats' Category

Tuesday Mewsday: The Cats of Summer

Today’s the All-Star game, and even the cats are getting into the spirit.
Timmy's baseball card
That’s Miss Timmy, aka Little Timmy Fast Paw, the closer on the baseball team Melissa and I are forming, the Whatif Puddin’s. We’re still short a few players, so we figured we’d give you an update and see if your have any prospects to help round out our roster. To sweeten the deal, we’ll send one of Miss Timmy’s cards to anyone who proposes an addition to our team. Cats only! No dogs, gerbils, ferrets, budgies, or rabbits. (Although Archy says he wouldn’t mind a gerbil or a budgie—wink, wink!)

First off, pitching:
We’re a bit short-handed here. We’ve got Little Timmy Fast Paw, who’ll keep the team ahead in the ninth. Archy “Mad Eye” Katz will lead off our rotation, but after that we’re coming up empty. We could use another four pitchers for our rotation–and a few more good paws for the bullpen.

We’re hoping to draft Penny from Seattle for the season. Nothing got by her back when she lived at my house (particularly not other ctas), so we think she’ll do a fine job covering the plate. We need an additional cat (large paws preferred) to act as back-up catcher.

Sparky will be playing first. We’re putting Oliver from next door at short—first because she is short, but also because with her crush on Sparky she’ll jump at every chance to “make a play” with him. We’re also sounding out my friend Ellen to see if her cat, Toonces, wants to be our utility infielder. He’s the kind of cat who’s at home all over the place (the entire neighborhood is his fan base), so we think he’ll be able to work comfortably at a variety of positions. That leaves us still looking for second and third base.

Bea “The Black Hole” Schwartz-Noir will be playing right field. That way she can keep an eye on her nemesis Sparky. We expect she’ll suck in balls with the efficiency of a singularity. Damian “Mr. Whippy” will be playing center. (We confess that we told him he’s at center because he’s the center of the game—but it’s really because we think he’ll do the least damage out there.) That leaves us in need of a left fielder and a utility outfielder as well, just in case Damian strains his tail or knocks out one of his teammate’s teeth in a wild gallupmh toward the ball.

Designated Hitter:
Neither Melissa nor I believe in the DH, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. We’re thinking the neighborhood scrounge, Mooch, will be just the fellow to “clean up” at the plate.

Maggie “Ma” Moo-Woozle will be our equipment manager. She can use her excellent wood-furniture-destroying skills to customize the players’ bats. We’re making Mortimer, who lives in terror of pretty much everything (I thinks he’s afraid of nothing, too, so far as that goes), third-base coach. That way he can focus on just yelling “Run! Run! Run!” Positions still open: coach, first-base coach, pitching coach, and trainer.

So—if you have cats who are ready to play ball, send us their stats. We promise them a full-season contract with a no-trade clause.

P. S. In case you hadn’t guessed, the artwork comes courtesy of Melissa. You can see her art here and read her blog here.

July 14 2009 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 6 Comments »

Tuesday Mewsday: We’re Ready, Mr. DeMille…

You may have noticed that this is a busy time of year for Sarah-Hope and Melissa, between teaching and art shows and whatnot. As a result, the cats have taken to entertaining themselves, and have subscribed to Netflix. Their favorite movie so far is “Sunset Boulevard,” and they’ve been practicing their Gloria Swanson/Norma Desmond “ready for my closeup” attitudes.

Here’s Archy:



And of course, the Original:
The Original

Who do you think does the best impersonation?

November 18 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 3 Comments »

Tuesday Mewsday: Cats at Work

We’ve often written about how helpful our cats are. They take their household duties seriously, and none more so than Damian. Living in an artist’s live/work loft has given him many opportunities to offer his input and assistance.

When he was a wee lad, his main duty was to do a close-up inspection of paintings in progress. He did this by running full speed across the floor, leaping onto the easel, and scaling the painting until he ended up perched on top of the canvas. He was always quick to point out the newly-formed scratches and claw-holes that he found. Now that he has grown into his full 20-pound glory I try to discourage this type of inspection, but with his rigorous work ethic he is not easily dissuaded.

Enter the new scratching post! I found this pristine deluxe perch at a yard sale –a steal at $5!– and happened to put it near my painting area. Damian loves it, and it lets him examine my canvases at close range, and, best yet, even while lying down.
Damian on the job

He still gets excited about his work:
Damian gets excited

And often offers unique perspectives in his critiques:
Damian says it looks better this way

Maggie helps too. Her forte is wood-carving. She’s working on reshaping this stepstool:
Maggie helps

Wildfires in Santa Cruz
On a more serious note, you may have heard of the wildfires in the hills above Santa Cruz. Town Cats, a no-kill shelter, is taking donations to help the Taj Meow Animal Sanctuary, which was completely destroyed in the blaze. Please click here if you can help.

[Another guest post by Melissa]

May 27 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 3 Comments »

What’s in a Name

I adopted Sparky as part of a pair—two brothers I named Spartacus and Woodrow. Without meaning to slight Woody, I have to admit that early on Sparky was by far the more handsome of the two (though Woody did begin to blossom into a fine specimen of Tom-dom as the months passed). To balance things out, I decided I’d better give Sparky a “homely” middle name, and I chose Eugene (pronounced in the Russian way, you-GAIN-ee).

Now that Sparky’s older and broader in the beam and Woody has left us for fields of celestial catnip, a “homely” name doesn’t seem necessary—or even appropriate. My first thought was Gaylord, which was almost right. Almost, but not quite. Then it dawned on me: Gladstone.

Behold: Spartacus Gladstone Keeper. It suits him don’t you think?
Sparky on the fence

May 20 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 1 Comment »

Tuesday Mewsday: Can You…

… touch your nose with your tongue? Penny can!
Penny in the tree

May 13 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 3 Comments »

Tuesday Mewsday: Shivver Me Feline Timbers!

[Courtesy of Melissa, who found this item in a $1 bargain bin.]

Me-arrrgh! Here be pirates!
Ship ahoy! says Damian

Shiver me timbers! says Maggie

Pieces of eight! says Damian
Archy declined to participate in the festivities.

Please note, no cats were harmed in the photo shoot, except for maybe their dignity.

And in case you are wondering, it is a one-size-fits-most foam hat. Kind of an upside-down and reversed tennis visor, if that makes any sense. Or a rally hat.

May 06 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 1 Comment »

Tuesday Mewsday: Not Quirky, Merely Eccentrically Individualistic

Madam, I must reply to your assertion of last week that my three very fine cats, to wit, Archy, Maggie, and Damian, have “quirks”. I must point out that they are not guilty of this so-called quirkiness; they are merely asserting their individual eccentricities. Nonetheless, since etiquette demands an answer to your post, I will endeavor to paint a quick portrait of some of their more endearing qualities.

1. Archy has a habit of forming lasting relationships with pillows. His longest-lasting, and most tragic, affair was with the lime-green faux fur pillow known as Brigitte. Brigitte had a difficult life, having been orphaned at an early age and raised in a convent by heartless nuns. She ran away to Sweden, where she survived as best she could until she found a job with Ikea, and moved to Emeryville, California, and from there to my house. While Archy proved to be fickle in his affections, Brigitte remained true, to the point of sacrificing herself in the search for Archy when he went walkabout in 2006. Archy has since developed a relationship with the less flamboyant but no doubt more comfortable flannel-covered pillows on my bed.
2. Archy will do anything to get a taste of the treats known as “Temptations.”

1. Maggie also has a love interest: fleece-on-a-stick. She loves loves loves fleece-on-a-stick, to the point that if I cruelly refuse to play with her constantly, she takes it in her mouth and drags it along after me, pausing occasionally to drop her amour and meow pitifully: “Please play!”
2. Maggie is practicing to be a saint. She does this by rolling her eyes heavenward, much like the paintings of Murillo or El Greco. She believes rolling your eyes is all you need to do to become a saint…and since she is a divine kitty, I suspect she’s right.

Ah, Damian…so many eccentricities, so little time. Here are two.
1. Damian likes beer, but is scared to death of beer bottles. If I am drinking a beer, Damian will sneak up and lick the beer bottle or glass, thoroughly cleaning it to the last drop. Blow into the beer bottle, however, and the deep hooting noise will send Damian running, literally shaking like a leaf.
2. Damian wants to be a hairdresser when he grows up. He loves hair, and if given the chance, will grip your head in his giant paws and groom your hair right down to your scalp. He has been known to leap across the room onto the shoulders of complete strangers to give their hair a good working-over (not the best way to charm prospective collectors when you are having an open studio!).
Damian the hairdresser

Now my conundrum: I am not a blogger, do not have a blog circle. Who to tag next? I will leave that to Sarah-Hope.

[posted by Melissa]

April 22 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 2 Comments »

Tuesday Mewsday: Doing Time

Here’s Sparky’s real mugshot from the tag that was attached to his cage at the pound.
Sparky under arrest
Have you ever seen a more pathetic looking kitty?

We are working on a new routine at my house: Sparky is indoors unless I am home to fetch him immediately should he disturb any neighbors. This also means no open window at night, so he can’t go make any stealth deposits in anyone’s yard. (It took less than forty-eight hours after his bailout for a recidivistic lapse and an angry call from Mr. Down-the-street.)

Sparky says that while he’s grateful I busted him out of the big house, this conditional parole is really cramping his style. We do OK for the first part of the night, but round about two a.m. he starts up with the chirping, which moves on to a desperate clambering onto window screens, at which point he gets sent to solitary (aka the bathroom) until morning.

I’m a bit sleep-deprived at the moment—but, really, things could be worse. He settles down quietly once he’s in the bathroom. And when he’s not in solitary, he’s cuddly and companionable. I am hoping that over time he will adjust to this new version of normal and become a true house cat.

Carol at The Golden Fleece gifted him with an absolutely lovely wad of stinky, greasy fleece, which has eased his suffering considerably. (He’s convinced he’s slain an entire sheep—the blood-thirsty, rapacious kind that likes to impale kittens on its horns—and is quite chuffed.)

April 08 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 2 Comments »

Tuesday Mewsday: Jailbird Sparky

Sparky in the hoosegow
Sparky spent last Tuesday night in prison. He is home now, quite chastened, and demonstrating a deeper understanding of Johnny Cash‘s music. So far as I can tell, he did not get any cellblock tattoos.

The bad boy has, for quite some time and without my knowledge, been pooping and chasing birds in a yard half a block down the street. The neighbor didn’t know he was my cat (yes, yes, the boy does have a tag; I’ve since gotten him a bigger one), trapped him, and took him to the pound. There he was scanned with a microchip reader, I was identified as his owner and notified, and headed down to bail him out to the tune of $30. (A second offense is $50; subsequent offenses are $75 each. Let’s hope he’s learned his lesson.)

The pound folks told me he had been trapped, but weren’t allowed to say who had turned him in, so this weekend Melissa and I went door to door, introducing ourselves and giving neighbors pictures of Sparky with my contact information. At the houses where no-one was home, we left a photo and note. None of the folks we talked to had any complaints about the lad—either they knew him and liked him or they hadn’t ever seen him.

Last night, I got a call from the guy “what brung ‘im in.” We talked and agreed that if Sparky starts coming over unannounced again—he’s stayed out of the yard since the whole cage-slamming-shut-getting-driven-across-town-and-thrown-into-a-cell thing—I will provide a trap, then come pick the bad boy up once he’s been caught in hopes of teaching him that this particular yard is best avoided. I’ve also agreed to buy a bell to add to his collar to help prevent his hunting birds. (To the best of my knowledge the boy has never caught a thing, but clearly he has a secret life I know little about.)

Prison does not seem to have hardened Sparky. In fact, he is more affectionate than ever. Let us hope we have no recidivism.

April 01 2008 | Cats and Tuesday Mewsday | 5 Comments »

Tuesday Mewsday: Cats with a Mission

Two weekends ago, I attended the annual gathering of American Pilgrims on the Camino, the US advocacy group for the Camino de Santiago, held at Mission Santa Barbara. On the way home, I decided to make a small tour of some of the other California missions. I stopped at La Purisima, San Luis Obispo, Soledad, and San Miguel. My favorite, however, was Mission San Antonio, because it had cats.
Mission San Antonio

This fluffy black cat was soaking up the sun on the front porch of the mission.
Feline friars

These two find old gravestones to be a fine place for a rest. (There were two identical fluffy black cats. Twins?)
Feline friars

This tortoiseshell was shy, and thought my presence disturbed the peacefulness of the inner courtyard.
Feline friars

My favorite was this little calico. When I bent down to pet her, she leaped up onto my leg and then clambered onto my shoulder, purring like a diesel engine all the while. We had a nice little lovefest until it was time for me to go.
Feline friars

(Another guest post by Melissa. SH is not the only crazy cat lady in the family!)

March 18 2008 | Cats and Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

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