Friday, September 30, 2011

attachment brings worry

I'm happily back home now. I usually try to plan my trips so I have a few days to settle in at home before jumping back into work, but that was not the case this time, which made for a crazed week. I also managed to pick up a slow moving cold-bug which has zapped all my energy. The lack of transition was difficult on the kitties too. All week Buddy and Nahum needed me to make up for lost tummy rubs.

This was the first time I have employed a cat sitter while away, and I think it went really well. Upon coming home the cats seems much less traumatized than when I board them. They were attention starved but they weren't all freaked out like when they come home from being boarded. The cat sitter was also a fraction of the cost of boarding which is a real plus! And the cat sitter happily put food out for BK, something that wouldn't have happened if I had boarded them.

Speaking of the BK, a blogger friend recently said to me in an email, "It sounds like you are getting attached to him/her." She nailed the truth. It's emotionally difficult seeing BK make a go of it on his own. I so much want to give him a safe, warm home where he never has to worry about food. But what then when the next stray appears? Is there a limit to how many strays I can rescue? My funds and time are certainly limited, but it seems my heart isn't hindered by such constraints.

I'm wondering how people with inside/outside cats sleep at night. I live near some very busy roads. Last night I watched BK walk over to the intersection of one of the busy roads and he stood there on the sidewalk, considering whether to try crossing it. My heart was in my throat as I helplessly watched. Thankfully he thought better of it and chose not to cross. I so wish I had some magic means of finding BK a safe and loving forever home.

After BK ate breakfast this morning, he went right over to the larger and newest lodge building, climbed inside and hung out. It is the first time I have seen him inside the new unit, a very exciting day! He stayed inside for quite some time.

Since I don't have a magic wand and can't make everything right for BK, I'll just need to try to be content with doing the best that I can do. Maybe someday I'll get to love on him more directly.

3:30pm update: BK has not left the kitty house all day! He remains curled up in the back corner and zonked out. I'm thrilled that he knows this kitty house is a safe spot for him to rest.

Monday, September 26, 2011

from the rails

My first ever blog post from the railway, how very exciting!! I'm currently on the Amtrak Coast Starlight run from Los Angeles to Seattle, heading home. If there are no delays, the trip will take 36 wonderful hours. Thank God for the sleeping car and wifi! And of course the free wine tastings are lovely too! I love traveling by train, it so much more of a relaxed and humane way to travel.

Flying used to be enjoyable, but over the years it has become a very unpleasant means to an end, trading quick passage for being treated poorly. Traveling by rail offers the opportunity to slow down and actually enjoy the journey in style.

Part of the enjoyment of train travel is seeing the delightful historic train stations. Los Angeles Union Station is gorgeous!

Los Angeles Union Station

Old ticketing room

Current waiting room

Old restaurant entrance

Inside the old restaurant

I’ve been away from the cats now for 5 days, which feels like forever. Having the pet-camera allows me to keep an eye on them from afar, which is a mixed blessing. It is fun to see them in their natural habitat and it makes me miss them all the more.

 View from the pet-camera: Nahum hanging out on the table.
I am eager to be reunited with my furry family but meanwhile, I'll be enjoying the train ride!

Friday, September 23, 2011

packing paper fun!

Seeing Nahum love the packing paper so much brings much delight to my soul. He goes crazy about playing or sleeping in his paper.

He loves to burrow deep in the middle of the pile...

then he patiently waits for a cat to walk by...

then pounce!

Buddy plays with Nahum, who is hiding under the pile of paper

The fun never ends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Theo Thursday

I have been asked how Theo got his signature grin. It all goes back to March 2010, when Theo somehow fractured his upper canine tooth. The tooth had to be extracted, thus creating his new look.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

pet cam

I'm preparing to leave for an upcoming business trip and now that I have five cats, I am going to try a cat sitter rather than boarding them all. That means all the kitties will get to stay home and experience less disruption, which is a very good thing! It also means I can use the network pet camera to keep an eye on the kitties while I'm gone.

One unforeseen obstacle might foil my plan.

Willow has expressed a strong curiosity about the camera.

Monday, September 19, 2011

weekend wrap-up

My dear friend Lisa and her doggie, Gromit, came over on Saturday to help celebrate Rose's big 1 year Gotcha Day. Usually Rose disappears upstairs with Willow while Gromit is visiting, but not on her big day! 

This time around, she was super-bold Rose. She even snuck up real close to Gromit and gave him a good sniffing over. 

I'm very proud of Rose, she's come along way in her first year!

In other exciting news, on Sunday the Black Kitty spent a few hours in the afternoon napping on the roof of the little lodge unit. 

When it started to rain, she climbed down and went inside and resumed her nap! I was very pleased to see her actually sleeping inside, in fact seeing that made my day! Now, I know that she knows this space is available to her to escape the cold rainy Northwest days.

Some sad news from Purrfect PalsFrodo, the kitty with mouth cancer that was happily living in FIV Land, passed away. 

I'm thankful to have had the chance to visit with sweet Frodo a few weeks ago, if only for a few minutes. He was a lovebug. Glad he got the chance to live out his full life with exceptional care. He will be missed on this side by many but he is now free of all pain and running free with all the other kitties of his clan. Rest in peace Frodo, and say hello to my Max for me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a year of Rose

Happy Gotcha Day Rose!!

I can't believe that today marks one full year of having Rose in my life. She went from being a little bundle of fluff to a big kitty!

Rose, ~8 weeks old, hiding in the engine compartment of a truck in front of my house.

Dirty, scared and desperately trying to disappear in the box.

Rose has come a long way in a year. Since day one, she has been very scared of humans, even the two who take care of her. She typically is always on high-alert when humans are moving around, panicking when a human gets too close. 

Over the year she has mellowed quite a bit. She still doesn't like to be handled or touched unless she invites it. Invitations only happen when she is warming on the stovetop or on the dishwasher. She has a very particular meow-squeak-type sound she makes when she asks for pets. On a rare occasion, she will even roll over and ask for her tummy to be rubbed.

Even though Rose has grown in size, she hasn't lost any of her cutes. She still loves to play and cuddle with Nahum. She also has a flare for drama. When a human gets to close, she scurries away like her tail is on fire.

The feathery wand toy is one of her favorites.

Please, no pictures

ACK! You didn't listen, now I expire.

Rose feels like a mystery to me. Even though she has been living here a year now, I still don't feel like I really know her much. She's active and around but not accessible. Recently, I have noticed a huge change in her skittishness. She is taking many more risks, being alert but not immediately jumping away when a human walks near her. There has even been a few times very recently when she has allowed a human to touch her while she is on the floor.

Then, the other day and just now as I was writing this, she did something she has never done before, she approached me for pets when I was sitting on the couch. She pulled a Buddy and walked across my lap/computer several times asking to be loved on. Wow, has this little girl changed!! Such delightful moments. Go Rose!!

After the lovey moment was over, she went on to the one she desires most of all, her fluffy, cuddly Nahum. The way her comfort level is increasing, maybe in another year, she'll be a lap kitty! I can hope!

I'm thankful for her, especially considering if I had taken her to the shelter she would have been put down when the shelter got infected with Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV). She's a joy and a keeper! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


9/15/11 5:20am       

I awoke an hour earlier than typical this morning, thanks to Buddy's caterwauling. I looked outside and saw BK sitting about 5 feet from the Dining Hall in the dark, waiting for breakfast to be served. She was an hour early! When I went out to feed her, she only moved about 10 feet away from me, she keeps allowing me to get closer and closer. Maybe someday I'll get to pet her.

After breakfast, she decided to hang out on the roof of the Unit #1 lodge building. I think she has claimed this lodge for herself, probably due to it's closeness to the Dining Hall. 

Rain is in the forecast, so maybe soon I'll know if the outside kitties will avail themselves of their new accommodation options.


An hour later and BK is zonked!
9/15/11 6:22am
 Glad to see the roof is so comfortable!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

True Colors

Purrfect Pals, my amazing local cat shelter and sanctuary posted a new video on their Facebook page. The video is a promotional video that highlights some of the amazing work they do. If you decide to watch it, you might want to have a tissue handy, it may be a little emotional.

I couldn't figure out how to get the video from Facebook to here, so instead I'll just give you a link over to the video. Click here to go to the Purrfect Pals Facebook True Colors Video Page. You don't have to have a Facebook account to be able to see the video.

And again, thank you to everyone at Purrfect Pals for making every cat matter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Unit #2

Fourwhitepaws Kitty Village is very near completion. Unit #2, a new family sized kitty residence, was built and installed recently. This residence is larger than the first kitty house and features a large glass picture window. It's still in need of being insulated, but there it plenty of time before the cold weather comes.

I'm still trying to decide about the arrangement of the units. I like having them all somewhat together in the side yard, but I fear they may be too close together. I won't really know until I see if and how they get used. Currently, I have the larger unit in the trees in front of the swinging bench that BK likes to hang out under. A large rhododendron bush and a lilac tree separates the two units.

If you look close, Unit #2 can be seen hidden in the trees on the right side of the picture. I am guessing this will be too close together for BK and the Crooked Tail Kitty to live in harmony. I may end up moving one of the units to the back yard.

Why do I suspect the units might be too close you ask? I recently saw the Crooked Tail Kitty sitting in the middle of the alley a little ways from the driveway for quite a long time, which was out of character and just plain odd. When I went out to feed it dinner, I learned why it was keeping a safe distance, it was because BK was first in line waiting for dinner to be served. Once BK ate, she parked herself between the Dining Hall and the Crooked Tail Kitty. I don't know if Crooked Tail Kitty got it's dinner that night or not. But something tells me they are not friends.

BK watching me from the Dining Hall.

Coming back from the tall grasses.

Checking out the accommodations again.

BK enjoying a late night snack

So far, since I have remodeled the first large kitty house, I haven't seen any signs of the houses being used. I'm hoping it's because we have had a nice stretch of warm summer weather, now that summer is over! Maybe when it gets colder and wetter both Crooked Tail Kitty and BK will be wanting to find a safe place to get in from the weather. Meanwhile, I keep dreaming about installing a couple of these Kane Manufacturing Poly Pet Heat Mats to keep the outdoor kitties toasty warm all winter. Although, if I can somehow justify buying two for the outdoor kitties, I'll need to get one for my Willow too!

Meanwhile, I did something today that I never ever imagined I would do in my life. I bought a bale of straw! I needed some bedding for the kitty houses and everything I read said stray was a better choice than towels or blankets because it doesn't hold the moisture as much. So, now, my garage smells more like a barn and I got lots of bedding material.

Monday, September 12, 2011


On my recent visit to New Hampshire, I had the privilege of meeting my brother's cat, Ellah. She's as sweet as she is gorgeous!!

She graciously shares her house with three huge woofies and many humans. Oh, and it's my brother's birthday! Happy birthday dear brother in New Hampshire! I hope Ellah gives you many great birthday delights in this new year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wild Sunflower Studio

Let me introduce you to Mary Tagliarino's Wild Sunflower Studio. Mary is a talented artist who creates delightful feline modern folk art. Her whimsical and fun feline creations are available on tiles, posters, mugs, clothing, etc.

Here are a few of my favorites: 
Garden Gnomes & Black Cat 
Bye Bye Mama Black CATS ART Tile
Orange Tabby CAT Starry Night 
 Big Orange Tabby CAT ART Tile

Wednesday, September 7, 2011