Tuesday, October 31, 2017

spooky snoozes

It's that day again...

Laura did fantastic job on the carving this year!

The day (and night) for Oliver to be safe and secure...

happy Oliver = happy cat guy

Saturday, October 21, 2017

stack of cats

We were moving stuff out of the house the other day and came back inside to see Theo and Nahum owning the end tables!  Silly boys!

Friday, October 20, 2017

inside time

Oliver's been loving some inside time lately.

 Happy sleeping kitties! Yah!

Theo's still not so sure about having Oliver as an inside companion.

Progress is slow but steady. Regardless of how Theo feels, I love having Oliver inside - and Oliver loves it too!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Each girl has their own fort.

You may remember, Rose's fort is the brown fleece blanket on the chair.

Willow claims the green fleece blanket on the couch. But what happens when Rose invades Willow's fort?


An update on the move...

moving = stress
moving long distance = crazy stress
moving long distance + no income = nutzo stress
moving long distance + no income + plans falling through = f***ing overwhelming stress

A number of plans have fallen through in the moving process, which has caused significant stress. We had a private buyer lined up to buy the house, but deep into the process, they changed their minds. Then later it looked like Laura had landed an amazing job in Vermont only to find out later it was offered to someone else. It's been an intense emotional roller coaster, testing every ounce of faith and perseverance in me. I've been on the edge of overwhelming panic for more days than I want to admit, sometimes falling off into the deep pool of despair and anxiety. There have been many days when I just want to crawl in the fort with Willow and be done.

We are still working toward moving, but many details (exact location, timing, etc.) remain unknown still. Our house is ready to list on the market (which took an enormous about of work) but the problem is if we sell our house, we'll be homeless and unable to acquire new housing. Neither of us has jobs right now as we were expecting to have been moved by now. That means we don't qualify for another mortgage. I've looked all over for rental options in Vermont, but I've not found anyone willing to rent to someone with seven cats. Most say 0-2 cats. I've had a few people suggest maybe we could find homes for some of our cats, I don't see that as an option. I would rather not move than consider getting anywhere near that idea. It actually pisses me off when people suggest that. These cats are my family, not having children, they are like my kids. One doesn't suggest to a family with four children, maybe they should consider giving up a kid for adoption to increase the likelihood of finding a suitable house. Don't get me started...

Anyway, it's like a giant puzzle, where the pieces have to go in place in the right order. There is some good news in the midst of this. The housing market here is really booming, each month of delay results in a higher listing price on our house. And I have two job interviews lined up for next week! That means a quick trip to Vermont, but first I have to dig through all the boxes and find my interview clothes which were packed up a long time ago - sigh.

If anyone happens to know of someone in Vermont who might rent to us with seven cats, please let me know! I plan to check in with Sachie from My Cat Goma Blog (she lives in Vermont) to see if she has any ideas. I've emailed some shelters and rescue organizations, thinking if I can

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


It's Fall - the perfect time for outside kitty pictures.

Ok guys, act like you like each other.

That's better!

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Summer is nearly in the rear view mirror. Such a beautiful summer here, warm and dry. I think I heard no measurable rain for over 60 days. It'll be here soon enough.

We are still working on moving, which means lots of house projects to get the house ready to sell. I did a bunch of them this weekend, including adding earthquake straps to the water heater, so if there's an earthquake, it won't fall over. Drilling into the concrete foundation to place anchor bolts was not fun!

The realtor gave us a list of things that need to be done so a potential buyer could get a loan. Apparently, in this area, banks won't write a loan if the hot water tank is not secured to the wall. The crazy thing is, if there is an earthquake here, the house won't be standing (house is not attached to the piers it sits on) - but the hot water heater will be standing! Anyway, glad to have that project over with.

I've been training Theo on how to assume the Buddy tummy rub position. It took him a few times to remember how the legs go for maximum tummy rubs, but I think he's got it now!


Speaking of Buddy, we recently marked a year since his crossing to the rainbow bridge. Still miss that guy, quite a bit.

classic Buddy!
There has been a lot of fort-action here lately. The blanket fort is always a winner. Pretty simple, just drape a blanket between the couch cushions and the cats do the rest.

 There's a Rose in this fort!

Willow's been known to sleep through the coming and going of the evil suck monster when she's safe and secure in a blanket fort! What's the point of having a fort if it ain't gonna keep you safe?!

Hmmm... this fort is getting a lot of attention, I wonder who's in there...

It's Oliver!!!!!

Oliver LOVES inside kitty forts - he loves most anything related to being inside kitty.

Some have asked if Oliver and Pierre are coming with us when we move - they most certainly are! We're not leaving any of our family behind. No cats left behind!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bennington Battle Day

May your Bennington Battle Day be peaceful!

I'll admit it, I've got a special fondness for my Oliver boy. 

This guy melts my heart like no other.

He's showing signs of getting older. He's not nearly as nimble and 
his girth has expanded over the past year.

I think his girth is from boredom. He gets locked on the back porch most nights and doesn't have much to do overnight, except eat. He also doesn't roam the neighborhood much anymore, he pretty much stays in the yard. Good for his safety, not so good for the lack of exercise.

Tuesday night, Oliver's enjoying some supervised inside time - his favorite thing of all!

Much to Oliver's displeasure, Theo's wanting to do the supervising!

Some of you guessed our news - we are moving!

Theo in his beloved blanket fort!

The plan is to move from Washington State to Vermont in October! That's like 3,000 miles! Lots and lots of big change involved with this and just around the corner! Yikes!! Stay tuned for more details.
Laura makes the yummiest foods!
Fresh summer pesto veg salad.
Yum! Yum!! Yum!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

trust the process

The older I get the more I realize how much I built my life around having a sense of control. And I see more and more how control is really an illusion. The sense of having control provides me a feeling of power, a sense of safety, protection, but it's really quite limited.

I notice my desire to control most frequently with the cats. I can do everything in the world to protect them and yet they will still get sick and have problems. Maybe my attempts at control can provide some reduction in risk, but as much as I might like, I can't eliminate the risk.

The outdoor cats are just that, outdoor cats. Taking care of them quickly reveals the limits of my ability to keep them safe. Getting emotionally attached to feral cats is a setup for emotional pain, I can only do what I can do. Cats will be cats. Of course Oliver and Pierre are not really feral anymore and the ideal thing would be to bring them inside, but Oliver's territorial urine marking makes that unrealistic. Thankfully, they are both very clever and stick close to home, but that doesn't stop me from worrying! I worry and worry about those boys, especially when Oliver stays out all night or I'm traveling away from home.

A huge theme in all areas of my life over the past few years has been "trust the process". Willingness to let go of what I can't control and even some of what I can and lean deep into the fear - and trust. Trust Oliver. Trust my ability to grieve and get through an undesired outcome. Trust my community. Trust that joy will re-emerge after the tide of pain subsides. Trust my gifts and abilities. Trust God's love is enough to get me through whatever comes. It's been scary, very scary in fact, and it has been more rewarding, freeing, and life-giving than I ever could have imagined. Leaving behind the safe and familiar cage of fear and stepping out into the spontaneous, creative, freeing aspects of life, which at times still feels like stepping toward crazy. Over time I've noticed my emotional resilience building. I've noticed my courage and self-confidence growing. And I've noticed that I'm getting invited into bigger and bigger challenges.

One such really big challenge is on the horizon, one that has many unknowns, many factors that are out of reach of my ability to control. The invitation has been offered and I've accepted. This particular challenge will be very disruptive to our lives and especially the cats.

I'm scared.

And I'm in - all in...

(to be continued)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Willow

Another week, another cute Willow picture.
May Peace find you this week.

Monday, July 24, 2017

boys of summer

These boys know how to make my heart glow.

Oliver loves!!

Pierre loves!!!

 Just a matter of time before Pierre is rolling over for tummy rubs.

Yes, Pierre is as soft as he appears!

I was recently in Tennessee again for work. Very beautiful there.
Thursday night sunset
Friday morning sunrise

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Marvelous Marvs

Time passes so quickly. It's hard to believe Marvin's two year gotcha-day is fast approaching. There were so many times with him where I didn't think he would live, but now he seems stable and going strong! He's also got some surprises tucked away in his furs.

All year round, even on the hot days of July, Marvin prefers to sprawl on his heating pad with no cushion. The heat must feel good on his old bones.

And then the other day he did something that completely shocked me! He was actually using the super soft, squishy bed! 

Oh Marvin, you are a joy and delight all tucked into a tiny chocolate kitty package. What a lovely gift you are. Remember what Marvin looked like before he was trapped? So glad he's inside and loved now, the way all kitties are meant to be.

In other news, I recently had the joy of visiting my happy place - Isle Royale National Park, in Michigan. My favorite place on the planet.

My heart is restored now.