Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Cat You Need

Sometimes you get the cat you need and sometimes you get the cat who needs you.

I got Harper, who I need and also Ramona who needed us. And now I have both of them and they are both wonderful.

Check out this story about a guy who got the cat who needed him. Vote for a name and send him a donation for this little kitten's major medical bills. I'm going to.

Dropped In

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Just a minute ago they were raising heck, racing up and down the kitty tree and using us as a trampoline.

She's pointing that clicky thing at us again.

I envy Harper that flexible spine. Yoga Kitty!

We went over to Portland today. Harper yelled almost all the way there, about an hour and fifteen minutes. Then he settled down next to Ramona and napped for the last half hour. Brendan rode in front and Ramona ( the Queen of Cool) slept on my lap. ( If Brendan is sleeping then I should sleep). They have forgotten this place but now they are running around downstairs. They haven't met up with Uncle Sid yet, though they saw his tail flashing by when they came in and Sid retreated to his room,

Nice cool ocean air tonight.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pretty Little Girl

Ramona sometimes takes her afternoon nap curled up in this rocking chair. She has become very helpful at keeping the ant population down. When I come down in the morning there are tiny corpses everywhere.

It is pouring, pouring rain. I guess if I ever need rain all I need to do is hang out a few loads of laundry. Yep, they are getting well rinsed. Brendan is disgusted with the weather, he insisted on going out to take a look at it but he purred when I picked him up and said it's no good sweetheart.

You're right, he said.

It is however, a good day for working indoors and I did a lot of computer type stuff and a bunch of errands downtown. I was going to go to Bean's to get some sneakers but every bored tourist who had the misfortune to have this week off was in the store.

Harper and Ramona actually got four free boxes of Fresh Step Kitty Litter to try out. I can't remember if someone called me or emailed but the company sent me some to try out. Funny thing is, they both really like the stuff and it is neat and easy to clean up. I tried it in their upstairs bathroom and caught Harper going upstairs to use it. I have been using the lightweight litter made of sawdust. But I just may switch. We'll see if Harper and Ramona become spokescats for Fresh Step.

That is the first concrete benefit I have received from blogging. Other than getting good at photography and working for the shelter taking photos.

For everyone who liked Ramona;s hippopotamus, here is Harper's teddy bear. Same thing, it is about the size of my thumb and beautifully made. The company is called, I think, Dr. Noyes Toys but I can't find it on the web. I bought them at our local good food for cats shop. It is called Four Your Paws Only in North Conway, NH. 1-800-327-5957. Try calling them and see if they will send you one.

Ramona has just pulled the tablecloth off the table again. I keep putting it back so she can pull it off, she enjoys it so much. And she manages to get the piece of wire out of the cat dancer toy on the back of the chair. She wants a hug now. Gotta go.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pink hippopotamus

This is the pink hippo, it is about the size of my thumb. It occurred to me that it might actually be a pink pig but Ramona says it is a hippopotamus so I am not going to say anything.

She has learned to fly up onto the window screens and hang there while she hunts bugs. She weighs so little she doesn't even make a mark. Good thing. By the time she is bigger, bugs will be passe.

After some ferocious running around they settle down for a nap. They like the red chair.

But on a cool rainy Caturday, the best thing is to snuggle up in the clubhouse. This is a footstool with blankets over it. Brendan watches TV from the top at night. Underneath is a polar fleece blanket. Cats really loves having secret places of their own.

"Did you want me for something?"

No, Harper, just a quick photo. Go back to sleep.

Friday, June 23, 2006


A little while ago I walked into the house and saw Miss Ramona had discovered Fergie's favorite resting place, the top of the brown velvet, cat modified chair. In fact, she is lying in front of the urn with his ashes. It gave me a funny feeling, hard to describe, sad yet peaceful. Of the two kittens, she is the most like him, spirited and eager to explore. So it is bittersweet to see that she also loves his napping spot, stretched out comfortably along the top of this beat up old chair.

Ramona gets excited when I get out the kitty harnesses and she lets me put it on and then heads right for the door. Tail straight up. And she can fly up a tree like a squirrel. Harper sees what she does and then he has to do it too but he doesn't have her grace.

She is still, at 18 weeks old, tiny and kittenlike. Actually she looks like a miniature cat, very slim and delicate. I bet she will always be small. I am waiting to have her spayed until next month. I dread the thought of having to put her through it but there is no way not to. I am hoping she and Harper can go together and at least have each other for comfort. But I am not looking forward to dropping them off at the vets and I wish it wasn't a necessity. But I know it is.

Harper is growing unto a sturdy little guy. He won't be little when he is full grown. Both kittens are nice cats, happy and loving and loving towards each other and Brendan. Harper is so affectionate to both of us I couldn't have asked for a sweeter companion. The other cats who have been "mine" , Finnegan and Fergus, were rascals, honestly. And I loved them madly. Finnegan loved to run his nails down my prized maple kitchen drawers, chipping tiny pieces off the edges, all the while looking at me to see my reaction. Which was never long in coming. And Fergus was Wild Thing, roaming the woods and depressed if he couldn't be free. He was an incredible spirit and I have not seen any cats at all like him since. Harper is happy to play at home with his toys or cuddle up whenever I sit down. And both kittens like to be near us when we work.

We finished almost all of the children's museum exhibits and last night was the Sneak Preview. Olof took photos so I will get a couple and post them on a site somewhere. We are both tired out from a few weeks of seven day a week work. The house looks like a tornado went through it. I had three loads of laundry on the line and didn't take them in when we got home last night so of course we woke to a downpour.

It seems like the blogging world slows down when summer starts. I don't intend to, it's just the combination of video editing ( 7 TV spots and a half hour show) plus the museum exhibit painting and life in general left me with no time or energy. I still haven't been on my bike! And soon it will be Julabor Day ( from July 4th to Labor Day, which goes by so quickly it might as well be one day)

I will take a photo of Ramona's pink hippopotamus. I also wanted to say it's fun to get comments from readers in other countries, I see I have a lot of readers in France and Germany but I don't know who they are. So to you, Bonjour! And thanks to the person in France I did get an email from. Olof and I were in France a couple of years ago and loved it. I might have a friend coming from there this summer and I want to work on learning French!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Apres Lympics

Everyone was pretty wiped out after all the Catolympics excitement. And it has been really hot for New Hampshire (we don't like heat) so with the windows closed and the ac on, Ramona showed us she still loves her brother.

Brendan says it was quite a job judging all those fine athletes and maybe he will post about it later. And he had his paws full taking the kittens to the Lympics. Miss Ramona insisted on talking Thunderdome (their tent), her favorite blankie and her pink hippopotamus. Brendan also hauled along cans of Wellness in their favorite flavors so no one would have a tummy upset from all the excitement and new foods. And he took some of those tuna flakes Miss Ramona likes to have on her breakfast. Ramona also wanted to take her Bizzy Box but Brendan said she would have plenty to do for the two days. He was right, of course. He also took both of their Lupine harnesses and says it was quite a job holding on to two kittens going off in different directions while judging.

Ramona is already dreaming of winning gold in the floor routine like Dolce. She is also turning into quite a climber and can scamper up the apple tree in a flash.

This morning the kittens are giving us a live replay of their well received wrestling demo. I can see why it was so entertaining.

It's going to be hot again here today. We are going to shoot video at the shelter for another Paw Prints.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Brendan and the kids are off to the Catolympics! The opening ceremony is tonight. Brendan is judging and Harper and Ramona are doing a wrestling demo so they were pretty excited. They are checking into the hotel together since Brendan has to keep an eye on his kids. They'll be sending repots home so I will post.

Don’t miss The Cat Olympics !

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tiger Girl

Ramona just loves climbing in the apple tree outside out back door. I would love to fence off a small area from our porch around a tree so they can go out safely. We saw a good price on 300 feet of deer fencing and we might do it.

Ramona is my Tiger Girl. She also likes to be called Sweet Ramona. When I come in she will often come running with her tail up. She is like a softer version of Fergus and that is very comforting to me, since I still miss him every day. She has also started doing flying leaps from place to place, even longer ones than he did. Fergus's favorite trick was to run up the stairs and fly through the air hitting the second level of the cat tree in the living room. Then he'd swing around and give us the "do not feed after midnight look"

Miss Ramona is a gentler soul but she's got that love of the wild in her. Harper looks at it and says it is far too much effort. He is a calm and yes, lazy fellow who will walk outside and collapse in a nice sunny spot. Or he will saunter around.

It is pouring outside and the air is nice and fresh smelling from my flowers outside. Harper is in front of the computer curled up and Ramona is draped on the top of my chair. She loves the same spot Fergus loved and it was a little eerie to see her lying there exactly as he did. I took a photo which I will download soon.

I find it amazing how these lovely creatures respond to being loved If I am doing something they come seek me out and want to be near me. In the morning Harper sits before the computer and Ramona behind it on my knees. Life would be bleak without them.

I put up a photo board at our local pet supply shop today. We have some lovely animals. Kittens of course but some beautiful dogs rescued from kill shelters in the south. One in particular, a long haired shepherd with a sweet disposition. I don't know what the human race ever did to deserve the love we get from dogs. Jimmy who was found just about dead, is eager for attention. One of the women at the shelter said that the mistreated animals are often like that. I asked if she thought the dogs thought the abuse was their fault and they craved reassurance and kindness from people.

"Maybe," she said.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Big Green World

Ramona and Harper get to see the big world. On safety harnesses and leashes made by our friends at Lupine.

Ramona is a lot like a gentle version of Fergus. She discovered the apple tree and had a great time. Harper says it looks like too much work.

But Harper loves to walk around on the lawn. We plan to buy some deer fencing and make a safe kitty yard. All cats should have the sun and the sounds of outside. These two were very very happy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday Nap

After a very exciting walk (on ropes) Outside, the kittens took their Sunday Nap.

Harper is in the circular too. They just about fit.

Ramona is still sleepy.

I agree, two kittens of the same age are the best bet for happiness. These two are inseparable.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The J Family

Here is the J family. Above is Jeremy

This is Jazz




And foster mom Tilly. She nursed one litter of her own kittens and then these guys came in as orphans and she raised them too.
Kitten season is in full swing. These lucky guys will get good homes. Many across the country will not be so lucky.

Three little guys came in yesterday, their mom had been killed and a kind woman fed them and then caught them and delivered them to the shelter with a donation. Good time to g ive your local shelter a donation if you can. Good quality kitten food is always welcomed.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Berlin Nine

Here are photos taken two weeks ago of the rescued animals. That is Tiny (in front) and Lucy. Tiny is the one who weighed 2.8 pounds. She is quite content to be in the hospital (she now weighs five pounds) where she has food 24/7 and toys and comfort and care. Lucy is still shy but also calm and content.

This is Tracy.

Jimmy the Dog who is doing amazingly well and shows no ill will towards people at all. He is full of energy and ready for a new home.




Spencer whose ears show the effects of a horrendous ear mite infection. They will stay like this.

And Miss Pinky Lee who has made a remarkable recovery and has her bags packed ready for a new life as someone's glamour girl. Memories, all alone in the moonlight.

I sit here with my two happy, fat kittens purring away and am well aware that contentment is not shared by all of these lovely, loving creatures. They are so happy to have me back!

The day the world eradicates cruelty to animals is the day we have returned to the garden.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Cat With No Name

This is a story I wrote for our local paper about a group of abused animals. I just got permission to publish it here and it has just come out in our paper. The investigation is ongoing.

Midnight, April 24th. Waiting at the Conway Area Humane Society Sandy didn’t know what she’d see when the Berlin Police van pulled up to the intake room door. CAHS had received a call at 9:30 P.M. from the Berlin Police Department. A search warrant had been issued for an abandoned home, there were reports of animals left inside, and medical treatment might be needed, would they help? Yes, of course CAHS would help, and by 11:10 PM Sandy and Linda were ready and prepared for the worst.

12:30 A.M. the van pulled up. Nine cats, one dog. Ten emaciated, flea-bitten, dehydrated, exhausted and wretched animals. One cat lay still. His body packed in a plastic bag, starved to death, flea bitten with swollen, no longer achingly painful ears. He would never know the comfort of anxious, caring help, of freedom from pain, a full belly, and the gentle touch of loving hands. It was his unmoving position on a windowsill that finally alerted neighbors that something was wrong, very wrong, in the abandoned apartment. But their call came too late for him.

For weeks he had managed to survive in that hell hearing the sounds of normal life outside the windows, seeing rain that would ease his thirst fall out of his reach, crying for someone to open the door and set him free, only to die while others were rescued. What story would he tell us if he could, of their abandonment and imprisonment, neglect, abuse and slow starvation? What story would he tell of his treatment by the human race?
Sandy’s heart sank. Quickly the women got the starving creatures into the medical room and began administering subcutaneous fluid to hydrate the cats. ”They were all as weak as wet noodles,” she said. Linda and Sandy started giving them small amounts of food and assessing their condition.
They had eye and ear lacerations, ears completely packed full of ear mites, masses of fleas, facial lacerations and abscesses. They were filthy and matted (one gray cat later turned out to be pure white) One cat had a swollen ear and a hematoma. One full-grown cat weighed 2.8 pounds and the biggest was not even 5 pounds. (Compared to 10 pounds for an average adult cat). Jimmy the dog looked like a head on a skeleton. He had been chained to an oil tank in the basement when the police broke in and he had lost two thirds of his body weight and 80% of his body fluids.
”I have never seen anything like it,” said Sandy. “Those ear mites had to have been untreated from birth. And these cats are from nine months to five years old.”
All ten animals had been left for a month with no water and a bag of dry kibble. The cats sustained themselves by drinking from the toilet until it ran dry. At that point they were too dehydrated to eat the dry food. They were prisoners with no chance to escape or to try to help themselves.

Through the night Sandy and Linda kept a vigil giving the animals small amounts of food, fluids, flea and ear mite treatments and cleaning. And compassion.
Early the next morning Dr. Kettlekamp came in and checked the survivors, amazed that they had lived through the night. He was worried that Jimmy could not survive. Caregivers went to work, offering many small meals a day, administering fluids, bathing, cleaning and loving.

Tiny, so malnourished that when bathed some of her skin literally fell off, ear and facial lacerations, Tracey with a swollen left ear, Lucy, Spencer, Meeko and Pinky Lee, Sidney and Simon and Jimmy the Dog all-recovering in the safe haven of Conway Area Humane Society. They are still being treated for bacterial and yeast infections. Their eyes are clearing up. They are resting, accepting kindness. Some are friendly, some are shy. Jimmy, slowly gaining weight and energy, is playful and eager for attention, already doing his best to forget his ordeal. His barking is subsiding as he realizes that now he is being heard.
CAHS has legal custody of these poor creatures and can now adopt them out. All of them deserve a second chance and a loving home where they can go on to a new life. And as human beings, we have a chance to redeem ourselves in the eyes of those whose lives we have control over.
Tiny, purring loudly now rolls over for a tummy rub. And in the freezer at CAHS lays the body of one cat, being held as evidence for the crimes against him. One starving, flea bitten unknown cat. Unnamed, unloved, uncared for. Never to know the warmth of a lap, a loving home, an affectionate name and a pat on the head during his sojourn on the earth. What shall we name him?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home Again

I called home to talk to my cat. Olof was out in the yard with Brendan and I could hear Harper screaming at them from the window. (He does not have outdoor on his own privileged) So Olof put the phone up to him and I talked. Now he thinks I am in the phone and he is really worried.

It will be interesting to see the reaction I get when I get home tomorrow. I miss my little Buddha Belly and his Pirate Girl.

Ramona and I have a different relationship. It's more like "us girls" . Hard to explain to non-cat people. Cat people will know what I mean. Harper is my boy and Ramona and I are us girls.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sheltered Faces


Funny Face, adopted so quickly I never caught her name.


Arthur, a Katrina rescue, he is still at the shelter and someone who really deserves a special home.

Charlie, the sweetest little orange tiger, he was left in the shelters dog pen early one morning. The person called later to check on him, she thought leaving him in the dog pen was funny. We were glad no one had put a dog in there before they found him.

Separation Anxiety

I'm visiting my family on Cape Cod and boy do I miss the little guys.

These photos were taken a short while ago. They have both grown so much in a month.

I love this series of them hanging out in my lazy girl chair. Harper looks like such a guy doesn't he? Like he should have a beer in one hand. These photos show their personalities. See how Ramona is kind of the straight man to Harper's funny guy cattitude? She has more dignity. And more poise. We call her Tiny Dancer. I am still trying to get that photo of her "ballet stretch."

Is it funny that the hardest thing to do when you are going away is leave your cat? I guess we know the people will be fine, and we can talk to them. I do wish I could talk to my cats. I am probably not the only one (I know I am not the only one) who calls home to talk to their animals.

Olof is taking good care of them. He has a list of exactly what, how much and when everyone eats and when to change the kitty litter.

But will Harper forget me in four days? Oh the suspense.

I'm going to help my sister silkscreen T shirts today in the back yard. It is nice and sunny out with a blue sky here in vacation paradise. Vacation paradise is my ancestral stomping grounds. I'll try to get over to the beach for a break and maybe post some photos later.

Don'’t miss the continuing torch relay at The Cat Olympics