Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Dearest Friends,
Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I hope you have been enjoying wonderful weather like we have been having here in North Carolina! It is truly spring! It feels so good to lounge around outside and feel the soft grass between my toes again. I was ready for winter to be over!! I am especially glad that the drab winter colors are gone and we can get back into pretty pastels and lighter fabrics – much more feminine.
I had to explain to my friends in the backyard that they have to change their hat styles to reflect a more springtime vibe. They tilted their heads and looked at me funny, but I figured further explaining would straighten it out. When I finished, they tilted their heads and looked at me even funnier. I sighed and told them they were going to have to trust me on this, and I would make sure everyone had an appropriate hat. They all looked relieved and lined up to experience my benevolence once again. Now that everyone was fashion appropriate, I could enjoy some time in the sun.

I had barely settled in, when Cali came lumbering up to me. Now, I don’t want to seem “catty” but the girl has packed on some weight! I know we’re putting out food for our feral friends, but I thought they were sharing. It looked like Cali had been eating it all and leaving nothing for anyone else! She asked if we had filled up the bowl yet today, and I reluctantly told her we had. She waddled up the steps onto the deck to go get something to eat. I followed her up and watched her eat. Egad! She looked like she had swallowed a basketball!

I suggested she might want to lay off the food a bit, but she said she couldn’t help it. She said she was hungry all the time and would feel sick if she didn’t eat. Just then Mom came out and heard what we were talking about. She told me that Cali wasn’t fat. It was springtime and Cali was carrying kittens in her belly. OH NO! She ate someone’s kittens?!?!?!? I ran about the yard holding my head and yowling. How could she do that to cute little kittens!!!! Mom finally caught me and told me she didn’t EAT the kittens, she was pregnant. Mom then proceeded to explain all about the birds and the bees. Oooooooh! Now I understood. Animals at the shelter didn’t have babies, so I had no idea how all that happened. Mom told me I had been spayed so I couldn’t have babies. That was okay, because I was going to enjoy helping Cali with her kittens without having to be responsible for them. Evidently, Cali hadn’t realized she was going to have kittens and she looked a little shaken up. She is young and this is going to be her first litter. I apologized to Cali for calling her fat, and told her not to worry, my family would help her through this having kittens thing. That seemed to make her feel better, so she went back to eating. Now I can’t wait for Cali’s babies to come!
Before I could head back out into the sunshine, Bobbi came up the deck steps. She looked so pretty in her spring hat. She had her arms full of gifts for me!

Bobbi said she had such a good time at the St. Patrick’s Day party that she wanted to bring me a couple of thank you gifts. I was so excited. I love gifts!! She gave me a box of Russell Stover’s chocolates and a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers. I opened the box of candy and offered Bobbi a piece, and before I could close the box Cali came over and asked if she could have some. I let her have one piece, but then told her that too much sugar wouldn’t be good for her pregnant self. I thanked Bobbi for her thoughtfulness and told her she would most certainly be invited to any event I had.
I headed back to my favorite spot in the yard and just as I started to relax, I noticed something odd. I know I have some squirrel and bird friends, but I can still be a fierce hunter who likes to stalk any creature in the yard. I’m beginning to think the birds and squirrels aren’t taking me seriously though. Used to be when a bird landed in the birdbath I would run at them and they would fly away. They always knew they might have to take off suddenly, so they never
really took it easy. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the bird bath! I believe the birds have become a little complacent when it comes to fearing me.

Believe me, if I weren’t so comfortable where I was, I would have been all over that bird. Besides, I wouldn’t want to chase her out before she was finished. She hadn’t even played with her rubber ducky yet!
Just as I was about to nod off, Corny showed up wearing a very odd hat. I know that it was not a hat I had given him.

Evidently he had found it somewhere around the Walmart and decided it was "him." He asked what we were doing for Easter. “We?” I asked. Somehow I had become the event planner for the neighborhood. I told him I was thinking of organizing some kind of family fun, and was leaning toward an Easter Egg Hunt. Corny thought that was a good idea and he volunteered to
help. I thanked him kindly, but I told him I had time to plan it myself, but he was certainly invited to attend. I told Corny that I would let him know the beginning of next week about the exact date and time. He got so excited that he burst into a barrage of knock, knock jokes. The grand finale was “Knock! Knock!” “Who’s there” I said on cue. “Wendy” he said. “Wendy who?” I asked. “Wendy Easter bunny coming?” He let out a big cackle, turned and took off into the great blue yonder.
Well, I better get to planning the neighborhood Easter egg hunt. Hope you have a good week. Maybe next week I’ll have some kittens to tell you about. Keep your fingers crossed.

Love & licks,


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Ice Storm

Helloooo My Fellow Hat Wearers!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I hope most of you had a warm week unlike all of us here in North Carolina. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! My little kitty teeth are still chattering! I can’t imagine how you people stand the cold without fur!! I was planning on talking more about ME this week, but since our yard was quite the hub of activity, I find I must once again relate the goings on in my busy little microcosm.

I knew we were in for a storm when Malcolm showed up in our yard Friday afternoon.

He told me his sensitive bones were warning him that bad weather was on its way and he wanted to alert me so I could stock up on necessities. I thanked him and told him it was okay, we had plenty of taco fixings and margarita mix, so I was all set. He nodded his big ol’ fuzzy head and turned and scurried away. He’s a strange one! My family and I hunkered down and waited for the storm. It arrived early Saturday morning and dumped a bunch of ice all over everything. It was very pretty and shiny – I like shiny! It was also good because the roads were so bad no one in the family could go anywhere, so we sat around all day watching television, drinking margaritas, playing Boggle and feeding all the hatted animals in the yard. They were slipping and sliding on the ice, but they seemed to be having fun. I, on the other hand, did not wish to fall on my keister, as that is quite unladylike, so I put on my rubber soled winter boots (which I had yet to wear) and ventured out into the cold.

Mom followed me out with a big bag of peanuts for the squirrels and Ritz crackers for the birds. Everything’s better on a Ritz! The squirrels all raced up onto the deck to get a peanut. Since it was so cold and they were hungry (and I didn’t want to fall) I did not chase them. I even let them sit up on the deck to eat!

The birds all looked so pretty – their bright colors contrasted against the pure white ice.

After everyone settled into eating, I heard a strange noise. I have heard crows before – we have many of them that come to our yard to steal the peanuts and crackers – but this was a very odd sound. A very raspy caw! caw! was resonating from a big old crow that was standing in the corner of the yard. I don’t think I had ever seen him before. Now, I know what you’re going to say…cats chase birds, not talk to them, but I just knew this avian had an interesting story to tell. That is if he would take the cigar out of his mouth!!!!!

I said hello to him and before he could speak, all the other animals in the yard started groaning, “Oooooh no, don’t get him started!” Well, now my interest was really piqued! Why shouldn’t I talk to him… is he rude? No, they said. Does he shout? No, they said. Does he spit when he talks? (I HATE that) Nooooo, they said (they were getting impatient with me) Well, then, what is it? One of the squirrels told me that the crow’s name was Cornelius, but that they all called him Corny. Well of course you would, I told them, that is the short version of Cornelius. “No”, they said in unison, “It’s because he tells really bad knock, knock jokes!!!” Knock, knock jokes – why I remember those from when I was a kitten. I would sit around with my brothers and sisters and we would take turns telling knock, knock jokes until we were all laughing so hard we couldn’t talk. We’d roll on our backs with our little paws flailing in the air just laughing and having the best time. How bad could a crow telling knock, knock jokes be?!?!? Being the hospitable hostess that I am, I thought it would be rude not to speak to him. Besides I could appreciate a good joke. “Good” being the operative word. We had a lovely conversation. Turns out he is from a long line of Vaudeville performers who traveled the world. Much like my family, they have seen many wonderful things and met many interesting people. Even though he did talk very loudly and spit quite profusely when he spoke, we chatted for quite a while …and then it started. It was like he couldn’t control it. One knock, knock joke after another, one worse than the previous one. Finally, even as he was in the middle of a joke, I told him I had to go because I was getting cold and the tequila was inside. I started to walk away and he said “Knock, knock!” I couldn’t leave him hanging. Who’s there? I asked. “Lllama,” he said. Llama who? I asked. “Llama Yankee Doodle Dandy!” he crowed. He really liked that one because he laughed and laughed as he took off into the sky. If I had been a kitten or maybe had a little more tequila in me, that one might have made me laugh. Anyway, I have a feeling that’s not the last we’re going to see of googly-eyed Corny.

After Corny left everyone settled back down and finished their meals. They thanked me for my generosity and for not chasing them. I told them they were welcome, but all bets were off when the ice cleared and I would be after them in earnest next chance I got. We said our goodbyes and I went back inside to warm up and jump in on the next round of Boggle.

Well, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. It’s supposed to snow this weekend, so we may be going through this again. At least I know my boots fit so I’m ready for anything…I better check the tequila supply. Have a wonderful weekend and tell someone your favorite knock, knock joke…the worse the better! Until next week….

Love and licks,

Back yard doin's

Hello Dear Friends,

Happy Friday!! Happy weekend!! Hope you had a great week! Mine was quite odd, though inspirational. My one small act of kindness has mushroomed into widespread goodwill! I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie “Pay It Forward” with Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey and Edward James Olmos…no, that’s not right…..James Earl Jones….no, that’s not right….you know, that kid – “I see dead people”….yes, that’s it, Haley Joel Osment…I think. Anyway, where was I? Evidently Cali has seen that movie and is a big fan of it. Yesterday afternoon I was lounging on the couch in one of my everyday modest hats (meaning no glitter) when I spied Cali having a bite to eat on the back deck.

Much to my chagrin she was NOT wearing one of the hats I had given her the week before!

While I was still trying to catch my breath from the shock, I noticed something even worse – someone in the backyard was wearing the same hat that I had on my fabulous head. Now I know that there is not another creature on this planet that can wear a hat the way I do, but you want to feel unique and not have to look at someone else thinking they look as good as you. I guess I must have given Cali some of my duplicate hats – sometimes I love a hat so much I buy it twice!

Now really! Is there any comparison?!?!???!? Then I started looking around the yard and could not believe my eyes!

I asked Cali why she didn’t have a hat and yet all the other creatures in the yard did. Were they stolen by one of the critters ? Cali said, no, she was so touched by my kindness that she wanted to do the same for others. She said that so many of the animals wanted the hats that she didn’t have enough for everyone and ended up giving all her hats away. Just then, another stray cat came slinking up. It was a fuzzy gray cat I’ve seen around the neighborhood, Mangy Malcolm. He said he heard us talking and wanted to let me know that what Cali said was true. She had obviously been kind to him also…

Well, what’s a cat to do? I gave Cali a big hug then scurried upstairs to get some more hats. First, I changed my hat, of course, and then I collected a big pile of some of my duplicate hats. I had so many hats that I almost tripped going down the stairs. Once I reached the deck, all the animals clamored around me, trying to be the recipient of one of my fabulous hats.

I first looked for dear little Cali to give her first choice of hats. She was very thankful and picked a straw hat with flowers. Very un-winterish, but it matched her inappropriate white shoes. After that, it was a free for all, with fur and feathers flying as everyone tried to get a hat. It looked like women around a bargain bin at Walmart! When the dander settled everyone was very happy. Once again, I had a warm feeling inside.

Well, I have to go take hat inventory. I have given away so many hats that I may just have to go on a shopping excursion this weekend to restock. I’m always looking for an excuse to buy some hats! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Go through your closets and find some old hats and give them to a hatless creature. Remember, there is nothing worse than a hungry, hatless animal!!

Love & licks


My family shapes history again!

Hi Friends,

Happy Friday!! Happy weekend! I hope you will indulge me and let me tell you one more family story before I go back to something light and silly next week.

I finished going through the old family photos and histories this week and found that my family originally started out in Italy and then moved later to France. My great (to the 100th power) grandmother, Caterina (named after her master’s mother), lived with a nice gentleman, Leo, who never married. He worked out of his house, so he spent lots of time with my grandmother. They were very close and she went everywhere with him. Leo had some friends, Mr & Mrs del Giocondo, who would come by all the time to bring him casseroles and carrot cake. Mrs del Giocondo, who was very plain looking and quite shy, didn’t have a whole lot of friends. She loved animals and was especially nice to my grandmother. Caterina became one of her few friends. Leo wanted to do something nice for the del Giocondos so he decided he would paint them something special to hang in their house. He started painting a portrait of Mrs.del Giocondo. Mrs. del Giocondo was self conscious about her looks and would hide behind Caterina. Leo got tired of trying to coax her to sit up and smile, so he threatened to paint exactly what he saw – and to make his point, he did. After that, Leo and the del Giocondos had a fight and Leo stopped working on the portrait. A couple of years later, Leo decided to move to France and of course my grandmother moved with him. He started to miss the del Giocondos, especially Mrs. del Giocondo’s carrot cake, and decided to finish the portrait from memory. Unfortunately, he never gave it to the del Giocondos. It ended up hanging in the house of some guy named Louvre. Anyway, the first version of the portrait is attached. I don’t mean to be “catty” but I think Leo’s first version is much better! My human Mom has seen the actual final portrait in Mr. Louvre’s house and she agrees with me!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Amore e lambisce,


My family shapes history!

Happy Friday! Happy Weekend! Today I have something very special, though there is a long story to go with it. My Mom and I were going through some of the paperwork from the shelter that they had given her when she adopted me. There was something in there that reminded me of a story my Mom used to tell me. Seems my family originally lived in France. My great, great, great, great (you get the idea – a really distant relative) grandfather, Pierre, used to hang out with his “three amigos”, Frederic (Freddy) Bartholdi- his master, Gustave (Gus-man) Eiffel and Maurice (Maury) Koechlin. One day they were sitting around knocking back a few and they decided they needed to get working on a project Freddy had been commissioned to do. Well, the whole time they were trying to draw the plans, my grandfather kept getting in the middle of things – walking on the papers, licking people’s faces and putting his butt up to be scratched – you know, cat stuff. Maury finally had enough and told Pierre if he was so interested in the project, he should do it. Now my family is an ambitious bunch and Pierre took him up on it. While the final product looks a little different, this was the first version that my grandfather - with the help of Freddy, Gus-man and Maury- presented to the French government. I guess my eye problem is hereditary.

I hope you enjoyed my story. I am very proud to be a part of history. Have a fabulous weekend – go through some old pictures and see what you find!

Ont un bon weekend.

L’amour et de baiseres,


Reconter des histoires de chat extraordinaire