Monday, August 29, 2016

Mischief Monday

IZA:  Im just sitting in my favrit box.  Doin nothin, just all innocent...
Waitin fer somekitty ta walk past all unawares, heh, heh, heh!  Shhh, I think I hear someone comin now...
3, 2, 1...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Easy Like Sunday

MARLEY:  Iza and I found enough room on the ottoman fer both of us today.  It was still tight though.  Ya can see her hip pushin into my back an my legs dangling over the edge.  I was trying ta get some washing done and as little movement as there was at HER end of me, she wasnt happy.
I wasnt doint MUCH washing.  Im surprised she could even tell.
So I finished an turned to her ta say I was done and ta stop shovin.  And it being Easy Like Sunday day, she agreed.  We had a good nap after that.
See, now if it had been TBT there instead of me, HIS big clunky feet and legs would have just dragged him right over the edge onto the floor! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Caturday Saturday

MARLEY:  A little friendly fambly head-lick...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Flashback Friday

MARLEY:  When we do this, TBT asks one of us ta name a year and he goes back and looks at what we were doing this day that year.

So I said 2014, and guess what he found?  ME!  I was playing Monorail Marley!  Is THAT cool or WHAT?
 
Notice the area of the chair between my paws is getting torn up pretty good...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

10th Blogoversary

THE BIG THING HERE:  Well, we have finally reached it...  Today represents our 10th year of blogging.

It wasn't a specific goal.  When we started 10 years ago with Skeeter and LC they were already 14 and 13 respectively.  They knew all about doors, windows, fences,  and stuff, but had never had to try to put them in words before.  It was interesting to discover how they thought about those things.

They didn't really know much about me either.  I learned that they referred to me as "The Big Thing" and weren't sure what kind of animal I was since they never met many others except Vets, repairmen, and a few friends and family.  In fact, they were amazed I ever met any of my family, since they hadn't seen any of theirs since they were small kittens.

Bein words came hard to them at first, and in fact, I mostly had to interpret their general thoughts.  It was a while before they started writing more on their own, and even then, I had to do a lot of editing.  They thought I was mostly there to manage their household and do the things they couldn't, like opening food cans and cleaning litterboxes.  It seemed completely normal to them that some odd critter existed just to fulfill their needs.  If that's all one knows, why not think that? 

So I'll talk about our first blogging years with them...

Skeeter came to me in 1992 and LC in 1993.  Both from a small local pet store.  Both at Halloween.  I didn't know much about such places then.  Such places do not exist around here anymore.

I've told the stories of them before, but wish to do so again.  I went to the pet store to find a female Siamese.  No offense to gray tabby cats, but I had had them all my adult life (and loved each one greatly) but I wanted something different.  We had had 2 Siamese female cats when I was young and I wanted one myself.  The pet store was being renovated.  There was horrible dust and noise everywhere!

There was only one kitten in the place.  Terrified by the noise and dust, trembling alone in its (rather decently spacious) cage.  I took one look at him in his misery and said "Kitten, I'm getting you OUT of here NOW!

I don't know how long he had been in that cage.  I don't know how long he had been alone.  I do know that the moment I let him out of the cardboard box the sellers had put him into to send him off with me, he ran frantically out and found a cutout spot under the kitchen cabinets that let air escape from a floor vent they covered.  The space was only 6" high bit 2'x2' wide and deep.  A lot of room for a kitten hiding.

And I know he was forever terrified of trash can bags,  I made some guesses about how some kittens might have "gone away" in his experience.   But I was never sure.  I simply made certain not to "pop" any open when he was around.   He couldn't tell me why, and I couldn't ask.  To this day, I very carefully open trash bags and slowly push them into the kitchen trash bin when no cats are around. 

He stayed in there for 3 days.  He was so terrified that he pooped and peed in there and still stayed there.  I pushed bowls of food and water in there.  And then left the food bowls just a little outside the opening.  Then further out.  And I would sit there in the evening talking quietly to him.

He finally came out a bit and sniffed my fingers (which I had dipped in some food).  Eventually he came out and carefully sniffed me (the unfooded parts).  I set a hand within reach and he slowly crawled under it and I gave some gentle strokes and scritches.

His whole world turned around immediately.  He stayed out of the cabinet vent cutout, and stayed near me all day.  In fact, I couldn't get away from him!  He stayed as close to me as a starving mosquito.  And that's how he got his name.  When I was a kid, we called mosquitoes "skeeters".

So I called him "Skeeter". 

I still had Tinkerbelle at the time.  She was a bit mean.  I got her from my sister Susie after Tinkerbelle had been injured by a dog and had started to claw both her and the baby at any offense.  Tinker and I got along because I was a bit more forgiving of claws and because I learned how to give her strokes and sneak over the injured spots.

Skeeter had to adjust to Tinker...  I think he became friendly and diplomatic because of dealing with Tinker.  I was working a job that meant I left the house at 6 am every day and only returned at 6 pm.  So he had to deal with "Mean Old Tinker" all day when I was gone.

He came running to me every evening as I returned home.  He climbed up me (ouch) to get to my face.  Every critter who loves you wants to be at face level.  I indulged the climbing.  Skeeter sat on my shoulder as I prepared his food but also when I wasn't.   He wanted facetime and I gave it.  He slept under the covers with me all his years.

The following Halloween, I decided that Skeeter needed a friend since I was away half every day.  I went back to the same pet store.  It was nice and quiet then and there were 2 kittens in the front cage.  I still wanted a female Siamese but they didn't have any.  But one calico kitten was gorgeous and friendly and I said I wanted that one.  Turned out she was already sold and just being held as a wedding present for a couple who were on a honeymoon cruise.

I'm not one for delayed gratification in certain areas.  Like wanting a kitten.  The other kitten was a black and white.  And she was NOT friendly.  Any side of the cage I went to, she moved to the other.  I recognized a fiesty spirit!  I have never had any cat who didn't love me, so I wasn't worried about that.

I said "I'll take her" and between the shopowner and I, we slowly pried her claws off the cage mesh one by one until she came loose.  Into their cardboard box she went.

When released at home, she went for the same undercabinet spot Skeeter had hidden in.  I guess it is a obvious spot to a kitten.  But this time Skeeter sat there and talked to her.  Which was perfect, because she wasn't MY cat, she was Skeeter's.  I was still away most of the day after all.  I wanted Skeeter and the new one to orient to each other.

But she did need a name, and I give a lot of thought to names.  You should have seen me starting  computer quest games in the 90s where you had some group of skilled characters and they all needed names.  I spent a day deciding on names, and those games only lasted a month!

So I thought and thought.   And don't laugh that "Skeeter's Cat" came to mind.  But with the help of a special co-worker I considered that her black/white markings looked a bit like a cow's.  So I decided first on "Little Cow", but then made it just the initials, LC.

LC adored Skeeter, and Skeeter protected her from Mean Old Tinkerbelle.  Skeeter and LC became inseparable.  They napped together, they ate together, they went outside together, they played with toys together.


In 1999, Tinkerbelle was outside and didn't come back when I called her as I was leaving to go fishing with a friend.  That wasn't unusual.  She often stayed away all day off in some local places of her own.  But I never saw her again.  She was failing in health at 16 or 17.  She may have left to go find a spot to die.  All I know is that no neighbor said they saw a dead kitty on the street and I never heard a meow when I walked the streets for days and nights calling her name.  Such things happen, and I missed her.  WE got along.

Skeeter and LC didn't miss her and I can hardly blame them. They were happy together having the whole house in peace while I was away and having my attention each evening.  That went on until 2006 when I retired.  They were thrilled I was there every day and they got fed better food more often.  Well, I couldn't very well give them canned food for lunch when I wasn't there before.  My retirement in 2006 was the start of the best days of the lives.   It didn't last long enough, but those were good days..

And I am just NOW getting to the blog itself, LOL!

My last couple years at work, I had discovered a couple of cat-blogs.  I followed Max, The Psychokitty daily.  AHe was amazing to me. And another couple that sadly escape my recollection.  But one had a button that said "Start Free Blog".  After a few months of retirement, I clicked the button.  And it seemed workable.

So away we went In August 25, 2006; Me, Skeeter, and LC.  It was hard.  It was confusing.  It was tricky.  I couldn't figure out how things worked.  It was days before I learned how to allow comments and then to read them, and more before I could post a picture.    But I did eventually and it wasn't as easy back then.

Our first commentors were The Meezers (they are honored forever for that here) and Max himself announced us to the world.

Sadly, Skeeter was already 14 at that time and LC was 13.  Skeeter's last year on the blog just over a year later was hard, with accidents all around the house, eating problems, and confusion.  The Good Vet said he wasn't feeling pain, but when he started to lean against the walls to stay upright, it would be "his time".

That time came December 10, 2008, only 2 years into his blogging time.  He left for The Bridge after the sedative shot looking peacefully into my eyes as I wept while holding him.

LC went suddenly at home 13 months later from some sort of stroke.  I found her in the basement and rushed her to the vet.  She seems to have roused briefly there but was gone before I could arrive back.

They are both buried in the flowerbed, with markers.

Thus ended the story of Skeeter and LC, the reasons I started the blog...

But before Skeeter left, I had found the Siamese female I had originally looked for.  And she was perfect for me.  Unwanted by the breeder because she was too small to breed, I offered a good home because I wasn't interested in breeding.  She nearly GAVE her to me.  I named her "Ayla" after a character in a book and I had been saving that name for 20 years.

Skeeter loved Ayla when she first arrived as he had LC years before.  He was a wonderful caring cat.  But he lost track of her after he faded a few months later.  LC and Ayla were hissy.

LC missed Skeeter so very much.  She wanted her big orange brother back.  It was a week before she climbed up on my lap.  She had never done that before.  I gave her much attention, and she appreciated it.  She even came up onto the bed and slept next to me.  No one can say that cats don't miss companions or that they can't seek comfort where they haven't before a loss.  I was the 2nd choice after Skeeter and I didn't mind that a bit.


LC followed Skeeter over The Bridge in January 2010.  They were almost identical ages. of 16 and 1/2  At that time, I realized that naming the cat blog after specific cats ("Skeeter and LC") was a bad idea in the long term.  Well, it never really occurred to me that I would still be blogging by the time they left for The Bridge...  I thought for a week about a new name for the blog.  I finally came up with "Mark's Mews".

I called the breeder and got Iza just a few days later.  She was a very relaxed cat.
She came out from under the bed after just a day, and immediately attached herself to me.

Mews means variously "Meows", "a place where people live with animals", a "hideaway", and a "small street".  And the homonym "muse" because they gave me so much thought and inspiration...  So there is the cats, I live with them, we are kind of solitary, and we live on a short dead end street.  And my name is "Mark".  So "Mark's Mews"...  And it will never have to change.

So there was Ayla and Iza for a while.  But they were hissy with each other in spite of the Felliway and attention.  So, illogical as it seems, I decided I needed another orange male cat.  Skeeter had been so great at keeping peace in the house.   I looked at many animal shelter cats.

But they always came as brothers and those would have already become attached mostly to each other.  I needed a single.  With help, I found one.  The owner had been given an orange/white male cat for Christmas and discovered she was allergic to cats.  I saw the picture of the cat and fell in love.

And it wasn't easy to get him.  She said he had been promised to a family with children.  I pointed out that I was retired and could attend to him 24/7, that I bought only the best foods, that I played toys daily, that I had a yard surrounded by a fence that he couldn't get out of (which turned out to be false) and would have a wonderful time catching mice within.

She changed her mind and I went to visit her.  He had 1 toy.  He was fed cheap dry food.  She called him down from upstairs and he came right down the stairs and looked at me.  I sat down on the floor.  He crawled onto my lap and purred loudly and accepted my scritchies.

That settled things in her mind and mine.  I asked about his name and she said, "well, I named him 'Marley' but you can call him anything you want".  I turned that around in my mind for a moment (considering that I could have named him after someone in the COTCB books along with Ayla and Iza), but I decided it was a perfect name and fit him perfectly.  So Marley he was and Marley he remains!

Here he is coming out of the PTU for the first time here...

I stayed in touch with her by email for a few months telling her that he was happy and sending pictures, but she stopped replying after a while.  Well, she had to move on with her post-cat life.

So now it is Ayla, Iza, and Marley, in "Mark's Mews" and this is the 10th year completed.  And who knows what the future will bring?

Ayla, Iza, and Marley say they hope you will all come and visit today so they can swap blogging stories and stuff like that!



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Announcement Wensday

We want to announce a milestone in our lives.  Tomorrow is our 10TH BLOGIVERSARY!

There will be a pawty.  Not the wild kind like Marley's birthday, more like a visiting, sit around comparing notes, bat a few toys, eat some good snacks pawty.  We are still a bit worn out from that one!

Since we ourselfs werent there at the start, TBT will discuss the beginning and we will chime in occasionally when it gets ta our parts.

So please do come and help us celebrate this special day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Caturday Saturday

IZA:  When TBT isnt sitting in the chair, we like ta sit on the ottoman. 
 But it takes some moving around to fit 2 of us on it at once.  Sometimes that werks sometimes it doesnt.  This time it didnt cuz Marley dint feel like scooching over a bit.
Why dont we just sit in the empty chair?  Beats me, we just dont.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ears

IZA:  I may look like Im napping, but notice the ears are alert...
I heard the camera being turned on.  He cant fool ME!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Afterpawty Wensday

MARLEY:   Wow, what a Birfday Pawty that was!  We were all so bushed, TBT said he should prune us, but he was too tired too.

But I wanted ta make sure ta thank everyone who came ta the pawty or just left happy birfday wishes.  Thank you ALL!

And I wanted ta thank Pipo and Minko fer the lovely card!  They really did it carefully.  It has the goldfinches and hummerbirds that inhabit our yard, the bunnies we love ta chase, flowers of various kinds, our fence, and even the cake has my age on it!  And, of course, ME...  Whoo-Hoo!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Its My Birfday!

MARLEY:  Welcome to my 6th Birfday Pawty!  We are all prepared, and I am SO excited.

We have our scratchers all out in one convenient place...
We have a couple ladders fer good climbing and for contests later...
There are boxes of various sizes fer kitties of various sizes (or in the case of the big one, more than one kitty)...
LOTS of nice old-fashioned bags...
 We have games and puzzles...
We have lots of toys all sorted by type so ya can easily find yer favrit kind...
And we have many wand toys that TBT will help with as the pawty goes along!

Please enjoy the cat trees...
And then there are foods and drinks!    Ham...
Grilled Beast...
Shrimps...
And Drinks (most of which are Nip or Chickie-Broth, but there are a few surprize flavors ya might like too)...

And, finally, there is a Nip Cake that even looks like ME!
 Ayla and I dont dress up, but Iza is wearing her finest outfit.
You dont have ta dress up, but ya can iffen ya want!

TBT has promised ta keep the 4 litterboxes impeccably clean, there is the HUGE waterbed ta rest on (should hold at least a eleventy of tired kitties), and there are thick folded towels in lots of corners and shelfs for annykitty who wants ta just sit and watch fer a bit.

AND THE PAWTY IS UNDERWAY!  I WILL TRY TO STAY UP MOST OF THE DAY TO GREET MY GUESTS, BUT YOU KNOW THATS NOT LIKELY.  SO IZA AND AYLA WILL BE TAKING TURNS MANAGING FOOD AND DRINKS AND GAMES WHEN I NEED A NAP.

TBT ON THE OTHER PAW, IS GOING TO HAVE TO STAY UP ALMOST ALL DAY TO KEEP THE LITTERBOXES CLEAN AND SOLVE HISSY-FITS AND STUFF...  ~ MARLEY

I thought about this a lot.  My Birfday Wish is that all Shelter Kitties (and other critters) find good homes, that Beins get along better, and that I get good things to eat the rest of my life.  OK, OK, everyone else too.  I do mostly think about what *I* want sometimes, but on my Birfday, I will be generous..

Good news evrykitty!  Megan has  'ported over and has volunteered to woman a BRUSHIE STATION!   Is that good or what?  And we have all kinds, from wire ones to flea combs to soft  brushies!  Just hop up on the dining room table and request yer favrit!

Ooh, I just got de-matted at Megan's Brushie Station, and I feel so GOOD!  TBT did it last week, but Megan does it better.  So now I'm standing at the top of the cat tree and making sure everykitty is happy and enjoying themselves.  ~ MARLEY
Did I mention that TBT cut down some stalks of NIP and left them available?  Careless of me not to...  They are sitting  piled in the bathtub.  And don't worry, it will stay dry...  Just one of the surprises we have prepared fer the pawty...  Feel free to jump in and roll around!

7:30 AM - Observant kitties may have noticed that Scylla got Ayla and Iza into the computer room to share thoughts.  And I am told no mancats are allowed until they come out..  Girlcats, *sigh*....

But meanwhile,  I am arranging the first game of the day.  All who want to can come stand at the bottom of the stairs for a stair-running contest.  First one to the top gets a nip-treat!  Its a 2-direction stairs, so be careful on the turn...  No claws allowed on other cats! 

 Oh wow, the stair run was crowded.  Socks, Chimera, Yin and Yang from Alasandras place got the front positions, and The Island cats wer crowded right behind.  But it turned out that Princess Leia of The Whiskeratti made a great turn halfway up and snuck through an tapped the top of the stairs first.  She wins 5 treats!  But everykitty gets one treat fer pawticipating and running so fast.  It was a real crowd at the top step!!!     There may have been one first, but it was so close that nokitty was last.  Well done ALL!

 9:00 AM - The Punapipurri have arrived en masse!  Guard your food everykitty, they are hungry!  But don't worry too much; TBT has brought out another ham and is tossing bits to them. an he weilds a knife like we do claws.  Still, ya might want ta protect what ya have unnerpaw...  An they are going after the bags and boxes.  What a group!

I think it is time to have TBT open the deck door.  It is one of the 2 shady times.  So lets all go out there while it is still cool.  See the flowers?  
 Dont eat them, of course.  Some are weerd-tasting.

Hey, my good mancat  Ducky just ported in, and we think the jumping contests might be over before they start.  That mancat can JUMP.  But ya never know, others can jump too.   Ayla might have something ta show about that.  She is suggesting a roof jump and she is the original "levitation girl'...  Uh Oh!

The ladder race will start in an hour...   The roof jump challenge later... 

 Well,  let's start with the "floor to top of cat tree to top of bookcase!  Anyone can try and each gets 3 practice jumps.  This could take a while; evrycat thinks they are jumpers...

*I* think it is time for a nap during the practices....  Iza will take over.


IZA:  1 PM:  Well, we all sure had a good time out on the deck in the shade (and some of the more outdoorsy kittehs a bit off the deck).  A good thing the entire back yard is enclosed with a fence so nokitty got confoosed...  Cause there are sure a few fence-climbers among us!

And some of those jumpers had a good long look at the distance from the deck rail ta the roof.  There were some "no ways" but also some tail-waggles as some gave it some butt-muscle-thought.

But the shade is gone fer a few hours so we are back inside.   TBT brought out a new ham an that went over pretty good.  So did the kibble-toss game.  Who doesn't love chasing something bouncy and skittery that also tastes good?

I see that Marley is up and around again, going among the guests and tapping paws and butting heads.  So its MY turn ta nap fer a while.  Ayla, too, I think.  Back ta YOU Birfday-Boy!!!

MARLEY:  3 PM...  Well, THAT sure was a good nap!  I was nearly covered by friends also napping and who doesnt like THAT?  Then I went around ta see who else had joined the pawty.  Pretinha and Friends, Pipo and Minko, Terri's Crew, the Swiss Cats, Gidget, and a few I haven't sniffed yet...  And a few 'ported in and left while I was napping...

I see some of the jumpers are practicing on the inside ladder.  Its almost the same distance as from the deck rail to the roof.  So far only Ayla has made it to the top in one leap, though some others have gotten REAL close.  We'll see what happens later when the shade comes back to the deck!

For now, its TOY TIME!  Chirpie Chicken and Quacky Duck have been getting a lot of attention.  And the sound of the 3 ping-pong balls being batted around in the new baftub is nearly  constant; theres a line waiting fer turns there!

The line at Megans Brushie Station is constant too.  I think a lot of my guests dont actually Need brushies, but she is very good at it, so everykitty wants a turn annyway.

Im headed for some live dead shrimps myself...   

5 PM - Well, the time fer the roof jump has arrived!  So far, 5 kitties (all of whom have requested their names not be mentioned fer reasons which will shortly be clear) have gotten up on the deck rail fer a final look at the jump.  All waggled their butts good trying ta get a feel fer the leap.  A couple  even stood up on their hind legs trying ta make the distance seem shorter.  None made a leap...

Then out came Ayla.  She made a waggle and hesitated, but I gave her an encouraging "chin up".  She jumped...  AND SHE IS UP!!!
 




















The apaws from the other kitties on the deck is deafening.  She did request a ladder from TBT to get back down though.


8 PM - Well, its getting dark, an thats when the Owls come out (mostly), so we are all back inside again,  I smell SHRIMPS inside, so that's a good reason ta come in annyway!  I think it time fer TBT ta bring out the WAND TOYS!  Do I hear "meows of approval"?  (meow, meow, MEOW, meow, , meow, Meow, mew, miow,)

Alright!  First comes the fevvery one.  It loops, it floats, it dodges, but everykitty gets a good whap at it fer about 5 minnits!  And OH, here comes the Weerd White Squid...  Grab those yarny tentacles and bite them!  It jumps up suddenly and flutters down to try to escape along the floor.  Dont let it get unner the table.  It can sneak around the chair legs like ya wouldn't belief!!!  

And OMC, there are rattly mousie running all over the place at the same time.  Quick, grab those an drop them in the baftub so we can play with them later as they run around the ping-pong balls!

Whew, that was exhausting!  Lets go find some foods and drinks an just lay around a while...    I know *I* need a break an I see lots of panting kitties... 

Lets get at those shrimps!  And I think it is time fer Niptinis...

10 PM - It looks like time to cut the Marley Cake...  We kitties are all worn out and some Nip cake would get us all going again.  As none of us can handle a knife (and just shoving our faces into the cake would be unseemly), TBT will do the honors.  

Now I've seen Beins cut cake before but THEIR portions of supersugars (their Nip) are too large for us.  So TBT is cutting it into  little 1" cubes .  Which is a good thing because there are so many of us here.  And we want ta save some for later guests and fer us tomorrow!  MOL!

*passes around cubes of cake to all the guests*

Let the Nip put the Zip in yer Lip...

Midnight!  Well, this has sure been a great pawty thanks to all my friends!  It is about slowed down now.  We had great fun, played with  toys and wands, ate our fill of great foods and drank some neat drinks (that chickie broth and nip cream smoothie was The BEST)!  

There are still about a dozen friends layin around on the waterybed.  TBT says he will slide carefully in between them, because quite frankly, he is about as worn out as we are.  

Iffen you are missing a cat or two, they are here on the bed.  *I* don't plan ta disturb them.  They will find their way to the teleporting tunnel in the Living Room when they wake up and realize they are not at home.

Thank you all fer the best Birfday pawty I EVER had...  We and TBT will probly sleep eleventy-ten hours, but when we wake up we will thank everyone purrsonally... 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mancat Monday

MARLEY:  HEAR YE, HEAR YE...  LET IT BE KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE LAND THAT WE ARE THROWING A PAWTY TOMORROW!

Its my 6th Birfday!  We will have games, toys, foods and drinks...
It will start right after Midnight and last the whole day and night!


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hot Again

IZA:  Yeah, we have the SERIOUS HOTS again.

Yesterday...
Today...
We wanted ta go out earlier.
TBT opened the door a bit so we could feel the HOTS!
But we still wanted ta go out.
I turned back ta tell him ta leave the door open so we could get back in fast, but he said he couldnt do THAT.
So we stayed out short times a few times today, but that was all.  We sure hope it cools down SOON!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Caturday Saturday

It is super hot outside again, so we are only allowed out 15 minnits every couple hours.

So we are practicing our Synchronized Napping today...