Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our 5th Blogiversary!

THE BIG THING:  I guess I should write this, since it was originally Skeeter and LC and they are over the Bridge now.  And naturally Ayla, Iza, and Marley don't remember the beginning.

On August 25, 2006, I was reading a cat blog.  I THINK it was Max The Psychokitty, and I saw a little button at the top that said "Start your own free blog".  I asked Skeeter and LC about that, and they said "YES"!  So I did, and away we went.  The first few days were difficult because we didn't know how to make most features work.  And Skeeter and LC didn't know the right words for many common household objects.  The deck door was "the clear wall that opened", for example.  But from the start, it was their blog, so they had to learn how to describe things.

We didn't know how to post pictures at first.  That took a week, and all we had were a few older "glamor pictures" from when they were younger.  Scanning film photos, then downloading and uploading them was a real challenge at first.

I bought my first digital camera to make new pictures easier.  Skeeter and LC started the first weeks talking about their Gotcha Days and past years.  They were 14 and 13 when we started.  I named the blog after them, not thinking of the future.

It was a whole week before we got our first comments.   The Meezers were the first, followed by The Zoo, George/Tipper/Max/Misty, and Derby.  We were thrilled!

The next two years were great.  But Skeeter went over the Bridge in Dec 2008 and LC followed him in Jan 2010.  It was a hard 13 months.
But there were good things, too.  Ayla had joined us in Jan 2008 and Iza in Jan 2009.  So there was some overlap in "goings and comings".  It did not lessen the losses, but it did provide some sense of continuation.  The losses of Skeeter and then LC were hard, but I firmly believe that "when one door closes, another door opens".  And I have always felt that 3 cats was "just right" for me.

Ayla came to me because I had contacted a siamese cat breeder and mentioned that if she ever had a cat that didn't meet her "show standards", I would be interested in it.  Ayla was too small and shy to be a Queen (which is why I call her a Princess).

Her 1st day here...

A year later, the same breeder had a meezer who had smudged colors and not good for breeding.  I took her in.  In an odd way, I am a rescuer of failed show cats (you are supposed to smile, not frown).

I initially called her "Smudge" but went back to the 'Clan of the Cave Bear' books by Jean Auel (where I got the name for Ayla) .  Properly, she woukld have been named "Uba" (Ayla's half sister), but I just couldn't imagine called calling "Uba, Uba, Uba" at night.  "Iza" was Ayla's adoptive Clan mother, but the name seemed better.  It is pronounced "EEZA" here.

Iza's 1st day...
Iza was slow to come out of the guest room.  Not a surprize looking back because she is satisfied with things as they come.  She has "patience".

I have since realized that Iza is actually a Tonkinese and her colors are quite proper for her, but at the time she was another siamese without a future.  And I consider her an honorary meezer.

When LC left for the Bridge suddenly in Jan 2010, I realized I had to change the blog name and email address.  I decided on the more permanent and generic "Mark's Mews".  The "Mews" part was good.  It can mean the sound cats make, cats themselves, "mews" is an old term for a human residence above animals, and it means a "hideaway".  All fit...

The latest change was the welcoming of Marley in Jan 2011.  Ayla and Iza were good cats, but I sensed something was missing in the house dynamics.  They were getting hissy at each other and not dealing well one-on-one after LC went to the Bridge.  I recalled how Skeeter seemed to keep the peace between Mean Old Tinkerbelle (the cat who came before) and LC, and concluded (however illogically) that an orange/white male cat would provide the balance.

Some of you may remember how I searched local animal shelters for a young orange/white male cat, only to find after many inquiries that each one had to be adopted with a brother.  It was hard.  3 cats yes, four cats no.  That's just me and my habits and situation.  I had 4 cats once, and it was one too many.  Every one has a puurfect number.  Mine is 3.

So, in January 2011, I was advised of a single young orange/white male cat on Craig's List in need of a home.  His owner had discovered she was allergic to cats.  When I visited, I could tell she was a very nice person and loved Marley very much, but just couldn't keep him.  There was apparently some competition for him, but my description of the house, yard, and personal attention he would receive (it is good to be retired and home all day) won me his presence in my life.

And there is Marley!

1st Day...

And Marley's presence is both personally wonderful, but also so beneficial in a cat household sense.  Marley has related to both Ayla and Iza in a way that solved the hissyfits better than Felliway ever did.  He calmed both of them down, plays with both, snuggles with both, eats in the middle bowl (Ayla and Iza never liked eating next to each other), has gotten them both more interested in toys, and bet of all, they all sleep together.

With Ayla's FINALLY successful (3rd) spay operation, she has become more playful and affectionate.  But Marley had a lot to do with that as well.  Even before the last operation, Ayla was attuned to Marley more than Iza, but now they are ALL happy together.

The best part about this 5th Blogiversary is that I have 3 happy cats who all get along very closely, and with me.  All seem extremely healthy, and I can expect a good 12-14 years of catly bliss.

When I get the cat-proof fencing installed over the next month or so, I will be able to let them back out in the yard.  Iza is always safe to let out because she can't BEGIN to climb the fence.  But Ayla and Marley can, so they are all indoor cats for now.  I look forward to the day when they can all join me outside again while I work in the flowerbeds and garden like Skeeter and LC could in their days.

On this 5th Blogiversary, life is good, the cats are happy.  What else could I ask?

Well, here is our very 1st blog post...  A good way to close this great day, I think.

Mark, "The Big Thing" to the cats

UPDATE 8:30 a.m.:  Well, we werent expectin so many visitors, but since there are kitty-friends all around the place, we decided to make it a full blown party.  WHY NOT?  Anny reason is a GOOD reason!  

TBT thawed a ham an roasted a whole chickie hen, and Marley is tending the Nip Bar (being newly ascended to "Mancat", he is pawsitively and purrfectly fascinated of mixing drinks).  TBT has dumped all the toys into the several rooms and brought out the Never-Ending Kibble Gadget.

We are dividing the visitors into "indoor" and "outdoor-allowed kitties.  Outdoor-allowed kitties can come outside with Iza.  Rest assured that the ENTIRE Big Backyard in surrounded by a "safe" fence.  Go get after those voles and mousies!!!    And bring a few inside for the others to play with.

For the indoor-only kitties, we have the several cat trees ta climb, boxes ta jump in an out of, an bags all over.  And dont ignore the new 3-cat bed we got as a prezzie yesserday.  We want ta see how many can fit in there!  We say 3, but TBT says he bets 5 can fit.  Let's find out!

There are hummerbird watching spots in 2 basement windows an one upstairs.  They come around regular, so just sit quietly an be patient.  An iffen they dont come fast, ya will get scritches from TBT.  He's good at that.  An he usally has treats in his pockets, so demand some iffen ya get bored waitin fer the hummers.

There will be KotH an THoE later.

Rumor has it that a BRAND NEW ROLL of TP will be available fer unrolling, too.  About Noon, we think.  Come one come all!

This has turned into a surprise party!

Ayla has even agreed ta lay backside an show off her BIG exploratory surgery scar. Suitably talented kitties are welcome to help her get a good tattoo so other vets will know she been spayed a few times...

Ignore Iza when she says there is a charge fer viewing Ayla's scars...  It's free.


Laura and Jet Dragon said...

What a great story, Mark! Eminently appropriate for a blogoversary. Gentle skritches to your furry family.

Laura and Taffy

m.q said...

great story..
happy 5th blogoversary....

Whisppy said...

Lovely post. Happy 5th Blogoversary!

Samantha, Clementine and Maverick said...

Happy, Happy Blogoversary and many, many, many moooooore!! We just adore all of you!!
Your TX furiends,

Prancer Pie said...

Great post! We think 3 is a purrfect number fur us too. We luf Jean Aul's books and haf read them. We knew immediately. Concats on your blogaversary. xoxo

Natalie said...

Happy blogerversary! What a great story.

Ikaika said...

Wonderful story to share on this occasion. Happy Blogoversary, Mark and kitties! May you have many more.

Au and Target said...

Great blog-iversary story!

Mr Puddy said...

Wow ! Impressive story, I really love it to know how you get blogging, and I really love what you believe " when one door closes, another door opens". Me and My mom believe that too. Thanks for share your wonderful story. And I hope for many more to come : )

Happy 5th Blogoversary !!!!

PS : I'm very thankful for you to get a new name for Ayla ! Smudge sounds like my next door's mancat

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We so enjoyed reading this post. We didn't get to meet you all straight away but we do remember beloved Skeeter and LC.
We couldn't be more happy that you now have 3 beautiful cats who all enjoy sharing their lives with you.
Happy 5th Blogiversary to you all, dear friends ~ and many more happy years.

Love from the Mom and dad, Milo and Alfie xxxx

Mark's Mews said...

Actually, Mr Puddy, it was Iza what was almost named "Smudge", but we know what ya meant... MOL!

Mark's Mews said...

And, actally, this is a good time ta say that we LOVE all the new friends we met since we joined the blog here. You are all so special to us.

Ayla, Iza, and Marley

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

Happy fifth blogoversary! I enjoyed reading all the back story on the blog, and on Ayla, Iza and, well, I already knew a lot about Marley!

Huffle Mawson said...

Hi Mark and kitties! This is my first time visiting and I wanted to say happy blogaversary.

Huffle Mawson, Explrer Cat

ML said...

Happy 5th Blogoversary.
Really enjoyed the story, too.
So glad you and the three kitties are blogging.
Love & Purrs,
Missy Blue Eyes
Faith Boomerang
Brutus Jr. aka BJ
Mom ML

Brian said...

Happy Blogoversary!!! I so enjoyed reading about how it all started!

Fuzzy Tales said...

This was wonderful to read. We were new around the CB in January 2010, vaguely remember that LC had passed, but really didn't know what was going on.

So a very happy blogoversary to you all. Five years is a terrific achievement, really. No blog burn-out--lol.

Here's to many more blogging years for you all--and to everyone's health and happiness!

ArtemisiaFSS said...

Happy Blogiversary!!!!!

We thinks 3 cats is a good # :>)

Sabrina, Sam and Simon said...

TBT, we LOVED reading your post!!

Happy 5th Blogoversary Ayla, Iza and Marley (and Angels Skeeter and LC) ... we are so glad you are our furriends!

Hugs, purrs and headbutts,
Sabrina, Sam, Simon and Momma Jan too

Pee Ess ... our purrfect number is 3 also :)

Meowers from Missouri said...

what a sweet story! we enjoyed readin' an' rememberin' wif you. an' marley? blessed are the peacemakers!

happy blogiversary, furriends, an' we hopes you sellybrates many more togefur in peace, health, an' happiness!

an' thanks fur anofur dazzlin' party!!


Happy Blogoversary and thanks for sharing your stories.

This is a pawsome party! We're going to grab some chick-hen and a niptini and go watch the hummingbirds!!

The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie

Cory said...

Love hearing your story since we didn't start blogging until just before Skeeter left for The Bridge.

We are thrilled that there is a party since we are great at stirring things up...led by our very own Figaro. So bring on the THoE and let's fling some pillows around and climb some curtains! Woo hoo! Oh...and Jonesie is hoping to check out the garden.

Happy Blogoversary!

Cory said...

Pee says that 3 is the purrfect number but us kitties can't count!

Lily Bug Lane said...

Happy Blogoversary! We just recently found your bloggy and are really enjoying it!

Ragdolls Beau and Lily and Mom Lisa

Mark's Mews said...

Gotta say. we are up to our groomin tomgues in visiting kitties. This is great!


Cheysuli and gemini said...

Happy Blogoversary! I can't believe it has been that long

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

We love to hear your story and our favorite part is always the "Uba, Uba, Uba" part!!!
A Party! Now this is an unexpected surprise!
That cat bed will only fit two if the cat's are the size of Shaggy!!!!
We're going to wait for the hummers to show up, and beware, TBT, we can smell anyplace you might have treats secreted on your person!
Happy Blogoversary!!!!!!

Mark's Mews said...

As&S- if you think you can get treats from under my hat, you have a long way to climb. And you will get a lot of scrithes on the way!

Just letting you know. LOL!

The Big Thing

Luxington said...

It was wonderful to read the story of how your blog came about, and how your cats came into your life. Happy 5th Blogoversary! (5 is great number!)

And, a surprise party?! So much fun!

Forty Paws said...

Happy 5th Blogoversary! That's a great story, although it is sad to loose the poodins that came before.

Luf, Us

The Zoolatry Girls said...

Hey, TBT... here's to a whole helluva lotta more years of catly bliss. Uba, uba, uba!

OMC did you get us laughing today!

Happy Blogo! (and we are missing two greats, Skeeter and LC ...)

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Happy Blogoversry. Things have changed in your home over the years but we're glad you have each other.

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

Ewwww....TBT keeps treats in his hair!
Ayla's scar is scary awesome in that weird kind of way. Ayla thank you for rolling over for the look-see.
Now, where's that TP?
YeeHaw! said...

Happy 5 year blogoversary. After years of being a 2 cat family we adopted our kitten Mickey Mouser last year. We were afraid we'd run out of laps but you are right. Three is the perfect number of cats for us too.

MTVA said...

Happy 5th Blogifurrsary! I so enjoy visiting here (and Cavebear's Lair also) and never miss a day. It was wonderful reading how it all started, and looking forward to many more years of cats and fun! Let the good times roll, Kitties!

The Island Cats said...

Happy Blogoversary, TBT, Ayla, Iza and Marley! We enjoyed reading about your "beginnings." Here's to many more years of blogging and furiendship!

Max said...


I still miss Skeeter and LC a lot, but I'm glad I got to know them at all...I'm really glad you started the blog for them so we could all meet them. And I'll never forget the party when Skeeter caught the mouse for us all. He was tired and feeling his age, but he was still the MAN and got us a real live mousie during the chat party.

Ya know, sometimes the Woman thinks 3 cats would be ideal, too, but then I pee on something and she decides no...2 is her number...

The Meezers or Billy said...

Happy Happy Blogaversary dear friends. We have loved you all from the beginning and shared in all the tears and joys. You have been wonderful furriends to us - even creating a game to sell for us when our the mom and the dad were both unemployed. We are so glad we have met you and look forward to many more years of friendship!

Now, it's time to PARTY

ML said...

Ok, I's bringed tha Voles!
:: KC sets down a large cage box full of squirming, squeaking Voles ::
They's ready to run when I open the box. But remember, these Voles are ours furriends. OK???
They'll be joining us later at the festivities, they are especially fond of niptinis and ham.
So treat them wif respect.
Love & Purrs,

pee ess to TBT... um, I should warn you, um, sometimes during a party like this, um, a couple of Voles will split and stay behind. Um, I mean they stay behind to start a new colony of Voles. Just ask The Taylor CatSSSSS, who now haf a basement full of Voles.
It's a good fing, really, they's lots of fun and really play a good game of chase. But I finked you should know.
OK, Voles, the game is afoot....
:: KC opens the gate and a couple of dozen fat, sleek Voles streak out, full speed ahead. :

Derby, Ducky said...

Happy Blogoversary TBT, Ayla, Iza and Marley.

Thanks for the furienship and sharing of adventures.

Now, time to get some snacks.

ABBY said...

We really enjoyed the complete overview of the 5year odyssey of this wonderful blog.
We are so glad that all 3 kitties get along so well.
Happy Blogoversary and many more.

MoMo said...

Happy Blogoversary! good to hear the story behind your kitties. I only knew the current kitties since I first became aquainted with you when we were both involved in the CCSI play in honour of Skeeter.