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.