Posted by Joan Kayse Oct 13 2013, 1:51 am in budgets, cats, coupons, Joan Kayse, saving money
Battan down the hatches, kittehs! Lock the doors! Man the barricades. You! You BB’s there! You visitors! Get down! Go toward the moat, move in a zigzag pattern! We’re under attack by the enemy!
I know, kind of a melodramatic opening (the scene was FANTASTIC in my mind though). But yes…my budget is attacking me.
It wasn’t a purely sneak attack. I had clues. I had plans. But then reality stormed the bastion of my LaLa land and bang. Re-evaluation.
I’ve had to take a good, hard look at things. Trim, and snip. Flip and Flop. Strategize and count my eggs….try to resuscitate the cracked ones
I’ve got everything on course and feeling good about it. But one part I could use advice about: Bargain Shopping.
Specifically grocery shopping. I don’t have a huge monthly bill but admit to rarely comparing prices and buying a lot of pre-made things that cost more. I use the occasional coupon but wonder about comparison. Kroger vs. Walmart? Store brand vs. name brand? Family Dollar for tissue? Worth the trip?
Is there an APP for that?
Any good meal plans out there, something that can be trimmed to one or two servings or in the words of Shelby in “Steel Magnolias” something that “freezes beautifully.”
How do you all figure out the best prices? Coupon sites you can recommend. Dates you can have a girl and her two hungry baby cats over for dinner? Tell me the secrets to your budget
Posted by Joan Kayse Jul 13 2013, 12:39 am in cats, Dreams, Joan Kayse, Romance
No, it was NOT during the last Lair party that got out of hand. Ahem, that was a giraffe and the vet says he’ll be just fine…just a little case of whiplash.
Nope, I thought I’d talk a bit about dreams. I am a vivid dreamer. I dream in color, I feel sensation, emotions. I OFTEN remember what I dream and some of it can be pretty weird. Oh sure, I experience the usual ones: naked, can’t find clothes. Most often that version is I’m shoeless going into work at the hospital, or looking through my closet and finding favorite clothes from my childhood.
I have the loose teeth one that seems to go on forever. It’s like I’m sprouting tons of teeth only to spit! I have a recurring tornado one since we had one when I was in 10th grade. And yes, since I became Cricket and Grayson’s Mom I have a LOT of cat/kitten dreams. If I kept every cat I’d rescued in those dreams? Sheesh, I’d really be a Crazy Cat Lady!
And then there is that one, wonderful dream involving Keith Urban. In that one…….
I wish I were one of those writers who dreams about her stories. Sigh, what I wouldn’t give to have my Irish warriors show up. Instead? I get one where Regis Philbin is my long lost grandfather!
So what about you? Do you dream? What is the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
A random dreamer will win a Kindle or Nook download of THE PATRICIAN’S FORTUNE.
Posted by Joan Kayse Feb 13 2013, 12:30 am in cats, Joan Kayse, Romance
You’ll forgive me if today’s post is a bit on the shorter side. That’s because I’m into week 3 of recovery from a knee replacement.
Dear. God. In. Heaven.
Wow, it has been an eye opener for this 30 plus year orthopaedic nurse. To say I’ve gained unique perspective from the patient point of view is an understatement. Fortunately, I’ve had the best caregivers: Brother, friends bearing chicken noodle/casserole/dumpling dishes and willing to do laundry or slap me around when a pity party threatens.
And then there are the kittes.
Gotta make sure the bed is ready!
Seriously, hanging out with my baby cats 24/7 has been fun and they are doing their part. In fact, I believe their special kind of healing began in the hospital. The 2nd night after my surgery, I kept waking up “sensing” Cricket in my room! Now, we both know I was not at home and she doesn’t drive so she couldn’t have been there, right? Right? RIGHT?
But then I came home. Cricket is the shy one even around me, but this little girl gloamed onto me like a magnet. You’ve seen the one commercial where a guy has his two kitties around his ankles like boots? That is Miss Cricket. She’s lying in my lap, draped over my ankles, following my walker, meowing her little head off. She keeps wanting to lie ON my healing knee.
Grayson is still the inquisitive one. He splays out across my chest, sniffs around the walker, the CPM machine (passive motion machine), a trick that makes me nervous when he gets around the controls! He distracts me with his antics and I’m convinced he’s set the world record for tail chasing.
Wonder what this button does?
Now, back to more kitty therapy!
What about your pets? Do they sense when you aren’t feeling well? What do they do to make you feel better?
Posted by Joan Kayse Jan 27 2013, 12:21 am in Alison Atlee, cats, Romance, Typewriter Girl
Please join me in welcoming debut author Alison Atlee!
Alison is a wonderful young lady who is deceptive in her sweet, quiet, charming way. Don’t believe it! Beneath this teacher by day is a witty, fun, crazy talented writer who I consider it a privilage to know! And now, take it away Alison!
Romance Bandits is one of the first book blogs I ever followed, so it’s an amazing milestone to be here as a writer, hosted by our dear Joan Kayse. Regulars here at the Lair may know Joan has a slight fondness for felines. Therefore, in her honor, I’d like to talk cats today, or at least two particular cats, both belonging to my mom. Here’s the first one, Caesar:
In case you can’t tell from the picture, Caesar is woefully misnamed. There’s not one thing about this cat that suggests conqueror or master strategist. The historical Caesar may have craved power and success, but this feline Caesar—he’s why the word “pussycat” was invented, always ready to take an empty lap and curl his head into your hand for a nuzzle.
Caesar has a brother. I don’t have a picture, but just imagine Caesar duplicated. Still, it was never hard to tell them apart: Caesar came running; his brother hung back.
One day, with Caesar purring and doing adorable belly rolls in the grass, one of my little nieces asked, “Why is that other cat mean?”
“He’s not,” I answered, and proceeded to demonstrate how, with patience and quiet effort, I could coax the other cat to approach, give the ruff of his neck a good scratch, and get him purring. “See? He likes to be petted, too. He just doesn’t show it as much.”
“I like Caesar,” my niece replied.
I understood. Caesar is easy to love. He asks for love, he accepts it, he returns it. Caesar’s brother always kept his distance, watching and waiting.
While these two cats were growing up, I was immersed in writing and rewriting The Typewriter Girl, which meant no matter where I was, something was likely to trigger ideas about my story. My niece’s preference for Caesar made me realize Betsey, my book’s heroine, was like that other cat.
Which made me sad. Because with time, the differences between Caesar and his brother increased. Where Caesar thrived and became part of the family, the other cat turned thin and more distant, disappearing for days before tentatively creeping back home for a bit of food. I called him Cassius sometimes because he had “a lean and hungry look,” but no name ever stuck to him. There are no pictures of him. Eventually, he stopped coming around at all.
I didn’t want this fate for Betsey. I already knew The Typewriter Girl had a happy ending, but I realized I didn’t know why it was happy. What had Betsey done to earn it?
Well, what had Caesar done to get his happiness? He asked for it. He didn’t worry so much about deserving love. He just asked for it, he was receptive to it, and it just kept coming his way.
Betsey had to learn that. I remembered an early scene in the book, when she’s still a stranger to the seaside resort town where she’s come to work, and she tries to thank the landlady at her new boarding house. That simple act is awkward for her. After thinking about Caesar and his brother, I understood Betsey had to come to a place where she could risk, reach out, and ask for love.
In the video short “Heart Attack” by SoulPancake, a big box stands in a park. Outside the box is a button labeled NEED SOME LOVE? PUSH HERE. When someone pushes the button, the box explodes with streamers and balloons and dancers–a fun, joyous celebration that fills your heart.
But the big takeaway from that video? People had to choose to push the button. Without knowing what would happen, they had to say, “Yeah, I could use some love,” and push the button.
So many people pass it by. Some ignore it, some eye it with curiosity or suspicion. One person even tries to keep her companion from going to check it out.
A few take the chance. Some are like Caesar and run right for it. Others are cautious, awkward, but they do it anyway. They push the button. In The Typewriter Girl, Betsey learns how to do it, and John, the hero, is her “heart attack.” He celebrates her.
If you have three minutes and want to feel a little lighter in your shoes, go watch the video. But come back! What lessons have your pets taught you? Are you someone who runs for the button or are you a little more cautious? And whom can you count on to give you a “heart attack” when you need it?
Cats with ROMAN names! I’m in heaven! And you will be too with this awesome book!
Alison is giving away one autographed copy of The Typewriter Girl!
Posted by Caren Crane Sep 16 2012, 12:21 am in Caren Crane, cats, Dogs, internet, kittehs, kittens, kitties, puppies
According to an article my husband read recently, the only thing occupying more space on the internet than pornography is…cats. Being sort of a cat person, I understand why others might be fascinated with our feline friends, but I also know a fair number of dog people who just don’t get the kitteh phenomenon. Here are my top 5 reasons I think cats have taken over the internet:
by Robert Nilson – FreeDigtialPhotos.net
1. Mystery– Cats possess a sphinx-like demeanor. You can’t read their facial expressions and most cat owners would not try to guess what they are thinking. Dogs are much easier to read. They give you lots of smiles and tongues out and sighs to let you know what they want or what sort of mood they’re in. Cats don’t give you much, expression-wise. We are left to wonder and guess and, inevitably, disappoint out cats. Perversely, this only heightens the mystery of the kittehs.
by Carlos Porto – FreeDigitalPhotos.net
2. Cuteness– Kittens and puppies are both adorable, yet the sheer fluffiness of kittens makes them irresistible to all but the most hardened of hearts. Big, round eyes, fuzzy ears, puffball tails – what’s not to love? Puppies tend to be cute in a clownish, goofy way, while kittens quickly grow graceful. While cats quickly leave their almost-too-cute kittenish qualities behind them, the cute lingers in our brains.
by Virginia Ripple – Flickr WANA Commons
3. Indulgence– Cats epitomize all that is luxurious and indulgent in life. They spent much of their time napping, often in warm, sunny spots near windows. They stretch, they curl, they defy gravity in both their napping positions and the ways they wake from naps. Cats are hedonists and I think, at heart, we all wish we could indulge ourselves the way cats do.
4. Discretion – Cats keep secrets. Whatever happens near the kitteh stays with the kitteh. You can spill your guts to a cat, tell them all your darkest fears and fantasies. No one will ever know. Dogs are open, adorable, loving and gregarious…but they are not keepers of heartbreak and pathos. Cats keep to themselves and, while they are fabulous listeners, do not gossip. Some may say this is because they don’t care enough to remember what you tell them, but I choose to believe they are simply the most discreet of pets.
by Willem Siers – FreeDigitalPhotos.net
5. Anonymity – The article my husband read said this is the main reason cats are so popular. It’s largely due to the Japanese that cats are so omnipresent on the internet. The Japanese admire cats tremendously. They have an expression that says the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. In Japanese culture, it is important not to call attention to oneself. Cats are masters at blending in, which is apparently why the Japanese adore them. I have always admired the self-sufficiency of cats. If we make sure there is food in the automatic feeder and water available, our cat easily takes care of himself for a week. While dogs long for companionship and often cannot be trusted to regulate their own feeding, cats just handle it. I had never equated this with blending in or anonymity, but I suppose it’s along the same lines. Dogs want people to pay attention to them, but cats are happy to hang in the shadows. Unless they decide they want you – and they usually don’t – you don’t need to know they are there.
We just returned from vacation and our cat is quite perturbed we felt we could “abandon” him for so long. Tomorrow I will scratch under his chin the way he likes and burble baby-talk nonsense into his pointy little ears and all will be forgiven. I think. Then again, it’s hard to tell with his sphinx-like poker face. I’ll have to hope he doesn’t start looking for a more appreciative audience on the internet!
by E K Carmel – Flickr WANA Commons
Are you addicted to cats on the internet? Are you a fan of either real-life or internet kittehs? Have you ever visited icanhas.cheeseburger.com? (warning: insanely addictive!) Why do you think cats totally rule the internet and will any animal ever unseat them? I’ll be napping in a sunny spot, waiting to hear from you…
Posted by Joan Kayse Jun 18 2012, 12:01 am in cats, paranormal romance Joan Kayse, romance writing
That’s kitty cat for good morning! My Mama, Joanie fell asleep in one of her numerous nap attacks yesterday. She’s been pretty tired taking care of me and my brother Grayson…oh, yeah and working, writing, cleaning but mostly…it’s about us So I thought I’d do her a favor and man the blog today. Let’s see, let’s see….what should we talk about? I know!
Well, pets in general I guess but really mainly about felines. We’re a pretty diverse group, ranging from pure bred snobs…er, I mean breeds to the hardier and let’s face it, CUTER domestics. I myself am a beautiful gray tabby and I’ve earned my stripes. The pest aka Grayson the Monkey Cat, is solid dark gray and occasionally flaunts his Siamese roots. (Rowwr….rowwr…rowwr) Ok, ok…knock it off.
We’ve got a pretty wonderful life here in Kentucky with Mama. She THOUGHT she was choosing us when she decided two years ago she needed entertainment. Ha! I had her pegged from the moment she walked through the door! One look at my “smile” and she was mine. Her and I were getting along great and then….and then….HE came along. Didn’t know what to make of him at first….little hairball. But he was persistent. Despite my authoritative stalking and pouncing he would bound back and roll around begging to play. (Shrugs) Ya get used to it so now I give him an occasional complimentary ear grooming…just to play nice.
Hello there Ma'm. Want to take me home?
Our days are rough…..Stare at birds. Nap. Eat. Nap. Jump on things Mama doesn’t want us to…look at her adoringly till the chastising words dissolve into “Gah, you’re so cute” and an ear rub. Then it’s more napping, chasing a felt mouse (they don’t run very fast). Visit the facilities. Cover it REAL good in case that stray coyote wanders into the house and smells it. And wrap it all up with a nap.
It’s not all self serving. We help Mama a lot. We help her with her writing. You think it’s all a coincidence that three of her manuscripts have cats in them? This last one’s a pip named Pooka….he’s a Cat Sidhe who can do more then twitch his whiskers. He assigns himself Aine’s protector. Yeah, wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley. Watch out gnomes!
The pest, diving into the story
We felines also have great intuitive powers and have our paws on the pulse of popular culture. We tell it like it is with one facial expression, one trill, one WTH howl. So, to enrich mankind’s understanding of life, we started our own network of informational pictures. Take a look at some of these:
We say what you can’t
We can be very dramatic!
What every writer feels at one time or another
So the Monkey and I would like to hear from you all…rather, we’d like to hear from your pets. Any kind of pet is fine (we reserve the right to chase any rodent species, reptiles etc. and canines will have to check their bark at the doors) What are you helping your Mom or Dad with today? How’d you all meet? Tuna or Salmon?
Posted by Anna Campbell Jun 6 2012, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Blood Kin, cats, fantasy romance, Half-Light City Series, Iron Kin, M.J. Scott, pets, Shadow Kin
by Anna Campbell
I was very excited last September to host Aussie romantic fantasy author M.J. Scott in the lair. SHADOW KIN, her debut, created a wonderful buzz and was nominated for an Australian Romance Readers Association Favorite book of 2011 award.
MJ was a wonderful guest and really enjoyed her visit to the Banditas. I’m thrilled to have her back today to talk about the second book in her Half-Light City series, BLOOD KIN.
Here’s the blurb:
In the Half-Light City, tensions are rising. The night hides many secrets. And when a holy knight meets a half-Fae spy, uncovering secrets might save their lives. Or change them forever.
You can find out more about M.J. and her books at her website: www.mjscott.net
MJ, welcome back to the lair! Congratulations on the success of SHADOW KIN, the first book of your Half-Light City series. Now the second book BLOOD KIN has just been released. Can you tell us about this story?
BLOOD KIN picks up not long after SHADOW KIN. It deals with some of the fallout from the things that happened in SHADOW KIN. The hero is Guy DuCaine, Simon’s brother who was popular with SHADOW KIN readers so I hope they enjoy his story.
Sounds fantastic, M.J. I’m sure people who read SHADOW KIN are champing at the bit to find out what happens next in the Half-Light City. What were the inspirations behind this book?
Honestly, it’s a tie between having fun with digging into the world some more and exploring some different aspects of it and what happens next in the story (I’m not a plotter so I need to write the story to find that out for myself) and finding out what sort of heroine would best mess with Guy’s head. He’s always been decidedly opinionated about how his life should be, so I wanted to see what it would take to shake him up a bit.
Where does the series go after SHADOW KIN? Is there any chance of the trilogy stretching out to more books?
The third book, IRON KIN, is with my editor now, and after that, I’m sworn to secrecy. : )
Your first book SHADOW KIN came out in September, 2011. What’s your first year as a published author been like? Any surprises?
It’s been both fun and nervewracking! There’s been a learning curve in terms of doing everything that a published author has to do besides write the books but there’s also been great fun moments like my book launch and lunching with my editor in New York. Not sure either the fun or the nerves around a new release are going anywhere any time soon.
You mention a feline overlord in your bio on your website. I’m sure your FO would love to be featured in the blog today. Can you tell us about your cat?
Actually I’ve recently increased my feline overlord (overlady?) quota back up to two.
I have a mad tortoiseshell girl who likes to chew cardboard boxes and sounds more like an alpaca than a cat. (She meeps). And she’s now been joined by a tiny grey and white fluffy girl who is VERY chatty, and possibly madder than the torti.
It’s nice to have two again even though I sometimes become a human skate ramp as they chase each other around! As a bonues, after sixteen years with a very loud, very stubborn Burmese, I get to giggle at them when they complain in their (relatively) quiet voices.
Love the cat photos, M.J. They’re handsome overlords! Do you have a question for the Banditas and Bandita Buddies, M.J.?
Life for me wouldn’t be the same without pets…how about everyone else? Are you dog people? Cat people? Other beasties? No beasties? Personally, I’m always fascinated by fictional pets (so far in my series the animals have mainly been horses—werewolves don’t count—but I did manage to sneak a glimpse of a pet into BLOOD KIN). Anyone got a favourite fictional critter?
Get commenting, people! It’s a super prize today. M.J. has very kindly offered TWO people their choice of either book 1 (SHADOW KIN) or book 2 (BLOOD KIN) from her Half-Light City series. Good luck!
Posted by crocodesigns Sep 13 2011, 4:05 am in cats, pets
by Cricket and Grayson
Cricket: Here kitty, kitty? That’s a pretty brave thing to say cause really, in the cat world you never know what kind of response you’ll get. Claws out or claws in or a smug dismissal….if the cat in question bothers to come out from their “secret place.” Bawahahahaha…meow.
Our Mom Joanie left us alone with the computer and we saw her note about writing a blog. My little brother Grayson and I thought we’d help her out and do it for her, and in the process enlighten the world about what cool friends felines are.
I’m a beautiful gray tabby who loves to groom and talk to my Mom. I do it with chirps and trills and mews, rarely meows cause she understands me so well. We cats have over 100 different vocal sounds as opposed to canines who have 10….and most of them sound like “bark, bark” Grayson, on the other hand, chats a LOT…..and makes weird chuffing noises when he sees birds. The birds aren’t impressed and give him snarky smiles on the other side of the window.
Grayson: (grumbles) They’d be impressed if they knew that noise was the same jaw motion I’d use if Mom would let me out.
Cricket: Yeah, yeah. I’m pretty laid back though I enjoy the curved perch best and discovering hiding places. Mom only recently figured out I have found a secret entrance to her box springs, tee hee. And wow, you should have seen her the day she found my under the cabinet lair. Thought her head would explode. She’s a pretty good Mom so I came on out not realizing she’d seal off the cat cave entrance
Grayson: I don’t know why you like to hide so much, when there is SO much to explore!!! Hi, Grayson here and yes, you got it. I’m PURE gray with bewitching green eyes…any of you lady cats out there interested? It would have to be a…ahem…platonic relationship cause…well…you know. (cringes)
Anyway, I’m the opposite of my sister. I leap and prowl and jump and stalk and spin and give Mom a run for her money. Ya should have seen her face the day she found me on top of the fridge, lol. And Christmas this year? She says she’s gonna put ORNAMENTS on the tree this year. Hee hee, make my day Mom. Ya see, I’m pretty proud of all this cause I was the runt of the litter and they said I was slow to learn. Ha!
At night, I love nothing more than to snuggle on Mom especially on her chest. She gives great chin rubs and holds my paws and if she forgets, I reach one paw out to touch her arm. A gentle reminder that she is there for me. Occasionally, she thinks she can eat her snacks in her chair alone. Pfffft….yesterday I thwarted her, climbing up on her left side, wriggling in under her arm and FREEZING. She never knew I was there.
Cricket: (rolls eyes) I get my special time with her at the computer. I cuddle her while she types and yes, will take partial credit for her romance mss. It’s no mistake that her newest story has a supernatural cat in it
As fantastic as we are, we also want to educate the general public with some trivia and vital information. Here is some of the info Mom found. And yes, the vital information does include tuna:
Did you know…..
* Cats have better memories than dogs? They remember “things” for up to 16 hours while a dog does for 5 min.
*Cats make over 100 vocal sounds and usually reserve ANY meows for their human subjects. They rarely do more than hiss at each other. Along those same lines, a cat’s purr has the same number of revolutions as an idling diesel engine
*95% of cat owners talk to their cats. Well, sure..to say hello, here’s some food, ugh is that a hairball? And the occasional “Are you my boy? Yes you are, (croons) there’s my little girl, there’s my Cricket”
*When cats run or walk they lead with both left legs then both right legs together. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel. (Grayson snickers)
*Some cats have a sixth and sometimes seventh toe on their paws. Ernest Hemingway had a clowder (a groups of cats) of polydactyl cats at his Key West home. (Cricket checks her paws frantically)
*Oldest cat ever recorded: “Puss” at age 36 in Devon, England. Heaviest cat: “Himmy” in Queensland, Aus at 46 lbs. And Dusty, the queen cat (what a breeding female is called) in Bonham, TX who, over the course of her life, gave birth to 420 kittens! Bet the catnip bill for THAT family reunion was enourmous!
*One serving of cat food, dry or wet, is equal to the protein of 5 mice. Um, Grayson..here…take this mint stick..please!
*While Abe Lincoln adored cats and had many in the White House, famous aelurophobics (fear of cats) included Julius Ceasar, Henry II and Napoleon. Do you think Waterloo could have been avoided if a brigade of cats had just been sent in first?
*Last, but not least owning cats (ok…ok…any pet) makes humans live longer, have less stress and decreased risk for heart attack. All well and good if you don’t trip over the kitties standing in the doorway to welcome you home every night, worry they are sick if their whiskers droop and don’t clutch your chest when you think they’ve gotten out and are in mortal danger of grass! Then yeah, I’ll buy it.
Grayson: Oops, Mom’s back. Guess we’ll let her have the last word.
Actually, I wouldn’t trade these two for all the scratching posts in the world. Yes, I’ve turned into one of those ladies who loves her kitties. They are loving, mischievious, they make me laugh, they cuddle with me and they are mine.
Cricket: We wouldn’t trade you for all the treats in the world, either Mom!
Grayson: Not even Alaskan Salmon bites?
: Sis is right. She’s the best Mom we’ve ever owned.
As the Lair is developing quite a clowder with my two, Anna S. Jersey and CC, Christie’s Nicky and Maks and Donna’s new little girl Suki, we thought we’d open it up to all strays. Tell me about your cats (pets). What makes them different, special? What type are they? What is the funniest thing your cat has ever done? LATE BREAKING NEWS: As this blog went to press, the prettiest, sweetest, 3 mo. old KITTEN showed up on our back deck. Poll: Will I part with it at the shelter or not?
Posted by Cassondra Murray Mar 8 2011, 4:49 am in Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, cats, pets
by Cassondra Murray
Early in the summer of 2008, a lonely gray cat, skinny, in trouble, and so small she looked about six months old, wandered into a subdivision and arrived at the back door of a girl named Amy. Amy is a friend of ours, and works with my husband, Steve.
Maybe it was luck, coincidence, or an angel guiding Little Gray Cat, but let’s just say that if you were a cat in trouble, Amy’s door would have been the one you’d want to find. Because as luck, or the Divine, would have it, Amy had a soft spot for cats.
Amy cleared out an entire spare bedroom for the forlorn little cat, laid out old blankets, moved in a cat tree, litter box, and a scratching post. After a trip to the vet, Little Gray Cat took up residence, and in August, 2008, five little ones arrived. And no group of kittens had ever come into the world to more love.
They had everything they needed, and Little Gray Cat settled in to motherhood without a hitch.
A few months before that, we’d lost our beloved Max at age 17. He’d been lost in a field when his mom and siblings were taken by owls, and come to us when he was three weeks and weighed 3/4 lbs. Max was our companion for all those years, and we were devastated when we lost him. This is Max, engaging in his favorite spectator sport.
Our younger cat, Amon (pronounced Aaaahh-muhnn) was bereft. She sat around, staring out the windows, and although she made an effort to pick up and move on, no doubt she was lonely all day in the house when we were out at work. No more night stampedes through the house. Nobody to lie in wait for from the top of the armoire. It was time to find her some company. I’d always wanted a black cat, but we always seemed to end up with grays.
That’s Max. on the right, with Amon, on the left. Amon came home with us after we coaxed her and her sister out from under a car in the parking lot of a Captain D’s. She weighed a whopping one pound at the time. One of the employees took the sister, and Amon has been with us since.
As fate would have it, of the five new arrivals at Amy’s house, three were gray, and two were black.
We went for a visit. We got to know the kittens in their first five weeks. And eventually we settled on a little black furball with big green eyes and a white snip under his chin. We brought him home and named him Umbra.
Umbra was the first kitten we’d ever brought home who had not been abandoned, and was not in trouble. He’d never known anything but love, and perhaps as a result, he loves everyone who comes to our home. Umbra knows no stranger. He’s truly a laid-back cat. At sixteen pounds, he’s now a hoss of solid, purring muscle.
Here’s Umbra in the new kitchen sink during a construction phase just before Christmas.
Flash foward to the summer of 2010, and Amy found herself, as Little Gray Cat had once been, in the family way. Things were a little different for Amy, though. She had a fellow who loved her, and would love their baby. Amy already had her own house, so everything was set. There was just one problem.
Amy’s husband wasn’t fond of cats, and as time passed, turned out to be allergic to them. With a baby on the way, there was nothing to do but find a new home for Little Gray Cat.
We’d always told Amy that if Little Gray Cat couldn’t stay with her, we’d bring her to our house, but Amy didn’t want us to feel pressured, and we already had two cats. So we got the email three weeks ago. With the baby due in 8 days, and her husband sick from the dander, Amy was feeling the pressure. She’d taken Little Gray Cat, Umbra’s mom, to the shelter.
We needed another cat like we needed a hole in the head. But sometimes that just doesn’t matter.
It was 11:00 in the morning on a Saturday when we opened that email.
By the time we found Little Gray Cat on the shelter website and figured out what we had to do, it was ten minutes before noon. We needed a reference, and our vet closes at noon on Saturdays. We called anyway.
Joy, the sweetheart who works the front desk on weekends (and who loves cats, and has a few more than she needs as well) stopped everything to phone the shelter with a reference for us. We called a friend who volunteers there, hoping these efforts might help us jump more easily through the Nazi-like hoops of the shelter’s watchdogs and allow us to spring Little Gray Cat from the slammer. Our friends rallied around the effort, and we drove too fast on the way there.
I have to tell you, I admire people who volunteer at the shelter. I can’t do it. I cry from the time I walk in the door until I drive away. I cried a bunch, as usual, and apologized to the people at the shelter for doing so. Nothing makes me lose it like too many faces looking back at me through the bars. We sponsored another cat because we couldn’t bring all of them with us.
And we brought Little Gray Cat home.
Her name is Holly (Amy had named her that when she first arrived), and it’s clear that Umbra got his huge, pale-green eyes and laid-back ways from his mother.
She’s obviously no longer a scrawny little cat, and is being put through laser-pointer chase drills for weight loss.
After some hissing, spitting and a bit of flying fur, the cat chain of command has been established and there seems to be a truce in the house, and Holly is taking her share of shifts on mouse watch.
She’s fitting right in.
What about you, Bandits and Buddies?
Have you ever taken in a stray animal?
Have you adopted from a shelter? If so, how do you leave there without bringing them all with you?
Have you ever had too many already, but brought in one more?
How many do you have? If you don’t have them now, did you have animals in your home when you were a kid?
Tell me how your furry friends came to be with you.
Posted by Christie Kelley Aug 17 2010, 5:00 am in cats, Christie Kelley, Jo Beverley, pigs, technology
by Christie Kelley
Technology is my friend…except when it’s not. It’s great when technology works properly and everything goes smooth. Unfortunately, Saturday wasn’t one of those days.
I seem to have an issue with printers. When I need them the most, something always seems to go terribly wrong.
I used to have my office in an open area of my old house where my boys would run through while playing or annoying each other. One of the many things would they do is fling rubber bands at each other from across the room. More than once, I found a rubber band in the paper tray blocking the paper from feeding correctly.
I’m currently in the middle of revisions for my fifth book, which I believe is now titled, ONE NIGHT SCANDAL. So on Saturday when I went to print out the book one more time, the printer wouldn’t feed the paper correctly. Hmm, the boys have seemingly outgrown the fine art of flinging of rubber bands at each other, so my first thought was the darn thing was broken.
I did my usually tech support thing, took the paper out, looked inside the paper feed and found nothing. I pulled out the can of air and sprayed it in the paper feed. Then, of course, I tried to print again. Once again, the paper jammed. More than a little frustrated, I did a little more in the name of research. I unplugged it and turned it upside down just in case something had fallen into it.
As I did this, I noticed something peculiar on my desk. I usually have three small “lucky” pigs sitting on my desk near my printer. Only today, instead of standing up and looking lucky, they were laying on their sides and horror of horrors—there were only two pigs!
Suddenly I remembered that my cat, Misha had been “playing” with them lately. And by playing, I mean picking them up in her mouth and carrying them to the floor. I glanced around and didn’t notice a pig on the floor. Where could little pig number three be?
I quickly grabbed a flashlight and peered inside my printer. What did I see? A little pink pig leg stuck down deep inside the feeder! One unlucky pig must have been picked up and dropped inside the printer by my cat! After a little pounding, the little pig came out. And yes, my printer started working again!!
So does anyone else have any funny technology stories? If not, how about a good pet story. I’m sure we all have one or two of those to share.