Friday, October 26, 2012

Remembering Skylar and Lydia

Lydia (pictured above) was Mommy's first girlcat, and Skylar (pictured below, with Carbon) was Mommy's first boycat.  Both were the sweetest, most loving kitties that she's ever met.  Today we celebrate their birthday, remembering them on this special day.  They were born on Oct. 26, 1999, to a tuxedo mom and a Siamese dad.  Their first family was the Rich family, who moved into a house across the street from Mommy in Portland, OR, in 2004.  Skylar and Lydia were both outside kitties as that time, and Skylar quickly adopted Mommy.  He would wait for her to come home, then follow her to her garden to eat tomatoes, nibble on peppermint, and "help" dig.  Lydia was more aloof, and Mommy didn't get to know her very well at first.

In 2005, the Richs had to move to Florida.  They and their daughter, Kayla, were devastated that they couldn't take Skylar and Lydia along, because they were going to be moving in with Mrs. Rich's mother (who was allergic to cats).  Mrs. Rich asked Mommy to adopt the kitties, because "Skylar has already adopted you!"  It was true!  Of course, Mommy said yes, so when she moved in with Daddy the tuxedos moved in as well.  Daddy even helped catch them when the Richs left.

They adjusted to inside life well, but Lydia was upset that her family had left her with these strangers.  She ran away once, during a brief time living at the home where Mommy was nannying, but she only went one apartment complex away and still had her tags.  Mommy went and got her, putting her in a backpack to carry her back.  When Lydia moved with her brother Skylar to Daddy's, she hid.  She also got back at her new surroundings by pooping on the couch.  That all changed when Daddy started to have knee problems.  One day he woke up to Lydia lying on his side, staring him in the face.  She "told" him, "I know you're hurting, and I'll be here to take care of you."

From then on, until the day she died, Daddy was her person.  She was his constant guardian, best cat friend, devoted nurse, and companion.  Skylar's person, of course, was Mommy, until Lydia died.  Then he took over Daddy in her place.

They were the reigning king and queen of the household, deferring to each other and taking care of the rest of the kitties.  They helped raise fosters and permanent family, including Rori, Tabby, Carbon, Little Bit, Starla, and Smokey.  Lydia trained Rori to follow in her footsteps as alpha cat of the household, and Skylar picked Starla to be his companion kitty after Lydia died.

Skylar and Lydia will live forever in the hearts of all who knew them.  Many thanks to the Rich family for letting us know these two wonderful spirits.

Lydia died in Oct. 2008 and Skylar in July 2010.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Therapy Cat Tales: Halloween Costumes!

Tabby writes:

Happy early Halloween!  At least it was for all the people we visited today!  Mommy and I both wore our candy corn witch costumes from last year to visit my friends at H., because it's our last visit before Halloween.  I was very good and kept my costume (minus hat) on for most of the time, only walking out of it once.  I love dressing up!  My costume feels like a blanket, so I went to sleep on the bus and the MAX.  I even slept through a pigeon walking under my stroller at the MAX stop at Pioneer Courthouse Square!  Mommy tried to wake me up to see the pigeon, but I was fast asleep.

As we left home, Mommy had to be very careful pushing the stroller, because there were so many wooly caterpillars on the sidewalk.  She counted 5 in half a block!  I was more interested in the grasshoppers, and wanted to get out to catch them, but I had to stay in the stroller.  We were just crossing the street when the bus came, but luckily it saw us and stopped for us.

Most of the people on the bus were happy to see us in our costumes, and two people told us that it totally made their day to see us, especially me.  *purrs*  That's why I do my job, and why I'm good at it!  The people on the bus had a lot of questions about putting a costume on a cat, animal-assisted therapy, and (of course) me.  Everyone was all smiles by the time we got to the transit center!  A job well-done!

After that excitement, I went to sleep.  Mommy forgot my witch hat on the first bus, but was able to get the bus driver to open the bus again so she could retrieve it.  People in downtown Portland loved our matching costumes when we got off the next bus.  Many smiles again, and some laughter all around.

I woke up again when we got on the MAX, because Mommy wanted me to get out of the carrier bag and just ride in the stroller.  When I got out, a little girl in front of us squealed, "It's a KITTY!"  She was wearing a Hello Kitty shirt, so obviously she wanted to pet me, and her parents let her.  A lady in front of us on the other side wanted to pet me, and since she was sitting I got to sit in her lap.

As we walked in the doors at H., three people came over to see our costumes.  Two of them I'd met before, but one I hadn't met.  Then, some more people came down the hall and stopped to talk and admire me.  Lots of petting and everyone telling others in the hallway to come see me!  It was 10 minutes before we got in the door of the office to get the list of people to visit!

We got the same reaction on the two floors we visit.  The nurses and other people who work there were telling others to come see me in my cute costume, plus some of the people I visited had relatives visiting them at the same time.  E. was almost asleep, but she woke up for her favorite kitty visitor.  I hopped into bed to snuggle with her for a few minutes.  R. loved seeing my costume and asked all kinds of questions about it.  Mommy made me wear the hat for a couple minutes so she could see what it looked like on me, too.  The hat falls upside-down, so then I wear it on my neck.  It looks silly that way, so I don't usually wear it except to show it off.  Another R., the one who lives on the 3rd floor, moved to the 2nd floor.  Her son was visiting her, so I got to visit with both of them.  Her son was telling us all about his mean cat.  I'm glad no one in my house is as mean as that cat!

P. was dozing, but woke up when we came in.  She loved my costume, and felt every inch of it so she could "see" it.  She played tails with me again!  I love that game.  N. had a visitor:  her niece.  Both of them loved seeing me.  They let me explore the room and petted me while they talked with Mommy.  After a bit, I figured out a closet door was open, and all Mommy could see was my leash!  As soon as she called me, I came out, and everyone had a good laugh.  I'd just been looking for a cozy place to curl up and take a nap again.  Visiting is tiring work!

When we got back to the transit center by our house, Mommy saw the bus driver for the bus she normally takes to work.  They'd been talking about my book and about me the last time she rode that bus, so we just had to go over to say hi!  The lady loved seeing me and told me repeatedly what a good kitty I am!  *purrs*  She is going to buy my book for her grandchildren!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy National Feral Cat Day!

Tigress writes:

I'm learning to eat from the inside food bowl, although I prefer to eat food on the plate rather than from the bowl.  That way, I don't have to worry about one of the inside kitties guarding the food.  I love getting pets from the mommy and the daddy, and I've touched noses with almost all the inside kitties now.  I'm not sure why, but it's warm and dry inside that house.  There's no rain in there, even when it's raining outside!

I caught sight of another kitty inside, but the humans said it was just my reflection in the door.  I went over to Rori to say hi, and the mommy closed the door!  I got scared, but I didn't freak out, just twirled around a bit.  She opened the door again and I just stared at it.  I was glad when she said that the door would open when I want it to, and they would not trap me inside for long if I want back outside.

This inside-the-house thing is very strange, but so is being petted!  Why do I purr so loudly when I'm petted, and why do scritches feel good?  I even let the other female human pet me, the one who comes on some weekends.  The little human who comes with her sat down on the floor and put his hand out, so I sniffed it and rubbed against it.  I didn't let the little human pet me yet, though.

Happy National Feral Cat Day to all ferals, semi-ferals, and former ferals!  Keep up the trap-neuter-return work and advocate for all kitties!


Tigress, Miss Marble, Rori, and Missy Kitty (our feral, semi-feral, and former ferals)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hello again and exciting news!

Freya writes:

Hi!  Sorry we haven't written for a long time, but we've been busy!  Tigress has learned to eat from the inside bowl sometimes and is letting Erin pet her when Erin and JJ come to visit.  Last time, she even sniffed JJ's fingers!

It's been sunny and warm lately, but yesterday morning we woke up and the world was cold and wet.  No fun!  Well, I thought it was no fun, but I found out differently.  Last night, the invasion of the frogs started again!  Mommy calls them the plague of froggies.  When she came home last night, seven froggies were stuck to the front door and one was on top of the door frame!  They had to be brushed onto the sidewalk and the ground before she could come in the door.  We didn't get any inside, but then I saw some on the back door.
That's what they look like when they splat on the door!  They stick!  They can actually hop up the door.  I told the others, and they all came to look.  I tried catching them, but they were on the outside of the door.  Darn it!
We also have a visitor, but I'll let her tell about that.  She's fun to play with!

Smokey writes:

Hello!  I'm Smokey, and I'm Little Bit's sister, from the same litter.  I'm also Starla's cousin.  If you were a friend of the PDX pride when we were on Catster, or a few years ago on here, you may remember me.  My mommy is Erin, and my human brother is JJ.  I usually live with them, but I've been staying with the PDX pride, Mommy Karen, and Daddy Scott for a few weeks while things settle down at my house.  Dare, the youngest kitty in my family, was acting up because her person left.  That made me nervous, so I started guarding the litter box and the food.  I also chased Dare and terrorized her.  Mommy thought it was best to remove me from my home for a while to see how Dare did.  Well, that little cat was the problem, not me!  So I'm going to be going back to my real home in a week or so, and Dare will come to this house.  We'll see then if she starts using the litter box properly again!

I miss my family, but I knew some of the kitties here already.  Of course, I know my biological family, but Rori, Tabby, and Carbon were also part of my first family because I came to live with the PDX pride when Cousin Starla did.  She, Little Bit, and I would come and go in the house in Portland when we were all kittens.  I didn't know the newer cats here in this house, but I settled in pretty easily and now play chase with everyone up and down the hallway!  My favorite place to sleep is on the top of the recliner, above Daddy Scott's head.

Tabby writes:

Exciting news!  Exciting news!  My book is now available on and also for the Kindle!  It is now priced at $9.99 for the paperback and $2.99 for the Kindle version.  That's a 50% savings over the Blurb edition, plus now it has the electronic edition.  Wow!  I've already sold one for the Kindle!

I've been visiting again since September, but we've had so much going on with everything here (and Mommy started teaching her classes again) that I haven't had time to write.  One of my friends at H. actually went to the next floor up to find us, because we'd missed her on her floor.  She found a nurse, who found us, so we went to visit the lady!  I have a couple new friends, too.  Our next visit is on Wednesday, and both Mommy and I will dress up in our Halloween costumes for it!