Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

We were supposed to be helping Mom and Dad carve pumpkins last night, but instead we decided to explore the plants that are now in the garage and hunt for moths.

Maggie sharing the box with Jasper
I was nice and shared my box with Maggie. The box was a great place to investigate the dwarf banana tree that Dad dragged in last night when the temperature dropped.

Where's the moth?
There was also a moth, which got us excited, but then it flew up high where we couldn't go, and it became a lot less fun.

Huggy Bear on moth patrol
Huggy used the box to try to get a better view of the moth, but no luck.

Happy Halloween
In the end, we all came back inside from the chilly garage and the jack-o-lanterns went out for a test run. We just did three this year, and sadly no cat pumpkins like last year, but this is a busy Halloween (being on a Friday) and Mom won't even get to hand out candy, and Dad will only be able to give some to the early ones. But it will still be fun to see the little trick-or-treaters come around.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Catnip t-shirt

This t-shirt carries an important message...

Thankful Thursday -- Butterfly Award

Thanks Jimmy Joe for the great award ... I have been neglectful in not posting about it and thanking you sooner. It is a very cool award, and very pretty! (But a little distracting, because I want to hunt the butterfly...)

I know I'm supposed to pass this on to 10 other blogs -- I always hate this part, not because I don't think that there are some ultra-cool blogs out there, but more because I feel like someone will be left out.

I usually end up giving these awards to some of my "old school" cat blogging friends, so I'm going to spread this one around a little differently this time. Some are old school, some are newer (one's not a cat). All are cool...
The Island Cats
The gang over at Whimpurr's Whim
Adan and Lego
Sweet Praline
Yaffa and Sebastian and Dante
Artsy Catsy
The Cats Stephens
and Zippie, Sadie and Speedy

I was concerned about doing 10, and actually got on a roll and listed 11. I'm thankful for this award, and even more so thankful for great blogs to visit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tabby Tuesday

Mom and Dad moved the tuffet upstairs, and we had such a pretty day Sunday that the window was open and Maggie enjoyed some rays on her tuffet.

Maggie sunning on her tuffet
She tried all stretched out. She thought this was pretty good.

Maggie belly-up on the tuffet
She tried it laying on her back. She liked this, but figured it wasn't very lady-like.

Maggie in the sun
In the end, she curled up on her side and let the sun warm her while she napped. She's really liking her tuffet, but is following the rules and slept at Dad's feet last night.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mancat Monday

Last night Mom was a cooking machine, preparing many meals in advance so that Mom and Dad eat well during the week. That required some snoopervising by Huggy Bear, but honestly, he got a little bored. So during a break from snoopervising, Bear decided to patrol and found a moth fluttering against the back window. He whapped the window real good several times, but the moth kept coming back. He asked Dad to let the moth come in, but Dad said it was best that HB just play with the moth from the other side of the glass.

Huggy Bear vs the moth
Huggy Bear in full strike pose. Unfortunately you can't see the moth, but it was a good one, and sure would have been fun to have in the house. For all his hard work, HB was rewarded with a little chicken, so it was OK that the moth stayed outside, I guess.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Easy Like Sunday

I know ... I've been a bad friend, not visiting like I should. This whole schedule change with Mom and Dad both hunting now has really thrown me for a loop and I'm just out of my routine. I promise to be better. At least Mom and Dad were around to spend some time with us this weekend.

Josie sleeping under Dean's legs
This has become Josie's cushion on the couch. Now, with it cooling down a little, there's a blanket there too, and usually that's where Josie can be found. She spent the whole Tennessee-Alabama game there trying to console Dad.

Huggy Bear and Maggie resting with Jeni
Bear and Maggie actually cuddled with Mom at the same time the other day.

And while there's no photographic evidence, Bear and I had a purr-off this Saturday morning in bed with Mom and Dad. I'm saying I won, and since I do all the writing on this blog then that must be right. Right?

Now I promise I'll do more visiting and commenting. Have a good rest-of-the-weekend! (Is it Sunday already?)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Finally Friday

Yes, it is Finally Friday, and it looks like Mom may be clocking out a little early because she's close to 40 hours and doesn't want to go over, which means that Dad will run some errands after work, then get Mom and come home to be with us!

Last night Mom and Dad stopped by Sam's to get some essentials like bread and milk, and they came home with an unessential but very nice prize for us -- a giant pet bed tuffet! (I'm ignoring the big dog on the label because I know this was truly meant for cats to enjoy.) Mom has wanted a tuffet for a long long time, and finally gave in. They were torn between the one they bought and another, so maybe we'll end up with two!

HB and Maggie wonder what this is
At first it took some investigating by us. This is not the kind of thing you rush into.

Huggy Bear investigating the tuffet
Huggy Bear did some sniffing.

Jasper sniffing the tuffet
I gave is a good sniff, too.

Josie steps on the tuffet (briefly)
Josie walked on it briefly.

Maggie gets Orange Mouse on the tuffet
Dad used Orange Mouse to entice Maggie onto the tuffet.

Josie and Maggie with the new tuffet
Dad also tried to coax Josie onto the tuffet by putting a familiar blanket on it, which worked for a little while.

Maggie finally settles in
Eventually, Maggie, as expected, was the first to accept the tuffet and make a warm curly-up spot on it. Mom's only rule is that the tuffet is a daytime sleeping spot, and one of us must still snuggle on her feet at night.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #38 -- Totally random

Today's Thursday Thirteen theme is "Totally random" (13 letters -- how's that for coincidence).

1. Dad has promised to use the stack of cardboard boxes in the garage to make our own scratcher like in the latest issue of ReadyMade.
2. The neighbor cat really freaked Dad out last night. He was taking the trash out and, after making sure the garage was all clear, he opened the door to get some things for the recycler. Well, coming back around the house, Dad saw a cat's tail, and he said "Jasper?" and then the cat did a cartoon run-run-run in place before darting away. Dad came inside and did another head count just in case.
3. Could you imagine if the cat had stayed in the garage without Dad noticing, then he let us in to play in the garage? Chaos!
4. Mom and Dad are finally going to spend a reasonable amount of the weekend with us ... the first time in three weekends.
5. Did you see these World Animal Day pictures? Some really cool cats and big felines.
6. Even doing random thoughts, it can still be hard to fill a T13.
7. Everyone wanted to know what Huggy Bear was looking at in yesterday's Wordless Wednesday. It was shot in the morning while Dad waited for his carpool ride. I think Bear was just enjoying a relaxing window view from his dining room table perch.
8. I wish I had a screened-in porch. Today was beautiful.
9. Why a screened-in porch and not outside. Well, the other day I heard the neighbor's cat face off with a wandering dog -- cat won, dog yelped. I just don't want that pressure.
10. Josie tried to stop Dad from going to work this morning by grabbing his leg. I think she was enjoying the pets, but I think he has to work for us to get treats.
11. Not that I wouldn't give up a few treats to have more Mom and Dad time.
12. Mom and Dad want more time in the day, but I know they'd probably just nap like I would.
13. Think it's time for a nap ... all that random thinking wore me out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'tocks Tuesday

Since Mom and Dad had another "busy day" and "late night" I wasn't able to get any new 'tocks pictures for Derby (you know, no opposable thumb to help hold the camera ... that's what beans are for). So I dug up some of the best 'tocks-style pictures I had on Flickr.

I shop at Target
Maggie and a Target bag ... we use reusable bags now, so no fun plastic bags to lick. I miss that.

"Where ya' going?"
Huggy Bear's fluffy 'tocks ... really not the best view of him from my box.

Does this file cabinet make my butt look big??
Maggie's 'tocks in the tiny drawer hole. Probably my favorite shot.

Huggy Bear's haunches
Huggy Bear shows off his 'tock-haunches on the couch. Yeah, that spot got vaccuumed shortly after he was there ... lot's of floof.

Mom, I fit in here
This is about all the 'tocks you'll get from me. Josie wouldn't play along, which is why you got two HB and Maggie shots instead.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I need this

OK, I wish I lived in the UK because I need one of these playhouses. I wonder if I could find something as equally cool here in the US?

Mancat Monday

Jasper in the sun
Just a quick update post ... Mom and Dad made it back from the Smoky Mountains safe and sound, and they have a million pictures of trees and hills to go through, but no vishus deer or non-huggy bears to report.

I held the fort down for them while they were away, and we gave them lots of attention as soon as they got back home. As usual, Aunt Tish came by and gave us treats and straightened up so Mom didn't know we partied too hard (one chair down in the living room from chasing).

We're glad Mom and Dad had a nice getaway with Dad's parents, but we're even more glad that they are home again.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

PhotoHunt: Family

I'm missed the past couple of PhotoHunters, but I hope to be back on track. And this is a good one to start back on: Family. I have tons of pictures that could demonstrate family, but I like this recent one with me and Huggy Bear.

Mancat's hanging out on the bed with Jeni
Huggy Bear and I aren't from the same mother the way HB, Josie and Maggie are, but he's definitely my family. He's also the one I most likely will share the bed with. Mom's just off to the right (and she's family, too). You can also see how I ever so slightly have placed my paw on Huggy Bear to let him know I'm claiming him as my brother. Just a couple of Mancats hanging out with Mom.

Speaking of family, Mom and Dad are going up to the Smoky Mountains this weekend to visit Dad's family. Hopefully they don't run into a pack of vishus deer! Lucky for us it will be a quick trip, and Aunt Tishy will be popping in to check on us and give us treats.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Josie and the Kittens, Chapter Five

Bummer, the last chapter already. Thanks for everyone who came over to share this adventure with us. I hope it lived up to your expectations. Now, grab your treats, get a warm spot and enjoy the final chapter...

Chapter five in which Josie takes a leap, and the kittens get a home

Josie was standing on the last rock, backed up as far as she could go. She kept her eyes locked with the wolf, and her teeth gently but firmly in the nape of the gray tuxedo kitten’s neck. She knew she was trapped – toss the kitten to safety and the wolf will leap, do nothing and he’ll get them both.

Behind her, she could hear Jasper and Bear wading in the water as far as they would dare, but she knew that they couldn’t cross the quick current of the stream.

Josie knew she had to try to toss the kitten to Jasper and Bear. She made a quick sideways glance to get a better idea of where they were before tossing the kitten. As she glanced back at the wolf she saw that he was in mid-leap. He had waited, and timed his leap with the first instance that she took her eyes away.

Josie clenched firmly onto the kitten, dug her claws into the moss on the stone and waited for the blow. Then, just before the wolf hit her, she leapt up and away from the wolf. Without any impact with Josie, the wolf overshot the final rock. Josie came down, landing squarely on the wolf’s head which was now out in the stream, then projected herself back out over the water and toward Jasper and Bear. Josie flicked the kitten to Jasper, who caught him in midair. Josie splashed into the stream just beyond Bear’s grasp. Maggie was quick, leaping over Bear and locking paws with Josie. Bear grabbed Maggie’s back paws and, with all his might, pulled them both to the muddy bank of the stream.

Meanwhile, the force of Josie landing on the wolf had sent him sprawling into the stream. The current quickly washed him downstream, a safe distant from the cats. He was just a wet and disoriented shadow by the time he was able to regain his footing in the current and pull himself from the water and to the opposite side of the stream. Beaten, he retreated into the woods.

Josie lifted her head from the muddy bank. Her fur was slicked against her soaked body but she was relieved to be safely on the correct side of the water. “Thank you,” she said. Jasper and Bear helped her up to the underbrush where the kittens were huddled in a mass of warmth and fur. Josie twitched to flick off most of the water, then curled up with the kittens.

“So you’re the kittens that I’ve been hearing,” Josie said to them with a smile. “I don’t know how you ended up in that basket in the stream, or why I was hearing your cries before today, but don’t you worry. We’ll make sure you are cared for from here on out.”

Jasper, Bear and Maggie each took a kitten and walked alongside Josie as they began their trek back to the palace grounds. The clouds were beginning to part and the sun warmed their soaked bodies.

“There has to be a reason,” Josie said to the others as they walked along the stream’s bank.

Jasper set the tuxedo kitten down. “Sometimes it’s not for us to know why, but to take the joy that is given us and make the most of it.” He gave the biggest of the kittens a lick across his head, then picked him up again.

“You’re right,” Josie replied. She looked at her family carrying these three kittens and felt a fullness knowing she was taking on a responsibility she never thought she was ready for. “I think our family just got a little bigger.”

The End

[Dad wants to dedicate this story to Magoo, Smudge, Bella, Dolce & Baci, and Gandalf & Grayson, for keeping the stories going and inspiring him to continue to write stories for the cats. And special thanks to the Cat Blogosphere for letting everyone know this story was here. Also, no, we're not getting three kittens like in the story, although Mom loves kittens. Dad says another story is already in the works! Thanks for reading.]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Josie and the Kittens, Chapter Four

I can't believe this is going by so fast ... just one chapter after this! Grab you snacks and you favorite spot. I'm getting a little nervous and eager to see what happens next...

Chapter four in which a mysterious fog gives Josie a chance

Josie was ready to react. She just knew at any moment the wolf was going to leap and she would be in the fight of her life. The wolf’s muscles were rippling. He had slowed his approach toward Josie when he saw Jasper across the stream, unwilling maybe to take on two foes at once. But he seemed less concerned about Jasper with each passing moment.

The wolf started to lower into a crouch. But then, from downstream, a fog rolled in against the current. The wolf appeared disoriented and actually retreated a pace as the visibility greatly reduced.

In the fog Josie thought she saw movement and ducked, expecting the brutal claws of the wolf. But then she saw a face, or what she thought might have been a face. The harder she tried to see the shapes, the more ephemeral they became, like trying to remember a dream. At times she thought she saw faces and even heard voices of old friends, long passed. Then, from the grayness, one started to become almost solid.

A gray and white tuxedo cat, very similar to Josie, approached through the mist. His expression was grave and serious. “We don’t have much time,” Fluffy said. “We cannot move you to safety, but I can offer advice.”

Josie was stunned by the sudden appearance of her parents’ long-deceased confidant. She had heard Maggie talk of him from her time in the cave a few months back and recognized him instantly, but this was the last thing she expected.

“Quickly,” Fluffy instructed, “trust your footing on the rocks. You can toss the kittens safely to the others. But you must act now.” Josie could see the fog was already beginning to thin.

“Thank you,” Josie said, relieved, and darted back to the kittens in the underbrush. Her tail flicked through the misty Fluffy as he became more intangible by the minute. Carefully, Josie grabbed a small solid gray kitten by the nape of the neck and pulled him from the huddle of kittens. At the water’s edge the fog was thinner and she saw the rocks. Slowly, cautiously, she walked along the rocks to the very edge. Bear was ankle deep in the water. Josie flicked the kitten to Bear. It arced and landed gently in his mouth by the nape of its neck, as if it had been handed over.

“Quickly,” Josie heard through the mist, like an insistent whisper. She returned to the underbrush and lifted the smallest of the kittens, a little calico, and hurried back to the rocks. She was rushing now and almost slipped into the stream. She might have cursed had the kitten not been in her mouth. This time Maggie was waiting, not quite as deep as Bear had been. Josie tossed the kitten and Maggie leapt, cradling the kitten with her front legs and chest. She lifted the kitten by the nape of the neck, and took it to safe, dry ground, and her kitten brother.

Bear had already started back toward the stream. Maggie set the calico down with her brother and told them, “Stay. You’re safe now.” She gave a quick, calming lick to the tops of their heads, then turned back to follow Bear.

Josie was heading back toward the rocks with the final kitten, the gray tuxedo, when the fog thinned. She knew her time was limited but had hoped to get the final kitten across under the cover Fluffy had provided. As the fog thinned, she could see the wolf in full sprint toward her. Guess he’s done waiting, Josie thought.

The wolf lunged toward Josie just as she made her last stride to the rocks. She fell to her side to avoid the blow. The kitten fell from her mouth as she turned to face the wolf. She bore her teeth at the wolf, bristled her fur on her back, and let out a sharp hiss. The little kitten started to step forward, trying to make himself big too. Josie took a paw and slid him beneath her. “Not now,” she whispered. “This is not a game.”

Without breaking eye contact with the wolf Josie bent slowly and picked up the tuxie kitten. Then she felt with her back paw for the rocks. Her foot slipped from the edge of the first rock into the shallow water. She almost looked away, but then firmly fixed her gaze with the wolf.

Starting again, she felt around with her back paw, finding the flatter surface of the rock. She backed up along the rocks, almost slipping a second time. With each step backward the wolf took a small step toward her, its muscles twitching eagerly for the next pounce.

Josie reached the final rock. She knew that Jasper, Bear and Maggie were waiting for her to toss the kitten. She also knew that if she turned her head the wolf would surely leap.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Josie and the Kittens, Chapter Three

I asked Dad to get some stinky goodness to share during today's story, and he's pulled out some extra blankets for everyone to snuggle up in. But no catnapping ... there's a little too much going on in this chapter!

Chapter three in which Huggy Bear and Maggie join the fray

Huggy Bear and Maggie had been on an early morning stroll of their own, but they were enjoying less philosophical discussions and more hunting and clowning around. Even before the rains came they were wet from head to tail from the dew as they chased and dueled each other. Maggie was much smaller than the strong, intimidating Bear, but she was quick and he enjoyed the challenge of matching wits with her.

Once the downpour started, then the lightning, they knew they needed to head back. They were about halfway back to the palace when they ran into two palace guards, winded from sprinting from the stream bank.

“Jasper sent for help,” the one guarded managed between breaths. “Josie was carried away by the stream.” He managed to point back toward the stream, but it wasn’t necessary because Bear and Maggie were already on their way.

In all their play fighting, they had explored the grounds better than any other, and they knew exactly where Jasper and Josie would have ended up. They also knew where the stream led, and the kinds of ruthless creatures who stayed on the other side.

Despite the hard rain Bear was able to track Jasper easily. He had left deep tracks in the mud along the edge of the stream. They could tell that Jasper was moving quickly, but also a little panicked. Usually he wouldn’t leave much of a sign at all.

The rain was lessening, but the current of the stream remained strong as they followed Jasper’s tracks. Eventually the stream began to widen, allowing the current to slow some. That’s when they saw Jasper. He had made himself large – larger than he already was – and was turned sideways, with his head facing across the stream.

Maggie was about to call out for him when Bear grabbed her and pulled her into the underbrush. He recognized Jasper’s defensive body language and knew to assess the situation first. Maggie can be a little headstrong, but Bear had been in enough skirmishes to know to size things up first.

* * *

Josie had advanced toward the wolf. She was terrified. He was huge, and she knew if she wasn’t careful he could take her in one quick swipe. But she also knew she needed to put herself between the wolf and the sleeping kittens.

As the wolf made a step toward Josie a horrific hiss cut through the air. With a jerk the wolf flinched his glance across the stream and saw Jasper, puffed up and arched, an intimidating mass of orange fur matted with mud. The wolf was barbaric, but not intelligent, and paused to figure out what threat Jasper posed from across the water.

For a second, Jasper thought he sensed the hint of a laugh from the wolf, as if to say I’ll come for you next. The wolf returned his gaze to Josie, now nearly close enough to reach her in one powerful pounce.

From the underbrush behind Jasper Maggie whispered, “We’re here, but I don’t see a way across.”

Jasper continued to glare at the wolf, now still again and sizing up Josie, but slowed with the knowledge of Jasper across the bank. “There are kittens under that branch.” He could hear Bear’s quick gasp as Maggie and Bear learned that this just got even more dire.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Josie and the Kittens, Chapter Two

It's really getting exciting quickly! We've got temptations aplenty so come on over and enjoy...

Chapter two in which Josie ends up on the wrong side of the stream

Jasper ran along the bank of the stream struggling to keep pace with the rushing current. The rain continued to pelt the ground, turning the bank muddy and thick. Jasper’s fur was getting matted and heavy with water and mud, and Josie and the kittens drifted further away like the flotsam of a sunken ship.

Josie managed to keep her claws dug deep into the branch, the only thing keeping her from being pulled under by the current. She was weak and drenched, but the cries of the kittens just ahead kept her focused. She could just barely hear the calls of Jasper upstream growing more distant. As the current drew them along, the stream began to widen. The current slowed and a few large rocks created a pool on the far side of the stream. The basket carrying the kittens was caught in the pool against the rocks.

As Josie’s branch neared the rocks, she released the branch and caught the outermost rock. The current was strong and the rock was mossy and slick. It took all of Josie’s remaining strength to pull herself to the top of the rock and out of the water. She wanted to collapse there, and pray that the water level didn’t rise, and that help would come soon. But she knew that was not an option.

Carefully, Josie walked along the slick rocks to the far bank. She walked into the shallow edge waters and was able to grab the basket and pull it ashore. Inside, three small, exhausted kittens were huddled together, afraid and relieved at the same time. Giant kitten eyes locked with Josie’s and the largest of the three, a gray and white tuxedo, gave a thankful “mew” to Josie.

Just further downstream Josie could hear the rush of the water and knew that rapids, and possibly even a waterfall, were waiting for them had they not been fortunate enough to catch the pool when they did. Josie tipped the basket and the tiny kittens wobbled out and followed her up the bank to the shelter of a low tree branch. Fortunately the rains were beginning to slow.

Josie curled up in a gentle arc and the three kittens snuggled against her and slightly under her, warm and protected from the light rain. Josie felt her eyes growing heavy but she fought the urge to doze.

Suddenly Josie bolted her head upright. She must have nodded off. What did I hear that woke me, she thought, but was afraid to move to look for fear of revealing herself and the kittens. She carefully scanned the bank of the stream. Across the stream she saw Jasper. His orange fur was caked in brown mud and he was soaked from the rain and the stream. He was looking downstream and calling for Josie. He looked desperate, and she knew that he had just heard the rapids.

“Jasper!” she called, and he flinched his head to the left, instantly meeting Josie’s vivid green eyes under the brush.

His ears perked and his whiskers turned up as a smile creased his face. “But you’re on the wrong side of the stream,” Jasper said with a slight chuckle, his body relaxing somewhat seeing her safely ashore.

“It would appear so,” Josie said as she rose and stepped from under the branch. The kittens had all fallen asleep, and stirred only slightly when Josie moved, curling together into one big ball of fur. Josie stepped toward the slick rocks of the pool. They reached not quite halfway across the creek, but even though the current had slowed, it still was too fast for either of them to try to swim, especially with three kittens.

“The guards went for help. Bear and Maggie should be able to track me to this spot easily with all my muddy tracks.” Jasper looked along the opposite bank. The underbrush was fairly thick, providing plenty of cover for Josie to hide with the kittens until the cavalry arrived. Josie was turning back toward her cover and the kittens when Jasper whispered sharply, “Hold still!”

Josie followed Jasper’s eyes right about 40 feet down the stream to where a large wolf was at the water’s edge, getting a drink from the stream. It looked up toward Josie with cold gray eyes. A sinister grin revealed rows of sharp teeth.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Josie and the Kittens, Chapter One

Back in May, Dad told us the story of Maggie and the Meezer Trinity. After it was all done, Dad promised more story time. His goal was a story every couple of months. Well, he missed by about three months, but we finally got a sequel! You're all invited to curl up, Dolce's Story Chair style, and enjoy...

Josie and the Kittens

Chapter one in which Josie hears the cries of kittens

It had been a few months since Josie had reclaimed her family’s post on the royal throne. The country had responded well, and was enjoying a strong period of peace and prosperity. Josie was well respected as a leader, and wise, knowing when to step back and allow the Meezers to make rules, and when to step in and make judgments of her own. She enjoyed her time in the palace, and knew this was her calling. But she also enjoyed those moments when she could sneak away and wander in the meadows and woods that surround the royal palace. This was one of those times.

* * *

Josie and Jasper were strolling through a lush green field early one morning. Dew still clung to the blades of grass, leaving a little moisture on their fur as they walked. Along the perimeter several royal guard cats patrolled, out of earshot but watching for danger.

“How do you think everything’s going,” Josie asked Jasper. She liked having him as a trusted confidant.

“I couldn’t imagine it being any better,” Jasper replied. “Your parents would be proud of the job you are doing.”

Josie gave a little smile at this. Jasper had been young when he worked for her parents, but he knew them better than most, and their approval meant much to her. She paused, turned from Jasper and stared into the woods to their left. She could hear the stream gurgling just beyond the trees. “Some days I think I’m losing my mind. I’m hearing things.”

“What kind of things?” Jasper asked, only half concerned. The effects of the stress, Jasper thought to himself.

“I’ve been hearing kittens, frightened kittens, crying and mewing, at the strangest times.” She glanced back at Jasper, worry showing on her face. “I haven’t said anything for fear of speculation from everyone that I’m either going crazy or that I want to be a mother. I heard them one night at dinner, and then the other day while I was accepting visitors. Both times, after everyone left, I looked all over like a crazy cat for kittens that didn’t exist. I think maybe I’m wearing myself out.”

Jasper nodded his head in agreement. “Maybe more walks to get your mind off of things.” They started walking through the field again. Josie looked a little relieved to have that off her chest. Tall trees created a perimeter around the field, and at the end was a trail that led through the woods to the stream.

Jasper and Josie turned to head back through the field. In all their talking they had not noticed the sky was starting to darken with storm clouds. “Looks like we’re turning around at the right time,” Jasper said. At that very moment the rain began, large sharp rain drops falling fast and hard. Jasper had started back up the field. The guards looked eager to head back to the palace, but were waiting for Josie who was standing still.

“Jasper, I hear them again. And they’re not far,” she said. “Just in the woods over here.” She looked at the path, nodding her head toward Jasper to follow.

Jasper sighed, shook the water from his back, and started after Josie. Crazy, I’m crazy, he thought. We’re all crazy. He hit the trail a few paces behind Josie. At the end of the trail, he couldn’t believe what he saw. The sudden rain had created a rush of water in the stream, and floating through the current was a basket with three kittens heading toward them.

Josie gave Jasper a panicked look. The guards were catching up to Jasper and Josie when a sudden lightning strike split the air. A nearby tree crackled and fell in the direction of Josie, knocking her into the stream. She disappeared under the water as Jasper rushed to the bank. Then, about 15 feet downstream she reappeared, clutching a large branch that was being pulled rapidly by the current. The basket of kittens was just beyond the end of the branch.

“Go for help!” Jasper commanded the guards, and he turned and started sprinting along the muddy bank, trying to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating current.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finally Friday

Whew ... it's Finally Friday. This whole "Mom working" thing is wearing us out. She's been getting home with Dad later every day this week. At least we'll get to spend some snuggle time with Mom this weekend.

Maggie looking out back
Maybe we'll get to open the windows and just relax a little.

Also, I forgot to link to this article a while back, but did you read about the lion that stayed in the church to ride out hurricane Ike?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #37 -- Reasons to purr

There are plenty of things that get my purr going, but for a while I had turned my purr off. I can't explain why. I was a purr machine as a kitten, but then for about a year or so I just didn't purr. I think I rediscovered my purr after Josie came to us. So my Thursday Thirteen is thirteen reason to purr (sort of a Thankful T13)...

Jasper on the cedar chest
1. Since Josie started me purring again, Josie is number one on my list.
2. But I would be neglectful to not say that Huggy Bear and Maggie are worth a purr, too.
3. I always purr when I get comments from all my catblog friends.
4. I get a little purry when Mom and Dad come home and call for us.
5. I really like to purr when I come into the computer room and Mom is on the computer and I can jump up on the desk and block the monitor.
6. I also purr when I get in bed and curl up on Dad's pillow and get pets.
7. Mild days with the windows open, a cool breeze and warm sunshine make me purr too.
8. And sinks... definitely sinks. Sometimes the purrs resonate from the sink and amplify downstairs so Mom and Dad can hear me purr.
9. Stinky goodness, of course.
10. Helping Mom and Dad make the bed gets my motor running too.
11. I will purr when Mom and Dad rub between the toes of my rear right paw (but not my left...).
12. And head skritches really get me to purr too.
13. Dad seems to think football makes me purr, but really it's watching football with Mom and Dad that makes me purr.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tuxie Tabby Tuesday

The other weekend when Gracie and Clara Ann were visiting Gracie got out one of our feather toys. Even though it was being held by a little person, it is very hard to resist.

Gracie fishing for cats
Maggie (far side of the stairs) and Josie tried to divide and conquer, but that feather toy just keeps escaping every time., But don't worry, they'll get it one of these days.


Thanks Whimpurr's Whim Whiskers for acknowledging us with this award! It means so much for us to be recognized. We think you're pretty great too. You look a lot like our family, too, which is so funny...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mancat Monday

Part of being a Mancat is tolerating photo shoots.

Upside-down Jasper on the cedar chest
At first I was sitting on the chest by the window soaking in the sun, doing my cute, upside-down pet-me face to Dad.

Jasper pawing at the camera
This was at the end of the photo shoot when I was ready for it to be over. The shadow on the left side of the picture is me bringing my paw to the camera trying to get Dad to quit, which he did. You know what, this is his favorite picture of the shoot, too, so I guess it worked out for both of us.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Easy Like Sunday

Josie is the bravest when it comes to sticky people. Two weekends ago we had visitors and by morning Josie was comfortable enough to come around Clara Ann.

A little Sunday morning reading
I think Josie wanted to have a story read to her, too.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Finally Friday

It's finally Friday, and this week has just flown by. Too bad this is going to be a crazy weekend for Mom and Dad and we don't get as much time with them as we'd like. Mom's been out of the house this week working at the theatre, and it looks like she's going to be doing a lot more of that.

Jasper in the brown bag
She keeps taking her brown and pink bag with her, so I figure if I stay in the bag maybe she'll have to stay home.

Jasper in Jeni's brown bag
Mom, if you leave and work all day then who's going to help me blog and visit my friends and leave comments?

Sorry if I'm not visiting everyone as much as I would like. Clearly it is Mom and Dad's fault.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thursday Thirteen -- 6+4+3

Here we go ... trying something different for Thursday Thirteen ... I'm six years old, Huggy Bear and Josie are four, and Maggie is three. So since six plus four plus three is thirteen, I'm going to post pictures of us, one from each year of our lives.

1. Jasper year one

2. Jasper year two
Jasper sleeping in the trash can

3. Jasper year three
What's in that stocking??

4. Jasper year four
Protective brother

5. Jasper year five

6. Jasper year six

7. Josie and Huggy Bear year one

8. Josie and Huggy Bear year two

9. Josie and Huggy Bear year three

10. Josie and Huggy Bear year four

11. Maggie year one
The first time the Huggy and Maggie wrestled

12. Maggie year two
Maggie's a smart girl

13. Maggie year three