We came from here - and here, and here...
Starting a new thread, since this subject shouldn't dilute Aspenhill's birthday greetings.
What are we if we can't brag on/showcase the wee ones among us? Taking up Gita's request, here's more feline frolicking 'round the Valley.
I'll start with our dear departed Quercus macrocarpa (born 1993; resident 1996 - 2009), who was our first cat and so named for his stalwart physique and character. He assumed the Alpha Cat role, and managed the household with finesse and aplomb.
He was my long-time avatar here in one of his sommelier poses. He is missed greatly, but his enduring presence is often felt.
1. Early in his career, showing his playful side while sampling Hydrangea blooms on top of the living room entertainment center
2. Classically posed, having some kibble in front of books about nibbles
3. Being the leader means establishing the pecking order
4. Ensuring quality control at a Halloween dinner
5. Epitomizing his moniker of "Perfect Querc"
Mid Atlantic Forum pet pics
We came from here - and here, and here...
Another dear departed Valley resident was our second cat, Ilex opaca (born 1995; resident 1996 - 2004). He was a big orange tabby, and of the most robust character and c-attitude. A natural ham, playful, and loving - he filled our lives for far too short a time. We have far too few digital images of him. I really need to scan those old prints and slides.
He is also missed tremendously, but his spirit invigorates all who have followed in his pawprints.
1. The many faces of Ilex - as pin-up model and fan favorite
2. The only match for his personality was his appetite
3. Full of love, he was a momma's boy
4. Rolling around the living room floor was exhilarating
5. What a darling!
Third to join us at the Valley was my dear wife's inheritance. Her mom passed away in early 2000, and her cat immigrated to Kentucky upon our return (replete with passport for new US citizenship), since the remaining family in Germany had a big Schnauzer that would not haved brooked a feline in the house.
Every cat that takes up residence at the Valley gets a botanical name - even ones named Pokey (born 1996; resident 2000 - present) by German nieces and nephews, who started with Pocahantas when they thought they brought home a little girl cat for their grandmother. The foreshorted manly name was adopted after the first veterinary visit revealed his true gender status. Arrival here brought the moniker Pinus rigida (Pitch Pine) evoked by his pitch black coat.
Quercus and Ilex welcomed Pokey to his new abode, and the three amigos enjoyed many purpose-filled years together. Today, Pokey is the 19 year old elder statesman among the current five. He still dodders around and tolerates the rambunctious youngsters. Despite failing vision and hearing, and increasingly unsteady balance, he hasn't lost his appetite. We intend for him to live out his senior years as richly as the rest.
1. "You'd think there'd be a bit of wurst und küchen in the States"
2. "Wunderbar! Such a comfortable perch"
3. Happiness is a warm ray o' sunshine
4. Celebrating Christmas 2014
5. "Kids these days..."
Marianne and I felt we had reached a pinnacle - three happy cats as companions.
Then came the post winter holiday period in January 2001, when we had a visitor at the doorstep. A little black cat was loitering about, so Marianne and I set about trying to collect it. Obviously street-smart (or at least country lane-wise), this one would have none of it and promptly headed up a tree.
Of course, the tree selected was the old American Elm - tallest tree on the property - which was resplendent in a cloak of Toxicodendron radicans. Fortunately, the crotch where the main trunks divided was within reach of an 8 foot ladder and 6 foot plus husband. Rescued from her perch and brought indoors, she never again strayed from the safety of the homestead.
We recognized this one's lineage as belonging to a roaming male down the lane (solid black, close set eyes, short legs projecting a stocky form) - but this was a little girl.
Thus we were joined by Nyssa sylvatica (born 2000; resident 2001 - 2013). The boy cats were chivalrous as they enthusiastically made her welcome as a new playmate, and she taught them some manners and decorum.
Despite her smaller stature, she always held her own and took on the mantle of watch-cat. Last to see us on our way to work in the mornings, and first to welcome us at the door upon return, Nyssa had the peculiar and amusing habit of making a low growl when visitors came to the door. Be afraid - be very afraid...
1. The slender lass' girlish figure circa 2002
2. One of our favorite images - our little Ewok
3. Epitomizing one of her nicknames - Plush Pet
4. Guard cat - between momma and the door
5. Her cute habit of not quite fully retracting her tongue
What great photos and background info. Thanks for sharing!
Your love for your cats is amazing--with all the stories and the names...
They are ALL beautiful, healthy, and--obviously-- pampered.
It is also obvious that they have the run of the house--and the tables--
and the kitchen counters--and your bed---etc...etc...
Many people would have a cow seeing cars all over everything.
My youngest daughter, Benita, was always an animal lover--from day one.
While she still lived home, we went through (about) 5 or 6 cats.
I "loved them"----tolerated them---but they were also outside cats (vs, just inside)
and in the long run, this led to the demise of some of them.
VERY touching stories--as my DD was away at college and we had all these cats
to care for.
Mt favorite was "Hobo"---a big orange tabby who chose us.
He was a stray--and seemed had been on his own for a while. He came one day
to out front door and soft-hearted me--put a dish of cat food out for him.
It was obvious that he had been out in the woods for a while. His feet were all sores,
he was dirty and full of ear mites, and---he sat on my doorstep for 7 days.
Finally--I decided to adopt him, but before he could set foot in the house, he went
for a trip to the Vets to get cleaned up--get his shots--get neutered, and all that.
Then I brought him home...
He was big and fat and fluffy---and it took a couple years before he got comfortable
with the other cats we had--and he became the Alpha cat.
Not gonna go into more stories--as the cats came and went and some succumbed to injuries
and had to be put down. Some of it is so sad to talk about. How they "went"--and why.
Nowadays--I do not have any pets at all. Haven't had any for decades. It is OK with me....
Too many came and went. it was a bother to me to some extent.
Living alone--I do not want to have any obligations to pets. I want to come and go
as I please. Never had any dogs...just the cats,,,,
It all started with these two--brother and sister--we adopted them out of a cardboard box
at the shopping center because my girls (then 10 and 7) had to have them.
These were named Tina and Taffy. They both lived a long life.
Thanks for taking the time to introduce us to your fabulous felines, VV!
Our cats get photographed when my youngest daughter buys new costumes for them. Just so you know, dressing them up is NOT my idea : - )
Here are photos of Sylvester, so named by the cat rescue group that found him starving in a parking lot when he was about a year old.
1) He was a svelte young lad when he came to us but,
2-3) after being bribed with treats so that he would sit still for photo shoots,
4) he became as fat as a cow.
5) He's still a handsome fellow, though.
Thank you for all your kind comments. If you thought I was through - well, I am for this evening, but only halfway...
All of our cat company are indoor residents. That comes with working for veterinarians and knowing the hazards of outdoor life for these four-legged friends. We had two large dogs originally that Marianne brought to the family when we married. Conan and Jesse were great assets, but required the time, attention, and maintenance that all dogs do. When they bothed passed within months of each other (at 16 and 15, respectively), we decided to take a break from companion animals. Until Quercus waltzed into our lives.
As indoor animals, cats have proven to be every bit as affectionate and entertaining - without requiring our regular presence. Without putting too sharp a point on it, there is not much downside to an indoor cat companion.
Sylvester is absolutely priceless! If I had still been sipping the 2007 Villa Petriolo Rosae Mnemosis Chianti Classico Riserva, I'd have sprayed it across my screen. I hope the cow suit episode was long ago enough for him to have recovered from the humiliation - obvious despite casting his gaze away from the camera. That is one stiff upper lip above the dark "goatee".
Oddly enough, Sylvester doesn't seem to be as humiliated by the costumes as our other cats, who now live with my daughter.
Here we have Mimi (1-4) and Rex (4-5). Mimi was a stray/feral cat living on garbage in Tunisia when my daughter spotted her. She begged to bring her home and, in a moment of weakness, I consented. Mimi quickly went from not allowing humans to get within 10 feet of her to allowing my daughter to cut her nails and brush her teeth. Photo #2 shows Mimi's "I'm going to kill you!" look.
Rex is a female in spite of her name, which was probably put in her file by mistake during the 7 years between her birth at a prison in Virginia and her arrival in our house. She knew her name, so we didn't change it. Vets get very confused.
Our cats are all indoor cats as well; when they go outside they're either on leashes or in a cat tent.
This message was edited Mar 2, 2015 6:48 PM
I cannot believe you dress your cats in costumes so you can take funny pictures!
I am sure they hate it...and cannot wait to escape the confinement of clothing.
I don't, Gita. This is my daughter's doing. But don't worry, no animals were harmed during the making of these photos, and they were all richly rewarded by tasty treats.
This message was edited Mar 2, 2015 10:16 PM
Muddy, your cats must really adore your DD to put up with costumes! Those are fabulous photos.
VV, love love love your kitties! I can't wait to show this thread to Joyanna -- she got such a kick out of seeing your crew on the other thread, especially since each of them looks like a cat in our family (here or at my in-laws').
The four felines frolicked festively for four...years.
A sudden massive cardiac myopathy took Ilex from us in June 2004. He was sleeping alongside me on the couch, and when I glanced down at him I saw his tongue hanging fully from his mouth.
He was already sashaying toward the Great Dinner Bowl in the sky, where all laps are warm, there are chin and ear rubs whenever desired - and someone else urps up your hairballs.
During our grief, The Big Cat must have been looking down on us and sent us a new orange boy. Smilax hispidus (born 2004; resident 2004 - present) and all 24 toes of his polydactyl self turned up on our front porch, and never left. He is nothing if not a big old bundle of joy, and has taken on the mantle of ham and chief troublemaker.
He and his buttoneer have made themselves at home here at the Valley.
1. The only houseplant we ever left him alone in a room with
2. As a young lad, less than a year at the Valley
3. Apparently, you CAN be hit by a bus in the bay window
4. Doing double duty as a frog
5. Oven mitts
Muddy, those outfits are a hoot! What a tolerant, or well bribed, kitty!
Another handsome dude there, VV. The whisker picture is a great closeup. I wonder if the frog pose has any relation to his polydactyl genes.
Thank you for sharing those photos. VV, your accompanying captions are great and Muddy, I can't even think of words to describe those costumes lol. It has made for a very enjoyable lunch break. I have literally been chuckling out loud at each outrageous one. My coworkers have been giving me the 'ol sideways raised eyebrow glance. Let 'em wonder...
I am just curious......do the extra "dactyls" also have claws or are they
just useless appendages?
How about a good close-up of the "oven mitt"?? Let us see what a
6-toed paw looks really like. You could, kind of, spread it out?
Like a baseball glove.
VV, Smilax looks to be quite the character! He sure destroyed that plant. Sylvester ate our Chamaedorea cataractarum (appropriately called Cat Palm), along with some of the soil from its pot, until I decided to give it away. Fortunately, he eventually figured out that he would be fed and didn't need to eat dirt.
Here are more photos of Sylvester in Halloween costumes, including one of my personal favorites, one of him grazing like a cow. Being outside is such a treat for him that he wouldn't care what we made him wear. He has sweaters for cold weather and purrs when I put them on because he knows that means he's going outside.
Pic # 4 shows my DD's extraordinary skills as an animal trainer. Sylvester always tells us he's starving to death - I'm convinced he has PTSD because he was starving when rescued - yet my daughter has taught him the concept of delayed gratification. He sits surrounded by treats until my daughter gives them to him, one by one (photo 4).
Another photo of my "starving" cat.
Mimi demands some screen time, so here she is. She is what is known as a "dilute Tortoiseshell", second only to Calicos as cats vets dread having as patients because of their feisty natures. There's even a term for it: "tortitude".
#1 shows her "tortitude". She was mad because my DD dared to comb her.
#2 and 3 show her tiny size - a petite 9 lbs. as compared to Sylvester's Smilax-like size of probably a yard and just under 15 pounds. Mimi was very happy when she moved out with my daughter. Sylvester is very happy to be Master of the House.
This message was edited Mar 3, 2015 7:31 PM
Mimi looks like a cat who could *demand* something, Muddy. What a character. Absolutely love the picture of Sylvester with his treats in front of him. Amazing that he is so teachable.
This thread was a great idea as are the stories.
Yes, I'm convinced she's bipolar. One minute she has a sweet, adorable expression and the next she has what I call her "I"m going to kill you" look.
I never let Mark get a dog for years. I listened to Mom who said 'You will do all the work of the puppy. You have enough to do with three kids". FInally about six years ago, Mark met a black german shepard dog who wowed him. That dog's mother was going to have another litter. The mother's owner had just the one dog at her home and was very devoted to good care for the puppies. We committed to a puppy and we got first dibs. When the pups were born, we took our kids there a couple times over the first eight weeks, to help socialize the puppies, and to give us a HUGE dose of puppy cuteness extreme!!!!!!!!!! It seems that GS pups have a phase when their ears grow faster than everything else.
She's become a wonderful companion to all of us, she is very in tune with her pack (us) and just wants to be with us all the time.
She loved puddles from the start, no matter how cold. Then she learned to swim and loves to rescue sticks that go in the water.
Does anyone remember claypa? I gave him a Jim Dandy, he came and dug it, and Addy thought she'd get a ride from him.
LOL about those puppy ears!!
She's got such beautiful, soulful brown eyes.
This message was edited Mar 20, 2015 6:35 PM
What a great dog! It was that way with my cat and my daughter's cats before she moved out with them. Mine wanted to play, but they wanted nothing to do with him.
You reminded me of this video, Sally.
For anyone who hasn't watched "cats stealing dog beds", I highly recommend it!
This message was edited Mar 20, 2015 6:50 PM
I meant to tell this story;, the dog owner said that the puppy would pick US, not us choosing a puppy. When it was time to choose, the rest of the puppies wandered around the room but Addy sat in one of our laps the whole time. Our daughter chose 'Adeline' from a book of baby names.
Couple years ago, the swap was at my house. SSGardener was telling us about the mean scary dog that lives next to her. It upset her to even tell us the story. As she talked about that mean dog, Addy came up next to her as she sat in a lawn chair, and kissed her on the cheek.As if to comfort her.
Oh, I remember it so clearly!
Addy just came right over and tried to cheer me up. She just knew I needed cuddles! She is such a sweetheart, and your family is so lucky to have her. :)
This message was edited Mar 20, 2015 9:05 PM
David heard me laughing just now and knew exactly what I was watching.
Addy is such a sweet dog and loved seeing her as a baby.
Ahhh, those are sweet stories! Addy could tell you were upset, ssg. Animals can be so perceptive.
One of our former cats couldn't stand it when either one of my daughters cried; she would go to them and meow with concern until they stopped.
Just one more fun video that my youngest DD sent me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7znI_Kpzbs
This message was edited Mar 20, 2015 9:42 PM
My "heart dog" lives in Pittsburgh, with my parents. :-) Josie had her first birthday yesterday, so now mom is telling her she has to "act like a lady." As if! She's a golden retriever, which is the kind of dog our family had long ago. She and I have a very joyful relationship. I went with my parents to pick her up last year and assured the breeder that if they were ever unable to keep her, I would give her a home in a New York minute.
We have fun puppy news on our street, also. Our neighbors got a sweet sweet goldendoodle puppy! "Shadow" is black, and she's just such an easy-going smart girl! Doodles can be any color that poodles can be, and they come in assorted poodle sizes also. Shadow "should" be 40 pounds or so... Rhonda thinks her paws look bigger than that adult size, but they are not as relatively big as Josie's were when she was a puppy... and Josie is 60 pounds now, will probably be 70+ once she fills out. So I'm guessing 40-45 pounds for Shadow.
We got to take care of Shadow today since Rhonda was at a seminar. Joyanna and 2 neighbor kids played in the snow with her when I took her out at noon, and a couple hours later we took her out again, accompanied by another of Joyanna's friends. If I'd talked Jim into a dog, I'd have gotten a 'doodle, so I'm really loving on Shadow! Rhonda says she'll share. :-)
Josie & me, last September