The new school years starts up tomorrow. I'm going to have a brand new class of 5th graders coming in. I am feeling my usual start of the year excitement coupled with my usual start of the year nerves. I'm pretty sure that we'll all do fine.
Of course, it'll take me a few weeks to get my physical stamina back up to par. The first three weeks or so I am a physical wreck. Sore back, dead legs, numb feet. It's the wonderful combination of advancing age and a profession in which my ability to sit down is governed by the 26 (27? 28? 32?) people who need me. I'm not complaining (I'm whining, and there is a difference!), I know I have it easier than most people in this world.
She could also hit the couch, the futon, the other couch, the dining room rug, the blanket stack or the kitchen floor, but she did love that bed.
I love the happy whiskers in that last photo!!
Our good neighbor Ed keeps a classic American concrete bird-bath filled. It is ostensibly for the local avian wildlife. It does have other customers, though.
Regular readers will recognize Puddin', or as we call her, Matilda, who is Ed's cat. She was one of our local strays 15 years ago before Ed took her in.
I wonder if she thinks of the bird-bath as a kind of soup...
After a good drink she surveys her territory and then...
wanders back down the wee hill.....
to relax at the feet of her human, bask peacefully in the sunlight for hours and collect her tributary brushies. She really is a wonderfully sweet cat.
We must confess that we are a bit worried about the ol' girl. She's lost a lot of weight recently. She's been a football shaped cat for years before this.
Ed's taken her to the vet but they haven't found anything specific. We've been sending good thoughts her way and we hope they take. If you've time, send a good thought Matilda's way. She more than deserves it.
Not only is the kitchen used to prepare food and drink, it is also a space in which to consume them. Witness.
Maddie always loved to drink from her glass (and yes, it was specifically bought for her) on her stool (which came as part of the butcher block set and was not bought for her)(which didn't prevent her from appropriating it as desired).
What? You sit on the stool and drink those foul Colombian bean squeezings with creamer...why shouldn't I sit here to have my far more civilized drinkies?? If I had a pinkie, I assure you, sir, it would be stuck out.
True, Little Miss....
As she aged, Maddie took her liquid refreshment on the floor in the corner next to the dishwasher. She went from perching on the stool, meowing loudly for her water to doing the same in the corner.
Hey. It worked. Be off with you.
More info on our kitchen work (please feel free to disregard if you've only come for the cat):
In the top photo you can see more of the kitchen, including the 1970's stove that was here when we moved in. We were not sorry to see it go when it died and we bought our current one. You can also see in the right middle of the pic the plastic strip that was nailed to the baseboard to hide the 2 inch gap between the floor and the wall. We think that, after three (3!!) attempts over 17 years to have the floor jacked up, the guy that's doing the job for us has finally gotten things worked out and that once the new floor, baseboards and toe kick are installed it'll look like rich people live here. Or at least people who don't have a gap between the wall and the floor.
In the middle photo you can see our old dishwasher. It was 20 years old if it was a day and although loud, it was the first dishwasher we had in our married life and we loved it. Worked like a dream until the leak started. We actually regretted having to replace it. We really wanted to give it a viking funeral, sent off into the sea on a blazing longship. I really think that it's now off in some Appliance Valhalla.
It's funny... I tend to be a type of animist and want to imagine the spirit of my dishwasher enjoying the eternal rinse cycle.....
We got our new low-end Bosch dishwasher on deep sale and are quite pleased. The only thing that bothered us? It is so quiet that when we turned it on for the first time we thought it was broken! If we'd had the Bosch from the first it'd have saved us a lot of spilled water. There were a few times that we made the mistake of firing the old one up while Maddie was having drinkies on her stool. When the loud ol' Whirlpool started it's very loud cycle and took Maddie by surprise...well off she went! You'll notice the stool has a narrow base and is not stable under that kind of feline acceleration. You guessed it...the stool and the glass FULL of water hit the floor.
Tough! Jeez, that thing is LOUD!!! You outta WARN A CAT next time!
Well, more boring kitchen stuff next week, maybe. I'll try to find more cat pics to make it palatable.
It's been a different sort of week here at ChezRanger. Things are indeed all ahoo.
(and for those who might be curious..."ahoo" is an archaic term that I think signifies that there is great disorder in one's physical environment. I get this word from Patrick O"Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels, the books upon which the movie Master and Commander was <loosely> based. They are a wonderful series of books set during the Napoleonic Wars. I've read all of them twice. They have had a monstrous impact on my everyday speech, much to the puzzlement of my dear LadyRanger.)
The cause of all this chaos is the kitchen (which was proceeded by a complete replumbing job and will be followed by some electrical work). We're getting some work done and, for the duration, our kitchen is scattered about the rest of our smallish 80-year old bungalow. (another fine word!) It's not been a simple time, thus my lack of postings.
"At last!" you say, "A cat! The reason I come here!" I don't think I have many pics of the house without a cat. You'll just have to put up with it. Here, Ivy is settled by the "repair" that was done in the old, cheap, crappy rolled linoleum that we've been living with for 17 years now. That spot looks even worse now than when this pic was taken. Ivy never seemed to mind though.
You can form a decent appreciation for the state of the walls and the paint from this pic, if you ignore the imminent confrontation. Well, actually, Maddie let Ivy enjoy her bag of strawberries in peace. That's actually one of Maddie's cavernous yawns instead of her usual howl of outrage at Ivy's existence...
As I look through my photos, I find I really don't have much of anything to showcase the old kitchen. Here you see the floor, the bottom of the range, our cut-rate though much-loved butcher block table, some really amazing cookies and the wee tuxedo cat, who loved the kitchen.
Really, I think that all of my pics of the kitchen are actually of Ivy. I think that most of my mental pictures of place are actually images of the people I've shared those places with...hadn't thought about that until just now....
Ivy loved her kitchen.
She'd just come in and hang out, tummy up, trusting us not to step on her. She knew how a house worked and she did love being around her humans.
Maddie came in the kitchen a lot, too, but I think for her it was more mission-driven. Eating or drinking were her reasons.
In any case, we know both of our girls had reason to appreciate the kitchen. As have we. We hope they'd approve of the changes. We also hope that the next feline residents of ChezRanger (and no, we have not yet found them) will have reason to as well.
I think this is the last set of Thank You posts. This is NOT the last of my gratitude, though. That, I think, shall endure. After this post, I am considering following a cat's example...
That's right! Having a nap. Sounds good to me.
RedSetter stopped by from her blog Gone Beading. I went by and discovered a very crafty person. While I possess not one iota of craft in my body, I do think we share a common attention span. I also met the Snoopervisors, Red and Magic. Go by and leave a word or two. Poor Magic has had a rough time lately, going through ill health, cutting edge surgery, transportation in a train, London traffic, separation from her human and, worst of all, being made to wear a HAT to cover her poor bare bonce! This cat needs some internet love! And, for the record, Max didn't like the hat either.
Karen Jo hasn't posted in quite a while, though one can hardly blame her. Her family of FeLV+ kitties has suffered some heart rending losses in 2014. I don't know if I can fully express my gratitude to her for taking her time to offer words of comfort to us on our loss when her's is still fresh.
Karla Jackson, of no fixed url, lost her beautiful girl a few weeks before we lost Maddie. She says that time is tonic. I feel that she's right, as I weep less now, though I am still so sad...
Ducky, the eponymous cat of Just Ducky sent us purrs from the great state of Wisconsin. It seems to be gardening season there. Unhappily, one of the indoor plants ( a violet. notoriously unstable) cou;dn't take the incarceration and leapt to it's doom from the cofee table! Ducky didn't see nothin'. That's his story and he's sticking to it.
If you want a pet-blog chock full of animals and links look no further than Jan's Funny Farm. It had been a while since I visited. What a place. I do love the interviews! Jan's can introduce you to blogs you've never met. Go!
Finally, and I"m amazed that I've gotten to that word (because I could never have imagined that so many folks knew Maddie or would have wanted to offer comfort to a stranger) BichonPawz proves that love crosses species lines. Chloe and Ladybug seem like two wonderful examples of canine-hood. Thanks, girls, for your kind words. And Chloe? I'm sure you were a great help, but next time try to leave a bit of dirt *in* the garden, hun....
And so, to all a Thank You. You shared our pain and lessened our burden. I am not adequate to the task of repaying your kindnesses.
I'm probably going to take a week or two off. I'll post again, though I'm not sure what, exactly. I hope you'll visit again.
I always wished that Maddie and Ivy had liked each other a bit more. They did alright with each other (after the lengthy opening negotiations)(which consisted of growls, swats and other violence) most of the time. Especially if there was some physical space between them.
I am always amazed when I see blogs that show me multiple cats getting along. Even <gasp> liking each other! One such haven of peace and felinity is Colehaus Cats. Nice place, wonderful photography and incredibly lovely cats. Viola just showed me an awesome piece of improvised architecture which I shall have to replicate when there are once again cats at ChezRanger. And let us hope that the recent peaceful moment between Zuzu and Ruby will last. Maddie and Ivy never got to the touching noses stage, so don't look to them to be good examples for rapprochement.
If you want a veritable hive of activity, head over to Tomcat Commentary and meet Timmy Tomcat and all of his housemates. Queen Fitz, Toby and Rumpy Bump Stumpnots will amaze you with their prowess (Rumpy seems to be a master of nap-fu).
One of the magical things about the internet, and cat-blogging in particular, is that I get to meet folks from around the world. My friend Fiona (who seems to have, alas, stopped blogging) resides in Singapore. It seems we can cover the other side of the globe with the Swiss Cats! Claire runs a beautiful and informative blog. Of course, with two lovelies like Pixie and Zorro how could it be anything except beautiful? Claire also donates to rescue organizations! Just be careful, and Don't Disturb the cute!
If Maddie and Ivy were in that bag....The only things that would have come out would be...parts... See my above comments about seeing cats who get along...
I'm sure you all know that both our cats were rescues. Maddie was adopted from one of our local rescue organizations, appropriately named AARF. Consequently I have a soft spot in my heart for the organizations, the people who staff them and the animals that go though on their way to forever homes. Maggie from Shelter Cats visited and left her kind condolences. Even if you're not in the market for a (or another) feline companion you should visit this blog. GREAT pics and really beautiful cats. Darla is a complete flirt but so far my faves are Meeny, Miny and Moe. WHAT CUTIES! Kitten #1 (whichever one he is) is so completely striking it takes my breath away. Really. Those eyes...
That'll do for this week. Thanks!
Both of our cats have been rescues.
Hard to believe that anyone could have thrown away such lovely cats.
Ivy we found in our yard. Maddie, though, had been dropped at a foster/adoption organization. I can't express how grateful we were and are to them for keeping her safe for us until we got to meet her!
The first stop of today's thank yous is Alana and Crepes of There's a Cat in the Fridge. She hasn't been doing lots of posting of late due to the move into a new house. She has, however, taken time to respond to rescue requests. The story of a handsome orange and white boy, though ultimately sad, touched my heart. Our Ivy was rescued from the ivy patch in our yard. She might have met the same fate as many other strays. I'm sure that she'd reward Alana with some of her treasured dove-like purrs for doing her best and finding the old boy a warm spot, a full tummy and lots of love before the end. Kudos as well for letting us know about all sorts of cats who are looking for a forever home. Raja is a cutie!
And now, out of the fridge and onto an island with the Island Cats! Wally, Ernie and Zoey are living the life on a not-so-tropical isalnd. Seems to be a great place. The only problem? Mom was off at BlogPaws2015 and Wally couldn't go, too, despite his best efforts. Unfair! Of course, Zoey was not impressed with the replacement lady and even hissed at her. Never fear, replacement lady...Maddie hissed at me the first time I tried to pat her and we got along fine once she got to know me. You might work out... Not like real mom, but maybe... I certainly hope the trip to Nashville was fun.
Speaking of BlogPaws, it seems that Waffles and Katie of Glogirly were in attendance. They seem to have been the hit of the ball! Katie got to ride through the conference in the Waffle Wagon to cheers and applause from all quarters! Take a look at Glogirly. There's some great photography, some snappy dialogue and two brave, brave kitties. Seriously. Maddie wouldn't have come out of her carrier for a moment...
JC seems to be living the good life out in the woods, surrounded by Lilacs and Cats. We love us some cats, as I'm sure you can tell. We also love lilacs, though they have a tough time here in the hot, humid American South East. They work hard and give us beautiful blooms and magical scents for a couple of weeks in April. JC's got 5 cats, two dogs, a husband and a couple of grown humans. Sounds like a nice place to be.
I'd also like to take a moment to correct an omission from earlier this month. This is actually the first time in about 8 years that I've missed marking this anniversary. This month marks Ivy''s 9th Gotchaversary! She came to us in 2006 after having been found in our ivy patch.
She was a smart, sweet, brave old lady. She came into our home, accepted us, never backed down from Maddie, a cat about 3 times her size,
eventually came to some sort of accommodation with her and became a full fledged, much loved member of our family. She was wise in the ways of home and hearth and caring beyond the norm for humans, let alone cats.
I am chagrined that I missed her Gotchaversary earlier this month. I do hope that she's forgiven me, wherever she may be. We miss our wee tuxie. We're incredibly happy that she shared our lives.
I think everyone here knows that I love Tuxies. One Tuxie in particular!
As the Thank You Train choo-choos down down the track I'd like the next stop to be at...
Samantha and Mom's joint, Life from a Cat's Perspective! LFCP is home to Samantha, a lovely tuxedo cat with a penchant for comfy, tummy-up naps! She also displays the typical cat love for boxes. Samantha has managed one trick that Ivy, due to advancing age and excessive wisdom, never pulled off...the trip to the top of the kitchen cabinets! Quite accomplished is Samantha, as all tuxies are.
I'm delighted to have found John Bellen, who proudly proclaims "I Have Three Cats"! I'd say there are far more than three, reading through the blog and counting fosters. I am grateful to have found this blog. Not only for the beautiful cats, but for the way he writes about his recently lost companion Tungsten. Tungsten must have been a marvel and his memorial is touching. His efforts during the end of Tungsten's life remind me of what LadyRanger and I did and felt as Ivy's life drew to it's close. His writing about what was, and how now is without Tungsten is very, very close to what I wish I could write now that Maddie is gone. I was moved to tears several times reading his blog, and quite heartened by the love he has for his other cats (of whom Renn is my fave, big, regal and floofy!)(well, regal if he's not napping tummy-up in a chair).
John, would you mind if I just sorta mad-libbed your work, y'know...copying it wholesale and swapping in Maddie's name and habits? I'd feel a lot smarter and more articulate if I sounded like you. SO! Go pay John, Cammie, Josie, Renn and Tucker, too a visit. And read about Tungsten. You'll be glad you did.
Thanks to Smokey8, who left a comment but no URL. Your wishes for us are deeply appreciated.
Annabelle from Manx Mnews sent us deep purrs and prayers upon Maddie's passing. Lots of deep purrs! There are a lot of cats (4)(four) hanging out over there, as well as someone with a nice camera and the knowledge to use it! Just wonderful pictures! I think that Miss Boo really, really loves sun. If she wants to come over here, we've sunpuddles missing their kitties. And have I mentioned that I love tuxedos?
Yes. Yes you did.
Well then, I'll carry on... I'll just mention that *someone* at Manx Mnews has a serious toy obsession. If that's not enough to make you go visit, well, you need more coffee.
That's it for this week. We hope your week is quick and smooth. Thanks for coming by.