Here at ChezRanger Hallowe'en has been the bailiwick of the wee tuxedo cat, Ivy!
She traded on her mostly black coat to carry the holiday. Spooky, right?
Ivy did her best to keep up the scare here in late October, but she really had to work at it. She was possibly the sweetest cat I've ever met. Maddie could be a diva, but Ivy was wonderfully easy to get along with. And she was never aggressive with her demands. She'd simply sit there and stare you into submission. Sweetly.
She eventually got what she wanted. And we were happy to give it to her.
Even when she DEMANDED FLESH!!!!!
What can I say? It's a Hallowe'en post.
Of course, since Ivy is no longer with us, Hallowe'en is a gentler holiday. Even the weather has been seriously not scary. Here's a pic of the centerpiece on our table at dinner last night:
Lilacs (very confused lilacs blooming in our yard in late October) and a rose from LadyRanger's climbing bush. Very odd.
<sigh> It's a pity that our wee black cat has to be a wine bottle.
We need cats.
Trick or Treat for kitties? Shoulda thought of that....
One of the many small rewards that come with being a 5th grade teacher is that i get to go to the zoo regularly. Granted, I see less of the animals than I do of my children, but I do get to see something of them and, if I'm lucky, take a picture.
Got to see the lion family again. They were enjoying a family nap. Here are mom and dad resting after what was probably a rough night with a gang of four rowdy teenagers...
Here are a couple of their kids, most likely trying to sneak out of the house and go commit teenage havoc in the neighborhood...
They've grown quite a bit from my last trip, when they were wee beasties! These aren't the best pics, but the lion family was not in a mood to cooperate.
I had never gotten a good pic of the resident bobcat before. He was usually off at the back of his enclosure behind a tree. For whatever feline reason, today he was front and center and willing to model for me.
I'm really happy to have gotten this pic. This sort of close-quarters lounging almost never happened with our two girls. They managed a truce at time, but it was always tenuous. Even if they'd settled down, all Ivy had to do was give the comfy-kitty sigh and Maddie got stressed. Every time Maddie moved, even for a toe-stretch, Ivy went on alert. It was rare to see them willing to co-habit like this. Glad to have it documented.
My posting schedule will probably be a bit sporadic. Reposting old pics (while it's something I've done countless times before) is not what I want to make a new career of. I am going to try to hunt up some photos of Maddie and Ivy that I've not posted before. If I'm lucky enough to fine those, I'll put 'em up. I'll post on Sundays when I feel the world needs more kitties. And of course there will be an Ivy-palooza on Hallowe'en.
I will not be doing my usual every-week posts until (probably)(because I'm nothing if not inconsistent) we have our new feline family members aboard. We are thinking about sometime during next kitten-season. Of course, if we find a bedraggled cat on our back porch just looking for a home, we may have to oblige.
Remember Vuvu? Hey, it could happen again is all I'm sayin'...
I hope he's happy, warm and fat (and as always, loud loud loud) in his forever home!
...cat picture, since you don't really care about the rest of the silliness...
Wasn't she a lovely beast?
We do have one update on an important topic: our neighbor Ed has adopted a new cat! He found a beautiful 3-year old cat, though none of us think that she's really that old. She's a medium hair girl with a poof of a tail. We met her through the window yesterday. I don't have any pics, but I'll share one when I finally get some. We are very happy for Ed. And, for reasons that I don't understand, I'm just pleased for us, too. I suppose that this helps me believe that another cat or two abiding in ChezRanger will eventually happen.
The next update is kitchen-related. LadyRanger and I are expanding our already vast recipe book with...Paella!
We made a seafood paella last night. Shrimp, lobster, saffron, green beans and a type of pepper called Aleppo pepper. First time we've used it. The dish was a raging success. And it makes enough for us to have left overs on monday! woohoo!
Here she is back in October of 2007. We'd had her for about a year and a half. She'd gone from less than 7.5 pounds to a wee bit more than 10. "Almost fat!" our vet had cooed....Ivy was a particular fave down at the office, as much for her survival story as for her calm and cooperative demeanor during checkups.
She'd crash out on the couch to nap and would eventually turn on her back. If she was completely out, there'd be a wee sigh, a heroic stretch, and one or both back legs would remain straight up. She would stay like that for 45 minutes to an hour. It was mind-blowingly cute.
Our dear friend and neighbor Puddin' Cat (whom we have always called Matilda) has gone to the bridge. She'd been losing lots of weight recently and it seems that she had the same type of cancer as Maddie and couldn't eat or drink. There was not much that could be done.
Puddin' was a local stray as a youngster, about 15 years ago. She'd hang out with another relatively house-trained stray and wander the neighborhood. Once the other cat got taken in Puddin' was on her own for a while. We'd leave food out for her, as did Ed, the fellow next door. Puddin' was never shy or skittish, always expecting pats when we put the food out. She *always* tried to find her way into the house. Knowing Maddie as we did, we knew it would have been a bad idea. Once, while Puddin' was sitting on the front porch Maddie managed to rocket out and chase poor Puddin' off the porch, off our property and off the neighboring property.
Puddin' was undeterred and continued to come by, saying hello or sitting under the climbing roses and watching LadyRanger work on the garden.
It was a good day for all concerned when Ed took Puddin' in. Never was a cat better loved. Ed's a hard-working blue-collar man and he's not wealthy. I know that Puddin' ate before Ed ate. Sometimes by a few days. She rewarded his care by being the most reasonable cat I've ever met. When they were outside together she'd stay on the proper territory or, should the wandering paws take her elsewhere, she'd either wait for Ed to catch up or come home when called.
She maintained a friendship with us after being adopted. Really, our outdoors was much more her territory than Maddie's, though we never told Maddie that. Ed and Puddin' knew that she was always welcome at ChezRanger, whether on the patio or
...having a chill in the winter remains of the lily patch.
I know I've many more pics of her, but they are scattered across so many folders that I doubt I'll ever find them all. When I find more, I'll give 'em a post.
Puddin' was a good cat. If there was *ever* a cat who fit the traditional idea of the Rainbow Bridge it is Puddin'. She loved her outdoor time and made the most of it. I'm sure that she would run and play with any creature that showed her the same confident friendliness that she showed the world. And if ever a cat would wait for her human and run to greet him as he went to his reward it is Puddin'.
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.
I'm simply going to be envying our kitty Ivy, who could hit the bed whenever her aged bones wanted to.
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!!
She even consented to sharing the bed, but not often.
With such an example of blissful rest before me, is it any wonder that I, in the midst of my labors, will envy our lovely wee tuxedo cat? I think not.
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.