All Good Kitties Go To Heaven

The best ones get to come back as black panthers.  RIP Jake Panther

True to form, the foster kitten (here) who hid himself in my desk drawer to have some alone time from his 4 siblings, chose to spend his last day in my office. He was his own cat until the end. He will be missed.

I’ll let you guess which one of those cuties was Jake. LOL


Bixby Diaries: Life with Cats

tired puppehTired puppy is tired. He’s still blowing his baby coat, but where his adult coat is coming in, it’s a stunning shiny, soft, black.

Tomorrow Bixby will have been here thirteen months. He’s fifteen months old and weighs a whopping 150 lbs and still growing. He’s getting to be such a big, calm, sweet boy.

Stealth Kitty

People ask, why so many pillows on the bed. I reply, so the cats don’t get hair on the ones we sleep on. Jake laughs at my good intentions and foils my plans.

For reasons that I’m not clear on, the cats interactions with the Beast have changed significantly. Jake has decided it’s time to teach Bixby about “Jake Rules”. They have stare downs across the kitchen floor, Jake walks over Bixby in the middle of the night to curl up next to me and for an 18 lb black panther, he generally intimidates Bixby when ever he wants. As far as I can tell, Bixby loves the attention.

Puppy in the tall Grass

Puppy loves his tall grass.

Bixby and Zander are the babies of the family and play as such. They have no use for us oldies. Zander not only tolerates the big wet nose, he encourages it. They play together when I blow bubbles or get the “red dot” out. And most nights they sleep close together.

Afternoon hike 1

View from the trails today

Emma and Bixby are a whole different story. While she still sleeps next to him, most of my day is spent separating two bickering kids. She teases him until he’s whining and rolling on the floor next to her, so all that hear while I’m trying to work is hissing, spitting and whining. In the evenings, when Emma is lying on the couch next to me, Bixby has gotten into the obnoxious habit of trying to sit on her. That never goes well.

All in all, they are the light of my days.

Hot puppy

Hot puppy is hot. Wonders why his idiot person took a big, black dog out on a walk in the middle of a sunny day. In my defense, it was only 71 degrees out.

Hike 2

Great hike today, saw a Bald Eagle and an Osprey, and of course the beautiful views.

Paw print

Critters Do Crazy Things and a Recipe

Alas I have no pie photos, but I do have Key Lime Bars.

I was shopping the other day and found myself wandering through the cookie aisle. I really wanted something lemon or lime, but couldn’t find anything that fit the craving. Probably because these Key Lime Bars are difficult to beat. They’re simple enough to make and really hit the spot when you want something cold and tart. You can find the recipe here.

I'm in black and white to look classy, how am I doing?

Kitteh update. They are doing well and have grown accustomed to Bixby. Everyone has their own routine with him. Jake (above) has just started to take him on by standing his ground and daring the Beast to invade his space. It took him a while to come out of his shell after Missy died, but the last few weeks he’s more his old self.


I have a vibration plate that I use every day. It sits between the cat tree and a shelf that serves as a cat perch. Jake and Zander have decided the time working out is a good time for a scritch and perch on either side of me. It doesn’t matter that I am actually working out, they make their demands known and woe to me if I ignore them.

One day, I picked Jake up and held him while the plate was on. He clearly liked it. The next day when I plugged the machine in, he jumped up on the plate. Human nature dictated that I must turn the machine on, at it’s lowest setting. I assumed he’d jump right off, but I was wrong. He stood on it and rubbed against the cat tree and thoroughly enjoyed it. It lasted for two minutes and then he was off on his way. Every once in a while, he again jumps on and I turn the machine on. I’ve up the speed a bit…the higher it goes, the smoother the vibration. I now have to limit him to five minutes, because I think he would stay on the full ten minutes if I let him.

Jake  Ahem

I keep thinking I’ll get video, but I’m guessing the moment I pick up the camera, he’d be off and throwing me a dirty look. No patience for paparazzi.

I have all the ingredients for the Jicama Slaw and I’ll put it together tomorrow. Today I made a granita and I’ll post photos and recipe tomorrow. Until then…. TaMara

The Life of Kittens

Kitten Best

Ten years ago this month, I became the godmother of 5 one day old kittens and a very young mom, Missy. She was only 7 months old. She has lived with me since, as has Jake (he’s the one in the basket looking far and away). How Jake came to stay will become evident as you read further. They came to me from a house that, let’s just say, had too many animals and no one was ever spayed or neutered. Harley already lived with me and came from the same house. Emma was queen of my house, then, even though she wasn’t even 9 mos old. I also had three Great Danes, so five kittens and their momma made for a house full. But we coped and it was an experience I would never forget (or hopefully repeat).

At the time, I wrote a letter to a friend, telling him of my adventures. I’ve copied it below. When you get to the part about the little kitten who continually hid in my desk drawer (still not sure how he kept getting in there) know that little boy was Jake,  and after all the other kittens were adopted out, it became obvious he wanted to stay. He ignored anyone who came looking to adopt and curled up next to me whenever he could.

From my letter (May 2004):

A soft heart and large home made me the likeliest candidate to take care of a young cat and her litter of 5 kittens, when her owner couldn’t.  I won’t go into my spiel about spaying and neutering your pets, an unexpected litter of 5 kittens when shelters are overflowing, should say it all.  Unexpected maybe, unwanted never, a daily, joyful surprise, always.

Since I’ve never raised kittens from birth (actually a day old when they came to my house with their not yet year old mom, Missy) I wasn’t sure what I’d gotten myself into.  My beloved BJ, who died a year ago, came to live with me when she was only five weeks old and motherless, and my calico ball of spunk, Emma, arrived at 8 weeks last summer.  So I suspected I’d have my hands full.  I truly had no idea how full.

I thought I’d make list of what I learned while raising kittens.

1. Mother knows best.  The first few days, when I was unsure of the care and feeding of 4-ounce fur balls, first time mom, Missy, made it clear she had everything under control:  Would you please keep your big germ-y paws off my kittens…and could keep those big, slobbering beasts somewhere else, I hear Peoria is nice…I just got them to sleep, DON’T wake them up!

2. Great Danes make great babysitters.  Missy and I both began to understand that regardless of their size, if the Danes were around, the kittens were safe and protected, wet with slobber, but safe.

3. Being the runt doesn’t necessarily mean you should panic.  On their third day in the world, I weighed the kittens and was shocked to see one of them was at least ½ ounce less than the rest.  I quickly rushed out to get kitten milk and proceeded to try and supplement Missy’s milk.  Mostly I just wore it.  By their fifth day it was obvious that, like his brothers and sisters, he was gaining an ounce a day and was in no immediate danger…except maybe from me drowning him.  He’s turned out to be a charmer…small, but charming.  And he always gets the girl. 

4. Herding cats is an apropos description.  Two weeks old and suddenly they were mobile, Continue reading

And Where Do You Think You’re Going?

Jake  Ahem

No one can do scorn and disapproval like a cat. I’ll be out the rest of the week, so no Friday Recipe Exchange. But I promise when I get back I’ll heat up the kitchen and get some mid-winter cooking going. Until then…