Andy wasn’t in the mood.
Dougy wasn’t in the mood either…or…
…was he? “And get behind my ears, too!”
…but first, the kitty boys (Andy, left; Dougy, right) thank you for your birthday greetings! They had the water off a can of albacore, their favorite birthday treat. Below, they clean up after their treat.
Then, I got a mail package with new sandals inside. There was a box within a box, so both birthday boys got a box for himself! Unfortunately, they ran off as soon as I went for my smart phone to take a photo.
But what about Mary and her 41 cats? Yesterday my old friend Craig and I followed up on an invitation from Mary to come for a visit and to see her “cat house” and the camp for disabled she and her late husband created. I hadn’t seen Mary in 51 years, so that was a bonus to the visit!
That’s Craig at the wheel. He’s normal, and we’ve been friends since we were babies in the 1st Presbyterian Church nursery in Alliance. That’s more or less 69 years!
(I had to put on my “crazy old bearded coot” face to chase deer off the highway on the road to Mary’s.)
It was a beautiful day to travel in a unique part of America. The Black Hills of South Dakota are near where I live in Nebraska. They are heavily infested with tourists this time of year, for good reason. (And deer all the time….)
Where Mary lives (in an old tin mining camp her late husband and she repurposed and expanded on) has the benefit of the beauty of the Black Hills with isolation from the crowds. We knew we’d have a great time at Mary’s!
It was safe ride down to Keystone from Rapid City, thanks to Craig’s expert driving skills. (No deer jumped in front of us, thanks to me!)
Craig and I arrived at Mary’s and had a happy reunion! She still is as sweet as I remember and is one of the coolest people I know. (Craig wants you to know he isn’t Joe Cool with the sunglasses. He had cataract surgery recently, and the sun still bothers his eyes.)
The house cats (as compared with the feral cats and those Mary has rescued, the most of the 41 cats she houses or helps) quickly introduced themselves to me since I am a cat person and know how not to scare them off. Also, they enjoyed smelling kitty boy scents on my hands, clothes, and legs! I should note that the kitty boys had a great time sniffing me over when I returned home, catching up on what their South Dakota kitty boys and kitty girls had to “say” back.
The cats Mary’s rescued have deluxe accommodations in three rooms in Mary’s home that have significant additions for the comfort of the kitties. We didn’t spend a lot of time in these rooms since these are abused, abandoned cats largely, and they are working through their issues with Mary’s kind care. Some were far enough along to come right up to me, however, since I come bearing important kitty messages on my hands, clothes, and legs. I felt honored!
By far the coolest cat of all is Barnaby! When Mary, Craig and I went to see what she and her husband created for disabled campers she hosts at her place in the Hills, Barnaby lead the way. (Again, no deer leaped in front of us, thanks to my “crazy old bearded coot” face!)
The cabins are compact, have themes, and are handicap-accessible. People ranging from those with Down’s syndrome, are wheel-chair bound, or have other disabilities come for a week in this beautiful setting in the Hills. It is a major challenge for Mary to run, but she gets by with volunteer help and donations.
She also has two rescue horses and a momma skunk with three kits that eat cat food on her porch and live under it. Did I mention Mary is one incredibly good and decent person? Craig and I agree we are blessed to have such a positive person in our lives.
Some days, the political news dismays and suggests the end of goodness and decency in America. There is hope, however, because goodness and decency exist in the hearts and compassionate actions of people like dear Mary.
We ended our visit by enjoying talk and a restaurant meal in Keystone. Craig then took me up to Rapid City where I left my VW Sportwagen in his driveway. We made plans for Craig to visit me in Alliance on August 21st, where we will watch the total eclipse of the sun in comfort on my patio. (My “crazy bearded old coot” face won’t be needed.)
Yes, life is good!
We got through the grooming appointment just fine. The report is the boys were very good while there. Like human children, they are much nicer with others than they are at home…!
Dougy whined from the moment I caught him and put him in the carrier till I left the groomer’s. When I returned to pick the boys up, Dougy started whining as soon as he became aware of me. What an actor! Andy, however, was quiet and well-behaved the whole time.
Dougy didn’t cooperate with me for an “after” photo, either. This was the best of those I got.
Look at all that cat hair on the carpet! Now that the boys are trimmed down, that isn’t such a problem.
Today, I can vacuum the carpet knowing it will stay clean a lot longer. When the boys are untrimmed, the carpet needs daily care to look clean.
(Of course, as a guy, I can put up with nasty cat-hair-covered carpet a long time before I do something about it! 🙂 )
We got a late start today. Or maybe it was a we-got-a-very-early-start-pooped-out-took-our-naps-then-restarted-late today. Just a matter of which end of the morning you look at!
Dougy celebrated waking up again by stretching and scratching the settee, like the bad kitty he is. Even the photo stinks of bad kittyness:
Then he sat, regal little cat, giving me his best Persian kitty pose:
Andy slept in the dryer till I made a visit to the bathroom, then he hopped down, stretched, walked into the front room, sat down, forgot himself for a moment, and was trapped (without effort!) by Doug (the human one), who hadn’t forgotten Andy still needed his heart medication.
Andy took his medicine like a pouty little poopyhead, but he took it all right! Then he regrouped on Doug’s shoulder. It looks like a happy moment (which, in some respects it was…), but Doug can vouch that Andy’s front claws were dug deep into his shoulder! Youch!The business of the day done, we all went back to doing our things. (Poor Andy has such a sad face in the last photo! “Poor me! I suffer so!”)
What a nightmare! Both my PC and new laptop are back from repair, and virtually nothing works the way it used to.
G-mail is down. All Microsoft Office applications are down. Photoshop is AWOL. Ugh! How I got onto WordPress is a mystery. I typed what was in the search box “in case”. If I can get to the editable section of the blog, I can limp along with something, however rudimentary.
If you’ve stayed on during me disappearance from the Internet, bless you! I’;ll try top reward you with some happy cat stuff to make up for thew recent blackout. If nothing else, the boys and I had lots of play time this past week, and they’ve enjoyed having the extra attention.
But, hey! Here are some cat photos to give you something other than a tale of woe for today’s post:
Andy and Dougy have subtle color variations in their coats. There are hints of silver among the black. They are a soft gray underneath, though it registers as black until they roll over on their backs or you see them in strong sunlight. The color zones are most obvious after they’ve been trimmed up by their groomer, though they show best in soft natural light.
To just see Andy and Dougy, though, you just think of them as black cats unless you look a little closer or catch them in the right light. I find them fascinating to watch for these variations! They are very pretty cats. It just isn’t clear what color they are. Here they are in a strong flash light.
Here’s little “black” Dougy when he was a kitten. You may remember this from when it was my blog head.
Or Dougy dozing on my computer desk.
Here’s Andy in an early photo, when he was a bit older than a year and before he and his brother started going to the groomer.
The person who gave me the boys called Andy a smoke Persian, and his papers stated the same. Dougy, who is a little darker than his brother, with copper-colored eyes instead of yellow, looks essentially the same as his brother to me, yet he’s listed as “black”. What? You tell me what color my kitties are!
Just when I didn’t have any idea on what to do for my next post, I received the latest new photos of Molly. Whew! Thanks, sis!
I’m always happy to hear from my siblings, but especially from my sister in Seattle when she attaches photos of her new cat, Molly Moon, a beautiful long-haired tuxedo.
Molly is a rescue cat, one of those thousands of cats that end up in shelters to await their fate. Thankfully, this sweet cat ended up in a “no kill” shelter, and thankfully, she was available when my sister wanted an older cat. Molly fit the bill!
I had to repeat that photo because you get to see just how pretty Molly’s “undercarriage” is! She is a classic tuxedo cat, too, with the white whiskers, socks, chest, and facial markings.
As for adjustment, figuring out the ropes, getting along, figuring out where things are, Molly has done well, too. My sister did a good job of researching potential kitties to adopt.
Molly isn’t the new cat to the family now, but she still has her surprises. Cats are like that! The other day, my sister couldn’t find Molly.
My sister isn’t sure how Molly got on top of the armoire, but there she is, right next to the tuxedo kitty, of course! On this Thanksgiving Day, it is safe to say my sister is thankful she found Molly at one of the “no kill” shelters in Seattle.
Andy, Dougy, and I wish you a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday!
I get what I get, not what I plan when I decide to do a photo story about the boys. I thought — and still think — it’d be cute to get photos of Andy in his new box playing. We played earlier, and he gave a wonderful performance you would have enjoyed…if I got it saved on my camera!
Of course, once I got my camera, the mood changed, Andy stopped being cute, and Dougy showed up to take over. He hadn’t played out for the morning yet, and here was a wonderful opportunity.
Don’t feel bad for Dougy. After I put the camera away, we went back to playing with the wand toy. Andy joined in, but played from the seat of my computer chair, a favorite of both boys because they like to catch the toy under and over the armrest!
Dougy decided to check out my progress (i.e. make sure I didn’t libel him). Apparently I passed his stringent test because he didn’t hit [Ctrl] [Alt] [Delete].