Post 2140: “Let me ‘scritch’ you!”

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Andy wasn’t in the mood.

Dougy wasn’t in the mood either…or…

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…was he? “And get behind my ears, too!”

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Post 1441: Mary has 41 cats…

…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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

Post 990: Andy doesn’t watch kitty videos…not when there are birdies outside!

"Hey, Andy! There's a kitty on the screen...!"

“Hey, Andy! There’s a kitty on the screen…!”

"Npt now. There's a birdie outside that I'm watching."

“Not now. There’s a birdie outside I’m watching.”

Post 759: The boys look pretty all trimmed up!

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 sneaks after his brother Andy!

Dougy sneaks after his brother Andy!

Dougy didn’t cooperate with me for an “after” photo, either. This was the best of those I got.

Andy has cause to be suspicious!

Andy has cause to be suspicious! He looks handsome in his “after” photo.

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! 🙂 )

Post 752: late start…

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:

001Then he sat, regal little cat, giving me his best Persian kitty pose:

dougy 1`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.

Unhappy kitty about to get medicine...!

Unhappy kitty about to get medicine…!

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!andy 2The 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!”)

Post 732: Andy, Dougy, and Doug are back…sort of…

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:

It's been nice enough to open the back door. The boys liked that!

It’s been nice enough to open the back door. The boys liked that!

Dougy heads for the little red chair.

Dougy heads for the little red chair.

Lots of birdies  out this door! The fir tree is just across the lawn from here.

Lots of birdies out this door! The fir tree is just across the lawn from here.

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

Happy cat! Is Dougy smiling? It almost seems like he is!

Happy cat!

Of course, if Dougy wants to sit on the little red chair, so will Andy!

Of course, if Dougy wants to sit on the little red chair, so will Andy!

A little tension, but the boys resolve it without a hassle.

A little tension, but the boys resolve it without a hassle.

The change of the  guards...!

The change of the guards…! Andy makes his move.

Woohoo! Andy's turn!

Woohoo! Andy’s turn!

Dougy moves over to the cat lounger.

Dougy moves over to the cat lounger.

...but he keeps an eye on his brother!

…but he keeps an eye on his brother!

Of course, Andy keeps an eye on Dougy, too!

Of course, Andy keeps an eye on Dougy, too!

Later, Dougy's off to his hidey hole to snooze and Andy climbs on top of his favorite  perch, the blue carrier on the settee, for a nice rest of his own!

Later, Dougy’s off to his hidey hole to snooze and Andy climbs on top of his favorite perch, the blue carrier on the settee, for a nice rest of his own!

Post 610: the game

"Peek!"

“Peek…!”

"Peek-a-boo!"

“Peek…!”

"Peek-a-boo!"

“Peek-a-boo!”

Post 604: black and white

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.

Andy

Andy catches some rest.

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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.

...don't look in the devil-cat's eyes!

…don’t look in the devil-cat’s eyes!

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Here’s little “black” Dougy when he was a kitten. You may remember this from when it was my blog head.

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Or Dougy dozing on my computer desk.

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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.

Andy discovers the bliss of perching on fresh laundry. Bad kitty!

Andy as a yearling, untrimmed, in diffused natural light, enjoying a snooze on laundry I hadn’t put away yet…of course!

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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!

Dreaming of little mousies dancing on their toes....

Andy, dreaming of little mousies dancing on their toes….

Post 599: Molly, by golly!

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!

Remember this early photo of Molly, taken shortly after she joined the family?  So much for fears she might not adjust to her new setting!

Remember this early photo of Molly, taken shortly after she joined the family? So much for fears she might not adjust to her new setting!

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.

One of the new Molly photos...

One of the new Molly photos….  She looks like she’s just about to give my sister “blinky eyes”!

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.

Stuffed toys on top of the armoire....

Stuffed toys on top of the armoire….

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.

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Andy, Dougy, and I wish you a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

Post 549: the hunting blind

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.

Andy's in the picture...if you look closely!

Andy’s in the picture…if you look closely! (Hint: those are his paws under the box flap, about halfway in….)

I try to tyease Andy out for a photo shoot showing how Andy not only took over the new box, he made it into the perfect hunting blind.

I try to tease Andy out for a photo shoot showing how he not only took over the new box, he made it into the perfect hunting blind. (See Andy yet? One paw is about to grab the toy….)

Too much temptation for Dougy! He came at a full gallop, and Andy retreated from the game!

Too much temptation for Dougy! He comes at a full gallop, and Andy retreats from the game!

I wrap the toy...Aw! Dougy just wants to play, and Andy can play if he wants to!

I wrap the toy…Aw! Dougy just wants to play, but Andy can play if he wants to.

Maybe I won't play if Dougy's going to be a toy hog.

What the hey!? Dougy still wants to play, so I toss the wand toy bug his way.

I give Andy another chance to join the play, but Dougy's just too close and ready to go as far as Andy's concerned.

I give Andy another chance to join the play, but Dougy’s just too close and ready to go as far as Andy’s concerned.

Woohoo!

Woo hoo! Andy just got up and ran away. Take my word for it.

This game is going nowhere fast!

This game is going nowhere fast. What started out to be fun lost its appeal as soon as Andy left. Poor Dougy! No one will play with him.

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!

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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].

dougy a