Thursday, February 26, 2009

Here, Kitty Kitty!

One thing I like to do with my free time is to make cards. I see it as designing with my hands. I've always loved putting elements (colors, shapes, patterns) together to create something fun, creative, beautiful. I also love sending out cards, so it's a way to combine the two! I don't get to do it nearly enough - mostly out of laziness, not wanting to pull out all the supplies and put them all back again so we can eat dinner. :-)

I am slowly building up my stamp collection, scouting stores for sets and custom rubber stamps.
I was really excited to get a set called "Here, Kitty Kitty!" I love it! It has two kitties (one jumping), a ball of yarn, a wind-up mouse, a birthday hat, and the words "Happy birthday from the cat". How perfect is that?? Of course, I don't have very many friends who would appreciate birthday cards from the cat. :-) But I was able to make a card for my mom for her birthday last November:

I was excited with how it turned out, though I thought it might have looked better without the wind-up mousies in the background. I'm looking forward to all the creative ways to use the stamps! And perhaps I'll add some other cat stamps to my collection, and some Beagle stamps if I'm able to find them! ;-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The German Shepherd

I got this funny as an email forward. Enjoy!


One day the German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the German Shepherd exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder, if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!" says the leopard, "That was close! That German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes, but the German Shepherd sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the German Shepherd sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the German Shepherd says...

"Where's that monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

25 things - pet edition

I'm sure everyone's seen the 25 Things that is going around Facebook right now. I decided to do one for this blog, just on the subject of pets/animals! :-) Some of these probably won't be a surprise for those long-time readers of my blog, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless!

1. I have had 6 cats in my lifetime, and one of those cats had 4 kittens that we kept for 6-9 weeks.

2. My parents let me get my first kitten when I was 10, to teach me responsibility. I know that isn't always a good idea to do that with children, but I was a pretty responsible kid and took good care of my cats. (My parents also closely supervised me.)

3. I used to love turtles a lot.

4. I had three pet turtles when we lived in Costa Rica. I started out with one, and he stopped eating so we got a second one. It did the trick, and both ate healthily. We were given the third turtle by a friend who was moving.

5. I also was obsessed with horses for a while, but only because most young girls love horses and I felt that I ought to like them, too.

6. I wanted a cat from the time I was really little. For some reason, whenever I imagined my cat, I always pictured a black and white cat.

7. I actually wasn't obsessed with cats until about 7th grade. We had just moved to a new town, and my parents bought me a Trapper Keeper to take to my new school. I picked out one with a cat on the front, and kitten folders for inside. I got the reputation of being a cat lover at my new school, and it went downhill from there. :-)

8. My parents had an Old English Sheepdog named Sassy when I was born. She apparently reverted back to puppyhood when the new baby (me) was brought home and forgot all her potty training.

9. My first two cats were tabbies, and were also indoor/outdoor kitties. I got both when they were 6 weeks old.

10. My second cat got pregnant because my parents kept procrastinating about getting her spayed.

11. I got to watch the kittens be born and it was one of the most awesome things ever. I'm glad I got to witness that.

12. In Peru, dry cat food was very expensive so we made the food for the cats. I made rice and mixed in a can of tuna (later, we used liver). It was the first thing I ever learned to cook. I always made the food, even when I was 10 years old.

13. I didn't want Siamese cats, but at the time it was all I could find. I paid $30 for them. I'm not sure why I paid for them - they didn't have papers or anything.

14. My Siamese cats (Koko and Yum Yum) looked full bred but had very faint tabby stripes on their legs, so I suspect they were not completely Siamese.

15. I named my first cat, Misty, after the book Misty of Chincoteague, which was one of my favorites growing up.

16. Our family got a dog when I was 14 and that was a new experience for me.

17. We had picked out the puppy and were going to take her home when she was 7 weeks old, but the owners called us at 5 weeks and said to take her now or they'd give her away to someone else. We had to take her - and I would *NOT* recommend getting a 5 week old puppy. She suffered separation anxiety really bad, and cried so much our neighbors complained.

18. It is very hard to find free pets in Peru. You don't have animal shelters, or the idea of "house pets" in general. There were no stores like Petsmart.

19. My brother won a goldfish at a fair in Costa Rica, which led to my parents getting a big fishtank and a lot of other fish. However, all the fish but my brother's goldfish died soon after.

20. I got a betta fish for the first time in college. I have had many bettas, all named Zeke. At one point I got a new tank and had 3 betta fish die pretty fast, so I got rid of the tank. I have no idea why they kept dying, but they lived fine in the old tank. I think it was the filter.

21. When I was 6, my next door neighbor had a frog lay eggs in their outdoor kiddie pool. The eggs hatched into tadpoles and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I really wanted a pet frog (my parents were so mean not to let me keep some). I used to lay awake and imagine how I would have constructed a flycatcher so I could feed my pet frogs.

22. My first cat, Misty, died of feline leukemia. They don't have any record of the disease in Peru, so she was never vaccinated for it. She got it after we brought her to the States.

23. When I had Koko and Yum Yum, our vet was within walking distance from my house. I used to put them in a cloth shoulder bag and walk them to the vet. They'd poke their heads out and watch where we were going, but never tried to jump out.

24. Koko and Yum Yum looked a lot alike. I was one of the few who could tell them apart without looking at the collar color. My dad always called them "Cat". I'm not sure he ever knew their names.

25. When Autumn had her four kittens, we had a friend who knew how to tell the gender. She told us we had 3 girls and one boy. We found out later that it was actually opposite, and so we gave away the three boys to people who all wanted female cats. Oops! :-) corsets

Sunday, February 15, 2009

On vacation

My husband and I recently took a 10 day vacation out to California. Before we left, I needed to figure out what to do with the cats. I figured I had three options:

1) Leave the cats at home and have someone come once a day (or every other day) to replenish food and water.

2) Find someone willing to stay in our apartment and feed the cats.

3) Find someone willing to let the cats stay with them for the duration of our time away.

I got a lot of criticism for not wanting to do the first option. Everyone insisted that cats do just fine by themselves for 10 days. However, I was not so sure *MY* cats would do fine by themselves. We tend to be homebodies, and we are home most evenings. When we're here, we pay a lot of attention to them - we pet them, play with them, talk to them. They love to spend the evenings on our laps. They sleep with us at night and are always near at hand. They aren't the type to disappear into an unused room - they like being near us and around us.

Last summer, we did a lot of weekend trips. We always had a neighbor come by at least once just to check on them and pet them. However, we found that the kitties would often leave "presents" for us to find when we got back. They would only do it while we were gone for a weekend, and they stopped when we started staying home more. So, you can see why I was so hesitant to leave the cats by themselves for 10 days. I wasn't sure what kind of damage they would do being left alone that long - a weekend is one thing, but 10 days is a long time. I didn't really want to risk it because I have a suspicion that the smell of cat urine on carpet never really goes away, since we can't get under it to treat the mat. I like our apartment the way it is - I don't want to deal with the smell or wall fountains or anything. :-)

We tried to think of someone for #2 or #3, and I put the request out to Facebook. I ended up finding an old friend from high school who is in Atlanta going to school right now. She's not in a position to have a cat, but she loves them and she offered to take the kitties for the time! I was so excited. It worked out really well - she said they settled in quite well, and seemed to enjoy their visit, as did she.

Knowing they were being taken care of took a load off my mind while we were gone. I missed them terribly though! I hadn't deleted the pictures from Christmas from my camera, so I would scroll through and look at all the pictures of Lewis and Ebony when I started missing them too much. Glad to be home and be back with them! :-)