Slow it down, buddy!

My cat, Bendi, would eat himself comatose if I left food out for him. And he eats so fast he gets the hiccups. Every time. (Which is adorable, but probably not a good thing.) He is also not yet 1 year old and is a big cat, so I knew I needed to do something and fast.

First I switched him to a less fattening adult food (his birthday is next month) and then we have been trying out cat food dispensers to slow his intake. So far his favorite is the PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser Ball.

He has a constant purr as he bats it around like an expert. It is the cutest thing. It has also slowed him down significantly and he appears to be on high alert to every sound in the house (as opposed to laying down – yea, he did that – while eating from his bowl.) He is always pausing and listening. When he is done, instead of hiccuping, he flops out in total contentment.

Holiday Painting

Bailey – a gift that started the dog ornaments

The blog suffers during the holidays, especially when I am painting Christmas ornaments. These are oil on frosted glass ornaments.

This is a tradition I started thirty years ago and, while I took a break for several years, I am back at it. I believe in creating keepsakes and capturing memories. Ornaments I painted 30 years ago, when stored properly,  look as new today as they did back then, so I am back to painting them.

For some reason, this is the year of the dog. Most of my ornaments have been of homes people were raised in or of their grandparent’s home. I painted one of our pets (Bailey, above) and the idea took off.

First one closest to completion this year is Marla…

 

With the tiniest lines, I have been known to use a hair or even my cat’s whisker (after he voluntarily dropped it!)

Various stages of completion… (I love the variety!!!)

Ode to a Nut Case Cat

The situation is sad, I admit that, because we had to say goodbye to one of our kitties. Yet Stitches was a nut of a cat that has been the subject of poetry and art work and we can’t help but celebrate her crazy, mixed up world.

She was not extremely old, being only 13, but she had a stack of health issues that were, to put it simply, odd. This cat was on Prozac. No joke! She had so many anxieties she could barely live with herself, so it was a wonderful thing when the vet prescribed kitty Prozac for her. It fixed a lot of problems we had struggled with for years and, while still skittish, Stitches was a more mellow cat and seemed quite happy with her life.

Hyperthyroidism (and more kitty meds!) kept her at 5 lbs, yet with all the hair she looked like a 20 lb cat. It is my opinion that 1 lb was fur, and each foot, which sported 6 toes, was 1/2 a lb each. That left 2 lbs for her body.

Stitches was like a pile of leftovers God threw together. Nothing fit, with a character to match, yet she was amazingly photogenic.

Poems have been written about her as well as stories of her antics in a monthly newsletter. Stitches has also been featured in a book of children’s poetry which I illustrated.

The cat had an unbelievable sense of bad timing, which inspired a poem about a Christmas morning trek to the emergency vet clinic. It starts out as so…

Stitches my cat

Was found with a mat

In a place on her coat where the kitty cat sat.

And ends…

That’s the end of my tale,

It all ended well.

Do you want a nice kitty, I have one for sale.

So while we are saddened, we also can not help remembering and laughing over the crazy contributions she made to our lives these past 13 years. We will miss her and the stories she has inspired will be retold for years to come.

 

 

Of Cats and Quilts

One of my hobbies is quilting, and while I have sold some of my quilts, I usually create them for friends, family, or charity. In all my quilting there has been one constant: cats love quilts! And quilters love cats.

So when I discovered my 7 month old kitten in my quilt basket, I was not surprised. I very quickly placed a towel over the quilts though… love the kitty, not so much the kitty hairs.

The quilt he is lying on is a MODA fabric design called Parisian Cats and the quilt was inspired by my Siamese, Tacey, who was all over the sewing table supervising the proceedings at the time of creation. The reverse side is finished of super soft minky material to match the seal points on her pretty face. With a thick cotton batting, it makes for a very warm and cuddly snuggle blanket!

In 2011, this quilt was also used in a homework assignment to advertise a candy. I chose Coldstone Creamery Jelly Belly jelly beans because I liked their colors and the fact that it worked with this quilt. I often used my other hobbies, my cats, my family, and my own photography when creating homework assignments.