Category Archives: Pets

Dog Friends

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After my huge build up to summer sketching a few weeks ago, I have to admit that I have not been spending much time with my sketchbook!  I was, however, inspired by a recent visit with friends where I got to pet the bellies of these two. Meet Boudreaux the Dog and Jodie Foster. Both are rescue dogs of unknown origins. In fact, both of them have such quirky personalities, I wish they could tell the stories of how they came to live with their current people.

Watercolor painting of two cute dogs.

Boudreaux tends to walk a little sideways and has a large vocabulary, while Jodie silently contemplates the world, often from a distance.

If you’re wondering how dogs ended up on my cat blog, I’ll just say that I love all of the animals, I just happen to live with cats. But, I would, if it were even vaguely practical, have my own zoo.

You can follow Boudreaux the Dog on Instagram. He’s just that adorable! Also, any resemblance of Jodie Foster, a dog afraid of doorways, to Jodie Foster, the actress is purely coincidental.

Shelter

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I may have mentioned it before, but I love Illustration Friday, a site where illustrators respond to a weekly prompt based on a theme. It’s a great place to see a lot of creative responses to the motif, and to post your own theme-related work. This week’s prompt is SHELTER, which fits perfectly with some of my other recent posts. Like this Friday Art Cat on Katzenworld, this previous post about Los Gatos de Panama, and this one about a little kitty who lives in a culvert.

Cat under an umbrella, watercolor painting

Rainy cat.

Here’s a watercolor sketch that was inspired by a rainstorm and my cat, Miss Bean, who is wary of any water that falls from the sky. For me, it’s not only a portrait of my own cat who was a stray, but also a symbol for all the cats, and other homeless animals who need protection, food, medicine and shelter.

A Hole in the Door

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Between the place where there is the food dish, and the place of the litter box, exists a miraculous openness, The Magic Portal. It doesn’t require any thumbs to operate, and it allows free passing to those in need. In the best of a times, a cat may travel unhindered up and down the stairs. At it’s worst, it is used as a political tool in the power struggle for territory and domination.

Ginger cat sitting in a kitty doorway.

The view from the other side.

The humans like it because they don’t have to continually open and close the door for a cat, or leave the door ajar. In addition, The Magic Portal is a great source of entertainment for the humans, as the cat politics do not go unnoticed.

Guess Who Just Got Their Teeth Cleaned

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My vet recommended Vera for a cleaning because her gums had become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. Cats can have similar dental issues to people that can impact overall health and well-being, so, we loaded a grumpy Miss Vera into the carrier and took her to the kitty dentist!

Smiling Cat

Look at my sparkly, clean teeth!

The procedure requires anesthetic so the teeth can be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. This also allows the vet to do any extractions or other procedures while the cat is safely asleep. The medical staff makes a complete record of the cat’s mouth, and, just like the familiar work-up from a human dentist, a digital x-ray record shows all of the teeth, and allows the vet to analyze any hidden complications. For example, Vera has a tooth that is showing evidence of resorption, but is not a problem at this time.

Cat dental x-rays

Here is a close up of Vera’s jaw. A pretty good check up!

Miss Vera came out of the anesthesia with no issues. She now has sparkly clean teeth, and her gums have returned to a healthy state. Another bonus is that Vera no longer offends her other cat friends with bad breath!

Special thanks to Dr. Jill Erickson at VCA Cherry Bend Animal Hospital!

 

Horizontal Cats

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We had our first snow fall of the season this weekend. Cats do not ask to go out in the Tabby Shack when it’s snowing. Instead, they  seek warmth in after-storm sun puddles.

Tabby cat on carpet

Don’t let this cute picture fool you, I was seconds away from being bopped.

Just to mix it up a bit, a cat may take over my work stool in the studio where I’m creating new book cloth in preparation for the next holiday show.

Cat on black chair

Lucy deposits cat hair on my chair, while simultaneously waiting for me to give her head scruffs.

I’m excited about the new work, even if Lucy is not impressed.

Hand printed cloth

No cats appear on the new printed cloth.  It turns out that not everybody loves cats! Who knew?

Connoisseurs of Comfort

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Creative, inquisitive, and masters of the spaces they inhabit, cats have no qualms about making themselves comfortable. By way of example, I illustrate the particular behaviors my cats exhibited this week.

SUNDAY
We had a few friends over for Halloween. It was late, so I thought I would wait until the morning to complete the clean up. This is what Lucy thought about my leaving the drink station up overnight.

Cat on drink cart.

Awesome spot. I can see the whole room from here.

THURSDAY 
Bean has a penchant for imposing horizontal-ness as a way to say, “I will control you.” Here, she flops at the foot of the stair (a trick she learned from Lucy,) in an attempt to get someone to play with her. And, more adorably, Miss Bean takes a break to lay atop Neil who was just trying to do some sit-ups.

Cat laying on things

Left: Cat bed with instant heater
Right: None shall pass!!

FRIDAY
I’ve been working feverishly in my studio to make books for an upcoming art show. Interested in my activity, Lucy surveys the situation, then attacks my scissors, knocking the offending implement to the floor.

Cat with art supplies

This is a mess. I’m sure I can help.

Ginger cat with scissors

These things are useless when you have claws.

MIDWEEK
Tuesday, I was looking around the house for Vera, only to find her rolling in the laundry with a stinky dish rag. She has returned to the stinky dish rag for a couple of days, each time scruffing on and attacking her prey. I think it’s a sure sign that I need to do some laundry. On Wednesday, she exhibits complete disinterest in anything going with her humans.

Cat in laundry

I adore my stinky dish rag.

Yawning Cat

Yawn….or…. Rrrraaawwwrr!?

Danger, Cats!

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My answer to today’s prompt, Rise of the Robots is an astounding development in the world of cat waste removal. Everyone is aware of the automated, self-scooping litter box. I’ve seen a few myself, but have never tried one out. When I saw pictures of this particular box, I wondered what made the designers stick so closely to a robot look, for a cat box. Is there something I’m missing? Apparently, cats everywhere are amenable to these, but I’m pretty sure my cats would not use this device. First of all, it’s covered, a sure recipe for peeing outside of the box at my house. Plus, it’s a small dark hole from which would emanate a mechanical noise as soon as they exited– double scary. So, Drawlloween today? Rise of the Litter RobotsScary!

Cat with Litter Robots

A curious, space-age litter box. It looks scary to me.

5 Things I Love About Cats

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5 Things I Love About Cats

Why DO people like cats soooo much? Cats claw your stuff, vomit on the rug, and track litter all over the house. They wake you up at four in the morning by walking on your face. They deposit cat hair everywhere, and never like riding in the car. And, yet, they are adored. My cats are so revered that I will pay to put my cat-allergic guests up in a hotel when they come to visit than oust my felines.

Cat in a box. Cats playing with toys.

Predictable, curious cats make playtime fun.

Here are a few things I love about cats:

  1. They’re entertaining. From excited reactions to catnip and laser pointers, to the predictable occupation of a cardboard box, cats provide hours of distracting fun.
  2. They’re aesthetically pleasing. Graceful, always thoughtful about the placement of their paws, there’s something about the presence of a cat that makes a space more habitable, more beautiful.

    Cat asleep in the sun.

    So beautiful! There’s something peaceful about a kitty in a sun puddle.

  3. Cats are snuggly. In varying degrees, my cats like to get pets and scruffs from the humans. Vera is the flopper who waits until I am perfectly settled before plopping over on me. Lucy just likes to be in my vicinity. Bean wants the full on lap experience. As in, “Please do not move. Ever. Or I will bite you.”

    Cats with their people.

    My cats love to be with the humans.

  4. Cat politics. Who gets to perch on the highest part of the cat tree? Who comes and goes through the window to the catio first? There are places in the house that clearly belong to one cat and other places that are comfortable, communal property.

    Cats in cat tree. Cat in a pod.

    From cat tree hierarchy, to pod sleepers, cats work out their own territory.

  5. Cats are a good reason to come home. Seriously. I love my home and life, but the thing that convinces me to return from any vacation that my cats are waiting for me. I say this with all sincerity, yet remain dubious regarding cats actually missing me.

Do you love cats? What is it that you find so appealing about cats? Why do you put up with all of the cattiness and furballs? Share your story!

Soft, Yet Sometimes Evil

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Soft, Yet Sometimes Evil

Intelligent, impertinent, and sometimes snuggly, Miss Bean exudes personality. At nine years, she is the old lady of our cats.

Kitten and Cat

On the left is little Miss Bean just a few days after I rescued her. On the right is Miss Bean now. She still likes to look out the window.

A stray on the campus of the private school where I taught in San Antonio, she was pulled from the rosemary bushes by the maintenance staff in 2006. The school policy on cats was to call animal control, so I asked the guys to hand over the kitten to me. She was so tiny that she needed to be bottle fed, so, for weeks, she came to school with me, at first just sleeping and eating in a crate in my office. As she became more mobile, she pounced around the art room, posed as a model for drawing, and sometimes, caused chaos.

Kitty on table

The wee Miss Bean was a daily fixture in the art room when she was a kitten.

At home, she never really socialized properly with the other cats. There was a time when she was being catified by Cleo, one of my older calicos, but Cleo became ill and passed away, leaving Bean without a mentor.

Cat laying on person

Miss Bean positions herself where she is the most comfortable.

Occasionally, Bean still has difficulties relating to the other beings. I understand that bottle fed kittens are notorious for bad behavior. Bean has her moments, but under patient direction, constant reassurance and training, she has become a wise, mellow, somewhat snuggly friend. Bean especially likes to spend her down time perched on my husband.

Cat in a catio.

On the shelf in the Tabby Shack surveying the neighbors.

I am really bonded with Bean, I guess because of bottle feeding, and the extra special care she’s always needed. She has exquisite, multi-colored fur, a white kisser, and black, black feet bottoms.  Bean can really be a sweet cat once you know to be gentle, and watch for her communication. I can’t believe I’ve lived with Miss Bean for nine years already! She’s definitely been worth the trouble.