Saturday, February 28, 2009

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

I really don't care.

The lady has been looking for some excuse to post a photo of those peeps from up the hill. There are four of them now. When she posted on February 24, there was only one peep, newly hatched. Soon afterward, three more hatched. So, she has convinced me to allow just one more post about them, as a sort of update. But, that's it! And, I've insisted that she include a photo of me, and one of Elvis (it is our blog, after all). No more bird-dominated posts. Let them get their own blog!

Here are two photos (taken on Wednesday, February 25) of the peeps. There is one gold one (she/he is very bossy), one reddish brown (that was the first one hatched--the one in the
incubator photo), and two dark ones (one of whom is a bit of a runt). So, the lady calls the gold one Goldie and the runt, Runtie (oh, brother--real imaginative nicknames [rolling eyes]). The landlady will give them their names; the lady just likes to call them something when she's up there. Mostly, she just calls them peeps.

And, here are three of the little brain surgeons standing in their food bowl, scanning the, where could the food be? We can't find it.

The lady says they are fun to watch. They'll eat, drink, run around for a bit, then suddenly just fall down and sleep. Kinda sounds like my life. Heh, heh.

Anyway, here is the required photo of me,

and one of Elvis Pussley.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Head in the Clouds

Tristan and Crikey tagged me and my buddy, Elvis Pussley, for the "Fifth Photo Meme" that has been going around.

The rules are:
1. Open a document or file folder.
2. Click on the fifth folder.
3. Click on the fifth photo.
4. Post the photo and describe it.
5. Tag five other bloggers for the Meme.

The lady found this photo in her 'scenery' folder. The photo was taken a few days ago on one of those days when you are sure it will start raining any minute. Or, maybe not.

The lady told me that the human beans often "see" things in clouds and I wondered if cats can see stuff.

Yup. Heh, heh.

The five bloggers we are tagging for this Meme are:

Fin from Housecat Confidential
Abby and Stygia at T'abby Normal & The Stygian Panther
Tuck from Mr. Tuck's Neighborhood
**Franklin, Dobby, and Tasha over at Mishkat
Victor of Victor the Vampire Kitty

**"Tag List" update: Franklin, Dobby, and Tasha were already tagged by Tristan and Crikey. My bad. But, even if I delete them from my tag list, I think Abby and Stygia can count as two bloggers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lemons, Taco, and a Peep

The lady's friend and landlord J called from work and asked the lady if she could go up the hill and check on a chick that had just hatched in the incubator. The chick hatching is a minor miracle since the eggs in the incubator were in the fridge for a few days prior to being put in the incubator. This all happened due to a "massacre" of about 12 of the landlord's chickens back in January by the neighbor's dog (and the landlord's dog...who was incited by the neighbor dog). Anyway, J took the eggs from the fridge just in case she could get them to hatch. So, the lady went up the hill, and she took a photo so that you could see the little peep, just a few hours old.

I really have no interest in the affairs of birds except when they pertain to my entertainment needs, but the lady wanted me to pass along the story, so I did.

While she was up there, she was able to take a photo of one of the landlord's cats, Taco.

There are two cats: one boy, Butters, and one girl, Taco. They're both orange tabby cats (did you know that only 1/3 of orange tabby cats are female? In order for a female cat to be orange, she needs to have orange genes on both X chromosomes. To make an orange male cat, only one parent had to be orange. To make an orange female cat, both parents had to be orange). They are both very shy because they are rescued feral cats. Taco has recently become a bit more brave, and she will now eat a little food out of the landlady's hand. And since she knows the lady, she will allow her within 10 feet (but no closer!). I have chased both of them back up the hill when they dare to venture into MY AREA, but I hold no grudge against them.

It was a nice day today. It almost felt like Spring. Here is a photo for those folks in colder parts of the world.

I didn't do much today...checked out the bird feeder. Don't know why the birds leave when I show up. Heh, heh.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


A call was put out for photos dealing with warmth. I have two to show you (taken on Thursday, February 19):

Elvis Pussley. The most important half is in the sun.

Me. Nice sunny area on some weeds. I was in full warmth mode until the lady came along and blocked part of the sun with her enormous shadow. Get outta the way!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wiggle Worm

When the sun is shining and I'm feeling happy, I'll do a little something the lady calls "wiggle worm". Basically, I roll around on my back and from side to side, sort of twisting at the same time. Although it would be best to show it on a video (maybe some day), the following photos will give you an idea:

Step 1: appear as if nothing extremely exciting is about to happen.
Step 2: Suddenly, flip over and pause.
Step 3: Flip over and twist (show some claw in an attempt not to be too cute).
Repeat the flips and twists about four times.

Step 4: Rest.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

Woke up (the lady took the photo before I had time to make the bed), and peeked out through the garage door (which was open just a bit).

Yech. The lady made it rain again. I decided to stay inside the garage where I had a bite to eat and then used the indoor facilities (rather than my usual outhouse [litterbox photo deleted due to privacy concerns]).

It has occurred to me that I don't live an interesting enough life to have a diary entry every single day. Maybe once a week (unless something really exciting happens--perhaps a gopher invasion, mouse uprising, or bird dispute).

I'm afraid that Elvis doesn't have too much to report either. Everything is smooth sailing on the sleeping and snoring front. He's not a big fan of the camera's flash. The lady is trying different angles so it doesn't flash right in his face.

The other day, he heard the camera make the little bzzzzzy noise it makes when the lady turns it on and...he ran and hid! Poor Mr. Stinklesworth (that's one of the names the lady calls Elvis. She's got a million of 'em).

She does this thing where one nickname morphs into a whole bunch of others. For example: Mr.Black=Blackie=Beekie=Beekie-Beekersteen, and BlackKitty=BK=BKKitty=BKKittersteen=The Great Kittini (I don't know how she got that last one). Obviously, too much of her gray matter is devoted to the Feline Nickname Function (she has a diagram explaining all this--she'll post it once the diagram moves from her brain to a piece of paper---ewww, that sounds gross).

Saturday, February 14, 2009


True love is but a humble, low born thing,
And hath its food served up in earthenware;
It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,
Through the every-dayness of this workday world.

James Russell Lowell -- Love. L.1

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Well, I don't think far enough ahead. I didn't even think about Friday the 13th. If I had, then I would have saved my Paranormal Investigative Cats post for today! It would have been perfect: black cat investigating ghostly orbs. Dang! I'm going to have to speak to my staff (aka: the lady) to make sure this doesn't happen again.

On a totally different topic, the lady said I should mention that she is really not my original "rescuer". In reading over my posts, she realized that how things were worded made it look like she was taking credit for rescuing me. I had a lady before her---that lady (let's call her Ms. B) adopted me in late 2001 or early 2002 (I can't be expected to remember these details), and I lived with Ms. B on this property until 2007. Ms. B bought a house in the city, and since I am a country cat, Ms. B asked the lady if she would like to adopt me (because she knew the lady liked cats). So the lady said, "of course!". I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Ms. B for adopting me, buying me an Igloo, and taking care of me for all those years! I miss her and her dog Milo (or is it Otis? I'm not big on dog names). Milo/Otis was my one and only dog friend. I was very upset when Ms. B moved away--it took quite awhile for me to realize that the lady would take care of me.

Let's see. What else. Oh, yeah. Elvis. He has the most excruciatingly annoying habit. He will constantly lick blankets (electric ones, too!) and make the most irritating sound (not to mention that he would lick a hole in the blanket if given half a chance). And he will lick the furniture so loudly that it will wake the lady up! She sometimes wears earplugs or uses earphones when watching television so that she can block out the sound of the licking. She doesn't have to wear earplugs around me! I do my licking in the privacy of my wicker bed or in my igloo. I'll have to have a word with Elvis about his excessive public licking.

I don't think he licks blankets and furniture because his mouth hurts. His teeth and gums are very well taken care of. The lady brings him to the vet to have his teeth cleaned every four months because he seems prone to problems (maybe because he is FIV positive). He's had about three extractions. He was missing quite a few teeth when the lady adopted him--in fact, because his right front tooth was missing, his lip curled up in a way that reminded the lady of Elvis Presley. That's how Elvis the cat got his name!

Well, I know the lady loves Elvis and they will work it out. She started taking care of him in November 2001 and then he became an indoor cat in September 2004, so they've been together quite awhile! I'm sure they'll resolve their problems lickety-split! Heh, heh.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If I'm not interested in awards...

then why am I posting them? Heh, heh.

I scooped up the "Love Ya" award (hey, it was there for the taking for anyone posting a comment!) over at Tristan and Crikey's place.

And yesterday, Abby and Stygia gave me an "Honest Scrap" award (they're my favorite bloggers, so this is a very special award to me). And, I noticed that if you say Honest Scrap fast enough, it sounds like honest crap. Hey, wait a minute...whether you say it slow or fast...honest crap! Heh, heh! Nice one!

Now, these awards come with conditions, but I've never been one to follow the rules...I make up my own. The 'Love Ya' award says that I am "not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement." Well, of course I am! I grabbed that award right off Tristan and Crikey's page and hurried back here to post it! The "Honest Scrap" award says that I should "choose a minimum of 7 blogs that [I] find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who [I am] because [I] don’t have 7 friends". Well, they got the part right about me not having seven friends, so I'll just link back to Abby and Stygia. And, I'm supposed to list 10 honest things about myself (man, this award stuff is exhausting!). So, here they are:
  • I harass birds.
  • I've jumped on the landlord's dog with my claws out and made him yelp.
  • I kill mice and leave their intestines for the lady to find.
  • When the lady takes care of the landlord's house, I sneak up the hill and spy on her from the tall grass.
  • I think the lady is in control of the weather (and don't understand why she makes it rain).
  • The tip of my tail is crooked.
  • I'm not totally black; I have some white hair on my chest (like, seven of them, I think).
  • I love sleeping in my wicker bed in the garage.
  • I snore.
  • I'm an ungrateful award recipient.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vermin, Interlopers, and Stray Leaves

Between rain showers, I patrolled the perimeter for vermin, interlopers, and stray leaves.The lady was cramping my style by constantly following me around and repeating the mantra, 'Blackie, over here. Look! Mr. Black....look, look!" I won't be fooled. She is just trying to take a picture of me. I tried to dissuade her from engaging in this distraction from my routine by talking to her about it, but my melodius musings didn't have an effect.

Instead, I flexed my muscles a bit and showed her some of my arsenal. She is quite aware of my 'sharps' (as she calls them) as I've used them on her a few times (not recently, and not with malicious intent, but it should be assumed that I will react with necessary force when people do not abide by my wishes). As time has passed, I have become more patient because I now realize that my expectations were too high, and my interpretation of events was clouded by my less than objective viewpoint. I now know that the lady is my friend.

While I was working today, Elvis I have to say it again? RESTING.
Even though it was chilly, the sun was out now and then, so the lady opened the door in order that Elvis might lay in his 'sunspot'. Yes, he made the arduous twelve foot trek from the electric throw to the rug near the door, but only after having a snack to fortify him for the journey. Sweet dreams, your royal bumness! I'm watching you and documenting your every move!

Monday, February 9, 2009


For people who are used to snow in winter (and some who are getting too much), this will seem like no big deal. But for the lady, Elvis, and me, this is something very unusual, unexpected, and special!

The lady has lived on this property for many years (1992 to 2001, and 2007 to present) and it has never snowed (at least while she was here)! So, you can imagine her surprise this morning... she was going through her usual routine (get up, give Elvis his pill with Fancy Feast, put the coffee on, come downstairs and let me out of the garage), when she opened the front door and saw snow! She froze (haha--pun intended) in her tracks. It didn't compute for a couple seconds. Snow was everywhere and it was still falling! She gingerly walked down the steps and let me out as usual. I raised quite a fuss about my delicate toe-pads having to come in contact with the suspiciously cold foreign substance.

Large, fluffy snowflakes kept falling for about forty-five minutes, and the lady was annoying me with all the 'ooohs' and 'aaahs'. Shheeesh! Get a grip, lady!

She took photos because who knows if this will happen again?

Then, the sun came out and little by little, it got warmer, and pretty soon, our too-brief glimpse of a winter wonderland was gone.

Yada, yada, yada. Just bring me my kibble.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Next Episode of Paranormal Investigative Cats

Hmmm. Gopher or ghostly orb? Or ghostly orbs of gophers past? The lady assures me that there is a logical explanation: a light rain was falling and the tiny water droplets reflected the camera's flash. Actually, I was too busy doing my job to notice any pesky poltergeists.

As usual, Elvis is resting from all his naps. The guy is lolling around on an electric throw. The lady says that watching Elvis laying around reminds her of what Larry David said on an episode of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. Talking about dogs, he said that he never understood the whole 'dog thing' -- that it was like having a bum in your house. I guess the lady thinks Elvis is a bum. A lovable bum. A little clownfish of a lovable bum. I have to [grudgingly] agree.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Spotted 'Rufous-sided' Towhee

Today I enjoyed the view from the deck railing (I really do have a bird's eye view). I saw some birds near the feeders -- Scrub Jays, Steller's Jays, a Spotted 'Rufous-sided' Towhee, and miscellaneous small birds. I think maybe they were finches or sparrows (I'll need to consult the menu)---er---uh--did I say menu? I meant to say that I need to check the National Audubon Society Field Guide to California. Anyhoo, the birds were getting some food before it started to rain again. Well, that is what they admitted to. Who knows what they were really up to. I'm highly suspicious of their whole fly-by-night operation.

I'm not too sure what Elvis was doing today. Eating and sleeping, I guess. He likes his catnip toys. I'm not too interested in catnip. A few of us have no interest in it (the lady told me why, but I forget). She makes the catnip toys with pesticide-free, organic catnip. I've seen Elvis use the toy as a pillow--I guess he finds it soothing.

Elvis has a notch in his ear from when he was a homeless cat and was trapped and taken in to the veterinarian to be neutered (shudder). Some advocates for feral cats (very dedicated humans!) set Havaheart Traps to catch the ferals in Cambria (a city 25 minutes away--the lady used to live there). The veterinarian puts a notch in the ear so that if Elvis was trapped again, they would know just by looking at him that he had already been neutered, and he wouldn't have to be put under anesthesia needlessly. His ear also looks like he got in a fight and some cat took a bite. Maybe that is how is got infected with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Of course, this all happened before he showed up on the lady's doorstep and she 'adopted' him.

He is doing pretty well, all things considered. He does have hyperthyroid and has to take a pill twice a day. He has been doing that for over two years now. The lady crushes the pill and mixes it with one half can of Fancy Feast. I get half a can of it, too! We also get Science Diet kibble to munch on. Mmmm. Kibble.

Yesterday I mentioned my cozy bed in the garage. I also have a comforter on top of the car in case I want to stretch out a bit when it is not too chilly. So, I have total of three beds to choose from, or, I can sleep in whatever sunny spot I can find.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yup. Another cat blog.

My name is Mr. Black and my sort-of pal is Elvis Pussley. The lady took this photo today while I was laying on the patio table watching the rain. She took it through the living room window which is why you see the rain spots. It's not easy to take photos of me because I'm always on the move, winding in and around the lady's feet. Every time she tries to take a photo of me, she gets the top of my head or my fuzzbutt.

We are new to this blogging thing, so it will take us awhile to get the hang of it. The lady has an older digital camera (only 2.0 megapixels [oh, the humanity!]), so she might have to fire up the 35 mm SLR and then get the photos transferred to a disc or something. She's no Luddite, but lacks enthusiasm (and the resources) for the latest, new-fangled, stuff.

I am an 'outdoor' cat (even though the lady doesn't think cats should be outdoor cats--too dangerous--wait until you hear my bobcat story!). But, that is how she found me and because Elvis is FIV positive (more on that later), I can't come into the house. I have a cozy wicker bed in the garage. It is lined with a down comforter and a leopard-print warming pad. I also have an Igloo on the deck, so I've pretty much got it made for an outdoor guy.

This photo is Elvis doing what he does best (taking naps in order to recuperate from all the sleeping).

Elvis a pleasant enough fellow. I only know him through the screen door, which is all for the best.
I don't get along with other cats. So, with him being FIV positive and me being a mini panther-puss....things are working out okay.

Well, I don't want to ramble--being that this is my first post and all. I'll let you know more about us in a future episode. Same cat-time, same cat-channel.