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Cats (Not the Musical)

Hello everyone! Apologies for my absence from Blogging Land. I have all the usual excuses – laziness, too busy, no time, life got in the way etc – but I also have a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE too… I got kitties! Yay me! I had been procrastinating about it and kept finding reasons why I shouldn’t get furbabies right now, why I needed more time, why I needed to organise myself better, why I should wait… But, eventually, it became apparent that there would never be the RIGHT TIME and I was just putting it off due to anxiety and fear of making a mistake.

So, one day, I went along to the Cat Haven, with my Mum in tow, to have a look – just a look – at the cats and kittens available. Why did I think I might be able to go in and not leave with a furry friend that same day? Duh! There were so many lovely kitties needing a home – all ages, colours, shapes and sizes. I did have in mind that I wanted perhaps a ginger kitten and a black and white one, but what were my chances of finding a pair like that, that were the right age too? I definitely wanted two – so they would have company when I’m out – and had originally wanted them to be boys, but that had changed over the preceding days. I didn’t care what sex they were in the end. I just wanted a little furry friend to love.

My Mum actually spotted them first. A bright and bouncy 6 month old tabby kitten, leaping about, trying to get attention – smooching on the glass of his cubicle and generally being adorable. The sign on his door said “My name is Ryan – how can you resist my chubby little face?” And, indeed, we could not.

Hiding away in the back of his cubicle, was his little sister, Oakie. She was obviously terrified and just wanted to make everything go away. When I reached in to stroke her, she cowered but did not hiss or run away. I felt so sorry for her. What a frightening world for her. The only comfort she had was her big brother who, bless him, tried to protect her by putting his arm around her. They had to be homed together as a bonded pair. We were sold.

So, now two months later, I have a pair of gorgeous, crazy, entertaining and affectionate kittens. Introducing, Atticus and Harper! ūüôā

Atticus (AKA “The Toad”)

Harper Louise (AKA “Poppy”)

Atticus is a big boofy boy. He is a bit of a bully to his delicate and timid sister. In the first few weeks, I was quite concerned about his behaviour because he just would not leave her alone – she was getting beaten up constantly. Play-fighting is absolutely normal, of course, but Harper is so much smaller and, especially in the early days, she was in poor condition and not feeling well, and couldn’t defend herself. She took a long time to get over her desexing operation, and spent most of her days curled up on my dining room chair, looking miserable. Her appetite was good, however, and she seemed to trust me so I took heart that she would eventually come out of her shell.

I have to supervise meal times, otherwise Atticus will eat all of his own food and then Harper’s as well. She eats about a third of what he consumes (or should I say inhales) and tends to dither about. I can’t leave the food out for her to graze on – it will be gone in two seconds flat if Atticus is anywhere near it. I swear I got jipped and actually adopted a dog – he eats like a dog, plays like a dog, carries things around like a dog. He even chews on my shoes! But, despite his naughtiness and never-ending energy, he is adorable. The sweetest, most loving little guy. He enjoys a cuddle (on his terms) and just likes to be wherever I am. He ruled the roost from day one.

Harper is a tiny little lady. She is about half her brother’s size and is delicate and slight. She has a permanently worried expression on her face but is a happy girl most of the time. Initially, she had a very rough, almost crinkly, coat, and her hair was falling out in clumps. But, as she settled and recovered from her surgery and early experiences, her coat improved and is now quite soft and smooth – a pale, pinky-silver tabby. Still very timid, she will hide from everyone except for me. I am hoping this will change, but it may just be how she is – there is no way of knowing what her previous experiences with humans has been. She too is very loving and enjoys being stroked and talked to. She will roll on her back and let you rub her tummy and she has a special little voice just for me that warms my heart. She and her brother talk constantly – chirrupping (as I call it) and calling for one another when it’s playtime. They also groom one another quite violently, which generally leads to fisticuffs but, as long as Harper is not getting hurt, I leave them to it. She initiates quite a lot of the fights now and gives as good as she gets. I do have to separate them from time time, though, when Atticus forgets himself. When I first got them, they were showing signs of perhaps behaving a bit incestuously, and I am pretty sure Harper may have been pregnant. It took a couple of weeks for things to settle down in that way. Hormones get in the way of everything!

Atticus is very handsome. I think he knows it too. His coat is like silk – thick and shiny and so, so soft. He is much darker than Harper, and I think he is going to be a big boy, if his enormous feet are anything to go by. He is growing at a rate of knots and I have to keep an eye on his food intake, because I think he could easily be a bit of a fatty ūüôā

I have had to have an unwanted trip to the vet with Harper. Poor girl got her ear torn by her boofhead brother, and so we had to go through the trauma of her needing medication on the wound twice a day. It healed quickly, thankfully, and didn’t need the full course of drops. She hated me doing anything to her and it made her take a few steps back in terms of her social development and feeling secure, so I was glad to be able to leave her be. She soon forgave me and didn’t hold a grudge.

Atticus likes to suck on his blankies. This is normally a sign of kittens being taken away from their mothers too soon. He will suck and knead for ages, any time of day. I have special blankies for this – he only likes the soft “minky”ones. Often, he will be having a suckle session while Harper gives him a good tongue-bath. I think it comforts them both and I’m always happy when they’re they not bashing each other up.

They have the run of my house, except for my bedrooms (gotta have a couple of rooms free from hair, y’know!?) but are not allowed outside. I am planning on reinforcing my outside patio and enclosing it, so they can also have that room to play and explore. I have a two-story house so they get lots of exercise running up and down the stairs and they like to sunbathe by the upstairs windows, where they can also spy on the whole neighbourhood.

I love them so much. I don’t know why it took me so long to make the decision to get cats. I have missed having a pet, and cats are the best option for me, given I work full time. They are pretty self-sufficient and, provided I give them lots of exercise and play times to prevent boredom, they are pretty well-behaved. I have covered all my couches to prevent little claws shredding them, and also have a variety of scratching posts and mats. They have a selection of toys and I make sure we play at least every afternoon until they are ready for a rest. This keeps them happy and stimulated, and less likely to get up to mischief. Before I brought them home, I removed all plants from the house that might be toxic and moved any remaining ones to higher spots that the cats can’t access. They have their own room – my laundry – and they go to bed every night in there. No fuss – I just call them and they happily trot in and settle in for the night. They have toys and an enormous cat tower in there, as well as their litter trays and food/water bowls. They also have blankets and little cat igloos. So they’re pretty well sorted. I have no room for anything, but they are fine ūüôā

So, expect many a kitty-related post from me in the near future. They have pretty much taken over my life (and bank balance – when did cat food and kitty litter get so expensive!?). They make me laugh so much and it is so nice to have someone to come home to. They are ratbags sometimes, but full of love and affection too. Watching Harper slowly blossom has been so wonderful, and Atticus puts up with so much harrassment from me – it is so nice to have a cat that will let you cuddle and kiss them (albeit begrudgingly some days ūüôā ).

Thanks for dropping by. Happy New Year to you all. May it contain as many blessings as you can handle xxx

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Feline Pretty

Hello hello!¬† A quickie post today…

One of my collaging efforts from the weekend, this pretty little kitty in her fabulous blue dress.¬† I must admit I have been hammering that brick stencil quite a lot lately – it just gets me out of a fix when I can’t decide on a suitable background.¬† It always works and always looks good.¬† I should have positioned “Maddie” a little better, because she looks like she’s floating in mid-air.¬† But then, in that lovely dress, who wouldn’t be?¬† I also love her ruby t-bar shoes.¬† She’s so caught up in how fetching she looks, she isn’t even bothered by that wee mousey by her feet.¬† I added the little heart brooch to give the outfit some more colour and detail – can’t have a girl looking unaccessorised! ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by x

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Ready To Rock (Cat Collage Card)

I don’t know about you, but I am very rarely primed and ready to do anything, let alone¬†rock. ¬†I follow more of a resigned and begrudging style of embracing life, to be honest. ¬†Not so my nieces and nephews. ¬†I have been spending a lot of time with them lately, and one of their favourite things to do is craft. ¬†Whether it be colouring in or drawing, making collages or cards, or a combination of all four, they really love being creative. ¬†Which is a bit of a relief. ¬†What if they were super sporty or into playing computer games? *shudders*

A couple of weekends ago, we had a few happy hours of card-making and magazine-scrap collage-making. ¬†Good fun. ¬†The kids are so good at it because they just CREATE. ¬†They don’t think too much or worry about anything other than putting paper and glue together in a design them pleases them. ¬†Bliss.

Anyway, as all good Aunties must, I had to participate in the activity – just being a casual bystander was not going to be acceptable. ¬†Can’t say I minded – what better way to spend a few hours than with little people I love, doing something I love almost as much.

So, this funny little cat card was one of my completed pieces. ¬†Made from scraps of scrapbooking paper, corrugated card and pieces¬†cut from magazines, it came together pretty quickly. ¬†The hardest part was finding the “rock” text (which, of course, I could have just cut out from individual letters).

I like the cat’s saggy little belly and his general attitude. ¬†Who doesn’t love a tabby in a party hat? ¬†All he is missing is some cheese on a stick and he’s good to go ūüôā

Hope you are primed and ready, to do whatever you need to do today –
thank you for reading x

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Critter-Sittin’

This weekend I took some time out of my box-packing schedule to house-sit for my Aunt and Uncle. ¬†They’ve both been dreadfully unwell the last couple of years and my poor cousin has been run ragged looking after them and making sure they’re ok. ¬†She lives several hundred kilometres away so she is forever travelling to and fro to take them to medical appointments and make sure they’re looked after etc. ¬†Every week she drives over 300km both ways to stay with them. ¬†It’s been a very stressful time for all concerned.

Anyway, my cousin decided it would do everyone some good if she arranged a little weekend getaway, now that my Aunt and Uncle were well enough to travel. ¬†My Aunt, though elderly and not in very good health at all, is a very outgoing lady and not one for sitting around doing nothing. ¬†After a long period of recovery from a very serious illness she is pretty much going stir crazy, just being at home and having to “take it easy” all the time. ¬†So a trip away, just for a couple of days, would be just what the doctor ordered.

My Mum and I happily agreed to house-sit for them. ¬†Although I had SO MUCH packing and organising to do at home, it was actually a nice break from all that and gave me some much needed down time. ¬†My Aunt and Uncle have three lovely furry family members – Heidi, a tricolour Rough Collie, Sox, a black and white moggie, and Fibber, a white pony – and so, of course, they were the main priority. ¬†Heidi is an absolute delight – she is loving and gentle, but also fun and playful (she has the biggest box of toys I have ever seen!) and she is a great companion. ¬†She’s pretty happy to just stay by your side most of the time and doesn’t ask for much, other than a few bouts of tug-o-war or “rub my belly”.

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Sox has always been a bit of a devil child – very wild and bad tempered – but she has mellowed a lot in the last couple of years and is now very placid and will give you a smooch if she’s in the right mood. ¬†She makes me laugh because she actually asks to be put to bed at night. ¬†Come 6pm and she meows and gets you to follow her to her “bedroom” (the laundry) where she has every mod-con available, including a cosy bed inside the linen cupboard. ¬†She gets fed, you close the door, and that’s her done for the night. ¬†In the morning, you let her out but she takes her time actually getting up and isn’t in any hurry to rise and shine. ¬†She has the most amazing, upside-down, heart-shaped markings on her face/muzzle. ¬†So pretty! ¬†I’m glad she’s settled down too, because I don’t like to think of her being ill-mannered with my Aunt and Uncle. ¬†She apparently even had a lap the other night with my Uncle, which was a first!

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Fibber is a gentle little pony with a nice temperament. ¬†She unfortunately has laminitis¬†, which is an inflammation of¬†the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin or pedal bone of the foot to the hoof wall. ¬†Very nasty, painful, and can be fatal. ¬†Proper management is essential. ¬†Fibber’s diet is very strict (over-feeding can often result in laminitis) and she is stabled in deep sawdust to give her a comfortable standing position. ¬†Care of her hooves is obviously very important and she has a regular farrier who makes sure her tootsies are in tip-top condition. ¬†She wears little covers over her hooves that help to protect the damaged parts and she is not lame or suffering at the moment. ¬†She put up with my fumbling efforts at putting her covers on at night and whinnied at me across the paddock when I was bringing her food bucket. ¬†Last night was quite stormy and so she was a bit nervous and jittery, but I managed to get her settled and comfy in her stable with her dinner and a warm coat.

She’s actually going to be moving down to the coast, to stay at my other cousin’s equestrian centre. ¬†I think it will be good for her – she will have more company and my Aunt and Uncle will know she’s being cared for. ¬†Her little stable has already been built – it’s really just waiting for when my Aunt and Uncle can bear to say Goodbye to her. ¬†They themselves might be moving to be nearer to my cousin, so it won’t be Goodbye forever, and at least Fibber isn’t going to live with strangers and have an uncertain future.

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So, a nice, relaxing weekend, albeit with extra responsibilities (which I didn’t mind at all). ¬†I am so looking forward to getting my own cats – I have missed being a “proper” animal person. ¬†Having grown up with so many animals around me, I’ve felt like a bit of a fraud the last few years, not having any pets at all, due to renting and ex-hubby being allergic to cat and dog fur. ¬†Be prepared for many, many posts about cats and all things feline-related in the future! ¬†You have been warned! ūüôā

I hope my cousin, Aunt and Uncle had a lovely time away. ¬†They’ve all had a rotten couple of years, health-wise, and I know my cousin is really struggling to keep everything together (why does one sibling always carry all the responsibilities?). ¬†I’m glad I could help out, even just for a short time and I hope it gave them a much needed, well deserved break, and some respite from worrying about their health and life in general.

Have a happy day, everyone. ¬†Take care of your four-footed family and friends ūüôā

This Week

This Week

It’s been a busy week, starting with last Friday night, when I stayed at my Aunt’s house. ¬†My Uncle is very ill in hospital and my family and I are taking it in turns to stay with my Aunt, just so she isn’t alone at night. ¬†She’s perfectly able to take care of herself, but she is worried and stressed and sad – much better if she has company. ¬†It was actually really nice staying with her. ¬†We got to chat and catch up, which is something we hardly ever get to do. ¬†She’s awesome ūüôā ¬†As children, we always loved her because she was the one adult who would always listen to us and not think we were silly¬†or whatever.

So I got to hang out with her and her pony (Fibber), her cat (Socks) and collie dog (Heidi). ¬†They’re all lovely and such good companions for her and my Uncle. ¬†Socks was a bit of a wildcat in her younger days, but has mellowed a lot in recent times.

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Heidi is a pretty, gentle girl who just wants to be with you all the time.

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum. ¬†We had lunch out and bought some presents for my brother (it’s his birthday this weekend). ¬†We also went op-shopping and I got some nice skirts and tops (which I drew into my art journal).

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On Sunday, I had a lazy day at home, pottering around, doing lots of laundry (as it was sunny and warm outside) and trying to tidy up my wreck of a house.  I finished off some jewellery a friend had ordered Рmostly repairs and revamps of stuff I had already made for her (that she will insist on wearing in the ocean and swimming pools so they fall to pieces).

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I must admit I spent some time on the couch, dozing a bit, too.  Sundays were kinda meant for that, right?

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I did go for several walks this week, so at least I can feel less guilty about my exercise routine. ¬†On Thursday, I went to my cousin’s for dinner. ¬†She, my two nieces, and I, went for a nice evening walk and then did a 7-minute home workout (she has an app on her phone that yells at you in a drill sargeant voice). ¬†I am so unfit, but at least I didn’t die or pass out. ¬†My legs and arms hurt though haha. ¬†I had a horrible migraine yesterday and I think it may have been from the tightness in my neck and shoulders (from attempting pushups). ¬†See? ¬†More proof that being healthy is dangerous to your health! ūüôā

I got to cuddle my nieces’ guinea pigs, Charlotte and Ella. ¬†They are adorable, and relatives of my own beloved Roderick. ¬†They are very well behaved little piggies – quite happy to sit on a towel on the floor, munching on a food treat while the girls pat them or give them kisses.

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Yesterday, in the afternoon, I went for a walk, to try and clear my head and get rid of the migraine that was threatening to split my skull open. ¬†My library assistant had recently discovered a path through the nearby bushland, so I decided to check it out and go for a stroll. ¬†In hindsight, probably not the best idea, going into the bush on your own – next time I will try and go with a work-mate. ¬†The day was beautiful – cool but sunny and bright and it was so peaceful and calm in amongst the true and other plants. ¬†I thought I might see a snake (as we had one outside work this week) but I didn’t, just heard some rustling, which could have been anything from a lizard to a mouse. ¬†Not a lot of wildflowers in there but a few pretty ones were spotted. ¬†The bright colours stood out against the brown barks and dried leaves, grasses and shrubs.

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The only wildlife I saw was a cheeky Willy wagtail, bobbing about on the path in front of me.

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It was a nice way to spend half and hour. ¬†Didn’t get rid of my headache, but still nice anyway. ¬†The path went for miles and miles so I couldn’t explore it all, but will go back another time.

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When I got back to work, I decided to head home early (with some pushing from my assistant) as my head really was splitting and I just needed to lie down in a dark room somewhere.  As I was leaving, I saw these two pink and grey galahs in the trees outside our car park.  They let me get quite close, to take photos, before flying off into the trees further into the bush.  We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural bushland and to experience a few visits from native fauna.

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I went home, took my migraine pills and then slept for 18 hours. ¬†Isn’t that terrible? ¬†I slept and slept and didn’t wake up until mid morning. ¬†Still a bit “foggy” in the head, but better than yesterday. ¬†Hope it will be gone by tomorrow so I can get on with some things. ¬†My Mum and I are staying with my Aunt again tonight and tomorrow we will visit my brother. ¬†Then the whole weekend will be gone and it will be back to work (boo hoo). ¬†I’m seeing a rheumatologist this week for my stupid painful finger and hand. ¬†I hope it is nothing nasty…

Hope you’ve had a happy, healthy week ūüôā

Festive & Frosty

Festive & Frosty

Sunday evening rolls around quicker than‚Ķwell, something that rolls around quickly! ¬†I don’t know where the year has gone – it’s flying by, and each week seems to go quicker than the last.

Still very sad about Boyo. ¬†So I won’t make this a long post – I know I get overly dramatic at times and I don’t want to do him a disservice by doing that now. ¬†We loved him very much and now he is gone, and we are so very sad.
That’s all there is to write.

I will say that being creative is as good a way as any to take your mind off sorrow and loss. Today I spent a day at home with Mum (she stayed with me all weekend so she wouldn’t have to be in an empty house) and we crafted and read, drank tea and spent time in the garden together. ¬†I made a few more Christmas cards (trying desperately to get enough done for Christmas and my sale in a couple of weeks) and was fairly happy with the results. ¬†It was nice to have someone with me to bounce ideas off. ¬†Sometimes you just need another pair of eyes to tell you if the red button looks better than the green one,¬†if ¬†the card needs lace or ribbon, or if a background would be better in cream or white.

So here are a selection of some of the cards I created today. ¬†What do you think? ūüôā

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