Sunday, October 30, 2011

Devil Cats and Shape Shifters....

Georgie and friends
Bats, cats , spiders and pumpkins..Halloween is filled with scary how about one more scary story to top off our week long Halloween celebration?

Chica here, in my She-Devil outfit trying to lure Joey into my deadly clutches.  I will do the honors of the tale today! 

You have all heard of shapeshifters - witches who were believed to be able to shift their shape into that of an animal, usually of a cat, to carry out their evil deeds. the Tomb of Lady Ann Smith of Edmondthorpe, Leicesterhire, who died in 1652, her statue bears a strange red stain on its wrist.  Tradition says she was a witch who turned herself into a huge black cat. One night her butler struck a black cat on the paw with a cleaver. It vanished but the next day, Lady Ann displayed a wounded wrist.  The cat's bloodstains remained on the kitchen floor until 1920 when the flagstones were taken up. In her tomb, Lady Ann's wrist mysteriously bleeds under the right circumstances!

Lady Ann's tomb

Seventeenth century Scottish witch  Isabel Gowdie revealed the magic formula  she used to turn herself into a cat which was to repeat this verse:

"I shall go intill an catt,
With sorrow, and sych, and a blak shott;
And I sall goe in the Divellis nam,
Ay will I come hom againe."

Be careful out there on this night when the veils are thin between worlds!  And watch out for black could be someone you know!!!  Happy Halloween from all of us!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cousin Itt (Aka Sweetpea)

Ivy checks out Sweetpea's costume!
Mom grew up loving the TV show The Addams' Family so when she found the wig at the thrift shop, Cousin Itt came to mind!  For those not familiar with the show, Cousin Itt is the diminutive, hairy gibberish speaking cousin of Gomez who often comes to visit the Adams family.  Sweetpea was asleep on the chair and Mom dropped the wig and sunglasses on her before she woke up.  This is the usual way to get us to wear any form of costume!  She got a couple of shots in before Sweetpea made her escape!

Sweetpea backing out from under the wig!

The TV show which ran during the 60's for a few short years was very poplar and based on the New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams.  His work was called many things - bizarre, demonic, humorous and enchanting.  People loved his take on life and death with a very black humor.

New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams

Addams passed away in 1988 but in a style uniquely his:
Charles Addams died on September 28, 1988 outside his home.  As a lover of cars, Charles went out and sat in his car.  After a long cruise, Charles put his head down on the steering wheel, and passed on to the other side as his heart gave out.  

He wanted to be remembered as a fun loving artist and had requested a party instead of a wake.  At the New York Public Library, a party was thrown complete with a banquet and jazz bands.  In a Boston newspaper, a cartoon was depicted in which the cartoon Addams family looked sadly down at a grave, while Charles crawled out from the other side.

The real Cousin Itt.

Happy Halloween!   We leave you now with a clip from the Addams Family with Cousin Itt.  If you can't see the clip below go here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're Off to See the Wizard....

Help! It's me, Mamacita, trapped inside the Wicked Witch's crystal ball!  The Witch and her her Flying Monkey will keep me in here forever!

I know the Wizard of Oz is not a Halloween movie but wasn't the part at the Witch's Castle scary?  When Mom was a kid she would hide when that part came on!  For work, a couple of Halloween's ago Mom and her friend Sallie dressed up as a flying monkey and the Wicked Witch respectively.   Mom made a great flying monkey and even had wings altho they don't show up in the pics too well.  Sallie's witch was scary! Pretty cool huh?

Mom on left and Sallie on right.

Now for some Wizard of Oz trivia.....

Did you know that Margaret Hamilton's portrayal of the Wickedest Witch of the West was so frightening that most of her scenes were edited out?  We only see the softer side of her witch!!!  Yikes!!!!

Did you know that the head winged monkey was named Nikko after the Japanese town that is home to the shrine for Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil?

Did you know that the crystal ball in the movie was also used as a prop in the movie The Mask of Fu Manchu and Chandu the Magician.  The 25" diameter ball sold at auction in May 2011 for $126,500!

Did you know that Hamilton's green make-up was copper oxide and was poisonous?  Since it took hours to put on, Hamilton had to be very careful not to ingest it while eating.  She mainly lived on a liquid diet while in make-up.

Did you know what words the castle guards are chanting in the scene with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion watching from the rocks?  Some people think they say things like "Allwe own, we owe her."  Mom thought they were saying "Or-e-o, oreo."  Actually, she was close.  They say "O-ee-ya! Eoh-ah!"

Here is the scary clip from the movie.  Sit back (or run and hide) and enjoy. (f you can't see it below, click here.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Demon Cat Wants Treats

Just put the treats in the bag, walk away slowly 
and no one gets hurt!

It's just little ole me, Minnie, helping Mom unload the groceries - not really demon.  But have you heard the story of the the demon cat in the Capitol in DC?  

There are many stories circulating about a black cat who appears in the building as an omen before national tragedies like presidential assassinations.  As the tale goes, the cat appears as a normal sized black cat to either a night watch person or security guard and grows right in front of them into a large creature with glowing eyes.  The legend of the demon cat states that the cat made an appearance before the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations, before the 1929 stock market crash and on 9/10/01.  It seems there are even cat paw prints in the cement at the Capitol!  So is there a demon or is this just another black cat story gone wild?

We like the idea of a demon cat - stay posted for more spooky stories and photos this week through Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday News

Minnie snoopervizing the back yard.

 Mom apologizes profusely for not visiting this week but they have been scrambling to get some kitty projects done before the cold weather settles in for the long term.  Pop closed in our back stoop so we can go out there and keep an eye on things.  He had added a nice all glass door earlier this year.  We like this!

Sweetpea claimed the porch as hers!

Woody and Tabitha went to see if neighbor cat Jack was luring in the yard.

They settled in to keep a look out for Jack!
Then Mom put up all the plastic on our screen room for the white cats.  This keeps it cozy in cold temps and on sunny days it is nice and balmy out there.  She gets up on a ladder and staples all the plastic to the outside. She was "wore out" as they say in the mountains from doing this over several days this week!  But the cats are sooo happy to have their big sun room.  She still has to add some more windows to it so they can see out!

Whitesters screen room.

We like our window flaps.
We got company coming too over the weekend but Mom will still put up our week long Halloween extravaganza next week so be sure to stop back by beginning on Monday!  Have a super weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Celebrating 'Tock- Tober

Snowball, Norm, Sam and Georgie

We are participating in 'Tock-Tober, the celebration of Derby's birthday.  Have a look at our 'tocks!  Mom did not have as many pics of them as she thought she did!  We said enough is enough Mom - who wants to see our 'tocks anyway?

We wish Derby a wonderful 'Tock-Tober birthday!!!


Get ready for our week long Halloween fest next week!  We will scare you silly with our costumes and posts so be sure to check it out. Don't forget to enter Hansel's Costume Contest -see the sidebar for the details. Let's make it a super spooky Halloween!

Miss Chica

Saturday, October 15, 2011

National Feral Cat Day - October 16

As many of you already know, all but two of us cats are rescued ferals from when Mom and Pop moved to North Carolina 13 years ago.  They got us all spayed and neutered and released most of us back outdoors where they had built a shelter for us.  When they moved to another county three years back, they moved all of us with them, keeping some us us older ones in the house and building a shelter to house the rest of us.  You can read that story here from last year's post here.

Two Spot and Only as kittens before we moved them indoors.
Fifty percent of feral kittens die withing their first year.

All those years ago there was very little information available about TNR or ferals for that matter.  When Mom called the local humane shelter for assistance they told her they would only put us down if she brought us in.  (In most shelters, 70% of the cats brought in never make it out alive.  This rate goes up to 100% for feral cats.) She found Alley Cat Allies online and they gave her all the tips and advice she needed to trap, neuter and release us, care for us and finally tame us.
Big Guy at the original food station at our old house.

National Feral Cat Day was launched on 10th anniversary of Alley Cat Allies in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Things are a lot different now, thank COD.  Every year, people in communities across the country hold hundreds of events on National Feral Cat Day to draw attention to the cause and make a difference in the lives of cats.

The screen porch of the new shelter at our house now.
Even if you are not caring for a colony of feral cats, there are a lot of things you can do to help them live out their lives with respect and care.  Here are some things:
* Get involved in getting bills passed in your state that will protect feral cats or stop the ones that are being passed that work against ferals.  Join Alley Cat Allies Feral Power network and stay on top of feral cat legistlation.
* Donate to Alley Cat Allies or a local group near you that assits ferals and their caretakers.  Humane Society of US puts out a great list of feral cat organizations but don't donate to HSUS - they use most of their donations for salaries and media.
* Donate your time or traps, food or shelters to a local group that cares for ferals.  See the link above for a list of feral groups.
* Get educated - learn about ferals, how to care for them and do TNR.  A great book is Neighborhood Cats TNR put out by a NYC feral group.  They also have lots of info on their website

* Educate others about feral cats.  Join Alley Cat Allies or your local feral cat group  - Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter.  Spread the word about what they are doing and how to help to all of your family and friends.

Feral kittens up for adoptions are Freiend2Ferals in Asheville NC.

* Adopt a feral kitten.  If they are caught while they are still kittens, feral cats can be tamed and will be a loving addition to your home.  (Mom has tamed all of us - some still are very skittish and others took to indoor life like flies to butter!)  They still may take extra work to get them used to being in a home but it is so worthwhile. A good resource for taming kittens is from Save a Cat web site.

Mamacita has been indoors six years and enjoys her life.

See, there are lots of way to help out us feral cats!  Just pick one and get to it.  We are cool critters who deserve love, respect and to live in dignity.

Friday, October 14, 2011

National Grouch Day - Oct 15

Tabitha here with my grouchy face on.  It seems that today Saturday  October 15 is National Grouch Day. A day for the public to celebrate grouchiness and the things that make you grouchy! Here goes -
I don't like...

-having to wait until the older cats get served stinky goodness first - I am the biggest so I should eat first.

-being told to go away when I just want lovin'. A girl has needs.

-Pop sitting in my chair. I should get my chair when I want my chair. Find your own chair Pop!

-Woody sitting next to some other ladycat. He is MINE!

-being told to stop playing in the water bowl. It's fun! I don't care if everything gets wet.

I think I have covered it all. Go ahead be grouchy today. That is what today is for! What gripes have you got?

On a more serious note...Sunday Oct 16 is National Feral Cat Day. We are all rescued ferals at our place and we know how hard life can be. Stop back by tomorrow for our special post. In the meantime, do something kind for the ferals in your community.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Update on Kitten Cobbie (AKA Danica) and her buddy Angelica

Cobbie (now called Danica)

If you remember a few weeks back our Mom helped to find a foster home for a South Carolina kitten with FIV.  Well she went by to see how Cobbie was doing today. Cobbie's name has been changed to Danica and she is up for adoption along with another little FIV kitten named Anglica.  They are best buddies and we hope to find a forever home for them together.

Angelica - look at her paws!

Angelica and Danica were born around July of 2011. Angelica likes to lay around your neck and purr in your ear. Danica loves to play with people and with her buddy cat.

They both tested positive for FIV but know that FIV is not an automatic death sentence. Lots of kittens and cats live long and healthy lives. They just need to be inside ONLY and get regular vet check ups, good quality food and lots of love.

It would be great if they could be adopted together as they are very attached to each other and love to play and wrestle. An FIV cat should be the only cat in the home unless you have another FIV cat as it can be contagious but only to other cats.

Mom wants to reiterate that our Ivy has been living indoors with all of us for six years and she tested positive for FIV.  None of the other cats have had any problems health wise since Ivy came inside.  FIV is only transmitted to other cats via a serious bite.

If you would like to know more about these wonderful kittens, please leave a  comment or email our mom.  Feel free to repost, use the photos or tweet or post on Facebook.  We really want to get them a forever home while they are still young and cute!  If you can't adopt, then consider sponsoring one of them! It would help with their care and expenses!

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue's Adoption Center is located at 31 Glendale Avenue, Asheville, NC or phone 828-505-3440. Our hours are: Mon.-Sat. 8:00am-8:00pm and Sunday 8:00am-6:00pm.  Their web site is here. If you think you might want to sponsor one of them Angelica's page is here and Danica's page is here.

We will persist with this until we find them a home!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Garden Thursday

Hey ya'll, Norm here today.  Us white cats have the best view of the garden from our screen porch.  I am honored to take you on a tour today.  We have mostly potted plants left now that it is getting cooler - pansies, mums, and some of our summer plants are still blooming. Plus we have pumpkins too.  Our birds have been busy at the feeders so we have lots to watch there!  Please visit the other gardens today at Cory's Cat Blog.





Geraniums, inpatients, begonia

Hope you enjoyed our garden today.  It is also MIA day for cats who have gone on a walkabout.  We had two kitties - Leroy and Bob who disappeared way back years ago and we never saw them again.  Both were only about six months old when that happened.  We hope some wild animal did not get them cuz they were smallish cats.  They were feral cats so we know no one took them in! Sending purrs to all the MIA cats out there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fly Free Dora

Recently Marg of Marg's Pets rescued two tiny kittens - Dora and Mahoney.  Tiny Dora ran off to the Bridge unexpectedly this morning.  Please go by and offer Marg some support - she is very upset over this.

Mahoney is OK but the vet found out she has two broken feet.  She may have had nutritional deficiencies in her early days with her feral mom.  If anyone has experience with this please drop by Marg's to tell her your story.  Mahoney is on pain killers and being kept comfy while she heals.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Going Pink for October

It's me Joey today for Mancat Monday and we are going PINK for October!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All us Mancats are secure enough in our masculinity to wear the color pink, especially if it is for a good cause.  Mom's friend Emily recently lost her fight with breast cancer so we want more women to be preventive - get those mammograms, MRIs or thermagrams, check yourself regularly at home for any anomalies, exercise and eat a healthy diet.

Mom did a special page about the best cancer non-profit organizations to support, utilize and promote - ones that don't test on animals and that don't spend all their donations on salaries.  The two worst offenders are the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  All the others are listed here.

Are you going PINK?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Livestrong Day 10/11 - In Memory of a Special Friend

October 2, 2011 is Livestrong Day,  sponsored by Lance Armstrong's foundation.  Today is a day to help raise awareness of cancer and offer support to those who live with it daily.  Over 23 million people in the US live with cancer and my dear friend Emily was one of them.

Emily  was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago.She endured surgery, chemo and radiation only to have cancer return the following year in her spine.  It came back each year after that to her brain.  Emily took things in stride and resumed life as usual after each treatment.  She had two brain surgeries, plus multiple rounds of chemo and radiation.  She finally succumbed last weekend at the age of 55, leaving behind her husband and a teen age daughter.

Emily was my hero and inspiration.  No matter what she went through, she lived her life to the fullest, never complaining.  She was a talented artist, devoted mom, loving wife, sister, daughter, loyal friend, great cook, incredible interior decorator, supportive cancer center volunteer, avid animal lover, especially horses, gifted gardener, kind and dedicated special needs children's tutor, art teacher, and children's book author and illustrator. I loved to shop with her at thrift stores and antique malls. Emily was so creative that she could see endless possibilities for an ordinary object.  She expanded my mind constantly! She was the funniest person I know and kept her sense of humor thought it all.  She could make us howl hysterically with laughter, tears streaming down our faces with her hilarious stories about the minute details of everyday life from her perspective. Her special symbol was a dragonfly and she collected them in jewelry, art and crafts.  When I see a dragonfly, I always think of Emily.   The world will be a lot less brighter now that this lovely bright light has gone out.  Until we meet again Em!

I also want to honor some close family members and friends who are living with their own daily struggles - brother in law John with lung cancer, Mary Ann, Emily's friend has breast cancer now too and another friend Steve has stomach cancer that spread to his esophagus.  Many of our friends' pets also have cancer, being lovingly cared for by their guardians. Other people we  know have lost their loved ones this year to cancer. Please hold these courageous people, pets and all the others like them in your thoughts and prayers.  Let's  imagine a world without cancer and maybe one day it will be.



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