Monday, January 29, 2007
without words
How is it that there isn't a suicide bombing in Israel for NINE MONTHS and then the day that someone near and dear to my heart is going over for the first time there is a bombing? In a town that has never been hit before? I'm beyond upset. Angry. Worried. I had been secretly praying that it stayed "quiet" for just one more week while my friend is over there.....

Sunday, January 07, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to...
... Dexter! Isn't he a handsome lad? And doesn't he look happy? Sure he does! But looks can be deceiving...

Friday night I met my parents at PetsMart to pick up our new family member along with all the necessary supplies. After all the forms were filled out and everything was purchased we loaded him up and headed home. My parents reported that during the car ride home (I was in my own vehicle, they in theirs) Dexter rubbed against my dad's hand through the carrier and purred, never once meowing or complaining. All seemed to be going well! Until we got home....

Upon arriving at my parents home I went in first to distract our older cat, Isaac, whilst my parents snuck the new baby into his temporary room upstairs. Isaac felt the excitement/tension in the air but couldn't quite figure out what it was about. He meowed and squeaked and whirled at us quizzically and was very excited by all the toys we seemed to have brought home for him. New scratching posts and a litter box and CATNIP! He had hit the jackpot!

My parents took Dexter up to the spare bedroom and set it up with all the necessary fixin's (litter, food, etc) and let him out of the carrier to investigate his new surroundings. He immediately dashed under the bed, never to be seen again. No coaxing, cooing or loving was luring him out. He was scared and was not budging. Fair enough, so we left him for the night.

The next morning my mother called to inform me that my dad had finally hauled him out from under the bed and that he was curled up on the bed purring and happy. Happy, that is, until either my father or mother moves, in which case he gets frightened all over again.

When Isaac saw Dexter for the first time, Dexter was *thrilled* to see another cat (he had been sharing kennel space with seveal other cats) and was happy to see a new friend; Isaac was none too impressed and expressed his feelings accordingly. He hissed, growled, and stomped off.

The long and short of it is this: Dexter likes very much to cuddle up alongside anyone who will lay down with him. He will purr nonstop and stay like that for hours. He has no interest in getting off the bed to explore and has little desire to eat, drink or use the litter. He likes people well enough until they get up off the bed, which causes him to hide under the pillows. Same goes for reappearing back into the room you may have just been in with him moments prior; as you approach him he acts as if you're going to kill him, and flattens out on the bed and prays for his life. Once you lay down again he's happy as a clam and curls up with you as if he was never afraid of you. It's all very strange.

Interestingly, he is not particularly bothered by Isaac hissing and growling at him. He wishes he wouldn't, indeed he rather wishes Isaac would play with him, but he doesn't seem to be afraid of him, per se. Just big people who move. This is clearly going to take time for both cats, as happens when you adopt a 'rescue' cat.

Overall, he's a very sweet little soul who readily purrs and enjoys being pet. He prefers to sleep on the countertop of my mother's bathroom sink (the bathroom is just off the bedroom, so it's not too far from the bed) and seems to find solace in his reflection. He cried to the other kitten in the mirror much of the morning, but now he just looks at him and rubs his face along the mirror. It's kinda sad, but hey, whatever works for him. Baby steps.....

P.S. did I mention that just a couple of days before I found Dexter in the PetsMart I had a dream about an orange kitten? *grin* I shoulda known...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
a purr-fect start to the new year
Some of you may recall that a little over a year ago I lost my beloved cat, Abbey, when she died at the ripe old age of 17. I was in Israel at the time and was devastated that she died while I was gone, though I had a feeling she would. My mom took the loss quite hard as well, as she too was out of town and travelling to France. We had a great life with Abbey and she brought an enormous amount of love and joy into our home. That left us with one cat, a bad-ass boy named Isaac (I brought him home from the pet store I was working at 10 years ago). Isaac was lonely but eventually adapted to being the only cat in the household. Both cats lived with my parents and my mom wasn't sure if she'd ever be ready to bring another cat into the home again (don't we all say that after a heart breaking loss of a pet?). In recent months however, my mom had begun suggesting that she might be ready to welcome a new kitty into the house.... if she were to find the right one. She pointed to an old painting on the wall my grandmother had done *years* ago and said that she wanted THAT cat. A beautiful, regal, long-haired orange tabby.

Earlier this week I stopped into a PetSmart in my area to pick up cat food for Isaac. I started to head over to the adoption area to see the cats they had but then decided it was too heart breaking to see them in cages, so I turned away. Two seconds later I was turning around and walking towards the glass room. And what did I see on the other side of the glass? A half grown kitty with long orange fur. "Uh-Oh" said I, as I saw the kitty of my mom's dreams. I squinted to try and read the info on him attached to the cage.. how old was he? was he adopted yet? I decided to give up, and that my mom would never take a cat right now. She was almost ready, but not quite. I turned and walked to the other side of the store to buy cat food.

As I made my way back to the front of the store to buy the 4 cases of canned food I had in hand I found myself veering again towards the adoption kennels. I saw that the 2 staff that had been lingering around before had left so I set the food down on a table and let myself into the room. I was greeted casually but happily by Quincy, the 'cat in the painting'. He tried to charm me but wasn't going to beg for me to take him home. He more or less just suggested it might be nice. I fell in love with him and immediately took my cell phone out and called my mom. I told her: "I found your cat".

That night I went with my mom back to the store and met with the woman from the adoption group. She took Quincy out and put him in my mom's arms where he immediately melted comfortably into her fold and began purring. My mom cried. "This is my cat" she said. And so it was; we filled out the adoption forms that night and after a few reference calls (oh yes!) the next day, we were approved. 7 month old Quincy is set to come home and meet his new brother (*gulp!*) Isaac on Friday night. Two orange cats in one home can only mean trouble.... :-) I think Abbey would approve of Quincy... he drools when he purrs, just like she did! (a charming feature in a cat, really)

There is just one problem..... the family can't agree on the name! My mother and I both thought Quincy was a great name but the men in the family hate it. We have been tossing suggestions back and forth with no agreement yet. I shall now field some of the suggested names for your feedback/approval..... and if you have a name to add to the list, speak up!

Atticus Apollo Ari Bonzai Boomer Bosco Boris Brutus Caesar Cedric Chance Cisco Clyde (or Clive!) Cosmo Damian (he IS orange afterall!) Dash Dexter Didget Diesel Digby Dooley Duey Duncan Edgar Egon Elijah Elwood Enzo Errol Finn(igan) Fitz Flash Galahad Gavin Gromit Gus Huck Icarus Jaffa Jonah Kilian Lewis Liam Marik (Mare-ick) Maxwell Micah (My-cah) Miles Moby Oliver Orson Oscar Otis Paco Palooka Phoenix Poe Raoul Rio Rowan Rudy Rupert Russell Samson Sassafras Strauss Tang(o)

updated suggestions:
Marley. Merlin. Milo. NOT Piper.

Monday, January 01, 2007
a fresh start... all over again
Wow. 2006 really went out with a bang, non? First there was the death of Joseph Barbera. I gasped and clamped my hand over my mouth on Christmas morning when I saw that James Brown had died. Then Gerald Ford. What was going on?? Talk about a Black December...

For me, December was pretty good. I worked, I played, I spent time with friends and family and I got a bit of a break from my heavy workload. I shopped, I bestowed presents and I received presents. I have no complaints.

So what of the new year? I loathe making resolutions because nobody believes them, least of all yourself. Yes I have resolutions in my mind, but they are for me and me alone, so I will be keeping them to myself. 2006 was a really great year for me and I hope for more of the same in 2007. Life is treating me pretty well so I'd like some more of that, please!

What of you? Have you made resolutions? Something beyond the ole 'eat better/quit smoking/start exercising' resolutions?

And one last thing.... I need some input here. I have heard a few bloggers complaining about Blogger's new features/configurations.... but there seem to be some new good features that I would like, such as the ability to make some posts PRIVATE. So family members who disregard my wishes to have this blog stay private can no longer read it, for instance. Has anyone been working with the new Blogger system? Any comments or thoughts? Do share with the group!