Happy 3rd “Founding Day” to my one and only grumpy darling, Twister! He’s my “first born”, my original lucky cat, the one who transformed me into a Cat Mama, who inspired me to make pet portraits, Meow shirts, and help other felines like him. You are purrrfect to me, Mr. Sungit! Purrrrr on!!!
Friday night with great friends (more like family, really) turned into a chilly sleepover at the roof deck. I’m taking full advantage of my 3-day weekend (all my tutorials were miraculously cancelled—either the family was going out of town or attending an event. Yay, Teacher Steph!) by vegging with my people and now with my kitties. I am grateful! This is exactly what I needed.
I just finished watching “The Cat from Outer Space”, a campy, feline version of E.T. from the late 70s, and am preparing for the next one, “Despicable Me”. I am probably the only living being on earth who hasn’t seen the Minions in action, and I will remedy that in a bit. Part 2 is next.
So, good night, world! I shall see you in the morning. 🙂
P.S. The Philippines is a tropical country and the average temperature here is 30-32*C. We’ve been having unusually cold weather the past couple of weeks; it was 16*C last night! I’m hoping for another cool night so I could thoroughly enjoy my mini-break. Good night! 🙂
The maintenance guy of our compound came over this morning and disrupted our daily routine. I usually feed my fur kids first thing in the morning after I get up. They all get hugs and kisses and belly scratches before I distribute their breakfast, though. Yes, they’ve got to earn their grub! ;o) We run around and play right after. I only get to sit down and eat mine after all this, which is probably an hour after I wake up.
So today Mr. Maintenance Dude knocks on the front door before I could get them all together in the kitchen. They all jumped out of their skins, of course (Hey, who changed the script?!), and did their own thing: Wednesday ran upstairs to hide, Twister ran to the top of the stairs to observe what was going on, Astroboy went up the first stair and waited, and Ella ignored Mr. MD and meowed for her food. I chatted with our guest and gave instructions on what to do and continued to prepare the kitties’ breakfast. Ella scarfed down hers, while Astro nibbled while keeping an eye out for the strange man in the house. Twister and Wednesday, of course, refused to come down.
Mr. MD stayed for about 4 hours. Twister made an appearance and demanded for breakfast and lunch; Wednesday was nowhere to be found. I had to rush out right after and go to my class and didn’t see her until I got home. She’s handling surprises better nowadays; she usually stays in her hiding place for over a day before gingerly coming out. She’s the epitome of a scardy cat, something that had always worried me before. When I moved homes back in October, it took her 3 days to come out from under the bed, another 3 to go out of the room, and about 2 days more to go down the stairs and explore the rest of the house. She would get feverish and would withdraw when she was spooked. It worried me that the stress would cause her to get sick.
But things got better after a while. I noticed a change in her after my foster cat, Jello, moved to her permanent home. She terrorized Wednesday, which made the poor lady more jumpy. And then Astro and Ella came into our lives. They drew her out of her shell and help her rediscover her “inner kitten”, the one who used to zoom around and play hide and seek in the cattery. It made me realize that up until December last year, she was probably unhappy. She needed to be with joyful, playful cats. Twister was just too antisocial and Jello, a menace. This makes me doubly happy that I made that decision to save Astro and adopt Ella even though I knew it was a risk and I could have disrupted life in our little bubble even more. I’m glad that it all worked out in the end and that Wednesday is on her way to being a scardy cat no more. 🙂
I have to learn how to promote my art and my services, so here it goes… 🙂
Remember the study I made a couple of days ago? This is Sylvester. This is his watercolor portrait. 🙂 If you are interested in having one made (cat, dog, horse, bunny, etc), please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message via this website and let’s talk. 🙂
Blah. Still struggling. 😦 Another fatigued Friday 😔 I’m trying to get some relief from this murky state by giving my dear Twister a cat massage. It’s the best! That way Twister feels more secure and confident that he is Top Cat in this household, we strengthen our bond, and I get purrs in return to help counter fatigue.
Happy Friday, one and all! 🙂
Now that I have Twisted Tuesdays for Twister, I think it’s only fair to dedicate Wednesdays to — who else? — Wednesday. 🙂
Among all my cats, Wednesday is probably the one who suffers from Middle Child Syndrome. I adopted her on 11 April 2012, a little over a year after Twister found me. Cats, I realized at that point, are like that certain brand of potato chips: once you start, you can’t stop. I was thinking that my first born needed a companion since I was busy teaching and was away most of the time. I did my calculations and knew that I was not only ready emotionally, but also financially. I was still sharing a flat with my brother then so I had to talk to him about my decision. He was open to the idea as long as 1) I continue to be responsible for everything. They were my cats and not his so I should not expect him to take care of them, and 2) it had to be a black one. I concurred with both: number one was never a doubt anyway and I never expected any help from him and number 2 was part of my plan. I adore tabbies, but black cats are marvelous! If I were to expand my feline family then I had to have a black one.
So I asked and I scoured Facebook for information. That’s how I got to know CARA Welfare Philippines, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and protects animal welfare in the country. I also became a member of a Filipino cat group on FB, Cat Care Philippines. I looked at the photos of kitties that were up for adoption and heard their stories. Twister got me started on being a cat lady, but my search for Wednesday made me into a conscientious and compassionate one.
I finally got a tip from my brother that there was a black cat for adoption near our place. He had a friend who was the son of an active volunteer of CARA and had a cattery at home. So I sent my application for adoption, set up a meeting with them, and went to their place. They had about 40 cats at that time — all clean, healthy and happy. I never knew a place like that existed in Manila! The cats were all lounging around except for 2 little kitties who were zooming around playing hide and seek. One of them was black. Her name was Midnight then. I took a look at her and knew she was The One. I was able to hold her for a few seconds and then she was off again chasing her tri-colored sister. We were all convinced that this was going to work, so we arranged for her delivery to my home.
After doing some research on cat introductions, my brother and I agreed to keep Midnight in my brother’s room for 2-3 weeks before letting her roam the rest of the apartment and, most important of all, meet His Royal Highness. They came and I announced that I was going to rename her Wednesday (for Wednesday Addams). There were no violent reactions so that was that. Her first night was tough on her, I imagine. From galavanting with her sister in a compound full of cats to being alone in a bedroom. I felt bad for her, but I knew she would adjust. I’ll leave the rest of the story for later. 🙂
So here she is, all grown up and ever so gorgeous. She has a great relationship with Twister — they can sit together in peace and groom each other once in a while — plus she has started to run around and play with the kitties, Astroboy and Ella. She’s Ms. friendship in this household. At 2 years old, she has grown up to become quite a loving and sweet cat. She can be a diva, mind you, but you can always count on her to keep the peace in our home. I look forward to writing more about her. ¡Hasta la próxima miércoles! 🙂
Wednesday has a fetish for cotton buds. She loves to dig in my trash to look for some. Urgh. she doesn’t swallow it, but she will take a swat at it, lick, and chew on it. Like I said, URGH. That prompted me to change my waste basket in the room to a covered one and to just offer her an unused cotton bud as a treat when she behaves well. That’s more sanitary, right? 🙂 Here she is patiently waiting for one.
There has been tension between the kitties for some time now. I got Jello three months ago, plenty of time—I think—for Twister and Wednesday to get used to her, but they still haven’t completely taken her into the fold. The two sleep on my bed together (although they don’t cuddle), they eat side-by-side, and they often groom each other. They can share the same space with Jello, but they get prickly and hissy when she gets too close and vice versa. She’s not exactly a darling to them either. She can be a bully and start some of the fights, so I can’t blame them for not being totally cool with her.
I’ve been watching old episodes of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell” (Season 1 & 2) to get an idea on how to make my purr babies get along. I’ve picked up a few tips from Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist and the host of the show, and have decided to catify my apartment more and make the place more enjoyable for the kitties. Maybe when they have a lot of things to play with Twister won’t see Jello as prey and Jello won’t see Wednesday as her punching bag (although Wednesday has started fighting back!). I’ve also increased their playtime. I normally do one-on-one sessions, but now I try to get the trio involved. They need to learn how to relax with each other!
This morning I put together a make-shift cat playhouse for them. I taped two cardboard boxes together and cut some holes in it. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but the three loved it! They sat with me while I constructed it and the whole time they were keeping a close, suspicious eye on each other, of course! And then when it was done, they took turns going in and out of the structure. The cardboard boxes have saved the day! 🙂 I think I’m going to get more and make more fun houses for them! I’m enjoying the whole creating thing as well. Yay! Maybe if I’M more relaxed and not worried about the things that go on around me or my personal situation, my cats would absorb my good vibes and be less jumpy and we could all be one big happy family. 🙂 We’ll see!
Happy Friday the 13th, world! Enjoy the weekend! 🙂
I’ve been struggling to get my muse back for months now. No amount of pleading, heckling, and bribing could lure her back into my life. I feel spent and empty. Today I decided to take on a different approach: instead of hitting myself on the head, I followed the instructions I normally give to my students when they first start learning how to paint. I cleaned my room, set up my space, and tried my best to get into a creative mood.
I did watercolor exercises the whole day to try to loosen up my brain. I used watercolor artist Lorraine Watry’s videos as a guide.
Then I filled my Moleskine watercolor journal with images of my cat. I’ll share more when I feel more confident about them ;o)
I still have a long way to go, but I think I’m on the road to getting my groove back. 🙂
Okay, break time is over! 🙂