by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief and Social Butterfly
Good evening, Friends.
This is going to be a short blog this week. Grammy isn't up to taking a long dictation or doing a lot of thinking or mental gymnastics.
We are going to share photos of the three members of Mischief and Mayhem Central who have passed on. They are PussPuss, Grammy's first kitty, Malcolm who was adopted to keep PussPuss company, and Montague aka Monty who was adopted after PussPuss passed when we found out he needed a home and Malcolm was lonely.
PussPuss arrived as a 14 month old mischief when she needed to be rehomed. She chose Grammy by tapping her on the shoulder and meowing. She demanded to be adopted and taken home INSTANTLY! Once there she settled in quickly at Grammy's apartment and spent the rest of her years getting into a lot of mischief some of which you can read about in the series Into the Archives.
Malcolm was adopted about a year later to keep PussPuss company while Grammy's job took her on the road. While Malcolm loved his big sister, PussPuss was less enamoured of the little black squirt. That didn't stop him from snuggling up to her when she was snoozing. But, when Grammy was home Malcolm clung to her. He loved to be held, cuddled, danced around the room and played with. He was full of mischief too. There were times Grammy couldn't find him. He'd tuck himself in amongst the LPs and books on various shelves and blend in to his surroundings. He'd give Grammy such a scare... and would have this little mischievous smile when she finally found him as if to say... fooled you, Grammy.
Malcolm lived to well into his 18th year... was blind for the last three years. He adapted so well to it that it was quite a while before Grammy clued in. AND despite his blindness he never had an accident but... In his latter years he often howled at night, possibly disoriented/lost in the condo. But as soon as he heard Grammy's voice he'd join her and settle down for the rest of the night. Sweet Malcolm. Read more about Malcolm in another Into the Archives post.
Malcolm and Grammy missed PussPuss when she passed but didn't realize how much until they brought another needy kitty home. That sweet boy was Montague, aka Monty. He'd been left at his vet's practice with instructions to euthanize him. The vet in all conscience couldn't do that with such a young, gentle and sweet cat. Word got to Grammy who went to see him, immediately adopted him and brought him home.
Monty had his issues... the result of a bullying kitty sibling in his previous home. It took a few months but eventually he overcame his fears and his behaviours. Grammy attributes that to Malcolm's super laidback nature and Grammy's soft reassuring voice... allowing him to relax and realize there was nothing to be afraid of.
Unfortunately, he passed young from a heart defect... but his last 18 months were happy, mischievous and filled with love. Monty had the softest coat, the sweetest disposition and was the cheekiest of the three kitties. You can read more about Monty here.
So dear friends, I hope you enjoyed this look into the distant past.
Comments are welcomed... especially if they are funny, mischievous and/or cute.
by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief and Mayhem Central
So, my question here is... how do you name your cat? bunny rabbit? dog? or other pet?
Well, let me tell you a little bit about the old dear and her naming process! She's an odd duck, that one. Well, not exactly a duck, though she does waddle. Don't put her in a pond to swim around though. More likely she'll sink like a rock and without webbed toes it isn't likely she'd get anywhere even if she did stay afloat. But back to the topic at paw. How does this old bird name her animals.... Let's start from the beginning of time.... millennia ago when said old bird was barely hatched.
Her first pet, of sorts, was a stuffed kitty. Yes, merely days old and already she was a cat lover. Well, this kitty was made of hypo-allergenic material with a rubbery face, big blue eyes, a cute kitten nose and mouth and dimples where her whiskers would be if she'd had whiskers. Now we haven't seen this critter as it is long since gone but we've read that though a cute pink and blue originally, the kitty had become well-worn, shabby grey. Over time the eyes and pink nose had lost their colour too. She became real like The Velveteen Rabbit.
BUT back to the story. This kitty was designed to cuddle. Paws would wrap around a baby hugging the infant. This was important because as a baby the old dear was as stiff as a board. She couldn't cuddle and snuggle until her third week of life when her rigid muscles finally relaxed. But Allgie Cat, yes HER name was Allgie Cat, could cuddle into the stiff little human. Now you ask, what about the name.... well, she wasn't named until the human could talk and precocious or what!? You remember reading above... hypoallergenic.... well, she named her Allgie and of course, she was a cat... so Allgie Cat she became.
The only other pet in the household during early childhood was a dog.... a long haired, shaggy thing with extremely bad manners but that's a story we won't address. It's name was Bootsie. No idea where that comes from other than the fact that anything that looked remotely fuzzy, soft and furry - including caterpillars - was called Bootsie by the toddler and it seems the name stuck with the dog.
Through childhood animals weren't a large part of the household due to the fragility of Grandpa but once Grammy (not Grammy back then though) had moved out of the family home she started collecting animals. We've talked about the bunnies... if you remember. There were Powderpuff/Puffy, Twink and Wendell and Pepper and Peaches and their names were explained in the various blogs. Or we think they were. I didn't write the Twink and Wendell one... but Twink had twinkly brown eyes.... and Wendell was originally Smokey (yes, grey colour) but was renamed after Oliver Wendell Holmes... and Grammy loved the name Wendell - sophisticated, don't you think?
Now, the cats...
PussCat during their life before Grammy moved to Toronto, started out with a long investigation into names that started with the letters PC. Grammy was obsessed with computer technology when it was in its infancy and thought PC related names would be great fun. So, Personal Computer, Progressive Conservative, Politically Correct, Pussy Cat, Power Corporation, and many others were tossed about and of course Pussy Cat won out... but was shortened to PussCat. Then once they were in Toronto it morphed into PussPuss.
Malcolm was a black cat. There was a cat book out around that time about a cat named Malcolm. Grammy had just read it ... and as Malcolm was black head to tip of tail she toyed with Malcolm X, but finally settled on just plain Malcolm. Now let me clarify that the name had to suit the cat too. If he hadn't looked like a Malcolm he might have been called Murgatroyd or some such silly, hardly pronounceable name. Phew! Imagine living down that name!
Monty was third cat to enter Grammy's domain. A youngster of 14 months, abused by his sibling and no longer wanted by his 'family' when a new baby arrived in the household, he was called Gizmo. When Grammy saw him he was too regal for that name and needed to forget that part of his life. That warranted a name change and besides, he needed something more distinguished for such a handsome boy. The name Montague came to mind and seemed appropriately elegant... and it stuck. Later it was shortened to Monty to keep the names to 2 syllables but in Grammy's heart and mind he was always Montague, the handsome boy who never really grew out of kittenhood.
Now on to our current batch. We've probably bored you with this and our names have been explained on FB but here goes once more.
Mousie and I, Whiskers, arrived together as fosters and when the door to the carrier holding us opened I jumped out into Grammy's arms, tickled her with my whiskers as I wrapped my paws around her neck and purred. The Rescue named me Chelsea but I preferred Whiskers because I'm so proud of mine. Grammy agreed.
Mouse was the wee timid beastie cowering in the back of the carrier, refusing to make eye contact with Grammy and scared to the core. Well, her name has evolved over time. She is such a gentle creature. Wary but never nasty or mean or aggressive so Grammy added Gentle and she became Gentle Mouse or Gentle Mousie and it suits her to the core.
Those boys.... Yes, Etude and Rondo...were littermates born to a cat that Grammy was fostering name Fidelia. Grammy got to name the litter and decided musical names would be fun and since the little scraps of fur were very vocal and constantly on the move (dancing so to speak) the group became the Sibelius Quartet - since it almost rhymed with the mom's name... and they became Musetta (the girl), Scherzo, Etude and Rondo and these boys names have stuck all these years, though Grammy does have a few choice names for them when they get into mischief. Best not divulge those here.
Sweetie, the last of the menagerie to arrive was just a baby and Grammy was into her flower phase of naming cats for the rescue... so when Grammy saw that cute little face she thought of the flower Sweet Cecily and that became her name. Of course, it had to be shortened to two syllables and so she became Sweetie, which suited her nature when asleep. Her demeanour when awake was much different and she might have been called Rapscallion if it hadn't contained too many syllables.
So there you go. For Grammy, naming of cats was based both on the visual and the personality. And our group name, Mischief and Mayhem Central comes from the chaos created by us all.
That's it for today friends.
We welcome comments from you, our readers and will do our best to respond to them. Let's keep them light, fun and if you'd like to share how you name your kitties and other furry family members we'd love to hear it.
by Sweetie, intrepid explorer of boxes and other bits and pieces
Sweetie here again to continue with the stuff I gleaned from dumpster.. oops, I mean archive diving. Well, you met Twink and Wendell in the last bunny blog.....and they were real cuddlebuns. Now to tell you about another two bunnies. Peaches and Pepper were their names.
We have a bit of a disconnect here. This was another time when Grammy was in flux. She was dealing with another family situation, as she says, "life, just dealing with life!" so things had to be fluid and it wasn't such a good time to have bunnies, but a friend, Mr P we'll call him, felt otherwise. One day when she arrived home from work there it was... or should I say, there they were: Peaches and Pepper were sitting in cardboard transport carriers in the middle of the livingroom floor.
We'll talk about Pepper first.... only because there wasn't very much about the beautiful boy in the archives... at least not in the boxes I dove into. Pepper was the most beautiful black velvety bunny with silver guard hairs all over his body. His ears stuck up straight and were pink-tinged inside. Grammy said they were so silky soft. There were no photos of him, or of Peaches in the boxes. Probably lost during a move or two.
He was a gentle boy who loved to be snuggled and was shy of Mr P. While Mr P was a nice guy he had no clue with bunnies... he was a dog person so when he visited he wanted to play with Pepper like he was a Jack Russel Terrier. That didn't set well with Pepper. He was no terrier. He was a little puffball of beauty and serenity... except during Mr P's visits.... so those visits were kept short and far between. Pepper passed at a young age... and there's no indication in the archives what it was that took him. We think Grammy may have found it too upsetting and has blocked the memory.
Now Peaches was of a different temperament. He still didn't like the rough play but he didn't hide, he attacked and ran. Smart little fellow only attacked the aggressor. With Grammy he was a snugglepuss or should we say, snugglebunny. You might ask why the name Peaches for a brown bunny.
Peaches was a long, lanky almost hare-like rabbit with equally long lanky ears. A cocoa coloured bunny he had a creamy tummy and legs rimmed in a bands of the most delicious shade of peach, thus the name. His long floppy ears were cocoa coloured like the rest of him but had peach and cream highlights on the inner front side. Likewise his eyes, nose and mouth were rimmed in peach and cream and his feet and toes were striped in all three colours. He was a strikingly beautiful little fellow.
Peaches favourite pastime was to sit on laps or shoulders and watch television. Imagine! Who would have thought a bunny would like mysteries, sewing and crafting programs? But he did and he loved the balcony, just as Wendell did... though he was less inclined to make snow caves so Grammy had to bring him indoors during the cold weather. This wasn't the best situation for a little duffer who liked his freedom because sadly, he was confined to a cage when Grammy was working.
Grammy realized this was causing the little fellow distress and he started to decline. She had to make a very difficult decision. He needed a home where he could have his freedom and yet enjoy his social time with a family too. As much as Grammy loved and would miss him, she couldn't allow him to be distressed and sad. Fortunately, Grammy had a co-worker who lived on a farm, loved animals as much as or more than she herself and would take care of him for the rest of his life.
Little Peaches moved to the farm, lived out the rest of his days living in the barn during the day, scampering around and snuggling with the lambs and the barn cats and kittens and his nights sitting on the shoulders of his new family members watching television and getting the snuggles and pets he so enjoyed.
And since Grammy's career was getting more hectic and she would have long days away from home she decided she shouldn't have anymore adopted creatures until her career stabilized and she could be home more. Well, THAT DIDN'T LAST!!!! but you'll have to go back and read an earlier blog or two. You might also check out this one for another hint since some of the non-furry kind lived life on the edge.
Comments are welcomed. Lets keep them light and fun.
by Mousie, Researcher of Miscellaneous Trivia
Hello, everyone. There, that took care of the Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening dilemma. Hello, friends. I'm back with another funny tale. A short one this time.
As you'll know if you read last week's blog Grammy went camping in her youth and adulthood before she got 'old' and crotchety. And in that tale you heard about sassy Mr Skunk. Well, that wasn't the end of her encounters with animals that night.
Once Mr Skunk had huffed and puffed and wandered off to feast in other campsites they (Grammy & her friend) settled down to a peaceful evening before the campfire. Fortunately, vegetation was lush and wet so fires were permitted. But this had its downside too. That same lush vegetation was a breeding ground for mosquitoes and they were plentiful. In fact, they were more than plentiful. There were squadrons of them and they were all out and about on foraging missions. What were they foraging for, you ask? Why fuel, of course.... and that fuel was high-octane blood of which Grammy had plenty.
For the most part the smoky campfire kept the mosquitoes at bay and that suited Grammy quite well. Grammy disliked those buzzy critters with a passion. While lower legs and arms were generally safe from the blood suckers most took great delight in tangling themselves in hair and dive-bombing ears, cheeks, forehead and thick juicy thighs. Nasty beasties.
What was unfair though was that not one of those critters bothered her friend. She could never understand that. Why ignore one and concentrate on another? Maybe thick curly hair and hairy limbs protected her friend but Grammy's rich blood and delicate skin were an easier target. But we won't dwell on this. This isn't the tale I was going to tell.... so here goes.
After an hour of star gazing two tired campers settled into their sleeping bags expecting to sleep through til morning. At some point in the night a loud commotion woke both. Suddenly on high alert, Grammy grabbed a flashlight, unzipped the tent flap while friend took up an ax and a second flashlight and went to investigate. Was it a bear? Another skunk? What could be causing this cacophony of noises?
There, inside a hole torn into the brand-new kitchen tent was a raccoon raiding the larder - raw eggs, fresh fruits, a bag of chips...Yum! Who knew raccoons could and would open cooler chests? Definitely not these two goofballs! And not to be left out of the feast a dozen blackbirds had followed the bandit leader into the tent, demolished a loaf of bread and a bag of cookies, scattering crumbs everywhere.
Now that they'd had their fill they were flapping furiously against the netted walls in a futile attempt to escape. Grammy opened the flap, let them out while friend chased off Mr Raccoon. After cleaning up the disarray of the night marauders these two greenhorns returned to their sleeping bags and resettled for the remainder of the night.
Only problem was that despite having cleaned up, it was done in the dark with the aid of two flashlights. Not an ideal situation, and bits were missed. These bits attracted their own parade of opportunists. Squirrels, chipmunks, sparrows, finches, ants and you name it all made an appearance taking away bits and bobs - bread and cookie crumbs, peanuts in the shell, dry cereal.
A veritable feast was had by all and sundry. AND what about Grammy and her friend? They toodled off to town for a 50s diner breakfast and to restock the larder. Lesson 2 learned.... all food stuffs were to be stored in the trunk of the car overnight.
Comments are welcomed... let's keep them light and fun.
By Mousie, Researcher of Miscellaneous Trivia
Good morning, afternoon or evening, wherever you are and whatever time you read this. I had to say all that because Grammy says etiquette is important and we want to greet people with the proper greeting whatever time of the day it is. It would be silly of me to say good morning when you are reading this at night, though it is morning somewhere in the world. So now I'm confused. Well, I'm covering all times of the day....just in case.
And so again I say, Good morning, afternoon or evening. Phew! Now we've got that over with I can move on to the important part of the blog. As you know Sweetie has been diving into boxes in our storage room looking for dirt on Grammy. Oops, I mean to say looking up other critters in Grammy's life. Well, she's still researching on those bunnies. They are elusive little hoppers.
While she was in there I joined her and found another box of stuff and boy do I have a few dooseys for you. Wait until you hear this! Grammy was a camper in her youth. Can you believe it? That old stick would sleep on the ground where bugs crawl! The same Grammy that freaked and almost had an apoplectic fit when a spider slipped down it's silky thread to tickle her neck and met it's sudden demise! That's not a mistake the poor spider will make twice. *giggles* Nope, that spider made it's last and maybe one and only mistake - coming near Grammy. Well, unless that stuff in the box is fiction Grammy was a camper.... and had some very interesting 'speriences.
There were many things Grammy loved to do while camping and a few she wasn't so keen on. She and her friend would go fishing at dawn, walk the trails to the top of the Canadian Shield for the views (and they were magnificent), swim in the lake, cook yummy meals, even bake cakes on her camper stove. At night they'd light a campfire and enjoy toasted marshmallows (not S'mores. No, she never really enjoyed those things), sit around chatting or listen quietly to the night sounds. The one thing she truly disliked though was fishing near the marsh at dusk when squadrons of mosquitos would come out, dive bomb past her ears and come in for a landing on arms, legs and ankles. But on with the fun stuff.
The first night they camped - and this was Grammy's first time camping in years - they set up the tents - kitchen and sleeping. Grammy (remember she wasn't a Grammy then, she was an almost 40s adult) made the evening meal. They sat down for a delicious dinner of pork chops, mashed potatoes and vegetables, followed by a dessert not-named. And of course, first thing you do after a meal, clean up. So, dishes done, garbage in the bag, kitchen tent tidied and Grammy set herself down before the campfire. Her friend was still messing about near the kitchen tent and dusk was settling in over the campgrounds. It was so peaceful listening to the fire crackling and the birds chirping and rustling in the trees as they settled in for the evening.
Suddenly, a skunk crossed the distant footpath, waddled up to the campfire, sauntered between Grammy's legs, under her chair and onward to the kitchen tent. It rummaged around the garbage, found the pork chop bones, gnawed them bare, rummaged around for whatever other goodies it could find, looked over at Grammy as if to say, that was meager pickings, do better next time and wandered off.
Now, suffice it to say, Grammy was a little shocked, somewhat surprised and definitely amused by this little stinker. BUT, she wasn't stupid. Grammy and her friend had learned a valuable lesson. When dinner is done, take the garbage to the designated lidded garbage site immediately. BUT that isn't the end of the tale. No siree. The next night, dinner done, garbage disposed of and sitting around the campfire their little visitor sauntered up, under and through again. He (or she)stopped at the kitchen tent, rifled around the cooler and paraphernalia looking for the leftovers, huffed and snuffled and snorted, looked over at Grammy, grumbled and snorted again, kicked up some dirt in disgust and wandered off never to be seen again.
Another time, up at the crack of dawn, fishing gear in tow, off they went to their little rowboat, rowed around the point and settled about 20 feet off-shore near the marsh. It was a beautiful morning, sun just coming up over the treetops, the lake smooth as glass except for the ripples around the boat as it bobbed in the water, a cool breeze blowing away the no-seeums and mosquitos. A little bit of heaven on earth.
Off in the marsh a loud smack broke the silence. Oh no, animals fighting? A tree falling? What was it? Then, just the smallest ripple appeared about 10 feet off the side of the boat....and as it got bigger, two eyes, flattened ears and a head surfaced. A beaver had come out to check on the intruders. This beaver, having warned his family, was doing a thorough check.... he swam around the boat two or three times, coming closer each time until he was within arms length of Grammy. Grammy rippled her fingers in the water but otherwise stayed still. Mr Beaver circled the boat once more, sniffed the air, submerged and was gone. Since there wasn't a second slap of the tail Grammy assumed they were deemed non-threatening to the beaver family. Later, Mr Beaver returned, this time pulling a birch branch, leaves attached past the rowboat and into the marsh where she assumed he had built his family's lodge.
Later that same morning, still sitting in the boat on the peaceful lake loons could be heard calling to each other. Soon, they too pulled up close to the boat, mom, and her half-grown off-spring, circled it, let out a mournful cry and swam off. Forget the fishing.... this was much more delightful.
That's all for today, friends. There's more to tell... like the tale of the Raccoon. the blackbirds and sparrows but... that's for another day.
Thanks for visiting, friends. We love to hear your comments, so please comment below and we'll reply to each and every one of you.
by Whiskers, Matron of Mischief II
Friends, Hello! Recently, while Sweetie was delving into the distant past I was sifting through a more current box of diaries, papers and photos and just have to share what I read with you.
You all know that PussPuss was Grammy's first cat. Well, she was also the first Matron of Mischief, and I am her successor. Grammy says she was a muted tabby but we aren't sure. She looks more like a motley mess of colours all splattered on and then dabbed off. BUT, she has a pretty little face. This is about PussPuss and the trauma of moving from a small city to the big city.
There was a major downsizing required for this move. As you might expect, it is more expensive to live in a major city so the cost of the footprint was higher thus a reduction in condo size would be mandatory. Finding one that was 'perfect': perfect location for work and amenities, older but well-maintained with elevators and close to transportation at a price point that worked had been a challenge BUT, she did it. Problem was that as much as Grammy thought she had downsized it wasn't sufficient. In fact, a further reduction of 50% would be needed before life became comfortable but that's for another time. PussPuss didn't handle this change and the clutter well.
For the first three weeks Grammy, PussPuss and Malcolm were reduced to walking between piled up boxes of books, furniture, files and 'stuff' to go from kitchen, to bed, to bath, to sofa. It wasn't very nice and it and the previous upheaval of the move took its toll on Puss and Grammy. Malcolm, laid back beyond belief, was actually unperturbed by it all. Grammy got sick with pneumonia and Puss with an ear infection. This story is mainly about Puss and her ear infection.
Puss became grumpy, didn't want to be touched, went off her food and looked just plain miserable. New to the city, Grammy was concerned. She had to find a new vet and quickly. With no car she had to choose one that would be convenient to the subway system or short taxi rides since there weren't any within walking distance.
Finally, with one clinic close to the subway and able to see them immediately, off they went. The vet was very kind, took a look at Puss, who was uncooperative and with a little ingenuity managed to determine that her ears were infected and would need treatment. BUT without her cooperation this was going to be a challenge. After almost losing a finger, the breast pocket on his uniform and a nasty growl and screech (by Puss, not the vet) the poor veterinarian decided the only way to examine her would be to anaesthetize her.
Once under, they cleaned out the ears, treated them with a topical antibiotic but poor Puss had a liver condition and they almost lost her while she was 'under'. They hadn't asked about previous conditions and even if they had Grammy didn't know that anesthetic was not advisable with her liver issues. What a shock!
Fortunately she survived and after further monitoring Grammy was allowed to take her home with a 10 day dose of pills. Well, this cantankerous cat (Grammy's description in her diary) was having none of it.
Grammy tried over 2 days to administer the pills. Pill in - pill ejected. Toss to back of throat, spewed back into Grammy's face. slip it in side of mouth and down throat with pointer finger, remove munched finger and watch pill hit the far wall. Slip it into piece of chicken, feed it to Puss, chicken went down the throat while the pill landed in Grammy's lap, try pill syringe, consign syringe to the trash. That pill hit the ceiling before landing on Grammy's cheek. This wasn't working so Grammy decided a lesson in pill administration was needed and both Puss and she went back to the animal clinic.
The vet thinking Grammy the ultimate incompetent said with confidence and a hint of smugness he would show her how to use it. Puss spit the pill in his face. After a second attempt and flustered he decided maybe a different method would be better and went for a liquid antibiotic, squirted it down her throat and said he'd be right back.
When he returned 10 minutes later he was aghast at the new look of the room. You know the term 'paint the town red'? Well, Puss had transformed the room into a pink bubbly, gooey mess.
Yes, thinking she'd been poisoned she did what cats do. She started foaming at the mouth. Pepto-Bismol Pink-coloured bubbles oozed out her mouth, off her chin, onto my coat, down the coat front onto the examination table. Dripping onto the floor it formed a pool around us. Who knew a teaspoon of pink liquid could spread that far and transform a room so completely? The vet was amazed, taken aback, frustrated. Yet despite this he laughed before calling in a colleague for a second opinion.
There was no way to get around it, liquid medication wasn't going to work either. That left only one other option: Injections. Puss would have to be taken to the vet every day for 10 days and the on-duty vet would give her the injection. They would waive their fee for the visits, charging only for the medication.
Now remember, Grammy is sick with pneumonia through all this and the thought of having to go back and forth every day was daunting but there was no choice. Biting the proverbial bullet Grammy decided it would be best and easiest on all if she just taxied there and back... and that is what they did.
Puss recovered with one glitch. The needles had to be administered in different places on her shoulders and back because the strong meds could damage her skin cells. Well, unfortunately, someone miscalculated and a second injection was administered one day over the previous day's. That resulted in a plug of skin and fur dropping out leaving a hole in her back....GROSS! Further treatment with a special topical powder healed that. Eventually the hole filled in but fur never grew back. Well, we could live with that but what an experience!
By the time this adventure was over Christmas was only a few days away and with nowhere else to be Grammy felt the need to do something about Christmas in the condo. BUT it was in disarray, boxes everywhere. Grammy had to get organized and quickly! First she rented a locker from condo management and moved much of the clutter into the locker to sort later. Then with the rooms decluttered and organized and with room to move she felt they were finally home. Being home meant a celebration was in order so, bundling up warmly she toddled off to the grocers for all the fixings and a wee turkey. She could rest and recuperate after Christmas!
Christmas day was quiet but good. Turkey was resting on a plate gravy was bubbling on the stove, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, turkey stuffing keeping warm in the oven. Three place mats, 2 cat dishes and a place setting of cutlery, china plate, crystal tumbler for her milk and a bowl of cranberry sauce and all was ready for dinner. The three of them sat down to a sumptuous meal, Grammy at her place and PussPuss and Malcolm allowed this once on the table had theirs. Life was perfect and so was the turkey.
Dear friends, We love to hear your comments and will respond to them. Let's keep them light and fun.
By Sweetie, reporter of things past.
Do I have a tale for you... one that you might find hard to believe.
When I went into the boxes of old stuff from Grammy's past I found out that Grammy had a bunny.... actually, she's had a few bunnies but let me tell you about her first, Puffy.
Now, Puffy (or Puff as Grammy often called him) was just a wee baby when Grammy got him. Fluffy, white and pink in colour Grammy thought he was a girl so she called him PowderPuff. But, finding out he was a boy she couldn't call him such a fluffy name so she changed it to Puffy and said it was because he was rather puffy at the nether end. *giggles*
Back then, a gazillion years ago, bunnies were not neutered or spayed as they are today. AND this little fellow had hormones racing through him which meant he was always on the hunt for love. Grammy's ankle seemed the perfect mate when he was in a romantic mood. Grammy on the other hand was rather indignant by such behaviour. Grammy loved the little dude as a little bunny dude, but it was just plain rude to take advantage of her ankle. Oh, Grammy! What a silly you are. *giggles again*
Well, Puffy, the little white bunny, spent all his time with Grammy. When she went camping, he went camping, when she visited friends or family, he visited those friends and family. The only times he didn't accompany Grammy were when she went to work or for groceries or on long distance vacations.
Puffy was a funny little mite who grew into a 13 pound, long-eared cuddlebunny. As a baby he was harness trained, loved to be cuddled, would fall asleep in Grammy's arms and as an adult would snore as he slept. He was the talk of the neighbourhood. Everyone loved the little white bunny with personality to spare.
But, let me tell you about the time he didn't hop beside Grammy like a polite little bunny. Now it isn't his fault. He was excited to be on his leash and going for a walk and just wanted to binky (unexpected sudden sideways hops).
On this particular day they were camping near Lake Erie, Puff was in his cage anxious to get out and play. After a short afternoon shower Grammy put him in his harness for a romp in a nearby field. Both were excited to be outdoors and Puff bounced his way across the campground and into the open field.
Suddenly he binkied in front of Grammy causing her to lose her balance. Her foot slipped in the damp grass, hit a clump of grass and dirt and she buckled with a 'snap'. Worried about Puff she held onto him until someone could take the leash and take him back to his cage.
Knowing he was safe, not in pain herself and not realizing there was a problem she stood up, heard a louder 'snap' and watched her leg bones separate just above the ankle She fell over once more. Long story short, Grammy's 2 leg bones were now in 5 pieces. But that wasn't determined until later. But Puffy was safe. That was all that mattered.
Next was to have the leg treated, so, into a vehicle and off to the nearest hospital. The hospital was a small cottage hospital not equipped for what they saw in the x-rays... so that meant a longer trip into the city an hour or more away. Packed into a blow-up cast and given something for pain, the next 'leg' *giggles* of the journey began.
Long story short, Grammy needed surgery, knew the nurses in the operating room -members of her church and was teased about how a sweet wee bunny broke her leg. A few days in hospital and months of physiotherapy and Grammy was almost back to normal and the bunny survived.
So let's get back to Puff...
Another thing Puffy loved was to play in his cage... a 10 foot by 2 by 3 foot wood framed and wire meshed thing put together by Grammy. One day Grammy set a foil turkey pan in the cage. Puffy decided it was the perfect tool to entertain himself at night. Two stories above, in her bedroom, Grammy could hear him dragging the foil pan to one end of the cage. Then he would take a flying leap onto it and slide it to the other end of the cage where it stopped with a kerplunk. This would go on repeatedly through the night each and every night. Drag, scrape, rattle rattle , kerplunk. Drag, scrape, rattle rattle , kerplunk over and over again. What a scamp.
AND when Grammy had to be away for whatever reason Grammy's mom would bunny sit. She was forewarned that he was a scamp and he loved to chew things - wires, carpet, rope, wood and if she let him out of the cage HE SHOULD BE CLOSELY SUPERVISED. Emphasis on CLOSELY!!! Grammy returned to find out GreatGrammy hadn't listened and her telephone wire and stereo speaker wires were chewed. The bunny was busy scamp and GreatGrammy was an unhappy bunny sitter. Shoulda listened!!!!
There's more in those archive boxes (like Twink and Wendell and Peaches and others) but we're out of time today. Let's save them for another blog.
Friends, we love to hear from you so please leave comments here and we'll reply... but let's keep it light and fun.
by Mousie, aka Gentle Mouse - feisty and timid chronicler of mischief
Well, friends. I think now I've found my voice I kind of like it. Move over boys. I'm enjoying having the floor. Think I'll keep it as long as possible. So here goes....
In the past, if you remember, the boys went into the archives and wrote about PussPuss and her love of fishing and Malcolm, Grammy's clothes horse. Well, I've been delving into the boxes and decided to talk about another cat. Like me he's gentle.
I'm going to tell you about one of the original Mischief and Mayhem crew - Monty. Montague, or Monty as Grammy most often called him, was rescued by Grammy just days before he was to be euthanized.
He had been adopted with his brother as kittens by a young family. The brother was a short haired, confident cat who would bully his gentle, long-haired brother whenever he visited the litterbox. Now, at first Grammy was upset that he'd do that to wee Monty but, we cannot fault him on this... animals know when another animal is weak, defective or ill. And Monty definitely had his challenges. Then, his family had a new baby and decided it was too much to deal with Monty's issues too. So, they returned him to the vet to give him a better life elsewhere, or to euthanize him if a home couldn't be found. What a sad decision when he was barely out of kittenhood.
So, how does that fit in with Grammy? Well....
After PussPuss passed at age 14+ Grammy and Malcolm struggled with the loss. Gone was the feisty, social butterfly, leaving behind a sweet, easy-going boy who doted on his feline companion and a Grammy who missed her feistiness terribly. Life went on but the zest had gone out of M&M Central.
Then, a few months later a friend mentioned that there was a kitty sitting in a cage at her vet's office. This kitty was gorgeous, had issues and needed a home soon or he'd be euthanized. Grammy got this feeling in her heart that this was a kitty that needed her, and maybe she and Malcolm needed this kitty too. She slept on it... for a couple of nights but the feeling was so strong that she just HAD TO go check out this little fellow. She made arrangements to go across town to the clinic to pay him a visit.
Of course, you know the inevitable happened. Grammy walked in, was escorted to a cage and decided - on first sight - that he was coming home with her. As she chatted with the vet techs about his issue a paw reached out and patted her shoulder. That would have clinched the deal had Grammy not already decided. Interestingly enough PussPuss was 14 months old when she tapped Grammy on the shoulder and was instantly adopted; Monty was 14 months old when Grammy went to see him and was tapped a second time. As I said... it was inevitable.
Of course, WE think Grammy had made up her mind before she even went to meet him. She had a carrier, a blanket and treats with her. But, knowing Grammy, are we surprised? Not in the least!
The little duffer was given kisses, popped into the carrier and brought home to meet his big brother. And what a home-coming it was. Malcolm stepped out of his basket and sauntered over to examine the fluffy furrball with a, 'Hey, welcome home! Come snuggle in my basket with me. There's room for two!'
Monty, a little surprised at the warm welcome and not knowing what to do with such a greeting from a fellow cat, decided he'd better sniff out the new digs first. Hmmm! Two litter boxes! Food and water in the kitchen. Nice warm blankets, chairs and beds to snuggle on... Is that toys I see? Looks kinda okay. Oh, and I really like that basket the old duffer was sleeping in.
Looks like something I could stretch out in.... much nicer than that cage at the vettie. I think I'll join the old boy.
hmmm! I could have some fun with him too. Stodgy old fellow! I think I'm going to like it here.
Turns out that Grammy got him his own bigger bed and while he loved it too it was more fun to tease Malcolm and stretch out in HIS basket pushing him into the corner. Malcolm unperturbed would just move over and settle down. No problem. He loved to cuddle.
Check out the new bed. And look at the face on silly Monty. I think he loves it..............
Now, I read that Monty had issues... and one of those was his fear of the litter box. Turns out whenever he needed to do his business his brother would chase him out of the box so he did it outside the box. Grammy had been forewarned so kept puppy pads and newsprint around the box. And 'they' were right. sort of. He was a good wee fella and always peed in the box but pooped outside but very close to it and always on the puppy pads. He was trying to be a good boy.
Malcolm was such a laid back kitty that in time and with a strategic placement of the litter box Monty began to use the box consistently. It only took 6 or 7 months... but finally he had overcome that obstacle.
And he had other issues. The one we knew, others we found out later. One of these was a retained milk tooth. And as cute as a button as he was, he wasn't all there... in the noodle. Despite being checked by the vet prior to surgery to remove the tooth and being told his heart was strong... Monty's heart gave out. He went into congestive heart failure from the anesthetic... and Grammy had to let him go. It was the only thing to do hard as it would be on Grammy and Malcolm. Their 18 months with Monty were filled with love and neverending entertainment. Wonderful memories!
Now, the fun side of Monty.... as I said, he wasn't all there in the noodle. BUT, Grammy loved that about him. He would do such silly things... kittenish things, even though he wasn't a kitten anymore. Come to think about it.... he wasn't much different than Sweetie is now and she's six. Maybe he was all there, just that like Sweetie he never lost his zest for life. Like her he loved mischief.
He would race around the condo, up and over furniture, bouncing on Malcolm and Grammy when they least expected it. AND he loved to chase anything that twitched... a string on a stick, a bit of loose fluff (and he had lots), even his own tail, bouncing and rolling in somersaults in his attempts to catch them.
His favourite toy was a little brown mole. This he would groom for hours. It's a wonder that it wasn't threadbare. (Yes, I saw it. Grammy saved it, gently wrapped and placed in the box). Then he would give the little mole a toss and chase it, skidding across the floor until he thumped against the wall. Surprise on his face Monty would look over at Grammy and Malcolm as if to say, What? What you two laughing at? I meant to do that and then he'd turn to nonchalantly groom himself. Seconds later, having forgotten what just happened, he'd repeat the toss, skid and thump against another wall. It seems he never tired of this game.
But to Grammy his most endearing qualities were his willingness to be cuddled and to be brushed. While he wasn't a lap cat, he did love short cuddles. Grammy could pick him up, and he'd wrap his paws around her neck and snuggle in for a purry moment.
Long, lithe and supple it was all Grammy could do to hang onto him for more than a short cuddle but pull out a brush and he'd settle right down for a long leisurely groom. Ahhhh bliss. Yes it was, for both of them.
That was Grammy's gentle Monty.
Friends, comments are welcomed. Please let's keep it light and fun.
By Etude, Archivist (aka Mr. Attitude, aka Pinky, aka Fuzzy Britches.
Before we carry on with this blog, let me just say that Rondo and I got lost in the boxes and bins of papers and a jumble of miscellaneous bits and bobs. What a mess! We have barely surfaced for the odd meal over the past year and a half while sorting, grouping and resorting. Once we hit bottom, it took much groping and grappling and rappelling to find our way up and out again. At one point we were stuck in Mousie’s closet after sneaking a peak in her diary. We almost starved to death waiting for her to leave the room again. *giggles* So, we apologize for not posting before this but it was nearly impossible until we had the full scoop. Here goes ...
Once FishTV was no longer the main focus (See Into the Archives II) Puss needed a companion to keep her occupied during Grammy’s long days away from home. Grammy's solution? A youngster cat - the perfect playmate for a young miss! Enter Malcolm, energy on paws - with a Kapow! Surprise! Look ma, I’m home!!!!
Let’s back up a little here. Weeks of planning went into this new addition to the household. Visits to the rescue, meet the kitties needing homes, see which one might be compatible with the house diva, make a decision, wade through the approval process, wait for the chosen one to complete his meds. In the meantime, there were long chats with said diva to discuss the ‘impending arrival’ all of which, as you'll see, were consummately ignored as insignificant trivialities beneath the concern of a self-proclaimed star or possibly misheard as ‘pending rival’. Whichever it was, things did not go smoothly. No it didn't!
Yes, despite weeks of planning and Grammy thinking the meet and greet was under control the whole “Puss meet Malcolm. Malcolm, meet your older sister Puss” was far from perfect. The cardboard carrier had been gnawed to bits on the trip from the shelter to home. Barely held together by one Grammy, two arms and a chin and containing a wriggling, squirming ball of fluff just itching to escape his confines. The old girl barely made it from underground garage to apartment. Malcolm burst out of the cardboard carrier as it was set gently on the floor.
Little Malcolm was excited to be out of his prizzen. Oh boy, oh boy! Yippee! Puss was not! Oh no! Not in the least was she thrilled and she made sure he knew it. Hiss! Swat! Zoom, leap, leap! Feisty Malcolm, light, agile and full of energy after being contained in a carrier for all of 30 seconds had sussed out the two bedroom condo sunken livingroom and all then levitated in a single swoosh to the top of the kitchen cupboards in 3 seconds flat with the not-so-agile, hissing Puss a distant 5 seconds behind.
Did I say Malcolm was feisty? Well, yes, he was a brave, yet wise little furrball too! He had to be to have survived frostbitten toes, tail and eartips through a freezing December of snow and ice with only the odd mole and bird to sustain him. Well, you think you're tough, Puss! You’re mush! Pudding! Mushy Pudding! Malcolm only put up with the bossy Puss for three days.... three! What he lacked in size he made up for in chutzpah!
Day 1 Grammy set food, water on the upper cupboards above the refrigerator and supervised him while he used the litterbox.
Day 2, although the reaction of Puss was decidedly chilly and the chase no less determined, Malcolm braved the litterbox on his own but continued to feed just beneath the ceiling.
Day 3, the little duffer decided enough was enough. Down he came, stood his ground, then challenged the house-princess/diva for a share of the territory. From thence forward their relationship was love/hate at best.
Malcolm loved her; Puss hated him – at least that’s how it was when Grammy was around. Hard to know what went on behind closed doors.
To say he loved her might be a bit of an exaggeration but he was willing to let bygones be bygones. Puss? Not so much! This little kitten was invading her territory... HER territory. HER home. A home which came with a fully equipped kitty pantry, provided Fish TV and 100% Grammytime, now was to be shared with a black bouncing, interfering ball of fluff – not edible, not able to open tins – in other words a USELESS bother!
Now, let me tell you what we discovered about those two. If Grammy entered the condo quietly as she often did, she could catch them yin/yang style on the bed at which point they would leap apart with a startled 'How did that happen?’ look from her and an 'Oh well, nice while it lasted.' from him.
So, back to those boxes... on further delving through the morass we found out Malcolm liked clothing.... yes, you heard it right. Malcolm liked to dress up. Malcolm was a clothes horse. Not to be confused with a quarter horse or a pony. No! But a veritable lover of clothing. Now don’t get me wrong. He wasn’t keen on being dressed in frilly dresses and bonnets – doll style. Oh no! He had taste – more in the line of Grammy's business attire – silk shirts, business suits and all the accoutrements that go beneath. AND for nightwear a soft t-shirt nightgown trimmed in lace suited him best. Even better if it had Scent of Grammy on it.
Of course, these were his business and nightwear but let me tell you... he was a many-faceted fellow. For visits to his country cousins, who were far from the bumpkin crowd there were plaid shirts and dungarees for daytime romps, bubble pipe and smoking jackets for those sophisto evenings and a night on the town required nothing less than spats, dinner jacket and trews à la Fred Astaire or bling à la Liberace! Oh yes, you heard it! Malcolm considered himself a showman and dressed the part! Loved to swirl around the parquet floors tapping his little toes every chance he got, tinkling said toes over the ivories. The whole shebang. By far his favourite daytime cat-about-house attire as he aged was his animal print smoking jacket. Reversible, no less! But for those other occasions he still insisted he be dressed appropriately.
Unfortunately, only a few photos survived our rappelling. Our apologies, but at least you can see him in his zebra and cheetah jackets.
What is it about clothing that is so enticing to cats, you ask? I can hear you...if not out loud at the very least it lurks in the nether-reaches of your mind.... I just know it! Yes, I do so don't deny it. Well, we aren’t all quite so enamoured of clothing. At least, not as enamoured as Malcolm. No siree bob!
We, the Mischief and Mayhem crew don’t care to dress. We’re twenty-first century cats, modern, hip and into the au fur lifestyle. We prefer to be unencumbered most of the time... but we have our moments. Yes, we certainly do. Let me say this... Put a piece of clothing on the bed and one of us is in it, under it or on it in two seconds flat. Freshly laundered and out of the dryer and it takes but a nano-second.
Now that is quite different from Grammy’s Malcolm. He actually loved to wear his around the house, morning, noon and night, awake or asleep. But by the sound of it, he was a pretty stoggy old duffer in his dotage, and you know what that's like. Yes, truly! Uh-huh. You got the picture.
Oh, the dryer has stopped. Gotta go! More later! Bye!
By Etude, Archivist (aka Mr Attitude, aka Pinky, aka FuzzyBritches)
As mentioned previously in Into the Archives, Rondo had been on the hunt for something dear to the M&M crew, something stored behind closed doors, stashed in the storage room – a room not accessible to the feline five. That is – to us. Since someone insisted on knowing the purpose of our hunt we divulged we were seeking out Grammy’s stash of kitty kibble – a dear commodity doled out in minuscule portions at M&M Central. Enticingly dear to three of us because there is a dearth of it meted out to a dumpling and a couple of portly pusses and dear to Grammy in her fight to maintain waistlines on those self-same three pudgies.
Whilst delving into the depths of the Cat’s Pantry Rondo found boxes, might I say, bins filled with stuff. Not the initial purpose of the hunt but, oh this looked oh, so interesting! Interesting enough to sidetrack us from a hunt for food! Yes, distracted, definitely, by those boxes. What a phenomenal feat to distract three pudgies away from food.
Well, there they were... bits of paper, old photographs and cat clothing – yes clothing for kitties. So silly- the cat clothing! Or was it? I ask you....Why would a cat wear clothes when he has a fur suit that’s made to fit? Back to that another day! Well, it looked like the investigation of said bins might take some time and definitely lots of energy. So the pudgerigars (Grammy’s word, not ours!), feeling a little peckish after taking stock of the situation decided it would be expedient to stock up before diving further into the stockpile. After a little feline sustenance (Of course, we found the stash, never any doubt!) the workload was divvied up and meted out.
Well, now we three know we are NOT the cause of Grammy’s greying hair! No, Whiskers, Rondo and I are very aware now that we’ve been into the boxes. We did not cause those grey wisps to sprout from Grammy’s pate. No we didn’t! We may have, and I say MAY have, added a few here and there over the years but those grey hairs started appearing eons ago. Yes, for sure. We’ve seen the dye bottles to prove it. Ooops! Scratch that last sentence.
Sooooo! The Mistress and Master of Mischief are cats of this by-gone era, eons ago. Cats who lived long before any of us were single-celled swimmers co-mingling and dividing and subdividing. Their names, just so’s you know are Pusspuss and Malcolm. Oh and there was a little angelic kitty named Monty but we’ll save his sad tale for another time. Yes, Pusspuss and Malcolm were magnificently inventive mischiefs with a plethora of escapades from which we can draw. Woohoo!
For today though let’s start with Pusspuss. We’ll call her Puss to save time and ink. This Puss came preprogrammed to hunt. She was the sweetest snuggler on bed or sofa – a veritable purr machine. The floor was another matter altogether. Puss was silent, ninja-stealthy and lethal to boot. Nothing inanimate or otherwise and no-one animated got past her without being pounced upon and tackled, yes brought to his, her or its proverbial knees. Grammy has the carpet burns to prove it.
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.