I just entered Sy into a competition to win a new cat box. It’s so funny, boxes are like magnets to cats. No matter what size box or bag we have sitting out, the cats go straight for it. She could win a fire truck, plane or a tank – she wants the tank. Go ahead and enter your cat but it will be tough to be as cute as Sy!


I think there is an unwritten rule in Seattle, that to live there you have to have a dog. If I moved there, I’d have to get a dog. And a rain coat. This is Mollie, the adorable golden retriever who lives below Larissa. The couple that lives down there also have two cats. Here’s a photo of the baby kitty that they rescued last November – part Siamese, part Himalayan. I want to say that his name is Monty, but I don’t think that’s it. It does start with an M as with Mollie and their other cat, Moe.

I was digging through some old photos because I really need to update my Flickr site and I came across kitty cat photos. Of course, they are all adorable and it was hard to choose what to post. The one to the right was taken in the winter when both cats were trying to get some heat. Mons would hog the pillow in front of the heater, so Fig would be left to hang down over the tub to grab some hot air. She would hang there when the heat turned on! (Don’t let her fool you, she had a cat bed behind Stacy’s door in front of a heater, too.) Once, when Fig was sitting on that ledge, she barfed on Mons’ head. He went running out of the bathroom, pawing at and shaking off the used cat food.

It was one year ago from this week (January 23rd, I think) that Mons was put to sleep. It touches my heart to think of our little guy. I remember how I had to learn to give up control over the fiercely independent, stubborn, intelligent and charming boy. It just didn’t work with him. And I’ve found that it doesn’t work with others. My life has become easier, knowing this. After I gave up control of Mons, he stopped trying to control me. So weird. He was a lover, too. He would demand to climb under the covers with Stacy or I to snooze at night. When he first met Fig, he hissed at her and walked away, pretending that he’d never like her. But over time, he was her guardian and would put up with her nipping his heels to play. He would clean her head and she his. I’ve read that people come into your life for some reason, to learn from them. I feel that pets do, too. I’m so lucky to have known Mons.

Stacy sent me photos of Fig and Sy today. Sy is getting so big – see her photo compared to the first one (click on Pets and go to New baby girl!). She’s growing up without me watching her! I miss them . . .

Mollie lives in the garden apartment of Larissa’s house. The little girl is a 13-week old golden retriever who is so dang cute. She’s a reddish-foppy eared puppy who has a TON of energy. I just brought her upstairs for a little bit to play. The neighbors are still at work and they said that I could take her out during the day if I wanted to. She got a hold of one of Woody’s rubber bones and was hauling it around the house. I swear that thing weighs as much as she does – it’s a chew toy for Woody and he is about 10 times the size of her. She ran up the stairs with it and dropped it down the stairs, but the baby was determined – over and over running through the house, dropping the bone. She’s funny to watch because she’s a clumsy as her front end turns one way and the back end the other, so she ends up jackknifing. I’m sure she looks just like Indy did as a puppy (Ananda’s dog). And I would love to show you a photo of what the pipsqueak looks like, but I can’t because I am unable to download photos from my camera. The adapter is packed away, snug and tight, in my basement in Chicago. Nice . . .

I had to leave Fig and Sy with Stacy because I don’t have a home, yet. It breaks my heart but know that they are better off with Stacy right now and she’s so happy to have them! I’d been telling Fig for awhile that we were going to leave. But then in recent weeks told her that I was going away for awhile but would come back to get her. Ouch, this hurts. I tried to tell Sy but she’s still a rambunctious kitty who’s only focus is to grab whatever is in front of her . . . she would untie my shoelaces, climb my leg and when I would lean down she would grab my head or jump on my back depending on the angle. Dang I miss them!

It was 70 degrees the day I left (unseasonably warm for 11/5) so I had the back door open as I loaded my car. I always let the cats out into the backyard in nice weather – it’s fenced in. Sy had jumped the chain link fence into the neighbor’s yard and climbed the tree in the yard. So I would have to keep one eye on her when I let them out. Fig hadn’t escaped since the previous summer . . . she would scoot under the wooden fence into the apartment parking lot to the north of us. At the beginning of the summer I had packed it down with dirt but over the summer squirrels and bunnies probably made an escape route under the fence. Still, I had just had Fig out the previous day and she stayed in the yard. I called for the cats when I had to leave and Sy came running so I put her in the house. I heard the jingle of Fig’s collar but didn’t see her in the decaying plants in the yard. So I went out into the alley and over to the parking lot and sure enough she was trying to find a way back under the fence. I grabbed her and brought her in and she immediately ran down to the basement and crouched (our apartment is upstairs). She was playing hard to get – she knew that I was leaving.

I’ll go back to Chicago in the spring to pack up and get the cats . . . but I’m starting to think that I might need to take a trip back sooner just to see my babies. I told everyone that there was no way in hell that I would be back in the winter. . . but my heart might pull me there in the freakn’ dang cold. I hope that Sy remembers me . . .

I flew into San Diego, late afternoon on Wednesday. AnnMarie and Thomas picked me up from the airport. It has been great to be back in the land of sun and palm trees! The weather has been perfect, around 80s. Their condo is not even a block from the ocean, so it’s amazing to walk up and have an incredible view of the sail boats, surfers and the sun shimmering down on the water. I’m sitting by the small swimming pool right now – this is the life! They have 3 dogs – Rita, outgoing chiuaua/corgi mix; Rat, timid terrier mix (Hurricane Katrina rescue); and Albert, dainty papillon (found on the street). Rita is confident and looks like she speaks Spanish, Rat has to walk behind everyone otherwise she scoots sideways with her tail between her legs, and Albert marches forward with his legs outstretched and hops a bit when excited. They’re all so unique. They’ve warmed up to me, so I love hanging out with them. Oh yes, and hanging out with AnnMarie and Thomas. Hehe!

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