Archive for the ‘Calico Cats’ Category



One of my constant readers <grin> at Living in the Edge of Madness commented that he was glad I got a dog/friend rather than a weapon to protect myself. So I started thinking about all the good stuff adopting this dog did for society that a weapon wouldn’t.

First of all, I saved him from ending up at a humane society pound which is almost a virtual death sentence for many animals. Granted Igor is a handsome animal and has an appealing personality so he has a better than average chance of getting adopted. However, those goofy legs of his might turn prospective adopting families away before they even get a chance to know him.


I added to Madison’s economy by taking him to the Vet here in town and bought him toys and food as well as a new leash and a training collar at the pet supply store. I’ll be spending more on food every month and vet bills twice a year. I’m kind of sappy and since he’s prone to play with his toys, I’ll continue to buy them. The new leash and collar have already paid for themselves in terms of saving my back and arms from untold pain and misery. I really recommend The GentleLeader HeadCollar. Even my son was impressed.


He’s helping me recycle. Every-time I go to the store or take advantage of the food that comes in from Second Harvest I get plastic bags. It takes only 14 plastic grocery bags to drive a car one mile (per the Cap Centre Grocery Store). That is astonishing! I use grocery bags as garbage can liners for my sewing trash bin , the bathroom trash bin and the kitty litter trash bin but I STILL had more than enough to fill a paper grocery bag. Now I can use them as waste receptacles when I’m out walking Igor.


I’ll spare you photographs of this.

Trust me, it ain’t pretty…

He’s getting me up off my butt and exercising so I will undoubtedly lose the weight I gained after I quit smoking and maybe more. I’ll be much healthier in no time. I’m beat at the moment but I think I will adjust quickly and it’s not like he’s a power walker. One or two 6 block walks a day satisfy his needs to go rambling. I’m not even sure he appreciates that much he’s such a couch potato!



Oh, I forgot the $10 license I have to get from the city. I heard a rumor that there is a $20 fee to take him to the dog parks too. I’ll find out about that when I go to the dog park the first time, I suppose. It’s beautiful out today and I considered going while my son was here visiting with his MinPin but Son said not a good idea with Po–he’s too little and too feisty. He always tries to pick a fight with the biggest and meanest dog with the biggest and meanest owner. My son hates beating people up…

Would you look at these two! Po weighs less than 15 pounds. Maybe not even 10. Igor weighs 38 pounds yet they don’t look all that different in size in this picture.



All in all this is a win situation for everyone concerned except for my fat little Calico Cat. She has come out from under the desk at least but now she’s living on top of my dresser. I had to move her food out of the dog’s reach since he has discovered it is much more to his liking than his own food so I put it on the dresser. Then because I felt sorry for her I put a pillow up there. She may never leave.




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I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.

August Strindberg (1849 – 1912), A Madman’s Diary, 1895

I have spent today learning how to download pictures taken with the digital camera that I got last month for my birthday onto my PC. Since I’m using a PC that is totally Windows free and has The Xandros Linux distribution installed and I’m not exactly what you would call Linux literate, I wasn’t expecting this to be as easy as it was. I can’t say enough about this distribution of Linux. It has the ease and familiarity of Windows without the hassle and expense.


I chose the Canon PowerShot 460 mainly because I got such a killer deal on the price at Amazon.com. Regularly $229.00 for $97.00. Sweet. Plus the camera is great. I’ve been practicing with it for about a month now and I think I have the basics worked out. I do have to say that it would probably be worth every penny to buy a good set of rechargeable Double A batteries and a charger because it doesn’t take long before you are looking for new batteries. I’d also get the AC adapter.

So the primary target for the lens has been my fat little Calico cat, Penelope Patches. The great thing about digital cameras is you can just click away to your heart’s content. It doesn’t matter if the cat moves. Refocus and click again. No money wasted on film or shots that have been a bust. Here are my favorite shots of Patches to date:



because this shows off her pretty eyes.



because you get a pretty good picture of her overall coloring.

Pathches was always meant to be called Penny because of those copper colored patches. Her sister Raggedy Anne was going to be Annie. She was a Tortoiseshell Calico and had Tabby stripes adorning her tri-colored markings. She looked more faded and her black was actually more of a gray. She looked like a little pile of rags and somehow we started calling her Rags and of course Patches followed along after. How odd it is to think that Patches is nine years old now…

This is my Grand-dog Po.


Po is a Miniature Pinscher.  He looks and acts just like a tiny (five to maybe seven pounds) Doberman Pinscher.  Totally alpha.  He drives Patches absolutely up the wall when ever he comes to visit.  She outweighs him by at least five pounds or more but he is a dog on a rubber band being propelled by a hyper-active kid with a paddle.  He is why Patches is hiding under my desk at the moment.

This is the newest member of my family:




Isn’t he a handsome fella? He’s a Dachshund/Beagle (Daschle) who looks exactly like the dog we got when I was 11 years old. I just adopted him and I’m changing his name from Snoopers to Igor in honor of the Dachsle of my youth. I was absolutley right in following my instincts about a dog with this lineage. He is incredibly calm around Patches who has been doing nothing but pitching hissy fits since the moment she laid eyes on him.

In fact he has the patience of a saint. If she packed a harder wallop & claws he’d have two or three black eyes and be bleeding all over the carpet. He’s pretty much taken it all with no more than a raised eyebrow. I don’t think even the original Igor would have been that generous.  I’m not sure when she will forgive me but sooner or later she is going to figure out he isn’t as hyoeractive as Po and won’t be able to chase her everywhere she goes except up.  Sooner or later she’ll come out from under the desk and eat again.

In twenty-four hours I’ve heard him bark once when someone knocked on the door. He’s got a pretty big bark for a short fella. He also has double joints in his front legs and possibly a club foot. Looks funnier than hell–he sorta looks like he is walking backwards but I don’t think it’s hurting him any at all. We go to the Vet tomorrow to get shots and everything so I can get him licensed. I bet it will be his first ride in a Taxi. <heh>

Ever since the restraining order incident I’ve been feeling the need to feel a little more secure here in the building. Well since before that but that only enhanced my insecurity. Short dog with big bark and big mouth makes me feel safer. <grin>

So cameras, dogs and fat cats. Full day.








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Ok, I lied about the super sizing but I am planning on significant changes in my Blogs in the very near future.

I turned 55 on the 5th. Gosh that looks strange. Good thing it isn’t 2005.

As usual I got money for my birthday. So I’m getting a digital camera. I’ve already ordered it and it should be here by the middle of the week. I can’t wait. I’ll be adding pictures ASAP.

Patches is going to be my first victim. Hopefully she will cooperate. She’s so lazy I doubt she will be running off but getting her to sit up and look pretty might be a problem. I hope I can capture her pretty green eyes.

When I get the camera and putting pictures on the PC and then into the Blog figured out I will give you all a boring lecture on Calico Cats and how I became a Mama Kitty. You’ll enjoy it. Trust me.

I’m also working on moving my Blogs over to Bluehost. Oh my… My brain may explode before I accomplish learning everything new I have to learn to do this. I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment. If I didn’t have to deal with
Linux it would be a hell of a lot easier.

Why am I torturing myself like this? Well learning new things is good for me because it builds new neural pathways and keeps the brain functioning at optimal levels.

I wonder if they would let me do this at the computer lab at the Senior Center… Now there’s a thought.


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We’re off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You’ll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.

Lyrics by EH Harburg, music by Harold Arlen “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

I’m off to see my Grandchildren tonight. My nephew will pick me up sometime between now (9:15) and Midnight and take me to Edgerton. He works odd hours and doesn’t get off work until 8:00 PM. It works out good for me because then I can sort of stretch that rule the building management has about not leaving pets alone for more than 24 hours out a little.

I don’t like to leave Patches alone for much longer than 24 hours but she does fine for 36. She’s more than happy to see me when I get home though. I got the paperwork necessary to get permission to have a dog in this building but I don’t have a clue what happened to it. They have to be designated as a companion dog. <heheh> Patches could use a companion.

Not so sure about me. Dogs are a lot of work but there are all kinds of guys in this building who would like to walk my dog if I get one. <shrug> I would feel safer if I had a dog but…

I would love a Boston Terrier or a Boxer. Better yet, I would like a mutt mix of either of those. I’m not all that big on pure bred dogs. The inbreeding is nasty. I saw a cute little rat terrier/jack russel mix up for adoption by its owners that I would be interested in but they say they don’t know how she would be with cats. If she hasn’t found a home by mid week next week I will call them. It would be worth a try to see if she is a chaser.

Oh goodie, my daughter just called and she is going to send a note to school with my Grandson so that I can pick him up rather than having him go to daycare. Fantastico! G and I get along well unless he’s feeling frisky and oppositional. He’s a really smart little boy and he likes to pit that smart little brain against Grammy’s brain. Grammy isn’t used to thinking on her feet against smart little boys.

He also likes to tell “stories.” Last night on the phone he told me he had skipped all the way up to 5th grade. Not too long ago he told me he thought he had flunked kindergarten. He had me convinced he believed that. That’s the third time he has caught me with his “stories.” From now on I don’t believe a word he says until I check it with his parents. <heh>

Update on the adoption process. The mother has decided to fight the state’s decision to terminate her parental rights. It may be three or more years before the baby is released for adoption and the mother could prevail. I am afraid for my daughter. This could get really messy. I am very proud of her for hanging in there though.

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Well, that little episode with Patches itchies was quite a revelation.  She got checked out, got her shots for the year, got her teeth cleaned and was sternly admonished to exercise more and eat less (she blinked twice and lay down as if to say “as if”) and pronounced healthy but pudgie.   They don’t use the F word there.

The Vet laughed at me when I told him about the leash but said going up and down stairs a couple of times a day would be good for her.  So I will have to get another collar.  I should walk over to Walgreens for one of those rugged fabric ones  or find another excuse to go out to Shopko.  Maybe I could make one.  Where the hell is she going to go if she gets loose?  We’ll be in the stairwell.  The leash is primarily for managements benefit.

The Vet agreed that it was probably allergies to one of the things that was new and most likely the collar but to let things be for awhile  and then  we could re-introduce one thing at a time to see if she reacted.  I’m thinking why bother with all that?  Not one damn thing was essential.

But OK out of curiosity I’ll see if she breaks out from the Newmans Own.  Just so I can write to Robert Redford and tell him my cat is allergic to it if she is.  Besides, she liked it but ate less of it than she did the Iams.   Now  I wonder why that is?  I have no idea what the caloric count  is on either brand.  I wonder if she would pick the Newmans out of the Iams?  Oooo Kitty torture.

I still think it’s the plastic.  I took away her plastic food bowl too and she is no longer scratching her chin like she used to.  I wonder if that means I have to forbid her from playing with the plastic bags while I’m unpacking groceries.

She does get rather playful then.  She chases them across the floor.  I fill them with air for her like balloons and she kills them for me.  When they are dead I pick them up and put them in a paper bag to save as pooper scoopers for the grand-doggies.  I need to transfer some to my suitcase for the next trip to Edgerton.

Anyway, I’m going to start giving Fatty Patty Newman’s own cat food tomorrow morning.  Stay tuned.


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“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
“Cats,” he said eventually. “Cats are nice.”

Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

My fat little Calico cat Penelope Patches turned up with some mysterious blisters on her left hind leg and belly night before last. They must have been pretty itchy because she had literally licked the hair on her leg to a nubbin. It looked like she had had a shave. I wouldn’t have even noticed since she’s a shorthair to begin with but while I was combing her I noticed that she had some open sores on that leg. Then I looked more closely and checked her all over for fleas and what not and found blisters on her belly. Uh Oh…

Wouldn’t you know it, right on the cusp of the 4th of July festivities. Well, I’ve got antibiotics and anti-fungicides so I threw both at the problem and called the Vet who would you know it is out on vacation until Friday. FRIDAY??? Why on earth are they coming back for Friday? I guess they have to cover the ER for the weekend. Weird.

Anyway they said it would be OK if I !waited 24 hours to see what happened. The blisters are gone and the open sores have healed. Except for the ongoing problem with her chin we seem to have goten past a bump in the road. She has had a tendency to scratch her chin raw since she was quite young.

But it’s gotten much worse since we moved here. Someone at the Delphi Forum’s Isle of Whack mentioned allergies might be causing this newest out break and that’s a distinct possibility because I got some Newman’s Own cat food off of the Free Table that Whole Foods so kindly donated to our building. Thinking about allergies, I remembered that one of my daughter’s cats (now deceased) was allergic to something pretty common so I called my son-in-law. It was plastic and that’s why they fed him on a cookie sheet. I forgot about that. SIL said it was a very common cat allergy.

So maybe that’s the deal with Patches. I just got her a new collar with rhinestones because I’m trying to leash train her. Don’t laugh! It’s working. You may not be able to teach old dogs new tricks but cats are smart and Patches was learning that she can pull me wherever she wants me to go with that leash. She won’t play with anything but yarn I happen to be turning into garments at the moment and she simply cannot resist that stuff.

It’s simply too undignified to chase things I throw around the room and shake at her but when I knit and crochet that yarn acts like it moves all by itself. She only goes after things when I am not looking at her. It’s hilarious to watch her out of the corner of my eye watching me to make sure I am not making that yarn do its thing. She’s convinced I am but she can’t figure out how I do it. She’ll sit there doing her damndest to ignore that yarn until she just can’t stand it anymore and then she just has to pounce on it. Or sometimes she will just nonchalantly get up and go over and sit on it. End of discussion.

Over the years she has become a trifle portly and needs to lose weight which is why I got her that spiffy new pink collar with rhinestones and matching leash because she will run up and down stairs. We have lots of stairs in this building. All kinds of stairs. I was even going to get her a bell for her collar so she could tinkle as she jogged. She was very proud of her collar and the leash too. She actually played with the leash that hangs on the bathroom door a few times when I wasn’t looking.

But guess what? YUP, it’s cheap plastic. I love this cat but I’m not shelling out for real leather for a cat that spends her life sitting on the back of my chair. Well, I WASN’T going to. I guess I’m going to have to rethink that. Do you realize what a billion dollar industry the pet trade has become?

She’s a neurotic little thing. Her mother disappeared when she was less than two weeks old and I got her and her sister 48 hours after the fact when they were limp little rags that hardly had any-life left in them. I named her sister Raggedy Anne and commenced trying to keep them alive long enough so that the humane society would take them and find them homes. Right.

They were so infested with internal and external parasites they didn’t have a fighting chance even though you can sometimes starve worms by mixing garlic into kitten replacer milk. They just had too many worms and the worms were HUNGRY. So my fella said we had to take them to the vet. I told him the bill was going to be outrageous and we could take them to the humane society (while I was sobbing) but he said no he couldn’t do that, Not after a week of helping bottle and eye dropper feed them. That was nearly nine years ago and Patches and I are still keeping company.

She just has never gotten over that traumatic beginning. She has separation anxiety and is a Mama’s baby. When she wakes up from a catnap she cries until I say her name and I can be sitting three feet away but I have to say her name before she is happy. I don’t know what in hell she does when I’m gone. I leave the radio on for her but my neighbors say they hear her crying. I won’t leave her for more than 24 hours.

She’s bulimic and will eat until she gets sick into her bowl and then eat some more etc until its all a sodden mass of puke and beg for more if I don’t keep kibbles available in her bowl all the time. She even has a kibble quotient. If it goes below five kibbles she hits the panic button.

Every time I get up to go do something she runs to her bowl to check and see if it needs more food and the first thing she does when I come home is ask for a back rub and then checks her bowl for food. It used to be vice verse but I’ve managed to convince her that a good back rub is almost as good as food.

I’ve never had a cat who is so focused on food. Cats who liked to eat yes. But this cat is absolutely obsessed. If she does not think she has enough food in her bowl she will come and chew on my hair. How that got started I will never know but it drives me crazy and she has me trained to know that she thinks the kibbles in her bowl are low and it’s time for a refill.

Otherwise, she’s an excellent cat, She comes to her name and understands several commands like down, no, get out of there, and do you want a treat? I didn’t say she obeyed them. She jsut knows what they mean and will more often than not prove she does by agreeing that it would be prudent to accommodate me since I own the squirt gun. She will however occasionally prove that she is still the mistress of the house and dare me to go get the squirt gun, fill it full of water, and take aim. By the time I have managed to get myself in position she has managed to take a leisurely stroll elsewhere and disdainfully laughs at me from across the room. I swear she is the reincarnation of some Siamese Princess (she has Siamese eyese I think) who really isn’t neurotic. She’s just spoilt rotten.


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How much is that doggie in the window (arf, arf)
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that doggie in the window (arf, arf)
I do hope that doggie’s for sale

Patti Page “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window” written by Bob Merrill

I’m thinking about getting a dog. I’ve been thinking about getting a dog for some time but I’m serious about it now. My admirer’s antics have touched off a nerve that won’t quit screaming for attention. My back hurts like hell and I don’t think going to see Dr Ted is really going to help deal with this backache. I don’t feel safe.

I haven’t felt safe for a long time. Thhe question is will having a dog help me feel safer? Yeah, I think so. I think I will feel like no one will be able to sneak up on me and I think it will be harder for people to intrude with a dog on this side of the door raising holy hell.

Not only that, a dog will remember who intruded and if they get too friendly he will want to be all friendly in public and that will make me suspicious and if they hurt him he will be in atttack mode in public. They lose either way.

I am going to talk to Harry tomorrow about recommending that I have a service dog because then the building management will have to allow it in addition ot my cat who is going to be peeved as Hell. She’ll get over it eventually.

I looked up Miniature Pinschers in Wisconsin on google and found Guy. I like the fact that he hasn’t been docked at all. He looks so goofy compared to Po, my son’s dog. He’s about a year and a half old which is pretty young. That’s good, he’ll be staying around awhile and he’s still feisty. They haven’t trained that out of him yet.

Still, I have to consider all the work having a dog entails. Can I walk a dog three or four times a day and manage a cane or find people who will help me with those chores? I want an alpha dog but I waant one that I can train to know I am alpha in this house. I did that with Po who still recognizes me as the alpha female but do I have what it takes to take on a dog all by myself day after day? Picking up warm poop. Dealing with aa dog’s neediness.

For all I laugh about Patches’ neediness and psychiatric problems, she really isn’t all that much of a PITA. She comes to the door and weaves around my legs meowing to great me while I drop whatever I am lugging off in its approppriate space–sometimes I have to tell her to back off because on more than one occasion she has tripped me–and runs to the bathroom where she knows I will head next so she can get an ear scratch and a hug but then she goes back to napping contentedly when the social amenities are over. Dogs are much more demanding.

They want to get the hell out of confinement. They are ready for a WALK!   Or they want to PLAY!  NOW.  Patches, my fat littell Calico cat never wnats to play.  I have wasted so much money on toys and catnip  trying to entice her into playing it’s ridiculous.  In fact, Patches is boring. Until I get my yarn out to knit.  THEN she wants to play.  I keep telling her my yarn is not the appropriate choice for a plaything and gave her her own small ball of yarn.

Was she happy?  Hell no, she wants MY YARN whcich does interesting things like move around and diminish in size if I’m rolling skeins into balls.  She sits there and watches it and her whole body twitches with frustration because she knows she’s not supposed to play with it but she waits until I am not looking and then when she can’t stand it anymore she attacks.  I will look at her and say “Patches what are you doing?”  in my most stern mother voice and she sill look at me with that innocent who me expression even though she is practically  wrapped up in yarn and slowly free herself and go back to her post where she can watch in frustration again waiting for the right moment to strike and kill the yarn monster.   Patches is a hoot.


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