Guest Post with Cat Scout Maggie

Hi everyone, we are lucky to have Cat Scout Maggie here today for a guest post.32-Maggie-Cougar-Hat Hello, everybody!  Happy New Year! We’re sure you all received lots of books for Christmas, and I’d like to tell you about two of my favorites.  I’m still reading another one, so that will be covered in a future post!

First, an oldie but timeless goodie: T.S.Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was published in 1939 and has never been out of print.  It is a book of poetry that formed the basis for the hit musical “Cats,” and many editions have been illustrated.  Mine has great drawings by that wonderful fellow Edward Gorey.  The poems are humorous and serious, but all reflect the author’s great admiration for our feline world.  If you haven’t yet read it, I urge you to get a copy!TSEliot

 

 

JelliclecatsJellicle Cats

Another wonderful book, just published by Thames and Hudson, is Cats Galore, created by artist Susan Herbert.  CatsGalore

Herbert takes famous artworks and replaces the principal figures with feline ones.  From Botticelli’s Birth of Venus to the Sistine Chapel, from medieval prayer books to impressionist masterworks, our feline counterparts offer a new slant on art appreciation!

The book includes Cats in Art, Cats on Stage (including famous theater posters) and Cats in the Movies.  Ben Hur, Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia are but a few of the artist’s film interpretations using us as the stars!

Arnolfini

 

 

 

 

 

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Marriage, 1434

maltesefalcon.jpg (2) Maltese Falcon

romeouliet.jpg (2) Romeo and Juliet

Thank you Maggie for an excellent post.

I am sad to hear of another kitty going to The Bridge. Little Binky has lost her younger sister: Feline, FOREVER

Guest Post Friday with Maggie

    Happy Friday everyone! Today we are lucky to have a guest post by Cat Scout Maggie.

Howdy, everyone, and Best Wishes of the Season!  Today I thought I’d share a Holiday book-giving list with you, either for gifting yourself or cat-loving friends.  These are all classics, and readily available on Amazon or through other outlets. Felix and I recommend them all paws up!

The Cat Who Came for Christmas, originally published in 1987 by Cleveland Amory, was later included in a trilogy by the same author.  This is the story of his beloved Polar Bear, found on Christmas Eve and adopted reluctantly by the author, due to his being badly scratched by the frightened kitty.  Needless to say, the cat soon won over his rescuer and became famous in New York City.  Amory was a well-known writer and humorist, and founded the Fund for the Animals.         CatWhoCame

Dewey, published in 2008 by Vicki Myron, is the story of a cat who was dropped down a library book return shoot on a very cold night in the Winter of 1988 in Spencer IA.    He immediately ingratiated himself with the Library staff and visitors, and became the “mascot” of the library.  He lived out his life guarding the Library until succumbing to a tumor in 2006. This is a heartwarming tale of friendship and community.  deweycover

Homer’s Odyssey, published by Gwen Cooper in 2010, is the story of a blind kitten rescued in Miami FL by the author, and then accepted by her other two cats.  Homer moved with his human to New York City and saved her from an intruder and withstood the trauma and separation brought on in the aftermath of 9-11. Although blind, Homer could jump to the top of bookcases and cupboards, and he could catch flies.  This is a story of unconditional love and the lengths a human will go to to protect her pet companions.   Homer

Trim, Being the True Story of a Brave Seafaring Cat, was a love lament dedicated to this fabulous cat by his human, the famous Australian navigator, Matthew Flinders.  The memoir was written in 1804 and has been republished many times, most recently by Nauticalia in the UK.  Together, Trim and his master circumnavigated the globe in the very late 18th century, and circumnavigated Australia as well.  On their return voyage to England, their ship was captured by the French and the two were imprisoned.  Trim met a foul end at the hands of a local native.  A rare first-hand account of a seafaring cat!

TrimBailey Boat Cat: Adventures of a Feline Afloat, published in 2014 by Louise Kennedy, is a beautifully photographed journal of life at sea from a feline perspective.  This very amusing book combines nautical wisdom and lore, the joy of sailing, trouble-shooting and navigating, and  the challenges of being a cat aboard a big boat on the open sea.  Bailey is an astute problem solver and observer of his environment and his social world.  Fun for landlubbers and salty dogs!  BBC

Thank you for those excellent recommendation Maggie.

Thank you to everyone for your comments, purrs and prayers for Stinky. I have decided to hold off on the MRI for now. She will go to her own vet next week which is what I should have done to begin with. I tested her twice and she blinks so I think she can see out of that eye. And she is acting completely normal so I hope that is a good sign. Please keep praying.

See you tomorrow for hopping. And make sure you comment to enter our Christmas giveaway. 040One of Cleveland Amory’s books is included in the giveaway.

 

 

 

 

Cat Museums and a Hop

Hi everyone! Last week when Cat Scout Maggie filled us in on Cat museums in the USA , she also told us about a cat house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I don’t know why, but the photo she included in the post did not appear. Here it is: FLWcathouseAll the details, including the blueprints can be found at Hausppanther: http://www.hauspanther.com/2014/08/01/vintage-cat-house-designed-by-frank-lloyd-wright-finds-new-home-at-feline-history-museum-in-alliance-ohio/

and Maggie’s Mom made a great photo of my Sammy with Maggie and Felix:

FLWcathousewFSP&MFeel free to add your kitties to the blank  photo above and post them on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/15andmeowing?ref=hl

And if you are in NYC, The Museum of Moving Image has a display running through January 31,2016 about how cats took over the internet. http://observer.com/2015/07/hello-kitty-new-exhibit-explores-the-history-of-cats-on-the-internet/#ixzz3gSiSqwdc

I am starting my hopping early this week-

I am co-hosting Feeling Beachie’s Blog Hop this week- please join in, I love to read people’s answers – it is a great way to learn more about each other.

Feeling Beachie

The statements:

  1. Birthdays are ______________________
  2. I am ___________, but I wish I was _________.
  3. ____ is my favorite ______.
  4. ________ is the best brand of __________.

My Answers:

1. Birthdays are FUN TO CELEBRATE THE WHOLE MONTH

2. I am FAT, but I wish I was THIN ( OR AVERAGE)

3. NICOLAS CAGE is my favorite ACTOR ( Just in case you didn’t know that 🙂 )

4. FRISKIES PARTY MIX is the best brand of CAT TREATS ( the kitties did this one)

 

 

 

 

Guest Post by Cat Scout Maggie

Hi everyone ! We are very lucky to have Cat Scout Maggie here with a guest post.

32--Maggie-Hat

Hello, everyone!  A few weeks ago my roommate Felix told you about a couple of cat museums in Holland and Singapore.  Today, I’ll share news about three cat museums right here in the States!

“If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but would deteriorate the cat.” Mark Twain

The Cat Museum of San Francisco is dedicated to exploring the relationship between people and their feline friends.  They are a fairly new museum (founded in 2010), and don’t have walls, but they have an active exhibition program and a fun website.  Their mission is to collect, exhibit and interpret various objects related to the CAT.

Visit them and read about our Egyptian ancestors and more at www.catmuseumsf.org.

The Egyptians came to associate the cat with the Goddess Bastet, with the image of the Goddess taking the form of a cat or a woman with the head of a cat. The cat itself became the living representative of the “Cat Goddess” within the Egyptian home, so much so that killing a cat was punishable by death. The cats’ nocturnal habits, reproductive abilities, protective/nurturing instincts and hunting skills all attached themselves to the Egyptian and later Greek and Roman Goddesses. egyptian cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next are two museums in Ohio.

The Feline Historical Museum, in Alliance OH, founded by the Cat Fanciers’ Association

One of its highlights is the Frank Lloyd Wright Cat House.  The 4-foot square piece was designed in 1954 specifically for a cat belonging a young girl. The design by Thomas Olsen, the site supervisor, was created under the direction of Frank Lloyd Wright, who had described his vision during a phone call with Olsen. Today, Wright (1867-1959) is recognized as the greatest American architect of all time, and the cat house is considered as one of his more unique designs.

 

On February 1, 2012 the Feline Historical Museum opened its first special collection featuring the Maneki Neko, commonly called the Japanese Welcoming Cat. These cats are recognized worldwide and are thought to bring good luck and fortune to those who keep them in their business establishment or home.

Thank you Maggie! Make sure you all comment today for a chance to win this pirate themed catnip mat – winner announced tomorrow:006

 

Guest Post by Cat Scout Maggie

Happy Friday everyone! Today we are lucky to have Cat Scout Maggie here to tell us a story.

Hi, folks!  Scout Maggie here again with you.  32--Maggie-Hat

Today I’d like to tell a story that our mom shared with us when we were young, as a way of guiding us to be good kitties!

LOST AND FOUND:  A TALE OF TWO CITIES, 8800 MILES AND LOTS OF HOPE

Our mom has had cats since she was 8 years old, and as all of you kitties know, we have lots of curiosity.  Sometimes it gets the best of us, and makes our nine lives flash by very quickly!

Pumpkin was such a cat.  Born on Halloween night, she was from a litter of three.  She was very small and didn’t always get the prime nursing ops, so she was a feisty fighter from the get-go.  From the time she was weaned and big enough to start exploring the house, she’d often try to bolt out the door, and once she disappeared for several days.  Our mom lived in an semi-urban area outside of Washington DC that still had small farms in the neighborhood.

Pumpkin had decided to investigate one of these farms, and our mom found her on the second floor of a barn, poking her head out the window when she heard our mom’s voice.

Pumpkin1After that episode, our mom was extra-careful and Pumpkin behaved for many years.  Her next adventure was on a horse farm where our mom then lived.  One day Pumpkin was out prowling just as mom let some of her dogs out to play.  They corned Pumpkin, who found a convenient tree to climb!  She stayed up there until the coast was clear.  The dogs were OK with mom’s cats inside the house, but once outside, cats were prey!!

The big adventure came several years after that when our mom was on a trip to Florida from her home near Washington DC.  This was in February.  Mom travelled in a large RV with her pets, which at that time included cats and Jack Russell Terriers, which she used to show.  When mom arrived at her destination in West Palm Beach FL, she exited the RV to do some errands.  Pumpkin had been awaiting her chance to bolt out, after a 14 hour trip!!

The RV was parked at a large equestrian facility that encompassed at least thirty acres and abutted heavily wooded lands and drainage ditches containing much of the wild life Florida is famous for!  Our mom searched the grounds time and again over the next several days, and even checked out the neighboring residential streets.  In this particular part of West Palm Beach, known as the town of Wellington, each residence comprises several acres and many small horse farms.  Our mom put up signs and posters and spread the word about her missing cat.  She had a large network of friends who were all animal lovers, so her hopes were high that Pumpkin would be found.

Many people called to say they had spotted her, but she was never there when mom followed up on the leads.  Finally, after several days, mom had to return to Washington, sadly without Pumpkin.

Over the next several months, mom continued to get calls about Pumpkin sightings.  She made two more trips (1100 miles one-way), but never found any sign of Pumpkin.  She visited all of the local animal shelters and continued to spread the world about her dear cat.  Mom returned to Washington (by now it was April), and was nearly resigned to never finding her cat again.

Calls continued to come in, and near the end of May, one caller was actually a friend from the horse world who reported that a cat fitting Pumpkin’s description had been hanging out on their terrace for the last few days, and they were feeding her and giving her water.  They said she looked ragged and thin, but responded to their care and attention.  They had plenty of shade around their house and barn, so felt pretty confident that with feeding, Pumpkin would stay nearby.

Our mom made her fourth trip to Wellington on Memorial Day weekend, and went immediately to the property in question (which was behind the large aforementioned equestrian facility).  She parked the RV and went to meet her friends.  They said, “Oh Pumpkin was just here for lunch!  She went around the corner,” and they pointed to a treed area behind their house.

Our mom tiptoed around the corner, and her beloved Pumpkin was sitting in the middle of some plants, as if she knew salvation was at hand.  Never one to let herself be picked up, Pumpkin sat perfectly still while mom reached down to get her.  Such a reunion left mom and the cat totally breathless and speechless!

Mom took Pumpkin back to the nice, cool RV where she could get re-aquainted with her furry pals from home while mom thanked her friends for providing shelter and food for her.Pumpkin3

Then it was time to head for home, but mom  had a minor collision accident two miles down the road.  She was so elated at having found her lost cat that she wasn’t paying attention, and backed the RV into a telephone pole.  Upon inspection, the rear wall of the RV had come dislodged, and  was basically hanging by two screws.  This, with an 1100 mile trip ahead!!  Those two screws were all that kept Pumpkin and her furry pals inside the RV!

Our mom drove to a nearby RV full-service shop which she had used on prior trips, and they said they’d need to keep the rig for at least one month in order to replace the door and do other repairs caused by the collision.

This was on a holiday weekend, but mom managed to find a station wagon to lease for the long trip home.  Exhausted and just wanting to get her cat checked out by the vet, mom now faced an 1100 mile trip home with 4 cats and 6 dogs in the car!  They arrived home safely, and Pumpkin went to the vet on the next open day.  She tested negative for Heartworm (the biggest fear), had only minor parasites, and apart from some weight loss and faded fur, she was found to be fit as a fiddle.

At the time she disappeared, Pumpkin was 11 years old.  She lived another 6 years in peace and harmony, and never once ever tried to go outside!

Pumpkin2Pumpkin, right,  with her friend Magic

 Never underestimate the power of hope!

Flag Day

Happy Flag Day everyone!! 006

My Purrince wrote me another poem this week to make me feel better when I was afraid of the storm:

Chasin thee Rain Away
Mee deerest Phoebe,
do not bee afraid…
Thee rain will leeve soon
an the funder will fade.
Mee iss there with you…
Mee iss rite bye yur side.
Mee guardss you inn spirit
so pleeze do not hide.
Thee storm will pass
an thee stars will shine…
Do not fear mee Purrincess,
You will allwayss bee mine.
 
***paw kissess*** an ~~head rubss~~
Yurr Purrince, Siddhartha Henry

I am so lucky- he is so clever and handsome. I have a book to keep all his poems in:

014019And I have his photos and some poems hanging on my bulletin board.

My Grammie came to see me Friday and Saturday. She took a special trip just for me on Friday and gave me lots of treats. I love her so very much.

Sammy wants a turn now-:022

My special friends, Cat Scouts Maggie and Fellix sent me some toys- thank you ! 015I guess I have to share.

 

Cat4-001

Cat Scout Maggie’s Guest Post

Welcome Maggie of Cat Scouts ( and my Sammy’s special friend). Warning, this story may make you cry.

Hi, Maggie here again with you.  Today I would like to remember the great Antarctic explorer, Mrs. Chippy.  He is very famous, and was part of Ernest Shackleton’s third expedition to the Antarctic regions. He belonged to Henry “Chips” McNeish, the ship’s carpenter, who had also been on prior Antarctic voyages.Mrs. Chippy3. jpgMrs. Chippy was actually a male brown tabby who adored his master, and because he shadowed him all over the ship, the crew soon named him “Mrs Chippy.”  He endeared himself to the crew, and early in their fateful voyage, Chippy decided to jump out a porthole.  The watch officer turned the huge ship around and the crew were able to pick the cat up out of the icy waters.  He had been in the sea for about ten minutes, and most cats certainly would not have tolerated that situation!      Chippy4

Endurance was a noble ship built to withstand the rigors of icy weather and waters.  She left Britain for South America in August of 1914, around the time of the start of WWI. The ship stopped in Argentina to provision and obtain a team of sled dogs which would  be needed for the overland treks planned once the crew landed in Antarctica.  In Buenos Aires, a young British fellow stowed aboard the Endurance, thus making the number of human crew 29 souls.  Perce Blackborow  proved himself so likable and useful to Shackleton and the crew that he was appointed Steward, and he and Mrs. Chippy soon became fast friends.Mrs. Chippy2

This Frank Hurley photo is courtesy, Scott Polar Institute

The  expedition left Buenos Aires for South Georgia Island, and from there, set sail for the Antarctic continent.  Chippy made himself busy standing on the ship’s rail, harassing the dogs, who were kenneled on the main deck, and otherwise exploring every nook and cranny of the ship.  He proved himself to be very adept at catching rodents, so was much appreciated as a full crew member of the expedition.  He also kept his master’s bunk warm, pawticularly useful in the frigid temps!!

Chippy’s favorite place to hang out was the Galley, where Cook always shared a tasty morsel with him, or the Ward Room, where he could rub against everyone and get lots of pets in return.  Like most of our feline ancestors and contemporaries, Chippy did not see the necessity of keeping a journal, but rather, he lived in the moment.  Luckily for us cat historians, his story was re-created from the writings of Shackleton himself and his various crew, all of whom kept journals.  “Mrs.Chippy’s Last Expedition” was written by Caroline Alexander, and it’s told from Chippy’s point of view, but based on actual daily events that occurred throughout the voyage until the time of the amazing rescue expedition that followed the ship’s destruction.  This precious book, which you must read, has been re-issued several times.

The book is a wonderful account of daily life at sea, including the monotony and the adventures and mishaps.  Because the expedition was a scientific one, there were lots of bottled and packed samples of various things the explorers collected and thought important. Chippy loved exploring and occasionally knocking over a bottle or two, but he always escaped the wrath of the crew.

The Endurance did well for a little over a year, and then became gradually and increasingly subject to the pressure of the large ice floes that trapped her.  There was no open water for most of their voyage, so they had to push through the ice a little bit at a time.  Finally, the ship became crushed by the ice pressure, and she had to be abandoned.                                                                 Endurance

It was a huge undertaking to empty the contents of the entire ship, set up temporary quarters for the crew and the dogs, and maintain discipline, hope and physical fitness.  It was now the end of October, 1915.

Photo, Frank Hurley

Shackleton realized that his crew and mission were nearly doomed, so he ordered the crew to dispose of all of their unnecessary belongings.  To set an example, he discarded a Bible that had been given to him by the Queen, just tearing out a few important pages.  Frank Hurley, the ship’s photographer, had taken hundreds of pictures, and he now needed to choose which ones to keep.  In those days, photo “negatives” were made of glass, and they were large and bulky.  We are so glad that one of Hurley’s choices was the earlier photo above depicting Chippy on Blackborow’s shoulder -the lone picture of this fabulous kitty navigator that was saved!

Alexander’s book contains most of the surviving photographs, and they only add to the drama and sadness of this voyage.

Shackleton ordered that no body who couldn’t pull his weight or prove useful to the Expedition must be “put down.”

The sled dogs, after hauling many provisions and supplies over huge distances, were all shot.  It is surmised, but not confirmed, that Chippy was given a special treat of sardines for his last dinner, and he did not wake up after that meal.  Suffice it to say that most of the crew, but particularly Henry McNeish, were devastated by his loss.  McNeish later bore Shackleton a grudge because of the cat, and although he was an essential member of the rescue portion of the expedition (due to his carpentry skills), McNeish was not rewarded with commendations at the end of the expedition.

We won’t tell the amazing story here about Shackleton’s incredible 800 mile trek over mountains and icy waters to find the nearest post where he could get a rescue ship.  He did it and accomplished one of the most celebrated rescues in human history.  After many months, he and a skeleton crew who had braved that long land and sea journey returned to rescue the other crew members.  All were saved.  Many prior Arctic and Antarctic expeditions did not fare as well.

I like to think that Chippy’s spirit enabled the Endurance human crew to maintain hope and courage, even after Chippy was no longer there in purrson.

It is so sad, to me, and heartbreaking that in those days, animals weren’t held in as high esteem as they are today. The innocent sled dogs, many of whom died from parasites because Shackleton had forgotten to take worm medicine on the journey, were used for heavy work and then discarded as being a burden. Some of them were pregnant or were pups.

Mrs. Chippy, though very small, was also considered to be too risky to keep in the tents set up on moving ice floes.  Food and fuel were scarce toward the end of the voyage, so Shackleton decided that the animals would be too much trouble to take care of, and could possibly impede the human crew’s ability to survive and be mobile.

Henry McNeish grieved for his beloved cat for many years, and he later retired to New Zealand, although he was Scottish.  McNeish’s gravesite in Wellington was later enlarged to include a tribute to his fabulous companion and the ship’s mascot, Mrs. Chippy!mrschippy1

You can purchase Chippy’s book at the Museum of Maritime Pets website : http://museumofmaritimepets.org/store.html

Thank you Maggie. See you all tomorrow for lots of hopping.