November 29th 2012 7:11 am
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“Whoa – is it intermission time?” Socks asked, jumping up to get some bites of kibble. “This being the villain kinda takes it out of a guy, ya know what I mean?”
“I’m so hungry, I feel like a ghost of my former self – MOL!” Sleeper quipped, as she joined him at the food bowls.
When everyone had settled back down, Samhain resumed her story.
“Socks McScrooge didn’t know what to make of his experience! ‘It surely must have been a dream,’ he thought, and lay back down in his bed. But no sooner did he fall asleep, than he was awakened by another flash of light to a room which was his own and yet not his own, being decorated in all manner of ways with the beauty and fullness of the season, and a great fire burning merrily in the woodstove. He looked about in wonder and beheld a black furred figure clothed in a long green robe and a sprig of evergreen tucked behind her cropped ear.”
[“That’s me!” Fearless exclaimed softly, punching Socks in the shoulder. “Ow, Fearless! That hurt!”]
“ ‘Socks McScrooge, I am the Ghost of Catmus Present – you have never seen the like of me before!’ ‘You can say that again,’ muttered Socks. ‘Come and walk with me!’ the Spirit called, and once again McScrooge was carried up and away over houses and streets where cats and peeps were making merry, enjoying the season. The Ghost carried a torch aloft in her paw, and occasionally would shake a fine dust over the passing revelers, and especially when it seemed that spirits flagged and tempers flared. And then the passersby seemed to regain their cheer and good will.
“Next she took him over a humble house decorated with red bows and a holly wreath on the door. Candles burned in the windows, and a small fitful fire was laid in the grate. As they grew closer, he saw that it was MILO Cratchit and his wife Mrs. Murphy, and in the corner, looking so cute and fluffy, was Tiny Gris Cratchit playing with Bob the Cricket.”
[“I was wondering where Bob was,” Fearless said in an undertone. Samhain frowned at her before continuing the story.]
“They were preparing for Catmus, and Oh! Everyfur was so joyful and merry! ‘What do they have to be so happy about?’ Socks grumbled. ‘Look at this house – it’s hardly big enough for that cricket. And that bird can scarcely feed the one of them, let alone three!’ ‘And who do you think is responsible for that?’ Fearless, uh, I mean, the Ghost asked simply. ‘I pay him a wage; is it my business if he can’t manage his money?’ Socks responded, but this time with a note of uncertainty and an uneasy feeling of guilt.
“Once again, McScrooge felt himself whisked through the air and back into his bed. This time he did not fall back to sleep, but lay in wait for he knew not what. Just as he started to relax, thinking the visitations were over, he felt a great chill wash over him and looking up, he saw before him a gaunt figure all in black fur, no light reflecting from her save that of her yellow eyes.”
Samhain paused, and they all glanced over at her. The fire had died down considerably and where she lay the couch was in shadow, so that all that showed was the light reflecting off her eyes. Fearless shivered. Samhain smiled and resumed her story:
“ ‘Am I in the presence of the Ghost of Catmus Yet to Come?’ asked Socks, tremulously, when the Spirit did not speak. She nodded, and stretched forth her paw to him. Reluctantly, he took it and was airborn once more. He saw much that night of want and privation. So many lost, so many abandoned and neglected, some which he had turned away when he might have helped. Lastly she showed him an overturned garbage can with two feral kittens rummaging through the trash, one of whom looked very like himself at that age.
McScrooge fell on the ground before the Ghost, crying:‘Good Spirit – assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life! I will honor Catmus in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” He bowed his head, his paws clasped before him in supplication, and, feeling a lessening of the cold, looked up to find himself restored to his bed….
TO BE CONTINUED…
November 26th 2012 11:58 am
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[SNOOZE ALERT! This is another of my interminably long, three-part stories - with a decided nod to Charles Dickens. :)]
“Tell us a story,” Fearless said sleepily from the blankie in front of the woodstove. Socks stretched beside her and yawned. Samhain, on the couch, saw him and opened wide with a cavernous yawn of her own, her fangs flashing in the rosy glow from the fire.
“What kind of story?” she asked.
“A Catmus-y one!, A scary one!” Fearless and Socks answered together.
“Both,” Sleeper murmured from the catbed on the Mama’s table.
Samhain stretched, settled herself more comfortably, and began:
“There once was ‘a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner’ named Socks McScrooge…”
“Wait a minute! Why am I the bad guy?!”
“Because I’M telling the story – do you want to hear this or not?”
Disgruntled mutters and silence.
“This guy was so mean he wouldn’t spare a farthing for his employee MILO Cratchit to buy coal for the fire.”
“What’s a farthing?” Fearless meowed.
“SHHHH!!!” three voices hissed at her.
“And it was really really COLD that day before Catmus. So cold that the Mama had to change the water in the Feral’s water bowl three times during the day because it kept freezing.” Socks shuddered.
“And this Socks McScrooge wouldn’t let MILO Cratchit go home early to be with his family, Mrs. Murphy Cratchit and Tiny Gris Cratchit even though it was Catmus Eve! Instead he had to sit in that cold room scratching away at McScrooge’s accounts, and only had Bob the Cricket for company. Poor MILO!
“Just then the door opened and it was Sock’s nephew Tiger and his wife Natasha. They’d come to ask their uncle to their annual Catmus Eve party, just as they did every year, but mean ol’ Socks sent them away saying ‘Humbug! Keep Catmus in your own way, and I’ll keep it in mine!’ ‘But you don’t keep it,’ said Tiger. ‘Then let me leave it alone!’ he roared, following them out on the street shaking his fisted paw at them, his fur on end.
“As he stood watching them leave, three gentlecats by the names of Toki, Monster and Master Zack approached him. Toki swept his tophat off his head and gave a graceful bow. ‘Good evening, Mr. McScrooge,’ he said. ‘The best of the holiday season to you, sir,' exclaimed Master Zack, stretching forth a paw, which McScrooge pointedly ignored. Monster smiled and stepped forward, ‘We’re here collecting for the Humane Society. At this festive time of year especially, we know that in view of the fact that you are a former feral, you will no doubt be happy to donate something to help others less fortunate than yourself.’ ‘No doubt I wouldn’t!’ he replied. ‘Good day, gentlemen!’ And with that, he went back inside and slammed the door.
“At last it was 5:00 PM, and MILO gathered his things along with the begrudged promise of the next day off to celebrate Catmus. McScrooge was less than pleased as he closed the shop and headed to his meager dinner and bed beyond. The house seemed darker and colder than usual, the fire in his bedroom barely giving off any heat at all. It seemed as if Socks had only just lay down, when there was a flash of light and the incongruous smell of catnip. There at the foot of his bed was a beautiful striped cat with a red and white striped sparkling stocking cap on her head and a wreath of catnip around her (rather large) waist!”
[“It’s me”, Sleeper said.]
“She twinkled and laughed at him merrily: ‘Socks McScrooge – I am the Ghost of Catmus Past!’ ‘Long past?’ Socks queried. ‘No, YOUR past, you idiot! Rise and walk with me!’ “Socks felt compelled to do as he was bid.”
[“Dang straight – if he doesn’t want a smackey-paw!” Sleeper stage-whispered.]
“He took her paw and flew with her to a scene from a Catmus past when the pawrents had rescued him from a cold deserted building and brought him back to a shelter of warmth, food, friends and love.”
[The real Socks pretended he was stretching as he furtively wiped a tear from his eye.]
“All was joy and gaiety around him; though the food was simple – (and they had to share it with possums and raccoons.) But the friendships were slow to form for this outsider, and he held himself aloof from the others, as being a stray only one generation removed from domesticity and, therefore better than the several-generation ferals.”
[“I want to make it perfectly clear, that I do NOT feel this way about my feral friends!” Socks stated loudly. “Shhhh!” Three voices shushed him.]
Samhain continued: “ ‘Spirit! Remove me from this place; I cannot bear it!’ McScrooge cried in a broken voice. In the next moment he was back in his bed as if it had all been a dream!”
TO BE CONTINUED…
November 21st 2012 3:14 pm
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Just made an interesting discovery that I thought I'd share in case this happens to someone else. Was adding new pics to the FERAL'S page and was rearranging the order a bit to have the new pics show up first. When I went to save the changes, I randomly hit one of the SAVE THE CHANGES buttons somewhere midway down the page, instead of scrolling all the way to the bottom as I usually do. Big mistake as I found out when I went to look at the live page! All the pics after that section that I'd clicked SAVE on, were gone! Went back to see what the deal was and found that the little dot that is supposed to be checked YES that you want the pic displayed had come unchecked for every one of the pics following that point where I'd clicked the SAVE button. Didn't know it would do that.
So, just in case you lose some pics after you've been adding others, go make sure that little dot is checked YES. :)
Oh, and we added some cute pics of one of the kittens that the Papa has named Sirius because of the star on his chest. One of the other kittens has a prominent star, too. Will have to come up with another star name...
November 12th 2012 6:11 pm
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OK, not sure how I feel about this, but that Socks character that's been hanging out around our place since December of last year, has now been granted "visitor status", meaning he gets to come in the house, but doesn't stay in all the time with us. The pawrents still aren't sure if he knows about litterboxes, if you know what I mean...
The Mama says they won't be making him a totally indoor kitty in any case; he will be an indoor/outdoor cat - if all works out with us and the other thing I just mentioned. So far so good! I can't say I like him, but I'm mostly already used to him since he goes on walks with all three of us girls when we're out on our leashes.
Check him out if you get a chance!
October 19th 2012 6:09 am
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Hey! Some sweet kit gave us some anonymouse zealies - woohoo!!! We didn't even know it until we went to check when our next allotment was supposed to be, and there they were! Thank you, Anonymouse, who-efur you are!
October 15th 2012 12:18 pm
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So here we are at Autumn again – where did the time go? Sleeper and I turned 2 at the end of September – oh joy! Greater maturity, surely, the Mama cries! Hehehe…snicker, snork!!! Who am I to shatter such naïve faith?
Fearless is… well, Fearless. Though I must say she seems to have firmly established herself as a member of this family. I guess we will have to let her stay…
Today is overcast, cold and blowsy – we’re all of us sacked out in our various perches of choice. I recline upon the old glass-fronted bookcase – the highest perch available, naturally. Fearless sleeps in the catbed which has a permanent space on the Mama’s table. Sleeper is…where IS Sleeper? Oh, of course – she is in the paper-kindling box next to the Papa’s desk. Next to her is the woodstove, which today, as it is 46 degrees out and likely to be so for some time, is stuffed with the oak slabs purchased from a local fellow who in turn, buys it off the Amish lumber mills in the area.
Not all the trees have shed their leaves yet, so there is a fine canopy of color above and a matching carpet below in some areas out there. Though with the winds blowing the leaves through the air like colored snowflakes, it probably won’t be long till they’re bare.
And what about the snow? It’s October 15th, and no sign of it yet. The Mama says this is well, since she has more work to do on the outside feral shelters, insulating them for the winter.
Oh, and the kittens, all five of them, are doing fine.
September 29th 2012 6:22 pm
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We had a pretty fine birthday, no party but it didn’t matter. There was plenty of quality time with the pawrents which was what we wanted most of all! Even Fearless was slightly less irritating than usual – MOL!
And many fine friends stopped by to wish us happy and left us prezzies as well. We thought we’d thank you all via this diary – for Sleeper, too. We made notes in no particular order – just as we saw them, so…
MILO and family left me a mousie and a party hat for the Sleep
Ollie, Boo, Maizie and family – party hats for both of us – woohoo! We’re party animals!
Tink and Snow – cheese for me and the milk to go with it for Sleeper. Fearless, get your mitts off that cheese! (She thinks just because she and Snow still have a thing going since their pirate voyage together, that she can get away with it – sheesh!)
Anna, Tony and family – chocolate cupcakes – yum!!!
Natasha, Luke, Tully and Sammy gave us pumpkins – cool!
Tigger Angel Baby gave the Sleep a heart – she sends you a kiss, Angel Tigger.
Midnight, Poppy and family sent us some shrimpies – I LOVE shrimp!
Blizzie and family, and the family of Bear, Onyx, Jasper and Severian all sent us acorns – we can have an acorn fight – sweet!
Zack and Zoey gave us each our own pumpkin, and Jezzie and Charlie gave me one, too, and acorns to the Sleep – I think we’ve got enough pumpkins now for pies AND Jack-o-lanterns!
But to be certain, there are more acorns for me from Monster and another pumpkin for the Sleep – hehehe…
And Grace gave me acorns, and Casey gave the Sleep a pumpkin! We are going to have some GREAT Jack-o-lanterns and some great acorn fights!
Keisha and family gave me a lovely red rosette (red’s definitely my color), and shrimp to Sleeper, plus we both got birthday cakes – they were tasty!
Finney, Lacey and Angel Alex gave me a ladybug to chase, and a pumpkin to the Sleep – did I mention those Jack-o-lanterns?
In case I didn’t, let me repeat that – we’re gonna have every kind of lantern: spooky, happy, sad, funny, mean, and sweet, because Tate gave us both pumpkins, too!
So did Tiger, Tiny and family, who wished us good shrew hunting – MOL!
Oh, and Tiger also sent a football for the Ferals – they are out batting it around right now…
And Frankie Adopted At Last sent them a pumpkin – I think I just saw Socks roll it down the sledding hill at Marble…way to go, Socks! :)
Beepers, that romantic, sent us both red roses – Sleeper, a class act like that Beepers deserves the girl in the classic black outfit, not stripes…
And to prove it Marmalade sent me a rose, too – sigh…that’s so sweet…
From Skylar, Mrs. Murphy and family and from Novi - our sweet first Valentine – Sleeper got party hats – yeehah! And I got cupcakes from both of them – yes, I’ll share. :)
And Morticia gave me a party hat, too – hurrah!
Toki, that handsome dude in the newsie cap, gave me a diamond – the darling! And Sleeper got a fancy cake – uh, Sleep, you may want to go light on that cake – you know you’re on a diet – hehehe…
The Ferals wanted to say thank you to Louis Armstrong and family for the lovely rainbow star, in case they never did.
Hope we haven’t left anyone out; thanks everyone!
September 28th 2012 7:08 am
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Hard to believe we’ve made it to 2 – hehehe… That first year I seemed to be determined to get into every trouble I could think of while Sleeper was (mostly) being the good kitty. Well, now it’s Fearless’s turn to take the Mantle of Mischief from my shoulders in her bid to become “the kitten who never grew up”, and the Good Kitty? – she’s finally had enough of being good, and is alternately the Loveboat and Oscar the Grouch!!!
Are we having a party today? I dunno…We kinda partied yesterday since the Mama had finished her quarterly non-profit project and was taking a needed day off to rest.
She spent a lot of that time playing with us, doing little chores, and planting some tulips. But since it’s our birthday, she’s given me permission to tell a funny story on her. She came out to clean our cattery, which, thanks mostly to the feral Fearless, has more than one area which has become a “latrine”. The Mama at first used to put fresh soil down and try to plant grass plugs over it to try to encourage Fearless to USE THE DESIGNATED BOXES, but no-o-o-o-o…so she’s given in and now we have 2 boxes and one sort of elongated latrine against the fence that has to be filled with fresh litter. This seems to be working and there’s no smell which makes the Mama happy.
Anyways, she went about the cleaning and when it was time to leave the cattery, she picked up the bag of…well, you know – and the partial bag of fresh unused litter, and her slotted spoon, and the little stool she’s taken to carrying in to give her back a break while she’s cleaning, and she opened the cattery door…
Now, it’s true, we all have a tendency to make pests of ourselves about the “take me for a walk” routine, and we will crowd the door when she or the Papa are coming or going. But this time, the Mama just wasn’t paying close enough attention, and we ALL made a break for it!!!
In a situation like this, it’s kinda like triage – you go for the most desperate case first - which means Fearless. But the Mama was moving fast and not stopping to check detail. She saw an attractive, sleek, black panther running off to the left and went for her, and it was ME! Whoa – I guess I still have that sweet kittenish look about me even in my old age – MOL! Into the cattery I go. Then off to the right, there’s Fearless. Uncharacteristically being sedate and not totally freaking out at being out of the cattery without collar and leash or pawrents by her side. The Mama approached her slowly, calm-m-m-ly, and scooped her up – into the cattery with you!
Finally, Sleeper – the good kitty. Yeah, right. The Mama walks up to her expecting no trouble and Sleep, the devil (wish I’d thought of it), turns tail up and runs like the wind to the garden gate!!! The Mama had to thank her stars that this little “habit” of letting the Sleep run to the gate (which the Papa started), had paid off in this case. She was able to collect Sleeper without a problem then, though my sisfur was less than happy that she wasn’t going to get to have her garden walk after all!
It turned out OK, though. We still got to have our evening walks later, and we got lots of treats, and on top of our Fancy Feast - a dollop of the cheap, stinky wet food the pawrents feed the ferals, and that we’re always interested in – our equivalent of eating out at MacDonalds!
September 26th 2012 6:38 am
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Well, we had our question answered last night about whether the Mama was also hunting for the kittens during those times when she didn’t bring them by for dinner – holy CATS!!!
Here’s how it happened. The kittens didn’t show for a couple of days again, but they were all there this afternoon with the Little Mama. The pawrents had been gone to town the whole day, getting a new windshield for the Olds and running a gazillion errands, one of which was stopping by the farm supply and picking up KMR and kitten kibble [the Mama blushes and says: “They’re kittens – they need their vitamins!”] Our Mama bustled around and got up plates for everyfur, with KMR mixed with the wet food she set down for the babies, and kitten kibble beside that. She didn’t give US any of the special stuff… :(
We got our evening walks; Sleeper caught a shrew which I took away from her :); Fearless fought like a demon when it was time to take the Clavamox that they got for her a little while back when she starting getting sneezy and snotty again; [I told them she was a snotty little brat ALL the time, but no one listens to me]; the Papa built a fire in the woodstove; and then it was time to settle down for a quiet night…NOT!
Suddenly the pawrents notice a wave of feline attention, inside and out, focused to one side of the yard. Here comes Little Mama dragging a dead rabbit as big as she is!!! I am not exaggerating; the Mama and Papa were in awe as they watched this probably 8 lb petite cat lugging her prey back to wherever her den is. “It’s like a mama lion carrying an antelope on the Serengeti…” the Papa said in wonder.
We were all thinking we wouldn’t see the kits this morning after that feast. Actually, we were kinda envious because I think they were having a luau last night out there; I saw Socks following close behind Little Mama, and every other fur seemed to head off in that direction. But, nope – the little freeloaders were back for more kitten kibble and KMR this morning – hmmph!
Little Mama and the kittens with Socks
September 20th 2012 6:03 am
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They’re really back – all 5 kittens!!! The Mama could hardly believe it! It happened like this…
Last night, around 12:30 AM, after the pawrents were in bed asleep, the Mama was awakened by something, she didn’t know what. She got out of bed and grabbed the flashlight to investigate. She saw me and Sleeper both on the window perch looking down at the porch. But the noise was coming from somewhere outside. When she shined the flashlight there was the Baby Marble hanging on to the outside window seal blinking back at her! You could have knocked her over with a single kitten paw!!!
She woke up the Papa and turned on the porch light; three babies and the Little Mama came running up clamoring for food! It was raining and the Little Mama looked soaked, though the babies didn’t. Real quick our Mama dished some wet food on a platter and took it out to them, and here came the other two kits from under the shelter. And, holy cats, were they all hungry!!!
Where have you kits BEEN???? It’s been a week and a half and the Mama was worried sick about you! (Personally, I wasn’t worried – hey, there’s plenty more cats out there on the porch – more than I think necessary, but they didn’t ask ME about it.)
Anyways, all the excitement got me worked up, so I went out in the cattery and caught a shrew! (What IS it with shrews? Are they short-sighted? Do they not run as fast as mice or is it that they foolishly stay to fight instead of skedaddling as would be prudent when faced with a creature that’s, like, a gazillion times bigger than you, and that has fangs as long as your legs?)
Finally things quieted down; Mama gave me treats and Papa took my shrew. :( The babies ate till they could hardly walk, and waddled off to the shelter. Fearless stopped running and Sleeper stopped grumping and the pawrents went back to bed. End of story.
Oh, except the little wannabe cats are STILL here this morning. :)
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