Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Fun With Tonks on Tuesday

Tonks is curious if anyone wants to have a little dance party with her? If you'd like to have a crazy time with a crazy calico, put your paws in the air!

Can you even tell what you're looking at there? Can you even tell part of Tonks this is? These shots probably, or perhaps certainly, classify as bloopers, but we figured they might be fun for you all to see anyway. This is one of Tonks' favorite poses to strike on the cat tree. She especially uses this adorable pose to diffuse the situation when she's caught climbing in the window blinds. Oh, and feel free to give Tonks a tummy rub. She loves them.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

We have today yet another flashback doodle in a home setting. Since our Caturday Art doodle this past weekend was the library in the log cabin I've been doodling up, I thought I'd share another home library I doodled up and shared roughly a year ago. There's just something about drawing a cozy home, with a cozy library, and of course with cats. I guess that's why my doodles in this vein span back at least a year, and very likely even farther back than that.

Tip of the Day

Today's tip is probably plain and simple common sense that you already know, but it's a reminder we thought we'd throw in here anyway. This tip is to always consider a room's surroundings when placing a cat tree for you kitty's enjoyment. Especially depending on how kleptomaniacal or how good of a jumper your cat is, be sure that you only place a cat tree in a location where your cat cannot get themselves into trouble. For example, perhaps don't place a cat tree beside a shelf full of knickknacks. Make sure a cat tree doesn't make it easier for your cat to reach a stove or oven, an open window or door, and so on and so forth. Also keep in mind the height of a cat tree and features such as ceiling fans. All in all, take an entire room's surroundings into account when placing a cat tree, and make sure you are not setting your kitty up for opportunities to thieve, experimental jumps, and other risks. Of course, also keep all this in mind when moving any furniture in the house that your kitty uses, because even a couch positioned just right could allow an athletic cat to jump onto a knickknack shelf full of breakables.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Mancat Monday

It's Monday. More importantly, it's Mancat Monday. So, here's mancat Evan for you. More so, here's mancat Evan's whiskers for you.

Happy Monday!

Doodle of the Day

A certain tuxie kitty tour guide in my sketchbook has shown you all around the log cabin I've been scribbling up. Today, we've made it to the cabin's back yard. There are flowers, some birdhouses, and just general things you find in a back yard.

Did you know?

Yesterday we talked about a cat's mystacial whiskers. These are the whiskers on a cat's muzzle. As we mentioned yesterday, the mystacial whiskers are not the only ones a cat has. Do you know where all a cat has whiskers? You've probably seen the obvious ones. There are the mystacial whiskers on the muzzle, a set of whiskers farther back near the jaw, and of course those whiskers above their eyes. That's still not all, though. Did you know that cats also have whiskers on their chin as well as on the back of their front legs? As you all know, whiskers are a crucial way cats maneuver throughout their environment, and having them on various regions of their body makes cats all that more efficient at interacting with their environment.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunny Sunday Selfie

Thimble happily snapped a selfie for you all while looking glamorous in a sun puddle.

Thimble hopes you enjoy her pretty face, her adorable nose, and her majestic whiskers. This here mom of hers sure does.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Doodle of the Day

Today's log cabin doodle has our tuxie cat tour guide taking us to the sun room, or garden room, or whatever you call this sort of room.

Did you know?

Did you know that the whiskers on a cat's muzzle are called their mystacial whiskers? And did you know that the average cat has 12 whiskers on either side of their muzzle, therefore 24 total mystacial whiskers? This of course isn't the exact number every cat has. Some cats will lose a whisker or two every once in a while, and some cats might just be a bit off from the average and have more or less whiskers. The mystacial whiskers aren't the only ones a cat has, though, and so the average cat has more than just 24 whiskers.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Caturday in Yet Another Library

We only have a couple more doodles left in our log cabin series. Today, our tuxie kitty tour guide has taken us to the cabin's library.

My dream home would be a quaint and cozy log cabin. That's an honest life goal of mine. What's more, my dream log cabin would have a library and reading room a lot like this one. Of course, there'd be lots of kitties there, too.

Happy Caturday to all!

Tip of the Day

Today's tip is to perhaps use books and reading sessions to help a new or timid kitty or pup get used to you. When some cats and dogs come home after living at a shelter, they can be scared of their new home environment, and they even might hide. A stray or feral you might be trying to help can also of course show fear towards you, no matter how good your intentions are. If you find yourself trying to get a timid cat or dog used to you, such as if they're a newcomer to your house or you're trying to help them, perhaps try reading to them. You can grab whatever book you're already reading, a book on your to-read list, a fun children's book, a newspaper, a magazine, or any other reading material. Then, settle in and start calmly and quietly reading out loud. Depending on the cat or dog and their reaction, this type of interaction can be done in short stints or for longer periods of time, and can even be repeated for a matter of days or weeks if it is helping. Though not guaranteed, this might help a timid cat or dog get used to you and the sound of your voice, thereby helping them feel more comfortable and more willing to come out of their shell.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

Happy Friday! It's time for the Friendly Fill-Ins. Are you ready? If you'd like to participate but missed the fill-in statements yesterday, we'll share them again here. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.

1. I almost _________.

2. I finally _________.

3. I find _________ very interesting.

4. I have my doubts about _________.

My answers are below in bold. This is one of those weeks when my explanations accompanying my fill-ins are devastatingly long. I'm just feeling a bit wordy this week. My apologies. Feel free to skim read or skip the explanations if you are short on time.

1. I almost studied art and/or writing in college.
(I'm fairly certain I've mentioned this before. I've always enjoyed creating things, both in the form of drawing and writing. That's why art and writing were both in the running when I was determining what to study in college. In the end, though, I realized that in order to study either of those, I'd have to be heavily judged and graded on what I created. In my opinion, art and writing are largely subjective and personal endeavors, and I really didn't want to be taught and expected to use artistic methods that didn't fit my own style. So, I studied animal sciences in college instead, while keeping art and writing as my favorite hobbies on the side.)

2. I finally scheduled pup Astrid's annual exam.
(Astrid isn't even due for her annual until mid-July. I just get antsy and am one of those pet parents who likes to have her furbabies' appointments scheduled weeks in advance. I like having their appointments in my planner with plenty of time to spare. This also more likely ensures finding an available appointment time that doesn't interfere with my work hours too much. Astrid is always my first furbaby due for an annual exam each year, and then almost all the kitties' appointments follow soon after. My planner will soon be filled with upcoming vet appointments. For a couple more thoughts on Astrid's upcoming vet visit, see fill-in #4 below.)

3. I find other individuals' artistic styles very interesting.
(This perhaps sort of goes along with a comment I made in fill-in #1. As I said above, I believe art can be very subjective and personal. I fill my sketchbook with my personal style of drawings, just as I fill my notebooks with my personal writing style. No one else's style of creations will be identical to mine, and this intrigues me. What's more, I really enjoy seeing, reading, and overall experiencing how other individuals express themselves artistically. Not everyone's style will necessarily fit my taste, but I still find each individual style quite interesting in its own way. Art is like a whole other language sometimes.)

4. I have my doubts about Astrid willingly participating in curbside veterinary care.
(As mentioned above, pup Astrid has her annual exam in July, and our veterinary clinic thinks they might still be doing curbside appointments at that point in time. If that's their protocol, that's fine, because I don't get to choose their methods of operation. I will admit, though, that Astrid is very timid and does not often willingly go with strangers. This is generally a good thing, except in the case when she needs to be escorted into the clinic by a member of the veterinary staff rather than one of her usual humans. Astrid has never shown any aggression towards any human, but she will put on her very stubborn brakes, or she'll simply try to run away, when it comes to strangers. There are two veterinary technicians at our clinic that Astrid really likes, though, so if a veterinary assistant or other staff member that she doesn't know fails to coax 80-lb Astrid inside, I'll probably ask if one of Astrid's favorite technicians is available to convince Astrid to cooperate.)

Now it's your turn!
To add your link to the Friendly Fill-Ins Linky list, just click HERE!
You can also click on the badge below to add your link.

You are also welcome to complete the fill-ins in the comments below,
or in the comments on Ellen's blog, 15andmeowing.


There's even more fun to be had today. Why? Because today is the day of the Pet Photo Fails! Blog Hop, hosted by Mudpie and Melissa of Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, & Meows.

Our blooper queen Eddy is always ready for this day of outtakes. Today is no different. Are you ready for her bloopers? Yes? Good, because here they are.

I honestly love that Eddy snuck her snaggletooth into those bloopers. I love her adorable little snaggletooth so much.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

It would seem I just really enjoy drawing random rooms in random houses. I'm scribbling up doodles in home settings in the present time, and I was apparently doing the same this time last year. See?

Tip of the Day

Is your kitty or pup due for a veterinary visit these days? If so, make sure you know your veterinary clinic's current protocols, and then plan accordingly. After all, we're currently in the midst of a pandemic and times have changed. Is your veterinary clinic allowing pet parents inside the clinic with their pets? If so, make sure you know the protocols. Have a mask to wear if that's required, practice social distancing as instructed, and simply make sure you know and heed other protocols currently in place at the veterinary clinic.

On the other hand, is your veterinary clinic offering only curbside care right now? If so, make sure that you prepare for those circumstance. Have any kitty who is due for an exam in a sturdy carrier that you can easily and safely hand over to one of the staff members. If you're taking a dog on a leash, make sure their collar is on safely and securely, that their leash is sturdy and properly attached, and that any other necessary precautions are made to ensure a safe handover to the veterinary staff. Does your kitty or pup cooperate best with certain treats or a certain toy? If so, perhaps bring those with you and ask the veterinary staff if they'd like to take those treats or that toy with them for your furbaby's exam.

As you would for any vet visit, also try to have all questions and concerns ready before you get there. If you need to write down your questions, do so. If your veterinary clinic is only offering curbside care and your kitty has a lump, bump, or other similar concern that needs checked out, make sure you know how to tell or show them where it is so that they can properly examine it once they get inside with your furbaby. All in all, try to be prepared ahead of time, as that will make the visit easier for all involved.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Here we are at another Thursday. That means we're ready to rhyme, since Angel Sammy is courteous enough to host the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge every week.

Our host is also always courteous enough to share a photo prompt to guide our rhymes. This week's prompt is this mesmerizing image here:

This was one of those cases when, before I even got an idea for a poem, I felt inspired to simply recreate this image in my sketchbook. After doing that, I tried to figure out a way to write a poem that fit my doodle that was inspired by this photo prompt. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

One point I will make is that my poem was inspired at least in part by my mom. My mom loves to sew, and she makes a mighty fine seamstress. One of her favorite ways to use her sewing skills is to gather a couple details about someone, and then she lets her imagination and needle run wild to create something personalized just for that person. One last comment I'll make is that after last week's ridiculously long poem, I told myself this week I'd write a shorter one. Did I succeed in that? No. No I did not. I am terribly sorry that my poems sometimes seem to go on for miles.

The Seamstress

Misty was invited to a party.
She told this fact to her cats, Barney, Charlie, and Darby.
They were her constant companions, after all,
Since she preferred to stay in the safety of her own yard and home's walls.

At first Misty looks at the invitation and shook her head.
She'd much rather stay at home with her cats instead.
When she tossed the party invitation in the trash bin, though,
Charlie the cat reached inside and gave the crumpled paper a throw.

The cats began slapping the wadded up invitation all over the room.
Then, finally, over to Misty's feet they let it fly and zoom.
They nudged it and rubbed against her legs.
"Are you saying you want me to go to the party?" Misty said.

The cats meowed and purred at Misty's words.
She should go to the party, that's what the cats were telling her.
Misty shrugged and said, "But I don't have a dress."
Darby slapped open the phone book to a list of seamstresses.

At the absolute urging of her far too intelligent cats,
Misty found herself researching dressmakers just like that.
Also at the urging of her feline friends,
Misty was out searching for a dressmaker by the day's end.

After visiting this shop and that shop and that one over there,
Misty felt like she was running out of hope, and out of air.
So far not a single dressmaker could help her on her mission.
They were all full up and were not taking any commissions.

There was only one seamstress shop left on Misty's list.
I hope this is the one, she could not help but wish.
She pushed open the door and entered beneath a ringing bell.
She was welcomed by an inviting coffeehouse smell.

Around a nearby corner appeared a little old lady.
In her hand she held a cup from which surely coffee she was tasting.
"Oh, hello!" the old woman did shout.
She put down her coffee and came right on out.

After many hellos and welcomes, the old woman finally said,
"Welcome, my dear! My name is Deb.
This is my quiet little shop you've found.
Can I help you, or are you just here to look around?"

"I need a dress," was Misty's simple reply.
Then she added, "I was invited to a party in three nights' time.
I don't really want to go, if I'm speaking the truth.
My three cats, though, said that if I didn't go I'd be wasting my youth."

Deb smiled and said, "I'd be happy to make you a dress.
I just need to know a little bit about you, yes."
The seamstress disappeared into the back and returned with supplies.
She held in her hand rulers and fabric and needles with all sorts of eyes.

"I'm going to take your measurements, dear," Deb told Misty.
"While I do that," the old woman added, "tell me a little about yourself, young missy."
Misty suddenly felt especially shy.
This woman needed to know about her? Why?

Perhaps noticing the girl's uncertainty,
Seamstress Deb then made Misty's answer quite easy.
The old woman said, "You said you had cats, yes?
How about you tell me all about your furry friends?"

Misty went right on and did just that.
She told Deb all about her three wonderful cats.
Barney, Charlie, and Darby were her most favorite things.
Even if they were the ones insisting on her uncharacteristic partying.

Deb asked, "So your cats told you to go this party?
Parties can be fun, so your cats sound like smarties."
Misty shrugged and admitted, "I'd much rather stay home with them.
I'd much rather watch the moon and stars than be cooped up in a ballroom like a hen in a pen."

"You said the party is in three nights?" Deb asked.
"I believe that's the full moon, if I'm right about that."
Misty sighed and nodded her head.
"I hate to be inside where there is no moon," she said.

Deb finished taking the measurements by the end of their talk.
She said, "My dear, I'll make you a dress that will be the center of the party's talk."
She added, "Do you have anything in mind for your dress?"
Misty shrugged, shook her head, and said, "My fashion sense is a mess."

"No worries! No worries!" Deb said with a clap.
"I do my best work when I have a fresh slab."
With a farewell and a plan to meet in two days,
Misty left the shop and went on her way.

She spent those two days enjoying the warm weather with her cats.
They sat in the yard, watched the stars, and much more than that.
Misty could not help but admit that she still wished to dismiss the party.
Like Deb said, though, perhaps urging her to go made her cats smarties.

The day came for Misty to return to Deb's shop,
And she did so with a slow stroll rather than a skip and a hop.
She again entered the shop with a bell announcing her arrival.
Suspended in the middle of the shop was a beautiful eyeful.

It was a dress that matched everything Misty lived for in life.
The majority of it was purple, with stars and a moon hung high.
Three cats sat on a field of grass sewn onto the bottom of the dress.
"Whose dress is this?" Misty asked the newly arrived Deb.

Deb circled around to see the front of the dress Misty pointed at.
"Oh, that dress?" Deb asked. "Whose dress is that?"
"It's beautiful," Misty said. "It's a masterpiece, that's the truth."
Deb said, "I'm glad you think that, because it belongs to you."

"That's mine?" Misty asked, eyes wide.
Deb nodded, saying, "You said you enjoyed moonlit and starlit skies.
Of course, I also had to include your three feline friends.
It wouldn't be your dress if they were even remotely absent."

Misty could only mutter her thanks over and over again.
She had no idea this was the skill possessed by Deb.
She left the shop still showering the old seamstress with gratitude.
It didn't hurt that the masterpiece of a dress was quite affordable, too.

For fear of damaging or staining the beautiful thing,
Misty did not put the dress on until the party evening.
It fit her like a glove and was comfortable to boot.
She swirled and said to her cats, "Do you see this? Do you?"

Barney, Charlie, and Darby gently rubbed against the dress.
The cats sewn onto the dress they even did purr at and caress.
They did not use their claws in their inspection of the gown,
Which brought to Misty's face quite the opposite of a frown.

Now ready to attend the party on that night of the full moon,
Misty tried not to be filled with a tad bit of gloom.
She really did wish she did not have to leave her cats at home.
Cats were not allowed at the party, though, no.

Standing in the lawn, her dress matching the moonlit night,
Misty knew her dress must be quite an amazing sight.
Still, though, she hesitated and turned back to her cats.
In truth, though, they had already forgotten about her just like that.

They had already urged her out the door, Misty had to admit.
Then they trotted to the yard and did meow, yawn, and sit.
The cats sprawled beneath a moonlit, starlit night in the warm wind.
Misty watched them with a happy little grin.

Perhaps her cats wanted some time away from her?
Is that why they urged her to go and now relaxed in the grass with purrs?
Misty had to admit that she was always home and probably in their hair.
She just couldn't help but want to give them the best, constant care.

Misty turned on her heels and then finally set out.
Looking down at her dress, she simply could not pout.
The seamstress had made sure Misty was accompanied by her cats, the stars, and the moon,
All on a masterful dress that was sure to make anyone swoon.


It's not just a day to rhyme, but it's also a day to give thanks. In other words, it's time for Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

As always, Thimble is here to express her gratitude. What is she thankful for? She's thankful for sunshine, bright and shiny window seats, and the way she glows in glamour shots.

Thimble's also grateful for how cute she is when she yawns.

No wonder Thimble yawns every time I pull out the camera. She knows it makes for a downright adorable shot. Well, at least it usually does.

Thimble hopes you think she's cute, and that the last shot there doesn't scare you. She promises she's really adorable. This mom of hers can verify that.


Last but not least, how about the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge? Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the second two.

1. I almost _________.

2. I finally _________.

3. I find _________ very interesting.

4. I have my doubts about _________.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

Did you know?

Yawns are often attributed to feelings of fatigue, but did you know they are actually much more than that? In humans, cats, dogs, and a number of other species, yawns are a way of dispelling carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the body. Therefore, when a human, cat, or dog's body is in need of removing CO₂ and taking in oxygen (O₂), a yawn often occurs in order to achieve that. Though that is a very important purpose of yawns, a cat or dog yawning can also have other meanings.

Yawning can be behavioral. If a cat or dog is happy and relaxed, they might very well yawn, just like a happy and relaxed cat or dog might stretch. Have you ever gotten home from work and your excited kitty or pup greeted you with a stretch and a yawn? That's because they're content. On the other hand, dogs and even cats might also do what's called displacement yawning. This is when they yawn, or even do other displacement behaviors, that seem out of character for the situation. To further explain this, if a dog or cat is stressed or anxious, such as when a timid animal is at the vet, they might yawn in order to help calm themselves. Similarly, some experts speculate that, like humans, cats and dogs might also yawn if they are bored.

How about one more explanation for those yawns? Cats and dogs might let out a yawn if they are feeling sleepy but want to stay awake. If they start nodding off but find a nap inappropriate for the time being, they might yawn to snap themselves awake. This can work because yawns bring in more oxygen, which signals the brain to wake up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Woof Woof Wednesday

Ready for pup Astrid?

The camera decided that instead of focusing on Astrid's eyes or any other cute feature on her face, it wanted to focus on the droplets coming out of each of her nostrils. Classy, huh?

Happy Wednesday!

Doodle of the Day

Monday's doodle in my log cabin series had us in a cozy sort of bedroom, of course with our tuxie cat tour guide. Today, our furry tour guide has taken us to a different bedroom, this being a somewhat weird one in the attic. Can you tell what sort of interests this room's inhabitant has?

In general, attics sort of freak me out. My house has one of those dark and creepy attics that you can't fully stand up in, and I honestly avoid it like the plague. But, I'm actually fond of the imagery of attics that are able to be turned into fully functioning and furnished rooms. They just seem so quaint and even potentially cozy, and so I decided to add a perhaps quirky attic bedroom in the log cabin I'm doodling up.

Tip of the Day

Today's tip is to not immediately panic if you see a wet nose or dry nose on your furbaby. A healthy cat or dog can vacillate between a wet nose and a dry nose throughout one single day. A variety of things can affect whether a cat or dog's nose is wet or dry. For example, a wet nose like Astrid's in the above photo could be caused by allergies. Astrid indeed has seasonal allergies, for which she is medicated. Regardless of her allergy medication, though, Astrid still regularly has a dripping nose. Other factors that can affect the moisture content of a furbaby's nose include but are certainly not limited to the weather outside, the quality and temperature of the air inside the home, and whether the kitty or pup in question recently got a drink or even if they recently groomed. This all being said, you know your furbaby best, and if they are displaying abnormal discharge from their nose or abnormal nose dryness that concerns you, certainly contact a veterinarian.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tuesday With Winky

You know who hasn't gotten to star on our blog in a while?

Winky! Winky owns my sister and lives at our house. She is the litter mate of my calico girl Tonks.

I am admittedly not the best at photographing black cats, a fact that is wholly the fault of my novice status as a photographer. Black cats are more than photogenic, especially if you know your way around a camera. I do not know my way around more than roughly two settings on a camera, and so I'm always glad when I actually manage a shot that shows off the richness of Winky's house panther fur.

Obviously, those shots are nothing grand. Winky was nestled in a cat tree by the window. I had to do some level of acrobatics to get the camera aimed at her, and I messed with my camera's settings to the best of my ability. All I can say is that I did my best, and the quality of these shots has nothing to do with Winky or her fur.

Regardless of all of the above, we hope you enjoyed seeing Winky today! This girl is a sassy one, and she's by far the most likely cat in the house to hiss or growl if she's not happy with what you're doing. This is especially true when it comes to nail trims. She can also be incredibly sweet, enjoys belly rubs for roughly 5 seconds, and she has a very loud purr. She also has the most mournful meow, which she'll use when the food bowls are even approaching empty.

Happy Tuesday to all!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Yesterday we shared a cozy, bookish bedroom in our log cabin series of doodles. Sort of in line with that, for today's flashback doodle I thought we'd share a colorful bedroom scene I doodled up last year.

I'll admit that I often surprise myself with the types of interior design that show up in my sketchbook. When it comes to my own home, I prefer interior design that is more neutral or rustic. In fact, my current log cabin series of doodles is the type of interior design I'd love to have in my dream home. Nevertheless, my sketchbook also contains an array of settings that involve bright, lively, and pastel interior design, such as the flashback doodle above. That's certainly not my own personal living style, but I sure do enjoy drawing it nonetheless. Go figure. Then again, I guess that's sort of the point of art.

Did you know?

Did you know that the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) deems that there are 22 breeds of cat that can have black coats? A standard cat in the Bombay breed is always black. Cat lovers can probably guess some of the other 21 breeds of cat than can have black as a coat color. If you're curious, we'll go ahead and list out the 21 breeds that, in addition to the Bombay cat, the CFA recognizes as being potential black cats. These black cat breeds are the American bobtail, American curl, American shorthair, American wirehair, British shorthair, Cornish rex, Devon rex, exotic shorthair, Japanese bobtail, LaPerm, Maine coon, Manx, Norwegian forest cat, oriental, Persian, ragamuffin, Scottish fold, Selkirk rex, Siberian, sphynx, and Turkish Angora.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Mancat Monday

Eddy, Thimble, and Tonks have all gotten to share some bloopers in the past couple of weeks. Evan got jealous and wanted to do the same. That being said, he didn't want to share any major bloopers, and so he went for some that just had a bit of blur to them. We'll pretend the blurry natures of these is not because the human here had the camera on the wrong settings.

So, here are a couple of somewhat blooperish shots of Evan. For the record, this here mom of his thinks he's still downright adorable. Oh, and try not to be scared by the second photo.

Happy Monday!

Doodle of the Day

We have another doodle in our log cabin series to share. Today, our tuxie cat tour guide has taken us to the cozy and happily bookish bedroom. He's also decided to take a nap on the bed. The tour of the log cabin will resume when his nap is over.

Did you know?

Did you know that if an orange female cat reproduces, all of her male kittens will be orange? And did you know that if an orange female cat mates with an orange male cat, all of their offspring will be orange? This is all due to the fact that the gene responsible for orange fur in cats is on the X chromosome. When it comes to these sex chromosomes, a male's genetic makeup is XY and a female's is XX. Males get the X chromosome from their mother and the Y chromosome from their father, and females get an X chromosome from both their mother and father. In other words, males only need the one X chromosome from their mother to carry the orange gene in order for them to be orange. For a female cat to be orange, the X chromosomes from both parents need to possess the gene for orange fur. All of this also explains why roughly 80% of orange cats are male and roughly 20% are female. There you have it. That's a brief and probably unintelligible genetics lesson on orange fur in cats.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Father's Day Flashback

We want to begin this post by wishing a happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Whether your children are the human sort or the furry and four-legged sort, dads help make this world go round.

The furbabies here don't have a human dad, but this here human has a dad. He is a wonderful father to me, my sister, and to all of his 12 kitties. He's also a fantastic Pawpaw to the kitties and pup here at my house.

My dad is a lifelong animal lover. He's obviously one of the reasons I was blessed enough to grow up with cats, dogs, birds, and all sorts of furry, feather, and finned friends. He's also probably the main reason why there are so many cats at his house as well as my house, as he's responsible for bringing home a large majority of the cats in our lives. That all started with the litter of kittens that not only included my Thimble and our housemate Toby, but also my dad's boys Trapper and Talon.

In honor of Father's Day, the photo we're sharing today is a fatherly flashback one. It's from 6 years ago, to be exact. It stars my dad as well as a couple of tiny kittens named Thimble and Trapper.

I want to wish my dad a fantastically happy Father's Day! I could not be more proud of my dad's kindness to animals, and I could not be more happy that he helped instill in me a love for animals. Thank you, Dad!

Oh, and the doodle I'm sharing today is the card I scribbled up for my dad for this Father's Day. This card of a doodle was inspired by my dad's life with 12 cats. His cats love him so much, and they never want to leave him alone. They're always trying to help him, no matter what he's doing. In this doodle in particular, I decided to use the fact that my dad is an avid gamer, and his cats regularly cause mayhem when he plays his PC games. They sabotage my dad, but he loves them anyway.

Given that my dad and mom have 12 cats, that doodle obviously only stars a small fraction of their kitties. Those 3 kitties, though, are Foggy, Talon, and Gilly, the most likely ones to keep my dad company and sabotage him while he plays his favorite PC games. Tuxie Talon especially has a talent for that sort of sabotage, as he has a fondness for keyboards. He's always happy to help my dad, and he and my dad have a special bond. It's a wonderful thing to witness.


Did you know?

Today, we're going to share the same quick little piece of trivia we shared last Father's Day. It's a sweet little tidbit, and it's that some sources cite that male Siamese cats are the most likely feline fathers to express an interest in, or fondness towards, their kittens. As is the case with many species, most male cats don't display much interest in interacting with their kittens. As previously mentioned, though, some sources indicate that male Siamese cats are the most likely to break this mold, being the most likely to show affection toward their kittens.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Caturday Art

My poem and accompanying illustration on Thursday involved a tree house. You know that log cabin series of doodles I've been working on (and which I'll continue to share this upcoming week)? Well, before I even saw the poetry photo prompt that inspired my tree house poem and doodle, I had planned on giving that log cabin a tree house roughly in its back yard. So, that tree house doodled up for our poem is actually also part of our log cabin series. What's more, today's doodle is a sequel to Thursday's tree house image, but this time we're inside the tree house instead of outside of it. Our tuxie cat tour guide is of course already in the tree house to welcome us.

Our poem on Thursday involved a quirky magician old fellow, pointy hat and all, who lived in the tree house. My log cabin and tree house doodles are actually more concept art for the stories I'm writing, though, and this tree house is not in truth inhabited by a wizard-like old man in a pointy hat. I'm just rambling now, though, and I'm sure none of this presently makes any sense. For anyone who might be interested, at some point in hopefully the not-too-distant future I'll share more about the stories I'm writing. I myself believe they're a lot like my doodles, if that makes any sense.

Happy Caturday to all!

Tip of the Day

Did you know there are cat trees on the market that are meant to look like a real tree or jungle setting? This is in large part to make the cat tree look and feel more like a wild cat's environment. These jungle-looking, leaf-decorated cat trees are often not cheap, but there's also the option of building one yourself, should that interest you. You can even find ideas or building plans for cat trees online, and some of them offer ideas on how to incorporate real tree branches as well as faux greenery into a cat tree. There's even the option of sprucing up a cat tree you already have to look more like a real tree. This might especially be an option if you have a cat tree that's already in need of some TLC or restructuring.

If a true tree-like or jungle-like cat tree is something you end up having in your house, whether you buy it or build it yourself, of course make sure all parts and pieces are safe for your individual cat. Some cats do not chew on non-food items and so you may not have to worry about them chewing on parts and pieces of their cat tree. Other cats, though, are chewers or tend to be more active or ornery. This is why it's important to make sure that all building materials on a cat tree are safe for your specific cat. Will your cat try to chew on fake leaves if a cat tree is decorated with them? If so, maybe that's not an option for your cat, as ingesting material such as faux greenery could lead to gastrointestinal issues such as a blockage. You also have to make sure that decorations added to cat trees, such as aforementioned decorative leaves, do not pose the risk of your cat getting caught or tangled. All of these precautions of course go not only for jungle-like cat trees, but for any cat tree. Always be aware of ropes, toys, screws, and other parts of a cat tree, and make sure everything is secure and safe for your particular cat.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins

It's Friday. Isn't that wonderful? What's even more wonderful is that it's time for the Friendly Fill-Ins. If you'd like to participate but missed the fill-in statements yesterday, we'll share them again below. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.

1. _________ motivates me to _________.

2. I put salt on _________.

3. When it comes to _________, I don't cut corners.

4. Never forget _________.

My answers are below in bold.

1. My calico angel Rosie motivates me to be creative.
(Of course all of my furbabies inspire me, but I can't deny that I used to draw, write, read, and simply spend lots of time with my beautiful Rosie. After all, she was with me from the time I was 4 until I was 26. That's probably why she inspires me and therefore stars in a great many of my drawings. And you know those stories I've mentioned I'm writing? Rosie plays a part in those as well. It wouldn't feel right if she didn't.)

2. I put salt on nothing.
(I rarely if ever crave salty food, and I don't salt anything I cook. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I crave sweets far more than I crave salty or savory food. I'll pass you the salt if you pass me the sugar.)

3. When it comes to my furbabies' care, I don't cut corners.
(They are my furry, four-legged, ornery little children, after all.)

4. Never forget where you came from.
(I think those who fail to remain humble and fail to remember their roots have the potential to grow big heads and even bigger egos. I'm not saying I get to judge anyone based on their success, wealth, fame, or anything like that. There are plenty of successful, wealthy, and even famous people who are kind and respectable. I simply believe that none of that means a thing if you don't remember where you started and what it took to get to your final destination.)

Now it's your turn!
To add your link to the Friendly Fill-Ins Linky list, just click HERE!
You can also click on the badge below to add your link.

You are also welcome to complete the fill-ins in the comments below,
or in the comments on Ellen's blog, 15andmeowing.


Are you surprised that your Eddy fix today comes in the form of photos that might as well be bloopers? No? Yeah, we're not surprised either. I begged Eddy to look at the camera for even half a second, but since she was enjoying window whiffies, she outright refused. So, what you get today is a view of Eddy's whiskers, a view of her tabby cheek stripes, and overall just the side of her face and neck. We hope you don't mind, because Eddy would agree to nothing more than that.

Happy Friday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Since we've been sharing all sorts of woodsy, weird, wacky, and somewhat whimsical new doodles, we thought we'd share a flashback doodle from last year that's in that same vein. So, here you go.

Tip of the Day

Today's tip is one we've given in various forms in the past, but it's an important point that came up in one of our fill-ins today. One of the fill-ins above was about salt, and so we'll use this time to remind furbaby parents that salt can be very hazardous to cats and dogs, and a kitty or pup ingesting too much salt can lead to salt poisoning. Signs of salt poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, seizures, or even coma. In addition to being found in salt shakers, salt can of course be found in certain human foods, such as chips, fries, many canned soups or other canned meals, cured ham, and many others. It's not just food that can be the culprit of salt poisoning in cats and dogs, though. Dangerous salt can also be found in items such as de-icer and even homemade play dough. All in all, be aware that even simple ingredients like salt can pose significant risks to our cats and dogs. Therefore, even if they're begging for a taste, keep dangerous food away from your furbaby for their own health and safety.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday! We'll get right to rhyming, since we do enjoy the fun that is Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

Each week, our poetry host provides us with a photo prompt. This week's prompt is this whimsical image here:

I am very fond of this image. Anything whimsical and with fairy tale vibes makes me quite happy, and those are indeed the kind of vibes I get from this image. This prompt made me think of so many of the fairy tale movies and books I inhaled as a kid, and that inspired me to create something sort of fantastical. I'll be honest, my poem didn't end up all that reminiscent of those fairy tales I watched and read as a child, but it's still sort of whimsical, I guess.

As a warning, I think this may be the longest poem I've written to date. I just sort of started writing and didn't stop for quite some time. My apologies. Nonetheless, here's another one of my weird and wacky poems:

The Magician

Mabel went to the market on one fine day.
It was a warm afternoon filled with bright and sunny rays.
With her basket in hand and her shopping list in mind,
Mabel visited stalls tended by vendors both cranky and kind.

She stuffed her basket with greens and fruit,
With plans to visit the bookshop sooner than soon.
After paying for her food, which included biscuits both big and small, 
She moved away from the hustling and bustling of the market stalls.

The bookshop was but just one street over,
And it was run by an old woman named Clover.
A bell jingled and jangled above the door as Mabel entered,
And then she caught sight of someone standing in the store's center.

Mabel could not help but let out a gasp.
The other person in the shop was the town magician in his pointed hat.
He was a quirky old man who worried everyone he met.
He muttered and traveled around with a black and white cat for a pet.

Currently, the magician's cat sat on his shoulder.
It looked toward Mabel and meowed, and then began to purr.
Mabel could not proceed through the shop as she wished,
For the magician blocked the main aisle with his pacing and robes that swished.

Mabel had heard stories about this magician,
Stories that made her avoid him out of sheer superstition.
He was said to live in a haunted mansion in the haunted forest,
Where he performed spells that left their town cursed rather than boring.

The magician's mansion, it was said, was the reason for all the town's strife.
Last year's drought and a dying harvest was caused by the magician's haunted life.
At least, that was what Mabel had heard from the other townsfolk.
During her entire childhood, that's how those around her spoke.

The magician still blocked Mabel's entrance into the shop,
And she almost considered leaving and making a different stop.
Then the magician's cat meowed and gave him a nudge.
At that, the old wizard of a man stumbled, stuttered, and budged.

The magician said, "Oh, goodness me. I'm sorry, young miss.
I sure do get sidetracked when my mind starts racing with wit."
The man in the pointed hat moved aside in a bumbling way,
All while dropping the wooden crate he held so that onto the floor its contents did spray.

Rolling about were now apples and oranges and a bundle of grapes.
But that was not all that fell out of the old magician's shopping crate.
A few books dropped to the floor with more than a thud,
But also bottles of what might have been potions, and was that mud?

Frazzled and apologizing the entire time,
The magician acted as if he had just committed some heinous crime.
"This one has spilled," he said sadly, wiping up after a vibrant broken bottle.
"I'm sorry, Clover," he said to the bookshop owner who approached with a waddle.

The magician used his own robes to clean up the mess.
"I best head home before I cause more damage," he said.
He bid farewell to Clover, who forced a crooked smile.
To Mabel, the magician said, "Good day, miss. I hope you enjoy books by the pile."

From the magician's shoulder his cat meowed a farewell to the two ladies as well.
Then the old man's departure was announced by the door's jingling bell.
"What a strange old fellow he is," said Clover.
She added, "I hope he never curses my store and makes it blow right over."

The bookshop owner huffed and then went on her way,
Just as Mabel noticed something that had apparently gone astray.
Lying beside one of the shelves of books was a small, lumpy pouch.
Mabel picked it up and inside it felt and heard coins moving all about.

It surely belonged to the old magician, if not his cat.
After all, the little bag matched the old man's robes and hat.
Mabel stepped outside and meant to call the old magician back,
But, though gone a mere few seconds, in the street there was no magician or his cat.

Sighing, Mabel stepped back into the bookshop.
She didn't know what to do, no she did not.
She didn't want to keep the old magician's clinking coin bag.
After all, what if he then cursed her and her life hit a snag?

Something brushed Mabel's leg and she jumped with a yelp.
At her feet was the magician's cat, as far as she could tell.
She said to it, "Weren't you on the magician's shoulder when he left?"
Then to herself she said, "I don't understand that magician or his pet."

Her arm with the coins bag dangled at her side,
And the cat reach up and gave the pouch a tap, and then another five.
Mabel's eyes could not help but intently watch the cat,
Who then went toward the door and with a nod at Mabel looked back.

"You want me to come with you?" Mabel asked, a bit shocked.
The cat meowed, and did it yet again nod?
The cat tapped the door and it swung right open.
This better not be a trap, Mabel heard her mind hoping.

And so, Mabel found herself following a cat,
There was really no denying that fact.
When they entered the haunted forest, she felt more than an ounce of fright
Though it was still day, the forest offered little to no light.

Mabel had never seen the magician's haunted mansion.
The stories about it left her full of apprehension.
The cat led her through weeds and fallen tree limbs,
Until they finally ended up on a path extending far in front of them.

After quite a bit of walking in that forest,
Accompanied by a great many birds' chorus,
The cat stopped in front of a gnarly old tree.
Its limbs went side to side and up and down and it had no leaves.

"Why did you stop?" she asked the cat.
"Aren't you taking me to the magician's haunted mansion, or am I wrong about that?"
The cat moved a bit farther down the path,
And then Mabel saw something in the grass.

The crate the old magician had been carrying was sitting there.
Staring at the box, Mabel wondered if the old man had disappeared into thin air.
Then the cat started climbing up one of the gnarly tree's limbs that drooped to the ground.
Looking up, Mabel realized that above her was a quaint little tree house.

The magician peeked out of a tree house, holding half a loaf of bread.
Taking a bite of it, the old man chewed and said,
"Sylvester, my feline friend, there you are!
Oh, and have you brought us a friend from afar?"

Mabel held up the old man's coin purse.
She said, "You left this at the bookshop, sir."
He clapped his hands and smiled beneath his beard,
Saying, "Goodness me, I thank you so kindly, my dear."

For just a moment the magician disappeared,
But then he came back in sight, led by his beard.
He called down to Mabel, "I'd like to repay you, if I can.
First, though, would you mind helping me a bit more, ma'am?"

The magician tossed a rope out of his tree house window.
He asked, "Would you mind tying this to my crate there down below?"
Mabel did as the old man asked.
After all, tying a few knots was a simple enough task.

Then the old man pulled the crate up off the ground and into the tree house.
"Please, come on up for a bite to eat," to Mabel he called out.
Hesitant, Mabel looked behind her into the forest.
Without a guide, walking back to town would be frightening and horrid.

Sylvester the cat still sat on the low branch of the tree.
He looked at Mabel as he let out a meowing sort of speech.
Then he jumped from that branch to another, and then one more.
Then up a small ladder he went to stand in the tree house's door.

Again, Mabel followed the cat.
She realized the branches and ladder made ascent as simple as that.
Before long, she stood inside the quaint little tree house.
In earnest, she was pleased with what she saw when she looked about.

It was a cozy little place inside that house in the tree.
It was a welcoming home, no matter how small it did seem.
There was a chair and a couch surrounded by shelves of books,
As well as a little kitchen filled with cookies and cakes everywhere Mabel looked.

She asked, "Is this where you live?"
The old man nodded. "It's a mess, so please forgive."
Then he added, "Please, take a seat.
Let me get you a plate of some of my freshly baked treats."

Within moments Mabel had a plate overflowing with goods.
Then the magician scurried over to his shopping crate of wood.
He withdrew a bundle of apples, a sparkling bottle, and a book.
Then he began baking, at least by his behaviors' looks.

Sylvester the cat had a plate of his own.
He sat next to Mabel, his seat being a massive tome.
He took a bite of his cake and then of a cookie,
And then let out a meow and was quite happy looking.

Mabel figured the baked goods were not poisoned,
And so she took a bite, to her immediate enjoyment.
She ate cookies and strudels and a treacle tart.
When it came to baking, the old man was really quite smart.

Mabel ate delicious sweets in the company of Sylvester the cat,
All while watching the old man bake, darting this way and that.
This was no scary old man living in a haunted mansion.
Why had she been told to view him with trepidation?

The old man did perform magic, Mabel could not lie,
But his magic was the kind found in cookies, cakes, and pies.
He was a simple baker of an old man with a quirky sense of style,
And Mabel visited him again thereafter, and not just once in a while


Today isn't just a day to rhyme. It's a day to give thanks. In other words, today is Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

Thimble always enjoys sharing her gratitude on Thursdays, and today is no different. So, what is Thimble thankful for today? She's thankful that she can supervise this mom of hers. Thimble especially enjoys taking charge of her mom's late-night art sessions.

As for me, I'm thankful to have a boss who's so easy on the eyes.

Isn't she cute?


Now, of course, we have for you the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Ellen of 15andmeowing is the mastermind behind the first two, and I came up with the second two.

1. _________ motivates me to _________.

2. I put salt on _________.

3. When it comes to _________, I don't cut corners.

4. Never forget _________.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

Tip of the Day

In honor of Thimble showing off how she helps me work in my sketchbook in today's post, we thought we'd give a couple of tips on how you can try successfully work at home even with cats around. To begin, if you need to work from home and your kitty insists on having your undivided attention, in necessary cases you can have a work area where your cat is simply not allowed access. This could of course be an office or other room with a closed door, or even with a baby gate or other block keeping your cat out.

What if you and your cat prefer to remain in each other's company, though? In such cases, you may have to go for a distraction technique that works for your particular kitty. One method is to place plenty of interactive toys in your work area. This could be track ball toys, puzzle toys that make your cat work for treats, automatic toys that have fun features that can be turned on when you're working, or even a wand toy that dangles from a secure piece of furniture or from a hand you may not be using. Sometimes new toys can help distract a cat with something novel, but there are also ways around this. Many cats might think of something as novel, freshly fun, and distracting if it is simply relocated, such as if you relocate a small or big toy to a different area of the room or house. You can also rotate toys so that each day you bring out a toy or two that your cat has not seen or played with in quite some time. Refreshing cat toys with catnip can also help distract certain cats.

One more option for keeping your cat at bay while you're working is by offering them their own special place to sit or sleep. You can bring a cat bed into your work area, for example. Or, does your cat enjoy cardboard boxes? Paper bags? Tissue paper? Newspaper? If your cat enjoys sitting in or on something like this, then when you need to get started on work, offer one of those things to your cat. Near or on your desk you can place a cardboard box, some tissue paper, or anything else that your cat is known to enjoy as a toy or sleeping spot. You can even try giving your cat their own office chair near yours. In these ways, your cat can feel near you, but while enjoying something that keeps them out of your way.