Friday, October 31, 2014

Bouncing Back and Pouncing Anew


Dear Cat Ladies, what happened to me during the past six weeks? I couldn’t keep up, that’s what.

I am still as you left me, serving as the Mama Kitty to ten cats. But my own mother died suddenly in September, and I have discovered that there is no such thing as simply “getting over it.” Balancing my grief with the joy of launching CAT LADY CHIC has been very challenging, and I am so grateful for your support.

Even though CAT LADY CHIC is small in size, my book is making big strides in connecting cat lovers across the miles and across the pond. I love hearing from long-lost friends and also greatly enjoy making new connections, from Los Angeles to London.

Please keep those kitty selfies coming! They make me smile.
 
Millie and Cat Lady Chic, courtesy of Carole.

 
 
 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feast for the Eyes


I got home from work tonight, and just as I was walking through the front door, I heard Cat Man say, “Would you like some steamed Wild Alaskan salmon in a delicate broth?” He even sounded like Bobby Flay!

I was tempted, especially because our newly launched minimalist diets rarely allow for any deviations from the game plan. A delicate broth? I’m in!

Turns out that Cat Man was talking to our cats and waving the Fancy Feast salmon appetizer packet in front of their attentive eyes. Our cats know the word “appetizer,” and they do not believe in depriving themselves.

If only I had it so good. . . .

Friday, September 5, 2014

Baby, Baby


Tell me if you feel this way.

Our elder cats crave Gerber’s baby food. Every Saturday, when I dutifully head to Kroger with my grocery list, I make sure that I have noted the need for seven cans of yummy (I guess) baby food. I have to make a list these days, just in case my memory fails me of which cat likes which flavor. But that is only one-half of the problem.

The other half is that, much as I always aim to please my children, I am tired of the sideways glances that I keep getting in Aisle 7. I know what people are thinking. “Aren’t you a bit old to have a baby”?
The original Gerber Baby.
 
To those with suspicious minds, I say: There are babies who coo and gurgle, and there are babies who purr and meow. And all babies like baby food, pure (and puréed) and simple.
 
Kippy, my 11-month-old baby.
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dormitory Essential


Belle Chic (www.bellechic.com) let the cat out of the bag. . ., and look who shows up on a stylish laundry bag!


It's move-in time on college campuses across the country, so let's spread the Cat Lady Chic gospel in dormitories! This cat should like visiting dorm laundry rooms during late-night hours.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pool Party


Now that we've entered the last month of the dog days of summer, I keep wishing more and more that I had a swimming pool in my backyard. When I win the lottery, I want to build a pool that looks just like this one.

Slim Aarons photograph of a swimming pool in the shape of a cat, Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami, Florida, c. 1955.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Standing Guard


This is the darling kitty face I see every morning when I open the back door of our house and head up the stairs to the garage apartment. Thomasina Dinny, aka “Miss Tommie,” stands guard in the apartment, where she lives with her mother Lillie and her siblings T.J. and Perkins. Miss Tommie peeks out of her favorite window and waits to make sure I appear at the appointed (mutually understood) hour of 8:00 a.m. on the dot.
 
 
As soon as Miss Tommie makes eye contact with me, she jumps from her perch to let the others know that Cat Lady is indeed on her way to serve breakfast.

No matter whether I awaken on the wrong side of the bed, or the weather just plain stinks, I can always count on Miss Tommie standing guard and assuring me that all is right in the world. She is nearing 14, and so I especially cherish every minute of predictability.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Memory

Ah, yes, Cat Ladies. This is how the love affair with felines begins!



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mirror, Mirror

During what seemed like an interminable flight this past Thursday, I found myself reading everything that was stashed in the back pocket of the seat in front of me. I can't remember ever devouring the Skymall catalog with such intensity. And look what I found!



You can order this Cat Lady handheld mirror from Signals, a company that obviously understands Cat Ladies like to reflect on their title.

Who needs selfies?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dumped!



Because I have been married to Cat Man for such a long time, I haven’t had to suffer in decades from the humiliation of being dumped by a fickle boyfriend. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized that Pye was deliberately dumping me for another—not another Cat Lady, but for one of her own kind.

Yes, Kippy has won Pye’s heart. I’m delighted about this amorous development, though displeased that Pye no longer needs me. I asked Dr. O. about what was up. She explained that Pye, who still has many feral qualities, can relate much better to a fellow cat than to a Cat Lady.

And yet I have been trying so hard, ever since when we formally adopted Pye last December, to combine human and feline qualities into one sentient being. What do you think of this French postcard, c. 1913, that features a sort of role model? 

How do you like me now, Pye?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Enough Already!

OK, Cat Ladies, this is what I'm talking about.

We're not going to take it anymore! Together, we can reverse the stereotype.



http://www.abramsbooks.com/Books/Cat_Lady_Chic-9781419714023.html

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Round 2 of "Breakfast at Wimbledon" is well under way with my cats. We're rooting for Roger Federer, always one of our favorites.

Strawberries and cream and felines forever!



Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth!

I had the honor of finding a loving home for this handsome Russian Blue cat who goes by the name of Bleu.

Happy Fourth to all Cat Ladies, and hooray for the red, white, and blue!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

That Lucius

I had a delightful lunch with a woman who is fully conversant in the ABCs: art, books, and cats.

I was flattered that she had read my CAT LADY CHRONICLES and wanted to get acquainted over French food at a neighborhood bistro. I don't know why I was caught by surprise when, the moment I entered the restaurant, she exclaimed, "How is that Lucius? What a character!"

Yes, Lucius was something else. Although I felt sad informing her that Lucius had passed away one year ago this month, I confessed that I believe he lives on in my book and always will. 

Lucius was a true character, yet he was so much more than a fictional character who appears in ten chapters of a book. Lucius was an all-consuming force of nature that took over our house for fourteen years, and sometimes Cat Man and I have the odd sensation that Lucius is still among us. I can't imagine ever finding another orange tabby like that Lucius.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fleeing from the Fleas

The past two weeks have been crazy-busy, which is why you have not heard from me. I had to fly the Catland coop, and while traveling I knew that our resident cats in the garage apartment--Lillie, T.J., Perkins, and Miss Tommie--would be in the capable hands of Cat Man. His duties also included manning the fort in the house proper.

When I returned to Houston, I was very upset to learn that we had a  flea problem in the apartment. Cat Man had purchased every pet-friendly pesticide in sight, but nothing was working. Our always sweet 14-year-old cats were grumpy.

I frantically called Dr. O., always my hero, who helped me evacuate our four cats from the apartment. Other than Lillie, who has visited the Cat Doctor clinic for subcutaneous fluids, our cats had not left their home for eleven years (Dr. O. makes regular house calls). Cat Man calmly took the wheel of our getaway car, which quickly filled with the sound of nervous cats crying.

After the exterminating service further saved the day, I reconstructed the interior of the apartment so that Lillie, T.J., Perkins, and the very particular Miss Tommie would find their food and water bowls, litter boxes, and bedding in the same familiar places. Back to Dr. O.'s to retrieve our beloved cats and reinstate them in the apartment.

The look on Lillie's face was priceless. Once a Mama Kitty, always a Mama Kitty. When I opened the door to her pet carrier, Lillie immediately strutted around her flea-free home and nodded approvingly. Her children also emerged from their carriers and conveyed their appreciation to me.

The moral of this long-winded story: Cat Lady flees from fleas! 

P.S. If you live in Houston, one of the flea capitals of the world, I highly recommend Integrated Pest Management to get the job done.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

My lead-in to commemorating Father's Day may be unconventional, but here it goes.

In Sandra Tsing Loh's new memoir "The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones," the author writes: "Your first husband is the provider; your second husband is the one who talks to you; my third husband will be a cat. If I am lucky."

Here's to my multifaceted Cat Man, who has provided a wonderful life to many a cat. The kids and I raise a glass to you on Father's Day. We are the lucky ones!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

More Strait Talk

Like millions of women, I can't get George Strait out of my mind.

Like millions of Cat Ladies, I want total world domination for cats.

Picture me standing at the center of this stage, and you'll understand my new ambition: 1M "Likes" for CAT LADY CHIC!

Help me, Cat Ladies, I know you're listening. We can take over a stadium and make our voices heard! Meanwhile, please chime in via https://www.facebook.com/catladychic

Strait talkin' at AT&T Stadium/photo Getty Images

Saturday, June 7, 2014

First a Bobcat, Forever a Cowboy

I can't let today go by without acknowledging that my favorite country singer, George Strait, is about to conclude his record-breaking "Cowboy Rides Away" tour in Arlington, Texas, just hours from now.

And to think that King George began his career singing while still a bobcat at Texas State University. There always has to be a cat connection with everything I do . . . .

So George, after you sing "Amarillo By Morning" to your 100,000+ adoring and screaming fans at the AT&T Stadium, would you perhaps consider adding "Catland Tomorrow Night" to your playlist?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Case Study

I know this feeling all too well.


Lucius, especially, often pulled this trick on me. I would arrive home from PetSmart, nearly falling on my face from juggling multiple cases of his favorite Fancy Feast flavor: chopped grill. 

Upon serving His Lordship, Lucius would look at me studiously. I was expecting a follow-up expression of gratitude, but instead I thought I heard him say, "Why did you buy this terrible food? I HATE this flavor."

Ah, memories. . . .

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Special

I needed to get some special-formula flea medication for the kids, and so off I went this morning to a nearby veterinary hospital that dispenses the greasy stuff.

It was easy to spot the hospital from a block away. A billboard-type sign, just like the kind you see outside a restaurant, advertised the daily special.

The sign read: NEUTER SPECIAL. Short, but not so sweet.

I can't speak completely for my male cats, but by the similar look on their faces after they had been neutered (now ages ago), I would venture to say that "special" was not at the forefront of their minds.

What is the "going rate" for neutering these days?  How much should a Cat Lady pay for a "neuter special"?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Other Hat

I am delighted today to be wearing my other hat (the one without cat ears) and making a guest appearance on the Yale ARTbooks blog.

There is a "crazy" theme that runs throughout my post, but it certainly does not apply to Cat Ladies (never!).

My thanks go to my colleagues at Yale University Press for inviting me to blog in their space. You can check out my post here: http://artbooks.yupnet.org/2014/05/28/museum-quality-books-the-shadow-behind-the-scenes-in-the-crazy-business-of-museum-publishing/#comments

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Here Comes the Bride



No, not that one. You know who. The bride who had a small, intimate affair today at Versailles or some such palace.

I am feeling nostalgic tonight about the kind of private family wedding where the woman to be married wore a tasteful bridal gown. And, if she was a Cat Lady, the bride not only wore white but also posed for her formal wedding portrait with her beloved cat by her side.

I was not a Cat Lady on the day I was married. But if Cat Man and I ever renew our vows, we'll need to find a venue with a sufficiently wide aisle to accommodate the procession of many furry ringbearers.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Like-minded Cat Ladies

You know that when I start spelling "like" as "Like," especially in the middle of a sentence, that this incorrect usage can only point to one thing: it's Facebook time.

I hope you will "Like" my new Facebook page announcing my next book, CAT LADY CHIC: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cat-Lady-Chic/538937699549807

You, fellow Cat Ladies, inspired me to write this book. I have brought together 100 images of notable and accomplished Cat Ladies who collectively prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Cat Lady is "purr-fectly" chic!

As if "Liking" me isn't enough, I hope you also might consider this proposition. You can preorder your copy of CAT LADY CHIC today. Just click here:http://www.abramsbooks.com/Books/Cat_Lady_Chic-9781419714023.html

Thank you!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hero Cat

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Hero Cat!

How many times have you watched the video of Tara the cat, who instantly achieved heroic status when she chased down a neighborhood dog who was attacking her best friend? 

Tara's friend is a human, no less : a defenseless four-year-old boy who was outside his house in Central California. The dog didn't know what hit when, and Tara has moved on to become a huge hit online.

Watching the video reminds me of when Cat Man and I first rescued Lucius. We had been living in our house only a few years before he arrived as a stray at our back door. Our neighborhood was considered funky then, although the realtors on both sides of the negotiating table emphasized that the area was up and coming. Strangers knocking on the front door at various hours, day and night, indicated otherwise.

Lucius was always suspicious of potential intruders, and I always knew that he would do for me as Tara has done for her family. 

Thank you, Tara, aka Hero Cat, for silencing the naysayers. Cats are demonstrative creatures who profess their love and devotion to us every day. 




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Site-specific Projects

Leave it to a modern and contemporary art curator to send this cartoon to me!







Saturday, May 10, 2014

Community Property

I can still remember, back in the day, when "sharing" meant something philanthropic instead of  a warning sign of TMI.

I have been trying to teach young (7 months) and impressionable Kippy about the joys of sharing his toys with Pye. "Let's not be greedy and selfish," I say to our newest furry kid. You live in Texas, a community property state.

How does Kippy respond? "Pye doesn't share, so why should I?"

Kippy has taken to taunting Pye by sitting on her favorite "Hail Britannia" carpet.

 

Is this TMI for your taste, or may I continue to share my tales of Kippy?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ancestral Connection

Kippy's ancestor had the right idea: dim the lights and unwind with an elegant Cat Lady who likes to sip a Dubonnet for her nightly aperitif!

File:Plakat Cheret 95.jpg

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cat Man's Essential Toiletries

After blogging the other night about good grooming, I happened to notice that Cat Man had rearranged some of his toiletries atop the campaign chest that occupies a place of honor in the "Expedition Room."

I recognized the familiar bottles of Acqua di Parma (Cary Grant's favorite cologne, so I hear from Cat Man) and D.R. Harris's freshening cologne. But the bottle of Sentry, a feline calming spray, gave me pause. Is this part of my husband's male bonding routine with Kippy? Is Sentry a Cat Man's go-to scent?

I hope you like this awkwardly framed still-life shot of what are apparently Cat Man's essential toiletries.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Well Groomed

Like you, I want to be known as a well-groomed Cat Lady. Recently, I have been able to take grooming to new heights.

Lydia, who is about to turn 14, was recently diagnosed with feline senility. She howls a lot during the night, wandering about our house, then calms down after hopping into bed beside me. One of the ways she gets her bearings is by grooming me.

Lydia likes to brush my hair with her paws and to lick my hands. She coos and purrs while doing so. Because my daily grooming by Lydia typically begins at 3:30 a.m., I whisper into her ears, "too early, too early." But nothing stops Lydia from keeping me in spitting-good shape.

Here is Lydia, personal groomer to this Cat Lady.

What time is it? Groom time!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Cat'achino!

I'd like a tall cat'achino, please.

Thank you, Purina One, for opening the first cat café in the US, right in New York City, and for partnering with the North Shore Animal League, the largest no-kill animal rescue and volunteer organization in the world.

In addition to ordering my cat'achino, I would like to request that Purina's current 4-day pop-up cat café pop up more often. Does 365 days a year sound good to you, fellow Cat Lady?

Check out this frothy feline! And how about the Cat Lady's purple manicure?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Resolutions and Solutions, First Quarter Report

It's time for my first-quarter report, a little late after March 31, but what can I say. The Cat Lady has been busy.

I want to assure you that I am honoring and obeying all of my new year's resolutions, which include ridding myself of any traces of cellulite.

Was this supposed to be my post on April Fool's Day?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Here Comes the Easter...Kippy

Do you get the feeling that I am little obsessed with Kippy?

I can't help myself. It's thrilling to be living with a male kitten again (not that I don't appreciate the feminine fastidiousness of Princess Pye). Kippy has discovered that making lots of rough-and-tumble noise in the early morning gets instant results. The Cat Lady Sleep Deprivation Kit is currently under patent. . . . Seriously, Kippy is a joy, and I know that Lucius and L.B., too, would have loved him.

I haven't yet seen the Easter Bunny in our backyard, but here is Kippykins, who with his little pink ears is trying very hard to look like a rabbit.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Teachable Moments for Kittens

I love when friends send visuals for my blog.

Here's a perfect image, courtesy of Tony and his cat Tinky. I consulted with Kippy, who is already enrolled in the Kitten School, and he does not dispute anything depicted below.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kippy the Great: An Update

Kippy is adorable, precious, loving, kind, precious, and adorable. Excuse my redundancy! He is simply "too cute for words."

Here is a Julia Margaret Cameron-esque photograph of Kippy. Doesn't he look like a Victorian kitty?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Envelope

I stopped in my tracks when I was sorting through the mail an hour ago. Amid the monthly bills and solicitations (note to self: renew CAT FANCY subscription!) was a #10 white envelope from Walgreens, addressed to one Lucius Lovejoy.

It had slipped my mind to notify Walgreens that Lucius passed away last June, and that I would no longer need to purchase a prescription savings card in Lucius's name. Yes, Cat Ladies, Walgreens issues these discounted cards to people's pets, although I often had to explain/justify to the pharmacist on duty that Lucius was indeed a furry creature who sent me to the store to have his Fluoxetine and Lantus prescriptions refilled.

Seeing Lucius's name on the envelope reminded me yet again of how quickly time passes for our precious pets. I can't turn back time, but I will allow myself to reminiscence about the nearly 10-year-period when Lucius, via his Cat Lady, was a regular shopper at Walgreens.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"A Pretty Awesome Cat Mug"

Cat-ching up on reading again and just finished the sports page of the Wall Street Journal's April 1 edition, in which I discovered this hilarious piece by Jason Gay.

For all you Cat Men out there, enjoy: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304157204579473352891772622

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We Are So Alike

You got that right: Taylor Swift and I have so much in common.

We both like Starbucks and cats, and Taylor and I purchased the same pet carrier for the safe transport of our kitties.

A black carrier makes a fashionably chic statement, don't you think?

Superstar Cat Lady Taylor Swift, out and about with her cat Meredith in NYC!





Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kipling to the Rescue

Do you believe in destiny, just like I do? 

I am excited to announce that I have already found a suitable mate for Pye, and it turns out the little guy first lived in our neighborhood. A woman recently discovered our new, snow-white kitty wandering up and down the street, where he was rescued and brought to live temporarily in the rooms that The Cat Doctor veterinary clinic reserve for homeless felines.

Kipling (Kippy for short), as we named him last night, would warm the heart of every Cat Lady. He is the sweetest cat I have ever met, and you know I have met many.

When I wrote earlier this week that "love may be right around the corner" for Pye, I wasn't kidding. I also didn't know that Cat Man and I would fall so easily for this fella only minutes after formally adopting him. 

I could go on and on about Kippy's virtues, but let me simply introduce you to him. And, if you approve, I will let Pye know that there is the dearest, most innocent creature living on the other side of her bedroom door.

Cat Ladies and Gents, here's Kippy!

Kipling, 6 months old, 6 lbs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Internet Dating

Noooo, not for me, a married Cat Lady, but for Pye! She has reached the magic age of 1 and is an eligible bachelorette.

Cat Man and I think Pye is lonely, understandably. We have four senior cats in our house, and not one is interested in visiting the Pye Palace and getting to know our newest resident feline. 

I've never had to consult the Internet before to adopt a cat in need of a home. Cats have always found their way to Catland, usually via the back door. So I was interested and inspired to discover the excellent, heartwarming descriptions of rescue cats available for immediate adoption.

My eye wandered to the bachelor section of cat shelters' websites, where I found very handsome kitties named Marcel, Frisky, Greg, Lionel, and Lance. I would have adopted any or all of them. Of course I would have, said the Cat Lady.

Something tells me, though, that a kitty will find us before too long, and I will leave Internet dating for another Cat Lady who seeks the perfect match.

Hang tight, Pye. Love may be right around the corner!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meltingly Perfect Equation

If you like cats, and ice cream, and who doesn't?, and you find yourself in Houston, then you have no choice but to go to Fat Cat Creamery in the Heights.http://www.fatcatcreamery.com/

I had the pleasure yesterday of meeting Sarah Johnston, the owner of the creamery, and we talked about our beloved kitties. Sarah named her thriving business after the feline she had rescued in Minneapolis and who answered to "Fat Cat." Her Fat Cat would have been delighted to visit this charming ice-cream parlor, where Cat's Meow Mexican Vanilla and other feline-titled flavors have people lining up outside the doors. 

I consumed a milkshake for lunch and am still reeling (happily) from the sugar high. The handcrafted ice cream is over-the-top delicious, and the cat-themed decor is tastefully adorable.

Sarah describes herself as a "crazy cat lady," which, in her case, means she screams for ice cream and cats. I can't think of a more perfect equation.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cat Lady Godmother

Miley Cyrus strikes again! But why the sad kitty?


Do you think Miley comes by her cat fancy naturally? Or has she been influenced by her godmother, country western's Number 1 attention-getter, Miss Dolly Parton?



Let's just call them both Cat Ladies, for short. I have my eye on Dolly as a Cat Lady for another reason. Details to come!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Miu Miu Meows!

I can't think of many fashion designers who "meow" better, or more frequently, than Miu Miu.

I may need to start crowdfunding to upgrade my wardrobe. I am visualizing wearing this cat-print pink coat when I shop at PetSmart tomorrow morning.

And I will need an Extreme Makeover to look like actress Hailee Steinfeld, but that's another blog post.

    Another Hollywood Cat Lady? Hailee Steinfeld looks perfectly fetching in Miu Miu's
 feline-inspired attire.





Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Meow

Just like millions of viewers, I am hooked on "The Voice." My friends Melina and Phenon told me that I would enjoy the show, and do I ever. As my college roommate, Mary, and I remind ourselves often, "What's not to like with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton?" We also cheer for the contestants, and I vouch for getting very animated when all four judges turn their chairs around simultaneously.



The judges' "I Want You" buzzer is what made me realize that we
Cat Ladies could launch a similar show, only ours will be named "The Meow." We hear the voices of homeless cats speaking to us, each in his or her unique way, and we hit the buzzer to profess our love. We adopt the cats on the spot: no prolonged auditions and battle rounds (or territorial turf wars) required.

We tell our own cats every day how much we want, need, and love them, so why not take our collective voices as Cat Ladies to the big stage known as reality TV. Move over, Juan Pablo, and all the bachelors of seasons past. It's time for Team Cat Lady!

"The Meow." Can you hear them now?


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Frat House


This house belongs to Mr. T., who belongs to Heather. 

Mr. T. is very particular about his environment. He favors calming, neutral colors and comfy carpets.

Despite the pensive pose that Mr. T. strikes in this picture, something tells me that he is a party animal after hours. I suspect Mr. T's kitty abode works overtime as a frat house.

Party on, Mr. T. Mice especially are welcome guests.

Photograph courtesy of Mr. T.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Perky Kitty

You've heard of Grumpy Cat. Could Perky Kitty be far behind? Because any feline-loving woman  who wears this kitten-patterned ensemble by the new Italian label Au Jour Le Jour will be showing her true colors in a very frisky fashion.

The Cat Lady has entered the building and is on the runway!

 





Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pye's It Bag

Fall Fashion Week has come and gone in New York, Paris, and Milan, but here in Houston, Pye is still strutting her stuff on the catwalk, and she's got an eye-catching accessory in tow.

Pye is approaching the 1-year mark, and she seems to be developing a keen sense of style. Before too long, she may be craving an Yves Saint Laurent purse or a Prada tote bag.

For now, Pye has adopted Catman's collectible binocular case as her It bag. The "bag" is sufficiently big for Pye to store her beloved treats inside, and she can drag its handle without putting too much pressure on her claws. (Next thing I know, she'll expect me to book her standing appointments for manicures.)

Check out Pye's British tan It bag!



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Serendipity

I am enjoying my first leisurely evening in a long while. Some time-sensitive, work-related stress is safely behind me, and I've got sweet Leo tucked in by my side.

Following in the footsteps of Lucius, Leo loves classical music. Among our cable TV offerings is a  channel called "Light Classical," and I knew Leo would enjoy listening to it tonight. My trusty remote landed on the channel just in time for us to hear a delightful piece from an orchestral suite. Clearly, the music captured Leo's fancy.

The "Did You Know?" sidebar on  the TV screen explained that we were listening to one of the six sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti by Vincenzo Tommasini that accompany the ballet The Good-Humoured Ladies. The music was later arranged to be performed by an orchestra, as one of six movements. 

What are the odds of a good-humored Cat Lady (I hope you think I am) and one of her cats being serenaded by the sonata known as the Cat's Fugue? This is the sixth movement, and I think its alternate title should be Serendipity.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Inspiration and Feline Aesthetics

I had the pleasure of hearing my longtime friend Gloria Groom lecture today at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Gloria (officially Dr. Groom, the senior curator at the Art Institute of Chicago) spoke about her most-recent internationally acclaimed exhibition, Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity. If you're someone as supremely gifted as Gloria, you don't stop producing after a big hit. Now she's on to Van Gogh, and surely Gloria will inspire us anew.

I wonder if Gloria would consider enlightening her Cat Lady comrade by commenting on a fascinating feline phenomenon: why do cats like Van Gogh's paintings? Pictures prove that cats have often been inspired to create their own variations on a Van Gogh theme or subject, such as sunflowers.

This image is taken from the book Why Cats Paint, which another dear friend, Linda, found for me at Pegasus Books in New Zealand.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lone Star Kitty State



I must meet Alejandro Cardenas, the artist behind the striking, witty, and Cat Lady–friendly illustrations that grace the pages of WSJ. magazine.  

For the illustration that appeared in WSJ. this past weekend, Mr. Cardenas introduced Bast, baby Who, and Anubis to the Lone Star State. Their walkabout outfits? Chanel, of course.

This blog post is intended to serve as an open invitation to Mr. Cardenas and his always fashion-savvy feline characters.
Won't you please come visit us at Catland?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stairway to Heaven

I wonder if L.B. has already reunited with Lucius.

Thinking about these two extraordinary cats seeing each other again brings me comfort during a distressing time. L.B.'s sudden death this past Monday was a punch in the stomach, a true shock to the system. To take my mind off the reality of losing L.B., I keep imagining Lucius greeting him on the proverbial stairway to heaven. Surely Lucius exclaimed, "Hey, Dude."

For L.B. was our dude kitty, a nickname that Heather's husband, Mark, bestowed on him many years ago. The dude description stuck, and L.B. wore it well, because he never failed to show his appreciation for typically guy things. L.B. liked the Super Bowl and snacks, curling up on the sofa and doing his best imitation of a couch potato. He was a Texas Longhorns loyalist to the end. Most of all, L.B. liked the ladies. And this Cat Lady was absolutely crazy about him.

Dear L.B., it was our great privilege to rescue you eleven years ago and to stand by your side ever since. We had no idea you were so ill, and that you were living with an incurable disease. Your stoicism, dignity, and loving heart will not be forgotten.  

Rest in peace, our beloved CFO.


L.B., CFO, Dude Kitty


Friday, February 7, 2014

I Am a Non-Hostile Cat!


So after 14 years of proudly calling myself a Cat Lady, I come to find that I should introduce myself as a non-hostile cat. At least, that is apparently how my own cats view me, and I would never want to deliberately deceive them.

A number of fellow Cat Ladies (I mean, other non-hostile cats) have recommended I read John Bradshaw’s new book, Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. I am all for self-improvement and dedicated to doing anything to make my cats “love me more” (see previous blog post). I just need to adjust to my new “title,” and maybe it’s time to buy the catsuit I was recently admiring at Saks.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

I don't have a horse in today's Super Bowl race. The Houston Texans were pathetic this year, and my original hometown team, the New Orleans Saints, was eliminated weeks ago. But I'll be cheering for Peyton Manning, because he is a fellow native of New Orleans, and I always root for the "old guy." I hear he has reached the ripe age of 37.

I can't promise to watch every pre-game minute leading up to the Super Bowl. There is some serious competition, Cat Ladies. Touchdown, tabbies and torties, it's time for you and your fellow felines on the gridiron to show us what you've got:http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/kittenbowl

Let's get ready to rumble and tumble with the most photogenic starting lineup in the world. The NFL can only dream of drafting such acrobatic powerhouses as kittens.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Miss You More

I rarely travel for museum business, but an opportunity emerged recently and it was time for me to don my winter apparel (which barely sees the light of day) and head to New Jersey, New Haven, and New York. On my return flight home, I decided to flip through the Skymall catalog. Yes, only serious, intellectual reading for this Cat Lady in transit.

I can't remember the name of the vendor that specializes in "I Love You More" memorabilia in various shapes and sizes. I wondered if I should compete with "I Miss You More" plaques, because I believe my cats would buy them, if they had spare change, and would display them prominently upon my reentry at Catland.

Who missed me more while I was gone? Did Pye miss my dangling a feathered wand in front of her tiny face? Did Lydia miss my calling her "Richard"? (It's a long story.) Did Leo miss hearing me say, "it's time for the iPad"?

It's all silly, yet sentimental, stuff, and the list goes on for the daily rituals that sustain the cats and me. The simple truth is that I missed them more than they will ever know.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Calling All Cat People


I was excited to read that Shout! Factory has just released a collector’s edition of Cat People, the 1982 remake of the horror/ film noir classic. The Blu-ray edition is complete with an exclusive, specially commissioned poster that surely will appeal to, and maybe even frighten, cat people–that means us. There are only 200 copies of the poster available, so order yours as fast as possible.

I hear that kudos go to the black panthers in the film. I wonder if my very own Panther has seen and approved?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

L.B., CFO

Our very sweet cat L.B. has a head for numbers and a body that is built like a linebacker's.

Happily, we have noticed that L.B. has taken to eating less recently—which is helping control his diabetes—and is now spending much more of his time studying stock and mutual-fund portfolios. All of us at Catland are very impressed by L.B.’s ability to use a calculator and to create spreadsheets as needed.

 
We are proud to announce that L.B. has been appointed the new CFO at Catland, effective immediately.

Have you ever been tempted to post your cat’s “title” and “resume” on LinkedIn?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Of Mice and Cat Ladies


Move over, Ylvis, because I, too, have a catchy tune: “What Does the Mouse Say?”
It seems that Pye loves mice—not the real-life “gruesome offerings,” as Maeve Brennan wrote in her story “Cat House” (1955), reprinted in the recently issued Big New Yorker Book of Cats. Make no mistake: Pye likes her mice to be made of cloth, and preferably stuffed with catnip.

The newly anointed Pye Palace (formerly the Expedition Room; sorry, Cat Man) is stocked with about 20 toy mice, and Pye likes to play with, attack, and hurl them all. We hear Pye running furiously about the room, stalking her prey. At some point in the early hours of the morning, usually around 3:00 a.m., she becomes exhausted and retires from the hunt. But not before leaving a perfectly aligned row of mice for us to discover upon awakening. Sometimes Pye chooses three mice, other times five.

We cannot walk into the Pye Palace without stepping over mice. We get it, Pye! We are honored by your carefully chosen gifts to us and especially delighted that the rodents are fake.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Did You Know?


Today is the opening of the annual London Art Fair, which has long been a destination for top collectors from around the world.

The fair is featuring an exhibition dedicated to the renowned artist Barbara Hepworth. Did you know that she was a Cat Lady? Apparently her feline friend felt right at home among her modernist sculptures.

Dame Barbara Hepworth and Her Cat, Nicholas. Photograph by
Ida Kar, National Portrait Gallery, London
Art + Cats + Ladies: A Cat-Lady Trifecta!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cold Shoulder

Panther is beyond stubborn. I am very fond of him, as much as he will let me get close to him. By Houston’s standard, the weather of late has been arctic. Yet Panther is still giving me the cold shoulder, as he cannot bring himself to cross the magic threshold that separates the outdoors from the indoors.

“Door” is apparently a dirty word to Panther. I know, because I tried again to close the door in the utility room behind him, and I nearly caused him to become the headless stray cat who visits us twice daily. I prefer that he present himself to us with a head and a torso; wouldn’t you want the same?

Please forgive this extremely soft-focus picture of Panther, which was taken today at about 5:15 a.m., before Cat Man had gulped his first cup of coffee.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hooked on Cats

I know you feel the way that I do about cats. We are hooked, obsessed, and mesmerized by them.

I wish I would have been bidding at a recent auction for this handmade hooked rug, made in the early twentieth century. The charming design featuring seated cats, surrounded by floral borders, reinforces the sentiment "there is no place like home"..., especially a home with cats.
Photo from Conestoga Auction Co.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Say Cheese


Whoever invented Temptations’s new Cheezy Middles treats for cats is either a genius or a diabolical trickster. I’ll go with genius first, because surely the person—Cat Man or Cat Lady—who came up with the idea is now meowing all the way to the bank. Our cats quickly became addicted during the holidays, which is where the diabolical trickster also plays a part.
The Whiskas product description states that the "patented dual-pocket technology" now includes cheese inside each treat. The treats are 100% nutritionally complete and "balanced for all life stages," which, at the rate my cats were consuming the treats this past week, will likely mean their life stages will be defined by obesity. And yet, the Cheezy Middles contain no artificial flavors!
I explained to any cat who would listen to me yesterday that a new year meant resuming a healthy diet. But Leo, Linus, and Alvar will hear nothing of the sort and are begging especially for the tuna-and-cheese-flavored treats. It was a relief to return to the office today and to avoid their staring at the treat bag!

I’m betting that the Temptations product line will soon include Mac & Cheese, Salmon & Cream Cheese, and Flaked Fish Alfredo. If this thought makes you queasy, I understand. If the thought makes you smile, then say cheese.