Posts tagged: cat

Garden delights

Spring has eased into summer and the garden is in bloom and producing a few edibles.  The steady supply of strawberries are yielding to raspberries.

The bead studio has been cleaned and activated, but only a few sessions have resulted so far.  As usual, it is blues and greens that are chosen first for warming up.

The cats and spring flowers are featured here.

salt and pepper cats outside the kitchen

salt and pepper cats outside the kitchen

volunteer flowers springing from the walk

volunteer flowers springing from the walk

Mo guarding the porch

Mo guarding the porch

I noticed one shrub had badly eaten leaves, the poor plant looked like Swiss cheese.  While examining the plant I saw a leaf cutter bee in action.  They are solitary bees so I hope with plenty of water and fertilizer the plant can stay ahead of the bee.  Check the above link to Wikipedia for an article on the bees with a photo.

leaf cutter bee damage

leaf cutter bee damage

Snuggly cats

What a yawn!

What a yawn!

The cats are enjoying the lovely spring weather we are having and have been extra affectionate and snuggle up with me every chance they get.  Here is Mo caught in the middle of a yawn and the pair of them snoozing by a shady window.

Double snooze by the window

Double snooze by the window


The spring flowers are blooming, the vegetable garden has a good start; altogether it’s a wonderful time of year.

Mo looked pretty surprised when he saw me evicting a stray tomcat, but we will all appreciate having that foul smelling, bad tempered freeloader gone for good.

Dear old apple tree, or the snow report

January brought a snow storm and then an ice storm.  The snow was pretty and a rare type of snow that rolls up well into snowballs, so I made a pair of snow cats to decorate the back yard.  They have leaves for eyes and whiskers made from apple twigs.

snowcats chillin


Seattle rarely gets much snow and it doesn’t usually stay around for long.  The snow cats tipped over the next day and seemed destined for a quick melt.


Unfortunately a few days later an ice storm proved too heavy for the ancient mossy apple tree nearby, and it tipped back into the bramble patch, getting a final bit of revenge on the blackberry canes that had been trying to strangle it.

the old apple tree keels over


Mo used to enjoy sitting in the crotch of the apple tree, surveying his domain.  I am now considering sculptural options the apple wood might offer.  Can I save Mo’s catbird seat and make a shallow dish from that slice of the tree?  The next slice down with the main trunk swelling out into three heavy limbs would make a lovely fluted vase or bowl.  The main trunk of the tree could be turned on a lathe or sliced into boards.

I will have to read up more on wood grain and perhaps find answers at Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac.  I don’t have any fancy wood shop tools like Tommy, but with some old fashioned hand chisels and my electric drill and some rough cutting with my chainsaw, I can get crackin’!

Dust bath season ends

The cats enjoyed dust baths in the driveway all summer long.  They flop and roll and stand up covered with dust, really pleased with themselves.  The fall rains have arrived now, and the amber lawn of late summer has returned to emerald green again.

dust bath time

Miss Nimbus seemed to be outgrowing her collar, so I treated her to a new baby girl pink one.  It is missing this morning, I will have to search outdoors for it.  This morning’s preliminary stroll netted me wet shoes and nothing more.

With the cooler weather, bead making season is winding down too.

Pet beads

Mandy Hula blue merle beads

I have been working on a series of pet beads.  Some were inspired by the unfortunate passing of some dearly beloved pets.  I made one series with blacks, grays and hints of brown and blue to honor a blue merle Australian Shepherd, she of the dancing hairy skirts known as Mandy Hula.





Sambeaux tortoiseshell beads

Another series was made to honor a very pretty tortoiseshell long haired cat named Sambeaux.  I had a nice time snuggling with Sambeaux, scratching under her chin while she purred nonstop.  I will miss both of those dear friends and I know their owner is missing them mightily.





Jasper orange tabby beads

A third series were in the colors of an orange and white tabby, our friendly neighbor cat Jasper.  I had not seen him for several weeks and feared the worst, but he showed up with a freshly shaved neck which tells me he must have spent some time at the vet’s.  That series was an extra challenge as the opalino cream colored glass has a lower melting point than the clear and amber encasing.


Click on any of the photos to see the entire row of beads in each series.  I think Aura Sun Arts will be specializing in these pet beads for many a furry friend.  Custom requests are always accepted.

The escape artist

With the long summer days, Miss Nimbus the expert bird hunter is trapped indoors until 9:30 now.  Since the Anna’s hummingbird has become a regular visitor at the pond, protecting these avian jewels is even more important.

The handy cat door has a large concrete block in front of it, how frustrating!  It is on a small magazine to protect the floor, and Nims has been scratching at the paper in a vain attempt to escape.  I clean up the scrap paper and there is always more.  She can see outside through the hole in the concrete block and get little whiffs of outdoor air, but it is too heavy to move.

darn obstacle

can she tunnel out?

She has gotten to where I think she can tell time, as soon as the hour approaches she is begging to go out.  She knows the words “want to go out?”  She knows a finger held up means no, and a finger pointed at the door means yes!

is it dark outside yet?

Both of them have alerted me to strangers in the yard by growling.  They play fetch and go for walks with me.  All these tricks that only dogs are supposed to know, what smart cats.


Defending one’s turf

whack! take that!

Miss Nimbus gets rather upset if she sees neighbor cat Jasper sitting on the outside windowsill.  She will charge him and smack the glass with her paw, trying to bat him away.

I sometimes hear an odd thumping from the next room and come to investigate.  She is often successful in chasing him away.  The scratches in the tabletop bear testament to the vigor of her defense.  She really gets indignant.

He doesn’t go to far, hanging out on the porch in the sun, that loud raspy voice greeting me if I go outside.  Jasper seems pretty pleased with himself and life in general, just look at the picture below.  He and Mo get along well, they are outdoors together during the day.

Miss Nimbus remains housebound during daylight hours to give the birds a chance, such as the hummingbird spotted at the waterfall this week.  Keeping her on the night shift works better than bells on the collar.  It would be super for wildlife if more cat owners followed this policy.

happy cat jasper

the highrise cat station

Hello Mo fans!

Mo and Nims are doing well, they have slimmed down a bit.  Miss Nimbus got outside one day when I was mowing the lawn.  I saw her doing her business over by the brush pile, digging a little hole and burying the results.  Here comes Mo to inspect her work, he scrapes a bit more dirt on top to help out.  I had to stop and watch this and laugh.  He sometimes does additional work in the indoor litter box as well.

Miss Nims has found a way to climb up on the wicker shelves in the kitchen.  She loved climbing up here in the last kitchen we lived in, and has trained me to come over and pet her when she is up there.

the highrise petting station

She climbs up, flops on her side, gives me the look, the one that says “Here I am, come and pet me!”  I come tickle her feet through the wicker and pet her, releasing clouds of white cat hair that shower down over the contents of the shelves.  Life is messy!

Spring is in full bloom here; cherry trees, wallflowers, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and trillium.


Soon it will be warm enough to try making some glass beads.  The Glass Art Society will be holding a conference here in Seattle in early June.

Sawdust is… Jasper!!!

Hello Mo fans!

Well our visiting cat friend Sawdust gets the spotlight this week.  He is the orange and white cat with the sweet face who has been hanging around from time to time.  When the weather took a real cold turn a few weeks back Mr Sawdust became a very regular visitor, stopping by the back porch every morning, sitting on the windowsills, meowing to come in.

When I went outside he would rub up against my ankles and seemed so determined to come in that I became worried and fed him a small bit out on the porch some mornings.  There were a couple families that had moved recently, had he been abandoned?  I finally decided to try a test message and put a red collar on Sawdust with a short message:  HUNGRY: am I a stray?

Oh giggles, he shows up a few days later with a pretty black collar and name tag:  Jasper!

Mr Jasper stops by for a visit

Jasper is a type of semi-precious rock that comes in a variety of browns, quite the appropriate name for him.  The name tag also had a phone number on the back, and a call to Jasper’s family was fun.  Apparently Jasper goes visiting to quite a few neighbor’s houses, and he is just over the back fence from me so we are happy he is not crossing any roads.

My cats are quite relieved to not have this intruder be homeless.  Miss Nimbus has had her run-ins with Jasper, it was he who had her trapped up on the shed roof.  Now when she sees him sitting on the windowsill she jumps up on the inside of the window and smacks the glass with her paws to scare him away.  Cats can be very jealous defending their human from other cats!

I sneak outside and give him the chin scratch anyway, he’s such a nice fellow.

Nims in the doghouse

Nims with golden streamers on her collar

Our pretty Miss Nimbus is in the doghouse for killing birds.  To help protect the birds we have added gold streamers alongside the bells on her collar.  To be extra careful, she is now only allowed outdoors at night.  Catch all the rats you want, honey.

She spent a night in jail, the doghouse, (literally a large dog pet carrier), after bringing in the bird’s body.

Seattle is having a mild winter compared to many parts of the country.  The varied thrush only visits at this time of year; it’s a rare bird that looks a little like a robin but with a big black V on it’s chest.  Learn more about birds at the Audubon Society and get hooked by joining your local chapter.  Unfortunately, even well-fed cats kill a very large number of songbirds, with more solitary species being more vulnerable.  Here is an article from the American Bird Conservancy.

The fishpond in the yard is a water supply for birds and my bird list for recent visitors is pretty impressive.  The nuthatches have been absent this year, sad to say.

Bird list:  Chickadees (Black Capped and Chestnut Backed), Cooper’s Hawk, Crows, Juncos, Purple Finches, House Sparrows, Rufous Sided Towhee, Varied Thrush, Robin, Flicker, Ruby Crowned Kinglets, Steller’s Jay, Pine Warblers, and a glimpse of a wren.