Posts Tagged ‘cats’


Spring Break

April 8, 2017

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

white blossoming tree

Normally we travel during spring break. We had planned to stay in Shanghai and explore some more of the many historical sites here. However, there was a death in the family that necessitated DaddyBird taking a flight to the states. I would have gone, too, had it not been for the fact I was in the midst of food poisoning. I stayed home to recover and to cat-sit.

white cat and tabby cat

Cat sitting can involve the neighborhood strays, too.

a white cat and an orange tabby

This is Smudge and Zippy. I usually feed them on my way to work each morning.


This is Scamp. I usually run into her on the way home. She doesn’t care much for being petted. Last time, she didn’t seem very hungry or interested in eating, but she rolled over to show me her tummy. However, she didn’t want it rubbed much. She is a tease.

a beige corgy mix dog

This is The Dog. I don’t know what it’s name is. It belongs to a member of the apartment staff. It runs around the compound unattended and is the bane of my existence. It wants to play with the stray cats, or chase them if they will run, but the cats are not too excited about that. I suppose it is cute, for a dog, but I have never been a dog person.

My big adventure this week was going to the US Consulate to renew my passport. The website has all the information and forms one needs and if one reads all the instructions and has everything prepared, it goes quickly and easily. It is a bit astonishing to witness people who did not read those instructions, whether it is the guy at the door that did not make an appointment and cannot get in or the guy who did not bring a photo or does not know his China address. He, of course, is in a big hurry and is stressed out.

I encountered this fun statue in a pleasant little park.

historical building combining Western and Chinese style

A quick photo taken out the rainy taxi window of the Chinese YMCA building, one of my favorites. It was built in 1934 and combines Western and Chinese style.


Ni Hao Shanghai

August 9, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Shanghai skyscrapers seen from the river

We have arrived in Shanghai, safe and sound. The cats were on the same flight. In retrospect, I would not recommend this. It would have been better if they had departed a couple of days after us. We touched down in the late afternoon and were taken directly to our apartment. In the evening, just about the time we are thinking of calling it a day (because I needed to get up first thing in the morning and head off to new staff orientation), we get a communication from our pet relocation agent that there is a problem with Oliver and she is heading to the airport to find out what his condition is. Long story short, our agent was at the airport after midnight having a vet called in to take care of Oliver and he spent the rest of the night under observation and getting medical treatment. Meanwhile, I laid awake most of the night worrying about him. The happy ending is that he survived. Both cats were moved to quarantine and are cooling their heels there for a few more days.

white cat on a metal surface with completely dilated eyes

This is not the face of a happy cat. Poor thing.

We have a lovely little apartment. It is an older building. We are on the second floor. There are two other newbie teachers living in the same building. Our apartment is located in a neighborhood that seems to be “gated.” Outside the gate, along the street is a park. We look out our windows and we see the trees of the park, hear music in the mornings, and see people doing tai chi.

view out the window obscured by trees

We have two bedrooms, a smaller room for an office, living room, bathroom, two enclosed balconies, and a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. (Been there, done that.)

The cidadas are in full “bloom” currently and are astonishingly loud. It is currently raining. We are loving the green, wet, living world we now live in.

Traffic is interesting, but nothing compared to the reckless driving of the United Arab Emirates. Everyone just seems to patiently navigate around each other with a small amount of horn honking. Pedestrians step out and trust that they won’t be run down. Most of the time, it works out. Bicyclists, scooters, and motorcycles travel down the sidewalk, honking at pedestrians. It is a short distance from our apartment to the school, so I may just get a bicycle. The school provides a bus to transport us to work, so I will get there one way or another.

For more photos, click here.


Reading with Cats

September 26, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

In continuing World Animal Remembrance Month, I must say that I am a cat person. I have been from the beginning. We lived on a small farm and had cats to help control the mouse population. Tommy was a big grey tabby whose domain was the barn. He would allow me to pet him a bit, but otherwise he was all independent and businesslike. Near the house, we had Momma Kitty, a short haired calico and her daughter, Rusty Dusty, a long haired calico. The area around the house, garage and the woodshed were their domain.

Before I came along, cats had always been outdoor animals. That wasn’t enough for me. I wanted companionship, not just mouse hunting. Kittens were soon smuggled into the house for supervised visits. Eventually, my mother’s resolve was eroded and the “no cats in the house rule” subsided. Then Manix came to live with us. He was rescued from the street by my sister, who then brought him home to the farm because she couldn’t have pets in her apartment. His tail had met with an unfortunate accident. He was a black long hair. He ended up being “the house cat.” My father was not big on pets, but Manix was big on sitting on Dad’s lap while Dad tried to read the newspaper. Sometimes Manix sat on the newspaper.

Over the years, I’ve shared space with many cats. Mittens (left in search of his own male territory, too much competition on the farm), Ashley (died young on a busy street), Tigger (after 3 years fell prey to the same busy street), Maggie (nearly killed by the vet who spade her, turned into a real kick-ass cat), Peanut (too stupid not to get massive injuries in cat fights), and George (gave me 8 years of companionship and ran my life). After George, there was a long hiatus. I had to euthanize George because I couldn’t afford the surgery he needed. I swore I wouldn’t have another cat until I had a cat surgery savings account set aside. This ban on cats held until a mother cat moved her three kittens into our backyard. I had forgotten how therapeutic cats are and I needed a bit of therapy.

teen sitting with long haired calico cat in lap while reading

I would come home from school, grab a dill pickle for a snack, and sit down to read or watch TV. Maggie would plant herself in my lap and ask to share my snack. Yes, she ate dill pickles. She would eat everything except citrus fruit. When she wasn’t chasing the neighbor’s little dog out of HER yard or tearing a grocery bag apart with her wicked claws, she could be sweet. Just don’t cross her.

George, as I said, ran my life for 8 years. I didn’t like the name George, but it had been given to him before he came to live with me AND he answered to it, so it stuck. George’s deep belief was that I was put on the planet to make a lap for him to sit in. If I wanted to read while doing that, fine, as long as it didn’t interfere.

grey, long haired cat

No post about the cats of my life would be complete without Earl. We already had three cats (the kittens deposited in our backyard). These three were interesting with very different personalities and amusing antics, but they only saw us as providers of the kibble and scoopers of the litter. We were their housekeepers. One evening, a skinny little grey kitten sneaked in through the cat door and helped himself to some kibble. Each night at the same time, he came for dinner. He was very skittish, so it took several days to get close enough to touch him. After a bit of petting, he decided to move in. The poor thing was so undernourished, that we thought he was a short hair. After a few weeks of steady meals, he turned out to be a long hair. He would meet us at the door to talk to us about our day. He would jump into my lap before I hit the chair. He recognized my bedtime routine and would curl up next to me and we would go off to sleep together. Unfortunately, we only had 6 months with Earl. He was hit on the street. Saint Earl set a benchmark against which we will always measure the cats in our life.

brown tabby and white cat

Currently, our companions are Oliver and Bert. We’ve had four years with them and expect many more. Oliver has the dubious honor of being both the worst and second best cat we have ever had. It is a good thing he is beautiful, funny, and plays fetch better than most dogs. Bert lives in Oliver’s shadow, but is a sweet, mostly well behaved cat.


Petra Cats

April 9, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

You knew it would happen, right? A post about stray cats during our vacation is traditional.

orange tabby laying on top of a garbage can

We saw this tom three times on our trips up and down the siq (canyon). He clearly has a territory that is his niche. There is a patch of bamboo and a large crack going away from the path area, so there is probably a whole ecosystem that provides for his needs.

Since we were walking out on the second day, we could stop to have a little chat with him.

bearded man petting cat

He was very sweet and very clean (except for his dusty paws). It would appear that he has a pretty cushy life just sitting around, licking himself, and watching the tourists go by.

man petting orange tabby

The cats in this region aren’t Arabian Maus, like our own Oliver and Bert. These cats have shorter legs, shorter spines, and rounder faces. They are very nicely proportioned, medium sized cats.

cat on man's shoulders

He even made himself right at home on DaddyBird’s shoulders.

We tore ourselves away and went further up the trail. This little female came running with her tail in the air when she saw us.

orange tabby with tail in the air

She also was happy to get some attention.

man petting orange tabby

Until the dog came…

cat at the base of a tree

And she had to take defensive measures.

cat in the tree, dog at the base of the tree

All the stray cats we’ve encountered in town have been very skittish and defensive. It was nice to encounter these two, who have it pretty good and can afford to be friendly.

If you would like to see all the pictures from our second day at Petra (222 of them) click here.


Groceries, Always So Fun

January 29, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

bottles of all purpose sauce on the store shelf

Apparently, this is sauce you can put on everything.

two cats sitting on their haunches watching the door

We had more grocery bags than we could carry in one trip, so DaddyBird went back down to the parking lot to get the rest. The cats sat patiently and watched for his return.

white cat eating celery leaves

When DaddyBird did return, Oliver smelled something delicious and began to freak out. It was the celery.

two cats eating celery leaves

Even Bert had to get in on the celery snacking.


Stroll Down Memory Lane

January 5, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

rolling green hill

While in California, we spent an afternoon with friends on their ranch. DaddyBird lived on this ranch in the 90’s.

four chickens

We provided lap services to Cooper and Abbey, which meant there was no lap space for Rowdy and Bigfoot, the Bengal cats.

two half Chihuahua dogs

The outdoor cat (whose name I don’t remember) was incredibly loving and enjoyed being petted.

brown Bengal breed cat

It was a pleasant afternoon with good friends. Animals and countryside are always good, too.

brown Bengal breed cat


Hilton Cat Update Two

November 28, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

tabby kitten nestled behind an arm

Stray Cat’s stay with us came to an end on Tuesday. She has gone to a new home where she will be settling in with Griffin, another tabby. She will be greatly loved.

We will miss her because she was the second best cat we have ever had, second only to Saint Earl.

Oliver and Bert have relaxed. It was amazing just how quickly Bert figured out that Stray Cat was gone. He was quickly on our laps, making up for lost time and getting love and affection. The “boys” have forgiven us and gotten back to life as usual.