Sued51's Blog

{May 17, 2014}   Daily Post: First Sight

Just this morning I was telling my beautiful cat, Aimee “her” story, then this prompt came through and I said, “Well…that would be Aimee’s story, of course!”

All the cats that have shared my life were adopted in some way: whether they turned up on the doorstep like my first cat, Breeze, or “formally” adopted like my present cats, Aimee and Zoee. In every situation, I felt an instant bond with them, that it was somehow meant to be. But with Aimee, I would have to say, I fell in love.

I love looking at the cats for adoption every time I visit PetSmart; I love to read their stories and simply look at them. On one of our trips my husband and I thought we saw the double for the wonderful cat we knew we were going to lose soon (you can read about Simone here). She looked just like our baby from behind, but when she turned around, she had a completely different face. We thought her beautiful, but we weren’t ready to adopt yet.  After a  few more visits to the store, the beautiful calico was gone.

A couple of months later, when we knew we were going to lose our beloved Simone any day, we went to the local PetSmart to look at the cats for adoption to cheer ourselves up. We were amazed to find the beautiful calico back! We read the notes on her…she had been to a foster home because she had an allergy to the cat litter being used in the shelter and had developed red eyes that made her unadoptable. But she was back with a note that she needed special cat litter. That didn’t bother us.

We had decided though, that this time we would get two cats. We had somewhere to be, so we decided to come back the next day.

As we walked across the store to the adoption area the next day, I saw her. The cutest tiger kitten I had ever seen (in my opinion of course). I exclaimed out loud, “Look at the little tiger!” The moment I saw her, I knew I had to have her in my life. The final test was for us each to hold the two cats and make sure they liked us. They were both loving and purred when each of us held them, so we filled out the adoption papers.

Turns out, someone else asked for our little tiger an hour after we filled out the papers. When we came back to get the cats a couple of days later, the people were there trying to convince us to take another cat. Nope…it was love at first sight…something about the big ears and the black nose…

Happy Kitties

Happy Kitties

Though ABANDONED  was the topic of the Weekly PHOTO Challenge, I thought it was a good topic for my writing blog.

When I was a child, we never had to buy pets; they just showed up. Strays and abandoned cats and dogs seemed to see an invisible sign on our door that said, “welcome.”  Some stayed with us, some were found homes elsewhere, and some unfortunately did not survive the crazy busy street we lived on. I have written previously about my cat, Breeze, who just showed up one cold November morning and after some manipulation on the part of my brother and I, in cahoots with my father, became part of the family.

But today I wanted to write about a couple of abandoned dogs that were found: Trash and Freebie. I think their names tell you how they were acquired. 🙂

boy with puppy


Please excuse the quality of this scanned photo; it’s quite old and the only photo I could find of a dog who didn’t live with us for very long.  The little boy in the picture is my youngest brother.

My father worked at the town dump and recycling center for a time between jobs. One day he noticed that one of the trash bags dropped off seemed to be moving and making a noise. With further investigation, he found an adorable puppy. The puppy came home with him that night, and my father dubbed her, “Trash.” Not a particularly flattering name, but believe me, my father had a heart of gold and wasn’t trying to give the puppy psychological problems. Unfortunately at the time we already two dogs and a cat, too many children and not a lot of money. My mother said Trash couldn’t stay. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for my father to find “Trash” a home with someone down the street. I never knew what her new name became or saw her again, but I was happy that she was saved and had a home.

Years later my father found another puppy that he dubbed with an unequally unflattering name who ended up living with our family and becoming a beloved pet. Freebie’s story began this way: my father was working temporarily out in California; my mother and younger brothers were living out there with him. One day my father came across a German Shepherd-mix puppy tied to a pole on a street in California. The dog was thin, but friendly. My father checked around; no one knew who she belonged to or where she came from. As my parents and brother were due to drive back home to Massachusetts within a week and they couldn’t find her owner, they decided to take the puppy with them. My father’s thinking was that someone who would leave her tied to a pole on a hot day in the city didn’t deserve her.


And so she was dubbed “Freebie” and traveled across the country from California to Massachusetts. She initially was my brother’s dog, but as he was in his late teens, he soon moved out, unable to take Freebie with him. But he still paid for her food and visited with her. Freebie contracted heartworm when she was only 3 years old, but my brother, managed to scrape up a few hundred dollars to save her life.

Meanwhile she had become very attached to my father. My father would go for walks on the acres of land that he owned at the time and be gone for a while, but my mother knew how to get my father to come home. She would say, “Freebie, where’s Earl?” Then she would let Freebie out to go and find my father. Whenever she showed up, he knew it was time to go home.

{February 10, 2014}   One Lucky Cat…That’s Me

calico cat

I got a wonderful gift yesterday; I felt like my cat Zoee, all warm and happy.

The author of one of my favorite web sites: The Creative Cat held a giveaway for her blogging anniversary and I won! I’m very excited about it and wanted to share it with all of you. If I could reblog it, I would, but not sure how so I will just link to it here.

If you aren’t familiar with The Creative Cat and you love cats, check it out. Bernadette is a cat rescuer, artist, photographer and poet. I have the utmost admiration for her and enjoy her daily blogs of sketches, pictures and stories of her cats, so this is a wonderful gift for me.

It definitely made my week!

{December 25, 2012}   Home-made Gifts are Best

So…you know what they say…home-made gifts are most appreciated. Here’s the store-bought gift.

cat toy


And here’s the home-made gift: some pieces of leftover foil paper taped to a wine cork.

Home-made cat toy


Guess which gift is more popular?

cat with toy


Merry Christmas!!

{November 7, 2012}   Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pets

I don’t need much encouragement to post pictures of my pets, but this week I have a good excuse. One of the blogs I follow, Cee’s Life Photography has a photo challenge on pets this week!

I just posted photos of my old cat Simone in response to Jake’s Sunday Post Challenge: Wonderful. So now Zoee and Aimee get their turn. When they were kittens they were always together.

Zoee and Aimee as kittens

Zoee and Aimee as kittens

Now that they are older, they don’t hang out together as much so I take more pictures of them alone. I love Zoee’s goatee.


Aimee is a mixture of silver tabby and brown tabby. I love her brown nose.


I recognize that some people have a problem with animals in public places, either because they have allergies or they just don’t like animals. If you are one of those people, read no further. I’m not going to talk about that side of the issue; I have loved animals my whole life and can’t imagine not being around them. A house is not a home without a pet.

My mother gave me the book, “Dewey” for Christmas in 2009; I just now finished reading it. That Christmas was just a couple of months after we lost our beloved 20-year-old cat, and I just wasn’t up to reading it at the time. I felt like I had just lost the most “special” cat in the world — how could there be another?

After gaining some perspective (as well as adding two 3-year-old kitties to our family), I picked up the book and really enjoyed it. I wish I had had the opportunity to visit that library while Dewey was there. It got me thinking about places I have visited with resident cats. The first place that came to mind was  The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. When my husband and I checked in, a resident cat and dog greeted us — a great first impression for me. What we didn’t know was that Morris the cat had lived thereThere was a portrait in the lobby with a poem about Morris and a grave on the grounds.  We were told that most of the cats in Eureka Springs were related to Morris (I guess he was a real “Tom”). The bed we slept in was uncomfortable, and I didn’t get much sleep due to the ghost tours, but the resident cat and dog spent time with me as I sat in the lobby and helped me feel comfortable there.

The other place I remembered was an inn in NH that we stayed at several times: The Notchland Inn. During our first visit, it was run by a husband and wife: she was a fabulous cook and he was the tour guide/entertainment/social director. They had a golden retriever that would greet the guests, as well as llamas and other animals on the grounds. The second and third time we stayed there it was run by two men. Food still great…but I don’t remember the animals.

Yet another place I stayed with a resident cat was the Dew Drop Inn in South Paris, Maine. My husband was in town on business and the business suggested the place. I was the only person staying there at the time. The owner, an elderly woman, sat with me while I had a cup of tea and told me a wonderful story about how she adopted in the calico cat in residence from a Wal-Mart parking lot. They also had a cow that took a shine to my husband!

I’ve never forgotten any of these places, not only because they were interesting or lovely places to stay, but because of the resident pets that made me feel at home.

I’m not a crazy cat lady or a cat collector (my husband and I have two cats – a reasonable number), but I feel like I can’t live without them. The last time I was without a cat for any period of time was when I was 12-13, when my cat Breeze was hit by a car, and I was so distraught my parents made me wait a year to get another.  When I was older and between apartments, I slept in the motor home in my parents’ driveway rather than get an apartment where I couldn’t have my cat. I was lucky to have that luxury. Some people have no choice but to be cat-less for a period of time.

Thus, I can understand the logic of a “cat cafe” in Japan, although I didn’t know they existed until I saw the article the other day. The idea of people stopping for a drink on the way home from work and paying to play with cats as a way of relaxing makes perfect sense to me (and cats and tea just go together, don’t they?). In a country where the apartments are very small and pets are generally prohibited, what is a cat lover to do?

{February 11, 2012}   Inexpensive Tips for Happy Kitties

Like most pet owners, I enjoy spoiling my kitties. They have countless toys, several beds and a kitty tower. Every time I go to the pet store I am tempted to buy them something else they don’t need. I have discovered two things they really like that are relatively inexpensive, and I thought I would share it with other pet owners.

I know there are some cats that like “free” stuff like paper bags or bread ties; mine are not that easy. I have spent countless dollars on toys that they have played with once or twice, which then end up in their “toy box” covered with dust.

Through trial and error, my husband and I discovered that their favorite toy is silk string. We bought a 3-pack at a craft store for under $4.00; it is supposed to be for jewelry-making. The kitties seem to like the feel of the string between their toes and in their mouths. They go crazy when we take it out!! Be sure to tie knots in the ends of the string to keep it from fraying completely and don’t leave the string around when you are not home to supervise.

My kitties also love flannel and polartec material for bedding. The large chain pet stores charge $10 to $20 for animal blankets. Some people use old towels; animal shelters are always looking for those. My mother used to get old baby blankets at the local Thrift stores for her dachshunds, which is fairly inexpensive, but I have found it cheaper to go to the fabric store and get remnants for less than $2. The kitties love the material. When we bought our cat “tree” they didn’t use it until I put a piece of flannel on the top platform. Now one of the kitties sleeps there all the time!

Lovin' my flannel blanket

{April 4, 2011}   The HD Difference


We recently upgraded our dish to receive the HD signal.  We had a free trial and loved High Definition TV: we found the vibrancy of the colors and ability to see textures were addictive.  We could almost watch anything and not be bored.  

Unfortunately someone in our household did not like it at all! Our cat Aimee, who is very nervous and skittish by nature, all of a sudden wouldn’t lie on our laps or flop on the floor while we were watching TV. We saw her regarding the TV with fear and trepidation just passing through the room.  This was especially when the weather was on: she thought the weatherman was in the room!

Speaking of the HD difference, this was the first time we got to watch the Red Sox Opening Day on HD TV.  We were sitting in our living room on a gray windy day with rain/snow falling outside and the Red Sox were in Texas, where it was warm and sunny.  I almost felt as if I could feel the warmth coming off the screen; I wanted to walk through the screen like it was a doorway; I could be getting off a plane there.

 The grass was so green and the Rangers shirts were so red.  I was reminded of the first time I got to see Fenway Park in person.  I remember walking up the ramp and being struck by the colors of the park — the grass seemed to be Disney green, like a dream world.  HD felt like that, unfortunately, on this Opening Day in Texas I was brought back to reality pretty quickly with a Red Sox loss.

Nevertheless, I’m finding myself loving HD.  I’m sure Aimee will too…eventually.

{March 28, 2011}   A New Way to Grow Seedlings

Yes, those are seedlings in the cage. No, we aren’t growing dangerous plants and they didn’t misbehave. We aren’t imprisoning them; we’re protecting them.  A cage can work both ways.

Last year we discovered that our cats are big bad bullies for little seedlings.  They roll on them, squish them, eat them, and bat at them.  Last year a lot of seedlings succumbed and gave up.  We scolded the cats and tried to convince them to leave the plants alone, but as any cat owner knows, cats do what they want.

So this was my husband’s solution for this year and I thought it was a brilliant, albeit, funny one.  The cats can hang around the cage as much as they want, they can’t get to the plants.  The plants get light and they are easy to water.

I’m sure the cats are just as glad they still have the run of the house and they aren’t the ones in the cage!

et cetera
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