The Scratching Post!, or a Great Big Blog Post for the Cats In Our Lives

Well, we're down a porch baby.  Three feral kittens are still making a home on our front porch, but the little tortoiseshell decided she liked us too much to stay outside.  Of course, I couldn't let her roam the house yet, exposing my old girls, Katie and Jenny, to whatever outside kitty germs she might have.  So we wrapped her in an old receiving blanket yesterday, and Big Sis held her as I drove to the Cat Hospital.  Mabel has a foul stench - I mean, she stinks to high heaven - and I noticed she hadn't been eating with her brothers and sister lately.  Sure enough, besides the expected case of roundworm and fleas, Miss Mabel has a nasty protozoan infection.  It's highly contagious to other cats, so she is being quarantined in one of my grandma's bathrooms, while she undergoes three weeks of drug treatments.  The good news is that she was still purring during and after the vet visit, and she took her first dose of medicine like a champ!

We'll go visit her every day, while we wait for her to get well.  Meanwhile, I think I'm going to call a local trap and release cat program regarding the other three.  They aren't as friendly as Mabel, and I just don't know what to do.  All because we tried to help our late neighbor's cat - and he doesn't even come to our house anymore!

We get to delay introducing a kitten to Katie and Jenny.  Poor old things.  They will be 15 and 14 this year, and I don't think either one is going to take too kindly to a new kitty.  In fact, I didn't want another pet yet.  My idea was to allow our kitty girls to live out the rest of their lives being pampered and adored.  Then when they died, I wanted to get a dog.  But we aren't really adopting Mabel - Mabel adopted us.  She needed help, and she was smart enough to figure out we could help her.  Let's hope she doesn't change her mind once she meets the boss ladies of the house.

Mr. B and Katie in 2001, soon after we started dating.  She was his baby.
Me with Jenny, 2001.  We adopted her in October of that year.

So to celebrate our new addition - even if she cannot live with us yet - I thought I'd celebrate the felines today!  Sorry, dog people.  (The joke?  Although my mom and her sister come dangerously close to real-life Crazy Cat Ladydom - they'll admit it, too - I'm more of a dog person myself.  I just haven't had one of my own in a long time.)

Top Row: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag.  Coward-McCann, 1928; current edition published by Puffin, 2006.   I Don't Want a Cool Cat by Emma Dodd. Little, Brown, 2010.   Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. HarperCollins, 2004.   Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. Roaring Brook Press, 2005.  
Second Row: Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner. Dutton Juvenile, 2003.  The Grannyman by Judy Schachner. Puffin, 2003.
Third Row:  The Shy Little Kitten (Little Golden Book) by Cathleen Schurr, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren. Simon & Schuster, 1946; current edition published by Golden Books, 1999.  Hello Kitty Friendship Doodles by Sanrio. Running Press Books, 2011.  Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean. HarperCollins, 2010.  Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone. Houghton Mifflin, 1986; new edition, 2011.
Bottom Row:  Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.  (See Wikipedia for other editions.)  There Are No Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz. Candlewick, 2010.   Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton.  HarperCollins, 2008.  There Are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz. Candlewick, 2008.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg, but these are some of my favorite characters and stories involving cats in book form.  And it's by no means a complete list of my own favorites:  I left out this out-of-print gem and managed to leave off The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back!  Sacrilege!  Sleep deprivation!

And yes, I included one Hello Kitty activity book title in my list.  Because Hello Kitty is tops as far as fictional felines, is she not?  I mean, I know Heathcliff and Garfield may have inspired TV shows, books, and novelty telephones, but you can do an entire kitchen in Hello Kitty!  (And if you like Hello Kitty, check out Musti, a little Flemish cartoon cat created in 1969.  Musti cartoons dubbed in English were on Pinwheelback in the '80s.) Little Sis used to love watching Hello Kitty's Furrytale Theater on Netflix.  She has one DVD to tide her over, but she doesn't watch it as often now.  She used to do a hilarious Catnip impersonation, too.

My husband made sure she discovered the 1984 Heathcliff series on Netflix.  I can't hear the theme song without picturing my childhood babysitter's basement and her squishy brown sofa.

And for the record, I loved Garfield as a kiddo.  I remember Here Comes Garfield! airing for the first time when I was in kindergarten.  I loved the Christmas special and the Garfield and Friends TV series.  The comic strip?  Meh.  I think this is much funnier. And what about cats in the movies?  I admit, my favorite kitties in the movies are by Disney.  One of my favorite movies ever is The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964).

And for Hayley Mills fans, there is That Darn Cat! (1965).

When I was little, I enjoyed Saturday afternoon showings of The Cat from Outer Space (1978).

But of course, the most purr-fect kitty flick Disney put out starred a kitty named Duchess, her three darling kittens, and Abraham deLacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley the Alley Cat.  (Yup, that was from memory.  I'm a geek, you know.)  The Aristocats (1970), by the way, recently became available on Netflix streaming.  Gotta love Scatman Crothers and Phil Harris.   (Oh, and go listen to this!)

Had enough yet?  Hey, I'm done for the week with this post, and I haven't had a chance to read anything new to tell you about.  How about some cartoons?  You can find some of my favorites here, and here, and here. And I love to sing this song to my daughters.  And while they know the song better through Laurie Berkner, here's a fun blast-from-the-past rendition of "The Cat Came Back."

Oh, so much cat goodness!  The cat's meow!  The cat's pajamas!  Like, this paper plate Halloween craft is one of my favorite cat crafts for kids ever.  And Kit Kat Clocks!  Oh my goodness, they are a post unto themselves.  Mine doesn't work anymore, unfortunately, but I still love them.  And check out this post on Apartment Therapy - whoa!  I could keep going, because more and more cat stuff I love keeps popping into my head.  It's terrible.  And I'm writing this very, very late.  I think I'm a little loopy.  This could have been several posts, but it's the end of the week, and I got nothin' left.

Merry Weekend!  Happy Reading!  Meow! (Meow, meow, meow, meow.  Meow, meow, meow, meow...) And please, chime in with your own feline favorites?  Hate cats?  Tell us why!

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  1. You know I LOVE LOVE LOVE cats! We also have a dog (that had to have $1000 surgery in December... ouch) and a sugar glider, who is very old, and a scary huge rabbit, and two goldfish... oh how the pet have taken over our lives! I feel so bad for my outside kitties in this bitter weather we've been having. But with two insiders I just can't bring anymore in. And all our outside felines are seasoned adult kitties who've done winter before, so I know they'll survive. Mabel is lucky to have you guys! good luck!

    1. If I lived out in the country, we would probably be overrun with pets, but in our tiny city house, I considered two cats enough. Miss Mabel is doing well, though! I had an update from my grandmother - she's using the litter box! No messes outside the box! Not bad for a 5-month-old kitten who had never seen a litter box before last night.

      A sugar glider??? How cool! Someday, I want a hedgehog. That's my dream small pet. ;o)

  2. Wow this post was the cat's pajamas! Sounds like a lot of work taking care of all those cats! I LOVE Skippyjon Jones and The Aristocats.

    1. Tee-hee, thanks! I got a bit carried away, but I was having fun. Skippyjon Jones and The Aristocats are two of my favorites, too.

  3. GIRLFRIEND!!!!!!!!!!! you have about 5 posts worth of stuff here. This is AMAZING. I'm going to put it on next weeks Cool List and call it the BESTEST KITTY BOOK/VIDEO/EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT CATS post. and I'm pinning. Love the booklist and all the video suggesttions! You rock!!!

    1. I was up a little too late last night...

      I'd bookmarked some stuff, and had built the post around those things, but kept thinking of new things to add. Adrenaline had kicked in. I was running on fumes. ;o) Happy Birthday to you, and thank you! xxxooo

  4. Skippyjon! I will admit to buying everyone I know who has kids a Skippyjon book and plush. I can't tell Paul about the three cats, because he would probably insist on showing up at your house and bringing all three of them home. Unfortunately, we're not supposed to have any pets in our duplex. :-(

    1. Aww, that's too bad. We were apartment-dwellers our first 2 years together. We used to live in the apartments at 1st and Hillside, and they were pretty cool with us. But we went from apartment to a rental house, then we bought our house, which has limited space for a litter box, despite being a larger house. (Our old house had an unfinished basement - guess where the litter box went?)

      Skippyjon is a giggle. Trying to read him out loud to a large group of children? Intimidating!

  5. We had a cat adopt us this summer also. Our cat of 11 years had passed and we were looking forward to being pet-free for a bit and what do you know--a cat found us. So we took him to the vet, got him checked out, cleaned up, , and now he lives inside with us. The girls adore him, so I guess it is for the best. :) Glad your little kitty can be treated and taken care of. Hope the old kitties are nice to her! Love all your cat book picks--we very much love a funny old book called No kiss for Mother by Tomi Ungerer. Makes us laugh so much every time we read it. Happy weekend!

    1. Oh, I LOVE Tomi Ungerer, but I haven't read that one yet! Thanks for reminding me of it. I'm glad everything has worked out with your new cat! Happy weekend to you as well.

  6. Replies
    1. It's so much, isn't it? We love There Are No Cats in This Book, too. Very clever.


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