135 Seconds of Awesome

Lately I have been getting to spend a lot of time with my favorite guy, my nephew Thomas.  Not only am I his favorite aunt, I am now also his favorite babysitter 😉

Thomas is growing like a weed and absorbing everything around him like a sponge!  It is amazing to watch him experience all types of new things, process them, and figure out how to repeat or copy them.  He is even starting to get the hang of repeating things he hears.

I am admittedly biased, but Thomas is really rather awesome.  Recently, I even captured some of that awesomeness on video!  Here are the three best and most recent videos of him:

In this first one he practices saying “uh oh,” “get down,” and “cuckoo” 😀


In the next one I managed to distract him from the iPad for a minute to get him to copy me 😛


And this last one is of his first, hands-on experience with a puddle 😉


I suspect that this videos will continue to make me smile for a very long time, but I can’t wait to capture even more videographic evidence of how amazing and awesome he is 😉


Eight Years of Gray

“People that don’t like cats haven’t met the right one yet.”

~ Deborah A. Edwards

Eight years ago I met “the one” when Chris and I went looking from a friend for Ash, after we moved into our first apartment together.  We went to Petsmart to look at St. Francis Society’s adoptable cats and agreed that we wanted a cat that wasn’t gray since we already had a gray cat, Ash.  As luck would have it though, within moments of walking into the adoption center we knew we wanted the cute gray cat who was belly up and purring away in his cage.  According to card on his cage his foster family had named him “Squirt” because he was a feisty little squirt when he was captured with his feral mom during a spay day event.

Needless to say, we brought him home the next day.  Here is the first picture I have of him:

You can tell he was a still a bit freaked out about his new home there.  He settled in quickly though!

After he was settled in I did try to find a name that was a bit more dignified than Squirt.  In fact, I had settled on the name Salem, but it just wouldn’t stick.  Squirt just suited him. 😛

Over the years, a few of Squirt personality traits have become very apparent (and endearing!).  He is shy at first, but very curious.  He is a scientist at heart and loves to experiment with gravity.  Despite seeming to be the most nervous of the cats, he is actually the most easy going when it comes to change.  He is generally well behaved and very polite and he has a strong paternal streak to his personality… He keeps an eye on everyone and acts as the father figure to the young’uns, even if he can’t boss them around like he did when they were little. (Photographic evidence here and here 😉 )

Here is a cute story so that you can get a sense of Squirt’s personality:  One day, not too long after Titus decided to adopt us as his loyal subjects, I decided to give him his first bath.  I filled the tub, grabbed Ty, and shut him in the bathroom with me to keep things contained.  As soon as I lowered Titus into the bath he started screaming protesting.  I wasn’t too surprised that Titus was upset about his bath.  What did surprise me though was the indignant meowing coming from outside the bathroom door.  I swear that Squirt was trying to tell me to be nice to his new buddy and to let him in so he could make sure Titus was okay.

He doesn’t just keep an eye on the other cats either.. He also keeps an eye on Chris and I as well.  Here is a picture of him supervising my online activities from his perch on my leg:

Even after all these years, I still think Squirt is the cutest cat ever.  He also has such pretty green eyes!

I really can’t imagine life with out my Squirt watching over me. 😀

Happy Gotcha Day Squirt!

¡Viva la Revolución!

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”

~ Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

For me, 2011 has been the year of post-apocalyptic and dystopian future fiction.  I have quickly learned to love this particular genre after a few great novels captured my heart!  Recently I also found out that one of the stories is being made into a movie!  This news made my day and the trailer gave me chills!

The Hunger Games – Official Theatrical Trailer

I cannot wait until March!

If you haven’t heard of The Hunger Games, it is the first novel of a dystopian, science fiction trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  I have heard the books described as fantastic, breathless, compelling, and brutal.  They are all those things and more, and I can’t recommend them enough.  Here’s the blurb from Goodreads.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games books are not the only post-apocalyptic novels I am in love with though!  I am very excited about Jacqueline Carey’s sequel to Santa Olivia and hoping for news of a third book in Maria V. Snyder’s Insider series.  Click on the photos of the book covers below for more information:

I foresee my self re-reading these novels again soon!

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

Buried Treasures

As you can probably tell, recently I have been sorting through all the photos and videos on my computer and I rediscovered some of my “home movies.” 🙂  Most of them aren’t worth much to anyone besides me, but here are two more of Squirt that might be worth watching for my cat lover friends out there:

In this first one Squirt shows off the trick he taught himself.  For some odd reason, for a few months the floor in that particular room was hot lava as far as Squirt was concerned.  I would have to carry him in and, if he did have to touch the floor to get out of the room, he would jump and run like his tail was on fire.  It was very weird, and to this day a mystery.  After a month or two everything went back to normal and he stopped performing this particular trick in favor of simply sauntering out though.

A bit of back story on the next video.. I was attempting to teach myself how to crochet and Squirt thought the yarn that I was working with was just the neatest thing since sliced bread.  Having just recently installed a ceiling fan in our bedroom I came up with the genius idea to tie a piece of yarn to one of the fan blades!

I looks like I am getting to the bottom of the barrel now, but I will have to see what other buried treasures I can find to share with y’all 😀

Exhibits A & B

At this time, I offer into evidence two videos, becoming exhibits A and B…

These videos, captured by our witness, Rori, show proof that rats and cats can in fact coexist peacefully! 😉

Plainly, you can see that the rats weren’t very concerned about Squirt being there.  Squirt was more afraid of the girls than they were of him.  He really just wanted to eat their food!

Then, and now, these videos totally made my day 🙂

The Fear Factor Connection

Approximately ten years ago the show Fear Factor debuted on NBC.  It was a crazy reality show where contestants did some insane (and some really disgusting) stunts to try to win $50,000.  I wasn’t a big fan of the show because most of the food challenges grossed me out, but I can remember getting excited when I saw one challenge that I knew I could complete; one that I would probably volunteer for even if the prize was substantially less than $50,000.  Looking at the pictures of the costumes I made for Ani, Ali, Kati, and Mali got me thinking about that particular challenge again and I found a clip on YouTube. (I am sure to some of you this seems like a really weird connection but you’ll understand in a minute or two 😉 )

( Or watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt_iqD4EATw )

What makes me think I could handle that challenge? Well… Honestly, I just can’t imagine myself being that scared of laying in a box full of these guys gals:

Although I will admit that I would probably spend the whole challenge giggling and shrieking.. I am very ticklish and all those whiskers would likely end up in some sensitive spots!

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday was Titus’ Gotcha Day.  Today I am thankful for the countless laughs and smiles that he has brought into my life.  He may be an Emperor, but sometimes he is also a bit of a clown.  Here are some videos so that you can see what I am talking about:

This one is from when he was a baby.  Even my rats thought he was crazy 😉

(Or view at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiBFuRaWPW8)

The next one shows that he didn’t change much in the following couple of years.  If you turn up the volume you can even hear him growling at his toy! 🙂

(Or view at http://www.flickr.com/photos/aniali/3703346042/in/set-72157627539061428/)

The Reign of Titus

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”

~ Terry Pratchett

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus ruled the Roman Empire from June of 79 AD to September of 81 AD.  He is known for laying siege to and destroying the city and Temple of Jerusalem, completing the Colosseum, and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD and a fire in Rome in 80 AD.  After his death in 81 AD he was even deified, or “raised to godlike stature” by the Roman Senate.

Then, one fateful night in October of 2007, Titus’ second reign began when he walked up to me in the parking lot at work and demanded my servitude.

Here is the first picture I got of him snoozing on my lap his new throne.  He was a bit tired from ordering everyone around and demanding obedience and kitten food.

You can see here that Squirt quickly became Titus’ favorite attendant.

Titus could be quite a tyrant at times, but he also liked to spend time perfecting his Superman pose.

Sometimes the stress of ruling his empire would get to him though, and he would become a bit “emo.”

Here he is practicing his Superman pose (and his smug look) some more on his favorite throne at the time.

Being an emperor isn’t all fun and games.  Titus must keep a vigilant eye on him empire!

Of course, sometimes it really is all fun and games though! 😉

One of the perks of being an emperor is being able to go wherever you please and do whatever you want.

All in all I think Titus is rather enjoying his second reign!

In fact, today marks the fourth anniversary of the second reign of Titus.  Long live Emperor Titus!

Happy Gotcha Day Titus McGee!

Gotcha Pippi!

A little over a year ago I walked into the break room at work and was confronted with this:

She was not a very happy camper and she didn’t hesitate to let me know either!  Her food bowl was empty and she was screaming singing for her supper.  She about broke my heart!

Come to find out she had ringworm and was waiting for a foster family to come pick her up and treat her.  They never showed up though and within a few days I had fallen head over heels.  After a week of nobody coming to get her, I offered to take her and just treat the ringworm myself.  I had already started calling her Pippi because she was such a little pip squeak compared to my guys at home. (I found out later that her original foster family had called her Yolandi.  Pippi suits her much better!)

On September 18th, 2010 she came home with me.  She was probably about 4 or 5 months old at the time.  She had about a half-dozen ringworm lesions and had to be isolated from the other cats, so I put her in one of our spare bedrooms and spent all my spare time in there trying to keep her amused.

This is one of the first pictures of her once I brought her home.  You can see the bald spots above her eyes from the ringworm.  It took almost 8 weeks of isolation and treatment to get her ringworm free.  It was hard on me to keep her in isolation because she is such a lovebug and did not like being by herself at all!  Oh how she would cry.  On the bright side, it gave her and I a lot of time to bond and I am grateful for that.

Eventually though, the day finally came when the vet said that she could be released into general population!

This is one of the first times Squirt and Pippi came face to face after her release.  Introductions were a bit of a slow process, and it didn’t go quite as well as I would’ve liked at first!

No matter how much anyone hissed or growled at her though, she was never scared and always happy and wanting to play.  Eventually the boys just couldn’t be bothered to be mean to her anymore.  Now they are all one big, mostly happy, family. 🙂

In the last year, not much has changed really.  Pippi is still as happy and hyper as ever.  She is also still my little lovebug.  There is no doubt her and I were meant to be together!

Happy Gotcha Day, Pippi Marie!