Cat Bow Tie

December 27, 2010

I made an Xmas bow tie for Helder’s mom’s cat.
My cats were forced pleased to model it first.

Mojo. So majestic.

Juno. So annoyed.

Then I wrapped it up and gave it to the Senhora and my lil’ buddy Fausty, who chewed on it while being told in Portuguese how pretty he looked.

It’s felt, with a hair-elastic-and-button closure.

I am pleased with it, and am now planning an entire line of catcessories: a long necktie, a priest collar, a peter pan collar, maybe a Shakespearean ruffly thing. Stay tuned for more mortified cats special occasions.

I did this once before but obviously cats look better in tuxedoes than business suits. What am I, a farmer?


Gritty feelings

April 28, 2010

From time to time (read: all the time), I like to assert that I am not a crazy cat lady. I’m not, you guys.

I mean, sure, I have a cat.


Well, two cats. One of whom routinely sleeps in my bed, under the duvet like an adorable little person.


And I mean, sure, my cats have more hairbrushes than I do.

All of my hairbrushes.

Some of my cats\’ hairbrushes.

But I don’t have, like, cat kitsch all around the apartment or anything.

My cat kitsch is just in a few normal places, like shelves and on the fridge and stuck to the sides of my speakers and every other item in the apartment.

Totally rational appreciation of cats over here. And it’s a mutual appreciation.

Obviously, there is a lot of shared understanding and admiration in this inter-species relationship. You can tell by their cat expressions.

Anyway, recently a promotion company contacted me and offered to give me some free cat stuff, including cat litter, if I agreed to talk about my feelings for that cat litter on this blog. When promotion companies have your blog on their cat lady list, well, you just have to start coming to terms with the notion that you may be a crazier cat lady than you thought.

Also, I did not even realize that I might be the kind of person who might have feelings about cat litter. Is that even a kind of person?

Let’s delve into this issue, and find out!

Maxx Scoop cat litter comes in a variety called “Small Spaces”, which, considering the fact that my entire apartment is about the same size as a grand piano, sounds like it’s right up my exceedingly narrow alley.

But none of the stores in my neighbourhood seem to be stocking that stuff yet, so I settled for “Multi-Cat” formula. Because I am a person who has multiple cats, and maybe even feelings about those cats’ cat litter. We’ll see.

Cat litter is starting to not sound like a real word any more. Cat litter. Cat litter. Clap glitter.

What do I usually look for in a cat litter, you ask? (Thanks for asking).

Well, my cats have an amazing robotic dervish of a litterbox, which was a present from some friends who like me much more than I deserve. Because it self-scoops, that means I shouldn’t have to clean it very often (right?).

Usually my extremely discerning taste in cat litter sends me right to a big-box store to pick up whatever generic brand is on sale, which I buy by the shipping flat and stack in my hallway (CLASSY).

This week, however, my amazing robotic litterbox has been filled with Maxx Scoop Multi-Cat.

Maxximum Mojo is stoked.

You guys, this is totally the cat litter of champions.

And it comes in these sturdy little buckets that you can totally use for, you know, stuff!

(I might fill my buckets with cats, is that wrong?)

So. In conclusion, do I have feelings about this cat litter? You betcha.
Good feelings. Clumping, non-disgusting feelings. Absorbent feelings. Multi-cat feelings.
Feelings… to the Maxx.

Guest Post: By Mojo

June 3, 2009

Time for a new guest post! This one comes courtesy of my cat, Mojo.

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The author

The author

– Mojo is a 7 year old Maine Coon (or possibly Siberian) cat who lives in Toronto.

Old English Mastiff: I’m agog at this dog

May 23, 2009

Last week Alison and I watched a baseball game in a Toronto park, and a guy wandered past with THE. BIGGEST. DOG. I. HAVE. EVER. SEEN.

This dog was literally as large as a juvenile lion, a fact I breathlessly reported to Scott and of which he was deeply skeptical. However, I have actually petted a juvenile lion (that’s what happens when you work in kids’ television for 6 years, you get to touch lots of weird animals, including terrifyingly huge juvenile lions, which by the way are hella allergenic. And also one time a sheep pees on your foot on live TV). So I think I should know.

This dog was as tall as a Great Dane and as thick as a Rottweiler. It had a short muzzle on a huge face and its head was pretty much the size of a basketball. It was also very docile, plodding along slowly and sniffting at things. It was kind of like a Chinese dragon puppet from a parade, and kind of like a golden-haired buffalo. The dude who was walking this enormity was clearly pretty accustomed to all the attention and was happy to tell us his dog’s breed: Old English Mastiff.

I did some google searching so I could share with you this awesomeness. Most English Mastiffs you’ll see on the Interwebs are slender gazelles in comparison to our boy from last Tuesday. They basically just look like tall Rotties.

Dakota here is not representative of her breed.

Dakota here is not representative of her breed.

I know you’re all like BIG WHUP. But you know what? IT WAS A BIG WHUP. Assuming of course that by “whup” you mean “dog”, and by “big” you mean “unbelievably huge”.

The man in this photo weighs 270 lbs.

The man in this photo weighs 270 lbs.

This dog's weight was recorded as 286 lbs, but the owner thinks his actual weight is probably quite a bit more, since "his butt wouldn't fit on the scale"

This dog's weight was recorded as 286 lbs, but the owner thinks his actual weight is probably quite a bit more, since 'his butt wouldn't fit on the scale'

I would not be surprised if the woman in this photo is 6 feet tall.

I would not be surprised if the woman in this photo is 6 feet tall.

And imagine you’re a common burglar and you hop a fence into the yard containing this big boy:

Note that the head and body of this dog are the same thickness.  It's like a pommel horse with pointy parts at both ends.

Note that the head and body of this dog are the same thickness. It's like a pommel horse with pointy parts at both ends.

Sad day for the thief: although dogs of this breed are usually quite laid-back, they were originally bred as guard dogs. Cromwell the dog got to keep the intruder’s shirt, and the thief sped away topless (and probably a little damper in the pants area than he liked to be).

The average weight for an English Mastiff is about 225 lbs… but the Guiness record for Largest Dog Ever is held by an 8-year old male English Mastiff who was named Zorba, who weighed 345 lbs, and was 8″3′ from nose to tail. Just to give you a sense of scale, basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is 7″1′ tall and weighs 325 lbs.

So yeah. Old English Mastiffs. Niiiice doggie.

Momentous occasion

May 14, 2009

A few months ago I got a new cat, a tiny brunette with a bitey personality, who’d had kittens (already adopted) when she was only a year old. When you get a small brown-haired knocked-up teen mom with an attitude problem, you name her Juno, and that is what I did. She sure was a pretty little match for Mojo.

Mojo dans une paper bag

Mojo dans une paper bag

Juno dans une bowl

Juno dans une bowl

So far all these two have done is argue, give each other the stink-eye, and gallop around the apartment, swiping at each other’s faces. But today I look over and what do I see?

In my books this counts as a snugglin'.

In my books this counts as a snugglin'.

AMAZING. Of their own volition, these two have rarely been within 2 feet of each other.

'What's she squee-ing about?'  'Dunno, probly something dumb.'

'What's she squee-ing about?' 'Dunno, probly something dumb.'

Because honestly, what is the point of multiple animals if they don’t snuggle? I could not be happier.

Star Trek Kittehs

Star Trek Kittehs


April 29, 2009

My downstairs neighbours usually aren’t “cat people” (by which I mean that at least one of them is abjectly terrified of cats). But they aren’t “mouse people” times a hundred, which is approximately how many mice we could hear stampeding around behind their fridge. Enter Mojo.

Now Mojo is not very good at catching mice. One time he found one and batted it around for a bit. Eventually he lost sight of the mouse and I watched him sit there, confused, peering all over the room hoping to spot the errant rodent. Which was, at that very moment, hiding between Mojo’s own front paws. Yeah, directly below his quivering nostrils. So much for cats being the perfect predators.

All this to say that my hopes were not high, but I like to help a neighbour in need, so I opened my apartment door and let the little shaggy bear loose in the house. (Juno, my more cautious female cat, wanted no part of the action and refused to leave her sunbeam.)

About a half-hour later, I heard him trotting back up both flights of stairs, making a strange strangled mrrowling noise. There was something in his mouth, and he’d brought it up all 30 stairs to show me.

Fig. 1: He was acting all nonchalant but his little heart was filled with pride.

Fig. 1: He was acting all nonchalant but his little heart was filled with pride.

Figure 1 depicts the little guy finally doing what he was born to do. Scare mice to death? In the back of my closet, like he did in my old apartment, so they basically liquefied over the long weekend and stunk up the whole house? Nope, not any more: this was a perfect kill, its little body limp and barely even bloodied, one eye popped out of existence, the other staring blankly into eternity. I praised the kitteh extravagantly and delicately disposed of his prey when he wasn’t looking. Soon enough he wandered back downstairs, and an hour later, heralded by more of the weird gargling mmmmrrrllling, he was back.

Kill by Mojo.  Napkin by Stamper.

Kill by Mojo. Napkin by Stamper.

Several hours later, he outdid himself and chased yet one more mouselet out into the open. My downstairs neighbour, the one who’s animal-phobic, was home alone when Mojo found mouse #3, and with nobody to rely on except himself, he experienced an epic moment of truth and managed to trap and kill the final mouse independently, in the process conquering his fears of both rodents and felines.

I’m very proud of everybody. And I think today was pretty much the bestest day a cat could ever have.

Fig 3: Tastes like chicken.

Fig 3: Tastes like chicken.

Egg containing a chicken. But which came first?

October 20, 2008

The other day I was half-asleep while Scott made breakfast. Out of nowhere, he said,

“I found something awful in an egg. You wanna see it, or not see it?”

“Are you kidding me? Outta my way.” I haven’t leapt from a bed that fast since the house caught fire last year.

It was a tiny, jelly-bean sized chicken embryo. Heart, blood vessels, and eye were clearly visible.

A quick browse of the interweb makes me think my little Foghorn Leghorn was about 3 days old.

Now some people might have been grossed out by Chicken Little here, but not me. I scientifically removed it from its veiny yolk with a fork and plopped it onto the table, where we could gaze at it in wide-eyed, horrified joy.

I dunno about you, but when I make a meaningful scientific discovery I always like to consult with colleagues, so I called the cat over to investigate. Like any true scientist, the cat collects his data methodically. In this case he used several of his senses to gather qualitative data about our little specimen. He looked at it intently. He sniffed it daintily. He licked it oh-so-gently. And then he swallowed it with a single toss of his fur-covered head, smacked his chops, and looked expectantly in the bowl in case there was another one.

Rating: Tastes like chicken.

By the way, we scrambled the remainder of that egg with three of its siblings, then scattered on some shreds of sharp cheddar, coarsely-ground black pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Science is delicious.