Tag Archives: cats

Day 11 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Last year I had the brilliant idea of carving craft or synthetic pumpkins, instead of real pumpkins. Ultimately, I decided to do this, mainly, because of the bugs. The bugs that a freshly carved pumpkin attracts are awful, always seem to come in full force, and show up almost immediately after I set my pumpkin out on the front porch. It doesn’t matter that the weather’s cooled off, or if I try to spray my pumpkin with some mixture I’ve found on the internet that’s supposed to help keep them fresh. No matter what, within about three days my pumpkin is covered in those little tiny flies and has to be put in the yard waste bin. Ughhh…

Still, I found that carving craft pumpkins was actually pretty convenient. There wasn’t as much of a mess, since the inside of the pumpkin didn’t need to be cleaned out. Plus, using a craft pumpkin has meant that I have reusable decorations. This year, all I had to do was pull out my already carved pumpkins, set them on the porch, and set in a LED tealight candle, and I was done!

As we get closer and closer to Halloween though, I’ve found that I missed doing some type of pumpkin decorating. So, after making the pups’ costumes, I decided to see what I could do with the leftover felt pieces. In the end, I took on the challenge of trying to make a pumpkin out of cut up pieces of felt.

For supplies I stuck to the basics using felt, glue, and scissors. You can use some wire, which can help the fabric maintain shape a little better, but this is optional (you’ll see why later).

I started by criss-crossing two strips of blue felt and gluing them together in the center. Then I took each end, brought them to meet at the top and glued these ends together as well. I added another two strips following the same pattern. This created my first small “pumpkin”. Next, I cut longer strips of green felt and repeated the same previous steps on top of the blue felt. Then, I cut even longer strips out of orange felt, and continued the same process. The point was to kind of mimic a nesting doll, only this would be nesting pumpkins, if you know what I mean. To finish it off, I made a stem and vines out of leftover pieces of green felt, and glued them to the top of the pumpkin.

20191029_200102

My pumpkin turned out cute, in a homemade-craft-kinda way…although I think Binx may already have his own plans for it. Turns out, my pumpkin also doubles as a festive Halloween cat toy, who knew?! (Hence, the reason why the wire is an optional step)

Day 11 2019

Happy Meow-oween!

Day 7 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Things are taking a spooky turn today…

I thought I’d share a scary story all about the day we almost lost Binx.

Now if you didn’t know, Binx is one of our cats, and is a quintessential Halloween cat. (Make sure to check out the post from last year where he was introduced.)Not only is he black, he has a bright orange collar, is named after the cat from Hocus Pocus (you know, just in case that wasn’t obvious already), and we officially adopted him and brought him inside right before Halloween last year – we were a little worried about his safety and wanted to make sure about he was safely inside before the big night. We love him, and while it took some time for him and the other boys (Orion, George, and Shadow) to get used to him, he quickly became an integral part of the family. He loves playing, cuddling, and often enjoys stretching out on his back on the couch.

Yet, he still caused us all the biggest scare we’ve experienced this year!

It was early morning. Monica had left for work, and I was at home getting ready to leave when my mom suddenly ran inside and exclaimed that Binx had run out the front door. He’d run out, and while she tried to catch him, our outside cat, Fluffy, got scared and chased him around the corner of the block (we live on the end of the block, just for reference). Immediately, after telling me what happened, my mom ventured back outside and found him hiding under the abandoned house about a block over from our house.

By this time, Monica had returned home from work to help catch Binx. She tried crawling underneath the house where he was hiding to reach him, but he always seemed to stay just out of reach. We were at a loss for what to do…thinking that we know where our cat is, but not knowing how we were going to get him back. What were we going to do?!

It just so happened (let’s call it a Halloween happenstance) that about two weeks prior my mom had run into an old friend of hers (one she hadn’t talked to or seen in years), and in talking, her friend mentioned that she’s become involved in TNR (trap, neuter, release) of feral cats in her neighborhood. So, we immediately thought that this friend had traps that we could use to get Binx. My mom made the call, and in less than half an hour we had two traps at our disposal.

By this time it was the late morning, and we had located and blocked all of the entrances/exits around the house where Binx was hiding so he couldn’t go anywhere. We had left some water for him, and once we had the traps we set one up at one entrance with some food inside. We were hopefully that it wouldn’t take long to for him to be lured into the trap.

We checked on the trap about an hour later, and found the food was gone, but there was no Binx. It seemed the trap was a little too small, which made it easy for him to reach the food and not set off the trap door. I really can’t describe how upsetting it was to see our attempt foiled. We were all scared out of our minds that Binx wasn’t going to come back, or that he might get hurt. Sure, he used to be an outside, feral cat that we ended up adopting. But, seriously, he’d become such a pampered inside cat, how could he survive being outside again?! How?!

So, we reevaluated our plan. We used the bigger trap, dug out some dirt from the opening into the underneath of the house to fit the trap, and got a can of tuna to put in the back of the trap as a lure. We set it all up, and checked back multiple times throughout the afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, each time we checked on the trap nothing looked like it was touched and Binx was nowhere to be found. Honestly, I was starting to question if he was even under the house still, but we had closed off the other holes, so there was nowhere else he could be. Finally, after one last check on the trap that night, we left the trap and returned home.

Now, I know this story started off scary, but it actually does have a happy ending. Early the next morning, I ventured off to check on the trap with my mom, and lo and behold Binx was there! He wasn’t happy about being stuck in a cage, yet I was so relieved I practically burst into tears. We quickly loaded Binx into the car and took him home. He was a little grumpy (again, being stuck in the trap), but otherwise just fine. I’m also happy to say that after that excursion, he’s never tried to run out the front door again.

20191022_224941

As I write this, Binx is sitting on the couch next to me looking over my shoulder – probably, wanting to make sure that I do justice to his story. Frankly, I’m just glad that he’s here to dictate his story and to celebrate another Halloween with us!

Day 5 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

I thought this year in celebration of Dia de los Muertos, I would take a moment to remember our very first pet. Believe it or not, she wasn’t a cat or a dog. In fact, our very first pet was a black and white rat. Her name was Kristy Dawn, proudly named after my and Monica’s favorite characters from the book series, The Babysitter’s Club. I’m so sad to say that I don’t have a picture of her handy to show here  – this was back before the time of cameras on cell phones, and while I know there are numerous photos of her somewhere, they’re all packed away in a cabinet somewhere :(. I mean, this was back in the day when cameras had film, and the film had to be taken to Walmart to get the pictures developed, and then they were packed in those green or blue sleeves.

Still, Kristy was a sweet rat who loved to roll around the room in her little plastic ball, eat any sweaters (usually Monica’s) that were left even a foot away from her cage (seriously, she could reach anything), and cruise around in our Barbie’s cars. She was patient with us, being our very first pet, both me and Monica we’re still learning what it meant to be good, responsible pet owners. It’s more than simply loving your pets, and giving them all the hugs, pets, and kisses possible. Being a good pet owner is taking care of them – providing the necessities, cleaning up after them, and providing enrichment for them. She was one of a kind, for sure, and definitely prepared us for our futures of being owned by Simon, Rosee, and even more cats.

Plus I always love telling people that my first pet was a rat!

So here’s to Kristy Dawn, and all of our very first pets…they taught us how to love and care for someone other than ourselves, and prepared us well for our current menagerie of pets.

Day 4 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

I’m sure it’s no secret or surprise by now that we love taking pictures of our pets. I mean, really, with adorable faces, penetrating eyes, and silly antics, how am I supposed to resist capturing the moment?

It is fun to create specific moments with our pets. I mean, just check out this picture from Easter earlier this year:

Easter Dogs 2019(1)

However, sometimes the more candid photos are the most memorable. Today I thought I would share some things that I’ve learned in the pursuit of capturing my pets’ cutest moments, especially for the Fall season.

  • Embrace the spontaneous
    • First and foremost, embrace the spontaneous, unplanned, and impromptu moments. The unexpected happens when it’s least expected. Therefore, the cutest and most picturesque moments of our pets will most likely happen at any given time. Maybe it’ll be a shot of Socks helping to decorate the front yard, Simon trying to sneak a piece of candy out of the candy bowl (which was unsuccessful, by the way)- check out last years 13 days of Halloween, or Rosee playing in a pile of leaves while visiting the park down the street during one of our daily walks. Any moment can be capture-worthy. So even if you’re trying to stage the perfect photo shoot, when it comes to photographing our pets, sometimes following their lead and direction is really the best course of action.
    • Day 4 2019
  • Use natural surroundings
    • One of the great things about the Halloween and Fall season is the beautiful natural surroundings that can provide the perfect backdrop to any photo. Of course, the other seasons can do the same, but there’s something about the Fall that I personally favor. Maybe it’s the changing colors of the leaves, the copious amounts of pumpkins (at least at our house there is), or the giant leaf piles that are just to inviting to ignore…there’s always a good background perfect for any photo. Take advantage of the season and go outside and explore…before you know it you may have the cutest photo of you and your pet.

  • Always have phone/camera at the ready
    • Naturally, coming off of the first two points, it is always important to have a camera ready, even if it’s the camera on your phone. Although, let’s face it, most cameras on phones are better than actual cameras these days anyways, and even better, they’re always convenient. I always seems to find myself reaching for my phone to capture one of the cats doing something utterly adorable, or one of the pups in a unique position.
    • 20170808_110144
  • Editing is our friend
    • Editing our photos can definitely be helpful when we’re trying to capture the pawrfect moments, but certain elements (such as lighting) aren’t quite working in our favor. The lighting can be adjusted (usually to help make things brighter), not-so-important elements can be cut or cropped out, and the main figure (in this case cat or dog) can be better aligned so they’re sure to be the center of attention. Play around with what you can do, even if it’s just a few small adjustments, an adorabull picture is sure to be achieved.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the past 3 days of Halloween fun so far!

Day 3 of 13 Days of Halloween

You may have spied in Day 2’s post a picture of a little cat helping us hang Halloween lights out in the front yard. Well, it seems it really wouldn’t be Halloween around here if we weren’t introducing our newest family member. While I know it may seem that we’re introducing a new member of the family practically every year, all I can say is think of the quote by John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Yet it’s always around this time of year that we get adopted by another pet. Even though i often question who really owns who, we’re definitely grateful that they picked us as their humans. And this is definitely the case of a little black and white cat named Socks.

20191015_175450
Socks decorating for Halloween.

Socks was a feral, neighborhood cat that we’ve seen around for a little over a year now. Of course, being adopted by George two years ago, Shadow not long after, and then by Binx last year (all of who are pampered inside cats now), and taking care of Fluffy, it’s habit to set out cat food on our porch. So, it was no surprise that the food attracted other neighborhood cats. Yet, then we met Mr. Socks…who decided that he was going to stick around.

20190610_203122.jpg
Binx, introduced last year, formerly an outside cat.

Believe it or not, Socks officially adopted us after we took him to our vet to get neutered and vaccinated. Once we brought him home after his procedure and released him out front, I guess he decided he loved us even more, and is always around. Weird, I know.

Still, now we have this little black and white cat that is definitely the scariest cat on the block, figuratively of course. He loves accompanying us anywhere we go out front, whether it’s walking to the mailbox, our cars, or just across the lawn when we’re watering the plants.

20191011_150643
Socks takes his job very seriously.

What’s especially endearing about Socks though, is his relationship with Rosee.  They enjoy talking to each other through our front (metal) screen door (or rather he hisses at her and she lets out a small bark in response).  It doesn’t matter that she’s about 75lbs and Socks is about 10lbs, he’s not about to let a silly dog be the boss of him. He really has absolutely no fear when it comes to the pups. To be fair though, I think Rosee actually appreciates Socks acting as a sentinel out front. Really she just lets him think that he has the upper-hand.

He’s also very good at meowing at us to let us know he needs a treat. I think he’s just practicing his trick-or-treating skills for Halloween.

Day 2 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Ahhh…the decorations, arguably one of my favorite parts of Halloween, you know, besides the treat part. But whether the decorations are in and on my house, at work, or on others’ houses, I love them all. I especially love adding new decorating additions each year, but alas the ultimate problem is where to store everything in the off season.

Day 2

So while we may have gotten a late start on decorating the house this year, everyone was able to join in on the decorating fun.

20191015_175450.jpg

Still, having a black cat named Binx (and who proudly wears an orange collar), definitely meant we needed to include some cat-themed décor this year to our collection.

Day 2 (A)

Now all we have left to set out is the candy, of course!

Day 1 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

It’s that time of year again…the start of the holiday season! The seasons are changing, the leaves are starting to fall, decorations are starting to be hung, and smell of pumpkin spice is permeating the air.

It’s 13 days of Halloween (or should I say Howl-oween)!

And what makes this year so special?

Besides having a full house, with Simon and Rosee (two dogs), four inside cats, two outside cats, and 2 neighborhood cats that like to visit every so often, exactly one month ago (to the day) I officially entered my last year until the big 3-0. For some reason, this last fact seems to make this holiday season extra special. Plus, Halloween also means it’s going to be another little (dog) girl’s birthday, and while we often refer to Simon and Rosee as puppies or pups, they’re definitely starting to show their age a little bit more each year. So, while life may be changing fast (or at least it feels that way sometimes), the Halloween ( and holiday) season is a reminder to have fun, slow down a little, and always make time for family.

20171201_122728

So stay tuned for the next 13 days as we celebrate everything spooky, hocus pocus-y, and Halloween-y.

Just in case you missed our previous Halloweens, here’s a reminder:

Happy HowloweenIMG_2344