Enriched Viewing At the Zoo…

I love the Calgary Zoo but have not been in town much recently so a lot of the upgrades they have done over the summer I am only just seeing now in the late fall.  One of the upgrades was a viewing window improvement into the lion habitat.  This goes from the ground level to about ten feet in height and extends over a long section of the walkway. 

It appears that the lions like the improvement.  They are down at the window people watching.


The keepers have placed lovely straw beds down at the glass at the favorite viewing spots.  While I was there this time there was a tussle between the two males about who got this prime viewing location.  The victor of the friendly push and shove was this guy.  Right now he is watching the antics of a young visitor that he either recognizes as a cub… or as a snack.


One of the lionesses had been down viewing people with the other male (see in corner of photo) and then came up to lie beside this guy and watch.

It is oh so obvious they are enjoying the new view.


And that they are very relaxed in their enclosure.

Her pretty pink tongue was later used for some grooming.


Clever, Agile and Friendly.

We have had a change in next door neighbours – and a few days ago the neighbours started letting out their kitty.  Very friendly.  Kitty and I (no name yet) had a few petting encounters on the driveway the beginnings of a beautiful relationship.

I few days later I was getting ready to head out of the house and was checking the doors and windows when I heard a meow that sounded like it was from the patio.. I went to investigate.


Yes, there, up the tree calling to me was next door neighbour kitty.  I went to investigate closer and discovered that at the end of the branch – thoroughly convinced that I should help – was the athletic champion (who made a wise decision that she couldn’t quite make the leap)…


On her way back to the trunk and down to the ground (I went outside and called her down with treats) I could see her looking up at the branches that were higher…

She’s going to figure out how to get onto the patio.  I’m going to have to do some pruning!

Clever, agile and friendly.

Post Snow Inspection

Yes, sigh… snow.  Killed off all the gorgeous flowers in my planters on the deck and brought the realities of encroaching winter to both me AND my kitties.

They do not appreciate snow.  They do not wish to go out in it and get their paws damp (and cold).

Days after it was melted off Princess deigned to go back onto her patio and sniff about.  She inspected all the new smells, checked up on the planters, gazed out at the driveway…and then harrumphed over her shoulder.


She is not amused.  And she let both me and Rusty know that if it was going to be only a little longer on her patio then she wanted exclusivity.    (Rusty is daring to put a paw on it at this very moment.)  I assume sharing is fine when there is plenty to go around!

What a Brave Boy

Ever since Rusty came into my life trimming his claws has been a stressful time for him.  I can trim one paw and then he has to run away.  Next day I will trim another… too much.

Today – huge deal.  He laid with me and let me cut the claws on one paw and stayed.  We cuddled and relaxed.  Next paw.  He stayed.  When we got to the last paw – he OFFERED it and rolled on his back and purred.

This is the after-relax.


Normally the SIGHT of the nail clippers makes him tense.

Such a brave boy!

My little girl is a STAR!!!

From the day she moved into my house as a precocious one-year-old she impressed me with her picture purrfect poise, big beautiful eyes and an athleticism that belied the heart murmur she came with.

Yes I have always known she had a future in film and now she’s made it in the big time – I’m so excited.


My brother has been building a wonderful ABCs learning online video set for children… and when he got to the Letter C – the obvious choice for CAT was Princess – she has a feature role.

Please go check it outhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO2pwJ7qBIM

And if you have children in your life at the age to be learning their ABCs consider passing along the link to them too.


(now I need to go get her ladyship her evening snack – she is trying not to let this go to her head, but she should be allowed to have some fun)

You WILL not film us fighting!

Once again as a photographer of the natural order of things – I fail.  My kitties are very good at hearing me pick up a camera and get it ready to take pictures.  And this seems to be heightened when they fight.

I’ll hear the fight start – that change in their play turning a bit rougher – and reach for the camera.  By the time I have it leveled in their direction they have separated and are sitting glaring at the ground (not at me or each other).


Rusty is in the front, sitting beside my packing.  Princess is under the table in the very back.  Neither is going to move till I and the camera depart.  Not one inch.  Nope, they sit exactly like this till I leave.  I can take however many photos I want but they will all be the same.

Their patience is greater than mine.  This is the only photo.

Entertainment is Difficult

I am constantly trying to find new ways to entertain my easily bored and full of energy Bengals.  They sleep, get up and run through the house thundering along the hallways and down the stairs into the garage… then, no longer distracted they come to me:  “I’m bored… play with me”.  They can be very demanding if something I try that doesn’t interest them I can see their disappointment “Oh, THAT again?  Really is that the best you can do?  How dull, how unoriginal.”

There are two running wheels in the house – one small, one large.  I rotate toys, purchase new ones, play chase and tag, cuddle them, teach them tricks… and still I fall short.

This time I succeeded (but only briefly) by hiding the treats behind the toys in the back of the box.  Once she figured out there were treats back there – Princess became engaged in the process of burrowing till she got her way.


Now I will re-cycle the box and give that idea a rest for a month – otherwise I’ll be glared at for my monotonous routines <G>.


Rusty is NOT amused…

Was moving a few things around with my suitcases and carry on and Rusty came to inspect.

I got the message LOUD and CLEAR – he does NOT think that it is appropriate for me to be packing again….


I tried to tell him it isn’t for a few more days… lots more sleeps…

I don’t think he cared.

(I’ll give him some extra cuddles tonight to make up)

The Cat Café (San Diego)

I was down working a conference in San Diego and on the “strike the set” day (clean-up) I had a few hours that I could either go back to my hotel room to work, pack and sleep… or… go check out the local Cat Café (which was a mere 10 minutes away…)

This is only the second “cat café” I’ve been to and I love the differences between the two.  They both reflect the vibe of the area they are in.  Both clean and well run with wonderful kitties.

The Cat Café in San Diego (https://www.catcafesd.com/) is in their third SUCCESSFUL year (219 adoptions from in their first two years ending February 2017 when they switched sources and continued the count climbing!)  I think I am EXCEEDINGLY lucky that I live in Calgary as otherwise I know I would have taken one of their kitties home with me after meeting him.  Though all the kitties were wonderful, my heart is with Monty:

AepCatMontyBengalCatCafeCALsan20170725Monty is eight and has a story that goes with his “Scottish Fold” style ears; he suffered from abscesses on his ears and when the doctors drained the abscesses his ears collapsed (he hears just fine and his ears don’t seem to bother him at all and they aren’t sensitive to scratch and fondle).   He got surrendered, reason undisclosed, was sad; then he got adopted, but he yowled in the apartment and the neighbours didn’t like it – his new family is heartbroken that they had to bring him in (or get evicted).  He sounds like a typical Bengal – full of energy and love.  He needs space, company and a way to burn off energy (I have two running wheels in the house…)

When I sat down next to him (he was sound asleep and flaked out on his side in this cubby hole) as soon as I started talking to him he started to purr.  After a bit longer he opened his eyes and reached for me.  After a bit of loving he got up, re-arranged himself and purring sat down in cat loaf and dozed.  I really hope he gets adopted soon – come-on Southern California!!!

BUT – there were other wonderful kitties there too.  And I loved the relaxed style of the place.  Entry fee is limited to a purchase of something from the café.  The entry time is when there is space in the room (not overcrowded) and once you are in you can stay as long as you like.

The decorations were full of whimsy – the bathroom door (available from the kitty room so that only patrons could use it) was FUN:


And one wall was covered with the same style of art and fit with the kitty and people perches that were against it.


The opposite wall was covered by an AWESOME cat climbing gym (I want one!!!) donated by Urban Feline (https://www.urbanfeline.org/about – they have a cool story too).  You can see the wall in this next picture:


The wall IS cool (but the kitty was irresistible).  As a matter of fact – there is a GREAT interview about the company that produces these fabulous kitty furnishings over on a friend’s blog – she’s got great kitty articles and is worth checking out.

If I lived in San Diego – even with my lovely kitties – I’d be visiting this friendly relaxed place on a regular basis.


Lovely patio to sit in the sunshine and wait if the kitty room is full (they do advance bookings too though).

Worth a visit!


Second Family Kitty

I’m on the road again and though missing my kitties the wonderful thing is… I know kitty people!

I have been great friends with my second family in San Diego for decades (haven’t seen them in quite a while) but this trip to the gorgeous city I got to see them … AND their new kitty.

Meet Max:  He came to them overweight and unhappy at the death of his former human (overweight because he dutifully sat at their bed).  He is a SOFTY – beautiful crystaline blue eyes, silky fur, and a heart that is still kittenish at his advancing age.  Love him to bits!