My Mother’s Pride

My mother was raised in a small community on the British Columbia coast.  In the early ’30s there was a bounty on cougars and her father, trying to make ends meet, had shot a cougar but noticed when skinning it that it was nursing.  He felt bad and didn’t want the kittens to starve.  His plan was to give the dogs an exercise in tracking and to put the kittens out of their misery if he could find them.  When he found them they were so little their eyes weren’t even open.  He brought them home and the neighbour lady and his three daughters raised them.

This photo is of my mom and her two sisters about a year or so into their cougars’ lives.  So many stories from an era when not much was known about these gorgeous animals.


The cougars didn’t like strangers (particularly men) but loved their girls.  Sometimes when strangers were taking photos they would hiss at the photographer while purring for being close to their family.  (The chain was to try and protect the livestock in the community – especially the pigs.)


The Boring Work

Have you ever noticed that everyone will say they want to help you… but when it is the dull mindless tasks suddenly they aren’t so keen?  Lots of work in an office is repetitive – it requires attention to detail but not creative spark.

Rusty SAID he wanted to help me.  I told him that the binders needed to be labeled and organized and amendments done.

He asked if I was kidding… and now he doesn’t want to help anymore…


You Have to be Dedicated

Good things take effort.  The best of anything isn’t always the easiest to get to.

Princess knows where the best water in the whole house is.  The bedroom pond.

Yes, it takes work – but it is worth it.


She NEVER uses the little bowl next to the pond – but Rusty does (his balance isn’t as good as hers much to his frustration.)

Spring Hunting

The beginning of spring means an influx of bugs into the basement.  This means fun hunting for the kitties.  Rusty has just discovered the first of the season (at least the first I’ve seen either of them with) and is happily following its progress.

I’ve always called these “woodbugs” but looking them up I discover there are over 5,000 different types in the world and the number of names is likely as high.

Despite the rumoured (in Wiki) sharp taste – Rusty dispatched it after a few minutes of watching.  I’m good with that.


Mighty hunter.

Shyly Brave Leika – Snow Leopard(ess)

One year old Leika has rapidly overcome her jetlag and her shyness and is in the main viewing area at the Calgary Zoo.  She likes the warm protected cave in the front of the enclosure soaking up the sunlight which has likely baked the rocks too.

I think she is doing very well.  She was sound asleep and some children went by – she woke up, checked them out, and a few moments after this photo took a HUGE relaxed stretch and snuggled down for more snooze.

She is part of the species survival plan and is already getting along with the gentlemanly Karesh.


Found Water

Have you noticed that “found” water is always so much better than the water that is left out in the carefully cleaned bowl in the kitchen?  Inside the house the kitties always like the glasses that are left out, the sink or tub, the indoor pond…

I maintain an outdoor water bowl – heated throughout the winter – that is frequented by birds, rabbits, squirrels, other assorted weeiee beasties, and kitties – at least the next door neighbour kitty Sophie.  I am sure they believe it isn’t any of my doing and a find all their own.  I know about the visitors only from brief glimpses or more often from the paw or claw prints in the snow.

As the winter progresses the pond needs cleaning but it is usually frozen to the ground so it waits for spring.  Today while topping it up I realized it is time for spring cleaning as the hardy rhubarb shoots are starting to poke out around it.

YEAH spring!!  More snow to come, but time to clean the pond and get things ready.


The pond is surrounded on two sides by the house and stairs, on the other sides by old juniper trees that the birds love to stage from – I find Sophie beneath them time to time (just soaking up the shade I’m sure).



The Waiting Game

Morning bustle of tasks – I’ve just cleaned the litterbox.  All sparkly clean.  The moment I leave the inspection will take place.

But here is Rusty pretending he isn’t waiting.  Totally angelic look.  Other times they will come in and use the litter box if I am there or not – but just after it is cleaned they want me gone so they can inspect it correctly.

I wait.  And Wait.


Nope – he wins, I leave with no photo of the inspection.

My Mother’s Cougars

This 1935 photo of my mom with Girlie (about a year old cougar) – was taken (I think in Owen Bay BC) by a now unknown tourist and mailed to my mom afterwards who would then become one of her pen pals. Colourized a few years ago by one of my cousins.

You can see the love of them both for one another.  My mom says the rumbling purr of a cougar when it was leaning against you like that was amazing.  She never has been able to talk about that without smiling.



Daily Events Undocumented

It seems the one thing I really do not have any photos of (till this morning) is my view of Princess’s “sit-up”.   It has to do with holding and using a camera while giving the signal and reward of the task… both seem to require two hands.  So the big camera is out, and the success with the iPhone isn’t much better.  But, here it is anyway – Princess sitting up for a treat from my (low light) view.

I’d love to reach out and pet that soft fuzzy belly – but that would require, yet again, another hand.


Seems to me a good reason why I *NEED* a GoPro to head mount… yeah, that’s the reason.

The Calm AFTER the Disaster

Disaster is actually too strong a word.  Actually POTENTIAL disaster is more like it.

Those of you with kitties may know the “backward paw” manoeuver.  It is performed around something the kitty would like to get into, but can’t figure out how to get its paw down into the said item (usually see through).  In this case it was the water mug I was drinking from.  As a very bad kitty parent I had let the level get low.  Too low for a parched kitty to get her face down into.

Then I compounded the error by finding it amusing to watch Princess sniff at the mug and snort with frustration.  The signs were there… but did I heed them?  Risk taker that I am – no.

I saw the paw rise… but wasn’t quick enough to grab.  Notice all the electronics in the area?  Notice the file cabinet full of paper under the mug?  No damage.  All straight to the floor.

Notice that I refilled the mug to ensure safety.  (Not that I am a slave to my kitties!)