Friendly Bermudians Help with Homesickness

I’m back working in Bermuda and missing my poor little lonely Princess.  But friendly Bermudians are making it all better as usual.

Meet “Curry” – over sixteen years of age and moving a bit stiffly – but SO FRIENDLY and with the loudest purr motor I have ever come across.  Curry is on a side street that is now my route from my apartment to the grocery store return.  Not even a detour – it is the perfect walk.

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We cuddle for quite a while and purr and pet – then I go to the grocery store.  On the way back I stop again… and after some more cuddling then a small snack.

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When I talked to Curry’s family they said that Curry loves anyone that loves Curry.  And that includes a few kitties that hang with Curry – but are only visible to me when the crinkly sound of the treat container comes out.

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But lets see what happens in the next week 🙂

 

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Karl & Kayla give TIGERS a home…

…and have to keep fighting to legally do this.

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This is the regal Rashid surveying his domain.

 

Big Cats eat lots.  And have vet bills.  And have other BIG costs.  One of those costs is the legal battle to continue to provide them a safe, secure, FURRever home.  If you want to help, go here right now to donate.  And now as today is “Blog the Change for Animals” (#BtC4A ) day I’ll tell you why you might want to.

For me Karl Mitchel is one of my heroes.  My kitty training started with me admiring him and Mittens.

When I was young someone at school said “cats are dumb, they aren’t like dogs, they can’t be trained”… and I just *knew* they were OH SO WRONG and I needed to prove so to them.  I had an adult male outdoor black cat (Nipper by name) in my life in a small town and although I “sort-of” spoke cRayBerwicksHowToTrainYourCatat and had been around lots of animals… I knew nothing about “trick training” an animal.  My “go to” response to needing information was either to ask someone in the know personally… and if nothing there – visit the public library.  So I went to the public library and found a book written by Ray Berwick who trained animals for Hollywood.

Now Mr. Berwick is cool and I religiously followed his ideas (and adapted them to my kitties over the years and to new knowledge as I gained some)… but who INSPIRED me to follow his ideas was Karl and Mittens.

KarlMittenRideIn the book there is a photo of Karl and Mittens (old movie of them here) – to me the photo said “free and happy together” and I envisioned my black kitty and I out riding together on my bicycle.  That never happened – but other amazing things have.

Decades after that book, and a few years ago, I stumbled across Karl and Kayla and what they are doing now; I’ve been a fan on Facebook and Instagram since.

The Mitchell’s love and respect their tigers and are not a tourist attraction.  They need financial support for day to day maintenance of their cats and unfortunately “day to day maintenance” for them, as for many refuges for animals, includes fighting legal battles to their very existence.

From an article on their website as far as the background goes: “Karl Mitchell is an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After his return from the war, an affinity with animals that he discovered almost by accident, by training his pet cat to ride on his motorcycle, led to a career in Hollywood and on the Las Vegas Strip, and to his qualifying as a State of Nevada Humane Officer; but more importantly, it gave him the antidote to the anxiety and stress associated with PTSD.

Hence, twenty years ago, Mitchell moved to the virtual wilderness of Pahrump, and has been living there and raising tigers ever since… as you can see from the video links on his site, Mitchell gets very up close and personal with the big cats, which he socializes to a degree, but does not train to perform as they would on a stage or in a show… ”  The tigers’ days are based around how the tigers feel – a swim in the lagoon, a walk in the desert, a laze around in the shade…

The Mitchells used to help people with PTSD and other ailments by allowing visitations on their property – but unfortunately some people (that know little to NOTHING about animals and the enrichment that interaction offers) felt that was unacceptable (one of the past legal battles).  I’m so sorry about that.  But that hasn’t stopped Karl and Kayla from continuing to care about the long term well being of the tigers in their care (and the few remaining tigers anywhere).

A link to Karl & Kayla Mitchell’s website home is here.

Today’s Blog is part of …..           BtC4A-Badge-250

Bermuda Babe

I’ve been lucky to visit with my Bermuda friend Casey over the last couple of weeks, she helps me survive travel when I am missing my kitties.  I drop in on her after work and she runs chirping to greet me.  We have a petting and purring love session, then I feed her some treats (she sits up nicely) and then we just chill and enjoy one another’s company.

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While we are communing – just hanging out together – Casey grooms.  It is an all consuming task and never ending.  How else can she stay the beautiful babe she is without keeping up her routine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve Celebrations

I’m spending Christmas through New Years away from my kitties and with human family but we celebrated our Christmas early.

It is cold and snowy in Calgary but the wind finally “let up” on the morning of the 24th and when I went outside just at daybreak to sweep down the walk and driveway… and look who I found!

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Minus 20 is NOT temperature for kitties to be out!  But obviously this well cared for kitty has the ability to come and go from her house and she thinks it is.  I suspect that the previous four days of being housebound with blizzardy conditions made her feel that Christmas came early – she could get out and about.  She purred and stayed for a few minutes and then dashed off (I think it was getting cold on her kitty paws <G>).

Back indoors my kitties won’t even go NEAR the patio door for fear that I will open it and they will get that chill on their tender tootsies.  I was all packed for my departure and we started opening their presents.  The best one EVERY year is from a dear friend of mine that goes to great lengths to bring them new smells and challenges.

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This is first stage of the “unpack”.  She stuffed all sorts of neat toys inside this… and they KNOW it – they can smell and sense them.  But despite the anticipation they both want to play with the first part.  They do for about half an hour with just a bit of pulling out the paper blocking the insides.

Then every now and then one of them (in this case Rusty) would go take frustrations out on my luggage (I let them scratch my luggage as it will die from all the travel long before they make a dent in it.)

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We played for over an hour and then all of us had to take a nap 🙂

A wonderful Christmas!

Goodbyes and Hellos

I’m late with my weekly “daily kitty” but I have good reason (at least I think so)… TRAVEL.

Just before I left Bermuda I stopped to see some of the kitties I have fallen in love with there – most particularly “Casey” (the well looked after non-feral from the condo-rental unit my associate was staying at.)  I parked my scooter and headed for the top of the stairs to walk down to the unit he was in.  At the top of the stairs looking down I thought I saw a little grey furry on the cement hand railing half way down.  I stopped and called.

With a jerk of her head in my direction – an immediate perking up of ears and body – she jumped down and trotted up the stairs to me trilling as she came.

It was almost impossible to get a photo as both hands needed to be involved in the petting and cuddles.  But there was some rolling about too:

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While cuddling her several people walked by and talked about how friendly she was and how they had fallen in love with her – so she has converts in every batch of folk that stay there.  So lovely to get to share in some of her love that she spares for us traveling waifs.

To see me off she got up above (above is always so much better for a kitty).  And with purrs and head butts I was off…

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And headed for the airport to fly home… flight delays and all… getting back to my kitties.  I have no video/photos of the greeting home – but it was thorough.  Lots of purrs and chatter to tell me all about what I had missed.  I spent most of my first full day home taking naps and cuddling.  Appreciated by us all.

This is Princess tolerating an afternoon nap with me:

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And Rusty helping me to settle in the next morning at the computer to work:

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Home for the Holidays 🙂  We are all in sync for that!

 

FABULOUS FESTIVE News!

Well if after reading last week’s post you fell in love with the friendly Bermudian kitty… (the one that moved into my associate’s rental unit and has been visiting him daily and sleeping with him nightly)…

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Just when hearts were ready to break with the thought of leaving behind “The Furry One” (temporary nick-name) —-  TAH DAH —- the owner was located!

Kitty’s name is Casey and SHE *is* a rescue but does have a full time loving home now.  Her gracious owner got her a few years ago when the family that Casey first had couldn’t look after her properly anymore.

(This is Casey relaxing at her second place after her owner checked up on her.  She went home for a quick visit and came back.)

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Her current human is very understanding and not jealous.  She recognizes that Casey is a very friendly feline that loves to roam about (close to home) and will adopt people in the rental units near her home to make them feel welcomed.  Her owner just checks up after a few days absence to make sure she’s ok and being fed elsewhere and knows that Casey will come back home when either no one is in the rentals – or at least none that NEED her company.

Her owner thinks that Casey’s behaviour is very Bermudian and in keeping with the heart of the current Christmas Season.  She advised to keep the door open and let Casey visit if we wanted 🙂

Casey isn’t the only beautiful kitty in the area.  Across the way keeping tabs on all the seasonal visiting is this pretty little Tortoise.  The window is high up and I’m sure that’s the only reason she didn’t drop over to wish us a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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All the friendliness and the decorations around St. George’s can’t help but be timely for this ABChristmas for children.  A nice e-gift for those you love that are learning.

For those that say “zee”

For those that say “zed”

 

Old and New Friends – Bermuda

 

I have a repeat contract that takes me on a regular basis to the LOVELY island country of Bermuda and its very friendly natives (both two and four footed).

This trip I have returned to Grotto Bay several times just to feed my friends there (they are all doing well)… but I’ve also added NEW FRIENDS.

This “little” fellow is visiting every morning and evening with one of my out of country co-workers at the apartment he is in.

First evening:IMG_3799

Following morning:

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(joining him on the patio for morning coffee)

Next evening:

 

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(Yes, the kitty has made it inside the house 😉 )

Next morning….

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I think the big guy is happy (both the four footed and the two footed 🙂  As soon as the door was opened there were purring trills and good mornings from both sides (I got to watch the welcome video).

Friends are good to have – which reminds me of the letter “F”

 

The Neighbourhood Smarty

If you have been following along you may remember a few weeks ago that the new neighbourhood kitty (still no name) was proving herself to be extremely smart by figuring out how to climb the tree to my kitties’ balcony?

Well she is continuing to prove her intelligence.  The first time I thought to see if she could learn sit-up… she did without difficulty.  This is day two of the “sit-up” command.

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PURRfection!

  • paws relaxed (not grabbing)
  • firm stance
  • careful about taking treat and not nipping

I noticed that she now has a bell – hope that helps the birds as she is quite the huntress and is convinced she might just catch one of the squirrels (having watched her speed and agility – she just might).

All Hallows’ Eve Cats…

I have a very special place in my heart for Beautiful Black Babies.  I’ve had a number of black cats throughout my life.  In celebration of the black ones as Halloween draws near I am doing a “throw-back” to the kitty that started me teaching tricks (for treats) to my kitties.

Mitten.  Mitten isn’t my kitty – Mitten was the best friend and companion to my hero and cat training mentor Karl Mitchel.  Years ago I saw a photo of Karl and Mitten and it inspired me to work with every kitty I have had since enriching both their and my lives.

Enjoy this old video of a BLACK scary cat out riding the wilds with pal Vietnam veteran Karl.

Karl continues his love and work with rescue of cats of all sizes – find out more about him here:  http://www.bigcatencounters.org/

And in memory of one of my beautiful black babies is this photo of Nipper in 1973 when me (the 15 year old hand) is giving him a “roll over” command.

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Black cats ROCK!  Happy Halloween!! 🙂

PS – “H” is for Halloween… and for some other neat things.  If you have children in your life learning their ABCs check out what other “H” words there are:

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.

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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.

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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.

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And that they are very relaxed in their enclosure.

Her pretty pink tongue was later used for some grooming.