Stop Making The Outside DO That!

Rusty was all keen and eager when I came upstairs to fill the Bird feeder.  It is a chance for us to both go out on the deck together.  Then I opened the sliding door.  And the fresh scents wafted in…


One of which was snow.  What a let down. 

He did NOT accompany onto the balcony and he did manage to convey to me that I was a fool to have allowed this blustery day to happen.

He’s right – why DO I live here?  <G>  

By the way… Why all the highlighted “B“s?  Because B is for many neat things – check out my brother’s ABCs for children learning to read on the letter

it is fun


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.



  • 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:

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.


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.


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 out

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>.