25 April 2017

a cat cave


When Bearcat, my 14 1/2 year old Maine Coon died, I threw away everything that belonged to him. Not from sentimentality but to protect any future cat. When I adopted Bear, he was unknowingly exposed to feline herpes, which my other cat, Dali, had but had not presented symptoms of as yet. As soon as we found out about her illness, we started both cats on daily lysine that helps prevent outbreaks (there is no cure); for Dali it was too late -- she had been born to an infected mother. But it kept Bear healthy for many years. He died from kidney failure and cancer. Before bringing home a new cat, we threw all his stuff away and disinfected everything, so the herpes will not be passed on.

I asked our new kitten's breeder if her cats were used to cat beds. They tend to ignore them but love little cubbyholes or cubes they can hide in. Which fits what I've seen of Maru, a Scottish Fold popular on YouTube for diving into boxes and other small spaces. 

Years ago, I made a bulky-knit bathmat out of Sugar and Cream yarn. We had no need for it here in our new home, so I unraveled the mat and am using the yarn to crochet a cat cave. I found the pattern online, made of t-shirt yarn, but holding 3 or 4 strands of cotton yarn together seems to make a firm enough structure. . . . . My hands got tired so I took a break and sketched my work so far.

24 April 2017

scribbled crosses


While listening to yesterday's sermon, I drew a Celtic cross with wedding rings. Then drew several more simplified versions.

This year our 45th wedding anniversary happens to fall on the same day of the week that we got married on. We plan to renew our wedding vows on that day, in a simple ceremony under our own oak trees with family and friends. A VERY simple "wear blue jeans & bring your own lawn chair" event. Bill loosely described to me what he'd like on the invitations, so I was trying to simplify the sketch enough to draw it on each invitation.

22 April 2017

an odd bug


Lately we have been overrun with bugs of various types. Because of Bill's spraying near our home to get rid of the flea problem, all other bugs soon end up dead as well. As soon as I sweep all the dead 'love bugs' off of the patio, it is covered again. (Driving home from College Station on Thursday, they were so thick that drivers had to pull off to wash windshields!)

But this interesting yellow bug was found resting on a window screen, having recently emerged from the shell on the right. I looked him up through Google -- he (or she?) is called a Guadalupe fly, Wiley's fly, or a yellow drake mayfly. Whatever his name, he was fun to draw . . . even though I ran off the page trying to draw his _two_ long tails!

21 April 2017

a bigger cabin


When we purchased this wee cabin, the former owners took the curtains with them, leaving some bamboo roller shades --- which offered NO privacy at all. So we quickly bought the only curtains we could find locally.

Now after over three years, we were able to remove the curtains and replace the old shades with shades that have a privacy liner. And they make the cabin look HUGE to us! 



13 April 2017

silly wee kitties


I'm waiting to hear if I will get to adopt a certain red tabby kitten . . . As I wait, I've been reading up on the breed and drawing from photos found on line. These are Scottish Fold kittens, which pose in the silliest looking positions! There are long waiting lists for kittens with folded ears. Some of each litter are born without the dominant gene that causes the ears to fold; these are known as Scottish straights. That's what Bill and I are hoping for: a Scottish Fold with straight ears. Easier to find and usually costing less. And we think they are cuter than their folded siblings.

One of the breeders I have been in contact with has a 2 week old kitten that might be ours. Ears don't fold until the third or fourth week; if hers stay straight, I can have her. If they fold, she will go to someone on the long waiting list, and I will continue my search.

10 April 2017

a destructive plague


Bearcat has been gone awhile . . . yet we are still battling fleas in our wee cabin. And he was an inside-only cat! Feral cats try to claim our land as their own territory, bringing lots of fleas which we then carry inside on shoes and clothing. Bill is hard at work treating the yard.

And I am extremely allergic to flea bites! So we continue to spray, vacuum, bomb, vacuum, spray . . . I am literally covered with inflamed sores that itch like crazy. Bill suggested that I find some Dead Sea salts to soak in after hearing on a news program that it helps clear up psoriasis. Not finding any at local stores, I ordered some on Amazon --- and it works! I also found some natural flea & mosquito repellent soap that seems to work as well. 

05 April 2017

an iris found along our fence line


We have lived here three years now, and the iris leaves in a mass at the edge of our property have never boomed . . . until this year. Bill picked one to bring to me to sketch but we had errands to run in Brenham. By the time we returned, one of the blossoms had already folded up in a paler, bluer shade.

04 April 2017

cats on my mind


Since the recent loss of my Maine Coon, Bearcat, I sometimes think I hear him playing in the loft (it's just the cabin walls setting) or find myself looking for him to greet us as we come home (he used to always do this). It's time to find another cat . . .

I've decided to look for something different this time. Being allergic to average American shorthairs found in shelters, I've been reading about other breeds with a lower level of the Fel d 1 protein that causes most cat allergies. One breed with a naturally lower protein level is the British Shorthair --- I'm currently on a waiting list for one with a breeder in San Antonio. The other breed she raises, which has British Shorthair in its lineage, is the Scottish Fold.

The more I read about Scottish Folds, the more they fascinate me. Their personality traits are very much like the Maine Coons we are used to but in a more compact body. While looking for a book about the breed, I found this three-volume book in the used book market. Reading about the Scottish Fold kitten, Norton, given to a man who hated cats (but fell in love with this wee kitten anyway), I've just about decided that this is the breed I want. I've contacted several breeders; none available yet so I wait and keep checking back with them.
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