Jake and Bathsheba

A blog by two cats who used to live in the same house in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, they are both no longer with us.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Five Reasons We Blog

Our friends DaisyMae, Bubbles, and Chairman Mao all tagged us for the "five reasons we blog" meme. (Thank you, all!) We were going to do "Five for Friday," but Mom decided to watch one of her new Jane Austen DVDs instead of helping us blog last night! Imagine that! She loves Jane Austen's novels and became obsessed with her favorite Pride and Prejudice when Dad gave her as a Christmas present the 10th anniversary edition of the BBC miniseries staring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Seeing how pleased she was with that gift, (and the fact that she likes to play some of her favorite scenes before going to sleep at night at least a few times a week), he decided that he was on a roll. For her birthday he bought her Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson. She watched Emma for the first time last night though she had seen it in a movie theater about ten years ago.

Anyway, enough about Mom and back to the subject at hand. Why we blog was once the subject of one of our Thursday Thirteen posts, but we actually had more than 13 reasons. Here we'll try to narrow it down to five:
  1. To make new friends and learn about their lives.

  2. To keep Mom from watching all those murder shows on TV: Law & Order, CSI, etc.

  3. To give Mom a reason to take hundreds of photos of us.

  4. Because it's fun.

  5. Because it's addictive, and we can't stop!

We think most everyone has been tagged on this by now, but if they haven't been yet, we tag the Famous Five in Wellington, New Zealand: Orb & Jupiter & Mitten the Smitten Kitten & Poppygirl-AKA Princess Poppygirl & Teeny Tiny Tottie Mctabby - AKA -tottie. They've been going through a rough time lately, but we've always enjoyed reading about their adventures in such a faraway land.

Mom told me that I have to report on Jake. He did something to his right paw and has been limping around on it since this morning. Mom couldn't find anything obviously wrong, and he didn't cry when she touched it. Hmmph! I think he may be faking just to get Mom and Dad's sympathy. It didn't deter him from successfully begging for pieces of roast chicken at dinner tonight. (Yes, I did get a little, too.) Mom will take him to the vet if he doesn't improve by Monday.


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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday 13 - Places Depicted on My Magnets

Updated 3/31/07 with photos.

When Mom travels, she often buys souvenir magnets for all the people back at her office. When she has extras, she gives them to me for my magnet collection. It's on the side of the tall file cabinet at the foot of my bed next to my throne.

13 Places Depicted on My Magnet Collection:

  1. San Francisco, home of my good friends Rosie and Cheeto. I have two of the Golden Gate Bridge and one of a Victorian house. The Bay area is also home to a number of our blogging friends including Skeezix and his family and Kimo and Sabi.

  2. New York, home of Jeter, Kismet, Ariel, and Sammy and Miles (if it's the whole state, not just the big city).

  3. Maine, three magnets showing wild blueberries and a loon.

  4. Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

  5. New Hampshire, one with enormous vishus deer called moose.

  6. Colorado, two with Rocky Mountains and wildflowers.

  7. Minnesota, one with a 3-D loon.

  8. Olympic National Park in Washington State.

  9. Zion National Park in Utah.

  10. Bryce National Park in Utah.

  11. Stowe, Vermont.

  12. Alaska, two of Denali National Park/Mt. McKinley and one of a wolf.

  13. Yosemite National Park in California, with Yosemite Falls. Unfortunately for Mom and Dad, the falls were dry when they visited in October of 2002.

Mom has camped in or near all of those places except for San Francisco, Butchart Gardens, and Minnesota. She wishes she had a Banff magnet; that's the most beautiful place she ever visited. She needs a Wyoming magnet; that's where she and Dad met.

I prefer to just get the magnets. I'd rather stay home. I now have a new Skeezix "biker dude" magnet. Isn't it great?

Blogger won't let me post photos tonight, and Mom and I have wasted a lot of time trying. Bummer! (Update, 3/31: now I have photos.)


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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thank You, Everyone!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone! I had a great day. After seeing so many of my friends with one, I finally got a Whirly-Bird of my own. It is so cool! It's like those birdies we have outside, except that I can catch this one! Woohoo! Mom promised to take pictures and post them later this week or over the weekend.

My beautiful girlfriend DaisyMae Maus brought her lovely Southern California weather with her (temps in the low 80s!) when she teleported over today with tuna juice, nip, and toys. Sweet! She even featured me on her blog! How cool is that!

I came inside just to do this post, then I want to return to the deck because it's still nice and mild outside.

Thanks again, everyone. And smooches to my DaisyMae. It's great to be a teenager!


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Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jake!

It's finally here--my 13th birthday! Mom says that I have to wait until morning till I can open my present, but I guess that's okay. At least there is a present!
I'll briefly retell my story, which I have posted on my Catster page.

My cat mother was a young kitty who found herself pregnant and out on the cold streets of Centreville, VA in the dead of winter. A kind lady from Mom's office found her and took her in hoping to reunite her with her family. She posted signs and checked with the animal shelter, but no one claimed her. This kind lady was going to Arizona on a February vacation and she got Mom to agree to care for my mom kitty while she was away. Mom named my cat mother Caterina for Katarina Witt because it was 1994, and she was trying to make a comeback at that year's winter Olympics. Caterina was a voracious eater and was gaining weight. Mom had no idea that she was dealing with a pregnant cat.
No one claimed Caterina, but soon after the kind lady returned from vacation, she and Mom found a nice man from their IT department who agreed to adopt my cat mother. He took her to the vet and learned that she was pregnant. On March 27, my cat mother Catarina gave birth to four kittens in a makeshift nursery in the bathroom of a Centreville townhouse. The nice man's wife assisted. I was the last born. I had a brother and two sisters, one of which looked just like me except that she had white feet.
Mom agreed to adopt one of the boy kitties since she didn't have a little boy at home--just Precious and Bathsheba. She named me Jake, which is short for Auguste Jakob Julius __ the IV. She named me for her great-grandfather from Germany. (Her dad was supposed to have that name, but his parents changed their minds and decided to give him a different name. He was thankful he didn't have such a long name.) I like my name because I think the shortened version sounds quite manly.

Mom and I thought that some of you might enjoy more of my kitten pictures. I can't remember being so small, but these photos don't lie. Notice how Bathsheba appears to guard her food and put her back to me. She didn't like me from the start.

Mom used to take me along for Sunday visits at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Here I am holding my own with two dogs: Oakley the miniature schnauzer who lived with Grandma and Grandpa, and Cassie, a Cairn terrier (Toto dog) who lived with Mom's brother and family. When Cassie was a puppy, she lived with Mom, her brother, and niece, as well as poor Precious and Gus, Mom's former cats.
Here I am looking very small next to mom's curly-haired niece who was three years old at the time.
And here I am with Mom's blond niece, age 4 and one-half, who just loved kitties. Precious would hide under the bed when these little girls would visit.
The blond niece has her own Bengal kitty now.
Happy Birthday to me!

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Little Boy Kitten to Big Man Cat Jake

To celebrate my upcoming 13th birthday, Mom was looking through my baby pictures.

This little fuzzy kitten turned into

Big Man Cat Jake!

Happy Man Cat Monday!


P.S. Don't ever use exclamation points in the "labels for this post." Blogger won't accept that character and will kick out your whole post. There was no recovery. We had to start from scratch, and this time Mom made me shorten it. Bummer.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Guess Who's Almost a Teenager?

PSST! My annoying baby brother (who thinks he's some kind of "man cat") is turning 13 next week. His birthday is Tuesday, March 27.
Mom plans to dig through our photos this weekend to find some of his baby pictures. Since she doesn't have a scanner, she'll have to take them to Kinko's or somewhere else to digitize them so she can post them here.
Do you think I have to get him a present? I don't think he deserves one from me.
P.S. Mom thanks everyone for the recent birthday wishes. This year's birthday was low key, but next year, when she turns 50, she may have to have a big bash.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday-Precious and Bathsheba

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tortie Tuesday with Dad

I know that Jake's his favorite, but Dad loves me too. Jake isn't the only one who gets to nap on Dad's long legs.

Happy Tortie Tuesday!


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Monday, March 19, 2007

Man Cat Monday - Sentry Duty

Sometimes being a Man Cat means you have to shun the photographer because you have manly work to do.

Here I am on Saturday, out in the cold wind, performing sentry duty in the garden. Man cats have to pretend they don't feel the cold as they keep the world safe.

It was a good thing I was out there because a grey tabby cat new to the neighborhood came waltzing into my domain. Well, I quickly showed him who was master of THIS domain, and I chased him around the shed a couple of times. Mom wasn't quick enough with her camera because I was lightning fast.

Here he is giving me one last look as he beats a hasty retreat. I think he learned that he can't mess with Big Man Jake.

Just to ensure that he didn't return, I took up duty outside of the deck rail. The intruder did not return. I think we know who the big man cat is.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

Kiss us, we're Irish, at least for today!
Actually, Mom doesn't think that she needs an excuse to kiss us. She smooches on us all the time.

Can you tell that Mom's favorite color is GREEN?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


P.S. SHHH! Monday, March 19 is Mom's 49th birthday! She shares a birthday with Dragonheart's mom.

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Get Well, Earl Grey

Skeezix told us that Earl Grey is undergoing surgery tonight and we wanted to send healing vibes his way.


UPDATE, 3/18/07: Earl Grey had a piece of plastic in his intestines and it was removed. YEA! See details on his blog.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Change of Seasons

Yesterday's high temperature was 77 degrees. Today it was rainy and cold, then late in the afternoon the rain changed to snow! It was even sticking on the roads as Mom drove home from work.

Mom took a few quick photos of her flowers before it got dark. She says that if it's going to get cold, it might as well snow because the snow blankets the flowers and keeps them warmer!

I went outside to do my regular business earlier tonight and, when Dad let me in, I was covered with snowflakes. Mom got the camera out quick, but just as the autofocus was doing its thing, I shook to rid myself of the rapidly melting snowflakes. Poor Mom. She was so disappointed because she said that I looked really cool. Well, duh, I was really cool--cold, in fact. And wet! I don't mind the snow too much, but I don't like to be wet.
The snow has totally covered our yard, but the streets and sidewalks are clear, and it's no longer snowing. Come back, Spring!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Favorite Famous Cats

Here are 13 of our favorite famous cats from fact or fiction:
  1. Thomasina (from Disney's The Three Lives of Thomasina)
  2. DC (That Darn Cat)
  3. Tonto (Art Carney's kitty in Harry and Tonto)
  4. Sassy (Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey)
  5. Felix the Cat
  6. Top Cat (from the 60s cartoon)
  7. Morris (the original one from the 70s who was a spokesman for 9 Lives)
  8. Heathcliff (from the comic strip of that name)
  9. Garfield
  10. The Cat in the Hat
  11. Bucky (from the comic strip Get Fuzzy)
  12. Sox (Chelsea Clinton's cat in the White House)
  13. (Mc)Skeezix the Cat

Who is your favorite famous cat?


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


If Bathsheba can try to ridicule me for Man Cat Monday, then I can certainly post a demonic pose of her for Tortie Tuesday.
Can you believe those eyes! Don't look directly at them or she may cast a spell on you.


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Monday, March 12, 2007

Man Cat Monday

Sometimes men and man cats do things that aren't especially attractive. Many male athletes engage in manly but uncouth behaviors. Such it is with scratching. Here's a photo of my man cat brother Jake engaging in his scratching ritual.

At least he isn't scratching one of those unmentionable parts where baseball players like to scratch.


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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Posin' with Posies

It was a beautiful day today and Mom wanted me to pose with some of the early spring flowers in our garden, but I only reluctantly agreed. Here I am with some yellow (and a few purple) crocus.

I much preferred just rolling around in the grass.

P.S. We both send get well wishes to our dear friend Skeezix.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

What time is it?

Why, it's Skeezix Time, of course! With daylight savings time beginning three weeks early this year, we will rely on Skeezix to keep us on time. Mom is thrilled that daylight saving time comes earlier this year because she hates to come home in the dark every night. The only thing she doesn't like is the "lost" hour.

I'm doing my best to learn analog time. I heard that some computers are having a hard time adjusting for the extra hour. At Mom's work, it seems like this time change is causing more trouble than that Y2K scare.
Mom assures us that we will like this time change because it will seem like we're getting fed EARLIER! That's fine with us!

I think I'll turn in early tonight just to make sure I get enough beauty rest in time for breakfast tomorrow morning. Good night!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tribute to Shy Precious of Schick, March 8, 1978 - April 20, 1997

This is Shy Precious of Schick. We called her Precious.

She was the best sister ever. Mom says that she was her favorite cat ever, but we are not jealous because we all loved her so very much. Her birthday was March 8, 1978. She died nearly 10 years ago at the age of 19.
She was a beautiful fluffy Maine coon cat. Her coloration was called "torbie," a tortoiseshell patched tabby.
Precious was a "show cat." She was born in Richmond, Virginia and was later bred and shown by Sharon Bass of Fairfax Station. Mom was living in a townhouse with two friends shortly after college and she was sad and catless. Her landlord had a "no pets" clause in the lease, but he was a reasonable man. Mom had a friend who had a friend who was friends with Mrs. Bass, the owner of Schick Cattery, named for her and her husband Rick.
Well, Mrs. Bass had a three-year-old Maine coon who had been bred and she wanted to find a good home for her. She didn't show as well as she might because she was shy around judges, and she didn't get along well with the other females in the cattery. Apparently the females were allowed out of their cages to roam the house when they were not in heat, but Precious didn't fit in too well with them. She had already been bred a couple of times. Mom was taken to see her, and Mom thought that she was the most beautiful fluffy cat she had ever seen. It was settled and the deal was that Mom could have her free of charge, but she had to agree to have her spayed right away.
Mom negotiated with the landlord, and the amended lease specified an exception for "one cat." Yay!
Mrs. Bass wrote a book about Maine coons, and Precious is pictured on pages 12, 107, 116-117, and 144.

Here is her centerfold photo that does not do justice to her

Once Precious overcame some of her shyness, she and Mom bonded right away. Mom loved to cuddle her and nuzzle in her fluff. Except for all the fluff, Precious was an average-sized cat. Mom had thought that Maine coon cats were huge, but later learned that it was males, not females, that were generally large.
Mom and Precious lived blissfully for several years until one of Mom's housemates decided she wanted to get a cat. By this time the group had moved up to a big single-family home from a townhouse apartment so there was plenty of room. Vickie adopted little Gus, a too-young black kitty whose mean owners wanted to put him and his littermates down and wouldn't even let Gus continue to nurse. Mom was worried that Precious would not do well with Gus because she seemed to hate all cats, especially the back yard intruders who would torment her at the sliding glass door. Well, guess what? Precious LOVED little Gus and she was even tolerant of his suckling on her. Gus ended up as Mom's cat a few years later, and one of the reasons was that Vickie didn't want to separate him from Precious.
Mom, Precious, and Gus moved to the house we live in 20 years ago. Poor Gus died at the age of six of stomach cancer. It was a very sad time for Mom and Precious. A few months later I, Bathsheba, came into the picture:

See how nice Precious is to me!

And even though she was already 13, she enjoyed playing with me.

She was 16 when I, Jake, came into the picture, but she was just a wonderful cat mother to me and she still liked to play. She took an instant liking to me (who wouldn't?), and I think that's what put Bathsheba against me. She was jealous because Precious loved me, but it's not like she stopped loving Bathsheba.
Precious was lovely and even tempered, but she never had much to do with Mom's roommates unless they were the food source when Mom was out of town. Precious remained somewhat shy as she always hid when Mom's "squeally" young nieces came to visit. But she wasn't all fluff! When she went outside, she could defend her territory like no other. She was fierce. Even as an old grande dame, she could chase Casey, the neighbor's male Siamese, from the yard fleeing in terror. She developed kidney disease at the age of 18, and Mom somehow learned to give her subcutaneous fluids. She trusted Mom with that and was amazingly cooperative. Mom was pleased that Precious lived to the advanced age of 19, but Mom always felt a little cheated because she didn't know Precious for the first three years of her life.
These few paragraphs cannot do justice to the love and loyalty that she showed Mom and us. We still miss her after these ten years. Happy Birthday, dear Precious.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Tortie-Tabby Tuesday

Tuesdays are cool because we both "qualify" for the day.

Here I am showing off my tortie colors as I nap on one of my kitchen chairs. Mom is threatening to get all new chair cushions because they're getting worn and my fur is embedded in the fabric. So, what's wrong with that?


And here I am on a Jake Highway patrol. My grandpa used to talk about the bull's-eyes on my sides. Do you think that hip retail store would like me for a commercial, or do you think I'm disqualified since I'm not red and white?


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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Man Cat Monday - ChippenDude

Since I'm one of Madness's ChippenDudes now, I told my secretary (Mom) that she better make sure I had a post in time for Man Cat Monday this week. (Don't be alarmed, DaisyMae, this is all harmless fun.)

Here I am on the Jake Highway patrol. All of the paths in the garden are part of the integrated Jake Highway network, and I keep them safe of intruders.


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What's in a Name?

Since we've seen this on several blogs this evening, we thought that we'd give it a try.

What Jake Means

J is for Joyful

A is for Altruistic

K is for Keen

E is for Enthusiastic

What Bathsheba Means

B is for Bewildering
A is for Amazing
T is for Timeless
H is for Humorous
S is for Saucy
H is for Hip
E is for Excellent
B is for Bashful
A is for Adaptable

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Spring is Coming!

Last Sunday our yard looked like this:

But today our first daffodil bloomed:

Parts of the garden still look rather desolate, but next month this area will be full of color with the blue of Virginia bluebells and the yellow of wood poppies.

Let's see what's going on out front.

The miniature iris (I. reticulata) are in bloom! They smell great when the air is warm, but it was barely 60 degrees today and Mom could not detect a scent.

Mom told me that I should go outside and explore a little while she gardened, so I did. I especially like to walk along these landscape timbers as well as the rocks that line many of the flower beds.
Mom is a lazy gardener who doesn't cut back all of the stalks of last year's plants until about now. She says that the stalks and seedheads are great for wildlife. For example, the goldfinches like to eat the seedheads of purple conflower (Echinacea purpurea).
We're glad to see that spring seems to be near because we had a brutal February after a springlike January.
Tonight we tried to visit as many of our friends as we could to participate in the Hug-a-thon that MuShue started. We've met so many great cats through blogging.

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