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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bathsheba's Thursday Thirteen

13 Reasons Why Mom Thinks I'm Losing a Step
  1. I don't like to go outside much any more. I used to practically LIVE outside when the weather was warm.
  2. When I do go outside, I've usually had enough in five minutes and want to go back in right away.
  3. I can't jump up directly to the bathroom sink for my water unless I jump on the toilet seat as a first step.
  4. I take a long time to eat my meals, and I usually leave some crunchies behind. (I'm trying to save some for later, but that brat Jake likes to gobble everything up.)
  5. I sleep a lot. (HELLO, I'm a CAT.)
  6. I have to have pawdicures by Mom now, but when I used to go outside more, I was self-manicuring.
  7. I don't always hear Mom coming. Just yesterday, she cost me one of my nine lives when she sneaked up on me and touched me. I nearly jumped out of my fur! She claims she didn't sneak up on me, but whom do YOU believe?
  8. When Mom tries to give me a piece of cheese, I don't always see it.
  9. I don't play "fetch" anymore. (That was too dog-like, anyway.)
  10. I get underfoot more.
  11. I don't even bother to beg when Mom and Dad eat dinner. I just sleep on my kitchen chair in the corner.
  12. I don't cooperate for blog photos. I guess that's why Jake has been such a blog hog--that little poseur.
  13. Hey, I'm almost 16 and a member of the Sweet Sixteens. Give me a break.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wordless Washday Wednesday

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Get Well, Rocky!

Our great friend Rocky the Gutter Cat is sick. Bathsheba and I are united in our best wishes for him. Bathsheba is one of his spicy vixens, and I think of him as a role model for geezer ManCats. He really knows how to party with the 'nip. This is one of our favorite photos of him.

Get well, Rocky!



Monday, May 28, 2007

Combined ManCat Monday and Tortie Tuesday

ManCat Jake

Tortie Bathsheba

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Orleans - the Other Story

Mom reported to us that she went on the "Katrina Tour" in New Orleans Friday afternoon. As noted in the previous post, she is staying in a hotel on Canal Street in the French Quarter. That part of the city was damaged by Katrina, but is back in business for the most part. It's a totally different story for much of the rest of New Orleans-very sad. Mom shared a few photographs with us.

Many houses are severely damaged and their neighborhoods look abandoned. Others are under renovation as their owners live in trailers parked in the yard.

A hole in the roof indicates that its residents were trapped by the flood and had to retreat to the roof by cutting a hole in it and await rescue.

Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis are the forces behind some Habitat for Humanity homes in the upper Ninth Ward. They are brightly colored. All houses are now on raised foundations. That's required for insurance coverage. (Photo taken from the opposite side of a tour bus)

The bus tour did have a pit stop at the Botanical Garden in City Park. It has been renovated and the flowers are gorgeous. It's quite a gem in the midst of so much devastation.

The Louisiana oaks are gorgeous. Many were lost in the hurricane, but many also still survive. This one has lovely ferns growing along the huge horizontal branches.

On a lighter not, Mom's conference group went to something called "Mardi Gras World" last night. This huge warehouse/tourist attraction is filled with Mardi Gras parade props. Some were absolutely surreal and even frightening.

Here's Chuckie with his bride. They are huge.

Mom said that after walking by the Cafe du Monde many times over the last few days, she finally stopped in for its famous beignets (French doughnuts). They were hyped up so much that Mom reports that she was disappointed by them.

Since this is a CAT BLOG after all, here's one of the feral cats in Jackson Square. Mom says that the kitties distanced themselves as the camera tried to focus in the dark.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - New Orleans

As we've mentioned, our mom is in New Orleans this week. She sent us a couple of pictures as well as some facts about the city.

This is St. Louis Cathedral with Jackson Square in the foreground in the French Quarter, or Vieux-Carré. Mom said that she saw a colony of feral cats in the square after dark. Someone had left dishes of dry cat food out for them.

Here are 13 Facts About New Orleans:
  1. It covers 4190 square miles and is located 90 miles north of the Mississippi River.
  2. It is surrounded by water and is shaped like a crescent, thus the nickname "Crescent City."
  3. It sits below sea level, generally 5-10 feet below, and is higher closer to the Mississippi River.
  4. The historic French Quarter (where Mom is staying) was laid out in a grid pattern in 1721 and measures 6 blocks by 13 blocks. It is considered one of America's greatest clusters of authentic Spanish, colonial, and antebellum structures.
  5. Famous for Mardi Gras, crowds for its sucessful 2007 festival were estimated at 800,000, not yet up to pre-Katrina standards of one million, but much better than 2006. Hotels were at 95% occupancy this year.
  6. The tourism industry is the largest employer in the New Orleans area.
  7. Zagat rated it as the second most affordable restaurant city in the United States. (Don't ask us what's number one. We don't know. Mom tells us that the food is delicious. We wish we could sample the fresh seafood.)
  8. The Pre-Katrina population of the metropolitan area was 1.42 million. In 2007 it is 1.27 million.
  9. 62,300 out of 81,000 local businesses in 10 parishes affected by Katrina have reopened.
  10. Prior to Katrina, Louis Armstrong International Airport had 162 daily flights servingg 42 cities. It now has 109 flights to 32 cities. Go visit!
  11. Thirty percent of the seafood harvested in the lower 48 states comes from the coastal wetlands of South Louisiana.
  12. The longest bridge over water in the world is the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at nearly 24 miles.
  13. It is considered the birthplace of jazz. Mom said that street musicians abound.

The residents want everyone to know that they are open for business, and they want you to come visit their culturally diverse and unique city.

The steamboat Natchez, which has a calliope that Mom can hear all the way from her hotel room back at Canal Street, is a local tourist attraction.
After morning seminars on Friday, Mom will be going on a "Katrina tour" in the afternoon to see the effects of the hurricane after nearly 21 months.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

ManCat Monday Time

This weekend my photographer took a lot of pictures of me. It was hard to pick just one for ManCat Monday, but this is what I chose because I think I look fierce and strong.

Mom has a long day at work tomorrow (Monday) . She will be leaving for a conference in New Orleans on Tuesday and will be gone for the rest of the week only to return on Sunday. Dad will be home with us, but we're not sure if he will help us blog. I told him that I have lots of photos at the ready, so it won't be much trouble. We'll see.

Hmm. New Orleans is close to where Bathsheba's boyfriendcat Bubbles lives. Maybe Bathsheba will want to take a little trip, and not return! A guy can dream . . . .



Saturday, May 19, 2007

Roses for DaisyMae Maus

My girlfriendcat DaisyMae Maus is very special and beautiful. She and I are so secure in our love that she's also Rocky the Gutter Cat's Spiciest Vixen, and I am one of Madness's Chippendudes. We cats like our independence, you know.

Just to show DaisyMae how I feel about her, I present myself with these red roses from my jungle garden. I'm sitting atop my 6 ft. high fence and the view is great. Come teleport over, DaisyMae!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Spring Flowers

For Thursday Thirteen, we present 13 kinds of spring flowers from our jungle garden. It was hard to limit it to 13, and we know that Mom is going to kick herself later when she finds some better photos she could have used. Unfortunately, she does not have the kind of camera that can take close ups of flowers.

1. Eastern Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis, native to our area.

2. Trillium grandiflorum, also native.

3. Miniature Iris, I. reticulata, non-native

4. Winter aconite, a very early bloomer for us. Some patches bloomed in February.

5. Hellebores, also called lenten rose. These often start blooming in January and last for months.

6. Daffodils, of course!

7. Bloodroot, a native. The flowers last but a day, and emerge before the leaves. The leaves you see in this picture are for wood poppies and periwinkle.

8. Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, Mom's favorite. They only last a short time then totally disappear until the next spring.

9. Tulips, another favorite.

10. Phlox stolonifera, Sherwood purple, is in the foreground and bluebells are behind. It's a great groundcover along our front walk.

11. Here's a European type of dogtooth violet, and its blooms are much more prolific than the native species. The native version is also called troutlily, and can be found with bluebells in the wild. They're lovely in the wild, but you won't see this many blooming so close to one another.

12. Here's a white version of the native dwarf crested iris, I. cristata. The photo of the blue variety was too washed out and looked nearly white.

13. Of course we had to include azaleas. We have some red, white, purple, and pink ones. They certainly make the yard very colorful.

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Washday Wednesday

White feet require a lot of maintenance!


We both wish Skeezix's Mr. Tasty Face a very happy birthday today!


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tortie Tuesday - Queen of the Jungle

I would hate to miss an opportunity to post for Tortie Tuesday, so I begged Mom for just a couple of minutes of blogging time. If Jake gets ManCat Monday, then I get Tortie Tuesday. Fair is fair.



Monday, May 14, 2007

ManCat Monday - King of the Jungle

It's ManCat Monday and here I am enjoying the grasslands of my big jungle.

Bathsheba and I send belated Mother's Day wishes to all the moms out there, including ours.

Yesterday I accompanied Mom to Grandma's nursing home for a visit. At first I didn't want to get out of my prisoner transport unit, but Mom pulled me out, and I snuggled up next to grandma. There were a lot of funny smells and noises there that made me nervous, but I know that Grandma enjoyed seeing me. I last visited way back in late October when we thought that she might only have to stay there for a few weeks. Unfortunately she's now in long term care.

Mom says that she should be working on a project that's due on Wednesday, but she can't resist helping me blog a little tonight. She might have to skip blogging tomorrow. Hehe, maybe she will miss Tortie Tuesday and Bathsheba will get all mad.


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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Farewell, Cinders

We received the following sad email from Best Friends Sanctuary and just now read it:

Dear Friend of Cinders,

We're sorry to let you know that Cinders the cat has passed away. At over 22 years of age, her kidneys and her body could no longer sustain her. She passed gently over the Bridge surrounded by much love.

We're so sad to lose her. As her sponsor, you know that despite many health problems, Cinders had outlived her family. She came here to the sanctuary and had a bit of difficulty adjusting to her new life – until she was given her own "safe” space. Once she had her own area, she blossomed, enjoying a second youth for a while. She was a favorite of caregivers and visitors alike, and will be sorely missed by all. But she was so lucky to have a friend like you. Your sponsorship allowed this little old lady cat to live her last days with dignity, joy and love.

We were introduced to Cinders through one of Skeezix's contests. In a recent issue of Best Friend's magazine, Cinders was pictured sampling a birthday cake. Apparently she preferred the people cake to the one that was specially made of cat food.

Cinders lived a wonderfully long life and we hope that all of us can live and enjoy life that long.

Farewell, dear Cinders.


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Seven Random Facts About Bathsheba

Willow and my cute boyfriendcat Bubbles tagged me for the seven facts meme several days ago. As usual, Jake always has to go first so I had to wait to post mine. Last night Mom was preparing for a big native plant sale today and didn't want to stay up late helping me to blog. She got up at 5 a.m. this morning for the 9 a.m. - noon sale. Her group made over $3,500, and leftover plants went to some schools for native plant gardens. Anyway, on to the meme . . . .

Seven Random Facts About me! Here are the rules for this meme ...Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Cats who are tagged need to write on their own blog about the seven things and the rules. You need to choose seven cats to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Seven Random Facts About Bathsheba:
  1. I have extra toes on all of my paws. Some don’t retract as well as others, so when I walk on a bare floor, they click and you can hear me coming.
  2. My fur is not silky soft like Jake’s, but it is very thick. Mom calls it “plush.”
  3. I am named for Bathsheba Everdene, the main character in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. Mom read the book when she was in high school and really liked the name Bathsheba. She calls me Sheba or Shebie for short.
  4. I ran away from home on two different occasions when I was much younger. I was gone about 10 days to 2 weeks both times, which occurred in consecutive summers. Mom was frantic with worry and posted signs and called the local shelters. I emerged from the little woods behind our house, and Mom was out by the fence to greet me both times. I wasn’t really the worse for wear, since I was a mighty hunter. I never did tell Mom where I went, and I’m not going to confess here either.
  5. I have a ritual after meals. I go to the bathroom sink upstairs and ask Mom (or occasionally Dad) to turn on the water for me. I LOVE to drink out of that faucet. Mom thought that I would like a fountain of my own, so she asked Santa Claus to bring me one for Christmas. He did, but I refused to use it. After a few weeks of disuse, she repacked it in its box.
  6. I have a fierce reputation at the Vet’s. I know instantly when Mom is even THINKING of taking me there, and she has to chase me all over the house to put me in the prisoner transport unit. (There has been more than one occasion where she’s had to call and tell the receptionist that we’ll be a little late for my appointment.) Once in the examining room, I refuse to get out of my PTU and they have to pry my claws from the sides. I have hissed, scratched, and bitten people (including Mom) at the vet’s so I have THREE stars on my file. That’s a signal to the staff that they must don gauntlets to examine me. The vets complain that I growl so loud that they cannot listen to my heart.
  7. I hate to be picked up, but I will tolerate it occasionally by Mom since it seems to mean so much to her. I love her very much, but I’m just not a real cuddle bug.

Now I have to tag other kitties. Since most everyone already seems to have been tagged this late in the game, I will take the lead from some others that I saw and say that I tag any kitty that has not been tagged and would like to play.

Let's see if I get more comments than Jake on this one. So what if he has a long tail!


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Seven Things about Jake and Remembering TeaCup

Before I respond to a meme, I just want to take a moment and remember TeaCup who died yesterday. He was a much beloved member of the Bad Kitty Cats. His life was much too short. On behalf of Mom and Bathsheba, I offer our sincere condolences to Megan and her family.

On a happier note, my girlfriend DaisyMae Maus and pal Chairman Mao tagged me for a meme.

Seven Random Facts About me! Here are the rules for this meme ...Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Cats who are tagged need to write on their own blog about the seven things and the rules. You need to choose seven cats to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Seven Random Facts About Jake:
  1. I have a very long tail (nearly 14 inches!) and very long whiskers (approx. 4 inches).
  2. You can call me "Foodar" like that character from the Comic Strip "Get Fuzzy." I love to eat almost everything, but I draw the line at things like pickles and olives. I find the smallest tidbits left on the floor by Bathsheba and scarf them up.
  3. I have very soft, silky fur.
  4. I have a condition called hyperthyroidism that was diagnosed last summer, and I have to take half a pill with every meal. Mom mixes it in with my Fancy Feast and I don’t even notice it. Mom knew something was up last year when I was excessively grooming my tummy to the point of its becoming hairless! When the vet first examined me, he told mom that it was probably a result of “stress.” Mom thought that was impossible, but when the vet said to wait a little while longer, she did. I did not improve, and I lost some weight. Mom took me back to the vet, and the head guy examined me and decided to do bloodwork (egad!). Hyperthyroidism was the diagnosis. I had an overactive metabolism. I could eat and eat and still lose weight. Some of your ladies might think that is great, but apparently it strains your heart and can be very serious. I’ve got it under control now and feel fine.
  5. My favorite place to hang out is on my deck. It’s partially covered and is like a screened-in porch without the screen. I have a nice bed under the big table.
  6. I can charm the pants off Mom and Dad. They just look into my pale green eyes and they’re putty in my paws.
  7. Dad is my favorite person. He has lots of silly nicknames for me like "Lurke" because I'm always lurking when food is around. I'm also called "Jakula" with the "ula" to rhyme with Dracula. This hails back to my first Halloween with Dad when he dressed as Dracula. (That doesn't make much sense; I guess you had to be there.) I'm also "Jockula" and "Big Man on Campus" and "The Prince" and "Jakie Boy" and "Little Man" (At 6'2", Dad is the BIG man in this house.) I've also been called Jacques and even the pejorative "Jerkula" when I've done bad things. Oh, I've also been called "Pee Brain" when I've done something the 'rents think is "inappropriate." (DaisyMae said I had to 'fess up, so I did!)

Now I have to tag other kitties. Some may have already been tagged, so I apologize in advance for any duplications.

  1. Cheeto
  2. Jack
  3. Merlin of Poi Rats and Cats and and Bun
  4. Rocky the Gutter Cat
  5. Mickey Mantle
  6. Nitro
  7. Cocoa

For those of you who wondered whether my pawing at the door in yesterday's post was successful, yes, it was. All I have to do is scratch on the glass door (usually the sliding glass door in the back), and my servants open the door for me. I go in and out constantly all day long like that.


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Still Time for Tortie Tuesday

I couldn't let Tuesday pass me by without posting for Tortie Tuesday. This is a photo that Mom took of me on Stalker Saturday. The automatic flash went off because it was rather dark that day. The skies were overcast and I was in the shade of big trees.



Sunday, May 06, 2007

Jake's Mancat Monday Pose

Here I am in the dark recesses of our jungle garden.

We really love our garden, and Mom and Dad worked very hard to create it over many years--mainly in the 1990s. Mom loves wildflowers and is a member of the Prince William Wildflower Society, a chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. She and Dad created a very naturalistic, wild kind of garden both in the front and back yards. Our lot is only a 10,000 square foot suburban yard, but our house is small (by today's standards), so there is more room to garden. The lot is shaped like a rectangle with a triangle attached to the back portion that slopes downward. Mom and Dad hauled many rocks from construction sites (from as far away as South Riding, Daisy!), and Dad made some great terraced beds on the hill with them. He also outlined some of the beds with them.

One thing you won't see in our garden is a great lawn. Mom and Dad really reduced the lawn portion of the garden, and the lack of sunlight over the years as the trees have grown has further diminished the area for grass. Mom and Dad do not use pesticides or herbicides so the lawn is "weedy" with lots of clover, but that's okay by me.

Perennials are the mainstay, with annuals mostly planted in pots for the deck. A red maple grows in the middle of the deck that Dad built back in 1995. Many of the garden plants are native to Virginia. Much of the garden is shady, so spring is when it is most colorful. We have native and non-native azaleas, but the non-native ones are more showy. One side of the yard does get quite a bit of sun, so summer is also a treat with monarda, purple coneflower, milkweed, phlox, and daylilies.

Many birds nest in our yard, and Mom and Dad try to keep me inside or under watchful eye when the babies fledge. So far this year we have blue jays in the bushes, and wrens and sparrows in a couple of the bird boxes. The catbirds must be nesting close by because they're making frequent appearances at the suet. They will be very happy when the Oregon grape holly bush and service berry/juneberry (amelanchier) tree bear their fruit soon.

~Jake the Mancat Garden Supervisor

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Saturday Stalking

Mom seems to think that gardens are beautiful, but that a CAT in a garden is even better. While we might agree on principle, we find her stalker paparazzi behavior unacceptable. I did not want to pose in front of the columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), an East Coast native. Mom and Dad put up lots of stakes and green tape to support the plants as they grow tall.

Just look at how tall everything has gotten this early in the season. Mom spent some time today cutting things back in the jungle that she calls a garden.

It was overcast today and rather cool. I went behind some of the plants in the jungle. I like to sleep in the mulch here when it's hot out. It was so dark today that the flash went off when Mom took this photo.


It's not all about Jake today. Mom stalked me too. Click here for similar photo in early March.

I would NOT pose for her.

Okay, so this looks suspiciously like a pose. I just stopped to rest for a moment. Sigh. This azalea is Dad's favorite.
Here you can see it covered with snow - in April!

Have you ever heard of a CATBIRD? Click on the picture to enlarge, and you will see the catbird on the horizonal pole. He likes to visit the suet feeder on the right. He doesn't look like a cat, but he can make a sound that's similar to a mew. He didn't fool me, but he sure mewed a lot when he saw me outside.

Oh, and BTW, that was NOT me in the door mirror in the previous post. That was Jake! Somehow the flash left a white dot on Jake's front leg to make it appear that he has beautiful white feet like I do. Not true. Mom cannot explain why one of the back feet looks white, but if you look closely, the other back foot is not white. Very strange photo.


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