Category Archives: Animals

Three lunches isn’t so many, is it?

It’s always wonderful when Paladin shows up for lunch, and today he came three times. He has been coming consistently for breakfast, and sometimes for a late-evening dinner.

Tomorrow he will spend the day in his “condo” my husband built for him. We have to remove his food at 9:00 P.M. and leave him with only water. This protocol is necessary because the following day he has an appointment. He is scheduled for surgery. He will be neutered. He will also be vaccinated for everything cats are vaccinated for, fully examined, treated for worms if they are present, and he will receive a microchip.

The condo is because, Paladin being a feral roamer, we can’t count on him showing up on time and properly fasted for his scheduled procedures, so we will secure him on his first stop, which is usually morning. We will bring him to the veterinary clinic Thursday morning and pick him up in the late afternoon. He will recover in our house for three days. He has never chosen to enter our house before. It’s a feral thing; Effie wouldn’t understand.

A few evenings ago, I opened the door for him to see whether he would come inside. He seemed ready and stepped in. But when I started to close the door behind him, the deal was off. He totally freaked, jumping four feet high on the inside of the door, terrified. I held the door as wide as possible and he jumped off and bolted. I was a basket case.

The following morning he showed up for breakfast, his usual cautiously cheerful self.

I now believe that anyone who thinks they understand cats is self-deceived. I know I did, and I was.



Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Cats, Paladin


Effie was napping on the bed, and woke to a stimulation of her instinct. A flock of starlings was in a tree outside the window.


Filed under Cats, Effie, Home Life, Photos

Hi and Dry

Effie greets you with a suggestion. Those of you who weigh under 12 pounds might like to nap on a slip-proof rug on a dryer when sleet is falling, and everything outdoors is wet and cold–even Effieland.


Filed under Cats, Effie, Home Life, Photos, Seasons, Weather

Second Breakfast (They’re Baaack. . .)

Paladin came for breakfast at 5:30 this morning, as he usually does. Torvald showed up as Paladin was finishing and ate a bit of his chum’s leftovers. When both had their fill, they stretched, received lots of petting, and departed. They returned together around 8:30 and I gave them each another bowl of kibbles. At one point, Torvald moved away from his bowl and sat up, watching Paladin eat, and then they resumed consuming their second breakfasts, as Effie observed them from indoors, where it was much warmer than the 18° on the patio.


Filed under Cats, Effie, Home Life, Paladin, Photos, Torvald

Paladin’s tummy frolic

This is Paladin. I named him for the lead gunslinger-protector in the TV Western “Have Gun Will Travel,” that ran from 1957-1963, and starred Richard Boone as Paladin, whose insignia was a chess knight. A line in the theme song was “A knight without armor in a savage land. . .”  Paladin is like that. He’s a stray, and 100% feral.

But my husband and I are 100% committed to providing him a home. He is not neutered. He has probably never been vaccinated, microchipped, fed quality food, fed regularly at all, slept indoors, or had any toys. We have no idea what his age is. He appears to have arthritis in his hip. I doubt he has ever before received kindness or affection, a tummy rub, or combing, or petting while being told what a sweet, beautiful Tabby kitty he is. Like Effie, Paladin deserves the best of everything.

Paladin often makes rounds with Torvald, who has a home nearby, and they come to our house for breakfast on the patio most days. Sometimes they return for lunch and/or dinner.  They know they are always welcome and can count on healthy natural kibbles and tinned Fancy Feast, garnished with healthy treats.

We have made an appointment for Paladin with the Animal Shelter Pet Clinic toward the end of March, the earliest time available when I called last week. Paladin will be neutered, microchipped, checked for worms and treated if he has them, and vaccinated for rabies and receive  other recommended vaccinations. The cost of all of this, including his neutering surgery, is only about $90.00. Paladin will be able to come home–Home!–the same day.

Effie is very sweet natured with Halvor (our shop cat) and Torvald, who lives nearby. She is in Effieland, her gated garden, when she is outdoors. I think she might permit Paladin to share her outdoor dominion at times. I hope he will curtail his roaming. Mostly we hope he desires an indoor home as much as we desire to provide it for him. He and Effie are both sweet-tempered, though Effie tends to express her limits, and Paladin is remarkably shy. He can be skittish, but he purrs and lets me pet him while he is eating outside.

I can only think we will all have the space we need, and get along very well.


Filed under Cats, Effie, Effieland, Halvor, Home Life, Paladin, Photos, Torvald

Cats, snow, rain, and forthcoming lilacs

Lilac buds are always a welcome sight before Spring settles in with any confidence.

First large, wet, fluffy snowflakes fell to the ground and instantly melted. Rain followed without a pause. Effie was unimpressed and came back in the house right after I conceded to her vocal affirmations that she wanted to go out into Effieland. A few minutes later, I went out to pick up the cat food dish we put out early in the morning for our feral stray I named Paladin. He had finished his kibbles and was out roaming. Effie was behind her gate, yowling to let me know she wanted to come back inside. I let her in of course, and she is napping in fair luxury.

Paladin has been coming to our place for more than a month. He is a sweet cat with a grateful heart. He permits us to pet him while he is eating. Sometimes he shows up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Other times he comes just for one or two mealtimes. Effie seems indifferent to him. Halvor, our shop cat we took in when he showed up freezing and hungry, despised Paladin at first, and even flipped him over, but now realizes Paladin is not a contender for shop territory. Torvald, Halvor’s possible brother, hangs out with Paladin, and was sweet enough to bring him to our place.

Halvor is a mighty hunter. He also loves watching my husband work in his shop, which became Halvor’s home.

Torvald is a friend to all.

Paladin is our friendly feral kitty. We plan to have him neutered, wormed if necessary, and vaccinated so that he might come indoors.

Effie, napping in fair luxury


Filed under Cats, Effie, Halvor, Home Life, Paladin, Photos, Rural life, Seasons, Torvald, Weather

Effie’s turtle malaise

Effie’s turtle has a Velcro pocket for stuffing catnip. Effie adores catnip. Effie had her turtle out of her toy basket. I stuffed its pocket with ground catnip. She played ecstatically with the catnip-stuffed turtle for a few minutes. She was so quick that my shutter speed could not keep up. She soon became bored with the turtle, and I managed a shot of her adorable ennui.


Filed under Cats, Effie, Home Life, Photos