Yes, today I’m taking time off, doing nothing in particular, except for paying some bills (inescapable, ugh).  So I thought I’d spend my time reading, listening to some music, practicing guitar and putting up this very miscellaneous post, filled with pictures of my condo, cats and sons….

I took this screenshot from a slide show by AlGliinka on LinkedIn. I found it on Google Images when I did a search on “leisure.”  There were lots of shots of beaches and mountains and people playing sports, but I’m in Central Ohio, far from a beach or the mountains, and as far as sports, I’m one of the silent people.  I spend free time mostly at home with my cats, tending to them and also my plants indoors and out.  I do also like to go to parks to walk in the woods and do a bit of birdwatching.  But today is a home day.

I live with four cats: Sissy, Ophelia, Kiwi and Black Bean. They are indoor-outdoor cats, which I don’t really like.  I prefer the safety of having cats who don’t go outside.  But Black Bean and Kiwi were used to going outside before they came to live with me and would not adapt to being kept indoors all the time.  Then after the two boy cats were going outside, I decided to let the girls out too, but the girls cannot go out at night. Fortunately since I’m retired, I am at their disposal to let them in and out as they please. 🙂

Sissy is one of the rescue cats I adopted from Cat Welfare Association, a no-kill cat shelter in Columbus, Ohio.  She appears to be part Abyssinian.  Sissy and her sister were abandoned at a veterinarian’s office after they had been taken there for some unknown vet service.  She likes to hang out beside me on the couch.  She also really likes to go outside.

Sissy sleeping
Sissy sleeping

Sissy was actually an afterthought.  I’d gone to the shelter initially to adopt only Ophelia, whose picture I had seen online at the Cat Welfare website.  But after I had gotten Ophelia out of her cage, I saw Sissy in a group of cats in an open area, and simply had to take her home, too.

Ophelia and flowers2
Ophelia loves flowers

Ophelia has a typical tortie personality, mischievous, headstrong and greedy.  She’s my most playful cat.  She is also a mighty hunter.  She has occasionally contributed to Black Bean’s “gift pile” at the bottom of the back steps.  Eww!  But she’s also a love cat, the only one of the four who will occasionally sit in my lap.  Ophelia is quite a talker.  She reminds me of Siamese cats that way.

Black Bean and Kiwi are rescue cats that my son Jason found as kittens abandoned in a street gutter.  They became mine when Jason enlisted in the Army and they remain mine even though he is now back home.  What goes around comes around: I laid a couple of cats on my mother during moves when I was in my twenties, too.

Kiwi hanging out in the cat tree:

Kiwi in the cat tree
Kiwi

Kiwi is a sweet brown tabby who likes to lie on the bed with me in the evenings before he heads outside for the night.  He is also quite a “scaredy-cat.”  Even with me, if I make a sudden movement, he will run away.

Finally, there is Black Bean, looking oh so sweet here, disguised as a Christmas present.  The birds and small mammals outside know his other persona, that of Apex Predator.  He has been known to bring live but wounded birds inside all the way upstairs to my bedroom.  Ugh!  However, Black Bean is also quite loving, when he chooses to be so.  A neighbor has set up a space for him on her deck and feeds him special treats.

Black Bean with red bow
Black Bean

I have always had cats, starting with Ballo One, who I was allowed to catch at a neighbor’s barn when I was two.  We were inseparable.  Here we are when I was almost three, at Christmas in 1953.

Ballo One and me Christmas 1953
Ballo One and me 1953

Probably my all-time favorite cat was Potato.  My boyfriend owned her mother, Tomak, who had a terrible time with the delivery of her first, and only, litter of kittens.  I had experience helping animals deliver newborns from having been raised on a farm, so I helped Tomak with the process.  I almost threw Potato away, thinking she was the afterbirth, because she was just a little pink mass, unlike her brothers and sisters who were all much larger and all black.

Tomak was a seal point Siamese, and she had escaped to the alley and mated with the available males there.  We finally got her back inside and found a male Siamese who had not been neutered, but he was very young and didn’t seem to quite know what was required of him.  Tomak, who was fierce and brooked no fools, really wiped up on him.  We didn’t think he had actually gotten the job done as far as mating was concerned.  But we were wrong, because here came Potato, much less developed than the rest of the litter because she was conceived later.

And she was Siamese, although at first she was totally hairless and premature in other ways.  She couldn’t compete with the other kittens to nurse, so I fed her with a babydoll bottle. She bonded completely to me, given that mine was the first touch she experienced and also her source of nourishment.  I wish I had more photos of her.  She lived with me her entire life, until she was well over 18 years old.  She made the move with me to California from Ohio and back again.  For most of my life, she was the being who I had lived with for the longest period of time.

Potato
Potato
potato on spruce road
Potato in Northern California
123 Spruce Road, Fairfax CA
Potato peeks out the door at 123 Spruce Road, Fairfax CA

Potato was my constant companion.  She let me do anything with her, and I often held her like a baby, because she WAS my baby.  She was also quite a talker, as so many Siamese are.  I still miss her, as I miss other departed family members.

Relatively recent cats I’ve lived with and loved include Squackie, Ballo Two and Prit Prat.  Here’s Ballo Two:

Ballo laid back
Ballo Two hanging out
Ballo and Celtic harp
Ballo Two

Ballo Two, Squackie and Prit Prat:

Ballo 2, Squackie, and Prit Prat

Prit Prat was a very sweet calico.  I was devastated when I had to put her down when she was only 7 due to a terminal illness. 😦

PritPrat
Prit Prat
PritPrat and flowers
Prit Prat liked flowers, too

Prit Prat and Ballo Two really enjoyed each other.  They were quite copacetic.

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The kitties are the family I live with now.  My sons are in their thirties and have their own places, although they’re not married.  But they also live in Central Ohio, so I get to see them fairly frequently.

My older son Nick is a programmer and a realtor.  He met his girlfriend Summer, who is from China, several years ago when they worked together at Chase along with 10,000 other employees at one location!  They’ve each gone on to other employers.

Jason was enrolled in a graduate program for teacher certification when he enlisted in the Army.  During his tour of duty he served a year in Afghanistan as a combat infantryman. He’s now in the Army Reserves in a PsyOps unit, but his real passion in life is cycling, where he has excelled at road racing.

Here are my sons a couple of weeks ago at their cousin Anna’s wedding [see my earlier post titled “A Wedding Fit For Kings”]:

IMG_3308

And here we all are, Summer, Nick, Jason and me on Mother’s Day in 2015:

Mother's Day 2015 at the Pearl
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That’s enough blogging for now.  I need to go read a book!