Kitten Season

And if you’re planning on adding a kitten or an older cat from the shelter (hint, hint) to your household, please do get it neutered or spayed as quickly as possible. A female cat can start having litters at only four months of age.

As Ernest Hemingway said, “One cat just leads to another.”

Shown is a house for some of Hemingway’s cats at his former home in Key West, Florida. – Wikipedia


Adopt a Cat Month

It’s June, and that means the American Humane Association will be reminding everyone that first, it’s Kitten Season, and second, it’s National Adopt a Cat month, AKA, Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.

The American Humane Association began observing this special month in 1974 – so last century, yes, but still necessary, as over three million cats end up in shelters or rescues every year.

That’s heartbreakingly sad.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a companion, please consider a cat. It doesn’t have to be a kitten. Many loving, well-behaved older cats find themselves in a shelter because an elderly owner wasn’t permitted to take a companion animal into assisted living. Some cats (and kittens too) have missing eyes, ears, legs … but they can still purr and be a furry friend.

Cats adopted from shelters or rescues seem to realize they’ve been given new lives. They’re grateful for a cardboard box bed with an old towel in it, a bowl with food and one with water, and most of all – a kind person with hands that reassure and comfort. That cat will do its utmost to purr and cuddle a sad, lonely human into a smile or a chuckle.

Be kind to yourself and to a feline down on its luck – please adopt a cat. Thank you.


The charm of yesteryear

When books which weren’t textbooks were being written and illustrated for children to read and enjoy … (and now we can still enjoy them too, whether we’re children or not). This illustration, by Ida Waugh, is from “Kittyboy’s Christmas” written by Amy Blanchard, published in 1898. Courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

Somehow that small black kitten reminds me of Ira. Purrs, everyone.


Old-time books

When you run out of reading material – especially about cats – try Project Gutenberg. I’m sure I’ve mentioned them before, but they’re continuing with their mission to keep older books available to the general public. ( They have some titles which I’d bet you’ve never read – unless you’re 100 or so years old. Try reading several of the over 500 books about felines which are already online, and you’ll glimpse the world in which our great-grandparents grew up.

Helen Hunt Jackson has a book too, purportedly written by her own cat. It’s sad, detailing the many mishaps which can befall a cat, but definitely shows everyday life long ago. “Letters from a cat” Helen Hunt Jackson (who also wrote “Ramona”)

(Skip “The Calico Cat” by Charles Miner Thompson. Too detailed an account of a man who hated the neighborhood stray.)

“Kreativity for Kats” by Fritz Leiber is a more modern tale (1961; copyright not renewed) but truly entertaining.

And three more; fittingly, “Three Little Kittens” , “Kittyboy’s Christmas” and “The Candle and the Cat”.

Let me know what you think of some of these; I think we cat people would enjoy them. And I’m tempted to start a new project involving these books, to be detailed in the weeks ahead. Purrs!

Issac Newton and a cat door?

It seems scientist Isaac Newton was working on some experiments while at the University of Cambridge. However, as cats are wont to do, his kept scratching at the door, wanting to be in – or out – or in – or out, interrupting his thoughts and progress.

Newton’s solution was to call the campus carpenter to cut two holes in the door to his quarters, one for his mother cat and the other for her kittens. Who would’ve thought the brilliant scientist who realized the existence of gravity would also invent the cat door?

“How Stuff Works” not only mentions the story, but says tourists can see the door and the two holes cut into it for the convenience of Newton’s cats to this day.


You’re just a kitten, too?!!?

The cutest photos can be seen on “Love Meow” – this one’s no exception. The teeny, month-old kitten in the incubator is named ‘Alexander,’ and he was rescued in Las Vegas after his mother couldn’t be found. Patricia Lika is his foster mom, and she’s doing a spectacular job! Find them both at

Now, all together, everyone – “Awwwwww.”

A new chapter

Herman and Luna starting their wrestling match – the floor stripe makes it convenient to determine who’s out of bounds. They’re only ten months old, and already Herman is larger than most cats. If he grows into his feet, he’ll be the size of a bobcat. Luna is still smaller than he is, but can be just as stubborn, willful and scratch/bite/pounce.

It’s been a month of many adjustments.

To have an office morph from having a staid lady cat, a bit elderly, but nonetheless with an important co-editor job to perform and very conscientious in doing so resident … to a pair of high-energy, let’s find the newest thing to push off a desk or workbench, only nap when you fall down with exhaustion kittens has been difficult. Their mother, Jamie, is only two years old herself, and has discovered toys, the luxury of clean litter boxes instead of being outside, and the marvel of air conditioning. To my dismay, all three must be treated for fleas ASAP.

The three having to leave the garage/workshop area where they’d lived since birth was a necessity. And the only other place they could inhabit was my office. Yes. I was reluctant. It’d been many years since kitten-proofing was a concern.

‘Sometimes’ I grit my teeth; other times I bellow. ‘Sometimes’ they’ll allow me to work at my desk (this is one of those times) and we have regular scuffles as to what “No cats on the desk!” really means.

Then the ‘sometimes’ that show they’re maturing: a purr when they wind around my ankles without biting or clawing, the simple joy of looking out the window glass in the storm door to the office, the pure delight in playing with a new toy or watching avidly as I show them how two cats playing together are definitely much more fun.

We’ll survive. And Abishag would understand the reason for the move. Perhaps she’s the influence encouraging them to ‘grow up!’