Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Dogs have owners, Cats have staff.
Cleo on the Beach - Dianna
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Monday, March 31, 2008

Myth Monday - April Fools' Day

Myth Monday Header


Cat
Click on the image to bigify it


April Fools' Day - which is sometimes called All Fools Day - is not really a holiday. It is however, one of the most light hearted days of year.

April Fools' Day as we currently know it is likely related to the 18th century change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. Ancient cultures included the Romans and the Hindues celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1st. Under the new calendar, New Year's Day shifted back to January 1st.

According to popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1st. Other "more up to the times" people began to make fun of the traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.

There is however, no direct historical evidence to support that explanation. It is simple conjecture.

Historical evidence does however show that many celebrations of hilarity occurred during the months of February, March and April.

The timing of this day of pranks seems to be related to the arrival of spring, when nature "fools" mankind with fickle weather, according to the Encyclopedia of Religion and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The Country Diary of Garden Lore, which chronicles the goings-on in an English garden, says that April Fools' Day "is thought to commemorate the fruitless mission of the rook (the European crow), who was sent out in search of land from Noah's flood-encircled ark."

The Romans' end-of-winter celebration, Hilaria, and the end of the Celtic new year festival also happened around the beginning of April.

Others theories include the day having something to do with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox.

Wherever and whenever the custom began, it has since evolved its own lore and set of unofficial rules. Superstition has it that the pranking period expires at noon on the 1st of April and any jokes attempted after that time will call bad luck down onto the head of the perpetrator. Additionally, those who fail to respond with good humor to tricks played upon them are said to attract bad luck to themselves.

Not all superstitions about the day are negative, though - fellas fooled by a pretty girl are said to be fated to end up married to her, or at least enjoy a healthy friendship with the lass.

In Scotland, an April fool is called an April "gowk" - Scottish for cuckoo, an emblem of simpletons. In England, a fool is called a gob, gawby or gobby. In France, the victim of a hoax is called a "poisson d'avril," an April fish. ("April fish" refers to a young fish, thus one easily caught.) The French delight in shouting "Poisson d'Avril!" at the denouement of the foolery. Some also insist all such pranks include a fish or at least a vague reference to same within the joke. Asking someone during a phone conversation to hold the line, then later returning to the call and inquiring of the victim if there'd been any bites is a popular groaner. So are pranks which trick the victim into placing calls to fish shops or the local aquarium.

If you are looking for some lighthearted jokes to play one your friends, check out April Fools.com.

On a side note: I wish to wish my very good furriend Sarah-Dippy a very Hippo Purrthday, as she turns 15 tomorrow for April Fools' Day. Sarah say she really like the sleepy pillow I give her, and the card, but says "I don't know why auntie and momma were laughing so hard tho...I thought I looked stylin'."

Remember: Today is Midnight Monday on House Panthers! Check out my Midnight Monday entry on Digicats!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easy Like Sunday

black cat,Diamond
Click on the image to supersize the cuteness!


Even top feline models need some down time and a little vacation, so here I am resting on the Beach in the Grand Cayman islands. In fact, it's going to be a celebration of warm sand and roasting rays here on my blog all month long!

While the surf may not appeal to most domestic cats, certain breeds such as the Cornish Rex and the Turkish Van like water and actual enjoy swimming (::shutter::). Of course, it always amuses me when a human gets a hold of a video showing a cat swimming and are amazed by this feat.

I mean, really! OF COURSE we can swim! And unlike humans, who seem to have to learn to do EVERYTHING, we are born knowing how to swim. (And yet humans think themselves superior to us? Please!)

The thing is, being descended from desert animals, we do not have the sort of coat or undercoat that sheds water easily. So when we get wet, we tend to stay damp, all the way down to our skin - and you know how uncomfortable that is. (For the humans that may be reading this, it's sort of like sitting around in wet clothes.) And being creatures of comfort, we really don't like feeling uncomfortably damp for any length of time.

But of course there's nothing that says we can't go to the beach and in fact many colonies of feral cats make beaches their homes. After all, food washes up on shore nearly every morning in the form of tasty dead fish. Yum, yum. And that also helps to the clean up the beach so the humans can enjoy it later in the day.

And what is a beach really, except a lot of sand? Nothing wrong with a little sand is there...or a lot for that matter. I love digging as much as the next cat so having a whole beach to toss sand around on certainly makes me happy!

So come and out and join me here at the beach through the month of April. After April Fools Day on Tuesday, we've really got nothing else going on, so there's nothing wrong with a little bit of beach combing, now is there? Just ask Cecil. He's already selling seashells by the seashore!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Beach patrol

sunsets,Scrapbook
Click on the image to supersize the cuteness

Friday, March 28, 2008

Floofyhead Friday - Johnny Rotty

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Believe it or not, we are almost done with Floofyhead Fridays, although I suppose I could just back and check up on how some of the Floofies we've met in the past are doing. In any case today I would like you meet Johnny Rotty.

floofyhead
Click the image to bigify it, if you dare!


Johnny Rotty is the head of the Marauding Woofies pack that gets into all sorts of trouble all over the house. Don't let that innocent look fool you. He instigates everything. And he's very good at getting away with things. When something happen, much like Macavity, Johnny Rotty isn't there.

He tries to pretend he is a good dog, but we all know that is not the case. We all know that his theme song is really "Bad to the Bone" and that somewhere deep down inside, he it just totally and thoroughly rotten.

And yet the good woofies like Oscar De La Hoya and St. Valentine of the Snows, and even Hibbing Husky hang with him and try to be just as cool. Faux Rutgers is wiser though and will not join their pack. And Ray Old Shepard Dog keep trying to form his own pack, but no one like him so no one will hang with him.

Me, I usually just hang out with Savannah, my floofyhead sisfur and my new tabby furriend Pooka.

And now for your cute cat fix for today:

black cat,Diamond
Click to supersize the cuteness


The answers to the moovees you cats missed in yesterday's Thursday Thirteen are as follows:

5. Spiderman III: Peter Parker apologizes to his landlord for flying off the handle about the broken door, and his landlord says this line.

8. Bladerunner: Rutgar Hauer's monologue at the end of the film after he's chased Harrison Ford up onto the roof. He follows this with "Time to die." and then he does.

9. The Bourne Identity: Marie, after Jason says they have to stay together to get out of Paris.

11. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. All you Pirate cats should feel ashamed of yourself for missing that one. This is a line by Lord Cutler Beckett.

Still, I think you all did pretty good. It's hard to pick out quotes from moovees and know or remember them, especially films you've not seen in a while.

Speaking of moovees, don't forget to visit Tybalt for Tybalt's Take today. I look forward to seeing what moovees Tybalt has picked out for us this week. Being the big moovee buff that he is, I think he'd be a good one to do the Moovee Me-me for an upcoming T13.

On a Finally Friday note: Tax season continues, and Spring Training is mostly at an end. We also need more memory and hard disk space on our computer system, so Bean says she is going to address that issue this weekend. She is also supposed to go by the Twins complex and pick up the roster to post for our baseball team this year. She says there will likely be a few changes to start the season, but our baseball season opens on Thursday. Lots of excitement, but that may cut back a bit on my computer blogging time.

I have moved all the Purr and Purrayer's banners on my website onto their own page - The Temple of Bast. There is a link on my sidebar so it's easy to find. I should probably do the same with my awards - those side bars are getting crowded.

That is all for now. I think my blog is going to the Beach for April. Maybe we can catch some fish? (And we will certainly do some catching, not fishing!)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

T13 - Moovee Trivia

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Silver Screen
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I got this idea from Roxy Devil Dog who got it from Goodboy Norman. it seems like a fun thing to do, so I decide to try it. Here are the rules:

1. Pick 13 of your favorite moovees.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each moovee.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the moovee.
5. No Googling or IMDb-ing. That’s cheating and that’s no fun.


1. Well, I'll tell you what. You make it through tomorrow without killing anybody, especially me, or yourself, then I'll start trusting you. Lethel Weapon / Mr Echo

2. Someone's gonna get killed, and you're farting around with prehistoric animals. Come on Ira, let's forget about this one. I've got a real bad feeling about it, real bad. Romancing the Stone / PB&J

3. It's meant to be the most haunted building in Britain. Did I mention that? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Chance

4. What are you trying to do, scare me? You sound like my mother. We've known each other for a long time. I don't believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus. I'm going after a find of incredible historical significance, you're talking about the boogie man. Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am. Raiders of the Lost Ark / Finnegan & Buddy

5. Eh, it's no big deal. If you feel that bad about it, you can buy me pizza some time - today's good! (Hint: Back in Black)

6. This is not unlike escaping my mother's womb. God, what a memory. Ladyhawk / Cheysuli & Gemini

7. You're supposed to stay in your seat until the plane reaches the terminal. No frequent flier mileage for you. Die Hard II / Jan, Poodle (and the Dog) Blog

8. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. (Hint: Film just celebrated it's 25th Anniversary)

9. We? The only thing we had in common was that neither one of us knew who you were! We are past that now. (Hint: Stars one of my Bean's favorite actors.)

10. It's about a girl who had just come to Paris from her home in Oslo. At the house of some friends, she met a man about whom she'd heard her whole life. A very great and courageous man. He opened up for her a whole beautiful world full of knowledge and thoughts and ideals. Everything she knew or ever became was because of him. And she looked up to him and worshiped him... with a feeling she supposed was love. Casablanca / Finnegan & Buddy

11. The brethren know they face extinction. All that remains is where they make their final stand. (Hint: Stars my Bean's other favorite actor.)

12. "Could be worse." "How?" "Could be raining." Young Frankenstein, Tybalt

13. I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. Star Wars / Dragonheart

I make this harder and let my Bean pick the moovees, since I tell most of my favorite ones in a previous post. Good Luck!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Review Wednesday

black cat,Diamond,toys
Click on the image to supersize the cuteness!


I have been asked by PetSaleAve.com to review a new toy for them. It is called Lucky Catnip Fortune Cookies and it is made by Jake and Micah. The cookies - there are three - come in a cute little Chinese take out box with paper noodles. Each cookie comes with its own fortune, but your really don't need a crystal ball to know that I'll be taking a long and peaceful nap in the future after I get done playing with a primo nip toy.

These toys are big enough (3.5 inches) for bunnykicking, but not so big as to be overwhelming. They come in appealing colors, and are filled with 100% organic catnip.

The fortunes are sewn onto strips that are attached to the side of the toy. The cookies are well constructed and the fabric stands up to all the biting and kicking that I inflicted upon them. Some of the other fortunes are "You purr is a gift to those who love you", and "Trust your intuition to scratch things". I did that too, scratching my ears most thoroughly before getting very involved in the aggressive end of the review.

I have to say I enjoyed these immensely. Despite having a night to dry out, the fabric is still slightly soggy today, so you can tell I had a good time.

You can find pictures of my play/review session HERE. As you can see I took the review process very seriously. The paper noodles were quite entertaining as well.

The same company also make catnip sushi and wantons. I sense a theme here! They also offer contemplation/play mats, lucky cat collars (please remove bell), and some very attractive kitty bandannas. While their tag line reads "for super lucky pets!" they are themed more toward the feline crowd.

PetSaleAve.com has been, to date, largely geared toward dogs, so the inclusion of new cat products into their catalog would certainly be welcome. (This the company that referred me to Caitlyn's K-9 where I get my Party Collars. They also have model sign up form. I need to sign up!)

In short, after thorough testing by me, I find this product more than meets my exacting standards and I give it a five star rating!

Vine Line


Cat How cool is this? A new born kitten has a message in her fur that says I "heart" dot. Her mother's name is Dottie!

This is somewhat more fun than a message in a bottle!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Bling

Diamond's Domain
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Bean take pictures of cute cat to her place of day hunting yesterday and Mrs. Rowena look at them and say "Oh, what's that?" point to white spot on chest.

"That's her natural bling-bling," Bean tell her. They so used to looking at costumes, they forget what I look like!

You can find her baseball pictures from Sunday Here. She was happy to see Frankie pitch. And I think TC Bunny Bear was pretty funny.

She bring me back this nice bandana to wear:

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See how it say Spring Training on it?

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Yes, I know, my head go blurry again.

Anyway since it's Tummy Tuesday (among other things) here is my tummy:

Another Weird sleeping spot


Bean look at this and say "Ah, now I know where the Egyptians got the inspiration for their art from, with the head and shoulders going one way, and legs the other."

We Cats inspire many great things!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Myth Monday - Easter

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My Bean says there is something fundamentally wrong with a culture that celibrates it's major religious feast day by telling their children a large rabbit brings chocolate eggs in the middle of the night.

While some of the trappings of Easter are linked to the religious part of the holiday - lamb and eggs for example - others, like bunnies are symbols of the spring.

Religiously, Easter is linked to the Jewish holiday of Passover not only for much of its symbolism but also for its position in the calendar. The Last Supper shared by Jesus and his disciples before his crucifixion is generally thought of as a Passover meal, based on the chronology in the Synoptic Gospels.

As with many events in the Christian religion, the Jewish feast was taken over into the Christian Easter celebration.

The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Eastre, which itself developed prior to AD 899. The name refers to the Eostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar which may have been named for the goddess Eastre in Germanic paganism.

In all Romance languages the name of the Easter festival is derived from the Greek name, Pascha which is itself derived from Pesach, the Hebrew festival of Passover.

The observance of any non-Jewish special holiday throughout the Christian year is believed by some to be an innovation postdating the Early Church. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates Scholasticus (b. 380) attributes the observance of Easter by the church to the perpetuation of local custom, "just as many other customs have been established," stating that neither Jesus nor his Apostles enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival. However, when read in context, this is not a rejection or denigration of the celebration, but is merely part of a defense of the diverse methods for computing its date. Indeed, although he describes the details of the Easter celebration as deriving from local custom, he insists the feast itself is universally observed.

Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a 2nd century Paschal homily by Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one.

Easter is a movable holiday and does not actually fall on the date of the so called death and reserection of the Jesus Christ figure. It is in fact linked to Spring Equinox, which fell - this year - last Thursday.

The date of Easter, according to church law, is to be celebrated on the same Sunday throughout the world, and that this Sunday must follow the fourteenth day of the paschal moon. The moon was to be accounted the paschal moon whose fourteenth day followed the spring equinox, and that some provision should be made, probably by the Church of Alexandria as best skilled in astronomical calculations, for determining the proper date of Easter and communicating it to the rest of the world. It should also be noted that the full moon referred to is not an astronomical full moon, but an ecclesiastical moon (although I'm not really sure that the difference is).

However all of the dates preceding it, including the beginning of Lent, forty days prior during Ash Wednesday are tied into the fixing of the date of Easter.

Egging you on
Click to bigify the cute cat!


As with many other Christian dates, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting. Today it is commercially important, seeing wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans. Even many non-Christians celebrate these aspects of the holiday while eschewing the religious aspects.

Throughout North America, Australia and parts of the UK, the Easter holiday has been partially secularized, so that some families participate only in the attendant revelry, central to which is (traditionally) decorating Easter eggs on Saturday evening and hunting for them Sunday morning, by which time they have been mysteriously hidden all over the house and garden. Chocolate eggs have largely supplanted decorated eggs in Australia.

In North America, eggs and other treats are delivered and hidden by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket which children find waiting for them when they wake up. Many families in America will attend Sunday Mass or services in the morning and then participate in a feast or party in the afternoon.

English children still paint colored eggs, but most British people simply exchange chocolate eggs on the Sunday. Chocolate Easter Bunnies can be found in shops, but the idea is considered primarily a US import. Many families have a traditional Sunday roast, particularly roast lamb, and eat foods like Simnel cake, a fruit cake with eleven marzipan balls representing the eleven faithful apostles. Hot cross buns, spiced buns with a cross on top, are traditionally associated with Good Friday, but today are eaten through Holy Week and the Easter period. In the north of England and the north of Ireland, the tradition of rolling decorated eggs down steep hills is still adhered to.

There are many other practices in other countries. Eggs are specific to easter because they were banned during lent in the old roman church, and children were urged to give up candy during lent, which is considered to be a time of fasting and repentance. Since these restrictions were lifted on Easter, the celebrations began to revolve around these two things and eventually to merg (hence the chocolate eggs). Young chicks and rabbits are symbolic of spring and have also come to be related directly to easter.

In the modern-day United States, there have been instances where public mention of Easter and Good Friday have been replaced with euphemistic terminology. Examples include renaming "Good Friday" as "Spring holiday" on school calendars, to avoid association with a Christian holiday while at the same time allowing a state-sanctioned day off.

Around the net: Little Isis is our Featured Panther today on House Panthers. A great honor since it also Midnight Monday, the weekly celebration of all House Panthers. I have also started a two pieces series today on how music can sooth cats. Later in the week we are going to look at Feline orthopedic troubles (nearly 100% of all cats who radiographic evidence of arthritis in cats age 10 and over), as well as the use of acupuncture for the treatment of age related disorders.

My Midnight Monday entry is a little piece on the natural wild beauty of the House Panther at Digicats. Come on a Safari with me!

A note to Dave: My Bean says she couldn't have planned yesterday's game with Frankie on the mound and her in the fourth row if she'd tried. She got pictures and Buscher last week, and said that they won yesterday despite Buscher playing at first.

She did get you shots of Denard Span and Mike Lamb however. She should have them posted later today and will send you a link.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eastern Sunday

I do not get it. I spend whole night, sleeping next to my Eastern village and my Eastern Basket, and I never see the Eastern Bunny. Not even wet tracks from all the rain outside. Yet somehow the wascally wabbit manage to sneak Cat Candy and Temptation filled eggs and toys into my Eastern Basket. Must have been VERY quiet bunny for me to miss.

black cat,Diamond,baseball
Click on image to bigify it!


This is what my Bean is up to today, unless it continue to rain. She is seeing Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins and is sitting in the fourth row on the first base line. She says this will be good place for her to take pictures.

Hopefully, she remember sunscreen this time, as she is still burned from last Sunday.

Myself, I am going to enjoy my Eastern toys and Temptations and purrhaps sleep on my new bed on the porch. Of course, if it rain, I will not go outside as I do not like to get my furs wet.

That being said, I wish you all a very...

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Love to all...

black cat,Diamond
You really want to click on this image to bigify it!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Eastern Giggles

A little Chicken


I would not mind finding one of those in my Eastern Basket!

Pugs Bunny

Dis one cracks me up! And I not even an egg!

Bunny Tasty?
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We are working on Eastern pictures today. Must come up with something to send to Bean's mom and sister in O Hi O. This is my favorite one so far!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Floofyhead Friday - Faux Rutgers

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Faux Rutgers


This is Faux Rutgers. He is a Floofy Golden Retriever and he was named for a real Golden Retriever named Rutgers.

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The real Rutgers was in turn named for the University of Rutgers, the alma mater of his owner, Dave. Rutgers was the mascot of our baseball team, the Fort Myers Miracle. He traced his linage back to Jericho, the first mascot the team had when it moved back to Fort Myers in 1992.

Rutgers was "traded" along with his owner to a team in the New York-Penn league following the 2003 season and things have sort of downhill ever since. He was replaced by a human in a smelly, ugly, furry suit, which is about normal for mascots.

What happened that last year in 2003 is that Rutgers was startled at the beginning of the season by Swampee, the Florida Everblades Hockey Team mascot. He was on the ice at the time and he slipped and injured his back leg. This required him to have MCL surgery and he was laid up for most of the season.

The Fort Myers Miracle are the High-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. One of the player's parents had come over from Australia that year to watch their son, and they had been collecting mascot dolls for every team their son had played on. They got to Fort Myers and inquired about a stuffed Rutgers.

The gift shop didn't have any. "Well why not, he's your mascot."

"He's not a mascot, he's a dog."

"Nonsense. I saw his picture on your website and it stated he was your mascot and I want a Rutgers."

So after hearing this story, my Bean trotted down to Toys-R-Us and picked up several Golden Retriever Dogs including this large one who became Faux Rutgers.

Faux Rutgers


Faux Rutgers has seen better days, in part because once she took him to one game, she was instructed to bring him to all the games. With Rutgers in a cast and laid up, the intern staff decided to make use of the floofyhead one and pressed Faux Rutgers into service, walking - or being walked - around the stadium and giving hugs to children and even running the bases. Not that he ever won. He and the real Rutgers at least had THAT much in common.

He still knows several tricks, but being an aging floofyhead, it's harder to get him to do them. Like sit up. He does however play dead pretty well.

As our baseball season starts in just under 2 weeks, I felt it appropriate to introduce a bit of history to you.

It should also be noted that Golden Retrievers continue to serve as mascots for several teams. The Trenton Thunder in AA employs one. Jake the Diamond Dog is a traveling profession mascot that makes appearances with many teams in the Midwest and occasionally down into the South.

Pee Ess: Smudge when over the bridge last night. My poor little friend, I am so sorry to see you go. We will meet again sometime in the future during better days when you are not in pain.
Rest easy now in the temple of Bast.

Purr for Smudge

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Fling: Eastern Village

Yesterday I show you a little bit of what goes on behind the sets before a photo shoot. Today I want to show you my Eastern Village. Eastern Village is new to me this year, it is 3 buildings, and two smaller pieces, a carrot juice stand and a foutain.

spring,Eastern


This is the Candy Shop and Carrot Juice Stand. The Candy Shop is where the Eastern Bunny buys the cat candy that he delivers to good cats' Eastern Baskets on Eastern. The Carrot Juice stand is where he gets some refreshing carrot juice after he has made his rounds. (You can click on any of these images to bigify them.)

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This is the Carrot House and Bunny Fountain. The Carrot House is a hotel for all visiting Eastern Bunnies. Any bunnies can stay there that need a place to stay. You can see a pink bunny in the background behind the eggs. He is going into the Carrot House. The Bunny Fountain does not have any real water in it, because the bunnies do not wish to get wet.

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This is the Eastern Bunny's House. The fountain is to one side and the Carrot Juice stand to the other. This is where the Eastern Bunny lives when he is not delivering candy, toys and Temptations to good cats.

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This is a panaramic shot of Eastern Village. You can see all the eggs and my Eastern Basket, and of course Pooka and Ray Old Shepherd Dog are helping out with the photo shoot.

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I should note that despite my talent, and training at the Daisy Curly Cat School of Modeling, that being a Model is still hard work. You must know how to sit or stand just right. You must look at the camera, even when you would rather check out the noise in the backyard. However it can be a very rewarding career for a working girl.

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I hope to use my modeling skills to launch my acting career. I do hope I do not have to move to Hollywood to become a MooVee star, as I kind of like it here in Cape Coral, with my Bean.

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Modeling is also very tiring, so one should be ready to take a nap anywhere on the set anytime there is a chance. You many have to be up for a long time while you are doing a photo shoot. We probably shoot about 40 pictures yesterday. They have yet to be processed and put on line, but don't worry, everything will be ready for Eastern morning!

Around the internets: Today is Grr-Day on House Panthers. I was also tagged by Spooker, Little Isis, et al, for the Make a Wish me-me, and I post my response there. So please visit House Panthers to see what I wish for. Sadly I do not think I wished hard enough as I now hear that Smudge will be helped to the Bridge today. There is also an article on Holistic Care for Senior Cats that the 10-and-over crowd should find of interest.

Over at Black Cat Pub, the Leprechauns finally showed up! They get lost for a while. And then only 9 of them came. So I had to dig up 4 more to make today's Thursday 13.

Today's lunch special at Black Cat Pub is our Roast Beef Sandwich. For dinner we are offering our Salmon of Knowlege, with warm Blackbird Bread Pudding for desert. And there are 2-for-1 Draft and Niptinis during Happy Hour from 4 to 7 PM GMT.

Odds and Ends:

Great Britain has such interesting things. For example, in the United States, we get Liberty Bell stamps. In England, they get...

Beatles Stamp


The Beatles and ...

James Bond Stamp


James Bond. You have to admit, those are much more interesting than the Liberty Bell!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Fling: Behind the Scenes

It is time for us to set up for Eastern and so I wanted to show you some of what goes into the set design. We start out getting all the basic items we will use out of the box of Eastern decorations. While we were doing this, Bean finded her KissMouse Stocking she could not find in December. Of course it makes purrfectly good sense to store it with Eastern stuff, does it not?

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Here is Ray Old Shepherd Dog showing up his back of disrespect.

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I think the little buildings for the Eastern town is very cute.

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The Stork went to visit Daisy Curly Cat earlier this week, and it stop by bring me three new kittens as well: 2 floofy white ones and one which must be a Sphynx kitten as it has no fur. It also green, which I think was kind of an odd color.

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Now we start getting things in order:

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Obviously, some things need to go. I trade the green sphynx kitten for my pink floofy one, as it fits in more with the other colors. I put Black Cat Pub sign away. I still need backdrop for this. Bean could not find anything suitably Easternee in the store so far.

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Now we do some test shots. In some I am in front....

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And in some I am in back. This was only a test to see what needs to be changed around and how to make it better. We still need something behind, or at least, we need to take the hooks off the wall.

Setting the stage for my shots is very important, as I'm sure you know. This was a dress rehearsal as I have my floofy color on.

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I think I do pretty good job. More Eastern pictures can be found in my Eastern album on Photobucket.

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Some Notes: Bean want me to do Woofie Wednesday, I want to do spring and bunnies. Bunnies look tasty. I have never caught one.

A clarification on the Coyotes. They are way far south of here. And they do not have money for the toll bridge, so they couldn't get over the river even if they weren't way far south of here. I live on Cape, surrounded on three sides by water. We don't even get many squirrels here because they can't get across river. Raccoons on the other hand steal toll money and have no problem.

We are featuring Kodak today on House Panthers. I also talk about Arthritis in Cats, and we'll take a look at senior cat care for rest of this week. There are many senior cats out there and even I am starting to get a bit older, so some information on that is not unwelcome.

I would like to apologize for lack of commenting this last week, but I have been furry busy kitty. I do read all your blogs though, but given that I end up with 70+ postings daily on my reader, I don't always have time to comment on them. I should note that with Sassy, Momo, and Cat Realm et al taking their grand tour of Scotland, I see a number of repeat postings. In that case I might comment on one blog, but not on efurryone's different blogs. Maybe you all should consider a shared trip blog instead of reposting the same thing in 10 or 15 different locations?

Mr. Hendrix tagged me for a me-me, which I posted yesterday, in case you missed it.

I think that all for now. Don't forget to check out Digicats (and Dogs) and see Bean's latest additions. And of course Black Cat Pub is still open and ready to serve you.

Pee Ess: My Bean was talking to her Mom last night and I guess she see on Tee Vee where they have cat wigs. (Which are like $45.) And she said on the program they were wondering what cat would wear one of these. I guess she said to herself "Oh, my Grandcat would wear one of those!" Actually, I do not like having things on my head. But it kind of a change around from last September when she was telling my Bean to stop torturing me by putting outfits on me. Dress up still not my favorite game to play, but it not so bad as I thought it was going to be.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mr. Hendrix better run fast me-me

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Mr. Hendrix, the practical joker, tag me for the Middle Name Me-me, which was one Me-me I really wish not to get tagged for.

You see, the way it works is:

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one furson (or blogger of another species) for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.)

As my name is Diamond Emerald-Eyes Precious Black Cat, you can see where doing this Me-me is going to be a big pain in my House Panther behind.

So...

E is for my Excellent hunting skills. I'm a natural born killer on four paws.
M is for my Magnificent tracking ability. I can find a small mouse hiding in a great big field.
E is for my Exciting killing moves. I know and often practice all three final strokes.
R is for my Right to kill those crows that keep "Caw, caw, cawing" and distrubing my nap.
A is for my Arogant Attitude. As Queen Empress of the universe, I am better than you and I know it.
L is for my Laser Eyes - the better to fry you with!
D is for my Diamond sharp claws, the better to rip you apart with (Mr. Hendrix).

E is for my Emerald Green Eyes, which can see so well in the dark.
Y is for my Yowl, which can be very loud and fearsome!
E is for my Energetic nature, which allows me to go for long periods of time without rest.
S is for my Superior Attitude. After this list, I seriously doubt Yoa-Lin can top me. And besides, I KNOW my poo doesn't stink.

P is for Precocious, which I was as a kitten.
R is for Racy, for I am very, very fast.
E is for my Evil Alter Ego, Brimstone, Demon Cat from Hell. (Mr. Hendrix not only schizophrenic cat in the Blogosphere.
C is for Creative, which I have to be to get through this freaking Me-me.
I is for Idealistic. Or at least I have a lot of ideas...
O Or something.
U is for Unique. I am very unique. Trust me on this one.
S is for Seriously ticked off.

I now tag all the cats in Coats of Many Colors group which I finally get approval to join, because frankly, that too many letters to count.

Tartan Tuesday

Something you don't know, or maybe you do, is that the heritage of Scotland, Ireland and England is sort of all mixed up together. Unless you can trace your ancestry to before the Norman Conquest in 1066, you can't really claim any one of them, you have to claim them all.

In any case, my Scottish cousin, Misty Whispurrs, who is a Scottish Fold sent me the most beautiful gift that I received yesterday, a genuine, authentic tartan.

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Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Tartans originated in woven cloth, but are now used in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Celtic countries, especially Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns.

I do not know what clan I am, but if you have some Scot in your herritage, you may be able to find your clan's pattern at Tartans of Scotland. The website shows the various patterns, talks about the making of, the correct wearing of, and also includes a Q&A and world register.

I am very thrilled by this. It was Misty who also sent me my beautiful and much loved Kitty Quilt, made by her Meowmy at The Quilted Squirrel.

My Bean will be making a scrapbook page as a gift to Misty, but I doubt that I will every be able to truly repay their kindness and generosity.

Thank you so much Misty! Purrs and headbutts to you!

In other blogging, I talk about my ancestor, Blackie "Niphead" O'Reilly at Catnip Anonymous. Today I share an article on learning to walk on a leash that my human found in her office at House Panthers. I also have a link to very good article on lack of humor in animal cruelty and why it should not be used in TV and movies. We are also featuring JP Buzzerbee on Black Tabby Tuesday. "Buzzy" has gone over the bridge but he was still a tremendous cat when he was alive.

Meanwhile, with St. Patrick's Day over, we'll be turning to a Eastern Photo Shoot this week at my house. Pooka has already found some festive yellow beads with a Budweiser tag on them to wear. That tabby, he is too much! I was also trying out my new purple collar today. It is so lovely that I cannot wait to wear it! So look for my Eastern village coming soon!

However, Black Cat Pub is still in operation, so we'll be having more fun and entertainment to come! If you miss it yesterday, be sure to stop by and Help Drive the Snakes from Ireland.

Today we are featuring Shepherd's Burger for lunch and Bangers and Mash for supper. Yummy stuff! And if you have not tried it, I really recommend the Warm Mouse-Apple Cobbler for desert! If any one would like to become a contributor to BCP, please E-Mail me and I'll send you an invitation.

News Flash! Coyotes were spotted in Estero recently! Tony's mom - who was wearing Tony's St. Patrick's Day outfit - told us the news. My Bean was concerned because first she said South Fort Myers, which is not too far from here. But then she change it to Estero, which is where the hockey team play and which is not so heavily populated and much further away. Estero she can understand, but it's about as reasonable to worry about Coyotes in Estero as it is to worry about Black Bears in Naples. They are not going to come here, and that is that. Updates on backyard Raccoon Wars much more interesting!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Myth Monday - St. Patrick

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St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

(As I tell you previously, it was my ancestor Blackie "Nipheart" O'Reilly that drive all the snakes from Ireland!)

Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders

It is known that St. Patrick was born in British held Scotland to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.

There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.

During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian.

It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.

Guided By Visions

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.

Bonfires and Crosses

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.

Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

The First Parade

black cat,photoshop St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.

On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.

No Irish Need Apply

Up until the mid-nineteenth century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to a million poor, uneducated, Catholic Irish began to pour into America to escape starvation. Despised for their religious beliefs and funny accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country's cities took to the streets on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.

However, the Irish soon began to realize that their great numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the "green machine," became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick's Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Truman attended New York City 's St. Patrick's Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.

Wearing of the Green Goes Global

Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia.

In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.