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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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wondering Wednesday

What are most people looking for when they find my blog. You would think that "Diamond" or "Diamonds" would top the list, but it do not.

The most searches that lead people to this blog are for the Painted Cats, which I blog about almost two years ago. Amazing, isn't it?

Other more recent searches include:

Snow Myth for Kids
Santa Claus toy Shop
Griffin Symbol
Griffin Myth
diamond suicides
Titania myths fairy
the black candle
High Jump Cat
Florida Panther
Diamonds
Tabbyland
April Diamond Cat
Gargoyle Evil Spirits
Mabb Goddess

I can see where the Christmas searches top the list right now, but I was surprised by number of searches for Griffins, which was a post from over a year ago.

I also get some people finding us through image searches. The most popular (aside for the painted cats) is the "Leopard Cub Triplet". (Well, he is really cute!)

Others include:
Blarney Castle
Brothers Grimm
Sgt. Tibbs
Fluffy Kittens
Artwork
Husky Bathing (Must be Khyra looking for this one)
orange weasleys
Honey toys
Martyred Saints

I did not know I have any pictures of Martyred Saints on blog. Only one I ever talk about, St. Valentine, and I not post any pictures of him.

On the whole, it not really that interesting considering what some cats get googled for.

Both the Myth Mondays and the T-13 bring in most interest. Rocky says "me shure hope T-13 will not stop now". We will continue to do T-13, but we kind of at a loss for topics now that Holly Days are pretty much over. Be sure to top by tomorrow for New Years Cats (and Dogs).

Banner,Guest List


If you have any ideas for an interesting T-13, please to leave a comment or send an e-mail and we will consider it. We will do Valentines Day and Spring and other obvious events, but there nothing in January until Chinese New Year at end of the month (although bean have some ideas).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuxi Tip Tuesday

My brofur make a comment in his blog about going a place he not allowed, which caused some cats to say "You mean there are places we're not allowed?"

In all households, there are some places a feline should not go. The stove - for example - should be off limits always for obvious safety reasons. Establishing an off limits rule even with the stove not in use, could help to prevent injuries later.

Common sense should rule. Some humans do not like their cats on their counter tops and food preparation areas there they might run across things like sharp knives that could injure them.

To keep a cat off someplace they are not allowed - like counter or stove tops, try temporarily applying double-sided tape to the edges of the surface. Cats dislike the sticky feeling on their paws. (My bean says if you have trouble getting the tape off later, nail polish remover works wonders.)

An alternative is to purchase a mat made for keeping cats off counters. It is plastic mat that emits a small static shock when touched. This way the cat will be discouraged from going someplace he or she should not, even when the human is away from home.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Myth Monday - Kwanzaa

I have been asked, "What is Kwanzaa?", and so I will tell you.

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday honoring African heritage, marked by participants lighting a kinara (candle holder). It is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.

Kwanzaa,collage


Kwanzaa - called the Black Candle - consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and pouring of libations, and culminating in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Ron Karenga and was first celebrated from December 26, 1966, to January 1, 1967.

An African-American scholar, social activist, and convicted felon, Ron Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first African-American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to "...give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."

The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", meaning "first fruits". The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s.

Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of "African traditions" and "common humanist principles."

The first Kwanzaa stamp was issued by the United States Postal Service on October 22, 1997 at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, California. In 2004 a second Kwanzaa stamp, created by artist Daniel Minter was issued which has seven figures in colorful robes symbolizing the seven principles.

The origins of Kwanzaa are not secret and are openly acknowledged by those promoting the holiday. Many Christian and Jewish African-Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas and Hanukkah.

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called "The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa," or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba - "The Seven Principles of Blackness"), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy" consisting of what Karenga called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

· Umoja (Unity) To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
· Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
· Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
· Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
· Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
· Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
· Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art, colorful African cloth, especially the wearing of the Uwole by women, and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors. Libations are shared, generally with a common chalice, "Kikombe cha Umoja" passed around to all celebrants. Non-African Americans also celebrate Kwanzaa. The holiday greeting is "Joyous Kwanzaa."

A Kwanzaa ceremony may include drumming and musical selections, libations, a reading of the "African Pledge" and the Principles of Blackness, reflection on the Pan-African colors, a discussion of the African principle of the day or a chapter in African history, a candle-lighting ritual, artistic performance, and, finally, a feast (Karamu). The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is "Habari Gani," which is Swahili for "What's the News?"

At first, observers of Kwanzaa eschewed the mixing of the holiday or its symbols, values and practice with other holidays. They felt that doing so would violate the principle of kujichagulia (self-determination) and thus violate the integrity of the holiday, which is partially intended as a reclamation of important African values. Today, many African-American families celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and New Year's. Frequently, both Christmas trees and kinaras, the traditional candle holder symbolic of African-American roots, share space in Kwanzaa celebrating households. To them, Kwanzaa is an opportunity to incorporate elements of their particular ethnic heritage into holiday observances and celebrations of Christmas.

Cultural exhibitions include "The Spirit of Kwanzaa," an annual celebration held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts featuring interpretive dance, African dance, song and poetry.

You can find out more about Kwanzaa at The Official Kwanzaa Web Site, which includes information on the Seven Principles, Greetings, Gifts, Colors and Decorations, and the Celebration of the Holiday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holly Daze - The Conclusion

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Thank you for taking the time to joining us on this Holly Day for our special T-13 presentation. Without further ado, I am pleased to present to you: Holly Daze - The Conclusion!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Lightning! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

Lightning


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the vishus deers flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and Princess Dakota too.

Dog,Holly Daze,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each nasty hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney Maximillion came with a bound.

Domestic Cat,Holly Daze,Holiday Glitter,Happy Holidays


He was dressed all in floof, from his head to his foot, And his coat was all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys Moe had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

Ginger Cat,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Santa,Snowman,Holly Daze,Holiday Glitter,Happy Holidays,Mice


His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on Hershey's chin was as white as the snow.

Dog,Holly Daze,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


The laser eyes burning out of Smudge's head,
Lit up the room and most of the homestead!

Holly Daze,House Panther,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter,Elves


She had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when Mindy laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

Tabby Cat,Bi-Colored Cat,Domestic Cat,Santa,Reindeer,Holly Daze,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


Chase was chubby and plump, With a big floofy pelt,
And I laughed when I saw her, so happy I felt!

Bi-Colored Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Angels & Devils


A wink of his eye and a twist of Jeter Harris' head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Jeter Harris


Elsie spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
Filled all the stockings with catnip, then turned with a jerk.

Miss Elsie (take 2)


And laying her paw aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney Laila rose!

Laila


Rosie sprang to her sleigh, to her team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a Tomahawk cruise missile.

Bi-Colored Cat,Domestic Cat,Holly Daze,Holiday Glitter,Happy Holidays


But I heard Billy Sweetfeets exclaim, ‘ere he bounded out of sight,

Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Holly Daze,Santa,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


"Happy Holly Daze to all, and to all a good-night!"


Elves,Celebrity,Teddy Bear,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


(Is we ready to sing now? yes? okay...one, two...Tristan! Three!)

"We wish you a Merry Kissy Mouse, We Wish you a Merry Kissy Mouse,
We Wish you a Merry Kissy Mouse, and a Happy New Year!"


Elves,Christmas,Happy Holidays,Flair


EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa's Toy Shop

Caution! Elves at Work!


Miss Diamond's Magikal Night


My bean has been a little under the weather (she get pressie of a sore throat from female at day hunting place), so we are taking today and tomorrow off to work on our Holly Day T-13 presentation. Please join us on Kissy Mouse as we welcome special guests Moe and Mindy, Smudge, Jeter Harris, Laila, Lightning, Rosie, Maximillion, Dakota, Hershey, Chase, Billy Sweetfeets, Smudge and Miss Elsie for Holly Daze - The conclusion.

In the meantime, be sure to check out some of the great videos available on our side bar courtesy of Dog Time Network!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Myth Monday: Santa Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus on a Magikal winter evening


Saint Nicholas is the common name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra (in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as is common for early Christian saints. In 1087, his relics were furtively translated to Bari, in southern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nicholas of Bari.

The historical Saint Nicholas is remembered and revered among Catholic and Orthodox Christians. He is also honored by various Anglican and Lutheran churches. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, and children, and students in Greece, Belgium, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro. He is also the patron saint of Barranquilla, Bari, Amsterdam, Beit Jala, and Liverpool. In 1809, the New-York Historical Society convened and retroactively named Sancte Claus the patron saint of Nieuw Amsterdam, the Dutch name for New York City. He was also a patron of the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine emperors, who protected his relics in Bari.

Of the many deeds and miracles attributed to him, his most famous exploit involved a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public, (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house.

One version has him throwing one purse for three consecutive nights. Another has him throw the purses over a period of three years, each time the night before one of the daughters comes "of age". Invariably, the third time the father lies in wait, trying to discover the identity of their benefactor. In one version the father confronts the saint, only to have Saint Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone. In another version, Nicholas learns of the poor man's plan and drops the third bag down the chimney instead; a variant holds that the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking.

For his help to the poor, Nicholas is the patron saint of pawnbrokers; the three gold balls traditionally hung outside a pawnshop symbolize the three sacks of gold. People then began to suspect that he was behind a large number of other anonymous gifts to the poor, using the inheritance from his wealthy parents. After he died, people in the region continued to give to the poor anonymously, and such gifts were still often attributed to St. Nicholas.

A nearly identical story is attributed by Greek folklore to Basil of Caesarea. Basil's feast day on January 1 is considered the time of exchanging gifts in Greece.

Today, Saint Nicholas is still celebrated as a great gift-giver in several Western European countries. According to one source, medieval nuns used the night of December 6th to anonymously deposit baskets of food and clothes at the doorsteps of the needy. According to another source, on December 6th every sailor or ex-sailor of the Low Countries (which at that time was virtually all of the male population) would descend to the harbor towns to participate in a church celebration for their patron saint. On the way back they would stop at one of the various Nicholas fairs to buy some hard-to-come-by goods, gifts for their loved ones and invariably some little presents for their children. While the real gifts would only be presented at Christmas, the little presents for the children were given right away, courtesy of Saint Nicholas. This and his miracle of him resurrecting the three butchered children, made Saint Nicholas a patron saint of children and later students as well.

St. Nicholas Day, usually held on the 6th of December, is a festival for children in many countries in Europe. The American tradition of Santa Claus as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends. The name of course is derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas.

Over time, the relationship has become muddied and some American cities with strong German influences such as Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis continue to celebrate St. Nick's Day on a scale similar to the German Custom. (Dragonheart wrote about German Christmas customs on his blog last year.) On the previous night, children put one empty shoe (or sock) outside, and, on the following morning of December 6, the children awake to find that St. Nick has filled their previously empty footwear with candy and small presents (if the children have been "good") or coal (if not). For these children, the relationship between St. Nick and Santa Claus is not clearly defined, although St. Nick is usually explained to be a helper of Santa.

St. Nicholas (San Nicola) is the patron of the city of Bari, where he is buried. Its deeply felt celebration is called the Festa di San Nicola, held on the 7-8-9 of May. In particular on May 8 the relics of the saint are carried on a boat on the sea in front of the city with many boats following (Festa a mare). On December 6 there is a ritual called the Rito delle nubili. The same tradition is currently observed in Sassari, where during the day of Saint Nicholas, patron of the city, gifts are given to young brides who need help before getting married.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Noel

Unicorn,Winter,Snow,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


"Noel" from the Gaelic: "Noio" meaning new and "Helle" meaning light - New Light.

Thus on the longest night of the year, we celebrate the coming of new light into the word.

A Joyous and Blessed Solstice to you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stray Cat Saturday

Kitten,Tuxi Cat


The key to taming a feral cat lies in food. Baby food and canned cat food work well to get the kitten slowly used to your presence. Feed this special food twice a day but leave dry food out at all times.

Once you can get close enough, slowly begin touching, petting and holding the kitten for a few minutes a day. Gradually increase the amount of time spent handling the kitten. Within a few days or up to a few months, the kitten may eventually become comfortable around you and eventually be tamed enough to become a pet.

Always move quietly and speak in a soft soothing tone when dealing with ferals. Sudden noises or quick movements will scare them and even one bad session can undo all the trust you have built up over several weeks.

It is best to work with kittens because cats who have not been exposed to people during the first 7 weeks of life never become fully accepting of people and thus rarely make good pets. Cats that have been mistreated by humans during that same period may become positively hostile to strangers for the rest of their lives and may never become tame.

Even if you manage to tame an adult feral, it will never have the same personality as a house born cat, and as a result may be better off spending the remainder of his or her life in their colony. They will rarely be outwardly demonstrative of any affection, but if they accept your presence in their environment, it means you have won their gratitude and appreciation.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Festive Feline Friday

Domestic Cat,House Panther,Miss Diamond,Black Cat,Polar Bears,Penguins,Happy Holidays
Do not let my Tabby brofur see this hat, or he will want one just like it!


Trees are great toys for us cats, but unfortunately, the can be dangerous as well.

We of course seem to think the ornaments are "balls" to play with and if one breaks or gets chewed, we could end up ingest pieces. Don't decorate the tree with breakable or easily damaged ornaments.

Yes we may knock over the tree trying to climb it or while we're investigating it. Make sure it's in a sturdy stand and if necessary, secure the tree to the wall or ceiling with some rope to give it extra stability. Kittens and young cats especially will want to try to climb the tree.

When your decorating, don't use wire ornament hooks that can easily snag an ear or a tail, or, if swallowed, can lodge in the throat or intestines. Instead, fashion loops of yarn, ribbons or lightweight twine. And be careful not to leave any of that lying around either. You know how much we like playing with that stuff.

Ingestion of string, ribbon on gifts, or bulbs can cause what vets refer to as a foreign body. Prevent exposure of your cat to gifts unless supervised and try to use little or no tinsel on the tree or on decorations the we might get to.

Some cats will drink water from the tree. Don't use preservatives in the stand water. They can be toxic if consumed by a thirsty feline. Carefully cover the top of the stand with a tree skirt to discourage the drinking of the water in the tree stand. A good tip is to Sprite instead of water. The trees like, it and it won't hurt us if one of us drinks it.

There are any number of hazards during the holidays for cats. It is good for your humans to be aware of them and to take steps to make sure you are safe during this festive time of the year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

T-13: Holly Daze (Part I)

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Before we start out today, I want to share with you this cute little video of the Christmas Cats singing White Christmas!



Okay...now that we are all in mood for the Holly Days, I present to you T-13: Holly Daze (Part I):

1. Twas a week before Christmas, but that didn't stop, little Ping from dashing, all over the house...

Holly Daze,Ginger Cat,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Holiday Glitter,Happy Holidays


2. Victor Tabby Cat was hung, by the chimney with care...

Holly Daze,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


3. In hopes that Samantha Black soon would be there.

Holly Daze,Tuxi Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter,Pony


4. Now Thompson was snuggled down in his bed, while visions of Cat Candy danced in his head...

Holly Daze,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays


5. Chase in his living room....

Holly Daze,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


6. And Holly in her nest...

Holly Daze,Torti Cat,Domestic Cat,Santa,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


Had just settled their heads for a long winter's rest.

7. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, T'Abby Normal sprang up to see what was the matter!

Holly Daze,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Penguins,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


8. Away to the window Abby flew like a flash, shredding the shutters and clawing open the sash.

Holly Daze,Tuxi Cat,Domestic Cat,Manx Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


9. The moon on the breast of the new-fall snow, gave the luster of mid-day to Dr. Tweety below...

Holly Daze,Long Haired Cat,Domestic Cat,Teddy Bear,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


10. When what to our wondering eyes should a appear, but Thunder the Christmas Angel, without any fear!

Dog,Holly Daze,Holiday Glitter,Happy Holidays


11. With little ol' K.C. so lively and quick!

Holly Daze,Torti Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


12. CeCe was certain it must be Saint Nick!

Holly Daze,Bi-Colored Cat,Domestic Cat,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


13. More rapid than eagles these vishus deers came, and Grr whistled and shouted and called them by name!

House Panther,Grr,Christmas,Holly Daze


(To be continued...)

How do you like it so far? Pretty good, eh? Be sure to stop by next week as we continue our Holly Daze story!

Did you know that Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem "Twas the night before Christmas" also called "A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822? It is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas Eve.

The poem has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeer!

Moore was a reticent man and it is believed that a family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel who published it. The condition of publication was that the author was to remain anonymous. The first publication date was 23rd December 1823 and it was an immediate success.

It was not until 1844 that Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry. Moore came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington.

The conclusion of our story is set for Thursday, December 25th, so be sure to join us for wonderful addition to your Kissy Mouse festivities!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave us a comment below!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Sleeping under a Santa Moon


(Despite fact, Kissy Mouse not for 'nother week, Santa Moon is THIS Friday!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuxi Tail Tuesday

Miss Diamond as the Big Black Christmas Cat


Purrhaps you remember, last year about this time, I tell you about how my bean is a Baby Eating Ogress. This weekend, while we doing research on Santa's elves, we find the tales of Gryla, the ogress, who live in a cave with "The Big Black Christmas Cat".

We could find little of this legend online, but evidently there is a Dutch tradition for it as well. Bean says she will have to ask Loek or Smitty when they come into town for spring training, see if they know bout it. According the legend, The Big Black Christmas cat would go out around Christmas and collect the children who had been exceptionally naughty during the year and would take them back to Gryla's cave, where the ogress would then eat them.

This seem a little bit more of punishment than getting coal in your stocking for Christmas, does it not?

But of course, Bean is laughing at this and she say "WELL, if am a baby eating ogress, you my darling are THE BIG BLACK CHRISTMAS CAT!"

Humph.

So of course, you have all been very good kitties all year long, because I would want to have to drag any exceptional naughty ones back to the cave. Bad enough I got to put with Tabby brofur. Don't need any more exceptionally naughty cats around.

Need I say, she get amusement out of the strangest things?

You better not shout,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why,
The Big Black Christmas Cat is coming, around...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Myth Monday - Santa's Elves

Elves,Christmas Modern Christmas elves find their origin in the house gnomes of the Scandinavia present since the pagan times. It was believed that these gnomes guarded homes against evil and were benevolent and helpful to good people. However, they could be quite nasty to people who were rude to them or had been naughty and then, they are even depicted as trolls and cannibals. Thus, for centuries, they were both loved and loathed.

These are similar to the house elves found in the Harry Potter books, as opposed to the Elves that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about, which are more closely related to the Celtic legends of the Fae Folk.

In the mid-1800s, Scandinavian writers such as Thile, Toplius, & Rydberg transformed the image of these gnomes to Christmas elves that were almost like mischievous fairies but were good at heart.

In keeping with the popularization of Christmas, they were depicted as true friends and helpers of Father Christmas or Santa Claus. Artists such as Hansen and Nyström painted Santa's elves in their present forms.

At first, it was believed that Santa and his elves lived at North Pole but when it was found in 1925 that North Pole has no reindeer but there is a huge population of reindeer in Lapland, Finland. People started believing that since reindeer draw the sleigh of Santa Claus, he must be living in an area, where there are large number of these animals available. Since then, it is believed that there is a secret village with a secret passage, somewhere in Lapland, where Santa, his wife and his team of elves live.

Winter,Elves,Snowman,Plushies The secret of its location is known only to Father Christmas and the elves but still people believe that it is somewhere in Korvatunturi mountain in the Savukoski county of Lapland on the Finnish-Russian border.

Some people believe that Santa employs six elves, while others think that he has nine elf assistants. Others think that there are as many as 13 elves living with Santa to help him.

Elves are the children of Gryla(1) and Leppaludi and are very clever. They help Santa to design toys and process requests of children that are sent to them through snail mail or emails.

The popular Western names of the Christmas elves helping Santa Claus and their duties are as follows:

1. Alabaster Snowball - Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list.
2. Bushy Evergreen - Inventor of the magic toy-making machine.
3. Pepper Minstix - Guardian of the secret of where Father Christmas's village is located.
4. Shinny Upatree - The oldest friend of Santa and the co-founder of the secret village in Lapland.
5. Sugarplum Mary - Head of the Sweat Treats, she is also known as Mary Christmas. She is an assistant to Mrs Claus and helps her in the kitchen.
6. Wunorse Openslae - Designer of Father Christmas's sleigh and responsible for its maintenance. He also looks after the reindeer and it is believed that his reindeer reach speeds faster than Christmas tree lights.

For more information on Santa and his elves, please visit The World of Christmas, where Santa lives, online!

Elves,Christmas,Santa


(1) Grýla is in Icelandic mythology a horrifying monster and an ogress living in the mountains of Iceland. She is said to come from the mountains at Christmas in search of naughty children.

The Grýla legend has been frightening to the people of Iceland for many centuries - her name is even mentioned in Snorri Sturluson's thirteenth century Edda. Grýla was not directly linked to Christmas until in the 17th century. By that time she had become the mother of the Yule Lads. A public decree was issued in 1746 prohibiting the use of Grýla and the Yule Lads to terrify children.

According to folklore Grýla has been married three times. Her third husband Leppalúði is said to be living with her in their cave in the mountains with the big black Christmas cat and their sons. As Christmas approaches, Grýla sets off looking for naughty boys and girls. The Grýla legend has appeared in many stories, poems, songs and plays in Iceland and sometimes Grýla dies in the end of the story.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Caring Cat Lady Award

I have decided to make an award. I wanted to call it the "Crazy Cat Lady Award", but bean says some peoples might take offense to that.

So I decided to call it the Caring Cat Lady Award. It is for human peoples that are crazy about their cats and despite the name, you do not have to be a lady to get one. That just what we call it.

Award,Badge


The rules are that:

This award is for the humans - not the cats - so remember to give it to the humans.

Link back to the furson who gave it to you.

The felines in the family then get to pass it on to three other crazy caring cat ladies (or not ladies, as the case may be).

Be sure to leave a link on the other cats' blogs to let them know their human persons have won an award.

HERE is the link to the small size award (200 pxl) to put on your side bar.

So, I get to give out the first three awards and (obviously) these should be pretty easy, so...

1. I give the first award to ML who cares for KC, Sol, BJ, et al. as well as run the Cat Blogosphere, the most wonderful invention on the internets.
2. Not the Mama, who help with lots and lots of things besides taking care of a whole bundle of cats.
3. The Maw and Paw at Forty Paws who make the wonderful cat Ham-Micks, not to mention taking care of (is it still) 10 cats!

Note: Please remember that I am hosting Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos at House Panthers this weekend. But sure to submit your post! Thank you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Letters to Sandy Claws

Christmas,House Panther,Domestic Cat,Miss Diamond


What do you want for Kissy Mouse?

Abisola want someone to tell he mommie that she is not a potato chip and she can have just one cat. My bean need to get that message too.

Jafa in Auckland got a new family for Christmas. How nice is that? But she say a big fish would nice too! (I agree with this one!)

Little Squirt wants Jo-Jo to stop hissing at him, and Milo to stop eating his kitten food.

Houdini would like some Pepto Bismol for the next time he indulges in Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

Patchouli, in Canada would like good health for her brofur and sisfur.

All these cats, and many more have written the most lovely letters to Sandy Claws. You can read them HERE.

My Bean want me to make friends with my tabby brofur for Kissy Mouse. I would want my tabby brofur to go away, but it would worry my bean, and I don't want to to do that. So I will have to think of something else to ask for.

What do you want for Kissy Mouse? Why not leave a comment and let me know?

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Badge,Award


Jewel Girl and the Jewel Cats have given me a Proximadade Award.

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

You can give this award to up to 8 other blogs, so would like to pass it on to:

1. Kitty Limericks and Karen Jo
2. Zoolatry
3. Cory Cat
4. Sassy Tales
5. Momo
6. The Chronicals of Woos
7. Kyhra's Korner
8. My furrriend Misty Whispurrs, who is sending us another Kitty Kwilt so I do not have to share mine with my Tabby brofur!

(Note: Kitty Kwilts make great Kissy Mouse presents!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

T-13: Snow Daze (Part II)

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Playing in the snow last week was SNOW much fun, we have 13 more kitties...well okay...11 kitties and 2 woofies...who are outside in the winter weather again this week.

Shall we see who is out having some Frosty Fun?

1. Okay, no cracks about polar bears! The lovely Lilly White is out enjoying a walk in a wintry wonderland...

Lily White


2. Miss Tillie live in Canada so she is probably used to all the snow. She is dressed like Mrs. Santa to bring purresents and treats to all the local kittens!

House Panther,Domestic Cat,Winter,Snowcats Project,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


3. Queen Snickers has a nice warm vest on as she goes to visit with some snowmen AND one of Santa's Vishus Deers. Although...he does not look too Vishus to me?

Torti Cat,Domestic Cat,Snowcats Project,Winter,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


4. Mr. Tigger hears some Sleigh Bells ringing. Purrhaps it is Sandy Claws come early? Is that a purresent he has left for you?

Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Snowcats Project,Holiday Glitter,Happy Holidays,Winter


5. Or Purrhaps those Sleigh Bells belong to Khyra, the Cyberian Huskey, who is stuck in a magical snow globe box. It looks very cold in there...but you have nice warm coat, right?

Kyhra


6. Goldie is having some fun with Mr. Frosty and his furriend Ruddy the Red Nosed Vishus Deer. Why do you suppose his nose is all red like that?

Goldie


(Er, the Vishus Deer, not Goldie, that is.)

7. Mr. Hendrix must have been good kitty this year, as I see Sandy Claws has left him a purresent of mittens. Those will be good for keeping his paws warm as he builds more snowmen.

House Panther,Domestic Cat,Winter,Snowcats Project,Black Cat,Happy Holidays,Snowmen


8. Beezer has been out building Snowmen too, and is all worn out from the effort! Time for a cat nap - obviously!

Ginger Cat,Tabby Cat,Domestic Cat,Snowcats Project,Snowman,Happy Holidays


9. Those are sleigh bells you're hearing, not ship's bells Captain Jack, and I don't think your new first mate is going to be able to handle the weather in the Caribbean.

Bi-Colored Cat,Domestic Cat,Snowcats Project,Winter,Snow,Snowman,Holiday Glitter


10. Uh-Oh. A mischievous fairy has imprisoned Bebe in a snow globe! However is she going to get out?!

Domestic Cat,Snowcats Project,Snow,Winter,Fairy,Happy Holidays


11. Sugar has been collecting snow flakes in a jar. It's a very interesting collection, I will grant you that!

Domestic Cat,Bi-Colored Cat,Winter,Snowcats Project,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


12. What is this? It looks like Phantom is spoiling for a snow ball fight. And he's got lots of ammunition ready! Fire at will!

Dog,Winter,Snowcats Project,Happy Holidays,Holiday Glitter


13. Cory Cat has followed a magical globe and has found her way to the north pole...and Sandy Claws magical cat toy shop! What a most interesting place to visit!

House Panther,Black Cat,Domestic Cat,Snow,Snowcats Project,Winter,Holiday Glitter


The Holly Daze are upon us and next week, we'll see how members of the Cat Blogosphere are celebrating them. As always, thank you for joining us for this week's T-13.

Oh...and before you go... What is your resolution for the New year? Please leave a comment and let us know what you resolve. The 13 best ones will make it to our New Year's Day edition!

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My Bean, my tabby brofur and I have been pulling a lot of Carnivals of late, but we are steppin' to host Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos #75 which did not have host for this week. It will be hosted at House Panthers, home of the baddest kitties in the land.

So make sure you get your badness on and get ready for Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos this weekend.

Be Naughty! Save Santa the trip!