Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Feline Friday

"The naming of cats is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names"

Despite what was written in Ole Possum's Book of Practical Cats, most cats end up with only one name - the one the family calls them daily.

But even so, some of those names can be interesting. Here's a list of names compiled by that some humans have named the stray cats that have taken over their lives, and hearts:

Abby - which was short for Abandoned Kitty.
Alley - found in an alley
Attitude - Atti-cat
Berm - found by the side of the road
Bones - skin and bones when they found him
Cat Yeta - for yet-a-nother cat!
Cantmandu - for the city
CDC - for my "co-dependent cat" – he is always at my side (see Velcro)
Chance - you took a chance on each other, or you have him a second chance at life)
Clinger – they way they stick to you
Caymen – he just "came in"
Diamond - a precious find *
DC – darn cat (or as my by bean's grandmother called her's: "damned cat")
Dumped - he was Dumped and then taken in
Eponine - after a character, a homeless girl, in "Les Miserables"
Fleabag – found with fleas
FIONA CAT- If ya own a cat...ya may as well own 10.
Fightclub – took in a cat that had been in a fight and wounded
Found - pair of kittens were named Lost and Found! (See Lost, below)
Foster - for foster child
Gimpy – found limping
Gulliver - And yes, Gulliver did travel...
Heaven - you found a little piece of Heaven
Heidi – used on cat that was scared and "hiding"
Houdini - He would disappear but always wanted to be found.
Hope – for a pet given home for a second chance
Hoover – the stray would eat anything
Gem - found a real gem!
Ivy - she "grew on me"
Jackpot – cat hit the jackpot when he found this home
Jesse - It means gift and he truly named for a cat that was a gift from God
Je t'aime - This is actually French for "I love you".
Journey - Cat was on a journey that led to you...or vise versa
Kitty Cat
Kit Cat
LOST - See "Found", above
Lottie - found in a parking lot
NONA - no name for a cat that didn't have a name
Tenshu - 'little thief'...for a stray that kept eating all the outside cat food until the bowl was empty
Lechat - (pronounced le sha) French for The Cat
Main Street - found on Main Street
Malachi - meaning a special messenger from God
Tunji- American Indian Miwok- Means "cat"
Maybe – maybe she will make it and maybe I'll keep her
Margarita - just like tequila bottles have a worm in the bottle, she had a worm in her neck when she showed up
"Mo" - as in "One Mo' Kitty"!
Miss Kittie
Mystakat - he was a mystery cat
Omi - pronounced: "oh-mee"
Paycheck – started costing his humans their paycheck!
Palomine - for "Pal of Mine"
Mr. Purrsuasive -"Purrs" or "Mr. P" for short!
Pooka - means good luck charm
Poser - who posed as a resident long enough to fall in love with
Reiki - in Japanese means "spiritually guided life force energy" practiced by reiki masters who lay their hands upon the sick or injured to heal.
Pickles - was in a "pickle" when found
Podunk - found out in the middle of nowhere
Retread - found in an old tire along the road
Riley – now the cat is lving the Life of Riley
Romeo - for a cat that was roaming around and seems to be a real lover!
Rookie! For the new kid on the block
Reuben - Hebrew for "He has seen my misery."
Ruckus - he created a Ruckus when he was brought him home
Solo - she is very much a loner amongst the rest of the cats
Stray Kitty
Sticky - cat stuck to us and sort of "chose" us
Stucker - After the kitten got stuck up a tree, then stuck in a car, then stuck in the neighbor's garage overnight. And then he stuck to his new home.
TC – that cat. His humans called him "that cat" for so long, they named him TC when they adopted him
Treasure – a real find
Tuesday - Kitty found on that day of the week
Turnup – for a cat that just "turned up"
Vader - short for "Invader"
Velcro - he sticks with you
Yonchi- means Lucky in Chinese (he's a rescued formally feral cat)
WN WN - pronounced one one – waste not/want not

Some call names that my bean have used on strays and ferals she has fed and taken care of:

"Tommy Cat" - she use this one a lot, as well as "Tigger" for stray ginger tabby males.

Need more names? Try this list of Top 1,200 Pet Names!

Do you have an interesting story as to how you get your name? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!

* My bean say "Diamonds are a girl's best friend!" Hah. For the story of how I get my name, click HERE.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

T13: Pawti Gras!

Welcome to our annual Pawti Gras purrade here in Catatonia! I, Miss Diamond, Queen of Parti Gras have looked into my crystal ball and foreseen fun on the horizon for all!

House Panther,Miss Diamond,Mardi Gras

Remember that here in Catatonia, we accept the Chey Pay and Yao-Lin Loot as the official currencies of Catatonia, and all of our fine establishments accept the Bank of Catatonia Debit and Credit cards as well. As you wander down Whiskey Cat Street, please remember to Paw-ty responsibly, and use a designated teleport operator on your way home. No sense ending up in Doghouse Town unless you really meant to go there.

chey Pay

Yao-Lin Loot

Bank of Catatonia Credit Card

Oh look, here comes our first Paw-ti cat - it's Miss Samantha Black. My, that is a lovely mask you have on there!

Tuxi Cat,Mardi Gras

Don't forget to collect lots of beads and treats to take home with you!

Royce has quite an interesting mask as well. It will probably prove great fun to play with, once you get done wearing it!

Domestic Mediumhair,Mardi Gras

No mask for Rori, but she's certainly making up for it on the bead end of things. She even has a bag to collect them all in.

Tabby Cat,Mardi Gras

You throw 'em, we'll show 'em! Beads Lady! Beads! (And throw Temptations too!)

Sweet Praline come with her own built in mask! I guess that means she is always ready for a bit of a Paw-ty!

Persian Cat,Mardi Gras

Wow! Allie's way done up and has a float as well! What fun that looks like!

Mardi Gras,Domestic Mediumhair

Rosie is the our Princess this year, and doesn't she look lovely wearing her emerald crown?

Bi-colored Cat,Mardi Gras

Khyra of course, loves to Paw-ty with the Kitty Cats. Don't let my brofur see that get up you're wearing though, or he'll want one just like it!

Mardi Gras,Dog

Marilyn Monroew has shows off her lovely Paw-ty hat! It is, of course, no where near as lovely as she is!

Domestic Shorthair,Mardi Gras

It looks like Skittles has founded Krew Skittles - she even has her own Doubloons to toss to the crowd!

Tabby Cat,Mardi Gras

Well, I guess every court needs a court jester. I need look no further than my own living room to find Tristan Tabby Cat Longtail, nipped out again as usual!

Tabby Cat,Mardi Gras

That boy has a serious abuse problem.

I do not know if they celebrate Carnival in New Zealand, but my bean say all the Kiwis she meet, always up for a Paw-ty. So it should come as not surprise to find Cosmo all decked out and enjoying herself!

Domestic Longhair,Mardi Gras

Before you leave, don't forget to stop by and say hello to Zed Monster, the king our little festival. You can forget the beads where he is concerned, just bring him Fev-vers!

Snowshoe Siamese,Mardi Gras

My...that purrade of pusses over way too quickly! But you join our celebration by leaving us a note and telling us how you've been enjoying the Paw-ty!

Let the good times roll!!!

(As always, our guests are more than welcome to use their tags on their blogs or Catster pages!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuxi Tuesday


What you mean, it have my fingersprints all over it?

I don't have any fingers!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Myth Monday - Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of the most famous Carnival celebrations in the world.

The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Catholic season of Lent, starts on Twelfth Night (January 6). It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls), and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season, at one time closely related to "coming out" parties for young women at debutante balls.

Celebrations are especially concentrated for about two weeks before and through Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. There is usually one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the season. In the final week of Carnival many events large and small occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities.

The parades in New Orleans are organized by Carnival krewes. Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common throws are strings of plastic colorful beads, doubloons (aluminium or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic throw cups, and small inexpensive toys. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year.

While many tourists center their Mardi Gras season activities on Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, none of the major Mardi Gras parades has entered the Quarter since 1972 because of its narrow streets and overhead obstructions. Instead, major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street, on the upriver side of the French Quarter.

To New Orleanians, "Mardi Gras" refers to the whole Carnival season; visitors tend to refer to Fat Tuesday as "Mardi Gras." Some locals have thus started to refer to the last two days of Carnival as "Lundi Gras" (Fat Monday) and Fat Tuesday to avoid confusion.

Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers. The first record of the holiday being celebrated in Louisiana was at the mouth of the Mississippi River in what is now lower Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, on March 3, 1699. Iberville and Bienville and their men celebrated it. The starting date of festivities in New Orleans is unknown. An account from 1743 notes that the custom of Carnival balls was already established. Processions and wearing of masks in the streets on Mardi Gras took place, were sometimes prohibited by law, and were quickly renewed whenever such restrictions were lifted or enforcement waned. In 1833 Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, a rich plantation owner, raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration.


On Mardi Gras of 1857, the Mistick Krewe of Comus held its first parade. Comus is the oldest continuously active Mardi Gras organization. It started a number of continuing traditions (for example, the use of floats in parades) and is considered the first Carnival krewe in the modern sense. In 1875 Louisiana declared Mardi Gras a legal state holiday.

War, economic, political, and weather conditions sometimes led to cancellation of some or all major parades, especially during the American Civil War, World War I and World War II, but the city has always celebrated Carnival.

1972 was the last year in which large parades went through the narrow streets of the city's old French Quarter neighborhood; larger floats and crowds and safety concerns led the city government to prohibit big parades in the Quarter. Major parades now take place outside the Quarter.

In 1979 the New Orleans police department went on strike. All the official parades were canceled or moved to surrounding communities, such as Jefferson Parish. Significantly fewer tourists than usual came to the city. Masking, costuming, and celebrations continued anyway, with National Guard troops maintaining order. Guardsmen prevented crimes against persons or property but made no attempt to enforce laws regulating morality or drug use; for these reasons, some in the French Quarter bohemian community are fond of calling 1979 the city's best Mardi Gras ever.

In 1991 the New Orleans city council passed an ordinance that required social organizations, including Mardi Gras Krewes, to certify publicly that they did not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, in order to obtain parade permits and other public licenses. In effect, the ordinance required these, and other, private social groups to abandon their traditional code of secrecy and identify their members for the city's Human Relations Commission. In protest, the 19th-century krewes Comus and Momus stopped parading. Proteus did parade in the 1992 Carnival season but subsequently also suspended its parade for a time. In 2000, Proteus returned to the parade schedule.

Two federal courts later declared that the ordinance was an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights of free association, and an unwarranted intrusion on the privacy of the groups subject to the ordinance. The decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals appears at volume 42, page 1483 of the Federal Reporter (3rd Series), or 42 F.3d 1483 (5th Cir. 1995). The Supreme Court refused to hear the city's appeal from this decision.

Today, most krewes operate under a business structure; membership is basically open to anyone who pays dues, and any member can have a place on a parade float. In contrast, the old-line krewes were social groups that used class and economics to create exclusive groups. They used the structure of the parades and balls to extend the traditions in their social circles of the debutante season.

The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in late 2005 caused many to question the future of the city's Mardi Gras celebrations. The city government, essentially bankrupt after the storm, pushed for a massively scaled back celebration to limit strains on city services. However, many krewes insisted that they wanted to and would be ready to parade, so negotiations between krewe leaders and city officials resulted in a compromise schedule. It was scaled back but less severely than originally suggested.

The 2006 New Orleans Carnival schedule included the Krewe du Vieux on its traditional route through Marigny and the French Quarter on February 11th, the Saturday two weekends before Mardi Gras. There were several parades on Saturday, Feb. 18, and Sunday the 19th a week before Mardi Gras. Parades followed daily from Thursday night through Mardi Gras Day. Other than Krewe du Vieux and two Westbank parades going through Algiers, all New Orleans parades were restricted to the Saint Charles Avenue Uptown to Canal Street route, a section of the city which escaped significant flooding. (Some krewes unsuccessfully pushed to parade on their traditional Mid-City route, despite the severe flood damage suffered by that neighborhood).

The city placed restrictions on the length of time when parades could be on the street and how late at night they could end. National Guard troops assisted with crowd control for the first time since 1979. Louisiana State troopers also assisted although they have maintained a presence during Mardi Gras for many years. Many floats had been partially submerged in floodwaters for weeks. While some krewes repaired and removed all traces of these effects, others incorporated flood lines and other damage into the designs of the floats.

Most of the locals who worked on the floats and rode on them were significantly affected by the storm's aftermath. Many had lost most or all of the possessions in their homes, but enthusiasm for Carnival was even more intense than usual as an affirmation of life. The themes of many costumes and floats had more barbed satire than usual, with commentary on the trials and tribulations of living in the devastated city. References included MREs, Katrina refrigerators and FEMA trailers, along with much mocking of FEMA, local, and national politicians.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple (Justice), green (Faith), and gold (Power). These colors are said to have been chosen by Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia during a visit to New Orleans in 1872. This doctrine was reaffirmed in 1892, when the Rex Parade theme "Symbolism of Colors" gave the colors their meanings.

Each year; the Mardi Gras (or Carnival) season starts on January 6, also known as Twelfth Night. The Twelfth Night Revelers, one of Carnival's oldest Krewes, holds a masked ball each year to mark the occasion. Like Twelfth Night Revelers, many of Carnival's oldest groups, such as the Elves of Oberon and the High Priests of Mithras, hold masked balls, but do not parade in public.

The parade season starts off some three weekends before Mardi Gras Day with the Krewe du Vieux parade.

There is usually at least one parade every night starting two Fridays before Mardi Gras.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Freebie and an Award

My bean have released her first ever scrapkit! It is a St. Patrick's Day themed taggers kit and you can find it on her bloggie.

Irish Eyes kit
Click to bigify

It have 15 papers and 87 elements, so there is lot so things for you to play with. One of the things is Squirrel O'Malley:

Squirrel O'Malley

I have never seen a green squirrel before, but I would like to catch one. I think it would taste like Feline Greenies!

I of course snoopervise the project. Taggers size means that the papers are 800 x 800 pixel and 300 DPI. It is suitable for online graphics, for creating blog layouts, and for creating and printing "brag books" pages of up to 5 x 7 inch size.

We hope that you will enjoy this little freebie from us on Friday. Sunshine, rainbows and a pot of gold - pretty good freebie, I think!

Also, PB&J have given me the Proximidade Award:

Here are the rules for this award:

Proximadede 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."

I have already recieve this award once before from Jewel Girl and the Jewel Cats, and pass it on to eight other bloggers, so I will not pass it on again.

Unless of course you do not have it & would like it. Then feel free to take it and say I have awarded it to you!

I know, I have been furry remiss about putting the awards on my sidebar, I needs to work on that!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

T-13: Thursday Grr's Day

We were supposed to do 13 Patriotic Cats this week for Purresidents' Day, but my bean tell me not to promise last week, and I did not. As it turn out, she never even get started on the project, as she have too many other things going on. So this week, I am instead dipping into the archives again, and - in honor of Thursday being Grr's Day -- T13 with Grr!


Basically Grr


Grr just wanted to go to the beach, like the rest of the cats for spring break. But she use the El Cheapo travel service, instead of booking with Catatonic Air, and end up with some very interesting results!


Heading south, so she do not fall off the edge of th world, Grr finds more water, a strange park where people stand around in lines for hours on end, and a very large and frightening woofie!


Maybe she shouldn't have gone on the bar crawl, but what's this? Aliens? Can Grr save the world? Or maybe she should just put on that pair of ruby slippers...


Welcome home Grr, to the one place you reign supreme!


Cowgrr Baby!


Electric Blue


Fade to black


The better to bite you with, my dear!


Heart of Darkness!


Cause she is living in a material world, and she is a material Grr!


A classic from Grristmas, as we contemplate what happened to the all the needles that used to be on that Grristmas tree!


And of course, Grr, celebrating Grristmas with her (formerly) blond girl.

Next week we are going to be celebrating Mardi Gras we WILL get that one as we are all quite looking forward to a great big paw-ty in Na' Orleans!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Kreativ Blogger Award

Karen Jo of Kitty Limericks have given me this Kreativ Blogger Award for all the nice images we've been doing.

Here are the rules:

List 6 things that make you happy. Pass the award on to 6 bloggers who you think are Kreativ. Link to the blogger who gave you the award. Link to the blogs receiving the award. Notify the recipients.

Here are six things that make me happy:

1. Temptations
2. Being with my bean.
3. Getting combed with my shiny comb.
4. Fev-vers!
5. Laying in the sun on a warm summer's day.
6. Getting lots of comments, so please make sure you leave me one!

I would now like to pass this award on to:

Misha, for his Purresident of the world contest,
Top Cat Rules, for their beautiful scrapbook pages,
Goma, for a furry Kreativ blog,
Daisy & Harley, who always has fun and Kreativ things on their bloggie,
Cat Synth - for all the music,
and everyone at CCSI for all the hard work and Kreativity that goes into their productions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Woofie Wednesday - Here a Chihuahua, there a Chihuahua

Chi Chuhuahua

There is a Chihuahua overpopulation crisis, and many pet experts are blaming Paris Hilton and other Hollywood Starlets who flaunt the little dogs as fashion accessories.

Animal Shelters - especially in trendy California - are full to bursting with the little woofies, who were purchased and then dumped when people get tired of caring for them.

"Chihuahuas are not a toy or fashion accessory," said Lynnie Bunten, chairperson of the Chihuahua rescue for the Chihuahua Club of America in a recent interview reported by "But because some people think they are, then realize they are wrong - there's a growing problem of abandoned Chihuahuas."

She says that many young girls see Paris with her dog Tinkerbell and want to emulate her. Because of this, the club will not allow adoptions to anyone under the age of 21.

"They just want the dog for the wrong reason," Bunten stated in the article. "I think it's just plain silly when you see a woman walking around with a Chihuahua in her purse because she thinks it's fashionable.

Movies like "Beverly Hill Chihuahua" and "Legally Blond" have not helped matters. A similar situation occurred when Taco Bell was using the adorable pups in their advertising campaign.

While the shelters try their best to place the dogs, many sadly, are euthanized as unwanted.

Some of the shelters have been criticized for their attempts to get the dogs adopted as well. A shelter in Santa Barbara, California, held an "Adopt A Chihuahua Week" - offering a fur-trimmed pink carrying case to anyone who adopted one of the little woofies from them. But this simply furthers the image of the dogs as a fashion accessory! Instead, pet experts suggest reduced adoption fees, free training classes, and responsible ownership packages including vaccinations and free bags of food as better incentives.

In 2005 readers of two different dog magazines voted Hilton the worst pet owner in show biz. At one point Hilton "lost" Tinkerbell, and replaced him with a smaller, cuter Chihuahua. Tinkerbell had reportedly gotten too large to be toted around in Hilton's purse. Since then she's also been seen with a ferret and an illegal kinkajou monkey.

Tinkerbell became a celibri-pup after he was glamorized in a book called "The Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries: My Life Tailing Paris Hilton" in 2004. While he's still on the scene, she's definitely not the only pup in Hilton's purse.

Last year (2008) the hotel heiress was investigated after admitting she owned 17 dogs, allegedly breaking U.S. laws that ban non-breeders from having more than three per address.

While websites like provide good information for dog owners, they also glamourize the pups. More information on these miniature woofies can be found at the Chihuahua Club of which also has a listing of rescue organizations by state.

The American Kennel Club(R) reminds potential owners about the importance of making careful, educated decisions when considering adding a dog to their home. People can help ensure that all Chihuahuas - and all dogs -- find themselves in loving, life-long homes by consulting resources such as The Chihuahua Club of America and the American Kennel Club.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Talkative Tuesday: Secondhand Smoke

My bean's sister has been going through some difficult times of late, many of which she bring upon herself. But recently she loose her cat, Kee to cancer and now, their wiener woofie has developed cancer too. My bean's sister is a heavy smoker. She has smoked since she was 11 or 12, something she started as an act of rebellion against her mother.

Of all the overwhelming reasons to quit smoking, this one should make pet lovers sit up and take notice: there's ample scientific evidence to suggest that secondhand cigarette smoke can cause cancer in companion animals.

And we don't just inhale smoke; the smoke particles are also trapped in our fur and ingested when we groom ourselves with our tongues. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that dogs in smoking households had a 60 percent greater risk of lung cancer; a different study published in the same journal showed that long-nosed dogs, such as collies or greyhounds, were twice as likely to develop nasal cancer if they lived with smokers.

And in yet another study, vets from Tufts University found that cats whose caretakers smoked were three times as likely to develop lymphoma, the most common feline cancer.

Because dogs age almost seven times faster than their human companions, secondhand smoke can cause problems fast. While taking your pet in for frequent check up is a good idea, the vets do not do any specific tests to check for early signs of cancer caused by secondhand smoke.

This is not to say that second hand smoke is the cause of cancer in the two animals that live(d) in my bean's sister's household. Indeed, the cause may be completely different. But scientific studies have linked secondhand smoke to many health problems in companion animals: bronchitis, heart disease, and cancer.

Dr. Lynn Weber, a pharmacist, professor and researcher at the University of Saskatchewan, has found some significant changes in the blood vessels of dogs who live in the homes of smokers. During an interview for Dr. Phil Zeltman's pet newsletter, she said: "In people, these changes are linked to stroke and heart attacks. Granted, these diseases are rare in dogs, so I am trying to understand what these changes mean in dogs."

In testing companion animals who live with smokers, researchers in Colorado found toxins from cigarette smoke in dogs' urine. A 2007 study done at the University of Minnesota shows that cats who live with smokers also have nicotine and other toxins in their urine.

According to a study done in 1992, a dog that has exposure to a smoker in the home is 1.6 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a dog that is not exposed to a smoker. Of course things must be taking into consideration when determining the risk factor including the number of smokers in the home, the number of packs of cigarettes smoked in the home per day by the heaviest smoker, and the time the dog spent inside the home, plus the age, sex, body size and skull shape of the animal.

Both Kee and Pee Wee spent a great deal of time in the bedroom with my bean's sister, where she smoked most frequently. Sadly Pee Wee's cancer has progressed to the point that he will have to be helped to the bridge to easy his suffering.

When I live with Loretta-bean, she smoke. But my bean now does not and I do not like the smell of smoke on humans anymore. We have a new neighbor that smoke, and I have started coming and going through the back door, something I never have done before, so I do not need to pass near them.

Sadly while the public is slowly becoming aware of the effect of secondhand smoke, the concept is still unknown to many. Many veterinarians are even unaware of the studies, and as a result, do not talk to their clients about the potential negative effects of secondhand smoke.

The Smoke Free Society has a free flyer that you can print that outlines the effects of secondhand smoke on pets. If you know a pet lover that smokes, be sure to print this out and give them to them so that they are aware of negative effects they could be having on their beloved companion animals. Perhaps it will help them to kick the habit, and save more than the life of their pet.

Please note that my tabby brofur and I are sorry about our erratic posting of late, but my bean have been very busy with this tackes thing she does at day hunting. We will try to post as much as we can, but we hope that you will understand that her tackes hunting is what brings in the green papers to keep us fed and housed, so it is a bit more important than our blogging, which does not.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Myth Monday - Presidents' Day

Presidents' Day is celebrated in February to honor two of the United States greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The holiday is celebrated in the United States on the third Monday in February.

Titled Washington's Birthday, the federal holiday was originally implemented by the United States of Britain federal government in 1880 for government offices in the District of Columbia (20 Stat. 277) and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices (23 Stat. 516). As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22. On January 1, 1971 the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. A draft of the Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 would have renamed the holiday to Presidents' Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968 kept the name Washington's Birthday.

By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term "Presidents' Day" began its public appearance. The theme has expanded the focus of the holiday to honor another President born in February, Abraham Lincoln, and often other Presidents of the United States. Although Lincoln's birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington's Birthday observances as "Presidents' Day", "Washington and Lincoln Day", or other such designations. However, "Presidents' Day" is not always an all-inclusive term. In Massachusetts, while the state officially celebrates "Washington's Birthday," state law also prescribes that the governor issue an annual Presidents' Day proclamation honoring the presidents that have come from Massachusetts: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and John F. Kennedy. (Coolidge, the only one born outside of Massachusetts, spent his entire political career before the vice presidency there. George H. W. Bush, on the other hand, was born in Massachusetts, but has spent most of his life elsewhere.) Alabama uniquely observes the day as "Washington and Jefferson Day", even though Jefferson's birthday was in April. In New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois, while Washington's Birthday is a federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week. In California, Lincoln's Birthday is also a legal state holiday, however, observance is frequently moved to the Monday or Friday occurring closest to February 12. When Lincoln's Birthday is observed on the Friday preceding Washington's Birthday, the resultant four-day weekend is commonly called "Presidents' Day Weekend", particularly by retailers in their sale advertisements.

In Washington's home state of Virginia the holiday is legally known as "George Washington Day."

Many American schools use the days leading up to Presidents' Day to educate students about the history of the Presidents' of the United States, especially Washington and Lincoln.

Today, the February holiday has become well-known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses were universally closed on this day, the way they are on (for example) Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the U.S. Postal Service now offer regular service on the day as well. Some public transit systems have also gone to regular schedules on the day. Various theories exist for this, one accepted reason being to make up for the growing trend of corporations to close in observance of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. However, when reviewing the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill debate of 1968 in the Congressional Record, one notes that supporters of the Bill were intent on moving federal holidays to Mondays to promote business. Over time, as with many federal holidays, few Americans actually celebrate Presidents Day, and it is mainly known as a day off from work or school, although most non-governmental workers do not get the day off.

Consequently, some schools, which used to close for a single day for both Lincoln's and Washington's birthday, now often close for the entire week (beginning with the Monday holiday) as a "mid-winter recess". For example, the New York City school district began doing so in the 1990s.

The federal holiday Washington's Birthday honors the accomplishments of the man who has been referred to, for over two centuries, as "The Father of his Country". Celebrated for his leadership in the founding of the nation, he was the Electoral College's unanimous choice to become the first President; he was seen as a unifying force for the new republic and set an example for future holders of the office.

The holiday is also a tribute to the general who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier. Revived on Washington's 200th birthday in 1932, the Purple Heart recognizes injuries received in battle. Like Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Washington's Birthday weekend offers another opportunity to honor the country's veterans.

Community celebrations often display a lengthy heritage. Historic Alexandria, Virginia, hosts a month-long tribute, including the longest running George Washington Birthday parade, while the community of Eustis, Florida, continues its annual "George Fest" celebration begun in 1902. At the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and at Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia, visitors are treated to birthday celebrations throughout the federal holiday weekend and through February 22.

In Alabama, the third Monday in February commemorates the birthdays of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was born in April).

In Arkansas, the third Monday in February is "George Washington's Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day," an official state holiday.

In New Mexico, President's Day, at least as a state government paid holiday, is observed on the Friday following Thanksgiving.

In 2007, the country celebrated both Washington's 275th birthday and the 75th anniversary of the rebirth of the Purple Heart medal.

Since 1862, there has been a tradition in the United States Senate that George Washington's Farewell Address be read on his birthday. Citizens had asked that this be done in light of the approaching Civil War. The annual tradition continues with the reading of the address on or near Washington's Birthday.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do Cats really love?

The human English language has just one word to describe the different types of love. The ancient Greeks were a bit smarter in this respect; they used different words to describe the love for a spouse, a sibling, a parent or a friend.

You have to wonder which word they used to describe the love between pets and people. Humans know how they feel towards their pets, but it is a little harder for us to convince them that we experience the same emotions toward toward them. Is it really love, or is the bond simply a mixture of instinct, dependence and social role?

In short, do we pets really "love" humans, as they understand it? In a word, the answer is yes, according to clinical evidence. Food does play a large role in feelings of affection between pet and caretaker. But dog does not live by biscuit alone – and neither does a cat's affection depend solely on treats. (Although treats are very nice.) The mere presence and/or touch of a preferred person has been shown to reduce our heart rates – a sign of bonding. (The same is true with horses.)

We Cats are said to be independent, aloof, and not in need of company except on our terms. This is true only of some cats; certainly not all. Cats raised by people from an early age either think they are almost human, or that the human is almost a cat.

In fact, throughout a cat-person bond, the two may switch roles without realizing it. On occasion, a cat will bring home a dead or half-dead animal as a token of her love and respect (a touching, if gruesome by human standards, method of confirming the bond).

Bringing home "love offerings" of this type is a sign of attachment and belonging. There are others that require less clean up. When the bond is strong, a cat will:

Tend to follow his or her human around. She may not follow immediately, but after a moment or two she might casually saunter into the room where they're sitting (as if she's trying to play the whole thing down). The cat may jump in their human's lap or may just find a chair nearby. Either way, she prefers to spend time with her human.

(I do this all the time, but I'm probably not subtle, as I will blast by my bean on the way to bedroom and be all ready to be petted and combed and snuggled with during our reading time together!)

Some cats may become slightly depressed when their humans leave, and will greet them enthusiastically upon their return. She may learn to recognize the sound of the car pulling up and run to the door, to wait for the human's presence.

If I am outside, I will go and greet the car when it pulls up. If I am inside, I am almost always waiting by the door. I do not really become depressed when my bean go day hunting, but if she is out extra-long for some reason, I become concerned. And I always get mad when baseball season start, because she leave me alone! Supposedly cats do not get jealous in the same way that human do, but I do! Just like I do not like to see her fussing over that tabby intruder. She is my bean. He need to go find his own bean!

Some Cats will send subtle signals of affection to their humans throughout the day. These often take the form of classic "cat kisses" – staring at their human adoringly, then squinting or slowly closing our eyes. I do not do this, but sometimes my bean sends cat kisses to me! I love when she do that!

Then there are the not-so-subtle signals, such as rubbing our head upon our human, to mark them with our scent, and of course, purring.

Lying on our back, with our stomach exposed is a sign of trust. Because we are now in a vulnerable position we are showing that we trust the human never to hurt us. Many humans mistakenly think this is a request for a belly rub. It usually isn't. Although I can be a really belly rub fanatic some days!

This is the way we express our affection at its most intense. We can't hold hands, and we're not given to jumping up and kissing you the way dogs do. But there's no difficulty to describe this sort of relationship as love.

Do you have any special behavior(s) that you use to show your human how much you love them? Please leave a message in my comment box and let me know!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

T-13: Romantic Cats

As Valentine's Day is Saturday, for today's T-13, LOVE is in the air, here at my Sweethearts Club, and I am featuring 13 of the most romantic cats from around the Cat Blogosphere. For some of you, this is your first time of being a guest here at my Sweethearts Club, so before you ask, YES! you can use your pictures on blog. Simply click on the picture and it will take you to the Photobucket page where it is stored, and you can copy the link information, or save the image to your computer.

Are we ready then? Good. Let's start out with a new visitor...

1. Crikey is all dress up in his Valentine's Day Tuxedo. But does Miss Olivia hold the key to his heart?

Tuxi Cat

2. Millie looks just darling, as she waits for her sweetheart to call!

Happy Valentine's Day,Bi-colored Cat

3. Missy Blue Eyes looks lovely in pastels, but who is her secret love?

Domestic Shorthair,Happy Valentine's Day

4. No secret where Miss Parker is concerned. We all know she's smitten with a certain crazy tabby!

Happy Valentine's Day,Bi-colored Cat,Tabby Cat

5. Does Miss Caitie have her heart set on someone, I wonder? "Be Mine" says the Devious Diva!

Calico Cat,Happy Valentine's Day

6. Fat Eric is waiting for his lady cat love to show up. He's all ready for a nice snuggle!

Bi-colored Cat,Happy Valentine's Day

7. China is manning the Kissing Booth. Send some smooches her way!

Happy Valentine's Day,Tabby Cat

8. How could we have a Valentine Extravaganza without Monty Q, the lover boy of the Blogosphere?

tab,Happy Valentine's Day

9. Willow is looking quite lovely, as she wait for the love of her life to come!

Happy Valentine's Day,Calico Cat

10. Nicky is a Red Hot, and he is looking to snag the key to unlock a lady cat's heart!

House Panther,Happy Valentine's Day

11. Beau Beau is looking more like a Bon Bon surrounded by all that sugar! But is a trifle, or a truffle?

Happy Valentine's Day,Bi-colored Cat

12. Puff seems to have collected the most hearts of the bunch, and that's quite a pretty collection she has there too!

Happy Valentine's Day,Calico Cat

13. And last but not least, we have one of the most foremost couples in the Cat Blogosphere, for what Valentine's Day would be complete without the lovely Miss Peach, and her handsome mancat Mickey!

Cornish Rex Cat,House Panther

That completes today's presentation, but be sure to stop by on Sunday as I post the cards I have made for the members of my Sweethearts Club. Meanwhile, be sure to stop by Skeezix 3rd Annual Valentine's Contest and check out all the lovely entries there!

If you like any of these tags and are wondering how we make them, be sure to stop by my bean's blog at Digicats to find out what kits we use and where to get a copy of them.

You and Your Human Look-A-Like Contest

If you and your Human turn heads on the side walk, enter today for a chance to win a $200 Pet Store Gift Card.
Visit Photobucket for more details. Five winners will be chosen!