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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Nov. 7, 2007


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Presented to me by Digicats (& Dogs) a.k.a. my Bean!


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

T-13: Crazy Calicoes!

Since the computer Deaded, we are digging in the archives again to bring you 13 Calico Cats this time around!

Hopefully computer will be fixed in time for next week's T-13!

1. First up, we have Daisy, from the Jewell Cats!

Daisy


2. The furry lovely Powder...

Powder


3. and Puff from Perfectly Parker.

Puff


4. Abigail of the Turkey Cats.

Abigail


5. The poor misunderstood Tesla...

Tesla


6. Gretchen, who is kind of a Torti-co...

Gretchen


7. My Calico dilute Furriend, Sarah - who also make good April Fool!

Sarah


8. Special Calico mystery guest at my Masquerade ball who turn out to be...POWDER! Again!

Powder


9. Tinkerbell, a.k.a. Stinky Tinky - another for my Xanga furriends!

Calico Cat,Country Cats


10. Miss Caitie, who knows that it's all good!

Calico Cat,Happy Valentine's Day


11. Willow, another of our sweethearts!

Happy Valentine's Day,Calico Cat


12. Dazey, of the Cyclone Cats, who we just visit in the road trip,

Calico Cat,Road Trip


13. and Maggie May, who we also visit on the road trip!

Calico Cat,Road Trip


On a side note, my bean is participating in the Hippity Hop Blog Train, which start on Monday, March 30th. If you are into digital scrap booking and graphics, be sure to stop by her blog, Digicats, on that day to download her piece of the Hippity Hop Blog Train so you can have plenty of Easter things to dress your pictures up in!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordy Wednesday Challenge

Dear Mz. Ann:

I am sorry our Wordy Wednesday Challenges get posted late today, but the the computer get visited by the blue screen of deadedness this morning. So Bean must post from work. Here is my word:

Onion


I do not have anything to do with the blue screen of deadedness coming to visit, BTW. It happen after bean attach chippy thing to USB port. So tabby brofur probably break USB port while he surfing the net for Kitty Porn.

Because of this our T-13 tomorrow is going to be a repeat, because the new T-13s is on the Deadedness Computer.

Thank you for the wonderful artworks of me.

Purrs and head butts,

Miss Diamond Emerald-Eyes Precious Black Angelic Cat

who never does anything wrong.

Ever.

Really.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tips on Tuesday - How to prevent accidental poisonings

Cat poisonings are common and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) is cautioning pet caretakers everywhere to be mindful of exposing their furry relatives to substances and other items that may prove harmful to them.

"Every year thousands of animals are hurt and sometimes seriously injured by poisonous items-many as seemingly innocent as a plant," says Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president of the ASPCA's Midwest Office in Urbana, Ill., which also houses the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. To help our caretakers identify potentially dangerous objects, the ASPCA has the following tips:

* Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard: Some plants such as Sago Palm, Oleander and Rhodendron can be toxic to pets if ingested. Lilies can be especially toxic to cats.

* Do not allow your cats to have access to the areas in which cleaning agents are being used or stored: Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; some may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach.

* Be careful when using rat and mouse baits: "The most common active ingredients found in rat and mouse baits are anticoagulants, which interfere with blood clotting processes," says Dr. Hansen. "Ingredients of this type include warfarin, brodifacoum, bromadiaoline, difacinone and difethialone. Other formulations can contain bromethalin, cholecalciferol, zinc phosphide or strychnine, which are designed to kill rodents by affecting various other critical body systems. Some baits also contain inactive ingredients meant to attract rodents, and these ingredients can sometimes be attractive to pets as well."

* Read the label first: Always read the label before using flea products on or around your pets. For example, some flea products for dogs can be deadly if given to cats.

* Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your cats' reach, preferably in closed cabinets: Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses.

* Be aware of foods that are inappropriate for pets: Food items that potentially could be dangerous to pets include onions, onion powder, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk, dark), products sweetened with xylitol (such as chewing gum), raisins and grapes, alcoholic beverages, yeast dough, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans, tea (caffeine), salt, macadamia nuts, hops (used in home beer brewing), tomato leaves and stems (green parts),), rhubarb leaves, avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, and dairy goats), moldy or spoiled foods.

* Common household items can be lethal to animals: Many liquid potpourri formulations contain ingredients such as essential oils and detergents that could be quite hazardous to pets. "Because of the risk for serious illness, pet owners should place potpourri simmer pots and unused liquid in rooms where pets cannot gain access," says Dr. Hansen. "Also consider using relatively safer alternatives, such as plug-in or solid air fresheners used in out-of-reach locations, not in close proximity to pets with sensitive respiratory tracts such as birds." Other items potentially dangerous to pets include mothballs, pennies, tobacco products, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, and batteries.

* Automotive products such as gasoline, oil and antifreeze should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets: As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat.

* Make sure your cats do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until they have dried completely: Always store such products in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. If you are uncertain about the usage of any product, contact the manufacturer for clarification before using it. (MoMo know all about this one!)

About the ASPCA:

The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center is the premier animal poison control center in North America. An allied agency of the University of Illinois, it is the only facility of its kind staffed by 25 veterinarians (nine of whom are board-certified toxicologists and 14 certified veterinary technicians. Located in Urbana, Ill., the specially-trained staff provides assistance to pet owners and specific analysis and treatment recommendations to veterinarians pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants, products or substances, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information on potentially dangerous substances in the home or to reach the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center, please call 1-888-426-4435 or visit www.aspca.org/apcc .

Monday, March 23, 2009

Myth Monday: Mothering Sunday

Spring Bears


Mothering Sunday was yesterday for our U.K. furriends. I thought that it was just another name for Mother's Day, and while there are certain similarities, I find that is not the case.

Mothering Sunday is a Christian festival celebrated throughout Europe. Secularly it is used as a celebration of motherhood, and is synonymous with Mother's Day as celebrated in other countries; the latter name is also increasingly used.

A religious festival celebrating motherhood has been existent in Europe since approximately 250 BC when the Romans honoured the mother goddess Cybele during mid-March. As the Roman Empire and Europe converted to Christianity, Mothering Sunday celebrations became part of the liturgical calendar as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to honour the Virgin Mary and the "mother church".

During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church for a service to be held on Laetare Sunday. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone "a-mothering", although whether this preceded the term Mothering Sunday is unclear. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, if prevented by conflicting working hours.

The Epistle for the fourth Sunday in Lent as set out in the Book of Common Prayer gives a special place to the theme of maternal love: Galatians 4:26 states that "Jerusalem which is above is free; which is Mother of us all."

The other names attributed to this festival include Simnel Sunday, Refreshment Sunday and Rose Sunday. Simnel Sunday is named after the practice of baking Simnel cakes to celebrate the reuniting of families during the austerity of Lent. Because there is traditionally a lightening of Lenten vows on this particular Sunday in celebration of the fellowship of family and church, the lesser-used label of Refreshment Sunday is also used, although rarely today.

Rose Sunday is sometimes used as an alternative title for Mothering Sunday as well, as is witnessed by the purple robes of Lent being replaced in some churches by rose-coloured ones. This title refers to the tradition of posies of flowers being collected and distributed at the service originally to all the mothers, but latterly to all women in the congregation. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, however, asserts that "the Golden Rose, sent by the Popes to Catholic sovereigns, used to be blessed at this time, and for this reason the day was sometimes called 'Dominica de Rosa'."

Spring Bears


This Sunday was also once known as "the Sunday of the Five Loaves", from the traditional Gospel reading for the day. Prior to the adoption of the modern "common" lectionaries, the Gospel reading for this Sunday in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Western-Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches was the story of the feeding of the five thousand (for instance, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer stipulates St John's Gospel 6:5-14).

Another tradition associated with Mothering Sunday is the practice of "clipping the church", whereby the congregation form a ring around their church building and, holding hands, embrace it.

For some Church of England churches, it is the only day in Lent when marriages can be celebrated.

In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mothers and other family members.

Mothering Sunday remains in the calendar of some Canadian Anglican churches, particularly those with strong English connections.

Mother's Day in the United States was inspired by the U.K. celebration, however, it does have different origins. It is celebrated in May here in the States, and I will cover the history of Mother's Day in the United States in a Myth Monday post then.

To all of our U.K. and European mom-cats, we wish you a very happy Mothering Sunday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos #89

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos


Friday was first day of Spring! and it has been very spring like weather here in Florida, which make me happy! I get to go outside and enjoy the spring breezes.

The Mind of Mog has noticed that Spring has Sprung as well. I wonder what tip her off? Now...on to the festival...

Starting us off on today's Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos, is something not bad at all, but is some of the cutest kitten pictures on the internets over at AA+ Cat Pictures.

In spring a young tomcats thoughts turn to the making of kittens and one of my neighborhood suitors has been coming by, but I do not make kittens, of course, so he need to take his interest elsewhere. Besides, he is no where near the Mancat my Zed Monster is!

Evidently in spring, thoughts turn to spam too...as we seem to get lot of it this time around.

Elms in the Yard wish to share with us a pair of Bad Kitty Cats flashing their bright laser eyes!

As you know St. Patrick's Day was this week and Meowza share his celebratory pose with us.

He is, of course, in fine company with all the kitty cats you join me for the Purrading of the Green on Thursday!

Ceecee is waiting outside for the Purrade to start, or for his Temptations, which might be pretty much one in the same thing.

Sanjee and company were celebrating St. Patrick's Day this week as well, over at the House of the Mostly Black Cats.

If you are looking for Bad Kitty Cats, look no further than the House of Chaos as Freya is being the Mistress of Mayhem. With a head butt here and head butt there, here a butt there a butt everywhere a butt-butt...

Speaking of which, my tabby brofur's butt was red and sore earlier this week, which necessitated a trip to the vet. He of course took the excursion in typical Mancat Monday style.

Meanwhile What a Good Cat engages in some traditional weekend cat blogging.

Irish Coda shares a picture of the lovely Amber this week, on Camera Critters.

Over at Chey's place, Cheysuli is appalled by the male human's behavior. Not surprising after all, men, and Mancats, do some of the strangest things!

Luna made sure to request that the next time I take road trip, I come see her in sunny California. I must definitely plan west coast road tip soon. For now, I will just have to settle for Weekend Cat Blogging with my fellow House Panther.

Over at the Kitty Cat Gazette, Erin McBagby was arrested for impersonating a Scotting Fold. Um...shouldn't that be impurrsonating? On has to wonder how my furriend Misty Whispurrs feels about that!

At Watermark, it seems that the monkey haz a flavor. But the question is...what kind of flavor?

Did you know nicotine have a flavor too, and that it can be fatal?

Cigarettes and cigarette butts, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and chewing tobacco can be fatal to dogs, cats and birds if ingested. Signs of nicotine poisoning can appear within an hour and include hyperactivity, salivation, panting, vomiting and diarrhea. Advanced signs include muscle weakness, twitching, collapse, coma, increased heart rate and cardiac arrest. If anyone who lives in or visits your home smokes, tell them to keep tobacco products out of reach of pets and to dispose of butts immediately. That is my cat care tip for you today on this Sunday!

Need more cat blogging? Samantha and Mr. Tigger are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging at Life from a Dog's Perspective.

They claim it was too hectic at their house this weekend for them to be bad! So they are just being Easy Like Sunday Morning.

And yes, it's true! I have absconded with the big Ferris Wheel for this weekend's BKCFoC, but don't worry, there's still plenty of fun to be had at When Cats Attack! as they host the Five Year Anniversary of the Carnival of the Cats!

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Festival Time at the Black Cat Pub

LoL Cat


Oh! So THAT is what happened to our internets!

But we are back on line now and all ready to host the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos this weekend...the only Festival where being bad is GOOD!*

So be sure to submit your posts and get in on the all the badness this weekend! I know my tabby brofur can teach some of you a thing or two about being bad!

* Note: I am not a bad kitty. I am a very good angelic kitty. I never do anything bad. See:

Angelic Diamond

Thursday, March 19, 2009

T-13: Purrading the Green

It is said there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are Irish, and those who wish they were. Purrhaps that applies to fursons as well. I certainly enjoy being an Irish cat. Today I am joined by a dozen of my friends who enjoy it as well - if only for a day!

1. I thought I would start off our purrading of the green with a genuine leprechaun, and I do not have to look any further than Banshee! Of course, her furkin at Sumac Stories probably wondering where she hiding that pot of gold...

Calico Cat,St. Patrick's Day


2. Nixon, of Purs & Snorts, also has a pot of gold, which I think he get from a Leprechaun!

Tabby Cat,St. Patrick's Day


3. Forget the gold, Ping from Manx Mnews just wants some kisses...from Gemini purrhaps?

Tabby Cat,Gorgeous Ginger,St. Patrick's Day


4. Pumpkin too, looking for some kisses. It would be hard to resist an offer from such a handsome mancat, but he has some green beer to share as well, if you need some extra purrsuasion!

Bi-colored Cat,Gorgeous Ginger,St. Patrick's Day


5. My furriend Misty Whispurrs is a wee Scottish Fold lass, but when St. Patrick Day roll around, she is Irish for the day! I wonder if she know how to play those bag pipes?

Scottish Fold,St. Patrick's Day


6. Rocky of The Hudson Furkids looking furry handsome today as well in his St. Patrick's Day outfit, and he is bringing you the luck of the Irish!

Dog,St. Patrick's Day


7. Irish Coffee anyone? Mazie Grace, who is a March kitten, as found her way to the Irish Coffee Bar...

Tabby Cat,St. Patrick's Day


8. Budah Pest find something better than Irish Coffee I think, and it is green as well. I think that his pot of gold is filled with catnip!

House Panther,St. Patrick's Day


9. I could not find cat in Ireland that blog, so I settle for the U.K. Aoise joins us as we purrade the green! (And I think I need to go visit my U.K. furriends one day soon!)

Tuxi Cat,Bi-colored Cat,St. Patrick's Day


10. Tybalt is a March kitten as well, so it only appropriate that he join the festivities. I see he going with the Baily's Irish Cream through, instead of the green colored Budweiser!

Domestic Longhair,St. Patrick's Day


11. Rudy looking fury much like an Irish Gent out for a morning stroll...must be all that red hair!

Gorgeous Ginger,St. Patrick's Day,Bi-colored Cat


12. Real authentic Irish? Well, I couldn't find Irish Setter, but I find Irish Terrier instead! Please welcome Keeley all decked out in Irish Green and Celtic Gold!

Dog,St. Patrick's Day


13. And of course, when I comes to St. Patrick's Day, I am the Queen of the Green!

House Panther,Miss Diamond,Domestic Shorthair,St. Patrick's Day


Do you like my lovely green necklace? (No, I cannot play that harp. I do not have any fingers to pluck it with!)

Thank you for joining us at Diamond O'Reilly's Black Cat Pub as we celebrate all things Irish!

Next week we visit Hollywood for our T-13. Purrhaps we will find some starlets that we didn't know about on the "cats"-ting couch?

(Please remember that all guests are welcome to use their tags on their own blogs as well. Just click to go to the Photobucket page where you can download the photo, or the copy URL link!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Myth Monday: Canberra Day

Victoria Bush Fire Tag
Victoria bush fire tags created with the Phoenix Charity Collab kit from the Aussie Scrap Store. All proceeds benefit the victims of the Victoria Bush Fires.


Canberra Day is a public holiday held annually on the second Monday in March in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to celebrate the official naming of Canberra, the Capital of Australia. Canberra is similar to Washington D.C. in the United States.

Canberra was named at a ceremony on March 12, 1913 by Lady Denman, the wife of the then Governor-General Lord Denman.

On 3 March 2007, ACT Minister Andrew Barr introduced a bill to change the day of Canberra Day to the second Monday in March so it falls closer to the actual birthday of Canberra. Previously it had been held on the third Monday in March.

With a population of over 340,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth largest Australian city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities.

Victoria Bush Fire Tag


It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title "bush capital". Although the growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II.

As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the National Library of Australia. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra.

As of 2006, the population of Canberra was 323,056 people and the city has a population density of 1,005.0 persons per square kilometre (2,602.9/sq mi), which is dense with respect to other Australian cities. The 2006 census showed that 1.2% of Canberra's population were of indigenous origin and 21.7% were born overseas. The largest group of people born overseas came from English-speaking countries, led by the United Kingdom and then New Zealand. Significant numbers of immigrants have also come from Germany, Italy and Vietnam. Recent immigrants have arrived from countries in east and south Asia. Most Canberrans are native speakers of English; many have a second language, the most common being Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Greek.

Canberrans are relatively young, highly mobile, and well educated. The median age is 34 years, and only 9.8% of the population is aged over 65 years. Between 1996 and 2001, 61.9% of the population either moved to or from Canberra, which is the second highest mobility rate of any Australian capital city. As of May 2004, 30% of people in the ACT aged 15–64 had a level of educational attainment equal to at least a bachelor's degree, significantly higher that the national average of 19%. Approximately 60% of Canberra residents describe themselves as Christian, the most common denominations being Catholic and Anglican; 6% of the population practice a non-Christian religion and 23% are not religious.

As of 2002 the most common crimes in Canberra are property related crimes, unlawful entry with intent and motor vehicle theft. They affect 1,961 and 630 of every 100,000 persons respectively. Homicide and related offenses (including Murder, Attempted Murder, Manslaughter and Driving Causing Death) affect 1.5/100,000 persons which is below the national average of 4.9/100,000. Rates of assault and sexual assault are also below the national average.

Victoria Bush Fire Tag


Much like it's American counterpart, Canberra is home to many national monuments and institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, and the National Museum of Australia. Many Commonwealth government buildings in Canberra are open to the public, including Parliament House, the High Court and the Royal Australian Mint. Lake Burley Griffin is the site of the Captain Cook Memorial and the National Carillon. Other sites of interest include the Black Mountain Tower and the Australian National Botanic Gardens on Black Mountain, the National Zoo and Aquarium on Scrivener Dam, the National Dinosaur Museum and Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre.

The Canberra Museum and Gallery in the city is a repository of local history and art. Several historic homes are open to the public: Lanyon and Tuggeranong Homesteads in the Tuggeranong Valley, Mugga-Mugga in Symonston, and Blundells' Cottage in Parkes all display the lifestyle of the early European settlers. Calthorpes' House in Red Hill is a well preserved example of a 1920s house from Canberra's very early days. Duntroon House, in the suburb of Campbell, was one of the district's earliest homesteads and is now the officers' mess at Royal Military College; it is occasionally open to the public.

Canberra has many venues for live music and theatre: the Canberra Theatre and Playhouse which hosts many major concerts and productions; and Llewellyn Hall (within the ANU School of Music), a world-class concert hall are two of the largest. The Street Theatre, also located on Childers Street, operates as a venue for local professional and amateur production companies, as well as producing a season of professional shows each year. The Albert Hall was the city's first performing arts venue, opened in 1928. It was the original performance venue for theatre groups such as the Canberra Repertory Society and the Canberra Philharmonic Society. The city boasts a very large number of amateur theatre groups for its population base, including many that focus primarily on musicals.

Stonefest at the University of Canberra is Canberra's largest music festival. Canberra is also the home turf of an Australian hip-hop duo, Koolism. There are numerous bars and nightclubs which also offer live entertainment, particularly concentrated in the areas of Dickson, Kingston and the city. Most town centres have facilities for a community theatre and a cinema, and they all have a library. Popular cultural events include the National Folk Festival, the Royal Canberra Show, the Summernats car festival, the Canberra Multicultural Festival in February and the Celebrate Canberra festival which is held over 10 days in March in conjunction with Canberra Day.

Victoria Bush Fire Tag

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Internets Down

FYI: Our internets are down. I have to go to bean's day hunting place and use the computer there to get on the internets if I want to post. Bean is trying to get it fixed, but she says the embarqs people maybe need to send us new router, so it may not be middle of week.

Just so you know and don't worry bout us if we don't post.

Brofur has mild fever and some intestinal problem. VET give him antibotics to take. (Better him than me).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hungry Calico found in couch

I see this story on the Associated Press services:

SPOKANE, Wash. – The mysterious mewing in Vickie Mendenhall's home started about the time she bought a used couch for $27. After days of searching for the source of the noise, she found a very hungry calico cat living in her sofa.

Her boyfriend, Chris Lund, was watching TV on Tuesday night and felt something move inside the couch. He pulled it away from the wall, lifted it up and there was the cat, which apparently crawled through a small hole on the underside.

Mendenhall contacted Value Village, where she bought the couch, but the store had no information on who donated it. So she took the cat to SpokAnimal CARE, the animal shelter where she works, so it could recover, and contacted media outlets in hopes of finding the owner.

Sure enough, Bob Killion of Spokane showed up to claim the cat on Thursday after an acquaintance alerted him to a TV story about it. Killion had donated a couch on Feb. 19, and his 9-year-old cat, Callie, disappeared at about the same time.


So...something new to watch for. When donating furniture, make sure cat not inside!

PeeEss: I hear my tabby brofur has to go to the V-E-T! He has case of squirts! Ucky!

Update: Tristan is going to see Dr. McKelvie tomorrow at 10 AM. This is the doctor that took care of him when he got a fishhook stuck in his mouth. This happened before he came to live with us, I'm looking forward to hearing all the dirt on our tabby cat.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

T-13: American Road Trip

I have to say, taking a road trip to visit 13 of my furriends across the United States has been very interesting and a very good learning experience. I never know so many things!

1. Since live in Florida, the very first place I visit is right up the coast from me...Sarasota, where I stop to check in with Peanut Butter and Jenny.

As you know, Florida is very apply name "The Sunshine State" and our main export is Sunshine, both in the form of Florida Citrus, and as a popular tourist destination. with 35 miles of silken beach front, and a rich cultural history, Sarasota is a popular location for the tourist crowd.

Peanut Butter


2. From Florida, we take a drive along the gulf coast but eventually leave it to head into Arkansas, where we visit with Cookie and her fur-sybs. Arkansas is known as the Natural State, and it is also a pretty good name for it. Arkansas is famous for its natural scenic beauty, clear lakes and streams, and abundant wildlife. Arkansas has 52 state parks, three national forests, five national parks, and the nation's first national River (the Buffalo National River, which meanders through the heart of the Ozarks, is America's first federally protected stream).

The apple blossom is the official state flower in Arkansas. It was once a major apple producing state and still has an Arkansas apple festival each year in the town of Lincoln, in Washington County.

Cookie


3. Next we go to Texas, the "Lone Star State" where we visit Angus Mhor, our Pixie Bob furriend. The nickname originates from the star on the 1836 flag of the Republic of Texas. The world-famous "Lone Star" is also found on the Texas state flag, the great seal, the state quarter, and is recognized as the official state gemstone cut of Texas.

While many people think of the old west when they think of Texas, in the modern day world Texas is known for it's "Black Gold" - oil for an energy thirst nation.

While oil is no longer the predominant force behind Texas' economic development, in the century since Spindletop roared to life on the Texas Gulf Coast, oil has touched the lives of many Texans, and it continues to provide benefits to residents of the Lone Star State, as well as to people throughout the country.

Angus Mohr


4. From Texas, we take a long drive through New Mexico and Arizona to get to Las Vegas, Nevada, where I stop to visit with Fin, the famous author of House Cat Confidential. The so called "Silver State" Nevada became huge during the silver rush days of the id 1800's. At that time, silver was literally shoveled off the ground in Nevada. Heavy gray crusts of silver had formed on the surface of the desert over millions of years and were polished by dust and wind to the dull luster of a cow horn.

A big silver bed could be tens of meters wide and more than a kilometer long (worth $27,000 a ton in 1860's dollars). The territory of Nevada and surrounding states were picked clean of silver within a few decades.

Today, Nevada's economy is overwhelmingly based on tourism, especially following the legalization of gambling in 1931, and the resort industries that center around Las Vegas and to a lesser extent, Reno and Lake Tahoe. Gambling taxes are a primary source of state revenue, and service industries employ about half of Nevada's workers.

Much of Nevada's land - about 80% - is Federally owned and is given over to military and related use. Nellis Air Force Base and the Nevada Test Site have been the scene of much nuclear and aircraft testing; Yucca Mountain is slated to be the primary depository for U.S. nuclear wastes.

Fin


5. Leaving Fin to enjoy the lights of his home in so-called "Sin City", we head north through Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota, eventually arriving in St. Paul, Minnesota, there to visit with my Tuxi furriend, Theo.

St. Paul is one of the so called "Twin Cities". Minneapolis and St. Paul grew up side by side on the banks of the Mississippi River, while lumbering was the predominate industry in Minnesota in the late 18, and early 1900s. The river provided easy transportation for the huge logs that were cut from the Minnesota forest land.

Their economy has transformed though in the past 200 years from one based on raw materials to one based on finished products and services. Minnesota is part of the growing biomedical industry spawned by research and Rochester is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic.

The principal economic sectors in Saint Paul are services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and government. Along with Minneapolis, Saint Paul is the site of one of the largest concentrations of high-technology firms in the United States and ranks among the major commercial centers between Chicago and the West Coast. The city is also among the two or three largest livestock and meatpacking centers in the nation. Sixteen of the Fortune 500 largest U.S. corporations are headquartered in the Twin Cities. The area is also home to 30 Fortune 1000 companies and several of the world's largest private companies. Local companies are involved in the manufacture of super computers, electronics, medical instruments, milling, machine production, food processing, and graphic arts.

Also known as the land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota remains a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, who enjoy the various fishing, hunting, hiking and boating activities around the state.

Theo


6. Much as I enjoy visiting with Theo and his brofurs, we must leave and head out on the next part of our road trip. We are going to Boone County, Iowa, where we stop to visit with Dazey and her family!

Iowa is called The Hawkeye State as a tribute to chief Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk Indians (relocated to Iowa after unsuccessful fighting of settlers). Also called The Corn State (90 percent of the land in Iowa is devoted to agriculture).

While we are there, Dazey arrange a trip for us to visit the Iowa Speeday! The Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa is a 7/8 mile long paved oval motor racing track in Newton, Iowa, approximately 30 miles (48 km) east of Des Moines. The track was designed with influence from Rusty Wallace and patterned after Richmond International Raceway, a short track where Wallace was very successful. It has over 25,000 permanent seats as well as a unique multi-tiered Recreational Vehicle viewing area along the backstretch.

The track opened in September 2006 with the Soy Biodiesel 250, won by Woody Howard, for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Four Champions playoff. The Indy Racing League announced a race there on June 24, 2007, the Iowa Corn Indy 250, which was won by Dario Franchitti, who barely nipped Marco Andretti at the finish line. The track has secured a combined NASCAR Camping World East-West race where results will count towards both series' championships. That race delivered a dramatic battle between 17-year old Joey Logano from the Busch East Series, who defeated Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick, 1998 West Series champion, who represented the West Series at the end of the race. The track has been awarded a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 2008, and a Nationwide Series race for 2009. An agreement has been reached with the IRL that will see three more years racing at Iowa from 2009 onwards.

Dazey


7. That was very much fun. From the Hawkeye State we drive south to arrive in the Show Me State, Missouri, where we visit with Bhu. There are several stories concerning the origin of the "show me" slogan. The most widely known story gives credit to Missouri's U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver for coining the phrase in 1899. During a speech in Philadelphia, he said:

"I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

The phrase is now used to describe the character of Missourians - not gullible - conservative and unwilling to believe without adequate evidence.

Missouri's economy rests chiefly on industry. Aerospace and transportation equipment are the main manufactures; food products, chemicals, printing and publishing, machinery, fabricated metals, and electrical equipment are also important. Coal in the west and north central sections, lead in the southeast, and zinc in the southwest are among the resources exploited by Missouri's mining concerns. Lead (Missouri has been the top U.S. producer), cement, and stone are the chief minerals produced.

Missouri remains important agriculturally; with over 100,000 farms, the state ranks second only to Texas. The most valuable farm products are soybeans, corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, and dairy items. The development of resorts in the Ozarks, including Branson and several lakes, has boosted tourism income.

Bhu's home in Columbia is fury pretty. It was a fury nice place to visit and we greatly enjoyed ourselves.

Bhu


8. From Missouri, we head north again, driving though Illinois and Indiana to get to Michigan, where we visit with Zoey and the rest of "The Island Cats". Michigan is named the Great Lakes State, as it is situated in and surrounded on three sides by the Great Lakes.

The name Michigan is based on the Chippewa Indian word "meicigama" meaning great water, and refers to the Great Lake. Thirty-two counties in Michigan also have names drawn from Native American languages.

The Upper Peninsula is northern woods country, with what has been described as “ten months of winter and two months of poor sledding.” The abundance of furred animals and forests early attracted fur traders and lumberjacks. Animals were trapped out, virgin forests were stripped, and, in addition, pure copper and high-grade iron ore were rapidly wrested from the earth, so that virtually all of the Upper Peninsula's mines have been closed. Deer, bear, and other game in the forests, as well as abundant fish in streams and lakes, keep the area a rich hunting and fishing ground. Selective cutting and replanting of trees are now employed in the second-growth forests.

The Lower Peninsula is less wild, but in parts no less beautiful, than the Upper. Its forests were also cut over in the lumber boom of the late 19th cent., when Michigan was briefly the world leader in lumber production. The soil of these cut-over lands, unlike the productive earth in other areas of the Lower Peninsula, proved generally unsuitable for agriculture, and reforestation has been undertaken.

Abundant natural beauty and excellent fishing help to make tourism a major Michigan industry. Michigan's historic lack of manufacturing diversity has made it particularly susceptible to the fluctuations of the national economy, and in recent years it has tried to diversify, attracting high-technology industry and developing the service sector.

Zoey of The Island Cats


9. We leave the Michigan Peninsula to head to Ohio to visit with our good furriend, Mr. Hendrix. Ohio's nickname, the Buckeye State, comes from the many buckeye trees that once covered Ohio's hills and plains. The name buckeye stems from native Americans - Indians called the nut "hetuck" (meaning buck eye, as the markings on the nut resemble the eye of a deer).

Ohio has been one of the states that has been hard hit, economically, during current recession. Most of Ohio's economy involves farming or mining, although manufacturing is an important economic activity in Ohio as well. Coal is the number one source of income in the mining industry, followed by natural gas.

Ohio leads all of the other states in the production of building sandstone and in the production of lime, made from limestone to produce cement, chemicals, fertilizer and steel. Clays for bricks, tile, cement, pottery and stoneware are also mined in the state. The oldest mined product of the state is salt and the deepest salt mine (2,000 feet) in the country is found in Ohio. Other mined products are petroleum, sand and gravel, dolomite and gypsum.

Milk, hogs, eggs, beef and turkeys are all raised in the state. Sheep ar raised for mutton and wool and Ohio is the biggest wool-producing state east of the Mississippi River.

Health care is becoming a big industry in the state as well, with the Cleveland Clinic being one of the leading health care facilities in the world.

I was surprised to learn that the official Rock Song of Ohio is "Hang on Sloopy" - I did not know this! The Red Carnation is the official state flower.

Mr. Hendrix


10. We jump back in the car while humming "Hang on Sloopy" and head off to Pennsylvania, to visit with Tinker of The Cat Street Boyz.

Pennsylvania's nickname is The Keystone State because it was the middle colony of the original 13 colonies and because Pennsylvania has held a key position in the economic, social, and political development of the United States. The state song of Pennsylvania also mentions the state nickname in the second verse: "Birthplace of a mighty nation, Keystone of the land." The word keystone is from architecture, it describes the central wedge-shaped stone in an arch which holds all the other stones in place:

Three of America's most treasured documents were written in Pennsylvania: the US Constitution, the Declaration of independence, and the Gettysburg address.

Pennsylvania was once the nations leading steel producer, but the industry had declined dramatically in recent years. Heavy industry has declined in general, but the state still manufactures metal products, transportation equipment, food stuffs, machinery, chemicals, and a wide variety of plastic, rubber, stone, clay, and glass products.

The Pittsburgh and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, situated at opposite ends of the state and dominating the commercial and industrial life of their regions, present startling contrasts in production and culture. Other leading cities are Allentown, Bethlehem, Erie, Reading, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre.

Tinker


11. From Pennsylvania, we head up into New York to stop in Buffalo and visit with Pride and his family. Pride's bean has just become a docent at the Buffalo Zoo, so of course we have to visit the zoo while we are there!

Buffalo is "The Queen City" of "The Empire State". New York is nicknamed The Empire State for its national and global significance. The origin of the nickname is unknown - some sources credit George Washington, who referred to New York state in December 1784 as "at present the seat of the Empire."

Buffalo is much smaller than the better known New York City, but it is still the second largest city in the State of New York, and is the 46th largest in the United States. Situated near the Canadian border, it is close to Niagara Falls and serves as both a gateway to the falls and to our neighbors to the North.

The city has a rich architectural history and here is a wonderful walking tour you can take of downtown Buffalo which is explains the fascinating history of many of the buildings were. Buffalo was once a major manufacturing city, but that has since declined dramatically. Today, Education, Health Services, Professional and Business Finance Areas comprise employment for most of Buffalo's residents.

Most popular accounts hold that the name "Buffalo" is a corruption of the French phrase beau fleuve, "beautiful river," a phrase said to have been exclaimed by French explorers upon seeing the Niagara River. This speculation, however, is contradicted by primary sources. French explorers actually referred to the Niagara River in print as Riviere aux Chevaux, "River of Horses." The earliest name origin theory to appear in print (1825) relates a story about stolen horsemeat being passed off as bison flesh, with the site of the illicit picnic henceforth remembered as "Buffalo," but the author who conveyed this tale expressed his skepticism. What is clear is that there were no bison in the area; that the settlement of Buffalo took its name from Buffalo Creek; and that Buffalo Creek first appeared on a map in 1759-1760. Although the Beau Fleuve theory is the least plausible of several theories, it is unlikely that Buffalo's true name origin can be conclusively established.

(There are Bisons in the Buffalo Zoo!)

Pride


12. From New York we drive through Pennsylvania again, and Delaware to get to Richmond, Virginia, where we stop off to see Sanjee and the rest of the Hotties. The state of Virginia was named after England's Queen Elizabeth I. In the early 1600's, all of North America that was not Spanish or French was then called "Virginia" in honor of "The Virgin Queen," and the earliest English colonial expeditions were sent by the Virginia Company of London. Virginia became the 10th state on June 25, 1788.

Richmond is the Capital of Virginia, and like all Virginia municipalities incorporated as cities, it is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond area. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, and surrounded by Interstate 295 and Route 288 in central Virginia. The population was 200,123 in 2007, with an estimated population of 1,212,977 for the Richmond Metropolitan Area — making it the third largest in Virginia.

Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government with several notable legal and banking firms, as well as federal, state, and local governmental agencies, located in the downtown area. Richmond is one of twelve cities in the United States to be home to a Federal Reserve Bank. There are also nine Fortune 500, and thirteen Fortune 1000 companies in the city. Tourism is also important, as many historic sights are in or nearby the city.

Sanjee is Queen of Richmond and she have her chafer take us on a tour of the city. It is very beautiful at this time of year, with mild days and cool nights.

Sanjee


13. From Richmond, we head to North Carolina, the last stop on this road trip, where we stop to visit Maggie May.

North Carolina has the rather interesting nickname of the Tar Heel State, which seems to come from North Carolina's long history as a producer of naval stores (tar, pitch, rosin and turpentine from the state's extensive pine forests). North Carolina was a world leader in naval stores production from about 1720 to 1870.

Strawberry's are the official red berry of the state and are grown throughout North Carolina. There are even pick your own berry farms located around the state. Both Strawberries and Blueberries are important to the agricultural economy of North Carolina. Strawberries brought in over $19 million in 2005 and blueberries over $37 million in 2005. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina was ranked 3rd in the nation in 2006 in strawberry production, and 5th in blueberry production.

North Carolina leads the nation in the production of tobacco and is a major producer of textiles and furniture. It grows 40% of all U.S. tobacco, but the continuing trend is toward diversification. Broilers, hogs, turkeys, greenhouse products, sweet potatoes, corn, soybeans, peanuts, and eggs are important. Plentiful forests supply the thriving furniture and lumber industries. The state has long been a major textile manufacturer, producing cotton, synthetic, and silk goods as well as various kinds of knit items. Other leading manufactures are electrical machinery, computers, and chemicals; the Research Triangle complex near Chapel Hill has spurred high-tech manufacturing, as well as bringing federal jobs into the state. The state also has mineral resources: It leads the nation in the production of feldspar, mica, and lithium materials and produces substantial quantities of olivine, crushed granite, talc, clays, and phosphate rock. There are valuable coastal fisheries, with shrimp, menhaden, and crabs the principal catches. Charlotte developed in the 1980s into a major U.S. banking center, and related businesses have flourished in the area.

Maggie May


This has been a very exciting trip. Since we only get to see 13 states this time around, I look forward to another road trip in which I can discover more about the diversity of this fascinating country in which I live. I would also like to go visit my Canadian furriend someday and learn more about their homes.

I hope you enjoyed your journey along with me. Next week is St. Patrick's Day and we will have 13 cats purrading the Green as part of our celebration here at Diamond O'Reilly's Black Cat Pub!