Guest Blogger: Monty

Since I’m solid busy this weekend, I’ve rounded up a guest blogger.  Monty, who has taken to billing himself “The MontySattva” is writing today about his favorite topic: himself.  So, without further ado (I’ve always wanted to say that about something) here is my Little Man.

Hi everybody! I’m super excited that Momma is letting me write an actual blog today.  Usually, she just tells me to sit down and watch but I’m here to tell you that you don’t need opposable thumbs or a human brain to write a blog.  I mean, have you read some of them? Anyway, I’m glad to be here and to get a chance to talk to you all.

Take time to smell the roses. Then eat them. Tulips are good, too.


I don’t think my chance to write today is an accident.  You see, today is my five year anniversary of being rescued!  It was a lucky day for me, that’s for sure.  My human mom came and got me out of a cold, dark, and dirty place and brought me to her house.   I was supposed to be a foster kitten and get adopted out to someone else but I am just so darn cute and engaging, not to mention smart.  After she had watched me grow from a scrawny four week-old baby with blue eyes and sparse fur who the cat doctor said might not make it to a solid, active boy with green eyes and thick black fur how could she let me go?   She says, and this is a direct quote, “Oh, Monty, every day you make me laugh!”.  So there’s her reason.


In my first week, I’d already learned to sit on the table. So smart!


In the dishwasher, a Place of Danger. Those prongs are sharp!

Actually, (and I’m not sure if she knows this or not) I decided the moment I was let out of the travel carrier that I wasn’t leaving.  Not ever.  No way.  The food here is ample and delicious.  There are plenty of other animals here, so I never get bored.  Lots of ledges and cat beds and counters to observe my world from.

I am pretty sure that eventually the old girl cats will start to like me.  I try to get them interested by jumping on them and swatting them, but they just aren’t very friendly.  Their loss, right?


Me and Big Kitty. Such a quiet, accepting big brother. I miss him!




Ahhh. Me and Samantha. She was the cat-mother I needed. The best snuggler in the world, except for me.






















The dogs are okay.  Buster the pit bull is calm and quiet and I like to rub my face against him.  Luna the German shepherd is sometimes okay but man, does she make a racket when someone comes to the door, or there’s a squirrel in the yard, or maybe a leaf falls from a tree.  Can’t believe that Momma calls her ‘Baby’ or ‘Momma’s Loon’ in that cooing, irritating voice and then Luna gets all wiggly and pants and tilts her fool head and gets a cookie.

I’m not going to let it bother me, though.  I’ve got a good life and by the way, there’s a rumor that cats live longer than big dogs.  Who’ll get the last laugh, I ask you?

Using the scratcher, like a good kitty should.


So I guess the point I want to make is that it’s really good to rescue little hungry kittens, especially if they are me, because we make wonderful companions.  If you don’t have a cat or you don’t have enough cats, check out your local shelter or rescue group.  You’re sure to find the cat of your dreams there.  My momma did!

Complimentary Coloring

The cushions on my couch have never been the same since Buster came to live here, but I admit they have got quite a bit of use as cat beds before his arrival.

Isis is a princess, with her bright, impeccable coat, clear green eyes tastefully ringed in eyeliner, and an entitled air. She’s a commanding little presence in the household.

She always held herself aloof from the other cats — until the first foster kittens showed up. Isis was about three by that time and it was the first time I’d seen her act like a kitten with other cats.

She had always been more of a dog kinda cat, she and Daisy the German shepherd forming a tight bond almost instantly. Isis was the only cat not terrified of the six week old puppy and the pair quickly formed a Trouble Club, joyfully chasing one another through the house, disturbing the other cats and secretly shredding the underside of a couch. That must have been their Initiation Ritual.

On Buster’s first night here, Isis indicated her approval with a regal nod of the head. That and the fact that she calmly regarded him from her perch on the couch (not THAT couch) with no hint of unease, and let him stick his curious nose in her face without a swat or a hiss let me know he doesn’t have a ‘cats are prey’ drive.

Typically, you might find that the cat would be on the back of the couch, and the big dog would be down below on the cushions, but you know already that nothing plays to the norm in my house.


Musical Monty

Here’s my baby-cat, Monty, at about eight weeks old.  He was pretty darn good at pounding the ivories.

He was so malnourished when I rescued him from the impound that his fur was sparse for  what seemed like forever.  In reality, it was only a couple of months before he grew a thick, glossy black kitty coat.

And here he is today

Cuddling with big sister Cleopatra. She’s the one at the top of the picture.

New Year’s Eve: in full swing at my house

The story so far:

Monty is excited about spending his first New Year’s Eve as an adult cat.  Having ingested an impressive amount of catnip, he jumps in his favorite chair for a nap.

What’s this? A lampshade? Hmmmm…what to do, what to do…

Whaddya mean it’s supposed to go on my head??? 

Happy New Year, everybody!


My Tidy Cat

I’ve found cat toys in all kinds of fun places: in the wastebasket, floating in the counter top fountain, atop shelved books, once even placed gently in the front paws of a sleeping cat statue .  At least all hundred of them aren’t strewn across the floor.

This one gets an award for Most Comical Use of a Cat Toy.

Someone cracked open the litter scoop’s holder and jammed a furry squirrel toy inside.  Odds are that Monty was the culprit.  He has a track record of going above and beyond normal cat behavior.

In my yoga class, our teacher will give us instruction on an exercise, adding “if you wish more work”, you can modify the pose.  I almost never do.  Monty, though, always wishes for more work.  He really ought to be more fit than he is, as he invariably makes his little workouts more difficult.  Playing with a toy isn’t just batting the thing around, it’s batting the toy while leaping over and around the rungs of a chair.  Stretching usually involves pulling something off the wall.   Hanging off the edge of the kitchen counter and opening a drawer with his dangling front paws, that’s Monty.

There may be another culprit in my household, but I’m putting my money on Monty.

The squirrel, brushed off and ready for more fun

Sacked out. Being a house cat is tough work.

Lili and Maci

In late August, 2011 I visited an animal control facility in rural Minnesota.  I had volunteered to photograph the animals there, and to try to find rescues to take them.  In no part of my mind was I planning to bring anyone home with me.

These little girls had other ideas.  They must have known I couldn’t walk by their filthy cage and not make the impulse decision to take them with me.  The tinier one, white with grey markings, especially used her oversized, plaintive meow to let me know that there was no choice in the matter.  They were coming home with me.

Six week old kittens waiting to be rescued, August 2011.

I borrowed a carrier, loaded the pair up and brought them home.  A visit to the vet proved that they were healthy but skinny kittens who needed love and nourishment.  I named the grey tabby Molly and the white one with tabby markings, Meeka.  When they were adopted about three months later, they were given the charming names of Maci (Molly)  and Lili (Meeka)

Molly/Maci at her first vet visit, August 29, 2011.


A couple of days later, I went back to another stray impound and picked up Marlowe, a frightened black kitten.  I had seen him before I met Molly and Meeka but hadn’t yet been informed by the girls that I was again going to be a kitten foster parent.  Two weeks after that, Monty and Marshmallow were jailed in the same place that Meeka and Molly had been.  They came to join the blended kitten family, and the adventure began in earnest.

Feeding frenzy. From top left, Marshmallow, Marlow, Meeka. Bottom left, Monty, Molly.

Meeka was a crafty imp who liked to be held; Molly was the more independent of the two.  One night Luna had come in from the backyard but soon was whimpering and trying to get back outside.  I heard a cat’s meowing not far from the door and assumed it was one of the adult cats who had slipped out under the herd of three large dogs as they went out for the umpteenth time that day.   But no, it was Molly!  She had boldly ventured out under cover of the dogs but decided she didn’t like being outside alone.  She was hiding under a rose bush and was glad to be held that one time.  Other than that, she was mostly a grey streak in the house, racing alone or with the other kittens.

I’m always sorry when the time comes for the kittens to be adopted out, but I’m delighted when they go to a great home and am especially elated when a pair gets the chance to live their lives together, forever.  Gayle was looking for two young sisters, and I had the perfect pair of siblings for her.  The two former impound kittens have it made now.

Meeka/Lili at about 12 weeks

On the year anniversary of their adoption, I received this from their human mom:

It’s hard to believe they have been here a year Thanksgiving.  Time certainly flew. They both are doing just wonderful.  Never a dull moment around here especially when they are on the run.  Lili is a dainty little girl with an iron fist.  She can carry on quite the conversation. She loves to play and brings the ball back for you to keep throwing–whether it fits into your plans or not.  Maci has turned out to be a big girl.  Still hates to be held but more than willing to sit on your lap.  She loves stealing yarn.  She also talks but not nearly as much as Lili.  They had their first experience with a mouse about a month ago.  Poor mouse never stood a chance with those two.”

And here they are today.

Maci and Lili chilling at home and looking great! November 2012.

And more photos of their time in my home.

Atop the cat tree, with Marshmallow

The little girls loved my ‘grandmother cat’, Samantha.

Cause and Effect: Temps Go Down, Cats Get More Cuddly

During the warmer months, the cats are mostly solo acts.  They’ll hang out together, but they don’t want to get too close.  If the bare trees, grey skies and Christmas ads on  TV were not clue enough, I would know winter is coming by these scenes of tranquil togetherness.

Monty and Juliet

Cleopatra and Nimue 


Patient Big Kitty with foster kitten Meeka curled up on his neck

Isis, James, Juliet


I’m glad I only paid $8 for this cat scratcher.

Juliet looks disapprovingly at the destroyed cat scratcher

I brought it home last Tuesday night, pleased with my remainder-table bargain.  By Thursday afternoon, it looked like this.  In a household of many cats, you might think I had to guess at which feline(s) were responsible for this senseless destruction.    I did not.  I knew.

Marlowe and Monty, the M & M boys, are solidly living out their kitty adolescence and have decided to pursue the hoodlum path.  I have had kittens and young cats around the house off and on for years, so I’ve learned not to leave glassware out; pens and pencils, ditto, as they make great spinning cat toys that can disappear into the smallest of nooks and crannies;  jewelry must be securely hidden away, especially anything with a chain; and there is no way on Bastet’s** green earth that I will ever be able to have healthy houseplants again.  Until these two appeared, though, I had never experienced undue destruction of cat toys.  Sure, the carpeted cat trees look threadbare after a while, and the little furry battery operated animals that squeak fall silent after being dropped in the water bowl.  That’s part of the cost of doing business with cats.

Monty, on a self-imposed time out.

Marlowe with some of his handiwork

This cardboard cat scratcher surprised me.  You’d think they wouldn’t normally be that durable, but I’ve had several of them and they’ve all lasted several months, if not years.  I expected the cardboard frame to be pummeled but I never dreamed that they would rend the corrugated scratching surface into two parts.

I guess this means it will be a flippant waste of money to have a Christmas tree this year.

**Bastet, an ancient Egyptian cat goddess