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Monday, March 15, 2010

Claude Cat-Chow

I'm very sad to report that we've lost another furry member of our family.

Claude was my parent's kitty. He passed away today after being diagnosed with ailing kidneys about a month ago. His health diminished quickly, and he had a rough last few weeks - he was on a special diet and needed to receive fluids via an IV. Sadly, he lost his appetite over the past couple of weeks, and wasn't sleeping well. My parents made the very difficult decision that his quality of life wasn't what it should be, and that it was time to let him go.

Claude was a very special cat.

Actually, as Dick once pointed out to me, he was the original "Cat Chow".

Claude was my very first cat. Dick and I adopted him from the San Francisco SPCA on May 7, 2000 - just over a week after his 3rd birthday. Dick was the one who chose Claude - he was quite taken by him when he saw him, and told me that Claude would be a great kitty to take home.

He was right.

This was before Dick and I had moved in together, so Claude moved in with me in my Condo. He was quite shy at first - he hid on top of the cabinets in my pantry, and under the armoire in my hallway for the first few days. He eventually came more comfortable in his new environment, and was a great furry companion.

Claude, about a week after he came to live with me in May, 2000.

By the time Dick and I moved in together in 2002, we asked my parents if they would adopt Claude. Dick already had Marcel and Noe living at his house, and we were afraid that Claude wouldn't be happy moving in as a third cat after he was so happy being an only cat. He had been to my parent's house to visit a few times at this point, and we all agreed that it would be best for him...

...and what a lucky cat he was!

I always teased my parents that Claude was the most happy (spoiled) cat ever. :)
He was so well loved, and so well taken care of. My parents had never had a cat before him, and they showered him with love and attention. He was so happy with them. I used to feel guilty for giving Claude away, but that went away as soon as I saw how happy he was with my parents, and how happy he made them, too.

Claude was one-of-a-kind. He was very dog-like in some of his mannerisms: he would follow my Mom wherever she went around the house, and he would always come to her when called. He would always run down the stairs to greet her when she came home (sometimes, he remembered to greet my Dad, too). ;) My Mom and Claude had a whole song and dance routine when it was time for his supper - they trained each other well. :)

Dad, Mom & Claude, Christmas, 2004

Claude had the softest coat of fur, and very long legs. We called him our Panther Cat. After he overcame his shyness in his earlier years with us, he later became a very outgoing and friendly cat to everyone he met. He loved car rides, and would even go with my Mom to visit my Grandma at her apartment. He loved walking around my parent's backyard on his harness, and especially loved to watch his birdie-friends from his sliding glass door.

Claude, sunning himself in the garden window

It was a good life. He was a very happy cat.

We will miss you, Claude. Thank you for all of the love and joy that you brought to our family.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

The "Over the Shoulder Cat Butt" Gun 

Oh, dear. Noe is going to be so embarrassed...

Unfortunately, I turned off the camera before the very end. Right after I turned it off, Noe looked over her shoulder, and ever-so-calmly said, "Mew". :)

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kitten Ball!! 

Dick and Noe are playing "Kitten Ball" - in which Dick does the Heisman Pose and Noe does her best impersonation of a football. ;)

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

What Cats are Really Thinking 

Reeves posted this on his blog and I thought it was hysterical.

I can only imagine (and often do) what Noe would say to us if she could...

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Time to say goodbye 

On a sunny Memorial Day afternoon, we decided to bury the ashes of our dear, sweet kitty, Marcel.

It has been just over 2 months since Marcel passed away, but we've been holding off from burying his ashes until the time felt right.

Today, it felt right. Maybe it was because the sun was out for the first time in 3 days, creating a nice sunbeam in the exact spot where we've been planning to bury him: underneath the Japanese Maple Tree, surrounded by the pretty purple flowers that have been blooming from the geranium plants.

My parents had brought a few large rocks from their yard for us to choose from to use as the marker. We selected the one that reminded us of a kitty curled up, napping. I painted an "M" on the front - Marcel had an "M" design on his forehead, and we used to always say, "M for Marcel!".

I was very sad as we said goodbye to our Marcel one last time today, but I'm happy remembering all the wonderful memories we have of him.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Dick's Goodbye to Marcel 

Just when I thought I couldn't love my husband any more than I already did....

Dick wrote his own tribute to our beloved Marcel.

Goodbye, my Big Cat

I cried and smiled the entire time I read it.

We love you, Marcel.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009



It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of our dear kitty, Marcel.

Marcel passed away early this afternoon, after having fought a hard battle against his ailing kidneys. He had been diagnosed in late December, but after taking antibiotics, eating prescription food, and receiving IV fluids on a routine basis, his heath improved tremendously until last week. The last couple of days were especially hard, and it became apparent that it was time for us to let him go.

I was able to find a wonderful veterinarian, (Dr. Bolivar of Vets on Wheels) to come to our house to take care of Marcel here in our home. It made a huge difference to me, Dick, and I'm sure Marcel, that he was able to spend his last moments on his bed, on his blankie, with people who loved him.

We will miss Marcel tremendously. He was such a special kitty. He gave us a lifetime of happy memories in the nearly 9 years that he lived with us.

August, 2008

Dick and I adopted Marcel from the San Francisco SPCA on June 4, 2000. Marcel had only been dropped off from his previous owner less than one week before. His previous owner had left a 3-page letter with him, explaining what a remarkable cat Marcel was, and how it broke his heart to have to give him up (the owner traveled too much for work, and knew it wasn't fair to Marcel to leave him alone so often).

Dick and I had seen a picture of Marcel on the SPCA's website. We recognized him from his name and picture when we first saw him. The SPCA has separate little kitty condos for each adoptable cat. There was a volunteer playing with Marcel when we saw him, and they invited us in. Dick sat down on the floor, and Marcel immediately walked up onto his lap, sat down, and started purring.

Marcel's SF SPCA page

We always say that Marcel chose Dick, and that he must have known that we would give him a good home. He slept with us in our bed that very first night.

Marcel & Dick getting acquainted on his first day home.

Marcel was the most hospitable cat I've ever known. He was happy to sit on anyone's lap, and loved anyone who would pet him. Marcel loved sleeping with me - I called him my "teddy bear cat". I would often wake up with Marcel sleeping in the crook of my arm, with his paw across my chest, and his head against my shoulder. It was as if he was always giving me a big hug.

My Cuddle Cat

Marcel purred on-demand. All he needed was one touch, and his purring motor would get started. He liked to sit on Dick's lap as he played piano, and often sat on my lap while I worked on my computer.

Marcel - the piano cat

The Food Connoisseur

He loved food, and he loved to eat. The poor little guy was on a diet almost the entire time that we had him. He would stand on his hind-legs and give me a "high five" when I offered him a treat.

"High Five, Marcel!"

He loved to pull and bite on buttons on clothing (we called him the "button-biting cat"), and would give us love nips on our noses. He loved his buddy, Claude, and was not-so-secretly in love with him. :)

Kitty Love

We called him our "big cat" because he usually weighed in around 16 lbs (as opposed to Noe's 8.5 lbs.) He was a chatty boy who could hold a decent conversation of back-and-forth "meows" with you.

The Big Cat - in all his glory

He was a good big brother cat to little Noe. Every time we trim Noe's claws, she always screams and fusses like we're doing something terrible to her. It never failed: Marcel would always come in from another room, meowing, to make sure that "the kitten" was okay.

Marcel and Noe

He was a love-bug. He was always ready for a good cuddle, and would fall asleep, purring in our arms.

He was always such a good sport about being in our Christmas Cards every year, although I think he secretly hated that I always made him wear the reindeer antler hat. He never actually told me that, though.

Christmas, 2004

We're going to miss our "Big Kitty". Life won't be the same without him.

I am comforted knowing that he was never in any pain, and that he was home with me when he passed away.

We have many, many wonderful and funny memories of Marcel. There will never be another kitty like him.

Rest in Peace, Big Cat. We will always love you.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Kitten Love 


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Silly Noe Video 

Dick and Noe have always played in a way that Noe only plays with Dick, and no one else. He chases her around the house, they wrestle, etc.,

Recently, she started the "lazy wrestle", which means that she would taunt Dick to chase her, then she would flop on the hall carpet. Once he catches up with her, she wants him to rub her back, while she fusses. If he stops rubbing her back, she'll pause her fussing, and will turn around to see why he stopped.

I captured this on video yesterday, and thought it was pretty funny.
What a silly kitty.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Feeling Better! 

I'm thrilled to report that Marcel is feeling better!

Whether it's the antibiotics, the fluids, or the food that's helping... he's definitely feeling better than he was a few days ago! His appetite had dwindled significantly over the past few months (and he had lost 3lbs.) but it seems to be much better now. We're feeding him prescription wet food 3 times a day, plus he's been munching on dry food in between meals.

He's alert, seems happy, and is even walking around the house again! There's a lot of purring, and he seems very content.

I know that the kidneys will be an ongoing issue for him, but I'm just relieved to know that he's not in any kind of pain, and that he seems to be doing quite well, and he's happy again! :)


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not the best way to start (or end) a new year... 

Yeah, we've had better...

It's been a tough last few days. Dick got sick with a cold on Saturday, and I came down with a flu on Sunday. We were both out for a few days, and are on the mend, but there's an awful lot of sniffling, coughing, and general exhaustion in our house right now.

Much worse: we had to take our big cat, Marcel, to the v-e-t today. While we were sick over the last few days, we noticed that he wasn't feeling well, either. He hardly ate anything yesterday, which was the big red flag we needed to get him an appointment early today.

We brought him to our favorite vet down in Milpitas who always takes such good care of all of our animals friends. We've been bringing birds, rats, and cats to him for over 20 years.

Sadly, after a blood test and urinalysis, Marcel was diagnosed today with failing kidneys. :(

I'm afraid the prognosis isn't very good, but we're going to do what we can to make sure that he's comfortable and as happy as possible. We don't think that he's in any pain, or is very uncomfortable - more that he's low energy and a little lethargic.

This news makes me so very sad. :(

Dick and I are home with the kitties tonight - sipping some Sleepy Time Tea, and ready to spend some quality time with our kitties. Not the most exciting way to ring in the new year, but I can certainly think of worse.

Happy New Year, everyone. Hope everyone has a fun and safe celebration.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Waiting for Santa Kitty :) 


Friday, December 19, 2008

Noe in the Box! 

Noe loves the holidays! Packages are delivered to the house, and that means lots of boxes that she gets to jump into and sit in!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Well, that's a new one... 

Even after 8 years, Noe stills finds new ways to surprise us...

She stayed/slept in there for 6.5 hours. She just got out. Now, I can do some laundry! :)


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Marcel on the Stairs 

I like this photo that I just took of Marcel. What a cute kitty. :)


Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Spy.... 

I Spy two kitties!

Can you find them both?


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Big Cat goes to the Vet 

... Always a traumatic experience for all involved.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fun with Cat Photos 

Yep, I'm still here! I seem to have caught a bit of a chest cold after we got back from vacation. Nothing too serious, but it's been keeping me from running around, and from having the inclination to blog.

So, what does one do when one's a little down with a cold?

Why, one plays with one's camera and takes some fun and goofy cat pictures, of course!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Noe's new favorite spot 

Underneath the sink, on top of the heated floor, in the new bathroom.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Video Test Post 2 - Wrestling Kitties 

Okay, I just figured out how to edit and compress my videos in iMovie. (I heart my Mac!) It's down to a mere 1.2 MB now. Go figure. If only I'd tried that first.

Here we go: Wrestling Kitties, Take 2!

This one is particularly hysterical: Marcel wrestling with Noe.

Every once in a while, the big cat feels the need to prove that he's the Alpha Male Cat in the house.

Poor little Noe. She doesn't stand a chance. He just plops right down on top of her, and weighs her down with his enormous girth.

Here's the thing: Noe has claws. She doesn't know that she can use them.
Marcel doesn't have claws. He's the only cat she's ever known, so she doesn't know she's supposed to use them.

If only she'd figure this out. Everything would change.


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Video Test Post - Noe Wrestling 


I don't have many videos. Just a few random ones that I take with my little PowerShot camera - mostly of the cats.

This is actually my second attempt now. The first one I tried to upload was of our big cat, Marcel, wrestling with with our little cat, Noe. It's hysterical. Unfortunately, It's 120 MB, and I just figured out that google's upload limit is 100MB.update: I figured it out. I compressed it in iMovie, and was able to upload it to this post.

So, here's my second selection.

This is a video of Dick wrestling with Noe. They do this almost daily. She acts all ferocious - hissing, and growling, but we know she loves it! The two of them have been playing like this since she was a little kitten.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Marcel is such a good kitty.
He likes to cuddle with me in bed :).


Thursday, August 30, 2007

I love my kitties, but sometimes.... 

what on Earth were they thinking?

Yes, I love my cats. You all know that.

Every once in a while, they do something really bad, and I just can't understand just what was going on inside their little heads.

I bought a couple of new throw pillows for our sofa last week. I didn't think anything of it, and we've had them for more than a full week now.

When I was eating breakfast and watching TV this morning, I smelled that all-too-familiar smell.


someone had decided that they didn't like the new pillows, so they pee-ed on it, which also meant that they pee-ed on the sofa! And not just any sofa - the really nice sofa - the one with the fancy material that would stain easier than most.

So I did what I always do in a time of crisis: I called my Mom.
she gave me some good suggestions.

I blotted the sofa with dry towels first, then blotted the with a wet (with water) rage to try to dilute the urine. Then I blotted it again with dry towels. Finally I sprayed an odor-eliminating product that's supposed to be good for pet accidents.

It's all been drying for a few hours now. I won't know how bad the stain is until it's dry.

The topper is that today is Noe's 7th Birthday. I don't know if I'm supposed to sing to her, or fuss at her. :(

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bedtime Story 

I just walked into the bedroom and found Dick and Marcel reading a book together. Couldn't resist taking a picture. :)

Dick just started reading Harry Potter Book 4. It's one of Marcel's favorites.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

One more day 

four eyes, two ears, and a cone


Saturday, July 14, 2007

The house of crying cats 

stop the madness!

It's been a long week here at His 'n Her Condos. Noe's wound is on the mend, but she still needs to wear the cone over her head most of the time. Poor Marcel doesn't know what's going on. We've been keeping him away from Noe, just in case he decides to pounce on her, or wrestle.

All of this has brought about a lot of crying cats during the past week.

Here's how it goes:

what we hear : our translation

Noe: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr : I can't believe you're making me wear this frickin' cone on my head. This sucks! Take it off! Take it off!

(we take the cone off several times a day to allow her to eat, drink, and clean - while supervised.)

Noe: grumble, grumble, grumble : Stop following me around the house. Leave me alone!

Noe: MEOW! YOW! : No! Don't put that thing back on! Don't do it! I'll be good! I'll be good!

Noe: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr : I hate this thing. You guys suck.

Marcel: MEOW! MEOW! : Hey! What are you guys doing to the kitten? What's wrong? Why is she crying?

Marcel: MEOW! MEOW! : HEY! I'm hungry! When's the last time I ate? FEED ME!

Marcel: MEOW! MEOW! : Noe is still crying a lot! Maybe I should cry now, too!

This should last for another week or so...

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Marcel's new stairs 

A couple of months ago, I realized that our "big cat", Marcel, would be turning 13 years old later this year.

This made me a little sad, as this means that Marcel is slowly but surely becoming an "older cat".

One thing that occurred to me is that several times a day, Marcel jumps up to and down from our bed. Our be has a pillow-top mattress, and is pretty high off the ground. Marcel is usually able to jump high enough to make it, but every once in a while, the poor guy misses.

Also, whenever he jumps down from our bed to the hardwood floors, you always hear a loud "Ker-Plunk!" when he lands. I worry that someday he might injure himself by falling or landing wrong. He's a hefty little guy, and I don't know what kind of strain his little legs are under when he lands.

I brought up my concerns to Dick, and suggested that we should be pro-active in keeping Marcel safe from injuries caused by a fall by investing in some kitty stairs for him. Dick agreed that it was a good idea.

We found several sets of stairs on the web, but decided on this one.

This was the perfect height to allow Marcel easy access to the top of our bed, plus it was more narrow than other models (usually made for larger dogs) so it wouldn't take up too much space in our small bedroom.

Bonus: we were able to order it in a leopard print, which makes us laugh.

We were a little concerned that Marcel wouldn't take to the stairs, and wouldn't use them.

When the stairs were delivered, Dick enticed Marcel with a couple of treats and voila! He got it instantly, and has been using them ever since!

It's really funny to be lying in bed at night or in the morning, and seeing Marcel climb up and down his stairs. I think he really likes them.

In my mind, Marcel is saying, "Hey, guys! This is cool! Thanks for the stairs!"


Monday, January 15, 2007

Cold Kitties 

It's been awfully cold here lately. In order to warm up, our kitties have been parking themselves in front of the heater vents. Their favorite is the vent in the dining room.

chilly kitties


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Good Kitties! 

It's practically a Christmas Miracle!

After several years of having problems with our kitties peeing underneath the Christmas Tree, I'm happy to announce that we've officially had our first pee-free Christmas!

We just finished putting away the Artificial Christmas Tree and all of our decorations. I'm so proud my kitties! We didn't have a single "situation" this year!

Last year, we bought our first artificial tree, assuming that our kitties were being territorial because of the "outside smells" that the fresh trees brought with them. That didn't work.

The year before, we thought we were safe because we assumed that Claude had been the one who started all the problems, and he wouldn't be visiting. That didn't work either.

I think we finally came to an understanding:

This year, I continued to place a plastic liner underneath the tree (in case we had a mishap), but I decided not to put the white sheets underneath the tree until we had all of the gifts underneath. It occurred to me that in years past, we only had problems with the kitties when there weren't any gifts under the tree yet (before or after Xmas). Dick and I also realized that our kitties have a history of peeing on any type of cloth (towels, laundry, etc.,) that's been left on the floor. For some reason, they think material left on the ground needs to be marked.

So, I didn't put the sheet under the tree until it was filled with gifts, and I took the sheet out from under the tree immediately after the gifts were opened.

That seemed to have done the job! It wasn't terribly pretty (plastic sheet under the tree..) but at least we didn't have a Xmas-Tree-Peeing blog post this Christmas! (My kitties were relieved!) I'm so glad we've finally come to an understanding.

Happy Christmas Tree


Monday, December 18, 2006

I think my cat has learned how to tell time.... 

Marcel, our big cat, has taken to sleeping with me in the morning.

Every evening, when we feed Marcel his dinner, we also set his timer on his feeder to open up at 6:00am for his breakfast. (this prevents us from having to wake up early everyday from his cries of hunger - it only took us about 4 years to figure this out!)

Two times over the past week, I've noticed that Marcel has slept with me, and left the bed promptly at 6:00am. The first time it happened, I heard the Grandfather clock downstairs chime to 6, then watched as Marcel left the bed to go eat.

"Hmmmm...", I thought. Good timing!

This morning, I woke up early, but stayed in bed because I was cold, and I had a big, cuddly cat snuggling with me. I watched as the clock on my nightstand turned to 6:00, and sure enough, Marcel promptly hopped off the bed.

I thought, "Surely, this is more than just a coincidence. His internal clock can't be that accurate. Perhaps he's hearing the sound of his feeder opening up?"

I was awake, and wanted to turn up the heater anyhow, so I thought I'd follow Marcel to his feeder. He was staring at it, as it was mere minutes away from opening. I turned the knob a bit and opened it for him.

Since it hadn't opened on it's own, I know that Marcel did not hear the feeder open before leaving the bed.

Perhaps he's learned how to tell time!
The clock on my nightstand is digital, after all! ;)

When Dick woke up this morning, I informed him that we have a very intelligent kitty!
Maybe he'll teach Noe how to tell time, too!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Claude Kitty 

As I write this, I am again laying in bed in my old room at my parent's house.

I'm very happy to because my kitty Claude has decided to spend some good quality time with me. He's sleeping at the foot of my bed, making me feel very much at home.

What a nice Host-Kitty!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Misha Shahine! 

With all of the excitement surrounding the impending arrival of Omar & Lora's baby, my parents wanted to make sure that their first "child" didn't feel left out.

They bought Misha (a cat, not actually a baby) this very cute blue cat tent for the Russian Blue kitty (and a distant cousin of Mom & Dad's kitty, Claude).

Misha seemed to like it a lot, and hopped right in!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cute, curled-up kitties 

It's tough being a kitty in this house...


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