Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Evolution of a Cat Painting

I know what you're thinking...

"Who does she think she's kidding? That is neither a cat nor a painting.
I call shenanigans!"

But hear me out: While this is neither a cat nor a painting, this pencil drawing was the impetus to the actual cat painting that was created today. This dog drawing was a very special Mother's Day gift from my younger daughter. It's a fabulously accurate rendering of my dear departed friend (and Chucklehead predecessor) Grizzly.

Wasn't he handsome?

Grizzly spent nearly 15 years with us. He had a partner in crime each and every day of that decade and a half. Her name was Einstein. I had been wanted to memorialize her in a drawing to hang on the wall in tandem with Griz, but my daughter says she's "not good at cats." I dabble a little in painting, so when Miss Jeanne over at Random Felines said she was going to a "Paint Your Pet" retreat at BZTAT Studios I decided that a road trip was in order.

After a 4 1/2 hour drive from home (waaaaaaay earlier than I would ever like to leave my bed, let alone my house), I arrived photo in hand and ready to make a complete mess of painting the late great Madame Einstein. I knew she wouldn't be easy to paint, especially with her torbie-blends and tabby stripes. But with BZTAT's pop art style, I was hopeful that I would at least be able to capture her spirit.

I was given a black canvas when I arrived. With lots of guidance and specialized instruction, the canvas morphed slowly over the next six hours...

From pencil projection...

To red background...

To adding the white definition to her chin and eyes.

Pepto Bismol pink created the bottom layer of color for her torbieness...

And then was layered with orange...

And yellow to create the right "pop art" shade.

The moment her eyes appeared was the moment that mine filled with tears.

All I wanted was for her eyes and mouth to be look "kinda" right.

I think I may have captured her Grumpy Little Highness.

Looks sorta like her if I do say so myself.

A second 4 1/2 hour drive later, Einstein is home and ready to reunite with Grizzly.

It was a great day. Good people, great instruction, and lots of singing loudly along to the radio during my 9 hours on the road. I'd definitely do it again. Which is a good thing, since there's talk of doing it again in March.

I'm thinking that this dapper gentleman might need a portrait painted of him.

And this young lady called "next" after him.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It was a very Meowy Christmas.... and a Catnip Mew Year!

"Yes, WE know Catmas was DAYS ago. But considering that it's my Mama Lady writing this? You're lucky this posts before NEXT Christmas."

Mama Lady edits to comment, not about the tardiness of my post but to wonder what in the heck Roo is doing back there.

"And read that title again. Can you hear the song? Roo can because the Mama Lady is singing it over and over and over and over. She strikes again!"

Christmas came early to Teeny Tiny Tabby Town with the arrival of a ginormous cat tree for our dining room sunny spot. 

"Hey! Who moved the old one in here? They should be commended. The view is a-maz-ing!"

Actually, Roo wasn't in the old cat tree to enjoy the view. You know and I know that she was there because the new one made her nervous. But let's humor her and keep it among ourselves.

Eventually, Ruby decided to be brave and join Mr. Simba in the dining room.

"She's thinking about challenging my authority, isn't she? She had BEST not be thinking about challenging my authority if she knows what's good for her!"

THWACK! thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack!

**low whistling heard here... because Ruby is minding her own business... yeah, right**

"Soon, Mr. Simba. Very soon and when you least expect it, that perch will be MINE!"

"That's what SHE thinks. It will be hers for about 15 seconds until Max takes it from her!"


Since the secret of their big gift was long since blown, I saved a very special package or two for Christmas morning. ((In actuality, they opened their package on Christmas evening because, in true Ruby fashion, Roo was afraid of Christmas morning.))

The packages were a very special delivery from our blogging Secret Santa Paws, Miss Marjorie from  I hid the boxes in my closet, but Simba clued me in pretty quickly that there was catnip of the best variety in at least one of them... and he was a PEST of epic proportions until he was finally allowed to investigate what was inside.

"Dude! I knew I smelled the good stuff!"

"I looooooooove it!"

"You're darn lucky that there's two of these, young whippersnapper."

 "Because this one's mine."

 "All mine."

"Oh my.... Am I high?"

"Yes. Quite high. Do we have any Cheetos?"

"Yo, Mama Lady! We're going to let you finish, but we want to let Miss Marjorie know that the Big Ol' Catnip Sack is the best cat toy of all time!"

Ruby was content to let Max and Simba fight it out over the Big Ol' Catnip Sacks...
Especially when she found there were toys much more to her liking in the box (like these sparkly ones)

 And these furry ones too.

She did eventually even get a turn with the the prized Big Ol' Catnip Sack, but gave it up rather quickly in order to lay claim to her favorite new Christmas toy...

And you'll always know it's her favorite because she takes it into the master bathroom to toss around while she trills.

Another package contained a very pretty kitty scarf for me. If my clients don't already know that I'm a crazy cat lady, I'm guessing they'll figure it out when I wear this to the office :)

Thank you so much, Marjorie. I hope you can tell that the gang here at Teeny Tiny Tabby Town very much appreciated your kindness this year.


I may have been five days late to wish you a Merry Christmas, but at least I'm one day early to wish you the happiest of New Years. Hopefully we'll see more of each other here in 2015, but just in case you haven't found me on Facebook yet... you might want to check the link. I manage to sneak there more often to give brief snippets in my long breaks between blog posts. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kind of a Throwback Thursday... The Alumni Edition

Remember this girl?

Well, I guess it would be hard not to recognize her since she looks exactly the same...


If you can't remember all the way back to the winter of 2013 (and it's been awhile), Mama Clarice Madison moved into Teeny Tiny Tabby Town with her four bouncing babies. 




and Misty

Mama was diagnosed as FIV+, so she and her kits extended their stay while the munchkins awaited their second rounds of testing. If the anxiety of their unknown status wasn't enough, we also fought a round with the dreaded ringworm with these kittens. Well actually, it was only one kitten but they all experienced the joy of the treatment.  (Go ahead and click that link. It might have been my favorite post EVER. And if you like wet kitten posts, there are plenty around that date.)

Mama Clarice stayed with us for another few months while we waited patiently (and sometimes impatiently) for her forever family to arrive. When we heard from Heidi, we knew the perfect match had been made. Clarice packed her bags, changed her name to Clara, and moved off to the Windy City for her happily ever after.

We received an amazing update from mom Heidi for her Clara-versary (the anniversary of her adoption). If you remember, she was adopted last year on the 5th of July. Heidi might have been just a teeny tiny late in sending the e-mail update, but I am WAY late in passing along the glad tidings to all of you. Instead of paraphrasing, I'm just going to take the lazy way out and copy and paste her message for you:

As you know, July 5 was actually a VERY IMPORTANT milestone... because of course it was on July 5 ONE YEAR ago that I brought Clara home!!!

Well, Clara is doing really great!! She's healthy, very energetic, gorgeous, fluffy, sweet, affectionate and... what other adjectives can I use to describe her wonderful self?! :) She has brought me so much joy!!! She is SUCH a snugglebug, and such a gentle, loving girl (and I know you know!) :)

Health-wise, we've had a few developments (nothing bad). In October of last year the vet pulled out that cracked lower canine tooth -- and apparently it didn't want to be there anyway, because the vet said it popped right out. The gum healed over nicely and Clara doesn't seem to miss that rotten old tooth one bit. Then in November at the vet's suggestion I switched her over to a limited-ingredient diet, and did THAT ever seem to make her feel great. Things started looking like they should in the litter box, and I think her energy quadrupled. It was really amazing! She hasn't had any respiratory or other issues, and so far, if I didn't know she was FIV+, I wouldn't know!!

By several months in, she had noticeably relaxed too... she was always sweet and affectionate, but it wasn't until she'd been home for a while that she really started running around all crazy-like and playing with her toys with serious abandon. Of course it was a gradual process, but at some point I realized that she was visibly less tense and just had a relaxed air about her, which of course made me so very happy!!

Most nights when I come home, she's on her perch looking out of a large bedroom window, and as I'm walking from the garage, I stop and look up at her sweet face peering down at me (I live in a condo on the 2nd floor), and then once she sees that it's me, all I see is a white-ish flash of color--- which is the cream-colored underside of her tail as she "high tails" it to the unit's door to meet me :)

She's overall still quite a quiet cat, but once in a while she gets in the mood to talk, and then she'll tell me all about it!

One funny thing is that she does NOT like it when I'm on the phone-- which really isn't all that often, but every not and then it must be done. She'll make this funny high-pitched chirp that she doesn't make at any other time, and if she's been on my lap, she'll jump off-- the better to express her disapproval. The first time it happened, I thought that something was actually wrong, and I got all worried-- not yet having become aware of her dislike of this particular activity :)

I've attached a few pictures! (One might be a repeat?) And at some point I need to get some video too when we're playing with her Neko Flies toys... her leaps are truly astounding! :) (Kelly's note... YES, you do!)

Honestly, every single day I think about how blessed I am to have her here with me!!! Thank you so much for entrusting her to me. 

PS... She still has her "toe-hawks"!! :)

(It's me again...) No, Heidi... Thank YOU for making room in your home and your heart for our very special girl. Thank you for keeping us updated and sending the pictures. And thank you for only giving me a teeny tiny bit of crap for not updating the blog in months. I might do it again if someone sends me updates ;)

Wait, what? I have two Teeny Tiny Tabby Town alumnae living here that I could blog about? Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunny Sunday

"Hellooooooooo. What's new?"

"Max is just laying here... looking at the big warm light bulb thingy in the sky..."

"And waiting for the Mama Lady to finish watching basketball..."

"Sigh... Max is bored with basketball."

"Let's destroy something while discussing the awesomeness of Max's whiskers."