Happy Birthday to the best Cat Dad!

Today is a very special day. It’s my husband’s 21st birthday! I would write about how awesome the present I got him is and how surprised he was, but he opened it almost two weeks early when he got into the amazon box before I realized what he was doing. On the plus side, he got a ton of use out of his present already, so it’s safe to say that I did okay picking it out!

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Aren’t they cute? They’re about ten ounces, so it’s perfect for his morning coffee. Plus cats and coffee are just a great morning combination, don’t you agree?

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Today, J also has his first day of teaching at the school he’s contracted with. He’ll be teaching ESL to the parents of students from the Academy. This is really exciting, as J has a knack for languages and a real passion for helping people. After he gets done with work, we’re headed out to a local restaurant for small plates and wine- gotta celebrate legal drinking age somehow, right?

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Anyway, today’s Tail Wag Thursday is dedicated to J. He’s a loving pet dad and ready to rescue any animal that crosses his path, whether it needs it or not. We have five cats, two dogs, and a beta fish currently. The beta fish came from the first school that J volunteered at, and was named Spider-man by the eager school kids. I’m pretty sure Spider-Man is much happier here with us, as J is obsessed with making his fish friend as happy as possible.

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J is also the excitable dad to two dogs, but not the one in the picture. Our foster dog, Minnie, loves seeing her daddy, and whines if he’s been away from her for too long. Rio, our dachshund mix, loves to cuddle up with J at night (and take his spot when he isn’t expecting it.)

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As for the cats? You’ve never met a better cat dad than J. He’s always up for a rousing game of “chase the toy mouse,” and he willingly gives our cats their weekly medication, even though he risks losing a limb each time.

So happy birthday, J! Our pets and I wish you the best birthday ever and thank you for being the best friend, husband, and pet dad in the world.

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Apps for Cats.

My cats have always been fascinated by my cell phone. When there’s music playing from it or it’s ringing, they think it’s their mission in life to find the source of the noise and destroy it. If I’m playing Tetris or writing a blog post instead of paying attention to them, they also think it’s their mission in life to destroy the thing taking away mommy’s attention. They’re a little spoiled.

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Not too long ago, as an experiment, I searched “cat app” in the App Store. The first one that popped up was “Cat Fishing 2” by Purina. It’s a free app that has fish moving around on screen and bubble noises to attract your cat’s attention. The fish start off slow, but your cat can “level up” and the fish will move faster.

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Sorry for the bad pictures, but the lighting in our house is from the fifties and doesn’t seem to work well for cat photography. Anyway, this is one of our kittens, Echo. Echo is obsessed with the little fish on the cell phone screen.

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In fact, he’s decided that he doesn’t have to wait for me to actually turn the app on. If my cell phone is out, he will pick it up by the case and drag it around until I get it away from him and turn on Cat Fishing.

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Not all of my cats are interested in the app, but 3 out of 5 love it. For cats, that’s a pretty good ratio, especially since one of our cats has no interest in anything that she can’t eat.

For a free app, it offers everything my cats and I could wish for, and hours of fun. I definitely recommend at least trying it out if you have kitties- but buy a screen protector first.

Friday Five

Once again, it’s time to share the five things I’m loving this week. I’m really excited to make this post this time because it’s been a great week and I could think of way more than five things to share with you. However, I’ve set precedent with myself, so I’m going to stick with the five best of the best. Without further ado, I present the Friday Five!

1. Wild-caught Georgia Shrimp

When presented the chance to eat some fresh Georgia wild-caught shrimp, your answer should always be yes. It’s not just because I’m a Georgia resident, Georgia wild-caught shrimp really is the best. So when my husband’s store had some in stock, there was only one thing to do! We had a shrimp boil.

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Shrimp boils are one of the best ways to enjoy wild-caught Georgia shrimp, and they’re super easy. Definitely a highlight of the week.

2. Secrets by Mary Lambert

This is my go-to feel good song at the moment. I love Mary’s voice, I love the message, I love the beat… There’s not a thing about this song I’m not into! Plus it’s on spotify so I can listen to it whenever I want!

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3. Heir of Fire

I’ve been waiting for this book for so long. I keep saying I’m going to post a full review on the blog, and I will, but for right now, I’m just going to revel in how great it was. Seriously, I read it in one sitting. If you’re looking for a young adult fantasy novel with a female lead, this series is fantastic. There are a lot of female assassin novels out on the market now, but this is the best. And I would know because I’ve read most of them.

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4. NYX matte lipsticks

It’s getting closer to fall, so I’ve been pulling out darker lipsticks again. Yeah, I know, between my jogger obsession and my willingness to pull out winter makeup, you’d think I was ready for summer to be over! I admit I’m not looking forward to winter, but fall is my favorite season because it doesn’t make me pass out. Plus I can wear my favorite lipstick ever: NYX matte lipstick in Alabama. It’s a quintessential deep red, and looks good on a variety of skin tones. You can use it with a NYX lipliner to make it last longer, or alone if you’re daring.

5. Hammocking

I really need to get an eno. My hammocks are cool but they aren’t portable, and I think taking a hammock with me wherever I go would be just about the coolest thing ever. As it is though, me and Minnie the foster dog like to hang out and read or nap in the two backyard hammocks. If these storms ever blow over, I’m heading back out there so I won’t be pale anymore.

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Okay, okay, I know I said five things. But here’s a bonus “family photo” of my husband, me, and our two youngest cats. Aren’t we adorable? I love that my husband was willing to pose for photos with me and the cats until I got a few I liked!

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A Tale of Two Kitties

We had three cats. That was a good number for us. They were all bonded, they loved each other, and they were okay with the dogs. We weren’t looking for any more cats. And then we got the phone call.

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A friend of my husband had a conundrum. Someone had dumped a crate of cats outside his apartment and could we please take them? The mama cat had ran away when they opened the crate, and they could keep one kitten, but that left three little homeless kittens who were definitely not going to our local kill shelter.

We agreed we would take them for a short while. We found a home for one right away, but the other two lingered on.

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When our cat, Fuzzy, died suddenly, that was that. These kittens were staying. We renovated the attached garage as a cat haven and they moved in.

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Around the same time, a stray we had been feeding was injured. We took him in, nursed him back to health, and got him neutered. So he moved in too.

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Now, we have a thriving household of five cats. It’s amazing how different all their personalities are! Spunky Charlie, loving Echo, destructive Monster, aloof Jupiter, and lazy Zeeba. We love them all, but with Fuzzy gone, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

I’m hoping that with time one of the kittens grows on me!

Fuzzy: A Memorial.

Justin and I had an apartment together for about a week before we realized we had sorely over-estimated our storage space. Clothes were scattered everywhere, waiting for a drawer or closet to land in. After several days of hoping the mess would go away if we denied it long enough, we sucked it up and headed to Target to buy organizational supplies.

Target was right across from a Petsmart, and on the day we went, there were signs throughout the shopping complex about a pet adoption event. We had paid the pet deposit at our apartment in hopes of moving two elderly cats Justin had owned for years in with us, but they weren’t well enough to travel. And, I convinced Justin, it didn’t hurt to just look.

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As soon as I walked over to the pets, I caught eyes with a tiny black kitten that would soon be mine. He wasn’t very tame, all his friends had been adopted, and he had been trying to find a home for about three months. It seemed like no one wanted him- and he didn’t want anyone either.

That was enough for me. In just a few short moments, I had paid for him, bought a litterbox and some cat toys, and he was coming home with us in a cardboard cat carrier. He spent the first three days hiding, and the next few months attacking our feet while we tried to sleep at night.

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Fuzzy was always by my side in our apartment, and he rode down to Georgia in my lap when we had to move thanks to some illness complications I was having. (Namely, I couldn’t breathe because of a huge thyroid cyst.)

Fuzzy lay on my lap in the days I spent recovering after surgery. He bonded with the other cats Justin and I picked up along our life journey.

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There was even joking talk of having him in our wedding. I think we would have done it had he not hated everyone but his family.

When Justin and I decided not to have kids, also for health reasons, I was a little sad. But Fuzzy was my furry son, and he filled any nurturing gap I had in my heart.

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Yesterday, he passed suddenly. It was almost instant, due to a heart defect we didn’t know he had. He was only a little over two years old. I’m crushed: I have never bonded with another animal quite like I did with him. After a rough week attending funerals, this is the last thing I could have dreamed of.

Fuzzy was a beautiful cat. I miss him terribly, as does the rest of my family. The other cats have been searching for him, which makes this even harder.

Goodbye my precious fluffball, you are loved.

Tail Wag Thursday

This week’s Tail Wag Thursday is brought to you by my surprise trip to Missouri! My husband’s uncle and his uncle’s sister are the proud owners of some really adorable dogs. I spent most of the week trying to find excuses to spend time with these creatures.

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Meet Blackie, the Pomeranian. Blackie was the dog that made me fall in love with dogs. But if she’s not enough, there’s also…

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Waffle! Blackie’s sister. She’s a huge mooch. And last but not least…

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Lexie! The dachshund puppy.

These creatures cheered me up through a horrible week.

Tail Wag Thursday!

Okay, this is not a real blog meme. This is just an excuse for me to show off some cute pictures of my very spoiled dachshund mix.

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But isn’t he a cutie? We rescued him from the local animal shelter two years ago. Since then, we’ve added one more dog and three cats to them family, then three more cats added themselves when they were dumped out in our neighborhood.

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However, Rio still thinks he is king of the house. He’s always here to protect us from any danger. As long as that danger has exposed ankles, of course. He’s too short to reach any higher. He also protects us from the very terrifying “ding” noise on Jeopardy.

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As I type this out, he’s at the bottom of the bed, curled up to my feet. I bet he’s tired from his long day of marking his territory to ward off the fullbred dachshund down the road.

Okay, that’s all the pictures I have for the day, but I couldn’t resist sharing!