Category Archives: Cats

Santa’s Bag is a Little Lighter This Year

Over the summer our daughter’s cat had kittens. We were able to successfully find homes for all 7 kittens. Recently one of them was returned to us because the child in the home is allergic.

I have been under a lot of pressure to allow the kitten to stay and finally relented. He is an adorable little guy. I must be honest the decision wasn’t that hard to make.

So this frugal Mama was sitting around today worried about Christmas budgets and also costs associated with having the  kitten, who will be 6 months old in January, fixed.

We can take him to the local SPCA and, at a cost of $60.00 have the procedure done. However, the wait time is 3-4 months on average and if for any reason (which you will never be aware of) they don’t receive your phone message request for appointment, you may never get a call back. At $60 this is the most cost effective way to go, but I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the process.

The next option is our local cat clinic. This thought strikes terror in my cheap little heart. Costs associated with veterinarian services here are through the roof or so I am told.

Finally tired of worrying about the unknown price, I made the call. Better to gather the information to help make the best decision, not only for the kitten, but the bank account as well.

Through a very polite, courteous and helpful person at the clinic I was delighted to learn the price tag was a mere $110. Here I was stressing an astronomical amount I had learned of through the rumor mill and internet for no reason at all. Can you say happy dance?

The frugal tip here, is make the calls and do your own homework.

As an aside for those interested, females are significantly more expensive to fix because the procedure is more complex. Just an FYI for those considering adopting a furry feline friend at some point.

I am one happy lady over here. Come the new year our adorable little Tigger2 will be all fixed up and good to go!

Please have your pets neutered/spayed. I have just heard too many horror stories of what happens to these unwanted little ones.


Oh, and pun in title. Totally intended on every level 🙂


The Christmas Tree

We’ve had the same Christmas tree for 20 years. It is a highly valued family possession. Standing a humble 6 1/2 feet tall with branches of bright green the color reminds me of a child’s finger paints. Yet the shade sets off the delicate ornaments hanging from its bows beautifully. The tree is lush and full which makes up for its lack of height. It reminds me of trees we used to see when driving north to Santa’s Village with the kids. As long as you avoid touching the limbs, which are paper thin, it passes as real.

The tree is always covered in tiny white lights, save one lower bow reserved for a string of multicolored bulbs. The colorful strand pulsates to the sound of tradition Christmas songs coming from a box near the plug in a gentle music box style. The smell of pine wafts from the tree, an artificial aroma created by air fresheners hung from branches. Legend has it cats are repelled by the spicy scent. Both of our furry family members seem to enjoy the aroma as they climb the tree, lounge on their favorite branches and bat at the air fresheners. Thankfully the tree is heavy which makes it impossible for the little felines to knock over.

So what makes this tree so precious to us? It is the ornaments. Each one carefully chosen over the years to reflect the stages of life or the story we lived in any given year. Everything from our first Christmas together as a married couple, to baby milestones,  items the kids made in elementary school, to handmade ornaments created during leaner years. More recently a hand crafted beaded felt heart all the way from SA. This item was created by a group of women in South Africa who sell the items to help support their families. A friend who visited the town gave it to me as a gift last year.

At Christmas time these ornaments displayed amidst a backdrop of bright green and under tiny twinkling lights is a beautiful reminder of all we have lived and shared together and it is our story.

As the grandchildren have started to arrive, and just as I envisioned 20 some years ago; we make a warm cup of hot chocolate sit back and share stories associated with each ornament.

In our home this is so much more than a Christmas tree. This is a story tree.

Debtless & Cheap – A Pause In Cheapville

I’m off my usual subject today, hopefully by the end of reading this post you will understand why.

I was working on the wool mitties this morning. For more on the mitten story see blog post here:  When an unexpected knock at the door caused me to loose count on the pattern. I knew the person standing there, we’ll call him M, because he was the same man who had adopted a
kitten from us back in early fall.

Ya, I’ll have to write a post explaining why we had kittens in the first place. Another blogging idea. 🙂

Anyway back too M. standing on my front porch. He wasn’t doing very good and explained that for personal reasons he was no longer able to care for and house the kitten, who we nicknamed Tigger2.

SAM_0273He said, he didn’t want to send the kitten to the pound, which I was happy to hear. Conditions in that place are not fit for anything living. I didn’t bother to mention he would have been asked if he wanted to euthanize the cat because they have no room for more animals.

Let me mention here that when I gave M. the kitten the last thing I said to him was, “Just know you can bring him back any time no questions asked if there is a problem.” And true to my word, I took him in.

As M. left he scratched Tigger2 on the head and said, “I love him you know.” His expression of affection for the kitten made me smile and I knew that was true. This was very hard for him and I didn’t want to prolong it. He is a nice person with his priorities
straight and giving the kitten back was a very unselfish act and the right thing to do.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “We’ll find a place for him.”

Now here is the quirky twist to this story. I wasn’t really surprised to see the kitten, although his return was unexpected. Let me explain.

Throughout the week I have been getting (let’s call it intuition) that one of the kittens might be coming back. Or at least that was how I interpreted it.

First I heard from several of the kittens owners that the little ones are going crazy right now. Which is normal behavior for a cat of that age. One of the new owners really seems to be struggling and I reminded him that can be returned if necessary.

Next, I turned on a show called animal intervention that is new to me. For those unfamiliar with it. Basically two people tour homes in which there is suspected inadequate care for big cats and other wild animals. Where they find poor conditions they attempt to work with the owners to either fix up the housing or relocate them to a safer and healthier location.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I watched a big cat owner unselfishly surrender the animals he loved so dearly to a sanctuary because he was no longer able to care for them. I was very impressed with this unselfish act, much the same way M impressed me this morning.

De ja vous or what?

Anyway as impressed as I am the work begins. We need to find a new home for Tigger2 where he can be happy and healthy and thrive with unselfish people. People very much like M. who
are willing to share their home with this adorable little guy. If you know of anyone who might be interested in adopting Tigger please get in touch with me.

Thank you

Copy Cat – No really, copy the cat

I’m frantically typing a million new writing ideas over coffee this morning. The cat wanders over and plops herself down in my lap. I lift my arms so she can snuggle in and keep typing over her. She nuzzles my fingers clearly wanting attention. This is an
argument I am not going to win.

SAM_0223 SAM_0224I stop typing and pet her. She arches her back and laps it up. “I have so much to write about this morning,” I say out loud. Did I say that to the cat? She looks up at me  through lazy eyes. It reminds me to take a moment, relax and breath. My mind slows down, a sense of well being tingles up and down my spine, hunched shoulders droop and I am at peace.

She helped me let go for a minute, and I found focus again. Her little reminder to take a moment and share some affection in the midst of our busy lives.

This post is dedicated to our pet friends who remind us to be easy about it,
smile, relax and have fun.

You’re Not The Chef!

7 a.m. like clockwork the cats wake us up in the morning, and I assure you weekends and holidays are no exception. Their relentless strategy for accomplishing this mission? Run around the room play fighting. Jump on the bed and run across the pillows, sometimes connecting with our faces. Jumping at windows and wall or attacking toes. When asked politely to “stop!” The cats run and hide under the bed until we doze off, then start scratching the underbelly of the box spring mattress.

On weekdays hubby is the first one up for work and he feeds them. Today is Sunday… ever tried to explain that to a cat? We are both snuggled warmly under the covers and in no hurry.

Anyway, I was awake this morning and thinking about a new story idea when their people waking antics started. Hubby rolled over.

“I’ll feed them,” I say. “You go back to sleep for a while.”

The cats follow me downstairs to the kitchen. I fill their bowls and start the coffee brewing. Sitting down I fire up the computer and scan Facebook while waiting for coffee.

The cats don’t move. They stand in the kitchen doorway watching me.

“Eat guys, your bowls are full” I say, and go back to reading status updates.

A few minutes later something distracts me from browsing. It sounds like a herd of wild horses upstairs. The cats bowls are full of food. The pair of them had quietly sneaked back upstairs to continue their morning, wake the people, routine.

I hear hubby get up. He comes downstairs, cats in tow. Each of them saunter to their bowls and start eating.

Sorry hun, I tried.