Tag Archives: Hillary

I am a cat condo

First day back to work. Third night home after being gone for two weeks.

The minute I get home from work and sit down Hillary wants to jump up on my lap to smurgle.

Then after dinner Hillary, Pickles, and Patches take turns jumping up on me. Thigh, lap, chest, shoulder. One-, two-, three-at-time. I am a cat condo, a cat toy.




Fortunately, my need to luv on them is as strong as their need to be luv’d on by me.

Nap Time

Photos can’t do this justice. I tried to take some, but from my vantage point the cats are just furry blobs.

I am sitting on the recliner sofa with Patches asleep on my right thigh.

Ahead of me Pickles is asleep on the top of the cat condo.


To my right Mrs is dozing on her half of the reclining sofa with Hillary snuggled down on the space between her knees and feet.


Life is good.

Hillary is a smurgler

Hillary is a smurgler

According to gardenandcats at thecatsite.com:

What is Smurgling??
Smurgling is the ultimate display of kitty affection and love.
Smurgling involves three aspects of kitty behavior:

Do all Kittys smurgle??
No, not all kittys smurgle. Some cats are diehard smurglers. Others could care less.Most Siamese are smurgglers.

Are there degrees of smurgling?
The following “Cat Codes” describe smurgling levels displayed by cats.
S = “I wouldn’t be caught doing it!”
S+ = “I sneak an occasional smurgle.”
S++ = “When I’m in the mood, I can smurgle with the best of them.”
S+++ = “Everybody leaves my house moistened with kitty-drool.”

From an earlier post:

In addition to an overabundance of cuteness, Hillary has a bizarre behavioral habit. This may be due to insecurity at having been orphaned at such a young age (see Cat Tales – Pickles and Hillary).

Hillary ‘smurgles’. We have many ‘blankys’ around the house that Mrs and I use in bed or on the recliner sofa. One blanky in particular, a snowflake pattern blanky must remind Hillary of his mommy because he will frequently smurgle on it. We call it Hillary’s blanky.

Hillary smurgling (S++)


In addition to an overabundance of cuteness, Hillary has a number of bizarre behavioral habits. This may be due to insecurity at having been orphaned at such a young age (see Cat Tales – Pickles and Hillary).

Hillary ‘nurses’. We have many ‘blankys’ around the house that Mrs and I use in bed or on the recliner sofa. One blanky in particular, a snowflake pattern blanky must remind Hillary of his mommy because he will frequently nurse on it. We call it Hillary’s blanky.


Apologies for those waiting for the next day of the Day 42 series. The Mrs spent another week in the hospital. “Winter” has arrived here, with temperatures in the 40s and rain and gloom. She got out Friday.

I have mostly been reading and spent yesterday (Sunday) sleeping.

I’ll leave you with some recent cat photos. They need no explanation.








Cat Tales – Pickles and Hillary

Today’s Cat Tale is about how Pickles and Hillary came to live with us.

In the 70s we had a cat named Everest but this story isn’t about her. She will have her own story.

In the 90s and the 00s we had a cat named Kitaska. She was an extremely sweet cat who chose me. But again this story is not about her except to say that she died several years ago at the age of 17.


About a year after the death of Kitashka the Mrs and I began thinking we wanted another cat. After weeks of deliberating I learned from a coworker that there was a cat in need of a home because it’s owner was going to be leaving the country. I never got that cat. While backing out of the driveway to go look at that cat, my neighbor waved, I rolled down the window, and he asked “are you still looking for a cat”. He was temporarily watching a cat that belonged to his wife’s daughter, but they did not want it anymore. I walked into their house, walked back to the guest bedroom and saw Patches lying there on the bed. She was very gentle and very friendly and came to see me immediately. I took her home to see if the Mrs wanted to keep her and she never left. Patches is a sweet old girl. She’s either cross-eyed or blind in one eye and when she goes from the carpet to a hard surface she feels around with her right front paw as if she’s walking out onto glass.


This story isn’t about her either, except to say that Patches has always been my cat and the Mrs wanted a cat of her own. You see, Kitashka, even though she chose me, was always a lap cat for the Mrs when I wasn’t home. The Mrs is a shut in and having a lap cat was very important to her.

Then I learned about four orphaned kittens who were living in the backyard of a coworker of a coworker of a coworker.


I showed the above picture to the Mrs and she decided that she wanted the one who is now called Pickles (far left) and any other one. (We already had Patches and #2 son had a cat named Luna. I did not think we could handle six cats.)

So we went to the house of the person with the kittens in the backyard. The kittens were living under the patio deck and were so hungry that they would come out and eat food scraps but would not let you touch them. They could barely squeeze through the crack between the concrete and the wooden deck. The fellow had a couple of raccoon traps which we put some food in and we managed to capture Pickles and capture the kitten that we would soon name Hillary. We then transferred them each to a cat carrier and brought them home.

Once home I put the cat carrier in the bathroom by the laundry room to allow them to acclimate to the colder house temperature. When I brought them kitten food and water they hissed and backed as far to the back of the cat carrier as they could. When they realized it was food though they came forward and ate like they hadn’t eaten in days. The next day we bought a playpen and kitten toys and put them in the playpen with a sheet over the top.

In the playpen

If you listen to the audio you’ll hear a reference to a name of Freckles. This was to be Pickles original name but for some reason we forgot it and we kept calling him Pickles. The name stuck. You may also notice we called them she. This was before we took them to the vet and found out they were both boys. Notice the pyramid-shaped cat tent. Sir Edmund Hillary got his name by being the first to climb to the top of it.

We worked hard to socialize the kittens immediately. Everyone in the family took turns holding them and loving them on a continuous basis. Yet somehow I continue to be the cat whisperer. As with Patches and Kitashka before her, both Pickles and Hillary love to be with me. Both he and Patches follow me around the house like puppy dogs always wanted to be with me. But Hillary is my boy.


A comment on the snowflake blanket in the picture above: Hillary still likes to nurse on that blanket. It must remind him him of his mommy. Even tonight as I was dictating this, Hillary was lying on my chest and nursing feverishly on that blanket.

Sir Edmund Hillary


Pickles and Hillary

Pickles is on top.
Sir Edmund Hillary is on the bottom.

One Year Ago


No one wants to get inside the boxes on the cat condo these days.

You can see the whole clan as the are now @ https://contrafactual.com/2013/11/03/food/

Footnote: The person that I got the kittens from wanted the black one and the other one that we did not take. But we learned later that he did not want them as pets. He wanted them as outdoor cats to keep the rodent population outside down. They disappeared. 😦

Z Fans (You know who you are)

First the good news:

I am making significant progress on Day 46. I think that you will like what I have written.

I finally watched the latest StarTrek movie on pay per view.

I just bought and downloaded the unrated cut of World War Z from iTunes. (Now I can find out how many of my ideas they stole 🙂 )

Hillary is sleeping happily across my chest as I write this.

Now the bad news:

So … Yesterday was my friend’s 42nd birthday and I bought him dinner, then we came back and watched StarTrek (see above). Anyway … we are happily sitting on the reclining sofa watching StarTrek not six feet from the 50 something inch TV that number one son gave the Mrs several years ago.

Hillary is happily sleeping across my chest. Patches is sleeping on my right thigh.

Pickles jumps up on my lap, then jumps up on to the back of the sofa and promptly falls off over the back. This scares him and he bolts out of the TV room. This scares Hillary who bolts off of lap. This scares Patches who bolts off my thigh by way of my right arm grooving two deep bloody trenches into my forearm and in the process clears the end table to my right of all it contents.

I pause the movie and get up to see if the cats are OK. As I leave the TV room, I go to step up onto the tiled entryway and my right leg goes “zip” forward (I am wearing socks on smooth tile) as my left leg remains firmly planted. What ensues is a less than perfect high school-cheerleader style spit. At 60 years old, overweight and out of shape, my body does not bend that way. I collapse to my right side, blood dripping off of my right arm. “Ow ow ow ow ow” and proceed to laugh hysterically, even though I hurt like hell. It is times like this that I think that I must be the star of some metabeing’s slapstick situation comedy. I get a wash cloth to wash the blood off of my arm and come back to finish the movie. An hour later after the movie is finished, I can barely walk. I limp to bed and the Mrs gives me some of her muscle relaxants, pain killers, and anti-inflammatories. By morning I can kinda sorta walk but slowly and in great pain so I send an email taking day off, repeat the meds and crawl back into bed. At 8:00 PM I still hurt, but not so bad.


[Author’s note: To start at the beginning of Day 42 go >> HERE << ]


Bloggers' Rights at EFF

Family Portrait

While I continue to read and write, I will leave you with a family portrait of Pickles, Hillary, and their other two siblings before I rescued them. Sadly I only caught Mr. P and Sir Edmund. The other two eventually disappeared.

Pickles is one the left, Hillary is second from the right.