cat tales

Cats, Dogs, Brides, and paperwork!

22 April 2011

Hello Everyone…  I haven’t forgotten about all of you…  I promise.  Just lots of irons in the fire!

Me being the procrastinator that I am waited until the last minute to get through tons of paper work for the US’s big tax day.  I would so much rather do more fun creative things!  I did have help though…

Nipper was making sure my receipts were in order for the charity that my husband and I run called The Lucky Few.  I sure hope the IRS (for those of you not in the US they are the tax collectors) doesn’t mind a few cat hairs!

Another project I have been working on is a fun photo shoot with coordinator and designer Kelly Oshiro.  I can’t let too much out at this time but here is a bouquet from the shoot.

Just to tease you here is a severely cropped picture that shows you hopefully just enough to wet your curiosity but not enough to tell you what we were up to.  The model and the dog were adorable!…  The dog belongs to Kelly.  He was a rescue dog like all our cats (I knew I loved Kelly and not just because she is super creative and fun!!!).  For more on this very cool lady check out her web site here.

I will post the pics here as soon as I get them (it will be awhile though).  Lots of fun!!

I have also had a couple of weddings.  For anyone questioning my dedication to duty or being a team player…   here I am drying the flower girl’s dress which she had peed on right before the ceremony.  I ran and got my hair dryer from home (just around the corner) and stood behind the barn and did my best to dry it out while the ceremony was waiting.

I am making a funny face for a reason…  hot air travels up…  towards your nose…

Oh well, the show must go on as they say.  Hope you all are having a lovely Spring.  I will be back soon.

Gardens, Goodies and Ms Kitty Wobbles

23 March 2011

Well I climbed back on the planet after having fallen off for awhile…  So much fun stuff has happened I’m not sure where to begin… Maybe let’s start with the garden…

We have had so much rain with periods of intense sun in between that the results are my garden has exploded into bloom!

The scent of Jasmine is beyond lovely and wafts into the house in the afternoons…  it’s wonderful!!  It is one of my all time favorite flowers!

I took these pictures right after the most recent downpour so the flowers are a bit past it now.  Of course they peaked right in the middle of the storm!  I think you can still get a sense of how beautiful they are/were.

I love how the Jasmine and Roses are intertwined.

Here the Jasmine has grown right up through a bird cage I have hanging from the avocado tree.

And through a small candelabra.  I will have to cut it back after it blooms or we’ll have a Jasmine tree…  hmm, however…

The Geranium is running rampant too!

This side has a mix of scented Geranium, Basil, Daisies and Roses, all run wild.  Oh and Jasmine of course.

Foxglove…  a proper faerie flowers!

The Calla Lilies are magnificent at the moment.

The bird bath is a bit buried…  it is more like the jungle bath

So in addition to the garden growing like mad I have been a very busy little bee.   Since we last spoke I have refurnished and decorated a 5 bedroom 7 bath home for a bride and groom that spent a week with us culminating with their wedding in the barn (which I decorated).  I also decorated a most magnificent 50th birthday party with loads of pink Peonies and Roses.  I will post lots of pictures as soon as I get them!  In the mean time in searching for goodies for the house I was working on I got to go to the Rose Bowl swap meet in Pasadena… a couple of times…  WOW!  I have been trying to go for years now.  I finally made it and my head is still spinning!  I found so many cool things for the house!  It was just like Christmas!

Here is a sampling of the things I bought for me.

A beautiful vintage wooden hat box, an old tattered silk shawl with great fringe, and a beautiful ivory fan.

Look at the detail in this fan…

Here is another lovely vintage fan.  This one is ivory and silk with a beautiful painted cherry blossom design.

Here is another one that is lace, silk and ivory.  The detail is beautiful!

Look at this great collapsible top hat I found.  That is the box it comes in.  Also some bits of embroidery and

tapestries to play with.

Also a rather dilapidated but precious Iroquois beaded pin cushion (at least I think it is a pin cushion).

The back,

The inside,

I went to the Rose Bowl swap meet with one of my future brides and her family (there’s will be the coolest wedding, when the groom was asked to describe the style he pondered a bit then said “imagine a Zeppelin crash lands in a faerie forest…”  How great will that be?!).  The bride’s parents are just as much as fun as the bride and groom.  The mom found this tea cup and had seen on my blog the collection I have of my Mom’s.  She bought it for me as a present… so sweet!

What was really neat was when I got home and added it to my china cabinet I noticed that it is different from the others.

This is the new lady above…

And below is the lady from my collection.

How fun!!  I didn’t know there was more than one style!  Now I am hooked.  I have to find more ladies!

Now for the best find!  Hang on to your socks Lisa, Queen Mab and Frick over at Medieval Muse

Nobody knew what this was.  The man I got it from said he thought it was a couple hundred years old.  If I recollect my art history college days I think it is a whole lot older than that!

Stylistically this is medieval at the latest I would say.

I think it is of the three kings. The middle name is I believe Balthazar which in my rusty old memory I think is one of their names.

The raised detail appears to be a plaster of some sorts.

Here is the back.  I think it is from a frieze.

Anyone have any idea what I purchased?  Whatever it is I love it!  I can’t believe I get to have it!

Even though this is a long post already I have to tell you about the newest member to our family…

Meet Ms Kitty Wobbles…

We have actually had her for a few months now.  She belonged to a neighbor across the way who had to move.  He couldn’t (wouldn’t?) take her with him so we said we would feed and take care of her.  She is positively ancient, stone deaf and partially blind.  We didn’t feel it would be fair to move her so we kept going over every night to feed and check on her.  We made soft warm beds which she refused.

We kept this up for a few months and then when the serious winter chill set in we had to bring her back to our house.  She just wouldn’t go into the little houses we built for her and she definitely didn’t have a winter left in her.  So now in her later retired years she is spending her time right in front of the heater in our hall way.  She has a cozy basket bed where we place a hot water bottle every night, full bowls of food and water and even though she can go where ever she wants in the house she seems quite content to stay right where she is.  Occasionally she will join me at my desk when I am writing but overall she seems quite happy in front of the heater.

Hope you are all warm and cozy where you are!

The holidays have just gone to the cats I tell ya!

4 January 2011

What the holidays looked like at our house..

Between jobs there was lots of hanging out with the kitties,

Watching movies (Nanny McPhee II)

Trying to get a bit or work done on the computer (with lots of feline help).

Of course the kitties had to have turkey too…  on the good china, it is Christmas after all…

“Yummmmm…..  gobble, gobble”

“Mine… all mine”                                               “hey he got more than I did!”

Turkey, gravy and stuffing (Looks a lot like kibble I know).

“Boy you would think this place could spring for a few more plates…”

“Is there any more?  I still have a few nooks and crannies that need filling…”

“Gotta wash up now”

“Get behind the ears”

“and between the toes…”

“Did someone say more turkey?!…”

Full tummy!

“That was so good…  so good…”

“Yummy, yummy….”

“so good, so good…”

” I mean that was GREAT!”

Nap time

Flat Top fell asleep while cleaning his belly!!

Our holidays were just purrfect, hope yours were too.

For more information on the wonderful crazy herd we look after visit our web site,

The Lucky Few

Cat Tails… A little bitty baby

23 July 2010
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Our newest addition to the family,

Meet Cleo, aka Turnip or Bevie!

I went to the farmers market the other day with only a few minutes to spare to grab some flowers for a friend who was at the end of her life in a beautiful Hospice here in Santa Barbara.  My morning appointment had ended earlier than expected so I was only just able to squeeze in a run to the market before they closed.  As I was quickly picking out some flowers I overheard the vendor speaking to a customer about the kitten she had found and that she didn’t know what to do with her as she was only getting worse.  My concerned cat ears perked up right away and I further heard that the vendor had no money to take her to the vet but that the poor kitten didn’t look good.  A rather long story shortened I butted in and discovered a very dear and pathetic kitten completely unresponsive wrapped up in a towel in the van.  After a bit of fast talking the seller gave her to me knowing I would pay for the care she needed.  I literally dropped everything and ran the kitten to my car, drove my cat ambulance just as fast as the human variety to my vet and ran her into the office.  They saw me bolting across the street and opened the door for me, took one look at her and whisked her to the back.  For about 20 minutes they worked on her without stopping.  They got her back from the brink and told me she had about a 50/50 chance of making it.  They were not sure what was wrong with her but at the very least she was malnourished (her back bone was sticking up like a mountain ridge line), dehydrated, and hypothermic.  If they could get her stabilized then they would investigate further to see if there was a deeper underlying problem.  I went home with a heavy heart.  There is nothing more sad than a sick baby animal.  By the evening she was perking up a bit, although she could not be left on her own overnight.  The clinic does not have an overnight attendant and I was hesitant to bring her to our home until we determined that she did not have any serious diseases. It was unthinkable to possibly infest our 45 plus cats.  Our dear vet Dr Harmon took the little furry bundle home with her and got up every 2 hours to feed and check on her.  To say we love or vet is an understatement to be sure!  Dr Harmon got her through the night and the little sweetie improved quite a bit.  By the end of the next day they determined that most likely she was simply malnourished and dehydrated.  We brought her home but to be completely safe we created a most comfortable home for her in our flower delivery van with the idea that at the end of 5 days we would know for sure if there was anything more seriously wrong with her.  We treated the van as a quarantined area, completely changing clothes when we entered and exited the van.  To see this sweet TINY face looking at us with such big tired eyes just leveled us.  We spent lots of time in the van, typing on the computer, reading and just loving her.  We also got up every few hours during the night to feed her and make sure she was ok.  Well…   I am so relieved to report the she is a most happy and healthy 6 to 7 week old kitten whose back bone is resembling more of a hillock that a mountain ridge line.  She is totally full of beans, running all over the place completely confounding the other cats and generally behaving like a normal sweet kitten.

By the way her name(s) derived from the following, Cleo just came to my mind when I asked her what we should call her.  As soon as I said the name out loud she started purring.  Turnip is because Dr Harmon was having a very hard time getting blood out of her (“can’t get blood out of a turnip”), and Bevie is the name of my very sweet friend that I was getting the flowers for.  She passed away within the week and if it was not for her I would never have gone to the market and discovered the kitten in the first place.  So the tiny little sweet bundle is saddled with a rather long name I’m afraid.

” Boy this modeling for the press release is sooo tiring!”

cat tales… cat naps

8 June 2010
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I love to watch the many ways our cats sleep.

There is nothing more sweet that a sleeping kitty.  However I do wonder how they manage to get any zzzzzzs in some of the strange positions they get into.

This just makes my back hurt!

I kept waiting for him to turn blue, but he stayed orange…

I am not sure if he is sleeping or paying homage to the kibble god.

I have heard of feather pillows but fur pillows?

Wishing you lots of sweet dreams no mater where or how you sleep, but I do hope you have someone dear to cuddle with!

Cat Naps…

3 May 2010
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It’s been a bit cold here…   can you tell?

“gosh,  I am just so sleepy…”

“Can you PLEEAASE turn out the light?!?”

Wishing you puuuuurrrrfect dreams…

Cat tales

3 April 2010
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I mentioned earlier when I talked about Nipper (The best tip we ever received!) that I would write about his brothers and sisters, so as promised here they are (some of them).  My husband and I are very privileged to run a charity for unwanted cats.  We have only in the last couple of months made it official by creating a non-profit organization and establishing a web page and in general organizing ourselves.  When we moved onto the beautiful ranch where we live now we discovered a staggering number of feral (wild) cats desperately in need of food and medical attention.  Thus began our crash course in cats and unbeknown to us the beginning of our charity.  Prior to our hugely expanded family we had only one cat.  We basically now live with a herd of somewhere around 40 plus!  We have as of now spayed and nuetered 60 plus!  For all the details and lots of cute pictures and great stories please visit our web page The Lucky Few.  For now here are some snapshots of a few members of our fuzzy family…


Shortly after moving in I found this precious little girl soaking wet, shivering, eyes newly open, only 3 weeks old under a bush positively howling for her mother. There were no other cats around and if I didn’t get her dry and warm soon she was in trouble.  I actually let her sit for a bit hoping a mother would show up but no one came so I was it.  Not just love but infatuation at first sight! We absolutely delight in her!  A few weeks after we found Munchkin we saw this in our back yard! Munchkin’s litter mates

We couldn’t approach them because they would scatter!  We just kept food down and over time they became lap cats.

Now they are all grown and part of our huge family,

Munchkin now

Some of her litter mates now


Back to front, clockwise: Timmy, Stripes, Princess(white calico), Solo, Morgan (the two gingers).


Tiger is one of the patriarchs on the ranch. We think he is around 15, no one knows for sure.  His family left and couldn’t take him with them.  He joined our family about 2 years ago.  All you have to do is look at him and he starts purring.  He is on my lap right now purring like mad with his chin on my wrist (typing is a little interesting at the moment). I couldn’t ask for a better floral design supervisor!

So as not to overload you too much I will stop for now. Stay tuned for more cats and tales.


The best tip we ever received! Nipper

14 March 2010

One of the weddings that my husband and I decorated was for a very sweet young woman who’s sister’s wedding we had decorated a couple of years before.  Unlike her sister she had a very small budget and was going to be married in a town quite a ways away requiring us to travel.  We were honored that she wanted us for her wedding but the small (almost nonexistant) budget and the out of town location made it difficult for us to say yes.  However it was now a family tradition that we should be a part of their weddings.  With a full heart but empty pockets we agreed.  The celebrations were to be in the gardens of a beautiful bed and breakfast up the coast.  When we started setting up we noticed an adorable orange kitten roaming the grounds being very friendly and generally wanting to be picked up and loved.  We were happy to oblige and with kitten on our shoulders we set up all the tables and decorations.  We assumed he belonged to the establishment and when the time came for us to disappear during the nuptials we set him down and assumed that he would go back to his home and dinner in the bed and breakfast.  Quite late that evening we came back to break down all the decor and then make the lengthy trip back home.  The little orange kitten was still on the grounds but now much more emphatic in his meowing.  We got it that he was hungry and in need of help.  We inquired at the desk and were told that he had just appeared earlier that day and that they could not take him.  We knocked on all the doors in the neighborhood with the same result.  Meanwhile he was nearly frantic in his need of food.  We already had 3 cats at home so we thought why not add one more to our family.  We packed the van with all of our pretty things and one very dear hungry kitten.  Needless to say we stopped at the grocery store first and the gas station second.  He absolutely devoured his food and then climbed up onto my shoulder and nestled into my hair for a long catnap.  At home we had an old crotchety cat whom we loved dearly but were afraid to introduce to the new kitten as he was likely to try to attack him.  Before we could set anything up our new kitten tore off and pounced on Scamp and started happily playing with him like he was his long lost friend.  Scamp had no choice and was playing before he could decide to be grumpy.  They have become fast friends, playing and sleeping together with the result that Scamp has become friendlier and younger.  We named our new orange kitten Nipper because he found us in Nipomo and definitely added a bit of a nip in Scamp’s life.   He also helped lead us to the next chapter in our life with cats which I will write about a bit later.  Just to tease you Nipper and Scamp have a few more playmates!

Meet Nipper…

Nipper and Scamp  

Full tummy, life is good…