Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Giving

Happy Thursday, everyone. This is Coco "Cranky Pants" Chanel.

With Z-Girl. Photography by Wendy Ploger.

I know that today is a day the people in the US call Thanksgiving. Taking off work, preparing a turkey meal, spending time with people who fill your heart with love (and likely some anxiety). Thinking about the things for which you are grateful.

Maybe I missed something, but shouldn't this be *every day*? Perhaps it's just the practical cat in me, but I can't see why a whole holiday is needed to be thankful.

Valentina: Coco, that's not what Z-Girl said. She said it's a special day of thanks. Not the only day to give thanks.

Coco: Whatever. As I was saying, being thankful is something we seek to acknowledge every day in the warehouse apartment. So we wanted to share with our readers those things that we honor regularly. Sometimes in the morning, when Z-Girl is fixing five plates of wet food and three bowls of dry food, she recites her top of mind list for that day. Or, as we hunker down for lights out at night--Z-Girl will speak about something ordinary that we should hold close in our hearts. Here's a smattering:

The moonlight that spills through the windows and all over the floor, especially during the cold months. It's glorious.

The colorful skies we see through those same windows.
Lulu: I love to gaze out the windows all times of day or night!

Coco: Warm piles of fresh laundry.

The no-flea, no ear-mite policy of living indoors.

Contract work that meant Z-Girl could work from home for 3 days out of the week for 8 months this year.

All the very talented cat and dog bloggers we've met virtually this past year.

Z-Girl's parents. They give us support when we need it. They even bought me a nifty bed that Bessie and Lulu now sleep in every day.

The fact that friends who have had serious health struggles this year are doing well and are strong. Z-Girl loves her friends. A lot. 

Valentina: Tulle. I love tulle.
Lulu: Me too, I love tulle too!

Manhattan: The warehouse apartment. We all love it. Concrete floors for sliding and running.
Bessie: Flokati rugs.
Lulu: I like those too, Mama Bessie!
Valentina: I have my own.

Coco: Okay, not a contest Vali. Just a list.

Shoes. Z-Girl likes them for one reason, and all of us are fascinated by them for entirely different reasons.
Cardboard boxes.
My Queen Sheba tent. 
The Big Red Chair.
The Long White Dining Room Table.
Art. We have a collection from the talented artists in the neighborhood. It's fancy.
The fact that my coat has beautiful, one-of-a-kind swirls on it.

I especially am thankful that Dr. Joyce, who rescued me and my siblings, didn't allow the first person who adopted me to give me to the Humane Society when she realized she was allergic to cats.No, Joyce took me back and found Z-Girl through one of her employees, so this is where I landed. 

We all have stories about how we came to be who and where we are. And whoever and wherever and whatever that is, be happy. Life's about chasing sunbeams and eating treats. Taking naps and purring. If you get caught up in the pursuit of a happiness that isn't authentic, you'll need one day out of the year to think about all the good around you. Why not do it every day, like we do?

Thank you for stopping by. And for reading and posting when you do. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday. Let your gratitude and your charity extend past today. It just feels right.
Valentina, in Mr. Robert's art bowl and on the Long White Dining Room Table (which is allegedly off limits). Well, was off limits.

This is Coco. Over and Out.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bessie on Wordless Wednesday

I'm Bessie.
It's Wordless Wednesday and since I don't typically have much to say, it's a purr-fect day for my first post.

I generally am a Master of Camouflage, making it difficult for my beautiful fur to show. I prefer to curl up on darker colored items. Lulu (my daughter) and I do love our flokati rug, though....

Maybe I'll write another post. Maybe I'll pose for another photo. We'll see. I prefer mystery...

Lulu: Say hi for me, mama!
Bessie: I think you just did, little girl...

This is Bessie, over and out.

We are participating in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, our very first!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two Tuxedo Toosday: Tulle

Hey everyone! Valentina here!

Manhattan: I'm here too, Valentina. Remember: it's Two Tuxedo. That's us. Me and you.

Valentina: Right. (Is it me, or is everyone overly sensitive about me and this blog thing?)

Anyway, there's something else I've been wanting to share with all of our readers. It's part of how our apartment was deemed the Princess Palace. The secret is tulle.

That's me, posing with my baby blues, back in 2009. On the now famous red chair that Z-Girl argued with Saturday night...

The story goes something like this. Z-Girl moved into the warehouse apartment back in June 2006.

Because she is into the Shabby Chic look and didn't quite know what she wanted to do for window dressings by her bed area, she bought a bunch of tulle and filled the windows with it to help absorb light until shades arrived. Then, she moved the tulle so it acted like valences in the bedroom windows, and found netted panels for curtains in the living room (kinda tulle-like themselves).

In 2008, after Coco came to live here, she discovered some tulle draped over Mercedes (she is a Bunnies By the Bay bunny, back when they made things for grown ups).
(Look how little Coco was in this picture...)

Coco quickly found that tulle has multiple properties. When sitting on a concrete surface, if you are a kitten, you can run, slide and you'll surf. You can also can get under it, and it becomes and invisibility cloak. The world looks so nice peering through pink tulle. And, if you bunch it up, it's nice and soft.

When I arrived, I followed everything Coco did (she is my half sister, you know). I have been known to drag a 9 foot long piece of tulle from one end of the apartment to the other. (Sometimes, a cat has to do what a cat has to do to ensure the decor is suitable).

Now Z-Girl has tulle draped all around the apartment for us. Lulu also loves tulle. Manhattan and Bessie don't hate it but they don't seem to love it like Coco, Lulu and me. Some people have been overheard saying that tulle isn't a grown up way to decorate an apartment.

Little do they know this doesn't bother Z-Girl. She kinda has done things her own way when it comes to fashion and style, all her life. Even before Madonna made it cool.

Other people love the whimsical nature of our surroundings. From the Sticks painted furniture, to the colorful walls and black and white stripped base boards, to the silly tulle that is mostly for us cats but still adorns the windows (along with fashionable sheers that we are not supposed to chew through...), it really is a Princess Palace. 5 feline princesses and one human princess.

And hey...Shabby Chic is up for interpretation, right? I mean, it's a good thing she likes Shabby Chic cuz we have shredded the maybe a little more Shabby than Chic...

The non tulle sheers that had peep holes, compliments of Lulu and me. They were replaced earlier this year...this is me, contemplating a straight jump up...

We love it here. And we love having you read about our mis-adventures within the 14 foot walls and concrete floors of our warehouse Princess Palace...

This is Valentina, over and out.

Monday, November 25, 2013

An eye and a heart

The paradox of living in Jersey City, for me...the incredible art. Painted on the sides of buildings.

This one, with it's movement and color, I found to be striking.

This is Z-Girl, over and out...


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coco on Easy Sunday...

Hello, This is Coco.

I love Sunday. Today was a beautiful one, starting with the moonlight spilling on the concrete floors as the night turned to dawn.

Then lots of activity (Z-Girl is always bustling about on a Sunday), and today I was able to help. As she tried with all her might to replace the red chair slipcover she removed to launder last week, I sat on the chair. Naturally. I grew bored of that and moved to my painted trunk.

Then Uncle Robert had to come upstairs and HE was able to get the slipcover over the curved arms [I won't mention that Z-Girl had a flat-out argument with the chair last night, because that would be embarrassing. For me.]. Then I went back to sleep on the back of the chair. Because that's what I do. I mean, isn't everything supposed to be covered in cat fur?

Z-Girl has some laundry piled I suppose this means I'll have something warm to snuggle on soon.

Coco, over and out.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Easy Sunday: Lulu's Voice

Ok. Hi, I'm Lulu.
Wait, is this thing on?

Valentina: Yes, Lulu. Go ahead.

Lulu: Okay. So I'm Lulu. I'm the 5th of the Squeedunk Cats and I've never written a post. Truth is, most people don't know I'm here because I retreat under the bed when someone new enters the apartment. My Mama, who Z-Girl calls Bessie, investigates and tells me if it is safe or if I need to stay nestled in my favorite under the bed nook.

But I have a lot to say and I think it's about time that someone not Valentina  else told a few stories.

That's me, at almost 3 months. The butterscotch on my paw earns me extra treats. I don't know why...

Z-Girl was asked to give a photo of one of us to Miss Leah, who does a YouTube [and TV] segment called Who's On Deck. Miss Leah interviewed animal communicator and author, Gail Thackray. Gail looked at pictures of cats and dogs Leah presented to her, and gave information from each pet. Z-Girl submitted my photo, I am a YouTube star now and my message for Z-Girl is here. There is a grey cat called Lulu in the segment too, so look for me around the 7:54 mark.

That may lead you to ask the question about *my* rescue, right? I mean, Z-Girl has talked about the rescues from Super Storm Sandy but when Mama Bessie, my brother (now known as the Captain and living with someone else) and I were rescued, Z-Girl regaled everyone with stories about us for over a month. We lived in a hole at the base of a warehouse here in the PAD. Mama Bessie would go out and get food for us. She found Aunt Nat, who fed her, and then naturally that meant Z-Girl followed.

I'll come back and talk about my rescue sometime. Once you watch the Who's On Deck video, you'll at least know what I have to say about it.

With my Mama Bessie, we are two peas in a pod.

Gail explains to everyone that I'm still looking for my role and my spot, and that's very true. The other Squeedunk Cats don't necessarily love me, but I keep trying. Z-Girl says they are jealous. I don't know why. I just want to play. Oh, and I want to help! That's why I wanted to share my voice. To tell you about Mo and Larry.

They are two boys that Aunt Nat rescued immediately after Super Storm Sandy. One brother has already been placed. Curly. He's really happy. Mo and Larry are still in boarding, and are in need of a foster home. They've learned a lot while at Simply Cats Hotel, but it's time to take the next jump and  live with humans 24/7. Sure, they know a litter box, and hide from the vacuum cleaner. Yet they are still shy and need some helpful hands from a foster guardian who can give them even more confidence so they can be adopted. They should stay together, like Mama Bessie and me. Like PB&J, we go together. Rama-lama and all that.

Larry and Mo, looking at the outside world from inside Simply Cats Hotel.

Larry and Mo are almost two years old, neutered, negative and very healthy. They've been extremely well cared for by Miss Sue at Simply Cats. Her boarding facility isn't really meant for long-term stays. So, Aunt Nat and Z-Girl want to move them to the next phase to help them find furrever homes.

Who knows? Aunt Nat's boyfriend, Mr. Phil, he sells flokati rugs. Maybe whoever adopts Mo and Larry will get a small flokati rug for them. Mama Bessie and I love our flokatis.

Valentina: Uh, Lulu, I have one too.

Lulu: I know Valentina. TRUST ME, I know.

Well, if you want to foster, then you should contact Z-Girl.

How do you turn this thing OFF?

Valentina: Just say over and out.

Lulu: Oh. Okay. OVER AND OUT.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Two Tuxedo Toosday: Where have all the pigeons gone?

Valentina is on the BLOG people!

I have some news.

First, we've decided to change the spelling of our Two Tuxedo Tuesday posts to be Two Tuxedo Toosday. We hope you know that we know the correct spelling. This is a blog. And we are cats. So anything goes.

Second, with all the activity INSIDE the warehouse apartment, I've neglected to report to you what is happening OUTSIDE the warehouse apartment. It has had serious consequences on the Fab Five.

You see, we live in a neighborhood in Jersey City, New Jersey that has a variety of old warehouses. Some of them not fully utilized, some of them completely refurbished, some totally unused. Across from our 10 story building was a Manischewitz production site that was built in 1932. I don't really know about the details, but when Z-Girl moved to Jersey City, it was not in use. By people.

On the other hand, the underbelly of that building and our building served as homes for feral cats and opossum while the rooftop was a playground for my very favorite kitty TV stars, pigeons.

Manhattan: Hey, Valentina, are you going to mention that I used to live under our building?

Manhattan at the vet after her rescue from under 150 Bay, February 2010

Valentina: Manhattan, please, I'm in the middle of a story. Geesh.

Anyway, Z-Girl blogged about our pigeon watching previously. You can read her musings here.
This construction, unwanted by all the artists and certainly the feral cats in the hood, has completely disrupted the playground for the pigeons.

This means I have no bird entertainment. No pigeons on the Manishewitz building means no pigeons coming by to hang out on our window ledge. No more sitting completely still while chattering. Nada. It's maddening.

Instead, we are subjected daily to the sound of construction and the sight of cranes and bulldozers. And these aren't cranes with feathers. These are big, ugly steel cranes that make a lot of unnecessary noise.

The beginning of the madness, Jersey City, 2013

Every day, Lulu wakes up and gets in the window near Z-Girl's bed, and watches all the workers show up. I think she has a clipboard and takes attendance. Once the buzz and hum of the equipment starts, none of us are too interested in window lounging. Oh, we still do it because it's our duty to keep a close watch on the changes. But gone are the mornings of looking for the birds.

I miss them so.

Tuxedo Window Lounge, 2011

This is Valentina, Over and Out.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Peace is always beautiful
~Walt Whitman

Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.
~Albert Einstein

Love and peace are eternal.
~John Lennon

BlogBlast for Peace
November 4, 2013
Laura and the Squeedunk Cats
Coco, Valentina, Manhattan, Bessie & Lulu

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Our first outing, thanks BlogPaws!

Hi everyone, Valentina here.

Z-Girl signed up for BlogPaws Conference, 2014. She mentioned something like, "Vegas Baby" when she hit send on the entry form. Whatever that means.

Now she is connected to all kinds of cool pet bloggers, and has a lot more information about events and educational information. She's really into that kinda thing. You know, socializing and learning.

She found out that there was a going to be a giveaway--yes, free food sample giveaway--in Hoboken today. That's two train stops from Jersey City. So, she got herself ready and strolled down to Hoboken Pet on 5th and Washington.

There she was greeted by Jordan, from Royal Canin. She asked him a few question. Mostly, she talked about *me*, which is why I get to write about the chat.

Jordan, talking ingredients...

Z-Girl: Jordan, I'm curious how the people at RC know what to put in their cat and dog food formulas for different breeds, and why that's important?

Jordan: We at Royal Canin are "stubbornly scientific" about pet nutrition. We have veterinarians and researchers who track the typical health issues that certain breeds are more likely to have (e.g., hip dysplasia or cardiac problems in older dogs) and formulate the food to have ingredients that are known to help ease those conditions, and in some cases avoid them. (read more about our science based nutrition here).

Z-Girl: Wow, so you don't just make food that you think dogs and cats will find tasty, you think about their health--like we pet owners do!

Jordan: Yes, we do! We even think about the size and density of the kibble. This is important especially for breeds that typically eat too fast, or have smaller jaws (for example).

Z-Girl: I have 5 cats, Jordan. Can you believe it?

Jordan: Wow! That's great! Do any of them eat Royal Canin?

Z-Girl: Not yet. I want to know if I should try to safely transition them from their current diet to a Royal Canin diet. Specifically, I have one kitty [that's me!!!! she's going to say me....] Valentina, who is over grooming herself. I suspect she may have allergies. What do you think about that, and can RC offer a variety that is hypo-allergenic?

Jordan: Let's get Natasha to weigh in here...
 Natasha Feduick is from Garden City Animal Hospital, Long Island, NY

Natasha: Well, allergies are quite common and also quite difficult, especially in a multi-cat household. Difficult because everyone has to go along with the plan. (Longer conversation. They lost me when they were referring to "cats" and not "Valentina"). What I recommend is that you take the RC Special variety as your sample, and offer it to Valentina. She may be telling you with her recent food choices what she is allergic to. If you find that she is still over grooming, you may want to switch her to a novel protein diet.

Z-Girl: Okay, Jordan and Natasha, I got a lot of great information today. I am very excited to take home the samples to the Squeedunk Cats and try it out!

Jordan: Remember what I told you about transitioning them with a mixture of old and new food, so you don't cause stomach upset. Also keep in mind Valentina's allergies may not be entirely food based, but certainly a good diet, with a formulation that cares for how a cat processes the proteins and carbs, are going to help. Let me know if I can answer more questions for you, Laura!

Z-Girl gets the Royal Canin Goodie Bag!

(Please note: The interview is not told in exact quotes, but instead my cat interpretation of what was said--which really was just too much talk about things other than me, or me playing with one of my bird/wand toys...Natasha explained a lot about allergies, and Z-Girl recommends talking to your vet if you have questions. I know she will be talking to Dr. Holly more about me...sigh...)

So here's what I have to say about Royal Canin, so far:

1) The name is Royal Canin. Royal. Come on, you gotta love a pet food that has the name Royal in it, right?
2) It smells good.
3) The kibble is a nice size and it makes a good *crunch* noise when I eat it.
4) Royal Canin has nice people like Jordan working to educate pet guardians like Z-Girl on a beautiful Saturday, when he probably should have been out running or playing basketball. Or whatever he likes to do on a sunny day.
5) Great retailers like Hoboken Pet sponsor the good people of Royal Canin to educate the public.

I know. If I were David Letterman, it would be the Top Ten Reasons and I'd have counted backwards. I don't have a staff of writers like he does. I do this all on my own, people.

Coco checked out the bag right away. She thought the conversation was about her weight (oh, there may have been some talk of that, but we won't discuss it today...)

Coco checks out the goodie bag...(uh, yea, we aren't supposed to be on the dining room table but....)

Well folks, that's it for now...

This is Valentina, over and OUT!