Stories, events and life in general from Miss Kitty's point of view

Friday

Your 2011 Calendar has arrived!



“You know dad, you lost track of time again. Decorations around the house, then last night sending out individual Christmas emails and now you are twenty-three hours late posting the final printer version of my calendar bookmarks. You had promised that you would do it Christmas Eve, so what do you have to say for yourself? Typical, no response, just a dumb founded look on his face! Did you at least get me something for Christmas?”


“So now you think a nice dinner, followed by a scalp message and a tummy rub is going to make up for your blunder . . .            well . . .     I guess so, but you better work fast, there are less than three hours remaining before Christmas Day starts here on the Pacific Coast.”



Wishing all creatures, great or small, including humans,
good tidings this holiday season. May your home be filled
with the warmth of laughter, the company of family and
good friends, sharing food and love.



We requested from the humans that each winning feline have a few words written about them to accompany their individual picture and without further delay Alexandra writes not only in English but also for her German speaking audience.




One day Noah just came out of the woods. For days he sneaked around in our garden and stole our old cat lady Jazz’s food from her bowl. It was impossible to get even a few steps close or to even touch him and due to his behavior, we believed he did not have a home. We asked around in the neighborhood but nobody know him, so we started to feed him. Through the feeding we managed to gain his confidence. Step after step we were allowed to approach closer, until the day (after 2 month, I will never forget it) when I managed to touch him. At this time it was just as if a dam had broken, he couldn't get enough of being stroking. Finally we managed to cage him and bring him to the animal doctor to see whether he was wearing a chip to see if he belonged to someone or not. We contacted animal welfare in case his owner might be looking for him, but nobody called and at the end we decided to adopt and give him a home. Since he has rewarded us with an incredible amount of love. He's a clown who likes to play hide-and-seek or catch, he comes along when we're clapping in our hands but he also likes just to take a nap on the knees of his humans. Noah has helped us over the difficult time when we had to let go our old cat lady Jazz when she crossed over the rainbow bridge. With his humor and his nonsense he made us laugh wiping away our tears. He's really a special guy. 


Noah kam einiges Tages aus dem Wald, schlich tagelang in unserem Garten herum, klaute der alten Katzendame Jazz ihr Futter, berühren oder gar ein paar Schritte auf ihn zugehen konnte man nicht. Sein Verhalten liess uns vermuten, dass er kein Zuhause hatte. Wir haben in der Nachbarschaft herum gefragt und schliesslich begonnen ihn zu füttern. Durch die Fütterung gewannen wir wohl sein Vertrauen. Schritt um Schritt durften wir näher an ihn heran, bis wir ihn endlich berühren durften und dann schien wie ein Damm gebrochen, er konnte vom Streicheln nicht genug bekommen und kroch fast in einem hinein. Wir konnten ihn schliesslich einfangen und brachten ihm zum Tierarzt um sicher zu sein, dass er nicht doch einen Chip trug und jemandem gehörte. Auch eine Ausschreibung beim Tierschutz liess seine Besitzer nicht auftauchen, so haben wir ihn schlussendlich adoptiert und er dankt es uns mit unglaublich viel Liebe. Er ist ein kleiner Clown, mit dem man Verstecken und Fangen spielen kann, der auf Klatschen angerannt kommt, Männchen macht, einfach zufrieden bei seinen Menschen sich für ein Schläfchen einkugeln kann und schlicht und ergreifend zum Knuddeln ist. Noah hat uns aber auch sehr geholfen, als wir unsere alte Katze Jazz erlösen mussten. Mit seinem Kabriolen und seinem Humor hat er uns das Lachen zurück gebracht. Er ist ein ganz besonderer Typ.




Tiny Johnson, also referred to as Johnny

His human mum Trish writes:

Sweet Johnny; a gentle, giant, twenty-pound tabby with the world's most petite "meow".
You are the peacemaker in the house, the big bed warmer, and you eat absolutely anything, at least once.
Nothing makes you happier than your squeaky mouse, unless it's a tummy rub.
Just a tiny bit cross-eyed, you prefer you mighty paws on the floor, no heights for you . . . 
unless it's to be picked up for a nice cuddle.





When you look at the picture of Mr Puddy you can understand when his mum  writes only a few words:

Mr Puddy is an Aussie Cat who chose a forever home by himself.




For downloadable PRINTER version, click here and enjoy

So lets have a round of an applause for not only the winners but also for all those who had entered.


Very soon we will announce part two of the calendar photo contest for the months of April, May and June. So get those trigger fingers active by taking pictures, as we know you love doing this, just remember large file size and if possible vertical format and make sure everyone is having a good time.



We would also like to welcome and acknowledge several new followers to our blog 


Sondra, a blogger with multiple excellent blogs, is a friend of dad's and when you have a look at her sites, there is something familiar about the blogs background, they're dad's textures.

Eva Macie, also an artist friend of dads; her blog A Creative Life is where she shares her art and artistic process.

Luna and Luzie, a blog featuring three cats and you should know it is bi-lingual. Now is that not great! By the way, Luna and Luzie, dad is aware he has yet to press the ‘follower’ button on your blog and said he promises to do so.

Then there is The Old Geezer, yap, that’s what he calls himself. We love his quote on his masthead, it reads “Old age ain’t for sissies! — Do not resent growing old . . .  Many are denied the privilege.”

Over at Margarida e os Animals from Portugal, her latest post  is of a deer grooming a cat and then the cat returning the favor. A must see to believe.

Caren Gittleman and Piras sadly do not have a link back to their blogs so that we can learn more about them or even join their site. So if you are reading this, please send us an email with your link and we will be most happy that you did so.
May I have not forgotten to mention anyone else.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season and that all the felines found extra treats and extra helping of good food in their bowls, besides lots of loving. See you in January 2011. 




Now I can take a much needed long nap.







Saturday

The winners are . . .




Miss Kitty announces the winners . . .


with today’s posting for the first quarter of 2011 Calendar Bookmark Photo Contest, along with the three whom we have chosen to receive the ‘One lovely blog award.’
For those who are interested in the statistics, there were nine entrees with twenty-six images, of which nine made the final cut. 



Finalist poster


The decision was by no means easy and so a set of criteria was established and applied by which each photograph was judged. The ‘finalist’ images were imported into Photoshop and according to the photograph, may have had applied some retouching; burning and dodging; blurring of the background; and any other visual adjustments we felt would enhance the photograph.
After post production and cropping the photograph down to the required size, it was placed on the ‘finalist poster’ and then the judging began in earnest.


There were four photographs, that came very close to winning. Image two, of Susie was sent in by Kevin from Animal Shelter Volunteer Life — PAWS; KM provided several wonderful poses of George Clooney from Clooney’s Num-Num Fund, image four.
From Spain, photo five comes courtesy of Isabel Gutierrz’s feline Lili, an artist who also blogs about her cat at Espacio y Color; last but certainly not least, image nine was sent in by Victoria and features Lucy taking in her sun-puddles. Her blog is Lucy’s Christmas Lodge.


When we announce the competition open for the second quarter, we shall provide a guideline to help improve your odds for not only making the finals, but increasing your chances of winning. Of course that would make our job even harder, but Miss Kitty and I will be up to the task.


The Winners . . .     congratulations!

January, Noah by Alexandra from Switzerland

February, Tiny Johnson by Tricia at Katnip Lounge, USA

March, Mr Puddy by BN from Australia




Preview of the placements of the winning images


The final downloadable version will be made available on Christmas Eve with a link to the full size print at our Picasa album along with a couple of tidbits about each winner.





The Recipients for the ‘One lovely blog award’ are . . .




Christiane’s blog Ninifees DosiNews from Germany, was elected for her excellent blog and rich photographic images, including for having a huge heart, taking care of many strays and trying to find a very good home for them. Her blog has Google translator widget installed so you can read along.



Catrina’s blog Cat’s Cat from Canada, whom many of you know is another person with a gracious spirit and a huge heart. Her love is over flowing with kindness.



KM’s blog Clooney’s Num-Num Fund also from Canada. She recently brought home her second feline, named Neytiri, named after the main female character in last years blockbuster film Avatar. When you visit there, you cannot help but find humor by the truck load, so stop by for a visit.


Thought there were many more I could have passed this award along to, but as I stated in my previous post, by limiting the number of recipients, the meaning and value of this award is greatly increased.


Wow, this was one long posting. Time for another nap. Make that a very long nap. 






Thursday

An exciting day it was



Each morning before getting out of bed, dad quickly checks his emails on the phone. There was a message in German from Alexandra in Switzerland, letting him know there was something for him at her blog.


In the meantime he had breakfast and I had my morning snack, which was followed by a visit to the garden since there was no frost outside like the last previous days. It was still rather cold but the morning’s golden light that came skittering across the hills ridge and rooftops was a little warming when it finally landed upon me.




For now the days will be few for going outside until winter reaches its zenith and then it will be still several more weeks before the temperatures begin to rise again.







When I came back in, dad was also finished with breakfast and together we went back upstairs to the computer. Dad was clueless because he did not check until now what it was Alexandra had in store for us.


With great excitement dad told me all about the award I had received. I quickly had to inspect the monitor and see for myself.



Thank you Alexandra


Since the award comes with a condition that it should be passed along, dad and I had a long discussion as to restoring value and honor to the award by following Alexandra’s example of limiting the nominees. We decided to keep it to three, like in the Olympics. Since there are a number of blogs we are considering, we will release the winners for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ with our next post.


Alexandra has a wonderful blog, she not only talks about her cat, but also of per passion for gardening and decorating the house for the holiday season. She also does volunteer work at the local animal shelter, taking exceptional photographs of the animals in need of a home. I enjoy visiting her site to see what she is up to and I am never disappointed.



a rose from Alexandra’s blog Gwundergarten


So please visit her blog Gwundergarten and you will be surprised on several levels. As I already mentioned, her blog is diverse with varied interests and you do not have to know German to read her posts since the blog is bilingual. 




Remember there is still some time left to participate in the
calendar bookmark photo contest. 








Tuesday

The week after Thanksgiving Day



We hope that everyone has had a grand Thanksgiving Day and has survived those three days that followed, when finally reality hit on Monday that it was back to work. For dad it was not work since he has been out of of work for a few years, rather it was however back for the last two weeks of cardiovascular rehabilitation that was granted by the insurance company after he made his case for an extension.
Deep in dreamland
At our house Thanksgiving Day is a big event, all of which is orchestrated by dad. He not only takes care of the bird, giving it a ‘brine and spice’ soaking for 24 hours, then a bake/roast combination, he takes charge of the entire menu, which usually ends up being 12 to 15 dishes, not counting the turkey or desserts. 


All in all, this year ended up being the best Thanksgiving Day ever. It was the most organized and above all ‘stress-free’.


This was our 2010 menu

Cranberry salsa (our replacement for standard gravy)

Persian green rice with dill and peas

Pears w/green beans and bacon

Roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower with gruyére cheese 
Sweet potato purée w/orange juice, granny smith apples and heavy cream
Roasted carrots and fennel with lemon juice
Roasted multi-variety onion and leek dish with balsamic vinegar
Mash potatoes
Roasted medley of three different baby potatoes with rosemarie
Roasted squash medley and carrot mix
Corn bread with cheese, green onion and bacon
Maple pecan bread
The guests brought  to the table
Pumpkin pie and an apple pie, including the appropriate riesling wine.
_____
So you cannot blame dad for not having posted these last sixteen days, but between rehab and preparing for Thanksgiving Day, he has been rather pre-occupied.
If you have managed to read all the way down to here, know there is still plenty of time left to enter Ms K’s calendar bookmark contest. For details see previous post. Also give a little thought to lighting since a most even light gives the best results.
In closing, we are trying to resolve a serious problem with Ms K’s Google Profile and dad’s Google Profile, which has kept us from being more visible. So far any help from the Google help community has fallen on deaf ears, but we will continue to try and clear up the ID conflicts that has effected our following other blogs and commenting.
Later today we will be looking at christmas trees and begin retrieving the boxes from the closet with our decorations and plan on this years theme for the tree.
Wishing you a warm and safe start to the holiday season
PostScript: We apologize for not having provided any photographs of the Thanksgiving Day table, but after serving the dishes, dad sank into his chair and simply watched the reaction of his guests and family members. Also note today's single photograph of Ms K showing two different versions with the second one being darkened around the edges to increase the focal point of Ms K’s face. -e

Saturday

2011 Calendar drawing — first quarter



Many of us are avid readers and therefore will have a need from time to time of a good bookmark to mark our progress and what could be better than one that not only incorporates a calendar but possible an image of our companion for an entire month.




So with dad’s years of graphic design experience, we set out to completely redesign the bookmarks that were previously featured with Miss Kitty’s image and now that photo shall be replaced with one the winners of the first quarter drawing. As you can see from the new design, the name of the winning feline will be placed above their image and in our post text, we will of course feature a link to their blog. We are also planning to add a little copy regarding your feline and we will be in touch once we announce the first three winners.  In all there will be twelve winners by the time we finish.


The competition is open to all levels of ones photographic ability so give it your best. You may pose your companion or just try to capture them at what they enjoy doing, it is all up to you and the willingness of your cat. 


Winners will be announced December 11.


Miss Kitty wishes you good luck.




for the first quarter full size sample click here




Requirements to qualify

1: You can submit 3-5 digital image
2: Image orientation: Vertical preferred
3: Formats acceptable: JPG (extra fine setting), TIFF or RAW
4: Please do not crop your pictures
5: Image size: minimum 2000 x 3000 pixels (5 MB plus) preferred
6: Last day to submit: December 10, 2010
7: Be a follower of this blog



Do not forget to include your information

1: Your name and the name of your feline
2: A link to your blog
3: Email subject matter: Competition or Bookmark



Drawing dates for the remaining quarters

Second quarter drawing
Announcement: February 11
Last day to submit: March 11

Third quarter drawing
Announcement: May 13
Last day to submit: June 10

Forth quarter drawing
Announcement: August 12
Last day to submit: September 9



Now let us not forget the legal matters

By submitting your images, you allow the winning entries to used by a Cats Golden Years 'one time only' for the sole purpose they were intended, the Miss Kitty 2011 Calendar Bookmarks, otherwise the photographer retains all other rights.

You also allow us crop the image and to use any Photoshop enhancements tools as we see fit.




Availability of the calendar bookmarks


The final design with the winning images will be made available in the last week of December for download from our Picasa album via a link so that it can be printed out on your colour printer in full resolution onto 8 .5 x 11 inches card stock.


Second, third and fourth quarter sample pages



For submissions or any questions please click here










Thursday

A return to the garden



The rains came early this year so I have not been out as often as I would like to have been. Still when dad rakes the leaves off the lawn or sweeps the entrance, I am there giving him not only company but also supervising the progress of his work. Of course when I am in the front, dad makes sure that no passing dog brings any harm to me.




After a few days of no rain and cold temperatures, the front porch area has dried and the wind have blown any leaves from the Japanese maple trees that line the entrance walkway down towards the path. The afternoon sun is no longer as warm as it was just a few weeks ago, but the fresh air is wonderful.



Artistic filters added to make it look like a painting


When dad is home he always leaves the sliding door to the balcony a little open so that I can go outside whenever I wish and maybe even head down to the lawn area and chew a little on the grass. Sometimes I just like to sit between the blooming azaleas that mum takes care of and then look down to see if the neighbors mean black cat is making his way home through our backyard.





Dad finished the final design layout for the 2011 bookmark calendar pages and come this weekend we will post details on the drawing so that your photograph of your feline can qualify. The design is much more refined than the first draft that we had offered as a download earlier this month.




Of course I had to make sure dad was following my instructions and since he does work slow, yet methodical in the detail and proofing, I managed to get a few cat naps on his laptop, warming my belly and seeing to it that dad cannot place the damaged laptop into sleep mood. 







Tuesday

NEWS FLASH




SPECIAL EARLY EDITION


Ms Kitty attended an exclusive halloween party at Banana and Cheese this last Sunday night and after having lost track of all time due to having simple too much fun, we are late with our report and therefore a Special Edition to allow others to see what transpired that evening.

Please visit Banana and Cheese for not only the full report but also the incredible pictures.


On another most important note, we hope that regardless of your political position,
that you exercising democracy by heading out to vote.









Wednesday

A little of everything and more



I had no intention for dad not to take so long in preparing the artwork and photographs for my next post, but then there were circumstances over which he seemed to have little control. Therefore there is a little of this and a little of that, in other words, a little bit of everything and more.


First off, Ms Kitty wishes to say thank you to all who visited and also to those who have left a comment supporting her candidacy for Empress of California in the upcoming November 2nd mid-term elections. It is a very close tight race in this state but she and her staff feel that there is a good chance she can pull this off as a write-in candidate.


In the meantime, numerous new followers who I wish to acknowledge and say thank you for adding our blog to their roster. Thank you to 

Shannon Frederick, no links available;
Elle Zelics, Twitter and her blog;
Cloon, short for Clonney, a feline also know as George Clooney;
another feline hunk Maximus in Canada at Giuld-rez Guildwood and
an unnamed person's blog, Mini Historia de Casita de Cartes;
and Michele Turner’s blog chocolate and marmalade tea where 
she and her felines cook up some goodies.

(^..^)



Rain, rain, guess I’ll just watch it from my throne


It seems that the rain season has arrived rather early this year or it is just making a brief appearance before returning us to a few more weeks of an Indian Summer. While dad is letting the house breath by opening all the doors, I like to sit by the front door and not only guard the entrance but also welcome any family member who's coming home early.



Martha Stewart’s LIVING, October 2010


When dad was at the doctors office, he saw Martha Stewart’s October issue of Living. It has been way too many months since he saw one of her magazine last and as he was flipping through the pages, he was rather surprised to see a large number of advertisements for felines products, along with felines being in pictures having nothing to do with cat products. 




Yap he brought the issue home from the office and as he was getting it ready to photograph the various pages, I just had to investigate to make sure dad was not pulling the wool over anyones eyes. Noticed how the cat pictured in the Purina ONE ad looks a lot like me.



Cats featured in the October issue of LIVING


There was a total of twelve feline ads but dad only photographed eleven, guess he was in a hurry to finish since the natural light was disappearing behind the tress.



LIVING November 2010, cover and flip side


It seems the dogs have now sought their revenge and Martha, a dog lover no doubt, provided the canine their just dessert by giving them the entire flip side of the LIVING Thanksgiving Day issue.



Pet Finder screen shots of their iPhone application


On a much different subject matter, I was updating my iPhone applications and then had a look to see what there was available for free when I came across one I think you might be interested in having on your iPhone. Since I have installed it, I gave it a quick test run and found it did its job for which it was intended very well. I did not check if it is available for the iPad.



Bookmarks

Dad having designed bookmarks for his other blogs, he decoded to do a calendar version for me. After he designed this set, the original larger version (available here) was a little too large for a paperback book but not a hardbound book. Never-the-less, in gratitude of your support we are announcing to develop a quarterly set for next year, but the clincher is that the pictures are not all of me. We are going to have a drawing for the best ones set in. So stay tuned for details to follow in the next couple of weeks.

So there you have it, a rather long posting to make
up for the delay in not having one since last.

Until next time, wishing you all the best