Friday, January 27, 2012

Feline Friday - Baily

Baily is my featured cat this week and she's available for adoption at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City MO where I volunteer. She gets over-stimulated and then can act out, so cannot be in the same room as the other adoptable cats. Her lack of visibility affects her chances of adoption. She's a beautiful Persian mix and needs a home, so please consider her or helping get out the word about this gorgeous gal. Her bio is below her glamour shot. Thanks so much. 

The name's Baily, and all you need to know about me is that I'm ten pounds of pure tortitude! What is tortitude, you ask? It's a word that describes the larger-than-life personality of a tortoiseshell cat. We torties are named for the flecks of color in our coats, and we're known for our feisty dispositions. No shrinking violet here!

Take me for example-- sometimes I like to purr and be petted, but sometimes I don’t. I prefer to have my head and ears rubbed, ear scritches are the best. To show my affection, I head butt you and kind of rub my head on you sometimes too. I prefer short affection sessions to long ones, if you wouldn’t mind. I’d prefer not to be held or picked up, but if it’s my idea, I might climb in your lap.

If I’m not in the mood, I might hiss so don’t ignore my warning. We cats love humans and try to let you know what we’re thinking and feeling. But sometimes you really need some lovin’ when you’ve had a hard day so push on and try to coax us. If you ignore my warning, I might smack you with a front paw. Don't worry, though; I'm declawed, so it doesn't hurt when I smack you.

I don't even hit that hard, to be honest. I'm not trying to do any damage, I'm just letting you know I'm not in the mood. If you have nice things, you needn’t worry about them. I won’t shred your cushions or climb your curtains. No can do! Can’t accidentally scratch you either.

As you can imagine, I like to play with toys that I can bite and bat. It's very therapeutic! If you come to meet me, we can play together. You can dangle a cat charmer toy for me, and I'll swat it and grab it. Doesn't that sound like fun?

I’m also the teensiest, tiniest bit vain and with a face with beautiful markings like this and long, silky fur typical of Persians, why wouldn't I be? I love to be told I’m a pretty girl or that I’m beautiful, what woman doesn’t? I also like being brushed to keep myself looking my best.

I'm hoping that I'll meet the right person sometime soon. I need a human who embraces tortitude, someone who understands that you don't own a tortie-- a tortie owns you! My new human will have to be the kind of person who can give me love when I want it and space when I don't. I really miss my owner who died suddenly. We were great pals and I didn’t have to explain myself. What do you say-- are you up to the challenge of making pals with a lady who knows her own mind and insists on getting what she wants?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Feline Friday is Here

This beautiful kitty is available at Wayside Waifs Animal Shelter in Kansas City MO where I volunteer. Camper has written a short auto-biography of his recent past posted below. Please read all about him and think about adopting this sweet and loving cat who needs a good home and someone to love him. You won't regret opening your heart to him. For more information, go to, and click on adoptions, available pets, cats and then choose Camper.

Hi there, I'm Camper and I'm a sweetheart. I was found as an injured stray and I spent my first month here being looked after by the kind vet staff. I had a large abscess which is healing well, but my hip is still tender. If you accidentally touch it, I'll twitch, but I'm too much of a gentleman to get angry about it.

I'm considered to be a senior cat, age 7, and I'm really mellow. I'm missing some teeth, too, and I'm FIV positive. FIV means I have a weak immune system, but most FIV+ cats live long and healthy lives. When we get sick or injured, it is harder for us to fight an infection, so take me to the vet. In my case I'm recovering nicely from my wound. FIV is not transmittable to dogs or people, just other cats, and only through deep bite wounds, not sharing food bowls or a litter box. As mellow a fellow as I am, the possibility of getting into a fight with another cat is low, but just to be sure, it’s best for your existing cat to not bring home an FIV positive cat. I can share my house with another FIV+ cat though. In general, as long as we FIV+ cats stay indoors in a loving and peaceful environment, and have regular vet checkups, we are usually healthy.

My feline-ality type is Sidekick. That means I'm friendly and moderately brave. I like people and I'm a happy camper when I can sit in someone's lap and be petted. That's my favorite activity - being petted. I don't get too riled up about toys or anything, I just like a comfy pillow or a nice lap. I probably won't be great in a household with young children because of the tenderness in my hip, and because I need to be in a relatively low stress environment. Probably there should be no dogs either, but I might be okay with a really mellow dog who doesn't mind sharing his home with a really mellow cat.

If you are looking for a quiet, loving companion who isn't likely to get into anything or turn on the lights at 3:00 a.m., please come by and see me. We had a cat named Cloudy that could do that. Hey, when a girl just wants to have fun, what are you gonna do? She was a hoot and a half! Do you have the right household for me? If so, I look forward to meeting you. I'm usually napping here, but when you come into my room, I'll enjoy getting into your lap so you can pet me. Watch the hip, though, okay?

Love, Camper

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Adventures in Food

Two weeks into the new year in Kansas City and it’s still 50 outside. Amazing! No reason to whine here. I was lucky enough to have vacation time recently during the amazing warm spell. Rode all around town wasting some of the gas I didn’t have to spend going back and forth to Olathe every day to go to work. I stumbled across someone at Penzey’s Spices who is quite a foodie and very knowledgeable about the local food scene. She recommended that I try a couple of stores I’d never heard of until now. They’re both off the beaten path and not visible as I drive my normal routes, and both worth a trip.

One is the Indian Emporium off Metcalf at 104th. It’s been there about 30 years and is chock-full of ingredients for all sorts of Middle Eastern cooking, which I enjoy (some of it). I stocked up on basmati rice, tandoori seasoning, dates and a few other things, some of which can be bought at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, but much more that can’t.

The other is 888 Market at the intersection of 169 highway, Switzer road and 119th Street. It has everything Asian you could possibly wish for and more. I wish my brother were still here for an hour (and that’s all – a year and a half was enough). Having lived in Japan for a few years, he could explain all the different kinds of rice, noodles and wrappers. Very confusing.

These are the kind of stores my mom would have loved if she were still with us. She loved trying new things and was an avid reader of Gourmet magazine. Her goal was always to get all of us to at least try just one bite of everything and keep trying new things. I remember one time it backfired as my brother had saved half of his Japanese lunch that he was treated to when his class completed a year of Japanese in high school language arts. Served her right that she had to eat seaweed and chocolate covered grasshoppers as he reminded her, “just one bite, mom, remember what you always said!” Sadist!

My sibs turned out more adventurous than I did when it comes to food, although I’ve improved as I got older. I discovered that texture or mouth feel is paramount to me. Don’t surprise me with a soft watery food on its own and expect me to like it, such as stewed tomatoes or asparagus. My mouth is expecting something sweet like watermelon or peaches. I eat tomatoes and asparagus now, but in more flavorful savory combinations or cooked to a tender crisp such as in stir fry. My list of cooked vegetables I won’t eat keeps shrinking. Mom would be proud….. or more likely would say “it’s about time, Shelley!”

I’ll share some of my favorite discoveries with you this year as I keep trying new things. Let’s start at the beginning, so expect to hear about apples and apricots and asparagus. And on Friday’s I’ll be sharing some of my favorite felines with you from the animal shelter where I volunteer. Till next time.