Sunday, 31 July 2011

Daily Dose of Sir Tobes!

We have received a few compliments about Toby, Heather's grandma's fifteen (!) year old cat, so we thought we might post a few more recent pictures of this handsome geezer! Enjoy!

Eek! I've been sniffed out!

Do you have any foodz?

Waiting for the foodz...patience is waining...

No foodz = distainful stare

Going to the Chat-pul and we're gunna get Meow-ied!

Ahem, I hope you enjoyed my version of The Dixie Chick's hit! It came to me on the 's-purr' of the moment! =^..^=

As you may have guessed, this post is going to be about a wedding! No no, it wasn't a cat wedding in which a simple exchange of tongue baths is enough to turn molly and tom into bride and groom. It was one of those grandiose human affairs with mountains of food, loads of sitting, people holding little boxes that click and flash, and funny costumes. (I can appreciate the food part, but everything else about the ritual is quite beyond me!)

I was brought along in secret, as Heather knew the wedding would be held in an old oat barn where she figured the possibility of meeting some furry friends was quite high. Sadly, we only saw a wren having a splash around in a birdbath, and a small dog which I craftily avoided by pretending to be Heather's fascinator. (They're all the rage these days, you know!)

However, before the wedding, we did have a very overdue reunion with Toby the Tom, Heather's grandmother's cat. Toby, at the ripe old age of fifteen, is practically a grandfather to me, but has maintained his youth like no other cat I know. He can still spring up onto ten foot tall fences without even twitching a whisker, and often stays out all night on the hunt. He is the one who taught me the art of catching 'nibbly bits' (the humans call it Go Cat?) in mid air, so you can imagine that I have a whole lot of respect for Sir Tobes!

Toby after finishing his nibbly bits!

Heather with Toby a few years ago in Aberdyfi

The wedding itself was quite original. Instead of throwing confetti, we blew soap bubbles. Instead of using a chapel, they bride and groom chose a converted stable. Priority was places on the aperitifs rather than on the main meal. Two wedding cakes were prepared instead of one. It was a marriage ceremony designed completely with the unique tastes of the bride and groom in mind, and it worked out superbly.

The happy couple

Now that we're back home, I'll be spending the next few days recovering from all the excitement. This means 23 hour cat naps with one hour breaks for food, my friends! I've already demanded a brief hiatus from designing greeting cards, but Heather seems to want to get the creative juices flowing again as soon as possible. Sigh, no rest for the wicked these days!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thankful Thursday Blog Hop - July 28th

It's not every day that I find something to be thankful for, but my Thankful Thursday entry was made easy today with the arrival of Heather's "little" brother N and his girlfriend, and the imminent arrival of Heather's  boyfriend M! I am very thankful that we are able to spend so much time together after almost a year apart! (And of course, who could forget that more people equals more belly rubs for the friendly feline!) Here are a few pictures of N with my big sisters in 2002, all those years ago!

Big sister Tchai is looking for an emergency exit!

Bee Gee getting loads of cuddles

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Walk Around Aberdyfi

Today is the day that Heather's brother and his girlfriend arrive in Wales for their summer break.

 In preparation for their arrival, we spent all of yesterday getting the Aberdyfi cottage ready, tucking in fresh, clean bedsheets (oooh how I love jumping on them!), vacuuming (I did my part by hiding under the chair), and stocking the fridge with food (I hope they don't mind if they find a fillet of salmon missing! Nom nom.)

We also took a long walk during which this normally rather solitary cat made a number of friends!

Furry Friend Number One!

We encountered this coy kitty as we were descending towards the Dyfi. He came bounding towards us in a friendly manner, but just as I was about to say "meow" in greeting, he scampered off! The cheek! We decided to follow him and see if he would stick around for a picture, and eventually he gave in, and even let Heather tickle his tummy! (Location: Aberdovey hillside

Furry Friend Number Two!

Heather went batty for this handsome, yet rather mousy mog. (Personally, I'm not into toms, but I can admit that he is quite a stud muffin!) We were very lucky to get this picture - he bolted behind a shed just as we clicked the shutter button. (Location: Ynysymaengwyn, Tywyn)

Furry Friend Number Three!

It was love at first sight when I saw this pretty puss! She looks to be a silver tabby. Can anyone confirm this? I asked her out on a date, but you can see the look she gave me. Ah well, on to greener pastures! (Location: Aberdyfi, Wales)

Not -So-Furry Friend Number Four

The instinct within was telling me to pounce on this exquisite specimen, but logic took over, thank goodness. He was almost twice my size! (Location: the Aberdyfi shorefront in Wales)

Hmm, come to think it of, I guess I didn't make many friends per se. Perhaps I'll have more luck over the next few days, as we should be touring around the countryside quite a bit with Heather's brother!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Cats Protection - The UK's leading feline welfare charity

Just before the family and I walked out of our local Morrison's supermarket today, we had a marvellous encounter with the incredible people at Cats Protection, a UK charity that was established especially to care for forgotten felines. They were selling cards, collars, buttons and more to raise money for the charity, which relies solely on donations from the public. (We, of course, made a paw-fully generous donation!)

What exactly does Cats Protection to do help cats in the UK? Primarily, they set up adoption centres and search out loving homes for their fuzzy residents. And how can YOU become involved? There are many ways - just have a glance below!

The team volunteering for Cats Protection in Aberystwyth

1. Take the road most travelled and donate money. Just £15 can feed a cat for a month. £198 can cover the neutering, microchipping and rehoming of a cat. But even a few pence or cents can make all the difference!

2. Volunteer! This could involve becoming a 'Special Friend', a chauffeur who takes cats to their new homes, a fundraiser, a fosterer, a charity shop volunteer, a helpline operator, or a homing officer. The options are endless!

3. Leave some of your will to Cats Protection. It is thanks to these generous people that the organization is as widespread as it is today. 

4. Adopt a cat from Cats Protection instead of buying one from a pet store. Remember, these abandoned kitties are far more in need of a good home!

And if this isn't enough to convince you, pay a visit to the Cats Protection website and get a deeper  idea of what they're all about!

In other news, we have joined a new blog hop hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs and Baby Patches! To see the details about how to take part in the blog hop, pay a visit to Baby Patches' very detailed post. How fun it is getting to know so many other cats and their owners!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Big Butterfly Count

Yesterday, the family and I went on a long walk through Ynysymaengwyn (try saying that with a piece of salmon in your mouth!) to take part in the annual UK-wide Big Butterfly Count!

The Gatekeeper Butterfly in Tywyn
The Big Butterfly Count is our way of "taking nature's pulse," as the campaign eloquently puts it. This is because butterflies react with great rapidity to the changes that are happening in our environment. If a species of butterfly disappears from a given area, it is a pretty good indication that certain subtle changes are occurring that could have a serious implication on the wildlife there.

To take part, all you have to do is sit in a flower rich area for fifteen minutes, and count the number of butterflies and the different species that you see. Once you have done this, send your results to The Big Butterfly Count website before July 31st. Last year, over 10,000 people took part, and over 250,000 butterflies were observed!

As for our sightings, we came across two Gatekeepers, a large Cabbage White butterfly, and a mini version of the Cabbage White. Quite a success, I'd say!

Note to readers: Yes, I am a cat, but NO, I did not chase the butterflies! I was perfectly restrained throughout the entire fifteen minutes (and stuck to chasing birds instead)!

Sir David Attenborogh on The Big Butterfly Count

Friday, 22 July 2011

Thankful Thursday Blog Post

Heather and I have hopped onto the blog hop bandwagon, and joined 'Thankful Thursday,' hosted by fellow cat blogger Cokie the Cat! (See the original blog hop post here!) Being the international cat I am, with a home in Italy and a second home in Wales, I have much to be thankful for, but I have managed to narrow my choice down to three...

1. My back garden (Well, actually, it's grandma's garden, but I like to think of it as my own!)

Grandma has done such a wonderful job transforming what was once a patch of dirt and concrete into a cat's paradise. She has planted every kind of flower imaginable, from the butterfly-beguiling buddleja to the wispy wildflower. I never tire of watching (and sometimes chasing...shh!) the blue tits, goldfinches, linnets, and sparrows that constantly pay a visit to our 'bird spa,' a bird bath that would be the size of an Olympic swimming pool if it were on a human scale! Here is a photo of me in our garden on a bright sunny day in Wales.

2. Leftovers from Heather's cereal bowl

This is most possibly the thing I am most thankful for! When Heather finishes her cereal, there is always a smattering of milk and soggy grains left at the bottom of her bowl. Perhaps it doesn't sound that appealing, but believe me, there is nothing a cat likes better as a treat to start off the day! (And if Heather forgets to give it to me, she knows she is in for a performance of sorrowful meows and wails for the next hour. Ahh, the tactics we cats employ!)

3. Hugs and Cuddles from my owners

Though we cats try to appear aloof, I'll let you in on our greatest secret. We actually do love to be canoodled. Just give us a scratch behind the tail, and we'll flop submissively before your knees. Tickle us behind our ears, and we will follow you to the ends of the earth. I really should not be writing this, though. The CIA (Cat Intelligence Agency) might come after me. Count number three as 'off the record'!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cats Carolling at Christmas (New Card!)

Today, Heather and I got cat chatting about Christmases long and gone. Believe me, I am not willing the approach of the coldest time of the year, but with the 48 degree heat that has been scorching the Canadian landscape, it is easy for the mind to drift to chillier thoughts!

Perhaps one of the fondest memories was of December 1st – the first day we officially allowed ourselves to start listening to Christmas carols! As a cat, I am not really much of a singer, but the occasional ‘meow’ and ‘purr’ I was always able to contribute!

The idea for these cards sprung from this poignant memory. We’ve made three different versions – we’d love to hear which design you like the best!

Fluffy Buys a Book at the Supermarket (New Card!)

Tonight, Heather completed a new card featuring 'yours truly'! It features me buying attempting to buy a Mouse Catching for Dummies book. As if I would ever do such a thing!

Inside text: none (blank note card)

Available in a week from

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Hunt for the Best Tuna Sandwiches in the World

Cats love Tuna.

If there are any undeniable truths out there, that's one of them. And thus, who better to ask about where to eat some of the most scrumptious tuna sandwiches on the planet...than a cat?

Our journey starts in Southern Ontario, where Heather and I went on holiday this summer. I was reintroduced to of a paw-ful of fabulous tuna-sandwich-selling restaurants and cafes all over the Greater Toronto Area. Below, I've started compiling a small list of them - be sure to check them out! (Believe me, your taste buds won't regret it!)

The Maid's Cottage
205 Main Street South, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Phone Number: (905) 954 0202
The Maid's Cottage on Canada Day
I remember when this little cafe first started out years back. It hardly had any clientele at the time, but two things it did always have - exceptional butter tarts and, you guessed it, tuna fish sandwiches. The sandwich has a two inch layer of tuna, mayonnaise, spring onion, pepper and salt served on fluffy, thick slices of bread (white or brown), with any kind of extra topping you desire. You can ask for either a half sandwich with salad or a whole sandwich, if you're particularly peckish.

The ambiance of The Maid's Cottage is also exceptional. It is reminiscent of a British tearoom, with paintings dotting the walls, old fashioned furniture, and quaint decorations on every surface. It is run by sisters Pam and Debbie.

If you want a filling and wholesome tuna sandwich in a charming setting, The Maid's Cottage is your place!

Sheena's Kitchen
357 Main, Schomberg, Ontario, Canada
Phone Number: (905) 939 4640
The outside of Sheena's
Sheena's can be found in the tiny village of Schomberg, just off of Highway 9. It is located in a large converted mill that was divided into two parts. Sheena's is on the left side of the mill while a rather cheesy looking hamburger joint is on the right. (One can imagine that Schomberg's inhabitants are judged by which restaurant they frequent!)

The tuna fish sandwich at Sheena's is quite different from the sandwich at The Maid's Cottage. If The Maid's Cottage sandwich were a runny chocolate cake, Sheena's sandwich would be more like a delicate chocolate pudding. The sandwich is smaller, the bread is much thinner, and the layer of tuna is fine, but we must remember that size isn't everything! The ingredients are all nutritious and the flavour is delectable. They use wholegrain brown bread, and you have the choice of a side soup of salad to go with your sandwich. (As a side note, the soups are incredible as well - the carrot and cheddar soup is a must-try!)

Sheena's has created both an inside and outside eating area, and has attached to the inside an expansive gift shop that sells a variety of hand crafted gift items and Canadian memorabilia. It is good not only for a filling meal, but also for getting your souvenir shopping done! Give it a try the next time you're driving along Highway 9!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Cat Has Landed

Well, the cat and the human have officially landed! Heather and I had a deliciously uneventful flight from Toronto to Birmingham, though I have to say that riding in economy class is always an adventure.

In front of us, there was a young couple travelling with their three young kids who, despite their tender age, hardly took a cat nap during the entire flight! I tell you, if I had climbed up the back of the seat and hopped around on my tray table as their little two year old had done, I would have been in my kitty carrier before you could say ‘cat’s cradle’!

It was also interesting that many of the passengers were the same people we had met on our flight over. The highlight was watching Heather do everything in her power to avoid the inebriated 40-something with red hair who had followed her around the airport two weeks before. (Thankfully, she went unnoticed!)

I must admit that it is nice to be back in Wales – I was starting to shed prematurely from the blazing 45 degree Toronto temperatures!

How I wish I could be in fur-st class!