Friday, 30 September 2011

Cat News Friday - "Two-Face" in the World of Cat, not Bat

We're all familiar with the evil villain Two-Face in the Batman series. Fans and experts on the series say that his double expression is not only the physical manifestation of his inner ugliness, but also of the good within. 

Unfortunately, the scarred, deformed side of his face is the aspect which we all notice the most. In short, his physical deformity automatically slots him into the category of "undesirable" or "bad guy."

In the real world, the same sort of discrimination almost ended the life of little "Frank and Louis," the cat with two faces.

Vets were ready to euthanize him when Marty Stevens, his current owner, saved him from his dreadful fate. Now, twelve years later, "Frank and Louis" is still going strong, taking long walks on a leash with his owner, riding in the car, and seeking affection from everyone he meets. 

Two-faced cats are born with a disease called "Janus condition." In most cases, Janus kittens hardly live more than a few days. Frank and Louis proved to be the exception to this rule, and his love for life makes his case all the more extraordinary. 

We are so happy that this special kitty was given a second chance at life. Frank and Louis' case proves to us that appearance isn't everything, and that a strong desire to live and enjoy life is enough to conquer any physical defect! 

Story and images courtesy of: CBS News

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday with Theo and Jasmine - Pizza Party

Everyone loves a pizza party, to no exclusion of cats!

A few days ago, we attended just such a party held by our new neighbour, Marcela. She invited us first for an aperitif, which would then be followed by no less than five delicious pizzas from the local pizzeria!

The table filled with aperitifs before the arrival of our pizzas!

As soon as I started to smell the sweet perfume of anchovies wafting out of Heather's pizza box, I knew that it was going to be hard to resist my inner pilfering tendency.

Marcela's cat companion, Theo, it seems, was on the very same wavelength.

I am on the counter becaaause...(okay, think of a good excuse, quick!)

They won't notice that there's one less anchovy on the pizza, now will they?

"Innocence" is my middle name. *smacks lips*

Jasmine, Theo's sister, was slightly more artful than her brother... 

I'm white. The fridge is white. My camouflage strategy is genius!
Cursing codfish, I've been spotted! Time for plan B...

Much to our dismay, after two or three attempts on the anchovy pizza, we were unjustly sent out of the kitchen, into the bedroom. What did they expect?! We were invited to the pizza party too, mew know! 

The delicious smells of pizza continued to penetrate the crack under the bedroom door as we sat and pined for an escape route. I was starting to doubt that this was actually a pizza PARTY. It was more like a torture session!

I can't take it anymore! Even my eyes are starting to glaze over from the hunger!

And then, it happened. Heather appeared out of nowhere and gave us a fat, juicy anchovy each, plus a pat on the head for good measure.

Ahh. I suppose this is where Shakespeare would say "all's well that ends well."

Goodbye, Theo and Jasmine...until the next pizza party! 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Fluffy's Sunday Award

Sunday is usually our day off, but since we were so fortunate to receive a second award, this time from Hannah and Lucy, we couldn't help but show it off!

We believe the writing translates into "Prize - Brilliant flashes in the blue sky." The award asks you to describe what you wish for most in this world.

What do we wish for, you ask?

Our desire is quite modest, actually. We simply hope that things continue to be as good as they have been for us over the past few months. We live in happy apartment building with lovely neighbours. Our business is slowly taking off. Everyone is healthy. Despite the crisis, we always have food on the table, and a roof over our heads. That is much more than can be said for many people and cats.

As such, we also wish that our happiness could somehow reach those who are currently going through a difficult time.

After all, what better wish is there than a wish that encourages the happiness and well being of others? 

Goodnight everyone, and have a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Caturday Cards - Run off our feet and paws!

All I can say is thank goodness Heather wasn't called back to work this week!

On Tuesday morning, we finally received our cards from the printer. 1500 cards to fold, package and seal. If you want an idea of just how chaotic our dining room looked upon their arrival, take a peek at the picture below...

To speed up the packaging process, last night we created a little assembly line.

Mamma F took on the folding while Heather's boyfriend, Matti, did the packaging. Heather sealed each package with our label, and I sat on top of the envelope boxes, making sure that everyone in the assembly line was being efficient. (It goes without saying that I had the toughest job!) 

Can you believe it's been three days and we're not even half way done? We now have a real appreciation for those who work on assembly lines on a daily basis. 

In other news, our first card stand was put on display on Tuesday at Bianconiglio!

The owner of the shop, H, told us that we have already sold three cards (see below). We can't help but wonder who they'll be going to... :-)


The two cards we would like to share with you this week were inspired by Matti's twelve year old niece Alice, who does professional gymnastics. We hope you like them! Mew!

Alice can do all these things!
This is my little cousin! She hasn't been named yet. Can any of you think of a good name for her? :)

Don't forget that next Caturday is the first Caturday of the month of October. And you know what that means - contest time! It should be fun, so be sure to drop by! =^..^=

Have a great weekend, one and all!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Cat News Friday - Bunny Rescues Newborn Kittens

When newborn kittens suddenly find themselves without a mother, what do they do?

The laws of nature would probably dictate that they didn't have a chance. 

However, sometimes, Mother Nature flips the natural order of things on its head, as in the case of this miraculous story about Miss California, a bunny rabbit who adopted a litter of six 10-day old kittens after their mother was fatally wounded by a gunshot.

It has been a big challenge for Miss California, as her two baby rabbits only need milk once every 10 to 12 hours, while kittens need to be fed every five. When Miss California cannot manage on her own, her owners Dave and Ruth Chamberlain step in and bottle-feed the kittens

According to Dave, Miss California has been unusually protective of her new babies. She will become aggressive if anyone or anything tries to interfere with their feeding time. While cases involving cats nursing baby rabbits have been documented in the past, this is one of the first cases involving a rabbit mother taking care of abandoned kittens. 

The Chamberlain's hope is to find a nursing cat mother who could feed the kittens, or as Dave calls them, "the miracle babies". They are in need of at least another two weeks of breastfeeding before they can start feeding themselves.

And just what are Dave and Ruth planning to do with the little ones once they are independent?

Well, here's the happy end to this already amazing story.

They plan to keep them

Images and story courtesy of CBC:

(Visit the above link to see an adorable video of Miss California feeding the mini moggies!)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

(Sort of) Wordless Wednesday - Angel Tchai and Thank You to Brian!

Angel Tchai in her favourite hiding place. (Behind the TV set!)

This Wordless Wednesday post had to become a little bit wordy, because we want to say a big thank you to Brian and his furry family for their "You are an Inspiration Award"! The award goes to new(ish) bloggers who have inspired a community - in this case, the cat community! 

We actually don't really know who is new or seasoned in this world of cats we have so happily joined, so I hesitate to give this award specifically to new bloggers. However, there are two writers I do find inspirational!

The first is Beaded Tail. Being small business owners ourselves, we can really appreciate Sharla, her two cats Angel and Isabella, and her dog Sadie and the hard work they put into their beautiful Etsy shop. They always have intriguing and humorous stories to tell, and beautiful places to show us on their walks around the neighbourhood. 

The second is Whisker Messages From A Church Cat written by Father Tom and his mom J.R. Mackenzie. Tom and his mom have a real flair for poetry and verse. There has never been a time that we've visited their blog and haven't laughed! Soon, they will be releasing a book called A Temptation Tale. We can't wait to get our paws on it! 

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tuesday Travels - Trip to the Cinque Terre

Have you ever seen the film "Only You"? 

It is probably one of my favourite movies, not for the acting or the plot, but for the magnificent shots of the Italian Amalfi Coast, with its sharp cliffs that cut deep into frothy sapphire depths and steep hillside towns whose brilliantly coloured houses recall an artist's palette. 

I remember that the day after I first saw the movie, at the age of 11, I picked up an old shoebox from the basement, cut a hole in the top, and stuck a loo roll tube inside. I dubbed my shoebox the "Let's get Heather to Italy piggy bank". I'm pretty sure the shoebox only ever saw a few pennies, but the idea of one day living in Italy was firmly implanted in my mind with its creation. 

Now that I've been here for three years, the novelty of living in Italy has slightly worn off. However, there are some places that will never lose their charm for me. One of those places is the Cinque Terre National Park. 

Manarolo, the second city on the Sentiero Azzurro

You could almost call the Cinque Terre the little sister of the Amalfi Coast. It is a series of five towns on the Italian Riviera - Riomaggiore, Manarolo, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare - all of which are connected by a mountain passage called the "Sentiero Azzurro" that increases in difficulty the further you walk. 

My goals during my two day stay at the Cinque Terre were to complete the 10 km walk, eat a plate of top quality seafood, and photograph as many beautiful things as possible, with Cinque Terre cats being a number one priority, of course!

Riomaggiore on a sunny day

The first stop was Riomaggiore, the town which is linked to Manarolo by the simple "Via Dell'Amore" ("Love Walk"). It is so called because lovers leave locks inscribed with their initials on fences all the way along the path. 

While the Love Walk was easy, I found myself completely unprepared for the scorching sun. There wasn't a cat in sight either, but I didn't mind. The spectacular scenery was enough to keep me busy!

A lock on the fence (Via dell'Amore)

The next stop was Manarolo. I didn't stay long because it was nearly one o'clock and the heat was starting to overwhelm me. Besides, my Bed and Breakfast was in Corniglia, the next town along the line, and I knew that reaching Corniglia was going to be a challenge in itself. Why, you might ask? Well, Corniglia is located on a high hill, and can only be reached by foot via 368 stairs to the top! 

The stairs leading up to Corniglia. So tired!!
By that time, it was starting to get late, so I knew that it was time to grab some dinner and take in the delights of this quaint town. A mouthwatering anchovy pizza, a reddish fruit cocktail, and live jazz music in the town square were three pleasures of that evening I'll never forget!

As I trotted down to the seafront just before bedtime, I also came face to face with the first Italan cat of many that I would encounter. Here she is, giving herself a good scratch!

The first Cinque Terre kitty sighting!
At the crack of dawn the next day, I set off in the direction of Vernazza, feeling like a bona fide hiker with the world at her fingertips. This part of the walk was by far the most beautiful. Having left so early, the air was cool and sweet, and I was able to see the sun rise over the water and towns, its golden rays highlighting every nook and cranny along the coast. 

The sun rising over Corniglia

Arrival in the town of Vernazza after 1.5 hours
of cliff walking
It was well worth the hour and a half of hard walking to get to Vernazza. This town, besides being the most beautiful out of all five towns in the Cinque Terre, was overflowing with furry felines!

A shy moggie who didn't really want anything to do with tourists

A sleeping moggie. Her house overlooks the sea!

A moggie mum in the town centre. She was watching
over her kittens. They disappeared before I could take
a photo of them.

A mancat on a mission, near the Vernazza church.

A sweet moggie hoping that the door will open, and dinner will be announced!
Isn't Vernazza breathtaking? What lucky cats to live in such a place!
Sadly, I have to admit that the last leg of the journey, I completed by train. I would have walked to Riomaggiore by foot, but the sun was already too intense, and I didn't feel comfortable doing an extremely steep two hour walk on my own. I still managed to enjoy the rest of the day, however! I travelled to Porto Venere by boat, ate lobster on the sea front, and bought a beautiful painting for my mum. Before I knew it, the day was drawing to a close, and it was almost time to catch the train home. 

Snoozing moggie in Porto Venere 
A dove showing us the Porto Venere harbour 
My lobster dish! Mmm!
Porto Venere from the boat
The Cinque Terre is the first little piece of Italian coast I've been able to experience so far, and it lived up to every expectation. My dream for 2011 is to finally make it down to the Amalfi coast and follow the path which the characters in Only You followed. If it happens, you'll know about it here first! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Caturday Cards - The Budding Business and New Cards

Mrrraow, everyone! Fluffy here!

While we wait for Heather to receive a job confirmation call from the nursery school (her place of work), we have been investing all our time and energy into producing, printing and promoting our greeting cards here in Turin.

Our local printer has promised to have 1500 of our cards printed and packaged for us by this afternoon (!!), and our friend H, who runs the local "cartolibreria" (book and stationary shop in Italian) Bianconiglio, has agreed to put our cards up on a sale or return basis. 

It'll be such an emotional experience seeing our cards up on a card rack for the first time! 

What's more, we've also started to make bookmarks out of our Monday Moggy Mewsings comic! We are thinking we might take them to a few bookstores, both new and second-hand, pet stores, and stationary stores. Do you like how they turned out?

This week, I have two new cards to share with you, both which have an anniversary theme!

This is my cat mummy and daddy, celebrating 25 years of love and happiness together (with the occasional cat fight!) By the way, those are 25 cat years and not 25 human years!

And here I am, dancing the swing with my bootiful cat girl Molly! I asked Heather why the whiskers she included a nosy little mouse in our romantic card. She didn't have a good answer for me. Mew!

These two cards can be adjusted to fit the number of years the happy couple has been together. And of course, from every sale, we give 10% to Cat's Protection!

We hope you've enjoyed our new selection of cards. Have a relaxing weekend, everyone, and see you on Moggy Mewsings Monday!