Category Archives: Kitties

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Its my J in a box!!!! J in a box yeah….

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Big J on the new cat tree – hoping this saves the furniture

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Meet Little J

Little J sleeping peacefully curled up in a blanket.

From Streetcat to Charming Chompy

Yesterday, I lost my lovely little kitty Chompy. He had cancer, multiple forms, but the one that got him attacked his brain, made him confused beyond belief and took away his vision.  But the end was not who Chompy was.

Chompy loved squeezing himself into places smaller than him - he would snuggle and sleep in the top of this bed

Chompy came to me when I was living in Manhattan in the late 90s with my roommate Nona, who is very active in kitty rescue. Someone found a tiny kitten abandoned on the streets and brought him to Nona to deliver to the rescue folks.

However, this spunky little kitten (who was so tiny that he fit in one hand) thought he was a dog, ate dog food and would rough up the other 10 cats living with us, including my Harley, who was the only one who stood up to him. Following a massing set of fur flying fights, they became the best of friends. They fought, scrapped and so much more. And now, they’re up in kitty heaven together.

Chompy loves Harley

And back to Chompy.

Chompy adored hanging on my bed. Especially after washing the linens, where he would roll all over the bed, spreading his special Chompy fur (screw fabric softener).

Chompy’s name came from exactly who he was – a bit of a biter. He never broke the skin but when you would rub his belly, he would get so excited that he would grab your hand with his paws and give you a little love bite – an tiny nibble. Charming. Perfectly Chompy.

He loved chasing laser lights, getting his belly rubbed, sitting on my lap, chomping down full cans of cat food in an instant, snuggling in every which way possible (even on the hottest days of the year), being brushed (though he would attack the brush if it went on for more than three minutes), being pet and just being around me. He had a limitless love for me and everyone he met and — while he was a bit of a scaredy cat around new folks, the blender (where he might have freaked out on my brother and dug a nail into his chest) and the vacuum (which my sister and I might have chased him with causing him to become “flying Chompy”) — he loved every part of life and would greet me at the door whenever I arrived home with an excited meow.

Chompy and Harley both adored catnip. Here they are both seriously stoned after an eating bender.

As a self proclaimed kitty pot addict (aka catnip), he would eat volumes of the stuff every time I opened the container. A few times, I even caught him trying to open the container on his own (charming) and I would rub it into his fur too. Clearly I was his “dealer” enabling his addiction 🙂

He was a touch of a troublemaker too. He adored watching the pigeons that flew onto the balcony ledge. I loved watching him stalk his prey, making that little chirpy noise when a pigeon was in sight and then sprinting after them when they were not suspecting anything, and smashing his head into the balcony screen, slowly realizing he couldn’t go any further.

Chompy always got into places that I never thought he could reach. Here he is chilling in the empty closet of the apartment the day we moved in in 2008.

He’d also get into spaces where he didn’t belong, like the day we moved into the apartment in 2008. I remember I couldn’t find him for a while, thinking he got out while the movers were bringing in the last bits. But when I found him, in a classic Chompy fashion, he was just relaxing in one of  the empty closets, taking a break and settling into the new place.

Oh Chompy, I miss your handsome tuxedo-ed face. Thank you for all the time and love you gave me throughout your short life. I wish you an endless of time in heaven, pain free with all of your buddies, including Harley, Jez, Zeke, Sam and Zed. May you walk with the angels, enjoying endless fields of kitty pot and ponds of tuna water.

Dear friends and readers, please add your own memories of Chompy into the comments section below.

Chompy on the Balcony

For me, my home is really quiet without my Chompy, who was such a wonderful comfort when I lost Harley earlier this year. Miss them both quite terribly and created a little Spotify playlist as a tribute. Enjoy.

Kitties tribute – the greatest cats of all (Chompy & Harley)

Full disclosure: I have been working on Spotify’s PR team for some time now via Totally Splended (their US PR agency) and I love building playlists. Hope you enjoy this one.

Heavenly Harley – a Tribute

A week ago today, I let go of my lovely little kitty Harley. She was my family, my companion for almost 14 years and lived a long, wonderful life (plus nine years with three other families).

Here's the earliest picture of Harley I found during a flip through some old photos. She has always been a princess, sitting on her throne ...

Harley came to me in the spring of ’97. My roommate at the time had just adopted a kitten (that he returned by the end of the weekend!) and I came home with Harley – adopted from friends of the family. She saw me through four apartments, five jobs, many bouts with bronchitis and a load of holidays.

This little kitty cat was my family and taught me many things, including:

Being present is the most important thing: Harley was not a cuddle cat. She hated being held and only let me when I also let her lick my cup of ice cream.

Random photo of Harley - always the watchful one.

But anytime I was sick, sad or injured, she sat right next to me and just watched with a light purr and a slight snuggle to my legs. With anyone she knew, she’d do the same. Like the time my brother cut his finger badly at Thanksgiving. He laid on the floor and she sat next to him. Just watching. Making sure he was okay.  No words, purrs or meows needed. The most important thing is just being there in a time of need.

Life is more important: This probably should read Harley is more important. Sometimes, we all get wrapped up in what we’re doing. Focused on working, watching TV, cooking dinner, talking on the phone, playing a game,

Harley - always angling for attention, no matter what I was doing. She was always more important.

etc. Harley was the best interrupter. If I worked too long on my laptop, she’d climb up the chair and onto my desk, stopping me from over focusing. She’d come sit near me when I was on the phone or wake me up when I overslept (I miss my little alarm clock). No matter what, life for Harley was more important than the task at hand.

 

Always say hello and goodbye: it’s an odd habit but I always greet my kitties when I walk in the house and say goodbye when I headed out. They seem to behave better that way.

 

 

 

Enjoy the simple things: Just like a little kid, Harley’s favorite place to sleep

Harley in a box - Summer 2009

was either in a box or on my bed. No fancy kitty beds needed, simpler was better. She also almost never played with any fancy toy – just the little jingle balls and she loved the laser light too. Whatever brought her joy was simple and at a minimal or no cost. I should practice that more often too.

How about you? What have you learned from your family? Your pet?

I do miss Harley more than I can explain and I’m grateful to have Chompy (who has been relatively patient with the nightly crying jags!). Yes,  it’ll get easier with time,  yes, she had along full life but I still miss her quiet confidence and calm reassurance whenever I needed a little boost.

May you walk with the angels Harley.

Harley - always the beauty queen.

A Year of Home Ownership

Balcony, originally uploaded by MinorlyObsessed.

A year ago today, I moved into my apartment – the first piece of real estate I purchased. It has been an eventful year and I have to say, I’m a bit obsessed with my apartment and especially the balcony (pictured! that hammock chair is a little bit of heaven in Queens).

Boxes Everywhere with Crazy Kitties

But back to moving in. A year ago today, I was surrounded by about 30 boxes, barely knew where my clothes were and my cats were being insane. Chompy hid in the closet (I still have no idea how he got on the top shelf!) and Harley kept trying to run away. A year later, there is still one box that has yet to be unpacked (the box I never unpacked at my old apartment, where I lived for more than 10 years) but I’ve settled in. The cats haven’t changed at all. Chompy still hides in the closets and Harley tries to run away but just struts down the hall about 20 feet and comes back (typically).

Balcony Oasis

When I moved in, my balcony was covered in dust from the plaster/sanding work in the apartment. Seating was scarce – my dining room chairs were the only chairs out there. Today, I have a hammock swing, four other chairs, a table and a bench. Plus, I’ve been growing tomatoes and just found that I have four more coming in – awesome! I’ll have to figure out next how to grow tomatoes indoors during the winter because I’ve only gotten TWO tomatoes out of the eight plants I have out there. The tomatoes were, quite possibly, the tastiest I’ve ever had in my life. I guess there is something to be said for growing your own – and truly tasting sweet success.

Beige to Brighter Beige

When I moved in, my walls were still being painted by my friend’s fabulous painter, Luis. He did an amazing job transforming the red and green adjoining walls into a smooth, creamy beige. The walls still look great and my neutral, beige, beige and beige walls (yes, I selected three shades of beige for different areas in the apartment) are now covered in artwork (click through to see some of it in my “Home” set of photos on Flickr), including 10 pieces by my Uncle, Peter Davis (shhh – don’t tell him – I think it might be a secret that I have them!). Next week, I’m having a building painter come over to repair the ceiling because a pipe burst two floors above me. It’ll be good to have my perfect ceiling restored back to the flawless condition created by Luis.

Dozens of Parties

Less than a month after I moved in, I hosted my first dinner party on Thanksgiving. To get the space cleared, I had to shove a few boxes into my bedroom and couldn’t walk to the windows on the far side of the bed because of the mass of boxes. Since then, I’ve hosted a holiday party (complete with tree, kids party and adults party), wine club (plus a sake tasting), Easter dinner for 16 (and thanks again to D&R plus A&G for the extra table, which is being stored under my bed!), Mother’s Day brunch, a few other brunches and just had a dozen friends over a week or so ago to celebrate the anniversary of closing on the apartment (and taking on more debt than I’ve ever had in my life!).

SO, what’s next. Hard to tell but I’m looking forward to making more great memories here with my friends and family.

Please join me in toasting to a year of home ownership.

Cheers!

PS – thanks to Z&L (plus C&E) for the Raymond reserve cab. When I received this at the holiday party, L told me to drink it on a special occasion. I do believe that tonight is an occasion special enough for it. The first sip was just lovely and it’s getting better with each taste. Decanting the rest in my favorite decantor – the one from Mom & Dad – it’s fantastic and then it’s off the the balcony for me….