Vi-bris-sa

One of the stiff hairs that are located about the nostrils in many mammals.

My kitty cat’s lips are studded with vibrissae

That tickle my face while he gives me a kiss-e.

And if my chance on the floor I spy a lone vibrissa

A jar awaits to collects its fate.

It won’t be missed—just one of twenty-eight!

^. .^

A Milestone

Ebi “Sweetels” Davis  

After a five-year heroic struggle with kidney disease, Ebi died peacefully, surrounded by her two guardians. She was 21 years old (109 in cat years). She choose to make her transition from here to there on the summer solstice.

Ebi spent her kittenhood in a beautiful old Victorian hotel in downtown Napa with her three siblings. It was a stimulating environment with lots of comings and goings of humans and animals. She was interested in anything and everything would make her happy. She would purr at the drop of a hat! From Napa she and her brother Uni moved to the city of San Francisco. It was there she spent the remainder of her life.

Ebi loved being the center of attention. She would have preferred the role of Queen of the new household, but settled for Princess instead. Until his death 5 years ago, Ebi was ruled by her brother Uni, who was King. Luckily for her, she finally was elevated to Queen, and ruled with a firm but gentle hand her 2 young cat housemates.

Ebi was well known for her gentle, loving nature. She was especially fond of dogs and tuna fish. Later in her life she acquired a taste for the outdoors and would demand weekly excursions down the stairs to sit by the pond or roll in the grass. She considered herself a pacifist and also a feminist. When not gazing out the window at birds or sunbathing in the late afternoons, she dabbled in the art of haiku poetry writing—a homage to her Asian background.

Ebi never had any formal training, yet mastered two-paw massage. Her speciality was abdominal and cranial techniques. She kept up her practice well into her old age, even trying to engage her two young cat housemates, but to no avail.

She is survived by her two guardians and housemates, Luna and Gaia. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the San Francisco SPCA.

CraZy 4 KatZ? U Betcha!

Yes, I’m passionate about cats!

Does that make me a crazy cat lady? I don’t think so. I’m happily married—no children, just 3 cats. I am not a cat hoarder, 3 is enough, thank you very much. But, I do have this unusual and profound relationship with these most beautiful of all creatures.

This relationship, which some might call an obsession, has always been a part of me. Even when I was a baby, my little hand grabbed out, reaching for that passing feline. Why do we like what we like anyway? I think this thing for cats is just part of my DNA!

Maybe there are paw prints embedded into my DNA, because life orbiting around cats started very early. When I was about four, my first kitty love was Tiger, a husky male shelter cat. Tiger’s feline presence became the CATalyst, setting into motion a human/feline physic bond, which unfolded into years of kittens and cats in my life (probably about fifteen, and counting). At one point I realize my sense of being was glued to cats, so life without a cat was not an option! And besides, my cat was never just a cat, my cat was much more.

And how much these cats added!, enriching my journey; from little girl, to adolescent, and then, to busy adult.

A CAT had been a close friend; when I had none. In particular, during those pre-adolescent years in rural California, when summers seemed to go on and on. I would dress him up in handmade attire and sing to him while he lounged. And every now and then he would open an eye, to show me he was still paying attention.

A CAT was my lover; when my lover was absent. She knew when I was lonely or sad, and would place her warm and purring body on my chest, while gazing reassuringly into my eyes.

A CAT, that ancient creature, was my first sage; initiating me into the realms of mysticism with: a cat is just a cat and that is that! Oh my guru, my cat, set me onto the path of spiritual awakening! Another gem from my cat guru: just this and just now. This one enabled me later to take up the teaching of the Buddha. And, saving the best for last, the wisest of all the teaching of all felines; do nothing, then rest afterwards!

A CAT has been my muse; when I began painting in earnest. When I was a young artist I struggled for a direction, a theme in my art. In an epiphany, I knew I had to paint what I loved the most, and she was sitting right near me, my beloved cat!

And now, to the present, a trio of loves: Ebi, Luna, and Gaia!

And it so happens to be at this time, Gaia has offered up his specialness with . . .

A CAT enabling me to refocus; when I was adrift. And I was adrift. Then Gaia magically offered up his ultra soft hair. His hair soon became an essential part of my fledging jewelry endeavor. It had the effect of reconnecting me, a second time, with two things I love dearly: making art and loving cats, resulting into a new form: cat hair jewelry!

Gaia guarding the “pearls


Full Flavor Bouquet*

Today is your BIRTHDAY! and a Happy Birthday to YOU Gaia! 

Gaia has reached his prime, his most deliciousness, for today, April 16, Gaia is four years old! and, as Ragamuffins go, Mr. kitty kat is all grown up!

Baby Gaia. His eyes not yet open.

Such a awkward and adorable little kitten!

A wild adolescent, and not even four months old!

Gaia’s beauty shot at ten months, and what a big stud tail!

>”<    Now, here he is today, at his full flavor bouquet!    >”<

And, what does Gaia want for his birthday? Dried salmon treats? No. In fact, there is no special food that he would even consider having. He is not into food. What he does want is play. Play, play, and more play, as well as going out into the hall, a very favorite past time, in particular right before we go to bed, as we brush our teeth—this is the time he likes to do the hall thing—one last time for the road! so to speak, right before beddy-bye-time.

* When ice cream is at its most delicious, soft and creamy, after having been left out of the refrigerator, for at least one hour. Haagen dazs would advertise on the container to eat their ice cream in such a way. And so, as with Gaia, after four years of gradual maturing, is at his most deliciousness, and, will only get more delicious as time moves forward!

Biscuits & PURRS

Or, that kneading thing cats do with their paws!

What IS he doing anyway?

We like to say he is making biscuits for our breakfast. Or, is he kneading dough, only to surprise us later with freshly baked raisin bread? What a clever boy! Hmm, only, we have never tasted the biscuits nor the bread. Oh well, I love watching him to his thing, purring sweetly too, and who knows, someday he may surprise us, in the middle of the night? with oven fresh croissants? That will be the day!

Count Down . . . 25 Days . . . then Gaia and Flora’s segment airs on Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats !

> ‘ ‘ <

“Like a Cat Scratch on Sunburn”

Tattoo artist Jeremy’s response to what needling my tattoo would feel like.

Yes, I got a tattoo. It took me a year to figure out what I wanted, and no time where I wanted it. I wanted to cover up a scar on my leg, or rather a hole; a hole carved by my father to remove a boil when I was 9. He was a jack-of-all trades, but surgeon, no way!

This is my second tattoo. I got my first thirty years ago on my birthday and I never thought I would get another one. What is funny, this one is very much like my first one.

I am a cat-a-holic! And, one of the zillions of things I love about cats is their paws.

Count Down . . . 39 Days . . . until Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats !

A bunch of those paws with lovely pink pads

This happens to be the same place I got my tattoo 30 years ago in San Francisco.

Jeremy inking cat paw number two. This one is on top of my scar.

The finished product! I can’t wait to show it off!

Unfortunately, Jeremy would not take felted cat orbs as payment!

The Grooming Session

Gaia enjoys being brushed. 

Not every cat takes to the brush. Some will swat the brush. With others, you cannot even come near with a brush, they see it and run. Or, you can brush the head, chest and back, BUT do not touch my underbelly and stay away from my HINEY!

Gaia, on the other hand, more than tolerates our grooming sessions. Maybe because he loves to groom himself. Or, could it be, he has what I refer to as “the Orange Gene,” a highly friendly and calm quality found in cats with orange hair?

Yet, every two weeks I brush out his undercoat and go on matt patrol. I love grooming Gaia. I do this on the bed, a favorite spot of his, where it is easy for him to lie on his back with legs spread, allowing me access to that soft belly hair. This is a mutual project. As I groom him, he grooms himself as well as grooms my hand, when it is near his raspy tongue.

And what wonderfully soft and silky hair! which is set aside for future jewelry projects.

Count Down . . . 51 Days . . . until Must Love Cats on  April 7th !

After the grooming session

A mound of wispy, soft hair