Thursday, April 22, 2010


My cat, Sylvester, is having...issues.

Sylvester, in calmer days...

You may recall that we adopted him from a shelter at the advanced age of  11 1/2, separated from his brother, (his lifelong friend), his family and well, a piece of his sanity, apparently.  Yes, it seemed pretty cute at first that he was hiding under his little blankie, sucking his thumb. I love him more than my luggage.

So cute, right? But as the years go by, well, Sylvester just becomes more, um, neurotic.

He's always been a crier. [read: yowler.] At night, maybe it's because he was declawed by his previous owners and can't jump up high to find our other [normal] cat, Maisy, he yowls for her. "Halllloooo??  Hallllllooooooo??"

Luckily, we have a beautiful, finished garage/gym/office area where he and Maisy, sleep at night. Because if they didn't, we wouldn't sleep a wink. Maisy, who is a perfect little lady, feels this is totally unfair, since she wants nothing more than to curl up behind my knees at night and blissfully sleep tight. But, because her love, Sylvester, can't do without her, Maisy is deprived of that coziness.  
Oh, the guilt.

Lately, he's started meowing compulsively during the day. From the minute he comes in until we hold him and let him suck his little paw. Which is fine, but we can't just sit there all day and hold him. Eventually, things like dishes,  showering and going to work intervene.

Anyway, we've been searching around for ways to deal with his "issues" which only became more profound after I went back to work. We've tried leaving the tv on for him. Aside from hiking our power bill higher, it didn't help.  Now, he meows at us constantly. Simply walking past his 'spot' on the couch brings on a session of  meowing that sounds suspiciously like "Mommy?mommy?mommy?mom?mom?mom?mom?"

Nothing deters him. Nothing. Sigh. (Note: Except when I pointed a camera at him to try to catch this disturbing behavior, he  politely turned away and stopped. Hmmmm. I may be on to something here.)

So the other day, we bought this stuff that you spray on the place where he sleeps or hangs out, called Feliway Spray. Cat pheromones. And I must say, it's helped a little. I mean, every now and then, he'll settle down and relax. Look content, even.

Then...."Mommy?mommy? mom? mom? mom?"

Ideas out there? Ever had a cat like this? 
It's not us, so much, you understand, but Maisy's delicate nerves are frayed.

"Mommy? Mommy? Mom? Mom? Make him stop."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring has Sprung and Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

For me, Easter has always been about flowers, spring, the birth of new possibilities. This year, with all of our rain, our flower season has been pretty nice so far. All the trees are in bloom, the azaleas are screamingly gorgeous and all is right with the world.

This photo is a little flowering plum or cherry tree at Descanso Gardens, here in La Canada. A very wealthy publisher who had a passion for gardening and particularly for camelias, purchased this huge track of land in the early 1900s and ultimately planted the entire estate with every imaginable variety of camelia. But that's not all.

There are ponds filled with fat coy, swimming under the clouds.

And this little sweetie hoping for a handout. This goose was so cute. Such a handsome fellow. Very intent on the little girl standing a few feet above him with promises of a few more kernals of corn.

There are hiking trails and strolling trails that you can almost imagine some knight riding through. (If you squint and forget you live in L.A.)

Fern grottos....
And walking spirals...

Oh, and Camelias...
This one's for you.

Have a wonderful holiday, my friends. I hope this season brings with it all kinds of new possibilities in your life.

xoxo Barbara