Fine Art Felines Friday: Paris Through the Window by Marc Chagall

Paris Through the Window (1913)

Paris Through the Window (1913)

Today’s short and sweet Fine Art Felines post features the painting “Paris Through the Window” by the Russian (and later French) Jewish artist Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985).   Painted in 1913 after Chagall moved to Paris, this painting portrays the draw of Paris to all types of artists who flocked to the city in the early 1900’s.  Chagall was an “early modernist”, and in this piece experiments with a cubist style.  What I really love about this painting is the color juxtaposition: a rainbow of colors on the window frame that produces an almost prismatic effect upon the city amidst an otherwise brown and drab landscape.  I like to think that perhaps Chagall, in looking out his window at the city, was able to imagine all the possibilities that were in front of him – kind of like looking at the world through “rose-colored glasses”.  And of course, having a colorful cat to help you dream is an integral part of that visualization!  I’m not sure what is up with the human face on the cat, but if Chagall was anything like many of the cat lovers I know (including myself), we often anthropomorphize our kitties, giving them very human-like personalities layered upon their feline souls.

Regardless, this painting makes me happy.  How lucky would we be if we could all see such color outside our own windows of reality?

When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is”. — Pablo Picasso

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

By Robert Herrick, 15911674

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Find a Penny, Pick Her Up…(You Know the Rest, Right?)

Penny has dazzling green eyes, and is looking for her forever home!

Penny has dazzling green eyes, and is looking for her forever home!

As you may know, I’ve been trying to promote adoptions for some fantastic cats that I know through Fuzzy Undertones.  I like to think of it as a kind of “cat adoption hit-list”, if you will.  Last month, I posted about my favorite tuxedoed polydactyl cat, Bandit, who is up for adoption at Furry Friends, a no-kill cat rescue organization here in Vancouver, WA.  I’m hoping that we’ve got something in the works for Bandit and one of his admirers, so keep your fingers crossed (Bandit is keeping several of his bonus-toes crossed as well).  I will keep you updated on any adoption activity with Bandit, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, this month I’d like to share with you a lovely cat by the name of Penny.  She’s about six years old (born June 2008) and lived as an indoor cat with an elderly woman for the past four years.  Unfortunately, her human companion had to go into a medical facility, and her neighbor took responsibility for Penny.  Also unfortunately, the apartment complex told the neighbor that he could not keep Penny, so she was brought to Furry Friends so that they could help her find a forever home.  And since I volunteer with Furry Friends, I thought I’d offer my assistance by sharing with you some wonderful things about Penny.

Interesting facts about Penny

  • Penny is an orange tabby!  There are four orange male tabbies for every female, so this makes Penny somewhat rare and special.
  • There are a lot of famous orange cats, and I’d like to make Penny Internet-famous too!  Some famous ginger cats are: Garfield, Morris the Cat, Jones from the movie “Alien”, and Orangey, who starred with Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” in 1961.  Can you think of any others?
  • Penny loves to perch up on high shelves and observe the world from above, but she will come down when tempted with petting and scritches from her beloved human friends!
Penny really does love hugs and affection!

Penny really does love hugs and affection!

You can tell that Penny was mighty attached to her long-time human companion.  Penny is eager to receive petting and brushing, and will demand to sit in your lap for full-body pets (in fact, when I was sitting down on the floor today taking pictures of her she jumped into my lap and immediately started making muffins (aka “happy paws”) on my tummy.  I know I’m soft, but hey…).  She is quick to purr, and gets along well with the other kitties that she is currently rooming with.  She’s current on her shots, doesn’t have any special medical needs, and is ready to fit into a home with anyone who can give her lots of love and affection!  Take a look at that sweet sweet face – you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t benefit from having this lovely girl in your life!  If you are interested in finding out more about Penny, you can ask me any question with a comment below, visit the Furry Friends website, and/or see Penny’s listing on Petfinder.com.  Or, share this post – you might have a friend who needs a furry companion like Penny! ❤ ❤ ❤

 

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~~~~~~~~ Update!!! ~~~~~~~~

Penny has been adopted!  She went to her new Forever Home on September 6, and I’m sure that she is making a lovely companion for her new guardians.  If I receive any updates, I will post them here – I am so happy for Penny and her new guardians!  ❤

~~~~~~~~ Update 2!!! ~~~~~~~~

Rebecca, Penny’s new guardian, sent us a quick update.  Penny is doing great, and Rebecca reports that she is a super sweet, special kitty!  I am so happy that Penny is in a loving family with a guardian who recognizes the wonderful being that Penny is ❤

Penny, comfortable and cozy in her new home!

Penny, comfortable and cozy in her new home!

Summer Travels Part 1: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Edition

Holy schnikies!  It’s August already, and here I am, having fallen behind on posting.  I have no idea where this summer has gone, although I know where I’ve gone, and those places have been many, far and wide.  It has been a great summer, aside from that whole having to work thing that I’ve got going on right now.  I love going on vacations, and traveling with my Fuzzy Huzby is always an adventure!  And since I’m a little behind, I think I’m going to do mostly a pictorial post today about some of our summer travels.

First up was the family reunion that we went to in Durango, Colorado.  Every couple of years or so, my dad’s side of the family (the Koski’s) get together for schmoozin’ and boozin’.  This summer, my Uncle Paul and Aunt Renee, who live in Nucla, Colorado, picked Durango for our clan’s gathering.  It was a short weekend, but Chris and I packed in a lot of action and adventure!

Everyone who made it to Koski-palooza 2013.

Everyone who made it to Koski-palooza 2013.

Saturday: Mesa Verde National Park

Chris and I grabbed our cousin Heidi and spent Saturday climbing all over the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, just outside of Durango.  First we took the Balcony House tour, where we had to climb up ladders and go through tight tunnels.  Then we toured Cliff Palace.  Both sites were amazing, but for me, a highlight was letting my big nerd self buy the “Explorer” edition of the National Park Passport and getting a couple of Mesa Verde stamp cancellations!!!  Woo hoooooo!!!  (Also, I might have purchased ALL yearly stamp collections from 1986 to the present.  Also, I might have the Passport App on my iPhone.  Also, I might have a problem with being too obsessive about this whole thing.)

Sunday: Narrow-Gauge Train to Silverton

The next day, the whole family took the historic narrow-gauge train from Durango to Silverton, which largely followed the Animas River between the two towns.  It’s about a 2.5 hour ride each way, so I occupied my time taking selfies with various people, drinking smuggled Fireball Whiskey with my cousins on the DL, and enjoying the fresh air (which was nicely flavored with freshly burned coal from the steam engine, cough cough cough).  Want to see some pictures?  Great!  I have some!

It was a really enjoyable trip, but I must say, it was way too short.  I feel like I didn’t really get a chance to talk with many people, other than the usual pleasantries and quick updates.  I did spend some time hanging out with my Aunt Tje, which was great because I think we’re both somewhat introverted and share some things in common.  And, it was really awesome hanging out with my cousin Heidi for the day – I love that she’s grown into such a smart, fun and laid-back young woman!  Colorado, and especially Durango, is a beautiful place and I realized that I do miss that landscape.  Another successful family reunion…check!

I will Literally FIGHT to Photograph the Empire Builders!

DSC00348_transparentI am so proud of my husby, Christopher.  As a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, he plays in the 234th Army Band throughout the year.  But for two weeks every summer, he leaves with the army band on tour, playing free concerts for the public all over Oregon.  He has been away for about ten days, but I was able to drive down to Salem to see the concert band (a.k.a. The Empire Builders) perform at the Historic Grand Theatre.  Chris said that this was the best concert the army band has put on since he has been in the National Guard, so I wanted to make sure that I got to see it!  Chris’ principle instrument is the oboe, but he’s just as good on saxophone, and he often plays percussion or other instruments (but he can play nearly any band instrument you throw at him).

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The theme was “Heroes and Villains”, and they performed lots of popular songs, including pieces from Superman, Frozen, Les Miserables, and Godzilla (which featured a story-line slide show that played as the band told the story of how Godzilla attacked Las Vegas, which was ultimately saved by multiple Elvi armed with various types of weaponry).

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That was all great, but I was mostly excited about the show because this year, Chris has moved into a conducting position and I wanted to see him do what he does best!  He loves conducting, and I think it has been really exciting for him to move into another position and take on new challenges.

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My favorite piece of the show was The Padstow Lifeboat March…I’m a big fan of marches in general.  This piece was unique to me, though, because I could really visualize the waves getting bigger and the wind picking up…the song really told a story, to me!  And, it was entertaining as well – every time the fog-horn sounded, Chris emphasized the horns by doing something exaggerated (like in the picture above).  The audience laughed a lot! Want to hear The Padstow Lifeboat March by Sir Malcolm Arnold?  Click HERE and hit “Play Song”!

NoPaparazziWell, you probably want to hear about this FIGHT that almost went down, huh?  I was sitting in the balcony with a couple of friends, and I had my camera so that I could take some pictures of Chris as he conducted.  About the third song in, I get this insistent tap on my shoulder and I turn around, and there’s this old lady who rudely commanded to me “DON’T DO THAT”.  What???  It’s a free concert!  There was absolutely no ban on photography!  Further, my husband, who had been gone from his family for 10 days, did so in order to play free concerts for the public, for her!!!  I gave her a death stare, and took a couple more pictures.   I didn’t know exactly what was bothering her (I wasn’t using a flash), but I thought maybe it was the screen on my camera…but there were other people around me taking pictures with their iPhones, which also had screens.  I tried taking some pictures without the screen on, just using the view-finder, but that didn’t work well, so I got up and took more pictures from the side of the balcony.  The whole rest of the show I was stewing, thinking about all the things I was going to say to that lady if she pestered me again!  Seriously, I really try to be kind and considerate to people, but it seems like there is always someone yelling at me and telling me what I can and can’t do.  No wonder I don’t like being around crowds of strangers!  Sheesh…well, she got up and left immediately after the show ended and didn’t say anything else to me.  But I tell you what…things were about to get REAL in up in that balcony!  If my roller derby experience has taught me anything, it’s taught me how to hit a bitch, so look out, and don’t tell ME not to take pictures!

I mean, seriously, if I didn’t take pictures, this post would be much less entertaining, right?  😉

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Meet Bandit: He wants to steal your heart!

Bandit is looking for his forever home!

Bandit is looking for his forever home!

I haven’t written much about the volunteer work that I do, but since I’ve gotten to know the cats and people at Furry Friends, I’ve decided to let the cat out of the proverbial bag.  Furry Friends is a no-kill non-profit cat rescue organization in Vancouver, WA, that houses and fosters cats that need to be adopted.  I volunteer every Sunday morning, helping to clean up the “halfway house” and socializing with the cats.  Some of the cats have been at the halfway house for a long time, but they are all looking for their forever homes.  I’ve decided (and I hope with the blessing of Furry Friends) to occasionally highlight some of the current halfway house residents to help these sweet kitties find the human companions that they need and deserve.

With that, today’s lucky kitty is BANDIT!  Bandit will run away with your heart if you let him, because this little tuxedo is a charmer.  I chose to highlight Bandit because he is such a sweetie and he needs to be adopted by someone who loves to give and receive affection.  A couple of things about Bandit: first, he has been in the halfway house since March of 2014.  He is neutered, and was born in December of 2007, which makes him almost 7 years old.  He does have a limp in his front left leg caused by arthritis, for which he is taking cosequin (a joint supplement).  Here are a few PAWESOME things about Bandit:

  • Bandit is polydactyl and has bonus toes!

    Bandit is polydactyl and has bonus toes!

    Bandit is POLYDACTYL!  That means that he has bonus toes on all of his feet.  Ernest Hemingway had so many polydactyl cats at his house (which are still there, btw) that sometimes polydactyl cats are known as Hemingway cats.  They are also said to be good luck at sea!  You can read more about the amazingness of polydactyl cats here.

  • Bandit was relinquished to Furry Friends because his former companion became ill and could no longer take care of him and his siblings.  He has always been an indoor cat.
  • Bandit loves to snuggle in your lap!  He will hop up in your lap and insta-purrrrrr, and especially loves to be scritched behind the ears.
  • Bandit loves to play, but really just wants a companion to give affection to, and who wants to return the attention.  He’s super mellow and snuggly!

Here are some more pictures of Bandit that I took this morning.  If you are in the Vancouver/Portland area and would like further information on meeting Bandit, please let me know, or contact Furry Friends!  They would love to hear from you, and I’m sure Bandit would just love to meet you, too!

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~~~~~~~~ Update!!! ~~~~~~~~

Bandit was adopted!  On Sunday, August 24, Bandit went home with his new mom, Cynthia.  He’ll have an older feline brother, Taz, and will be very loved.  And the best part is that since Cynthia is my mother-in-law, I’ll get to see him occasionally!  Win-win-win!  Thanks, everyone, for your support and efforts to get this little guy his forever home!

Cynthia and Bandit

Cynthia and Bandit

I’ve been honored with the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!

Wonderful Team Member Readership AwardAwww…I’m so fortunate to have such good friends in the blogosphere!  One of my besties is a cat named Shrimp from Hairball Express, who has kindly nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!  I love reading Shrimp’s perspective on putting up with – I mean, living with – the humans of the household, and of course, their offspring (Creatures).  My cats, of course, can totally relate to some of Shrimp’s frustrations; for example, when I momentarily forget that they are the center of the universe and I accidentally put my own needs ahead of theirs (you just heard five simultaneous tail slaps, didn’t you?!).  But I digress.  Thanks so much, Shrimp, for nominating me for this award!  I will put some high-grade catnip in the mail for you post haste, and I would nominate YOU for this award had you not nominated me first.

Funny-Cat-ReadingI was able to track down the origins of this award (well, one of the first nominees, at least).  To quote the creator of this award: “As bloggers, we are also readers. That is a part of blogging as listening is a part of speaking.”  This is a lesson I have learned during the past several months, particularly with the A to Z Blogging Challenge this past April.  Blogging is what you put into it!  If you are looking for conversation and interaction, start by reading someone’s blog.  Blogging is very much a two-way street…writing and reading, reading and writing.  That’s where the interactions, conversations, and ultimately, the relationships are built.

The original rules of accepting this award are as follows:

  1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.
  2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days (1 week) – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be ALL on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, etc.
  3. The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.
  4. The Nominee shall make these rules, or amended rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, known to each reader s/he nominates.
  5. The Nominee must finish this sentence and post: “A great reader is…”

My 14 Award Nominees* Are:

* I realize that not everyone does the blog award thing.  Some people look at awards like chain letters that are more work and obligation than anything else.  I am completely fine with that perspective, and understand it.  However, I really appreciate the sentiment behind these awards, and I think it’s a great way to share other blogs and bloggers with your readers.  Therefore, I’m nominating people that I feel deserve this award (whether you read my blog, and/or I read yours)…it is totally up to you whether or not you want to accept it and pass it on.  I won’t be insulted if you don’t want to accept the award…I just want to recognize you as an important part of my blogging community!  Also, I’ve previously nominated some of these people for the Liebster Award.  If this applies to you, tough!  I love you so much that I’ve nominated you again!  ❤

  1. Sammy D. at Bemuzin – sorry, Sammy – I’m gonna nominate you for this one for all the love you leave me on my blog!
  2. Ava Quinn at Tongue In Cheek – ha! My last sentence in the paragraph above applies to YOU!
  3. Misty from Dancing in the Weeds – you’re so amazing that you get another award!
  4. Michelle Stanley – always sharing other people’s posts, you’re a great team reader!
  5. Marie at Every Day is a Miracle – we met during the A to Z Challenge and your blog is fantastic!
  6. Roxy and Tigerlino from Purrfect Kitties – always clever, cute, and supportive!
  7. Laura Barbosa – I love her artwork, and she let me post one of her paintings here for Fine Art Felines Friday!
  8. Stephanie Bird at Stephanie’s Studio – I also met Stephanie through the A to Z Challenge and have been blessed by her visits!
  9. Jay from Running In My Head – who very kindly just nominated me for another award (working on it…)!
  10. Michele from Angels Bark – I just love this blog, and the passion with which Michele advocates for animals.
  11. Sheena from Not A Punk Rocker – I don’t know if she reads my blog, but I read hers. Love the 80’s references and honest writing!
  12. Laurel from Alphabet Salad – Reading this blog makes me happy.  I love her tangles – they are inspiring and creative!
  13. All the critters at Cascadian Nomads – Again, I don’t know if they know my blog exists, but I love reading about their travels with pets, and how you can safely do the same!
  14. Indywrites at Eloquent Articulation – I was mesmerized by her A to Z Challenge posts about women in India. Amazing.
  15. Tammy at Diary of a Middle-Aged Misfit – Again, a more serious A to Z Challenge topic (WWII), but incredible writing.

And finally, all I need to do is finish this sentence:

A great reader is…someone who not only loses herself in what she is reading, but also finds herself as well.  She relates something about herself to the words she consumes, and connects on a very personal level with the writer.  In the words of Marcel Proust:

Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.”